The 5 most wonderful women of 'Twin Peaks'
Now that Twin Peaks is returning to TV, and there’s a seemingly new story about the show’s impact every day, I realized I may have been quite late to the party. I only read Laura’s diary and watched the show/movie this past year—but after that ending, I feel like I’ve been waiting 25 years for the show’s return, as well.
Now is the perfect time to revisit the surreal town, or take your first trip, before the re-launch in 2016. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, David Lynch’s masterpiece focuses on the mysterious and gruesome murder of double-life-leading homecoming queen Laura Palmer, and the curious and quirky FBI agent who is sent to solve the case. While in the town, FBI Agent Cooper meets an abundance of beauty queens and femme fatales who would both help and hinder the case, a case that slowly descends into the supernatural.
I’ve put together a list of my favorite Twin Peaks ladies; including some who are pretty underrated in my opinion, and some more popular, but all of them intriguing. So who are they? And why do we love them? See below for my absolute favorites! (Warning: There are definitely spoilers ahead!)
Margaret “Log Lady” Lanterman
The Log Lady is someone we would call the average Twin Peaks resident: cryptic, mysterious, and downright odd. Though her general demeanor is irate, she is at times shown for humorous effect, and underneath her oddness lies pure empathy. As seen mostly in her brief appearances in “Fire Walk With Me” and “The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer,” Margaret and Laura share an almost mother-daughter connection. Her warmth and sympathy towards the troubled girl brings hope to the unsettled town, and her sentient log brings answers to those who need it most. Margaret appears confused and unusual, but beneath it all she knows exactly who she is.
Headstrong and laid back, Denise brings a classy attitude to the show like no other. As a confident and level-headed DEA agent, Denise beautifully balances elegance and professionalism in her career, both successfully getting Cooper out of his drug allegations jam and completing a risky sting operation. Although there are a few problems with Denise’s representation as a trans woman—the odd tasteless joke here and there, as well as the fact that she was played by a cisgendered man—Denise remains a fan favorite. Unlike many shows back in the 90s, or today for that matter, Denise’s gender transition was met with respect and very little denial from surrounding characters. Defying expectations like this gave Denise plenty of room to show off her character, and not just the attitudes of those around her.
As a woman with a history of suicide, Annie knows what it’s like to want to escape this life. For those who share her sadness, she luckily brings with her some hope. Annie worked hard to pull herself out of the darkness that others forced upon her, and not only was she able to get back into society, but she was also able to heal her once broken heart. By opening it up to a new love, she had a new chance at happiness. Her generally sweet and quirky personality was the breath of fresh air needed amongst all the death and devastation. Plus, anyone who could make Dale Cooper so blissfully happy is just aces in my book.
Though Catherine falls into the love-to-hate category for many fans, there’s no doubt that she is one intriguing and entertaining woman. With her fingers in pretty much every pie, Catherine is the queen of getting what she wants. As a rival of major player Ben Horne and Josie Packard, we watch in sadistic joy as she climbs the ladder of success, pushing those around her off of their rungs. Despite the cold, hard demeanor that’s clearly in her veins, we do get the sense that deep down there is some sort of warmth longing to be set free. That being said, her independence and unwillingness to show weakness is what makes her someone we love to watch.
Despite her death being the catalyst that drove the entire mystery behind the show, it was Laura’s life that we found the most fascinating. As the optimistic pre-teen grew into a confused and abused adolescent, we watched and read in protective horror as Laura’s warm heart was dragged to hell and back. Yet no matter how many times her nightmares and visions tried to destroy her, she never once lost the loving nature that kept her going until the very end. Her admiration for traumatized Johnny Horne, her respect for house-bound Harold Smith, and her deep protectiveness of best friend Donna Hayward, is what she kept with her until the day she died, and the day her pain would end. And this is why we loved her.
We can, unfortunately, relate to Laura in many ways: most of us have felt alone in our sadness, confused in our sexuality, and self-loathing in our decisions; but at the end of the day we know deep down that we’re loved, and worth loving. Laura may have doubted this, but she knew fine and well she didn’t deserve the pain she was given.
The ladies of Twin Peaks remain timeless, 23 years on, and none of them can be replaced in any shape or form (well, unless we’re talking about doppelgängers, of course).
From the big players like Laura, to the elusive and hidden Diane (let’s call her a bonus entry!), it’s clear that writers David Lynch and Mark Frost have a unique take on womanhood; and with any luck, they’ll bring more wonderful women along in season three.
Stephanie Watson is a freelance journalist and budding author from blustery Scotland. When she’s not editing and writing for her website Reasons to be Beautiful Magazine, she’s usually found watching cheesy films and making adorable yet slightly useless crafts. Stephanie’s goals include publishing a novel or three, making a name for herself in the world of journalism, and if she has time then moving into Aurora’s castle in Disneyland.