Saturday, December 17, 2016

Recap of Episode 18

Rocket blind into the dark

Season 2 Episode 18

Written by: Barry Pullman

Directed by: Duwayne Dunham

Original Air Date: December 15th, 1990

"Is there someplace you're going to or running from?"

On the highway, James takes the longest ride possible out of Twin Peaks on his hog, a scene that is accompanied by some twangy music. After what seems like days of riding, James ends up at Wallies Hideout only a few towns away from Twin Peaks. He sits at the bar next to a blonde woman who's having a drink alone. She immediately engages him in an odd conversation and asks, "is there someplace you're going to or running from?" James laughs and tells her she's got the wrong man and he's alright. The woman responds by saying, "men are always alright, right up until they pull the trigger...," James tells her he's just a quiet guy and compliments her jacket. Then she asks if he can help her fix her husband's car. She tells him her name is Evelyn Marsh and she lives up the road. James agrees, but wants to play the jukebox first. He takes a coin, plays a dramatic lovable tune and puts his head against the box while he broods. Evelyn watches him curiously. 

"That's Classified!"

At the Sheriff's station, Dale and Harry talk to Betty Briggs about the Major's disappearance. Betty tells them that Major Briggs has disappeared before, but the fact that Dale and he were in the woods at the time of his current disappearance is significant. She also tells them that Garland talks about the woods constantly. Dale asks her if the Major has been attempting to make contact with some "element" that exists in the woods as part of his work. Betty replies, "that's classified." However she does offer to return with some of the Major's notes that he left at his bedside. After she leaves, Dale says the light he saw in the woods wasn't just some work related occurrence. Dale thinks it's a powerful force in that exists in the woods. Then Andy and Hawk walk in with matching Ascot ties for the Milford's wedding gift. After Cooper gets a call from Gordon Cole, who loudly tells Dale he's got his full support during the FBI's investigation into him. Gordon also says that the FBI is sending, Dennis Bryson, another agent that Dale describes to Harry as "no nonsense", to look into the investigation. Gordon advises Dale to let a smile be his umbrella before hanging up. 

"What the hell are you talking about?"

Dale goes into the conference room to meet with Agent Roger Hardy for questioning. Dale insists that he's innocent of any wrong doing. Agent Hardy thinks Dale is making the cowardly choice, but Dale intently tells him that he's now focused on a bigger game. Roger asks what game. Dale proudly tells him the, "sound the wind makes through the pines, the senses of animals, what we fear in the dark and what lays beyond the darkness." Roger looks confused and snipes, "what the hell are you talking about?" Dale smiles and claims he talking about looking at the world with love. Roger warns him that the FBI is likely to charge him with drug trafficking. Dale says he can't control that. Roger says he's keeping Dale's suspension in place and he's going to recommend that Dale have a full psychological work up after cracking such a big case with Laura Palmer's murder. Dale seems unfazed and thanks him for his candor. Before walking out, Dale glances at his gun and FBI badge on the table.

"He has the cutest buns!"

Nadine approaches Donna in the hallway at the high school dressed in her cheerleader outfit. Donna asks if she's heard from James. Nadine asks if Donna means Eddie's friend with the motorcycle. Donna answers, "yes." Nadine tells her that he hasn't been around for a couple days. Then Nadine asks Donna if she's still going out with Mike. Donna says no and wonders why she asked. Nadine says there is some major chemistry going on with her and Mike. Then Mike happens to walk down the hall. He says hi to Donna, but ignores Nadine when she says hi to him. Nadine watches him walk down the hallway and then giggles to Donna, "he has the cutest buns!" Donna asks about her relationship with Big Ed. Nadine says that sometimes Eddie acts like he's old enough to be her father.

"Let's go out for a Malted."

Dick comes to the station with Little Nicky, who Dick tells Andy is his charge from Happy Helping Hands. Dick introduces Little Nicky to Andy and says they were hoping to take Lucy with them for a malted. Andy tells them that Lucy is busy helping with the Milford wedding. Little Nicky gets upset when Dick says they can't go without Lucy. Andy decides to step in and offers to take Dick and Nicky out with him for a malted. Andy asks Nicky if he'd like that. Little Nicky replies, "Oh boy!"

"The Dweller on the Threshold."

In Harry's office, Dale asks Hawk and Harry if either of them have ever heard of a place called the White Lodge. Hawk looks stern and asks where Dale heard of it. Dale responds it's the last thing the Major talked about before he disappeared. Hawk is quick to tell Dale that he might be fearless in this world, but Hawks warns, "there are other worlds." Hawk explains that his people believe the White Lodge is a place where the spirits that rule man and nature reside. He also says there is a legend of a shadow self of the White Lodge called the Black Lodge. Hawk tells Dale that the Black Lodge is a place where every spirit must pass through on the way to perfection and there you will meet your own shadow self. Hawk says his people call it, "the dweller on the threshold." However he cautions Dale that if you face the Black Lodge with imperfect courage it will utterly annihilate your soul. Dale seems fascinated by the information.

"Happy to meet you, Sheriff."

Lucy's temporary replacement buzzes Harry in his office to tell him that Dennis Bryson has arrived. Dale looks pleased and tells Harry that Dennis is one of the finest minds in the DEA. He assures Harry that they're in very good hands. Then Dennis walks in and pleasantly says, "Coop." He's dressed as a very tall woman and tells Dale, "it's a long story, but actually I prefer Denise if you don't mind." Dale looks confused, but goes along with him, as does Harry. Hawk nods at him, but refuses to shake his hand. Denise says it was a nice drive and he finds it hard to believe that Twin Peaks has any crime. Harry says unfortunately they do. Dale then tells Denise he believes he's being set up. Denise laughs that his recent experiences have taught him not to judge too quickly. Denise says he's going to check into his hotel and then get started on Dale's case. He asks Dale if the food is any good at The Great Northern. Dale tells him he's in for a real treat. Harry snarks under his breath, "so are they." Then Denise tells Dale he wants to catch up with him later and tell him all about his new life. Dale replies that he's anxious to hear about it. Denise then turns to Harry on his way out and flirts, "happy to meet you, Sheriff." Hawk smiles at him and after Denise leaves Hawks remarks, "that's a good color for him!" Dale just smiles amused.

Back at the high school, Nadine finds Mike working out on the leg press in the gym. She decides to show off in front of him by using the leg press next to him at the max weight of 600 lbs. Nadine begins to press away like it was nothing while Mike struggles next to her using less than half that weight. He looks at her confused and asks if there is something she wants as she stares at him. Nadine makes a flirty comment about him being too forward. Then the gym coach comes in and sees Nadine pressing like a mad woman. He looks impressed and asks if she's ever thought of going out for the wrestling team. Mike looks shocked. 


At Harry's house, he comes home to find Josie in his bed just waking up. Harry sweetly kisses her and they snuggle up in bed together. Then he tells her, "it's time." Harry says he needs to know the truth or he can't be with her. Josie groans softly, "oh...Harry," but then she tells him the truth is she used to work for a man in Hong Kong named Thomas Eckhert. Josie explains that Thomas took her off the street when she was 16. She claims that he was her father, master and lover. Josie tells Harry that Cousin Jonathan/Mr. Lee works for Eckhert and threatened to kill Harry if she didn't go back to Hong King with him. Josie goes on to say that she thinks Eckhert had Andrew Packard killed and she'd rather die than go back to Eckhert. Harry says she's with him now and he can protect her. Josie thinks Thomas will just kill them both, but Harry tries to reassure her by saying, "let him try." Josie looks into the distance uncertain.

"Catch Anything?"

Norma serves Agent Roger Hardy some pie at the Double R when Hank and Ernie stroll in. They both look beleaguered, particularly Ernie. Norma walks over to Ernie and asks, "catch anything?" Ernie answers without thinking, " I hope not." However then he realizes she was talking about hunting and gives her phony story about shooting a buck. Norma listens skeptically and then tells him that Vivian went back to Seattle. Norma also says she thinks Ernie should go there to. After Hank brings Ernie some food. Ernie tells him that Vivian went home. Hank thinks it's better for their business that way.

"Uncle Andy went funny boom boom."

At the diner counter, Norma brings Little Nicky a chocolate malted and pie for Andy and Dick. Nicky wonders how much it costs, but Dick tells him not to worry about it. Nicky blows his whip cream in Dick's face, clearly upsetting him. Andy gets a subtle laugh and tells Nicky that, "Uncle Dick" isn't mad at him. Dick gets annoyed and asks in retort for, "Uncle Andy," to pass him a napkin. When Andy stands up to get it, Nicky spins his stool. When Andy sits back down he goes flying onto the floor. Andy gets upset. Dick laughs and notes to Little Nicky that, "Uncle Andy went funny boom boom."

"Sometimes riding at night, I punch off the headlights and roll on the throttle and just rocket blind into the dark." 

James takes a look at Evelyn's husband's car at her house. James sports a cozy sweater and tells her he thinks he can fix the car. Evelyn tells him that her husband, Jeffrey, loves the car and that he loves to have the most unique and beautiful toys. She claims her husband is that way about everything and she wonders if James feels the same way about his motorcycle. James says he loves the bike for where it can take him. Evelyn asks where he wants to go. James says it's not a place he wants to go to, it's a feeling. He looks into the distance and tells Evelyn that, "sometimes riding at night I punch off the headlights and roll on the throttle and just rocket blind into the dark." Evelyn smiles and offers to have him stay with her while he fixes Jeffrey's car. She also says she'd like the company while her husband is out of town on business. James agrees to stay.

"You're out Ben!"

At the Great Northern, Ben watches home movies in his office of when his father first opened the hotel. He laughs seeing himself and Jerry as young boys. Ben walks up to the screen saying,"now is the winter of our discontent." Then he kisses the images of his family on the screen while smoking a cigar and talking to himself. Hank walks in, sees the projector and asks, "stag party?" Ben is annoyed to see him and asks where he's been. Hank claims to have had a, "killer schedule." Ben recounts his recent trouble with Catherine, Leland and his being arrested for Laura's murder. Hank agrees that he's had a tough week. Ben then gets distracted talking about how arranging the furniture in a certain way could offer health benefits that are far reaching. Hank changes the subject and tells Ben there's been a "friendly takeover" at One Eyed Jacks and Ben is out. Hank also says he doesn't work for him anyone. Ben realizes that Jean Renault is involved and tells Hank he's dancing with the devil. Ben refuses to back down. Hank grabs him by the collar, says he's a mess and again insists, "Ben you're out!" Hank then leaves as Ben mockingly repeats Hank saying, "Ben you're out, you're out Ben!" Then he sits Indian style on his desk and makes figures with his hands on the screen through the projector's light. 

"The King must die!"

Dale opens mail from Windom Earle in his hotel room and discovers another chess move and a tape recording. Dale listens to the recording. On it, Windom jokes about how predictable Dale's last chess move was. Windom thinks Dale must be wondering what his next move will be. Windom notes that he's willing to make any moves necessary to win. Windom says he'll even sacrifice the Queen, because, as Windom puts it, "the King must die!" Dale appears rather alarmed by the recording. Later Cooper gets a call from Denise inviting him downstairs for the Milford wedding. After Dale makes a note to Diane to remind him to tell her about Agent Bryson.

"I found that wearing woman's clothes relaxed me."

Douglas Milford and Lana say their I do's at The Great Northern, despite Dwayne Milford objecting by saying Lana's a gold digger and Dougie has one foot in the grave already. Harry interjects and takes Dwayne outside for some air. Later during the reception, Dale joins Denise by the bar. Denise has Lana's bouquet of flowers with him and tells Dale he had an unfair advantage. He jokingly asks Dale, "how many of the other girls were varsity wide receivers?" Then Denise gets back to Dale's investigation and tells Dale he found cocaine residue in his car. However Denise kindly offers to help Dale clear his name. 

After Dale asks about Denise's recent life changes and wonders if it's okay to ask. Denise says he likes to talk about his new life. Then he explains that after wearing woman's clothes for a sting operation he was on with the DEA last year, he discovered that wearing woman's clothing relaxed him. Dale listens with respectful intent. Harry joins them and remarks how he had to restrain Mayor Milford. Then Dougie and Lana Milford dance over to them. Dougie dips Lana and tells Sheriff Truman to arrest her, because she stole his heart. Everyone smiles. Lana remarks, with an impressed smile, that Dale is the one who solved the Laura Palmer case. Then Dougie dances her back to the dancefloor.

"This cake is delicious!"

Nearby Dwayne Milford tells Pete that Dougie always had a weakness for woman, especially if they had jello in their walk. He says he was married to the same woman for half a century, but that's because he used his brain to think, not his garden hose. Pete just looks overwhelmed, especially when the The Log Lady comes over to tell him the cake is delicious. Pete then remarks that the music turned out pretty good. Dwayne thinks it might as well have been the death march. Meanwhile on the dancefloor, Audrey and Dale take a spin together while Harry chuckles watching Denise dance with Andy. 

"Happy Andrew?"

At the Packard's house, Josie goes to see Catherine. She tells Catherine that Andrew was killed by Thomas Eckhert and Catherine is in danger. Catherine has trouble believing that Josie cares about saving her after all the trouble she's already caused. Josie says she's got no one to turn to now and she's at Catherine's mercy. Catherine decides that from now on Josie will work for her as a maid and she tells Josie to move into the servants quarters. Then Catherine sternly warns Josie that if she disobeys her in any way she'll find Eckhert and feed Josie to him. After Catherine tells Josie what she wants for breakfast the next day and sends her off. Josie walks away and then, a very much alive, Andrew Packard walks into the room. Catherine smiles at him and asks, "Happy Andrew?" Andrew says yes. He thinks now Thomas will come looking for his one true love. Catherine looks pleased and notes, "We'll be waiting for him."

End of show!

It's so funny to me that all the stuff with Dougie and Dwayne Milford in this episode, truthfully scenes that for years I dismissed as fun fodder during rewatches, now, thanks to Mark Frost's book, The Secret History of Twin Peaks, has me fascinated and looking for clues in a whole new way. I really think there is something so brilliant about that. Mark Frost really took the mundane and turned it into an interesting mystery. Whether it truly means anything in the new episodes of Twin Peaks or not, Mark gave some of the sillier elements of season two a masterful overhaul. Bravo!

As for the episode itself, on a whole I would deem this a light episode without too much mystery afoot. However the introduction of Agent Denise Bryson certainly is a highlight. David Duchovny steals all the scenes he's in and offers a lot of fun. I hate to be picky, but the poor dialogue offered up in the James/Evelyn scenes due detract from some of the positive elements within this episode. Thankfully it does offer some laughs, even if they're not for the right reasons. Nadine and Mike are cute, even if they're a bit silly. To be fair, the Little Nicky stuff is pretty damn bad as well, but Dick and Andy are fun to watch and find a way to make it enjoyable. 

Andrew Packard's return from the grave is intriguing and I liked seeing Josie get a verbal whiplash from Catherine, especially after seeing Josie continue to play Harry for a fool. What is the truth about Josie? I think some of what she tells Harry in this episode about her past may be true, but since it seems to be a manipulative move on her part, who knows for sure. Plus we know she's lying about her own involvement in Andrew's boat explosion. My favorite mysterious aspect is probably the talk that Hawk and Cooper share in Harry's office about the White and Black Lodges. Hawk's words are pivotal. Watch below!

Recap of Episode 17  <----> Recap of Episode 19