Seriable’s Mark Jones reviews Twin Peaks Episode 10 — “The Man Behind Glass”
Bob has been at work again and as the tenth episode of Twin Peaks begins, Ronette Pulaski is struggling in her hospital bed as it becomes apparent that someone has tried to murder her. Starting on a darker note, it sets the tone for an instalment which lacks the deeply eerie feel of previous instalments but still packs in a few pleasantly odd comic moments.
There are a couple of notable new additions to the cast in this episode, Jean Renault and Richard Tremayne. One represents the darker side of the show, the other being there purely for comic relief. Both characters have their merits and feel, like many of the characters in Twin Peaks, as if they’ve stepped out of another era. On the one hand there’s Jean, a mercilessly cool villain complete with French accent who wouldn’t have been out of place in a film noir flick, on the other Richard “Dick” Tremayne. A grinning dandy who works in the menswear department at Horne’s department store and smokes cigarettes through a cigarette holder, Tremayne serves to cause some friction between Lucy and Andy as he is the possible father of her child. At this stage his presence adds some more quirkiness to the show and seems to be the ideal opposite to Andy. Tremayne’s entrance is quite memorable, firstly for his Cheshire cat-like grin when he greets Lucy and secondly because of Hawk’s reaction, breaking his cigarette holder, when he meets him.
While not a new character, we are introduced to a radically different regressed Nadine after she wakes up from her coma. Not only does she emerge from her comatose state freakishly strong but she’s also reverted to her teenage state of mind. The introduction of this new element to her character like the arrival of Richard Tremayne starts to tip the scales from being humorous to at times just being plain silly. For now it adds another weird element to the show and the scene where she crushes Ed’s hand as he sings ‘On Top of Old Smoky’ to her is pretty amusing. It’s also good to see Ed get some more screen time after fading into the background since Nadine’s overdose.
One thing this episode suffers from is Donna‘s inevitable realisation that James and Maddy have feelings for each other. In one of several angsty scenes Donna walks in on them in the Double R holding hands, and promptly storms out. Later on James will go looking for Donna to confide in about his mother but finds Maddy instead. Donna is absent because she’s gone to deliver Harold Smith‘s flower and let her frustration out at Laura’s graveside, telling us what we’ve already worked out for ourselves.
Scenes like this tend to drag on a bit but do serve to drive Donna closer to Harold Smith, which is a good thing as she’s a more interesting character when she’s snooping around and trying to get information rather than making up one corner of a love triangle. There’s some good dialogue in her outburst and of the three of them Donna always delivers emotionally.
After her visit to Laura’s grave she returns home again walking in on James and Maddy getting cosy. Donna gets upset again and storms out ending up at shut in Harold Smith’s house. At the end of the episode Donna discovers Laura’s diary but not before she notices that Harold has a secret compartment in his bookcase. Her closeness to him will help to her gain entry to this in future episodes, and learn more about Laura’s secret life, with some dark results.
Meanwhile, things go from bad to worse for Audrey at One Eyed Jacks and the arrival of Jean Renault does her no favours. It’s planned that he will use Ben’s daughter to get a ransom from the hotel owner and lure Cooper, who he discovers works for the FBI, to him. Jean proves to be one of the series more compelling real world villains setting wheels in motion that will do Cooper no favours.
There are more exciting developments than those of the younger members of the cast, however, and Cooper finds the last statement from the mysterious giant to be true in this episode when Mike, the one armed man, pays the station a visit. Finding a syringe that’s been left behind on the bathroom floor, the detective realises that “without chemicals he points”. This is not the first new lead he has gotten on Bob, as earlier Leland turned up at the station with more information on the killer. Not only does he tell them that his surname is Robertson, solving the mystery of the letters left beneath the fingernails of his murdered victims, but that he used to live near him when he was a child.
More interestingly, he tells of how Bob used to ask him “do you want to play with fire little boy” echoing what James had previously said he had been told by Laura. For now Leland’s revelation that Bob used to live in a house on Pearl Lake is discovered to be a dead-end after Hawk investigates, but it’s one of the first signs that gives us an indication at how long the denim clad and long-haired monster has been up to no good.
Later on Leland will be arrested after he’s identified as the man who killed Jacques Renault by Dr Jacoby. The scene where Jacoby undergoes hypnosis to try to find out who Renault’s murdered is entertaining, as are many parts of this episode, but it occurs towards the end of the episode by which time it feels like a lot has happened though there haven’t been any really classic moments.
Unlike the previous instalment, revelations aren’t delivered in a mysterious way, there are no strange dreams or messages from outer space, but they do move the plot forward for good and bad.
8/10 Seriable Stars