EPISODE 5 – “COOPER’S DREAMS”
Written by Mark Frost, Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter
Airdate May 10th, 1990
At The Great Northern, Cooper is being kept awake by Icelanders who have descended upon the town to hopefully invest in Ben Horne’s Ghostwood Estates development project. Their revelry lasts throughout the night. The next morning at breakfast, Audrey drops by Coop’s table and tells him she got a job. She’s about to tell him where – the perfume counter at her father’s department store, same as Laura and Ronette Pulaski – hoping he’ll let her help with the case, but he’s in a hurry and cuts her off. Their conversation ends with him asking how old she is. A perfectly-legal 18 is her reply. Mmm-hmm. “We’ll see you later, Audrey,” he says, which could be Coop’s version of “All right, all right, all right.”
The Horne brothers reunite. Jerry says any noise complaints from the other guests are worth the trouble, because the Icelanders are nuts for the Ghostwood idea, and furthermore he’s fallen head-over-heels in love with a snow queen named Heppa. She gave him an entire leg of lamb, so obviously she feels the same. They discuss a gala planned for that evening in which they hope to cinch the deal with the Icelanders, but if that doesn’t do it, Ben’s thinking a trip to One Eyed Jacks for some drinking, gambling, and whoring will. Then a disheveled and disoriented Leland arrives. He’s heard there’s a new investment group in town and as Ben’s lawyer he thinks he should be there to help them finalize things. Absolutely no one else agrees with him. Leland collapses, crying.
When Coop shows up at the apartment of Jacques Renault, Truman gets him up to speed on the man. Jacques is Canadian and used to work in lumber before he blimped up and said adios to manual labor, started bartending at The Road House. He’s been missing going on two days now, as has his younger brother Bernie. Doc Hayward’s there as well and on the phone with the medical examiner: the blood on Leo’s shirt doesn’t belong to Laura or even Leo – it belongs to Jacques. There’s already an APB out on Leo but it hasn’t yielded anything as of yet. Coop notices something about the apartment ceiling and gets Truman to give him a leg up. Behind the panels there he finds an issue of Flesh World (for “Swingers Coast to Coast”), the same magazine found in the train car where Laura was murdered. Coop mentions the magazine ad featuring Ronette Pulaski also found at the train car; he thinks it came out of Flesh World. Confirmation follows shortly when they find an envelope in the magazine addressed to Ronette care of a PO Box Coop is willing to wager is registered to Jacques. They read the correspondence and study a photo of a bearded man in lingerie. As their stupefaction expands, Coop casually wonders aloud if Truman noticed the picture of Leo’s truck on the open page of Flesh World?
At Leo and Shelly’s, she’s making breakfast for Bobby. Bobby acts out a hypothetical encounter with Leo if the man were to happen upon them, using Shelly’s pistol for added effect. The act is interrupted by Deputy Andy coming to call. Bobby tells Shelly to remember what he told her then disappears in the back. Andy’s looking for Leo. Shelly wants to know why, and if it’s about Laura. Andy wonders why she wonders that, and that’s when she feeds him the rehearsed line about seeing Leo with this guy named Jacques Renault and they were arguing about Laura before driving off together. Andy buys it hook, line, and sinker, and splits. Bobby and Shelly celebrate their duplicitous victory with some grade-A making out that gets interrupted when Leo calls. His ears must be burning, because he’s wondering if anyone’s come by looking for him. Shelly says no, the coast is clear and it’s safe for him to come home. The pistol she stares at longingly would seem to suggest otherwise.
Norma drops by Big Ed’s Gas Barn cuz she knows Nadine’s out of town for the afternoon. She tells her secret lover that Hank’s been released from prison and will be returning to town. She hasn’t told Hank about her and Ed, just like Ed hasn’t said anything to Nadine about him and Norma, mostly because Nadine is fucking nuts. Their love is still star-crossed and Norma’s starting to think it’s going to stay that way. She wants her distance to think things over. Ed, ever the gentleman, consents to her wishes.
At Horne’s Department Store, manager Emory Battis tries to stick Audrey in the gift-wrapping department, but she uses her ample wiles to bump herself up to the perfume counter. She’s so persuasive, in fact, she even convinces Battis to keep her relocation a secret from her father. I’m pretty sure with those eyes she could’ve convinced him to go skinny-dipping in Pearl Lakes on New Year’s Day.
James and Donna meet at gazebo in the park. James, as usual, is emoting: he says he lied about his dad being dead, the dude’s a bum musician who abandoned him and his mom a long time ago. Mom is a poet and an alcoholic (as if those two professions are separate). She’s out of town like he tells folks, but she isn’t travelling, she’s off on a binder of booze and boys, it’s a regular thing for her. He’s telling Donna all this out of the clear blue because secrets destroy happiness, he says, and he wants nothing but happiness for them. That includes figuring out what happened to Laura so it doesn’t haunt them.
Back at Jacques’ apartment, Coop finds a picture of a cabin with red drapes, like the room in his dream. Hawk returns with letters from Ronette’s PO Box, which was indeed registered to Jacques as Coop suspected. Looking through the letters, Coop realizes there are two ads being responded too, both using the same address. Ronette’s ad is one of them and the other he looks up in the issue of Flesh World. When he finds it, though the picture of the girl doesn’t include her face, Coop knows it’s Laura because of the red drapes in the background. He also finds among Jacques’ papers a bill for heating oil, something an apartment dweller wouldn’t need, but a guy who owned a cabin – like the one in the photo – would. Truman offers that during interrogation Bernie Renault mentioned just such a cabin out in the woods by the Canadian border.
Laura’s cousin Maddy meets James and Donna at the Double R. Donna has her swear to secrecy, because they want her in on the hunt for the truth. Donna knows Laura had a secret hiding place somewhere in her bedroom, and they need Maddy to find it and see what’s hidden there. Maddy agrees. Little do they realize that recently-paroled Hank is sitting in the booth right behind them, and he seems quite intrigued by their discussion. Just then Norma and Shelly return from the salon. This is the first time in a long time that Norma has seen her husband out of prison, in person, and without supervision. She marks the occasion by putting him to work washing dishes.
Major and Mrs. Briggs are worried about Bobby’s recent behavior in the wake of his girlfriend’s murder and so have taken him to Dr. Jacoby for family counseling. Jacoby, however wants to see Bobby alone. He wants to talk about Laura, specifically the first time they made love. He’s wondering if Bobby cried. He’s wondering if Laura laughed when Bobby cried. Jacoby knows these things from sessions he had with Laura in which she discussed them. With nowhere else to go, Bobby aims for the truth and tells the doctor Laura told him she wanted to die because everything in the world was rotten and terrible. Jacoby wonders if Laura wanted to die because of a horrible secret she held, the same secret that made her mean and manipulative and controlling. Bobby can testify she was all those things, and confesses it was Laura who made him sell Leo’s cocaine.
Coop, Truman, Hawk and Doc take a hike through the woods looking for Jacques Renault’s cabin. They find a cabin, but not the one they’re looking for. This one belongs to Margaret the Log Lady, and she’s been waiting for them. She invites them inside for tea and cookies, but no cake. Better to talk inside, she explains, because the owls can’t see them there. Coop is hesitant but the others convince him to play along. They’re two days late, she says once all are settled, and her log has been waiting because as mentioned in the pilot, it saw something significant the night Laura died. Margaret touches briefly on her own backstory, how her husband “met the Devil” and died in a fire the day after their wedding, and how the log might possibly hold his spirit. Then, with the introductions out of the way, she tells Coop he may address her log now. He asks the log what it saw that night Laura. Margaret translates in staccato images and riddles: dark, laughing, the owls were flying, many things were blocked, two men, two girls, flashlights pass by…the dark was pressing in on her…later footsteps, one man passes by, then screams from far away, female. It dawns on Coop and the others that Margaret aurally witnessed the murder. They continue through the woods the way she indicates. They know who the two girls she heard are – Laura and Ronette, obviously – and speculate that the first two men are Leo and Jacques. But when it comes to the third man, the later-footsteps man, they have no idea who it could be. A sonic trail of eerie music playing on repeat leads them to the right cabin, the one from the photograph with red curtains in the windows. Inside the music is revealed to be coming from a skipping record player. Coop remembers the line, “And there’s always music in the air,” from his increasingly-prophetic dream. The cabin walls are covered in red curtains, like the room from Coop’s dream. But there’s no one here. No one human, that is. There is a mynah bird, presumably the famed Waldo owned by Jacques and suspected of being responsible for the bite and claw marks on Laura’s shoulder. Hawk discovers a camera with film in it, and Coop locates the common brand of twine use to bind Laura. Truman finds a cuckoo clock full of One Eyed Jacks poker chips, and one of them is missing a sliver just the size of the one recovered from Laura’s stomach.
Josie is alone in a room at the Great Northern, having a smoke. Elsewhere the gala welcoming the Icelanders has begun. Pete and Catherine are there, as are the Briggs. Jerry and his snow queen Heppa are canoodling. Everyone’s having a swell time eating, drinking, and making merry. Then Leland shows up. Before he can go off the rails, Catherine takes an opportunity to mess with Ben and facilitates an immediate secret meeting in his office. Audrey sees this going down and slips into her hidden corridor between the walls to spy on them. Catherine’s pissed about the poker chip that fell from Ben’s pants at the hotel during their last tryst. He offers a non-gross excuse, but she doesn’t buy it. He’s unconcerned, and they kiss anyway then talk of their plans to burn the mill. Audrey hears it all. Back at the gala, some idiot plays “Transylvania 6–5000,” which you might recall is Leland’s trigger song, and he starts cry-dancing with himself again in the middle of everyone. Ben, desperate not to let Leland’s lunacy ruin another deal, coerces Catherine into dancing with Leland. It diffuses the situation and even starts a new dance craze I’m calling the Bullwinkle. In her room, Josie continues to smoke.
Maddie sneaks to the telephone after Sarah’s gone to sleep to call Donna and tell her she found a cassette tape hidden in a bedpost and will share it with them tomorrow.
Ben goes to where Josie is waiting for him. Turns out they’re colluding, too, and might have had romantic relations in the past. That Ben Horne, he gets around. He learned from Catherine where she hid the real mill ledger then alerted Josie as to where she could find it; in return, she’s brought it to him. Furthermore, it would seem she’s in on the plan to burn down the mill.
Leo returns home. Before going inside he gets two gas canisters from under the house and starts to load them in his truck but is ambushed by Hank, who’s pissed because Leo was supposed to look after Hank’s drug business, not steal it. He threatens to kill Leo and Shelly, then leaves. Leo goes inside and starts to take it out on Shelly but she pulls the gun on him, she won’t be hurt again. He doesn’t think she has the guts, but she does and shoots him. We don’t see where the bullet hits him, but from the sounds he makes, nowhere good.
The episode ends where it began, at The Great Northern. Coop is returning to his room after a long day. When he gets there, though, the door is already ajar. Coop draws his weapon and enters. The room is dark. He senses a presence. He tells the presence to reach over and turn on the light. The presence obeys. It’s Audrey. In Coop’s bed. Naked.
This episode was the first of four directed by Lesli Linka Glatter, who at the time was known for directing an Academy-Award-nominated live action short and some work on AMAZING STORIES. Since TWIN PEAKS she’s worked on tons of A-list primetime programs like NYPD BLUE, LAW & ORDER SVU, FREAKS AND GEEKS, GILMORE GIRLS, THE O.C., THE WEST WING, GREY’S ANATOMY, HEROES, ER, WEEDS, MAD MEN, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, TRUE BLOOD, THE NEWSROOM, and HOMELAND, among others. Fun fact: in the season 1 finale, Glatter earned her only-ever acting credit as “One Eyed Jacks Servant.” Blink and you’ll miss her.
Co-creator Mark Frost wrote the episode, which deals with the merging of the two worlds of TWIN PEAKS – the physical realm and the metaphysical realm – via the nexus of Cooper’s dreams. Everything about Jacques Renault’s cabin in particular, with the music, the dark floor, the red drapes is an appropriately cheap recreation of the red room Coop dreamt of, down to the shadow of a bird manifesting as Waldo in reality. These real-world clues discovered by (or more likely, delivered to) Coop’s subconscious are the only things advancing the case at this point, which opens the weird factor even wider, because it’s one thing for a place to produce these kinds of visions, but it’s another for them to be true when the visions end. Makes one wonder who or what, consciously-speaking, is communicating these things to Cooper, and Sarah, and why. Laura’s murder, it turns out, isn’t the bigger mystery, it’s merely a symptom of the bigger mystery, of which we’re only at the outskirts.
Next week – EPISODE SIX: “REALIZATION TIME”
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Related Topics: One Perfect Shot, Twin Peaks