Twin Peaks

Previously On Twin Peaks: "Through the darkness of future past, the magician longs to see, one chance out between two worlds, fire walk with me!"

Just The Facts

  1. Twin Peaks is a soap opera style cult classic drama created by David Lynch and Mark Frost
  2. Twin Peaks aired on ABC from April 1990 till June 1991
  3. Like other Lynch works, the story line surrounds characters from a small town that lead dubious double or triple lives

Plot Line

The main story line involves the death of homecoming queen, Laura Palmer, and the subsequent search for her killer.  FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper heads in to lead the investigation alongside the local Sheriff’s office.  The search leads Agent Cooper deep into the dark and mysterious underbelly of the town.

The town of Twin Peaks is a place where everyone leads at least a double life.  The residents have a strong love affair with coffee, cigarettes, homemade pie, and music.  It also seems to be the land that time forgot as it is set in the 1980's yet most of the residents and their surroundings look and act like they are from the 1950's. 

The pie even has its own training card!

The pie even has it's own trading card!

Characters

As you can see from the graph above, the town of Twin Peaks has a lot of characters.  It would take more space than the internet to describe all the backstories of and relationships between those characters.   So instead of collapsing the infrastructure, here is a bit of information about just a few of those characters.

 

What would probably happen if all of the character content appeared on one page

A glimpse of what might happen if all of the character content was on one page at the same time

Laura Palmer

On the surface, Laura Palmer was an angelic vision of a small town homecoming queen.  In reality, she was a highlander who, through the magic of Twin Peaks time (and lines upon lines of cocaine) had time to devote to many, many extracurricular activities.  Among them: being the homecoming queen, participating in the meals on wheels program, cocaine, teaching English to Josie Packard, prostitution at the hands of trucker/drug entrepreneur/pimp, Leo Johnson, prostitution at Ben Horne’s Canadian Casino/Brothel, One Eyed Jacks, working at Ben Horne’s department store, having an affair with Ben Horne, being a special-ed tutor to Johnny Horne, simultaneously dating Bobby Briggs, Harold, and James…and, oh yeah, and being repeatedly raped by her father, Leland/Bob, an evil demon from the Black Lodge.

Busy Bee

Busy Bee


Laura spends all of the series deceased except for the times that she shows up in visions or old home movies.  She is the focus of Fire Walk with Me, the prequel movie.  Oh also, she has a twin cousin, Maddie, that shows up.  Twin cousins, although genetically impossible, are a phenomenon virtually unheard of since (or after) The Patty Duke Show.  May they rest in peace.

FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper

Special Agent Dale Cooper heads to Twin Peaks to try and solve both the murder of Laura Palmer, Theresa Banks, and other bizarre murders that the FBI has been investigating.  While still at the Philadelphia Office, he has a premonition that the murderer of Theresa Banks will strike again.

Dale Cooper is a keenly observant detective with a strong belief in the supernatural, coffee and homemade pie.  His favorite hobbies include: outing the secret relationships between residents of Twin Peaks, delivering daily dictation to his secretary Diane, and having batshit crazy dreams that help him solve murders.  The most famous dream of Agent Cooper’s is the one in the Red Room with the Man from Another Place, Laura Palmer, and himself twenty five years in the future.


Cooper has a dark past that catches up with him in Twin Peaks, mostly because this place is a black hole for really fucked up shit.  During the second season his former partner Windom Earle finds him and begins a psychotic chess game leaving no one’s life unthreatened. 
 

The Man From Another Place/The Black Lodge

Here’s the part where Twin Peaks rounds the bases from Days of Our Lives makes it down the homestretch past Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, and Outer Limits, slides into home plate and takes a shit on The X-Files .  A Man from Another Place is an older midget dressed in a red suit that appears primarily in the Red Room in visions of various characters.  His dialogue is usually captioned since to record his lines he learned to pronounce each word backwards and the scene is played in reverse.  The listener hears a haunting and otherworldly version of the intended dialogue.  Everyone present in the Red Room/Black Lodge, except for Dale Cooper in his first vision of the room, speaks in this manner.   

 

The Black Lodge is discovered to be like a cross between the Special Olympics (see the manner of speaking at the lodge) and a VFW for the evil that lives in Twin Peaks.  Just like Special Olympics and VFW’s there are membership requirements, rules, and dues that have to be paid.  Evil, creamed corn dues.  Garmonbozia to be exact. (Don't believe me? Look it up) 

See, told ya!

See, told ya!

The gold-medalist of fucked up from the Black Lodge, Bob, possessed Laura’s father Leland.  While possessed, he repeatedly raped and eventually forced Leland to murder his own daughter.  Being the type of spirit that feeds off of human fear and suffering Bob is seen all over town wherever horror and terror are found.  Sometimes he's in the form of grey-haired Canadian tuxedo wearing hair metal band dropout.  Other times he appears as an owl. 

This...

This...

 

or  this...either way

Season One

Season One of Twin Peaks is mostly about learning about Laura, the town and the inhabitants.  It’s also when the murder of Laura Palmer is solved.  It’s also when Twin Peaks loses it’s last shred of making sense.

During the first season Twin Peaks Lynch and Frost had a lot of control over the directors and the mystery of Laura's killer was still driving the show.  Everything was going fine until Mommy and Daddy started fighting over whether or not to reveal the killer.  This led Season Two on a slow decline towards madness. 

Season Two

About halfway through, Leland, as possessed by Bob, comes clean that he killed Laura and has been running amok since Bob molested him as a child.  The death of Leland Palmer should have wrapped Twin Peaks up all in one nice neat package.  It did, however, wander off through a hallway and fall down a flight of stairs.  Not to say it wasn't entertaining in its own right, just the loss of the original plot point made the series feel lost and disjointed. 

Despite going out on a weak note, fans will always love Twin Peaks because it turns watching TV into playing chutes and ladders on acid.  With each episode comes more clues and symbols shining a light into a rabbit hole that never really gets fully explored. 


Well of course there's only plain pictures of Chutes and Ladders...

Of course there's only a picture of plain Chutes and Ladders, no one posts a picture of acid Chutes and Ladders...