Tomorrow marks the 25 year anniversary of the David Lynch and Mark Frost series Twin Peaks. The odd murder mystery has deservedly become a cult masterpiece that helped to forever change the landscape of television. Here at TVEnthusiast, we covered the entirety of Twin Peaks as a series in our first ever TVEnthusiast show club. This week we will be exploring the series even further through various article. This week’s podcast for example will bring the show club back to discuss the Twin Peaks movie, Fire Walk With Me. Today, in celebration of the 25 year milestone, we are exploring the top 10 wonderfully weird moments from the cult series. You can check our previous Top 10 episodes of Twin Peaks list here.
10. The Japanese Businessman
I had no idea who this Japanese Businessman would turn out to be, but I felt from the beginning that “he” was being played by a woman. At the time, I just figured it was the oddness of Twin Peaks rearing its head once again, but the eventual reveal allowed Twin Peaks to use our acceptance of its oddity to hide an otherwise discover-able narrative thread.
09. The Cult of James Records a Single
This moment kind of creeped me out. James had been using his sensitive badboy rep to become close to Maddy and Donna, eventually causing a bitter love triangle. But the creepiness of this situation wasn’t fully realized until James sang a shockingly high falsetto with Donna and Maddy acting as backup singers. I am not sure how intentional the creepiness of this scene was, which just made it creepier. While watching I could only think of Charlie Manson and his admiring crew of psychopathic hippies.
08. The Welcome Home Party
With Leo in a catatonic drooling state, Bobbie and Shelly brought him home to “care” for him. Caring, apparently means throwing him a humiliating party, and making out with each other on top of him. It was gross, insensitive, oddly funny, and creepy. And it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy. Welcome home Leo.
07. Magic Boy and His Grandma
While looking into Laura Palmer’s death herself, Donna takes on some of Laura’s responsibilities. One of these involves picking up Laura’s Meals on Wheels route. At one of these stops, Donna encounters a grandmother and her creamed corn stealing magic grandson. Such a silly demonstration, and yet handled with all of the seriousness needed to make it fascinating and eerie.
06. A White Horse in the Living Room
In one of the best episodes of the series as a whole, Laura’s identical cousin Maddy met her cousin’s fate, murdered by her possessed uncle. The entire setup of the event was beautiful, haunting, and full of odd moments. Perhaps most notable was Laura’s mother creepily crawling downstairs and hallucinating a white horse in her living room.
05. Leland/Bob is all Song and Dance
After the audience finally learns of Leland’s possession by Bob, and the horrible death of Maddy, Leland/Bob seems to revel even more in his decadent behavior. Singing, dancing, driving erratically, with a dead girl in his trunk. Actor Ray Wise (Reaper) chews up the scenery as Leland/Bob, quickly becoming one of the most entertaining performers on the show. It is lively, fun, and light, when taken out of context. In the proper context, however, it is quite the opposite.
04. The Dancing Dwarf and the Red Room
This was the first scene that truly grabbed me in Twin Peaks. Agent Dale Cooper experienced a truly surreal dream at the end of the series 4th episode. The dream involved an older Cooper, Laura Palmer, and a dancing dwarf (Carnivàle’s Michael J. Anderson) in a striking red room. To make it even stranger, the character speech was recorded backwards and then played forwards for a trippy dream-like effect. This was the first sign of the David Lynch I was expecting when I started watching Twin Peaks. The room, become a fixture in the series, even tying in to the major plot events of the series finale.
03. Cooper’s Methods
Cooper came into the series as a wonderful eccentric, but it wasn’t until he unveiling his peculiar investigative methods that we realized the depth of his eccentricity. Beginning with an explanation of the Chinese occupation of Tibet, Cooper sets up a sort of game, in which he throws rocks while having suspects described to him. 1 rock might sail through the air undisturbed, another might break a “strategically” placed bottle, though my favorite ricocheted off a tree and nailed Deputy Andy in the head. The entire scene is absurd, and funny, and yet we buy into Cooper’s methods so quickly, wondering what exactly it meant if a bottle was broken.
02. Ben and Jerry’s Manic Obsession With Food.
It is somehow ironic that a set of brothers in the series with the names Ben and Jerry are so manically obsessed with food. I like to imagine that these 2 are THE Ben and Jerry who are, of course, so famous for their wonderful ice cream creations. Holding that in my mind while watching Ben and Jerry gush over food tied to childhood memories at seemingly inappropriate times, put a smile on my face.
01. Thumbs Up and the Giant
Still my favorite scene in the entirety of the series, Twin Peaks 2nd season immediately alleviated the tension of season 1’s cliffhanger. Season 1 ended with Cooper being shot in his hotel room, and season 2 picks up from that exact moment. Cooper is on the ground, bleeding, with his door wide open. With great relief he notices an elderly room attendant, but this old man will be no help to Cooper. In a scene that had me rolling with laughter, the old man bumbled through the room systematically (though unintentionally) chipping away at Cooper’s hopes for rescue. He didn’t perceive Cooper’s situation at all, he even hung up the phone call that could have saved Cooper, and he even made Cooper sign a bill before leaving. My favorite part, when the old man kept repeating “I’ve heard about you” and giving Cooper the thumbs up, until the desperately wounded Cooper returned the gesture. This scene of hilarious hopelessness was then followed up with a truly surreal vision, in which a giant appeared before Cooper, giving vague cryptic clues, and taking Cooper’s ring. To me, that season 2 opener, was Twin Peaks at its absolute best, and weirdest.
So that’s it. What were your favorite Twin Peak moments? Tell us in our comments, and stay tuned to TVEnthusiast for more coverage of Twin Peaks, and all of your favorite shows.