When a young, beautiful girl named Laura Palmer is murdered, the quite town of Twin Peaks is up in arms. Since Laura, a blonde homecoming queen, was loved by everyone, the people of the town are shocked by her death. The police bring in an outsider, FBI Special Agent Cooper, to solve the mysterious murder because of the severity and brutality of the crime. Cooper, who is by far my favorite TV character, soon discovers that Laura was leading a double life and that a lot of the inhabitants of Twin Peaks are involved in nasty business. Drug smuggling, prostitution, witchcraft, wife beating, you name it, they’re involved in it. Needless to say, Twin Peaks is not a series I can watch alone at night (I’m still haunted by the vision of Bob in my dreams).
The fact that Twin Peaks is a TV series from the 1990’s, but still speaks to me (born in 1990) and countless others of all ages proves its timelessness and cult status. The plot, the town, the characters, the music (oh boy, that soundtrack!), the cinematographic aesthetic, etc. Everything just feels right in this series.
A lot has been written about Twin Peaks already, so I will not try to analyze the wicked world of David Lynch (although it is mighty interesting and intriguing). What I will do, is share with you the reasons for my love for Special Agent Cooper. Like Audrey Horne, I am completely infatuated with this coffee-loving hero, for several reasons. I mainly love the character, portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan (that’s right, Orson from Desperate Housewives!), because of his kindness and coolness, but for mere pleasure, I made a list of all the characteristics I adore in Cooper:
Cooper seems to be the moral compass of the show. David Lynch loves to play with (im)morality, but Cooper is a thoroughly good guy.
He is a cop, but not the typical tough, swearing cop we associate with American television series. You could definitely call him an atypical cop.
He’s polite. Manners are so attractive. Take notes boys.
He’s sensitive. Same here: so attractive. He’s not afraid of showing his feelings, but not in a whiny, sobby way. In other words: a real man.
He wears earplugs at night. I do too. They make your nights so much easier and your dreams so much livelier. If you wear earplugs, you don’t have to complain to neighbors about the noise they’re making in the middle of the night.
He wears suits. I don’t think I have to explain why this is a good thing, right?
His hair is always in place. It’s dark and shiny and gives him an aristocratic aura. A real gentleman’s hairdo.
He loves coffee. One of his famous quotes: “You know, this is – excuse me – a damn fine cup of coffee.” Coffee keeps him awake and happy. The look on his face when he smells coffee is priceless.
He loves pie. Another one of his famous quotes: “This must be where pies go when they die.” I can appreciate a man with a sweet tooth. Cooper will always let Norma Jennings know how much he loves her cherry pies.
This leads me to another one of his characteristics I love: Cooper isn’t stingy when it comes to giving compliments and encouragements. Whether your hair looks nice, you’ve done a good job, you’ve baked a nice pie, or you’ve been a good friend, Cooper will acknowledge it. He really appreciates his friends and isn’t afraid to show it!
At first, it seems really odd that he talks to Diane in his recorder all the time. But after a while you get used to it and appreciate these moments because he tells her how he feels and what he’s been up to. The recorder is sort of a spoken diary which gives the audience the chance to get to know Cooper even better.
This may sound weird, considering some of his other characteristics and the absurdity of the series, but Cooper is actually quite down to earth and makes principled decisions. He knows that dating a schoolgirl is not done and decides on being just friends with Audrey. Although I kept rooting for Audale (or Dadrey), I was also glad they decided not to have them actually start a (sexual) relationship. It wouldn’t rhyme with Cooper’s morality and gentlemanly manners. To say “no” to Audrey Horne, a beautiful young femme fatale, must have been hard for him (when he finds her naked in his bed, he says, “what I want and what I need, are two different things, Audrey”). I love the Audrey/Coop scenes, and their relationship is one of the plotlines which interested me most, but in the end, I’m glad he doesn’t take advantage of her youth and beauty.
Next to his non-nonsense attitude, Cooper has a more mystical side. He loves Eastern mysticism (he especially loves Tibet), believes in solving crimes through dreams and weird Eastern rituals, and does yoga. I believe his interest in Eastern religion and culture makes sense because of his kindness and desire to lead a peaceful ‘Zen’ life.
He uses phrases like “holy smokes”. Innovative ways to swear or express bewilderment are always a plus point for me.
He is open minded. When his FBI colleague, Dennis, is asked to investigate Cooper’s involvement in drug traffic and him visiting Canada, Cooper finds out that his friend and colleague has recently decided to dress like a woman. He accepts Dennis/Denise immediately and is anxious to hear about his/her stories.
He’s an excellent dancer.
He is brave and gets things done. A real hero.
I rest my case. Dale Cooper, I love you.