Room service at the Great Northern

[The following post includes a few spoilers for Twin Peaks—both the end of season 1 and the start of season 2. You have been warned.]

Does this include a gratuity?

The first season of Twin Peaks ends with an audacious cliffhanger: amidst a flurry of violent events, good-natured FBI agent Dale Cooper is shot repeatedly and left to die on his hotel room floor. You’d expect the second season to continue in the same urgent, melodramatic register… but you’d be wrong, because David Lynch is all about defying TV expectations. Instead, he follows up the show’s most shocking, twisty episode with a scene of subdued deadpan comedy.

The season two premiere, “May the Giant Be With You,” opens with a slow-moving, elderly waiter (John Ford regular Hank Worden) entering Cooper’s room with a glass of warm milk. He doesn’t rush to call a doctor, as Cooper politely requests. Instead, he reassures Cooper that he’s hung up the phone, then bends over so he can sign the bill. Cooper doesn’t freak out, but goes along with the waiter, even making sure that he gets tipped. The previous episode was hysterical and chaotic; this scene, meanwhile, is relaxed to the point of catatonia.

This tonal departure is a characteristically Lynchian joke. It reminds me of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, which begins with wage slave Gregor Samsa in his new insect form, worrying that he’ll be late for work. Cooper’s in the middle of a life-or-death situation, and we’re yearning to find out what happened to all the other characters: did Nadine die? What about Catherine, Shelly, and Leo? But no. Everything’s put on hold so we can focus on warm milk, the bill, and the gratuity. And this is before the giant shows up!

2 Comments

Filed under Media

2 responses to “Room service at the Great Northern

  1. RF

    Wow OK so this post is disturbingly well-timed, as I was almost inspired last night to send a rather expensive text from Switzerland about how much I love Kyle Mclachlan. I watched the pilot episode. “Douglas Firs!”

    Also, what is your new, non-school email?

    Also, I found a beauty contest that might be of interest you.
    http://www.misshandicap.ch/
    “Ambassadresses for Handicapped People.” Two native Zürichers made it to the final round!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s