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7th May 2018
New Feature! The Bookhouse: Twin Peaks
[Original Pilot / Season One] 1/2

A little while ago, I posted a poll on Twitter regarding what should be the first focus of our Bookhouse feature. The Bookhouse was something that we spoke about a long while ago, even back before Quantum Break was released. Essentially it would be like a nerdy club of sorts (I know, so unlike us!) which looked at the music, books, shows or movies that inspired and influenced Remedy's titles.

Initially Inception was chosen as the first title to focus on (the other option being Back to the Future), but with the recent return of Twin Peaks, the poll was reposted to now feature the first season of David Lynch's show as an option. It wasn't too surprising that there was a lot of interest from the community for Twin Peaks (you nerds), which won with a landslide of 72%. As Inception was a highly voted for title, especially in our first poll, we'll be tackling the movie after the first season of Twin Peaks.

Until then though, you might want to make some coffee. It's going to be a weird time.

Diane...

Even before the disk has even gotten remotely near the DVD player, the boxset is already preparing you for some David Lynch mind melting. I don't have a HBO subscription, so I'm old schooling it with the Definitive Gold Boxset edition of the show. You kids today with your Netflixs and your subscriptions, bah. Inside the box is a "content locator" listing the episodes, with disc one featuring "The Pilot" and disc two featuring "Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4". I went onto a Twin Peaks wiki to check if I had actually watched the pilot before and I had, but it also had a disclaimer of "Not to be confused with Episode 1 or Part 1."....

Is it too late to go with Inception?

The edition comes with an introduction from The Log Lady, who sits in her cabin surrounded with all the wood of a tiny forrest and petting a log who remains startled in her arms by the unapologetic way she lives, surrounded by the bones of its family. Given that the log apparently speaks to Margret, I'm surprised that they haven't had a conversation about this. Something like "Not cool, Peggy. Not cool!" as she puts another log in the fire on a cold December evening. Margret talks about Twin Peaks, describing it's mysteries and stories, frequent laughter, and occasional residents turning into doorknobs. The camera pans closer as she reveals that "Laura is the one" that sparks many events, a statement which feels relevant over twenty five years later, although it's interpretation can be seen in many forms.

Looks like a nice place. I'm sure nothing bad will happen here.

The credits roll quickly afterwards, showing clips of birds, a sawmill and sharpening blades. The music is slow and cheerful, the latter of which is almost oxymoronic to what the show actually ends up being in many ways. The green boarded text is so recognisable but screams of the early 1990s while it punches you in the eyes, bringing mixed feelings of "why is this happening to me?!" and "Aww Twin Peaks". The shot of the mountains, and the road lined by Douglas Furs with the Twin Peaks sign reading its population of 51201 is one of the most iconic shots from the series. Presumably that number must be studiously repainted, slowly counting down the number of residents who ran away, were murdered, turned into random objects or just disappeared. Seriously, who approved that and do they have stock in the Twin Peaks paint industry?

The first scene we come across is Josie Packard looking dreamingly into the mirror and humming absentmindedly. A short distance away under the same roof, a man (Pete Martell) walks over and kisses his wife (Catherine), who pretends to be absolutely absorbed in the newspaper that he ignores him completely. He heads out to go fishing. There's an undeniable tension in the room, possibly due to Josie being Catherine's sister in law and all three owning the nearby sawmill. But more likely the tension is due to the red and black tweed jacket (ahhh the 90s) that Pete wears as he heads out, which Catherine was likely eyeing for potential firewood at the start of winter, after her discussion with Margret's log.

As Pete heads out, he sees something on the beach. He walks closer, past the prettiest wooden house you have ever seen and down the coast to investigate. The camera holds back, watching him run away before showing a close up of wet blond hair in the centre of a plastic sheet burrito. Pete picks up the phone, immediately dialling the Sheriff Station and reaches the reception desk where Lucy Moran answers. Lucy is possibly my spirit animal on Mondays and most mornings. "Sheriff, it's Pete Martell up at the mill. I'm going to transfer it to the phone on the table by the red chair. The red chair against the wall. The little table with lamp on it. The lamp we moved from the corner? The black phone, not the brown phone." Lucy is my favourite.

Harry Truman answers the black phone, on the table, by the red chair, which leads to one of the most recognisable lines in the show from Pete "She's deeeead. Wrapped in plaaastic." Harry surprisingly doesn't ask who (apparently she's that one lady who dies A LOT) but calmly asks where, as though it was slightly expected. What did you do, Harry... He's on top of everything though, instructing Lucy about the next steps and informing her to keep things under wraps for now. (Pun quota). He heads out, getting in his 4x4 and immediately hits the sirens.

"She's deeeead. Wrapped in plaaastic."

In the next scene, Catherine and Josie stands on the edge of the wooden decking of their house, looking over the coast to wear the officers are gathered. They don't say a word but are clearly having a secret competition of who can wear the largest coat. On the plus side, they do look very warm and despite the traumatic event, I appreciate their dedication to style. Moments later, Deputy Andy turns up asking who it was, Harry asks for pictures. Andy begins to take them, quickly descending into tears and heaving sobs, the camera is taken from him by Dr Will Hayward as Harry turns to him asking "is this going to happen every damn time?" making Andy my spirit animal whenever I see a cat gif. With the photos taken, Harry and Will bend down to turn over the body. They pull the plastic from her face, revealing her identity, Laura Palmer.

Thanks for ruining the surprise earlier, Margret. Geez.

The solum music continues over into the next scene where Sarah Palmer calls out to Laura to wake up for school, in between draws on her cigarette. Sarah is played by Grace Zabriskie who has such an interesting and expressive face, but was also someone who on the rerun felt for me weirdly familiar outside to her Twin Peaks wor- OH... she's the lady who lives in the haunted house in the American version of The Grudge. Oh goodie. Sarah extinguishes the cigarette, and walks up stairs to her daughter's bedroom, continually calling her name in that parental voice balancing between frustrated and a warning. I'm not going to lie, it's bringing me back some Heavy Rain / Ethan Mars flashbacks. I'm sure that this kid is absolutely fine though.... Well... Oh hey, I used to have the same bedding as Laura Palmer. That's not creepy or anything.

While Sarah runs around in search for her daughter, there's a close up of a fan light. The camera lingers a little too long in that unrushed David Lynch way that you might have time for a cup of tea maybe play a small match of table tennis... but it makes you think.... maybe that light bulb.... Sarah makes a phone call to Major Briggs, presumably tapping out morse code on the kitchen counter warning him of her light bulb conspiracy and her daughter's disappearance and if only there was some social media site that helped gather people who saw that same connection, maybe one which didn't show posts to all the members unless you paid them stupid amounts of money. Major Brigg's wife, Betty Briggs, answers with a prepared strong grip on the handle of a pair of Fiskars scissors in case Sarah is going on about imaginary social groups one more time. Instead Sarah asks about Laura and Bobby, and Betty releases her grip of the scissors and relaxes her shoulders slightly. Sarah attempts to calm herself down, reasoning that Laura is probably with Bobby (her boyfriend) or Leland (her father), and she'll call both. Bobby isn't at football practise it turns out. Sarah puts down the phone realising that if Laura died in a terrible and traumatic way, everything she had put aside for college funds could now be put into cookies expenses. "That's a lot of cookies, Sarah" she thinks with that crazy look in her eye.

That would be a lot a cookies, Sarah.

Jazz music plays. Audrey Horne (played by Sherilyn Fenn) walks out of The Great Northern, an idyllic hotel sitting on top of an idyllic waterfall witnessing terrible weather. She steps into a limousine held open to her by the driver. She looks out of the window as the door closes, with almost movie star quality. Did she leave the stove on? Jazz music stops.

Inside the hotel, Audrey's father, Benjamin Horne, and his co-worker Leland Palmer talk about business. Leland Palmer is played by Richard Beymer who has also played a lot of terrible characters on TV over the years, which probably just a coincidence; he seems nice enough from the few seconds he's been on screen. Benjamin spits into the open fire of a huge stone fireplace, before turning to Leland to apologise. With information that the Packard Sawmill was doomed to fail, he and Leland wanted to persuade foreign investors to help turn the land into a country club. A little while later and room change, the shot is suddenly filled with dinner plates and men in suits. Benjamin is in the middle of his marketing spiel promoting his country club and boasting about the air quality of the area after initial concerns form investors. Air quality is apparently a major issue in the rural town which is surrounded literally all of the trees?

Leland is informed of a call for him and he is excused from the meeting. He picks up the phone... y'know the phone... by the brown sofa, the brown sofa against the wall, and there's the little table it's sits on; the sofa and table that seems to be blocking the front door? With dramatic precision timing, as Leland answers the call and is asked about Laura's location by his wife, a police car rolls into view through the window. Harry walks out, slowly approaching the entrance as Sarah's voice catches a little with concern. As the officer approaches the reception desk, Leland whispers his name in disbelief, sending panic through the phone.

"Is this about Laura?"
"I'm afraid it is."

Dear God! That is a lot of cookies...

Leland drops the phone, and Sarah cries aloud to herself to the accompaniment of slow uplifting jazz. That track must be played a lot at funerals! Harry puts an arm around Leland and leads him away, Sarah remains on the phone crying into the receiver... which feels odd. Work with me here: given that school has yet to start, why would the police go to a possible workplace rather than the family home. And if they knew that the parents were in different locations, why not sent officers to reach both locations so Sarah didn't find out accidentally that her daughter is dead while in a deserted house... but it's okay because Leland gets big bear hugs. Hasn't Grudge lady suffered enough?!

Anyway, let's not care about those people when there's coffee. A white VW Beetle cruises up to the RR Cafe during a slow sunrise, only to quickly ascend into (seemingly) early afternoon as its driver reaches the entrance. Bobby is at the counter, drinking coffee. Shelly teasingly scorns Heidi who had just walked in and who giggles charmingly  as she unbuttons her coat and heads into the kitchen. Bobby begins to head off to practise, offering Shelley a ride home on the way, a suggestion which Norma shares glances with them both over. Shelley accepts with a smile and Bobby slips in a few coins into the jukebox before heading out. His attitude in the restaurant is that familiar male teenager brewing with overconfidence and ego that at least every class had. He says frustratingly stupid lines thinking them quippy and flirtatious but with a clear underlining tone of I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING. Norma quips back at his retorts in a smooth and controlled way, and switches to concern upon their departure. I like Norma.

Shelley and Bobby gets into a car parked outside and worryingly begins to talk about if Norma knows about them (she does), but Shelley shoots down the idea (of course) and begins to passionately kiss her boyfriend in full view of the cafe because they're subtle like that. The scene is cut abruptly to a police car with sirens speeding through Twin Peaks. By this point, Bobby and Shelley are driving and meet the police coming the other way. Bobby's eyes open with concern while Shelley reaches for a hip flask stating that it's "happy hour in France" before tempting him to drink as he drives down the road. He takes a swig but it's clear that there's no liquid inside, at least from a filming perspective. The two flirt as they near her house as Shelley snuggles in close, the conversation immediately cut short by the presence of a truck in her driveway; her husband's. The car grinds to a halt and they back it to avoid being caught. Shelley opens the door and runs to her house as Bobby turns the car around. It's possible that Shelley was run over, he doesn't care, drive you fool!

At the morgue, Harry is still with Leland as he meets Will, and the two embrace. It's SO NICE that both parents are getting this level of emotional support. Harry puts his arm around the father once again and reassure him that he doesn't have to do this. Leland turns down the offer, he must know. He walks into the room where Laura's face is uncovered and a light shines on it. For someone that has been dead and in the water overnight, Laura's make up game is gold. Her father breaks down in tears, and Harry comforts him. I was going to do an awful joke about fan fiction about those two but fanfiction.net has let me down with that...but it does suggest Twin Peaks crossovers with Fringe, Fraiser, Star Trek, Lost, Harry Potter, Blue's Clues, X-Files, The Walking Dead and Pokémon. I still feel like I won on that search.

Back at school, new character Donna Hayward walks through a busy hallway filled with late 80s mullets. Audrey changes into red heels and smokes a quick cigarette behind her locker door. Donna looks over and laughs, and Audrey smiles at her at the bell rings. James Hurley passes Audrey as she walks away and asks Donna if she had seen Laura. She hasn't. The scene clicks to the next shot as a kid dances sideways to their lesson, in the background police officers are walking towards reception. Bobby walks in late, and is warned by a couple of students by the door that the sheriff is looking for him. He makes a dinosaur(?), confused cat(?), tree(?) impression and walks over to his friend who is sporting a magnificent MacGyver hairstyle. His friend asks what's up, and Bobby overly dramatically looks startled at the roof in response. If you don't hate this character yet, you have the patience of a saint.

Always that one guy in the class.

Next scene. Audrey. THANK GOD. Audrey is one of those characters who I seriously expected to hate, but then became weirdly charming and one of my favourites. She stares at the teacher, who is reading the register, with a distinctive pose that I partially expected her eyelids to read "love you". The register is interrupted by a police offer asking the room number and then about missing students. He has a quiet word with the teacher in front of the class, but their conversation is obscured by a girl screaming as she runs outside. The police leave as Donna and James share a look of loss between them an turn to Laura's chair. With her voice shaking, the teacher announced that there will be an announcement from the principal. James snaps his pencil. Donna begins to cry and clasps her hands over her mouth. Audrey shifts in her chair, surprisingly calmly.

Bobby is in the library providing his alibi to Andy and Hawk who suppresses all urge to strangle the teenager. The kid's reaction is all flair, oozing with sarcasm and annoyance. Truman walks up to the group with one of the teachers. As rumours have began to circulate around school, they moved up the announcement time. Truman sits down as the teachers excuse themselves and Bobby returns to his usual sarcastic self, rolling his eyes and avoiding eye contact until asked. Truman tells Bobby that his girlfriend has been murdered, and that doubt has been cast on him as he met with her last night and wasn't where he was supposed to be this morning before the body was found. "You think I killed her!" Bobby stumbles. The audience relaxes into their chairs thinking that maybe Bobby will stop being a brat, that he will understand the seriousness of the- nope, he starts lashing out at the police officers and has to be restrained by Andy and Truman who are taking him down to the station.... Can we just put him away regardless of the crime he did or did not do? It's worth being said that Bobby does actually grow up to be one of my favourite characters but the 1990s were not his proudest moments.

In the other room, the principal makes the announcement that Laura was found dead, wraaaaap in plaaaaastic. The tanoy echoes down the empty corridors before returning to the classroom and to Donna. She's surrounded by either a support group of peers or possibly members of her cult before summoning the Dark Brotherhood; it's Twin Peaks so it really could go either way. The announcement continues, asking if anyone has information on Laura's activities after school to come forward and that all classes would be dismissed in response to the news, which does broaden the list of suspects to include everyone who had a maths test that day. The principal wraps up, asking the school to join him to honour Laura's memory- and shut up there Donna, I know you're loudly mourning but we're trying to have a moment of silence here! Geez. Some people.

Urgh. Mondays. Am I right.

Back at Laura's home, Sarah finally has some support. I don't know if it's actually planned support, like Leland had, or if people realised that they're someone crying in the house. Urgh, neighbours. The screen pans out to find a family friend holding Sarah's hand, Truman sitting in a chair opposite, Will with a syringe of morphine and Andy hovering by the door. I would like to take this moment to point out that the police have (1) found Laura's body,  (2) taken photos of the crime scene,  (3) arranged for the body to be transported,  (4) visited her father in person and broke the news to him,  (5) stayed at the hotel to comfort him for a while,  (6) drove him to the morgue,  (7) showed him Laura's body, (8) presumably drove Leland home, (9) went to Laura's school,  (11) spoke to Bobby,  (12) the school was informed of her murder and let go from classes,  (13) they drove Bobby to the station, AND THEN the police decided to talk to the mother. The mother, unsurprisingly, is having a hard time with the news, maybe because she's hysterical(!) but maybe because she found out over the phone from a conversation which didn't include her and no one checked in on her for several hours. Good job everyone involved.

Will gives Sarah the morphine which has immediate effects. Truman begins to ask her questions, and while she begins to answer them, her mind continues to dart around. She mentions the stairs, and the camera returns to that earlier shot. She's onto you lightbulb. "Whose's upstairs?" Sarah whispers. Truman reassures her that it's the police investigating the room with Leland. Sarah relaxes. "I can tell from the sounds it isn't her."

Upstairs Leland is sitting on Laura's bed cradling her pillow as Hawk investigates a box of Laura's possessions. He finds a diary, kindling interest from Leland. It's locked. Hawk asks about the key. Leland shakes his head and asks if they have to take that, his hand reaching for the officer's arm. Hawk apologies but insists, returning the diary to the box of now-evidence. Inside a jewellery box, they find a large camcorder.

Back downstairs, Sarah is becoming increasingly more drowsy with the sedative, stumbling slightly over memories while choaking back tears. The phone rings in the next room and Andy goes to answer it. Sarah remembers that Laura's phone had rung "once" that night but she didn't know who it was. Andy returns to the living room, and informs that Lucy had information about another young woman who disappeared last night, Ronette.

At the sawmill, Josie and Catherine have a heated argument as they head to the office. Josie is ahead, paying no attention to her business partner who is scolding her for a decision she's about to fulfil. They enter the room, startling Pete who is absentmindedly making some notes on a piece of paper. The two are arguing over possession of the saw mill; Josie wants to shut it down insolidarity with a worker whose daughter also went missing that night, and Catherine believes if a waste of money. Pete is asked to pull the plug, an order which is taken a strong stance against by his wife. He hesitates for a moment before walking over to the phone and making the call to stop work. Catherine leaves, and Josie takes the microphone to explain the decision. As the announcement is made, Ronette's father is lead into a police car. Moments later, his daughter is seen walking across a railway bridge with a ripped dress and ties around her wrists.

James pulls up to Ed's gas station and informs him of Laura's murder. Ed knows and puts out a comforting hand on his shoulder. "She was the one" James admits, looking away... He gives a note to Ed to pass along to Donna if she sees him, because psh this is highschool you don't talk to girls, gross! Nadine appears at the door demanding that the new drapes be up by nightfall. Oh Nadine.

"Diane."
Upon hearing of the new drapes, the FBI sends their best textiles man, Agent Dale Cooper who has colour matched his suit with the car's interior and exterior, so handy! Does talking on your tape recorder count as using a phone while you're driving? He gets distracted by a bee, forgets about the drapes and smiles widely at the sight of trees, before- OH YEAH, he had lunch. "Lunch was $6.31 at the Lamp Lighter Inn, that's at highway two near Louis Four. It was a tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat, with a slice of cherry pie and a cup of coffee. Damn good food." I've missed you, Cooper. The same bee appears again and he remembers he has an interview with Harry Truman when he arrives into town. Impressively, MacLachlan records the entire scene of absolutely (and intentionally) bonkers dialogue while driving while fishing around for props. and doesn't crash or walk off set. Give that man a chocolate medal.

He drives past the Twin Peaks welcome sign. "Oh Diane, I almost forgot. Got to find out what kind of trees these are. They're really something." We've come round full circle.



Second part of the Pilot coming soon! 

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