Fire Watch With Me: So funny it's scary
Note: The following post contains spoilers for "Twin Peaks" season one, episode three, entitled "Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer."
The third episode of “Twin Peaks" opens with the introduction of Ben Horne’s (Richard Beymer, “West Side Story”) creepy brother Jerry (David Patrick Kelly, “K-PAX”) and ends with Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee, “Winter’s Bone”) whispering the name of her killer into Dale Cooper’s (Kyle MacLachlan, “Blue Velvet”) ear. Overall, a wild ride. “Zen” is equally as terrifying as it is humorous. I laughed out loud about as many times as I cringed in fear.
The most prominent and confusing part of the episode was Dale’s elaborate, multifaceted dream sequence. In the dream, Dale talks to two men who claim to have killed Laura before he finds himself in a room with Laura and a strangely deformed man. Laura and the man speak in distorted voices, and Dale looks like he has aged decades. There is one moment where Laura comments on the theme music as if she can hear it, saying, “Where I’m from, there is always music in the air.” She seems to insinuate that the town of Twin Peaks may have some sort of paranormal property beyond that of the average town (just a theory). I was left with a lot of questions.
Another key scene is Dale’s tactic (throwing chalk at empty bottles) to identify which “J” name is significant. This scene is also a creative way to help the audience recall some of the key characters involved in the scandal. There doesn’t seem to be any method to Dale’s madness, but he seems to be on to something. The chalk strikes the bottle at the mention of Leo Johnson (Eric DaRe, “Starship Troopers”), Laura’s drug dealer to whom she owed $10,000.
- Dale taking one sip of his coffee, spitting it out, and exclaiming “damn good coffee!”
- Bobby (Dana Ashbrook, “Psych”) and Shelly (Madchen Amik, “Sleepwalkers”).
- Harry (Michael Ontkean, “The Descendants”) and Dale’s friendship.
- “Welcome to amateur hour.” - Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer, “RoboCop”)
- Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie, “The People Under the Stairs”) attacking her husband (Everett McGill, “Quest for Fire”) with a hug after inventing the world’s first silent drape runner.
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