A few of us writers here on 25 Years Later decided to write out a short piece on what character from Twin Peaks we related to the most and why. Seemed like a fun way for you to get to know us a little better and if you comment and let us know your response, we can get to know you a little better too! Hope you enjoy!
Andrew: Which character do I most relate to from Twin Peaks is a tough one. My ego wants to say Laura. My sense of humor wants to say James (Next stop, Mexico) but when I took a long hard look at myself, the only truthful answer was Bobby Briggs. Much like Bobby I was caught up as a teenager with all the wrong people. Drugs, violence, women who shared some of Laura’s secrets and men who shared Leo’s attitude and business ethics were my crowd. Much like Bobby, my tough exterior was a front, masking fear, heartache and a desire to be more like my father; although neither of us would understand that until we were older.
Bobby’s past isn’t the only reason why I picked him. In his small amount of screen time so far in “The Return” we’ve come to learn that Bobby is now a police officer and is making a positive impact on his community after years of being part of the problem. We also have that in common. I too have commitments to my community today in an effort to make good on the harm I had previously caused. If Lynch and Frost pull a fast one and Bobby is a crooked cop or something I reserve the right to change my answer to something funny like Heidi the waitress and pretend I didn’t get honest and vulnerable with anyone reading this. On the other hand, we did get to see Bobby’s vulnerability and flowing emotions when he saw the picture of Laura and he briefly became overwhelmed with his past. Perhaps Bobby Briggs is the character I most relate to after all.
Justin: I find myself relating to the character of Albert Rosenfield more than anyone else in the Twin Peaks universe. When Albert first came to town, he had a huge chip on his shoulder regarding the local townsfolk. I can feel Albert’s pain. While I would never be as abrasive and rude to others as he is, I grew up in a small town where ‘simple’ people went about their lives. I admit that the local charm can wear out its welcome pretty quickly when it surrounds you every day of your life.
But much like Albert, underneath my sarcastic comments and cynicism, I have a deep love and appreciation for every human being on this Earth. I have a difficult time expressing those emotions, and therefore most people get the wrong impression of who I really am inside. So Albert Rosenfield, I just get you. You seem like you may have mellowed just a bit after 25 years, and I hope that I am on that path as well. It’s a strange and difficult one.
Eileen: With such a wide cast of characters, one would think it’d be easy to choose a character with which to identify. In some ways, this was the case for me, and in other ways not, considering that many of the characters fit certain soap opera tropes from which they were created. If you were asking me about X-Files, I could automatically answer that I am your typical Mulder – I want to believe, not the scientific Scully (despite sharing her faith). But Twin Peaks has a far wider cast from within which to identify, and in many ways, all the more real. Ultimately, after starting to write this about a different character, I ended up realizing that I’m a Norma, for better or worse. Failed relationships, a tendency to give people more chances than they deserve, seeking parental approval, despite knowing that I’m still successful without it. Norma plays her emotions close to the chest too, just like me.
Despite the fact that she’s watched chances and opportunities to be happy pass her by, much like myself, she’s still hard-working, independently successful, and generally happy. She’s doing something she loves, despite everything that’s coming for her. I’m a teacher, in the state of Wisconsin no less, and for those unaware, education is a hard business to be in in this state. She’s also one of the most nurturing, caring figures in the show; another aspect which I find resonates with me strongly. Like Norma, I don’t have my own children, but I am an Aunt, and care for my sibling’s children with all my heart. I also tend to be the ‘mom friend’ as the kids call it these days, looking after others and their problems in the same way Norma does for Shelly. No matter what, Norma doesn’t let life strike her down and I’m not about to either.
Lindsay: Well this was a rollercoaster! Initially my thoughts went to my favorite characters—Cooper, Audrey, Laura—but I’m nothing like these characters, though in many cases I aspire to be: more still and contemplative like Coop, more adventurous like Audrey, braver like Laura. I wondered if maybe I was most like Catherine (because I’m stubborn and willful…but I’m not quite that vindictive!) or maybe I was more like Truman (the guy you can count on when you’re in a jam—except I’m frequently the one in the jam myself, so maybe I’m more like Andy?) In the end I realized that I feel like my process of self-discovery is only just beginning (at age 32!) so in that sense I really feel like Lucy and I are kindred spirits: we’re both capable when called on but tend to be overwhelmed by the little things sometimes (though I’ve never fainted at the sight of a mobile phone before…) At the start of the series, Lucy was trying to figure out what she wants from life, and I feel that’s something I can relate to on a deep level at this point in my life. I still hope some day to attain some of the characteristics of my other faves, but in this snapshot moment in time, Lucy is my girl.
Sophia: I have given much thought over the years as to which Twin Peaks character I identify with the most. Even though the show touches me on many levels, there isn’t one particular character that I can completely relate to. For example, there were some ways that I felt totally connected to Laura in Fire Walk with Me, but I can’t say that I share her experience of being a popular, drug addicted teenage prostitute who was sexually abused by her father. I could identify with James’s broodiness but not his cool biker persona. So, if I had to choose who I really most identify with, it is a mixture of the Log Lady and Andy Brennan. Here’s why:
The Log Lady and I are alike because we are both oddballs. It is hard for other people to understand us or take us seriously if they don’t take the time. We both have sub-par senses of fashion. Most importantly, The Log Lady carries around the spirit of her late husband in a log, where when I was a teenager, during a crisis of faith, I decided to make a god out of a stick of bamboo. (My god went missing, however, most likely because my mom was afraid of what kind of spirits I was attracting.) Andy and I are alike in that we are both overly emotional. I would also break down crying if I were asked to photograph a girl’s dead body or witness the crime scene where she was brutally murdered. Also, like Andy, I enjoy taking the more scenic route, even if it takes longer. Both of these reasons also contribute why I never pursued a career in law enforcement, unlike Andy. I also hope that I might be slightly cleverer than he is.
Sezin: I’d always related most with Margaret Lanterman, aka The Log Lady, since she’s a figure who exists on the margins of Twin Peaks and somehow always makes waves wherever she goes. As an older woman Margaret is simultaneously invisible and hypervisible, which is also a common experience for biracial women of color like myself. We both share uncanny senses of intuition and perception, as well as looking at life through pairs of glasses. In the new hours, though, I relate so much to Diane. She’s a survivor of horrible things, and all the years she’s been surviving have made her angry, isolated, and depressed. I’ve been in similar shoes and my heart goes out to her. I hope she will see some kind of justice for the crimes committed against her. It’ll be like a proxy for all of us for whom justice was equally elusive. Plus, on a most superficial level: Diane and I somewhat share our fashion sense, too.
Laura: “This is probably either going to sound a) boring/unoriginal or b) blowing my own trumpet but I have to say (the original) Dale Cooper is the character I identify most with.
I certainly haven’t always been a Cooper. I’ve probably been a bit of Donna, Shelly, Norma and most definitely Laura at various times throughout my life but the wild child in me is mostly tamed now.
Dale to me is one of the good guys, but yet he’s not pure – Bob wouldn’t have been able to inhabit him if he was. The fact that he’s flawed makes him more realistic. He’s, let’s face it, a bit of an oddball but endearingly so. Always polite and helpful but straight to the point and no nonsense.
I am without a doubt a workaholic, a control freak in many ways. I don’t like chaos, which isn’t great as my life is mostly chaotic. I work a full time job in Social Housing, which is sometimes like being a police officer but without the guns/batons and cuffs (mores the pity). I have to do a lot of persuading and defusing very difficult situations. I also have very good intuition about people, I, like Coop can catch out a liar in a second. I will listen, digest and dissect every meaningful conversation I have with someone. It’s all stored up there somewhere waiting for that opportune moment to present my case or solve the puzzle.
Also, like Coops keen interest in the plight of the Tibetan People, I want to make the world a more accepting, caring and equal place. Three years ago I started my own charity for children with Downs Syndrome (my 4 year old son has Down’s and Autism). This is what I feel most passionate about; it’s a lot of hard work but extremely rewarding. My son has opened my eyes to a world full of amazement. I appreciate the little things, seeing my flowers bloom, feeding the birds in my garden and watching my son giggle with glee at the waves splashing his feet. I really get the wonder Coop felt first smelling those Douglas Firs.
Sleep is not something that comes easily to me, especially if there’s a group of drunken Icelanders nearby, so ASMR YouTube vids come to my aid most nights. I’m pretty sure if Coop were to snap back to his usual self in 2017 he’d do just the same.
Coop has this strange ability to be completely focused, always in control and logical yet with a great intuition and spiritual side. He’s not skeptical about anyone’s beliefs; he’s always willing to hear someone out and to open his mind. I’m not religious in any shape or form but I do have a great love of mythology, theosophy, and researching various different belief systems. I believe I’ve seen many ghosts in my time (one day my Log will have something to tell you about that I’m sure!), so perhaps I’m a little more in tune to what’s lurking out there than some folk. All of this is probably why I love the show so much, it’s been part of me since I was 10 years old. My Life, My Twin Peaks.
And truth be told, just like Coop was with Annie and Caroline before her, my romantic tendencies will always bring out the devil in me, the one thing to blur my vision and lead me down a dark path. Nothing quite like the feeling of falling in love.”
Gisela: I loved Pete right from the start. He’s the first character that speaks in Twin Peaks. His ”Gone fishing” indicates a going away or something that’s already far gone (which is something that describes quite well Catherine’s lack of response to Pete’s first words of Twin Peaks), but they mark our arrival into the Twin Peaks universe.
On this seemingly care free day Pete’s otherwise simple way of living is interrupted by the one thing that would forever change not only his life but the whole town of Twin Peaks. When the body of Laura Palmer floats to shore outside of Pete’s Blue Pine Lodge and settles by the big old log, Pete is the one who finds her.
In these first minutes of Twin Peaks we’re presented with masterful examples of the art of character building. How does one react to a gruesome find like this? The steady minded and rational Dr Hayward (who, mind you, was probably more of a father to Laura than Leland ever was and who had delivered her to the world of Twin Peaks) seems rightfully shocked but surprisingly calm. Sheriff Truman, ever so stoic, keeps his professional face on and does whatever has to be done in a terrible situation like this. Andy manages himself for a couple of seconds, but then he starts to cry – that’s just what the sweet hearted Andy does.
How about the Pete’s reaction? Horrified, he keeps a small distance with eyes full of worries that give away not only that he cares, but that he’s helplessly curious too. But it’s not that morbid curiosity that one could later use for gossip or voyerism, but rather a curious questioning rooted in a need to know:
Who did I just find dead? Is it someone I know, someone that I care about? What can I do about this situation? Will anyone need my help?
Pete’s got sparkling eyes and a warming heart. He’s the type of friend you just know will be there if you needed him.
But Pete is also a very funny guy. He’s blessed with that healthy dose of sarcasm that is often needed in life – especially if you’ve got a heart of gold like his. Pete’s sarcasm is sometimes overshadowed by Albert’s (which admittedly is a pretty hard one for anyone to match). But Pete seems to have found an almost perfect balance between the witty, sarcastic grumpiness and the friendly humor that we recognize as his trademarks.
With a deep concern whenever someone he cares about is in trouble, Pete isn’t hesitant to stop whatever he’s doing to help cheer someone else up for a moment, be it a heartbroken Audrey Horne, a police departement in need of a chess expert or a cunning Josie (masquerading as a naive, sweet woman in trouble). Pete is always there. Heck, Pete is even more than willing to rush to the aid of Catherine – his wife who always treats him poorly, talks him down and betrays him behind his back.
Pete Martell is one of those who’re able to find true joy and satisfaction if the contribution to other people’s happiness and comfort without expecting much in return. This is where I feel connected to that grumpy old sweet hearted man (that I used to think of as the perfect uncle when I got hooked on Twin Peaks sometime in the late 1990s).
Otherwise, him and I are very different. If Pete is the ”old habits die hard” type of guy, I’m still struggling each day to create mine. Pete’s a pretty simple man, I don’t think that I am half as simple. I sometimes wished I was, and when I do, Pete comes to mind. In the scene when Pete is pouring water over himself before literally running into fire to save Catherine, matter-of-factly stating ”She’s still my wife”, his true empathy and compassion shows itself at its best. And maybe also at its worse.
Because when it comes to truly caring about the people we love, I think that me and Pete are on the same team. For better, and for worse. There is that one thing that both of us could be better at paying more attention to: Ourselves. A heart that is already filled with concerned for others is destined to crush harder and worse when broken by those who takes advantage of it’s vastness and willingness to serve, love and forgive.
Oh, Pete, how many times can a yes-sayer’s heart break before it learns to say no, at least sometimes now and then?
In memory of the great Jack Nance and his lovable Pete, who I miss seeing in Twin Peaks so very much.
Hope you enjoyed reading! Please be sure to let us know what you think!