The Condemned woman/Wounds and Scars- Twin Peaks episodes 23/24 (Air dates Feb 16, March 28 1991)
So close to the deadline...
I even forgot at the time how long this "slump" in Season 2 goes for, like a broken down car going up a steep hill. In a metaphor appropriate for the series it is almost like you are driving from the top of one Peak to the other, the easy downward slope of the first season, going fine in the middle and then the massive climb to the top of the second. (And the nostalgia driven ride down for the third)
These two episode also sit each side of a mid season gap, over a month between episodes.
Earle continues his "public" scheme, he chess game with Cooper in which he declares he will take Cooper's Queen. Earle targets Shelly, Donna and Audrey by sending them 1/3 of a poem and arranging them to meet each other at the Roadhouse. He vows to Leo that he will take Cooper's queen, assumed to be payback for his wife Caroline. (Something I am unsure Earle is actually worried about by the end of all this) Cooper employs chess protege Pete Martel to play Earle's game to a stalemate whilst loosing a few pieces as possible. I do adore that Pete is chess genius, it just seems perfect for the character for reasons I can't put my finger on and gives us some great Jack Nance scenes.
Even this late in the series we manage to squeeze in a couple of extra characters, in particular Billy Zane as "Keep Audrey busy cause we got nothin for Sherilyn Fenn to do" Jack and Heather Graham and Norma's sister Annie.
This break in season 2 is marked by a series of break ups in the show, Audrey gets interested in Jack breaking her interest in Cooper. Big Ed and Nadine push towards divorce, Nadine and Mike are dating finishing off the almost non existent Mike/Donna thing. James and Donna take a break, with James riding off into the sunset never to be seen in this season again. Ben breaks with his beloved Ghostwood project, now recovered from his nervous breakdown he has become an insufferable goodguy. Ben is now an environmentalist, he exercises, dresses casual rather than a suit and eats healthy. I do like this Ben, as you are never really ever sure if this is all a scam to get everything he lost to the Packards back or if he really did turn over a new leaf after a mental crisis. (I also am unsure of Dr Jacoby's skills as a therapist at this point)
We also have the untimely end to Josie and the moving of the Eckhardt/Packard game to the next stage. Josie realises she has been found out by Cooper, that she is not only on the hook for shooting him but also killing her "cousin" Jonathan/Mr Lee. Eckhardt and Andrew have a confrontation in the elevator at the Great Northern and Josie heads there to perform the final act in her tragedy. Cooper heads to Eckhardt's suit after a tip from Catherine, when he gets their Josie has shot Eckhardt and she aims her gun at Cooper before collapsing as Harry enters. As he watches Harry rush to Josie, Cooper sees BOB gloating over the events. At the episode end we are shown Josie's soul becoming part of the bedside table in some 90s CGI which didn't age too bad. (it's still not fantastic)
These events drive Harry into a deep depression, drinking himself to sleep whilst held up in the Bookhouse. We end episode 24 with Cooper and Hawk talking down a violently depressed Harry and putting him to bed where he is later joined by Eckhardt's assistant Ms Jones.