Sunday, February 22, 2015

Part Four: Zen, Or the Skill to Catch a Killer

Notes on Twin Peaks

~ a chronological examination of the tv series and film ~

A lot has happened since the last post in this series: The Entire Mystery was released with the deleted scenes from FWWM, and, miracle of miracles, plans for a new season on Showtime was announced, as well as a novel by Mark Frost to inform us of the happenings in the town of Twin Peaks over the last 25 years (at least that is my understanding...)

It doesn't change the schedule of these posts, but it is interesting to be commenting on series that is once again a live entity: it gives any conjecture or theories regarding TP an element of falsifiability, as the new series could prove all the old ideas to be incomplete, and lead us off in whole new directions. I'm fairly sure it will.

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In Zen, Or the Skill to Catch a Killer, Lynch returned to direct for the last time in the first season, as he went into production on his next feature film, Wild At Heart. It is also the last episode in this season that was collaboratively written by Lynch and Frost. Well crafted in every respect, it is one of the high points of the series and one of the episodes that made the most long lasting impression on the culture at large.

The Log Lady Introduction for this episode revolves around the concept of ideas, and their mysterious, unknowable interaction with our minds and our experience of reality.  "All that we see in this world is based on someone's ideas. " 

How do we gain access to ideas? Through words, sometimes through dreams. "I can say it again: some ideas arrive in the form of a dream."   

Do we look for them, or do they seek us out, and we are the receivers and not the generators? "Sometime ideas, like men, jump up and say 'hello'.  

What effects can these ideas have on us, and on our interactions with others? "Some ideas are destructive, some are constructive."

52) A Tangle of Antlers

The episode opens with the Horne family around the dinner table, a fire crackling in the background, eating without speaking, for an unusually long time.

Audrey seems amused with Johnny's murmuring. The prominence of his feathered headdress, aligned with the Native American artwork on the wall, highlights his complete withdrawal from the shared reality of the family into his own private world.

Silvia seems to be seething with resentment, erupting with Sarah Palmer-esque exasperation when Jerry Horne bursts in, interrupting the silent meal. There's something very off-putting, animalistic, possibly sexual about the way the Horne brothers are appreciating and devouring those sandwiches.

The disjointed, awkward ordeal of this family dinner is reminiscent of the scene at Mary's in Eraserhead, with the brie-and-butter baguettes filling a similar role as the tiny bleeding chicken presented to Henry.

These scenes, and the later dinner-table scene in FWWM where Laura's fingernails are inspected, seem to share a common thread, where a meal becomes an uncomfortable facade, hiding away resentments, disgust and unspeakable impulses.

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Ben decides to take Jerry to One Eyed Jacks. The camera pans in on the mural on the wall just outside Ben's office, and dissolves from the waters in the painting to a boat jetting along a lake at twilight (half-night?).   

I like the feel of that transition - it seems like another instance in Twin Peaks, like the black and white photos in the Sheriff's office, which suggests the influence of the past on the present, especially how the history of human interaction with the land and the woods reverberates through time, an unacknowledged presence among the current action.

That mural, with two workmen, possibly lumberjacks, looks like from some time early in the 20th C., is one of the few pieces of the Great Northern's decor that is not Native American-inspired. To me it seems like an  emblem for Ben Horne's capitalist designs for the future of the Ghostwood Forest.

As Ben and Jerry move past a pool table to the bar at One-Eyed Jacks, we get a glimpse of an antler chandelier atop some copper pendant lamps.  As an ornamental piece it fits well with hunting-trophy decor prevalent in the town of Twin Peaks, and thematically ties in with deer imagery throughout Twin Peaks several other of Lynch's films.

A deer in The Straight Story.
Later in this episode, the scene in the Palmer living room of Leland dancing with Laura's framed picture is introduced by the camera holding on a painting of a deer. It seems to have a hole in its right ear.

By it self it does not suggest a lot, but as the series progresses, images of deer continue to be connected to young women, especially in the context of danger or predation: a similar painting is eerily connected to Maddie Fergusson's death, and another is connected briefly with Donna Hayward.

Another link:  for one scene in the pilot, Lara Flynn Boyle recalled this moment of direction from Lynch:
David came up to me and said quietly, in my ear: "Think of how gently a deer has to move in the snow…"

One odd thing about the deer imagery and the connection to young women: why always the antlers? These deer images are all of antlered males.  I don't have an answer to this: maybe the connection between this gentle species and the idea of hunting is enough, that the relation between humankind and deer has resonances to the dynamics between men and women in general.

If so, the tangle of antlers in the chandelier would be fitting piece for a place like One Eyed Jacks, for all the young women from the perfume counter who've passed through these premises throughout the years. A dark cycle is implied, with Blakie and her history with heroin and the Horne brothers being an echo from the past, and the "new girl" being its continuation.

The red curtains lining the hallway: definite sexual connotations, and one of the many elements of the Red Room sequence that were foreshadowed through the episode leading up to it.  One reason why that final scene had such a heavy impact may have been that many of its component elements (visual, auditory, thematic) were subtly & subconsciously included in many of the early scenes.

These opening scenes with Benjamin Horne, with the depictions of family dynamics, unspoken tensions, predatory sexuality initiate many of the uncomfortable themes that will be at the heart of Twin Peaks.

53) Astrological Clock

Intercut with the brothel scene is a midnight conversation between Donna and James in the Hawyard's living room. The shot of the boat gliding over the lake transitions back to a fireplace, and once again the homes of the Horne's and Hayward's are linked through the presence of fire.

The juxtaposition the two scenes also again highlights the generational divide in Twin Peaks, and the threat of corruption of youth; the lascivity of the Horne brothers and their excitement over "being first in line" for the young woman at One Eyed Jacks seems all the more grotesque & degenerate when compared to the love emerging between Donna and James.

The conversation between Donna and James is introduced by an interesting shot of the Hayward's grandfather clock, whose ticking pendulum can be heard in the background throughout the scene. Above the clock-face there is an antique "moon dial", which displays the current position of the moon in its 29 and a half day cycle.

The dial actually seems to be set accurately, judging from later scenes, as the moon is now waning, at about the 18th day of its cycle, moving towards a waning crescent before its eventual disappearance. This moment between Donna & James, in the chronology of Twin Peaks, seems to take place on the cusp of Saturday Feb. 25 and Sunday Feb. 26, with Agent Cooper having arrived in Twin Peaks the morning before (Friday, Feb. 24th), the murder of Laura Palmer having taken place the night before, around the time of the full moon.

This image of a moon: a previous post in this series mentions the transitional shots, images of the wind blowing in the pines, the fireplaces, the lake and the waterfall, that recur throughout the early episodes. As the season progresses though, shots of the moon in it's various cycles of waxing & waning seem to gain prominence, and possibly connected to occurrences in the series' narrative, particularly the cycle of murders connected to BOB. More on this to come.

The moon dial is the first occurrence of the planetary & stellar symbolism running through Twin Peaks, from allusions in the Red Room, to symbols in the Owl Cave painting and Andrew Packard's zodiacal puzzle box.

For this scene though, I like how this connection with the starry heavens is made with the budding romance of Donna and James: somehow the presence of this clock, ticking throughout their conversation, reminds me of the original "star-cross'd lovers", Romeo + Juliet: not that Donna and James are ill-fated, so much that their attraction is so pure that it is connected up to the influence of much larger cosmological events.

I'll include this illustration to give a sense of some traditional planetary symbolism & correspondences. (We can look up the 4H club symbols now, in preparation.) Astrology isn't the only the esoteric mythos that Twin Peaks incorporates, but it lends a sense of anachronistic mystery that I feel is well placed.

From The Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery

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I noticed the Gilmore Girls have a similar moon-dial clock in their foyer. Alas, the roman numerals on the clock indicate it was not the Twin Peaks set-piece wandering off into another series. It would have been another nice connection to the town of Twin Peaks and Stars Hollow, along with the coffee obsession, the quirky small town characters, and the substantive roles for Madchen Amick and Sherilyn Fenn - who was one of several actors to play two separate roles in the series. Kind of Lynchian.


54) Figure with Headdress

In the next scene, Dale recieves a call from Deputy Hawk, concerning details related to the deepest elements of the Palmer case: Ronette and the Pulaski's, the One-Armed Man, the hospital. There is always this touch of surrealism or absurdism surrounding these elements, and they seem less related to the soap-opera dynamics of social life in the town, and more to do with that mysterious force emanating from the woods, the element that makes this a "Blue Rose" case.

Deputy Hawk usually seems to be involved in these very aspects of case; he is later the one who tracks down the One-Armed Man to the Timber Falls Motel. The detail of the figure with the feathered headdress standing behind the phone (I think it is the only time we see it on Cooper's nightstand) underlines, for me anyways, Hawk's mysterious connection to the process of this investigation.

Is that whistle the completion of the whittling project Cooper was working on in Truman's squad car in the Pilot? I believe so.

55) Mystery Man with Leo

Who is the mystery man lurking in shadows during Mike and Bobby's late night meeting with Leo?

My guess is Bernard Renault, younger brother of Jacques and Jean. 

Why he is disguised like this is difficult to say. One of those many one-off details in Twin Peaks, that appears, and then appears to lead to no place in particular. It generates mystery, however.

56) Ed with Grease

The sign for Ed Hurley's gas station, with that radiant egg, below the Canada goose, seems to me a completely untouched mystery of the series, such an odd emblem for a gas station. Come to think of it, was the term "gas farm" ever in common usage somewhere in America, or is it peculiar to this establishment? I don't think I've ever heard it before.

I am reminded of this photo of Lynch, from GQ Style: in the days before the announcement of the a third season, I remember someone arguing that the combination of the mechanic's wrench, the engine oil and the egg implied that Lynch was once again creating in the Twin Peaks world, his mind returned to Big Ed's shop. Maybe they were right.

This scene with Ed and Nadine is the first point in this series where there is an emphasis on the substance of oil, and on the sound it makes as it drips. A brief detail here, but it seems to connect into elements of the Lynch's episodes at the beginning and end of the second season, which involve scorched engine oil, strange hospital food and garmonbozia.

Interesting to note that engine oil will be the substance that allows Nadine's drape runners to move smoothly and silently. It is a substance that facilitates the opening of boundaries.

Nadine Hurley twisting back the metal handles of her rowing machine, surrounded by dumbbells. One prominent example of the many instances of home fitness equipment throughout Twin Peaks, from Cooper's inversion-therapy boots to the stationary bikes in the Palmer living room and Ben Horne's office.

Let no one say that Nadine's dramatic strength gains in the second season were not well plotted for from early in the first.

57) Tibet

One of the most iconic scenes of the series: Cooper's rock-throwing divination method. Revealed to him in a dream, used to generate a lead in the case, it once again demonstrates the balance in Cooper's investigative method, between deductive and non-rational techniques.

It appears to use an element of apparent randomness to produce an omen or a sign, providing an opening for guidance that logic could not produce. The stack of logs behind the array of donuts seems appropriate: like the Margaret Lanterman's companion, the element of wood somehow allows for communication with the spirit world.

The jar shatters at the name of "Leo Johnson", and it is interesting that here, as later with the Giant's clues, ("locked in hungry horse"), Leo is indicated as the way forward in this case, and not something directly related to Leland Palmer. The Giant also make reference to Jacques Renault's body in the "smiling bag": it seems like these otherworldly forces are always pointing Cooper toward investigating the dark side of Laura's life, the drug use and promiscuity surrounding her relationship to Leo and Jacques.

Interesting comparison with Blue Velvet: Jeffery Beaumont, walking through a field on his way home from a hospital visit with his father, is picking up rocks to throw at a distant bottle when he discovers a severed human ear. (He misses that time.)

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The rock-throwing scene hightlights Cooper's interest in the Dalai Lama, Tibet, and its spiritual heritage, which I think in some ways serves as an analogue for Lynch's own interest in Transendental Meditation and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  The mention of Tibet, here and in subsequent episodes, also foreshadows the inclusion of the Tibetan Book of the Dead at Leland's death in "Arbitrary Law."

The "Tibetan Book of the Dead" is an English-language publishing title for a Tibetan text, the Bardo Thodol, or "Liberation through Hearing in the Intermediate State."  The Tibean word bardo refers to a intermediary or transitional state experienced by consciousness, of various types, including dreaming, meditation, waking consciousness, and the period between death and rebirth.

The Bardo Thodol, shown here printed on unbound strips of cloth paper, contains instructions to be read to people after they have died, to guide them through the bardo that occurs after death.

A few points from the Bardo Thodol that I think can relate to Twin Peaks specifically and to Lynch's other films:

- clear light: the Bardo Thodol describes a "clear light" state that arises after death, being something like pure consciousness itself, without any object within it. Brilliant lights are described throughout the text as manifestations of pure consciousness.

- images of deities: after the "clear light" fades, deities of various sorts are said to arise, among various other sorts of psychedelic imagery.  Commentators like translator Robert A.E. Thurman note that the imagery associated with these spiritual realities will differ between cultures and individual experiences. I relate this to the idea that the mind will generate its own symbols, sometimes bizarre, to represent non-material forces in realms of the spirit/psyche.

- Guardian of the Threshold: the Bardo Thodol mentions a Guardian figure, an accuser who brings up misdeeds from one's previous life, related to fear, guilt, karmic consequences. Similar figures are mentioned in mythologies in other parts of the world.

A Wrathful Deity

A good documentary on the Bardo Thodol, narrated by Leonard Cohen, for any interested:

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Later in the episode we see Lucy reading up on the Tibet - there something endearing about the way Lucy provides ancillary research to the various developments in the Palmer case, from reading through academic tomes on Tibet, to learning chess and boggling through the many permutations of R B T.

I like the way the everyone, no matter their apparent aptitude, is given a place in this work and a chance to contribute, something about the small town ways of Twin Peaks that Albert, with his commitment to professional excellence, cannot seem to understand.

Lucy is sporting a new sweater in this episode. I can't find any thematic connections between episode and her attire's design, as with the stoplight broach, but it is I suppose a nice sweater nevertheless.


58) A Mountain Range


An beautiful & arresting shot of the mountain range that overlooks the Double T Diner. Judging by the shot below and David Lynch's sketched map of Twin Peaks, I think it is the western half of the Twin Peaks, White Tail Mountain.

59) Invitation to Love


Shelly catching a moment of Twin Peaks' show-within-a-show, "Invitation to Love", with bruises on her face from the previous episode. The bare stud walls contribute an element of sadness.  Accompanying the soap opera's tacky theme music is a the title written on a card like an actual invitation to a party, laying on a fabric looking very like blue velvet.

When I first became aware of Lynch's works, primarily through Blue Velvet and Lost Highway, I could sense a cultural reputation surrounding Lynch for the bizarre and the perverse, an atmosphere of transgressive darkness and body horror. His work certainly bears that out in many places: the claustrophobic, post-apocalyptic nightmare of Eraserhead, the incest and murder in TP/FWWM, the murders, jealousies, and psychic disslocations of Lost Highway, Mulholland Dr., and INLAND EMPIRE. Grotesque, godless images: the lobotomized figures of the Yellow Man in Dorthy Valens apartment, Andy impaled on the coffee-table in Lost Highway, the decomposing body found in the bed in the Sierra Bonita apartment. The screwdriver in IE.

In all these works, however, there seems to remain a possibility for the admission of light and transcendent love, though moments of thses seem much rarer & more fleeting, countervailing this dark blackness, but much more elusive and easily lost. Scenes come to mind like Jeffery dancing with Sandy at the house party, Alvin Straight sitting with his brother on the porch, or Nikki's embrace of the Lost Girl.

In the many worlds of Lynch's films, there seems to be an "invitation" to love pervading the long intervals in the dark, maybe over many cycles of life.

60) What is going on in this house?

As mentioned above, a shot of a deer painting introduces the scene of Leland dancing in the living room. I can't actually locate where it is hung in the house, though later in the series there is a similar painting hung to the left of the fireplace. Over-top the shot of the deer we can hear Leland snapping his fingers, and then see him snapping frantically before he sets the album to play.

A wave of relief seems to wash over him as the music begins, a jazz standard popularized by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, Pennsylvania 6-5000. The song features the sound of a ringing telephone, followed by the band shouting the song's title, a phone number (presumably said to an operator).  It fits in well with interesting in phone calls in Twin Peaks, messages and connections being made through operators (like Lucy), impulses moving through electrical cable and telephone wires.

Unlike the modernist, film noir-ish Badalmenti style of jazz, this song is of the Big Band jazz style, calling us back to an older time. Some have suggested that this song may have personal connections for Leland: it came out in the 1940s, presumably around the time of Leland's childhood, and the references to the "Robertson" and the white house by his grandfather's summer house on Pearl Lakes, and the trauma suggested by the "flicking matches."

Interesting too, that the song suggests making a connection to Pennsylvania (though technically that number is for an area around Penn Station in New York.) In speaking of his own life, Lynch has often spoken of the period he spent in art school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a dark time in his own life, filled with anxiety.

... the city was full of fear... The feeling was so close to extreme danger, and the fear was so intense. There was violence and hate and filth. But the biggest influence in my whole life was that city.

The inclusion of the record player draws a connection back to Henry's apartment in Eraserhead, which looks like it's of a similar style.  INLAND EMPIRE opens with the image of a spinning record, and a reference to "Axxon N, the longest running radio play in history." (Actually, the title screen that precedes the record seems to show a locomotive headlight in the distance, and the clacking sounds of a train car moving along a track bleeds into the sound of needle spinning on a record. The theme of trains and records seems somewhat connected here, as in Twin Peaks.)

Whatever the connotations the record player has, to me it suggest the a cyclic pattern of behavior, which resonates deeply with the cycle of abuse that runs through families, and the cycles of killings related to Leland/BOB within Twin Peaks. Leland's dance with Laura here consists of a distraught, manic spinning around the living room floor.

Leland's jacket contains a zigzag pattern similar to that of the Lodge floor, another element of the Red Room dream sequence that is woven into earlier parts of the episode.

61) Audrey at the Diner



We open with the appreciation of coffee, a daily sacrament in Twin Peaks, and a gateway into things beyond.  Just as in the previous episode, there is a scene of Audrey dancing in a swaying, dream-like style to Angelo Badalamenti's etheric jazz. 

Both scenes use the same track ("Audrey's Dance"), and both have Audrey dancing on geometric floor patternings: the navajo rug in the Great Northern, and here, the checkered tile diner floor.

These scenes of Audrey again provide excellent foreshadowing for the Red Room sequence at the end of this episode: the Man from Another Place dances to a very similar jazz tune, "The Dance of the Dream Man", on the black-and-white zigzag design of the Lodge. It also subtly conveys the idea that somehow the moods & atmosphere & influence of the otherworldly Lodges spills into the material location of the town of Twin Peaks and the surrounding forest, with certain people being more susceptible than others.

Audrey sees to be one of these sensitive individuals, and these dancing scenes along with her connection to the Ghostwood Forest are an early element of the series that makes think that it would have made a perfect close to original series to have had Audrey abducted into the Black Lodge, instead of Annie, an idea we can return to later in the series. 

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One last detail regarding this scene: apropos of nothing, Dr. Hayward asks to be reminded to pick up some 60W bulbs. Another little mystery.

62) The Red Room Sequence


The last Lynch-directed episode of the first season closes with the absolute mystery of the hallucinatory, surrealist "Red Room" dream sequence. The series pushes out from the offbeat small-town soap opera & dark murder mystery into the bizzare, otherworldly reality of the Lodges, to be expanded on in the much-maligned second season, and the original series finale. Here maybe we can identify some elements and trace some themes that will be expanded on & filtered through the work of many writers & directors in the Twin Peaks run, their origins stemming from this dense, surrealist vignette.

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Following the shot of Leland smearing blood over photo of Laura, we move to Agent Cooper falling asleep at the Great Northern. 

This vision of the Red Room comes to Dale in a dream, unlike the physical entrance into the Lodge that opens at Glastonbury Grove in the series finale. There is a fade from Dale falling asleep to him in a deeper sleeping posture, indicating the vision comes to him in a deeper watch of the night - most likely in REM, when the acetylcholine neurons are firing at their very peak.

The dream opens with Dale Cooper as an elderly man,  (a scene which has even gained significance for us now, as we have the chance to perhaps discover what is going to happen 25 years on...)

The Man From Another Place (MFAP) is shaking, his back turned to the camera. We can hear "Laura, Laura..." being repeated in the soundtrack. It actually sounds a lot like Lynch's own voice, but could also be a slowed-down version of Sarah Palmer's; we see an image of her descending the staircase in their house, the fan spinning in the background, and the sound of a fan prominent in the soundtrack.

A flashing light/electrical impulse flashes repeatedly across the screen, intercut with an image of Laura on the autopsy table. In Agent Cooper's original viewing of Laura at the hospital, where he finds a letter underneath her fingernail, the room's light is strobing on and off, with a buzzing electrical sound heard throughout.  Even in this epsisode, we've been primed for that electrical buzzing sound with the flickering neon sign at One Eyed Jacks.

An electrical flashing announcing an otherworldly character appears thoughout Lynch's work - The Cowboy in Mulholland Dr. is a prime example.

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Cooper: Do you know where dreams come from?
Truman: Not specifically.
Cooper: Acetylcholine neurons fire high voltage impulses into the forebrain. These impulses become pictures, the pictures become dreams. But! No one knows why we choose these particular pictures.
At the opening of the following episode, Rest In Pain, Cooper explains to Sheriff Truman and Lucy his understanding of the neurology underlying the production of dreams.  It's a remarkable explanation; as someone with an interest in reading about & studying dreams, I feel like this is a really succinct & accurate account of the dream state: one part of the mind ruminates, and isolated images arise from this process, while a more familiar aspect of the mind weaves these images into narratives, as if almost to familiarize these isolated, disjointed arisings to ourselves.

This explanation of dreams also runs along the lines of how I understand the Red Room/Black Lodge scenes of the series: I think the otherworldly, spiritual formations of the Lodges are non-physical, and that the mind, as it interrelates to this alien reality, the produces bizarre, illogical imagery to symbolize the non-physical reality with which it is interacting.

It calls back to the themes of the Bardo Thodol:
... pure reality manifests in subtle, dazzling visions, vividly experienced, naturally frightening and worrisome, shimmering like a mirage on the plains of autumn. Do not fear them. Do not be terrified! Do not panic! [...] whatever sounds, lights, rays may come at you, they cannot hurt you [...] recognize them as your own perceptions. Understand that this is the between.

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From the inchoate imagery of the Red Room, the shot of the fan, of BOB, a bloody rag, and Laura on the autopsy table in the hospital, the dreams begins to settle with the emergence of MIKE reciting the FWWM verse:

Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see, 
one chants/chance out between two worlds,
Fire Walk With Me

"Through the darkness of future past": there is always a time paradox connected to the Lodge(s), where Cooper can age a quarter century, but which also seem to exist beyond the regular flow of time and space: Lodge denizens seem well aware of what will happen in the future ("The later events have never been kept a secret") and lack the experience of relativity that marks our side of the veil ("You are here and there is no place to go...")

"between two worlds": like the idea of the bardo state, often translated as the "in-between", the entire series of Twin Peaks is marked by this twilight, liminal state, a gateway between here & beyond, and the beautiful & terrible things that move back and forth

After Mike alludes to the meetings above the convenience store, his former partner, the tattoo and the arm, BOB emerges, to recite his own verse, similar in form to the FWWM incantation:
Catch you with my death bag,
You may think I've gone insane,
But I promise
I will kill again
Like Mike, BOB seems to be in a mechanical room, intended I think to be somewhere in the bowels of the Calhoun Memorial Hospital. As he speaks, I believe it is the first time we hear emerge a very distinct "ringing" sound in the series' sound design, something like the sound a crystal glass makes when you run a finger around its rim.

Lynch is known for his creative and distinct use of sound design. He has an uncanny ability to find just the right pitch of a hum, a rustle, or a rumble to evoke strange, otherworldly moods and atmospheres. They affect us on subtle, subconscious levels. Some of these distinct elements of the Twin Peaks soundscape repeat often; I think of them as aural motifs, and by giving them names (e.g. "crystal ringing"  for this particular sound element) I think we can make these background cues a little more conscious, and their occurrences can give clues about connections between various characters and events. 

As BOB vows to kill again, an image of a mound of dirt appears, surrounded by a ring of candles, and the flames are blown out.

Fascinating detail: the object you can see poking out of the top of the dirt mound is severed ear from Blue Velvet.  Something very evocative about that connection: the ear serves as a Jeffery's gateway into the dark side of Lumberton, just as this ring of candles around the mound of dirt seems to draw us into the darkest aspects of the Twin Peaks story.

Also interesting, as images of the phases of the moon begin to emerge within the background of the series: there are, most years, twelve full moons annually, and there are twelve candles circling the mound of dirt here. The implications of this can be tracked as we progress.

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The dream settles once again, into a longer scene, with the Man From Another Place and Laura (or maybe Laura's doppleganger?)

The floor has a zigzag pattern, geometric like the navajo rugs or the Double R Diner checkered tiles, suggestive of duality and static electricity. It is reminiscent of the theme of duality (the lines rise and fall in alternating "twin peaks"), of the White & Black Lodges, and of course call back to the flooring of Henry's apartment building in Eraserhead.

The room has an L-shaped seating arrangement, with a staute of Venus/Aphrodite placed behind the MFAP and Laura, and a goldish-coloured Saturn ornament on a black table to the right hand of Agent Cooper.

The Man From Another Place is encountered facing away from us, shaking; he turns, claps his hands, and declares "Let's Rock!"  He takes a seat and begins to rub his hands together; the rubbing motion he makes is reminiscent to me of the motion one makes starting a fire.

The "crystal ringing" sound, the same as from the BOB sequence earlier in the dream, emerges as if from the friction of the rubbing palms, and accompanies the shadow of an object floats along the red curtain behind them. After the object finishes its transit across the curtain, the MFAP stops rubbing his hands, and the "crystal ringing" ceases.  I'm not sure what the connection between the MFAP and BOB is implied by this shared sound.

Cinematographer Ron Garcia has said in a a podcast with American Cinematographer that this shadow was of a bird (presumably Waldo, the myna bird of Leo's cabin). To me however, the shadow seems quite rectilinear, with four distinct corners, and no suggestion of a beak or of wings. My guess was that this shadowed object is symbolic of the missing page from Laura's diary, where Laura's realization regarding Leland and BOB was recorded. That knowledge lies behind a veil; like Laura's whisper in Cooper's ear at the dream's close, it is a clue floating around in the subconscious, at the moment beyond the reach of the waking mind.

Who is the Man from Another Place? What is his connection to BOB, and to Mike? And to the other Lodge spirits? Is he a benevolent figure? Does he have his own agenda? Is this Red Room part of the Black Lodge?

I don't know if answers to any of these questions even lie within the series & film of Twin Peaks. The second season and FWWM definitely hold more clues, to elaborate on these early glimpses.

To end with a final allusion to mythology, I wonder if the MFAP could be compared to a messenger figure like Hermes/Mercury?  Messenger gods exist through the world mythologies, and often play the role of emissaries of the divine to the human realm, and as guides for souls in the after-world.  Such gods are often, at the same time, trickster gods, which might align well with the enigmatic clues and statements of the MFAP.

A psychological take on the figure of Mercury:
For Carl Jung Hermes's role as messenger between realms and as guide to the underworld, made him the god of the unconscious, the mediator between the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind, and the guide for inner journeys. Jung considered the gods Thoth and Hermes to be counterparts. In Jungian psychology especially, Hermes is seen as relevant to study of the phenomenon of synchronicity...

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"No, it can wait until morning."

The episode ends with an assertion of the importance of sleep.

Kubrick Connections

Zigzag jackets.

Upscale brothels.

Work without play.

Next Up: Rest In Pain

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