Twin Peaks

Season 1 Episode 5

Episode Four "The One-Armed Man"

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM May 03, 1990 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

Write A Review
out of 10
166 votes
  • What's going on here?

    Some great dialogue in this episode. Dr. Jacoby makes a welcome appearance. We're also properly introduced to Hank Jennings. All things considered, another classic episode from season one.
  • The One Armed Man

    Not a lot of developments in this episode, so while it was pretty fast-moving, I have to give it a mediocre score because of that.

    Also, the sudden appearance of Laura's cousin, out of the blue, with no followup, didn't seem to make much sense.
  • The hunt for Laura's killer continues.

    Cooper follows up his dream of a suspect by meeting the one armed man named Phillip Gerard. However, the man is unable to give Cooper much clues for his composite sketch of the killer. Norma’s husband gets released from prison. We see an interesting conversation with Donna and Audrey about Laura’s past possibly working in the club 100 Jacks. This is an interesting conversation that they decide to keep secret for the moment. We also see the secret relationship with Bobby and Shelly Johnson get hot and heavy. Everybody has a secret in this town and no one is innocent. As Cooper pointed out in the pilot, Bobby didn’t love Laura. Then again Laura has a secret history of her own. Cooper finds the bloody shirt that Leo tried to bury but it was planted by Bobby so Leo could go to prison. Madeleine Ferguson,Laura's cousin meets James for the first time. The twist in this episode was the missing necklace and then this find about Laura being attacked by a bird. Overall, this episode was decent but not much action. This is an episode served to deliver even more backstory and plot twists for later.
  • Smoke & Mirrors

    This is a solid, well-done episode. It is nicely paced and contains more action and plot development than the previous episode, which was a bit too talky. A good example of a non-Lynch directed episode.

    The set-ups are nicely done and the framing and composition of the shots are first rate. I particularly liked the noir feel of the scene where Cooper questions the One-Armed Man, filmed low and showing the ceiling of the motel looming high over the characters.

    The writing is compact and efficient. We move from scene to scene with a minimum of dawdling and little time wasted in unnecessary exposition. There is a lot of humor in this episode that manages to be quirky without going over the top. Some of the funnier moments for me include: Andy dropping his gun just before the police crash into the One-Armed man's motel room; Cooper coming face to face with a curious llama; and Bobby spitting out his gum when Shelly shows him the lingerie she is wearing beneath her uniform.

    It's interesting that nearly every young female character has two guys chasing after her and the women as a whole seem to possess a calm sense of power over the men around them. A lot of the women are like this in Lynch's work as a whole.

    The only thing that I didn't particularly care for in this episode is the final scene between Josie and Pete, which seemed to drag on for no apparent payoff. And the supposed cliffhanger revelation that Hank has some sinister connection with Josie was more yawn-inducing that exciting.