Twin Peaks

Season 2 Episode 13

Episode Twenty "Checkmate"

1
Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Jan 19, 1991 on ABC

Episode Recap

Major Briggs is in the conference room of the Sheriff's station, having a hazy flashback of his experience, while discussing his disappearance with Doc Hayward, Cooper and Sheriff Truman. The Major remembers little about what happened, except returning to the remains of his and Coop's campsite two days after he disappeared. Doc says there are some new techniques that could help break through his amnesia. The Major claims his memories are immune from regression, but somehow they elude his ability to comprehend them. The only thing he can recall is the disturbing image of a giant owl. Doc Hayward takes a picture of Major Briggs' neck, he has "three triangular scars behind the right ear in perfect proportion." Harry asks the Major what his work involves. Major Briggs says as he always had that it's classified but seems less intent on holding his pledge as sacred as he once did because "perhaps there are sources of information that are so important as to transcend the human need to conspire." His thoughts wander, then he pauses and says terrified, "Is this meant for the soul, my soul?" Cooper suggests he start at the beginning. Briggs asks him if he is familiar with Project Blue Book: the USAF investigation into UFO's, officially disbanded in 1969. Briggs is part of a group that have been continuing in an unofficial capacity, examining, in the case of Twin Peaks, the earth below instead of the skies above. "We are looking for a place called the White Lodge.", he continues, but they are interrupted by two USAF personnel who have come to take him to Colonel Riley. Harry tries to intervene but Major Briggs goes with them voluntarily telling Harry, they'll continue their discussion at another time.

Agent Denise Bryson is keeping an eye on Ernie Niles, waiting for him to set up the buy at Dead Dog Farm with Renault. Ernie is on the border between cowardice and bravery, one minute claiming these men are "dangerous thugs.", then stating he has known men that would make Jean Renault quiver. Coop pops in and inquires about their progress. When Denise says that Ernie is a "wee-bit gun shy.", Ernie bucks up and makes the call, still unsure if he has the guts necessary to follow through once the buy is set although he claims to be ready to do it.

Andy enters the station and says hello to Lucy. Once he turns the corner by her cubbyhole, Dick is there waiting for him, dressed like Sam Spade. He takes Andy behind the swinging doors leading to the back of the station to talk privately. He says he went to Happy Helping Hand but found out Nicky's records were sealed and returned to the orphanage. Andy seems discouraged, but Dick says, "Do not despair, dear boy." and asks Andy to come with him to the orphanage to find those very records.

After they leave, Cooper comes out to the water cooler by Lucy's desk. Lucy comes out to tell him she "checked the personals columns of every national newspaper on the list and didn't see anything that looked like a chess deal or find any mention of the name Windom Earle" and apologizes for her fruitless search.

Ed sits at a booth in the Double R in better spirits than he was in the last time. Norma asks him if "everything is all right." to which Ed replies it "couldn't be better.". He hands her his bill with the money and says, "This is for you.", implying more is involved than him simply paying his bill. She turns the ticket over and sees Ed has written "We need to talk.". She smiles and says goodbye "for now.".

Bobby and Shelley are having problems. Shelley is feeding Leo and she gets upset when Leo spits up on her one too many times. She asserts that it was Bobby's turn to feed him and he can clean when he gets back. Bobby says he isn't coming back. He continues by saying he's "Ben Horne's brand new boy...this is my big break, Shelley. You think I have nothing better to do than to give Leo Johnson a bubble bath?". Shelley responds, "What about me Bobby, do I not have anything better to do." Bobby replies coldly, "Not that I can think of.". Shelley slaps Bobby hard across the face and Bobby leaves fed up with the situation. She screams after him furious with Bobby for putting her in this position to begin with.

James calls Ed and asks him to send what's left in his savings account to him care of Wallie's, the bar where he met Evelyn on Hwy. 96. It's an unsubstantial amount and Ed asks him several questions but James isn't too forthcoming and ends the call abruptly when Evelyn enters. She asks if he is homesick and gets James to tell her a little bit about Twin Peaks. He says he loved the girl who died; he thought his life belonged to him but found out when Laura died it belonged to her. He tried to help out, but nothing he did mattered and after another girl was murdered he wanted to get as far away from Twin Peaks as possible. Evelyn says she knows the feeling and starts kissing James. James asks her why she lets her husband hurt her and she doesn't give a straight answer. She does say before leaving that her husband is going away and that she needs James' help.

Back at the Double R, Nadine comes onto the Mike Nelson at the counter saying they should order something from the menu and share it. Mike makes it abundantly clear he wants pie and coffee by himself. Nadine isn't so easily dissuaded and gives Mike a firm kiss on the mouth, lowering him onto the next stool, then apologizes saying, "Sometimes I can't help myself."
Norma gets ready to leave telling Hank she's going to run some errands. Hank says they still "have most of the breakfast crowd." Norma smiles and tells him to think of it as a test. He says. "I'll do that.", clearly thinking that something else is up.

Harry goes to see Josie at the Blue Pine Lodge. Harry is shocked that Josie has gone back to Catherine after everything Catherine has done to her. He thought she was going to move in with him. Josie asserts that this is her home and that she has no choice. Harry asks Josie to let him take care of her. Josie doesn't seem too keen on the idea and explains that she's safe here and while she's here Harry is safe too. Harry tells her he loves her and starts to kiss her. Josie says she is Catherine's maid and she's no good for him. Harry insists that she is good for him and kisses her more intently until Josie surrenders to the passion filling them both.

Audrey goes to see Ben in his office. Before reaching it, a secretary runs out with a snare drum around her neck, her head bandaged and computer paper wrapped around her. Audrey asks what is wrong but she runs off. Entering the office, she finds Ben is getting carried away with his re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg, now assuming the role of Robert E. Lee and is demanding that someone bring him Gen. Jeb Stuart. Audrey thinks Ben needs some help, but Ben claims all he needs "is a little time, this is a very important day." Audrey says it is an important day because she and he are going to save the business. Ben starts ranting again so Audrey goes to the phone and tries to contact Jerry.

Norma comes by to see Ed as he asked her. She has decided they should get back together which is exactly what Ed wanted to see her about. She wants to be with Ed, no matter what happens. The visit quickly turns into an afternoon romantic interlude.

Hawk is rigging Ernie Niles with a wire to wear during the drug bust in Harry's office. "You're sweating like a pig, Mr. Niles." he says. Ernie contends it's a childhood condition but he didn't notice it until the Korean War. He starts to go into a flashback, but Cooper gets him to "focus on the here and now." Ernie goes over his instructions saying "I take Denise up to Dead Dog Farm. I introduce her to Renault...take Renault through the buy, complete the transaction and get the hell out of there." Cooper tells Harry that's when his officers come in, adding "By golly, I sure wish I could join you fellas, but I've temporarily lost my enforcement franchise." Harry smiles and says, "Well, I've been giving that some thought" and tosses him a badge "Consider yourself deputized...The Bureau's loss is my gain." Cooper can only respond by saying "I hope I can live up to this.". Hawk finishes the wire, saying they should towel Ernie off before they leave. Ernie has a momentary lapse still unable to decide if he's brave or a coward, then regains his composure. Cooper asks where Denise is, then Denise enters as Dennis, thinking it would be more appropriate for a staged drug deal to be himself.

Andy and Dick enter the orphanage offices while everyone's at lunch. Dick finds Nicky's records, but is not able to completely read through them. A childless couple enters the office to see Donnie, one of the orphans and thinks Dick works there. Dick says "Little Donnie, is dead....dead tired, I mean. Little Donnie... isn't feeling up to snuff." Andy starts to get agitated, thinking they should get out of there. Dick replies by saying, "Woody, let me finish helping these good people."

Donna stops by Ed's to see if Ed has heard from James. Donna has looked everywhere for him, but no one has seen him. Ed tells her he's okay, that he called and asked him to send him some money to him to a bar out on 96. Donna says she'll take it to him and that her parents would understand. Ed agrees and gives her the money.
After Donna leaves, Norma comes out, getting ready to go back to the diner. Ed says he will call her soon and she leaves. When Ed turns around, Hank is waiting for him, "Oh, Ed. The things we do for love.". Hank starts hitting Ed, catching him off guard and getting the best of him. Luckily, Nadine comes home and rescues Ed. Nadine gets Hank off Ed and then gets Hank on his feet, She then hits Hank repeatedly and throws him into her knick-knack shelves, having thoroughly laid the smack-down on him.

Bobby is in Ben's office, listening to Ben go on about the victory at Gettysburg. Bobby seems to think he's picked the perfect time to start working for Ben, since he's going bonkers. Ben, then starts to address Bobby as Gen. Meade, handing Bobby his sword and expecting Gen. Meade to return it to him as a symbol of unconditional surrender. Bobby gets frustarted and leaves the office, saying he's going to check with President Lincoln and will get back to him about the surrender. Out in the hall, Bobby tells Audrey he's got good news and bad news. "The bad news is that your old man just bought a condo in flip city. The good news is he's about to win the Civil War." Audrey says Jerry is coming soon and Jacoby is coming the next day. She hopes that collectively they might be able to help Ben.
After Audrey and Bobby leave, Catherine pays a surprise visit to Ben. He says she's come here to gloat and "celebrate my demise." She admits she did come here to gloat, after all Ben double crossed her and tried to kill her as well, but it becomes clear that she has come here for more personal reasons and in spite of all he's done, she's still physically attracted to him and two more Twin Peaks residents have an afternoon romantic interlude.

James leads Evelyn blindfolded with two champagne glasses to the completely repaired Jaguar. She says her husband will be back at midnight, adding that doesn't leave them much time. She asks what his plans are. James says he isn't sure. Evelyn gets closer to him, asking him more insistently for him to stay, claiming she can think of a hundred reasons for it. They melt into each others arms and lie against the Jaguar, following the lead of multiple nooners taking place back in Twin Peaks. In the distance, Malcolm watches James and Evelyn's activities, pleased with what is transpiring.

The drug bust doesn't go as planned. Ernie suggests that they wait for Hank. Renault insists that they start without him. Sgt. King notices Ernie is sweating profusely, which Ernie waives off as a childhood condition. Dennis tries to hurry the transaction along, but Ernie's smoking shirt reveals that he is wired. Renault and King take Ernie and Dennis outisde with guns pointed at them, yelling out for Cooper. Cooper steps out saying "He came for me, Harry." and after Renault asks for safe passage to the border, Cooper rectifies the situation by trading himself for Dennis and Ernie as a hostage. While the exchange is being made, Harry has Hawk call in for some major backup.

At the Marsh's, Evelyn leaves James alone and asleep in his bed. Out on the landing, Malcolm waits for her asking, "How's our baby boy?". They kiss and go into an embrace, showing that they are not brother and sister, having hatched a plot that could be quite detrimental to James' safety.

Back at Dead Dog Farm, the place is surrounded by more deputies and sharpshooters.

Renault: Will they let us run, Agent Cooper?
Cooper: No
Renault: Then, you think they will deal?
Cooper: No.
Renault: What do you suggest we do?
Cooper: Surrender.
Renault: Okay.
King: Are you crazy?
Renault: No, but first we must decide to give up quietly or to kill him.
Cooper; Then we both die.
Renault: I know
Cooper: Is my death so important to you?
Renault: My two brothers die. I hold you responsible.
Cooper: Why?
Renault: Why?...Before you came here. Twin Peaks was a simple place. My brothers deal dope to the teenagers and the truck drivers. One Eyed Jack's welcome the businessman and the tourist. Quiet people live a quiet life. Then, a pretty girl die and you arrive and everything change. My brother Bernardo shot and left to die in the woods. The grieving father smother my remaining brother with the pillow. Kidnapping, death. Suddenly, the quiet people, they're quiet no more. Suddenly, the simple dream become the nightmare. So, if you die, maybe you will be the last to die, maybe you brought the nightmare with you and maybe the nightmare will die with you.
King: I don't know what the hell you're talking about, but I do know, we've got a damn problem here and if you're not gonna solve it, I will...Jacques, take a look at this...

Denise approaches Dead Dog Frm dressed in a Double R waitress uniform. Renault lets him in. He's carrying a large tray of food, saying "Suppertime.". Renault thinks he recognizes her. Denise raises her skirt exposing her garter to Jean and a concealed gun to Cooper. Cooper grabs the gun and shoots Renault. Denise slams the open door into King, who is standing behind it, and starts to subdue King. Hawk enters from the back. Harry and Andy come in through the front. Cooper and Denise quickly have the situation under control.

Cooper: Quick thinking, Denise.
Denise; It was just my legs. Thank Sheriff Truman, it was his idea.
Cooper: Harry S. Truman.
Harry: Well, sometimes you got to improvise.
Hawk checks Renault's pulse. The last of the Renault brothers is dead.

At the Johnson residence, Shelley lies on the sofa with the stereo playing. The lights fade in and out as if there might be a power failure, the music swerves in and out as well. Shelley, at first, thinks it's Bobby playing a practical joke. She looks for Leo in his bed. He's not there, so she checks his wheelchair and doesn't find him there either. Shelley turns around and sees Leo standing there with an evil grin on his face. The lights go out with Shelley's screams filling the house.

Hawk, Harry and Cooper return to the station, where they are also experiencing a power failure. Lucy said they received a phone call about a bomb planted in the woods, but the caller was not specific about the location. Then there was a huge explosion which sounded extremely close by so they evacuated the station and called the fire department. There was a fire at the power station and the explosion of a transformer out back caused a second fire. Hawk says he's going to check the generators and Cooper enters the station to take a look around, while Lucy continues to talk to Harry. Once inside Harry's office, Cooper calls out to Harry. "Harry, you better take a look at this, alone." When Harry comes into the office, he is absolutely shocked because there is a dead man sitting in his desk chair. There is a chess board in front of him with one of his fingers pointing at the board. Harry asks who it is. Cooper says he doesn't know but this is Windom Earle's next move.

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