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CSI: Dale Cooper presents

CSI: Dale Cooper presents

CSI: Dale Cooper presents: Harry, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. I think I should always start my posts with a good advice. Two weeks ago I started with bold advice from Jojo Rabbit and today the best possible guidance from special agent Dale Cooper. I listened and decided to follow it – welcome to part 1 of GRAND TWIN PEAKS RE-WATCH!

Cool idea, how will it look like again?

               Ahh, here I come with explanation:

  1. I will watch 4 episodes a month, so one “chapter” a week.
  2. During each screening, I will write down my thoughts and theories, as well as interesting facts you might not know about. And there are plenty tasty bits, that even I missed!
  3. After watching 4 episodes, I will post my notes on the blog for you to enjoy.
  4. Hopefully, I will encourage you to watch Twin Peaks or maybe re-watch it ?

So, there. It was particularly fun task this time – I had to keep in mind that many of you haven’t seen the show yet and the best way to convince you is to emphasize multithreading.

               Ever actually wondered why Twin Peaks is considered global phenomenon, a show like no other? For the sake of knowledge, you can read this piece again, before we dive into mysterious world of this small town. Grab a damn fine coffee, a slice of cherry pie (that will kill ya – that’s why I’m off sweets haha) and get ready to enter gloomy reality of Twin Peaks.

In each “review” I will pay attention to some characters and locations – creating “charts” for them, for the final summary.

Side note: Along the way, I will post some pictures of my handwritten notes – you will see exactly how complex the show is, with multiple story lines, crosscutting.

Soundtrack for reading pleasure – Available on Spotify and YouTube.


               I think this is one of my favorite epoxides in Season 1 – by many mistakenly called “Episode 1”. Don’t be fooled, this is the true pilot-experience. First of all, it is “feature length” – a little over 90 minutes! Can you imagine, watching this movie-like episode on April 8th, 1990? This must’ve been SO THIRLLING!!! After all, the 80s colorful soap-opera regime burnt out.

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Plot kicks off, when Pete Martell finds a body – wrapped in plastic – on a shore by the Packard Sawmill. Main story line – MURDER OF LAURA PALMER (1) is the midpoint for every thread that will follow. In the pilot, I decided to shed more light on following side-story lines:

2. BUSINESS PLOT – we find out that Benjamin Horne – local entrepreneur – wants to sell the land under Packard’s Sawmill to Norwegians. But how the hell he plans to achieve that, if Josie – current owner of the mill – has NO intention of selling her late husband’s legacy? INTERESTING.

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3. Love affair: Shelly + Bobby / Leo – Now this is where things get spicy. After all, we learn that Bobby was Laura’s boyfriend but all this time, he was fooling around with Shelly, who is married to Leo. Let me tell you something without spoiling much – this is one of the best threads. Leo is abusive husband, a control freak completely unpredictable. What will come of it?! And, for aesthetic purposes – Mädchen Amick is BEAUTIFUL.

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4. Friendship? Donna + James – they were friends with Laura, so hearing news about her death is devastating. This story line is quite complicated – James was in love with Laura (she was the one) and Donna is in love with James (she always was). But… This tragedy reveals true feelings – they share a kiss!

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5. THE FBI AGENT – let me explain why Dale Cooper, as a character, is a separate story line. His bizarre way of being, asking unrelated questions (about the trees in a morgue), “talking” with Diane through the voice recorder… And at the same time, he is fully professional, when special agent Dale Cooper kicks in.

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6. Dr Jacoby – one of the most mysterious plot twists. Psychologist. Turns out, that sweet Laura Palmer, homecoming queen, was his patient. Is there more to know about her?

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7. Love triangle: Norma + Ed + Nadine – PEGGY. LIPTON. Such a beautiful lady. Say what you want, but females in Twin Peaks are simply dazzling. But about this thread – Ed is married to Nadine, who seems a bit… Crazy (you will know why later), but is in love with Norma – owner of Double R diner (with best coffee in town). Will there be a happy ending?

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8. Love affair: Harry + Josie – WHAT THEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! This was my first reaction, few years back when I watched it for the first time. Harry, the Sheriff of Twin Peaks, is having a secret relationship with Josie Packard!!!! This can’t be good.

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And that’s just the pilot episode!!!!


               Let’s talk about it for a minute – Laura’s murder is the source of every other plot, even though it’s not clear at first. As it will eventually turn out, Laura knew more, than people thought. She was involved in messy businesses but she wasn’t completely alone in there – Ronnette Pulaski was also caught up in it, and she barely made it out alive – she couldn’t even be questioned, because she was catatonic.

First and obvious suspect is Bobby Briggs – the boyfriend. But he is just as surprised, when Sheriff breaks the news to him. After all, he loved Laura. But did he really, if he was having an affair on the side? And as we learn along the way – Laura was keeping secrets from him as well. But of what nature?


               First episode starts in room 315 in The Great Northern Hotel. Agent Cooper talks to Diane, of course over the voice recorder. I always wondered what he does with the tapes, but I guess he just mailed them. And we have another story line coming up here:

9. The fascination: Audrey Horne + Dale Cooper.

Audrey is the daughter of Benjamin Horne. Another BEAUTIFUL lady among the cast. From the very first second she sees special agent, she is spellbound. And feeling is mutual – Cooper seems to be in awe of her. There is something familiar about her – Audrey asks Cooper innocent, unrelated questions.

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               The investigation continues with twists and turns. Autopsy reveals the cause of death. New suspect was brought for questioning – James! As it turned out, he and Laura were in love and she gave him a half of heart-shaped pendant. Donna tried to help James and they hide the neckless but… Somebody took it?!

3. Love affair: Shelly + Bobby / Leo

We get a glimpse on Shelly’s marriage. Leo is a psychopath and sadly, this is a pattern of bad behavior. What is keeping her by his side? It is a very difficult subject. Victims of abuse – that in this case probably was YEARS long – feel weak and see no other way out. Leo beats Shelly, because he thinks that she lost his favorite shirt. We also find out, that Bobby is involved with Leo – is he selling drugs for him?

4. Friendship? Donna + James

Another bitter bite here – dilemma as old as time: is it okay to feel happy, if your best friend was murdered but you finally confessed your feelings to someone, and they like you back? Donna put it in wonderful words: it feels like she’s having the most beautiful dream and terrible nightmare at once. Things between James and Donna escalate quickly – he meets them at family dinner.

8. Love affair: Harry + Josie / 1. MURDER OF LAURA PALMER

               Cooper once again proves, that he is THE BEST investigator out there. It doesn’t feel like rocket science to him, so figuring out that Harry and Josie are seeing each other. Plus, the looks they gave each other were super cute. Our dynamic duo – Cooper and Truman – visited Josie to establish her connection to Laura. As it turned out, she was teaching Josie English.

2. BUSINESS PLOT + new story line: 10. Love affair: Catherine + Benjamin

               HOLLY CRAP!!! So, that’s how Benjamin is planning to take over land under Packard’s Mill – using Catherine, sister of late Andrew Packard. Catherine informs, that shutting down the mill costed 87000 dollars – in her opinion Josie acted out, when she decided to dismiss the workers for the day, so they could spend the day with their families, after hearing devastating news. Benjamin and Catherine are sleeping together and they plot against Josie together. What was that about the books?

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6. Dr Jacoby

               And finally, some more light here – Laura was recording tapes for Jacoby. It was form of a digital diary, digital therapy. She confided in him, told him about mysterious man… We see, that Jacoby has the other half of heart pendant – the one that belonged to James. Was he in love with Laura?!

Another new thread appears: 11. Meals on wheels. Laura helped Norma put this initiative together. She was also coordinating it – it was social program, delivering meals to elder folks in Twin Peaks. Did she meet someone shady…?

EPIOSDE 2 – Zen or the skill to catch the killer

               Benjamin’s brother, Jerry, comes back to town from Paris – and he is devastated to hear about Laura’s death. It seems, like he knew her too! Something is for sure off. New thread comes from this story line: 12. One Eyed Jack’s. This sounds like trouble (is that why Bastille called their studio in London after that joint?) – a place for men; a club, casino… With girls.

4. Friendship? Donna + James

               James ensures Donna, that what they’re feeling and doing is NOT wrong. I mean… Well, it is a tough situation – somewhat of a love triangle, when some feelings were dormant. But if Laura was still alive, James would be with her, not Donna. So, for me he is just full of it. Sure, they are still young and foolish, but it looks like he is playing with Donna’s feelings. Seems like a man, who just can’t stand being alone. Not cool, bro.


               Back in his room, Cooper receives a mysterious, hand-written note saying “Jack with one eye” – which for the audience is clear as a day. But the absolute highlight of this episode, is field-bottle-experiment. And of course, he starts with brief history of… TIBET. He says: Following a dream I had three years ago, I have become deeply moved by the plight of the Tibetan people, and have been filled with a desire to help them. I also awoke from the same dream realizing that I had subconsciously gained knowledge of a deductive technique, involving mind-body coordination operating hand-in-hand with the deepest level of intuition.

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So, he asks Andy and Hawk to set a bottle, few meters away from the group. He wants to focus on letter J today – as was indicated in Laura’s secret diary, she was nervous about meeting “J”. So, a bottle, blackboard with all the names of Twin Peaks-ers with letter J in them and a bucket full of rocks. Cooper is in a zone – Harry reads a name and provides short background on the character. Agent takes a rock out of the bucket, whispers name again and throws the rock – without overthinking it. The names are:

  • James Hurley
  • Josie Packard
  • Dr Lawrence Jacoby – bottle was struck, but did not break
  • Norma Jennings
  • Shelly Johnson
  • Jack with one eye – One Eyed Jack’s CASINO! Not a person…
  • Leo Johnson – bottle breaks

Now, this is a great intro into the supernatural element – not very direct, but strictly related to dream Cooper had years ago. In the next episode, there will be more explanation on this one! But I like this bit very much – Dale is openminded investigator. He gracefully combines his practical, textbook knowledge with empirical experiences, with the great unknown.

3. Love affair: Shelly + Bobby / Leo

               Bobby’s involvement with Leo is strange. Is this, why he got close to Shelly? Leo and Bobby had a confrontation in the woods about missing money – found in Laura’s safe deposit box. Will this fact complicate things? Later on, Bobby payed a visit to Shelly, only to find out that Leo beat her. In a heat of a moment, young boy promised Shelly, that he will kill him… With the cocky way he’s acting out about everything, I sense trouble. Big trouble…

7. Love triangle: Norma + Ed + Nadine

               I honestly can’t stop fangirling over Peggy Lipton. The way she carries sadness and melancholy in the show… WOW. She is stuck in unhappy marriage, just like Ed. But her husband is in prison, sentenced to 3-5 years for homicide. Whereas Ed’s wife is… She is sick, something wrong is happening in her head; mood swings are terrible and more than often out of control (the way she lashed out on Ed, when he stepped on the drape runner). So, Norma and Ed understand each other all too well.

Source: buzzfeed.com
9. The fascination: Audrey Horne + Dale Cooper.

               Audrey’s feelings for Cooper are absolutely adorable. For her, it is a very serious situation – overanalyzing and overthinking kicked in. She went to Double R for a coffee, but it wasn’t her order: she got what Cooper always gets, black coffee. Audrey met Donna and they briefly spoke about her affection towards special agent. Even though Audrey was a dreamer, just like Cooper, she always knew when and what to ask. Donna is a little surprised, when Horne asked if Laura ever spoke of her father… Did Audrey connect some dots?

1. MURDER OF LAURA PALMER + new story line: 13. The Reinforcement.

               Help arrived to Twin Peaks! Albert Rosenfiel, a forensics specialist in the Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted in the investigation of Laura Palmer’s murder. According to Cooper, he was the best of them all, in terms of technical work. Albert is rude and cynical, making comments about town and its citizens. This will be interesting!


               Pete Martell is helping Josie discover plot against her – Catherine had two sets of books in her safe. Josie went through them and learnt that one of them indicates, that mill is nearly bankrupt. Was this the plan?


               This episode is thrilling introduction to supernatural and things beyond scientific understanding – Cooper had a dream. And we all know by now, that he treats all of his dreams very seriously. But this dream was strange – Cooper was in a red room with midget and “Laura Palmer’s cousin”, that looked exactly like Laura. That’s how Dale addresses her too. Another peculiar thing about this dream, is the way both the midget and Laura talk – it’s all distorted and hard to understand (hence the subtitles). In the dream, we also see one armed man, who speaks riddles: Through the darkness of future past, the magician longs to see. One chants out between two worlds … fire … walk with me. … We lived among the people. I think you say, convenience store. We lived above it. I mean it like it is, like it sounds. I too have been touched by the devilish one. Tattoo on the left shoulder … oh, but when I saw the face of god, I was changed. I took the entire arm off. My name is Mike. His name is Bob.

Source: huffpost.com

Is Bob the killer? Did the man, the strange man, that keeps coming back in Sarah Palmer’s mourning visions? Back in the red room, midget says to Cooper, that his favorite gum will come back in style. Oh, did I mention, that this is 25 years IN THE FUFUTRE? That’s where things really get interesting. And of course, Cooper being Cooper, calls Harry and says iconic line: I KNOW WHO KILLED LAURA PALMER. Now, normally you wouldn’t wait till morning with news like this, but… Why not do it over breakfast?

9. The fascination: Audrey Horne + Dale Cooper.

               Audrey waited for Cooper in the morning. Their flirt is so subtle… Even though she was way younger than him, and it seems wrong; she tries to help. Cooper knows that she slipped him the note about One Eyed Jack’s – simple test proved it. He asked her about the joint and her answer is really concerning – men go there, women only work there. Finally, he establishes some kind of connection – both Laura and Ronnette worked at perfume counter at Horne’s Department Store.

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               Solving murder is one thing, but having a good, nutritious breakfast is the other – equally important. Harry came to the hotel with Lucy, more than anxious to find out who killed Laura. But with Cooper it’s never straight line. Complicated, tangled explanation comes first (explanation, that often creates more confusion): My dream is a code waiting to be broken. Break the code solve the crime. He described the dream with all the details – midget, red room, Laura’s cousin, one armed man. Now, where do the dreams come from? According to Cooper and science, Acetylcholine Neurons fire high voltage impulses into the forebrain. These impulses become pictures; the pictures become dreams but … no one knows why we choose these particular pictures.

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Truman asks who killed Laura, but Cooper can’t remember who it was. Laura whispered the name into his ear, but the thing with dreams is that sometimes that one, most important detail slips through our fingers.

13. The Reinforcement

               Albert, well – more specifically his behavior – caused a lot of trouble. Fight in the morgue between him and doctor Hayward is heated. Local professional kept asking for him to release the body for the funeral, but Albert wanted to conduct mores tests!

Harry settles the dispute – he hit Albert right in the face!!! Finally, Cooper ordered Albert to leave the body and go back to the lab to finalize tests.

Tests results are (not so) shocking, but for sure disturbing – substance found in a plastic bag inside Laura’s diary is… Cocaine. Turned out, that Laura was using. Albert also said, that Laura was tied twice the night she was murdered. Scary… But those tiny bits start to make a little more sense.

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14. The Cousin.

               Madeleine Ferguson, Laura’s cousin, arrived to town for the funeral. She looks just like Laura, but with darker hair. She met with Leland and… He for sure saw his late daughter in her. I wonder what will happen next… Will she stir the water between Donna and James?

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7. Love triangle: Norma + Ed + Nadine

               We learnt that Norma’s husband will have parole hearing soon and with her full support, he could be released from the prison. Norma isn’t thrilled with the idea, but she must play along. Lawyer asked how she will help with finding new job for her husband and well… She owns the diner, right?

Sometime later, Nadine talked with Ed, just before the funeral. Her memory goes back to the high school times, when she was a little nobody and Ed dated… Norma! So, that’s why their chemistry is so intense.

1. MURDER OF LAURA PALMER. + 3. Love affair: Shelly + Bobby / Leo

               Cooper and sheriff Truman questioned Leo – following the result of the “Tibet experiment”. Leo claims that he didn’t know Laura; he only knew who she was, like everybody in the town.

Few scenes later, we see that Shelly got herself gun. Is this the breaking point for her?

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New story line: 15. BOOKHOUSE BOYS

               It was mentioned in Episode 1, when James was released from the questioning. Said, that he would need a hand from the Bookhouse boys. And in Episode 3, we finally got a bigger picture. In the Double R diner, Cooper met with Harry, deputy Hawk and… Big Ed. Firstly, it took him only few seconds to figure out that Ed is in love with Norma. But the meeting was rather serious. Sheriff Truman finally decided to fully trust Cooper and let him in on a secret – the Bookhouse Boys, a.k.a. protectors of Twin Peaks: There’s a sort of evil out there. Something very, very strange in these old woods. Call it what you want. A darkness, a presence. It takes many forms but … it’s been out there for as long as anyone can remember and we’ve always been here to fight it.

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This is the ultimate proof, that Twin Peaks isn’t town like any other – strange things can and will happen; and what we think is bizarre, at Twin Peaks is… Normal.

Big Ed was helping police out with undercover drug operation. So, they new that there were drugs in Twin Peaks and suddenly more puzzles fit – Bobby and Snake working for Leo, probably selling drugs. Prime suspect: Jacques Renault – bartender at Roadhouse bar!! That’s why Ed was there that night. Twin Peaks protectors took Cooper for a ride to the Bookhouse, where they captured Bernard – Jacques’ brother. They questioned about drugs and Jacques involvement. This could be a breakthrough in the investigation! Bernard is not very helpful but he managed to warn his brother. Who… Sought help from LEO! What will happen next?!

8. Love affair: Harry + Josie

               Harry met with Josie and she shared her fears – that Catherine and Benjamin want to hurt her. She suspects, that Andrew’s accident wasn’t exactly an accident… In her picture, Catherine is a monster. And to be honest – she’s not far from the truth. Catherine is listening to this conversation!!!! Josie wanted to show Harry the forged books, but Catherine outsmarted her once more.

  • Attention to details – re-watching things allows one to focus on tiny bits, like closeups on someone’s shoes (Audrey), landscapes, long takes without dialogue.
  • Distraction tactics by Lynch & Frost – while breaking news to Jerry, they are eating sandwiches younger Horne brought from Paris. In one moment, they praise the food, to get serious in the other. It happens throughout the series – is it a way to light up the mood a little bit? Delivering tough message with bits of humor?
  • Background music often “disappears” in films / tv shows, but here you can hear it well and it’s not bothering. It keeps the mood!!!
  • “Having a cup of coffee” became a ritual, almost sacred. I think that most of us can relate to this feeling.
  • Onscreen interactions – in all cases are really, really good and not-forced. They seem natural, which in the 90s was a big improvement.
  • Cross cutting story lines – now, I think that if Nolan will ever make a movie with David Lynch, I’d have to take a WEEK off to understand it. Christopher Nolan is the ultimate Time Champion, but Lynch and Frost will mess with multi-threading and create spider’s web so complex, it’s extremely hard to be up to date.
  • Gloominess – colors are muted, with several exceptions, but general mood is clear. Humorous bit provided by Cooper or occasionally someone else is yet another fundamental bit of Distraction Tactics.
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  • Double R Diner – a place to be during the day, for a good breakfast and damn fine cup of coffee. Norma is the owner; Shelly works as waitress. By the entrance, there is a jukebox – which is important detail.
  • Roadhouse – source of nigh life in Twin Peaks. In the pilot episode, there is a “fight” in there, few people involved. It is also source of troubles! What is really going down there?
  • One Eyed Jack’s – casino near the border. A place for men to find some kind of solace and fun. Were Laura and Ronnette caught up in this mess? Is it legal?

“Sure thing.”
“Nothing is a sure thing, Shelly.”

“Black as a midnight on a moonless night.”

“Audrey, that rightward slant in your handwriting indicates a romantic nature. A heart that yearns, be careful…”

  • SERIAL KILLER / BOB – yup, on the city council, Cooper introduces idea of a serial killer, as Laura’s murder seems to be linked to one of his cases. He even suspects someone from Twin Peaks, which shakes citizens to the ground. The image is clearer with every episode – mysterious man, who wants to kill. Sarah Palmer sees him, Cooper sees him in his dream… Was Laura involved?
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  • Laura Palmer – everyone though she was this good girl – smart, pretty, with lots of friends. Homecoming queen, dating captain of the football team. Seems like she had it all, eh? But as the mystery unravels, we get to know more about Laura – also thank to the diary Deputy Hawk found in her room. Was Laura involved in drug trafficking? Was she involved with…? Many other things. One thing is sure – she worked at perfume counter at Horne’s Department Store and so did Ronnette Pulaski. Was this the way? Did this gig cost her life?
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  • Dale Cooper – dreamer by day, problem solver by night. He is a peculiar character, with- very unorthodox approach to life – whether it’s coffee, cherry pie or work. He sets clear boundaries with Harry S. Truman about who is in charge, only to charm his way in with question about the trees (Douglas Firs in the show but Ponderosa Pines in real lie). He is an admirer, whether it comes to (once again) coffee or nature. Typical city boy, dreaming about little town wonders. Cooper grows close to the citizens. His dynamic and “baby-steps” friendship with sheriff Truman is fun to watch. I’m not gonna lie – Cooper was (kind of still is) my movie crush. His way of solving this crime – relying on his instinct, combined with knowledge, dreams and perception is extraordinary mix.
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  • Harry S. Truman – pragmatic and calm Sheriff of Twin Peaks Police Department – along with his staff (Andy, Hawk, Lucy), he is thrown into very tricky situation. This new, uncharted territory becomes somewhat manageable, when Cooper arrives, but Harry is not accustomed to agent’s methods. He tries to keep up, but is not afraid to ask questions. Seems like a lone wolf, with no space for love or affection in his life, but… In the end, we see him in a secret relationship.
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  • Audrey Horne – she is her own woman. Always doing things on her own terms which drives her father crazy. In the pilot episode, Audrey “blew” the deal with Norwegians, casually mentioning why she was so “sad” – and don’t get me wrong, she was sad – they packed their bags pretty fast. People see her as the “rich kid” and Audrey constantly proves that she is so much more than that.
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               WHEW! That was one hell of a ride. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did. Don’t be shy – it is hard to understand, much like my beloved Nolan movies. But that’s the best thing about Twin Peaks. Good luck!!!

3 thoughts on “CSI: Dale Cooper presents

    I had to read this twice – and not because your writing is confusing. It’s because this show is so complex. Jeez, forgot!!!!
    Guess I’m old. Thanks Jules, I will no go watch it again, come back with my notes soon.

    What the heckk even. This is such a difficult task and you nailed it. LOL

  2. Wooooooooow. This is a great analysis. I love the way you separated strings into it’s own bits. Cool! And, as a fan, I appreciate your point of view on certain things – you noticed different things than I have.
    So cool!!

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