A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin Peaks

What are those blue roses? Who's Judy? Why all the dancing? How's Annie?

Advertisement
Advertisement

twin peaks week final1 A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin PeaksOn Sunday, May 21st, Showtime will take us back to the small logging town of Twin Peaks. In anticipation, Consequence of Sound will be reporting live from The Great Northern Hotel with some damn good features all week. Today, Kelly McClure looks back at several mysteries that never got solved in our first visit to Twin Peaks. Might some answers be coming shortly, or are some things better left unknown?

Our last visit to Twin Peaks, the wooded wonderland of dark secrets and deep appetites created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, was on August 28, 1992, when Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me hit theaters. The movie followed the then-series finale of Twin Peaks, which aired on June 10, 1991, and served as a prequel, detailing the last seven days of the show’s main character from beyond the grave, Laura Palmer.

On May 21, 2017, we’ll revisit the town again for the first time in 25 years with a brand-new season that Lynch refers to as an 18-hour feature. He argues that the 18 episodes should be seen as 18 “parts,” an important distinction in the mind of a man whose lake of consciousness is filled with so many themes and symbols, like jumping fish, that there isn’t a net large enough to catch them all.

While Fire Walk with Me tied together a few things left dangling after the series came to an abrupt end — namely, the specifics of how Laura died — many mysteries were left unsolved which, according to Lynch and Frost, was kind of their intention all along. When they first learned that the cord was about to be ripped on the show, the writer and director were forced to speed towards an ending that they never planned on, or at least not so soon.

To Lynch, the act of revealing who killed Laura Palmer was akin to having a goose that laid golden eggs and then killing the goose (his words.) The process of feeding out a thread of just enough information to keep people safely moving forward in the darkness is as “Lynchian” as it gets. “People want to know up until the time they know, then they don’t care,” Lynch said in a recent interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.

Frost, head writer and partner to Lynch on the series, seems to agree. In an interview with GQ, conducted by this very writer, Frost said, “…the show keeps its mysteries. It invites you in to participate in the puzzling and pondering of these mysteries, but it doesn’t offer you any easy answers.”

While the waiting has been wonderful, the desire to get to the bottom of things presses on, and, as couch-rooted detectives, we’re ready for some more light to be shed in a few dark corners. Starting chronologically with Fire Walk with Me, the original series, and a bit of knowledge pulled from Mark Frost’s new book, The Secret History of Twin Peaks, here are a few coconuts we hope get cracked in season three.

__________________________________________________________

What’s The Significance Of Different-Colored Roses?

In Fire Walk with Me, we meet a character named Lil who emerges from an airplane hanger to deliver clues via a bizarre pantomime to Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) and FBI Agent Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak). One of the clues is in the form of a synthetic blue rose pinned to her dress, and when Sam inquires about it, Agent Desmond responds with “but I can’t tell you about that.” Later on in the film, Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) refers to the death of Teresa Banks (Pamela Gidley) as “one of Cole’s Blue Rose cases.”

In season one, episode seven of the series, a character named Jenny, who works at the perfume counter in Horne’s Department Store, is being recruited as a “hospitality girl” at One Eyed Jack’s. She’s given a card and instructed to call the madam there, “Black Rose” (AKA, Blackie), to establish a start date. Is there any correlation between the blue roses and the mention of a black rose? Or is that coincidence?

One theory as to the meaning of the blue rose is that it’s code for Project Blue Book, a real-life United States Air Force investigation that began in 1952 and officially ended in 1969, although carried on unofficially until 1989. In the series, Major Garland Briggs (Don S. Davis) was heavily involved in this investigation, which dealt primarily with UFOS, and (in the show) the search for the “White Lodge.”

__________________________________________________________

Numb Arms And Shaking Hands

hands A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin Peaks

In Fire Walk with Me, Sam and Agent Chester Desmond get a late night/early morning meal at a diner called Hap’s, where Teresa Banks briefly worked before her death. While seated at the counter, they’re told by Irene, the waitress, that three days before Teresa died, she complained that her left arm had gone completely numb and couldn’t be used. Sam guesses that this might have had something to do with her cocaine use, or some sort of nerve damage, but it’s not the only instance of something like this happening in the Twin Peaks universe. Later on in the film, Laura also appears to experience a problem with her arm while restless in bed after receiving visions from the Black Lodge.

In season two, episode 20 of the series, Cooper’s right hand starts shaking while standing in the sheriff’s office looking through the blinds, and then, later, Pete Martell (Jack Nance) experiences the same thing while standing by his pickup truck waiting for Audrey. It seems as though these instances all preclude a visit from Bob (Frank Silva). They could also mean that the influence of the inhabitants of the Black Lodge is getting stronger. One of the main characters there introduces himself to Cooper as “The Arm” (Michael J. Anderson), and there’s a theory that he’s the physical embodiment of Mike/Philip Gerard/The One-Armed Man’s (Al Strobel) missing arm, which he cut off to get rid of a tattoo.

__________________________________________________________

Who Is Judy?

bowie A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin Peaks

Exclusively in Fire Walk with Me, we meet a character named Phillip Jeffries (David Bowie), an agent who trained with Gordon Cole at Quantico. He had been missing for two years and then reappeared in Cole’s office in Philadelphia at 10:10 a.m. on February, 16th — the exact time and day that Cooper saw the event happening in a dream. Jeffries mentions a woman named Judy and says, “I’m not gonna talk about Judy.” If you listen closely, at the end of the film, when a monkey face briefly appears on the screen, the name “Judy” is whispered, and it’s the last bit of dialogue in the movie. Bowie was supposedly set to return in the third season as Phillip Jeffries, and hopefully explain who Judy is, but, sadly, he passed away on January 10, 2016 from cancer.

__________________________________________________________

What Is The Full Backstory Of Mike And Bob?

The first proper appearance of Bob happens early in the series, specifically in season one, episode two, when Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) sees him creeping around in her sitting room. The first appearance of Mike/Philip Gerard/The One-Armed Man also happens in this episode. What we can piece together about these two based on what we know so far is that they lived above a convenience store, that Mike/Philip Gerard/The One-Armed Man cut off his left arm to remove a tattoo once he “saw the face of God,” and that they used to kill together but now Mike/Philip Gerard/The One-Armed Man is the one thing that Bob fears most.

According to Leland Palmer (Ray Wise), Bob used to live next to his grandfather’s cabin in Pearl Lakes, where he would flick matches at him. When Leland was 12, Bob took over his body and used it as a vehicle to commit horrible crimes. Bob is sometimes thought to take over the body of an owl when he isn’t using a human host, which is where the phrase “the owls are not what they seem” is thought to come from. Bob eventually leaves Leland’s body and takes over Cooper’s, causing the real Cooper to be trapped in the Black Lodge. When Bob and Mike/Philip Gerard/The One-Armed Man are nearby, people claim to smell burnt engine oil. These things comes together to tell a pretty vivid story but, similar to Laura’s secret diary, there are pages missing.

__________________________________________________________

Will We Ever See Diane?

Agent Cooper is often seen dictating his thoughts into a handheld tape recorder, and, when doing so, he addresses a woman named Diane. The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes points towards her being Cooper’s secretary, but he doesn’t know her last name, and she’s never shown on screen in either the series or Fire Walk with Me. There is quite a bit of Internet hopefulness that Laura Dern, who’s listed as a cast member in the new season, will play Diane, but we won’t know till we know.

__________________________________________________________

What Becomes of Donna?

donna hayward A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin Peaks

Donna Hayward (played by Lara Flynn Boyle in the series and Moira Kelly in Fire Walk with Me) was Laura Palmer’s (Sheryl Lee) best friend and daughter to the town’s doctor (Warren Frost — Mark Frost’s dad). Donna forms a romantic relationship with James Hurley (James Marshall) who Laura used to date, and looked up to Laura. In the series, she begins wearing Laura’s sunglasses, and in Fire Walk with Me, she steals her sweater at the Roadhouse and puts it on, which makes Laura upset. It seems as though she takes on characteristics of Laura when she wears her things.

In the last episode of the series, it’s heavily suggested that Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) is Donna’s real father. Ben and her mother, Eileen (Mary Jo Deschanel, AKA Zooey’s mom), have history together, and, after Laura’s passing, Ben seems to make his way towards righting the wrongs of his life, which may include Donna’s birth and, possibly, how her mom ended up in a wheelchair. Neither Lara Flynn Boyle or Moira Kelly are listed in the cast for the new season, so we may never know if Donna pens her own book of memoirs called Chug a Lug Donna or if she furthers her musical career by co-performing another hit like “Just You and I”.

__________________________________________________________

What’s The Significance Of Dancing?

dancing gif A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin Peaks

Throughout the series, Leland Palmer is shown dancing several times, and it’s usually right before he has a freak-out of some sort. In season one, episode three, he’s shown dancing in his living room to “Pennsylvania 6-5000” (the Jerry Gray version) and picks up a framed photo of Laura off the side table, swinging it around saying, “We have to dance for Laura.” Sarah tries to take the photo away from Leland, and there’s a struggle, resulting in Leland accidentally smashing the photo and cutting his hand. He rubs his blood (Wise really cut himself here) on the photo while crying. Several other similar instances happen at the Great Northern hotel. The Man From Another Place (AKA, The Arm) is also often seen dancing in the Red Room, which is the waiting room of the Black Lodge. Is there some correlation here?

__________________________________________________________

What’s The Significance Of The Owl Cave Ring?

owl cave ring A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin Peaks

In Fire Walk with Me, we learn that Teresa Banks had a gold and jade ring, indicated by a pale mark on her dead finger, which is now missing. We see the ring on her finger in a photo on her fridge at the Fat Trout Trailer Park. This very ring, which has the Owl Cave symbol on the face of it, pops up many times during the movie, as well as in the series, and it’s indicated that it brings death to whoever wears it. According to Mark Frost’s The Secret History of Twin Peaks, this ring dates back to the days of Lewis and Clark. In season two, episode nine of the series, Mike tells Cooper, “Bob and I, when we were killing together, it was this perfect relationship of appetite and satisfaction … a golden circle,” and then makes a ring out of his pointer finger and thumb. Will the Owl Cave ring wind up on a new finger in season three?

__________________________________________________________

What’s With All The Creamed Corn?

creamed corn A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin Peaks

In season two, episode two, Donna takes over Laura’s Meals on Wheels tasks at the RR Diner and delivers a meal to Mrs. Tremond (Frances Bay) and her grandson (Austin Jack Lynch — son of David Lynch). When Donna removes the cover from her food, Mrs. Tremond asks, “Do you see creamed corn on that plate?” Donna confirms that, yes, she does see the creamed corn, to which Mrs. Tremond responds, “I ordered no creamed corn.” She asks Donna a second time if she sees creamed corn, and it’s not there anymore. Donna looks over at the grandson, and he’s holding the creamed corn in his cupped hands.

In Fire Walk with Me, this grandma and grandson duo go by the name Chalfont (the grandson played by Jonathan J. Leppell here), but this time around, the creamed corn is shown during a vision of the Black Lodge. It’s questionable as to whether the Tremond’s/Chalfont’s are as nice and helpful as they appear since they often seem to usher people towards danger, but what’s certain is that there’s got to be more to this creamed corn business.

__________________________________________________________

How Did Gordon Cole Lose His Hearing?

From the moment that Gordon Cole steps into view, it’s made glaringly (blaringly?) clear that he’s extremely hard of hearing. In season two, episode six, we see him, rather than just hear him over loud speaker, for the first time, and he tells Sheriff Truman (Michael Ontkean), “Hearing’s gone, long story, got these things cranked up to the max,” and motions to his visible hearing aid. Interesting to note that when Gordon first meets Shelly Johnson (Mädchen Amick) at the RR Diner, he can hear her perfectly, even without his hearing aid.

__________________________________________________________

What Do Sarah Palmer’s White Horse Visions Mean?

twin peaks horse A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin Peaks

We piece together throughout the series and the movie that Sarah Palmer probably knew that her husband, Leland, was raping their daughter. In Fire Walk with Me, we see Leland force her to drink milk that was seemingly drugged right before he goes into Laura’s room, and in season two, episode seven of the series, we see her drugged, crawling down the stairs into the living room in an attempt to save Laura’s cousin, Maddy Ferguson (also played by Sheryl Lee), from being killed by Leland/Bob. In both of these instances, she has a vision of a white horse, which, at face value, seems to be a symbol for drugs, but probably means something even more sinister. Or maybe the horse has something to do with the White Lodge?

__________________________________________________________

Who’s the Father of Lucy’s Baby?

dick andy A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin Peaks

Lucy Moran (Kimmy Robertson), the receptionist at the Sheriff’s station, tells her boyfriend, Deputy Andy Brennan (Harry Goaz), that she’s pregnant in the last episode of season one. Andy had just saved Sheriff Truman’s life by shooting Jacques Renault before he could shoot him, and he didn’t react quite the way Lucy would have liked him to upon hearing her good news. We later learn that Andy had some issues with a low sperm count and wasn’t even sure if he could have kids, which led Lucy to reveal that she had slept with Dick Tremayne (Ian Buchanan) during one of their breakups. Lucy told Andy and Dick that she wouldn’t get a paternity test until after the baby was born, but that she chose Andy to serve as its dad no matter what. Will it ever be revealed which man actually fathered the child? A sure giveaway will be how he/she holds his/her eating utensils, and if he/she has a fondness for fashion.

__________________________________________________________

What’s The Full Backstory Of The White Lodge And The Black Lodge?

In season one, episode three, Cooper has a dream about the Black Lodge and receives messages from Mike, The Man From Another Place (AKA, The Arm), Bob, and Laura. The Man From Another Place tells Cooper, “Where we’re from, the birds sing a pretty song, and there’s always music in the air.” Cooper is an old man in his dream, and Laura whispers the name of her killer into his ear, but when he wakes up, he can’t remember it. In season two, episode 10, Cooper and Major Briggs go camping together, and, leaving for a brief moment to relieve himself, Cooper returns to find Briggs missing.

Briggs stays gone for two days, and when he returns, he tells Cooper and Sheriff Truman that he was taken to the White Lodge. Briggs later explains that he’s involved with something called Project Bluebook, which centers around investigations of the White Lodge. Mark Frost’s book, The Secret History of Twin Peaks, deals at great length with UFOs and alien abductions. Are the White Lodge and the Black Lodge different universes? There’s a lot more to be discovered here.

__________________________________________________________

What’s The Deal With Dead Dog Farm?

dead dog farm e1494302783197 A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin Peaks

In season two, episode 12, Cooper speaks with a realtor about possibly buying a home for himself in Twin Peaks. She shows him several listings, but he’s unable to choose which one to go see first. Cooper flips a coin, and it bounces over to a listing of a property called Dead Dog Farm, which the realtor thought she had left out of the mix. She tells Cooper that the property “is a puzzle. No one ever stays long. Of all the people in the world, the best and the worst are drawn to a dead dog. Most turn away. Only those with the purest of heart can feel its pain, and somewhere in between the rest of us struggle.” When Cooper goes to look at the house, he discovers that drug activity had taken place there very recently, and a chain of events lead to the killing of Jean Renault (Michael Parks), Jacques’ brother. There are theories floating around that Dead Dog Farm has something to do with the White and Black Lodges, but what?

__________________________________________________________

What Does Josie Die From?

knob A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin Peaks

Josie Packard (Joan Chen) met Andrew Packard (Dan O’Herlihy) while she still lived in Hong Kong, and he brought her to Twin Peaks and married her. A boating “accident” killed him shortly after, leaving her the heir to his fortune: the Packard Sawmill. While entrenched in her life in Twin Peaks, Josie begins a (not very secret) relationship with Sheriff Truman, who later comes to learn that she’s not at all who she claimed to be and is actually a hardened criminal. In season two, episode six, Josie kills her former business associate, Thomas Eckhardt, and then dies herself.

At the moment of her death, Bob appears and The Man From Another Place (AKA The Arm) dances on the bed. The cause of death remains a mystery, and Dr. Hayward said she weighed only 65 pounds at the time of her death, which is seemingly impossible. After Josie passes, her screaming face is seen in the knob of a bedside table in the room she died in. Is Josie still trapped in that knob? Think of the things she’s seen during all these years she’s been stuck there.

__________________________________________________________

How’s Annie?

hows annie A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin Peaks

Annie Blackburn (Heather Graham) is Norma Jennings’ (Peggy Lipton) sister and moves to Twin Peaks in season two, episode 17 after previously living in a convent. She has scars on her wrists that indicate she has led a hard life, but we aren’t given much of her backstory. Annie and Cooper form a relationship, which catches the attention of Cooper’s former partner, Windom Earle (Kenneth Welsh), who recently escaped from a mental institution and is back in Twin Peaks to search for the Black Lodge and also torture Cooper as much as possible.

In season two, episode 18, we learn that Annie is familiar with the symbols in Owl Cave, which hints to the fact that she may be under the influence of the Black Lodge herself. In season two, episode 20, Annie enters the Miss Twin Peaks contest against the advisement of The Giant, who gestures to Cooper, waving his arms and shaking his head “no” after Cooper refers to Annie as “the queen.”

Annie goes ahead with the contest, though, and shortly after winning her crown, gets kidnapped by Earle, who steals Pete’s pickup truck and hauls her into the woods, and then into the Black Lodge, which opens only during the perfect positioning of Jupiter and Saturn and only when fueled by fear. Cooper goes in after them, and when he finds Annie, he assumes she’s dead, but she tells him, “You must be mistaken; I’m alive.” The Man From Another Place later hints to Cooper that Annie has the gold and jade owl cave ring now. The last we hear from Cooper in the series is him, now under the influence of Bob, asking, “How’s Annie?” over and over.

Hopefully, we’ll find out.

__________________________________________________________

Epilogue

giant A Guide to the Unsolved Mysteries of Twin Peaks

In the words of The Giant — who, if you were wondering, *is* that old waiter who keeps bringing Cooper milk — “Don’t search for all the answers at once. A path is formed by laying one stone at a time.” As we get closer and closer to the first new stories from our favorite characters, let’s try to savor the mystery for as long as we can.

Latest Stories

Advertisement
Consequence