Seriable’s Mark Jones reviews Twin Peaks Episode 5 — “Cooper’s Dreams”
Things once again get off to a slightly weird start as this episode begins with Cooper being rudely awakened by an early morning song courtesy of the Icelandic guests staying at the Great Northern. The noisy guests are a business junket with whom Ben is trying to do business and as the wheels of his plans to burn the mill down spin into action Cooper must overcome sleep deprivation to make it through another encounter with Audrey’s affections at breakfast and continue inspecting Jacques Renault’s apartment.
The breakfast scene with Cooper and Audrey features some of the best dialogue between the two, where Audrey is flirting and Cooper and you can never quite tell if Cooper is flirting back. A classic moment occurs when Audrey asks outright if she can help Cooper with his case;
“Maybe I could go with you”
“Wednesdays were traditionally a school day when I was your age”
“I can’t believe you were ever my age”
“I have the pictures to prove it”
After he’s done at the Great Northern it’s back to Jacques Renault’s apartment for Cooper and Co. During their search of the apartment for evidence Doctor Haywood informs them that the blood on Leo’s jacket wasn’t Laura Palmer’s, but it turns out it was Jacques Renault‘s. It isn’t long before more evidence is found to set them on a trail that will uncover a bit more of the mystery surrounding her death.
An issue of ‘Flesh World’ is pulled from the ceiling where Cooper’s eagle eye connects the dots between an image in the magazine of Laura Palmer’s body in front of some red drapes and the photograph of a log cabin which also has red drapes found inside one of Jacques Renault’s cupboards. The red curtains are significant as they were prominent in Cooper’s red room dream and it’s not long before they’re off searching for the log cabin.
Their journey through the woods delivers some of the most memorable scenes including a mysterious encounter with the Log Lady. Before they find the cabin they are looking for they stumble across the Log Lady’s who claims she has been waiting for them. Showing some kind of intuition about the events in Twin Peaks indicating that she was expecting them, before inviting them in for tea.
The scene sets up the protocol that’s needed when dealing with the Log Lady, as Cooper makes a faux pas and soon sees how annoyed she gets. However it’s a fruitful meeting and her log reveals some information regarding the night of Laura’s murder. This is a key scene for her in the series as she transitions from being a seemingly crazy person to another conduit (or at least her log is) of the strange goings on.
Cooper and Harry don’t dismiss the new information they are given and seem to take it quite seriously. We learn that she had a husband who died in a fire the day after their wedding and we are introduced to the idea that “the woods hold many spirits”. She also mentions owls, suggesting that if they were to be seen by them it would be a bad thing, it’s the first time in the series that they are significantly mentioned by a character.
They eventually find the cabin they were looking for and in addition to the red drapes Cooper notes some other connections between it and his dream including there being “music in the air”. In terms of more solid evidence they also discover the One Eyed Jacks poker chip that Laura bit into, hidden in a cuckoo clock.
There are some great examples of the distinctive Twin Peaks cinematography in this episode include a couple of shots where the faces of those involved in the investigation line up in profile, a shot recently referenced in the Fringe Season 3 episode “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide”. Music is also used to great effect once again and another atmospheric song is used to create suspense as The sheriff’s department is hiking through the woods. ‘Into the Night’ is a moody piece of music which they hear as they approach the second log cabin and has apparently been playing on a loop since the night Laura died.
Other important developments include the revelation that Ben is scheming with Josie as well as Katherine to get his hands on the mill, and she gives him the Ledger that Katherine hid in her desk. Meanwhile his daughter makes headway on getting a job at the perfume counter, threatening her new boss with claims of sexual harassment if she doesn’t get the position she wants in addition to continuing spying on her father back at the Great Northern.
Things reach a head between Leo Johnson and Shelley as he returns home and finds himself facing the barrel of his own gun, Shelley fires a shot but the audience doesn’t see what happens to Leo. Before this he endured a beating from Hank Jennings who has now returned to Twin Peaks and is working in the Double R Diner.
There’s a few other good scenes in this episode filling in the gaps between the more interesting Cooper stuff including the Briggs family’s appointment with Dr Jacoby and a meeting between Donna, James and Maddy in the diner where they use Laura’s cousin to discover more of her secrets.
Leland‘s mental state continues to get worse and he ends up interrupting Ben’s party for the Icelanders by dancing again when music inexplicably starts during Jerry’s speech. The failure of the microphone, the music starting up out of nowhere and Leland’s actions make it feel like there’s some strange forces at work. For those attending the party, Katherine manages to spare Ben any more embarrassment by amusingly turning Leland’s despairing hand gestures into a dance move which soon everyone at the party is copying.
Though it began with Cooper keeping a straight face while Audrey battered her eyelashes it’s impossible for him to ignore her advances in the last scene as he finds her tucked up naked in his bed and it ends with her begging him not to make her leave. The audience is left with two cliff hangers this episode, what happened after Shelley shot Leo and what will Cooper do about the Audrey situation.
The plot moves along nicely in Episode 5 with just the right mix of weirdness and humour to make it another gripping installment. Even some of the less compelling characters have some interesting and well acted scenes.
Rating: 9/10 Seriable Stars.