Review Tonight! "Twin Peaks" S02E13 “Checkmate”

Was the ep as exciting as Kasparov's bravado or as dry as Deep Blue's sense of humor? Make your move

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Member: Rank 5


Member: Rank 5

Season 2

Episode 13: “Checkmate”

Oh, I wish Twin Peaks could focus on one or two good stories, but instead, because of its format, it keeps skipping from one broken story line to another. The episode started very well, with Briggs giving a moving account of his mysterious experience and when he was about to reveal what he knew about the White Lodge… Or was he? I mean, he did say he had amnesia, but at the same time was going to explain something about the White Lodge. Unfortunately, his part was suddenly over and the episode stopped being interesting. But Brigg’s line was very intriguing: “Is this meant for the soul? My soul?” In the end all we’re left with is the strange scar behind his right ear.

As for the lesser subplots, it seems James is being played, but we already knew that. His situation is such a cliché that I never thought things could go any other way. So, the brother was not a brother. Yeah, that figures. Perhaps the rich lady and the fake brother are setting James to appear to be the lover in the eyes of the husband, so he’ll kill James while the two love birds will do… something? OK, the specifics elude me, and I’m curious to know how exactly this is going down, but I doubt there will be anything really surprising there.

Ben’s madness is one more way to add a few character antics to the show. Basically, Ben is the new Leland. It’s funny how Bobby’s “married life” is falling apart, and he basically left Shelly taking care of their “baby”. Oh, and guess what, Leo can move. Wow, what a surprise… Not! At least Donna taking James his money will ad a new element to the story and will give her something to do.

Nadine’s story is inconsequential, but I loved the part she beat Hank. I think everybody did.

The partnership of Dick and Andy… Where did that come from? First they were rivals for the love of Lucy, and now they are investigators trying to figure out what’s the deal with Devil boy, the anti-Christ, Damien Thorne, a.k.a. little Nick. Something weird because it came out of nowhere and completely disrupted the original plot, not that it was very interesting to begin with.

The story picked up in the end. It was nice to see Duchovny in a male suit, but at the same time, still displaying Denise’s mannerisms. But his outfit switch was a bit of a forced plot contrivance, because Denise never appears as Dennis, but this time he/she did, just because it was convenient for the story for him/her to appear dressed as a woman and fool Jean Renault.

I liked the final action scene with Renault’s death, and that added something more elaborate than the usual indoors dialogue the show usually offers. Also, Truman deputizing Cooper was a good way to keep the suspended FBI agent relevant, and since both Cooper and Truman are team players, I don’t think Cooper will have problems following Truman’s orders instead of him directing the operation.

Oh, yes, and we end with a chess “tableau” composed by Windom Earle to tease Cooper. But nothing was explained about it, so I hesitate to even include that in tonight’s episode, since we’ll only see something about that being developed next episode.

Checkmate gets 5 military policemen with an awful sense of timing who show up right when a key character is going to explain something very important, in a very frustrating move.

Bob Peters 61

Member: Rank 2
"James wait. Don't go," because her evil plot hasn't been hatched just yet. Nothing new here, but are we about to lose him as a character or will he come through intact and unincarcerated?

Of course brain-damaged Leo will make his move when Shelly's there alone with him. But he was still a sight worthy of a horror film.

"Hi. I'm Denise your waitress. Did someone order the thigh with a handgun on the side?" Again we see Hawk sneak in behind the bad guy, but this time Coop got him first. I'm wondering just what warrior skills that man must have learned from his native grandfather?

Great comic relief with Nadine defending her husband from the jealous husband of his lover. That's gotta be tough on the ego of a guy known as "Big Ed."

What's scarier than frosting-faced Leo in disrupted lighting? Windham Earle's chess move, of course.

This one gets 6 killer clowns from out of his mind.

Bob Peters 61

Member: Rank 2
Ben’s madness is one more way to add a few character antics to the show.
But at least it's a chance for Audrey to step up and take on more of a leadership role. And Bobby still has the bad judgement to keep hitting on her. But at least she handles him well.


Member: Rank 5
But at least it's a chance for Audrey to step up and take on more of a leadership role. And Bobby still has the bad judgement to keep hitting on her. But at least she handles him well.
Yes, Audrey is a more relevant character, so it would be good for the show if she would step up and take over at least some of the jobs done by her father.


Member: Rank 3
Another week of spreading out bits of several stories. Let’s just go storyline by storyline:

Major Briggs and the White Lodge: He’s returned from his mysterious journey with a weird symbol on his neck of three triangles. Just as he is about to reveal more about the secret project he is working on, mysterious agents arrive to escort him off.

Ed, Norma and Hank: Ed confesses his undying love to Norma, and they arrange to meet. Hank meets up with Ed instead and beats him up viciously. But for once, Nadine gets to be the hero when she catches Hank in the act and beats him up instead.

Shelly, Bobby and Leo: There’s a jerk virus going around turning men into jerks. First Jimmy caught it and rode off. Now Bobby is infected by it. He’s decided that since he’s working for Ben now, Shelly can just go take care of vegetating Leo all by herself. Unfortunately for him, when he gets to work, Ben has gone completely bonkers and is totally immersed in his Civil War fantasy. Sadly for Shelly, she returns home later on to find the lights flickering on and off – and Leo standing in front of her. It turned out the flickering lights weren’t caused by Leo, so there’s still a chance he’s just standing up and not threatening her – but considering this show’s track record I wouldn’t count on that.

Jimmy and the Rich Bit…er…Blonde: What did I tell you? Total set-up. Jimmy’s being played by the blonde and her so-called brother. He’ll soon be in big trouble.

The Drug Cartel: This story is actually wrapped up in this episode, but it’s almost like a highlight reel. First, they are wiring their plant for the big sting, and he admits to being nervous. Dennis does dress like a man for the sting, but strangely looks weird finally dressed as a man. We cut to the end of the sting where the guy gets nervous and his sweating exposes the wires. Coop announces he will exchange himself for the hostage. Later, he’s obviously been there a while and been beaten up some. But “Denise” arrives with pizza and a gun between his legs which Cooper draws and fires killing Renault and capturing or killing the others. Really dumb that these guys fell for such a ploy, but glad to be rid of them anyway.

The Little Nicky story: Nicky heroically steps in front of a subway car to save someone and ends up in Heaven instead of Hell. Oh wait, that was the movie “Little Nicky”. Dick and Andy break into the Helping Hand’s whatever organization and steal Nicky’s file. Not much beyond that except for some attempted comedy where an adoptive set of parents show up and Dick tells they their adopted son is dead – then says he meant dead tired. At least this show didn’t stoop to finding humor in actually turning down two adoptive parents’ dreams just to cover a botched theft.

The Windom Earle story: Instead of mailing Dale his next chess move, Cooper’s old partner causes a massive power failure and drops a dead body in his office with the chess move laid out with it.

So, not that much going on, but for wrapping up one storyline I’ll give them 6 badges deputizing Agent Cooper.

Best Lines:

Truman: Consider yourself deputized. The Bureau’s loss is our gain.

Catherine: I want you, Ben. Horrifying as is seems, I can’t escape it.

Bobby (to Audrey): I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is your dad just bought a condo in Flip City. The good news is he’s about to win the Civil War.

Bob Peters 61

Member: Rank 2
Shelly, Bobby and Leo: There’s a jerk virus going around turning men into jerks. First Jimmy caught it and rode off. Now Bobby is infected by it.
But Bobby's always been a jerk. I doubt Shelly would have a guy who would treat her like a lady.