Welcome to Diane… #20

This week we cover Twin Peaks episode 18, also known as Masked Ball. As we find ourselves deep in season two the narrative structure seems to have collapsed

But isn’t this the fate of all structures?

Join us as  we channel the disembodied voice of Windom Earle and insist that THE KING MUST DIE. Ben Horne considers his fallen empire, Mayor Milford mumbles his way off stage, and Dale Cooper can no longer be constrained by the governing authorities of the FBI. Dear listener, it’s time to focus out beyond the edge of the board.


Thou mayest go to the mountain
Whereon three temples stand,
And see there this affair.
Keep watch
Inspect thyself
And shouldst thou not bathe thoroughly
The Wedding may work thy bane.
Bane comes to him who faileth here
Let him beware who is too light. 

Welcome to the bit of the webpage where, after the wedding, we curiously seek engagement. We are  very lucky to have found such a warm and welcoming listener community, and your ears alone are more than enough for us to take much joy in…

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Next episode: Tangled webs woven

10 Responses to “Diane… #20: Twin Peaks Episode 18 – Masked Ball”

  1. John Says:

    Hi Team Diane, another wonderful episode right in the middle of a great Twin Peaks week. Any week with a new Diane, Deer Meadow Radio, two Mark Frost interviews and a new TP novel is HEAVEN.

    I think the best-put explanation of the perceived problem with Season Two was here in your podcast when you said how this was an enjoyable episode with plenty of good within, but you suppose a few episodes in a row of this sort of thing would try one’s patience.
    This is especially true when you figure this episode through the next six or so were right in the middle of Operation Desert Storm pre-empting TV all the time. Not only were we getting relative fluff pieces of Twin Peaks episodes compared to what we’d come to expect, we also had to fight really hard just to get (and find) it in the first place. Twin Peaks was less heavy and harder-fought for. Left an interesting flavor for the fans to deal with. (I know I mostly dropped out after this episode the first time through.)

    Harley Peyton’s since personally apologized for the Evelyn Marsh plotline…I forget how the topic was dealt with but it definitely came up in his interview on the Brad Dukes Podcast posted on Feb 10 (his episode 11).
    I think you’re right that the plot’s a by-the-numbers noir story instead of somehow subverting the formula anywhere. Beyond the board from a production standpoint, this is the part of the production where (the supernatural should’ve been included more and) Frost was often absent for pre-production on Storyville and Kyle McLachlan put the kibosh on the Cooper-Audrey romance plot, so among other hasty decisions, the James plot was stretched out to a larger size than initially intended. In episodes where this subplot took up less minutes per episode (and therefore carried literally less narrative weight) they might’ve been able to pull it off, but that’s fast decisions made on little time for you. Some work okay, some work less well.
    Also around this time, James Marshall wanted to be written off the show. Not sure he did this during the subplot or before the subplot was begun, but it must figure in a little.
    Btw: Don’t think this town has a name. Never heard it, never seen it anywhere.

    Malted Milkshakes are amazing. It’s the Guinness of Milkshakes…has that extra grit that adds an intensity to an already-fantastic product. Basically malted milk balls in milkshake form. Now I want one again.

    Roger Hardy’s actor is one of Peggy Lipton’s co-stars from Mod Squad.

    One of the TP moments I quote more than most is Mike Nelson saying “oh hell” A ton of my frequent quotes are from this period.

  2. John Says:

    forgot one thing:
    Catherine Martell’s first name came from Nance and Coulson’s previous marriage, because of that particular way he says Caaaaathrine that comes so naturally.

  3. Anton B Says:

    I like to think the place James finds himself in is the same place where ‘Invitation to Love’ happens. Anybody dumb enough to think they can actually leave Twin Peaks ends up in its diegetic alternative soapiverse. And I’m not even sure how meta I’m being here.

    I’m vaguely mapping a Lewis Carroll connection in my head. Not quite fully formed but here goes. Perhaps you can make something of it. Alice in Wonderland takes place in a world of (amongst other things) living playing cards where whimsical logic rules. Twin Peaks references playing cards with One Eyed Jacks and its Poker games. Alice’s sequel, Through the Looking Glass features living Chess pieces. Twin Peaks Season Two has Cooper and Earle engaged in a game of chess using real people. Twinning, doubles and mirror images feature heavily in both books. At various points Alice doubts her own identity. Both books have a chapter where she becomes lost in a forest, questions her sanity and meets some very scary mad people who talk in riddles. The very phrase Through the Looking Glass evokes a (Spoilery) precursor of the series final scene. There’s likely more.

    Some interesting facts there John thanks.

    Another great podcast guys!

  4. Adam Says:

    John, “the guiness of milkshakes” ftw.

    Thanks for unpacking the reasons why the James subplot is so weak. Never put that together before. Makes a lot more sense now.

    Anton, my brain went in the Lewis Carroll direction for all of two minutes a few weeks ago then pulled back to focus on something else. I like your thinking.

  5. Mark Says:

    There´s a Jamaican punch that you actually make with guinness. Haven´t tried it yet. Sure it´s well nice.

  6. Mark Says:

    Sorry, the reason I bring it up is it´s made with guinness, condensed milk and nutmeg, so very shaky.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I’m almost certain a character directly references or quotes Alice at some point. I can’t remember where or who but I’m thinking either Major Briggs, Doctor Jacoby or Pete Martell. Any ideas?

  8. Anton B Says:

    ^ came up anonymous again. That was me obvs. ;)

  9. Anton B Says:

    So, some more thoughts on the Lewis Carroll/Twin Peaks connection

    The theme song ‘Falling’ recalls Alice falling down the rabbit hole.

    early in the pilot Cooper says he saw a cottontail rabbit. Sheriff Truman says “It must have been a snowshoe rabbit.” In other words a White Rabbit.

    You’ll like this one. Alice often reflects on her adventures as an internal monologue with her (not physically present in Wonderland) cat Dinah. As does Cooper to the always unseen and unresponsive Diane. Dinah = Diane.

    Mystical and otherworldly encounters in TP are often accompanied by food and drink. Donuts, cherry pie, the Horne bros constant gourmanderie. Alice has various encounters with reality changing foodstuff – size enhancing ‘eat me’ cakes, ‘drink me’ drinks, mushrooms, etc. In an early encounter, Albert says to Cooper “Sounds like you’ve been snacking on some of the local mushrooms”

    The backwards speaking riddles and reverse filmed movements of the Owls in the Black Lodge can be compared to the mirror writing riddles and ‘Anglo Saxon attitudes’ of Jabberwocky and the Hatter.

    Audrey’s outfit in One Eyed Jacks recalls both Alice and the Queen of Hearts.

    Leland/Bob’s manic grin and the Cheshire Cat.

    I’m sure there are more overt references but I think it’s mainly the general air of dream logic in both the Alice books and TP that evokes the parallel. Also Lynch has frequently lampshaded references to the darker elements of childrens’ literatur in his work. The good witch Glinda from OZ the blue fairy from Pinocchio etc

  10. Kit Says:

    On the FBI internal investigator having heard such great things about the pie at the Double R — I don’t take this as meaning that he’s palled around with Truman or Andy or anyone off-camera, but an intentional indication that, as part of his investigation (or something more sinister!), he’s heard all of Coop’s dictaphone tapes sent back to Diane.

    (Watching at roughly one episode a week, and trying to get caught up to you guys!)

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