Twin Peaks Usenet Archive

Subject: Nice and Nasty
From: adamk@media-lab.MEDIA.MIT.EDU (Adam Kao)
Date: 1990-04-25, 17:27
Reply-to: (Adam Kao)

Somebody else mentioned that a favorite theme of Lynch's is the
jxtaposition of nice and nasty elements in everyday life.  I'm
convinced this theme is central to Twin Peaks and will provide the
most insight into the show.

Just to get started, I'd like to analyze each character so far.  My
impression so far is that most of the characters can easily be
categorized as nice or nasty on the surface and nice or nasty

Nice minor characters (unlikely to show any depth unless they are
going to become major characters):

Josie Packard, Pete Martell, Sylvia Horne, Johnny Horne, Elizabeth
Briggs, Major Briggs (fascist), Dr. Heyward, Harriet Heyward, Andy,
Lucy, Janek Pulaski, Maria Pulaski.

Nasty minor characters (unlikely to show any depth etc.):

Jerry Horne, Bobby Briggs, Mike, Killer Bob.

Minor characters who look nasty but are nice:

Hawk, Albert.

Character who used to be nasty but now is nice:

One-armed Mike.

Character who was nasty but not nasty enough:


Characters who look nice but are hiding something:

Leland Palmer, Sarah Palmer (? maybe she's just psychic), Norma
Jennings, Shelly Johnson (we know what she's hiding), Eileen Heyward
(didn't anyone notice she was sitting on the *inside* of the booth in
the diner?  Why move so far if you're confined to a wheelchair?).

Characters who look nasty but are really nice:

James Hurley (a biker who is sweet and stupid), Nadine Hurley (okay,
I'm guessing), Audrey (rebellious but has good intentions, esp. re
Agent Cooper)

Characters who are nasty through and through:

Benjamin Horne, Catherine Martell, Leo Johnson, Dr. Jacoby.

Characters who are nice through and through:

Agent Cooper, Sheriff Truman, Ed Hurley, Donna Heyward

Characters who are weird through and through:

Dr. Jacoby, Agent Cooper, the Log Lady.

No data yet:

The Man from Another Place, the Norwegians.

I've left Laura for last; as the center of the series she naturally
has the most complex personality and the greatest intermingling of
nice and nasty elements.  She tutored Josie in English, and worked
with Johnny Horne, and helped organize Meals on Wheels, and was the
homecoming queen, and dated James Hurley.  She also was a prostitute
(the diary entries have me convinced), and dealt and used cocaine, and
dated Bobby, and probably slept with Leo Johnson (among others), and
was a member of a satanic cult (guessing), and committed unspecified
wierdness with Dr. Jacoby, and couldn't stand James Hurley.

I suspect Laura's cousin will reflect a great deal of Laura's
complexity; whether that means the same complexity or exactly
backwards remains to be seen.

I dismissed the speculation about having the wrong victim until
someone mentioned Laura's mysteriously changing eye-color (damn, gotta
go watch the tape again).  I think this is VERY significant and makes
me suspect there really is some kind of double life going on here.