Revisiting ‘Twin Peaks’ Season 2 Episode 1: May the Giant Be With You

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We’re back, baby.

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: ‘May the Giant Be With You.’ 

Woo boy, I haven’t been around tvDownload in a whole long while, mostly because the season finale of The Affair was so tense and dramatic it put me into a prestige TV coma. Seriously. Woke up this morning in a B&B out on Montauk, don’t know how I got there. Missed the Times Square ball drop and everything.

Because I’m a little rusty at the recapping I need to ease back into it with something subtle and easy, and nothing says subtle and easy like Twin Peaks, right? ‘May the Giant Be With You’ is the first episode of the second and last season, and hopefully it eases in slowly, gives us all a chance to catch our breathe.

Orrrrr fuck it. Let’s have this nine-foot tall bastard show up and start spouting some riddle-speak.

tall motherfucker

So, Dale Cooper is still lying there after getting shot in the season one finale, but if you thought he was dead you either don’t understand the mettle of one Dale Cooper OR you watched this show when it first aired 25 years ago. Either way, man. After about seven minutes of what I can only call stellar room service, the alien ambassador from Men in Black slowly fades into Cooper’s room and announces he’s going to spit some otherworldly knowledge. He tells Cooper three things, which I’ll lay out for you in a way less creepy way with bullet points.

  • There’s a man in a smiling bag.
  • The owls are not what they seem.
  • Without chemicals, he points.

Well, I think that about wraps things up. Case closed. Make it a little more vague next time, giant man, I like a challenge. He also tells Dale “Leo locked inside a hungry horse, there’s a clue at Leo’s house,” which you’d think would count as a fourth thing but it’s separate from the other three things, because the giant is only allowed to say three “things.” Confused? Good! Onward we go.

Remember at the end of last season when Audrey is undercover as a hooker at One-Eyed Jacks and is waiting to service the owner, but turns out the owner is her dad? Well, that scene continues here. And it is…well it’s real uncomfortable. Ben Horne continues to make advances at his own daughter, but he doesn’t know it because she’s holding a mask up to her face and really the less said about it the better. I’ve never been more pleased to see Uncle Jerry interrupt a scene.

Leland Palmer sure perked up, though. He spends the episode dancing around, having a great time, singing a song I am just finding out is NOT the same as the Partridge Family theme song. He has a quick episode where he faints mid-song, but he recovers pretty nicely. Oh and real quick, his hair has turned completely white and nobody really knows why. He doesn’t mind though. He’s way less sad about the brutal murder of his only child now. Even then, he doesn’t look half as healthy and vivacious as his wife.

Twin peek (1)

There were a lot of too-long “human” moments this episode that usually came in the form of a tearful monologue or conversation and ballooned the run-time of the episode to an hour and a half. We had Bobbie visiting Shelly in the hospital, Bobby’s dad bonding with him over a vision he had once, Pete Martell crying because he still loves Catherine (who is missing), Doctor Jacoby telling everyone yet again how much he loved Laura, and Big Ed recounting how he shot out Nadine’s eye on their honeymoon. Okay, he probably said more than that but the only part I listened to was the thing about him shooting Nadine’s eye out. I could have done with like three, maybe four of these scenes being cut. They’re nice, and very much needed in the grand batshit scheme of this whole show but there’s a thing called moderation, Mssrs. Frost and Lynch.

Some more fine detective work from Deputy Andy this episode, though. The first comes after the genius move called “being terrified of Agent Rosenfeld and getting smacked in the face with a board.” Boom, found some cocaine and some boots underneath that board. The second: Andy finds out that Leo Johnson was locked up in jail in Hungry Horse, Montana, giving Leo an alibi for the Theresa Banks murder. Actually, that is kind of impressive because it came in a time before you could Google the words “Hungry Horse.”

Maddy is having visions of horribly stained rugs, or something. I’m not sure. She does break her glasses into two pieces because she hates them, though. I also hate my glasses, Maddy, but I do enjoy being able to see things.

The giant shows back up at the end of the episode for some more helpful murder case hints. He tells a drowsy Dale Cooper that three people have seen the third man that was present the night Laura was murdered, but only one person Dale knows has seen his body. And that’s about it for this week. Nothing else of note or out of the ordinary really happens so join us next week for JUST KIDDING oh my God what in the everloving shit was the end of this episode? Before I even get into it, just take a look at this picture and imagine it coming up out of nowhere while you sit at the office.

TP

Ronette Pulaski is still lying comatose in the hospital and happens to also be having the worst nightmare ever. It’s mostly quick flashes of Bob, or BOB, or Satan or whatever screaming like a wild animal and smashing…something, presumably a face, with a rock. In between that he’s howling in the darkness alone. Sprinkled between these lovely images is Laura’s demon face up there, the picture of which I deleted off my computer immediately after posting this. I don’t want that thing anywhere near me.

Anyway, Ronette Pulaski wakes up from these visions and I sort of wish I could, too.

I think I may have some questions.

In regards to that last scene: Uh buh wha what? When did Twin Peaks get really, really scary?

Haha, welcome to season two, ya bitch! (Sorry, sorry…I’ve been watching The Wire on marathon during the break, so I’m a little rusty as well.) YOU COME AT THE KING, YOU BEST DON’T MISS!! (Sorry, yikes. Okay.) MCNULTY BLAH BLAH STRINGER BELL!! (I’m done now.)

Yes, but here’s what season one was all leading to, in my opinion, and I had forgotten that none of the scary shit happened before season two so I guess it’s not all bullshit and human chess pieces and Billy Zania. (Sorry, spoilers!) Season two is when you get to the heart of Twin Peaks, and that it’s not just some quirky little town with a cast a lovable weirdos who HAPPEN to be trying to solve this wackadoo murder. There is some shit in Twin Peaks that is straight-up TERRIFYING. Seriously, the final episode of the show is the scariest thing that has ever been on television, besides maybe that “White Bear” episode of Black Mirror.

And the scariest things–as you’ve already witnessed–are images that have been “corrupted” in some way, like Leland’s inexplicable hair and attitude change, or Laura’s angelic visage turning into some demon who took too much Claridryl. The first season was more goofy than anything else, I’ve realized, rewatching these episodes with you. Sure, there was the initial screaming and wailing and Bob-seeing, but very quickly it turned into strange farce. For the next several episodes at least, you’re going to want to watch with the lights on.

Also, WHERE THE FUCK IS WALLACE?? (Okay, seriously done now.)

 But seriously, the first season premiere of Twin Peaks was an hour and a half, too, but that felt like it was because it was jam-packed. This episode just felt like “we have to make this long so let’s have every character tell someone something for seven minutes at at time.” What I’m trying to ask here is did Kurt Sutter write this episode? 

Wow. a #KurtSutter burn. Who knew you watched…*checks Wikipedia*…The Shield and/or Sons of Anarchy? Look, what I think you have to remember about Twin Peaks was that it was unprecedented for its time in a lot of ways, but one thing it did have to conform to, conventionally, was the TWO HOUR SPECIAL PREMIERE EVENTas directed by the overlords at ABC. It’s not so different from how they start new seasons of The Bachelor, or god, Shark Tank. And this ploy worked, to an extant: bringing in 19.1 million viewers for the first episode of the second season, bringing it up from the season 1 finale of 18.7. Of course, numbers started to plummet by the second episode, and by midseason they were pulling a 7.8. For reference, the show premiered to 34.6 million viewers, and if I know my math (I don’t), that’s like 1/6th of the audience by the time we get to Windom Earle and his BS. (Another spoiler! Who cares!)

I can’t say how much of this has to do with the second season’s long premiere, but by next week’s episode they were own to 14.1, so I’m guessing a lot of people wanted “Less yapping, more screaming demon faces.” Or maybe vice-versa. What do I know? Not a lot numbers, apparently!

I didn’t even touch on the “Donna is a badass now” thing because, well, I don’t like it? But should I being watching for something here? Are Laura’s sunglasses like the mask from The Mask, but just give you the power of breathy whispering and cigarettes? 

I just love how everyone in town reacts to Donna with an air of resigned bafflement. “Ohhh….Donna, this is so unlike you? Right? That’s what you wanted me to say…that you seem different? Okay. WOW DONNA!” In this way, Donna actually seems like one of the most normal residents of Twin Peaks: what girl hasn’t experimented with her “bad” side in HS, only to look back years later and hang her head in shame for being such a tool. (What is the female equivalent of a tool? A spatula?) I definitely spent  a good portion of junior year trying to (unsuccessfully) take up smoking and wearing dark glasses indoors….in contributed to my now chronic vertigo and dizzy spells, but that’s about it.

Unclear, however, who Donna is trying to emulate to win James over. Did Laura ever act like this? Doubtful…she would have never tried to pull off those nineties shades. And probably wouldn’t be caught dead smoking in public. Would Maddie act like that? No, we’ve already seen Maddie has an irrational HATRED of glasses. So that only leaves Audrey…who James has not, as far as I can tell, even met yet, let alone shown any sexual interest.

Or MAYBE–and hear me out–Donna is trying to pull a Leo Johnson and scare James into sleeping with her? Maybe she will soap-on-a-rope him if he so much LOOKS at another girl while she’s out there, driving her big rig. Goddammit James! Where’s my clean shirts? Momma needs a new pair of boots!

Revisiting ‘Twin Peaks’ Season 2 Episode 1: May the Giant Be With You