Directed by Leslie Linka Glatter and written by Robert Engels, the third episode is fairly straight forward for the Audrey character. She is featured in two scenes, and has very little dialogue. Of course this is due to her situation 'first tied and gagged, and next drugged and sedated. Coincidently, this also happened in the same time frame that Sherilyn Fenn came down with a bad case of pneumonia and had made headlines that it might affect shooting.
"It looks like it could give us some really serious problems,"recalls Harley Peyton. "It turned out all right. She was tremendous and recovered rather quickly and came back sooner than she had to. We had different directors shooting each day and, in fact, got all of her scenes done."
'Mark Altman, Behind Twin Peaks
Audrey's first scene is quite jarring for television. Audrey's Dance
blares onto the screen, and a rubber tube is being forcefully tied around her arm. No doubt, the message is clear 'she is being prepped to be injected with heroin. The young ingÃ©nue being kidnapped awaiting her rescue is nothing new in television or film, but typically there is a safety to it. We're conditioned in a suspense piece to know she will be rescued by the hero but how. In this case, it's most different. By going beyond the threat of hurting Audrey, and actually going through with the extreme injection, it disorients the viewer's expectations. Perhaps in this episode, Audrey would be thrown into a locked room with the imposing idea of the lethal injection hanging above her, and we wait for Cooper to beat the clock. But by Blackie actually doing the physical act, we are in doubt to how far this show will go, and could Audrey actually be killed off.
"That's good, Emory,"Blackie bellows at her victim. And when Audrey's been properly sedated, Blackie tells the audience, "She's ready for her close-up now."This of course, recalls the famous closing line from Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard
. While there is no correlation between Desmond and Audrey, it does reinforce that we are watching a film, a fantasy; something strong and visual and a world that celebrates old Hollywood, specifically film noir. Playing with this constant theme in Twin Peaks
, Audrey is videotaped for the ransom while the filmed image runs on a television within the room. The use of the television with Audrey's visage zeros in that Audrey, and all others, are merely idealized television creations. Here, Blackie and Emory direct their own Twin Peaks
The scene is strong for reinforcing the plot and the stakes. Emory feels Audrey should be killed off, "She knows her father owns the place."Blackie tells us she's going "buy the bastard out"in regards to blackmailing Ben Horne, and to toy with Audrey with continuing injection of heroin '"just like her daddy did to me!" Essentially, the writers have given us a ticking time clock for Audrey, and it's quite effective. It also reinforces the motivation for Blackie in her personal vengeance for Ben Horne.
The next scene continues to strengthen the Cooper/Audrey relationship to the viewers. Cooper inadvertently meets Ben Horne in the lobby of The Great Northern. Here he inquires if Audrey has contacted her father. Ben tells him nonchalantly, "Well, like I've told you, Audrey's gone missing before on a semi-regular basis."This reminds us that Audrey is the Boy Who Cried Wolf, and her actions no longer get a rise from her family. Audrey's parallel to Laura is brought back when Cooper answers, "So have two other girls."To begin what was undoubtedly a dramatic triangle between Cooper/Audrey and Ben, Cooper asks if there is "trouble at home."The script then sets up the tension for the Cooper/Audrey relationship with Ben's wry questioning - "Mr. Cooper, do I detect a note of something outside the scope of professional concern?" Cooper takes the stance that it is all purely innocent, "Audrey and I have struck up an acquaintance."Then the tone changes, and Ben, like the audience sees through what perhaps Cooper does not. He warns Cooper against her mischievous ways-
"Agent Cooper, let me give you the best advice that you're going to get all week: Men fall under the spell of Audrey's charm like ducks in a shooting gallery. And if you don't want a load of buckshot in your tail feathers, may I suggest you park your jalopy outside of somebody's window."
This may be as a possessive father, but also a true warning to Cooper. From a story point of view it is successful in both reinforcing the Cooper/Audrey romance and the dramatic stakes working against them. Clearly, Ben Horne will be a thorn in the side to this relationship, and be a constant adversary to both Cooper and Audrey.
Cooper naturally protests Ben's innuendos, and from his perspective is correct. But there is very little reason for the scene, if Cooper doesn't feel for Audrey more than he realizes; as Ben ironically smirks to Cooper's response of having only the best intentions, "That is achingly clear."
The final scene of Audrey occurs immediately after the Ben/Cooper scene, again reinforcing her to Cooper. Here the fairy tale aspect is now in full form, as Audrey lies powerless on the ornate bed. She could be Snow White, or any other princess locked away in a tower. The imagery is interesting. Audrey is surrounded, almost suffocated by the rich red drapes, but she clutches (instinctively) a pink heart-shaped pillow. The use of pink in the midst of all the red signifies Audrey still hanging on by a thread to the innocent world, and not yet fully engulfed by the adult, dangerous, deadly red.
Here we are introduced to the more deadly villain of Jean Renault. Where once Audrey was able to control Blackie and Emory, Jean represent a presence that Audrey will have no power over, but one who will control her fate. Jean is terrifying because he is presented as the perfect gentlemen. He is nothing but polite and tender to Audrey, all while conducting his sinister actions. He caresses her- first with a shear black lace handkerchief over her drugged face, then with a soft touch against her cheek, and finally with the offering of a sweet caramel for nourishment '"Candy's dandy, huh?"In terms of fairy tale, Renault is the most threatening. He observes Audrey delicately, almost dissecting her. The point is made that Renault will be smarter than the others before him, and a force to be reckoned with. This is evident in the next scene where we learn his plan is to use Audrey to get Cooper in retribution for the death of his brothers.
The Cooper/Audrey union is hit home as both are now connected with deadly stakes. Cooper will be drawn to rescue Audrey with the intention of being killed by Jean, and Audrey will also suffer the same consequences, "of course, we can't let the girl live now."
A fine episode, even if in terms of the Audrey/Cooper relationship it is just setting up future events for what we sense will be an explosive installment. And with Twin Peaks track record, we're never sure if Cooper and Audrey will fully survive the ordeal.
With Twin Peaks
continued homage to classic films, the One-Eyed Jack's plot certainly was influenced by Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece Notorious
. In it, Ingrid Bergman played a woman of a dubious reckless reputation. She then falls for a CIA operative played by Cary Grant and infiltrates a mansion to gain information on Nazi warfare. Bergman goes as far as marrying the head of the household (a man from her past) in order to further the investigation. When she is detected, the Nazis slowly drug her and confine her to a trapped room. The CIA do not investigate since they suspect, based on her past, Bergman is on a bender. Cary Grant's character, at odds with his feelings, finally rescues Bergman and escapes successfully. The parallels are more than slight, and even some of the same shots are used. It's a most see for any cinephile.
How incredible are Jerry Horne's pics, by the way? He is the master!