COOPER: You know, this is, excuse me, a damn fine cup of coffee. I've had I can't tell you how many cups of coffee in my life and this, this is one of the best. Now I'd like two eggs over hard. I know, don't tell me, it's hard on the arteries, but old habits die hard, just about as hard as I want those eggs.Saturday 25 February 1989. It's reassuring to watch FBI agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) investigate the murder of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), even though we're first acquainted with him suspended upside-down wearing gravity-boots, detailing the minutiae of his progress into his trusty micro-recorder. He's a weirdo, for sure, but his eccentricities pale in comparison to some of the Twin Peaks residents (not least the iconic Log Lady who cradles a piece of timber like a baby), and at least Coops peculiarities include the ability to judge strangers with incredible accuracy. The Bureau actually sent the perfect man for the job...
Cooper and Truman are giving Laura's parents time to grieve before they interview them, so our only glimpse of Laura's mother, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie), features one of the episode's freakiest moments, when she flashes on a sinister Julian Sands look-alike, crouched at the foot of a bed. It's an astonishingly effective, bone-chilling moment. Together with Sarah's climactic vision of someone unearthing the necklace James buried in the pilot's climax, it's evident she has some form of psychic ability. Has this manifested through the trauma of losing her child, or has she always been so gifted?
Elsewhere, the arrested Bobby and James are allowed to go free from jail after brawling at the Roadhouse, knowing that half the money Leo gave them for a drug transaction is in Laura's safety deposit box, to be kept under close surveillance; sultry troublemaker Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) is scolded by her father Ben (Richard Beymer) for frightening away the Norwegian businessmen by mentioning Laura's murder; her father is earlier seen having a secret affair with Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie); Big Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) reveals he was drugged by bartender Jacques Renault while at the Roadhouse last night; and the man who took the buried gold necklace is revealed to be Laura's Hawaii-obsessed psychiatrist Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn), who ends this episode listening to the audio confession his late-patient sent to him... where she mentions a mystery man I the woods. Laura's voice turns inaudible after Jacoby puts on his headphones, but her words provoke tears...
written by Mark Frost & David Lynch | directed by Duwayne Dunham | 12 April 1990
Notes from the Black Lodge
- A problem facing Twin Peaks is one encountered by all fledgling soaps; having to introduce a believable society, sketch the relationships of its inhabitants, and let us sample their personalities in an entertaining way. The show could easily get bogged down in less skilled hands (especially as, unlike a soap, a drama doesn't have months to settle) but it's handled well in Twin Peaks by Frost and Lynch. I doubt anyone will have a firm grasp on all the families and characters just yet, but it's all coalescing nicely, even though this episode throws even more new faces onto the pile.
- This episode introduces notable character "the one-armed man" (an obvious homage to The Fugitive.) Here, the red-shirted enigma was noticed by Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) as he guards Ronette, exiting a hospital elevator and disappeared into a black-lit morgue.
- By the way, while Twin Peaks never had official episode titles, some fans use the English translations of titles used when the series aired in Germany, so that's what I'm doing. I know some fans hate using these unofficial German-to-English titles, but it's much easier to refer to titles instead of episode numbers, sorry. You'll thank me the deeper we get into the show.
(This review was originally posted 9 July 2009, and has been republished with new HD-sourced vidcaps and amendments to celebrate the release of the Twin Peaks - Entire Mystery Blu-ray box-set.)