Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day Three Hundred and Two - Twin Peaks: Season 2, Episode 20, "Pete, you are nothing if not a balm for the soul."

We're at the final three, folks, with just tonight, tomorrow, and Thursday left in our month-long Twin Peaks Spooktacular!

Tonight's episode starts us off pretty much where we left off last night, with Ted Raimi's cold, dead face mugging for the camera as emergency workers attempt to lug him (and his oversized chess piece) off the gazebo. From there, Coop, et al., do their best to try and decipher both the pitcoglyphs that were on the wall in Owl Cave and Windham Earle's deadly chess game, not knowing that the bonsai that was supposedly a parting gift from Josie is instead a bug that transmits directly to Windham.

Can't make it too easy on the boys, now can we?

A lot of relationship solidification in this episode... from Shelly and Bobby making nice (aww, poor Gordon) to Wheeler and Audrey making whoopie in his private jet to Coop and Annie slow dancing at the ball. It's cute, but really serves only to underscore that a lot of shit is about to go down at the Miss Twin Peaks pageant.

There's some silly stuff hovering in the periphery, like Lucy announcing that she will decide who she wants to be the father of her child at the pageant and the mayor's irresistible wife continuing to show she's not quite the innocent maid her introductory episodes made her out to be, but there's a lot of serious bits, too. Not only does Windham kidnap and torture Major Briggs, but Catherine and Andrew grow closer to solving the puzzle box that Eckhardt left them and Coop has a vision of The Giant warning him about something.

This episode also marks the return of BOB to the Ghostwood in a more corporeal form instead of just in visions. It looks like he's about to come out and play, which makes sense from a meta sense, considering we're but 90 minutes away from the season (and, sadly, series) finale.

I think what really bugs me about this episode are Windham's motivations. In true Soap Opera fashion, it's a convoluted, wheels-within-wheels plot that requires Coop's nemesis to have coincidentally been a part of Major Brigg's Project Blue Book before he was an FBI Agent. It's one thing for the character to be a madman bent on revenge... but to give him such a far reaching motive and backstory is so boring and cliche. I would've much preferred to have him stumble on BOB and The Black Lodge in his quest to destroy Coop than have the latter be subterfuge.

As I've mentioned previously, the last minute romances for both Coop and Audrey are just way to quick and easy. They are tediously trite with barely any conflict. While it's nice to see Coop paired up with a well-versed woman who can match him quote for quote, I need some meat to their courtship. The same can be said for Audrey and Wheeler. While it's cute that they manage to catch each other on the tarmac, the only real redeeming moment for their scenes is when Wheeler jets off and Pete consoles the lonely Audrey with an invitation to fish, being more fatherly than any character has ever been in the series.

Still, the episode does have its moments... The Giant, BOB, Windham and Leo in a horse costume, "...love may not be enough...", Ted as a corpse... it just feels a little bittersweet. I definitely want it to be over, thanks to the horrendously bad middle episodes this season, but things are just started to get somewhat decent again.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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