My Stay in Twin Peaks
Does anyone recognize this opening scene? Twin Peaks was a TV drama that ran for two seasons from 1990-1991 on ABC. Created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, it was known for it’s macabre story with often out of the ordinary quirky and comedic scenes, mixing them together into a delicious metaphorical piece of marble cake. Although it was picking up steam with it’s cult fan base, the general public were apparently not so interested, leaving the fate of Twin Peaks in ABC’s hands. The plug was pulled at the end of season two.
Set as a small quaint town in Washington state, Twin Peaks is a bolstering mecca of negative energy, and it all begins with the death of one homecoming queen, Laura Palmer. The death has similar patterns to past homicides and a FBI agent by the name of Dale Cooper comes into town to investigate. Throughout his investigation Cooper finds the town to be bitter sweet, showing two faces of every citizen and suspect he meets. Even sweet Laura Palmer, Cooper discovers, was living two lives, both dramatically different from one another. No one is who they appear, not even the killer.
With declining ratings half way through the second season, ABC rushed the writers for closure in Laura’s death. The case was abruptly closed in two episodes and Laura’s murderer ended up being strangely eccentric and spiritual. ABC hot on the writers heals wanted to focus more on Agent Cooper after Laura’s case, bringing back someone from his dark past, and adding a love interest. Windom Earle was once Agent Coopers partner in the FBI, but the death of Earle’s wife (who coincidentally was in love with Cooper) throws him over the edge into insanity. Earle escapes from a mental institute, flees to the woods of Twin Peaks and swears revenge on Cooper. This plot of the story is extremely odd and dives deeper into the negative spiritual energy of Twin Peaks. Earle is in search of a “Black Lodge“, essentially hell, that he plans to trap and kill Agent Cooper in. Earle does succeed in getting Cooper into the Black Lodge, but as intelligent and cunning as Earle is, the Black Lodge proves to be more unpredictable than he could ever imagine. *SPOILER* Cooper does escape the Black Lodge…or does he?
I found talking about Twin Peaks one of my hardest posts to date, not because of the strange story but because my love for the show centered around each character. Every character in Twin Peaks is exaggerated, the death of two local girls and an ongoing FBI investigation couldn’t stop most from their own agendas. Twin Peaks is full of quirky and memorable characters such as the log lady, Sheriff Andy, and Pete the logger. But the strong cast with even stronger characters is what makes Twin Peaks the powerhouse it is. I’m going to detail a few of my favorites that solidify Twin Peaks as one of my favorite series.
First is obviously Special Agent Dale Cooper, intelligent and full of wisdom, his past is shrouded in mystery and you never quite know where he’s getting all his spiritual experiences from. My personal favorite is Audrey Horne, I usually don’t go for the strong willed bad ass girl, but Sherilyn Fenn nails this character, making Audrey a seductive mastermind who’s strong willed yet fragile, with good intentions that often put her in dangerous situations. I love that character so much. Shelly and Bobby I combine into one cohesive character, whith out one, there would be no other. The couple that couldn’t catch a break, but are still in love by the end of all their drama. And lastly, the best living dead girl, Laura Palmer played by Sheryl Lee. Lee first appears dead wrapped in plastic, comes in again as a dark haired cousin, and ends with an insanely creepy scream queen appearance in the Black Lodge. I’ve only named a few of my favorites, but all of Twin Peaks characters are amazing and fit together as one cohesive mutated monster.
By the time I finished Twin Peaks I had figuratively been to hell and back. Like a Native American’s vision quest I had seen the unthinkable and journeyed into what I can only imagine a live action dream would be like. The whole experience was so surreal, I, like most others, were disappointed with the uneasy cliffhanger season two left us with. Twin Peaks tugged at every emotional string I had, and I’m still left to wonder “How’s Annie?”