Twin Peaks Rewatch Project - Season 1, Episode 5
The staff of the Talk Film Society takes you on a journey back to Twin Peaks, episode by episode. All leading up to the premiere of the new season in May.
Title: "Episode 5 aka "Cooper's Dreams"
Original Air Date: May 10, 1990
Written by Mark Frost
Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter
This episode, entitled 'Cooper's Dreams', funnily enough begins with Agent Cooper being waking up in the middle of the night at the Great Northern Hotel, he can't seem to sleep because of very loud, singing and dancing Icelanders, who there for a business.
The on-edge Cooper grabs coffee and runs into Audrey down at the Great Northern's cafe. She continues to be smitten by Cooper, wanting to help with Laura Palmer's case in order to get closer to him. As always, Cooper keeps his wits about him, not being sidelined by the doe-eyed eighteen-year-old.
Elsewhere in the Great Northern Hotel, Leland Palmer, still a mess, goes to the Horne brothers. Having made a spectacle of himself at his daughter's funeral, Leland begs Ben Horne to allow him to help with the Great Northern's business just to have something to occupy his mind. When Ben suggests he go on a trip, Leland crumbs to the floor and says, "I'm afraid to, Ben. I'm afraid." The downfall of Leland, since finding out about Laura's death, has been painful to watch and a testament to Ray Wise as an actor.
Back on the Laura Palmer case, Cooper, Harry, Dr. Hayward, and the rest of the investigatory crew comb Jacques Renault's apartment for evidence. They found Leo’s bloody shirt there, which was planted by Bobby, who was doing it to get back at him because he's in love with Shelly, Leo's wife. The meddling of Shelly and Bobby continues as Andy asks Shelly about Leo's whereabouts. Shelly replies that she saw Leo and Jacques together arguing, further piling the suspicion onto Leo.
The dots begin to connect even further as it turns out it was Jacques' blood on Leo's bloody shirt. Jacques is M.I.A. as the evidence mounts. Cooper finds a copy of Flesh World magazine. Laura also owned a copy of Flesh World and the ads in the magazine continue to play an important role. Ronette Pulaski was featured in the ads, and she made Jacques' address her ad's contact address. Turns out there was another ad that used Jacques as the contact address; the ad's faceless profile photo comes into focus when Cooper sees the red drapes in the background. "It's Laura...The drapes. Red drapes, Harry. From my dream.", Cooper says.
Cooper's detective skills are second-to-none within the little town of Twin Peaks. What drives his intuition are his dreams—unconventional to say the least, but he seems to be getting results.
Cooper and the gang head into the woods, in search of Jacques' cabin. They all run into The Log Lady, and she invites them to tea. Cooper, after hesitating to do so during their first meeting, finally asks the Log Lady's log what happened on the night Laura was killed. The Log Lady speaks for the log:
"Dark. Laughing. The owls were flying. Many things were blocked. Laughing. Two men, two girls. Flashlights pass by in the woods over the ridge. The owls were near. The dark was pressing in on her. Quiet then. Later, footsteps. One man passed by. Screams far away. Terrible. Terrible. One voice."
"Man or girl?"
"Girl. Further up, over the ridge. The owls were silent."
Two men, two women. Laura and Ronette, Jacques and Leo? Harry then asks, "Who's the third man?"—in what has to be a sly reference to the Carol Reed's classic noir The Third Man.
Jacques' cabin is stumbled upon and an orgy of evidence is found. The red drapes, Waldo the bird, twine that looks to be the kind used on Laura and Ronette, and a One-Eyed Jack's casino chip, cracked with a piece missing. At this point, we already know there was a jagged piece of plastic found in Laura's stomach, and now we know where it came from.
Audrey, meanwhile, is investigating the case her own way. She 'convinces' the manager at her father's department store to give her a job working behind the perfume counter—the same position held by both Laura and Ronette. In a scene in which she uses her seductive power at full force, she grabs the hapless manager by the tie and lays it out for him:
"You’re going to tell my father that I’m busy as a bee wrapping boxes with the drones, and then you’re going to put me to work at the perfume counter. Because if you don’t, I’m going to rip my dress in half, scream at the top of my lungs, and tell me father that you made a pass at me. Does that help to clear things up for you?”
Later, Audrey attends the Icelandic business shindig at the Great Northern Hotel, where she spies on her dad, Ben, and Catherine secretly plotting and kissing in his office. It seems like Ben and Catherine's plot to burn down the mill and take the land from Josie is still well underway...Until it's revealed that Josie and Ben are actually in cahoots behind Catherine's back, with Josie showing Ben the secret ledger Catherine was hiding. Deception upon deception upon deception, that seems to be the key to surviving in Twin Peaks. Some people aren't contempt with keeping one secret, they have to at least juggle two or three.
Leland finds his way at the Icelandic party and continues his emotional breakdown with a tear-soaked dance routine. Ben is embarrassed and sends Catherine on the dancefloor to liven things up. It becomes a full-blown spectacle as the patrons around Leland start laughing and dancing along, thinking it's all part of some weird American tradition. To top it all off, we see Audrey looking on, in tears, feeling the pain Leland is exuding. It's yet another purely Twin Peaks moment—tragedy laced with comic absurdity.
There are several other character moments leading everyone to the final two episodes of the season. James and Donna are bound closer together as they try to get to the bottom of Laura's secret past. James reveals his father left him when he was a kid and his mom is an alcoholic. He says, “It’s the secrets people keep that destroy any chance they have of happiness” They enlist Laura's identical cousin, Maddy, to help them find any clues, which she does—a tape hidden in Laura's room.
Bobby has a breakthrough with Dr Jacoby. He confesses, "Laura wanted to die." Jacoby, at this point, knows more about Laura's past than he's led on. The doctor talks about Laura wanting to corrupt people, which makes Bobby sob. Bobby says Laura made him buy drugs because there was a darkness inside her. It's a chilling scene, and as we find out what was really going on with Laura in her final days, it becomes more and more clear that the dark forces that brought her down were from outside and within.
The episode ends with two cliffhangers. First, Leo comes homes, as violent as ever to Shelly, but finds her wielding a gun and not willing to take it anymore. A gunshot rings out, off-screen, and we don't know what exactly happens to Leo. We only see a swinging overhead lamp—a motif that continually comes into play in Twin Peaks. Then, in the last scene of the episode, Cooper comes back to his room, first frustrated by the continually loud Icelandic visitors, then shocked to find an emotional shaken Audrey in his bed asking not to make her leave.
'Cooper's Dreams' is chockful of pieces of the mystery coming together. We have only two episodes left in the season and it feels like this episode is bringing everything to a head. Needless to say, while this may not be one of the best episodes of the series, Twin Peaks is still working at the top of its game.