Chester "Chet" Desmond is a Special Agent with the FBI who is called out by his boss, Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole, to investigate the murder of a 17 year old girl named Teresa Banks, who was found wrapped in plastic.
Desmond is in Fargo, North Dakota with other FBI personnel, where he is arresting two women outside a school bus full of children. His car phone rings, Gordon on the other end in Portland, Oregon. He says that there is a girl named Teresa Banks that has been murdered and wants him on the case.
Desmond arrives to meet Gordon, who introduces him to Sam Stanley, who "cracked the Whitman case." A woman called Lil comes out and dances, Gordon saying she is his "mother's sister's girl." Sam later mentions her dance. Chet says her sour face means that the local authorities are not cooperative, her eyes blinking means there is trouble higher up with the law enforcement, her hand in her pocket means they are hiding something, her fist means they are belligerent, her walking in place means there will be a lot of legwork, her being Cole's "mother's sister's girl" which means the sheriff is in federal prison, her tailored dress means drugs, and her blue rose means something he cannot tell Sam about.
They arrive at the Deer Meadow Sheriff's station, where the deputy and secretary won't let them see Sheriff Cable. Chet then forces his way past the deputy and goes to Cable's office. The sheriff insists that they have the situation handled on their own and do not need the FBI's help. Desmond orders the files on Teresa Banks, who was a drifter with no loved ones and that her body is out in the morgue.
He goes with Sam to the morgue, where they examine Teresa's body. They find that the cause of death was likely repeated blows to the head from a blunt object. She is also missing a ring. Under the fingernail, Stanley finds a small piece of paper with the letter 'T' on it.
They go to Hap's Diner, where Teresa had worked as a waitress. They ask a waitress named Irene, who says Banks only worked at the diner for a month and was always late. Irene believes she had a cocaine problem. She also says that for three days near the end of her life, her arm went completely numb.
They go to the Fat Trout Trailer Park, where they meet the owner, Carl Rodd, who takes them to Teresa's trailer. There they find a photo of her wearing the ring. Rodd brings them strong cups of coffee. An old woman comes to the trailer, but leaves when Chet asks if she knew Teresa Banks.
Desmond and Stanley go back to the sheriff's station to get the body, despite Cable's resistance. Chet tells Sam to take the body back to the Portland while he goes back to the trailer park for the "blue rose." He asks for Deputy Cliff Howard's trailer, but goes to a mysterious trailer and finds the ring underneath. He reaches out for it and disappears.
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Behind the scenesEdit
The Teresa Banks case was originally to be given to Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, as portrayed in The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes. However, due to Kyle MacLachlan wishing to have a smaller role in the film, Desmond and Stanley were written to take his place in the investigation.
While not stated in the film, the script suggests that the arrests outside the school bus at the beginning of the film were being made as the driver had been using the bus to transport prostitutes.