Twin Peaks Rewatch Project - Season 1, Episode 3
The staff of the Talk Film Society takes you on a journey back to Twin Peaks, episode by episode. All leading up to the premiere of the new season in May.
Title: "Episode 3 aka Rest in Pain"
Original Air Date: April 26, 1990
Written by Harley Peyton
Directed by Tina Rathborne
'Rest in Pain' sees the town of Twin Peaks gather together for Laura Palmer's funeral, as the strange events from the previous episode are put into clearer focus. Opening with Cooper enjoying breakfast at the Great Northern Hotel, he is joined by Audrey - still just as transfixed on him as before. Cooper gets her signature and compares it to the 'Jack With One Eye' message that was slipped under his door earlier, to which Audrey confesses. Audrey claims it was put there 'for Laura' and in the ensuing conversation, connections are drawn between her and the titular casino/brothel.
Cooper is then joined by Truman and Lucy, in which he discusses his strange dream in the Red Room, after calling Truman in the middle of the night and stating he believes to know the identity of Laura's killer. But even after going into all the weird details, he doesn't recall what the mysterious woman who looked like Laura whispered into his ear - instead believing that his dream is 'a code to be broken'.
Next, Cooper and Truman are called in to the morgue to deal with Albert Rosenfield, who is requesting a more thorough examination of Laura's body, despite the funeral being only a couple of hours away. Not able to take his awful behavior anymore, Truman punches Rosenfield in the face, as he lands on top of Laura in an unsightly display. Cooper, in a gesture that signifies his connection to the townspeople over his agency, tells Rosenfield to release Laura's body to the Palmer family.
Right at that moment, the scene switches to the Palmer residence, as we see Leland watching the popular fictional soap opera 'Invitation to Love' - which will continue to recut throughout Twin Peaks in a number of surprising ways. He is interrupted by the arrival of his niece and Laura's cousin Madeleine (also played by Sheryl Lee) in a somewhat humorous display, given the show Leland had just been watching also played with the trope of having one actor playing dual roles connected by familial relations.
Cooper and Truman go to talk to Leo Johnson, one of the prime suspects from the experiment that they carried out the previous day. Leo straight up misleads the two men by giving false answers, but with no prior convictions, Cooper and Truman aren't able to do anything else. As the scene closes out, Cooper is distracted by an assembly of baby ducks.
Meanwhile at the Briggs household, Bobby and his father talk about the upcoming funeral and his strong feelings regarding the situation. Bobby gives off a sense that something BIG is going to go down later, and shout that he's 'going to turn it upside down'. It's a manic display and one that is heavy in foreshadowing.
Rosenfield gives his toxicology reports to Cooper and Truman, noting that Laura had traces of cocaine in her system at the time of her death, and that there were two different kinds of twine used to tie her up, suggesting she was tied up at two different points that night. The most compelling bit of evidence towards the case though, is that a small device with the letter 'J' was found on her stomach. Cooper and Rosenfield then have a talk down, in which Rosenfield wants to file a report against Truman for punching him earlier. Cooper decides to stick up for his new friend, threatening Rosenfield that he'd rather write a report that would send the forensics expert somewhere in Washington where he'd never see the sun. It's a very tenacious side of Cooper that we haven't seen before, adding another sense of dimension to his character.
Laura's funeral finally commences, to which nearly the entire town is present for. The reverend provides a loving and passionate remembrance of the young woman, which is capped off by Audrey's mentally challenged brother Johnny shouting 'AMEN!'. Immediately after this, Bobby decides to take control over the situation, giving a long-winded and aggressive outburst about the nature of the townspeople - claiming that everyone is at fault for what happened to Laura. Bobby and James then get into a fight, and then Leland jumps onto the casket as it is being lowered into the ground, not ready to say goodbye to his daughter. It's a very cringeworthy moment, but one that is full of the kind of strange emotion that Twin Peaks is best known for.
Following the funeral, Truman tells Cooper about a secret society they are part of, known as the Bookhouse Boys. In a long speech, he summarizes:
“Twin Peaks is different, a long way from the world- there’s a sort of evil out there…something very, very strange in these old woods. Call it what you will, a darkness, a presence. It takes many forms, But it’s been there for as long as anyone can remember. And we’ve always been here to fight it. The men before us, the ones before them…the ones after we’re gone.”
Along with Hawk, the two men arrive at the secret Bookhouse headquarters where they have tied up Bernard Renault (Clay Wilcox), a janitor who works at the Roadhouse who has been bringing drugs into the town from across the border with the help of his brother Jacques. More importantly, Jacques has decided to return to Canada to avoid possible criminal charges, and enlisted the help of Leo Johnson to take him there. Suddenly, the source of where Bobby, Mike, and Laura got their cocaine from is more than evident. And after we see Leo taking Jacques over the border not long after, it appears Shelly has purchased a handgun, so as to not have to play the victim to Leo's violent outbursts any longer. Later, while doing surveillance on the cemetery, Cooper sees Dr. Jacoby - another prime suspect - lay flowers on Laura's grave. When questioned, Jacoby responds by saying that he cared more for Laura than any of his other patients.
After a long consideration, Josie tells Truman that she believes Benjamin and his sister-in-law Catherine were behind the death of her late husband Andrew, and that they are conspiring to kill her for the ability to take over the saw mill and enable Benjamin to acquire it as part of his township empire. Truman tells her that he'll protect her, though the audience is still left to wonder about Josie's underlying motives at the same time.
Returning to where the episode began, Leland is in the dining room of the Great Northern dancing by himself - still under a lot of considerable emotional stress and devastation. Sitting at the bar, Cooper and Hawk discuss the idea of a having a soul, to which Hawk believes that he believes in the concept of several souls according to the legends of his tribe. But Hawk thinks that Laura isn't in some spiritual plane, rather she's just in the ground - a foreboding statement which says much about the level of criminal deceit that has only begun to be uncovered about the small town sweetheart.
'Rest in Pain' is another solid episode of Twin Peaks - more grounded than the weirdness that permeated in 'Zen or the Skill to Catch a Killer', and less focused about solving Laura's murder than developing the relationships of the townspeople. We also get the sense that there's a darker element beneath the surface of this quaint little town - one that is surely to be ripped right off like a band-aid in the episodes to come.