Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summer of Twin Peaks: Episode 2-Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer

Directed by David Lynch and written by Lynch and Mark Frost, the third episode of Twin Peaks entitled Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer is an episode which picks up from the previous episode as many cope with Laura’s death as well as the things that are happening in the town. Special Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman continue the case where Cooper’s fellow FBI agent Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) would come in to aid in the case much to Truman’s dismay. Meanwhile, certain events and such would play into the investigation as well as the town of Twin Peaks becoming more ominous.

It’s an episode that starts off with its mixture of cheesy soap-opera dramatics and its offbeat yet quirky humor that would play into not just the charms of the small town but also into some of its darker elements. Notably the business that Leo Johnson is running as he would confront Bobby Briggs and Mike Nelson about the money they owe him where the former would make a secret vow to Johnson’s wife Shelley to kill him just several hours after meeting Leo. Other dark elements include a world that is outside of Twin Peaks where Benjamin Horne gets a visit from his younger brother Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) as the two go to the Canadian border to a brothel/casino called One Eyed Jacks where the two flip a coin to see who can sleep with the new prostitute.

The comedic elements would include not just the Hayward family witnessing Audrey Horne dancing to a jazz tune at the diner but also in Cooper’s approach in the investigation inspired by Tibetan ideals. It’s a scene where it is quite playful but allows Cooper to have Truman and the other people in the sheriff department be part of this as equals. It’s among one of the finer moments of the episode where Cooper seems to enjoy himself in the town and is happy to work with Truman and the staff as he would smile when he saw Truman chew out Rosenfield. It is a moment where Rosenfield thinks he is in charge and accuses the people of Twin Peaks as amateurs where the receptionist Lucy would make a face at him.

Another funny moment that plays into David Lynch’s warped sense of humor is the opening scene where the Horne family are eating dinner as they’re interrupted by Jerry who brings in baguettes with brie as Benjamin goes nuts over it. It is part of Lynch’s own idea of a world where kind of makes fun of family dramas but also add an element of danger. Then there’s the surreal dream sequence towards the end of the episode that becomes part of the series’ trademark. It’s where Agent Cooper finds himself in a mysterious room with a woman that looks like Laura Palmer as he meets this strange little midget talking backwards that is known as The Man from Another Place (Michael J. Anderson). It is part of the surrealistic elements that Lynch is known for yet is very effective to its sense of intrigue and offbeat tone where this mysterious being would also dance to the jazzy score by Angelo Badalamenti.

Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer is one of the finest episodes of the series as it manages to balance the strange mix of humor, drama, and surrealism. Notably as the entire cast including the appearances of David Patrick Kelly and Miguel Ferrer all bring in their game and more. Even as David Lynch manages to bring in some unique visuals and compelling stories for audiences to be engaged by. In the end, Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer is a riveting episode of Twin Peaks.

Twin Peaks: Season 1: Pilot - Episode 1 - Episode 3 - Episode 4 - Episode 5 - Episode 6 - Episode 7

Season 2: Episode 8 - Episode 9 - Episode 10 - Episode 11 - Episode 12 - Episode 13 - Episode 14 - Episode 15 - (Episode 16) - (Episode 17) - (Episode 18) - (Episode 19) - (Episode 20) - (Episode 21) - (Episode 22) - (Episode 23) - (Episode 24) - (Episode 25) - (Episode 26) - (Episode 27) - (Episode 28) - (Episode 29)

Season 3: (Coming Soon)

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me - (The Missing Pieces)

© thevoid99 2015


Chris said...

I love the dwarf scene, it's so strange, and yet so Lynch. Possibly the most iconic scene from the whole series, with the red room, backwards speech, secret whisper, jazzy score, dance, aging Cooper, and the mysterious shadow moving along the wall. Agree it's one of he finest episodes of Twin Peaks, and for me among the best dream sequences ever put to film.

thevoid99 said...

@Chris-Agreed. How can anyone not love that?