Two years ago, David Lynch and Mark Frost shocked fans around the world when they announced that they would be continuing their seminal cult TV show Twin Peaks on Showtime, some 25 years after the original series ended. Now, after many false starts and a long production schedule (rumor has it the series went from 9 episodes to 18), Twin Peaks will finally debut in the spring of 2017.
But after so many years away, what can fans expect? The original series left quite a few unanswered questions in their final episode. Somehow, we whittled them down to the EIGHT lingering questions that have been nagging us for twenty-five years. These are the questions we hope the show definitively answers once and for all when it comes back on the air.
Before we go any further however, please note our massive ~Spoiler Warning~ for the entire series and the big screen Twin Peaks movie. If you haven’t seen the show and plan to, I’m spoiling the heck out it in this article, so go watch the show, and then come back and read this.
Okay. Let’s get started with THE most important question of all…
So, just how IS Annie anyway?
It’s become one of the most famous cliffhanger endings in TV history. In the final episode of Twin Peaks, Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), after surviving the surreal events in the Black Lodge/Red Room, emerges victorious over the evil inside it and rescues his girlfriend Annie (Heather Graham) from being lost forever among the red drapes. Or did he? As he stares into his bathroom mirror in the series’ final moment, we see the evil BOB staring back at him. Then he lunges his head face first into the mirror, mockingly repeating the words “How’s Annie??” over and over again.
Since Heather Graham is not on the cast list for the new series, what really happened to Annie Blackburn? Did a BOB-possessed Coop murder her? Did she return to the convent? (Yes, she was a former nun.) And is Coop really possessed by BOB, or is he the doppelgänger he encountered in the Black Lodge/Red Room, and BOB just hitched a ride in its body? This is the biggest question mark left at the end of the original series, and the one fans probably want answered the most.
What about BOB? (and MIKE)
Two of the icons of Twin Peaks are the evil BOB, who was responsible for the murder of Laura Palmer, and MIKE, the Little Man from Another Place. These two beings are spirits from the Black Lodge/Red Room who, as parasites, attach themselves to a host and feed. BOB possessed Leland Palmer and tried to possess his daughter Laura. MIKE possessed a one-armed man named Phillip Gerard and appeared to Agent Cooper in his dream, and in visions.
However, Frank Silva, who played BOB, died many years ago, and Mike Anderson, who played MIKE, very publicly declined to return to the series. So will BOB and MIKE take new forms? They are immortal beings one would assume, and can probably look like whomever they choose. Are will they simply be recast with lookalikes? There is almost no way these two don’t figure into the narrative somehow, it’s just a question of how.
What happened to Donna Hayward?
Most of the surviving original cast of Twin Peaks are returning to the new series, although there a handful of notable exceptions — Michael Ontkean’s Sheriff Truman (whose character will now be played by Robert Forster), as well as Piper Laurie and Joan Chen. But the most glaring absence Laura Palmer’s best friend Donna Hayward, played on the series by Lara Flynn Boyle.
Lara Flynn Boyle went on to have one of the more successful careers post-Peaks, starring in the long-running series The Practice, as well as several successful films in the 1990s and early 2000s. She chose not to reprise her role as Donna for Lynch’s big screen prequel, Fire Walk With Me, and was replaced by Moira Kelly in the role.
But with neither Lara Flynn Boyle or Moira Kelly in the released cast list, can we assume Donna will not be part of the proceedings? When last we saw her, she was having a total meltdown after discovering that her biological father was town big wig Benjamin Horne (Richard Beymer), not the kindly Doc Hayward as she always thought. Did this prompt her to move away from Twin Peaks? Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) is among the returning cast, as is Alicia Witt as Donna’s sister Gersten, so some of Donna’s family is in. It’s possible the part of Donna has been recast a third time, of course. I hope that even if Donna is not included (which now seems likely) we get some answer as to her fate. [Editor’s Note: Maybe she’s been MURDERED?? – RH]
Did Big Ed and Norma finally get together?
One of the more “normal” stories in Twin Peaks amidst all the craziness was the sad story of Norma Jennings, owner of the Double R Diner, and Ed Hurley, owner of Big Ed’s Gas Farm. Sweethearts since high school, the two made bad choices at a young age and ended up in unhappy marriages with other people.
At the end of the series, Norma’s criminal husband Hank landed back in jail (where, we learned in Mark Frost’s novel The Secret History of Twin Peaks, he was subsequently killed) but Ed’s possessive wife Nadine was still a monkey wrench in their love story. Did Ed and Norma ever get a chance? Or did circumstances force these two to never live happily ever after?
Whatever happened to Audrey Horne?
Another one of the many cliffhangers from the final episode involved teenage bombshell Audrey Horne, who, in an act of political defiance, chained herself to the bank vault of the Twin Peaks Savings and Loan as civil disobedience, protesting the urban development of the local forests. Due to unrelated circumstances, a bomb went off in the bank, with everyone inside’s fates seemingly left unknown.
So did Audrey die? Well, aside from actress Sherilyn Fenn officially coming back to play Audrey, Mark Frost’s book The Secret History of Twin Peaks describes Audrey Horne as the sole survivor of the bank explosion, so now we know for sure that she lived. (The other characters in the bank were confirmed as dead, likely because the actors who played them have long since passed.) But that was quite a nasty blast…did Audrey come back in one piece mentally and physically? And what kind of a person is Audrey now after such a close brush with death?
What’s with all the dead characters in the cast?
When Showtime released the whopping cast list for the new series, we learned that most of the key players from season one will return… including many cast members whose characters are long dead in the story’s narrative. Sheryl Lee will back, and both of her characters Laura Palmer and Maddy Ferguson were famously murdered on the show. Another deceased character on the cast list is Ray Wise, who played Laura’s father Lelend. There are a handful of others, too. Are they coming back as cameos as spirits in the Black Lodge/Red Room, or are we talking alternate timelines here? And speaking of timelines…
Did Agent Cooper F%$& with the timeline?
Right now, the only clues as to what the new series of Twin Peaks is going to include come from Mark Frost’s book The Secret History of Twin Peaks, which altered some details of what we know as canon. Frost tweaked how Ed Hurley met future wife Nadine and described the death of Norma’s mother in the early ’80s, despite the fact that her character was on several episodes of the show, which takes place in 1989. Since Frost is the co-creator with David Lynch, there is no way these changes were mere mistakes.
So the question is, did Agent Cooper actually change history? In Fire Walk With Me, we see scenes of Cooper, trapped in the Black Lodge post-series finale, as he attempts to communicate with Laura Palmer (in the past, via her dreams) and try to alter her destiny and save her life. He fails with Laura (spoiler alert: she’s murdered anyway) but what if he succeeded with other characters on the show? Did Coop spend 25 years messing with the timeline in subtle ways?
Does Lucy and Andy’s child become someone important?
Ok, this is a bit of a silly one, but one of the running plot threads of the original series was Sheriff’s station secretary Lucy Moran’s (Kimmy Robertson) baby drama. She ultimately decided that the equally dopey Deputy Andy (Harry Goaz) should help her raise the child, and the two were one of the rare couples who ended the show on a “happily ever after” note. But what became of their baby? Did he or she grow up to be as ditzy as Lucy or Andy, or are they somehow a genius? I kind of hope that their baby grew up to be someone important.
Are there any important, lingering Twin Peaks questions you think we missed? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments!