Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): TWIN PEAKS First Time Viewer Companion: S1E6 "Cooper's Dreams"

Monday, September 10, 2018

TWIN PEAKS First Time Viewer Companion: S1E6 "Cooper's Dreams"


These short Twin Peaks episode responses are spoiler-free for upcoming episodes, presented here for first-time viewers who want to read a veteran viewer's perspective on each entry while remaining in the dark about what's come. They were first published as comments on a Reddit rewatch in 2016. (This is referred to as "Episode 5" in some places, including the DVD/blu-ray, but is "S1E6" on Netflix.)

So many characters get good scenes and solid story development, but I think it's most useful to view this episode through the two characters who are arguably most important to the show: Cooper and Laura. Coop gets to do some of his sharpest, most intuitive detective work since the pilot. For the most part season 1 has shown him soaking up information - using traditional (and Tibetan) methods or dreams - and then following up on a few clues. But now he's actively noticing things left and right: the magazine in the ceiling, or the drapes on the wall photo and in the magazine. At the same time he is shown to be human and grounded - grouchy after being kept up all night, and confused by the Log Lady's eccentricities in a way the locals are not.

Laura, meanwhile, gets more fleshed out. She's not only the mystery object motivating all the action but clearly someone with a tormented inner life worth exploring in its own right. This was suggested by Jacoby last week but feels more raw in Bobby's teary confession, the Log Lady's - or rather her log's - recollection of Laura's last night, and the eerie atmosphere of Jacques' cabin. I love that scene, starting on the raven's eye and ending with the chipped poker chip, between the music of Julee Cruise and the unsettling whistle of the cabin walls. Watching the series again, those of us who've seen everything can't usually re-access our first "what's going on here?!" buzz (something first-time viewers should really savor; it's the quintessence of Lynch, even though he was not directly involved with this episode). This scene, however, comes close to capturing that feeling even after many viewings - horror viewed at a safe distance, which makes you want to find out more even if you sense you're playing with fire. The location feels haunted, charged by a psychic presence left over from some unseen trauma.


Next: "Realization Time" • Previous: "The One-Armed Man"


Want more? Here's my other coverage of the episode:


More for first-time viewers (SPOILER-FREE)
(but be careful of image/link recommendations at the end of Tumblr posts)



My dugpa comment on this episode, from 2015 (includes vague reference to the subject of the film)

The comments section below may contain spoilers.

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