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Agent Albert Rosenfield
FBI Field of Forensics
Born: September 13, 1956
BA: Yale University, top of his class
Chemistry and forensics training: FBI Academy

"While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I am a naysayer and a hatchetman in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and will gladly take another because I choose to live my life in the company of Gandhi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method... is love. I love you, Sheriff Truman."

Forensics expert Albert Rosenfield -- brusque, derisive, nasty, and apparently Zen -- is a favorite of many "Twin Peaks" fans. Given the script, actor Miguel Ferrer could easily have played the character as a sneering asshole, but instead he gives Albert a curt, businesslike superciliousness that makes him downright lovable. Then again, some people hate him -- a poll on www.wwyk.com has him in second place as the Twin Peaks character people would most like to kill (only a handful of votes after Killer BOB). The difference probably boils down to the viewer's own level of misanthropy.

Albert storms into the town of Twin Peaks in episode two of the show, dropping insults left and right. He shoots barbs at the town ("I have seen some slipshod backwater burgs, but this place takes the cake"), the sheriff's department ("Welcome to amateur hour") and the local bigshot ("I realize that your position in this fair community pretty well guarantees venality, insincerity, and a rather irritating method of expressing yourself. Stupidity, however, is not necessarily a inherent trait"). Agent Cooper, who has requested Albert's assistance (he describes Albert and his team as "the cream of the crop"), is pleased to see him, but clearly irritated at Albert's attitude towards the town of which he has already grown so fond.

Albert only wants to do his job, but he wants to do it without anyone getting in the way. Unfortunately, his job is performing an autopsy on Laura Palmer, and the town is ready to bury her. Albert tries to brush them off, with characteristic sensitivity ("I've got a lot of cutting and pasting to do, gentlemen"), but they insist. Finally he goes toe to toe with Sheriff Harry S. Truman ("I've had enough of morons and half-wits, dolts, dunces, dullards and dumbbells, and you, you chowderhead yokel, you blithering hayseed, you've had enough of me?"), and Truman decks him. This is the beginning of a rivalry that lasts until episode 10, when Albert tips his hand: under the arrogant exterior he is a man of peace.

Albert's profession requires him to have some amount of detachment from death and pain, and he certainly shows his lack of compassion on occasion (his comments after autopsying the enormously fat Jacques Renault: "Stomach contents revealed, let's see... beer cans, a Maryland license plate, half a bicycle tire, a goat, and a small wooden puppet, goes by the name of Pinocchio"). By the end of the series, though, it's obvious that he is very fond of Cooper and generally wants to do the right thing -- basically, the abrasive douchebag with a heart of gold. He simply has an unusually low tolerance for stupid people, and he thinks almost everyone is stupid. It's a familiar plight.


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