Diane, Here’s Our Favorite Characters & Scenes From Twin Peaks Seasons One and Two
Tonight (May 21) David Lynch’s cult series Twin Peaks makes it much-hyped, and long-awaited return to television. The original series went off the air in 1991, after a white hot start in April 1990 on ABC. Now some 26 years later, the series returns to Showtime.
The original series was driven by amazingly rich characters, and wild scenes. So in anticipation of the series to television members of the Pop Break staff submitted their favorite characters, and favorite scenes from the original series.
There was one caveat, however. No one could pick Kyle McLachlan’s Special Agent Dale Cooper. Why? Well, Diane, that’s because it would be too easy. Cooper may be one of the most oddly likable, and charismatic characters in television history.
So order up a damn fine cup of coffee from The Double R, and enjoy!
AUDREY HORNE (SHERILYNN FENN)
Ann Hale: Outside of Dale Cooper, there is one character that is easily the most likable and that, my friends, is Audrey Horne. Audrey is unlike anyone else in the series. In a town where people work hard to hide their indiscretions, Audrey has no fear in letting hers hang out for all to see. She purposely ruins her father’s business at every opportunity just to cure her boredom. While she seems like a spoiled troublemaker, Audrey goes great lengths to help Agent Cooper solve the mystery of Laura Palmers murder, even putting her life on the line in the process.
Chris Diggins: When I first sat down to watch Twin Peaks and caught a glimpse of Audrey Horne, I didn’t like her very much. Something about the iconic scene of her messing with the concierge and driving her father’s Norwegian business partners away rubbed me the wrong way. Likely I just didn’t care for what seemed at the time to be spitefulness for the sake of spite. But of course, like so much about this show, there was a lot more to it than that.
Audrey had a difficult home life: a detached mother, a troubled brother, and a father who cared more about money than his family. If that made her act out now and then, who could blame her? And underneath her mischievous nature was someone with a big heart, a woman who truly and deeply cared about all the wrongdoing in Twin Peaks. Not only that, but she proved by far the most intelligent and resourceful person in town in her pursuit of the truth behind Laura Palmer’s murder (excepting only Special Agent Dale Cooper himself). Given all that, how could I help but fall in love?
There’s something more to it than that, though. Sherilyn Fenn imbues Audrey with a certain quality, a sensuality that pervades everything she does. Who could forget those early scenes of her dancing to her theme music, swaying back and forth as she lolls her head around? It’s bizarre and unusual and it weirds the people around her out, but it’s also strangely intoxicating, a display that draws you in even as it confuses you. And nothing showcases this quality of Audrey’s quite like her scenes with Cooper. The two have an absolutely electric chemistry, her schoolgirl crush quickly developing into a mutual flirtation that was easily the most dynamite relationship on the show. T
hough Cooper’s decision not to get involved with a high school student was probably wise (and certainly responsible), I know I’m not the only one just a little bit disappointed that nothing ever came of it. Still, if she never quite captured Dale Cooper’s heart, Audrey did at least manage to sway her way into mine.
Special Agent Denise Bryson (David Duchovny)
Sheena Fisher: Twin Peaks had some amazing characters. Audrey Horne, Log lady,etc. Growing up my mom was a huge fan of Twin Peaks so I watched for the first time at a very young age. That being the case I thought it would be fun to channel chibi Sheena for this reflection of the show. I will tell you that after watching Twin Peaks as an adult my very favorite is Audrey because she’s a bad ass. But, my first favorite from my childhood deserves recognition.
Denise Bryson. She was played by David Duchovny and was one of the few transgender characters I can remember from the ’90s. I loved her because she was smart, and a real go-getter. If memory serves Dale Cooper was told he was getting help for the investigation and he was told this help would be a male detective. When Denise arrived Dale welcomed her with open arms to the team.
As a child I thought it was so cool that there was this awesomely brave woman that did what she wanted to be happy in a society that may not understand. I loved every scene with her even though she wasn’t a main character. Twin Peaks was really ahead of its time by portraying this transgender bad ass detective, and I really looked up to Denise for being herself.
SHERIFF HARRY S. TRUMAN (MICHAEL ONTKEAN)
Bill Bodkin: One of the great disappoints about the return of this series in 2017, is that we will be without Michael Ontkean’s Sheriff Harry S. Truman. Ontkean is retired from acting it seems, and he will be replaced by Robert Forster, who will be the new sheriff.
To me, Harry was one of the most underrated characters on the show, and outside of Cooper he was the best. The writers could’ve easily pegged Truman as stereotypical “local yokel” law enforcement type who was either a bumbling fool, or aggressively opposed to Cooper’s quirks. Basically, he could’ve been like the local chief in the beginning of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.
Instead, the seemingly straight shooting Truman immediately goes along with and embraces all of Coop’s weirdness. The two become quick friends, and their camaraderie is just so much fun to watch. Truman is also our surrogate at times to the world of the weird that only Cooper gets. However, they do complicate matters by introducing Truman’s “Book House Boys” squad — a team of locals which include Hawk, and James — to help battle the unseen evil out in the woods of Twin Peaks.
Truman was a complex character wrapped in a simple man’s coat — he’ll truly be missed.
FAVORITE MOMENT: Ben and Jerry dance after Leland comes back to work
Chris Diggins: Okay, this isn’t an entirely serious choice. But everyone (including my Pop Break colleagues, I’m guessing) spends a lot of time talking about the mysterious, dream-like quality of Twin Peaks. And rightfully so! The red room, the giant, the appearance of Bob, all of these are powerful images that help make Twin Peaks what it is.
With this choice, I want to highlight something that doesn’t get talked about as much, something that is genuinely one of my favorite things about the show: its ability to become utterly, irredeemably goofy at the drop of a hat. Ben and Jerry are discussing the plan of action for Ben’s numerous criminal activities when the sound of Leland’s singing drives them both to ridiculous bouts of dancing. It’s absurd and hilarious and viewed in a vacuum it seems terribly out of place, yet within the world of Twin Peaks it somehow feels totally natural for everything to suddenly be interrupted by a 30 second bout of nonsense. This is just as much evidence of David Lynch’s ability to seamlessly pull off jarring tone shifts as anything else, and I could honestly watch it over and over again.
Favorite Moment: Audrey at One-Eyed Jack’s
Ann Hale: There is this part where Audrey has to explain why she should be hired at One Eyed Jacks (a brothel). She calmly gets up, grabs the cherry out of the Madam’s drink and proceeds to tie the stem into a knot with her tongue. Not only does that moment perfectly describe Audrey, it was pretty creative and intelligent on her part. She definitely got the job.
Sheena Fisher: My favorite moment in Twin Peaks is a very awkward one that establishes Audrey Horne’s bad-assery. Basically Audrey goes undercover and starts working at One-eyed Jack’s. In case you’ve forgotten One-Eyed Jack’s is a casino. Oh, and an illegal brothel. Audrey is trying like hell to figure out who killed Laura Palmer, and all paths lead her to One-eyed Jacks. Her first night of work she’s thrown into some sexy lingerie and a creepy bedroom. The only problem is the “client” she is set up to see is her dad. This moment was tense. Audrey is trying to hide her identity as well as her shock.
Favorite Moment: Gordon Cole Meets Shelly Johnson at The Double R
Bill Bodkin: Twin Peaks is littered with brilliant dialogue, tense drama, amazing performances, and weird, unexplainable moments. Then there’s the small moments like this.
In this scene,Special Agent Gordon Cole (David Lynch) meets waitress Shelly Johnson (Madchen Amick). The running joke with Cole is that he cannot hear a thing, despite his hearing aid, and he constantly shouts everything. Here he professes his immediate infatuation with Johnson. It’s a bizarrely sweet, and highly comedic moment. It honestly looks like everyone in the scene, minus Lynch, is about to burst into laughter.
But, again, there’s just something so sweet about this moment. You almost kinda wish Shelly would take up with Gordon — leaving all the troubled men in her life behind her.