Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Seventy-four - Twin Peaks: Season 1, Pilot, "Holy smoke! ...Fire Walk With Me!"

Alright, folks, it's time to get Couchbound's Spooktacular off to a running start!

This inaugural edition will cover the pilot episode of David Lynch's creepy murder mystery, Twin Peaks, which introduces us to all of the major players, reveals the murder, and features pretty much nothing supernatural in any way. Sure, there's a lot of kookiness, but no real spookiness.

Yup, this first episode is "all mundane, all the time" as Laura Palmer's body is discovered and the town instantly becomes a wreck at the loss of the sweetest, gentlest, and most beloved of its citizens. There's plenty bubbling under the surface of Twin Peak's folksy, small-town veneer, as the audience is treated to inside information on plenty of affairs, conflicts, and just plain old drama that touches just about everyone in town.

Things only really get interesting once FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) comes to town after a second victim is found alive across the state line... making it a case for the Fibbies. He begins his investigation in a very professional manner, but not without a large chunk of whimsy whenever his thoughts wander away from the case. Not only does he find a clue that forensics missed, but jump starts the investigation along quite a few lines, questioning plenty of possible suspects including Laura's boyfriend, a secret lover, and her best friend.

Being a pilot, a lot of the individual storylines are bare bones in the detail department, but pretty much every interaction amongst the residents is intriguing. From the sawmill trio and their family drama to Ed, Norma, and Nadine's love triangle, Twin Peaks is a hotbed of secrets and just about everything is worthy of gossip... and it only gets better/weirder from here.

I think that my only disappointment, when it comes to the story in this first episode, is that there's nary a hint of the supernatural... save for a possible moment at the end when Laura's mother starts randomly screaming against an intercut sequence of someone taking the heart locket from its hiding place. We'll get to that scream again in the near future (or one just like it, I cannot recall which)... but I was REALLY hoping for one of the infamous dream sequences to cap the episode.

Oh well.

On the lighter side of things, I can safely say that there's nothing sexier than Audrey's (Sherilyn Fenn) feet encased in shiny patent saddlebacks (even though she switched them for sultry red pumps as soon as she got to school). I instantly had a flashback to my own youth, remembering several of my sister's cute friends (whom I had crushes on) wearing similar footwear, and had a rush of pubescent awakening nostalgia.

I also love the way Kyle MacLachlan plays Agent Cooper as in a delightful state of wonder whenever he's not discussing the case... whether it's over pie or pine trees or snowshoe rabbits.When Agent Cooper tells his ephemeral transcriptionist that this is something we've never seen before, he's right.

Oh, and the donuts! Ha, I love that scene! 

Moving on, while there's just so much hammy acting from pretty much everyone, there's never a more rawer moment than when Donna and James realize Laura is dead. Donna's (Laura Flynn Boyle) sobs actually had my eyes watering as there's so much emotion swelling from her quiet, trembling moans.

As a relic of the era, I can't quite tell if the crowd at the roadhouse are actual bikers or proto-emo hipsters considering the amount of perms I could count in the seas of faces and the atypical lyrical music that Julee Cruise sings. Maybe it's just that I'm too used to the stereotypes associated with biker bars thanks to years and years of movies and television, but you'd expect a place like that to be a bit more butch and a bit less efete. I mean, the leathers couldn't even take on two jocks.

Poor Ed... he has enough trouble dealing with Nadine whist loving Norma. He shouldn't have to deal with Bobby and Snake being right hosers.

Anyways, I imagine that I'll have a lot more to talk about in the episodes to come. At least, I hope so. I wouldn't want to run out of steam over the next month. Stay tuned as every week day in October we'll cover one or more episodes, eventually reviewing the entire series (which lasted one and a half full seasons). It's just too bad that Fire Walk With Me isn't streaming.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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