[This is probably also out-of-date -- Liam.]
Well, here's the TENTH version of this list.
Special thanks go to the following people for contributing:
Linda Birmingham (twice), Scott L. Vandenberg, Ann Hodgins,
Jeanne Stapleton, Bradford H. Needham (twice), Palmer Davis,
"Arachnid", Greg M. Brown, Eric Daniels, Ron Sires, Bill Downing,
"Scratch", Rocky Giovinazzo (thrice), Kathleen Hunt (twice),
Bob Hettmansperger, John Locke, Nadir Ahmed (twice), Gary Kacmarcik,
Marc Kriguer, David Barker-Plummer, S. Clark (twice), "Cool Bean",
Kenneth Bays, Rod Johnson (twice), Kurt Svihla, Malachi O. Kelerison,
Jeff Calhoun, Raymond S. Flournoy, Darren T. Burton, Scott Johnson,
Robert Russell, Jim Shaffer, and a special thank you to Paul B. Loux
for the BIG list.
Symbols/Motifs in the "^Twin Peaks^" Universe Version 10
(last updated 6/1/91, 4/21/91...):
1. Sex, comedy, violence, and rock 'n roll music (what else could
one want in a TV show?)
2. Rotating objects:
a. Ceiling fan in the Palmer home
b. Ticking record player in the Palmer home
c. Ticking fan in the Hayward's attic
3. Traffic light
4. "Invitation to Love" soap opera
5. Waterfall outside The Great Northern Inn
6. Sprinkler on the Sheriff's Office ceiling
a. Robin (?)(from opening sequence)
b. Crow (when Agent Cooper, Sheriff Truman, Deputy Hawk, and
Doctor Hayward enter Jacque Renault's log cabin)
c. Woodpecker (Sheriff Truman sees one outside the Sheriff's
Office window--Episode 1005?)
d. Chickadee on a Dodge Dart
e. Waldo the minah bird
ii. Owl Cave
8. Psychic visions
a. Forest in/outside Twin Peaks
b. Log Lady's log
c. Book House Boys patch
d. Knob on drawer in The Great Northern Inn
10. Dead people:
a. Laura Palmer
b. Bernard/Jacque/Jean Renault
c. Emory Battis
d. Blackie O'Reilly
e. Harold Smith
f. Madeleine Ferguson
g. Leland Palmer
h. Douglas "Dougie" Milford
i. Eric Powell (dead drifter)
j. Jeffery Marsh
k. Malcolm Sloan
l. Jonathan Kumagai
m. Thomas Eckhardt
n. Josie Packard
o. Rusty Tomaski (heavy metal victim)
a. Theresa Banks
b. The Log Lady's husband (see #15)
c. Nicholas "Nicky" Needleman's parents
d. Caroline Powell Earle
11. Phases of the moon
a. Doctor Jacoby
b. Benjamin Horne
c. Jerry Horne
d. The Log Lady
e. Madeleine Ferguson
f. Laura Palmer/Donna Hayward
g. Evelyn Marsh
h. Thomas Eckhardt
e. John Wheeler
13. Cigarette/cigar smoking:
a. Benjamin Horne
b. Shelley/Leo Johnson
c. Bobby Briggs
d. Audrey Horne
e. Josie Packard
f. Donna Hayward
g. Evelyn Marsh
a. The Log Lady's husband died in a forest fire
b. "Fire, walk with me"--Mike and BOB
c. "Fire is the devil, hiding like a coward in the smoke"
--The Log Lady
d. The scorched smell that Doctor Jacoby and Madeleine Ferguson
both smelled when BOB was around
e. Packard sawmill fire
f. The fire from the fireplace at the Great Northern lobby
reflecting off Thomas Eckhardt's sunglasses
15. White horse:
a. Laura Palmer's pony (Troy) that was seen by Sarah Palmer
right before BOB killed Madeleine Ferguson
b. "General" Benjamin Horne's Civil War piece(s)
c. "General" Benjamin Horne's stuffed horse "Traveller"
16. Light and dark/White and black:
a. White/Black Lodge
b. Chess pieces (see #21)
17. Light fixtures/lightbulbs on the ceiling:
a. Sputtering light in the morgue of the Calhoun Memorial
Hospital when Agent Cooper Cooper inspects Laura Palmer's
b. Sheriff's Office light when Eric Powell is found
c. Leo/Shelly Johnson's ceiling light when Leo awakens
18. Animal heads:
a. A chicken head (maybe a whole chicken) on "'Big' Ed's Gas
Farm" sign (see #33)
b. The mounted deer head in the Sheriff's Office with "The Buck
Stopped Here" sign
c. The deer head that's on the table when Sheriff Truman and
Agent Cooper bring in Laura Palmer's safety deposit box
d. The assortment of trophys in the den (?) in Pete/Catherine
e. The deer head next to Eric Powell
f. The cooked pig head that Josie serves as the main course in
the dinner to Catherine Martell and Thomas Eckhardt
g. The mounted dear head in the Book House
h. The goat head that's visible when Andrew Packard opens the
19. Hank Jenning's domino
20. Chess/chess pieces:
a. Agent Cooper and Windham Earle's chess game
b. "Dr. Gerald Craig's" gift (black knight) to Dr. Hayward
c. Rusty Tomaski inside giant (black pawn) at the gazebo
a. Agent Cooper/Windham Earle
b. Agent Cooper/Albert Rosenfield
c. Laura Palmer/Madeleine Ferguson
d. Bobby Briggs/James Hurley
e. Bernard/Jacque Renault
i. Mike Nelson (Nadine Hurley's crush)/Bobby Briggs
ii. Phillip Michael Gerard (the OAM)/Bob Lydecker (vet)
iii. Mike (spirit inside OAM)/Killer BOB
g. The Giant/Little Man from Another Place
a. Laura Palmer/James Hurley's broken heart necklace halves
b. Jade/Emerald from "Invitation to Love" (see #24)
c. Laura Palmer's two diaries
d. The two Packard Sawmill ledgers
e. $10K cash bundles
f. Boots ([Spit] "New shoes.")
22. "Family trios" (warped versions on Daddy/Mommy/Child):
a. Bobby Briggs/Shelly Johnson/Leo Johnson
b. (Dick Tremayne/Andy)/Lucy Moran/Nicholas "Nicky" Needleman
c. "Big" Ed Hurley/Norma Jennings/Nadine Hurley
d. Bobby Briggs/Audrey Horne/Benjamin Horne
e. Malcolm/Evelyn Marsh/James Hurley
f. (Pete Martell/Andrew Packard/Thomas Eckhardt)/Catherine Martell/
23. The color brown
24. Lookalikes (characters who physically resemble each other):
a. Benjamin Horne/Leland Palmer
b. Audrey Horne/Donna Hayward
c. Laura Palmer/Madeleine Ferguson
d. Sarah Palmer/Sylvia Horne
a. Jade/Emerald from "Invitation to Love"
a. Phillip Michael Gerard (the OAM)
b. Major Brigg's neck
c. The Log Lady's leg
d. Windam Earle (in one scene)
26. Red curtains in various dreams/visions/places:
a. The Roadhouse stage
b. Agent Cooper's first dream sequence with the Little Man from
c. Jacque Renault's log cabin
d. One Eyed Jacks
27. Furry animals:
a. The llama
b. Josie Packard's vicuua coat
c. The white animal (fox?) in Benjamin Horne's office
d. The pine weasel
a. Laura Palmer/Donna Hayward/James Hurley
b. Donna Hayward/James Hurley
c. Audrey Horne/John Wheeler
29. Items on shelves:
a. The Hurley home ("Big" Ed)
b. The Palmer's home (fireplace mantle)
c. The Great Northern
a. Madeleine Ferguson/Laura Palmer
b. Hester Prinn (sp?)/Audrey Horne
c. Leo/Bobby (he did an impression of him)
d. Mister Tojamura/Catherine Martell
e. Dennis/Densie Bryson
f. (Woody and name)/Andy Brennan and Dick Tremayne (when they were
looking for Nichola "Nicky" Needleman's file)
g. Civil War characters/Benjamin Horne, Jerry Horne, Bobby Briggs,
Audrey Horne, and Doctor Jacoby
h. Mr. and Mrs. Inkman/Mike Nelson and Nadine Hurley
i. Dr. Gerald Craig/Windham Earle
j. Edward Perkins/Windham Earle
31. Astrological symbols
32. Lumber trucks
a. "Welcome to Twin Peaks"
b. "Twin Peaks Sheriff Station"
c. "Mar-T"/"RR Diner"
d. "The Great Northern"
e. "Twin Peaks High School"
f. "'Big' Ed's Gas Farm"
g. "The Road House"
h. "One-Eyed Jack's"
i. "Wallie's Hide-Out"
j. "The Book House"
a. "The Bang Bang Bar"
a. Mike--"Fire, walk with me"/"His name is BOB"
b. BOB--"Fire, walk with me"/"I'll catch you in my death bag"
c. Shakespeare--"Shall I compare thee to..." (poetic lines from R&H)
d. Yeats--"Love comes in at the eye..."
e. Shelley--(fragment of "Love's Philosophy" sent by Agent Cooper
to Caroline Powell Earle, and by Windham Earle to Audrey
Horne, Donna Hayward, and Shelly Johnson)
f. Pete Martell--(limerick/ode to Josie)
a. Donuts at the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Station
b. Cherry pie and coffee at the RR Diner
c. Benjamin Horne and carrots
36. Skirts (almost all of the females in Twin Peaks and at least one
male seem to prefer them to pants)
37. Overlap of two faces:
a. Donna Hayward/Laura Palmer (Sarah Palmer's vision)
b. BOB/Owl (Agent Cooper's first dream sequence and BOB at Laura
38. Couples in a room with red curtains:
a. Little Man From Another Place/Laura Palmer (Agent Cooper's
first dream sequence)
b. Mrs. Tremond/Grandson
And now, the BIG list:
There are some visual images and themes which don't seem to attract
much discussion. I thought I'd see if I could elicit some debate by
throwing out a few observations. So here goes...
39. Quick shots:
a. The tricky dissolve from the picture of Leo's truck, in
_Flesh World_ magazine, to the actual truck (Episode 1000,
1005). This gave the viewer a connection between Leo and
Ronnette long before the lawmen.
b. The connection between the flashing flourescent lights in
the morgue, and the stobe light in the dream sequence
c. The ceramic figurine at Big Ed's and Nadine's place, of a
woman wearing an eye patch (right eye) (1002, 1003).
d. The ceramic Twin Peaks train depot in the model train set in
the window of the Twin Peaks General Store (1001).
e. Maps and books on Tibet (1002, various subsequent).
f. The "Just Say NO to Ghostwood" poster in the Double-R Diner
(with the slash-thru-the O bit) (1004, various subsequent).
g. The sappy arrangement of "Talk to the Animals", from "Dr.
Doolittle", playing on the Muzak in the Lydecker Veterinary
h. The nice cut from the discussion, at the Palmer's house, of
the broken heart necklace, to Emarald's necklace on
"Invitation to Love".
i. The life-sized cardboard cutout of Emerald (or Jade?) next
to the tray of cosmetics at the perfume counter of Horne's
Dept. Store, the day Audrey went to work there; the
"Invitation to Love" Collection (1004).
j. Cover your left eye whenever discussing One Eyed Jack's
(1002, various subsequent).
k. When Audrey is told to "Pick a card", by Blackie, she
selects a Queen of Diamonds; a much larger version of this
same card is later sewn onto her costume (the girls use
the cards much like numbers on a football jersey) (1007).
l. The chalkboard at the Double-R Diner proclaims the Soup of
the Day. It has portrayed such delicacies as Rabbit
Chili, Split Pea and Lamb, and other yummies (2004,
m. The cut from the close up on the neon sign in front of the
Road House, "The Bang Bang Bar", to Judge Sternwood's
gavel, sounding "Bang Bang" inside (2005).
n. The close up of this same neon sign, "The Bang Bang Bar", is
reflected upside down in a puddle, along with two rifle
o. The flashes of the police photographer's camera, at Harold
Smith's house, punctuating the discovery of key evidence
by the lawmen (2007).
p. The similarity of the many handballs being dribbled in the
lobby of the Great Northern, and the many golfballs being
pitched by Leland in his living room (2007, 2008).
q. The highly effective use of the phonograph as a presage of
Maddy's killing by Leland (2007). It hadn't been since
1002, when Leland played music, danced with Laura's
portrait, and fought over it with Sarah, breaking it and
smearing his blood over her picture; then there's the
incident at the funeral...
r. The amazing similarity between the Dwarf, in the dream
sequence, and Leland, in the Great Northern lobby, when
told of the arrest of Ben Horne. He has his back to
Cooper, holding a golf club in front of him with both
hands, shivering with tears/laughter, in a foyer run riot
with red drapes.
Many contributers have made note of various twin pairings in the
series, but little discussion has grown from the metaphor of
left-sidedness. This assymetry is the anitithesisi of duality, or
twin-ness. The left side is classically (literally) _sinister_ and
there are a multitude of references to this in the show, mostly through
characters bearing some deformity on the left side of their body.
40. Left-sided references:
a. Nadine's eyepatch, over the left eye.
b. One Eyed Jack's (1002). The neon sign shows the right eye,
it is missing the left one; when discussing OEJ, the
speaker covers his own left eye in sympathy.
c. The One-Armed Man (seen earlier in 1000 than Cooper is). He
is, of course, missing the left arm.
d. The bandage on Big Ed's head, following his getting knocked
out in 1000, is on the left side.
e. Shelly's bruises, courtesy of Leo, on the left side (1002).
f. Letters under the left ring fingernail (1000, various
g. Tattoos ("Fire--Walk With Me") on the left arm of the OAM
and Killer BOB (1002).
h. Leo shot in the left arm (1005).
i. Jacques Renault shot in the left arm (1007).
j. Tape concealed in heel of Leo's left boot (2007).
k. Cooper cut by left eye, by Jean Renault, lingering injury
(2013, various subsequent).
l. Leo stabbed in left leg (2014).
The series' central duality metaphor is richly portrayed through the
constant use of twinning symbols. I have collected a list of the more
41. Twins, opposites, or yin-yang pairs:
a. The two ledgers for the mill, maintained by Catherine.
b. Twin Peaks versus "Invitation to Love".
c. The two sets of $10,000 (one of which was held by Laura, the
other half had been paid to Leo).
d. The two brands of twine used to bind the victims, Laura and
e. The two poker chips (one from Jacque's cabin, with the notch
in Laura's stomach, the one in Ben's pants pocket).
f. The two Queen of Diamonds playing cards, from Audrey's debut
at One Eyed Jack's (the one Audrey picked out of the deck
offered by Blackie, and the matching large one sewn onto
her costume by the hunchbacked seamstress).
g. The two diaries of Laura Palmer
h. The two safe deposit keys (Ben and Josie, holding blackmail
evidence for protection from each other (2006).
i. Dennis/Denise Bryson (2011).
j. Jade and Emerald, from ITL (1003, various subsequent).
k. Laura and Maddy versus Jade and Emerald (1003).
l. Laura's double life.
m. Josie's double life.
n. Audrey's double life (1000).
o. The White Lodge and the Black Lodge.
p. Iceland versus Twin Peaks (treeless tundra and verdent
q. The broken-heart necklace.
r. Leo's and Andy's new shoes (bought from Gerard).
s. The beating of Chet by Montana (ITL) versus Leo beating
t. The shooting of Montana by Chet (ITL) versus Shelly shooting
Leo (redux with Hank shooting Leo).
u. Hank's 3x3 domino.
v. Jacque' 3x3 pair of dice bow-tie dangles.
w. The two tapes used to blackmail Ben Horne (Bobby's copy of
Leo's tape from the riverside meeting, and Pete's tape of
Catherine, back from the dead) (2008).
x. Vivian and Ernie versus Norma and Hank (both wives to
convicts but have no idea just how dangerous they are).
y. Blue Pine Lodge versus Great Northern.
z. The two cabins (the Log Lady's and Jacque's).
aa. Pete's snake/mongoose trophy.
bb. Laura and Cooper having the same dream.
cc. The Dwarf and the Giant.
dd. The Double-R Diner.
ee. Characters with physical similarities:
i. Ben and Leland.
ii. Sarah and Sylvia.
iii. Audrey and Donna.
iv. James and Bobby.
v. Norma and Shelly (especially after the beauty parlor
vi. Laura and Maddy (same actress).
vii. Jade and Emerald (each of these pairs having a same
ff. Characters with opposing characteristics:
i. Doc Hayward and Major Briggs
ii. Hank and Big Ed.
iii. Cooper and Albert.
iv. Donna and Audrey.
v. Laura and Maddy.
vi. Laura and Laura.
vii. Laura and Donna.
viii. Mike (owl) and Killer BOB.
ix. Ben and Leland.
x. Bobby and James.
gg. Characters with similar characteristics, differing in
i. Leo and Hank.
ii. Mike and Bobby.
iii. Andy and Harry.
iv. Catherine and Ben.
v. Laura and Ronette.
vi. Laura and Josie.
vii. Donna and Harold Smith.
hh. Characters with other miscellaneous duality symbols:
i. Lucy and Gwen having babies.
ii. Lucy's baby having two potential fathers (Andy and Dick).
iii. Dennis/Denise Bryson
These pairings symbolize twins of one kind or another in furtherance of
the central duality metaphor. In Leland Palmer, we have the kindly
family man and ethical, responsible businessman, in contrast to Ben
Horne, the scheming, double-dealing, faithless, amoral criminal. To
futher reinforce their kinship, their wives Sarah and Sylvia also share
a physical resemblance. We have James Hurley, the not-too-bright,
unimaginative, well-meaning, leather-jacketed kid, versus Bobby, the
highly intelligent, ambitious, opportunistic, crooked, sociopathic
leather-jacketed kid. We have Norma, the confident, strong-willed,
unselfish, stoic yet world-weary woman, to Shelly's weak, dependent,
clinging insecurity--the self-made punching bag. Donna, the sweet,
naive, girl next door, and Audrey, the ambitious, calculating,
manipulative seductress. Laura, who was leading a double life, and
hence, her own twin. Maddy, the child-like, sheltered, simple,
look-alike cousin, versus Laura's sophisticated life as a woman.
There are also some twins in which the outward physical appearance is
not obvious. Big Ed versus Hank--strength applied to good or evil.
Major Briggs, the uptight authority figure; Doc Hayward, the laid-back
authority figure. New in this episode, The Giant contrasts with The
Little Man from Another Place. Also in tonight's episode, we get a
clear image of Albert as Cooper's twin. When Albert grimaces at the
coffee in the hospital scene with Big Ed, it sends the message: he
doesn't even like the coffee.
Let's take inventory. Cooper tries to find the good in everyone he
meets. he derives pleasure from every sensory experience, particularly
new experiences. Coffee is his most singular vice. His investigative
technique is positively right-brained, holistic, inductive. Above all
else, he cares. Albert, of course, doesn't seem to like anybody he
meets; most sensory input is likely to be perceived negatively; new
experience is an utter inconvenience. his investigative technique is
classic left-brained, analytic, deductive, factually contrived. He
doesn't seem to care at all about people, only whatever fits his veiw
of logic and theory.
These, of course, are all yin-yang pairings. There are also twins in
the same-same direction. Ben and Catherine, Leo and Hank, Harry and
Andy. These twins differ only in intensity. Another example, perhaps
Josie and Laura (both seem to have led a double life).
Recall that the principle of duality is also reinforced throughout the
show by such dopplegangers as "Invitation to Love", the soap within the
soap, and the characters Emerald and Jade; the vrey names, Twin Peaks
and Double-R; the two murders, linked by the letters of the alphabet;
the two recent victims, Ronette and Laura, one alive and one dead; the
two cabins in the wood, Jacque's and the Log Lady's, both of which led
to important clues to the crime; the two sets of books at the mill; the
two poker chips; the Blue Pine Lodge versus the Great Northern; the
treeless expanse of Iceland versus the Douglas firs of Twin Peaks.
The antithesis of duality is asymmetry. So, we have the constant
reinforcement of charactes bearing some deformity on the left side: the
One-Armed Man; Killer BOB and Mike having tattoos on the left arm; the
letters found under the left ring fingernail of the victims; Nadine's
eyepatch; Big Ed's bandage; Shelly's bruises; Leo and Jacque each shot
in the left arm. Jacoby wears bi-colored glasses, Leo shot in the left
side of the chest in the cliffhanger episode, mirrored by Chet, in
"Invitation to Love", being shot in the same place, while Leo watches,
Against this backdrop is another layer of duality, never directly
addressed and only hinted at. But the clues, while obscure, are
numerous and consistent. Recall the many references to the woods:
logging trucks, wind-blown trees, the Log Lady's log, the Book House
Boys, the knotty pine decor at the Great Northern, the economic
lifeblood of the sawmill. These are generally positive images. In
contrst we have endless closeups of fireplaces. There's the mill fire.
The obscure message, "Fire, walk with me." The Log Lady said, "Fire is
the Devil, hiding like a coward in the smoke." Her husband was killed
fighting a fire. She also said, "Close your eyes and you'll burst into
flames." James said Laura told him of BOB, asking, "Do you want to
play with fire?" The man that lights Laura's fire. The town's key
intersection, the pivot point of many key events, is "Sparkwood and
21", dual symbology again.
The foundation of the community is wood, and fire a manifestation of
things which threaten that community. The central essence of the
series, the murder of Laura Palmer, brings her into focus as the
cneterpiece in the balance (or struggle) between good and evil. Her
double life was the direct result of good and evil tearing her in half.
She lived a constant juggling act, deperately trying to maintain
distance between the two. As long as she lived, the balance was
maintained. But as Jacoby said, she ultimately reached the decision to
end that life. The pressure must have been enormous. As Jacoby said
earlier, everytime she tried to do good, it turned bad; she corrupted
everything around her. She was forever tainted by her assigned role in
life. And after her death, the delicate balance was broken, leading to
an onrush of tragendy, culminating in the cliffhanger episode. The
community is still in a violent process of re-equalizing these twin
We can further extrapolate this idea to postulate the identity of
Killer BOB. The Log Lady referred several times to the owls. The
Giant said, "The owls are not what they seem." No one has seen Killer
BOB in real life, except for perhaps Ronette; Cooper and Sarah,
independently, saw him only in visions. The idea of fire as a symbol
of evil, the references to owls, and the other spiritual allusions in
the show, are all consistent with the notion that Killer BOB is in fact
the Devil himself, and that the killer, in the physical sense, has yet
to be identified. Woever he was, he was merely an agent of the Devil.
The Devil slowly wore Laura Palmer down, until she could no longer
fight. Now, he's been set loose.
*"Neither we nor the Hun favour fighting
KERR AVON | Work: ICL, * our battles `au naturelle'."
aka Liam Cairney |Reading, England*"But sir, it's artistic, it's...
All e-mail to:- | Home: Glasgow, * willing suspension of disbelief."
[log in to unmask] | Scotland *"Well, I'm not having anyone staring
* in disbelief at _my_ willy
"I belong to Glasgow... * suspension..!"
Dear Auld Glesga toon..." * -- Blackadder & George