Revisiting ‘Twin Peaks’ Season One Finale: Bite the Bullet, Baby

Laura and Ronette just like to party. And by party I mean get tied up and attacked by Myna birds.

If you feel left out of the whole Twin Peaks phenomenon, we’re here to help! Every week, associate tvDownload editor Vinnie Mancuso attempts to figure out what the hell is going on in this town, while senior editor/Twin Peaks expert Drew Grant answers his questions. This week: ‘The Last Evening.’ 

You can only push a good man so far before he snaps. You can only keep the downtrodden oppressed for so long before they rise up, better and stronger than before. You can only deny a police officer of a small town in the Pacific Northwest the pleasure of your nasally-voiced affection for so long before he becomes a badass, gun-wielding embodiment of justice.


So, yeah, Andy taking down Jacques Renault was basically the greatest moment ever put to film. I genuinely enjoyed this Twin Peaks season one finale, filled with some legitimately intense moments, but no moment got an actual fist pump other than Andy’s turn as Dirty Harry. You know who agrees? Lucy Moran. Just look at her face when she overhears Deputy Hawk recounting the story at the office.


Watering the plants indeed. I think listening to the story of Andy’s heroics literally got Lucy pregnant.

So with the really important stuff out of the way, what else happened this episode? The Bookhouse Boys‘ little bit of undercover work at One-Eyed Jacks went surprisingly well. I did, however, find it hilarious that at no point was it necessary for Big Ed to be wearing that fake wig and mustache. Actually it wasn’t really necessary for anyone but Dale Cooper to be there at all. Cooper’s the one who does all the heavy lifting, getting the deets from Jaques Renault about the night he, Leo Johnson, Ronette Pulaski and Laura Palmer went to the cabin in the woods for some weird sexy time. By the sounds of it Ronette and Laura weren’t really forced there against their will. They just like to party. And by party I mean get tied up and attacked by Myna birds. You know, party. 

Dale Cooper manages to convince the not-so-bright but incredibly doughy Renault to meet him later that night, where the Bookhouse Boys + Andy spring into action. That’s some fine police work, Bookhouse Boys.

“God James is sweet, but he’s so dumb,” Laura Palmer says over the lost tape James and Donna find in Dr. Jacoby’s office. Can we take a quick moment to recognize how happy that statement made me? If this show wants me to not trust Laura Palmer, that’s not the way to go about it. That makes me want to be her best friend. We also find out that Laura was sleeping with a third man, who has no name but really knew how to light Laura’s F-I-R-E. I assume James looks so upset over this news because he doesn’t know how to spell.

As for Dr. Jacoby, he has a heart attack brought on by a mixture of seeing Maddy dressed as Laura and some random guy beating the shit out of him.

Bobby’s plan to frame James with the cocaine goes…surprisingly well actually, considering how many small things needed to go exactly in his favor. His Leo Johnson imitation was on point, though, so the plan had that going for it.

The real Leo Johnson was busy having himself a little rampage. First he creeps up on Shelley by slowly moving her towel further and further away while she washed herself in the sink. Note to self: that is the funniest way to sneak up on someone. Leo is a card. Leo becomes far less of a card by stringing Shelley up in the Packard Mill and setting a timer to burn it down. He follows this up by hiding in the shadows of his own house, waiting for Bobby to show. When he does, Leo comes this close to killing him with an axe before a single gunshot rings out and a bullet flies through the window and into Bobby. And who is behind the smoking gun? That’s right:


Just kidding. It’s Hank Jennings, who is working under orders of Ben Horne. But also under the orders of Jocelyn Packard, whose husband I think Hank murdered for $90,000. Things got a little complicated there for a moment. There’s a blood oath involved. In the end, Hank gets Catherine Martell to show up at the Packard Mill right before Leo’s handy timer goes off. We’re not too sure of what happens to Shelley and Catherine. We do know that Petie Martell is going in there to find out, because he and Catherine had a nice conversation earlier in the episode that fixed years and years of infidelity and emotional abuse.

Leland Palmer, who we disappointingly haven’t seen do anything batshit crazy in a while, does something batshit crazy. He pulls the fire alarm, sneaks into Jaques Renault’s hospital room, and smothers him with a pillow. (A quick aside, if I may. I’ve never worked in a hospital, nor have I ever murdered anyone in one, but wouldn’t the best thing to do to ensure privacy be something other than pulling the fire alarm? Is the protocol for a fire alarm in a hospital “fuck the patients I’m outta here?” I know they had people posted at Renault’s door but…I don’t know, Leland. I don’t know.)

Ben Horne signs a pretty sweet deal with those Norwegian businessman, so it’s time to celebrate with some prostitutes. Unfortunately, Ben falls into one of those classic situations where the new prostitute at the brothel you own is actually your daughter doing some undercover work. If I had a nickel.

Finally, Dale Cooper gets back to his motel room to try and catch “a few hours of quality sack time.” But Dale Cooper just can’t catch a break. Someone slipped a note into Cooper’s room, but before he can read it there’s a knock on his door. Who is it? Just someone with a gun, who proceeds to shoot Cooper a few times. And who’s standing there, holding the still smoking instrument of death? That’s right, it’s…okay it’s not Andy. We actually don’t know who it is, because the episode and the season fades to black. See you all in September of 1990!

I think I may have some questions.

Is this the last we see of Nadine after the most elegantly shot suicide attempt ever? 
Vinnie, after a season of Twin Peaks, I’d thought you’d know better by now. Characters don’t just disappear for no reason, never to be referred to again. Nor are they just replaced with other, slightly mousier actors, in the hopes that we just won’t notice the difference. Come on, what do you think we’re watching here. This isn’t Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

Where the heck is BOB?! I don’t know…I just miss BOB. 

You are not the only one!
bob_wanted_poster_a4The thing about Bob is that if you are looking for him, you’re already doing it wrong. Bob doesn’t take requests. He takes Garmonbozia. That shit isn’t even in season yet.

Can you tell me anything (or everything) about the drastic drop in quality and sanity I’ve heard about between seasons one and two of Twin Peaks? Confirm? Deny?

Where did you hear such scandalous rumors?? Ha, JK, there is no one on the entire Internet who loved season 2 of Twin Peaks*. That’s like saying you loved the ending of Lost. BUT: just because the sum total of a season equaled pretty much garbage–it started to do that annoying American Horror Story thing where it just slagged completely off in the middle and created all these pointless story lines as filler each week–doesn’t mean that there aren’t whole episodes of brilliance. The first six episodes are still great. Then there are 14 more episodes that are kind of a slog but have amazing cameos from soon-to-be-famous actors. You can tell when Lynch went to go work on Wild at Heart and left Mark Frost in charge of the script, and it’s pretty obvious when he makes his return, as well: the final episode is one of the most horrifying pieces of television, still to this day. With Frost at the wheel, there are substantial shifts in how the characters are presented, which author Martha P. Nochimson brilliantly lays out in her book, The Passion of David Lynch: Wild at Heart in Hollywood. (Vinnie, do not click that link because there are SPOILERS.) Basically, Frost wanted Cooper to be like Sherlock Holmes, and the Big Bad of the second season is his version of Moriarty. But Lynch never imagined Cooper as Holmes, because A) Cooper works very much on a spiritual, not rationalist level of deduction and B) Because Agent Dale Cooper is nothing like Sherlock Holmes. Come on!
Sherlock Holmes:

Dale Cooper:


Sherlock Holmes:

Dale Cooper:

But hey, maybe you’ll be one of those people who are in Team Twin Peaks Season 2. You might want to brush up on your chess game, though. Fair warning.

*The exception being the wonderful Jessica Winter, who makes a very strong case for it over at Slate. Again, you have to refrain from clicking that link because of SPOILERZ. Can’t you just finish up the show real quick so I can stop hiding behind the hyperlinks??

Revisiting ‘Twin Peaks’ Season One Finale: Bite the Bullet, Baby