Welcome to our biweekly roundtable of Twin Peaks where we are working our way through every. Single. Episode. Some of us are regulars and some of us newbies, but none of our experiences are the same. So get yourself a damn fine cup of coffee, watch along with us, and feel free to chime in on the comments section. Say anything you like, our log does not judge.
For our first-time viewers: do you have any prime suspects in Laura’s murder yet? Any characters you especially love or hate (or love to hate)? I know it’s early, but I’m curious about what stands out to you.
Every Twin Peaks episode is a lot of things, but this is partially The Episode of the Boys. While the majority of teen dudes in Twin Peaks are in foul moods most of the time (Leo, Bobby, Mike, etc.) this is an episode that showcases them as a group. This is done while Bobby seems to be a prime suspect in the murder for the police. Leo is also implicated in the murder to the viewing audience (via his bloody clothes). It’s difficult to tell if their behavior indicates guilt since they are generally hostile to authority, surly, and non-communicative, regardless of crimes committed. While adult characters also have their issues and complaints, they are more self-controlled in social situations; they are able to cooperate or circumnavigate authority figures without being confrontational. James Hurley provides a counterpoint to the typical sassiness, and he is also widely incorporated into the episode, having talking scenes, a flashback with Laura, and being mentioned in several conversations between other characters. And yet, he is brooding and secretive. Are there any teenage boys worth trusting in Twin Peaks?
Also, enjoy this picture of me as pregnant Lucy with my friend as Nadine at a Twin Peaks party.
Bobby is a weirdo. That said, I kind of want Leo to be guilty so he can get locked up, and Shelley will be free from the abusive douche. I love Coop because he treads this line of being this seemingly incompetent agent because of his fascination with random things (names of rabbits, pie, cheap hotels, recording his observations, the trees in Twin Peaks), but then his interrogation of Bobby in the first episode was really good.
Who do I think killed Laura Palmer? No idea. I need more motives and to see the characters open up a little more before I have my first suspect.
That’s what I love about Cooper: his fascination with simple pleasures and little things doesn’t make him weak or stupid. It gives him balance against all the horrible things he deals with in his job. He can tread so far into the darkness without getting lost. It’s downright inspirational. That’s one of the ways this show improved my life when I first saw it years ago. It doesn’t make you cool to be unimpressed by things, to put yourself above everything. It makes you boring and terrible. Ironic detachment is such a waste. As a result, traveling with me is either a blast or completely exhausting because I’m excited about everything. The food! The view! Little differences from what I’m used to! That was always my natural inclination, but I had to learn not to pretend otherwise.
This episode was the first one shot when the show was officially picked up as a series, so everyone has their good hair now, what they’ll have for the rest of the run. Sherilyn Fenn is almost supernaturally beautiful here and so charming. I’m so glad she went into the being-on-film profession so the widest possible audience can enjoy it.
Man, Leo really is awful. As beautiful as it is, this series should be labeled “Trigger warning: everything you can think of.”
I think I could watch this series a thousand times and never get sick of Cooper and his love of a damn fine cup of coffee. His energy and appreciation for the little things is just so infectious. I would love to be Diane and receive all of his voice memos. I can just picture her listening and smirking at her eccentric boss.
At this point in the series however there aren’t a lot of characters that I “love.” (Other than Cooper.) There are the characters I know I will grow to love over time – like Audrey and Harry. And characters I like seeing on screen more than others – like Bobby, Pete, and Lucy. But it struck me how little we know about all of these people at this point compared to how much you learn over the course of series. There are also a few characters that I feel differently about this time around. Like Nadine and Josie. The first time I watched Twin Peaks, I had strong opinions of both of them early on that changed by the final episode. That knowledge is making me look at their actions and interactions with others a lot differently on the rewatch. Also having seen Fire Walk With Me my opinion of Donna is skewed as well.
This episode’s pie: Strawberry Rhubarb.
This episode opens with two fantastic Cooper scenes: the slow reveal of him hanging upside down in his hotel room and then his first cup of coffee in the Great Northern Hotel. I love Cooper’s first meeting with Audrey; they immediately have great chemistry. (And I want Audrey’s tree-print blouse.)
Leo Johnson is one of the most loathsome characters in the series. Not only does he have the perpetual scowl and greasy ponytail of a Cobra Kai leader, he abuses his wife. A deeply unappealing man.
Twin Peaks has one of the best pilots in television history, and though the pilot feels very cinematic, this episode is much more soap opera. Sheryl Lee’s brief “appearances” ramp up the melodrama, especially the very cheesy flashback scene and Mrs. Palmer seeing Laura in Donna. (Flawless early 90s video editing there.)
But there are so many wonderful scenes too. The fish in the percolator. Audrey dancing to Angelo Badalamenti’s score. Nadine’s “COTTON. BALLS.” Plus Mrs. Palmer’s bizarre visions continue.
No, that’s okay. I didn’t need to sleep anyway.