25YL began as a Twin Peaks site, so how could we not celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Twin Peaks Pilot today? Over the years, many of us have thought inordinately long and hard about what Twin Peaks means, and why it did what it did. It’s led us to existential explorations, and it’s led us to confront our own dwellers on the threshold (however metaphoric). One thing is absolutely for sure: if Twin Peaks speaks to you, you can’t shake it. And sometimes it stays with you so deeply that it turns into a bunch of Twin Peaks articles on 25YL.
We started celebrating Twin Peaks’ 30th anniversary over the weekend by publishing an article showing how Twin Peaks expresses gratitude, both within its story and also behind the scenes to its cast and crew. Exploring the lighter side of Twin Peaks was my personal way of saying thank you to it, but while researching, another thought became apparent: I needed to thank my 25YL family too—by shining a light on our favorite articles—and we also needed to thank you. As a thank you to our readers, the 25YL editors narrowed our giant output into a list of our top ten favorite Twin Peaks articles, and we’re presenting them to you here.
For the less initiated, We have a mountain of interviews with Twin Peaks’ cast and crew, including co-creator Mark Frost, Robert Engels, Carel Struycken, Duwayne Dunham and Kimmy Robertson. We have a large number of voices presenting theories—you’ll find at least a few that truly expand your own understanding of the best ever television show. We look deeply into all the official Twin Peaks books and many academic books. We even dive into the fan community of artists and podcasts. All told, that’s over 800 articles, and counting.
And here’s what we voted as our best:
Andrew Grevas explores the fates of Twin Peaks characters Agent Cooper and Laura Palmer post-Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and Season 3. This began as a question of why Cooper would travel back in time in Part 17, and expanded into an exploration of everything from “don’t take the ring” to his relationship with Diane. This one’ll take you places.
In Twin Peaks Season 3, Deputy Hawk unveiled the “Living Map,” the Native American painting that may just tell us all we need to know. And Gisela Fleischer dug into it with the depth and tenacity she’s known for. She came to us with an in-depth article on alchemy, and gave her treatment to in-between places, Sarah Palmer, and even King Arthur. But there’s something extra special about how she explained Ledger Art and all the symbols that Michael Horse personally painted on that famous map.
J.C. Hotchkiss finishes out her three part look at Reincarnation & The Return with the most shocking theory. Is Agent Dale Cooper dead? Could Twin Peaks Season 3 been his journey through the Bardos? There’s a lot to love in this look into the Tibetan Book of the Dead as Cooper’s literal path in Season 3.
Twin Peaks Part 18 ends in the most ambiguous way possible. John Bernardy—that’s me—explores whether the Season 3 ending is positive or negative. It’s a culmination of everything I’ve been working on in my Electricity Nexus feature, and is the best explanation I have of whether Season 3 is all a dream or if reality is a part of it.
Twin Peaks: The Theosophical History of The Dweller on the Threshold
Laura Stewart looks at Theosophical and Buddhist teachings of the Dweller on the Threshold which tie into Cooper’s and Laura’s journeys in Twin Peaks. It’s a hefty tome of ideas that are at the foundation of both Lynch and Frost’s ideas about the show’s mythology, and I wish like hell I wrote this one. This is one to return to often.
Brien Allen theorizes and analyses the legacy of Sarah Palmer and Laura Palmer and the existence of Judy, right in front of our eyes, metaphorically or otherwise in this devastating essay of the true message in the story of Twin Peaks. I can’t say it any plainer than that. This one hit our site like a bomb and there’s good reason.
In this part of our series on The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, Ali Sciarabba examines what the diary tells us about Laura’s relationship with Bobby Briggs, and how BOB ended up changing both of them. As Ali puts it, “an underrated and overlooked part of the Diary is that it also teaches us who Bobby Briggs really was and sheds light on why he is the way he is in the original series (and why he will become the man he is in The Return).”
In his Waiting Room feature, Andrew Grevas explores the meaning and meta elements behind the classic Part 8. The effect of the bomb on the culture of its day—and therefore on Lynch and Frost— is impossible to ignore, and it all comes out in aspects of Season 3. This article explores the topic better than any I’ve seen. I consider this a must-read and I know I’m far from the only one.
Caemeron Crain contends that Jean Renault was right about Dale Cooper bringing the nightmare to Twin Peaks. In this article, we get a deep look into Dale Cooper being the only Cooper, the whole time. This sprawling theory delves into evidence for that premise, as well as what that means for The Dale Cooper of Season 3—such as how he knew about Freddie—as well as every time we saw Dale since the Pilot, from “Don’t take the ring” to everything Jean Renault suggested.
Sarah Palmer: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil
If BOB was the evil that men do, what is Judy? Laura Stewart looks into just how turning a blind eye turned Sarah Palmer into the monster of Twin Peaks. Not only does Laura look into the many faces of Judy as part of show mythology, she also looks into the metaphor of how Sarah as a person could be turning away from abuse. No matter which angle is being explored, this one is all heart. It’ll make you “remember” it, that’s for sure.