Twin Peaks continues to juggle the jovial tone of last week’s episode with the crime serial seriousness in “Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer.” In this episode, Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) employs a special technique for identifying the next lead in his case. His bizarre antics lead him to Leo (Eric DaRe), an abusive and violent character the show has tried to implicate in Laura Palmer’s (Sheryl Lee) murder. For my part, I’m not buying the link; it seems too obvious.
Meanwhile, Cooper’s colleague Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) shows up with men in black to take over the toxicology investigation. His rough, insulting demeanor contrasts with Cooper’s friendlier style, but J has a soft spot for the Rosenfield name. I particularly enjoyed Sheriff Truman (Michael Ontkean) standing his ground with Albert look forward to seeing how they interact moving forward.
Across town, Mike (Gary Hershberger) and Bobby (Dana Ashbrook) find themselves in hot water with Leo. They don’t have the other half of the money they owe Leo for drugs because the cash remains locked up in Laura’s safe deposit box. This sinister narrative thread clashes with the rather tame story of Ed (Everett McGill) and Nadine (Wendy Robie) as his attempts to escape his marriage are foiled entirely on accident. I’m still not sure what to make of a plot about curtains, but it all adds to the strange brand of “weird” Twin Peaks is known for.
Speaking of: I can’t begin to really parse what happened in the final moments of “Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer.” This is episode we finally get to see The Man from Another Place (Michael J. Anderson) and hear from a Laura Palmer doppelgänger.
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Tune in next week for our discussion of the fourth episode of Season 1, “Rest in Pain.”