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    Stephanie Watches Twin Peaks: 2.07 “Lonely Souls”

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    A poem as lovely as a tree: As the night wind blows, the boughs move to and fro. The rustling, the magic rustling that brings on the dark dream. The dream of suffering and pain. Pain for the victim, pain for the inflicter of pain. A circle of pain, a circle of suffering. Woe to the ones who behold the pale horse.”

    This is one of the most pivotal and scariest episodes of Twin Peaks. Although David Lynch didn’t want to reveal Laura’s killer so early, we learn his true identity.

    The team is ready to the go to The Great Northern to find Laura’s killer, with Mike in tow. Before Gordon goes back to his office, he tells (yells) Cooper that bloody diary pages were found by the train, where Laura’s murder took place. At the Great Northern, Mike sits in the lobby amid endless bouncing balls and chatter, shaking his head to everyone that is presented to him. He can’t seem to find BOB. But suddenly, Benjamin Horne walks into the lobby and Mike falls out of his chair, convulsing and having a general wiggins.

    Although they don’t’ trust Donna’s lead, they send Hawk to Harold’s to collect her real diary. At Harold’s, we see broken flowerpots and discarded soil all over the floor. Once Donna and Maddy escaped, it’s clear Harold did not handle the situation well. Hawk doesn’t get an answer when he knocks and to him. And then we see it: Harold’s legs swinging. When the rest of the team arrives on the scene, Cooper pulls a note of him that translates to: “I’m a lonely soul.” Hey, that’s the name of the episode. They may have lost Harold, but at least they have Laura’s diary.

    Maddy shares morning coffee with Sarah and Leland Palmer as “What a Wonderful World” plays on the record player. This scene is shot in an interesting way. We’re rather removed from the Palmers, seeing it from the couch and Laura’s photo remains in the shot for most of it. As Maddy discusses her plans to leave the next day, we slowly pan over to see the scene through the record player. Leland and Sarah are saddened by this news, but understand that she has a whole other life in Missoula to get back to.

    Let’s break from the drama for some side-town antics:

    tpep14_129 Continue reading

    Stephanie Watches Twin Peaks: 2.06 “Demons”

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    Sometimes we want to hide from ourselves – we do not want to be us – it is too difficult to be us. It is at these times that we turn to drugs or alcohol or behavior to help us forget that we are ourselves. This of course is only a temporary solution to a problem which is going to keep returning, and sometimes these temporary solutions are worse for us than the original problem. Yes, it is a dilemma. Is there an answer? Of course there is: as a wise person said with a smile: ‘The answer is within the question.'”

    This episode picks up right where the last one left off with Harold clawing his face with a rake in rage at Donna betraying him to steal Laura’s diary. I know Harold was holding onto it as a promise to Laura (more on that in Fire Walk With Me), but I feel like Donna could have tried asking a few more times. She could have offered to borrow it and bring it back – and actually be a good person and bring it back to him. She could have even asked if she could record him reading it so she can have her best friend’s words forever.

    The opening shot of this episode was another uncomfortable close-up – this time on an orchid. Harold’s orchid. I’m sure there’s some kind of deep symbolism here since orchids have a rather remarkable resemblance to lady parts. And Harold’s existence was defined by his relationship with Laura, who was famous for using her body to get what she wanted, be it drugs, sex, or a distraction from the terror that BOB inflicted on her life. I don’t think she ever used Harold like that, however, which is why his connection to her is so special.

    And it’s why I feel so bad for Harold. Laura was basically all he had to look forward to. If you watch FWWM, you can see how close they were and how much she trusted and confided in him. And for Donna to use him that way was pretty shitty. I don’t think she tried hard enough to work with him and chalked him up to some creepy invalid. But if Laura trusted him, Donna should have too.

    Anyway, Harold is having a massive wiggin’s with the girls still screaming, so James rushes inside to save them. They lose the diary in the process, of course. Destroy this poor guy for absolutely nothin’. Once outside, James and Donna hug each other intensely and now it’s Maddy’s turn to get jealous. James tells them not to concoct any more plans. And then he realizes he’d loved Donna all along, and they smooch a whole bunch.

    Later on, James and Maddy meet up by a lake with very sparkly sunshine coloring in the scene, as well as the theme song playing in the background. He tries to apologize but she pretty much waves it off. She only planned to come for the funeral and now she’s heading back.

    “When we were growing up, Laura and I were so close it was scary. I could feel her thoughts. Like our brains were connected or something. Our mothers were the same way. When she died suddenly I had a chance to be Laura. At least other people saw me that way. Like the way you looked at me. I liked that, too.”

    At the police station, Donna finally tells Harry about Laura’s real diary at Harold’s. Which she should have done all along! And Harry is rightly suspicious of her since she’s cried wolf to him before. Continue reading

    Stephanie Goes to Maximum Fun’s Very Very Fun Day

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    If you have the chance to attend a Very Very Fun Day, you should most definitely take it. Especially if that Very Very Fun Day involves live podcast shows and meeting one or more of your heroes.

    I attended Max Fun’s Very Very Fun Day in Chicago at Thalia Hall in February. For those unfamiliar, Maximum Fun is a podcast network that hosts a plethora of both informative and hilarious podcasts. Some of the notable (and my favorites) include: My Brother, My Brother & Me, Judge John Hodgman, Rose Buddies, Sawbones, The Adventure Zone, The Flop House – and many, MANY more!

    I arrived early afternoon and walked into the main hall to see John Hodgman wearing some sort of apparatus on his head while Ross & Carrie of Oh No Ross & Carrie used it to tingle his temples or something. After that, I headed downstairs for the Q&A with said John Hodgman. He ordered a drink next to me and tipped generously, I noticed. I was too overwhelmed to say anything and instead furiously texted my BFF Nick this information.

    What followed was an extremely enjoyable hour of Hodgman answering questions from people stuffed wall to wall in a tiny galley bar. Many dad jokes and mini political references ensued. Normally, the idea of talking in front of a crowd of people fills me with dread, but I couldn’t see the crowd behind me. So, when Hodgman came back around to me, I asked a question. To the best of my recollection, our exchange went something like this:

    JH: Hello, what is your name and where are you from?
    Me: Hi! I’m Stephanie. I’m from St. Louis but I live in Chicago.
    JH: Stephanie from Missouri, huh? Well, then, SHOW ME your question! … Get it?

    And then I laughed, probably got very flushed and awkward, but thanked him for retweeting the blog I wrote about his show and how much it meant to me. And then he made me plug THIS website. So, hello to anyone maybe reading this who was in that room. Anyway, I asked for any excellent novel recommendations since I was, at that moment, reading The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin based on hearing him rave about it on his show. So, he gave some suggestions: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (naturally), Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, Richard Stark books, and novels by Ken Liu.

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    After the Q&A, he was doing a signing. All I had with me, funnily enough, was The Fifth Season, so I asked if he could sign it. And also relayed a message from BFF Nick. Hodgman asked why HE wasn’t there because there are planes, trains, and automobiles to get him there. But we laughed and it was lovely.

    The rest of the day, I drank a few beers, laughed A LOT, and watched the rest of the live shows: Stop Podcasting Yourself, Max Fun Free-for-All, Judge John Hodgman, and The Flop House. The Flop House boys went on around 10pm and basically live MST3K’d Superman IV, which was hilarious. And that was my Very Very Fun Day!

    Hopefully you will get the chance to enjoy your own Very Very Fun Day in the near future. But in the meantime, enjoy some Max Fun podcasts and donate to the Max Fun drive. This year, I am a first-time donor since my favorite podcast (Rose Buddies) just joined the Maximum Fun network. I’ve gotten hours and hours of free content, so I’m happy to support my favorite content creators for the first time ever this year! And I get a sweet enamel pin to don.

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