It was exciting to see David Lynch in the actor credits. And it was very cool to see him interact with Kyle MacLachlan, who’d starred in two of his movies by that point. They’ve stated in interviews that they click very well, and it shows. Coming on the heels of the three worst episodes of the show to that point, Lynch’s physical presence seems to augur that everything will be ok. And for this episode, it is.
Lesli Linka Glatter, who helmed one of the best first-season episodes, is back, and proves again she has a good handle on the show’s tone. It feels appropriately serious, even as several comic bits are successfully introduced.
I chuckled at Gordon Cole exclaiming, “There’s the one-armer now!” upon seeing Phillip Michael Gerard. We get a non-cartoony Nadine scene; Wendy Robie does youthful Nadine so well. Pete interacting with Mr. Tajamura is amusing too, and Pete’s friendliness with the prickly stranger is endearing. The party for Leo was also fun. Bobby: “And how about Leo Johnson, wife abuser? Now there’s a guy I wanna party with!” The scene also provides a few creepy moments when Leo gives signs of life. I found this shot particularly effective. The sunglasses help by leaving to our imagination what his eyes are doing:
There are some good acting moments. When Josie asks Ben for her money, I think that’s the first time we ever see her be playful.
It highlights that the show kind of wasted Joan Chen by having her play Harry’s meek girlfriend for the bulk of her screen time. When she leaves him, Michael Ontkean gives an affecting performance, repeating “I love you” as his voice breaks. And as before, Al Strobel is frightening as Mike: “He is BOB, eager for fun. He wears a smile, everybody run.” Brrr.
Less convincing was Sherilyn Fenn when Audrey is unconscious and talking “in her sleep” (to be fair, she was given too many things to say while unconscious). And of course, Lenny von Dohlen, unleashing a way-over-the-top “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
- I like that Harry tells Cooper he thinks too much. Dale’s prowess has to be counterbalanced once in a while, or he won’t be believably human.
- I like the scene of Maddy saying goodbye to James, admitting that at times, she enjoyed “being” Laura. And the location is beautiful.
- Love the moment when Agent Cooper enters the sheriff’s office, stops, points at Gordon without looking, snaps his fingers, prompting Gordon to announce, “Agent Dale Cooper!”
- Leland and Ben share an awesomely awkward non-hug.
- Since BOB was presented as the killer in the second season premiere, it remained a naggingly unresolved point. Surely the killer wasn’t a character we’d only seen a few times in dreams and visions? And if he wasn’t, why were we shown him murdering Laura? Here we finally get an explanation: BOB is an “inhabiting spirit”. We also learn that he feeds on fear.
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