Twin Peaks Usenet Archive

Subject: Re: Ben
From: (News system owner ID)
Date: 1991-01-15, 12:34
Reply-to: ingria@BBN.COM

In article <> (Eugene Kushnirsky) writes:
   In article <> (Ann Hodgins) writes:

   >I defend Ben against charges that he is the new host for BOB.
   >I see his current condition as a natural and somewhat healthy
   >response to shock. 

   I HATE what they've done to Ben's character. There is nothing "natural" about
   his state; this is the writers trying for supposed comic relief. Leland's
   dead, Jacoby's nowhere to be seen--"Oh," they say, "we need a new oddball
   character! How about the kooky next-door-neighbor....No, what if we take a
   strong character and make him go nuts? Ha ha! Let's say that spending a couple
   of nights in jail has caused Ben Horne to flip! Hey, yeah, he's completely 
   rational now, but what if YOU were forced to endure the horror and degradation
   of the Twin Peaks county jail--you'd suddenly become obsessed with the Civil
   War too!

Ben's been through a lot more than this.  Let's start with Harry and
Cooper bringing Ben in.  Remember his reaction?  To deny they had any
power over him and then to try to ``go out for a sandwich''.  Ben is
someone who has had unquestioned power over people; when he actualy
has to deal with a crisis directly, he denies it and folds up.

Next, he gets thrown into jail and receives Catherine's blackmail
threat, via Pete.  While this offers him a way out, he also has to
give up his prize (the Mill and Ghostwood).  Ben's reaction is ``She
set me up.''  The fire and Catherine's death, which were to give him a
triumph, have backfired.  Faced with this, what does Ben do?  He
throws a tantrum.

Catherine visits Ben in jail, in her Tojamura guise, gets him to sign
over the mill and Ghostwood, and leaves it open as to whether she will
testify in Ben's defense.  So, Ben has given up the mill and
Ghostwood, had it rubbed in his face that he couldn't recognize
Catherine, and may still not have gotten an alibi despite his
self-abasement and capitulation to Catherine.

Ben is released, but discovers that Leland is either psychotic or
possessed.  Also, since Ben is now off the hook, he needn't have given
in to Catherine at all.

Hank returns from One-Eyed Jack's to tell Ben he's out of the picture,
physically man-handling him in the process.

So, Ben has been thrown in prison, been placed at risk of losing his
liberty and, possibly, life, had his plans for getting the Mill and
developing Ghostwood shattered, and even lost One-Eyed Jack's.  Worst
of all, not only has he been bested by Catherine, his social equal,
but he has been pushed around by Harry, a public official, who should
be carrying out Ben's orders, and Hank, the hired help.

So (1) there's been a lot more than just ``a couple of nights in
jail''; Ben has been systematically robbed of his physical possessions
and his authority.  (2) As Ben's reaction to Harry showed, Ben was
really not ``a strong character''; he was powerful, but only by virtue
of habit.  When he was seriously challenged, he was completely
helpless.  So, whether or not Ben's behavior fits any established
clinical pattern, it certainly is consonant with the frustrations and
defeats he's suffered.

	    Yeah, let's do that, so we can spend more time putting wacky thought
   balloons over Andy's head!"

A complete non sequitur, since the thought balloon had nothing to do
with Ben, but rather the Andy/Dick/Lucy (or is it Nicky) triangle.


``Small-town agonist, to whom exactness is that which hair is flesh to.
  He influences her to suit his character.''