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Friday, 16 of April of 2021

DVD First Watch: Twin Peaks – “Laura’s Secret Diary”

Twin Peaks title cardJudge Sternwood: “Mr. Cooper, how do you find our little corner of this world?”
Agent Cooper: “Heaven, sir.”
Judge Sternwood: “Well, this week heaven includes arson, multiple homicides, and an attempt on the life of a federal agent.”
Agent Cooper: “Heaven is a large and interesting place, sir.”

Heaven on Earth. Hell is other people. Twin Peaks is doing a damn good job of being an example of both those adages.

The town of Twin Peaks might seem idyllic with its clean air and scenic vistas and simpler way of life, but nothing is ever as it seems. Drug smuggling, sex trade, arson, murder, insanity and who knows what all else – Twin Peaks has less a seedy underbelly than a really bad case of fleas. You can’t always see the secrets and the sins, but they’re there, biting away at everyone and everything.

Big Ed is sick over Norma and Nadine. Nadine is tormented by Norma, Big Ed, and her noisy curtain rods. Norma’s troubled by Big Ed and Hank. Andy, Lucy, and Dick. Josie and Harry. Cooper and Audrey. Ben and Jean and Blackie. James and Maddie and Donna. And a dozen others in hundreds of other combinations. Everyone in connected in Twin Peaks, and everyone suffers from those connections in various ways, be in through money or emotion or sex or whatever else. If hell is other people, Twin Peaks has to be one of the deeper levels.

I spent this entire episode giving everyone the side-eye. Nothing anyone does or says is above suspicion in Twin Peaks, and the farther down this rabbit hole mystery we go, the less anyone seems trustworthy. Strangely, given the normal standard, about the only people I do trust are those with badges. The sheriff’s department – and Cooper, by extension – seem to be the only aboveboard individuals roaming this town’s tidy streets and dirty back-roads.

After Jean Renault delivers news of Audrey’s hostage situation, Ben goes to Cooper for help – but only because Jean wants Cooper. Donna is still up to her emotionally imbalanced prance and seems poised to do something crazy if given half a reason. About the only thing I like about Hank is his PJs. It seems his time is coming, though, since we finally get actual hard evidence that Josie is, in fact, so far up to no good she can’t see the ground anymore – and Hank will, apparently, be “taken care of.” And Norma is getting far too many significant, lingering close-ups for her to be entirely blameless, either.

Oh, delicious web, how tangled you grow!

We’re way beyond the question of “Who killed Laura Palmer?” now. The important question – all the important questions, of which there are many – is “Why?” And, for my money, “why” is always a more interesting question than “who” anyhow. This episode feels like more of a set-up episode for future answers. It’s important, however, that answers continue to come at a steady pace, to at least keep level with the growing number of questions. An audience cannot live on questions alone.

 

Notes:

  • How awesome is Sid? I love the way Coop says “How do you do?” to her, and the way Harry looks at him when he does it. YOU GUYS.
  • Josie: not the quiet, solitary figure she was originally presented to be. Damn, girl.
  • I spent a lot of this episode chattering at the computer screen, telling characters what they should or should not be doing. Yeah, yeah, I know. Shut up. I have a fever.
  • “You’ve been down this road before.” I have no idea how MacLachlan and Ontkean kept straight faces through that line. Bless ’em.

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