episode 9the owls are not what they seem
GRADE: A-

 

This is the worst episode of the original Twin Peaks that David Lynch directed. That being said, as you can tell by the grade, it’s still pretty great.

 

I guess it doesn’t have much intensity, aside from that freaky vision Maddy has of Bob crawling towards her. (What makes that work is that he looks so out of place there.) But it has other things.

 Bob climbing over the couch

It has a lot of humour, in large part courtesy of screenwriter Harley Peyton. Albert gets off a few of his best lines here. After Cooper mentions the man who appeared in his dream: “Has anyone seen Bob on Earth in the last few weeks?” A list of the contents of Jacques Reneault’s stomach includes: “beer cans, a Maryland license plate, half a bicycle tire, a goat, and a small wooden puppet. Goes by the name of Pinocchio.” A reference to him attempting to interview the senile waiter from the previous episode: “Señor Droolcup has, shall we say, a mind that wanders.”

 

Overall, the episode stands as a great example of how to be whimsical without veering off into idiocy, something the show would – spoiler alert – struggle with in the middle stretch of the second season. There is also some of Lynch’s brand of humour, as Harry and Agent Cooper try to make sense of the amusingly worded instructions for a pair of stools.

 
Stray observations:
 

  • Albert alerts Cooper that the latter’s ex-partner Windom Earle has escaped a loony bin. One of the signs that the show was attempting to start new major storylines.
  • A cameo by David Lynch’s son! Featuring creamed corn!

 Lynch Junior

  • Some good Ben lines:

“Let’s get those pickled icemen on the blower.”
“Jerry, please kill Leland.”

  • It was a nice touch to have Shelley cry over Leo.

 Shelley Leo Dr

  • I’ve noted that several folks dislike the scene of James, Donna, and Maddy singing. Me, I like it a great deal. It does go on for a while, but that allows it to set a mood. The lyrics are extremely basic, but that’s just David Lynch’s songwriting style, which may be an acquired taste.

 
 

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