Twin Peaks is a beloved and strange TV show from the mind of David Lynch, originally airing in 1990. Although the series was compromised of only two seasons and 30 episodes before cancellation, its cult following helped to spawn a return of the series in 2017, 26 years after Laura Palmer told viewers they would see her again.
Now that two years have passed since Twin Peaks last graced television screens, here are 10 hidden details about the characters.
10 The awful truth behind Laura’s troubled mind
9 Shelly in the Black Lodge…?
When Gordon Cole sees Shelly Johnson, he compares her to the Venus de Milo, a statue without arms created by Alexandros of Antioch that depicts Aphrodite. Although Gordon is comparing Shelly to a symbol of beauty, there’s a darker side to the Venus de Milo shown in the season two finale. When Dale enters the Red Room from the Sycamore Trees, the Venus de Milo stands in the entrance of the hallway.
8 Laura and Audrey as foils
Two of David Lynch’s most popular female characters in Twin Peaks are Laura Palmer, the bad girl playing the good girl, and Audrey Horne, the good girl playing the bad girl.
From the beginning of Twin Peaks, the audience is introduced to Laura’s bad girl ways–she is an addict, a lady of the night, has a boyfriend and a secret boyfriend, and even keeps two diaries. To the public, Laura is the girl who started the Meals on Wheels program in Twin Peaks, the honors student, the homecoming queen, and the tutor to Audrey’s brother Johnny with an intellectual disability.
At the beginning of Twin Peaks, the audience is also introduced to Audrey’s facade–Audrey wears scandalous outfits to school, interferes with her father’s business plans, and professes, “I’m Audrey Horne and I get what I want!” However, Audrey proves herself to be a lonely girl in search of love. As she grows as a character, the audience finds that Audrey is highly intelligent, compassionate, hard-working, courageous, and has a passion for justice.
Before Audrey’s character development, we see Audrey smoking cigarettes in the hallway of the school, showing off to anyone who will look while Laura hides away in the bathroom stall to snort substances, we see Audrey wearing heels and lipstick while Laura wears penny loafers and natural makeup, and we see Audrey question her parents while Laura is complicit with hers.
7 Dale Cooper as “the magician”
“Through the darkness of future past, the magician longs to see/One chants out between two worlds, ‘Fire, walk with me'”
As all Twin Peaks fans know, this is the poem that Philip Gerard, also known as MIKE or the One-Armed Aan, first recites. In a Reddit theory, Cooper is the magician referenced in the poem. When Annie tells Laura to write in her diary that Dale is trapped in the Black Lodge, Annie’s action shows that Dale is capable of changing events both past and future. Additionally, in The Return, Cooper is able to go back in time and alter the events that take place on the night that Laura dies. Dale’s ability to travel between the Black Lodge and the secular world alludes to being “between two worlds.”
6 Ben Horne: from cigars to celery
After Benjamin Horne loses Ghostwood Estates to Catherine Martell and is falsely arrested for Laura’s murder, he suffers from a mental breakdown. In a plotline Twin Peaks fans seem to either love or hate, Ben’s mental breakdown leads to a re-enactment of the Civil War with him as General Robert E. Lee. After Ben wins the Civil War as Lee for the Confederacy, he snaps out of his breakdown and seems to be in a much happier and healthier place in his life.
Before the breakdown, he was constantly smoking cigars, however, he’s seen munching on carrots and celery afterward.
5 Where’s Audrey?
Until the premiere of “Part 12,” fans had one thing on their mind during The Return: where was everyone’s favorite femme fatale? In an episode with a quite ambiguous ending, we see Audrey fighting with her husband, dancing at the Roadhouse to “Audrey’s Dance,” and then waking up in an all-white room and looking in a mirror. Although The Return didn’t seem to wrap up Audrey’s story, Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier did.
After the explosion at the bank, Audrey went into a coma for nearly a month. When she awoke from the coma, Mr. C visited Audrey and raped her. Although Audrey endured extreme trauma after this experience, she still gave birth to a son, Richard; earned her GED; and opened a beauty salon.
10 years later, Audrey married her accountant (who fans assume is Charlie), seemingly out of nowhere. She later closed her salon and was never heard from again, leading the people of Twin Peaks to believe she secluded herself from society or was placed in a mental health facility.
4 Bobby Briggs: “You killed Mike”
In Fire Walk with Me, Bobby Briggs kills a man during a cocaine deal. While Laura and Bobby are drunk and high, she begins to scream, “You Killed Mike!” Mike, of course, is Bobby’s best friend who pushes cocaine with him.
Although Bobby didn’t kill Mike, he killed another character that seemingly shouldn’t have been dealing drugs in the first place: Cliff Howard. Cliff was the Sheriff’s Deputy at Deer Meadow Sheriff’s Department who lived in the same trailer park as Teresa Banks. At the beginning of the movie, Cliff watched Sheriff Cable challenge Special Agent Chet Desmond to a fight after Cable refused to give Desmond Teresa Banks’ body. When Chet won the fight, Cliff was in absolute awe.
So why was a deputy pushing drugs for Jacques Renault in the first place? We may never know, but he did pull the gun on Bobby first.
3 What happened to Donna?
After learning that Donna Hayward and Audrey Horne were potentially half-sisters, many fans were interested in how this dynamic would play out in The Return; however, Lara Flynn Boyle declined to reprise her role as Donna. In The Final Dossier, fans not only learn of Audrey’s fate, but also of Donna’s.
After graduating from high school, Donna moved to New York City and cut herself off from everyone in Twin Peaks other than her sisters, Gersten and Harriet, and Audrey. Donna only attended Hunter College for one year, dropping out to focus on her modeling career. She became a successful model during her early 20s, and after tabloid rumors about her love life overshadowed her career, she married a venture capitalist 20 years older than her.
As her success as a model declined, Donna faced issues with drug and alcohol dependence. She became sober after her mother’s death, and she and her husband divorced thereafter. Donna then reconciled with her father and moved in with him, working an assistant in his medical practice. We then learn that she went to school to become a nurse.
2 The cycle of abuse
Leland Palmer’s actions seem hard to forgive in both Twin Peaks and Fire Walk with Me, but the audience is asked to step back instead of looking at his actions through a microscopic lens. Although Leland has abused and murdered Laura, his own daughter; murdered Maddy Ferguson, his niece; and had relations with and then murdered underage lady of the night Teresa Banks. Leland confesses before his death that BOB abused him as a child. Just like Laura thought BOB was “a friend of her father’s,” Leland believed that BOB was his grandfather’s neighbor. This parallel alludes to the possibility that Leland was abused as a child by his father, and it brings awareness to the cycle of abuse.
1 Cooper’s ring
After Coop is shot at the Great Northern, the Giant appears, telling Cooper: “there’s a man in a smiling bag,” “the owls are not what they seem,” and “without chemicals, he points.” The Giant then takes Cooper’s ring and tells him it will be returned when all three prophecies come true. Before disappearing, the Giant also tells Cooper, “Leo locked inside a hungry horse. There’s a clue at Leo’s house.” The cryptic words used by the Giant refer to future events in which Cooper sees a body bag hanging over sinks in the shape of a smile at the hospital; Major Briggs reveals he received space communications on the night Cooper was shot that read “Cooper/Cooper/Cooper” and “The owls are not what they seem”; Phillip Gerard goes to the bathroom in the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department with the intention of injecting drugs, but will convulse before he is able to; and finally, Leo is absolved of guilt in Laura’s murder. Once Cooper remembers that Laura told Coop in his dream that Leland killed her, the Giant returns Cooper’s ring to him.
Although you’d think a ring could be taken and returned via supernatural forces just once in a lifetime, this is Twin Peaks. In The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes by Scott Frost (Mark Frost’s son), it’s revealed that the ring Cooper wears was given to him in a dream. The ring originally belonged to Coop’s grandfather, who then passed the ring to his daughter, Cooper’s mother. After Coop’s mother died, the whereabouts of the ring were unknown until she appeared to him in a dream, giving him her ring. When he awoke from the dream, the ring materialized in his hand and he locked it in a drawer; however, Cooper woke up one morning and it appeared on his left pinky finger. He never took it off.
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