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.
Note: The first installment of Twin Peaks is commonly referred to as The Pilot while the second episode aired is considered to be Episode One. We will be designating each episode using this criteria. The third installment of Twin Peaks is Episode Two.
So, newbies — when everyone said this show was weird, were you expecting that? It’s been 24 years, and I’m not sure anything that bizarre has aired on a major network again.
My favorite character has arrived: Albert Rosenfield, wonderfully played by Miguel Ferrer. He doesn’t get a ton to do in this episode, but…is it a spoiler to say he’s in future episodes?
I’m finding it difficult to talk about the show much without giving spoilers. What do y’all think? Do you have any major suspects?
By the way, it was just announced that David Lynch and Mark Frost are bringing a new Twin Peaks series to Showtime in 2016. We have amazing timing, Log Ladies! There are no spoilers at this link, but for you newbies, I’d advise not reading anything about this. Major spoilers are very likely in discussions of the show, and what the new series might involve.
NEW TWIN PEAKS, YA’LL. I’ve been a Twin Peaks fan for over a decade, and I never thought it would happen. Of course, our coverage of the final episode of season 2 is a long way away, but I’m thrilled I won’t have to end my piece with “and then the show was canceled forever, and all my dreams died.” LET’S ROCK!
But back to season 1, which begins with an awkward Horne family dinner. Twin Peaks has a fascinating relationship with food. There’s Cooper’s love of coffee and cherry pie, of course, and now we meet Jerry Horne (aka the “WARRIOOOORS! COME OUT AND PLAAAAAY-AAAAY!” guy) and his beloved sandwich. Was there ever a Twin Peaks cookbook? There had to be one, right? Even the Horne brothers’s names, Ben and Jerry, call to mind the ice cream company.
Nadine’s determined to make her silent drape runners. Were noisy drape runners an epidemic in the U.S. in 1990?
I love Cooper’s unorthodox investigation method. It’s such a quietly funny scene that reveals a lot about Cooper (this method won’t be the only thing he gets from a dream) and the motley crew of the Twin Peaks police force. Whenever I watch this scene, I remember Scott C.’s adorable painting of Cooper and company. And then they’re soon shaken up by the arrival of Miguel Ferrer’s Albert Rosenfeld. Ferrer is always excellent at playing assholes, but there are really great Albert scenes coming up soon.
Twin Peaks loves food, and it loves dancing. There are three very different dancing sequences in this episode: Audrey’s dreamy, spaced out dance at the diner (yes, I get that way when I’m thinking about Agent Cooper, too); Leland Palmer crying and dancing with Laura’s picture; and finally, the dancing Man from Another Place.
How amazing, how audacious and surreal, is this scene? By the end of this episode, what had been an occasionally kooky, but straightforward mystery series suddenly becomes much more. Cooper’s belief in the power of his dreams seemed like a charming quirk at first, but his dreams are integral to the deepening mysteries and mythology of Twin Peaks. Is Cooper psychic? What is the Red Room? Who are Mike, Killer BOB, and the Man from Another Place? What do the words “Fire Walk with Me” mean? There’s an enormous amount of strange new information to take in, and it hits you like a fever dream. Even now, 25 years later, it still seems surprising that this aired on a major network.
(Less impressive is Cooper’s old age makeup. Thankfully, Kyle Maclachlan has aged much more gracefully.)
Cooper’s dream of The Red Room is probably Twin Peaks’ most iconic scene, and it’s been referenced and parodied many times. The Simpsons parodied it in the “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” two-parter, and even Scooby Doo paid a visit to Twin Peaks.
Holy shit everyone, new Twin Peaks coming. Yes to what Annie said. If you’re a total newbie, avoid all spoilers for your own sake. Also, someone pinged me with the news about the new season announcement while I was watching the Red Room scene. Needless to say, I had a heart attack.
An aspect of David Lynch’s work that has always hooked me is that he said in an interview that he does not base his ideas off of dreams that he’s had:
I don’t remember my dreams too much. I hardly have ever gotten ideas from nighttime dreams. But I love daydreaming, and dream logic and the way dreams go. They are an influence because of just the way they are. One of the beautiful powers of cinema is taking that logic.
He consciously develops his narrative and visual ideas and they do not primarily develop in his unconscious dreams. But, the dream sequences in Twin Peaks (i.e. the Red Room and later scenes) and Mulholland Drive feel so real. He has this fantastic ability to depict dreamscapes, but it’s all very purposeful and thought out. It’s beautiful. I love everything about Agent Cooper’s dream, and I love the scene with Cooper’s divining technique equally as much.
Really, right now I’m too excited about the new season to say anything more. But if you haven’t been rewatching (or watching it for the first time) with us, jump on board. We’re only three installments in, people! Let’s have a worldwide party on premiere night.