Twin Peaks - A Body in Plastic



I have started and stopped, stopped and started multiple writings for Twin Peaks. It is so funny but there has been so much content dedicated to the new season and focus on the film, Fire Walk with Me, and the previous two seasons that have been reawakened on Showtime prior to the Season 3 that I doubted there’d be any reason to put forth the effort. That said, I have just returned from vacation and last night watched the pilot where Lynch and Frost, for the most part, don’t include too much that would confront the viewer with the odd and difficult later to be produced by the writing duo. I visit Reddit regularly just for the wealth of theories and offered ideas behind what the new season (intertwined with the previous two seasons and FWwM) might be (or might not be) telling us. Each episode so far has given us details of a vast number of characters. Some have been in passing, some a bit more focused. And the key to it all is that Lynch/Frost were in no need to be in a hurry. They had 18 episodes to cover their wide, across-various-states story, not beholden just to Twin Peaks, Washington. Showtime, obviously, was willing to finally give them that platform to tell whatever they so desired, it seems.

Watching Fire Walk with Me just recently, I had a better grasp on how it cohesively tied itself to the previous two seasons of the show. Sure Lynch could expand upon the show’s limitations and go to the darker places with Fire Walk with Me, and he certainly had a willing actress in Sheryl Lee. There’s a moment when Agent Dale Cooper tells Sheriff Harry S Truman to test a little envelope for cocaine and receives the shocking response of “why Laura wouldn’t do something like that!” Fire Walk with Me then could actually reveal all of that, left to our imagination in the show. The activities of Laura Palmer—the dead body wrapped in plastic and reported to the sheriff’s office by Pete Martell during some planned fishing—were elaborated, how two guys were being drug along by her, one (I think) loved by her (biker James) while another (Bobby Briggs) just scored her dope. Her salacious, sexual exploits also documented. The railcar where Bob used her pops, Leland, to commit her murder—while raping and beating another later found walking in a state of catatonia, Ronette, revealed to have serious brain trauma—is found with the note of Fire Walk with Me written in blood, a wholly unpleasant crime scene. When you watch Fire Walk with Me, there’s the business that came before the Laura Palmer incident and Cooper eludes to it. How a letter found under the finger nail, R, links her death to the previous death he had been investigating. Lynch occasions to include all of those interwoven to Twin Peaks and, even if less than tangible, to Laura Palmer…we see in the pilot that Laura’s death is just the neck hug to viewers to lure them in then Lynch and Frost can unleash their eccentric and oddball characters in the town. To play and entertain with this artifice that allows them room to do so, as long as “Who killed Laura Palmer?” is offered as a mystery device to remain on the periphery (or that is maybe what Lynch and Frost wanted). Very little about the logging company’s dual between Jocelyn Packard, beautiful Asian wife of the (later to revealed quite alive) deceased owner and sister-in-law, Catherine Martell, and “owner of half the town”, Benjamin Horne, trying to grab as much land as possible, undermined in the pilot by his naughty and delicious vixen daughter, Audrey.

Laura isn’t particularly tied to waitresses Norma or Shelly. Norma is married to a “parolee” and having an affair with a gas station owner named Big Ed Hurley. Shelly is having an affair with Laura’s supposed boyfriend, Bobby, while her nasty, jealous, abusive husband, Leo, calls the shots in the home and has that threatening intensity about him that resembles a small-fuse dynamite stick. Leo is highly unstable. As you continue on, characters, even if inadvertent, start to tie to Laura in interesting ways. Like Leo as the end of the second season especially unveils. Best friend, Donna, with Laura, taken by a camera recording them in a state of seemingly great joy by James. James is secretly in this relationship with Laura, beginning a romance with Donna as the two come closer together due to their beloved’s demise. Bobby is in this toxic relationship with Laura; rebellious, hot-headed, and antagonistic, Bobby shoots his mouth off practically the entire time we see him. Speaking of Bobby, the sheer irony of him actually working for law enforcement later in life (as shown in Season 3) is a funny surprise Lynch and Frost reveal to us. I wouldn’t have anticipated that. Well anticipating anything in Twin Peaks is fruitless. So you can do this diagram—the six degrees of Kevin Bacon—and all the characters eventually tie to Laura.

Of course, the volume of quirky characters just encompass so much of the show—and especially now that there is a third season further expanding the outreach of Lynch and Frost’s vision—is hard to cover in one single write-up, so I imagine I’ll have to further expand myself from just “Twin Peaks – Pilot” as some sort of review. It is so true what I often read and hear: this show has certainly reached out to some many creative minds and been such an influence.

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