Audrey ' second season premiere (2.01)
Three and a half months had gone by in 1990, and Twin Peaks
created a new media frenzy surrounding its odd soap opera whodunit. Finally it premiered on Sunday, September 30th with fans on the edge of their seats waiting to find out the fates of their characters. Like many other pivotal episodes, David Lynch was back in the director's chair providing a two hour chapter to the saga.
The most talked about episode in the prior season was the third installment 'the strange dream with the odd-speaking dancing dwarf and the mysterious Laura Palmer whispering forgotten answers into the hero Dale Cooper's ear. It catapulted Peaks
into another world that told the audience solutions would not be found by conventional methods. Dreams and the subconscious unlock the real answers.
When the episode returns, we know find Cooper still alive after being shot, but in a dazed, half awake/unconscious state. Here he is visited by the elderly waiter and The Giant 'reality and the dream state. Are the two connected, and The Giant just a manifestation of Cooper's own dream. Here the dream technique from the first season is creeping slowly into the actual waking life.
And with this quality, Lynch and Frost begin to bring in more overt supernatural elements to Twin Peaks
. BOB, where previously had only been snippets of Mrs. Palmer and Cooper's visions, will take a more pronounced role in the series as being a real concrete entity.
This supernatural quality will carry over to some of the other characters as well, but in the premiere it is most evident in the Audrey character and in creating a strong bridge to the Cooper character.
We return to Audrey's cliffhanger right after Agent Cooper's. Cooper and Audrey had become the show's two most popular characters, and naturally from a directorial and writing standpoint, it is best to hook the audience with both of them right away. In fact, one of the first shots is the note from Audrey framed on the table with the voice of Deputy Andy on the telephone, reminding the audience right from the beginning that she is a character connected to Agent Cooper.
The monster Ben has entered the fairy tale-like "little flower room,"and Audrey, dressed in virginal white has fled to the bed and quickly drawn the red drapes. Assuming this to be foreplay, Ben sneaks a hand in between the curtains, in which Audrey instantly slaps it away. Ben, undeterred, calls her a vixen. 'perhaps an inside joke of reinforcing the outward Audrey appearance where in many articles Audrey is referred to as the village vixen. The dichotomy of Audrey's character is represented as she calls herself Prudence 'always the duality of the whore and the virgin, the bad girl and the good girl. Here it is established as "vixen"and "prude."
Before knowing the outcome, Lynch cuts to Blackie's office where Jerry is strangely irate at Blackie. "Who's holding out on whom,"Jerry questions. He flees to find Ben for some S.N.A.G., but before he leaves throws an eight ball of heroine to the Madame, and chides her '"Aw, Blackie. You used to be so pretty." This scene introduces Blackie's drug addiction, and infers that the Horne brothers use it to keep her on their tight leash. The introduction of the drug will come into play when it is soon to be used on Audrey herself.
We return to Audrey's boudoir, where she is still fending off her father's advances before he can determine her true identity. "I think you should go now,"she pleads in a soft disguised voice, calling on the tactic of a sweet ingÃ©nue clichÃ©. Meanwhile, we see Audrey's mind at work, taking inventory of her surroundings and how she can use anything possible to get out of her trickiest situation yet. Ben pretends to grant the new girl her request by shutting the door and tiptoeing back to the bed. While Ben is quite quick at the game, Audrey is quicker; she intuits his tactics, and makes her next move.
"Got you,"Ben exclaims as he pulls back the curtains.
But Audrey is a step ahead of him. She surprises him first as a tease with a blanket, and then completely hiding her identity with a white porcelain mask.
"I must see you,"Ben playfully toys with her as Audrey continues to hold her ground. Her mind racing, she still manages to cajole information out of her father as he boasts he is in fact the owner of One Eyed Jacks.
Just how adept Audrey is will not be determined and most likely it would be impossible for her to keep up the defense. Jerry interrupts the potential disaster with news on the mill. Ben smirks to his prey that he has to leave, but that their "game"will continue. He warns her, "Next time it will be a different game. A fun one. Everybody wins." Audrey, in true serial form has snuck by again.
The script continues to be in league with the audience now with the knowledge that their creation of the Audrey character is a hit. The slaps she hits Ben with are certainly cheered by the viewers, and the story now has the confidence to know this is a character that is being rooted for and supported to succeed in her predicaments. Ben, while it's not needed for the story, reinforces the audience's impression of Audrey '"I like you"and, most likely with a wink to Fenn's new found fame, "you know how to interest a man."
The closing shot of Audrey first scene is electric. In keeping true to form as an observer, Audrey watches Ben leave, and slowly lowers the mask, and lingers on his path. She sits in her thoughts, and processes, and once again is framed by the red drapes (echoing Cooper's dream world). It's a wonderful moment for Fenn 'where her face tells the entire story. The stillness is haunting and conveys a pronounced sadness. The moment represents Audrey's true loss of innocence 'her father is a monster and life is no longer a game.
We must note also that Audrey has worn a mask throughout most of the first season, a very public mask as the coquette. Here she literally wears a mask to possible save her life. And again, while in private, can she literally and figuratively remove the mask.
*The use of the white mask, much like the Queen motif, and the red drapes seems to be in keeping with Cooper's past and the Windom Earle foreshadowing. A similar mask will be used much later in the form of Caroline's face. And Earle will begin the search for his Queen to carry off to the Black Lodge. Clearly, before the Audrey/Cooper projected story arc was scrapped, the One Eyed Jack imagery would have been recalled with more thematic weight.
*The original script has some minor changes. The Audrey/Ben scene plays out without the interruption of the Jerry/Blackie scene. Here Audrey makes it clear that she is a virgin likening herself to a bar of soap that hasn't even had the wrapper torn off. She is the one who names herself Prudence, on which Ben nearly chokes upon hearing. Based on the edit, the dialogue was probably filmed but scrapped. However, once Ben leaves with Jerry's intervention, it cuts to the scene with Blackie. Here it is Ben who is the provider of the heroine to her, not Jerry. It makes him crueler while keeping Jerry as the lightweight. Perhaps Lynch changed it to give Jerry a more menacing presence.
Audrey's predicament is unaddressed for almost a good hour as the episode unfolds revealing new information in the Laura Palmer murder. It isn't until Ben Horne nonchalantly asks his brother is he has "seen Audrey today?"do we realize that she has been removed from the town, and is a prisoner. Lynch allows her next scene to play out almost entirely in a single wide shot. It depicts Blackie reclining on a chaise surrounded by her goons and working girls. Audrey breaks the tableau with a knock on the door, and gives some exposition of her situation '"Why is the door to my room locked,"she asks, and in keeping with the character's fun quips, adds, "and who's the refrigerator?"(The heavy who guards the youth). Lynch expertly allows the scene to remain static, and for Audrey to explore the frame. She begins in the background, and travels around the frame, observing the surroundings, until she practically breaks into the foreground into close-up. It continues to establish that Audrey is always at play, yet the setting in undeniably ominous. Again, she is surrounded by the deep red of the curtains. And note that she now wears red pumps, recalling the red pumps she toyed with in the pilot (also directed by Lynch). Where they once were used as a device to show high school students her defiance, they now serve as another disguise 'her attempt to pass in the adult world.
"The owner was a little disappointed in your performance last night,"Blackie calmly tells Audrey, a hint of her southern drawl and contempt puncture the air. The camera remains fixed on Audrey's full shot, as she processes the situation. "Well, the owner,"Audrey plays, "isn't actually my type." (Fenn and Audrey are in league with the audience here, sine she knows the identity of the owner, and it produces a chuckle from the viewer). When Blackie becomes more agitated and beckons Audrey back to her, Lynch finally allows the scene to cut from the single shot. Now Fenn and Lynch have Audrey enter the frame with her effortless bouncy energy, and in control. Another situation Audrey can outwit her way out of, relying on charm. Blackie caresses her face and hair and asks, "And what is your type, exactly." Continuing her alliance with the viewers, Audrey is in on the joke of Blackie's obvious lesbian inclinations. With a verbal wink, Audrey whispers to Blackie, "Not you. no offense." It's another typical Audrey moment that pleases the audience. But here, for the first time, Audrey's cheekiness does not go unpunished. The goon swoops onto Audrey and apprehending her, forcefully holding her arms behind her back. "Let's get one thing clear, princess,"Blackie scolds. Audrey begins to hold her own in her usual fashion, "Okay,"she begins. But Blackie silences the word by grabbing Audrey's mouth. Without doubt, Blackie is in control here, and Audrey is for the first time in the series powerless. "When you work for me,"Blackie informs her, "everyone's your type!" Again, the scene is important in reinforcing the fairy tale. Blackie has already addresses Audrey as the "princess,"and she is a new form of the cruel stepmother, the evil queen, and the wicked witch. Note that the apple will take the form of a needle, and put the princess to sleep. She will not be awaken until the prince (Cooper) finds her in the bed and looms over her and rescues her from the castle/dungeon. (The imagery in episode 2.05 will confirm this)
Audrey's last scene in the premiere is one of her best. A simple moment that is richly filled; encapsulating the character in her true form 'one of a dreamer, an innocent, and ultimately a seer. Audrey, again as the captive, resides in her bed, clutching a heart-shaped pillow to her chest. Here, she prays and confesses to Cooper. Where earlier we see Audrey with her armor (her wit, and level-headedness), now we see the private Audrey with all her defenses down; a scared and frightened child. The scene strengthens other moments where we've witnessed Audrey exposed (the sobbing while watching Leland dance and the unsuccessful seduction in Cooper's hotel room). The difference here is Audrey is completely alone and completely with her private self. In this moment she reaches out to someone, while not physically there, she shares a spiritual connection with.
"Special Agent, Special Agent, are you there?"
she whispers, seeking his response. "I left you a note, didn't you get my note? I slipped it under your door, you must have seen it
."Under Lynch's direction, while Audrey speaks, the camera returns to Cooper's hotel room where he lies in his bed sleeping. The camera reveals the note, now hidden under the bed, undiscovered and unread. As is, the scene prior to Audrey's is Cooper retiring for the night, and will immediately return back to him when her scene is completed. The book-ending with Cooper along with the inclusion during her monologue distorts the two scenes and bridges, and overlays them 'does Cooper dream Audrey's prayer in his subconscious, or does she imagine his? Are her prayers reaching inside his head, and he must unlock this telepathic cry for help? In the original script they are kept separate, but in Lynch's directorial hands, he overlays them and creates a complex and dreamlike world, and strengthens the connection between the two protagonists.
"To be perfectly honest, I think I'm in a little over my head
,"Audrey continues. "Not that I can't handle it. I mean, if I'm going to help out on your investigations, I'm sure I'll be put in situations a lot more dangerous than this on a fairly regular basis
." Her aside again displays Audrey trying to prove her worth to Cooper, and the continued theme that she is a special agent in training. But the innocent also adds, "My first time out, I could use a little expert guidance
The impression of Audrey with a pure heart is also reinforced '"I hope you won't think any less of me for trying to help. I promised I only did it with the best of intentions
." Again, her schemes and machinations are only used for good.
She ends her plea with tears in her eyes:
"And if there's any way, if there's any way in the world that you can hear me right now, please help me. Help me."
What is exciting about the scene is not that she is a damsel in distress, which in itself is fairly basic storytelling and not worthy of the Twin Peaks world, but that her message is allowed to pass through onto another plain, another dimension. After her prayer scene, accompanied by Badalementi's beautiful instrumental version of Questions in a World of Blue, we return to Cooper's room where he is revisited by the supernatural Giant. While the Giant advised Cooper about more clues to the Palmer case, what is most surprising and telling, is his final sentence: "One more thing. You forgot something."
A few episodes later, Cooper figures out the Giant's cryptic message '"The Giant was right. I did forget something." Of course, the something is Audrey's unread letter revealing her secret whereabouts, and the only means by which her life can be saved. While it might make sense from a story point of view, one has to stop and ponder its significance. So far, the dream and the Giant have only given Cooper clues to solving Laura's murder. Audrey's note and life, while important in itself, has no connection to the Palmer murder. And other townsfolk have been killed or in life threatening predicaments. But they have not been brought to Cooper's attention to be prevented. Does this allude to Audrey having special gifts, or insights, that Cooper also possesses? Audrey has been shown to be seeking a world of escape, and dances to music inside her head. She is able to see the sadness and madness of Leland that the others are unable to see. In an episode to come, Ben Horne will tell Cooper and the audience that Cooper and Audrey share a "special relationship." Does this foreshadow an insight into other worlds that Cooper is only beginning to understand within himself, and Audrey hasn't even tapped into?