Darkness has fallen in Twin Peaks, but not everyone is resting. Sarah Palmer, who spent the day mourning her murdered daughter, awakens from a nightmare screaming. Far away, someone — we don’t know who — steals a buried necklace. And the first installment of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks ends, leaving its mysteries unsolved.
Want to know what happens? The answers, at least some of them, are as close as your local video store — if you live in Belgium, Bolivia, Switzerland, or any of the 10 other countries where a cassette of Twin Peaks is available for rental or sale. Sorry, the United States isn’t one of them.
The foreign video version of Twin Peaks continues for 18 tantalizing minutes after ABC’s first episode comes to its cliff-hanging halt. It races to wrap up mysteries that may take several weeks or more to resolve on television. And although the video’s extra footage looks much more hastily patched together than the rest of the show, what it reveals (don’t worry — we won’t spoil it for you) includes the identity of Laura Palmer’s murderer, the origin of the typed letter ”R” found under her fingernail, and the meaning of the blood-scrawled message ”Fire — Walk With Me.” Eventually, the series also will unravel those enigmas, but Lynch/Frost Productions, which produces Twin Peaks, is silent about when and how; a spokesman for the show won’t even say whether the killer will be the same at home and abroad.
When series creators Lynch and Mark Frost sold the Twin Peaks foreign videocassette rights to Warner Home Video, the company put them under a contractual obligation to provide a film with an ending. Lynch fulfilled the requirement with one last scene, a chilling, almost indecipherable epilogue. Flashing 25 years into the future, it involves FBI agent Dale Cooper, a psychic dwarf, and a beautiful woman who’s a dead ringer for Laura Palmer. The sequence, which uses a computer-distorted soundtrack, parts of it played in reverse, rivals Lynch’s eeriest, most alienating work. A spokesman for the show says it’s unlikely to air; indeed, it’s hard to imagine how the series could incorporate it, except possibly as a dream sequence.
If Twin Peaks returns next fall, other story lines will assume as much importance as the current mystery, Frost says. But for now, the Laura Palmer murder is the show’s driving force, and for those who can’t stand to be left in suspense, here’s something to think about: Two characters who may be integral to the plot appear in the first episode — but they do not speak a word.
To be continued.