Twin Peaks  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Twin Peaks is an American television serial drama created by Mark Frost and David Lynch that premiered on April 8, 1990, on ABC. It was one of the top-rated shows of 1990, but declining ratings led to its cancellation after its second season in 1991. It nonetheless captured a cult following and has been referenced in a wide variety of media. In subsequent years, Twin Peaks has often been ranked as one of the greatest television dramas ever made.

The series follows an investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) into the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Washington. The narrative draws on elements of crime drama, while its uncanny tone and supernatural elements are consistent with horror tropes, and its campy, melodramatic portrayal of quirky characters engaged in dubious activities draws from American soap operas. Like much of Lynch's work, it is distinguished by surrealism and offbeat humor, as well as distinctive cinematography. The show's acclaimed score was composed by Angelo Badalamenti in collaboration with Lynch.

Twin Peaks was followed by a 1992 feature film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, that serves as a prequel to the television series. In October 2014, Showtime announced that the series would return as a limited series, scheduled to premiere on May 21, 2017. The limited series is written by Lynch and Frost and directed by Lynch. Many original cast members, including MacLachlan, returned.

Contents

Plot

Season one

In 1989, logger Pete Martell discovers a naked corpse wrapped in plastic on the bank of a river outside the town of Twin Peaks, Washington. When Sheriff Harry S. Truman, his deputies, and Dr. Will Hayward arrive, the body is identified as homecoming queen Laura Palmer. A badly injured second girl, Ronette Pulaski, is discovered in a fugue state.

FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper is called in to investigate. Cooper's initial examination of Laura's body reveals a tiny typed letter "R" inserted under her fingernail. Cooper informs the community that Laura's death matches the signature of a killer who murdered another girl in southwestern Washington the previous year, and that evidence indicates the killer lives in Twin Peaks.

The authorities discover that Laura has been living a double life. She was cheating on her boyfriend, football captain Bobby Briggs, with biker James Hurley, and prostituting herself with the help of truck driver Leo Johnson and drug dealer Jacques Renault. Laura was also addicted to cocaine, which she obtained by coercing Bobby into doing business with Jacques.

Laura's father, attorney Leland Palmer, suffers a nervous breakdown. Her best friend, Donna Hayward, begins a relationship with James. With the help of Laura's cousin Maddy Ferguson, Donna and James discover that Laura's psychiatrist, Dr. Lawrence Jacoby, was obsessed with Laura, but he is proven innocent of the murder.

Hotelier Ben Horne, the richest man in Twin Peaks, plans to destroy the town's lumber mill along with its owner Josie Packard, and murder his lover and Josie's sister-in-law, Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie), so that he can purchase the land at a reduced price and complete a development project. Horne's sultry, troubled daughter, Audrey, becomes infatuated with Cooper and spies for clues in an effort to gain his affections.

Cooper has a dream in which he is approached by a one-armed otherworldly being who calls himself Mike. Mike says that Laura's murderer is a similar entity, Killer Bob, a feral, denim-clad man with long gray hair. Cooper finds himself decades older with Laura and a dwarf in a red business suit, who engages in coded dialogue with Cooper. The next morning, Cooper tells Truman that, if he can decipher the dream, he will know who killed Laura.

Cooper and the sheriff's department find the one-armed man from Cooper's dream, a traveling shoe salesman named Phillip Gerard. Gerard knows a Bob, the veterinarian who treats Renault's pet bird. Cooper interprets these events to mean that Renault is the murderer and, with Truman's help, tracks Renault to One-Eyed Jack's, a brothel owned by Horne across the border in Canada. He lures Renault back onto U.S. soil to arrest him, but Renault tries to escape and is shot and hospitalized.

Leland, learning that Renault has been arrested, sneaks into the hospital and murders him. The same night, Horne orders Leo to burn down the lumber mill with Catherine trapped inside and has Leo gunned down by Hank Jennings to ensure Leo's silence. Cooper returns to his room following Jacques's arrest and is shot by a masked gunman.

Season two

Lying hurt in his room, Cooper has a vision in which a giant appears and reveals three clues: "There is a man in a smiling bag"; "The owls are not what they seem"; and "Without chemicals, he points." He takes Cooper's gold ring and explains that when Cooper understands the three premonitions, his ring will be returned.

Leo Johnson survives his shooting but is brain-damaged. Catherine Martell disappears, presumed to have perished in the mill fire. Leland Palmer, whose hair has turned white overnight, is rejuvenated by Renault's murder and returns to work.

Phillip Gerard is the host for Mike, a demonic "inhabiting spirit" who used to retain the services of Bob, a lesser demonic entity, to help him kill humans. Mike reveals that Bob has been possessing someone in town for decades, but he does not tell Cooper whom Bob has possessed. Donna takes on Laura's old route for the Meals on Wheels program in the hopes of finding more clues to Laura's murder. She befriends a young man named Harold Smith who is in possession of a second diary that Laura kept. She and Maddy attempt to steal it from him, but Harold catches them in the act, loses all faith in humanity, and hangs himself in his orchid greenhouse. The officers take possession of Laura's secret diary, and learn that Bob, a friend of her father's, raped her repeatedly as a child and that she began using drugs to cope. Cooper believes that the killer is Ben Horne, but Leland is revealed to be Bob when he brutally kills Maddy.

Cooper doubts Horne's guilt, so he gathers all of his suspects in the belief that he will receive a sign to help him identify the killer. The Giant appears and confirms that Leland is Bob's host and Laura's and Maddy's killer. Bob assumes total control over Leland's body and confesses to a series of murders, before forcing Leland to commit suicide. Leland, as he dies, free of Bob's influence, tells Cooper that Bob has possessed him ever since molesting him as a child. He begs for forgiveness, sees a vision of Laura welcoming him into the afterlife, and dies in Cooper's arms. The lawmen question whether Leland was truly possessed or mentally ill, and considers the possibility that Bob might still stalk the community of Twin Peaks in search of a new host.

Cooper is set to leave Twin Peaks when he is framed for drug trafficking by the criminal Jean Renault and is suspended from the FBI. Renault holds Cooper responsible for the death of his brother, Jacques. Jean Renault is killed in a shootout with police, and Cooper is cleared of all charges.

Windom Earle, Cooper's former mentor and FBI partner, comes to Twin Peaks seeking revenge because Cooper had an affair with Earle's wife, Caroline, while she had been under his protection as a witness to a federal crime. Earle went mad, killed Caroline, and stabbed Cooper. He was committed to a mental institution but escaped, hiding out in the woods near Twin Peaks. He plays a twisted game of chess with Cooper in which someone dies each time he captures an opponent's piece.

Cooper tries to discover the origin and whereabouts of Bob, and learns more about the mysteries of the dark woods surrounding Twin Peaks. He learns of the existence of the White Lodge and the Black Lodge, two extra-dimensional realms whose gateways reside somewhere in the woods. Cooper learns that Bob, the Giant, and the Man From Another Place all come from one of the two lodges. Meanwhile, Bob restlessly seeks another host. Josie Packard dies mysteriously during Truman and Cooper's attempt to apprehend her for shooting Cooper. At the moment of her death, Bob briefly appears to Cooper, drawn by her fear.

Cooper falls in love with a new girl in town, Annie Blackburn. When Annie wins the Miss Twin Peaks contest, Earle kidnaps her and takes her to the Black Lodge entrance in Glastonbury Grove. Cooper realizes that Earle's real reason for being in Twin Peaks is to gain entrance into the Black Lodge and harness its power for himself, and that his chess game has been an elaborate decoy. With clues from Deputy Andy and the Log Lady, Cooper discovers the entrance to the Lodge, which turns out to be the red-curtained room from his dream. He is greeted by the Man From Another Place, the giant, and the spirit of Laura Palmer, who each give Cooper coded prophecies about his future and demonstrate the properties of the Black Lodge, which defies the laws of time and space. Searching for Annie and Earle, Cooper encounters doppelgängers of various dead people, including Maddy Ferguson and Leland Palmer, who taunt him with strange denials, warnings, and falsehoods. The doppelgängers eventually lead Cooper to Earle, who demands that Cooper give up his soul in exchange for Annie's life. Cooper agrees and Earle stabs him. Seconds later, Killer Bob appears and reverses time in the Lodge. Bob tells Cooper that Earle cannot ask for his soul and then kills Earle and takes his soul. Bob then turns on Cooper, who experiences fear for the first time in the Lodge. Cooper flees, pursued by Bob and a doppelgänger of himself.

Some time after entering the Lodge, Cooper and Annie reappear in the woods. They are discovered by Sheriff Truman, who has been waiting for them since he saw Cooper disappear. Annie is bloodied and hospitalized, but Cooper's injuries are minor enough that Doctor Hayward is able to treat them in Cooper's room at the Great Northern Hotel. Upon waking, Cooper asks about Annie's condition, and then states he needs to brush his teeth. When Cooper enters the bathroom and looks into the mirror, his reflection is Bob, revealing that he is Cooper's doppelgänger from the Black Lodge. He then rams his head into the mirror and, while laughing maniacally, repeatedly mocks his earlier question about Annie's condition.

Cast




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