This is fun.
Back in the day during the first season, I was positive it could only be a few people. First, it HAD to be someone listed in the opening credits or otherwise it’s a cheat. And second, it had to be one of the good guys. And third, it had to be someone Coooer had significant interaction with.
When people kept saying Leo or Ben, I would roll my eyes and think have you ever watched or read a whodunit or Agatha Christie before?
I was positive it had to be shocking. I was zeroed in on Doc Hayward, then quickly took him off because he was too much of a boring supporting character. But mainly it was three characters. Donna Hayward, the nice girl and main character that there’d be a huge narrative payoff with. Leland Palmer, the nice, sad sack father that there could be a surprising payoff to. Both Boyle and Wkse were in the opening credits and fit the list. But not too central to Cooper. And Leland was becoming more and more of a side character for zany antics (what did I know, huh.).
My main number one suspect from a narrative point of view that would turn everything upside down... well, the mystery has to wrap up, we need a way for Cooper to stay in town and fight crime, and our murderer has to be a good guy who was always in plain sight.... it has to be Sheriff Truman!
It fit with the surprising tone the show had in its first season. And pit the two top-billed stars’ characters against one another, with Ontkean always meant to be removed from the credits after the first season wrapped. Dr. Watson was the killer under Sherlock Holmes’nose all the time. And Cooper would feel a sense of protection for the town and become the new sheriff... hey, it was TV, and this is what I thought at the time.
I was also thinking who could they lose after this Laura mystery would finally be over. No way will the murderer be Cooper. No way it’s going to be Audrey... they want her to be mini Cooper getting into trouble and solving new crimes. No way it’s Ben or Catherine or Josie, they’re needed for future Dallas/Dynasty plots. Donna and James and Bobby and Shelly are needed for more future sex scenes. Norma and Ed are needed for future soap opera angles and future mysteries. And Pete is needed for local color. I don’t know what they’ll do with Leland since a grieving father is kinda a downer but he’s probably not that important to the show, right?
I can’t remember when I jumped off the Truman train though. I know it was when the second season proemeired though. And by the time of the reveal I was fully back on it being Donna or Leland.
God, I love this music. Isn't it too dreamy?