Sunday, October 9, 2022

Twin Peaks S01E02 Episode 1 (Traces to Nowhere)

Original airing: April 12, 1990
Runtime: 46 minutes

It's FBI detective Dale Cooper's second day in Twin Peaks, where he's investigating the murder of high-school girl Laura Palmer. It seems the further he dives into the case, the more the unsavory bits of the inhabitants' lives turn up.

Several men and women, young and old, are cheating on their significant others. Naturally, this gives rise to jealousy and webs of secrets on secrets. Even the sheriff, who is not cheating but having a secret affair with a wealthy widow, is implicated in the unsavoriness.

The question for Detective Cooper and the audience is whether any of these secret relationships bear on the case of Laura Palmer's murder.

Outside of these affairs, high-school girl and R&R café waitress Shelly perhaps discovers a clue. Her abusive husband gives her a load of laundry in which she finds a bloodied denim shirt. Shelly, knowing her husband to be violent, sets this shirt aside in a drawer instead of washing it. It may be evidence later.

Twin Peaks is soap opera, and so is so much contemporary TV, but Twin Peaks, thank goodness, doesn't pretend to be prestigious. At least not in its first and second seasons. The third season, on the other hand...

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