Food is a conspicuously noticeable presence in Twin Peaks’s 30 episodes. The series’ plot centers on events in the eponymous American town following the murder of a local resident, popular high schooler and beauty queen, Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). As the investigation of the crime unfolds, food takes on an understated, yet central role, so ever-present in everyday events that it almost becomes an additional character in itself. From cherry pies to doughnuts to crispy bacon and pancakes covered in maple syrup, the food is everywhere. And it is so appealing that it often overtakes the attention of Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), the FBI agent sent to the scene to aid the local police department in solving the murder. As large quantities of food are consumed at various places, from restaurants to diners to the local picnic areas, the mysteries of death become entangled with eating, one of the most embodied and arguably “alive” of all human activities. Even at an embryonic level, the evocative presence of food in the series comes across as strange, as food has not traditionally occupied a prevalent position in David Lynch’s creations, where the diner in Mulholland Drive (2001) is the only real connection to matters of consumption. This anomaly immediately makes one attuned to the possibility that food is not simply a background presence in Twin Pe aks, but will play an instrumental part-hinging on notions of both embodiment and destabilization-in the construction of the surreal, erotic, and disorienting narratives that are typical of Lynch’s work.
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