Lynch Diary #1: Twin Peaks

David Lynch is quite possibly my favourite director working today. Well, perhaps not, but he has made some really great movies. It was only last year that I was introduced to Lynch with Blue Velvet, and since then I have never looked back. So far, I’ve seen all of Lynch’s films except for Dune, Fire Walk With Me and The Straight Story. And just a couple of days ago a friend lent me a copy of Season One of Lynch’s hugely successful TV series, Twin Peaks. So far, I’ve only watched three of the eight episodes (including the Pilot) of the series, but I would like to so far broadcast my thoughts and give a secret premonition of who I believe killed Laura Palmer…

Right, so first off, let’s look at the Pilot episode. It starts off with three minutes of pure bliss, slow images of Lynch’s perfectly created little sawmill town. The music is Julee Cruise, “Falling,” a song I heard years ago but surprisingly appeared right there as soon as I pressed play. Then we transition to a fisherman (Jack Nance, whose looks have changed dramatically since Eraserhead) discovering the homecoming queen’s body. A nearly naked woman named Pulaski is also found, alive but emotionally scarred for life. It becomes clear that Laura Palmer and Pulaski (whose first name I cannot remember) were attacked and raped.

And from this point on, throughout the progression of the episode, we are introduced to several more strange characters, all residents of Lynch’s town, and begin to follow their stories. Each have their own suburban secrets, a la Blue Velvet, and each have their tale to tell.

Enter FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan, this just keeps getting better and better), who decides to stay in the peaceful town and invesigate the murder. He’s a weird fellow, muttering into a tape recorder dubbed Diane and admiring what seem to be completely normal and otherwise uninteresting trees. In the next episode, we learn of his love for coffee and cherry pie, as the mystery continues to unfold.

At the conclusion of the third episode (Episode Two if you don’t include the Pilot), Cooper has a strange dream involving a small man dressed in red who speaks as if his words are reversed audio, and a woman whom he claims to be his sister, but who is identical to Laura Palmer. Cooper awakens from this dream (nightmare?), calls up the town sherriff Harry S. Truman (yes, you heard me right) and tells him he knows who the killer is.

A suspenseful ending if ever there was one. So what are my thoughts? Who do I think killed Laura? Well, I have no firm evidence and I’m probably wrong, but I believe it is either Leo, Audrey or that psychiatrist fellow. If you don’t know who I mean, you must see Twin Peaks. I’m probably dead wrong, but those are my guesses. Tonight I’m going to crack down and watch the rest of the series, and tomorrow I will update you with my thoughts on the next few episodes and whether my predictions have changed.

What’s my Lynch opinion? I am very much enjoying TP. I love the way he presents us with all these characters and their different lives, and a director who can spin the whole multiple scenario character and make it enjoyable (a nod to P.T. Anderson and Robert Altman, among others) is among the top in my book.

What do you think of Twin Peaks? Leave a comment and let me know, but no spoilers!

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About Tyler

Patient observer of all things film and music, from Béla Tarr to Boards of Canada. Foul mouthed and clinging to the edge of sanity.

Posted on March 23, 2011, in TV Shows and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Though I haven’t seen it since it was on TV back in 1990 and 1991, I will tell you that I absolutely loved the show! So so weird and so so wonderful. It had a bit of everything: humor, gore, drama, sadness, and let’s not forget about the cherry pie. Oh… and those trees! I have the soundtrack by my paesano Angelo Badalamenti on my iPod and I still listen to it every once in awhile. I loved the show so much that we even made a point to stop in Snoqualmie to check out some of the locations. Here’s a link to the Salish Lodge: http://www.salishlodge.com/. Look familiar?

    The series has been in my Netflix queue for quite awhile. Perhaps I should move it up so we can compare notes.

    Enjoy the show. It’s a fun ride!

    Cheers!
    G-LO

    • Since doing this post I’ve watched two more episodes, and boy! The suspense is killing me. I knew from Mulholland Drive and INLAND EMPIRE that Lynch was good at character development, but I never knew he was this good! And Kyle MacLachlan is terrific, really! (“Mmm… smell that Douglas Fir!!”)

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