Sunday, October 2, 2022

Twin Peaks S01E01 Pilot (Northern Passage)

Original airing: April 8, 1990
Runtime: 94 minutes

Laura haunts the little town of Twin Peaks before most of the residents even know she's passed.

At the show's beginning, her mother Sarah calls the home of Sgt. Briggs looking for Bobby, Laura's boyfriend. Perhaps Laura is with him.

Turns out Bobby didn't show up for football practice. No one knows where he is either.

Sarah calls her husband, Leland. He's at the Great Northern hotel, meeting with Norwegian investors.

The sheriff enters the Great Northern's lobby. Leland is still on the phone with Sarah. The sheriff begins talking to Leland. Sarah hears the sheriff's voice on the other line. She knows Laura is dead before he says it. She lets out a scream. Leland drops the phone and cries into his palms.

Leland's tears smack of melodrama. They echo an earlier scene, when Deputy Andy discovers Laura's body, wrapped in plastic. When the sheriff turns her over to reveal her face, Andy weeps uncontrollably.

Next we meet Bobby, Laura's boyfriend. He's at the R&R diner. Shelley is finishing her shift. He takes her home. While he's driving, they make out in the car. So now we know Bobby has been cheating on Laura. We don't yet know if he had anything to do with her murder...

Twin Peaks is a soap opera through and through. It subverts the tropes as much as it revels in them. But it does not revel in irony. The show is utterly sincere. If there is any irony, it's in the juxtaposition between the eerie and the utterly banal. We will see them paired time and time again.

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