Welcome back, fellow Peaksies, both old and new! This week, we inch ever closer to the reveal of “Who Killed Laura Palmer”, but there is still some splainin’ to do about just what BOB is exactly before the full reveal can happen. “Demons” is written by Harley Peyton and Robert Engels, and directed by the show’s strongest non Lynch director, Lesli Linka Glatter. I remind all new followers of these recaps that you can find all the previous Twin Peaks: Revisited columns right here and catch up. And this is, as always, a spoiler-free recap.
Episode 14: “Demons” – Aired November 3rd, 1990
The episode begins at the moment the previous one left off, with Harold Smith freaking out and threatening both Donna and Maddy with a garden rake, which he has pulled down his face in a rage, for trying to steal Laura’s diary from him. Harold tells Donna that he thought she was different, but she’s like all the others…”you lie, and you betray… And then you laugh about it. You are unclean, and have contaminated me.” Harold demands that Donna give him back Laura’s secret diary, and as they struggle over it, James bursts through the doors and rescues the girls. Harold, of course, doesn’t follow them outside, because of his agoraphobia. Sadly for Donna, her plan was for nothing, as he’s still got the diary–the whole thing was a failure. As James and Donna embrace outside, Harold retreats among his flowers and plants, howling in agony.
Cooper carries the rescued Audrey into a bedroom inside the Bookhouse, and lays her down. She’s still delirious from the overdose of heroin that was forced on her by Blackie and Jean Renault. She starts babbling about feeling heavy and sinking deeper and deeper, but once she realizes she’s with her “Special Agent,” she begins to come back to herself. “I prayed that you would come…and you did.”
In front of Harold’s, Donna and James watch Maddy drive off. James says that they should stick together, and that if they do, their hearts will be safe forever. (Yeah sure, James. That’s how that works.) Back at the station, Harry starts going through book of criminal mug shots. Cooper walks in and tells him that Audrey was “this close” to a lethal dose of heroin. Harry then tells Coop that he’s identified Blackie’s killer as Jean Renault in the book, and he tells Cooper about the surveillance tape he saw in Blackie’s office, and Cooper deduces Jean’s plot: to kill him for revenge in capturing his brother Jacques. Cooper is vastly disappointed in himself, and tells Harry that he left his jurisdiction twice, and now Audrey is paying the price. Although Harry reminds Coop that that Audrey is safe now, Cooper is still feeling frustrated and guilty. Harry tells Cooper that he is the best lawman he’s ever met, but “sometimes, ya think too much.” (Ugh. It’s always been my experience that only dumb people that tell me that.)
Late at night, Cooper meets Ben in the Great Northern Hotel dining room, with the briefcase of money. He reports that Audrey was being held at One-Eyed Jack’s, and that Blackie, who was at least partially responsible for her kidnapping, was murdered by Jean Renault, and that now Audrey is recovering from a drug overdose. Ben counts his money and seems much more concerned about his returned stash than Audrey, but plays the part of the the concerned parent anyway. Ben hugs and thanks Cooper, completely dripping in insincerity.
As Bobby pushes Leo awkwardly through his kitchen in a wheelchair, their insurance agent congratulates Bobby and Shelly on their dedication to the “poor unfortunate Mr.Johnson.” Shelly signs the agreement and the agent gives them their first check, which is only for $700, and not the $5000 that Bobby was hoping for. Realizing she’ll have to quit her job at the Double R to take care of Leo, Shelly begins to freak out. It’s at this moment when the comatose Leo begins to make a noise. Is he coming out from his coma? If so, that really can’t be good for anyone.
Donna tells Sheriff Truman about Laura’s secret diary hidden at Harold’s. Harry warns her that she’s like the boy who cried wolf, and the last time that she played this game, Dr. Jacoby ended up in the hospital. It’s at this point that Gordon Cole, Cooper’s supervisor, enters the scene. He’s deaf and uses hearing aides, so he basically goes around screaming everything. Gordon delivers Albert’s reports: the hair from outside Cooper’s room from when he was shot was from a vicuna coat, and the drug from Gerard’s syringe was a unique combination, a weird mix he’s never seen before. Also, the papers from near the train car where the murder took place were from a diary. Hawk enters the station, dragging the one-armed man Phillip Gerard with him, and Harry then takes them all to his office.
Ben visits the recovering Audrey at the Bookhouse, ready to take her home, she acts like she can barely stay in the same room with him, after everything she’s seen and learned about him at One Eyed Jacks. “We’ll sort this all out together” Ben says. “Yes we will. You and I” says Audrey.
Nadine, still thinking she’s 18 and in high school, comes home and asks Ed where her parents are. Ed improvises and says they’re still on vacation in Europe. “Let’s act like we’re married or something” Nadine says to Ed, who assures her that really won’t be too hard. With her new found super strength, she throws Ed down on the couch and says they can stay home all night and neck.” Poor Ed looks like a deer in the headlights.
Josie Packard is crying and zipping up her dress while Jonathan gets dressed himself (did he just rape her? It certainly seems that way by the way Josie is acting.) He tells Josie they are leaving that night for Hong Kong, under the orders of the mysterious Mr. Eckhardt. Josie argues that she still needs to be paid from the insurance money, as well as by Ben Horne. “I’ve waited five years for this,” she tells Jonathan, who reminds her that he will kill Harry if she does not leave with him that night.
James pulls up on his bike to the lake, where Maddy is waiting for him. James sits next to her, and he apologizes for their romantic confusion of late. “You looked at me and you saw Laura. Want to know something funny? I liked it.” Maddy says that it felt good, for awhile anyway, that James was confusing her for Laura, and that it was like taking a vacation from herself. She says that he and Donna belong together, and that it’s the best thing. Maddy says she’s going home the next day; she came to Twin Peaks for Laura’s funeral, but it’s time for her to get back to her own life. She kisses James on the cheek and says her farewell.
At the Great Northern, Ben hands Josie a glass of wine.”To the fire” he says, standing over the fireplace. Ben is filibustering, but Josie says she won’t leave Ben’s office without her money. Ben threatens her with his secret file on her late husband Andrew’s death. “I will bury you, so you behave yourself lady.” She rebounds saying that if anything unfortunate were to happen to her, it will lead authorities to her own key, which leads to a safety deposit box in another city full of evidence against him.”They’ll bury us side by side” she says, smiling. She knows she’s got him. Ben signs over to her the check from the Bank of Tokyo. “Well played, Josie” he says, as Josie closes the door behind her.
Bobby, Shelly, and Leo have a party “celebrating” Leo’s homecoming. Leo is in his wheelchair with sunglasses and a party hat on with a kazoo in his mouth, all while Bobby and Shelly make and get drunk right out in front of his comatose body. At one point Leo’s head droops forward, and Shelly screams, thinking Leo has woken up. Bobby then brings out a cake for Leo, who falls face first into it, and has to be pulled back up by the ponytail. Bobby and Shelly can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of their situation.
Cooper meets Gordon at the station house. Gordon tells Cooper that Albert thinks Cooper is in over his head, like he was in Pittsburgh, and that “today, you remind me of a small Mexican chihuahua”. Gordon delivers an anonymous letter that was sent to the home office. It is an opening move from a chess deal. It is from Windom Earle, Cooper’s former partner.
Ben and Leland enter Ben’s office. Ben says he needs Leland back as his attorney once again, and Leland tells Ben that he’s 100%….no, he’s 110% even. Ben says Jerry is on his way to check out the new investors in Japan, and they need a way to delay the project. Leland suggests several barely legal ways to do so, and Ben is thrilled to have his old devious attorney back in the saddle. “That’s my Leland.” he says.
Harry enters Josie’s house, and finds Jonathan carrying a full load of suitcases to the car. Josie tells Harry that he’s her assistant “Mr. Lee”, and that she’s leaving Twin Peaks for good, after having sold the mill to Benjamin. Harry tells her she can’t leave, that he loves her and she has to stay. She tells him to forget about her as she prepares to leave town.
Ben lights a cigar at a table with the Japanese businessman Mr. Tojamura, who asks why he has nothing for him, when Ben already has a cashier’s check for $5 million. Mr. Tojamura says he will withdraw. As the two are negotiating, you can here the sounds of a piano and Leland’s voice begin, singing “Getting To Know You” and Ben excuses himself, and tries to get Leland to quit it and stop attracting attention to himself, but he keeps going, and even gets Ben to join in. As Tojamura watches from the bar; sitting next to him, Pete Martell turns and says “The King and I!” finally recognizing where the song is from. Pete asks Tojamura if he likes musicals, to which he simply answers “I find adherence to fantasy troubling and unreasonable.” I’m sure that’s in no way a pointed comment to the audience or anything.
Back at the station house, Coop, Truman, Hawk, and Cole interrogate Gerard, who is now begging for his medicine. Cooper asks if he suffers from schizophrenia. Cole says “if we give him the medicine, we’ll never see the other side.” so Coop refuses. As Gerard begins to seizure, afterwards he starts to speak in an otherworldy voice. He says his name is MIKE, and he is an inhabiting spirit, who takes possession of the “vessel” Gerard from time to time. He says that BOB was his familiar, and they used to kill together, until MIKE saw the face of God and took off his arm. He also says that he cannot reveal where BOB comes from. “What does BOB want?” Ask Cooper. MIKE says, matter of factly, “He is BOB, eager for fun. He wears a smile….everybody run.”
MIKE explains about the parasites, and says that BOB needs a human host to feed on fear and the pleasures. Cooper then begins to speak in unison with MIKE, and together they recite the same poem from Cooper’s dream in episode three: “Through the darkness, the future past, the magician longs to see, one chants out between two worlds, fire walk with me.” MIKE says he remained close to Gerard only in order to stop BOB. He says that the picture is BOB’s true face, but few can see it: only the gifted… and the damned. “Where’s BOB now?” Asks Cooper. MIKE Closes his eyes, and says “a large house…made of wood. Surrounded by trees. The house if filled with many rooms, each alike, but inhabited by different souls, night after night.” Coop quickly realizes MIKE is referring to the Great Northern Hotel.
This episode marks the first appearance on screen of FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole, Agent Cooper’s boss. He’s played by series co-creator David Lynch, and is really just a louder version of himself. He would make a few more appearances over the course of the series, as well as the big screen prequel Fire Walk With Me.
Al Strobel, The actor who plays Phillip Gerard, the one-armed man, a/k/a MIKE, was only hired to skulk around the hospital in the pilot episode, as an homage to the show The Fugitive, where the protagonist was pursing a one-armed man. But the actor was so good, Lynch and Frost developed this character and mythology for him that tied into BOB and the murder of Laura Palmer.
This is an improvement over the last few episodes, and in fact is one of the better non Lynch-directed episodes of the series. Almost every scene is great, from Harold Smith violently feeding his plants and screaming in pain at his betrayal, to the introduction of Gordon Cole, to Maddy’s farewell to James. Sure, there’s the one cheesy scene with Donna and James, but it’s so brief as to not bring down the episode in any way. And the final scene, where Gerard is taken over by MIKE, well…that’s one’s just damn creepy. While this still pales to next week’s episode, that’s nothing to be ashamed of, as next week’s episode is one of television’s finest hours. But we’ll get to all that next week.
Episode rating: 4 out of 5 burritos