Sunday, November 6, 2016

Recap of Episode 16

You may think I've gone insane, but I promise I will kill again!

Season 2 Episode 16

Written by: Mark Frost, Harley Peyton & Robert Engels

Directed by: Tim Hunter

Original Air Date: December 1st, 1990

"Stand on the rim of the volcano, stand alone and do your dance."

After discovering Maddy's dead body, Albert, Cooper, Truman and Hawk take a walk in the woods and discuss the case. Albert shows them the letter O from under Maddy's nail and says there was white fur from a dead animal clutched in her right hand. Harry wants to contact Maddy's family, but Dale asks for 24 hours to finish his investigation. Albert pulls Cooper aside and tells him that he's the only one with the coordinates in his hardware to find the killer. Albert takes Cooper by the shoulders and says, "Stand on the rim of the volcano, stand alone and do your dance." He advises Dale to take whatever vision quest he has to. Then Albert walks away. Cooper sighs and says he doesn't know where to start. Hawk assures him that he's already on the path and he just has to follow it. 

"J'ai une âme solitaire"

James meets Donna at the Double R and Donna tells him that she could sing about, "last night." He gives her a diamond ring and says he thinks they should be together all the time. Donna thinks that sounds perfect. Nearby Vivian, Norma's mother, spits out her breakfast eggs and claims that she was afraid she'd run into a thumb tack. Norma gets offended and doesn't understand why she can't ever say anything nice. Vivian notes that the menus are very presentable. Meanwhile Andy sits at the counter as well and repeats the phrase, "J'ai une âme solitaire," to himself. Donna hears him and asks what he was saying. Donna asks if he heard it from Mrs. Tremond, but Andy explains it was in Harold's suicide note. Something seems to click in her mind so Donna takes off saying she needs to find Sheriff Truman. 

"Somebody has to stop Bob!"

Donna takes Andy and Dale Cooper to Mrs. Tremond's house and explains that she thinks Harold's suicide note is a message. When she knocks on Mrs. Tremond's door a woman Donna doesn't recognize answers. She then tells Donna that she's Mrs. Tremond. Donna insists to Dale that Mrs. Tremond was an older woman with a grandson. The woman then says she found a note in her mailbox for Donna. When Donna opens it she sees it's a page from Laura's diary. Dale tells her to read it. Donna starts to read out loud about a dream Laura describes having about being in a red room with a small man and old man sitting in a chair. Laura says she whispered the secret in the old man's ear. Then Laura says that somebody has to stop Bob and that Bob is only afraid of Mike. The next entry is dated before Laura dies. Laura states, "tonight is the night that I die." Donna gets teary eyed reading that Laura knew she had to die so Bob couldn't hurt her anymore. Dale realizes that he and Laura had the same dream and asks Andy to take Donna home.

"That milk will cool down on you, but it's getting warmer now."

Cooper goes to see Philip Gerard/Mike in his hotel room. Doc Hayward looms over imploring Cooper to give him his medication. Dale holds off and asks Mike to explain how he and Laura could have had the same dream. Mike explains breathlessly that he and Bob killed perfectly together. He describes it as appetite meeting satisfaction and says it was like creating a golden circle. Dale thinks of his ring and says he gave it to the Giant. Mike confirms that the Giant is real and says he can help Dale find Bob. Dales asks how. Mike says, "you must ask him first." He tells Dale to look inside himself before passing out. Dale walks out into the hallway and is clearly searching for answers. Then he sees the elderly waiter who is holding a tray with a glass of milk on it. He gives Dale the thumbs up and smiles, "that milk will cool down on you, but it's getting warmer now." After Dale goes to Ben's office while Truman, Albert and other officers search it. Dale stares at a stuffed fox on Ben's table looking perplexed. Harry shows him Ben's telephone records showing that Ben called Laura the night she died. Truman is convinced Ben is guilty. Albert then shows them Ben's blood test results.

"We've spend our entire adult lives lying to each other, why spoil it with the truth now?"

At the Sheriff's station, a maintenance man checks the sprinkler system. Andy approaches Lucy and wants to talk about her baby. The maintenance man listens as Lucy explains that it's a 50/50 proposition whether Andy or Dick is the father. Andy decides to call Dick. Lucy seems excited that the men could argue over her. When Dick gets on the phone Andy says they need to speak sternly, but then backs off and says that's if Dick's not too busy. Meanwhile down in his jail cell, Ben gets a visit from Catherine dressed as Mr. Tojamura. She holds the Ghost Wood contracts in her hands. Ben tries to stall by explaining that because he's in jail, he can't sign the contracts. She ends up taunting him by showing him her red toenails and then uses her own voice to say she's going to make his life a living hell. Ben gets excited that she came and begs Catherine to clear his name. She asks him to sign the contract. Ben agrees, signs and then remarks how brilliant her disguise was. He pleads with her to go tell the Sheriff she was with him the night Laura died. Catherine responds by saying, "We've spend our entire adult lives lying to each other, why spoil it with the truth now?" Then she walks out. Ben screams her name while manically cleaning the cell bars with his handkerchief. 

"James don't leave me!"

Donna goes to the Palmer's house wearing Laura's sunglasses. Leland/Bob stares at her intently. She gives him a tape that she and James made for Maddy and asks him to mail it to her. He stares more and asks about the glasses. Donna explains that they were Laura's. She lights up a cigarette and tells him that Laura had an extra secret diary that she gave to Harold Smith. Leland looks shocked and says he had no idea. Then the phone rings. Leland picks it up and speaks with Maddy's mother, Beth. Donna listens to his end of the conversation where he says he dropped Maddy off at the bus station and will call her back as soon as possible. He hangs up and tells Donna that Maddy never made it home. Donna looks very disturbed by the news. Leland/Bob then chews a piece of gum and fixes his tie in the mirror. We see Bob is looking back at him in the reflection. 

After Leland approaches Donna from behind and plays with her hair. She looks at photos of Laura on the mantel and whirls around surprised at the sensation of her hair moving. He hands her a glass of lemonade and assures Donna that Maddy will be okay. Then he decides to put on some music. As he looms over the record player, we see that Bob is there. Donna doesn't see his true face, but knows something is off. Leland starts dancing toward her and takes Donna's hands. He impulsively grabs her into an odd hug. Donna struggles to get free, but thankfully for her the doorbell rings. It's Harry who says there has been another murder and he needs Leland's help. Leland agrees to assist and leaves with Harry. Donna ends up walking to the lake in tears. Shortly after James rides up on his motorcycle. Donna tells him that Maddy is dead and it was the same killer as Laura. James gets upset and says, "this is no good!" He thinks nothing they do matters and decides to take off on his bike. Donna screams for him not to leave her, but he takes off anyway. 

"That gum you like is going to come back in style."

At the Roadhouse, Cooper waits with Albert at the bar. Ben sits in a booth nearby eating nuts. Then Harry walks in with Leland. Cooper walks up to Leland and Leland asks if they're there to catch the killer. Big Ed then strolls in, followed by Hawk, Bobby and Leo. Cooper has them all clear the room. Then he explains to the group that he believes the killer in his the room and says he needs a little magic to help identify the individual. Harry asks, "now what?" Dale says he isn't sure and thinks someone is missing. Right then Major Briggs arrives with then the elderly waiter. The waiter gives Dale a piece of gum. Leland smiles and tells the waiter that gum is his most favorite gum in the world. The waiter replies, "that gum you like is going to come back in style." Dale flashes to his dream and remembers that Laura whispered, "My father killed me," in his ear. Then the Giant appears with Dale's ring in his palm. As he disappears again, the ring falls to the floor. Dale puts the gum in his mouth and looks down. He sees his ring, picks it up and then tells Ben to come to the Sheriff station with him and to bring Leland Palmer as his attorney. Before walking out, Cooper turns to look at the waiter and gives him the thumbs up. 

"That's not Leland!"

When everyone arrives at the station, Dale says they should bring Ben down to interrogation. Leland asks if Ben is going to be charged. Dale says yes, but then whispers something to Harry when Leland walks away. When they all get to the interrogation room, they end up pushing Leland into the room instead and shut the door. Leland begins to yell and throw himself against the wall. The men look in at him through the door's window and Dale orders Ben to be released. Ben can't believe his eyes and questions, "Leland?" Hawk sharply responds, "that's not Leland!" Harry then asks how Dale knew Leland was the killer. Dale says Laura told him in a dream. Harry thinks they need stronger evidence than that. Dale asks if a full confession will do. After Dale, Harry, Albert and Hawk handcuff Leland and sit him in a chair. Dale asks if he killed Laura Palmer. Leland howls and then says that means yes. Hawk looks extremely concerned and keeps his gun pointed at him. Then Bob says that Leland has been a good vehicle, but now it's time to shuffle off to Buffalo. He claims Leland won't remember what he did until he leaves him and pulls the ripcord. Upon hearing him, Harry says that will do and they all leave the room.

"Got a light?"

Lucy takes Andy and Dick into the conference room at the station. She tells them that she's decided to keep her baby and it's not open to discussion. Dick looks irked and pulls out a cigarette attached to a giant cigarette holder. He asks Andy for a light and laughs when Andy pats himself down for one before firmly answering, "no." Dick then pulls out a lighter from his other hand. Lucy explains that she can't take the test to determine the father until after the baby is born and she wants their cooperation in the meantime. Dick's cigarette smoke drifts up to the fire alarm as he tells Lucy whatever she wants is fine with him.

"Look to the light."

Meanwhile outside the interrogation room, Hawk watches Leland from the door's window as Dale explains to Albert and Harry that Ben's blood type didn't match. Dale feels the answer was in front of him the whole time. Dale recounts all the clues from his dreams, including those from the Giant and concludes that the letters under the fingernails was Bob spelling his name. Dale thinks Leland killed Laura for writing about him in her diary and Maddy because she either reminded him of Laura or she found out about Bob. Harry asks if Dale thinks Leland's just crazy, because he thinks Bob can't be real. Before Dale can answer, Leland starts yelling from inside the room about how the magician longs to see, he'll catch them with his death bag and how he will kill again. 

Then the sprinklers go off throughout the station. Leland/Bob starts screaming and then begins banging his head against the door. Dale and Harry struggle to get the door open to stop him. When they finally do, Leland is badly injured. It appears he's now his true self, absent of Bob, and begins to remember his horrid actions. He sobs that he killed Laura and explains that he saw Bob in his dreams as child and he let him inside. Leland claims he didn't know when Bob was there and he couldn't remember when Bob was gone. Leland tells the men that "they" wanted Laura's soul, but Laura was strong and wouldn't let them in. Leland also admits to killing Teresa Banks and says "they" made him kill Laura. Leland asks God to have mercy on him and cries that he loves Laura with all his heart. Dale realizes that Leland is dying, so he offers words of comfort to Leland and tells him to look to the light. Leland cries that he sees the light and can also see Laura there waiting for him. Then he sadly dies in Dale's arms and the sprinklers finally turn off.

"The evil that men do."

Later Dale, Harry and Albert meet Major Briggs in the woods and they discuss the events. Harry thinks Leland was completely insane. Albert says that people saw Bob in visions and dreams, like Maddy and Sarah. Major Briggs astutely quotes Shakespeare by saying, "Gentlemen, there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in our philosophy." Cooper smiles and says, "amen." Harry can't wrap his mind around it. He says he's seen a lot of strange things, but this is way off the map and he's having trouble believing. Dale asks if it's more comforting to think of a man raping and killing is own daughter. Harry answers no. Major Briggs asks if it matters, when the evil is that great, what you call it. Dale answers yes, because they have to stop it. Albert notes, "maybe that's all that Bob is, the evil that men do." Then Harry wonders if they had Bob and he got away, "where's Bob now?" Right then we cut to shot of something moving through the woods leading up to a bright light. Finally an owl appears against the backdrop of light and spreads it's wings to fly away.

End of show!

It appears Bob is the owl flying away for the time being thus concluding the storyline of who killed Laura Palmer. This episode is full of powerful moments and I think for the most part fulfills answering the show's core mystery. In hindsight maybe some elements are wrapped up a bit too neatly, for example Leland being absolved of responsibility for his behavior, which Fire Walk With Me contradicts quite a bit. However overall I think it's a terrific episode and has a satisfying end to Laura's murder. 

I remember when I first saw this episode on my old VHS set I was chilled by Dale remembering that Laura whispered, "my father killed me," in his ear. I also love how Harry, Albert, Major Briggs and Dale discuss Bob at the end with all their varying takes on the events. I can't help but wish that in the proceeding episodes the question of, "where is Bob?" was the focal point, given how poignant their collective conversation was. In that sense, this episode also marks the end of this chapter of Twin Peaks and you could argue the show could have ended right then. 

The scene with the most emotional impact is definitely Leland's death, in my opinion. I suppose it does help ease the sorrow of what he did to know that he was truly sorry for it in the end. All of the men seemed exhausted and haunted by the experience as well, which I think adds to the intensity. I'm not a big fan of "into the light" death scenes in television and film, but Twin Peaks did it well and certainly made Leland's final moments unforgettable. 

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  1. Awesome recap, very well done, I need to watch these all again. When I do I am coming back to read your blog. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, that's so nice of you to say! :)