“Black Lodge/White Lodge” is the 25 Years Later version of the popular point/counterpoint style of debating, wherein two sides take opposing views and hash it out on stage. Here, we’ll be debating the finer points of Twin Peaks lore, in writing, for your reading pleasure.
Today’s (four-way!) debate is headed up by: Andrew Grevas, Brian James, Lindsay Stamhuis, and J.C. Hotchkiss
The topic is: Who is Judy?
Black Lodge: by Andrew Grevas
Only in Twin Peaks can a character be mentioned as little as the mysterious Judy has been and spark as much conversation as Judy has. Perhaps it’s because we were told we weren’t going to talk about her. You know how defiant us humans are. Of course we were going to talk about Judy after being told we weren’t. After two and a half decades of speculation, we were finally given another clue as to Judy’s identity. Judy is someone Cooper (or is it Mr. C specifically? That can be debated…) knows. While that is certainly a major clue, I believe people are ignoring clues that we were previously given, both off camera as well as in “The Missing Pieces”. Dear readers, the case that I will be presenting to you is that Judy is in fact none other than Josie Packard.
Let’s start with “The Missing Pieces” and Fire Walk With Me. While in the FBI office in Philadelphia, Jeffries states that he does not want to talk about Judy but later goes on to claim that Judy “was positive about this” and that he had found something at her home in Seattle. What Twin Peaks character had an openly discussed connection to Seattle? Josie Packard. The second clue was given exclusively in a deleted scene that didn’t surface until “The Missing Pieces” were finally released in 2014. Shortly before his disappearance in 1987, Jeffries inquired at the front desk of his Buenos Aires hotel about “Miss Judy”. The desk clerk’s response was to give him a letter from “the young woman”. While young can be a subjective description, woman likely isn’t. Unless we are to believe that the film and deleted scenes have been retconned (remember David Lynch telling us how important Fire Walk With Me was to The Return? He wasn’t lying) we have been told that Judy is a young woman from Seattle, eliminating the idea of a man as Judy.
The next piece of evidence I would like to bring to the table in my case that Josie Packard is Judy did not take place onscreen but rather in the writer’s room with the details being revealed through interviews. Robert Engels, producer and writer on the original series as well as co-writer of the film has went on record discussing ideas for Judy in past interviews. The following is from Wrapped In Plastic 58: “The thing behind Judy has to do with where David Bowie [Phillip Jeffries] came from …. He was down there [Buenos Aires], and that’s where Judy is. I think Joan Chen [Josie] is there, and I think Windom Earle is there. It’s this idea that there are these portals around the world, and Phillip Jeffries had one hell of a trip to Buenos Aires and back! He really doesn’t want to talk about Judy because that reminds him of whatever happened to him.” When asked if Josie, therefore, could be Judy’s sister, Engels replied, “Yes. Yes, I think that is true.” I know what you’re thinking – this quote says Josie is Judy’s sister not actually Judy. I provided this quote for a reason: to establish that Josie and Judy were always linked. A lot of ideas can change in 25 years – especially when you’re talking about a character like Josie who always walked on the illegal side of things and a name change would certainly fit the character’s MO.
The final part of my case revolves around a most strange similarity. Josie Packard was one of the few characters outside of the “main” storyline to become involved with Bob in any way, shape or form. Obviously Jeffries is well acquainted with all things supernatural. Josie’s death was by far the strangest in the show, dying of fear, followed by Bob appearing and then Josie’s spirit being cast into a drawer pull. A drawer pull is a really odd place for a spirit to reside, huh? Cue Phillip Jeffries tea kettle in Part 15. How Jeffries wound up in that device is anyone’s guess but is it a coincidence that Josie and Jeffries both ended up in such odd final destinations? If Josie is indeed Judy there’s almost something kind of fitting about these two characters (Judy and Jeffries) that are so connected both winding up in such strange situations.
In closing, we know that Cooper knows Judy, that Judy was a young woman from Seattle and that she was always connected to Josie in the development of her story. We know that Jeffries is now a talking tea kettle and Josie is a drawer pull in the Great Northern who may or may not be responsible for the strange humming noise that was driving Ben crazy not too long ago. Is this a fool proof argument that Josie is Judy? No, absolutely not. There is no foolproof argument for Judy’s identity. What this is collecting the few clues we do know about Judy and connecting the dots. Until new evidence arrives, Josie Packard, the woman whose life was always shrouded in mystery and deception (and possible name changes) is my top choice for Judy’s true identity.
White Lodge: by Brian James
For my first entry into the Black Lodge/White Lodge debate arena, I chose to take on one of the most essential, confounding, and persistent mysteries of the Twin Peaks universe: Who is Judy? In the course of this investigation, I employed reason, investigative analysis, deductive technique, intuition, and a bit of luck. What I hadn’t banked on was that I would stumble into another theory which pretty much blew my mind apart, all based on the well-supported notion that Judy is, in fact, a Blue Book/Blue Rose codename for Major Garland Briggs. Let’s get to it.
That David Lynch has an affinity for The Wizard of Oz is no big surprise, and the allusions to the world of Oz are found peppered throughout Twin Peaks, FWWM, and The Return. Rather than making direct references and re-creating the same characters as those in Oz, Lynch, per Lynch, creates these allusions in a way that we sense and feel, rather than ones we can point at with our finger. David Bowie as Phillip Jeffries dons ruby red shoes in FWWM; Cooper lost his shoes on his way from one world to another; visuals switch from black and white to color depending on the world we inhabit; familiar faces take on new personas in other “dimensions”; and Andy Brennan might represent all three Oz values: heart, courage, and brains. (“Deputy Brennan, your bravery is only exceeded by the size of your heart.” Andy also later decodes the Owl Cave map which perplexed the entire investigation crew.) Jack Rabbit’s Palace has even been described, in fleeting moments, as reminiscent of the Emerald City. How better to include an homage to a film beloved by a co-creator than to center an essential mystery of the story around the name Judy Garland, and how more Lynch could it be than to hide that answer in plain sight? (Janey-E and Diane Evans are sisters?! Duh!)
Taking this first step does not require walking into a tornado or squeezing through an electrical socket; it only requires a bit of common sense about what military culture would have been like when Garland Briggs enlisted. The medals on Briggs’ chest indicate his service in the Korean War (1950-1953), meaning he likely began his service in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s, not too long after the 1939 release of The Wizard of Oz and when Judy Garland was a household name. Now, imagine that first day in boot camp, when Garland’s drill sergeant learns one of his soldiers’ names is so ripe for pun that it is almost illogical to think that anyone from the military in the 1940’s would not associate the name “Garland” with “Judy Garland.”The exchange that Briggs has with himself soon after escaping the custody of Windom Earle, and while still doped up on haloperidol (or truth serum), is quite illuminating:
“Garland? What an odd name. Judy Garland?”
It is my belief that this was Briggs reliving an experience in his memory, when he was dubbed Judy Garland soon after enlisting. Notably, this is the first time the name Judy is mentioned at all in Twin Peaks (by release date, not by order of events). This moniker would then become his official codename when he began his work on Project Blue Book.
According to Briggs, Project Blue Book involved the military’s search for the White Lodge, very likely the same location which has the coordinates that are so crucial to The Return. This was an inter-agency operation, involving US Air Force, US Army, and at least members of the FBI and Dept. of Justice, as ex-FBI agent Windom Earle was involved in those efforts. The first mention of the White Lodge occurs when Briggs and Cooper are night fishing, and Briggs is immediately whisked away by bright light to an unknown plane of existence. After returning from that journey two days later, Briggs loses his security clearance, along with his faith that the military’s motivation for seeking the White Lodge was a humanitarian one. This loss of clearance likely was accompanied by the military disavowing the work of Major Briggs (AKA Judy), leading Phillip to tout the official line, possibly parroted back in sarcasm: “We’re not gonna talk about Judy at all!”
Here is where The Missing Pieces also shed some light on this theory. Cut from the theatrical release of FWWM was a bit of dialogue from Jeffries in the Philadelphia field office, where, after pointing at Cooper and trying to out him as an imposter, Jeffries says, “Judy is positive about all this!” What did Jeffries learn that Judy was positive about? That this was not the real Cooper! Later, Jeffries places his head near Cole’s desk calendar and is shocked to see that the year is 1989. Jeffries had travelled farther into the past than he thought, and then realized that the information he had in his possession had not yet come true. Then, poof, he is back screaming for help in a stairway.
This is where this theory takes a Lynchian twist. The Return has solidified that idea that Briggs’ body was able to exist outside of the confines of time. He dies at what should be age 72, but his body is that of a man in his 40’s. Bill Hastings states that “the Major” was hibernating, and directed him to a secure military database where Hastings would find coordinates, presumably for the White Lodge and the basis of Project Blue Book’s efforts. We also have seen the accuracy with which Briggs could predict the future. As Frank Truman says after opening the mysterious canister delivered by Betty Briggs, “He saw all of this.” He predicted Bobby would come searching for answers about Cooper with Hawk and Truman, nearly down to the exact day. It therefore follows that Briggs would have known about the “two Coopers” well before anyone in our plane could have imagined that would occur. Briggs also operated Listening Post Alpha, where messages were received that both confirmed to Dale Cooper that his conversation with the Giant (nee: Fireman) was not a dream, and also that the messages were for, or at least related to, Cooper himself.
If you have not seen David Lynch’s Lost Highway, not only do I weep for your sad little soul, but there are spoilers ahead. In the opening of Lost Highway, Fred (Bill Pullman) receives a mysterious message over his home intercom that simply states “Dick Laurent is dead.” It is not until the end of the film that we learn Fred gave that message to himself. Before driving off into the sunset with police in chase, Fred is shown walking up to his intercom and delivering that cryptic message, apparently to himself. After investigating my theory that Judy is Briggs, I believe that Lynch employed that same narrative rouse in Twin Peaks: Briggs is not only delivering the intercepted message to Cooper, but the message originated with Briggs.
At the moment Briggs is enveloped in a blinding white light before disappearing from Cooper’s presence, he yells out, “Cooper! Cooper!” The next we hear of Briggs is when he finally returns and recounts his experience to Cooper and crew, and the first shot we see in that episode is a disembodied voice of Briggs, floating through space, saying, “Cooper…” When Briggs delivers the intercepted message to Cooper in Episode 2 of Season 2, the entire line repeats Cooper over and over (more than 3 times), yet Briggs reads exactly three, precisely how many times we observe him say Cooper during and after his disappearance.
What does this mean? While Briggs was taken away to the mysterious plane, he discovered that there were multiples of Cooper. He tried to relay this fact back to our world, violating every requirement of classified clearance that a well-decorated intelligence officer has sworn to uphold. (TSHOTP Spoiler – mouse over to highlight and read: This is also consistent with Briggs’ identity as the author of the dossier that makes up the substance of the book.) During his debriefing with the military after his return, they likely interrogated him hard about this revelation, leading to his loss of faith in their motivations, along with the loss of his clearance and the disavowal of codename Judy. His words from that plane circumvented our petty rules of time and space and reached his Listening Station Alpha at the same time Cooper was visited by the Giant (nee: Fireman). Jeffries, as a member of the Blue Rose Task Force, an off-shoot of Project Blue Book, was ordered to disavow Judy based on that revelation, and no more discussion of Judy could come from the FBI, certainly not to an agent who was not yet privy to all the secrets of the Blue Rose.
Major Garland Briggs has always been an essential part of the Twin Peaks universe. More wisdom and perspective has come from his lips than any other character, including Dale Cooper and Margaret Lanterman. He has seen the future, through visions and interdimensional travel. Additionally, Briggs has been known to bring the answers which Cooper seeks directly to him.
Whether finding Señor Droolcup walking down a desolate mountain road or recognizing that he and Log Lady may have visited the same otherworldly plane, Briggs has been just as crucial to the story and mystery of Twin Peaks as Judy. Why is that? Because they are one and the same.
Brian is an avid fan of Twin Peaks and the works of David Lynch. An attorney by trade, he pounced on the opportunity to join the Black Lodge/White Lodge debate team. He recently traveled to Snoqualmie to visit several shooting locations and left his credit card at the Roadhouse. He welcomes your feedback on this article on Twitter or on Facebook.
Mauve Zone: by J.C. Hotchkiss
From the minute Jeffries walks into FBI Headquarters in Fire Walk With Me, he protests, “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.”1 That left us with the question. “Who is Judy?” This has been a heated topic now that Season 3, Part 15 gave us Jeffries (in what looked like a big percolator) and Mr. C yelling exasperatedly at Jeffries, “Who is Judy?” Again, it begs the question, “Who the heck is Judy?” Well I am here to theorize that I know who Judy is. Judy is Naido.
Let us start off with a little history lesson. Judith is Hebrew; derived from Judah which means, “praised.”2 Judy is a shortened version on Judith. As a lapsed Catholic, I remember a prayer in the Book of Judith that says: “Your strength is not in numbers, nor does your might depend upon the powerful. You are God of the lowly, helper of those of little account, supporter of the weak, protector of those in despair, savior of those without hope.”3 So thusly, Judy is to be praised and will protect. As an interesting side note, this prayer is Chapter 9, Passage 11. 911? I think it is just a coincidence, but an interesting one, isn’t it? (Wait, could Judy be 119 druggie chick? No! Stay on topic, J.C.!)
When we first see Naido in Part 3, Cooper happens upon her sitting in what I will call the Fireplace room. She motions to him to sit down, and then proceeds to feel him since her eyes are scarred over with skin and she is unable to see him. She then starts to tell him something. She is very deliberate in her telling and in my opinion it sounds like monkey chattering. The “ooh, ooh, ahh, ahhs” that monkeys make when communicating with each other. Not to jump around like a Twin Peaks timeline, but after Andy & the Bookhouse Boys (I completely believe Bobby is now a Bookhouse Boy) find Naido and protect her by locking her up in a cell at the sheriff’s station, her and the drunk aka Billy aka weird guy with oil like ooze dripping from his mouth, start chattering away like monkeys. Jumping back to FWWM, a monkey screened in blue is shown saying Judy. This makes another couple of checks in the Naido is Judy column.
We then hear banging from the other door (what some of us have since perceived may be the Mother/Experiment) she stops Cooper from going towards the door. She is protecting him from the fate that could await him behind that door. At this time, Cooper notices outlet #15 behind the couch they’ve been sitting on. She gets up as Cooper moves closer and immediately tries to stop him, even motioning with the universal “symbol” of
a head being cut off. Danger, danger, Will Robinson! This part was interesting to me because also in the Book of Judith, Judith (Judy) beheads Holofernes for the good of her people. Does Naido (Judy) know how important Cooper is? Is this why she is being so protective? It also tells me that Naido motioning to Cooper means she is aware that if he pursues going out that outlet, it would be immediate death at the hands of his doppelgänger (Mr. C). As she leads him out of the room, up through the hatch, and onto what I’ll call the flying bell, she charges said bell like structure, which I can only determine is to change the outlet that will be waiting Cooper back below, and where our Cooper will end up. Naido then immediately gets shocked into the ether of space, and ends up who knows where. Which begs a side question of, has she known everything that was going to happen to her and needed it to for Cooper’s sake? We now know she was not banished into outer space forever, but lands right in the woods of Twin Peaks.
In regards to Jeffries in this whole argument, the fact that in FWWM, he doesn’t want to discuss Judy makes me believe he knows something horrible had happened to Judy. Maybe something like having your eyes gouged out and your own skin sewn over your sockets? Could this be because Judy figured out the true nature of Bob and his downfall in the realm of the real world? That quite possibly the only way to make sure Judy could not help with the destruction of Bob and the Black Lodge was to render her blind? How can she protect what she cannot see? This also gives an answer to the response Jeffries gives to Mr. C, when he does in fact decide that now they can talk about Judy at the Dutchman’s. Mr. C (Cooper) has met Judy before, because OG Cooper met Naido in the Mauve Room. I look at it like Dougie Coop massaging his face after Bushnell tells him to “knock em’ dead” and he repeats “dead”. Earlier, Mr. C kills Jack by massaging his face. Both Mr. C and Dougie Cooper being two halves of one whole are leading parallel lives. Therefore, both have met Judy.
Interesting fact I came upon while writing this, Naido in numerology correlates with the number 7. The elevator that Phillip Jeffries gets off of in FWWM is numbered 7. The name Naido is ruled by planet Neptune. On the old Owl Cave map, the Neptune sign is featured in the same area as the Giant (Fireman) and the LMFAP (the Evolution of the Arm). Are all these coincidences? Could be, but I believe all these signs from FWWM to Part 3 aka the Mauve Zone to Andy finding her and the Fireman telling him how important she is to this whole mystery has Naido being a more important character than is first lead on. In my eyes, Naido is our long lost Judy.
J.C. Hotchkiss is new addition to the 25 Years Later family! A former bread spokesperson (look up her blog, https://littlemisssunbeamgrewup.wordpress.com/), she has been a lover of Twin Peaks since she heard Dale Cooper utter the words “Diane” in the pilot. This is also reflected in her love of coffee, pie, donuts, and FBI agents (not all, just one Special Agent). You can follow her on Twitter for more Twin Peaks, pop culture, and life musings in general.
1 – Lynch, D. (Director). (1992). Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
. Retrieved August 22, 2017. Bowie, David quote as Phillip Jeffries
2 – (Campbell, M. (n.d.). Meaning, origin and history of the name Judah. Retrieved August 22, 2017, from https://www.behindthename.com/name/judah
3 – New American Bible. (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2017, from http://www.usccb.org/bible/judith/9 Chapter 9:11
Red Room: by Lindsay Stamhuis
My fellow debaters have put forth some good evidence for their respective candidates for Judy’s identity. And Josie Packard, Garland Briggs, and Naido are all respectable candidates indeed! But I think one obvious character has been overlooked in this conversation, someone who has been brought up as early as the release date of Fire Walk With Me, someone whom Agent Cooper has met, and someone whose very existence is central to the story of Twin Peaks: Laura Palmer.
As early as the mid 1990s, theories flew fast and furious about who Judy was. At the time, she seemed to fit the mold of other murdered women investigated as part of the Blue Rose team’s cases, like Teresa Banks (investigated by Chester Desmond in FWWM) and Laura (investigated by Dale Cooper). But a deeper reading of FWWM by John Thorne in Wrapped in Plastic 79 reveals some interesting visual cuts (made in editing because of changes to the script and other filming limitations) that suggest a more direct link between Judy and Laura:
Lynch reintroduces “Judy” to the film after Laura Palmer has been killed. He deliberately places a close-up shot of a monkey uttering the word, “Judy,” just before he cuts to another close-up of the dead Laura. This simple edit obviously establishes a connection between the name and the character: “Judy” is said/Laura is shown.
The implication here is that Judy is in fact Laura. As central as FWWM is to the the themes of The Return, it’s perfectly acceptable to bring this into the discussion. Does it fit with the evidence presented in Part 15? Let’s see.
When Mr. C confronts Jeffries about Judy’s identity, their conversation is deliberately cryptic:
Mr. C: Philip, why didn’t you want to talk about Judy? Who is Judy? Does Judy want something from me?
Jeffries: Why don’t you ask Judy yourself? I can write it down for you.
Mr. C: Who is Judy?
Jeffries: You’ve already met Judy.
Mr. C: What do you mean I’ve met Judy?
You’ve already met Judy. That’s an interesting statement, but it doesn’t exactly narrow the field any; Special Agent Dale Cooper has met virtually every character on the show, male and female, and in his capacity as Mr. C, he’s met many more. If this is meant to be a clue on the part of Frost and Lynch to the viewers (and I believe it is; Mr. C’s final question is supposed to be our own), it’s a piss poor one. How are we supposed to narrow the field in order to find out which of the myriad characters in Twin Peaks it is that Jeffries is referring to?
Laura stands out among them as being the only real-world character that Cooper didn’t meet in person but in a dream. She is also someone whom BOB would have met, and if you subscribe to the notion that BOB and Mr. C are still co-habiting the same body, that is even stronger evidence to support the idea that Laura is the character Jeffries is talking about.
The final nail in the Laura is Judy coffin is the message that Jeffries gives to Mr. C via the steam/smoke trail in the above scene. As many have pointed out, it appears that these six numbers correspond to the coordinates sequence written on Ruth Davenport’s arm. Those coordinates, as seen on Diane’s phone, lead us to Twin Peaks itself.
If ever there was a character who embodies the town of Twin Peaks, it’s Laura Palmer. Her torture and abuse, and her eventual brutal death, has been mapped onto Twin Peaks for years. It arguably contributed to the psychic wounds inflicted on Twin Peaks as seen in The Return. Is this evidence pointing us to Laura as well? Could Leland’s appeal to Cooper back in Part 2 imploring him to find Laura be meant to lead Cooper (and thus Mr. C) to Twin Peaks because is that where Laura is? At this point, it’s entirely possible.
Of course, it could also simply be that Twin Peaks itself is Judy. If Laura is Twin Peaks and Twin Peaks is Laura, those coordinates could be simply be leading to the town and not to a person within it. Cooper/Mr. C (since they, at least to Jeffries, are one and the same) has most definitely “met” the town of Twin Peaks, which has been rightfully called a character unto itself since Twin Peaks first premiered in 1990. Are we all wrong and is Judy not a person…but a place? Is Twin Peaks being linked to the mythical “home” that Judy Garland’s Dorothy must get to in The Wizard of Oz?
Or are we all wrong and is Judy really going to turn out to be Candie? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…
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