OK, partially it is because I was just about the right age for this series when it came out. I was an undergrad at the University of Delaware without a clear idea of what it was that I wanted to study. I initially wanted to be a Physics major, with hope of perhaps moving into engineering of some sort (probably civil). My love of math and physics came from a conglomeration of several forces: one was the formidable ‘Mt. Geiger’ the mercurial calculus / precalculus teacher at my high school, who made me realize that doing well in math was simply a matter of effort. With zero effort came zero result, but with concerted effort came both good grades and a true understanding of what the numbers meant. Second, came my realization that when I understood the math, other subjects opened up too. Which leads directly to #3, which was Pete Parlett’s Physics class. Mr. Parlett (I’m possibly spelling this incorrectly) was probably the best teacher I’ve ever had. He combined History, common sense, mathematical models, and a conversational / intentional teaching style into a class that just ‘gelled’.
Unfortunately, this preparation may have eventually proved to be too little, too late for me and my 1st semester Calculus for engineers class hit me like an 800lb load of reality dropped from a skyscraper.
So, I did what every failed physics student does. I declared a Philosophy major and immersed myself in medieval arguments about primer movers and the nature of good and evil. I lucked upon another good teacher here, Dr. Katherin Rogers, a professor of Medieval Philosophy specializing in the work of St. Anselm. I probably could have done without this diversion into Philosophy, but then again, maybe it was good for the mind. I idled in this major for a couple years until I discovered science (but that was after Twin Peaks)
Altogether, this left me uncertain about what to do with myself and really doubtful about a future with any hope for meaning. In the midst of this comes Twin Peaks, the story of a small town in Washington state nestled in the mountains away from the world and surrounded by the idyllic forests of the Northwest.
Twin Peaks should have been as idyllic as its surroundings – and it appeared to be on the surface, but just beneath the veneer was the twisted, secret world that complicates life everywhere. The first scenes of the series’ pilot finds the body of Laura Palmer wrapped in plastic on the shores of a river in the outskirts of town.
From there, the series tumbles forward with the directness of a drunkard’s walk veering here and there into secrets worldly and unworldly as the Twin Peaks police force is assigned Special Agent Dale Cooper to aid in the untangling of a Gordian Plot (ha, I made a funny).
The power of Twin Peaks comes from the slow pacing of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s world. Characters live in slow motion encased in atmosphere defined by music, beauty, evil, and the oddly supernatural. Dale Cooper exists as a connection between worlds, like The Avatar, communicating and interpreting dreams from a higher plane of existence.
… and, of course, from the coffee.
And I liked that too.
“J’ai une âme solitaire.”