Twin Peaks S02 E11: Masked Ball

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On the last episode of “Twin Peaks,” Renault was itching to frame Cooper with the help of a Canadian Mountie and Hank. Major Briggs vanished in the woods and Josie is back. Maybe we can get Nadine to cheer us up in this episode.

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James is all Jimmy Dean on that bike. Did he just drop out of school? Is this just teen angst? I have to say that I really love the music and consider it to be its own entity on the show because it just sets the mood for every scene. James meets a woman at a bar.

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She needs her husband’s car fixed. Evelyn happened to drive hubby’s jaguar into a ditch; Ouch! Does anyone else suspect that this lady is a cougar who’s hitting on a kid? James works on the car and Evelyn Marsh gives him room and board and, God only knows what else. What is with these older people going after kids?

Investigation

Cooper and Harry speak to Betty Briggs and she tells them something very interesting. Major Briggs disappeared before, but those events were related to a top secret investigation. Her hubby was always talking about the things that lived in the woods. When Cooper and Harry try to learn more about these investigations, Mrs. Briggs hits the lawmen with the old “It’s classified,” song and dance. Cooper already knew about the underlining evil that saturates Twin Peaks, but now, the only man with possible clues into BOB’s history is gone.

Cooper and Harry are interrupted by Andy and Hawk who’ve returned with a gift for the Milford wedding. Cooper gets a call from Gordon who is giving him his undying support even if Cooper is being investigated for a double homicide, stolen drugs, storming a whore house. There is a DEA agent coming to town, Dennis Bryson, will be checking out the drug angle.

Now, this is the part that just doesn’t make any sense at all. Why is Cooper being investigated and why isn’t Renault in jail for killing Blackie? I feel like I went through a wormhole and into an alternate universe of Twin Peaks. Didn’t Agent Roger Hardy read the police reports? When Cooper tries to explain his actions, in his usual Guru manner, Roger’s comeback is, “You need a full psychological workup and, you’re still suspended from your duties. Screw you, Agent Hardy.

White Lodge

When Cooper asks Harry and Hawk about the White Lodge, it brings out an unexpected reaction from the deputy. The White Lodge holds the spirits who rule people and nature, while the Black Lodge is the shadow self of the White Lodge. Every spirit must pass through the Black Lodge on their journey towards perfection and, this is where souls meet their shadow selves. If a person enters the Black Lodge with imperfect courage, they’re toast.

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So, are the Black Lodge and White Lodge haunted places? There are reports of places: homes, hotels and the land itself being haunted.  People who deal in ghost investigations will tell you that there is definitely a difference in the atmosphere of homes that have evil spirits residing in them. Have you ever entered a home where you felt uncomfortable or even ill as soon as you stepped inside, or maybe, even as you stood on the path leading to the house? That house is packing evil vibes and you should keep far away from it. I’m guessing this is what the Black Lodge is like.

Nadine

Nadine is her usual perky, crazy, self and, she’s having a blast reliving high school again. She wants to date Mike. Donna gives her the go ahead, but reminds Nadine that she should be hanging out with Ed. Nadine’s explanation is hilarious, but strangely true. Ed is an old fuddy duddy who likes to stay home and Mike is young. Nadine tries flirting with Mike by lifting 600 pounds of metal like it weighed no more than a feather. Although Mike was not impressed, the coach signs her up for the wrestling team. I’m surprised that everyone is accepting this super human strength without questions.

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And, let’s not forget about the Lucy triangle. Dick brings little Nicky in for a visit. Nicky is from a home for boys, but since Lucy is helping with the wedding. Andy offers to go for ice cream with them. Nicky is a spoiled brat who should be introduced to Supernanny. The little scene playing out between Hank, Ernie and Norma was just a way to show us that Hank has become Renault’s right hand man.

Josie

What is Josie’s story and when isn’t she lying? Josie is staying with Harry for now, but Harry wants the truth. She worked for a man in Hong Kong named Thomas Eckhardt. He found her on the streets and taught her about business, but he was also her lover. Then, she met Andrew. It’s about time she told Harry that Jonathan is not her cousin. Did I mention that I’m really tired of the Josie story?

Bryson

Bryson arrives and Dennis is now Denise and it is no other than Fox Mulder. I’m sorry, but David Duchovny will always be Fox Mulder of the “The X-Files” for me. I love Cooper for having such an open mind with his friend. Denise is also staying at the Great Northern and he wants to tell Cooper all about his new life.

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I hadn’t realized that the subject of transgender would be allowed on national television at the time this episode premiered, but then again, Lynch and Frost were way ahead of the curve and had already featured one big taboo subject on this show. With the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on same-sex marriages, I’m hoping that people will become more understanding of all the genders that exist. One of my granddaughters is going through this right now and we all support her.

Ben Horne

Ben is watching old family tapes of him, his brother and dad and the start of the hotel when Hank shows up. Ben wants to know why Catherine is still alive. Ben’s had a tough week. He was suspected of Laura’s murder until Leland stepped up to the plate and, he’s lost the mill and Ghostwood estates to Catherine. Hank tells Ben that he’s been kicked out of One Eyed Jacks by Renault. Ben is a mess, unshaven, disheveled and out of the easy money. Are we supposed to feel sorry for this man? I don’t, but let’s hope that he does right by his family

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Chess Clues and Weddings

While Cooper receives another chess clue arrives from his former partner the whole town is partying at the latest marriage of Dougie Milford. We have to suffer through some more grumbling from the Mayor, but at least we get to see the Log Lady again. Agent Bryson tells Cooper that cocaine has been found in his car. Come on Bryson! You know that Cooper is innocent. The truth is out there! While Cooper dances with Audrey, Andy dances with Denise.

Conclusion

This episode was directed by Duwayne Dunham and written by Barry Pullman and maybe because Lynch and Frost weren’t at the helm, the episode did little to impress me, which is a damn shame because I really like this show. The best part was Cooper dancing with Audrey.

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Josie and Catherine have a chat and now Josie will be working as Catherine’s maid. I wasn’t sure where this was going, but it seems the dead don’t stay dead in Twin Peaks. Josie and everyone else in the town thought that Andrew was killed in a boating accident. At the end of this episode Andrew Packard has returned, but what does his return have to do with Thomas Eckhardt, with Josie, with anything?

This was the first mention of the Black Lodge, but more time is spent on the stupid wedding than on the mystery of the Black and White Lodge. Major Briggs, who has been investigating the woods for years, is missing and there is no large search party looking for him? This whole thing with Cooper makes absolutely no sense. His work there is done. Why isn’t he back at Quantico for his suspension and meeting with the review board? Why the hell would the review board go to him?

I’m hoping the next episode is spent more on the Major’s disappearance and the history of the Black and White Lodges. Everything else is secondary.

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