Seriable’s Mark Jones reviews Twin Peaks Episode 12 — “The Orchid’s Curse”
As day twelve dawns in Twin Peaks, Cooper wakes up still suffering with pain in his ribs. Getting out of bed to do his yoga exercises, which involve doing a handstand against the wall of his room, he finally discovers the note that Audrey left him informing him that she’s at One Eyed Jacks. It’s hard to imagine how he missed it, or how whoever cleaned his room missed it, but enough time has passed to allow sufficient tension to be built to make Audrey’s rescue one of the highlights of this episode and of the second season.
Before he can plan the rescue with Harry there are other matters to attend to including Leland‘s appearance before Judge Sternwood at the Roadhouse. Leo’s hearing takes place afterwards and both are dealt with swiftly with Sternwood allowing Leland to remain a free man, as long as he stays in Twin Peaks in the time before his trial, and Leo to return home.
Audrey’s rescue has felt like it’s been a long time coming, though it’s easy to forget that each episode accounts for a day in Twin Peaks time and by this point she’s only spent five days at One Eyed Jacks. Even so, the Bookhouse Boys’ covert mission, which sees them dressed like cat burglars, is a classic sequence and is topped off by Hawk’s unexpected rescue as it seems like the game is up for Cooper and Harry. Before they enter the casino Cooper notices an owl in the trees reminding us of their watchful presence and judging by the expression on his face it seems like hasn’t forgotten what the giant told him about the owls not being what they seem.
The extent of Jean Renault‘s plan becomes clear in their rescue as Harry witnesses him kill Blackie while he watches her office. Bent down over her dead body like a vampire, Renault spies Harry through the window of her office door and makes a swift exit. Jean seemed quite jovial earlier in the episode about the prospect of killing Audrey when he tells Blackie “You must be serious about your business”, when she began to doubt his plan, making him seem all the more sinister when he kills her.
Cooper’s rescue of Audrey from her room is almost hampered by Blackie’s sister but he successfully disarms her before she manages to stab him. This is followed by a slightly amusing punch in the stomach which somehow manages to knock her out, but that isn’t a complaint, seeing the gentleman Cooper punch her in the face would have been a lot worse. There’s some great cinematography here and while Renault is looking like Dracula back in Blackie’s office Cooper comes across more as Audrey’s knight in shining armour, with a shot that’s framed to echo the stereotypical rescue of a princess.
Donna and Harold‘s storyline also comes to a head as her and Maddy put their scheme into action to retrieve Laura’s diary. On her first visit, Donna tries to playfully steal the book, tempting Harold to go outside. When the sunlight touches his face, however, he has a violent reaction, and the fact that she stays to help him and gives him the diary back shows that while she’s been scheming to get the diary it’s not been without any feelings towards the shut in.
The visit where she plans to take the diary with Maddy’s help sees her build some sexual tension with Harold by telling a story involving her and Laura skinny dipping, and then after they begin to get steamy in the greenhouse before she slips out to give Maddy the signal. All seems to be going to plan until Maddy stumbles and Harold discovers their plot. Thanks to some great acting on Lenny Von Dohlen‘s part, the fragile extent of Harold’s personality becomes clear when he chases the girls with a gardening tool, only to use it to harm himself. There’s also some good dialogue in these scenes including the line one that leaves us on a cliff hanger:
“Are you looking for secrets? Is that what all this was about? Well, maybe I can help you. You want to know that the ultimate secret is? You want to know what Laura did? The secret of knowing who killed you.”
With Lucy away on holiday, visiting her sister, Andy holds his own in the humour department as he has to deal with answering the phones in the sheriff’s office. Charmingly covered in post-it notes, we get to witness his amusingly shocked expression when he finds that Lucy has the number for an abortion clinic on her desk, as well as his excitement at the positive results of his sperm test. Harry’s bemused smile as Andy excitedly cries out “I’m a whole damn town,” is a great little moment.
We also get a glimpse of the new Nadine back in the real world as she returns home, not recognising James and pulling the door off the refrigerator with her new super strength. It’s a funny scene that’s not dwelt on too long but it’s a shame that Ed gets pushed to the sidelines in this plot and it would have been nice to see him get in on some of the Bookhouse Boys action. Elsewhere, there’s some laughs to be had at home with Bobby and Shelley as they prepare for Leo’s return with the installation of a ludicrous machine to lift Leo into bed, followed by the couple leaving the hapless Mr Pinkle hanging while they head outside for some frisky fun.
Cooper seems a little more chipper in this episode, and is more enthused after finding Audrey’s note, managing to crack one of his famous grins early on. There’s still an underlying sense of sadness, though, which seems as if it’s due to something other than the pain in his ribs. Judging by his jumpiness at seeing the owl outside of One Eyed Jacks, there’s more than just saving Audrey and apprehending Laura’s killer on his mind. While there may be a darkness hovering over him, there’s plenty to lighten the mood and the comic scenes are funny without being overdone. Overall, Episode 12 strikes a better balance than the previous two between the scenes which develop the plot and those which deliver exciting action, ending on a thrilling cliff hanger, which is always a good thing.
9/10 Seriable Stars