Lost in the Movies: TWIN PEAKS First Time Viewer Companion: S2E13 "Checkmate"

TWIN PEAKS First Time Viewer Companion: S2E13 "Checkmate"

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 week I continued my trend of enjoying the mid-season stretch more than ever before. There were only a few scenes that stuck out to me as tedious or cringeworthy. Most of the stuff with James and Evelyn drags - it doesn't bother me at this late date so much as I just tune out of it. Although I've warmed to her amusing scene with Mike (who would have ever predicted he'd come back like this?) Nadine attacking Hank, even after this many times, still slightly embarrasses me. The scene is already off to a goofy start when Ed's house becomes Grand Central, characters popping out from different areas every few seconds. You've come a long way, Hank - what an ignominious downfall for this once-ominous villain though some would argue he jumped the shark when Cousin Jonathan karate-chopped him nearly ten episodes ago. Speaking of episode counts, it just occurred to me that Leo was comatose for 13 episodes, almost twice the number he wasn't (even though we tend to remember the early, thuggish Leo as the quintessential one). Looks like those days are finally over. The episode begins and ends with a bang - ends with several actually; that Maj. Briggs flashback is pretty ridiculous but I enjoy it, and the Dead Dog Farm climax is rousing enough, mostly thanks to the great location and Michael Parks' juicy monologue (as little sense as it makes, he sells it). Incidentally, Coop now belongs to an exclusive but not particularly prestigious club - The Renault Killers - with Leo and Leland. Final observation: the visit to the orphanage is easily the best scene in the Little Nicky arc. Well, except for the one where he goes full Damien and psychically attacks Dick, who is crushed by a log that falls off a passing truck. Oops, did I spoil anything?

Next: "Double Play" • Previous: "The Black Widow"

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

For those who've already seen the full series & film

My essay accompanying my ranking of this episode (#24), from 2015 (the quasi-spoiler involves suggestive language about Josie's upcoming arc)

The comments section below may contain spoilers.

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