Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): TWIN PEAKS First Time Viewer Companion: S2E2 "Coma"

Monday, September 10, 2018

TWIN PEAKS First Time Viewer Companion: S2E2 "Coma"


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.

This is the closest Lynch ever came to directing an "ordinary" episode of Twin Peaks, but there's so much going on! Whenever I think of my favorite scenes from this stretch of episodes, most of them are from this one: the barbershop quartet humming behind Coop & Albert, Lucy's bizarre expression as she swats the fly, the RR rendezvous of the Log Lady and Maj. Briggs, Ben and Jerry going manic over a smoked cheese pig and marshmallows, the trouble with the hospital stools (followed by Ronette's freakout - major props to Phoebe Augustine), Coop hearing about the messages from...somewhere (someone?). And that's not even paying attention to the two big scenes, among my favorite Lynchian moments ever: the grandmother and grandson creepily showing Donna their creamed corn magic, and Bob climbing over the couch.

That shot is just incredible. Most of the Bob moments don't affect me too much anymore; I appreciate them but over time have inoculated myself to the visceral shock they gave me the first time. This one still gets to me on a primal level though, even if I don't yelp in terror like I did initially. It's the first and last shots of Bob's progression that do it: obviously that final image of him leering right into the camera lens (I don't care how many times I've seen it, I never quite expect him to go that far), but also that first image of the eerily empty living room, framed exquisitely so that we can't hep but sense some offscreen menace even before Bob stalks in. Everyone gives the "Just You" song crap but its kitschy uncanniness is the perfect set-up for this jolt from the beyond.

There's more to recommend here too but all-in-all it's just a blast to see Lynch handling a sort of "everyday" episode without any major twists or turns. He brings so much to the table (not just in how he handles the material written for him but with what he changes - the creamed corn and the crawl over the couch were both his improvisations). It made me all the more excited to watch him direct everything in 2017.




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


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



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