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CinemAbysmal’s Best of 2017 – Movies

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Well, here we are! We’ve come to the end of another year, and the hosts of CinemAbysmal: The Podcast are here to round up their favorites. We’ve included some surprises, like some stuff showed on (gasp) television! Amazing writers and directors are choosing this medium over Hollywood lately, so get over it. Anyway, enjoy the picks and let us know if you agree with the selections or want to let us know about any of yours!

Holly Hill

10. Logan Lucky

9. Thor: Ragnarok

8. Guardians of the Galaxy 2

7. Logan

6. It

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5. Legion (FX)

4. Ladybird

3. Baby Driver

2. Blade Runner 2049

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1. Dunkirk

 

Eric Lemons

10. Baby Driver

While I will contend that this film is style packed on to very little substance, the style is enough to carry this fucking joy of a film. Ansel Inglberghumperdink kills it, though every shot looks like a different actor. Wright is the king of this kind of movie and a heist flick is always welcome in the Lemons Casa.

9. Life

This is a brutal fucking film that takes the Alien film and turns it on its microscopic head. Boasting a boring title and a lackluster ad campaign, this film snuck under many noses as just more space peril, but the stellar cast and nihilistic viewpoint thrive in this earth-shattering, intense horror sci-fi flick.

8. Raw

Sure it is French and not as fucked as we could imagine a French horror being, but the thrill of this film comes from the humanity within it. Focusing on a vet student with a lust for human flesh, we see the making of a monster in her most vulnerable and interesting state: maturation.

7. Logan Lucky

Soderbergh is officially king of making films better than they have to be in  this rural heist movie; a genre that produces at least one interesting film a year. The film is funny, inventive, and builds around a story of idiots making smart moves.

6. It

Pennywise is back in this 80s remake that feels fresh and new, despite rehashing the same King notes down the line.

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5. Kong: Skull Island

A frolicking flick for fans of 70s creature horror and Vietnam action fare. A nice mix of old school fun and new school aesthetics bring out the best in a revival of the Kong series.

4. John Wick 2

Easily the most fun I had watching a film all year. Non-stop action pours out and rubs against your legs in a manner that would be creepy if it weren’t so beautiful.

3. The Bad Batch

KEY-AH-NEW! We get more Keanu as he plays a minor villain (?) in a story of a girl caught between warring factions in a dystopic wasteland. Cast, thrills, and story is a lovely morality tale in a land without morality.

2. Blade Runner 2049

Denis Villanueve fucks us all real hard and good in bringing to life the future of Ridley Scott’s world in a film that is brilliant on its own before blasting your mind brain apart with its connections to the 1985 classic.

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1. A Ghost Story

Every couple years comes a film that blows your heart apart and depicts some epiphany about the world around us. It changes the way you speak to your loved ones and the way you see yourself. A Ghost Story is that film 100 times over. A triumph unlike anything else.

 

Nick Spanjer

Just Missed the Cut:

  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Wonder Woman
  • Silence
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Okja

10. The Bad Batch

As far as straight-up coolness goes, no film matched this one in 2017. Between the literal trippy scenes, the music, and the jaw-dropping cinematography, this almost alternate dimension, post-apocalyptic thrill ride is sure to quench any action fiend’s thirst. Plus, Jim Carrey being weird as fuck.

9. Marjorie Prime

Holy shit. This is one crazy good flick. Jon Hamm is a hologram. Tim Robbins is at his best since The Shawshank Redemption. Geena Davis’ performance will tear your heart out. If you’re easily upset by dementia and Alzheimer’s in film, this one will probably get to you. It’s a little too indie to catch any awards action, but if I had a vote, I’d be all over this little wonder.

8. A Ghost Story

Oof. Speaking of having your heart torn out. Yeah, yeah, Casey Affleck is an asshole. Don’t fear, though. He spends most of the film under an actual bed sheet. That is beside the point of this incredible movie, though. Casual movie watchers beware: this is not a horror film. There’s hardly any dialogue for long stretches of time. But what it says about us as humans and the mark we leave on those we love is just heart-wrenching. Absolutely beautiful movie.

7. The Big Sick

I finally got around to watching this movie today after hearing about it nonstop for the last year. Oh man. I really dig Woody Allen films, and though this movie reminded me of Allen’s golden age in the late 70’s, it’s something entirely different. With that signature Apatow feel, this true life story between Nanjiani and wife Emily Gordon is funny as hell at times, and gut-wrenching at others. Also, they could not have gotten a better cast together for this. Zoe Kazan is amazing, Ray Romano is hilarious, Holly Hunter kills it, and god damn. Who knew Kumail Nanjiani could carry a film in a lead role? Also, Michael Fucking Showalter directed this! Looking forward to his new career path. Upsetting to see this got snubbed at the Golden Globes, but I recommend this one for anyone that’s enjoyed any Judd Apatow or Woody Allen films.

6. Legion (FX)

I know. It’s TV. But fuck, watch these 8 ‘episodes’ (creator/god Noah Hawley calls them ‘Chapters’) all together and it’s one of the coolest movies you’ll ever see. Yes, it’s Marvel. But it’s nothing like you’ll ever see in that universe. The music is incredible and the cinematography is one of my favorites in anything that I’ve ever seen. I’m fairly sure I watched the seventh chapter four times, and it’s absolutely thrilling to watch. Speaking of snubs, where the hell is Aubrey Plaza’s nomination? Seriously though, check this out if you haven’t yet. It’s essential.

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5. Logan

Wow, man. I waited too long to see this one. I love Westerns, and this – though it’s a Marvel film – is one of the best Westerns I’ve ever seen. There’s no cowboys, but there’s pretty much everything else. I really dig James Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma and Cop Land, and the Rated R feel is perfect in this. It’s different than Deadpool, as much of this film is not funny at all, but the violence seems to never let up. I think Patrick Stewart delivers one of the best performances of his career, not to mention Hugh Jackman’s stellar and heartfelt spin as Wolverine. I know that Disney just power-grabbed Fox, but I’m really hoping we’ll get more R-rated superhero flicks. We deserve it.

4. Get Out

There’s not much to say about this flick that hasn’t already been said. So instead, I’ll just tell you how it made me feel. I have never been more uncomfortable sitting in a movie theater. At times, Jordan Peele’s funny side shows, but it’s more like nervous laughter than anything else. Peele designed the film this way, knowing white dudes all over the country were going to be watching it. I sunk lower and lower in my chair as the movie progressed, and though the movie isn’t particularly scary, the chills are incredibly effective in other ways. One of the better metaphorical film packages I’ve ever seen. Jordan Peele directing is going to be pretty damn awesome for years.

3. It

I really don’t like going to movie theaters, but I couldn’t pass this one up. So I went twice. Pennywise has been in my life since I was a kid, and I just read the book again last summer to refresh myself for the film. Though I like to fantasize what the first part of this two-headed monster could have been with Fukanaga at the helm, I think Muschietti did a damn fine job bringing history’s most horrifying clown to life. One of the most important things to remember with Pennywise is that It is not just a clown. It’s an interdimensional being out of time as we know it, and this film captures that perfectly. Not to mention, holy shit, some of the finest kid acting I’ve ever seen. I love this damn movie and can’t wait for Part Two.

2. Blade Runner 2049

I noticed that all three of us made this our second favorite film of the year. And if it weren’t for the next one, it would have been my favorite by far. I really dig the original movie, but everyone knows that it’s got its share of problems. Not 2049. This movie is perfect in every single way. Gosling was the perfect choice as the lead, his performance muted, yet commanding. Ford is great as an older Deckard, but the performances are just a small part of this gigantic event. The music, cinematography, story – everything is absolute perfection in this. From beginning to end, I was floored in its scope. Villenueve may be the greatest living director we have…but he’ll have to wait for this next guy to leave the throne first.

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1. Twin Peaks: The Return (Showtime)

It’s not technically a movie. I know. But fuck off. It is filmed like a movie, and it’s the weirdest, most fucked up, absolutely beautiful thing we’re ever going to get in a theater or a television set. I’ve been waiting for a return to Twin Peaks for most of my life (not to mention a return from David Lynch doing anything), and now that I’ve finished this round, I don’t think I could be more satisfied. No, it wasn’t the same Twin Peaks. Like, even a little. But what we got instead was David Lynch free to do whatever the fuck he wanted for 18 hours and it is the most batshit insanity he’s ever produced. It’s violent, maddening, ridiculous, beautiful – just one of the craziest things that has ever been produced in any medium. I love that Showtime did this and hope it opens doors for other creative geniuses. Kyle Maclachlan turns in one of the greatest performances of not just his career, but television and film history as not just Dale Cooper, but three brand new characters. And don’t even get me started on Part Eight. This is the greatest hour I’ve ever seen on television, and may be the best and most Lynch piece that Lynch has done in his illustrious career. Fight me. I could legitimately go on for hours about his glorious cinematic event, and if you know me personally, you’ve probably caught some of it already. I’ll leave it here, though: we’re never going to get anything as insane as this again. So if you get a chance, sit down for a weekend and crush this. It’s the best and craziest “movie” you’ll ever see.

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CinemAbysmal: The Podcast – Episode 18: Halloween – It Follows, As Above, So Below, & We Are Still Here

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Welcome to the 18th episode of CinemAbysmal: The Podcast, where the three writers of CinemAbysmal.com talk about what society would consider some of the worst of the worst media out there. This week, we discuss the three of some of our favorite current horror films in anticipation of Halloween, as well as more of Eric’s bathing habits! Check it out on all your favorite apps below! As always, please SHARE, RATE, AND SUBSCRIBE!

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cinemabysmal/id1153464020?mt=2

Google Play Music – https://play.google.com/music/m/Irjld24rxpsi22hdnugilmxh57u?t=CinemAbysmal

Stitcher – https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=128435&refid=asa

Spreaker – http://www.spreaker.com/show/cinemabysmals-show

You can also find us on BeyondPod! Just search for CinemAbysmal.

CinemAbysmal: The Podcast – Episode 9: Twin Peaks & Fire Walk With Me

CinemAbysmal: The Podcast – Episode 9

‘Twin Peaks & Fire Walk With Me’

Our ninth episode is here! This week, we talk the first two seasons of Twin Peaks, and the pseudo-prequel, Fire Walk With Me. We also discuss the upcoming third season! Check it out on all your favorite apps below! As always, please SHARE, RATE, AND SUBSCRIBE!

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cinemabysmal/id1153464020?mt=2

Google Play Music – https://play.google.com/music/m/Irjld24rxpsi22hdnugilmxh57u?t=CinemAbysmal

SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/cinemabysmal/09-twin-peaks-fire-walk-with

Stitcher – http://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=50084645&refid=asa

Spreaker – http://www.spreaker.com/show/cinemabysmals-show

You can also find us on BeyondPod! Just search for CinemAbysmal.

Twin Sneaks – Volume Four: Season One – Episodes 7-8

Welcome to Twin Sneaks! I started this column about a year ago, but stopped watching the show as I wanted to wait until the new Season 3 was closer. What I’m hoping to do here is recap all the episodes for you guys leading up to the new premiere on May 21st (EEEEEK!!) After that, I’ll continue to recap the new episodes for you, and have them ready to go every Monday or Tuesday! There will, of course, be SPOILERS in these recaps, so please stop reading (or don’t, I’m not you mom) and WATCH THE DAMN SHOW ON NETFLIX, YOU JERK!

Twin Peaks – Season One: Episodes 7-8

Recap by Nick Spanjer

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Episode 7: Realization Time

Directed by Caleb Deschanel

Written by Harley Peyton

We begin where we left off, with Audrey naked in Cooper’s bed. They have a conversation about Audrey’s age and Cooper basically explains he can’t bone her because he’s an agent in the FBI, not because she’s in high school. Come on, Coop. They agree to be friends and Cooper strangely tells her that he’s going to get malts and fries for the two of them while she gets dressed. The next morning at the Sheriff’s station, Andy and Lucy are still having trouble. He walks away from her like Charlie Brown when the phone rings, and she talks to her doctor about something apparently very depressing. Cooper walks in joyfully, playing some kind of wood flute, and honestly, if you didn’t know any better, you would really think he just got laid.

Doc Heyward is in the meeting room with Truman and the bird that bit Laura, Waldo. Since it hasn’t been fed since the night Laura died, it’s physically exhausted and can’t mimic at the moment. Doc tries to get Cooper to feed the bird, to which Cooper replies, “I don’t like birds.” Hawk walks in with a folder and a report confirms that Laura, Ronette Pulaski, and Leo were at Jacques’ cabin. There is also a picture inside of Waldo sitting on Laura’s shoulder, that either Jacques or Leo took. Cooper places his voice activated recorder underneath the birdcage and awaits Waldo to talk. They determine that the plastic inside Laura’s stomach was in fact, part of the poker chip from One Eyed Jack’s. They point out that Jacques is a dealer there and plan a trip over the Canadian border to see him. Since it’s out of the law’s jurisdiction, Cooper oddly suggests that it’s a ‘job for the Bookhouse Boys,’ even though he seems like a pretty hard by the book type of dude. Whatever.

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Over at the Johnson dump, an injured Leo watches Bobby walk up to the house through binoculars. He’s listening to a police scanner and pulls out a rifle to shoot him, but Bobby walks in the house. Shelly tells him crying that she shot Leo, and she’s worried that he’s going to kill her now. Bobby tells her that he’s going to handle Leo, and includes James for some reason, like she fucking cares and then they make out. Leo hears Lucy talking about Waldo over the police scanner and gets back in his truck and pulls away angrily. Over at the Palmer’s, Donna, James, and Maddy listen to the tape they found in Laura’s room. You get an idea of how fucked up Laura really was as she mentions to Jacoby that she knows he likes her. They discover that there is a tape missing from the night she died and assume Jacoby had something to do with it. They plan to break into his office to get the tape.

At Horne’s Department Store, Audrey is slangin’ that perfume to an old woman that can’t make up her mind. The lady gets short with her after Audrey suggests she hangs the bottle around her neck. Audrey leaves the counter for a moment to go to a back room and tells a guy that looks like he fell out of a Norman Rockwell painting that there was a bus accident outside, so he runs away in 1950’s chivalrous glee. Audrey sneaks into the slob Battis’ office and lights a cigarette like she owns the fucking place. She hides in the closet when she hears him coming, still smoking by the way (WHAT?) and watches him give the perfume counter girl, Jenny, a glass unicorn. It’s revealed she works at One Eyed Jack’s and he presents her with the opportunity to be an escort there. She says, “That sounds cool, as long as they’re wealthy,” and our theme of ‘Old dudes fucking high school chicks in Twin Peaks’ continues. When they leave, Audrey comes out of the closet and finds Ronette Pulaski’s name in Battis’ little black book. Jenny forgot her glass unicorn, so Audrey grabs it on her way out.

At the RR, Hank is discussing prison life with an uninterested Shelly. He manages to get it out of her that Big Ed Hurley helped out quite a bit while he was behind bars. Truman and Cooper walk in right after Hank steals a lighter from a customer at the counter. Truman is there to check in on his parole and you can tell there is some bad blood between them. Shelly asks the boys if they want coffee and after Truman resists, Cooper has one of the best lines in the show. “Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. Could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in the office chair, or…two cups of good, hot, black coffee.” I love Parks and Recreation, but this was truly the first incarnation of TREAT YOSELF.

At Horne’s, Audrey convinces Jenny that she had the same type of meeting with Battis. She shows Jenny the unicorn she took from Battis’ desk and sways her to give her the number for the head mistress at One Eyed Jacks. Audrey immediately picks up the phone and calls the number. Over at the Hurley’s, Nadine is watching Invitation to Love  as the nerdy Chet shoots the bully Montana. Ed walks in and Nadine begins crying because her patent for the silent drape runners was not accepted. The sappy, soap opera music for Invitation to Love ramps up on the TV as Ed hugs her and melodramatically says, “Don’t you give up! Don’t you dare!”

At the Martell compound, Truman is looking at a mounted bass trophy that Pete caught when Josie Grossie walks in, dressed in some kind of flannel shirt robe bullshit. He asks what she was doing at the motel when they found the One Armed Man, and she plays stupid. He presses her and she tells him that Ben and Catherine are planning a conspiracy by burning the mill down. Later that night at The Great Northern, a tuxedo’d Cooper walks in to meet Truman and Big Ed. He hands Big Ed and Truman $10,000 that the FBI gave him so they can gamble at One Eyed Jack’s to fit in. Truman tells Cooper about his Josie Grossie worries since that last revelation, and that he believes what she’s saying is true. Cooper asks “How much do you know about her?,” clearly not believing the gross things coming out of her mouth. Truman tells Cooper that he got a new Cadillac for their cover and that they’re “High Rollers from the Tri-Cities. Oral surgeons, Harry. Big spenders, vacationing among the firs.”

Sidenote: If you’re from the Pacific Northwest, you know that there aren’t really any high-rollers from the Tri-Cities.

As they leave, Audrey walks out to tell Cooper what she learned concerning One Eyed Jack’s, but the boys already left. Back at the Martell’s, some kind of insurance agent is meeting with Catherine to discuss her life insurance. She notices that $1 million will go to Josie if she dies, and gets suddenly worried, asking the agent to leave so she can discuss it with her lawyer. She checks the desk next to her bed and notices that the second ledger is now missing. At The Great Northern, Audrey leaves a note under Cooper’s door. Back at the Sheriff’s station, the boys are getting ready by putting on wires and applying disguises. A rainstorm hits when Waldo, now refreshed, begins talking in Laura’s voice (yeah, alright). A gunshot rings out and the boys run into the room where Waldo is, to find him shot and killed. Leo runs out of the rain into his truck with a rifle. Motherfucker killed Waldo, yo. As Waldo’s blood drips on the donuts, Truman points out, “They shot Waldo.” Cooper plays back the tape and hears Waldo in Laura’s voice yelling, “Stop it! Leo, no!”

The boys arrive at One Eyed Jack’s, and the head mistress, Blackie, immediately greets them. Because, you know, they’re high rollers. From the Tri-Cities. For some reason, Cooper tells her that their names are Barney and Fred, like that’s a good cover. I’d like to point out that they also took the time to give Cooper glasses, and Big Ed a fucking mustache and Soul-Glo hair from Coming to America, but Cooper decided that fucking ‘Barney and Fred,’ of the fucking Flintstones was somehow good cover. Anyway, Cooper and Ed head into the gambling room to find Jacques.

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Back at the Palmer’s place, Maddy is sneaking downstairs so she can meet with the Youth Sleuths, Donna and James, and break into Jacoby’s office. An especially creeptastic Leland Palmer is sitting silently in the dark and watches Maddy sneak out. Hug Me James is waiting in some park where he made out with Donna earlier, and sees Maddy get out of the car looking exactly like Laura in a blonde wig. Donna, in her Nancy Fucking Drew hat, sees them look at each other and gets annoyingly jealous, and fuck man, is this story line over yet? No? Shit. At The Great Northern, the Icelanders are singing in Ben’s office, while Jerry holds an enormous pine cone. Jerry tells Ben that they want to finalize the Ghostwood development deal at One Eyed Jack’s. Ben calls Josie Grossie and tells her that Catherine needs to be at the mill. Hank is sitting right by Josie as Ben calls.

At One Eyed Jack’s, Audrey walks in to meet with Blackie. Audrey puts on a show by calling herself Hester Prynne, saying she was from Calgary. Blackie doesn’t believe her and makes her prove herself, so Audrey ties a knot out of a cherry stem with her tongue. Again. High school girl. Blackie is impressed and hires her. I remember the first time watching this with my ex-wife years ago, and she said she could do it, and that it was really not that impressive when people could do that. I asked her prove it and she did, so either it really isn’t that impressive, or my ex was Audrey Horne-talented.

In the poker room, the boys are playing Blackjack when Jacques Renault walks up to the table that Cooper is playing at. At Jacoby’s office, the Dr. is watching Invitation to Love, when Maddy calls pretending to be Laura. He takes the bait and walks to his door, finding an envelope. He pulls out a VHS tape and plays it, seeing the spitting image of Laura holding an edition of that day’s paper. He picks the phone back up and Maddy tells him to meet her at the park. When Maddy hangs up the phone, Bobby is creeping in the bushes watching, and sees James ride off. Crazy thing is, someone is watching Bobby watching, so we’ve got that triple layer shit going down!

Jacoby watches the tape again and notices the gazebo from the park, and runs out of his office, getting in his car. The Youth Sleuths see him leave and run up to his office, while Bobby, still creeping, puts a bag of coke in Hug Me James’ bike’s gas tank. “Say goodbye, James.” Whoever the creep is in the park is watching Maddy alone and the episode ends.

 

Episode 8: The Last Evening

Directed by Mark Frost

Written by Mark Frost

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Ah, the Season One finale. Something strange happens between the first and second seasons of Twin Peaks. It’s hard to pinpoint. Perhaps it’s David Lynch’s sudden disinterest as he exited to make Wild at Heart, or the pressures of the network for Frost and Lynch to answer the whodunnit, but in ways, this is the episode in which Twin Peaks lost its innocence. I personally, am a big fan of some of the darkness in the second season, but will admittedly be among the first to speak to its far too often absolute trashiness. More to come, but really, the show could have gone a much different direction after this finale. Anyway, let’s get into it.

The Youth Sleuths are digging around Jacoby’s office, mostly stunned to find tiny umbrellas that Jacoby saved from his many adventures. Donna grabs a coconut from the decorative tree and opens it to find the missing tape along with the other half of the Best Friends necklace. James and Donna ride off after taking the tape and the necklace and Bobby watches them leave. Jacoby arrives at the park and sees Maddy dressed as Laura when the creep who was behind Bobby at the end of the last episode clubs him in the head, effectively causing a heart attack.

At One Eyed Jack’s, Cooper begins talking to Jacques. He turns down one of the escorts, which is weird, because she’s probably in high school. Cooper presents Jacques with the broken poker chip (the one that fell out of the cuckoo clock and had a piece missing in Laura’s stomach), and Cooper says he’s a friend of Leo’s. Jacques plays dumb so Cooper asks if he can buy him a drink. Up in Blackie’s office, Blackie is playing with tarot cards, because that’s a typical thing to do, when Audrey walks in all skimpy and escort-like. Audrey looks down and sees Cooper on the security monitor that’s sitting on Blackie’s desk while she presents herself to Blackie. Blackie tells Audrey that all the new girls get to meet the owners on her first night, but Audrey doesn’t know that the owners are her dad and uncle, and wow, it gets weird here. She tells Audrey to pick a card from a poker deck, so Blackie has playing cards and tarot cards in front of her at this point, and what the fuck. Audrey picks the Queen of Hearts, of course.

In the surveillance van outside of One Eyed Jack’s, Hawk and Big Ed are listening in on Jacques and Cooper through Cooper’s wire. Cooper tries to get Jacques to talk about Leo by making up a story that Leo is playing Jacques for a fool. He mentions Laura, and Jacques tries to leave. Cooper convinces Jacques that he’s financing the drug running out of Canada, so Jacques stays to talk. Cooper gets Jacques to do a drug run that night for $10K by meeting him at a power plant. Once Jacques finishes his drink, Cooper nonchalantly asks about the night with Laura at his cabin. Jacques warms up and mentions that the bird had a thing for Laura by biting her and saying her name constantly. He mentions that himself, Laura, Ronette Pulaski, and Leo were in the cabin, high. He says Laura was tied up and Waldo began pecking at her, causing her to scream. Jacques then mentions, horrifically, as the camera zooms in on his obese mouth, that Leo jammed the chip in her mouth as he was (from what it sounds like) raping her.

In her dressing room of the brothel at One Eyed Jack’s, Audrey is waiting. Back at the Johnson toilet bowl, Shelly walks into her kitchen to wash her hair with dish soap in the sink, because at some point, she decided to marry Leo Johnson, and this is the life you get. She gets soap in her eye and as she grabs for the towel, it gets pulled away by Leo. He grabs her and begins yelling that she made him do it. Over at the power plant that Cooper told Jacques to meet him at for the drug run, Truman and Andy are waiting for Jacques to show up, and discuss Andy’s problems with Lucy. Hawk and Truman have a really uncomfortably long back and forth over the radio, using fishing references to let each other know that Jacques was on the way, then see Jacques roll up in some kind of El Camino thing. They ambush Jacques and Truman tells him he’s under arrest for Laura’s murder. Jacques momentarily incapacitates his arresting officer and steals his gun, pointing it at Truman. Andy shoots Jacques, thus saving Sheriff Truman’s life, and suddenly, StellAndy has his groove back.

At the Heyward’s house, the Youth Sleuths listen to the tape they got from Jacoby’s coconut. On the tape, Laura calls James dumb and his fivehead visibly expands. She also mentions that she got off on almost being killed by her “mystery man,” and Hug Me James needs a hug as he hears that this mystery man drives a red corvette. As the tape ends, Doc Heyward tells Donna that there is an emergency at the hospital and he needs to go. Donna consoles James for being called dumb and he says that it’s OK and he needed to hear it. Something tells me he’s used to it. The Youth Sleuths agree that Jacoby was trying to help Laura, not kill her.

At the Packard Sawmill, Leo is loading in gas cans and looks over at his tied up wife, Shelly. He picks up some kind of Kevin McCallister apparatus that is hooked to a kitchen timer and sets it, telling her again that her death is all her doing. He also mentions that he’s going to kill Bobby. He screams, “You broke my HEART!” like only Leo Johnson can and slams the door. Over at the Hurley’s place, Nadine is in some kind of Disney princess dress and pours out a cocktail of about 50 pills. She pours a glass of water and says goodbye. At the Martell’s, Hank receives a suitcase full of money from Josie Grossie for all that he missed out on in prison. Josie is one nasty cat, as they clearly made some kind of deal over something that happened before he went to prison. He tries to snake more money out of her by suggesting that he took the fall for Josie’s murder of her late husband Andrew Packard (owner of the Packard sawmill that Josie inherited). They go back and forth for a while, while Hank keeps quoting things that he read in jail, and he ends up slicing their thumbs and they become blood brothers or some shit, but holy hell – Mark Frost has this amazing shot where Hank talks for about a minute straight with a mounted buck’s horns filmed right above his head. It’s ridiculous. Another Twin Peaks signature moment.

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Back at the mill, Catherine is digging around in the Accounting office for the ledger. Pete walks in concerned, and she asks him where it is, convinced he’s helping Josie. She asks him to forgive her for being awful, and takes advantage of his kindness. He falls for it and hugs her. At the Sheriff’s department, the boys are recounting Andy shooting Jacques in heroic fashion, while Lucy listens nearby. Her boner comes through the TV 3D style, so Andy chases her into a closet and closes the door. As he kisses her, she pushes him away for a moment and tells him she’s pregnant. Andy, horrified, opens the closet door and walks away without saying a word. Lucy is clearly pissed, when the phone rings. Bobby is pretending to be Leo and tells Lucy to tell the sheriff that James Hurley is an “easy rider.”

At the hospital, Cooper and Truman are interviewing a recovering Jacques Renault about Laura and Ronette the night Laura died. He tells them that he took the pictures for Flesh World but it was their idea to become paid escorts. He and Leo got into a fight because Leo smashed a whiskey bottle into Jacques for no reason, and that’s why their blood was all over the scene and on Leo’s shirt. He passed out that night and everyone had left the cabin by the time he awoke. In another room, Jacoby is recovering from his heart attack on a bed. Doc Heyward mentions that Jacoby said he got a phone call from Laura Palmer and was jumped on his way to see her. Over at the Martell’s, Catherine is frantically searching their library for the ledger while Pete finds his high school yearbook. The phone rings and on the other end, Hank tells Catherine that what she’s looking for is at the mill. She grabs a gun and leaves for the mill.

At the RR, Hank is telling Norma about prison and how he dreamed of her while locked up. He hams it up about how he’s going to change for her, and she for some reason believes all this shit and kisses him. Big Ed gets home and finds Nadine crumpled into a mess on the floor and freaks out, calling 911. At the Sheriff’s department, the boys arrive back and Lucy tells them about “Leo” calling. She tells him that she heard a clock striking in the background, and Cooper and Truman put together that it was the same park from where Jacoby was attacked. Hug Me James walks in, and before he can speak, Cooper intervenes and tells Harry that he should investigate James’ bike while Cooper talks to James. As they walk away, Leland Palmer walks in, asking about the arrest of the suspect that murdered his daughter, Jacques Renault. Truman tells Leland he can’t tell him anything since Jacques is just a suspect and leaves. Doc Heyward tells Leland to go home, as Leland asks if the Doc is going back to the hospital, to which he replies, no. Leland turns toward the camera, dramatically insane, and utters, “Hospital.”

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Hug Me James gives Cooper the tape that they just listened to, to which Cooper only seems mildly interested. Colonel Fivehead tells Cooper that they need to be looking for someone with a red corvette, when Cooper tells HMJ that Jacoby had a heart attack. James looks surprised and Cooper asks what kind of game he’s playing when Harry walks in with what was planted in his bike by Bobby. Cooper shows James the bag of coke and again, James looks surprised (that’s all he did the whole scene). At One Eyed Jack’s, Ben is signing the Ghostwood contracts with the Icelanders while the high school girls fondle away. As they sign, Hank calls Ben to tell him that all plans are going ahead with the mill, including Catherine’s presence, and that he’s going to give Leo a house call. Ben tells him to proceed.

At the Johnson fart factory, Bobby shows up to the house and Leo suddenly dips out from the shadows. Bobby plays dumb, pretending he is there to see Leo, and Leo is at full crazy in this scene. He knocks Bobby down and swings an axe at him, barely missing Bobby. Leo punches Bobby into the TV and as he goes to swing the axe into him, he’s shot again, this time by Hank Jennings. Leo collapses on the couch and Bobby runs out the door. Leo watches the same episode of Invitation to Love where the nerd shoots the bully. At the mill, Shelly is still tied up when Catherine arrives with her gun ready. She finds Shelly and the McCallister contraption goes off. Really, the timer goes off and a tiny little *boop* explosion happens, slowly starting a fire in the mill. Catherine asks who she is, and in a town this small, you’d think you would know everyone’s name, but whatever.

The fire spreads as Catherine ponders what she needs to do next since she was double-crossed by Ben and Josie Grossie, then lets Shelly down from her bindings. As the mill comes burning down, the two run out of the room before the scene changes to a gloved hand smashing a fire alarm at the hospital. Now, I don’t exactly know medical or hospital protocol, but wouldn’t the patients be the priority in those situations? The fire alarm goes off and the nurses and doctors flee the floor, and that’s always bothered me about this scene. Anyway, the gloved hand turns out to be Leland, as he walks into Jacques’ room and suffocates him to death with a pillow. Bye-bye, Jacques.

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Over at the burning Packard Sawmill, Pete assumes Catherine is inside so runs in to save her. Back at One Eyed Jack’s, Ben completes the signing of the Ghostwood contracts with the Icelanders. He lights a cigar in celebration with Blackie, and asks to have a look at the “new girl.” In her dressing room, Audrey is getting her outfit sewn on by some weird Quasimodo lady, and as Ben walks in, the bent-over lady escapes into some hidden mini-door along the wall. It’s all insanely strange.

Well. Relatively. Ben walks in, not knowing he’s about to bang his high school daughter, when Audrey finally puts it together that the owner of One Eyed Jack’s is her dad. He walks toward the bed smiling and the scene fades out. Back at The Great Northern, Cooper is talking to Diane at 4:30 AM. He notices that the Icelanders have left and is relieved. Cooper opens his door, and sees an envelope on his floor that has ‘My Special Agent’ written on it. The phone rings, and it’s only static. With this comes a knock at the door. He assumes it’s room service, so he tells the person on the other end that he needs to go and sets the phone down. As he walks toward the door, the static clears and Andy’s voice can be heard saying that Leo Johnson has been found and was shot. When Cooper opens the door, he looks up and is shot three times in the chest by a gloved hand. Roll Credits.

I promise I’m going to have the rest of these ready to go for you by the 21st! Sorry. Be sure to listen in to our new Podcast episode on Monday 5/8, as we’ll have the whole Twin Peaks Experience, covering seasons one and two, as well as the movie Fire Walk With Me ready to discuss with special guest, and fellow Peaks Freak, Tyler ‘Street Tang’ Aker!

The Eyes of My Mother

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The Eyes of My Mother (2016) – Horror 

Directed by: Nicolas Pesce

Starring: Kika Magalhaes and Olivia Bond

How I Watched: Netflix

Review by Eric Scot Lemons

Opening on a sultry black and white shot of some goddamn trees, that is quite possibly the most beautiful shot of trees I have seen outside of a BBC Planet Earth special, The Eyes of My Mother is almost jarring in its simplicity. I had heard a many creepy story of this film, most notably by my mother, who accidentally turned it on one night and sat through the whole thing. “It’s really dark,” she said. She wasn’t fucking kidding. It is a film about solitude and grief’s effect on the human psyche, blatantly starting off with a mother describing to her child the religious ecstasy of Francis of Assisi, canonized in 1228 after receiving the stigmata after years of loneliness. This connection between solitude and violence is a central theme, I think.

The mother and her daughter are seen cutting out the eye of a cow in a scene that seems to pay homage to the 1929 Surrealist film by Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel, Un Chien Andalou, which uses a cow’s eye as stand-in for a woman’s eye, which is stand-in for the way the clouds seem to cut through the moon. But you’ve seen that film. You know what I’m saying.

The mother is a surgeon, or was in Portugal, and is seemingly teaching her young daughter the family craft. Soon, a stranger arrives at the home played amazingly to creeptastic effect by Will Brill, who played that methy prisoner in The OA if you watched that. He smiles and his eyes bulge like a Peter Lorre impressionist. He looks like a fucking evangelist with his white shirt and black slacks, but presents an almost immediately ominous tone. He is an animal and they his prey. They regard him with the same poise and caution one would present a rabid wolf. But by the time the Father arrives, the mother is no more. The discovery of her demise is pitch perfectly played with the camera following the Father and the audience hoping to press the brakes for fear of the barbaric sounds coming from the bathroom. The animal is subdued and like any animal, chained in the barn. Perhaps the Father has more torturous plans for the stranger. Maybe he just doesn’t have the ability to kill another human being. But his daughter steps in, ten years old at the most, and after seeing her Father’s agitation toward his screams for help, the girl decides to cut out the eyes and vocal cords of the creature, but not before he relays to her the secret behind why he kills. Because it feels so good.

The film then follows as the girl, Francisca, is now an adult woman. She is played by Kika Magalhaes in a mixture of intense angst and far-off stares. She is beautiful and slender and sports the jet black hairstyle of Chantal Goya in Masculin Feminin. Her father has died and she still yearns for her mother, while tenderly caring for the blind and mute stranger locked in her barn. The film turns to story of a young monster while she preys on locals in a pursuit to regain the family she has lost. The final impact of her life comes in a gunshot heard from a drone filming above the familial home.

I like this film and would recommend it to anyone, but for reasons outside of it being a great film. It is honestly one of the more stunning hour and twenty minutes you will find within the horror genre. The subject matter is dark and disturbing on every count as you ride along on very stark journey into the mind of a killer. Scenes are complex with many layers and alternative viewpoints to be gleaned. But the story in and of itself doesn’t have much to say. I found myself constantly amazed by what I was watching, yet questioning, what the fuck is the point? Should I just be shocked or is this film saying something outside of the context of the film?

It feels like it relies so much on the momentum of the callous way that Francisca destroys her fellow humans in the search of a connection, that it doesn’t collect anything worth saying about the human condition. The film never stands up for the protagonist or makes excuse for why she acts the ways she does, and in another film, this could be seen as a strong point, but in this one, it feels like a cop out. The entire third act feels rushed and devoid of the very relationship building it needs in order for the audience to feel the full weight of the climax. It just ends.

Ultimately, go see it. Turn it on Netflix and revel in its beauty. Think about it for days but don’t be surprised if you find nothing of value on the other side of all that thinking.

Twin Sneaks – Volume Three: Season One – Episodes 5-6

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Welcome to Twin Sneaks! I started this column about a year ago, but stopped watching the show as I wanted to wait until the new Season 3 was closer. What I’m hoping to do here is recap all the episodes for you guys leading up to the new premiere on May 21st (EEEEEK!!) After that, I’ll continue to recap the new episodes for you, and have them ready to go every Monday or Tuesday! There will, of course, be SPOILERS in these recaps, so please stop reading (or don’t, I’m not you mom) and WATCH THE DAMN SHOW ON NETFLIX, YOU JERK!

Twin Peaks – Season One: Episodes 5-6

Recap by Nick Spanjer

 

Episode 5: The One-Armed Man

Directed by Tim Hunter

Written by Robert Engels

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This episode begins at the Palmer house, where mother Sarah is giving a description of Bob (the man she had a vision of at the end of Laura’s bed) to Deputy Andy. Donna and Maddy are joining them when Leland comes downstairs and gives his wife shit for having multiple visions. Sarah tells Sheriff Truman about her vision of the necklace being unearthed from the rock. Donna wonders how she knew that. Over at the Sheriff station, Lucy is watching Invitation to Love when the Sheriff and Andy appear. Truman asks where Cooper is and leaves for the conference room, when Andy asks Lucy why he couldn’t spend the night, and welcome to another awful storyline.

Over in the conference room, Cooper is interviewing Dr. Jacoby who is doing tricks with golf balls, and asks if Laura was seeing him because of her cocaine use. Jacoby declines to answer out of doctor/patient confidentiality. He tells Cooper she was having isues when Cooper asks if they were of a sexual nature. One of the best Jacobyisms comes next: “Agent Cooper, the problems of our entire society are of a sexual nature.” Cooper asks if Jacoby was one of the three men that had sex with her the night of her death, and Jacoby declines and tells them that he followed a man in a red corvette into the woods the night after she died. Leo Johnson just happens to drive a little red corvette.

Gordon Cole, Cooper’s superior at the FBI, and all-around badass (played by a hard-of-hearing David Lynch) calls in and notifies Cooper what they found from Laura’s autopsy, including the twine used and the bird bites on her shoulder. He also mentions that Rosenfield has put in to get Truman’s badge taken away for the sucker punch, but Cooper defends the Sheriff. “Harry, the last thing I want you to worry about while I’m here is some city slicker I brought into your town relieving himself upstream.” Deputy Andy walks in with a composite sketch of the man Sarah Palmer saw at the end of her bed, and it’s far too accurate for Andy’s dumb ass. Cooper mentions that it’s the same man he saw in his dream and Andy and Truman are stunned. Deputy Hawk calls in and says that he’s tracked the one armed man to the Timber Falls Motel on the other side of town.

At the motel, Josie Grossie is being a creep and taking pictures from her car of the revulsion of the century, as Catherine and Ben are fucking again. They’re talking about the two ledgers, and gah, I don’t care enough. They see the officers show up as Andy drops his gun and it goes off on the way in. As Ben watches the officers kick the door in, he goes to take a shower (but first he pulls out an Elvis figurine and says he’s going to give Little Elvis a bath), and drops a poker chip to One Eyed Jacks from his pocket. Catherine picks it up.

Over in the One Armed Man’s room, Cooper and Truman ask who he is. His name is Philip Gerard (a light homage to The Fugitive) and he’s a simple shoe salesman. They show him the picture of “Bob” and he doesn’t recognize him. He mentions he does have a friend named Bob the Veterinarian, but he’s currently in a coma. Cooper asks him about his missing arm and if it had a tattoo, and Gerard breaks down and admits it did and said ‘Bob.’ As they leave, Hawk is using his tracking skills and tells Truman that Josie Grossie was already staking out the motel.

Back at the high school, Donna and Audrey share a cigarette in an all too pink bathroom. They discuss Laura’s troubles while she was still alive, and Audrey reveals that Laura was seeing Dr. Jacoby secretly as a patient. She has a feeling that she was also working at One Eyed Jack’s, and that she for sure worked with Ronette Pulaski at Horne’s Department Store perfume counter. Norma visits the prison to meet with her incarcerated shitbag of a husband, Hank. He asks her to back him up in the parole hearing and she actually considers it for some fucking reason. We find out he went to prison for running over and killing a vagrant on the side of the road. The parole board considers his case.

Cooper and Truman head into the Bob the Veterinarian’s office, where a llama is standing inside the waiting room. Cooper shows the composite to the ancient receptionist who confirms the two Bobs are not the same. They walk away from the desk for a moment to discuss Cooper’s motivations at the clinic, when the llama looks directly into Cooper’s face and snorts. Somehow, Maclachlan does not break character, and it’s one of those show-defining moments that Twin Peaks is loved for. Andy walks in with the twine that Gordon Cole described was used to bind Laura, and Cooper asks the near-ghost at the reception desk for every record in the office.

Over at the Johnson catbox, Bobby and Shelly are making out in the gross kitchen. Bobby mentions that Laura was seeing Hug Me James behind his back and wait, what? Wasn’t Bobby fucking Shelly this whole time? Bobby mentions that Leo and Jacques are running coke across the border and that Leo was giving drugs to Laura. Shelly shows Bobby the bloody shirt from Leo’s laundry and he takes it. He tries to leave but she shows him she has a gun and they decide to bone one more time. The troops arrive at the Sheriff station and Truman tells Lucy that he needs all the files that mention birds. Deputy Andy apologizes for dropping the gun and then tells Lucy what happened. She’s short with Andy and he can’t figure out why.

Over in the shooting range, the boys shoot at targets after Cooper mentions he can tell something is wrong with Andy and Lucy. Andy, of course, can’t shoot worth a shit and Cooper insists he practices using his gun. Cooper then mentions he’s never been married in his own Cooper way. “No. I knew someone once who helped me understand commitment, the responsibilities and the risks; who taught me the pain of a broken heart.” He then takes six more shots at a target with his custom made hand cannon. Lucy calls over the intercom and mentions that the files are organized by the names of the pets, not species.

At the RR, Shelly tells Norma that Leo beats her and Norma hardly gives any fucks. “Look at us: two men a piece, and we don’t know what to do with any of the four of them.” Cool life. Hug Me James walks in to use the payphone as Norma mentions to Shelly that they’ll take a salon trip tomorrow to take all that spousal abuse off the mind. Hug Me James calls Donna, who invites him over, but he’s on his period and it turns out he really called Donna for no reason, when he sees Laura’s cousin Maddy for the first time. He puts his fivehead uncomfortably close to this girl that he’s never met, and for some reason she smiles and says hi. They introduce each other and she mentions she’s from Missoula, Montana. They talk about Laura’s parents for a moment and James mentions she looks just like Laura. The phone rings and Norma gets the news that her husband Hank has been paroled. She looks upset BUT YOU GOT HIM OUT BY SAYING HE COULD WORK THERE AND LIVE WITH YOU – GAHHHH!

Over at The Great Northern, Ben is on the phone with new Icelandic investors when Audrey walks in. Audrey asks him if she can help with the family business and turns on the drama about Laura. He takes the bait and decides to let her work at the department store. The whole scene would be pretty touching if she wasn’t actually faking all of this just to impress and try to bang Cooper. As Audrey leaves, the phone rings and Ben asks “where have you been” to the person on the other end. Over at the Sheriff department, the boys are working into the night on the vet’s files. Cole calls in again and mentions that Rosenfield is faxing a reconstruction of the plastic object that was found in Laura’s stomach. He also says the bites on her shoulder were made by a parrot or mynah bird.

Turns out the plastic piece was a poker chip to One Eyed Jacks. Andy finds a file for a mynah bird named Waldo, who happens to be owned by humanesque slug, Jacques Renault. Cooper gets excited: “Gentlemen! When two separate events occur simultaneously pertaining to the same object of inquiry, we must always pay strict attention.” The boys then run over to Jacques’ apartment. Upon the knocking of the door, Bobby looks up. He’s planting Leo’s bloody shirt to try and set up Renault and jumps out the back window. Cooper finds Leo’s bloody shirt (his initials are sewed in) hanging precariously from a drawer.

In the woods, Ben meets with the person who called him and surprise, surprise, it’s none other than Leo ‘Soap Sock’ Johnson. Leo mentions he killed Bernard Renault and motions over to his body by his bright red corvette. Leo mentions that Jacques is back in Canada, so Ben tells Leo to proceed and burn down the mill so Josie Grossie will sell the land, and Catherine and Ben will make out like bandits with the new Ghostwood development. Donna and Hug Me James return to where they buried the other half of the necklace and *gasp*, it’s gone! Sarah Palmer was right! Spooky! As they discuss how spooky Mrs. Palmer is, an owl hoots at them from above, and suddenly, not all is as it seems (rimshot, please). They talk for a second about Laura, the Badalamenti intensifies, and they make out again. We finally come to the end. Josie makes Pete a sandwich at the Martell’s place and Pete asks her if she’ll fish in a tournament with him. He goes to bed when Hank calls Josie Grossie from his last night at the prison, letting her know that he’s getting out as he disgustingly slips a domino in and out of his mouth.

 

Episode 6: Cooper’s Dreams

Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter

Written by Mark Frost

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Cooper is having trouble sleeping at The Great Northern, listening to a group of rowdy Icelanders dancing and singing next door at 4:30 in the morning. This is one of my favorite episodes for Cooper’s character, as he’s very irritable the entire time. Audrey tries to join him for breakfast again and he’s having none of that statutory shit this time around, missy. Just kidding, he asks her how old she is while staring at her creepily, saying, “We’ll see you later, Audrey.” SHE’S IN HIGH SCHOOL, HOMIE!

Jerry Horne walks into Ben’s office, just getting off the flight earlier that morning with the Icelanders. He explains to Ben how excited they are to invest and that he’s also in love with one of the Icelandic women named Heppa (sp?). Ben tells Jerry that they should treat the Icelanders to One Eyed Jack’s when an unkempt Leland Palmer walks in, insisting he’s ready to come back to work. He legitimately looks like he just rolled out of a dumpster, sweating like a methhead in a Wal-Mart bathroom. He collapses on the floor and starts crying.

At Jacques Renault’s apartment, the boys are searching the place when an exhausted Cooper arrives and asks if there are more donuts after checking an empty box. He asks for another cup of coffee and mentions he didn’t sleep much due to the Icelanders. “There’s a large group of insane men staying on my floor.” Cooper looks to the ceiling while Doc Heyward informs him that the blood on Leo’s shirt was AB-; not Laura’s blood. Cooper guesses this is Jacques’ blood when the phone rings again. Andy walks over and gives Cooper a donut and cup of coffee, and like a cell phone coming back to life, Cooper seems suddenly revitalized after one sip. Truman boosts Cooper to the ceiling as Doc Heyward finds out that Renault’s blood was AB-. Cooper seems unimpressed with this revelation, as he pulls down a copy of Flesh World from the ceiling. They open it and find an envelope inside with a Polaroid of a man dressed in drag. “I don’t know, the beard sort of ruins the effect of the lingerie, what do you think Harry?” Again, welcome to 1990. They also see a picture of Leo’s truck inside the magazine.

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Over at Leo’s Fart Dungeon, a freshly showered Shelly (nevermind, they don’t have a god damn shower – they have a kitchen sink) makes breakfast for herself and Bobby. We find out through conversation that Shelly dropped out of the 11th grade and married Leo, so apparently, age ain’t nuthin’ but a number here in Twin Peaks. They basically dry hump at the formica table for a while, while role-playing what they would do if Leo was to walk in at that moment. They hear a car door shut and Bobby runs for the back of the shanty when he sees it’s a deputy. Andy walks in and asks when Leo will be back. Shelly tells Andy that Leo was arguing with Jacques a few nights back about Laura. When Andy leaves, Bobby comes out of whatever shitty half-finished room he was in and they proceed to make out when the phone rings. It’s Leo, saying he’ll be home soon. Bobby slides the gun into Shelly’s hand.

At Big Ed’s Gas Farm, Norma shows up to talk to Ed about Hank getting his parole. Ed and Norma proceed to make their lives shittier by asking each other why they’re still with the people they don’t love and not actually doing anything about it. I suppose it’s heartbreaking, but at this point, they’ve had so many annoying chances to be with each other. If I was friends with these two, I would be so god damn frustrated with them. At Horne’s Department Store, Audrey is discussing her new job with the store’s world class creep manager, Emory Battis. She power grabs the perfume counter job out of him, knowing nepotism will get her anywhere.

Suddenly, we’re in a park by a lake, and Donna is hurriedly approaching Hug Me James about some note he left – because he leaves notes like a 12-year old teenage girl. She hugs Hug Me James and he proceeds to tell her about some really time-sensitive daddy issues. “He was a musician. We were living on the West Coast. He was a bum and ran off on me and my mom. My mom’s a writer. She was really good; poems and short stories. She’s an alcoholic.” Turns out his mom is actually kind of a hooker. K. Thanks, James. Glad you left me a note and made me go all the way to this fucking park to tell me this really fucking pressing matter. They hug and kiss and the music gets crazy and jesus, this story line man.

Back at Jacques’ apartment, the Forensic team is investigating and they’re all eating donuts. Sleepy Cooper takes a bite and opens a cabinet, noticing a picture of a cabin taped on the inside with red drapes. They find both Ronette and Laura’s ads in Flesh World and notice the return address on the envelope is to Jacques’ cabin in the woods: the one taped to the inside of the cabinet. At the RR, a newly paroled Hank plugs the jukebox when Maddy comes in to meet James and Donna. Welcome to yet another, really awful storyline. I have no illusions about a lot of Twin Peaks just being really awful. In the long run, to me though, the good outweighs the bad. So, if you’re reading this, you probably just deal with it like I do. I suggest making fun of it as much as possible. It really seems to help.

Anyway, back to this nearly pointless scene in which the Junior Detective Agency is formed. They mention that Laura was in trouble before she died (fucking, duh) and that they want Maddy to help. Maddy agrees to help the youthy sleuths and mentions that the day before Laura died, she felt like she was in trouble. They get up to leave like, four seconds after they sat down and she leaves the Cherry Coke that she asked James to get her without even opening the straw. This is ‘Kevin McCallister Not Touching His Macaroni and Cheese Dinner’ level shit, Maddy.

Anyway, turns out Hank was listening to this whole conversation and the music intensifies as we zoom in on his craggly face. Norma and Shelly, fresh from their 1950’s salon trip, walk in and Hank says hi for the first time on the outside. Norma asks Hank to start washing dishes, as Shelly watches a meathead beat up a nerd on Invitation to Love. At Dr. Jacoby’s office, the Briggs are meeting as a family with Bobby to talk about Bobby’s sudden spiral downward. Jacoby asks to meet with Bobby alone to talk about Laura. He asks what it was like the first time they fucked and asks if Bobby cried while Laura laughed. This upsets Bobby, and he admits that Laura wanted to die. Bobby begins to cry as he’s pressed further about how awful Laura actually was as a person, and for the first time, you realize Bobby began his downward spiral into drugs and debauchery because of Laura, not in spite of her.

Out in the woods, Cooper, Truman, Hawk, and Doc Heyward (who seems like he’s legitimately dying from the hike) are walking to the cabin. Hawk sees a bent, tiny pine tree sticking out of the ground, and for some reason is alarmed. It looks insanely arbitrary among a sea of pine, but OK, I believe you, Hawk. They happen upon a cabin that looks different than the one in the cabinet and the Log Lady walks out. “About time you got here. They move so slowly when they’re not afraid. Come on, then. My log does not judge.” These are honestly the first four things she says without any of the guys saying anything. Welcome to prime Twin Peaks.

She invites them in for tea and cookies and mentions that the owls will not see them in the cabin. Also: “Shut your eyes and you’ll burst into flames.” She tells them that they’re actually two days late, then looks at Cooper and says that’s his doing. She mentions that her log saw something then pours the tea. We find out that her husband was killed in a fire the day after they were married.She tells Cooper to ask her log a question and he asks what it saw the night Laura was killed. The Log Lady caresses the log and it seemingly speaks through her. “Dark. Laughing. The owls were flying. Many things were blocked. Laughing. Two men. Two girls. Flashlights pass by in the woods over the ridge. The owls were near. The dark was pressing in on her. Quiet then. Later, footsteps. One man passed by. Screams far away. Terrible, terrible. One voice. Girl. Further up over the ridge, the owls were silent.”

*If you read Mark Frost’s (who wrote this episode), The Secret History of Twin Peaks, which came out this last year, there is an extensive section about Margaret (The Log Lady’s) life, which is informative beyond everything I could ever imagine, and kind of made this episode way more meaningful to me. Once you’ve watched the series and the film Fire Walk With Me, definitely read that book. It is essential for Twin Peaks fans.

The boys leave the cabin, returning to search for Renault’s place. Hawk hears music coming from somewhere nearby and they arrive at Jacques’ place. Julee Cruise’s haunting Into the Night is playing on repeat on a turntable. Cooper remembers something that the dwarf told him in his dream: “Where we’re from, the birds sing a pretty song, and there is always music in the air.” Just so happens, Jacques’ cabin has a record on repeat and Waldo, the mynah bird is singing in a cage. Hawk finds some film in a camera and Cooper picks up twine on the floor. They find a blood stain and when Truman opens the cuckoo clock, a poker chip falls out. This one has a piece missing, though. *dun-dun-dunnnn*

At The Great Northern, Josie Grossie is smoking in the dark in Ben’s office, because she’s a turd. A party is being held for the Icelanders, when Pete and Catherine show up to join in on the festivities. Off-His-Meds Leland suddenly appears, looking a little less homeless, and about just as sweaty (get the Blu-Ray set for that ultimate repulsive look). Catherine walks over to interrupt Ben and purposefully pours champagne on his shoe in front of the Icelanders. Ben tells her to meet him in his office. Audrey watches interested from nearby and sneaks into a secret passageway to watch their conversation from a peephole. Catherine slaps Ben because she found the One Eyed Jack’s chip he dropped in the motel room, then they disgustingly press their wrinkly lips on each other and Audrey just watches and laughs.

Back at the party, Jerry Horne starts pitching the Ghostwood project when suddenly, the music kicks in. Leland goes haywire and begins to uncontrollably dance. Ben begs Catherine to dance with him and everything seems fine for the moment as others join in. Everyone is laughing and having a good time, except for Leland, who seems truly fucked up in the harshest sense of the phrase. Audrey watches nearby, and seems to be the only other one in the room feeling bad for him, crying at the sight. Meanwhile, Josie Grossie is still smoking in the dark like an idiot.

At the Palmer’s house, Maddy goes downstairs in the middle of the night to call Donna because she found a cassette tape in Laura’s room. Sarah Palmer wakes up so Maddy hangs up the phone. Back at The Great Northern, Ben walks into his office to see Josie Grossie sitting at his desk in the dark. She presents Ben with the second ledger that Catherine hid in her bedroom, and it looks like Josie Grossie and Ben Grandma Fucker are double-crossing Catherine. He tells her that they’ll burn the mill the following night.

Back at the Johnson’s soggy shoebox of a home, Leo drives up to the house angrily to retrieve two gas cans. Hank jumps out from the bushes and cold-cocks Leo, leaving him a bloody mess. “I told you to mind the store, Leo, not put up your own franchise.” He’s not too happy with Leo taking over his shit. Leo walks into his collapsing domicile from Hell’s cancerous bowels and tells Shelly to get him a beer as he drips blood. She offers consolation, because as stupid as she is for sticking with him so long, she’s cute as all hell. He pushes her to the ground and *exuberant trumpet sounds* shoots him with the pistol!

As Cooper returns to The Great Northern, he is hilariously frustrated to find that the Icelanders are still partying. Upon reaching his room, he finds that the door is open. He walks in, gun drawn, and guess who is naked in his bed? None other than Audrey Effing High School Student Horne.

So, I know, I’ve been really bad at this. But come back this Friday. I’ll finish up Season One and then next week we’ll move slowly through Season Two. Sound good?

 

Twin Sneaks – Volume Two: Season One – Episodes 2-4

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Welcome to Twin Sneaks! I started this column about a year ago, but stopped watching the show as I wanted to wait until the new Season 3 was closer. What I’m hoping to do here is recap all the episodes for you guys leading up to the new premiere on May 21st (EEEEEK!!) After that, I’ll continue to recap the new episodes for you, and have them ready to go every Monday or Tuesday! There will, of course, be SPOILERS in these recaps, so please stop reading (or don’t, I’m not you mom) and WATCH THE DAMN SHOW ON NETFLIX, YOU JERK!

Twin Peaks – Season One: Episodes 2-4

Recap by Nick Spanjer

 

Episode 2: Traces to Nowhere

Directed by Duwayne Dunham

Written by Mark Frost and David Lynch

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The first episode after the Pilot gives us a nice feeling of The Great Northern as Cooper recites his notes for Diane while hanging upside down from the ceiling in his boxers. “The true test of any hotel, as you well know Diane, is that morning cup of coffee, which I’ll be getting back to you about in a half hour.” Cooper then has his first of many cups of coffee in The Great Northern. “You know, this is – excuse me – a damn fine cup of coffee.” High-schooler Audrey Horne creeps in and is immediately lovestruck with the Agent. He uncomfortably returns this affection while talking about freshly squeezed grapefruits. 

Cooper then arrives at the Sheriff station in which every employee has their mouths full of donuts, including Sheriff Truman, who manages to violently cram an entire bearclaw into his mouth all at once. We find out Laura’s death was between midnight and 4 AM, and she died of blood loss due a number of different “shallow wounds.” Doc Heyward also mentions that she’d had sex with at least three men in the last 12 hours of her life. 

We then cut to Leo Johnson’s semi-truck, that is of course named “Big Pussycat.” He’s vacuuming out the cab while smoking a cigarette when his wife, Shelly Johnson tells him she has to leave work. He throws his bag of laundry at her and demands that she do it before she leaves, not caring if she’s late for work. Their washing machine is outside on some half-ass porch and as she pours his clothes into the machine, she finds a denim shirt stained in blood. Back at the Sheriff station, Cooper is grilling James Hurley about his alibi the night of Laura’s murder. James details the last time the two saw each other on his bike at the light at Sparkwood and 21, and she just ran into the woods at about 12:30 AM. Cooper refers to Laura’s diary and asks what happened on February 5th. We flash back to one of James’ ultra-emo memories of February 5th, when Laura admitted she knew he loved her and gave him half of the necklace. Careful viewers will note the necklace actually reads “Best Friends,” and this is where we realize that James was in all actuality, hardcore friend-zoned by Laura.

Over at Leo’s house, he’s angrily tearing his truck apart looking for the bloody shirt like a deranged, ponytailed neanderthal. Mike and Bobby are still in jail and are discussing Leo wanting the rest of the money for a coke deal that was pulled off while Laura was still alive. Over at the Heywards’, Donna comes downstairs to her mom in her hockey jersey pajamas and chides her for not waking her up. They discuss Laura’s death and Donna basically mentions that she’s happy Laura is dead so she can now be with Hug Me James.

Norma Jennings and one-eyed Nadine Hurley stumble into each other awkwardly at the General Store. Nadine, though mentally affected, clearly has an idea that her husband is secretly seeing Norma while she aggressively rambles on about her drapes that Ed bought her. Nadine mentions her new silent drape-runner invention and the secret behind them: “Cotton BALLS. By god, those things will be quiet now.” Back at the station, James is released into Ed’s custody as Deputy Hawk and Ed give each other the ‘teardrop’ Bookhouse Boys signal. James mentions he’ll need a hand from the Bookhouse Boys.

Over at the Packard estate, Josie awakens to find Pete cleaning fish and she thanks him for standing up to his wife, Catherine the day previous. Cooper and Truman arrive to meet with Josie, as Pete pours them a cup of coffee. They each take a drink of coffee as Pete comes running into the room yelling about a fish in the percolator. Catherine calls to tell Josie that shutting down the mill caused nearly $90,000 in losses.

We cut over to a cheap motel where an unclothed Catherine Martell watches Ben Horne putting his clothes back on after their hour-long, secret and disgusting romp. It is revealed that they are collectively attempting to sabotage the mill in hopes of gaining the land it sits on for the Ghostwood development. They horrifically flirt while discussing burning down the mill and the scene thankfully ends before moving to a vomit-inducing level of revulsion. At the Palmer’s house, Leland is attempting to console his grieving wife and Donna shows up to talk. Sarah breaks into another frenzy of crying and hallucinates her daughter’s head on Donna’s shoulders in a glorious display of 1989 video effects awesomeness. As she grips her tight, she suddenly envisions Killer Bob at the foot of Laura’s bed and erupts into absolute delirium.

At the hospital, Deputy Hawk is questioning Ronette Pulaski’s flannel-clad parents about her whereabouts on the night of Ronette’s attack and Laura’s murder. They reveal that Ronette was a salesgirl at the Horne’s Department Store’s perfume counter. The one-armed man steps off the elevator and Hawk leaves the parents to follow. He sees him going to the morgue, but for some reason, just lets this happen and walks away. We cut to Audrey dancing by herself in her father’s office at The Great Northern. He walks in after his geriatric fuckathon, annoyed at the sight of this and turns off the music. We find that they clearly have a terrible relationship, as he rubs chap stick on and questions Audrey about her role in the Norwegians’ sudden departure. She admits to this happily, in which Ben returns a brutal confession of his disappointment in her. “Laura died two days ago. I lost you years ago.” Damn, son.

Over at Bobby’s parents’ house, they are discussing Bobby’s girlfriend’s murder over dinner. Garland Briggs attempts to console his son with a strange, militaristic textbook form of sympathy that feels like GI Joe reading Shakespeare. Bobby places a cigarette in his mouth which his father violently slaps out, harpooning the cigarette into his mother’s slice of meatloaf. Over at the Double-R Diner, Cooper and Truman visit Norma Jennings while enjoying coffee and cherry pie. Cooper notes The Log Lady’s presence and waves with no response. The Log Lady comes over suddenly and asks Cooper to speak to her log about the night Laura died. Cooper looks bewildered, which disgusts her, so she leaves in a huff.

Back at Chez Johnson, Leo is cutting into a football with a switchblade like a true fucking psycho would. Shelly gets home from the diner and he places a bar of soap in a sock. She cutely expresses that she brought him some pie (like he asked) and instead of saying thank you like a normal human being, he asks where his shirt is. “Where’s my shirt…my favorite blue shirt?” He slaps the pie (that he fucking asked for) out of her hand, as she plays dumb. He turns on the radio to some Badalamenti 50’s bebop and watches her recoil into the corner of their awful skeleton of a house, while he spins the soap sock in the air.

Finally, we return to the Heyward’s for a ridiculously uncomfortable dinner scene where Hug Me James is already being introduced to Donna’s parents. He’s wearing a spectacularly awful sweater that puts Seinfeld’s Puffy Shirt to absolute shame. He opts for fruit punch to drink (of course) as Doc Heyward awkwardly questions James’ background. Mike and Bobby roll up to the house and see that James’ bike is outside. They note that James has now moved in on both of their girlfriends. “Too bad we can only kill him once.” Over at Dr. Jacoby’s, he’s listening to one of the tapes he had Laura make him in his Hawaiian-themed office. He grabs a fake coconut off a decorative tree and opens it while listening to Laura’s crying voice through headphones. He grasps the other half of the necklace from the inside of the coconut and begins to cry.

 

Episode 3: Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer

Directed by David Lynch

Written by Mark Frost and David Lynch

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The beginning of this episode is drenched in David Lynch awesomeness, as the Horne’s eat silently while the credits roll before Jerry Horne makes his grand appearance, urging Ben to try a baguette he got in Paris. Ben tells Jerry what he missed concerning Laura’s murder and the Norwegians leaving before signing the contracts. This depresses Jerry, so Ben lifts him up by telling him there’s a new girl at the whorehouse he runs, and that Jerry has a 50% chance of being the first to try her out. These girls are in high school, by the way. “All work and no play make Ben and Jerry dull boys.” Nice, David Lynch.

Back at the Heyward’s, Donna and Hug Me James are still finishing the most boring dinner on earth while he swims in his sweater. The parents go to bed and they prep the dullest whisper conversation ever. Ben and Jerry arrive at One Eyed Jack’s ready to bang out some high school girls dressed like a hallucinatory deck of cards in Alice in Wonderland. Ben wins the coin toss and gross. Back at the Heyward’s, it’s midnight and Donna and Hug Me James are whispering for 10 minutes about being together and then kiss and ugh, who gives a fuck.

Cooper walks into his room at The Great Northern and receives a call from Deputy Hawk about Ronette and the one-armed man he saw. He hangs up and sees a letter slide under his door that reads “Jack with One Eye.” He smells the letter, because he’s Dale Fucking Cooper and that’s fucking weird, then smiles creepily knowing who wrote it. Mike and Bobby drive into some dark woods and get some coke out of a stump where Leo is waiting in the dark for them with a shotgun. They argue about money for a bit, as Bobby is about $10,000 short for the drugs since Laura had it hidden in the safety deposit box then died. Leo tells Bobby that he knows Shelly is cheating on him then goes into full Leo Johnson nuthouse mode.

Over at Ed and Norma’s, Ed trips over the drape runner invention and spills grease on them while Norma shows off her superhuman strength and angrily bends some steel. At the Johnson’s, a face-bruised Shelly is watching the show that oddly mirrors the Twin Peaks storyline, Invitation to Love when Bobby comes in. He sees the bruises and says he’s going to kill Leo before they start making out. At the Double-R diner, Ed and Norma talk more about their shitty, depressing lives without each other in them.

In the woods, Cooper and the Sherriff’s department prep an odd deductive technique that Cooper learned from a dream, because why the fuck not? Lucy pours them coffee and Cooper yells “Damn good coffee! And hot!” Based on what he read in the diary, Cooper mentions they’re looking for someone with J in their name. He draws a way too perfect circle in chalk, which has always bothered me to my core, for some reason. Every time one of the J names are read, Cooper throws a rock at a bottle that’s 60 feet and 6 inches away until it smashes upon the reading of Leo Johnson’s name…because, you know, David Lynch.

Back at the diner, Audrey walks in, plugs the jukebox and dances up to the bar for some black coffee because she wants to fuck Agent Cooper, and that’s what he likes. Donna walks over to her, and Audrey asks if Laura ever mentioned her father, Ben. Then Audrey gets up and dances like she just smoked five joints and yeah, Lynch definitely directed this episode. In the Sheriff station, Albert Rosenfield shows up in all his glorious assholery. Cooper warns Truman about him then squeezes his nose, which I’m really hoping was improv, because it’s amazing. Albert talks mad shit about Twin Peaks in front of Truman, and the sheriff goes full John Wayne in response. “I hear that you’re real good at what you do. Well that’s good, because normally if a stranger walked into my station talking this kind of crap, he’d be looking for his teeth two blocks up on Queer Street.” Welcome to 1990.

Ed comes home from the Gas Farm and Nadine over-excitedly tells him that his grease caused her drape runners to be completely silent, driving her to think they’re going to be rich from the invention. Over at the Martell’s, Pete and Catherine are getting ready for bed, when he sneakily gives Josie Grossie a key to the safe downstairs so she can get the ledger for the mill. Catherine yells at Pete and tells him to go to his room in one of the stranger dialogue exchanges yet. Josie finds two ledgers in the safe; one fake and one real.

Over at the Palmer’s, Leland puts on a record (the strangely snappy ‘Pennsylvania 6-5000’), and begins spinning with a picture of his murdered daughter, while weeping and screaming aloud. The phone begins ringing and Sarah runs in, when he breaks the picture and slices his wife’s hand open on the broken glass. She begins screaming, and with the music and the phone ringing, it’s one of the most stressful scenes in this entire show.

This episode ends in one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. In a dream, Cooper finds himself in the “Red Room” where a dwarf is shivering in the corner. It’s revealed that the one-armed man is named Mike and there is an evil entity named Bob. Cooper is clearly aged in the dream and he notices that Laura Palmer is sitting across from him. The dwarf turns and in warped speech yells, “Let’s Rock.” The whole scene must be seen to be believed, but it truly is the scene that hooked me on Twin Peaks.

Cooper awakens from the dream, with one of the greatest bedhead scenes in cinematic history, and calls Truman to tell him he knows who killed Laura.

 

Episode 4: Rest in Pain

Directed by Tina Rathborne

Written by Harley Peyton

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The next morning, Cooper-obsessed Audrey is waiting for Cooper, and they uncomfortably flirt while Cooper admits he knows she wrote the letter that was left under his door. They talk about One Eyed Jack’s and Laura’s connection before Truman and Lucy show up. He repeats the dream to the sheriff and Lucy, and mentions that the Mike and Bob in the dream have nothing to do with Mike and Bobby, our local high school badasses. He admits that the killer’s name was whispered in his ear by Dream Laura, but he forgot it by the time morning rolled around.

Over at the morgue, Doc Heyward is arguing with Agent Dickhead Rosenfield over Laura’s blue corpse, while Ben Horne for some reason is staring creepily into her dead face. Rosenfield calls Truman a hulking boob then gets punched by our mulleted sheriff. Leland is watching Invitation to Love while being plugged with some kind of tranquilizer. His niece Madeline (Maddy) then appears in the doorway, and she just happens to not only look like Laura, but it’s also the same actress, Sheryl Lee. At the diner, Norma is meeting with her incarcerated husband Hank’s lawyer about Hank getting out of prison.

Out at Leo Johnson’s, Cooper and Truman follow up on the bottle-breaking deductive result and find Leo chopping wood in half-buttoned overalls, because that’s what pony-tailed Leo Johnson wears, god dammit. Cooper questions him about the night of Laura’s murder and Leo gives a bunch of angrily hilarious one-word answers. At the Briggs’ house, Bobby and family are getting ready for Laura’s funeral. His father, Major Garland Briggs, in all his almost Shakespearean glory, does his best to console his son concerning Laura’s death. Seemingly coked-out Bobby exclaims he’s going to turn the funeral upside down in his father’s attempt at consolation.

At the station, Cooper and Truman receive Rosenfield’s autopsy results and find that she was high on cocaine when she was killed, that she was bound with two different kinds of twine, an animal pecked and scratched at her, and that there was plastic in her stomach. Albert attempts to get Cooper to sign a sheet saying he was assaulted, but Cooper refuses and it is this moment that you know Cooper has fallen in love with Twin Peaks. At Ed and Nadine’s, Ed stares at his wife’s decorations in the most loathing manner possible before Nadine depressingly admits how much she’s always loved him. Then Hug Me James comes moodily through the door and announces he’s not going to Laura’s funeral, honestly pouting out the following shit from below his giant forehead: “I can’t. I just can’t.” He then legitimately runs out the door and jumps on his bike and fucking christ, I can’t stand him.

Over at The Great Northern, Audrey suddenly has a 90’s-era Prince haircut and watches Dr. Jacoby through a peephole, taking her brother Johnny’s Native headdress off for the funeral. So here we go: The Motherfucking Funeral. It starts off fine, until Cooper notices Bobby staring at the approaching James, who just fucking said he wasn’t coming. Bobby does what he promised and begins yelling ‘Amen!,’ then lectures the whole crowd about letting Laura die. This gets James all worked up into an emo frenzy and the two go at each other in slow motion, again, for some damn reason that I can’t name. Leland begins to cry then collapses on the coffin as the hydraulic begins to malfunction and wife Sarah begins screaming. The whole scene is wonderfully out of control and really makes Twin Peaks, Twin Peaks.

Back at the RR, Shelly is joking about Leland falling on the coffin with two old dudes, while Cooper arrives to meet Truman, Hawk, and Ed for some pie. Truman reveals that someone is running coke into town from Canada and they want Cooper’s help without revealing it to the FBI. Truman tells Cooper that there’s something evil and strange in the woods surrounding the town. “There’s a sort of evil out there, something very, very strange in these old woods. Call it what you want – a darkness, a presence. It takes many forms, but it’s been out there for as long as anyone can remember, and we’ve always been here to fight it.” This is when it is revealed that there is a secret society called ‘The Bookhouse Boys’ that has watched over the town for generations. They introduce Cooper to the Bookhouse and find Bernard Renault tied up, being watched by the Bookhouse Boys.

Over at the Roadhouse, the disgusting blob of a human, and Bernard’s brother, Jacques arrives to find that there is a red light on the roof, taken as a warning to stay away from bartending that night. Upon seeing this, he calls Leo, who is using a switchblade to get mud out of his boots in his kitchen, because he lives in the world’s most disgusting turd of a house. Jacques tells Leo that he needs help with a border run, and him and his sweater leave the way too cute Shelly behind right after she got off work.

Out at the Martell’s, Truman is talking to Josie Grossie about Catherine and Ben wanting to hurt her. Catherine is listening to the boring conversation, while Josie reveals to Truman that one of the ledgers is now missing. Catherine places the other ledger in her secret desk in the bedroom and shit, I hate this dumb storyline. At Laura’s moonlit grave site, Cooper approaches Dr. Jacoby who is delivering flowers to the recently deceased. Jacoby admits to Cooper that Laura meant way more to him than she should have as a high school girl, then we unfortunately return to Truman and Josie Grossie, where they whisper about Ben and Catherine’s conspiracy against her. Then they make out for like 15 minutes.

At The Great Northern, Cooper and Hawk discuss the Native thoughts on the duality of souls, while off-his-rocker Leland stands in the middle of  the dance floor, eyes closed. A swing number kicks on and he desperately asks around for a dance partner. Cooper and Hawk look on concerned before coming to his aid and taking him home.

I know I said I’d have the remainder of Season One in one recap, but it’s simply too much awesome to pack into one post! Come back this Friday, 4/14 for the rest of Season One!