Welcome to Diane… #16.

Join Rosie, Adam and Bob as they grab a beer, crack some peanuts and settle into their groove at the Roadhouse. Something sad, bad and dreamy is happening in the fourteenth episode of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks, Lonely Souls.

We witness the Reveal. Tojamura drops the mask, Harold Smith bares his soul, and the spirits at the roadhouse step into the spotlight. Laura Palmer was raped and murdered by XXXX, dear listener. We’re so sorry.

*

If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.

We’re sorry that this episode is a bit of a downer, but we hope you’ll agree it was the way to go. Please forgive us and come back next episode when we will have… maybe a little more fun. Thanks too for bearing with us while we went on holiday for a few weeks.

If you;re still reading then perhaps you like what we are doing here – in which case please help us out by clicking, sharing, liking and reviewing our little podcast. Tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell your mothers, and tell that strange soul that sits there next to yours, the one that comes out to play in the firelight and tells you to do things you know you shouldn’t do. (Like reviewing a podcast…)

As well as all that, you can subscribe on iTunes, follow Diane… on Twitter and Tumblr, and find brand new episodes of Diane… every Wednesday on Libsyn.

Next episode: Take both your souls out into the sunshine with a nice round of golf.

18 Responses to “Diane… #16: Twin Peaks Episode 14 – Lonely Souls”

  1. John Says:

    You can really hear how Twin Peaks cast its magic spell on all of you, and in turn you cast the spell on us listeners. Maybe I’m just susceptible because I’ve never completely come out from under the spell in the first place, but I love it. You’ve tackled some tough stuff this week and handled it as well as anyone I’ve listened to, and I mean that in a scholarly and poetic and respectful way.

    Love how you set the table in this week’s Diane by first explaining how Lynch was setting the table…starting with a calm moment of coffee in the morning, the claustrophobic energy in the morning scene at the Palmers’ house, building over and over progressively with every scene more ready to explode.
    How even in the diner, the place of pure compassion, (and the silly high school delusion plot) is dressed a little bit in blood thanks to a (typically seen as a treat) milkshake.

    During Ben’s arrest you talk about all the bad energy Ben’s been holding onto, amassing over the course of the past episodes, and then you play the civil war drums cue. Well played, nice touch.

    Catherine DOES like Pete, and she DOES like showing off her cleverness. She’s both of these things at the same time, of course.
    The Mr Ed sound cue is your own episode’s version of the Tojimora reveal. One last goofy laugh to be had before the steamroller’s furious momentum leans in.

    Cooper IS heroic in this episode. He WILL see this through, he WILL get to the answer, he WILL travel through the dark to be the knight.

    Mark’s idea about Leland being the smiling bag is pretty amazing. I can already feel that incorporating and weaving into my own personal set of truths about this show. Can’t wait to hear what he says about that in a few episodes.

    I love your take on Missoula, the actual background info that really feeds the metaphor, and I think all of this builds into what I’ve always believed about its inclusion: The Missoula thing I think was Lynch’s way of saying I just want to go home because you broke my mystery and I need to leave for a while. I think at the time part of him WAS Maddie, and he sent himself and Laura/Maddie/Sheryl back to a place of safety so they can all lick their wounds and work through the hurt. You talk about hauntings near the end, which makes me think, as much as anything, Twin Peaks is haunted by Lynch’s heartbreak which hit its precipice here.

  2. Anton B Says:

    Oh well done guys. You really put that one away. This is the first of your reviews where I’ve actually gone back and re-watched the episode with you. My familiarity with Twin Peaks has so far allowed me to follow your commentary from memory but I felt this one (the mid-point reveal, probably the ‘eye of the duck’ of the whole series) warranted a special viewing before I listened to your podcast and,in doing so, I could almost hear your voices in my head as I watched. Which made the haunted sadness less harrowing.

    I’m also a big fan of Marina Warner’s book ‘From the Beast to the Blonde’ and recommend it to anyone interested in the origins of European fable and folklore.

    It never occurred to me before but your conversation sparked a thought about Tojamura. That his/her reveal is a mirror of the Bob/Leland unmasking. Is it possible that (discounting for a moment the unfortunate racial oriental stereotyping) Tojamura (and his mysterious assistant) is as much of a malevolent/trickster spirit presence as Bob or The Man from Another Place. One that has momentarily, either figuratively or literally, possessed Katherine. Allowed access to our world via the fire at the mill and manifested as an embodiment of Josie’s,subconscious fears via her personal cultural lens. Your discussion of his/her very odd visual appearance reminded me somehow of the strange spirit creatures we meet in the bath house in Studio Ghibli’s animation ‘Spirited Away’.
    Do we ever see Katherine literally remove the mask?

    Also I was surprised you didn’t mention yet another example of diegetic/extra diegetic music when James and Donna mime along singing to Julee Cruise in the Roadhouse.

    Lovely lovely podcast. Looking forward to next week’s.

  3. John Says:

    Smart stuff as always, Anton…I never noticed the mirror aspect of Tojimora either but now I totally believe it.
    I can say that we never see Catherine take off the mask, just the shoe.

  4. Aaron Says:

    Tough one, I was almost afraid to rewatch this episode as it is the single most oppressively terrifying bit of filmmaking maybe ever? This time through though, I thought the reveal of the longtime abuse in the Palmer household shed a little light on two key moments.

    1) the horse – first what struck me is that this is that trope of “something that should be outside being inside” concretized to absurd levels at this intense turning point in the show. The transformation of the domestic space. This scene is all about Sarah, I think, and highlighting her complicity through silence in what had gone on in the house. The horse itself is a benign element, but it is forced into this brutal architecture. The house becomes closed off, in its own world now, you get no sense that any help can possibly come from outside. Our white knight is all the way across town, an audience member like the viewer and helpless to interfere. And Sarah herself, forced to the ground and then ultimately pushed THROUGH the ground and OUT of the narrative entirely as it approaches its awful event horizon – this moment will ultimately belong only to Bob (Leland) and Maddie (Laura). So the horse marks the moment that Sarah, perhaps the last best hope for help, is rendered inert – which to me calls out her role in the abuse perhaps since it began. In this light maybe the horse can be said to represent Laura’s innocence (though that’s certainly not all it contains as was pointed out in the podcast), and Sarah’s inability to salvage or save it even though it’s RIGHT THERE but then it fades away, it was never anything she could get to in time because of the damned GRAVITY in here…I mean where IS Sarah after this moment? Narratively we know she’s in the house somewhere but she’s not really. She’s the last light to get sucked into the black hole as everything condenses into a single point.

    In light of this I also think of those earlier scenes where an irregularly vacuumed spot on the carpet induces existential terror and ‘opens ways’ for Bob (I THINK it happens to both Maddie and Sarah at separate points, I might be wrong). Looking back, that’s got to be about the horror underlying the apparently clean and benign home setting.

    I realize this is a bit muddled but I’m still turning it over and I think there are inroads to the ‘horse thing’ when we place it in context of Sarah’s sort of classic silent mother role in the abuse.

    2) The odd note of Leland “meeting” Bob as a child on vacations with his family suddenly stood out to me again as Coop reads the diary. If Twin Peaks were not (at least partly) about elemental spirits of darkness and light entering people and taking them over, you could imagine Bob as, mundanely, Leland’s childhood abuser, inviting him over to his house, perhaps baited by cookies, all the adults who might help blissfully unaware and getting drunk back at the lakehouse. From that angle, Bob’s ‘possession’ of Leland becomes a rather direct metaphor for the cyclic nature of abuse, as so often the abused becomes the abuser later in life. And that’s nice because it leads us right back to cycles of violence, of events being forced to play out again and again.

    Love the podcast, thanks for giving me so much to think about during my graveyard shift in the obviously very creepy woods of the Pacific Northwest (I live in Portland OR in the states)

  5. bobsy Says:

    Shit man our podcast way gets the best comments

  6. John Says:

    Crap, I forgot to write about Sarah…(I think it’s) in the Missing Pieces, Sarah talks to Leland in a way that says she does self-medicate for her nerves. I think that’s where the argument comes from that Sarah might be willingly, actively complicit rather than just plain absent.
    Personally, I don’t buy that she self-medicates THAT much. Leland has to be augmenting it without her knowledge.

  7. Anton B Says:

    It’s a beautiful white horse. In fable and fairy tale the white horse is the traditional steed of the hero. It’s appearance here, riderless, is surely an intimation that there will be no hero riding in to save Maddie. Just as there was no saviour to help Laura. It begs the question – are the owls in the roadhouse warning Cooper or taunting him? Is his summoning to the Roadhouse via Margaret an attempt to help him or just misdirection? Are, in fact, the owls not what they seem? But let’s be careful, as Freud said – “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”.

  8. Rosie Says:

    Thank you so much everyone. It was important to us all do do a good job with this one so it’s really gratifying to hear that people enjoyed it.

    John: Wasn’t the Missoula connection good? Didn’t know any of that what a clever Bobsy for looking into it. The fact that it’s Lynch’s home town can’t be a coincidence, I think your sense of the meaning of the statement for him may well be dead-on. Thanks for the feedback on the sound cues as well. Our sound guy is the strong silent type but he works very hard on making us all sound good and we’d be totally lost without him!

    Anton: Tojimura is totally weird and definitely worth thinking about as another example of possession in Twin Peaks, but, like, a fun tricksterish one as you suggest. So pleased to see more recommendations for Warner her work really is just so witty and warm and clever. And yes, Ad totally did talk about the music at the roadhouse but I cut it for time. Perhaps a bad cut, we massively over-recorded for this episode think the final time on the tape was 120 mins I had a bit of a mare getting it down to 90.

    And boo to Freud we should have gone in on Ben’s cigar and tried to get the running time to a cool 3 hours!

    Aaron: Extremely jealous of where you live, in Brighton we have about 3 trees and they’re all covered in seagulls. The question of where Sarah actually *is* in the murder scene, and how this opens up questions about her complicity and silence in the abuse, is completely fascinating. I think this might be a good topic for discussion on the podcast tbh. And yes, the lakehouse and Leland and BOB. This is definitely something to be discussed because it feeds so directly into the question of Leland’s culpability, which we’ll need to get to *gulp* next episode…

  9. John Says:

    One quick thought on the Leland\Bob issue:
    The rolling theory from SW&21 has that Leland and Bob were fighting for dominance during Maddy’s murder right up until that white flash of light, and from then it’s all Bob all the time. We never see the real Leland peek out again.
    This still explains nothing about the past other than it looks like Leland wasn’t there for Maddy’s momnent of death.

  10. Anton B Says:

    You mention the evocative painting above Ben Horne’s desk and the souvenir picture of Missoula in the Palmer house. And of course this and many of the show’s sets are haunted by various framed portraits of Laura. Pictures and figurative art, both European and Native, feature heavily in the show. It should be noted that in Fire Walk With Me Laura accesses the Black Lodge in dreams via a framed painting given to her by Mrs Chalfont. Leland/Bob kills Maddie by smashing her head into the Missoula picture. Almost as though he is trying to force her literally into Missoula through the picture frame. There’s a thread to be explored here about pictures,and their frames becoming portals to the other in Twin Peaks. Note how Jacobi’s Hawaiian mural transports him to a meditative space. The very first image we see in fact, through the frame of our TV screen is the ‘Welcome to Twin Peaks’ sign with its painted depiction of the eponymous double mountains. It’s as though we are being invited to enter a portal.

  11. Ziah Says:

    Great job as usual. I’ve been catching up like mad ever since a couple weeks ago and I love the podcast. Some off-topic questions and thoughts I didn’t have a chance to ask in earlier eps:

    1) One thing I’ve always wondered is why Bobby and Mike share names with the spirits Bob and Mike? Is Lynch drawing a connection between two small-time (human) delinquents and the spirits’ higher-plane delinquent acts, which manifest much more malevolently in our world?

    2) I’ve always thought Ben & Jerry’s names were a reference to an Ice Cream company we’ve got in the states called Ben & Jerry’s. Bit of a misnomer to have two hippies making Ice Cream in Vermont be the namesake origin for two ruthless businessmen brothers, but if you look at the B&J flavors, they do share a fondness for decadence and over-consumption. Ben Cohen even suffered from a disease that meant that he wanted food that had better “mouth-feel” than people with functioning taste buds. But maybe I’m drawing a pattern after the fact.

  12. John Says:

    Aaron, I love how you explained (words, concept, etc)how Sarah becomes less and less there in the scene. It’s always been true but never as obvious and purposeful to me as after your breakdown.

    Anton, I vote the owls are pre-testing Cooper in this scene. If it was in words, I suspect it would sound like this: “do you come to us every time you’re needing an answer, or do you proactively interpret our dream information (She’s my cousin but doesn’t she look just like Laura Palmer) properly and put enough clues together to actually share a scene with Maddy Ferguson on your own initiative and therefore possibly save her because you’re actually there protecting her”
    Also your take on frames and pictures and portals HAS to be correct. The evidence lines up too well.

    Rosie, saying there’s a half hour on the chopping block makes me wish for a DVD-Extras version of Diane one day when we get to hear all the good stuff…Do any of the other commenters mind hearing a Diane episode go two hours? I’d personally welcome it.
    And there’s plenty of time for Freud when the celery stick comes in, but I love how it was said in your show about him rumbling in like a train. Thought it was nice to have a train car reference in this episode especially.

    Ziah, I think the Bobby/Mike BOB/MIKE thing is purely there to nail home the idea that there are multiple levels of reflections and mirrors throughout Twin Peaks. Being so early in the series when it was established (this was there for the European pilot), I think it’s a gut level thing that added texture more so than needing to have an explanation.
    And the Ben & Jerry’s thing is real. Their love of decadent food made room for the good gag. Other evidence it actually is this simple? These other names within the series: DB Cooper, Gordon Cole, Phillip Gerard.

  13. Anton B Says:

    Add my vote for an extended directors cut ‘Diane’. I could take two hours of Peaks chat easily.

    It’s clear the Owls find any kind of communication and movement within our plane difficult. Hence the backwards talking, odd gestures and dancing, the painfully slow old waiter, the stillness of the giant etc etc. I think we can never know just what they’re trying to tell us or, for that matter, why. In this respect I believe they stand for the essence of Surrealist dislocation in art. Which is that the juxtaposition of images, what Lautréamont described as “the chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella” should be its own reward and resists interpretation. In other words, the last thing one should ask of a surrealist work is ‘what does it mean?’

    Further to the mirroring theme. Later the giant will say ‘one and the same’ – referring to himself and the old waiter (I think this is in the finale so sorry I’m jumping ahead here). We have Bob/Leland, Mike/Phillip, Laura/Maddie, Katherine/Tojimura. Now, I can’t recall, but does the Little Man From Another Place have a double or alter ego? He is the first ‘Owl’ to appear to us via Cooper’s Dream. Is it possible he is in fact Cooper’s own alter ego in the Lodge? Or am I missing something?

  14. Aaron Says:

    Anton – Paintings, yeah…what’s happening is beyond inexorable, it’s IMMUTABLE. Sarah, Leland and Maddie are like a painting, or maybe tableau is a better word, in how they fill these more archetypal, recurring roles. I think you’re totally right that when we think about the show in terms of painting and static image it really opens up. White horses are pretty classic subjects for paintings, I suppose…is that what the horse is signifying? (i keep coming back to the horse, its the densest object in the room) That this isn’t even a play or performance we’re about to watch – its way less fungible than that, at least down here at the very bottom. We’re about to view a painting.

    Ziah – I never made the Bob and Bobby, Mike and Mike (though he’ll always be Snake to me) connection, and that’s an awesome thought. It’s certainly reinforced by the echoing of Bob’s carnal yawp with Bobby’s in the jail cell in the first episode (as mentioned in the podcast)

    Rosie – of course you’re right, Leland’s culpability is about to be the question of the hour, I didn’t quite get there – and the more one thinks about it the more complex it gets. And thank you, I do love the woods here…uh, at least during the day.

  15. John Says:

    Anton, here’s my guess about the little man:
    In the movie he says “I am the Arm”
    Gerard/Mike looks the same in lodge spirit form as he does in the waking world.
    I think the little man is what Mike’s lodge spirit form would’ve looked like before he severed the arm and began his “penance”.
    And because Mike did what he did in such a drastic way, both are now stuck in their in-between states.
    Just a thought but it explains the two lodge anomalies well enough that I’m going with it til I hear something better. Does that make sense?

  16. Anton B Says:

    John, Yes. Kind of. He does say ‘I am the arm’. I’ve always thought it an intriguing concept, that severed parts of these entities could have consciousness. Now I’m reminded of Tennant’s Tenth Doctor’s hand in a jar that regenerated into a replacement and I’ve spun off on a tangent so I’m going to take my own advice and not try to interpret any of that.

    Aaron. Yes, as well as the preponderance of images in frames (both photographic and painted) there are also the images which are themselves framed. Those (innovative and often subsequently copied) interminably held shots of precisely placed people and objects which broke the established rules of TV shot composition. Establishing the uncanny (that which shouldn’t be there) by creating an impossible viewpoint out of an arrangement that seems somehow too perfect to exist. Like a Vermeer. It should be remembered that Lynch considers himself to be primarily an artist.

  17. John Riordan Says:

    What an epiosde and what a podcast! One of the loveliest moments in the whole of TP is in the shared emotional moment in the Roadhouse after the murder. Bobby looks over from the bar and gives Donna this tender look of sympathy, even though they can’t figure out why they’re feeling this sorrow. After all the brutality that little moment breaks my heart.

  18. QnOfSpades Says:

    I’m relistening and rewatching… 2 things:

    1, what is the photo on Ben Horne’s desk? It looks like a Very Serious Woman peering out from behind a tree in the middle of the night. And

    2, Is that Harold Smith working at the bar in the Roadhouse at the end??

Leave a Reply