Welcome to Diane… #21

This week Rosie, Adam and Mark get tangled up in Twin Peaks episode 19, also known as The Black Widow.

When Dale Cooper handed in his badge and gun he, and we, lost more than his earthly raiment and authority. Twin Peaks lost a lightning rod, and  this week on Diane storms strike haphazardly in the fashion of everyday magic.

Ben Horne raises a monolith, Little Nicky is plagued by persistent random misfortune, and Lana Milford is bewitching. Our monitors are pointed at deep space but perhaps the messages we’ve been intercepting are coming from right here in the woods.

*

She guardeth the Abyss. And in her is a perfect purity of that which is above, yet she is sent as the Redeemer to them that are below. For there is no other way into the Supernal mystery but through her and the Beast on which she rideth.

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11 Responses to “Diane… #21: Twin Peaks Episode 19 – The Black Widow”

  1. John Says:

    Hi Team Diane,
    I love how joyful you’ve been with the last three episodes…you’re halfway through the certified dearth of the show and you’re finding wonderful points to discuss as usual. High props maintaining rarified air…few podcasts have gone this distance half as gracefully.

    Love the topic of the UFO lore…can’t wait to hear what you all think about the Secret History.

    Also a huge fan of the scene at the Briggs’ house, from acting to the camerawork. The aviator garb is a huge plus in my book.

    Pathos vs bathos is an excellent distinction when explaining what generally happened to the show after the reset button. Ebb IS necessary (loved that topic) though I count among those who think the ebb lasted a little too long if it wanted to maintain an A+ through its entire run.
    You made me think again how anime shows handle their ebb: they’ll have that one episode when the kids go to the hot springs and there’s the bikinis and fan service as a release valve. And then the next episode starts the next psychological descent.
    One single episode for a break. I think Twin peaks probably could’ve gotten away with two and a half to keep a perfect record, but I tend to like the stroll from the path anyway and don’t much mind TP’s rough edges.
    Except Malcolm. Malcolm is my symbol, the single word I use, to embody the stuff of Twin Peaks that went wrong.
    Little Nicky might be most everyone else’s, but LN is there for the birth of the Dick/Andy comedy duo and that counts for many points of joy with me.

    Dick Tremayne’s wild ride, btw, involves a large walk-in closet, sharp shoes, an economical bottle of wine, and one floor model waterbed.

    I do enjoy the “domestication of Mike” but there some heavy duty No Means No afoot between Nadine and Mike at the beginning. I love where they end up, and there’s a certain karma that Mike’s earned this sort of treatment, and even ten years ago No Means No Didn’t Always Mean No in public opinion much less 25 years ago, but there’s still enough Pepe Le Pew here to give me pause. I believe the word I need is Conflicted.

  2. John Says:

    And your blog art stops just short of showing Douggie’s pinkie ring. On purpose?

  3. Anton B Says:

    I felt the most jarring element in this episode was the vignette of little Nicky dressed as a devil superimposed over Andy’s head. I wonder whether this must have been a screenwriters decision because going to the trouble of dressing the kid up in a Halloween costume to film him just for this one effect would require some pre-planning. It’s odd because I don’t think we see a character’s thoughts elsewhere in TP portrayed in this comic book way. It strikes me as an attempt to be ‘Lynchian’ or post-modern that falls a little flat. As though they suddenly decided to add a laugh track.

    The return of Garland Briggs is a stone cold favourite of mine, an epic scene enhanced by the performances of all concerned. It’s odd though, and probably testament to the strength of the scene, but my memory of it is that he was missing for longer than just two episodes. Ah the aviator costume! Once again whatever timeless spiritual energy is in the woods provides an anachronistic costume. A functional visual icon suggestive of all lost airmen. Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart etc. It suggests that time is meaningless in the Lodge. That Garland has travelled in time as well as space. It recalls also the classic folk tales of people being ‘Pixie led’ returning after minutes in fairyland to discover years have passed back home.

    ‘James’ Wild Ride’is perfect. My take on it is still that the woods are a gateway and that he’s found himself in an alternate universe. A liminal noir meta-narrative adjacent to the worlds of ‘Twin Peaks’, ‘Invitation to Love’ and ‘Fire Walk With Me’. Non-diegetically it strikes me as an attempt once again to be ‘Lynchian’ with elements of ‘Lost Highway’ and ‘Blue Velvet’.

    Thanks for the mention in the podcast guys! You can’t imagine how chuffed I was when Rosie exclaimed “…and Anton is A MAGICIAN!”

  4. Felix Reuter Says:

    I enjoy this strech of episodes (17-22)!
    I´m so glad that you love Dick Tremayne because that seems to be a rare thing among Twin Peaks-podcasters. I simply love Ian Buchanan´s condescending look and the stupid smug grin on his face.^^ I also think the interplay between Dick and Andy is hilarious and that´s why I mostly enjoy the Little Nicky-plotline. It gets even better when the two team-up to look into Nicky´s files and when they get scolded by Doc Hayward until they start crying. It´s so absurd but that´s why I love it.

  5. Felix Reuter Says:

    Major Briggs is also a favourite of mine. The scene between him and Bobby in the dinner always makes me tear up. He basically tells him what every son wants to hear from his father: That he has faith in him and believes that he will have a happy future.
    It´s nice that they reference this event in this episode when Bobby tells it to his mom. The Briggs-family is also something I would´ve liked to see more of. Especially Betty´s and Garland´s relationship seems to be interested, as you already noted how sexual and intimate it seems. It´s like they share this deep bond and she´s the only person that don´t get the “that´s classified”-routine from him. Interesting.

  6. Adam Says:

    “He basically tells him what every son wants to hear from his father: That he has faith in him and believes that he will have a happy future.” Yes, that’s exactly it! The visionary-poetry of the dialogue and its monological thrust are designed to make that universality hit hard.

    I wish we’d had this conversation before I talked about Briggs’s monologue in Diane #8 http://diane.libsyn.com/twin-peaks-episode-8-may-the-giant-be-with-you

  7. Kit Says:

    A totem pole is a great call for the construction in Ben’s office (especially given their artefactural presence in the PNW – Vancouver is presumably the closest airport to One Eyed Jack’s, and they have an entire garden of ‘em greeting international visitors as they step out of the arrivals lounge)…

    But – and maybe it’s just an offshoot of reading American news every day this month, and having watched Gremlins 2 the night before this ep, but: Ben has built a skyscraper with his name on the top, and insists on imposing upon others an assertion that the most important thing people think is “who lives in the penthouse?”

    Regard this tower with my name on it. Wonder in awe what mighty businessman lives at the top, and cannot be brought low by the mere collapse of most of his businesses. Believe me, many people are asking – it’s true! – many, many people are asking who lives in the penthouse.

  8. Adam Says:

    I’m surprised we didn’t mention a certain tycoon buffoon.

  9. Russ Says:

    All hail Diane,

    Another wonderful podcast, and I must echo John’s comment about how much interesting conversation you create from what are often considered the slower parts of the Twin Peaks river.

    Now that I am finally caught up with the podcast… I wanted to chime in a bit regarding the discussion about Agent Denise Bryson and Duchovny’s casting in the X-Files. There is another strong parallel with Mulder, as Carter envisioned him as embodying stereotypical (especially in the sense of TV Drama) feminine traits (and Scully the masculine ones). I’m wondering now, if Carter was inspired to some degree by Twin Peaks to do so, or if Duchovny’s performance and the character of Bryson just made it a perfect fit for what the XF casting team had in mind.

    (FYI – I live about 30 minutes from North Bend/Snoqualmie (and a life long resident of the area), if you ever have odd questions about the region that I might be able to give another perspective on, please let me know.)

    Thank you!

  10. Adam Says:

    Cool, thanks Russ! Interesting thoughts about Duchovny. You could be onto something

  11. Matt M Says:

    I think a big thing driving the frisson in the scenes between the Briggs men (aside from the excellent writing) is the fact that, unique(?) among Twin Peaks families, their story is explicitly split between the high weirdness and the “low” soap opera (the Palmers operated more fully in the former, the Hurleys/Hornes/Martells in the latter). Seeing Bobby pulled into the big mythos stuff, even for a scene, is jarring.

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