Friday, October 22, 2010

On The Wings Of Love & Variations On Relations (Twin Peaks S2, eps. 18 & 19)

Sorry for my total lack of presence here, folks. The work week, yadda yadda...

By way of apology, please accept these poppin' fresh excerpts from today's Lost & Found column:


After several episodes of relative tedium Twin Peaks suddenly rallied this week, turning out two enjoyably idiosyncratic installments that advance the show's mythology, play on the quirks of the characters in a more organic, more satisfying manner than has been typical of late, and deliver both genuine laughs and genuine intrigue. These episodes reminded me of how much fun this show can be when it's pitched at just the right ultrasonic oddball frequency. There's still little of the creeping dread and Zen weirdness that Lynch's directorial hand lent to the proceedings but this still feels more like Twin Peaks than the other post-Leland installments. On The Wings Of Love sees a return to Cooper in conspicuous FBI gear, tape recorded missives to Diane (a ritual that ceased some time ago, and one that Cooper's character practically requires - his natural self-reflection and cockeyed observations finding a perfect outlet/signifier in his tapes), Gordon Cole's return to town, and a reflowering of Cooper's bizarro confidence and zen detective determination.


Earle’s description of the White Lodge paints it as something out of a fairy tale, right down to the de rigueur opening words “Once upon a time.” Earle’s words also paint the White Lodge as something lost and gone from us, and the Black Lodge as something very much present and vital: there was a place of great goodness, there is another place. Whether or not this choice of words was intentional on the part of the writers, whether or not the White Lodge exists in the present, or in the past alone, the effect of Earle’s speech is to create the image of the White Lodge as a kind of lost Camelot – a place of harmony and joy and fraternity, a place not unlike Cooper’s idealized view of the town of Twin Peaks – a “brief, shining moment” that is now legend. In contrast, the Black Lodge exists (in Earle’s speech at any rate) in the here and now. And through this speech we learn that it is a “real” place, a physical location that can be found. Earle’s goals – previously assumed to revolve around vengeance against Cooper – are revealed as far more ambitious in scope. Earle wants to locate the Black Lodge and somehow harness its power. I’m a sucker for stories where mad men seek out items/places of ancient power/evil, and so Peaks’ sudden turn toward Indiana Jones territory presses all the right buttons for me as a viewer.


On another note: I’ll come right out and say it: I love Ian Buchanan. Why isn’t this guy a supporting actor in a ton of comedies? He’s got killer delivery and sly timing and despite emerging during the worst section of this show he’s remained consistently entertaining to me. Yes, Dick Tremayne’s wine tasting adds nothing whatsoever to the show in terms of importance or dramatic heft, but unlike, say, Lana Milford, Tremayne is actually funny. I see that Buchanan was a cast member on “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and I’m not surprised, just disappointed that we haven’t seen him pop up more frequently as a funnyman.

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