Monday, December 22, 2014

The Twin Peaks Ugly Sweater Contest

Twin Peaks fans got the best present ever this year, which was the news that Twin Peaks is returning in 2016! So in honor of the holidays, I thought it would be fun to count down the top 10 ugliest sweaters ever worn in Twin Peaks.


Leo Johnson wore this in episode 3 of Season 1. Looks a bit like the owl cave symbol, but still ugly!


Maddy wore this in episode 5 of Season 1, but I don't think she should be so happy about it!


Donna wore this sweater in the pilot episode right before she learned Laura was dead. However I think she went wrong beforehand with this choice!


Doc Hayward wore this in episode 21 of Season 2 when he broke the news to Andy and Dick that little Nicky wasn't a psycho killer!


Dr. Jacoby wore this in episode 4 of Season 1. Despite it's ugliness, it sort of works for him!


Lucy wore this in episode 9 of Season 2. It's as confounding as her expression in this photo!


Catherine wore this sweater/coat/hideous splat of colors in episode 20 of Season 2, but it didn't deter Ben from wanting to kiss her!


Lucy made this unfortunate choice in episode 8 of Season 2, but it didn't keep her from being proud of Andy for telling off Agent Rosenfeld!


Donna makes the list for a 2nd time with this fair isle mistake from episode 1 of Season 1. It speaks for itself! 


John Justice Wheeler comes in at number 1 when he rocked this multi-striped number in episode 25 of Season 2. Oddly despite it's wretchedness, Audrey still gave up her virginity to him! 

Happy Holidays everyone & have a wonderful New Year!

See you in the trees!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Recap of Episode 1

Who really pulled the trigger on JFK?

Season 1 Episode 1

Written by: Mark Frost & David Lynch

Directed by: Duwayne Dunham

Original Air Date: April 12, 1990

"Freshly Squeezed"

At the Great Northern, Dale talks to Diane while hanging upside down using his special boots in his hotel room. He asks Diane what really went on between Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedy's and who really pulled the trigger on JFK?

Dale remarks on the wonderful coffee in the dining room at the Great Northern. He tells the waitress he'll have grapefruit as long as their freshly squeezed while he watches Audrey stroll in. Audrey sits down and tells Dale that Laura tutored her brother Johnny. Then she notes that sometimes she gets so flushed and oddly asks if Dale's palms ever itch.

"Harry I really have to urinate!"

Dale makes his way to the police station and finds everyone eating donuts. He runs down his plan of action for the morning and quickly excuses himself to use the bathroom. Later Doc Hayward goes over the autopsy report with Harry and Dale. He tells them that Laura was bound and had sexual relations with at least three men. Doc Hayward is certain that Ronette Pulaski was attacked by the same men.

At the Johnson's house, Leo insists that Shelly do his laundry before she goes to work. Shelly takes his dirty shirts and finds one of them soaked in blood. She quickly hides the shirt and turns on the washing machine before Leo sees it. After Leo asks Shelly to save him a piece of pie before she goes to work. Later Leo goes looking for the shirt and slams the washing machine when he can't find it.

"Sparkwood & 21" 

Back at the station, Dale and Harry talk to James and play the picnic video with his hog reflecting in Laura's eye. James gives in and tells them that Laura wanted to keep their relationship a secret. He also tells them that she was using cocaine and he saw her the night she died. James reveals she fell off his bike at Sparkwood and 21, told him she couldn't see him anymore and then took off into the woods. Dale shows him the heart necklace and James flashes to the day Laura gave him the necklace and told him her heart belonged to him. However, James insists to Dale that he doesn't know what happened to the necklace.

Downstairs in one of the jail cells, Bobby and Mike talk about their business problems with Leo Johnson. Bobby explains that Leo's money is in Laura's safety deposit box. Mike panics that Leo will come after them, but Bobby tells him to shut up, because he doesn't know Leo. Right then James is returned to his cell and Bobby stares him down. Then we cut to a touching scene of the picnic video with Donna and Laura. We get a close up of Laura's face and her voice says, "Help me!

Donna talks to her mother at the Hayward's house and expresses her pain and joy in the aftermath of Laura's death. Donna confides in her mother about Laura seeing James secretly, but admits that she's guilty over realizing her and James were falling in love all along. 

"They got a cherry pie that will kill ya!"

Harry and Dale talk to Big Ed at the station about James. Then Dale gets a call from Albert. In private Harry and Ed talk about the brawl at the Roadhouse. Ed says he thinks his beer was drugged and notes that Jacques Renault was tending bar. Meanwhile Dale tells Albert on the phone that he must stop at the Lamp Lighter Inn, because they have a cherry pie that will kill ya!

Norma runs into Nadine at the drugstore and gets an earful about cotton balls and silent drape runners. Poor Norma is lost for words as Nadine scurries out of the store.

Meanwhile James is released. James, Big Ed and Hawk exchange knowing looks while swiping their fingers down the side of their faces at the station. Nearby Dale releases Bobby and Mike, but warns them to pray for the health and safety of James Hurley. Harry looks on confused and says that he feels a little like Doctor Watson.

"There was a fish in the percolator!"

Josie and Pete talk at their house about his defending her to Catherine the day before at the mill. Then Harry and Dale stop by to speak with Josie about Laura. Pete offers to make them coffee. Josie tells them that she saw Laura on Thursday and Laura said she understood how Josie must have felt about her husband's death. Harry stares at Josie in awe and Dale quickly deduces that Harry's in love with Josie. Then Pete comes running out and tells them not to drink the coffee, because there was a fish in the percolator! Meanwhile, Catherine calls Josie and tells her that her "shenanigans" shutting down the mill cost them $87 K.

Catherine lays on a motel bed and questions Ben about how quickly their time together passes. Then she asks what the next step is. Catherine is worried about Pete finding her phony mill ledger. Ben says it might be time to start a fire at The Packard Saw Mill. Talking about their nefarious plans turns Ben on and he's ready for another round with Catherine.

"My Baby!"

Donna goes to visit Mrs. Palmer at her house. Leland asks Donna to try not to upset Sarah. Donna sits down with Sarah, who immediately starts crying about how much she misses Laura. Then Mrs. Palmer sees Laura's face transposed over Donna's and abruptly grabs her into a hug. While hugging Donna, Sarah sees a flash of Bob crouching at the foot of Laura's bed and starts frantically screaming for Leland. 

At the hospital, Hawk talks to Ronette's parents outside of her hospital room. They tell him that Ronette was a sales girl at the Horne's Department store perfume counter. While there, Hawk notices the one armed man step off the elevator. Hawk follows him and sees the one armed man head into the morgue.

"Oh Daddy I'm So Afraid!"

Audrey dances longingly to dreamy music at the Great Northern. Ben's storms in and shuts it off. Ben asks Audrey if she was speaking to the Norwegians before they departed without signing the Ghost Wood Estates contracts. Audrey coyly says that she told them she was feeling sad because of Laura's brutal murder. Ben gets angry and warns her if she ever does something like that again he'll send her to a Bulgarian convent. Audrey responds, "oh daddy I'm so afraid!" Ben coldly remarks that Laura died yesterday, but says he lost Audrey years ago.

Major Briggs tries to communicate with Bobby over dinner about the events of the last few days. Bobby decides to put a cigarette to his lips, which prompts the Major to smack it out of his mouth. The cigarette flies into Mrs. Briggs meatloaf. Betty looks at it in horror, but then picks it up and she says, "We're here for you Bobby!" Bobby looks extremely bewildered.

At the Double R Diner, Dale and Harry order pie from Shelly. Dale sees the Log Lady and wonders if he should ask her about her log. Harry answers, "many have!" Then Norma walks over to them and Dale asks for a list of the meals on wheels people that Laura was delivering to. The Log Lady approaches Dale and says her log saw something the night Laura was killed. She tells Dale to ask the log, but he pauses. The log lady then says, "I thought so," and quickly heads off annoyed.

"What shirt?"

Shelly comes home with pie for Leo, but he's more concerned about his missing shirt. He slips a bar of soap into a sock and demands to know where his shirt is. Clearly frightened Shelly asks, "What shirt?" Leo smacks the pie from her hand and says he's going to teach her a lesson. Knowing what she's in for, Shelly cowers in the corner of their unfinished kitchen. Leo begins winding up the sock and prepares to strike.

Meanwhile James heads over to the Hayward's house for dinner. Donna parents make awkward conversation with James and Donna brings him fruit punch to drink. James and Donna are excited to see each other. Outside Bobby and Mike notice James' bike in front of Donna's house. Bobby says it's a shame they can only kill James once.

"What's up Doc?"

In his Hawaiian style office, Dr. Jacoby beings to listen to a taped message from Laura Palmer. On the tape Laura starts to tell him about a mystery man in her life as he opens up his little secret coconut. Hearing her words makes Dr. Jacoby start to cry. He puts his headphones over his ears and listens to her intently, but we don't get to hear the rest of what Laura has to say. Then Dr. Jacoby pulls out the other half of Laura's heart necklace, holds it up and begins to blubber at the sight of it.

End of show!

This is a terrific episode and really starts to set the stage for the rest of the season. We get a nice taste of all the characters and their various dilemma's. Leo demonstrates the art of how not to have a healthy marriage. James and Donna attempt to find some normalcy and Dale begins to lay down the foundation of his investigation with Harry. Catherine and Ben appear to be setting Josie up with Pete none the wiser. The Log Lady tells Dale that her log knows something and Laura leaves Dr. Jacoby with some chilling insight into her life. Do you think she reveals the identity of her killer on that tape or was she just talking about some amorous adventure she had in the woods?

Recap of the Pilot <------> Recap of Episode 2

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Decoding Margaret Lanterman

I do not "introduce" the log!
Let's take a moment to discuss one of Twin Peaks most irreverent character's. Played by the very talented Catherine E. Coulson, Margaret Lanterman aka The Log Lady often stole every scene she was in with her impeccable timing and somewhat uncomfortable presence. She seems to have insight about a lot of Twin Peaks secrets, yet is dependent on her log for companionship and the psychic knowledge it provides. Hawk once said, "The wood holds many spirits, doesn't it Margaret?" With that in mind, you'd have to wonder if the log was in fact enchanted in someway. Or was it simply a representation of those who Margaret lost?

Here's what we know about the Log Lady. She was married briefly, but her husband "met the devil" (possibly Bob) on their wedding night and died in a mysterious fire. She lives in an isolated cabin in the woods and her log saw something the night Laura Palmer was killed. I think it's safe to conclude that her husband's spirit as well as various others may be trapped in her log. Thus making her a medium of sorts. Does this make a case for Josie's wood trapping or just a coincidence? Does the wood in Twin Peaks have special power? We also know that Margaret likes to chew pitch gum and much to Norma's dismay, she often sticks it on the wall of the Double R diner. See below!

In the movie Fire Walk With Me, Margaret encounters Laura outside the Roadhouse. She puts her hand to the log and then to Laura's forehead and says, "When this kind of fire starts, it is very hard to put out. The tender boughs of innocence burn first and the wind rises and then all goodness is in jeopardy." In my personal favorite of the Log Lady's introductions, she claims everything begins with the one and says that one was Laura Palmer. Watch below!

According to Twin Peaks Wiki, The conceptual history for the Log Lady was an old idea of David Lynch's, where he had intended to do a television series called "I'll Test My Log with Every Branch of Knowledge" based around the Log Lady character. The idea came about while he worked with Catherine Coulson on the set of Eraserhead. 

Thinking about all of this makes me wonder if the Log Lady knew that Laura Palmer was going to be murdered or was she simply trying to warn Laura of the lurking danger? She also advises Major Briggs to "deliver the message" which prompts him to tell Dale Cooper about the information he received from deep within the woods of Twin Peaks. See below!

Later Margaret leads Dale to the Roadhouse where he has a vision of The Giant in the infamous "It's happening again" scene prior to Maddy's murder. It appears she may have been forewarned by her log thus her efforts to steer Dale in the right direction. 

In an ironic twist, at the end of the series Wyndom Earle impersonates the Log Lady in order to kidnap Annie from the Miss Twin Peaks pageant. Bobby notices both Log Ladies and makes the unfortunate choice of confronting Wyndom's version. The result is the GIF image below. Poor Bobby! 

In conclusion Margaret Lanterman aka The Log Lady is not only one of the best female characters in Twin Peaks, she's one of the best characters period! Her presence is undeniable and always enjoyable. Thankfully Catherine Coulson has recently confirmed that she will return in 2017 to reprise her role of The Log Lady in the new episodes. To what degree is still unknown, but I don't think Twin Peaks would be the same without her!

Update: Sadly Catherine Coulson pasted away in Sept 2015. May she rest in peace.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Best of the Worst

Heavy Metal Youth!

Let's count down the best of the worst side characters whose storyline's either pained or amused us!

Please note: This is purely for fun and nothing against the actors, only a critique of the characters.

11. Evelyn Marsh & Malcolm

Plot: Evelyn and her sinister brother Malcolm plot to frame James Hurley for the murder of Evelyn's rich husband Jeffrey. However they fail. Malcolm is shot by Evelyn and Evelyn is left to stew in her guilt.

What Made it So Bad: Aside from the nauseating dialogue and the silly seduction of James, Evelyn and Malcolm's presence in Twin Peaks was not only useless to the overall story, it failed to offer much in the way of entertainment.

The Verdict: The show probably would have been better without this storyline.

10. Blackie's sister Nancy

Plot: Nancy conspires with Jean Renault to kidnap Audrey for ransom and overthrow her sister, Blackie, as queen of One Eyed Jacks. She ultimately fails and gets knocked out by Dale Cooper.

What Made it So Bad: Blackie wasn't terribly likable herself, but in comparison Nancy was about as shrill as nails on a chalk board.

The Verdict: She was just "meat on a hook" to Jean and equally as lifeless to the fans!

9. Thomas Eckhardt

Plot: Thomas' obsession with Josie drove him to plot the murder of his one-time friend and Josie's husband, Andrew Packard. Despite Josie's aid, Thomas ultimately failed and Andrew got his revenge.

What Made it So Bad: He was another victim of hammy dialogue. Although his assistant, the lovely Brenda Strong aka Seinfeld's Sue Ellen Mischke, was mildly interesting, this storyline ultimately fell flat. Not too mention it sent poor Josie to her death trapped in a wooden doorknob.

The Verdict: Aside from offering some back story on Josie and her troubled origin, Thomas probably should have stayed in Hong Kong!

8. Vivian Niles aka M.T. Wentz

Plot: Vivian comes to town to supposedly see her daughter Norma Jennings and introduce Norma to her new step father, Ernie Niles. However she ultimately reveals herself to be the famous food critic, M.T. Wentz. She poorly review's the food at Norma's Double R diner. This forces Norma to kick her mother to the curb once and for all.

What Made it So Bad: Vivian's extreme lack of personality was only surpassed by the cold and condescending way she addressed our beloved Norma Jennings.

The Verdict: Ernie Niles should have come to town alone.

7. Little Nicky

Plot: Little Nicky was a foster child that Dick Tremayne took under his wing to impress Lucy. However he becomes suspicious of Little Nicky's creepy demeanor and enlists Andy's help to determine whether or not Little Nicky killed his biological parents. However it turns out that Little Nicky was innocent and just a victim of tragic circumstance.

What Made it So Bad: Despite a few laughs along the way, Little Nicky's storyline proved to be a real waste of time. Thankfully it wrapped up quickly and Dick was able to focus on more important things like hosting the Twin Peaks charity fashion show in honor of The Little Pine Wiesel.

The Verdict: Little Nicky would have been better left in foster care with Molly Shannon!

6. John Justice Wheeler

Plot: John comes to town to help Ben Horne with a business deal and to teach Ben how to be a good person. However he can't help but fall in love with Ben's beautiful and much younger daughter, Audrey Horne. Oddly Audrey falls for him as well and allows John to take her virginity on his plane before he flies off into Twin Peaks history.

What Made it So Bad: In addition to wearing some of the most hideous sweaters ever woven, John's annoying double speak and cliche' attempt to be irreverent mostly served as filler folly. Not to mention wasting the lovely Audrey's time when she should have been hanging out with Dale Cooper.

The Verdict: Billy Zane is no doubt a handsome man, but this character left a lot to be desired.  

5. Lana Milford

Plot: Lana marries the elderly Dougie Milford, who is Mayor Milford's brother, but becomes windowed on her wedding night when Dougie suffers a heart attack. Mayor Milford at first accuses Lana of killing Dougie with sex/witch craft, only to later recant his words and fall in love with her himself. Lana also had an effect on men in general and often found herself the center of male attention.

What Made it So Bad: Despite Lana's cute face and perky figure, her twangy voice and clown hair often made it hard to understand what all the fuss was about.

The Verdict: Her storyline did offer a fair amount of amusing moments with Mayor Milford so perhaps a little less airtime would have worked better for the show overall.

4. Emory Battis

Plot: Emory is the manager at Horne's Department store who recruits girls from the perfume counter to "work" at One Eyed Jacks. He also likes to be tied up and blind folded. In addition to having his toe nails painted while listening to women run the vacuum. Audrey gets the better of him and exposes his dirty deeds, but not before Emory lends his aid to Jean Renault in Audrey's drug fueled kidnapping. Emory ultimately gets shot and killed by Jean Renault.

What Made it So Bad: Emory's slimy nervous manner was often uncomfortable to watch. Plus his mistreatment of Audrey was very unlikable.

The Verdict: Jean Renault did us all a favor when he shot Emory for hitting Audrey, but who could forget those toes?

3. Cousin Jonathan/Mr. Lee

Plot: He was introduced by Josie to some as her cousin Jonathan and to others as her assistant Mr. Lee, but he was definitely an employee of Thomas Eckhardt. Mr. Lee came to Twin Peaks to return Josie to Thomas upon completion of her assignment to defraud the Packard family. In addition to giving Hank Jennings a much deserved ass whooping. However Josie managed to escape him and ultimately killed him off camera.

What Made it So Bad: Between the his cold leering behavior toward Josie and his tendency toward violence, Mr. Lee/Cousin Jonathan wasn't very appealing. His only good point was that he tuned Harry into Josie's lies.

The Verdict: Josie was nothing but trouble for everyone!

2. Ernie Niles

Plot: Ernie comes to Twin Peaks as a reformed con man who is now the new husband of Norma's mother, Vivian. However he quickly gets involved with his old prison buddy, Hank Jennings, and finds himself in the middle of nefarious drugs deals with Jean Renault. Ernie manages to redeem himself, despite his chronic nervous condition super hyperhidrosis, by working with Dale, Agent Bryson and Sheriff Truman to stop Jean Renault.

What Made it So Bad: Honestly not much. Ernie was pretty funny and despite his questionable morals he was fairly lovable.

The Verdict: Sweaty or not, Ernie Niles was a fun side character, who's storyline worked well with the show's humor!

1. Agent Denise Bryson

Plot: Agent Bryson of the DEA comes to Twin Peaks to investigate allegations being made against Dale Cooper. As a former colleague of Dale's known as Dennis Bryson, it comes as quite a shock to Dale when Dennis arrives in women's clothing and introduces himself as Denise. Agent Bryson also takes a awkward shine to Sheriff Truman. He ultimately proves himself a hero during the Dead Dog Farm hostage situation when he dresses as a waitress from the Double R diner. Denise distracts Jean Renault just long enough to slip a gun to Dale Cooper via his stocking!

What Made it So Bad: I would say there wasn't anything bad about it. It was definitely over the top, but it's arguably one of the best comedic subplots in Season 2.

The Verdict: David Duchovny in drag = comedy gold!

That's all folks! Did I miss anyone?

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