Twin Piques: A Millennial’s Journey Through the Original David Lynch Classic

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I am the very model of a modern major-general massager. (Image via CBS/Showtime)

Side note: if I had watched this as a young impressionable youth I feel like there would be a 50% higher chance of me trying cigarettes.

The body is revealed to be Laura Palmer. We instantly get some prime dramatic irony when the scene switches to Laura’s mom, who doesn’t even realize that Laura’s not in the house. Side note: if I had watched this as a young impressionable youth I feel like there would be a 50% higher chance of me trying cigarettes because damn Mrs. Palmer can work a Marlboro. (I’m assuming it’s a Marlboro. Anything else seems vaguely unpatriotic.)

When Mrs. Palmer does figure out Laura’s not home, she starts calling around Twin Peaks, first dialing someone who is…massaging a general? Not a metaphor.

Requisite millennial side note: mystery plots were just so much simpler in the age before cell phones. I mean, Laura’s cell phone could be dead or left at home or whathaveyou, but scriptwriters got to avoid so many plotholes and time-consuming explanations. Anyway, while I’m ruminating on this, Mrs. Palmer is learning that Bobby–who I’m assuming is the boyfriend–is not at football practice. She looks some combination of pissed and worried. Oh, the dramatic irony!

Cut to this holy wow beautiful shot:

(Image via CBS/Showtime)

Zoom in onto the hotel/lodge at the top of the waterfall, where a hoity-toity girl gets into a hoity-toity car. I am amused to note that her very deliberately shot shoes are still in fashion.

(Image via CBS/Showtime)

How is referring to someone as a cheese-eater an insult?

Long story short, Businessman #1 is banking on the Packard Sawmill going out of business and is trying to sell the land to Norwegians. Who are referred to as cheese-eaters? Why? Who doesn’t like cheese, how is this an insult. An important line that realistically should be worked into any deal: “My air sacs have never felt so good!”

Businessman #2 is revealed to be Leland Palmer, father of Laura. In another brilliantly shot scene, he’s on the phone reassuring his wife that their daughter is fine as President Sheriff is driving up to the lodge. Interestingly, President Sheriff never tells Mr. Palmer Laura is dead; Mr. Palmer never tells Mrs. Palmer that Laura is dead. They just all kind of know and start sobbing.

This makes for two crying men thus far. I am impressed and encouraged at the lack of emotional stoicism.

Meanwhile, we cut to a diner and a young rakish lad who is revealed to be Bobby. I’d also like to point out that this was an age where you could pay for a coffee with quarters without it being insulting. Bobby, truly a young rakish lad, is making time with one of the diner waitresses. Interestingly, the most dramatic music of the episode thus far is not when they find the body, or when Laura’s parents find out that she’s dead. It’s when Bobby and the Shelley the Waitress are driving to her house and they realize her husband? brother? father? is home.

Did high school students just, like, casually smoke in hallways in 1989?

Scene cut to the Twin Peaks high school. I am forced to ask two important questions:

  1. Did students just, like, casually smoke in hallways in 1989?
  2. Did students put out their lit cigarettes in their lockers in 1989?

Anyway, the high school is informed of Laura’s death. Everyone is upset but Bobby. The principal starts crying, bringing the crying dudes total up to three. Here for it!

Scene cut to the Palmers’ house, where the police are questioning Laura’s grieving parents and going through her stuff. I’m only mentioning this for two reasons. Firstly, Overly Empathetic Policeman discovers her diary and is flummoxed because there’s no key. Y’all, locked diaries are not exactly the pinnacle of security.

Secondly, what the fresh hell is this:

No, seriously. What is this. (Image via CBS/Showtime)

The police realize another Twin Peaks girl is missing, who promptly reappears in an absolutely gorgeous shot:

(Image via CBS/Showtime)

But have no fear, because FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper is on the case.

Y’all. How much do I love FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Let me count the ways.

Actually, I’ll spare you. But I will post his opening monologue–as spoken into what I’m assuming is a tape recorder–in its entirety.

Y’all. How much do I love FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Let me count the ways.

"Diane, 2:15 in the afternoon, November 14. Entering town of Twin Peaks. Five miles south of the Canadian border, twelve miles west of the state line. Never seen so many trees in my life. As W.C. Fields would say, I’d rather be here than Philadelphia. It’s 54 degrees on a beautiful sunny afternoon. Weatherman said rain. If you could get paid that kind of money for being wrong 60% of the time, it’d beat working. Mileage is 79,345, gauge is on reserve, I’m riding on fumes, have to tank up when I get into town, remind me to tell you how much that is. Lunch was $6.31 and I left her a dollar tip, at the Lamplighter Inn, that’s on Highway 2 near Lewis Fork. That was a tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat and a slice of cherry pie and coffee. Damn good food. And if you ever get up this way, Diane, that cherry pie is worth a stop. I’ll be looking for a Sheriff Daniel Steadman, he’s going to be at the Calhoun Memorial Hospital with that girl they pulled off the mountain. I’ll be checking into a motel after we’re through there. Sure the Sheriff’ll be able to recommend a clean place. Reasonably priced. Forgot to mention. I stopped for coffee and a pit stop about 10:30, little diner near Bitteroot Lake. Excellent coffee. Forgot to get the receipt, can you believe it? That was seventy fire cents and I left a quarter on the counter. Got to find out what kind of trees these are. They’re really something."

Cooper instantly busts open the diary with brute manly FBI strength, winning him a point.

There’s something about the enthusiastic banality of Dale Cooper that is absolutely mesmerizing. President Sheriff is pretty much instantly along for the ride; they quickly become a buddy-cop duo, interviewing the girl who appeared on the train tracks, going to examine Laura Palmer’s body–Cooper finds a paper “R” under her fingernail, which is probably important–and looking through Laura’s things.

Cooper instantly busts open the diary with brute manly FBI strength, winning him a point. He then handles it without gloves, instantly losing said point. He does find a key to a safety deposit box, as well as traces of what he thinks are cocaine.

Cooper and President Sheriff interview Bobby. He didn’t do it. How do I know? Because Cooper types a note on…a graphing calculator?

(Image via CBS/Showtime)

Also, because Cooper has seen this murdering leaving-letters-under-people’s-fingernails MO before. Cooper and Sheriff President go to the kill site, where they find a lot of blood, a pile of dirt with a half-heart necklace on top, and a note written in blood: “Fire. Walk with me.”

Serial killer time!

Related Story: On May 21, Twin Peaks Revives Itself

Some other key facts revealed in the pilot:

  • Fancy shoes girl is revealed to be Audrey. However, Audrey is an asshole, intentionally ruining the deal with the cheese-eating Norwegians by telling them about Laura’s death.
  • Everyone is sleeping with everyone. More specifically, Laura was dating James the Biker on the side.
  • Mysterious Asian lady is revealed to be Josie Packard, the widow of the original owner of Packard Sawmill and also she’s gettin’ it on with President Sheriff. She is my hero.
  • Everyone is cheating on everyone. More specifically, Laura’s best friend Donna starts macking on biker James–does it count as cheating if Laura is dead?–and Shelley the Waitress is married to Leo the Abusive Trucker. There’s also a gas station owner who is making time with the other waitress; they’re both married to other people.
  • James is revealed to have the other half of the necklace found at the mill. Helen and James bury it in the woods, but a mysterious someone finds it at the end of the episode