I watched “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me” last night. I wish now that I had watched it before the new series began as there was a lot of callbacks to the film that I had forgotten about (I saw this film a few times when it was relatively new 25 years ago, but haven’t seen it in two decades.) Harry Dean Stanton for instance - I completely forgot him being in the movie, and his scene in the new series now has a whole new meaning to me.
But I digress. What I really want to know was why were the FBI investigating Theresa Banks’ murder in the first place? Not only did the local police not want them there, I can’t discern any reason who called the feds in or why.
In the original series, Agent Dale Cooper and co. got involved with the Laura Palmer murder investigation when Ronette Pulaski was found wandering across the border from Canada, and it became known that Laura’s murder (and Ronette’s attack) were tied up in drug trafficking and a prostitution ring that crossed the national border. But as far as I could tell, that wasn’t an element of Theresa’s murder.
Nor for that matter was there any apparent supernatural elements to Theresa’s murder. She got killed because…
She found out that Laura’s father was one of her Johns and was blackmailing him.
But that didn’t necessarily involve any supernatural elements, so why the blue rose at the beginning of the movie?
Actually, what does stick out from watching the movie now is just how much of it is Lynch satirizing the Twin Peaks fan-base:
The movie starts with an axe being hurled through a television set, which makes very clear Lynch’s attitude toward television in general at that time.
The whole bit with Agent Cole’s “sister” seems to parody the fans who relentlessly poured over every detail in order to parse out some “deep meaning” in every little thing.
The whole bit with Cooper and the monitor – the overpowering desire to see oneself reflected on TV.
That attitude seems to be carried over into the new series – the box in NYC from the first couple of episodes can be easily read as the essential “nothingness” of tv and social media.
And yes, I realize I am precisely the kind of fan that Lynch seems to be railing about in “Fire Walk with Me.”
Anyway, I didn’t read the book, but Cooper couldn’t be referring to Theresa Bank’s murder in that quoted bit. He wasn’t sent out to investigate Banks’ murder at all; rather, he was sent in to investigate the disappearance of Special Agent Chris Isaak (which was tied up in Banks’ murder investigation, but I think if he were relating info about the case to Diane, the disappearance of a fellow agent would have been his chief concern and what he would tell Diane.)
Also, there was no indication yet that Banks’ murder was possibly a serial murder. That hypothesis was only brought up after he did a post-mortem on Laura.
Yes, in the paragraphs following what I quoted, Cooper identifies the victim as Teresa Banks. He also describes meeting the uncooperative Sheriff Cable and finding the “T” under Teresa’s fingernail. It’s essentially what is shown in FWWM, but with Cooper instead of Sam Stanley and Chester Desmond. Anyway, I’m aware that the book doesn’t quite jibe with FWWM; I quoted that bit because it suggests a possible explanation for how the FBI got involved.
Teresa Banks is mentioned briefly in The Secret History of Twin Peaks, but with no additional information. However, that book does establish that Gordon Cole has a previous connection to the Twin Peaks area and was involved in some mysterious goings-on there in in the early 80s. This might explain why Gordon took a personal interest in the Teresa Banks murder. If TSHOTP is canon, then Gordon knows quite a bit more about Twin Peaks and its bizarre history than he’s letting on.
I don’t know if David Lynch is an asshole, but as someone new to Twin Peaks, who’s working through Lynch’s filmography, and who has a high tolerance for artsy weirdness, FWWM is almost unwatchable. I’ve made three attempts so far. The only moments ive liked have been Harry Dean Stanton’s “I’ve already been places” speach, and Agent Cooper’s psychic insight with Albert. I still have another hour left to go.
I love FWWM - first time I saw it in the theater, I was with a friend who had seen some TP but not much, I don’t know how many reels it was, but if it was 5, then reel 3 & 4 were shown out of order. We didn’t realize that but noticed things were a little more convoluted. My friend was a Lynch fan who’d shown me Eraserhead, so we just figured. “That’s David Lynch!”
Later on, I thought "That would have made a lot more sense if a reel had been misplaced so, having some extra time & money, I went to see it again. They’d fixed the order & yes, it did make more sense. But the point is- being a David Lynch film, we weren’t sure that wasn’t the way it was supposed to be.