Margaret Lanterman and Other Thoughts On Twin Peaks Part 15

With Part 15, Twin Peaks finally talks about Judy, resolves a couple of important plot points and says goodbye to a dear old friend. As she once said, “the sadness will end” and it is hoped she has found her rest.

The Case

Hutch and Chantal finally arrived in Vegas and took care of the first of their objectives. For all his planning, Duncan Todd could not prevent death from walking into his office and making his brain go pop. Of course, he was always expendable and Bad Cooper owed him nothing. If you really want to feel bad for anyone, feel bad for his assistant. Then again, he knew exactly what Duncan was up to and continued to work for him.

Did you catch that it has only been five days since Bad Coop and Chantal met up at the motel? The five day timeline comes from Bad Coop himself when he asked Phillip Jeffries (now inside one of those diving bells) if he was the voice on the other end of the line in the Part 2 phone call. Curiously, Jeffries never answers that question as he offers Bad Coop something else: Judy.


Meanwhile, the Vegas FBI fumbled on their part of the case by bringing in the wrong Douglas and Jane Jones. Granted, Headley and Wilson make a great comedy duo. But it once again highlights the charmed life Dougie Jones led even before Cooper took his place. Nothing ever stuck to Dougie Jones.

And speaking of Cooper, he may have finally regained himself. All it took was the right moment in Sunset Boulevard — the very one which inspired Gordon’s name — and some electricity. You knew it was coming as soon as Janey-E expressed her satisfaction with the last five days. Everything is finally going her way, which means she has to lose Dougie forever. No one gets to be happy for long.

The Updates

But if anyone deserves to be happy in Twin Peaks or in the nearby counties, it’s Norma Jennings and Ed Hurley. As readers of The Secret History of Twin Peaks know, their story has been one of terrible timing and outside manipulations. Ed went into military service and his former friend Hank Jennings hid his letters to Norma so he could move in on her. They got married. Ed eventually married Nadine. Ed and Norma almost made it work in the late 1980s, but the fickle hand of fate parted them for another twenty-five years.

And just as fickle, Nadine decided to let Ed go. Although, I half-expected her to whack Ed with her golden shovel. Nadine was never level headed or rational, so to see her so centered was maybe one of the more terrifying things Twin Peaks has ever depicted. It also led us to the most tension-rich scene the RR Diner has ever served witness to. Just as it seemed Ed’s wish would be denied, he and Norman are finally together. I genuinely hope its their happy ending.

Elsewhere, Audrey and Charlie are still arguing. Their fight must be happening on night six for it to take up this much time across episodes. But at least we know she is Richard’s mother now. She also has a pronounced violent streak. We’re left with the image of her choking Charlie. It’s not really what anyone wanted for her, but I can’t wait to see what happens when she finds Billy.

Her reaction might be similar to Bobby and Freddy’s to the Experiment (Judy?). Locked up for clocking to local oafs but good, their stay in the Sheriff’s station lockup may lead Freddy to where the Fireman needs him to be.

Meanwhile, in the woods, Becky’s husband Steven appears to have offed himself. Why Donna’s sister Gertsen ended up in this mess is anybody’s guess.

The Questions

  1. Did anyone ever pick up Jerry?
  2. Did anyone check Billy, er, “the Drunk” for a serious medical condition? He looks bad and none of the deputies seem to care. Well, presuming they’re even aware of him. Maybe only Chad can see him because he’s the worst.
  3. Has it really only been five days?
  4. Why was that young woman screaming at the Roadhouse? Is it a sign of bad things coming?
  5. How is Phillip Jeffries influencing events from inside a diving bell?
  6. Who is Judy? How does either Cooper know her?
  7. What do Margaret’s last words mean?

Not about Judy

I’ll be honest, every week I call this section “Not about Judy” in the thought that it would never really matter. As Phillip Jeffries’ major bit of non-sequitur dialogue, I expected it to be lost like so much red drappery. In early drafts of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Judy was supposed to be Josie Packard’s twin sister. The idea was scrubbed early and yet remains a key part of the Jeffries scene. In college, an acquaintance of mine was convinced Judy was tied to the garmonbozia and the Black Lodge.

Which leads to a new question: is Judy BOB’s mother and the creature glimpsed in Part 1?

It also makes you wonder what the numbers Jeffries offered Bad Coop — 480551 — have to do with Judy. Maybe it’s time to stop talking about Judy. Instead, let’s consider where Bad Coop found Jeffries: inside a motel above the convenience store filled with Woodsmen from Part 8. They also spoke backwards, the tell-tale sign that this is another place reached by a vortex.

Back in Fire walk With Me, Jeffries shouts that he’s been to “one of their meetings … above a convenience store.” Clearly, this is the place he found in 1987. And since it can move around, it’s also reasonable to believe he found it in Buenos Aires; his last known location at the time. And to draw one connection, one of those golden Phantasm balls appeared in Buenos Aires four or five episodes back.

It’s funny how the stuff you think doesn’t matter — Nadine, James, Judy — end up being the most important things in the universe.

Margaret Lanterman

Then the episode stops for one of the most heartbreaking things ever recorded. Catherine Coulson has been with David Lynch from the beginning. She appeared in his 1974 short film The Amputee and worked behind the scenes on the four-year production of Eraserhead. An image of her carrying a log at the time led to Twin Peaks‘ Log Lady. When the show began a second life on Bravo, Lynch brought her in to record cryptic monologues before each episode. So to have her there in a small set — or her home — hooked up to oxygen and shout “I’m dying” was certainly shocking, but also the beginning of Lynch’s strange tribute to both her and the character.

Instead of letting Margaret be cryptic to the end, she finally revealed a true part of herself by admitted she was scared to die. A sentiment one can imagine Coulson shared. Each labored word breaks your heart as both actor and character finish one last task before departing.

The quiet shots in the Sheriff’s station conference room were a perfect way to say goodbye.

But what do you think of this week’s revelations? Did you think you know who Judy is? Did Cooper get his mind back? Let us know in the comments below.

Erik Amaya
Erik Amaya
Host of Tread Perilously and a writer at Monkeys Fighting Robots. Voice of Puppet Tommy on The Room Responds and former host of The Satellite Show. A seeker of the Seastone Chair and the owner of a Legion Flight Ring. Sorted into Gryffindor, which came as some surprise.