In Jacoby’s apartment, Donna and James find the last tape Laura made for him. Jacoby finds Maddy, still disguised as Laura. As he watches her from afar, a masked man attacks him. At One Eyed Jacks, Cooper takes Jacques aside and offers him a phony job to lure him across the border, where Sheriff Truman and his men arrest him. Jacques attempts to shoot Harry, but Andy shoots him. Donna, James, and Maddy listen to Laura’s tape, which seems to clear Jacoby. Leo kidnaps Shelley and ties her up in the mill before setting it on fire. Nadine takes a bunch of pills in a suicide attempt. Josie pays off Hank for the time he spent in jail, as they had agreed. Apparently, he was involved in her husband Andrew’s death, which she orchestrated. Lucy tells Andy she’s pregnant. Ed finds Nadine and calls 911. While he attempts to kill Bobby, Leo gets shot by Hank. Catherine gets called to the mill, where she runs into Shelley as the fire starts to spread. She frees Shelley and they try to escape. Pete sees Catherine’s car, and runs into the burning mill to save her. At the hospital, Leland smothers Jacques with a pillow. Ben enters Audrey’s room at One Eyed Jacks, with the intention of giving “the new girl” a spin. At the Great Northern, Cooper, expecting room service, opens his door and is shot three times.
I found myself evaluating previous episodes not directed by David Lynch in large part based on whether or not they were able to generate atmosphere. Here, co-creator Mark Frost, directing his only episode of the series, kind of by-passes this by substituting atmosphere with excitement. And it turns out there’s nothing wrong with that, especially since the excitement is so well wrought and visually dynamic.
Part of the power of this episode is the sheer amount of incident Frost – who also wrote the script – packed into it. It’s clear what he was going for here was a classic soap opera cliffhanger episode, except he went even further over the top than that implies. And the soap opera-style thrills he whips up are great fun. Sticking to just the major stuff: 1. Jacoby is attacked by a masked assailant, 2. Leo kidnaps Shelley, leaving her to die in the mill, 3. Jacques gets arrested and tries to shoot Harry, 4. Nadine attempts suicide, 5. Leo attacks Bobby, 6. Leo gets shot by Hank, 7. mill catches fire with Shelley and Catherine in it; Pete goes in to save his wife, 8. Leland kills Jacques, 9. Ben enters the room where Audrey is posing as a prostitute (so twisted!), and 10. Cooper gets shot.
Frost uses devices like ringing phones, fire alarms, and ticking time bombs to create tension. On a few occasions, he also heightens it by having two things occurring at once. Leo gets shot in the middle of swinging an axe at Bobby. Catherine shows up at the mill with a gun, and runs into Shelley, who’s been tied to a post. Agent Cooper doesn’t just get shot; he gets shot as Andy tells him over the phone that Leo’s been shot.
Frost wrote an episode in which the dialogue is not only eminently quotable, but also impactful. Leo shouting, “You broke my heart!”, for instance, makes for a nice moment of cognitive dissonance for the viewer (as in, Leo has a heart?). And Laura’s brutal description of her secret boyfriend cuts deep: “God, James is sweet, but he’s so dumb.”
- Laura, interrupting herself after discussing kinky sex: “Here comes Mom with milk and cookies.”
- Walter Olkewicz does the best acting job of the three Renault brothers.
- Lordy, the way Ben dresses his One Eyed Jacks employees is ridiculous, particularly the women. “Just randomly glue a bunch of cards on those outfits, to make sure people remember this is a casino!”
- Hank has his own theme, but he’s not interesting enough to deserve one.
- Loved the puzzled look on Leo’s face as he watches the villain get shot on Invitation to Love.
- “I can’t understand a word you’re saying, you have a thing in your mouth.” – Catherine, stating facts, unhelpfully.
- “24-hour room service must be one of the premier achievements of modern civilization.”
- The episode gives us two unidentified assailants, leaving us to wonder if they’re the same person, or if one of them is Laura’s killer.
- Once again, Angelo Badalamenti’s score was used very effectively, particularly the melancholy music when Pete goes after Catherine, and that loud thump that was used as the camera zoomed into Jacoby’s eye.
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