double vision

How The Killing Channeled Twin Peaks Last Night

A season-long, slow-paced mystery about a girl who drowned: It’s not that hard to draw connections between Twin Peaks and The Killing, even if the former’s supernatural elements are replaced by almost excruciating normalcy in the latter. But last night’s Killing, “Super 8,” brought up even more similarities between the shows. It may not have been the most gripping or riveting episode of the series so far, but it might as well have had Agent Cooper in it. If only there had been some damn fine cups of coffee.

The major development of the episode was the discovery of Rosie’s super-8 movie, a moody, jumpy film that gives us an ostensible window into the girl’s inner life. There’s also a moment in the film that shows a tiny reflection of whoever’s holding the camera — which Linden spies right away. Laura Palmer made a video, too, though her picnic escapades were less angsty-teenage masterpiece and more goofy home video. Still, Agent Cooper needs to figure out who shot it, and he gets a good lead when he spots a reflection in Laura’s eye of a motorcycle.

Linden and Cooper have a lot in common, too. We learned last night that Linden has a history of getting too obsessed with her cases, perhaps not unlike Cooper, who once fell in love with a woman he was charged with protecting. (Complicating factors: That woman was his partner’s wife.) Both investigators are introspective and often confusing, even to the people close to them; both seem to realize they see the world slightly differently than other people do. She is often shown chewing or nibbling on something, and he might be pop culture’s single greatest pie fan. They’re also arguably the best, most interesting characters on their respective shows.

Not that there’s a shortage of interesting characters on either show, particularly in the dad department. Leland Palmer’s famous freak-out at his daughter’s funeral showed a man driven to complete madness by his unbelievable grief, and it’s one of the most important moments in the development of the character. Last night, we saw Stan completely lose it in the gas-station bathroom, giving us a more developed sense of just how lost he is in his own agony. Here’s hoping the similarities end there, though: It seems unlikely that Stan killed Rosie while possessed by an evil demon.

Finally, even though Bennet seems like too obvious a suspect at this point to be the real killer, he did have an iconic murder-related prop at his house: Tarps! His home-repair chemicals may have been under a blue one, but that clear plastic business on the floor? Pure Peaks.

How The Killing Channeled Twin Peaks Last Night