In Season 2, Episode 9 Deputy Tommy ‘Hawk’ Hill tells Agent Dale Cooper, “You’re on the path. You don’t need to know where it leads. Just follow.” Wise words coming from one of the more beloved characters of Twin Peaks and Twin Peaks: The Return. Hawk was not only an honorable man, but I consider him an otherworldly spirit guide as well. There’s a reason Cooper felt compelled to tell Hawk, “If I’m ever lost, I hope you’re the man they send to find me.” There was also a reason that Margaret “The Log Lady” Lanterman kept speaking to Hawk throughout her time on The Return. She knew, communicating with her log, that Hawk could help us adapt and come to terms with what we were seeing in Twin Peaks. Hawk was becoming our own personal Medicine Man.
From the beginning, I’ve had a soft spot for Hawk. He was a loyal friend to his brothers in the Sheriff’s department. He takes a liking to Cooper almost immediately and offers his advice to him when warranted. We know he has cared for Twin Peaks and helped protect it from what Sheriff (Harry) Truman called in Season 1, Episode 3, “a dark presence…for as long as anyone can remember…” as a Bookhouse Boy. Hawk was an overall good guy with a background of knowledge in the spirit stories of his people, the Nez Perce, and respected those stories enough to share these legends, to help guide others. Agent Cooper may have heard Hawk, but he did not heed his warning of confronting the Black Lodge or his shadow self (as we have seen Cooper coming into himself in The Return) and having to face his Dweller on the Threshold.
Hawk’s presence in the Return was almost as a vessel to carry on the knowledge of The Log Lady, from what I see as another extension of the Fireman. I am one of the few (possibly) that think there is a possibility of the Fireman being Margaret’s dead husband. He would send messages through her log to keep the citizens of Twin Peaks safe. He knows that Hawk believes in the Lodges and spirits, but that he also has a care and respect for Margaret, so The Fireman entrusts him with certain knowledge needed to carry out his plan through messages given to him by Margaret. She is also gifted in her own right (as I will write in a future piece) but with The Fireman’s help both are able to put many things in motion in the town before her untimely death. Margaret gives Hawk the confidence that he is on the right track. She also helps him remember his gifts, which after twenty-five years may have needed a little confidence boost. Cooper had a lot of faith in Hawk. Margaret is able to reiterate that confidence enough to make him find Laura’s lost diary pages and realize that if the Good Cooper is still in the Lodge, the Good Cooper is not the one that Harry saw come out of the Lodge. All important pieces of knowledge to possess.
Throughout the Return, seeing Hawk for me felt like coming home. Every time his presence graced the screen, I felt safe and sound, that we were going in a direction I could understand. His scenes gave me comfort in a very confusing and often chaotic landscape, not unlike a Medicine Man, a healer and spiritual leader. Since there was a loss of Cooper’s ethereal wisdom, it felt like Hawk stepped up in a lot of ways to try and have Sheriff Frank Truman (also us by proxy) understand some of what the underlying evil and cosmic links to Twin Peaks could actually mean. Hawk had a spiritual connection to Twin Peaks for many years, to its people, to its well-being as an extension of his position at the Sheriff’s department. You see this in the care and concern he gives to Sarah when he visits her at her home after her grocery store freak out. You also see this in the beautiful, heartbreaking moment he shares with Margaret on her deathbed. Hawk understands and is able to help Margaret ascend to her “change”. Hawk was always a man filled with pride of his Nez Perce heritage and understood the strength in using this heritage to help us and the people of Twin Peaks; he just needed a reminder. We all needed that reminder, that there are people who remain who they are, through time and space, as they have always been. Although, they themselves may need a reminder, but when they receive it, they become more powerful than they once believed. As does the Medicine Man of a tribe, once he has control over his spirit, he becomes a force for good for his tribe. Well our tribe is Twin Peaks, and we should all feel lucky that Hawk is our man, just as Cooper knew he would be.