Twin Peaks season 3 decoder: Vision of Laura

In Part 10, a callback to Fire Walk with Me provides one of the show’s most surprising moments.

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Martyn Conterio

This article contains spoilers for Twin Peaks season 3 part 10. For maximum enjoyment, we recommend reading after you’ve watched the show.


Much of part 10 centres on young men being absolute monsters. Dope fiend Steve Burnett (Caleb Landry-Jones) going nuts on poor Becky (Amanda Seyfried) and Richard Horne being an absolute monster to, well, everybody. First he snuffed out Miriam (who witnessed him running over the little boy in part five), then he threatened bent copper Chad (John Pirrucello) and, to top it off, drove over to Grandma Sylvia’s house to steal all her money, before beating her up and threatening to “cornhole” his disabled uncle Johnny (Eric Rondell). With a grandson like that, who needs enemies?

Eamon Farren has made a gigantic impression in the handful of scenes he’s appeared in so far. Richard Horne is surely Audrey’s son (his mum – one of the original series’ most iconic characters – remains conspicuous by her absence), but who or what made him such an irredeemable shit? Eagle-eyed fans will have noted Johnny’s teddy bear featured an orb-like head with a golden light fixture within. Remember Laura’s orb from part eight? Laura used to home tutor Johnny, back in the day.

There’s one scene, however, which came out of nowhere and brought with it a major revelation. Folk with psychic abilities are integral to Twin Peaks mythology. The Log Lady doesn’t operate like the classic clairvoyant figure, she gets cryptic messages from the piece of wood she carries around (hence her nickname). Margaret Lanterman (Catherine Coulson) cropped up again this week to tell Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) that things in the town are afoot, that the Truman brothers are “true men” and that “Laura is the one” – the last line a bit of retconned material from the Lynch-directed Log Lady pilot episode intro, which he wrote and filmed back in the 1990s, when Twin Peaks was re-aired on Bravo.

The characters in Twin Peaks with traditional psychic traits are Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) and Laura Palmer’s doppelgänger, cousin Maddy Ferguson (Sheryl Lee). It is Sarah who saw Bob hiding at the foot of Laura’s bed, knew of the missing necklace, pictured Laura’s face projected onto Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle) and white horse in the Palmer living room (“the horse is the whites of the eye and the dark within”). The face planted onto another character image (used also in Lynch’s Lost Highway) echoed in season three part 10.

Gordon Cole is sat in his hotel room doodling on a piece of paper: a picture of a stag with a disembodied hand reaching out. There’s a knock at the door. He gets up to answer and is stunned to see Laura Palmer’s floating head. She is frightened and crying. This vision of Laura – in fact several match dissolve shots in a montage – is lifted from Fire Walk with Me (where Laura finally puts two and two together as to the ‘real’ identity of BOB). When the vision weakens, Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) is standing there. Gordon doesn’t even looking at him. Albert glances over his shoulder to the wall, an attempt to see what his boss is seeing.

Albert brings news of the cryptic text Diane (Laura Dern) received from Bad Coop. “Around the dinner table, the conversation is lively,” the message reads. Diane writes back about Gordon, Albert and Tammy’s planned movements. They are taking Bill Hastings (Matthew Lillard) to the site mapped by the coordinates which led him to Major Briggs. Gordon lets Albert in on a hunch: he knew Diane was acting shady. “I felt it when she hugged me” the Deputy Director tells him.

This changes part seven’s prison car park exchange drastically. It wasn’t Cole’s clumsy inability to show emotion, but that Diane was giving off hinky vibes which caused his hesitant embrace. The ‘vision of Laura’ scene is made even more peculiar by the arrival of Tammy (Chrysta Bell). As she walks to Gordon’s door, she does so in slow motion (recalling a famous sequence from Jean Cocteau’s 1946 fairy tale classic, Beauty and the Beast).

Is Gordon supernaturally gifted, like Sarah and Maddy? It would certainly explain why he codes certain cases as ‘blue rose’, uses trusted special agents for mysterious gigs and why he was able to Laura Palmer’s floating head before him in the hotel corridor. Why is Laura reaching out to Gordon? That’s classified information… for now.

Published 18 Jul 2017

Tags: David Lynch Twin Peaks

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