Ronette Pulaski is an often forgotten victim in the story of Twin Peaks, and in the story of Bob.
Although she was not driven to her lifestyle for the same reasons Laura was (that we know of, at least), Ronette was still a child when she fell into the clutches of Leo and Jacques.
She appears to come from a nice family. The parents we see are affectionate with each other compared to the anxious hysteria and veiled hostility of the Palmers.
Ronette and Laura know each other from school, but meet properly at a party and have an instant attraction to each other. They are only 14 at this point, starting out on their dalliances with men and drugs, but they appear to have an affinity.
Ronette is the anti-Donna, someone Laura can be herself with and who won’t judge her darker side. They work together at the perfume counter, and later at One Eyed Jack’s, and spend many nights together at Jacques’ cabin taking pictures to sell in Fleshworld.
They were together in a dark sisterhood that both knew could never have a happy ending.
Laura was never meant to die on February 24th. Ronette was. That was the only reason she was taken to the train car, otherwise it would have been easy enough for Leland/Bob to kill her in the cabin and put the blame on Jacques. Bob chose Ronette to be his first victim once he had taken over possession of Laura.
It is not entirely clear exactly what saved Ronette that night. Even before Laura put on the ring, Ronette’s faith in her darkest moment, and the power of her prayer, brought her angel to rescue her.
The look that passes between Laura and Ronette in the moment that Ronette’s ropes fall away is heartbreaking. Both girls knew what it meant, and that it was no longer Ronette’s night to die. It was Laura’s. And her angel wasn’t coming back.
Ronette’s survival that night was miraculous. She was the only person to be targeted by Bob and to survive with her soul intact. Did she only see Bob’s face that night? Or was the horror for her to see Laura’s father do these things and have no idea why? Were the two interchangeable as they are to the viewer? We know she smelled the scorched engine oil that symbolises Bob’s presence, and she recognised the picture of him described by Sarah. Did she have a premonition of Bob like Maddy did? There is no evidence that Laura ever told her about her abuse. Laura did the things she did with Ronette and the others to block these things out.
Her coma and the dreams within it no doubt scarred her for life, but what next? Did she recover? The Ronette we see at the end of season two is a shell of the girl we know from Fire Walk With Me. It is doubtful she ever got over her experiences. Did Bob visit her during what appears to be the witness clear-up of Dale’s doppelgänger once he left the Black Lodge?
Now we see the American Girl in the room which may or may not be an annex of the White Lodge. If it is indeed a version of Ronette, then she knows Dale, as the American Girl appears to. She knows that ‘Mother’ is a threat to him.
I suspect that Ronette didn’t survive what happened on the night of Laura’s murder, that somehow, at some time, over months or years, the darkness reached out to her again and this time, enveloped her.
She may now be one of the helpers, balancing out the side of innocence in a world of evil, and paying back the angels for a brief moment of salvation.
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