Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer – Twin Peaks

Posted by in Twin Peaks Week

Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer, the third episode of Twin Peaks, reviewed for Twin Peaks Week.

Make sure you read from the beginning of Twin Peaks Week!
Click here to read the review of the pilot episode.

Comedic vs Dramatic Surrealism

Agent Coulson and Tibet in Twin Peaks

Tibet – Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer

I think my favourite aspect of Twin Peaks so far, apart from the quirky characters, is the moments of surreal comedy that are allowed to appear in an otherwise bleak, mysterious setting. Bizarre moments such as the dancing kid from the pilot, or Agent Cooper using the techniques he learnt from his dreams in this latest episode, helps to act as a balance to the more intense scenes such as the meeting of Joe and Bobby (also from this episode). What I didn’t anticipate is the introduction of dramatic surrealism too, in this case via Agent Coulson’s dream sequence, which is simply magical and captivating film-making. I really hope there are more scenes like this as the series develops. However, I can imagine that this scene would also be off-putting to a lot of viewers who were watching simply for the mystery surrounding the plot. Luckily I am not one of those people. I believe that there isn’t enough of moments like this on TV currently (not counting Adult Swim of course, who are king of the surreal at the current time), and I wasn’t even aware of this lacking feature until watching this episode. I really can’t praise those last few minutes enough, what they mean for the case though I have no idea. Hopefully that is uncovered via the morning’s explanation in the next episode.

Soap Opera Plotlines

Soap Opera storylines in Twin Peaks S01E02 Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer - Twin Peaks Week

Soap Opera Storylines – Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer

There is one part of Twin Peaks that grates with me that I have yet to address: the soap opera style plotlines. The biggest example of this I can think of is the love of Donna and James. All their scenes together are just rather dull and nothing I haven’t really seen on television before, which really is the anthesis of what I was talking about in the previous section. Hopefully these storylines develop into something more, because curently all I do is find myself checking the time whenever they appear.

Wrap Up

I found Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer a much better episode than the last, with better pacing and more interesting plot lines. The introduction of dramatic surrealsm within Agent Coulson’s dream was absolutely my favourite part of the episode. I really hope there is more of it as the series continues and less of the weak soap opera style plotlines.

To find out when the latest episode review is up, or to follow along with me watching the latest episode, follow me on Twitter, where I will be tweeting all week with #TwinPeaksWeek.
Also, please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions about this episode in the comments below. Please refrain from posting spoilers from future episodes!

Read the last review: Bored to Death (2009-2011)
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