Sunday, February 22, 2015

5 Reasons Dale Cooper Is the Best FBI Agent Ever

By Jenna Blake Morris

A lot of the time, when people think of quirky FBI agents in surreal circumstances, Special Agent Fox Mulder seems to come to mind.

I totally get it--The X-Files is one of my favourite shows in the history of the universe, and Mulder's definitely my favourite character from the show. He wants to believe, and because of that, you can't help but want to believe in him, too.

AT the same time, though, if we're talking about offbeat FBI agents whose minds are remarkably open to the supernatural, paranormal, or just plain weird, it's only fair to give due acknowledgement to Dale Cooper--the agent assigned to the Laura Palmer case in the 90s television series Twin Peaks.

There are loads of reasons why I love Coop, but for the sake of brevity, I've tried to narrow my list down to the characteristics that really define him. So here goes.

1) He takes quirky to a whole new level.

When he first arrives in Twin Peaks, nobody's really sure what to make of him. He's a guy who regularly talks to his voice recorder, who gestures for everyone to pause while he first samples a mug of coffee, and who takes up whittling for the heck of it. He's hilarious, but often without meaning to be--it's thanks to this blend of social awkwardness and funny earnestness, and it means that he's offbeat even in the smallest actions. Quite endearing, really.

2) He takes his job seriously, but he's still got this childlike wonder about the smallest things.

In a lot of ways, Coop's job is all he has--he's one of those workaholic guys who's dedicated his whole life to his calling, and he's never bitter about that. It seems like it would be a hard life to live, being sent from place to place and investigating humanity's darkness, but Coop balances all of that with this innocent delight in everyday things. Like the stunning array of doughnuts at the Twin Peaks sheriff station, for example, or getting invited to go fly fishing, or going camping for the first time. As much as I love jaded, cynical investigators, Cooper is the physical embodiment of a breath of fresh air.

3) His methods may be questionable, but he gets stuff done.

Remember how I mentioned he was open-minded? Yeah. He kind of takes it to extremes sometimes, but he makes it work for himself. More than once, he uses his bizarre dreams as tools to unravel mysteries in the case he's working. And then there's the time he threw rocks at a glass bottle in an experiment to narrow his focus on a list of potential suspects...

4) He's surrounded himself with awesome people.

Because Twin Peaks is a small, close-knit town guarding some serious secrets, most of its inhabitants viewed Coop as an outsider. But his genuine enthusiasm for the town eventually warms most people up to him--and because he works closely with the people from the sheriff's department, they're the people he gets closest to. His friendship with deputies Hawk and Andy is great, but it's his odd-couple dynamic with the Twin Peaks sheriff, Harry Truman, that takes centre stage.

5) He's arguably psychic.

In one of Coop's visions (kind of... it's too spoilerific to explain it any better than that), someone tells him, "I'll see you again in twenty-five years. He never saw that character again throughout the series.

Twenty-five years after Twin Peaks was cancelled, it's making a comeback in 2016.

If that's not insanely wizard, I don't know what is.

Because Twin Peaks will be returning in 2016--and because you now officially know that Dale Cooper is a guy worth knowing--there's never been a better time to catch up on the series. There are only two seasons (thirty episodes total), so it's not an intimidating series to tackle, and the whole thing is on Netflix.

If you decide to check it out, let me know what you think! And if you've seen Twin Peaks before, what were your thoughts? Who's your favourite FBI agent?

1 comment: