Welcome to Twin Peaks:/\/\ First-Watch Recap: Season 1: Ep. 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (Original airdate Thursday, April 26, 1990) — a review


Welcome to my First-Watch of the original 30 episodes of the 1990-91 television series Twin Peaks. Below are the bulletpointed notes I jotted down while watching the episode “Rest in Pain.”

  • On this date in history, if this is your birthday, you are a Milennial, and you recently turned 30 years old. So, Happy Birthday! You grew up with computers, the internet, and social networks. If the stereotype is to be believed, you also have a lot of participation trophies and ribbons, and you’re more tolerant of people who are different from you than your parents were.
  • To further put the age of this series in perspective, 1990 was 2 years before the first text was sent, 4 years before the first Sony Playstation hit the market, 4 years before Facebook, at least 7 years before DVDs, and 8 years before Google. Cell phones existed, but were not yet “smart” or ubiquitous.
  • Two days before this episode first aired, on Tuesday, April 24, the Hubble Telescope was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.
  • Although the actual Berlin Wall came down the previous November, in 1989, April 24 was also the day that West and East Germany agreed to merge their currency and economies.
  • The in-story date is Monday, February 27. I’m not sure if the series ever specifies the year, but it works for 1989, since that day fell on a Monday.
  • At the beginning of this episode, we get our establishing shot of the Great Northern Hotel with a slow pan past the waterfall. AUDREY HORNE is creeping around in the hallways of the hotel, stalking AGENT DALE COOPER.
  • Agent Cooper walks down the hallway, dictating his morning message to the ethereal DIANE. Cooper mentions that it’s 7:15 AM and he’s planning to head to the Sheriff’s Station after breakfast. From there, they’ll be going to LAURA PALMER‘s funeral.
  • Of course there’s jazz music playing as Audrey forces the run-in with Cooper. She calls him “Colonel.” “Just Agent,” Cooper says, “Special Agent.” Then Cooper invites Audrey to join him for breakfast. And, he tells her that her perfume is incredible.
  • I realize that Cooper probably has ulterior motives for inviting Audrey to join him for breakfast, but it comes off as a little creepy. Especially after the perfume comment.
  • Cooper asks Audrey to write her name for him on a paper. He compares her handwriting to that on the note that was slipped under his door the previous evening. Looks like a match. Cooper asks Audrey if she had something she wanted to tell him.
  • Audrey says she just wanted to help him “for Laura.”
  • When Cooper reminds Audrey that she said they weren’t exactly friends, Audrey says, “We weren’t friends. But I understood her better than the rest.”
  • Cooper asks Audrey what One Eyed Jacks is. Audrey knows that it is a place up north where men go, because women work there. She’s describing either a strip club or a brothel.  Possibly a Hooters.
  • Did Laura work there?” Cooper asks. Audrey doesn’t know, but she does let slip that Laura worked the perfume counter at Horne’s Department Store.
  • In addition to the Meals-on-Wheels program, tutoring JOHNNY HORNE three times a week, JOSIE PACKARD twice a week, and making time for two boyfriends, possibly some drug-smuggling and/or sales, and seeing her psychiatrist DR. JACOBY. And going to high school.
  • Once again, I think I understand why Laura was abusing cocaine.
  • Anyway, we’re hearing a lot about the perfume counter at Horne’s Department Store, aren’t we? The new girl at One Eyed Jacks last episode had worked there. So had RONETTE PULASKI. I suspect that this might be a clue, Dr. Watson.
  • Cooper gives Audrey some handwriting analysis before we leave this scene. He says the forward slant indicates a romantic nature. A heart that yearns. He cautions her to be careful.
  • SHERIFF HARRY S. TRUMAN and LUCY MORAN suddenly enter the hotel restaurant. “Who killed Laura Palmer?” Harry asks.
  • Cooper says that his dream is a code to be broken. Break the code; Solve the crime. Cooper says that, in his dream, SARAH PALMER had a vision of her daughter’s killer. DEPUTY HAWK sketched the culprit’s pic. Cooper says he got a phone call from a one-armed man who said his name was MIKE, and that the killer was BOB.
  • Sheriff Harry points out the Mike & Bobby connection.
  • Cooper says it’s not those two. The two men in his dream lived above a convenience store. They had matching tattoos that said “Fire. Walk with Me.” Mike couldn’t handle the killing anymore, so he cut off his own arm. Bob wanted to keep killing, so Mike shot him.
  • This doesn’t seem to match the portion of the dream I saw on the previous episode. At least not until he begins talking about the Red Room and the little person and the LP’s cousin who looked like Laura.
  • Only, Cooper can’t remember what the not-Laura whispered in his dream-ear.
  • The sheriff gets a call about a fight going on in the morgue. That’s our cue.
  • Cut to: The Morgue. I believe this is the morgue at the Calhoun Memorial Hospital, but that’s never explicitly stated, so I went with the generalized setting.
  • DR. WILL HAYWARD and AGENT ALBERT ROSENFIELD are arguing about releasing Laura’s body for her funeral. DEPUTY ANDY and BENJAMIN HORNE are also there.
  • Agent Rosenfield says he still has a lot more tests he wants to perform. Rosenfield, who doesn’t concern himself with making friends and influencing people, tells the rest of them to return to their porch rockers and resume whittling.
  • Sheriff Harry and Agent Cooper arrive. You have to wonder what Agent Rosenfield would say if he knew Agent Cooper had whittled a wooden whistle.
  • After Agent Rosenfield insults everyone again, Sheriff Harry punches him and the agent falls onto Laura’s corpse. Cooper pulls rank on Agent Rosenfield, saying the body needs to be released immediately and that he wants his test results by noon. As far as I know, this was the first indication that Cooper outranked Rosenfield.
  • Cooper respectfully rearranges Laura’s corpse before leaving the morgue.
  • Over at the Palmer House, LELAND PALMER is watching a soap opera called “Invitation to Love” as a nurse is giving him a shot. Suddenly, a young woman who looks identical to Laura, only with brown hair and glasses, is in the room, saying, “Uncle Leland?” Leland says, “Madeline? Maddy!” This would be Laura’s cousin, MADDY FERGUSON.
  • The identical twin thing is a soap opera trope.
  • Cut to: the Double R Diner. NORMA JENNINGS is talking to her incarcerated husband’s parole office, MR. MOONEY. It seems Norma’s husband may be getting out of prison soon. When Mr. Mooney asks how Norma has been able to fend off potential suitors, she says it helps that her husband is homicidally jealous. Uh oh, watch out, BIG ED HURLEY.
  • At the Johnson House, Cooper and Harry stop by to talk to LEO JOHNSON, who is chopping wood. When Leo says he didn’t know Laura, Cooper tells him he’s lying. Leo crawfishes a little and says he knew of her, of course, but he didn’t know her. Leo says he called his wife SHELLY JOHNSON from the road the night of the murder, at around midnight. He was in Butte, Montana.
  • At the Briggs House, we get another strange interaction between BOBBY BRIGGS and his father GARLAND BRIGGS. Bobby is obviously very distressed, and not a very good actor. He says he can’t wait for the funeral and he’s going to turn it upside down. BETTY BRIGGS ends the scene by asking if everyone’s ready to go to the funeral.
  • Cut to: the Sheriff’s Station. DEPUTY HAWK reports that he still hasn’t located the ONE-ARMED MAN (whose name may or may not be MIKE). Harry tells Cooper that Deputy Hawk is a terrific tracker.  This may have been racially insensitive.
  • Agent Rosenfield delivers his report to Cooper and Harry. There was definitely cocaine in Laura’s system. It looks like she was tied up twice prior to her death, and the fibers match those found in the rail car and on RONETTE PULASKI. Two different kinds of twine. There were traces of industrial soap outside the rail car that was identical to residue found on the back of Laura’s neck. Rosenfield thinks the killer washed his hands, then held the back of Laura’s neck and kissed her. There are claw marks or bites on her shoulders. A plastic fragment, partially digested, was found in her stomach. The letter “J” is visible on the fragment.
  • Deputy Andy comes in and says it’s time.
  • Before Cooper can leave, Agent Rosenfield wants him to sign a report about Harry’s assault on him that morning. Cooper refuses, and then chews Rosenfield out about what Laura’s death has meant to this community.
  • After leaving Rosenfield, Cooper dictates a message to Diane about exploring pension options to buy property here in Twin Peaks. He’s in love with this weird little town.
  • At the Hurley House, NADINE HURLEY is still happy with her husband, Big Ed. She says she really feels like they’re together again. She reminisces about high school, when she was a nobody, “a little brown mouse,” and she used to watch Big Ed and Norma together.
  • JAMES HURLEY shows up and says he’s not going to the funeral.
  • Back at the Great Northern Hotel, Audrey eavesdrops on her parents talking about her brother, JOHNNY HORNE. Then she enters a secret passageway, where she can look in and eavesdrop on DR. LAWRENCE JACOBY and her brother. It appears Dr. Jacoby is successful at convincing Johnny to remove his Native American headdress for Laura’s funeral.
  • At the Graveyard, REVEREND BROCKLEHURST (Royce D. Applegate) reads a scripture passage as Agent Cooper watches everyone gathered for the big funeral scene. James shows up at the perimeter, in spite of what he told his aunt and uncle. Johnny says “Amen!” loudly after the prayer. Then, Bobby Briggs does the same thing before proceeding to blame everyone in Twin Peaks for Laura’s death.
  • James and Bobby begin to fight in painful slow motion. Bobby keeps telling James that he’s a dead man.
  • Because this wasn’t a big enough scene, Leland Palmer falls onto the closed coffin as the winch lowers and raises him spasmodically. Leland is obviously very distraught. His wife, SARAH PALMER says, “Don’t ruin this, too.”  What else did Leland ruin?  Hmm?
  • Afterward, at the Double R Diner, SHELLY JOHNSON is amusing some of her customers by telling them about Leland Palmer jumping on the coffin. Seems a little inappropriate to me, and way too soon.
  • Big Ed Hurley sits in a booth with Sheriff Harry and Deputy Hawk. Ed is in the process of telling Harry to be careful of trusting Agent Cooper; he’s just not one of us.
  • Which is Cooper’s cue to show up, of course. Harry recommends the huckleberry pie, which Cooper is down for.
  • After Norma stops by for a moment, Cooper shows off his detective skills again by asking Big Ed how long he’s been in love with Norma.
  • Harry decides to spill some of the town secrets to Cooper. Harry says they’ve been working on a drug smuggling ring for 6 months. He says they’re trying to capture everyone, top to bottom.
  • The current theory is that JACQUES RENAULT (Walter Olkewicz), the bartender at the Roadhouse, is the middle man. Big Ed has been conducting undercover surveillance. They think that Renault slipped him a mickey the other night.
  • Cooper says he didn’t realize that Big Ed was a deputy.
  • He’s not, Harry says, and then he continues on, dropping a whole lot of weird stuff on Agent Cooper. After all the Tibetan rock-throwing, maybe he intuits that Cooper may just be okay with a little weird.
  • Harry says there is a sort of evil out in the woods, maybe the price Twin Peaks pays for all the good things in their town. The evil in the woods is something very, very strange. A darkness. A presence. It takes many forms. Harry says they have a group of men—a secret society—that fights this evil.
  • The men take Cooper to the Bookhouse, a former schoolhouse and lending library that’s now a coffeehouse and the meeting place for their secret organization, THE BOOKHOUSE BOYS. Maybe not an actual biker club like I guessed before (although several of its members do ride bikes).
  • The Bookhouse Boys have a kind of secret salute. It’s swiping a finger along either temple. It seems like the not-Laura in Cooper’s Red Room dream did something similar. Or maybe she put a finger beside her nose.
  • James Hurley and JOEY PAULSON are there. BERNARD RENAULT (Clay Wilcox), the janitor at the Roadhouse and Jacques’s brother, is bound and gagged in the room. It seems Bernard came across the border this morning with an ounce of cocaine in his kit bag. When questioned, Bernard says the coke is for his personal use, and says that his brother will be at the Roadhouse tonight.
  • Cut to: Exterior, Roadhouse. Jacques Renault is walking towards the bar when he sees the flashing red light on. The “bust” light. He doesn’t go to the Roadhouse.
  • Instead, Jacques calls Leo Johnson, who leaves his own house to go pick him up. Shelly Johnson arrives home as Leo is leaving. She removes a handgun from her purse and hides it in a drawer, maybe under a bloody shirt.
  • At the Blue Pine Lodge, we get a quiet Sheriff Harry and Josie Packard scene. Josie is convinced that something horrible is going to happen. CATHERINE MARTELL and Benjamin Horne want to hurt her. She tells Harry about overhearing a conversation between the two. She also tells him about the two sets of books. When Josie opens the secret safe to show Harry, the extra set of books is gone.
  • Catherine is listening to Harry and Josie’s conversation over the intercom system. She hides the extra set of books in a secret drawer compartment in her office desk.
  • PETE MARTELL enters the room looking for his tackle box. Catherine tells her husband to just tell her the next time he wants to look in her safe.
  • Back at the Graveyard, Cooper catches Dr. Jacoby at Laura’s gravesite. Jacoby tells Cooper that he’s a terrible person who doesn’t really care about the people of Twin Peaks, but Laura changed how he saw people.
  • Cut to: the Blue Pine Lodge, and Harry and Josie again. Josie asks Harry if he thinks it’s possible that someone killed ANDREW, her late husband. She believes that Catherine and Benjamin Horne want to take the mill from her so that Horne can have the land. She asks Harry if they’ll kill her, too. Harry says nothing’s going to happen to her. He won’t allow it. Lots of kissing ensues.
  • Over at the Great Northern Hotel, Agent Cooper and Deputy Hawk sit discussing the existence of souls while other people dance. Deputy Hawk believes in many souls, according to Blackfoot legend. Waking souls that give life. A dream soul that wanders to faraway places, to the Land of the Dead.
  • Leland Palmer is dancing by himself in the middle of the floor for a while. Then, he frantically tries to get others to dance with him and then suffers another full-on breakdown. Cooper and Hawk go over to him to take him home.
  • End of episode.

We were introduced to a couple of new characters in this episode. The Reverend Brocklehurst, for one (someone was a Jane Eyre fan). And Bernard Renault, Roadhouse janitor and Jacques brother. I think we saw Jacques Renault in an earlier episode, but, just in case I’m wrong, we got a good look at him this time. Oh, and I almost forgot the Laura-lookalike, Maddy Ferguson, her cousin. Assuming she wasn’t a figment of Leland Palmer’s imagination.

A couple of new settings as well. The Graveyard, where Laura Palmer is buried. We had a couple of scenes there in this episode. And the Bookhouse, which had been mentioned but seen for the first time in “Rest in Pain.”

Very little happens with the murder case in this episode. And the “I know who killed Laura Palmer” cliffhanger from the previous episode turned out to be a cheap trick. I feel no closer to answers than I already was. But, the series continues to pose new questions.


This has been my least favorite episode so far. Still watchable. But only 3-out-of-5 stars on this outing.


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