Episode 10

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Episode 10

Postby StealThisCorn » Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:18 pm

My notes on Episode 10, or Episode 11 including the Pilot, or Season 2 Episode 3, also called "The Man Behind Glass". Unmarked spoilers below.

The beginning of this episode has always confused me. How did the killer get in to put a letter under Ronette's fingernail when Truman explicitly stated there was a 24 hour guard? Why would the killer decide to put a letter under her fingernail now, after not giving her one the first time, when she still isn't dead? Why was the IV tainted with blue dye? We later learn that the IV had been tainted with haloperidol, the same anti-schizoprenic drug Philip Gerard, the one-armed man, was injecting himself with to stop "Mike" from "inhabiting" him. I remember reading a crazy theory a while back that Leland never came into Ronette's hospital room at all, and that Ronette was, in fact, briefly possessed by "Bob" to put the letter under her own fingernail (explaining why no one saw anyone enter her room past the 24 hour guard), with the One-Armed Man putting haloperidol in her IV to exorcise Bob out or protect her from him. I seriously doubt that was the intended explanation, but it is still a mystery to me how or why that occurred.

I really could have done without Albert's speech to Harry. I like Albert serving a similar role to Cooper in that he has provided the audience with an outside perspective into the town, in his case, snidely calling out the quirky, secretive town and it's ineffectual (save for Hawk, of course) Sheriff's Department. He provides a vent for some of the reactions that modern viewers especially have to some of the more ridiculous, hammy and unprofessional actions of the local police and townsfolk, and, in some cases, this actually makes it seem more sympathetic rather than cheesy melodrama, such as the case with Ed's story about how he and Nadine got together whilst Albert laughs and mocks him. But this speech about his pacifism and "loving Sheriff Truman" all the sudden seems to be there purely to soften his character, when I feel there is no need to at all. Albert should just stay being House, since that's pretty much who he is, several years too early. Also, when he is on his way out of the Sheriff's Station, there is a great little moment where he deliberately slams his shoulder into James. Some pacifist.

WIth the arrival of Dick Tremayne to the station, we realize the show's increased budget is introducing a lot of new characters into the mix. While it is pure fluff and takes the show more towards the campy side of the scale, I actually do find it amusing how completely oblivious he is (he lights a cigarette right in front of the no smoking side, prattles on while Lucy is obviously uninterested), how he acts like such a stuck up dandy and fancies himself high society when he, in fact, really just works at a department store.

This should just be noted again and again, but Hawk is the best. I love how he is insulting Dick to his face, while at the same time coming up with more words containing B, T and R for Lucy's scrabble game. There is nothing he does not excel at. Has it been mentioned yet on the podcast how it seems like so often Harry and Cooper just sit in the Sheriff's Station and eat donuts and drink coffee or talk while they send Hawk off to go do the actual work of investigating? When the new series airs, I want Hawk to be the Sheriff.

It's really funny how Leland actually lights up a match and throws it in a Sheriff's Station no less to make his point, perfectly making it into the ash tray. But did anyone notice the posters hung up on the wall behind him?! There is a hilarious one that might explain how Andy got his job--it says "Is your job a bore? Not any more! Become a Deputy Sheriff". So good.

The shot where Leland holds up the "Have You Seen This Man" poster for "Bob" and covers his face seems, to those of us who have the benefit of having seen the reveal, like another one of those possibly deliberate allusions to the fact that he is the killer. It's interesting that neither he nor Cooper seem to find it strange that Leland recognizes the man in the sketch as the very same man who lived next door to his grandparent's summer home, as if no time had passed at all.

It looks like the demo James, Maddy and Donna recorded already made it on to the Double R Diner jukebox. Oh joy. It has been made clear that Maddy is an adult woman with a car, her own house and a job back in Missoula, Montana. She just came here for her cousin Laura's funeral and to help her aunt and uncle get through it. Why in the world is she hanging out with these high school teenagers investigating mysteries and even flirting around with James, an underage boy? Maddy says running away won't solve anything, but because James is one of the worst characters for me, and his storyline is so odious (especially later in the season after the Laura Palmer mystery is wrapped up), I'm pretty sure him running away right now would solve a lot of things in the show for me. And, hilariously, in the end it's when James finally does just ride off after the whole Evelyn thing that the show starts to pick up again, though that is due to a lot of factors. I love Maddy's "hand caught in the cookie jar" face when Donna walks in though.

I love how Cooper sees right through Shelly's scheme and sends her on her way with an evil, knowing grin. It's weird, there's a lot of "damn good questions" going around in the Sheriff's Department, like who shot Cooper, who all is involved in the conspiracy to burn down the sawmill and Shelly's insurance scheme, that they acknowledge but then don't seem to put any more effort into answering. It must be a very lacksadaisical police department.

The unsettling, creepy scenes with Gerard in the bathroom, having what looks like some kind of schizophrenic episode off his medication are both enlightening and effective. And the french horns or whatever those are on the soundtrack really add to it. I love the metallic effect on his voice too. He does know Bob after all, despite what he told the police the first time he was questioned at the motel in Season 1. I wonder is this supposed to be because he really doesn't know any of that stuff when he isn't being inhabited by Mike or was he actually under the influence of Mike the first time they questioned him and deliberately throwing them off (later when Cooper asks him why he lied to them, Gerard says, clearly afraid, "it wasn't me! Don't you understand it wasn't me?!")?

During his hypnosis session, Dr. Jacoby clarifies that he smelled the scorched engine oil smell in that park when he was assaulted. So either the writers wanted to correct the earlier information about it being smelled in the in the hospital when Jacques died, which would have exactly pinpointed Leland, or they wanted to say it was smelled at both places for some reason. Was this change made to avoid tying together Leland and the scorched engine oil smell in the viewer's mind just yet? I love the brief shot where we see Harry starting to fall asleep under Cooper's hypnosis too and he has to gently call him out.

I do find the scene where Donna shouts all her frustrations at Laura's grave pretty effective. One, it reminds us that Donna isn't really as nice a person as she might have seemed in the pilot. Or maybe she's just very immature. And two, it keeps the effect where the ghost of Laura seems like a character in her own right. I love that about this show, the more we learn about her life and her fate, the more real she seems to us.

The scene with Maddy and James at the Palmer house is very weird to me for a number of reasons. First, James just walks in. I know he was Laura's friend, but wasn't that a big secret? So Leland and Sarah probably wouldn't know who this kid was right?. I mean I guess Maddy's allowed to have house guests over. Hey Maddy, kissing him isn't going to put out that fire, honey. But then Donna also just appears inside the Palmer house. Ok, she's her childhood friend whatever. Then James freaking smashes the Palmers' living room lamp in a rage! And Leland finally comes down to see what all the ruckus is about. Talk about a rude house guest! The scene where he screams "WHY?!" at Donna peeling away in her car is equally ridiculous, as if the answer is hard to understand. Well, maybe for him it is.

When Maddy is crying about how she isn't Laura and Leland tries to comfort her, I half expect Leland to hug her and be like "I know. There there, Laura... Oops!". She really has become like his surrogate daughter. I think this scene might have also been done to go against a pretty popular crazy theory at the time, that Maddy was, in fact, secretly Laura in disguise, through some weird scheme or mixup. So they wanted to double down on the fact that, no, Maddy isn't Laura.

But then Sheriff Truman and Agent Cooper just walk into the Palmer house! Apparently, James left the door wide open. I think the Palmers need to lock their doors. It's just really weird to me when you think about how all these people just stroll into the Palmers' house and even break their stuff without a thought.
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Re: Episode 10

Postby Audrey Horne » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:28 am

call sheet

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God, I love this music. Isn't it too dreamy?
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Twin Peaks Out of Order #14: Episode 10

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:15 am

Re-watching Twin Peaks from my least favorite to favorite episode...

Previously: Episode 25 (http://www.dugpa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=43780#p43780)

I have my top ten pretty well figured out, but the next four entries on the list are the ones giving me trouble. These are episodes I very much like, even if they are not quite in the top tier. So it comes down to weighing their drawbacks: what are they missing, and what do they have that they shouldn't? The good and bad of episode 10 divides pretty neatly. It opens and closes very strong, but sags in the middle. This is the first time in Twin Peaks (and one of the last times during this rewatch) that the subplots start to detach from the core mystery. Without that lifeblood they immediately begin to wither or petrify. Everything surrounding Laura and Leland Palmer is gold: Donna's first few visits to Harold, Ronette's rude awakening in the hospital, Jacoby's Hawaiian hypnosis, Leland's trip to the sheriff's station to report on Mr. Robertson. Donna's speech to Laura's tombstone gets criticized by seemingly everyone but I think it is bravely and effectively executed by Lara Flynn Boyle (along with writer Robert Engels and director Lesli Linka Glatter). Even as the creators try to establish a world outside of Laura Palmer, scenes like this remind us why the show is at its best when haunted by her shadow. Gerard's restroom transformation into Mike is also a brilliant - and brilliantly-executed - way to show the demonic underworld of the town bubbling to the surface. It’s the only scene in the middle of the episode that shines like the beginning and end. Watching this episode for the first time, these are the moments stick out; watching it again, we realize how early the troubles of season two began. As Super Nadine awakens, or Dick drops by the station for the first time, or Shelly insists that she'll care for a comatose Leo, there is the sinking feeling that these plotlines aren't going to go anywhere...and that feeling is correct. Mark Frost told the press, "We want people to start to realize there is more to the show than Laura Palmer," and 10 exhibits the problem with that philosophy, because everything that isn't related to the Palmers feels like a diversion at best and a drag at worst. For now at least, these elements are on the backburner but they are warm enough to lower 10 several spots.

EDIT: And I forgot to mention Albert’s speech to Truman! The good moments of this episode are really, really good and there are lots of them.

Next: Episode 3 (http://www.dugpa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=43855#p43855)
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Re: Episode 10

Postby Jonah » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:02 am

Funny how a lot of the weaker elements started to show up long before the weak stretch of 17 onwards. Even after numerous rewatches, I automatically - and incorrectly - remember the Pilot through 14 as being pure gold! Then again, Season 1 is almost unanimously praised and I tend to find the first few episodes of Season 2 (particularly 8, 9, and 14) as better overall. During most rewatches, while I enjoy Season 1, after the Pilot and Episode 2, I tend to watch them in a sort of impatient "hurry up, let's get to Season 2 and the REAL Twin Peaks" way. I'm enjoying these insights into individual episodes. I think for my next rewatch I might try an out-of-order sequence like you, as I've only ever watched "Twin Peaks" in strict chronological fashion, unlike, say "Fraiser" or something. Will be interesting to see how each episode stands up out of sequence on its own merits!
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Re: Episode 10

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:21 am

Jonah wrote:Funny how a lot of the weaker elements started to show up long before the weak stretch of 17 onwards. Even after numerous rewatches, I automatically - and incorrectly - remember the Pilot through 14 as being pure gold! Then again, Season 1 is almost unanimously praised and I tend to find the first few episodes of Season 2 (particularly 8, 9, and 14) as better overall. During most rewatches, while I enjoy Season 1, after the Pilot and Episode 2, I tend to watch them in a sort of impatient "hurry up, let's get to Season 2 and the REAL Twin Peaks" way. I'm enjoying these insights into individual episodes. I think for my next rewatch I might try an out-of-order sequence like you, as I've only ever watched "Twin Peaks" in strict chronological fashion, unlike, say "Fraiser" or something. Will be interesting to see how each episode stands up out of sequence on its own merits!


If you want to write your thoughts (either after each episode or after the whole experience, if you aren't feeling as nutty as me haha) I would love to read them.

Regarding season 2, I too generally prefer 8-14 to P-7. But that's when taken as a whole. 8-14 has more Lynch and the very best moments are, to my mind, better than the best moments of P-7. But P-7 is so much more consistent, both over several episodes and within each episode itself. Even in the best of S2 (outside of 14 and probably 9) there are parts that don't quite work for me. But I'm pretty engaged through every element of season 1, at least the 4-7 arc because everything seems interrelated and charged with a sense of energy and excitement. I guess I would say that removing Lynch from the equation, I definitely prefer the first season to the early second season (although I love 13, consider 12 very underrated, and generally enjoy 10).

Still playing around with where 3, 7, and 12 will place which are the other episodes jostling for space outside the top 10 (episode 10 was originally going to rank above all of those but I dropped its placement when I thought more about it).

Oh, and I forgot to mention Albert's speech to Truman! The good stuff in 10 is very good and there's lots of it. I'm not sure if I like that it's all isolated in the first part and the last part or if I wish it was spread out more evenly. It makes those good stretches even more enjoyable, but the more mediocre patches less tolerable. Oh well, that grouping of extremes makes it kinda indicative of season 2 as a whole (to the extent we can even talk about it as being one whole).
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Re: Episode 10

Postby Audrey Horne » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:43 am

I distinctly remember this one... It was the first episode I remember being distinctly off. And it might be because of the introduction of both Harold and Dick Tramaine. An alarm went off in my head that we were spending a lot of time on two new characters while some of the staples were being sidelined. Tramaine's humorous part was a stark contrast to how humor had been subtly and brilliantly inserted before. It had nothing to do with Ian's ability as an actor, all the performers cast in this show are first rate. It was just the first glaring sign of a tonal shift. (Actually, the first for me where the whistles in Lynch's second season premiere when Siren Donna sidles into the jail.)

There are great moments in this one, but it is the first episode for me where it doesn't stand up as a whole.

Great moments...
Albert's speech to Truman. Akin to Audrey crying while watching Leland dance, or Bobby sobbing to Jacoby. The show worked best when it surprised us with the characters breaking their assigned soap Opera roles and delved deeper into their psyches.
Cooper outsmarting Shelly, and Amick's quick response of, "What?" Her confusion is a subtle joy. Shelly is not the sharpest tool in the shed, and I hate later on when they neuter all the main characters who are popular of these little traits.
Ben and Cooper having a tete ta tete... These two have great chemistry in their animosity, and it's a tragedy it isn't a plot point throughout the series.
Jean Renault. The character will eventually be a bust, but here he is immediately set up as a threat to be reckoned with. The image of the black lace trailing down a drugged Audrey's face is quite effective. And the set up of the two romantic fan faves, Cooper and Audrey, being in danger is very exciting to me.
Donna's visit to Laura. This is the Donna that works for me. And again, her layers are peeled here... Jealousy, anger and still love for her best friend. And the ghost of Laura is at her most effective, just a silent tombstone not giving up any of her secrets. (Another reason FWWM doesn't work for me at all in its concept... Laura should only exist and haunt from other's perceptions; she is all of us.)
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Re: Episode 10

Postby Audrey Horne » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:50 am

And of course many of anxious to get through the first season because all the answers are in the second season, or pay offs. I too while watching the first season was so excited about what was going to happen down the line, that this was the setup. But now with them all laid out, those first seven episodes are just constructed with greater care and all seem to work from start to finish. They are a tight machine.
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Re: Episode 10

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:29 pm

Audrey Horne wrote:I distinctly remember this one... It was the first episode I remember being distinctly off. And it might be because of the introduction of both Harold and Dick Tramaine. An alarm went off in my head that we were spending a lot of time on two new characters while some of the staples were being sidelined.


I can see that, although for me Harold was one of the best additions to season two. The element I'd put in the same category as Dick is Nadine coming out of the coma with superpowers and amnesia. Another example of an actor really giving it their all (and it's grown on me somewhat since the first viewing, when I just out-and-out hated it) but simply not a story Twin Peaks needed to tell. And "story" is being generous.
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Re: Episode 10

Postby Audrey Horne » Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:33 pm

I agree. But I'm looking at the episode in the context of where and when it came out. I think at the time I was starting to get sick of hearing about Laura Palmer and just wanted to move on to other exciting adventures, and the introduction of Harold felt like we were going to get more heavy handed LP material. ( this is how I felt at the time of this episode.). I was anxious to get the snap of Piper Laurie back into the show.

Oh, I think this the first time I saw something interesting about the Maddy character too. I like Sheryl Lee a lot (sometimes it seems like I don't, but that's far from the case.). Up until now, Maddy has been used as a plot device and this episode nicely points out that she has feelings too. "All I did was come to a funeral..." And she and Wise have a very nice poignant moment towards the end.
God, I love this music. Isn't it too dreamy?
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Re: Episode 10

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:19 pm

I wish they'd left that scene between her and Leland in ep. 9 to be honest - there's nothing else to really compare in terms of character development, except for maybe the scene you mention and also the one with James in ep. 13. Sometimes I suspect that Lynch didn't really want Maddy to be a distinct character but that he just wanted to keep Sheryl Lee in the show somehow (see all those awkward touches in ep. 1 like James' flashback or the superimposition over Donna). Maybe the idea to put her in glasses and a dye job was Frost, thinking practically and also always game for film and TV references (Patty Duke Show, Vertigo - although that's obviously a Lynch touchstone too). And Lynch went along with it but whenever he had the opportunity he blurred the line between Maddy and Laura, making them not just lookalikes but doppelgängers almost? I don't know. I can see where he's coming from but I would have preferred to see Maddy more developed as her own character who looks just like Laura but has her own very distinct personality. Oh well.

Regarding Laura being somewhat undefined so that she can haunt and tie in with all the characters - this is very much in my mind now as I just finished ep. 3 (I'll try to keep this from overlapping with the commentary I'm about to write)! I think Laura-as-myth, which is basically what you are describing, is a fascinating concept. With a myth the question always becomes do we look at the reality behind it (because there is always a reality behind it) or does this ruin the power of the universal archetypes, the vagueness which allows every viewer, reader, or spectator to have their own "in" to the collective unconscious. This becomes an even riskier proposition with a work like Twin Peaks, in which the myth was designed BEFORE the reality - or so it seems in practical terms. Lynch and maybe Frost too would say they were accessing something that was already there, and simply giving it form and staying true to the vision but with all the cooks in the kitchen, and the fast-paced/makeshift world of TV production, Laura's identity was always sort of up for grabs. As long as she's dead, alive only in the confused memories of the people around her, Twin Peaks can get away with the fuzziness of her myth, indeed it can even be a kind of power.

One I the most passionate advocates of keeping the myth alive is David Lynch himself actually, although he would use the term "mystery" instead. He refuses to analyze his films, works straight from his subconscious so that even he can't quite tie down what it is he's doing, and in the case of Twin Peaks he always bemoans revealing the killer.

And yet we are left with the paradox that it is usually Lynch himself, within his own works, who bursts his myths and gives them an underpinning of particular, even mundane reality (at least mundane when described from a distance, but that's just the opposite of what he's doing and one reason he starts us off with the dream understanding rather than the physical description of whatever went down). I think if he simply left his work at the mythic, mysterious stage, with the answers forever out there and unknown, maybe even non-existent, I would still be intoxicated by his worlds and adore his filmmaking but I don't think I would return to it as often as I do. It's the fact that he shows us both sides of the looking glass: the beautiful dream state of wandering through a world of secrets and enchantment and inexplicable melancholy, and also something much darker and weightier - a horrible reality that somehow animates and manufactures all those beautiful mechanisms of the dream.

Can this spoil the magic to a certain extent? Well, maybe. At times - specifically in relation to Mulholland Drive - I've found myself wishing that he could have left us in an entirely irrational state so that we could remain inside the daydream, liberated from "explanation" as we would in a Cocteau or Deren film, or Altman's 3 Women. But in the long run, those moments of revelation in Lynch's work are what mean the most to me, much as I cherish the free-floating states of not-knowing on a first view (and look forward to experiencing them again in 2017).

For me Twin Peaks without FWWM would be like Mulholland Drive without the last 45 minutes: it would lack an anchor, a promise that the road we are on actually leads somewhere. That can be great too (and it's what I was initially expecting when I started Twin Peaks) but I think secrets are most powerful when you know they actually mean something and in David Lynch's world they do. The best myths come from some place deep and personally I like to explore that source as well as what results from it. The duality fascinates me.
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Re: Episode 10

Postby Shazbot » Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:01 pm

I really like Dick. He's smart enough to not appear completely dumb, but he is still dumb. He just doesn't really fit into Twin Peaks all that well.
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Re: Episode 10

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:36 pm

Shazbot wrote:I really like Dick. He's smart enough to not appear completely dumb, but he is still dumb. He just doesn't really fit into Twin Peaks all that well.


Good point. With some exceptions I don't hate on the characters or actors in Twin Peaks. Many of them are good on their own terms. But for all the talk of Lynch getting too off-track in Twin Peaks, for me it was the other writers who lost a sense of that show's uniqueness, bringing in characters or situations who would have felt more at home on other TV shows of the time. Even Frost does this sometimes - Windom Earle being a prime example. He's a Batman villain, and however much one likes that sort of thing it's a world apart from a small town full of intriguing eccentrics, grieving a beloved young woman and haunted by a darkness in the woods.
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Re: Episode 10

Postby N. Needleman » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:15 pm

I think the friction between Frost's (and Peyton's) dense wordplay, mythology and at times outsize characters and machinations and Lynch's more instinctive, primal and often abstracted dream logic is really what makes the show run.

Does it always work? No. Characters like Dick, who I enjoy, do a little with a lot and their storylines became a bit too omnipresent; Windom Earle, a character and storyline I love on paper, has both highlights and lowlights. But I like the idea of an anti-Cooper to match wits with, I think a lot of that worked, and I think the contribution of things like Windom and his grand scheme to dig into the heart of Twin Peaks, and that contribution to the mythology, ultimately helps make the finale (and FWWM) a part of what they are. The mistake was that Laura, and a lot of the town, was left out of it until late in the game. They couldn't grieve and wonder over Laura forever as an ongoing series, and I understand why they were pushing themselves to tie the show's long-term future to the entire town, but they could have found a way to keep the Palmer story central. FWWM does that, the new series will hopefully do that. The Windom Earle arc has its merits IMO, especially in the last five episodes of Season 2, but it was still on a different scale than the intimate.
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Re: Episode 10

Postby TwinPeaksFanatic » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:22 am

Why was an owl watching Donna at Laura's grave? And who does James think he is by breaking the Palmer's lamp!?! Read my recap of the episode below!

http://twinpeaksfanatic.blogspot.com/20 ... de-10.html

:D
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Re: Episode 10

Postby David Locke » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:11 am

This episode holds up much better than I had remembered -- though I might have confused it in my mind with the inferior Episode 11. While it's absolutely true that this is the first episode where those godawful Season 2 subplots and new characters creep in, there's still so much good stuff -- especially with the Donna-James-Maddy trio, who I'd argue very much help prop up the sometimes precarious stretch of episodes between Ep 9 and Ep 14. I can't stand Dick, even if he is one of the better of the S2 slump characters he is still tonally jarring and just beamed in from some other show. And Andy's "sperms" plot is unspeakably annoying -- frankly, as a character he's never been of much interest to me at all, and Lucy is certainly better but gets wasted in stories like this.

But thankfully Linka Glatter directs this episode so nicely, and it is mostly focused on the Laura mystery, so it doesn't matter too much that Nadine is now super-cheerleader-Nadine (actually her scene in this is one of the better ones she gets this season). Harold is a promising lead here and will only get better in the following two episodes. All in all, this episode is pretty decent evidence of the idea that if you just cut out the non-Laura/wacky comic relief plots out of early Season 2, it'd be equally strong and singleminded in its precision as Season 1 was.

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