Review S02E19 “Variations on Relations”


Member: Rank 5
Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Apr 11, 1991 on ABC

Cooper and Major Briggs try to unlock the secret of Owl Cave. The Miss Twin Peaks contest draws hot competition.


Kyle MacLachlan ...Special Agent Dale Cooper
Michael Ontkean ...Sheriff Harry S. Truman
Mädchen Amick ...Shelly Johnson
Dana Ashbrook ...Bobby Briggs
Richard Beymer ...Benjamin Horne
Lara Flynn Boyle ...Donna Hayward
Sherilyn Fenn ...Audrey Horne
Warren Frost ...Dr. Will Hayward
Jack Nance ...Pete Martell
Kimmy Robertson ...Lucy Moran
Piper Laurie ...Catherine Martell
Eric DaRe ...Leo Johnson
Harry Goaz ...Deputy Andy Brennan
Michael Horse ...Deputy Tommy 'Hawk' Hill
Kenneth Welsh ...Windom Earle
Billy Zane ...John Justice Wheeler
Ian Buchanan ...Dick Tremayne
Heather Graham ...Annie Blackburn
Robyn Lively ...Lana Budding Milford
David Lynch ...FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole
Wendy Robie ...Nadine Hurley
Don S. Davis ...Maj. Garland Briggs
Gary Hershberger ...Mike Nelson
Mary Jo Deschanel ...Eileen Hayward
John Boylan ...Mayor Dwayne Milford
Ted Raimi ...Heavy Metal Youth
John Charles Sheeham ...Bellman


Mark Frost ... (created by) &
David Lynch ... (created by)

Mark Frost ... (written by) &
Harley Peyton ... (written by)


Jonathan Sanger



Member: Rank 3
Just a few weeks ago, they seemed to be wrapping up some story lines. Now they just keep continuing on or adding new wrinkles. It’s like a soap opera, but this one won’t be going on for years and years more. Oh, well.

The Windom Earle story got the most mileage. He’s looking in at Cooper’s budding romance with Annie. It doesn’t bode well for her. He’s threatened Audrey, Shelly, and Donna, but they’re all billed regulars. Annie, on the other hand, is a guest star and expendable. And what better way to go after Coop than to take away someone he’s falling in love with?

Meanwhile, Earle lures in some young hippie with the promise of free beer and turns him into a giant chess piece before killing him. He leaves Coop the message that the next victim will be someone he knows. A little ridiculous having Dale shoot that rock to have it fall and pull the cord down, though. Using caution was wise, but just tie a rope around the rock and pull it from a distance.

In addition, Windom’s tampering with the cave last week left a big drawing for them to decipher – one that Major Briggs saw in a dream earlier. And Catherine finds a puzzle box left to her by Andrew, which Pete solves by dropping it. It pops open to reveal yet another puzzle within, looking like a phone dial with moon patterns. Briggs promises to bring Coop some information about his work on Project Blue Book to help decipher these mystery messages.

Least interesting story is Ben and Donna’s mom. Donna looks just mean and accusatory toward her Mom. She already tattled on her to her Dad last week without even asking her about it first. She may have Mommy issues.

Weirdest story: Gordon finds he is able to hear Shelley without his defective hearing aid. He’s talking to her in a friendly manner and then asks for a good-bye kiss. Bobby walks in right in the middle of it, and wants to know what’s going on. Gordon says he’s going to kiss her again. And then, and then…nothing. On to the next scene. Bobby doesn’t take a swing at him, or Shelley doesn’t say “Why don’t you treat me like Gordon does?” There’s no payoff at all.

Speaking of payoff, when Windom was shocking Leo to force him to bring him the arrow to kill the hippie, I would have loved to see Leo bring it to him and jam it right in his neck.

Attempts at comedy: Dick Tremayne presides over a wine tasting with Andy and Lucy messing it up. A couple of funny lines, like when Lana says it tastes like banana and Andy says chocolate too, Lucy asks why don’t we just get a banana split instead. Later, after being told earlier to spit out the wine after tasting it, Lucy concludes the tasting by spitting it out on Dick, telling him she’s pregnant and shouldn’t drink. That was clever, and right in character.

And “Black Widow” Lana who is pretty enough to win a beauty contest still wants her new beau to make sure she wins. As if they would let someone into the contest who was clearly the girlfriend of one of the judges. And Ben is turning the question session into how to save the environment. Sound like they’re trying to make it a dull affair, but something always seems to happen when crowds gather in Twin Peaks.

Oh, and Mike just likes Nadine for the sex. He says the combination of sexual maturity and superhuman strength is great. I don’t know about that. Seems like superhuman strength would more likely cause unwanted injury, and probably will sooner or later.

This one gets 5 torn up poems, two portions of which Dale recovers in his quest to capture Earle.

Best dialogue:

Annie: I used to live in my head mostly.
Dale: That’s not a bad neighborhood.
Annie: There are some pretty strange neighbors.