Twin Peaks S02 E19: Variations on Relations


On the last episode of “Twin Peaks,” Cooper, Audrey and Gordon fell in love and, Andy went spelunking. What does the Owl Cave have to do with Project Blue Book or with the Black Lodge? The answers might be hidden in the strange petroglyphs at the Owl Cave.


Cooper and the team return to the cave to find that someone’s been there. Hawk recognizes the shoeprints from the power station; Windom Earle. The real question is why did Cooper and the others leave the cave so soon? Once the lever and the strange symbols were found, why didn’t they set up a few deputies to make sure no one else entered? This kind of goof-up drives me crazy. Windom’s fooling with the lever reveals a larger drawing.


There was something else about this cave stuff that made no sense. Cooper could have taken photos of the petroglyphs, right? So why have Andy copy it onto a blackboard? Andy? That’s like getting the Three Stooges to run Congress… oh wait, maybe they are.


The investigation is a compilation of events. Cooper needs to connect the dots and, since Briggs recognizes the petroglyph from a dream, Cooper asks for his help. Now we’re cooking! Briggs is going to use his military pull to learn what Windom did while working on Project Blue Book. Cooper suddenly has his own vision: a hooded figure, the owl and, fire.

The Next Move

Windom is telling Leo and a biker (Ted Raimi) a bedtime story of mythical places. Not too sure how the biker showed up, but with the promise of never ending beer, he listens to Windom’s chatter about White and Black Lodges. Kenneth Welsh plays his character like a fine tuned flute. I was surprised to learn that Kenneth Welsh among his many works, played opposite Kathy Bates in the 1987 production of Frankie and Johnny. The man is talented and that is why Welsh’s Windom can make us laugh even though he scares the bejeebers out of us.


I have to say that my favorite scenes of Windom are when he’s in costumes. His unique ability to change his appearance several times in one episode would have made Windom Earle a candidate for “Mission: Impossible.”

The clueless biker should have paid more attention to Windom’s stories and he should have questioned Windom’s need for all that papier-mache and plaster. Unfortunately, he doesn’t. Poor Leo knows what’s about to happen.

Puzzle Box

Pete is studying the chessboard while remembering Josie’s attributes. Catherine is sick of hearing Pete’s never ending praises of the woman she despised so she gives Pete the puzzle box to focus on. I laughed out loud with this scene because Pete just rattles on about how it may take years to figure out the puzzle box.


Every Christmas Eve, I give my nine grandchildren puzzle boxes. Now that they’re too old for toys and they abhor my choice of clothing, I’ve settled for gift cards to their favorite haunts. But, I don’t make the gift opening process easy. My grandkids, ages 13 to 27 have to do a scavenger hunt to find the puzzle boxes, then they have to open the puzzle boxes to retrieve their gift cards. Guess what? They actually look forward to doing this every Christmas Eve. There is one little problem. I’ve gone through most of the puzzle catalogs.

Beauty Queen

While Bobby tries to talk Shelly into joining the beauty contest the mayor is trying his best to please his sister-in-law/lover, Lana. She wants to win the contest. He’s one of the judges. She wants to win. Get it? Lana is a bitch. I thought we were rid of Lana. Why is she back? She is definitely ‘Weenie File’ material along with Dick’s wine tasting scene.


Doc, the mayor and Pete are on the judging committee. Ben is adding some class to the wiggle and jiggle of past beauty pageants. Ben wants the theme to be about environmental issues. Donna, Shelly and Bobby are there as well as Lana. Tryouts should be loads of fun, especially with Nadine entering. Someone finally addresses the problem of Nadine’s taste for toddlers. Bobby can’t understand Mike’s interest in fossils until Mike whispers Nadine’s secret formula in his ear. I am so grossed out.


Cooper asks Annie for lots of donuts and a date. Cooper gets a tingling sensation in his toes and tummy when he talks to the ex-nun/waitress. When Shelly recites the poem that Windom sent her, Cooper’s tingling sensation is forgotten. He recognizes the source.


Cooper and Harry go over the poem pieces that were sent to Shelly, Donna and Audrey. They are all from a poem that Cooper once recited to his lover and Windom’s wife, Caroline. Something is the poem makes Cooper ask for Leo’s police record. Later, Leo’s handwriting is identified as the hand that wrote the three poems.


Harry visits Catherine to help deal with his grief over Josie’s death. He is grasping for straws and hopes that Catherine has some good words for his dead lover. I expected Catherine to be vicious, but she held back a bit. Harry is a good man and I guess Catherine wasn’t in the mood to crush his heart. She asks for Harry’s help in opening the puzzle box, but thanks to Pete’s clumsiness, the box opens to reveal another puzzle; a lunar cycle.


Cooper is in love and he makes his move when he takes Annie for a canoe ride. We’re given a hint that a boy from high school might have been the reason Annie joined the convent life. Cooper traces his finger gently across the scar on her wrist. They are both injured souls who need to learn how to trust again. Our joy with Cooper and Annie’s kiss is soured by the knowledge that Windom is watching.


Cooper isn’t the only one falling head over heels. David Lynch makes his last appearance as Gordon on this episode and he makes Bobby very jealous when he kisses Shelly. Later, John Wheeler and Cooper talk about love. Before either guesses their connection to Audrey, John receives a telegram and leaves the hotel and hopefully the show. I don’t know why he was written into the script in the first place.


I saved Donna’s reaction to her mom’s rendezvous with Ben for now. She knows there is something fishy going on between Eileen and Ben. Doc’s trying to smooth over the wrinkles is only making it worse. I can identify with Donna’s anger because of my own experience with a cheating parent. Eileen has a secret which involves Ben and possibly Donna. That’s the thing with secrets. They don’t stay secret forever and the backlash can have detrimental effects on all involved.

Like I said, I speak from experience. My mom was cheating on my father and would sometimes take me with her. Don’t ask why? I’ve yet to figure it out. The man’s name was Harry. I would sit with them in the diner booth, choking down my fries and milkshake as my mom laughed and flirted with Harry. I was only nine. My mother told me I was forbidden to mention these meetings to anyone. With that one command, she forced me to become her accomplice in a secret that I was too young to handle. I understand where Donna is coming from. I understand her feelings of betrayal and, when Donna finds out the whole story, she’s going to feel like shit.


Windom has upped the states. He’s left a mysterious box on the gazebo. On the front of the box is a note; “Pull me.” When the box is opened, Cooper is shocked to see that Windom has found another victim to play a Pawn. There is a note. “Next time, it will be someone you know.”


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