SPOILER WARNING! If for some reason you have not yet watched Twin Peaks, please know that you should do so immediately and take note that there may be something wrong with you.
During it’s first season, Twin Peaks was one of the ABC network’s highest rated shows. The entirety of the first season and roughly half of the second focused on the murder of Homecoming Queen Laura Palmer and FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper arriving in the quiet logging town of Twin Peaks to investigate. The small town enjoys a peacefulness that seems to come from a bygone era. This peacefulness comes at a price set by a supernatural force that lives in the surrounding Ghost Wood.
By the second season, ratings took a dip so ABC pressured creators David Lynch and Mark Frost to reveal Laura’s killer. This started a bit of a downward spiral and the show began to travel down a number of different paths looking for an equally engaging core mystery. ABC then cancelled the show with an appalling number of loose ends and one hell of a cliffhanger ending. Fan outrage was so intense after the cancellation that fans were given a theatrical release called Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me that focused on the final days in the life of Laura Palmer. Since the film was a prequel, none of these questions were answered.
The series remained nothing more than a cult-classic for years. Lynch and Frost were insistent that Twin Peaks would never return to television. When the idea of a graphic novel sequel was pitched to be included in one of the handful of DVD/Blu-Ray sets, Lynch said that the town of Twin Peaks would never be revisited.
Then, on October 3rd of 2014, Lynch and Frost shot out these tweets:
The line about the gum and the hashtag were both references to the series. Many fans thought this meant the show would be coming back, presumably as a Netflix series since the show saw a big resurgence in popularity due to its inclusion in the streaming service’s roster of shows. Three days after these tweets were posted, an official announcement was made that the series would be returning to Showtime.
In celebration of the return of this fantastic series, let’s take a look at some of the strangest and scariest moments (and loose ends!) the series left us with all those years ago.
“It is happening again.” – The Giant
15. Whenever “The Log Lady” Is Around
“My log will have something to say about this one day.”
When we first meet The Log Lady we are only given a name. Dale Cooper attends a town meeting with Sheriff Harry Truman and asks, “Who’s the lady with the log?” to which Truman replies, “That’s The Log Lady.”
As the series progresses we learn The Log Lady receives prophetic messages and a number of clues about the supernatural occurrences that go on in the town from her log. Considering what goes on in Twin Peaks on a regular basis, there is good reason to believe that she’s probably not crazy. One fan theory is the log is bound with the spirit of her deceased husband due to a process similar to what happened to Josie Packard. We’ll get to that.
14. Harold’s Connection To Laura’s Secret Diary
Lynch and Frost never treated their audience like they were idiots. A lot of things are never fully explained in the series and seem to be left open to interpretation. This is most definitely the case with Harold Smith, a shut-in that Donna Hayward meets when she picks up Laura’s Meals on Wheels route.
Donna discovers that Harold is in possession of a secret diary that was kept by Laura, a diary that contains a number of dark secrets and insights into Killer BOB. Even Laura’s best friend Donna wasn’t aware of the book. In an attempt to figure out what happened to her friend, Donna orchestrates a coupe to steal the diary from Harold. When she leaves the house with only a scrap of the diary, Harold goes after her, but crossing the threshold of his home (or perhaps being out of a certain range of the complete diary) seems to have a crippling and painful effect on him. Harold is so distraught over the loss of the diary that he takes his own life.
It is revealed in the prequel film that the supernatural entity known as Killer BOB cannot see Harold, so it was imperative that the diary stay with him.
13. The Mystery of Little Nicky
One of the strangest side stories that popped up in the second season of the series was the mystery of Little Nicky. Deputy Andy Brennan and Dick Tremayne discover that either one of them could be the father of receptionist Lucy’s child. In an attempt to impress Lucy, Dick enters a Big Brother program to mentor a child named Little Nicky. Deputy Andy starts to help Dick mentor Nicky and a look into the child’s past reveals a string of dead foster parents. Whenever either man is alone with Nicky, they experience strange brushes with death that they just narrowly escape. The two men begin to suspect Little Nicky just might be the son of The Devil.
For whatever reason, this plot thread gets overshadowed and completely disappears from the show. Perhaps we’ll learn more about Nicky’s true parentage when the series returns.
12. The Creamed Corn Kid
Seriously, who was this kid?
When Donna visits an old woman on Laura’s Meals on Wheels route, the old woman mentions a grandson who seems to magically appear in a chair by her bedside. The woman notices creamed corn in her meal and tells Donna she specifically asked for no creamed corn. The corn materializes in the boy’s hands and his grandma explains to Donna that he has been practicing magic. The child gives Donna a number of cryptic messages that may be connected to Laura’s death. The kid is also the one who tells Donna to visit their neighbor, Harold the shut-in.
Later, Donna discovers from Harold that no one has lived in his neighbor’s home for years.
11. Aliens? Maybe?
Many of the events in the series can be explained away as the supernatural. However, through the character of Major Briggs, we discover that the military has an interest in the woods surrounding Twin Peaks. That interest seems to point to aliens. Throughout the second season, Major Briggs has a bigger presence in the series and works alongside Sheriff Truman and Agent Cooper in a new investigation. His revelations suggest many of the seemingly supernatural entities in the series like Killer BOB, The Giant, and The Man From Another Place might be aliens. Constant mentions of Jupiter and Saturn also suggest this. When Cooper enters the Black Lodge (more on that later) for the first time in a dream, the shadow of Saturn passes over the room’s signature red curtains.
The show also mentions owls as a sign for these strange beings. Owls are a sign for the arrival of alien beings in Whitley Strieber’s book Communion as well. Many fans suspect that this relationship is not coincidental. When Cooper is told that “owls are in the roadhouse”, he visits a local bar called The Roadhouse. Here he has another encounter with a number of the show’s mysterious beings.
10. Nadine – Every Scene She’s In
When Nadine Hurley first appears in the series she’s actually a rather frightening and disturbing presence. She’s completely crazy, wears an eye patch, and is absolutely obsessed with creating curtain runners that are completely silent. As she struggles to make her invention a reality, we learn she’s convinced that this invention will make millions, and she can make a great life for herself and her husband Big Ed. Ed is secretly having an affair with Norma Jennings, the owner of the local R&R Diner.
After Nadine’s silent curtain runners are turned down by the patent office, she takes a mixture of prescription pills in an attempt to take her own life. Ed finds her just in time. When Nadine wakes up, she thinks she and all her peers are back in high school. She later gains the power of super-human strength due a to an unexplained consistent surge of adrenaline after her suicide attempt.
Dr. Jacoby pulls some strings so the high school will let Nadine enroll as a part of her recovery. Nadine joins the school’s wrestling team and enters into a relationship with a high school student named Mike.
9. Cooper’s First Dream
Things get weird any time we see someone in the red room of the mysterious Black Lodge. That being said, no instance is more weird than when Agent Cooper first enters the realm in a dream.
For the first two episodes of the series, Twin Peaks seems like another procedural crime drama with the twist of the entire series focusing on a single murder as opposed to a “murder of the week” format. Through these episodes we meet a number of the town’s residents as Sheriff Truman and Agent Cooper begin questioning anyone that might have information on the death of Laura Palmer. One night, Cooper goes to sleep and has a very surreal dream about The Black Lodge. Here he meets Laura Palmer’s doppelganger and The Man From Another Place. They speak in a strange language and give Cooper the cryptic messages “That gum you like is going to come back in style” and “sometimes my arms bend back.” Cooper takes the dream very seriously and uses it in his investigation.
This scene has been payed homage by a number of shows, including The Simpsons, the anime Soul Eater, and even What’s New Scooby Doo?
The show is never what it seems from this point on.
8. The Man From Another Place
In the Black Lodge, Cooper meets the diminutive Man From Another Place. The character speaks in a strange language that was achieved by the actor speaking his lines backwards and then playing the audio in reverse. Sometimes he seems to want to help Cooper, and other times he seems to be a force of evil. Theories concerning exactly what The Man From Another Place is run rampant. Maybe he’s an alien. Maybe he’s an evil spirit. Maybe he’s a good spirit. Some believe he is actually two: a force of good and an evil doppelganger. Some even think he’s the severed arm of MIKE, an entity similar to Killer BOB. Some think The Man is Saturn and The Giant is Jupiter. There is just no telling.
The Man From Another Place is easily one of the show’s strangest characters and definitely one of it’s biggest mysteries.
7. A New Day for Leland Palmer
One of the show’s creepiest moments comes after Leland Palmer, Laura’s father, thinks he has secretly killed Laura’s murderer after learning the main suspect was on life support in the local hospital. The next morning, the once brown-haired Leland bursts into the family room emphatically singing verses from “Mairzy Doats (Mares Eat Oats).” His hair has turned stark white and he seems uncharacteristically happy for a man who was sobbing on his daughters coffin as it was lowered into a grave just a few days prior. Through his song, Laura’s mother and cousin look on in shock and disbelief. As Leland sings, he almost seems to be unaware of his family’s presence.
6. Windam Earle’s Sudden Appearance Change
We know that Windom Earle used to work with Major Briggs in his investigations in UFOs and an alien presence in the woods of Twin Peaks. Through his research, Earle learns about the Black Lodge, a place of ultimate evil. As the series progresses, we learn that Cooper once had an affair with Earle’s wife. Earle killed his wife and a number of others as he descended into madness. In the second season, Earle returns to Twin Peaks to find The Black Lodge and take revenge on Agent Cooper. To do this, Earle enlists the help of Leo Johnson, a local criminal turned mindless husk that Earle treats more like a trained animal. In one scene when Earle is talking to Leo, his face goes stark white, his mouth black with fang like teeth, and his eyes go completely black. Nothing prior to this change ever suggested it was even possible. We can only assume that Earle already has some kind of connection to the supernatural forces in Twin Peaks, and these forces are having a very negative effect on him.
5. Josie Packard Becomes a Door Pull
As Josie Packard sits on a bed with a gun pointed at Sheriff Truman and Agent Cooper, Cooper sees the image of Killer BOB appear in her place. Before she can pull the trigger, Josie dies suddenly, seemingly of fright. Truman rushes to her corpse and tries to wake her to no avail. Cooper and Truman remove her body from the room. As they leave, the camera moves closer and closer to the nightstand by the bed and finally keeps focus on the door pull. We see the image of Josie Packard screaming in the knob, her face begins to meld with the wood, and then returns to looking like a regular knob.
Many fans believe that BOB took Josie’s soul and hid it in the knob since the location was obscure enough that no one could find it there. It’s this (possible) technique of BOB’s that suggests to fans that BOB put the soul of The Log Lady’s husband into a log. This would also explain why the presence in her log seems to have knowledge on BOB and other supernatural forces in Twin Peaks.
4. The First Appearance of BOB
The first appearance of Killer BOB is completely unexpected. We haven’t even heard his name at this point, nor are we really aware of what’s actually going on in Twin Peaks. All we know is Sarah Palmer, distraught over the death of her daughter, looks towards a day bed and sees a random man with the appearance of a drifter crouching behind the bed’s frame. Sarah goes into hysterics when she sees the man, who can’t be seen by anyone else in the home until much later when Laura’s cousin Maddy sees him approach her from behind a couch, just after a mysterious stain materializes on the living room carpet.
3. The Appearances of Senior Droolcup
It’s hard to explain Senior Droolcup. At first you think he’s an entity similar to The Giant or The Man From Another Place. He only appears in conjunction with The Giant and nothing suggests that anyone but Cooper can see him. When Cooper finally heads to The Roadhouse bar to see “the owls”, he sees The Giant in a vision, but then sees Senior Droolcup sitting at the bar in what is clearly a physical form that others can see as well. This would lead one to believe that Droolcup actually does work at The Great Northern Hotel, but he is later found on the road as a drifter looking for a ride to where Dale Cooper plans to reveal the identity of Laura Palmer’s killer. He arrives without an initial appearance of The Giant.
Droolcup most definitely has a connection to the supernatural entities in Twin Peaks, but for some reason he is the only one that seems to have a physical form that doesn’t require possession.
2. “I’ll See You Again In 25 Years.”
Considering the number of prophecies and clues given to Dale Cooper during his visits to the red room in the Black Lodge, this moment in the series took on a whole new level when Lynch and Frost announced Twin Peaks returning to television. In one of the final scenes of the last episode, the entity that claims to be Laura Palmer’s cousin (possibly a doppelganger if you’re familiar with the scene) tells Agent Cooper that she’ll see him again in 25 years. The last episode of Twin Peaks aired in 1991. The first new episode of Twin Peaks will air in 2016. We’ll let you do the math.
The coincidence (maybe?) was enough to set fan’s imaginations spinning at full throttle. Thankfully, Kyle Maclachlan (Agent Cooper) and Sheryl Lee (Laura) appear to be a part of the new series at this point. One can only hope this will be addressed.
1. “How’s Annie?”
The very last moment of Twin Peaks is simultaneously the most depressing, most shocking, and scariest scene in the whole series thus far.
After Cooper physically enters The Black Lodge (at this point it had only ever been in dreams) he is made aware of the concept of doppelgangers, an evil double that can reside in The Black Lodge. You’re left with the idea that the person to leave the Lodge might be an evil double, but what actually happens is far worse for anyone that came to love the character of Dale Cooper.
When Cooper wakes up in bed after sustaining injuries during his experience in the Lodge, he asks his friends how his girlfriend Annie is doing before using the bathroom. All appears to be well until Cooper looks into the mirror and we see the image of Killer BOB instead of Cooper’s reflection. BOB has taken control of Cooper’s body and begins smashing Cooper’s head into the mirror, causing a serious head injury. BOB/Cooper begins laughing maniacally as he continuously repeats, “How’s Annie?” The credits role and fans of the show were left completely clueless to the fate of Dale Cooper. We shall remain clueless until 2016.