Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

A guide to the sinners and saints of David Lynch and Mark Frost's strange world

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, artwork by Kristin Frenzel

Artwork by Kristin Frenzel (Buy Art Prints + More)

twin peaks week final1 Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to GoodOn Sunday, May 21st, Showtime will take us back to the small logging town of Twin Peaks. In anticipation, Consequence of Sound will be reporting live from The Great Northern Hotel with some damn good features all week. Today, we revisit the show’s eclectic cast of characters and sort out where they truly belong: the Black Lodge, the Red Room, or the White Lodge.

It’s a strange world, alright, though nowhere is stranger than Twin Peaks. Even more bizarre are the characters within the fictional logging town. Through two seasons and one twisted film, David Lynch and Mark Frost’s iconic series has seen its share of good samaritans, rotten apples, and hot garmonbozia. Some have slept snugly in beautiful homes nestled in equally beautiful neighborhoods, while others have slummed it in the slummiest bars until the morning sunshine drains out the darkness.

But, then there’s the indefinable, the haunting spirits and terrifying shape-shifters dwelling within the area’s thick Douglas firs. As Sheriff Harry S. Truman (Michael Ontkean) warns Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) early on, “There’s a sort of evil out there. Something very, very strange in these old woods. Call it what you want. A darkness, a presence. It takes many forms but … its been out there for as long as anyone can remember and we’ve always been here to fight it.”

sycamore Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

This concept has always been paramount to the conceit of Twin Peaks. In Chris Rodley’s Lynch on Lynch, the legendary filmmaker explains how he dreamed up the series alongside Frost, saying:

“For as long as anybody can remember, woods have been mysterious places. So they were a character in my mind. And then other characters came to our minds. And as you start peopling this place, one thing leads to another. And somewhere along the line you have a certain type of community. And because of the way the characters are, you have indications of what they might do, and how they could get into trouble and how their past could come back to haunt them. And so you have many things to work with.”

As Lynch’s brazen filmography suggests, there’s a flip side to every coin, but light and darkness — or rather, good and evil — doesn’t always boil down to something black and white like heads or tails. More often than not, the two elements twist and turn at every move, and that murky road is how every citizen, passerby, or inter-dimensional tourist gets around in the unpredictably beautiful world of Twin Peaks.

With so many characters to remember, and several more to come, we decided to gather who we already know and figure out where their souls might belong: the violent confines of the Black Lodge, the purgatorial confusion of the Red Room, or the oft-discussed yet rarely seen White Lodge. To quote the Log Lady, “Life, like music, has a rhythm. This particular song will end with three sharp notes, like deathly drumbeats.”

Shall we, doc?

–Michael Roffman

Editor’s Note: Stay safe by picking up one of our custom face masks. A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares’ COVID-19 Artist Relief fund supporting independent musicians.

The Black Lodge


twin peaks bob Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Frank Silva

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990 (technically via reflection); “Traces to Nowhere”, 4/12/1990 (official)

Damn Good Quote: [via Leland] “Leland, Leland, you’ve been a good vehicle and I’ve enjoyed the ride. But now he’s weak and full of holes. It’s almost time to shuffle off to Buffalo!”

Diane… Killer Bob is the Randall Flagg of Twin Peaks, and wouldn’t you know, they both love denim. By the “fury of [his] own momentum,” Bob represents the purest form of evil, a nasty, seemingly unstoppable entity from the Black Lodge that possesses human beings and makes them do his bidding. What bidding is that exactly? Well, if we take his most recognizable vessel, Leland Palmer, into consideration, that could range from harmless activities like mugging any common hallway mirror to, you know, raping and savagely beating family members to death. There’s really no limit to Bob’s reach — he even possesses owls, for Christ’s sake — and those who cross his path are pretty much guaranteed to suffer in some way, shape, or form. No set dresser has ever been responsible for more nightmares than the late Frank Silva. –Michael Roffman

The Black Lodge

Leo Johnson

leo Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Eric Da Re

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Shelly, sit down here a minute and help me out.”

Diane… A few characters on Twin Peaks define the expression “evil incarnate.” While Leo is not such a character, he is somehow worse than many of them: he’s an evil human being. I know it must be tough for Leo to run around a small town with an extended-bang-and-ponytail-combo, likely upset that he had to leave his sax behind on the beaches of The Lost Boys (I still believe!). I understand that being on the road full-time can be a stressful gig. These things do not give Leo an excuse to blow off steam by cheating on his wife Shelly with teenage prostitutes. He also chose to run drugs for French-Canadians and deal to high schoolers. Have I mentioned that he is emotionally and physically abusive towards the aforementioned Shelly? Leo’s such a bad cat that unlike other slimeballs in Twin Peaks he doesn’t even have a false face. He’s all asshole all the time, and no last-second redemption could save him. –Justin Gerber

The Black Lodge

Jacques Renault

jacques Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Walter Olkewicz

First Appearance: “Rest in Pain”, 4/26/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Hey, slow pokes. Guess what? There’s no tomorrow. Know why, baby? ‘Cause it’ll never get here.”

Diane… “I am the Great Went!” Jacques Renault cries in the Power and the Glory as he watches the high schoolers he pimps out get felt up by a couple of scumbag Canadians. See, Jacques isn’t just a monster, he’s a monster who believes himself to be a god. And, in Twin Peaks, at least, he sorta is. He’s got drugs, he’s got women, and he’s in league with lugheads like Leo Johnson, millionaires like Ben Horne, and cold-blooded killers like his own brother, Jean. We watch him jam his tongue in Laura’s mouth, then, later on, tie her up on the night of her death, effectively serving her up for her possessed father to usher her into the Black Lodge for eternity. The entire Renault family is rotten, but Jacques is the moldiest of them all, a repugnant and corrupt monster with an insatiable appetite for power and debauchery. Good riddance. –Randall Colburn

The Black Lodge

Jean Renault

jean renault Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Michael Parks

First Appearance: “The Man Behind Glass”, 10/13/1990

Damn Good Quote: [to Cooper] “Before you came here, Twin Peaks was a simple place. My brothers sold drugs to truck-drivers and teenagers. One-Eyed Jack’s welcomed curious tourists and businessmen. Quiet people lived quiet lives. Then a pretty girl dies. And you arrive. Everything changes. My brother Bernard is shot and left to die in the woods. A grieving father smothers my surviving brother with a pillow. Arson, kidnapping. More death and destruction. Suddenly the quiet people here are no longer quiet. Their simple dreams have become a nightmare. Maybe you brought the nightmare with you. And maybe, it will die with you.”

Diane… If you couldn’t gather from above, the Renault family aren’t exactly the Waltons. As the eldest of the three brothers (we decided to omit baby Bernard out of respect for his downright obsolescence), Jean brings a certain class to the drug-dealing family name, which is often smeared with sweat, filth, and depravity by the aforementioned Jacques. Maybe it’s because the late Michael Parks oozed with such smoky finesse in every one of his roles — no matter if he was playing a faithful cop or a delirious walrus scholar — but there’s a palpable cool to Jean. He speaks patiently, he carries English caramels, and he doesn’t think twice about shooting anyone on the spot (see: Emory Battis). Still, the guy’s bad news, baby, and if Jacques were any kind of gentleman, it’d be Jean at the top of the poisoned Renault family tree. –Michael Roffman

The Black Lodge

Windom Earle

windom earle Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Kenneth Walsh

First Appearance: “Double Play”, 2/2/1991

Damn Good Quote: “And if harnessed, these spirits, this hidden land of unmuffled screams and broken hearts, will offer up a power so vast that its bearer might reorder the earth itself to his liking. This place I speak of is known as the Black Lodge, and I intend to find it.”

Diane… Coop’s hunt for mentor/former partner/psych-ward escapee Earle became the cornerstone of Twin Peaks in the post-whodunit era of the show’s brief history. He had a lot to live up to, and while he never reached the depths of your BOB’s or Renaults, he sure did give it his all. While Coop is often portrayed as “kooky”, his ex-partner is an all-out psychopath. Earle’s path of murder started in the ‘70s, carried over into the ‘80s with the murder of his wife, and ended with a murder or two in Twin Peaks. He made his presence felt by stalking the local ladies (complete with disguises) and in the biggest twist of all, he made Leo a sympathetic character by throwing a shock collar around his neck! His obsession with the Black Lodge is understandable (aren’t you curious?). The means he goes to in order to find it are not. Besides, who would ever side with Coop’s arch-nemesis? –Justin Gerber

The Black Lodge

Thomas Eckhardt

thomas eckhardt Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: David Warner

First Appearance: “Double Play”, 2/2/1991

Damn Good Quote: “I don’t believe in ghosts.”

Diane… Thomas Eckhardt is a bar of goddamn soap, the kind of cheesy, conniving character that could only thrive on daytime TV. If he had a mustache, he would most certainly be twirling it. Get this: He’s a South African emigré in Hong Kong who arranged the murder of his ex-business partner (via BOAT EXPLOSION!) with his young, exotic lover. After showing up in Twin Peaks, Eckhardt is swiftly killed by that same exotic lover, yet wreaks posthumous havoc via garrote, hallucinogens, and a PUZZLE BOX that leads his enemies to a safety deposit box with a goddamned BOMB in it. Guy’s got more blood on his hands than a pig butcher. He’s also responsible for splaying Pete Martell’s guts all over poor Audrey Horne so let’s just say there’s a special place in the Black Lodge for him—hopefully we won’t have to see it in the new season, though. Guy is awful. –Randall Colburn

The Black Lodge

Hank Jennings

hank jennings Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Chris Mulkey

First Appearance: “The One-Armed Man”, 4/26/1990

Damn Good Quote: “You know there’s a saying in the joint. It’s not Oriental philosophy, but it has a similar kind of logic that appeals to my spiritual nature. Once you’re in business with somebody, you’re in business with them for life. Like a marriage. Til death do you part.”

Diane… Hank’s got his fingers in so many pies: cherry, apple, huckleberry, you name it. After 18 months in prison for a crime that belied a much greater one, Hank comes out feigning rehabilitation for his ex, Norma, but cavorting behind the scenes with no-gooders like Leo Johnson, Ben Horne, and Josie Packard. Still, there’s something almost clinical about Hank’s work, as if crime to him is more of a talent to him than a compulsion. Rarely does it seem it ever gets personal to him. Despite his two-faced nature, Hank still seems genuinely invested in rekindling things with Norma, as well as in the revitalization of the Double R Diner. Though this wrinkle in his personality doesn’t redeem Hank’s many misadventures—shooting Leo, for instance, or his involvement in the Packard Sawmill’s arson—it does give him a level of dimension that’s unseen in other denizens of the Black Lodge. –Randall Colburn

The Black Lodge

Catherine Martell

catherine martell Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Piper Laurie

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Where there’s a key, there’s a lock.”

Diane… Deception is everything to Catherine; it’s in her blood. She’s the younger sister to Andrew Packard, aka the villainous, would-be dead, former owner of the Packard Mill, and yet also wife to Pete Martell, aka the lovable town do-gooder whose family once feuded with the Packards before they absorbed the Martell Mill. That rare mix of light and darkness works to her advantage, though, as she snakes her way through Twin Peaks on Martell’s goodwill — and occasionally garish Japanese disguises (meet: Mr. Tojamura) — while sinking those Packard teeth into anyone she deems a problem. That could be anyone from fiendish sister-in-law Josie Packard, who stands to gain everything from her brother’s will, to secret side piece Benjamin Horne, who has his own devious intentions with the Packard Mill (keyword: Ghostwood). To be fair, she did save Shelly Johnson from the fire at her Mill, but one could argue that heroic moment provided an enviable silver lining for her. As you can see, Catherine leads a very pretzeled lifestyle, but she eats it all up with a side of mustard and a wicked smile. –Michael Roffman

The Black Lodge

Leland Palmer

leland palmer Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Ray Wise

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “We have to dance for Laura!”

Diane… Well, here’s a tough one. We all know Leland committed his worst crimes when possessed by BOB, but it’s not really so simple, is it? The show might lead you to believe that, that Leland was a fundamentally decent person who was driven to violence by, ya know, the influence of a demonic spirit. But Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me complicates that, doesn’t it? Was Leland possessed by BOB when he was cheating on his wife with Teresa Banks? Was he under the influence when arranging orgies with underage girls? When Teresa Banks blackmailed and Leland bashed her skull in, was that BOB staking his claim on this soul or was that a desperate, middle-aged man’s bid at self preservation? Was Leland molesting his daughter? Did Leland’s dark soul invite BOB in? Or had BOB been there all along? Laura’s diary describes BOB as a “friend of her father’s” who’d been visiting since she was 12; this would serve the narrative that BOB had long been possessing Leland. Still, there’s plenty of evidence that points to Leland himself being deranged; just look at his behavior at Laura’s funeral and elsewhere, where his grief can be read as either an elaborate, mocking performance, a slip from sanity, or a man trying to overcompensate for his own sins. One thing’s for certain, however: Life was hell for Sarah Palmer. –Randall Colburn

The Black Lodge

Ben Horne

ben horne Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Richard Beymer

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Admiration is for poets and dairy cows, Bobby.”

Diane… It might be easier to name the people Ben wasn’t trying to screw. A shrewd businessman for whom ethics and general decency waved bye-bye long ago, Ben’s crimes are numerous, ranging from his funding of an underage brothel and involvement in the recruitment of those underage girls (not to mention his enjoyment of “breaking them in”) to his backstage machinations with bad boys like Jacques Renault, Leo Johnson, and Hank Jennings. Horne was also screwing half the town, forging so many alliances that, as the show went on, it became harder to track just who was the victim in any given scenario. Truman had every right in the world to think Ben was the one who killed Laura.

After his false conviction, Ben suffered a mental break that spurred delusions of the Civil War. After being cured by Dr. Jacoby, Ben sought some kind of redemption by trying to halt the toxic Ghostwood construction project (which he’d previously schemed to make happen) though it’s unclear whether his efforts had any positive effect. In the end, his legacy remains that of an opportunistic, self-absorbed, predatory douchebag, though that’s easy to forget whenever the show allowed us to glimpse he and his brother, Jerry, as children, giggling as a woman danced in the dark before them, rhythmically waving a flashlight. Ah, shattered innocence. –Randall Colburn

The Black Lodge

Blackie O’Reilly

blackie Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by:Victoria Catlin

First Appearance: “Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer”, 4/18/1990

Damn Good Quote: “She’s ready for her close-up now.”

Diane… Blackie, or Black Rose, O’Reilly isn’t in the Black Lodge because she’s the Madam of One-Eyed Jack’s. Were she at all concerned with the safety and well-being of the sex workers under her care, that likely wouldn’t prove much of a factor in our assessment. We also do not deny that Blackie had a tough old life, saddled as she was with both heroin addiction and the regular presence of the Horne brothers, who make terrible employers and even worse drinking companions. Still, some acts you just don’t come back from, and injecting a high school girl with heroin against her will is one of them. The fact that Benjamin Horne did the same (or something similar) to her? That makes it worse, not better. –Allison Shoemaker

The Red Room


jones Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Brenda Strong

First Appearance: “Double Play”, 2/2/1991

Damn Good Quote: Sadly, Jones’s best line happens off-camera. The South African Consulate? In Twin Peaks?

Diane… Jones isn’t around for long (and while the character may be minor, it’s a shame that Strong, who’s a hell of an actor, didn’t get more to do). She’s just here to do her job, serving as Thomas Eckhardt’s assistant/will executor/private assassin. That she does so with such obvious glee makes her brief appearance somewhat memorable, but it’s her final dramatic act – an attempt on Sheriff Truman’s life by means of hallucinogenic lip stuff, lingerie, and a garrotting wire hidden in a piece of jewelry – that truly earns Jones a place in the Lynch hall of fame. It’s a moment in which Twin Peaks becomes The Americans all of a sudden, and for that, Jones, I salute you. –Allison Shoemaker

The Black Lodge

Malcolm Sloan

screen shot 2017 05 15 at 12 14 14 pm Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Nicholas Love

First Appearance: “The Black Widow”, 1/12/1991

Damn Good Quote: “I’m sorry, am I being obscure?”

Diane… Oh, boy. The worst sub-plot in the Great Northwest ties poor old James Hurley up with a pack of assholes, Malcolm Sloan chief among them. For a full rundown of the evil acts committed in his brief run on the series, see Evelyn Marsh’s entry — then just subtract the late-arriving moment of redemption and add a controlling nature, an additional attempted murder, and an all-around air of general insufferability. That his storyline is the absolute worst is a minor thing, compared to his other sins, but the fact that all that evil is also super duper boring makes it so much worse. –Allison Shoemaker

The Black Lodge

Evelyn Marsh

evelyn marsh Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Annette McCarthy

First Appearance: “Masked Ball”, 12/15/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Men are always alright, right up until they pull the trigger. And then we watch the neighbors solemnly march out to the news cameras to tell us: ‘He was such a nice, quiet guy.’”

Diane… The Evelyn/James storyline answers the question: What if things had gone south for Bruce Springsteen in his “I’m on Fire” music video? Let’s check off the evil deeds Evelyn commits during her (mercifully) brief run on the series: 1.) cheats on husband with co-conspirator/lover, 2.) cheats on husband with high schooler, 3.) frames high schooler for husband’s murder, 4.) kills aforementioned co-conspirator/lover. How many laws does she break in five episodes? Is James even 18? While she ultimately saves James in the end, it’s too little too late. Such is the fate for many in Twin Peaks. –Justin Gerber

The Black Lodge

Emory Battis

screen shot 2017 05 15 at 12 29 54 pm Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Don Amendolia

First Appearance: “Cooper’s Dreams”, 5/3/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Laura was a wild girl. She always got what she wanted. Just like you, Miss Horne. Just like you.”

Diane… Emory Battis is a mild-mannered middle manager on the surface, a sweaty, eager-to-please supervisor at Ben Horne’s department store. Ah, but looks can be deceiving. Battis is actually a key part of One-Eyed Jack’s recruitment of underage escorts, in charge of both the choosing and grooming of the girls. We don’t see the depth of his depravity until season two, when he serves as cameraman for Blackie’s injection of heroin into young Audrey Horne. Later, he raises a hand against her, an action that even the diabolical Jean Renault finds unacceptable. Renault shoots the spineless bastard dead, banishing him to an afterlife that we’re fairly positive won’t include pearly gates. –Randall Colburn

The Red Room

Josie Packard

josie packard Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Joan Chen

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “On top of the morning to you, Pete.”

Diane… Josie’s background is far more interesting than the Josie we get in Twin Peaks. As the daughter of a high-ranking enforcer of the Siu-wong triad and a prostitute named “Lace Butterfly,” Josie grew up in the Guangzhou province of China, where she attended private schools and did fun things like learn six different languages, start prostitute rings, and establish a fashion label that served as a front for her own drug ring. She probably even killed her father. Interesting, right? Sadly, that wicked Josie never arrives in Twin Peaks, where her inherent vices are marginalized in favor of hush-hush dialogue, a Red Shoe Diaries romance with Sheriff Harry S. Truman, and ludicrous subplots involving the Mill. Hell, even her boldest power play — tapping the likes of Thomas Eckhardt and Hank Jennings to kill her husband, Andrew — happens off screen. Essentially, she’s a spiderwoman who’s lost her venom, and although she occasionally steps into the light, she’s still a spider crawling in the dark. That’s not good for anyone. –Michael Roffman

The Red Room

Jerry Horne

jerry horne Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: David Patrick Kelly

First Appearance: “Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer”, 4/19/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Ben, as your attorney, your friend, and your brother, I strongly suggest that you get yourself a better lawyer.”

Diane… It’s a good life being Jerry Horne. While his brother Benjamin holds down the fort at the Great Northern Lodge — both literally and metaphorically given the whole Civil War subplot (ugh) — Jerry gets to take trips to Paris, dance around with loaves of sourdough bread (with Brie and butter, no less), and jump “first in line” with any new inductees at One Eyed Jack’s. Okay, so that last part is pretty lascivious, and the fact that he’s a blatant mover and shaker for the town’s ugliest souls suggests a lack of moral fiber, but man, this guy loves life so much that it would be a crime to toss him in with the rest of the Mill jerks. Plus, he’s a great brother, all things considered, even if his skills as an attorney are second to Charlie “Bird Law” Kelly. –Michael Roffman

The Red Room

Bobby Briggs

bobby Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Dana Ashbrook

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “You wanna know who killed Laura Palmer? You did! We all did!”

Diane… Bobby is a delightful mess, but at least he’s trying. At first glance, he’s everything you expect from a teenager: rebellious, angsty, lanky, and agitated. But inside, he’s a tortured soul who surprisingly loves more than he hates, even if his anger gets the best of him all too often. As boyfriend to Laura Palmer, Bobby indulged his dark side, distributing drugs for Leo Johnson as a way to fulfill Laura’s cocaine addiction, as he later confesses to Dr. Jacoby. Of course, he consciously leaves out the fact that he also killed a man during this period — a drug supplier in the woods (as seen in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and only hinted at in the series) — but that’s okay because the guy was a scumbag, right? Eh, we’ll let you be the judge of that. Nevertheless, Laura’s death serves as a wake up call for Bobby, who tries to turn things around, even if that includes a series of odd jobs with Benjamin Horne and swiping Leo’s disability checks with Shelly Johnson. There’s hope for him, though; after all, he’s the son of Major Garland Briggs and there’s really no better role model than that guy. –Michael Roffman

The Red Room

Mrs. Tremond/Chalfont and Grandson

chalfont Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Frances Bay and Austin Jack Lynch/Jonathan J. Leppell

First Appearance: “Coma”, 10/6/1990

Damn Good Quote: “This would look nice on your wall.”

Diane… While Mrs. Tremond and her weirdo grandson had a limited time on screen in the Twin Peaks universe, they certainly made their creepy presence felt. In the series, they are an oddball pairing under the family name Tremond who Donna encounters during a Meals on Wheels drop-off (think magic). In Fire Walk with Me, we discover that they previously lived in the mysterious trailer park under the name of Chalfont, but are more importantly co-inhabitants in the Red Room! You could look at Mrs. Tremond’s warnings to Laura as helpful and, dare I say, saintly. However, when you’ve got a “grandson” hopping about wearing a white papier-mâché mask? Signs point to “unclear.” –Justin Gerber

The Red Room

Mike Nelson

mike nelson Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Gary Hershberger

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: *barking at James Hurley through prison bars

Diane… Mike Nelson is the archetypal jock: handsome, beefy, and imposing in his fitted varsity jacket. Anyone who wasn’t top dog in high school will likely hate him the moment they see him and, frankly, their instincts would be on point. Mike is bad news, a cocky bully who’s also no stranger to Twin Peaks’ underbelly, having been a dealer of coke alongside his best buddy, Bobby Briggs. Mike crosses the line, however, in the way he verbally and physically knocks around his girlfriend, Donna Hayward. It isn’t until the end of the series, when he shacks up with Nadine, an older woman who proves time and again that she can whoop his ass, that the whippersnapper learns a little respect. –Randall Colburn

The Red Room

Andrew Packard

andrew packard Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Dan O’Herlihy

First Appearance: “Masked Ball”, 12/15/1990

Damn Good Quote: Thomas Eckhardt: “I don’t believe in ghosts.” Andrew Packard: “Pity. It’s an appealing notion. The return of the grisly phantom from the grave. You deserve haunting, to be sure. Look closer, Thomas. I’m alive!”

Diane… Andrew’s a mixed bag. There was a time when he was a good person, back when he was a teenage boy scout under the leadership of Dwayne Milford, a civil upbringing that undoubtedly led to similar hobnobbing in organizations like the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Optimists Club, the Elk Lodge, and the Masonic Lodge. Somewhere along the line, though, he became a boring villain, pulled down into the trenches by his sister Catherine, and prompted by the attempted murder on his life by his spouse, Josie Packard. Fortunately for everyone, including us viewers, he doesn’t get a chance to become the villain the show wants him to be as he makes his final deposit at the Twin Peaks Savings and Loan, where Josie’s hired gun Thomas Eckhardt just so happened to plant a fatal bomb. Ba-boom. –Michael Roffman

The Red Room

Dr. Lawrence Jacoby

jacoby Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Russ Tamblyn

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Laura had secrets and around those secrets she built the fortress that, well, that in my six months with her, I was not able to penetrate, and for which I consider myself an abject failure. ”

Diane… There may be a special place in hell for psychiatrists who mistreat their patients, but it takes a lot more than some unprofessional conduct to land you a spot in the Black Lodge. Jacoby might be a little creepy — taking half Laura’s heart necklace as a memento, asking her to send him “kisses,” and driving Bobby to tears by needling him about his first sexual encounter with Laura come to mind – but as James says, he really was trying to help. He may not have cared about his patients until Ms. Palmer came along, but afterwards he does his best to help his friends and neighbors, albeit through unconventional means. Let’s reserve judgment until we see what souvenir cocktail umbrellas he’s collected over the last 25 years. –Allison Shoemaker

The Red Room

Dick Tremayne

dick Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Ian Buchanan

First Appearance: “The Man Behind Glass”, 10/13/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Honestly, I barely have the time to feed my cat.”

Diane… When compared to many the men of Twin Peaks, Dick Tremayne is pretty harmless. Sure, he’s kind of the worst, what with the cravats and the affectations and the callousness, but it’s hard not to feel a little bit for the guy who got bitten by a pine weasel right on the snoz. A few shining moments of decency keep him from being a total tool: he doesn’t throw a fit when he loses the coveted dad spot to Andy; he wears “a plethora of plaid” like a champ; and though he does show up to tell Lucy to have an abortion without asking her what she wants, well, at least he comes prepared with a fat stack of cash. –Allison Shoemaker

The Red Room

Sylvia Horne

silvia horne Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Jan D’Arcy

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “You can tell Johnny one more time that Laura isn’t coming this afternoon to work with him, or tomorrow afternoon, or any afternoon. Now what is so difficult to understand about that?!”

Diane… Ben Horne’s wife is pretty freakin’ miserable. Why is she in the Red Room? Well, she’s an incredibly neglectful and insensitive mother, and is ignorant of (at best) or ambivalent to (at worst) most of her husband’s dirty dealings. Still, I feel for Sylvia. Why? Well, she’s married to Benjamin Horne. –Allison Shoemaker

The Red Room

Laura Palmer

laura palmer Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “I feel like I know her, but sometimes my arms bend back.”

Diane… Lynch’s themes tend to be built on extremes, namely the exploration of whether or not there exists in this world a true purity and a true evil. Are they mutually exclusive? Can they coexist? No character in the director’s canon illustrates this investigation better than Laura Palmer, a living fantasy that simultaneously embodies archetypal societal signifiers of “good”—beautiful, scholarly, and charitable—and “bad”—promiscuous, disloyal, and psychologically damaged.

Unlike a majority of Twin Peaks’ denizens, it’s impossible to classify Laura as one or the other, which one can imagine is exactly how Lynch would’ve wanted it. Laura’s character urges you to ask just where exactly evil comes from. Is it hidden inside all of our hearts? Does it manifest in the otherworldly, in the absorption of beasts like BOB? Or is it something we choose, a door to unlock inside of ourselves? Goodness, at least in the world of Twin Peaks, seems to be instinctual. It takes outside forces to unleash the darkness. Maybe. Who knows.

In the end, Laura hurt almost everyone she came across. But those same people she hurt also felt such a deep love for her that that hurt only manifested in her absence. It’s a puzzle, all of it. Laura’s the puzzle, and she remains unsolved. Will this new season solve her? Probably not. Lynch isn’t in the business of solving puzzles. He’s in the business of making them harder. In the end, Laura will likely remain even more enigmatic than ever. And that’s appropriate. There is no greater mystery than humanity. –Randall Colburn

The Red Room

Teresa Banks

teresa banks Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Pamela Gidley

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990 (mentioned); Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (official)

Damn Good Quote: N/A

Diane… A year before the death of Laura Palmer, there was the similar fate of Teresa Banks, a 17-year-old prostitute/waitress living in Deer Meadow, Oregon. Thanks to her ties with Jacques Renault, she actually knew Laura and Ronette Pulaski, and their coke-fueled hang-outs is why she ended up wrapped in plastic, too. Well, that and her ad in Flesh World. Because unbeknownst to her, a Bob-possessed Leland Palmer happened to be a subscriber, and when he came calling, her time drew very, very short. Unfortunately, we don’t know too much about Teresa, but from what we do now, she appears to be stuck in this life not by choice but strictly by situation, and that’s what separates her from Laura’s own downward spiral. –Michael Roffman

The Red Room

Lana Budding Milford

lana Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Robyn Lively

First Appearance: “Masked Ball”, 12/15/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Prom night. My date went to kiss me. It was his first day with his new braces, and they gleamed in the moonlight. Then his rubber band snapped and his jaw locked up and we ended up in the emergency room and the doctors had to break his jaw in three places to get it to shut and it’s just.. it’s just gotten worse ever since!”

Diane… Lana Budding Milford may as well have jumped right out of an episode of Invitation to Love. The “sexual adventuress” makes conquest after conquest, and though she’s not as, shall we say, homicidal as some of her neighbors, she’s no saint, either. One assumes her marriage to Dougie Milford wasn’t one of love, and her relationship with her late husband’s equally elderly brother isn’t exactly a triumph of romance. Still, her only real crime is attempting to rig the Miss Twin Peaks pageant in her favor, an attempt that might have actually worked had she spared us the “contortionistic jazz exotica.” –Allison Shoemaker

The Red Room

Dougie Milford

doug milford1 Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Tony Jay

First Appearance: “Dispute Between Brothers”, 12/08/1990

Damn Good Quote: “I’m married, but I wouldn’t say I’m a fanatic about it.”

Diane… There’s a lot more to Dougie Milford than a stupid, long-running rivalry between his brother Mayor Dwayne Milford and his questionable marriage to Lana Budding Milford. In addition to serving as publisher of the Twin Peaks Gazette, following the death of Robert Jacoby, he also had a dense, storied history with the paranormal. What began with a terrifying abduction near Glastonbury Grove as a former scoutmaster, eventually led — through a series of extenuating (if not entirely perfunctory) circumstances, mind you — to his involvement in the Air Force’s elusive Project Sign, Project Grudge, and Project Blue Book as one of the country’s original Men in Black. Similar to Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith’s iconic roles, his job was to ensure the truth never got out into the public, and he would later use the Gazette to couch some stories. That type of sketchy behavior, not to mention his ties with President Nixon and all his drunken womanizing, lands him a seat in the Red Room. Though, his alliance with Gordon Cole and Major Briggs has us thinking, This guy might not be so bad. –Michael Roffman

The Red Room

Mayor Dwayne Milford

dwayne milford Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: John Boylan

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Anybody moves and I’ll blast her into kingdom come! [Points to Dr. Jacoby] And the hippie too!”

Diane… Octogenarian Dwayne Milford is the mayor of Twin Peaks, but he sure doesn’t seem to care about anything except spiting his brother, Dougie. After Dougie Milford has a heart attack directly after marrying the calculating Lana Budding Milford, Dwayne accuses her of witchcraft and sexual cunning before being drawn into her web as his brother had. Soon, he’s fixing the Miss Twin Peaks pageant to help her win, even going so far as to urge her to bang Dick Tremayne in exchange for his vote. In this sense, he’s proven himself a tried-and-true politician: His willingness to be manipulated aligns with his hunger for power. –Randall Colburn

The Red Room

Ronette Pulaski

ronette Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Phoebe Augustine

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Don’t go there Laura! Don’t go there!”

Diane… Ronette is exactly the type of friend mothers warn their daughters about. For Laura, she’s the anti-Donna Hayward, trouble with a capital T, some italics, and maybe an underline. She never once second-guesses the various exploits that she and Laura find themselves in, as we see in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and that eventually comes back to bite her. On the other hand, she’s a fighter and also seemingly touched by the light, which may explain why she escaped the clutches of Leland Palmer and lived to tell the mythology of “the long-haired man,” aka Killer Bob. Quite a turnaround. –Michael Roffman

The Red Room

Sarah Palmer

sarah palmer Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Grace Zabriskie

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Goodnight, sweetheart.”

Diane… Sarah Palmer is a much more complicated person than we were led to believe during the series run. Why is she in the Red Room? Surely a woman who has lost her daughter to a violent end and discovered her husband to be her murderer has suffered enough. Her pain is felt and sincere…but there is some potential retconning that gives us pause at Consequence of Sound. In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, there are moments when it appears that Sarah is aware of what Leland is doing late at night. There’s a glance at the dinner table. She hesitates drinking her milk at night before Leland slowly nudges her glass upward. Does she know it’s drugged? Does she wish to escape from reality/responsibility? All of this ruins Coop’s beautiful monologue about her husband in the series, but such is life in Twin Peaks. Uncertainty and duplicity run rampant. –Justin Gerber

The Red Room

Margaret “Log Lady” Lanterman

log lady Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Catherine E. Coulson

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “When this kind of fire starts, it is very hard to put out. The tender boughs of innocence burn first, and the wind rises, and then all goodness is in jeopardy. ”

Diane… Margaret Lanterman might not be the most pleasant of company, with a manner that ranges from “a bit odd” to “seriously off-putting.” Worse yet, her gum habits are positively appalling (who chews peach gum, anyway?). Still, perhaps the most iconic resident of Twin Peaks not named Laura Palmer or Dale Cooper is a mostly benevolent presence, using her log’s many spirits and her own skills of translation to help steer Coop’s investigation into Laura’s death and its many surrounding mysteries. We need her in the Red Room, as it’s more than likely that the Log Lady is the only person around who knows what’s really going on — and if it takes us awhile to understand her meaning, well, we’ll just have to wait for the tea to steep. –Allison Shoemaker

The Red Room

The Man from Another Place

man from another place Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Michael J. Anderson

First Appearance: “Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer”, 4/19/1990

Damn Good Quote: “That gum you like is going to come back in style.”

Diane… Like MIKE (who we’ll get to in just a minute here), The Man from Another Place ain’t no saint. Frankly, anyone who likes creamed corn that much is suspect. But whatever his past or future sins, Michael J. Anderson’s entity of evil makes up for at least a few of them through the aid he offers Agent Cooper in his pursuit of BOB. Beyond that, he’s got to earn a few extra-meta good points for absolutely nailing some of the most iconic moments of the series and helping to define its medium-changing style. Not enough points for a ticket out of the Red Room, of course, but maybe enough for some extra garmonbozia. –Allison Shoemaker

The Red Room

John Justice Wheeler

wheeler Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Billy Zane

First Appearance: “The Condemned Woman”, 2/16/1991

Damn Good Quote: “Just keep your eye on your heart, and always tell the truth. Tell the hardest truth first, though.”

Diane… Never trust a man as attractive as twentysomething Billy Zane. It doesn’t matter that John Justice Wheeler, a business associate of Ben Horne’s, is presented as a paragon of virtue and a testament to the benefits of honest work because he’s seriously just too, too attractive. It doesn’t matter that the character was literally created as a love interest for Audrey Horne and really has no character beyond being handsome and perfect enough to distract her from Dale Cooper, because he’s simply too handsome. It is a little weird that he, a grown man, is all too eager to take a high schooler’s virginity. To the Red Room he goes! –Randall Colburn

The Red Room

Carl Rodd

carl rod Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Harry Dean Stanton

First Appearance: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Damn Good Quote: “Goddamn, these people are confusing.”

Diane… Carl Rodd has seen a lot, and what we haven’t seen of Carl Rodd makes him all the more mysterious. A former student of Twin Peaks High School, Rodd once vanished in the nearby woods at a young age with classmates Maggie Coulson and Alan Traherne, returning with a mark on the back his knee. After wandering the world and cycling through odd jobs, he finally returned to the Pacific Northwest, becoming a manager of Fat Trout Trailer Park. A few past residents of the park include Teresa Banks, Mrs. Chalfront and her grandson, and, technically, FBI Special Agent Chester Desmond. It’s difficult to ascertain where Rodd stands in this world — he’s most likely a scarred victim of the Black Lodge — but as he explains to Desmond, “I’ve already gone places. I just want to stay where I am.” Please, do tell us more, Carl. –Michael Roffman

The Red Room

Harold Smith

harold smith Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Lenny Von Dohlen

First Appearance: “The Man Behind Glass”, 10/13/1990

Damn Good Quote: “There are things you can’t get anywhere, but we dream they can be found in other people.”

Diane… If Harold didn’t freak out the moment he were betrayed, with the doofy, earnest agoraphobe screaming, drawing a garden trowel down his cheek, and fuckin’ hanging himself the moment he was maligned, he might have transcended everyone else on this list as the purest of pure souls. That’s precisely why Harold is so insufferable in his brief tenure on the show: He’s a snowflake, a soft-spoken soul who may as well speak in iambic pentameter. But no, there’s something wrong with Harold, though it’s never quite clear what. Maybe a lack of vitamin D? –Randall Colburn

The Red Room


mike Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Al Strobel

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Through the darkness of futures past, the magician longs to see. One chants out between two worlds: Fire walk with me.”

Diane… Not to be confused with Twin Peaks jock Mike Nelson (who is not to be confused with MST3K’s Mike Nelson), MIKE is a spirit who later found himself. Only in Lynch’s America, right? In an ironic twist on the man-with-one-arm storyline from The Fugitive, one-armed MIKE is trying to track down the evil spirit BOB and put an end to his…well…evil. Why is he in the Red Room? Years before Laura’s murder, he and BOB went around murdering and raping people. Trying to prevent murder in our realm doesn’t make up for everything. Sorry, MIKE! –Justin Gerber

The Red Room

Phillip Jeffries

jeffries Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: David Bowie

First Appearance: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, 8/28/1992

Damn Good Quote: “Well now, I’m not gonna talk about Judy. In fact, we’re not gonna talk about Judy at all, we’re gonna keep her out of it.”

Diane… We don’t see much of Agent Jeffries, but he makes a hell of an impression. In what we’ll call less than ideal circumstances, the missing-in-action agent arrives back at FBI headquarters, and though he’s pretty much incapable of comprehensible communication, still tries the best he can to tell explain what the hell is going on. That’s not nothing. He’s also played by David Bowie, which means he could be FBI Special Agent Jareth the Goblin King and we’d still be incapable of condemning him to the Black Lodge. –Allison Shoemaker

The Red Room

The Giant

giant Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Carel Struycken

First Appearance: “May the Giant Be with You”, 9/30/1990

Damn Good Quote: “It is happening again.”

Diane… Where do we begin with the Big Maybe-Friendly Giant? He becomes Cooper’s spirit guide at the beginning of the second season, and I mean that literally. Such a character in other entertainment programming would likely be more obvious with their guidance, maybe saying “Leland Palmer is about to kill his niece” instead of “It is happening again.” But, hey, where’s the fun in the that? The Giant is someone you can count on for major advice, whether in a dream state or lost in love. He belongs in the Red Room so we can have somebody reliable to look out for us. –Justin Gerber

The Red Room

Shelly Johnson

shelly johnson Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Mädchen Amick

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “I’ve got one man too many in my life and I’m married to him. Sound familiar?”

Diane… The character of Shelly is definitely one of the soapier elements of Twin Peaks. She is impossibly beautiful. She is in an awful relationship. She works at the local diner. She’s having an affair with a ne’er-do-well. She miraculously causes hard-of-hearing FBI Agent Gordon Cole to hear clearly thanks to the sound of her voice. Okay. Maybe that last bit is more fantastical, but you get my point. She seems innocent enough, but her cruel treatment of Leo post-vegetative state does not look good on paper, and Leo is the worst. Many of her troubles can be laid at the feet of her husband, but her mocking attitude regarding Leland after Laura’s funeral is uncomfortable to say the least. To say the most, anyone involved with Bad Boy Bobby Briggs is destined for trouble. Hope she’s found some redemption in the last 25 years. –Justin Gerber

The Red Room

Donna Hayward

donna Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Lara Flynn Boyle/Moira Kelly

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “You’re dead, Laura, but your problems keep hanging around!”

Diane… Poor Donna Hayward had a rough time of it, didn’t she? Her best friend dies after a long, troubled time (during which, it must be said, Laura wasn’t always an A+ best friend), she realizes she’s in love with said best friend’s secret boyfriend, she’s saddled with her own shitty boyfriend who’s, you know, kind of abusive, and her little sister’s a total tattletale. That’s just in the pilot. The troubled good girl of Twin Peaks doesn’t always treat those around her with the utmost care and compassion — her interactions with poor Maddy were troubling, yes? — but when you come right down to it, she’s just a poor dumb kind who went through a lot of trauma in a short time, and it’s all capped off when she finds out that genuine scumbag Ben Horne is probably her dad. Yikes. Odds are we’ve seen the last of Donna, and you know what? She deserves a break. –Allison Shoemaker

The Red Room

Audrey Horne

audrey horne Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Sherilynn Fenn

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “I love this music. Isn’t it too dreamy?”

Diane… Here’s another poor kid who went through a lot, but unlike Donna, Audrey didn’t have to contend with the nasty realization that Ben Horne was her father. No, she knew that from the beginning. Audrey’s a tough one to pin down, sometimes a mistreated, good-hearted and little understood heroine and others a manipulative, entitled brat with seriously questionable judgment. Still, at the end of the day, Audrey just wanted to help and to be loved, and while that alone isn’t enough to land her a slot in the White Lodge, it’s a damn close thing. –Allison Shoemaker

The Red Room

Nadine Hurley

nadine hurley Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Wendy Robie

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “At high school, I used to watch Norma and you at those football games? She was so pretty. You were such a handsome couple, but I knew, I always knew once you got to know me that we’d be together. Even though I was just a little nobody, a little brown mouse, I was always hoping. And wasn’t I right? Wasn’t I right?”

Diane… Nadine’s not a bad person. She’s just, well, kind of awful. That doesn’t mean real, human emotions don’t bubble beneath her eyepatch, it’s just that they’re a cauldron of tics that no one would want to be surrounded by 24 hours a day. Emotional breaks are punctuated by shrill bouts of bullying (her husband, Big Ed, is subject to most of them), all of it stemming from an insecurity that tells her she doesn’t deserve the life she stumbled into. Is it cool that Big Ed is cheating on her with his high school squeeze? No, but it’s understandable. Still, what’s obvious in season one—and also during her mental break in season two—is that she’d kill for Ed (and she almost does after stumbling upon Hank Jennings wailing on her man). There are worse people to have on your side. –Randall Colburn

The White Lodge

Big Ed Hurley

big ed Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Everett McGill

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “I’m living my life, Norma. I just don’t like it much.”

Diane… Big Ed is a good man. He may make the (very) occasional morally dubious choice, but his general modus operandi is to treat people decently, to do the right thing, to stand up for people, and to make his town a better (and better-fueled) place. His relationship with Nadine is a complicated one, but for the most part, he wants her to be happy and well, and his guilt over any misery he adds to her considerable stockpile is close to debilitating. The same can be said of Norma, his capital-L love (though she doesn’t have Nadine’s crosses to bear). And all of that soapy drama aside, this is a man who wants his town and the people who live there to be well. Their wounds are his wounds, their joys, his joys. That’s a long way of saying what I said at the top: Big Ed’s a good man. They don’t make ‘em like that often. –Allison Shoemaker

The White Lodge

Chester Desmond

chester desmond Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Chris Isaak

First Appearance: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Damn Good Quote: “Sir, your behavior is not funny. Your attitude is wasting the bureau’s valuable time.”

Diane… In Lynch and Frost’s world, the FBI produce top men, and high on the list is Special Agent Chester Desmond. Sure, those good looks do a lot of the talking, but there’s a stoic assurance to Desmond that makes him such a figure of authority. He’s not one for bullshit and his dedication to the law — as evidenced by his unwillingness to let his dough-eyed partner Sam Stanley cash out after an hours-long autopsy — speaks to his level of professionalism. In one of Fire Walk with Me‘s Missing Pieces, we also learn that Desmond is a hell of a fighter, too, though meaty left hooks are nothing against the unspeakable powers of the Black Lodge. And so, before we even got to say, “I love you, Agent Desmond,” he was gone before our very eyes, whisked away from the sunless terrain of Fat Trout Trailer Park. Despite his abduction, there’s no doubt he’ll eventually be transported to the heavenly walls of the White Lodge. –Michael Roffman

The White Lodge

Eileen Hayward

eileen hayward Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Mary Jo Deschanel

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “What truth is there?”

Diane… Eileen is something of a non-entity in Twin Peaks’ early going, a kind face that supports her husband and children—Donna, Harriet, and Gersten—with a warm shoulder and even warmer muffins (that’s not a euphemism). By the end of season two, however, we discover that she cheated on her husband years before with none other than town influencer Ben Horne, who, after his psychotic break, is trying to make amends. We never have time to learn what really went down between them—and whether or not it involved whatever put her in a wheelchair—but it raises the idea that Donna may be part of the Horne bloodline. It also points to an inner shame in Eileen that adds a new dimension to her otherwise milquetoast character. –Randall Colburn

The White Lodge

Norma Jennings

norma jennings Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Peggy Lipton

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “I’d rather be his whore than your wife!

Diane… Our Double-R diner boss rivals her employee Shelly for Twin Peaks textbook soap star. In addition to serving coffee and pie to the local residents, she’s also one of the more reliable shoulders to cry on. This means something in a town where people are constantly looking out only for themselves. Sadly, her soothing voice and comforting smile mask what lies beneath. Her dreams of being together together with gas station owner “Big” Ed Hurley go unfilled, with the both of them stuck in loveless marriages (hers is in prison for Pete Martell’s sake!). There are a number of illicit affairs happening all about Twin Peaks, but there is something pure about Norma’s love for Ed. Despite all these woes, she also manages to run the local Meals on Wheels program! Would someone give poor Norma a break? She’s running out of shoulders for people to cry on. –Justin Gerber

The White Lodge

Albert Rosenfield

albert rosenfield Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Miguel Ferrer

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990 (mentioned); “Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer”, 4/19/1990

Damn Good Quote: “The letter B, from Ronette’s finger, was cut from a copy of “Flesh World”. Perfect match. This particular edition features swingers’ clubs for standard poodle enthusiasts. No comment.”

Diane… Look, Albert Rosenfield is a jerk. He’s a know-it-all from the big city sprawl of Philadelphia, who looks down on small townspeople and treats both Deputy Andy Brennan and Sheriff Harry S. Truman like a lap dog. But like any jerk, those sharp barbs and witty takedowns come from a place of insecurity, and as we learn early on in the second season, there’s a heart to Albert that beats faster and harder than any average lawman with a badge and a keen eye for details. Look no further than his Jerry Maguire Moment to Truman, when he confesses: “While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I am a naysayer and hatchetman in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I’ll gladly take another because I choose to live my life in the company of Gandhi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method… is love. I love you Sheriff Truman.” Goddammit, we’ll miss you forever, Miguel. –Michael Roffman

The White Lodge

James Hurley

james hurley Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: James Marshall

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “You always hurt the ones you love.”

Diane… Hey, you don’t need me to tell you James Hurley is a charitable, honest, and respectable dude, because pretty much every character he interacts with tells him that at some point or another. It’s part of what makes James such an insufferable character; his bad boy biker image belies a heart that may as well be a ball of heavenly light. And, despite his puppy dog theatrics, James is honorable, establishing himself as a loyal friend, lover, and confidant time and again throughout the series. If he has one weakness beyond his bleeding heart it’s in what lies behind those tight Dungarees. Noble as he is, James isn’t susceptible to the wiles of a pretty woman, as we see in his tryst with Evelyn Marsh and the murder plot he slowly finds himself wrapped up in. Last we heard, James was on his way to Mexico. Lord only knows what trouble his hormones got him into down there. –Randall Colburn

The White Lodge

Pete Martell

pete martell Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Jack Nance

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: ‘There was a fish in the percolator!”

Diane… What separates dopey Pete Martell from literally every other Twin Peaks resident is we are confident he’s innocent from the get-go. It’s little “gone fishing” Pete that discovers Laura’s body that fateful morning, kicking everything into motion. I mean, unless he had a hidden-away personality…come to think of it that’s kind of what happened with Leland. Maybe we were too quick to dismiss Pete as a suspect. However you look at it, he was indeed innocent. His flaw is that he too often backed down from his domineering wife and found himself in the middle of things he’d rather stay out of. However, we were all Pete the day he played Ben Horne that blackmail tape in prison. Long live Pete, husband of Catherine, brought to life by the late Jack Nance. We’d go fishing with you any day of the week. –Justin Gerber

The White Lodge

Maddy Ferguson

maddy ferguson Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Sheryl Lee

First Appearance: “Rest in Pain”, 4/26/1990

Damn Good Quote:Somebody help me!”

Diane… In many ways, Maddy was to the people of Twin Peaks what they believed the dearly departed Laura to be: an unfair definition of a “good girl”. What they didn’t know was how determined she was to find out what happened to her cousin. She could have folded and given up on living like her aunt and uncle, but she opted instead to team up with James and Donna to discover the truth. She was the first to find it … but at the cost of her own life. What makes her murder that much more impactful is how good and decent she was. It’s as unforgiving an end as you’ll find on a network show, even by today’s standards. –Justin Gerber

The White Lodge

Annie Blackburn

annie Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Heather Graham

First Appearance: “Wounds and Scars”, 3/28/1991

Damn Good Quote: “My name is Annie. I’ve been with Dale and Laura. The good Dale is in the lodge and can’t leave. Write it in your diary.”

Diane… A former nun who falls in love with Dale Cooper, Annie Blackburn is one trip to the tattoo parlor shy of having the word “saintly” writ large across her forehead. The only mark against her is this: that last name seems awfully suspicious for a girl who ends up (at least temporarily) in the Black Lodge, does it not? –Allison Shoemaker

The White Lodge

Betty Briggs

betty briggs Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Charlotte Stewart

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: (silent lucidity)

Diane… Here’s the long and short of it: she had to raise Bobby Briggs. There are special places reserved in Heaven (and the White Lodge) for people like this. –Justin Gerber

The White Lodge

Gordon Cole

gordon cole Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: David Lynch

First Appearance: “The One-Armed Man”, 5/3/1990 (voice); “Demons”, 11/3/1990



The White Lodge

Sam Stanley

sam twin peaks Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Kiefer Sutherland

First Appearance: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, 8/28/1992

Damn Good Quote: “Nicotine’s a drug. Caffeine‘s a drug.”

Diane… The Scottie Pippen to Chris Isaak’s Chester Diamond, Sam helps out in the investigation of not Laura Palmer’s death, but that of Teresa Banks. His book smarts and forensics skills certainly help in the coroner’s office, but not so much outside of it. We don’t spend much time with him in the grand scheme of things, but we know he’s a socially awkward young agent whose heart is always in the right place. Young Sam’s determined to learn all he can from the enigmatic Chester. Learning lessons is a trait that’s rare to find in the folks from Twin Peaks, let alone the dimwitted in Deer Meadow! –Justin Gerber

The White Lodge

Lucy Moran

lucy moran Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Kimmy Robertson

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Richard, here’s what you’re going to do. Take your money, put it back in your wallet, or your pocket, turn around, walk through both sets of doors, the second one sticks sometimes, go out into the parking lot, get in your car, turn the key, and never, ever speak to me again as long as you live! Say one more word and I’ll scream. Leave, please.”

Diane… Lucy Moran is one of the few characters in Twin Peaks who doesn’t seem to be hiding a single thing. What you see is what you get with her; despite her sparkling personality and kind tenor, she won’t suffer fools. When Dick Tremayne offers to help her pay for an abortion, she doesn’t hesitate to tell him to hit the bricks. There’s a confidence and transparency to Lucy, an assurance that she’ll never lie to you. She might shack up with the town dandy behind your back, but what business is that of yours, Andy? Y’all were on a break. –Randall Colburn

The White Lodge

Doctor William Hayward

doc hayward Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Warren Frost

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “I could not bring myself to do the post-mortem, so last night I called in Joe Fielding.”

Diane…: Kind, straightforward, and thoroughly decent, Doc Hayward is everything you’d want from a physician. As evil and oddness descends upon Twin Peaks, Hayward, alongside Cooper and Truman, maintains a relentlessly level head, his expertise and gentle bedside manner coming in handy every step of the way. The good doc does have a temper, however, one that arises whenever someone threatens his job or his family, as is the case with Albert Rosenfield in season one and Ben Horne in season two. Hayward lays into the latter of the two when he finds out Horne had an affair with his wife years earlier. Hot-headed? Maybe. But it wouldn’t be a surprise if Doc ended up treating the injury 10 minutes later… –Randall Colburn

The White Lodge

Sheriff Harry S. Truman

truman Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Michael Ontkean

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “You know, you are the best lawman I’ve ever seen. But, Coop, sometimes you think too much.”

Diane… Rare is the man as simple, as sincere, and as pragmatic as Sheriff Harry S. Truman. He likes his coffee, he likes his donuts, and he likes his town. When he first discovers the corpse belongs to Laura Palmer, he’s certainly affected, surprised even, but he never loses his composure. He assesses the situation and acts on it with the utmost civility. Later on, when FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper first confronts him and points out that this is his case to lead, there isn’t a hint of objection from Truman. He nods, he accepts, and he commits. Even at the very end of the second season, when things start getting out of control and Cooper has vanished into the Black Lodge, he remains hopeful and waits patiently for his friend for over 10 hours. That’s the mark of a benevolent spirit, and although he’s not without his share of mistakes (ahem, his ill-fated relationship with Josie Packard), he’s at least willing to own up to them. To top it all off, he can get you a good rate up at the Great Northern. Harry, you’re all right. –Michael Roffman

The White Lodge

Denise Bryson

denise bryson Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: David Duchovny

First Appearance: “Masked Ball”, 12/15/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Coop, I may be wearing a dress, but I still pull my panties on one leg at a time, if you know what I mean.”

Diane… Special Agent Denise Bryson is good at her job, was out as a transgender woman in a time, industry, and town in which that couldn’t have been easy (note: still not easy), and she saved Dale Cooper’s bacon. Her biggest failing is that there was not nearly enough of her the first time around. Now that It Is Happening Again, that’s a minor flaw that will be somewhat corrected, as Duchovny’s one of the players confirmed for this next go-round. –Allison Shoemaker

The White Lodge


diane Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: a voice-activated tape recorder

First Appearance: none, thus far

Damn Good Quote: the silence after inserting a damn good pair of ear plugs

Diane… you’re the world’s best listener. –Allison Shoemaker

The White Lodge

Deputy Tommy “Hawk” Hill

hawk Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Michael Horse

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Some of my best friends are white people.”

Diane… Is Hawk the best cop in Twin Peaks? He may very well be. At the very least, he’s a guy with great instincts and the eyes of a (sorry) hawk, and had he not spotted a certain one-armed man early on, the Palmer investigation may have ended very differently. Beyond that, Hawk’s a compassionate sort, offering wisdom, comfort, and sympathy when he can, and comfortable silence when he can’t. He’s a good shot. He can throw a knife. Beyond all that, he’s a damn good friend. Has anyone ever been more #TeamAndy? Not even Andy was more #TeamAndy than Hawk. In short, this is a man with not one but two good souls: one waking, one dreaming. He’s #TeamAndy, but—and I swear to god this will be the last hashtag I use—we are, all of us, #TeamHawk. –Allison Shoemaker

The White Lodge

Special Agent Dale Cooper

coop gif Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Kyle MacLachlan

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.”

Diane… In many ways, Dale Cooper is the closest approximation to David Lynch in Twin Peaks. He’s imaginative, he’s courteous, he’s intuitive, he’s meticulous, he’s intelligent, he’s accepting, and well … he’s strange. There’s an unmistakable passion to his friendly constitution that goes well beyond what we traditionally expect from a human being, and these are all things that can be said of Lynch, which suggests they’re spiritually linked. Comparisons aside, it should surprise literally no one to see the FBI Special Agent floating around the White Lodge. His insistence on doing the right thing bleeds into every facet of his life, from the way he conducts the law, the way he wrestles with love, and the way he respects his colleagues.

When Hayward suggests there was an impetus behind Leland Palmer’s murder of Jacques Renault, arguing that nobody knows the plight of a father who’s buried his own, Cooper refuses to bend to that thinking. When Audrey makes several passes at him, even surprising him late at night in her birthday suit at the Great Northern, Cooper neglects to indulge in that immorality. When his longtime colleague Albert Rosenfield spars with his recent partner Sheriff Harry S. Truman, Cooper immediately suppresses the situation and comes to his aide. As Audrey later tells him, “You know, there’s only one problem with you: You’re perfect.” She’s not wrong; Cooper’s a man of ironclad principles and there’s nothing in this world that will change that.

Again, this world. –Michael Roffman

The White Lodge

Johnny Horne

horne johnny Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Robert Davenport/Robert Bauer

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: (bangs head against dollhouse)

Diane… Not sure if poor Johnny was baptized in his youth, but let’s assume his lifetime of stunted, mental growth will be enough to let him pass through the pearly White Lodge doors. If Audrey had not (allegedly) caused his injuries at such a young age who knows what would have become of him. In a way, she possibly saved him from such a negative family influence, but at what cost? The Hornes are pretty awful, upperclass Twin Peakers, but keep Johnny away from the family stigma. He’s been through enough. –Justin Gerber

The White Lodge

Major Garland Briggs

major briggs Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Don S. Davis

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Returning to the house’s grand foyer, there came a knock at the door. My son was standing there. He was happy and care-free, clearly living a life of deep harmony and joy. We embraced — a warm and loving embrace, nothing withheld. We were in this moment one. My vision ended. I awoke with a tremendous of optimism and confidence in you and your future. That was my vision; it was of you. I’m so glad to have had this opportunity to share it with you. I wish you nothing but the very best, always.”

Diane… If you had any doubts regarding the purity of Major Briggs’ heart, look simply to the above quote, which is just a tiny portion of one of the show’s most beautiful pieces of writing. Briggs is sharing this dream with his son, Bobby, who might be the most snotty, ungrateful character on the entire show. Despite Bobby’s attitude, his father’s love remains steadfast. More than Cooper or Truman or even peace-loving Albert, love sheathes the major’s spine like iron. Near the series’ end, he’s propped to a wall by Windom Earle, who fires arrows at him before injecting him with a truth serum. Even with razor-sharp blades spiraling towards his eyes, he still responds to Earle’s question of what he fears most by saying, “The possibility that love is not enough.” Laura Palmer’s fate is perhaps all the evidence one needs to know that, no, it’s not enough. Still, Major Briggs goes on loving. –Randall Colburn

The White Lodge

Deputy Andy Brennan

andy brennan Ranking: Every Twin Peaks Character from Evil to Good

Played by: Harry Goaz

First Appearance: “Pilot”, 4/8/1990

Damn Good Quote: “Tell Harry…I didn’t cry…”

Diane… Only one person could possibly surpass Coop’s All-American-boy persona as the definitive saint of the series. Deputy Andy Brennan is the resident Gomer Pyle with half the slapstick and 100x the heart. The first two times we see him, he’s in absolute tears at two different crime scenes. He can’t help it. He feels too much. Even when Harry calls him out in public about this, he still can’t stop feeling, something too many have suppressed in Twin Peaks. He is the ideal citizen, the ideal cop. He’s at times clueless, he’s at times a puppy dog, but he’s always real. There are no masks. He wants to do a good job. And every scene with Lucy is like a meet-cute over-and-over again. I love Andy. We love Andy. We can’t wait to see him again. Just don’t take him to any wine tastings. –Justin Gerber