Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

A guide to the sinners and saints of David Lynch and Mark Frost's strange world

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, artwork by Kristin Frenzel

    Artwork by Kristin Frenzel (Buy Art Prints + More)

    On 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, we revisit the show’s eclectic cast of characters and sort out where they truly belong: the Black Lodge, the Red Room, or the White Lodge.

    It’s a strange world, alright, though nowhere is stranger than Twin Peaks. Even more bizarre are the characters within the fictional logging town. Through two seasons and one twisted film, David Lynch and Mark Frost’s iconic series has seen its share of good samaritans, rotten apples, and hot garmonbozia. Some have slept snugly in beautiful homes nestled in equally beautiful neighborhoods, while others have slummed it in the slummiest bars until the morning sunshine drains out the darkness.

    But, then there’s the indefinable, the haunting spirits and terrifying shape-shifters dwelling within the area’s thick Douglas firs. As Sheriff Harry S. Truman (Michael Ontkean) warns Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) early on, “There’s a sort of evil out there. Something very, very strange in these old woods. Call it what you want. A darkness, a presence. It takes many forms but … its been out there for as long as anyone can remember and we’ve always been here to fight it.”


    This concept has always been paramount to the conceit of Twin Peaks. In Chris Rodley’s Lynch on Lynch, the legendary filmmaker explains how he dreamed up the series alongside Frost, saying:

    “For as long as anybody can remember, woods have been mysterious places. So they were a character in my mind. And then other characters came to our minds. And as you start peopling this place, one thing leads to another. And somewhere along the line you have a certain type of community. And because of the way the characters are, you have indications of what they might do, and how they could get into trouble and how their past could come back to haunt them. And so you have many things to work with.”

    As Lynch’s brazen filmography suggests, there’s a flip side to every coin, but light and darkness — or rather, good and evil — doesn’t always boil down to something black and white like heads or tails. More often than not, the two elements twist and turn at every move, and that murky road is how every citizen, passerby, or inter-dimensional tourist gets around in the unpredictably beautiful world of Twin Peaks.

    With so many characters to remember, and several more to come, we decided to gather who we already know and figure out where their souls might belong: the violent confines of the Black Lodge, the purgatorial confusion of the Red Room, or the oft-discussed yet rarely seen White Lodge. To quote the Log Lady, “Life, like music, has a rhythm. This particular song will end with three sharp notes, like deathly drumbeats.”


    Shall we, doc?

    –Michael Roffman

    Editor’s Note: Stay safe by picking up one of our custom face masks. A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares’ COVID-19 Artist Relief fund supporting independent musicians.

    The Black Lodge


    Played by: Frank Silva

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990 (technically via reflection); “Traces to Nowhere”, 4/12/1990 (official)

    Damn Good Quote: [via Leland] “Leland, Leland, you’ve been a good vehicle and I’ve enjoyed the ride. But now he’s weak and full of holes. It’s almost time to shuffle off to Buffalo!”

    Diane… Killer Bob is the Randall Flagg of Twin Peaks, and wouldn’t you know, they both love denim. By the “fury of [his] own momentum,” Bob represents the purest form of evil, a nasty, seemingly unstoppable entity from the Black Lodge that possesses human beings and makes them do his bidding. What bidding is that exactly? Well, if we take his most recognizable vessel, Leland Palmer, into consideration, that could range from harmless activities like mugging any common hallway mirror to, you know, raping and savagely beating family members to death. There’s really no limit to Bob’s reach — he even possesses owls, for Christ’s sake — and those who cross his path are pretty much guaranteed to suffer in some way, shape, or form. No set dresser has ever been responsible for more nightmares than the late Frank Silva. –Michael Roffman

    The Black Lodge

    Leo Johnson

    Played by: Eric Da Re

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Shelly, sit down here a minute and help me out.”

    Diane… A few characters on Twin Peaks define the expression “evil incarnate.” While Leo is not such a character, he is somehow worse than many of them: he’s an evil human being. I know it must be tough for Leo to run around a small town with an extended-bang-and-ponytail-combo, likely upset that he had to leave his sax behind on the beaches of The Lost Boys (I still believe!). I understand that being on the road full-time can be a stressful gig. These things do not give Leo an excuse to blow off steam by cheating on his wife Shelly with teenage prostitutes. He also chose to run drugs for French-Canadians and deal to high schoolers. Have I mentioned that he is emotionally and physically abusive towards the aforementioned Shelly? Leo’s such a bad cat that unlike other slimeballs in Twin Peaks he doesn’t even have a false face. He’s all asshole all the time, and no last-second redemption could save him. –Justin Gerber

    The Black Lodge

    Jacques Renault

    Played by: Walter Olkewicz

    First Appearance: “Rest in Pain”, 4/26/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Hey, slow pokes. Guess what? There’s no tomorrow. Know why, baby? ‘Cause it’ll never get here.”


    Diane… “I am the Great Went!” Jacques Renault cries in the Power and the Glory as he watches the high schoolers he pimps out get felt up by a couple of scumbag Canadians. See, Jacques isn’t just a monster, he’s a monster who believes himself to be a god. And, in Twin Peaks, at least, he sorta is. He’s got drugs, he’s got women, and he’s in league with lugheads like Leo Johnson, millionaires like Ben Horne, and cold-blooded killers like his own brother, Jean. We watch him jam his tongue in Laura’s mouth, then, later on, tie her up on the night of her death, effectively serving her up for her possessed father to usher her into the Black Lodge for eternity. The entire Renault family is rotten, but Jacques is the moldiest of them all, a repugnant and corrupt monster with an insatiable appetite for power and debauchery. Good riddance. –Randall Colburn

    The Black Lodge

    Jean Renault

    Played by: Michael Parks

    First Appearance: “The Man Behind Glass”, 10/13/1990

    Damn Good Quote: [to Cooper] “Before you came here, Twin Peaks was a simple place. My brothers sold drugs to truck-drivers and teenagers. One-Eyed Jack’s welcomed curious tourists and businessmen. Quiet people lived quiet lives. Then a pretty girl dies. And you arrive. Everything changes. My brother Bernard is shot and left to die in the woods. A grieving father smothers my surviving brother with a pillow. Arson, kidnapping. More death and destruction. Suddenly the quiet people here are no longer quiet. Their simple dreams have become a nightmare. Maybe you brought the nightmare with you. And maybe, it will die with you.”

    Diane… If you couldn’t gather from above, the Renault family aren’t exactly the Waltons. As the eldest of the three brothers (we decided to omit baby Bernard out of respect for his downright obsolescence), Jean brings a certain class to the drug-dealing family name, which is often smeared with sweat, filth, and depravity by the aforementioned Jacques. Maybe it’s because the late Michael Parks oozed with such smoky finesse in every one of his roles — no matter if he was playing a faithful cop or a delirious walrus scholar — but there’s a palpable cool to Jean. He speaks patiently, he carries English caramels, and he doesn’t think twice about shooting anyone on the spot (see: Emory Battis). Still, the guy’s bad news, baby, and if Jacques were any kind of gentleman, it’d be Jean at the top of the poisoned Renault family tree. –Michael Roffman

    The Black Lodge

    Windom Earle

    Played by: Kenneth Walsh

    First Appearance: “Double Play”, 2/2/1991

    Damn Good Quote: “And if harnessed, these spirits, this hidden land of unmuffled screams and broken hearts, will offer up a power so vast that its bearer might reorder the earth itself to his liking. This place I speak of is known as the Black Lodge, and I intend to find it.”

    Diane… Coop’s hunt for mentor/former partner/psych-ward escapee Earle became the cornerstone of Twin Peaks in the post-whodunit era of the show’s brief history. He had a lot to live up to, and while he never reached the depths of your BOB’s or Renaults, he sure did give it his all. While Coop is often portrayed as “kooky”, his ex-partner is an all-out psychopath. Earle’s path of murder started in the ‘70s, carried over into the ‘80s with the murder of his wife, and ended with a murder or two in Twin Peaks. He made his presence felt by stalking the local ladies (complete with disguises) and in the biggest twist of all, he made Leo a sympathetic character by throwing a shock collar around his neck! His obsession with the Black Lodge is understandable (aren’t you curious?). The means he goes to in order to find it are not. Besides, who would ever side with Coop’s arch-nemesis? –Justin Gerber


    The Black Lodge

    Thomas Eckhardt

    Played by: David Warner

    First Appearance: “Double Play”, 2/2/1991

    Damn Good Quote: “I don’t believe in ghosts.”

    Diane… Thomas Eckhardt is a bar of goddamn soap, the kind of cheesy, conniving character that could only thrive on daytime TV. If he had a mustache, he would most certainly be twirling it. Get this: He’s a South African emigré in Hong Kong who arranged the murder of his ex-business partner (via BOAT EXPLOSION!) with his young, exotic lover. After showing up in Twin Peaks, Eckhardt is swiftly killed by that same exotic lover, yet wreaks posthumous havoc via garrote, hallucinogens, and a PUZZLE BOX that leads his enemies to a safety deposit box with a goddamned BOMB in it. Guy’s got more blood on his hands than a pig butcher. He’s also responsible for splaying Pete Martell’s guts all over poor Audrey Horne so let’s just say there’s a special place in the Black Lodge for him—hopefully we won’t have to see it in the new season, though. Guy is awful. –Randall Colburn

    The Black Lodge

    Hank Jennings

    Played by: Chris Mulkey

    First Appearance: “The One-Armed Man”, 4/26/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “You know there’s a saying in the joint. It’s not Oriental philosophy, but it has a similar kind of logic that appeals to my spiritual nature. Once you’re in business with somebody, you’re in business with them for life. Like a marriage. Til death do you part.”

    Diane… Hank’s got his fingers in so many pies: cherry, apple, huckleberry, you name it. After 18 months in prison for a crime that belied a much greater one, Hank comes out feigning rehabilitation for his ex, Norma, but cavorting behind the scenes with no-gooders like Leo Johnson, Ben Horne, and Josie Packard. Still, there’s something almost clinical about Hank’s work, as if crime to him is more of a talent to him than a compulsion. Rarely does it seem it ever gets personal to him. Despite his two-faced nature, Hank still seems genuinely invested in rekindling things with Norma, as well as in the revitalization of the Double R Diner. Though this wrinkle in his personality doesn’t redeem Hank’s many misadventures—shooting Leo, for instance, or his involvement in the Packard Sawmill’s arson—it does give him a level of dimension that’s unseen in other denizens of the Black Lodge. –Randall Colburn

    The Black Lodge

    Catherine Martell

    Played by: Piper Laurie

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Where there’s a key, there’s a lock.”

    Diane… Deception is everything to Catherine; it’s in her blood. She’s the younger sister to Andrew Packard, aka the villainous, would-be dead, former owner of the Packard Mill, and yet also wife to Pete Martell, aka the lovable town do-gooder whose family once feuded with the Packards before they absorbed the Martell Mill. That rare mix of light and darkness works to her advantage, though, as she snakes her way through Twin Peaks on Martell’s goodwill — and occasionally garish Japanese disguises (meet: Mr. Tojamura) — while sinking those Packard teeth into anyone she deems a problem. That could be anyone from fiendish sister-in-law Josie Packard, who stands to gain everything from her brother’s will, to secret side piece Benjamin Horne, who has his own devious intentions with the Packard Mill (keyword: Ghostwood). To be fair, she did save Shelly Johnson from the fire at her Mill, but one could argue that heroic moment provided an enviable silver lining for her. As you can see, Catherine leads a very pretzeled lifestyle, but she eats it all up with a side of mustard and a wicked smile. –Michael Roffman

    The Black Lodge

    Leland Palmer

    Played by: Ray Wise

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “We have to dance for Laura!”

    Diane… Well, here’s a tough one. We all know Leland committed his worst crimes when possessed by BOB, but it’s not really so simple, is it? The show might lead you to believe that, that Leland was a fundamentally decent person who was driven to violence by, ya know, the influence of a demonic spirit. But Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me complicates that, doesn’t it? Was Leland possessed by BOB when he was cheating on his wife with Teresa Banks? Was he under the influence when arranging orgies with underage girls? When Teresa Banks blackmailed and Leland bashed her skull in, was that BOB staking his claim on this soul or was that a desperate, middle-aged man’s bid at self preservation? Was Leland molesting his daughter? Did Leland’s dark soul invite BOB in? Or had BOB been there all along? Laura’s diary describes BOB as a “friend of her father’s” who’d been visiting since she was 12; this would serve the narrative that BOB had long been possessing Leland. Still, there’s plenty of evidence that points to Leland himself being deranged; just look at his behavior at Laura’s funeral and elsewhere, where his grief can be read as either an elaborate, mocking performance, a slip from sanity, or a man trying to overcompensate for his own sins. One thing’s for certain, however: Life was hell for Sarah Palmer. –Randall Colburn

    The Black Lodge

    Ben Horne

    Played by: Richard Beymer

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Admiration is for poets and dairy cows, Bobby.”

    Diane… It might be easier to name the people Ben wasn’t trying to screw. A shrewd businessman for whom ethics and general decency waved bye-bye long ago, Ben’s crimes are numerous, ranging from his funding of an underage brothel and involvement in the recruitment of those underage girls (not to mention his enjoyment of “breaking them in”) to his backstage machinations with bad boys like Jacques Renault, Leo Johnson, and Hank Jennings. Horne was also screwing half the town, forging so many alliances that, as the show went on, it became harder to track just who was the victim in any given scenario. Truman had every right in the world to think Ben was the one who killed Laura.

    After his false conviction, Ben suffered a mental break that spurred delusions of the Civil War. After being cured by Dr. Jacoby, Ben sought some kind of redemption by trying to halt the toxic Ghostwood construction project (which he’d previously schemed to make happen) though it’s unclear whether his efforts had any positive effect. In the end, his legacy remains that of an opportunistic, self-absorbed, predatory douchebag, though that’s easy to forget whenever the show allowed us to glimpse he and his brother, Jerry, as children, giggling as a woman danced in the dark before them, rhythmically waving a flashlight. Ah, shattered innocence. –Randall Colburn


    The Black Lodge

    Blackie O’Reilly

    Played by:Victoria Catlin

    First Appearance: “Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer”, 4/18/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “She’s ready for her close-up now.”

    Diane… Blackie, or Black Rose, O’Reilly isn’t in the Black Lodge because she’s the Madam of One-Eyed Jack’s. Were she at all concerned with the safety and well-being of the sex workers under her care, that likely wouldn’t prove much of a factor in our assessment. We also do not deny that Blackie had a tough old life, saddled as she was with both heroin addiction and the regular presence of the Horne brothers, who make terrible employers and even worse drinking companions. Still, some acts you just don’t come back from, and injecting a high school girl with heroin against her will is one of them. The fact that Benjamin Horne did the same (or something similar) to her? That makes it worse, not better. –Allison Shoemaker

    The Red Room


    Played by: Brenda Strong

    First Appearance: “Double Play”, 2/2/1991

    Damn Good Quote: Sadly, Jones’s best line happens off-camera. The South African Consulate? In Twin Peaks?

    Diane… Jones isn’t around for long (and while the character may be minor, it’s a shame that Strong, who’s a hell of an actor, didn’t get more to do). She’s just here to do her job, serving as Thomas Eckhardt’s assistant/will executor/private assassin. That she does so with such obvious glee makes her brief appearance somewhat memorable, but it’s her final dramatic act – an attempt on Sheriff Truman’s life by means of hallucinogenic lip stuff, lingerie, and a garrotting wire hidden in a piece of jewelry – that truly earns Jones a place in the Lynch hall of fame. It’s a moment in which Twin Peaks becomes The Americans all of a sudden, and for that, Jones, I salute you. –Allison Shoemaker

    The Black Lodge

    Malcolm Sloan

    Played by: Nicholas Love

    First Appearance: “The Black Widow”, 1/12/1991

    Damn Good Quote: “I’m sorry, am I being obscure?”

    Diane… Oh, boy. The worst sub-plot in the Great Northwest ties poor old James Hurley up with a pack of assholes, Malcolm Sloan chief among them. For a full rundown of the evil acts committed in his brief run on the series, see Evelyn Marsh’s entry — then just subtract the late-arriving moment of redemption and add a controlling nature, an additional attempted murder, and an all-around air of general insufferability. That his storyline is the absolute worst is a minor thing, compared to his other sins, but the fact that all that evil is also super duper boring makes it so much worse. –Allison Shoemaker

    The Black Lodge

    Evelyn Marsh

    Played by: Annette McCarthy

    First Appearance: “Masked Ball”, 12/15/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Men are always alright, right up until they pull the trigger. And then we watch the neighbors solemnly march out to the news cameras to tell us: ‘He was such a nice, quiet guy.’”

    Diane… The Evelyn/James storyline answers the question: What if things had gone south for Bruce Springsteen in his “I’m on Fire” music video? Let’s check off the evil deeds Evelyn commits during her (mercifully) brief run on the series: 1.) cheats on husband with co-conspirator/lover, 2.) cheats on husband with high schooler, 3.) frames high schooler for husband’s murder, 4.) kills aforementioned co-conspirator/lover. How many laws does she break in five episodes? Is James even 18? While she ultimately saves James in the end, it’s too little too late. Such is the fate for many in Twin Peaks. –Justin Gerber

    The Black Lodge

    Emory Battis

    Played by: Don Amendolia

    First Appearance: “Cooper’s Dreams”, 5/3/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Laura was a wild girl. She always got what she wanted. Just like you, Miss Horne. Just like you.”


    Diane… Emory Battis is a mild-mannered middle manager on the surface, a sweaty, eager-to-please supervisor at Ben Horne’s department store. Ah, but looks can be deceiving. Battis is actually a key part of One-Eyed Jack’s recruitment of underage escorts, in charge of both the choosing and grooming of the girls. We don’t see the depth of his depravity until season two, when he serves as cameraman for Blackie’s injection of heroin into young Audrey Horne. Later, he raises a hand against her, an action that even the diabolical Jean Renault finds unacceptable. Renault shoots the spineless bastard dead, banishing him to an afterlife that we’re fairly positive won’t include pearly gates. –Randall Colburn

    The Red Room

    Josie Packard

    Played by: Joan Chen

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “On top of the morning to you, Pete.”

    Diane… Josie’s background is far more interesting than the Josie we get in Twin Peaks. As the daughter of a high-ranking enforcer of the Siu-wong triad and a prostitute named “Lace Butterfly,” Josie grew up in the Guangzhou province of China, where she attended private schools and did fun things like learn six different languages, start prostitute rings, and establish a fashion label that served as a front for her own drug ring. She probably even killed her father. Interesting, right? Sadly, that wicked Josie never arrives in Twin Peaks, where her inherent vices are marginalized in favor of hush-hush dialogue, a Red Shoe Diaries romance with Sheriff Harry S. Truman, and ludicrous subplots involving the Mill. Hell, even her boldest power play — tapping the likes of Thomas Eckhardt and Hank Jennings to kill her husband, Andrew — happens off screen. Essentially, she’s a spiderwoman who’s lost her venom, and although she occasionally steps into the light, she’s still a spider crawling in the dark. That’s not good for anyone. –Michael Roffman

    The Red Room

    Jerry Horne

    Played by: David Patrick Kelly

    First Appearance: “Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer”, 4/19/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Ben, as your attorney, your friend, and your brother, I strongly suggest that you get yourself a better lawyer.”

    Diane… It’s a good life being Jerry Horne. While his brother Benjamin holds down the fort at the Great Northern Lodge — both literally and metaphorically given the whole Civil War subplot (ugh) — Jerry gets to take trips to Paris, dance around with loaves of sourdough bread (with Brie and butter, no less), and jump “first in line” with any new inductees at One Eyed Jack’s. Okay, so that last part is pretty lascivious, and the fact that he’s a blatant mover and shaker for the town’s ugliest souls suggests a lack of moral fiber, but man, this guy loves life so much that it would be a crime to toss him in with the rest of the Mill jerks. Plus, he’s a great brother, all things considered, even if his skills as an attorney are second to Charlie “Bird Law” Kelly. –Michael Roffman

    The Red Room

    Bobby Briggs

    Played by: Dana Ashbrook

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “You wanna know who killed Laura Palmer? You did! We all did!”

    Diane… Bobby is a delightful mess, but at least he’s trying. At first glance, he’s everything you expect from a teenager: rebellious, angsty, lanky, and agitated. But inside, he’s a tortured soul who surprisingly loves more than he hates, even if his anger gets the best of him all too often. As boyfriend to Laura Palmer, Bobby indulged his dark side, distributing drugs for Leo Johnson as a way to fulfill Laura’s cocaine addiction, as he later confesses to Dr. Jacoby. Of course, he consciously leaves out the fact that he also killed a man during this period — a drug supplier in the woods (as seen in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and only hinted at in the series) — but that’s okay because the guy was a scumbag, right? Eh, we’ll let you be the judge of that. Nevertheless, Laura’s death serves as a wake up call for Bobby, who tries to turn things around, even if that includes a series of odd jobs with Benjamin Horne and swiping Leo’s disability checks with Shelly Johnson. There’s hope for him, though; after all, he’s the son of Major Garland Briggs and there’s really no better role model than that guy. –Michael Roffman

    The Red Room

    Mrs. Tremond/Chalfont and Grandson

    Played by: Frances Bay and Austin Jack Lynch/Jonathan J. Leppell

    First Appearance: “Coma”, 10/6/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “This would look nice on your wall.”

    Diane… While Mrs. Tremond and her weirdo grandson had a limited time on screen in the Twin Peaks universe, they certainly made their creepy presence felt. In the series, they are an oddball pairing under the family name Tremond who Donna encounters during a Meals on Wheels drop-off (think magic). In Fire Walk with Me, we discover that they previously lived in the mysterious trailer park under the name of Chalfont, but are more importantly co-inhabitants in the Red Room! You could look at Mrs. Tremond’s warnings to Laura as helpful and, dare I say, saintly. However, when you’ve got a “grandson” hopping about wearing a white papier-mâché mask? Signs point to “unclear.” –Justin Gerber

    The Red Room

    Mike Nelson

    Played by: Gary Hershberger

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: *barking at James Hurley through prison bars

    Diane… Mike Nelson is the archetypal jock: handsome, beefy, and imposing in his fitted varsity jacket. Anyone who wasn’t top dog in high school will likely hate him the moment they see him and, frankly, their instincts would be on point. Mike is bad news, a cocky bully who’s also no stranger to Twin Peaks’ underbelly, having been a dealer of coke alongside his best buddy, Bobby Briggs. Mike crosses the line, however, in the way he verbally and physically knocks around his girlfriend, Donna Hayward. It isn’t until the end of the series, when he shacks up with Nadine, an older woman who proves time and again that she can whoop his ass, that the whippersnapper learns a little respect. –Randall Colburn

    The Red Room

    Andrew Packard

    Played by: Dan O’Herlihy

    First Appearance: “Masked Ball”, 12/15/1990

    Damn Good Quote: Thomas Eckhardt: “I don’t believe in ghosts.” Andrew Packard: “Pity. It’s an appealing notion. The return of the grisly phantom from the grave. You deserve haunting, to be sure. Look closer, Thomas. I’m alive!”

    Diane… Andrew’s a mixed bag. There was a time when he was a good person, back when he was a teenage boy scout under the leadership of Dwayne Milford, a civil upbringing that undoubtedly led to similar hobnobbing in organizations like the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Optimists Club, the Elk Lodge, and the Masonic Lodge. Somewhere along the line, though, he became a boring villain, pulled down into the trenches by his sister Catherine, and prompted by the attempted murder on his life by his spouse, Josie Packard. Fortunately for everyone, including us viewers, he doesn’t get a chance to become the villain the show wants him to be as he makes his final deposit at the Twin Peaks Savings and Loan, where Josie’s hired gun Thomas Eckhardt just so happened to plant a fatal bomb. Ba-boom. –Michael Roffman

    The Red Room

    Dr. Lawrence Jacoby

    Played by: Russ Tamblyn

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Laura had secrets and around those secrets she built the fortress that, well, that in my six months with her, I was not able to penetrate, and for which I consider myself an abject failure. ”

    Diane… There may be a special place in hell for psychiatrists who mistreat their patients, but it takes a lot more than some unprofessional conduct to land you a spot in the Black Lodge. Jacoby might be a little creepy — taking half Laura’s heart necklace as a memento, asking her to send him “kisses,” and driving Bobby to tears by needling him about his first sexual encounter with Laura come to mind – but as James says, he really was trying to help. He may not have cared about his patients until Ms. Palmer came along, but afterwards he does his best to help his friends and neighbors, albeit through unconventional means. Let’s reserve judgment until we see what souvenir cocktail umbrellas he’s collected over the last 25 years. –Allison Shoemaker

    The Red Room

    Dick Tremayne

    Played by: Ian Buchanan

    First Appearance: “The Man Behind Glass”, 10/13/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Honestly, I barely have the time to feed my cat.”

    Diane… When compared to many the men of Twin Peaks, Dick Tremayne is pretty harmless. Sure, he’s kind of the worst, what with the cravats and the affectations and the callousness, but it’s hard not to feel a little bit for the guy who got bitten by a pine weasel right on the snoz. A few shining moments of decency keep him from being a total tool: he doesn’t throw a fit when he loses the coveted dad spot to Andy; he wears “a plethora of plaid” like a champ; and though he does show up to tell Lucy to have an abortion without asking her what she wants, well, at least he comes prepared with a fat stack of cash. –Allison Shoemaker

    The Red Room

    Sylvia Horne

    Played by: Jan D’Arcy

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “You can tell Johnny one more time that Laura isn’t coming this afternoon to work with him, or tomorrow afternoon, or any afternoon. Now what is so difficult to understand about that?!”


    Diane… Ben Horne’s wife is pretty freakin’ miserable. Why is she in the Red Room? Well, she’s an incredibly neglectful and insensitive mother, and is ignorant of (at best) or ambivalent to (at worst) most of her husband’s dirty dealings. Still, I feel for Sylvia. Why? Well, she’s married to Benjamin Horne. –Allison Shoemaker

    The Red Room

    Laura Palmer

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “I feel like I know her, but sometimes my arms bend back.”

    Diane… Lynch’s themes tend to be built on extremes, namely the exploration of whether or not there exists in this world a true purity and a true evil. Are they mutually exclusive? Can they coexist? No character in the director’s canon illustrates this investigation better than Laura Palmer, a living fantasy that simultaneously embodies archetypal societal signifiers of “good”—beautiful, scholarly, and charitable—and “bad”—promiscuous, disloyal, and psychologically damaged.

    Unlike a majority of Twin Peaks’ denizens, it’s impossible to classify Laura as one or the other, which one can imagine is exactly how Lynch would’ve wanted it. Laura’s character urges you to ask just where exactly evil comes from. Is it hidden inside all of our hearts? Does it manifest in the otherworldly, in the absorption of beasts like BOB? Or is it something we choose, a door to unlock inside of ourselves? Goodness, at least in the world of Twin Peaks, seems to be instinctual. It takes outside forces to unleash the darkness. Maybe. Who knows.

    In the end, Laura hurt almost everyone she came across. But those same people she hurt also felt such a deep love for her that that hurt only manifested in her absence. It’s a puzzle, all of it. Laura’s the puzzle, and she remains unsolved. Will this new season solve her? Probably not. Lynch isn’t in the business of solving puzzles. He’s in the business of making them harder. In the end, Laura will likely remain even more enigmatic than ever. And that’s appropriate. There is no greater mystery than humanity. –Randall Colburn


    The Red Room

    Teresa Banks

    Played by: Pamela Gidley

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990 (mentioned); Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (official)

    Damn Good Quote: N/A

    Diane… A year before the death of Laura Palmer, there was the similar fate of Teresa Banks, a 17-year-old prostitute/waitress living in Deer Meadow, Oregon. Thanks to her ties with Jacques Renault, she actually knew Laura and Ronette Pulaski, and their coke-fueled hang-outs is why she ended up wrapped in plastic, too. Well, that and her ad in Flesh World. Because unbeknownst to her, a Bob-possessed Leland Palmer happened to be a subscriber, and when he came calling, her time drew very, very short. Unfortunately, we don’t know too much about Teresa, but from what we do now, she appears to be stuck in this life not by choice but strictly by situation, and that’s what separates her from Laura’s own downward spiral. –Michael Roffman

    The Red Room

    Lana Budding Milford

    Played by: Robyn Lively

    First Appearance: “Masked Ball”, 12/15/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Prom night. My date went to kiss me. It was his first day with his new braces, and they gleamed in the moonlight. Then his rubber band snapped and his jaw locked up and we ended up in the emergency room and the doctors had to break his jaw in three places to get it to shut and it’s just.. it’s just gotten worse ever since!”

    Diane… Lana Budding Milford may as well have jumped right out of an episode of Invitation to Love. The “sexual adventuress” makes conquest after conquest, and though she’s not as, shall we say, homicidal as some of her neighbors, she’s no saint, either. One assumes her marriage to Dougie Milford wasn’t one of love, and her relationship with her late husband’s equally elderly brother isn’t exactly a triumph of romance. Still, her only real crime is attempting to rig the Miss Twin Peaks pageant in her favor, an attempt that might have actually worked had she spared us the “contortionistic jazz exotica.” –Allison Shoemaker

    The Red Room

    Dougie Milford

    Played by: Tony Jay

    First Appearance: “Dispute Between Brothers”, 12/08/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “I’m married, but I wouldn’t say I’m a fanatic about it.”


    Diane… There’s a lot more to Dougie Milford than a stupid, long-running rivalry between his brother Mayor Dwayne Milford and his questionable marriage to Lana Budding Milford. In addition to serving as publisher of the Twin Peaks Gazette, following the death of Robert Jacoby, he also had a dense, storied history with the paranormal. What began with a terrifying abduction near Glastonbury Grove as a former scoutmaster, eventually led — through a series of extenuating (if not entirely perfunctory) circumstances, mind you — to his involvement in the Air Force’s elusive Project Sign, Project Grudge, and Project Blue Book as one of the country’s original Men in Black. Similar to Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith’s iconic roles, his job was to ensure the truth never got out into the public, and he would later use the Gazette to couch some stories. That type of sketchy behavior, not to mention his ties with President Nixon and all his drunken womanizing, lands him a seat in the Red Room. Though, his alliance with Gordon Cole and Major Briggs has us thinking, This guy might not be so bad. –Michael Roffman

    The Red Room

    Mayor Dwayne Milford

    Played by: John Boylan

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Anybody moves and I’ll blast her into kingdom come! [Points to Dr. Jacoby] And the hippie too!”

    Diane… Octogenarian Dwayne Milford is the mayor of Twin Peaks, but he sure doesn’t seem to care about anything except spiting his brother, Dougie. After Dougie Milford has a heart attack directly after marrying the calculating Lana Budding Milford, Dwayne accuses her of witchcraft and sexual cunning before being drawn into her web as his brother had. Soon, he’s fixing the Miss Twin Peaks pageant to help her win, even going so far as to urge her to bang Dick Tremayne in exchange for his vote. In this sense, he’s proven himself a tried-and-true politician: His willingness to be manipulated aligns with his hunger for power. –Randall Colburn

    The Red Room

    Ronette Pulaski

    Played by: Phoebe Augustine

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Don’t go there Laura! Don’t go there!”

    Diane… Ronette is exactly the type of friend mothers warn their daughters about. For Laura, she’s the anti-Donna Hayward, trouble with a capital T, some italics, and maybe an underline. She never once second-guesses the various exploits that she and Laura find themselves in, as we see in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and that eventually comes back to bite her. On the other hand, she’s a fighter and also seemingly touched by the light, which may explain why she escaped the clutches of Leland Palmer and lived to tell the mythology of “the long-haired man,” aka Killer Bob. Quite a turnaround. –Michael Roffman

    The Red Room

    Sarah Palmer

    Played by: Grace Zabriskie

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Goodnight, sweetheart.”

    Diane… Sarah Palmer is a much more complicated person than we were led to believe during the series run. Why is she in the Red Room? Surely a woman who has lost her daughter to a violent end and discovered her husband to be her murderer has suffered enough. Her pain is felt and sincere…but there is some potential retconning that gives us pause at Consequence of Sound. In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, there are moments when it appears that Sarah is aware of what Leland is doing late at night. There’s a glance at the dinner table. She hesitates drinking her milk at night before Leland slowly nudges her glass upward. Does she know it’s drugged? Does she wish to escape from reality/responsibility? All of this ruins Coop’s beautiful monologue about her husband in the series, but such is life in Twin Peaks. Uncertainty and duplicity run rampant. –Justin Gerber

    The Red Room

    Margaret “Log Lady” Lanterman

    Played by: Catherine E. Coulson

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “When this kind of fire starts, it is very hard to put out. The tender boughs of innocence burn first, and the wind rises, and then all goodness is in jeopardy. ”

    Diane… Margaret Lanterman might not be the most pleasant of company, with a manner that ranges from “a bit odd” to “seriously off-putting.” Worse yet, her gum habits are positively appalling (who chews peach gum, anyway?). Still, perhaps the most iconic resident of Twin Peaks not named Laura Palmer or Dale Cooper is a mostly benevolent presence, using her log’s many spirits and her own skills of translation to help steer Coop’s investigation into Laura’s death and its many surrounding mysteries. We need her in the Red Room, as it’s more than likely that the Log Lady is the only person around who knows what’s really going on — and if it takes us awhile to understand her meaning, well, we’ll just have to wait for the tea to steep. –Allison Shoemaker

    The Red Room

    The Man from Another Place

    Played by: Michael J. Anderson

    First Appearance: “Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer”, 4/19/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “That gum you like is going to come back in style.”

    Diane… Like MIKE (who we’ll get to in just a minute here), The Man from Another Place ain’t no saint. Frankly, anyone who likes creamed corn that much is suspect. But whatever his past or future sins, Michael J. Anderson’s entity of evil makes up for at least a few of them through the aid he offers Agent Cooper in his pursuit of BOB. Beyond that, he’s got to earn a few extra-meta good points for absolutely nailing some of the most iconic moments of the series and helping to define its medium-changing style. Not enough points for a ticket out of the Red Room, of course, but maybe enough for some extra garmonbozia. –Allison Shoemaker

    The Red Room

    John Justice Wheeler

    Played by: Billy Zane

    First Appearance: “The Condemned Woman”, 2/16/1991

    Damn Good Quote: “Just keep your eye on your heart, and always tell the truth. Tell the hardest truth first, though.”

    Diane… Never trust a man as attractive as twentysomething Billy Zane. It doesn’t matter that John Justice Wheeler, a business associate of Ben Horne’s, is presented as a paragon of virtue and a testament to the benefits of honest work because he’s seriously just too, too attractive. It doesn’t matter that the character was literally created as a love interest for Audrey Horne and really has no character beyond being handsome and perfect enough to distract her from Dale Cooper, because he’s simply too handsome. It is a little weird that he, a grown man, is all too eager to take a high schooler’s virginity. To the Red Room he goes! –Randall Colburn

    The Red Room

    Carl Rodd

    Played by: Harry Dean Stanton

    First Appearance: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    Damn Good Quote: “Goddamn, these people are confusing.”

    Diane… Carl Rodd has seen a lot, and what we haven’t seen of Carl Rodd makes him all the more mysterious. A former student of Twin Peaks High School, Rodd once vanished in the nearby woods at a young age with classmates Maggie Coulson and Alan Traherne, returning with a mark on the back his knee. After wandering the world and cycling through odd jobs, he finally returned to the Pacific Northwest, becoming a manager of Fat Trout Trailer Park. A few past residents of the park include Teresa Banks, Mrs. Chalfront and her grandson, and, technically, FBI Special Agent Chester Desmond. It’s difficult to ascertain where Rodd stands in this world — he’s most likely a scarred victim of the Black Lodge — but as he explains to Desmond, “I’ve already gone places. I just want to stay where I am.” Please, do tell us more, Carl. –Michael Roffman


    The Red Room

    Harold Smith

    Played by: Lenny Von Dohlen

    First Appearance: “The Man Behind Glass”, 10/13/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “There are things you can’t get anywhere, but we dream they can be found in other people.”

    Diane… If Harold didn’t freak out the moment he were betrayed, with the doofy, earnest agoraphobe screaming, drawing a garden trowel down his cheek, and fuckin’ hanging himself the moment he was maligned, he might have transcended everyone else on this list as the purest of pure souls. That’s precisely why Harold is so insufferable in his brief tenure on the show: He’s a snowflake, a soft-spoken soul who may as well speak in iambic pentameter. But no, there’s something wrong with Harold, though it’s never quite clear what. Maybe a lack of vitamin D? –Randall Colburn

    The Red Room


    Played by: Al Strobel

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “Through the darkness of futures past, the magician longs to see. One chants out between two worlds: Fire walk with me.”

    Diane… Not to be confused with Twin Peaks jock Mike Nelson (who is not to be confused with MST3K’s Mike Nelson), MIKE is a spirit who later found himself. Only in Lynch’s America, right? In an ironic twist on the man-with-one-arm storyline from The Fugitive, one-armed MIKE is trying to track down the evil spirit BOB and put an end to his…well…evil. Why is he in the Red Room? Years before Laura’s murder, he and BOB went around murdering and raping people. Trying to prevent murder in our realm doesn’t make up for everything. Sorry, MIKE! –Justin Gerber

    The Red Room

    Phillip Jeffries

    Played by: David Bowie

    First Appearance: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, 8/28/1992

    Damn Good Quote: “Well now, I’m not gonna talk about Judy. In fact, we’re not gonna talk about Judy at all, we’re gonna keep her out of it.”


    Diane… We don’t see much of Agent Jeffries, but he makes a hell of an impression. In what we’ll call less than ideal circumstances, the missing-in-action agent arrives back at FBI headquarters, and though he’s pretty much incapable of comprehensible communication, still tries the best he can to tell explain what the hell is going on. That’s not nothing. He’s also played by David Bowie, which means he could be FBI Special Agent Jareth the Goblin King and we’d still be incapable of condemning him to the Black Lodge. –Allison Shoemaker

    The Red Room

    The Giant

    Played by: Carel Struycken

    First Appearance: “May the Giant Be with You”, 9/30/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “It is happening again.”

    Diane… Where do we begin with the Big Maybe-Friendly Giant? He becomes Cooper’s spirit guide at the beginning of the second season, and I mean that literally. Such a character in other entertainment programming would likely be more obvious with their guidance, maybe saying “Leland Palmer is about to kill his niece” instead of “It is happening again.” But, hey, where’s the fun in the that? The Giant is someone you can count on for major advice, whether in a dream state or lost in love. He belongs in the Red Room so we can have somebody reliable to look out for us. –Justin Gerber

    The Red Room

    Shelly Johnson

    Played by: Mädchen Amick

    First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

    Damn Good Quote: “I’ve got one man too many in my life and I’m married to him. Sound familiar?”

    Diane… The character of Shelly is definitely one of the soapier elements of Twin Peaks. She is impossibly beautiful. She is in an awful relationship. She works at the local diner. She’s having an affair with a ne’er-do-well. She miraculously causes hard-of-hearing FBI Agent Gordon Cole to hear clearly thanks to the sound of her voice. Okay. Maybe that last bit is more fantastical, but you get my point. She seems innocent enough, but her cruel treatment of Leo post-vegetative state does not look good on paper, and Leo is the worst. Many of her troubles can be laid at the feet of her husband, but her mocking attitude regarding Leland after Laura’s funeral is uncomfortable to say the least. To say the most, anyone involved with Bad Boy Bobby Briggs is destined for trouble. Hope she’s found some redemption in the last 25 years. –Justin Gerber