Twin Peaks Most Underrated Episode: 25
I am just about done with my way through the Blu Ray release of Twin Peaks. I have watched it all. I started with Fire Walk With Me and have continued through the series. I know that it is really easy to stop at episode 16 and just watch the show as the story of Laura Palmer. I never do this. I always watch the show from start to finish. This time, I have to admit I am not hating the second half of the second season. Even more so, I would like to contend that episode 25 of season two is one of the best episodes of the series and contains the most "Twin Peaks" scene ever. I call it the Happy Scene. This seven minute scene written by Harley Peyton and Robert Engels is everything Twin Peaks had the potential to be. It is funny, quirky, different, lovely and in the end scary. It begins with Gordon Cole played by David Lynch seeing the beautiful waitress Shelly. Gordon Cole who is hard of hearing can hear Shelly for some unknown reason. This is played for full out comedy effect as he screams at her and she whispers to him. But it has a deeper meaning that Twin Peaks is about. The fact that technology or the New World can never compete with the simple fact of Love. Beauty and emotion wins over the battle of Cole's Hearing Aids. The other factor of this scene is Madchen Amick's acting. Her embarrassment is so real. There is so much to watch in this scene but actually watch the little touches she adds to her interaction with Cole and Cooper.
The scene continues with Cooper and Annie. Cooper wants to tell Annie a joke as he is ordering his meal. To watch our straight laced agent Cooper be reduced to giggles by a woman makes it seem all right that they didn't get him together with Audrey. Cooper may have been Audrey's love but she was never his. Again, it is a side actor that makes this scene work. I think this is Michael Ontkean's best acting in the series. He is just watching the two of them. Everything we are thinking, he is thinking. He has very few lines and he doesn't need them. This is another reason why Twin Peaks worked. Truman was never a second fiddle to Cooper. They were equals. Cooper was there for Truman with Josie, Truman is there for Cooper with Annie. In the real world, we call that friendship. I have always believed that the reason we love television is because we want to spend time with friends. If Truman wasn't such a respectable character, we wouldn't love Cooper as much.
At the end of the scene Annie notices what Cooper has been doodling and says that it is the symbol at Owl's Cave. This brings this seven minute scene to a BOB type ending. The music gets scarey and we realize that this was the point of the scene. They were lulling us into happiness to bring everything back to the fact that evil is still out there. Because we have been grinning ear to ear for the last few minutes, the drama is thicker when Cooper says he has to see Owl's Cave. There is no fluff, no infantile humor, just happiness. This is what Twin Peaks is about to me. It was creepy (Owl's Cave.) It was funny ("My Socks are on Fire.") It was about Love (Annie/Cooper. Gordon/Shelly.) It was unexplainable (Gordon hearing Shelly.) This is the most Twin Peaks scene in the series. Yes, I know Cooper and Leland's scene in episode 16 is a close second, but this has every facet of the show.
The rest of the episode is also back to form. There are no wasted scenes. They focus on the people we care about and Windom Earle becomes a very potent villain as he interacts with our favorite heroine, Audrey Horne. By the time this episode played, the network had made their decision. Twin Peaks was all but gone. I remember waiting those 6 weeks between episodes only to have them pull the show one episode after this one. The show was as dead as Laura Palmer, we just didn't know it yet.
So for all of you who got the box set and just watched the deleted scenes, I want to challenge you to give the entire series one more look. I will be totally honest with you and tell you I have fast forwarded through all of the James/Evelyn story and all of the Andy/Dick/Lucy story. In doing so, the show is still a marvel. And while I would still say that Episode 9, 16, 8, and 14 are the best episodes of Twin Peaks. I would most assuredly pick this Episode to round out my top 5.
Order the Box Set here. This contains all the deleted scenes we discuss.
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