Twin Peaks: Northwest Passage

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I had just turned one when Twin Peaks debuted, so I’ve always wondered where my undying love for it comes from. I can’t remember the first time I heard a reference to it, or why it sparked a desire in me to find out what it was all about. It reminds me of all my greatest friendships–I have no idea how they started but I have been changed by it and cannot imagine it gone from my life.

I am aware of how dramatic that sounds but what can I say? I love this show. The cinematography is gorgeous, I love the cast and the incredibly weird mysteries in it. It makes me laugh and cry and sometimes it scares the shit out of me (ahem, BOB.)

The patina of the scenery just awakens all of my Sad Gal™ feelings. The dreamy music and soft tones never fails to make me melt into a puddle of wistfulness. Which while makes me feel unsettled, and anxious sometimes I can’t help but love.

I fell in love with Laura Palmer’s secret wildness. Her recklessness and propensity for self destruction sometimes mirrors my own. I look at Laura with both envy, sadness and awe. I don’t think I could ever go to the lengths she did–wait no. I know I could, but I am much more cautious. Probably because I have an actual life and Laura’s is made up and exists for a few hours.

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Audrey Horne is the character I most wanted to emulate though. Her loneliness which causes her to act out is a trait I share but I’ve always wanted to get away with all of my machinations with as much charm and style as Audrey.

I’m trying to keep this post as cohesive as possible but I guess this is what I get for acting on a rash decision. I’ve written about Twin Peaks and its impact on me a few times on this blog before but this is the first time I’m trying to commit to a serial. This is all mainly just a vanity exercise to see if I can actually follow through on a project. I’d like to, and I’m trying so I might as well make it something that I’m passionate about to start right?

My plan for this blog series is simple. Watch an episode, write a bit about it and how I felt about it. Show a few of my favourite outfits or stills. Some posts will be more wordy than others I suppose. My viewing order will be season one and two, then the movie Fire Walk With Me. Then I will be reading The Secret History of Twin Peaks, I’m not sure how I will be doing those blog posts, maybe a few chapters at a time? Then will be the third season and afterwards Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier. Perhaps by then I will have figured out how I’m gonna do posts for the books lol. Anyways the most important thing to note is that these posts will not be spoiler free.

So let’s just dive into it.

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I was honestly shook the first time I watched the pilot episode and it’s all because of Josie Packard. She’s the first character we see on screen, she’s staring at her reflection and humming to herself as she applies her makeup. These days her first scene doesn’t amount to much (I guess?) when you look at how it stacks up to all of the subsequent movies and shows that have been made since but still–seeing an Asian woman on screen will always be such a moment for me.

To be completely honest my love for Josie is completely shallow. She’s absolutely gorgeous and has the best style on the show but I do not care for Joan Chen’s acting in this series. I felt like she could have done so much more with Josie’s character but she kept her so flat and one note.

The first episode is feature length and is a nice introduction to the main characters and the mystery of the show. As I said, the show opens with Josie putting on her make up then we see Pete Martell (who Josie is related to through marriage) discover a dead body wrapped in plastic. He heads back to report it to the authorities and the rest of the episode is everyone learning that the dead body is Laura Palmer and the town grappling with the question of Who killed Laura Palmer?

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What I love about this episode is how it acts as a kind of tour of the town of Twin Peaks and the characters going about their daily lives in which you learn little things like Audrey’s father, Benjamin Horne, is trying to buy the Packard sawmill which Josie owns. We learn that Laura’s boyfriend, Bobby Briggs, is having an affair with Shelly Johnson a waitress (who also has an abusive husband, Leo.) We eventually learn that Laura is having her own affair. Come to think of it, there’s a lot of affairs happening. Maybe that’s why the town always seems so sad and restrained, nobody can be with they want to be because of Reasons™.

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I just love how this episode offers us a glimpse of how everyone’s lives are and would most likely continue to be until it was interrupted by the gruesome news of Laura’s murder. One of my favourite visualizations of this is when Laura’s mother is calling her down for breakfast, and she runs up the stairs in darkness and as soon as she opens up Laura’s bedroom all this light spills onto the scene. Pretty easy symbolism lol but whatever, I love it.

Another favourite scene of mine is when Laura’s parents learn of her death. It’s so heartbreaking and so well acted. The pacing of it is brilliant as well. Leland goes to take his wife’s frantic call that she cannot find Laura, her hands are shaking as she tries to light a cigarette because she can feel it in her gut that something is wrong. Leland trying to calm her down but then seeing Sheriff Truman, hearing him ask to speak to Leland and there you see it and you feel it. The moment Leland’s world stops spinning because he knows and doesn’t want to accept that something terrible has happened to his daughter.

It happens quickly but grief has grown between the Palmers, as Leland drops the phone to the ground and his wife has to hear Truman tell Leland that Laura is dead. They each have their own separate breakdowns, while seemingly connected by the phone. It’s such a movie shot as you see the pain physically pass through Leland as you hear Sarah scream her grief through the phone.

I also love how it’s slightly mirrored again when Laura’s best friend Donna and her secret boyfriend, James, realise that something terrible has happened to Laura. Again, it happens quickly, they see the cops enter the classroom to speak to their teacher. Donna stares at the empty seat next to her and looks up and meets James eyes and suddenly they knew.

I think about that extremely thin strand of hope that all of them cling onto, when they know that the worst has happened. I imagine the sound of it snapping to be like a sudden whoosh of wind in your ears as all the sound disappears and the millisecond before the awful reality hits to feel so long but not long enough. Maybe that’s what makes them all go crazy.

Another little devastating moment happens when Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman are reading through Laura’s diary. Her last entry reads: Asparagus for dinner again. I hate asparagus. Does this mean I’ll never grow up?

And that slump of the shoulders, the way Coop’s voice has that quiet sigh of defeat before Laura wonders if she’ll ever grow up. This is pretty much when the veneer of Laura Palmer starts to get lifted. She was the perfect, wholesome, homecoming queen so why is there an envelope with coke residue nestled in between the pages of her diary with a key to a safety deposit box that has ten grand and a porn magazine?

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I really don’t know how else to end this blog post, I feel like I went through enough without giving too much away. So here is Bobby Briggs who was the rebellious boy of my dreams when I was younger. And still kind of is to be honest. He wasn’t the greatest boyfriend to Laura… but they had some issues as we will eventually learn in the coming episodes 😉

Now onto my favourite outfits of the episode:

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Here we have Josie Packard and Catherine Martell. Catherine Martell is Pete’s wife and Josie’s sister in law. Josie married Catherine’s brother Andrew and when he died in a mysterious boating explosion he left everything, including the mill and it’s valuable land to Josie instead of his sister. Catherine is very bitter about this and is having an affair with Audrey’s father, Benjamin Horne.

I love the grandness of their jackets. They are Twin Peaks proper and this is how you dress when you’re waiting for the police to identify the body that washed up near your shores. Sadly for the rest of the episode Catherine’s outfits never live up to this jacket.

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Josie though always delivers. Like I said before, my love for her is shallow. She always slays in these casual suits. I love the easy elegance of her outfits, even those crazy shoulder pads. I find that when some people dress up in suits they always try to exude an aura of power and confidence. The slight slouchiness in Josie’s tops paired with a simple strand of pearls or diamond studs lends her a coolness. She makes an entrance without having to peacock and I live for it.

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I didn’t love love Donna’s outfit in the first episode. I definitely liked her style though. My favourite piece would have to be that oversized jacket. I love the brown leather accents. What I am in love with is her hair. I always find myself cutting my hair to that length and trying to style it just like hers. I’m going to get it permed next time soo here’s hoping I look more Donna and less poodle!

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So this is Andy Bernard, the simple deputy of Twin Peaks and yes he is crying because they just discovered where Laura was killed. I bet you’re wondering why he’s in the section where I talk about my favourite outfits. Andy is here because of that fabulous jacket. Hear me out. Just look at the shape of it, so perfectly boxy and it looks like it’s cropped at a nice length too. I love the big bold buttons, now imagine the police badge as more of a filigree broach… 10/10 do want.

Anyways, thanks for reading and let’s hope my posts get more coherent as the series goes on but I’m not gonna make any promises!!

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2 thoughts on “Twin Peaks: Northwest Passage

  1. Pingback: Twin Peaks: Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer – Directions, Please.

  2. Pingback: Twin Peaks: Rest In Pain

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