Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): TWIN PEAKS First Time Viewer Companion: S2E14 "Double Play"

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

TWIN PEAKS First Time Viewer Companion: S2E14 "Double Play"


These short Twin Peaks episode responses are spoiler-free for upcoming episodes, presented here for first-time viewers who want to read a veteran viewer's perspective on each entry while remaining in the dark about what's to come. They were first published as comments on a Reddit rewatch in 2016.

My thoughts on the episode:

"It's WRONG!"

It's tempting to leave my analysis to those simple words, but a few more may be in order.

On paper, this looks promising. Coop gets to put the drug scandal behind him, Leo is out of his comatose state, aspects of the Milford and Nicky subplots finally come to an end, Josie's plot starts to escalate with Andrew appearing for the first time since his surprise walk-on and the dastardly Eckhardt arriving from Hong Kong, after a 3-episode tease/build-up the Marsh story finally gets its payoff, and hey - at long last, Windom Earle! We're out of the woods, right?

I've been enjoying the mid-season much more than usual in these rewatches but this episode brought that appreciation to a grinding halt. The direction drags and the script is incredibly clunky. The resolution of the Milford plot gets my vote, on this rewatch anyway, as the single worst sequence in the entire series, from its tired reliance on the dumb "Lana makes everyone goofy" schtick to Coop's worst decision on the show: force a young woman into a room alone with a crazy armed man who wants to shoot her, so they can "work it out." It's the laziest writing imaginable. This is also where the James/Evelyn scheme gets irretrievably awful. The scenes are painfully awkward (and other than that line I quoted, not even in a so-bad-it's-good way) and the plot manages to be both completely obvious - oh my God, Evelyn was using James to kill her husband? I am shocked, I do declare - AND confusing/nonsensical (wait, did James actually put something in the engine after all of Malcolm's/Evelyn's instigations or did they? And why do they even need a patsy if they're gonna set up a car accident; couldn't they just make it look like, you know, an accident?).

I remembered the Leo sequence as at least being somewhat engaging in a slasher-flick way but it's actually pretty tedious and lame too. Someone in the last thread mentioned the previous episode setting up false expectations that the slump was about to end and I think that's the big problem with this and the following episode - they feel even more grating as a slump inside a slump (that we thought was itself ending) plus, after goofing a lot of stuff nobody actually cares about, Twin Peaks is starting to misfire on plot points that actually matter.

Windom's intro is nice though. He seems properly on-point and also indicates that that storyline is ready to take over the narrative slack. So maybe after all the end of THIS episode is the turnaround, right? Right??

*sigh*


Next: "Slaves and Masters" • Previous: "Checkmate"


Want more? Here's my other coverage of the episode:


More for first-time viewers (SPOILER-FREE)
(but be careful of video recommendations at the end of YouTube videos and image/link recommendations at the end of Tumblr posts)

+ My "Journey Through Twin Peaks" chapter on the "spirit of Twin Peaks" going up to this episode, from 2014:



The comments section below may contain spoilers.

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