In the crazy world of Twin Peaks, more than a few of my favourite characters were slightly off their rocker. Ok, let’s get real – they were close to certifiable. Some comically so, while others in a dark and twisted way that would haunt your dreams. So, as part of March Madness, here are my personal picks for the five craziest Twin Peaks characters,
He couldn’t hear and you couldn’t be sure if he had it all together, but this was the man that was supposed to run Twin Peaks? Mayor Milford was played pretty much for laughs on Twin Peaks, but his crazy decision to marry his dead brother’s ex Lana leant itself to some pretty funny moments in the middle of the lacklustre second season of the series.
Canadian Kenneth Welsh added a much needed spark to the second season of Twin Peaks when he joined the show as Windom Earle, Agent Cooper’s former partner who had gone crazy, killed his wife and was now out to get Cooper and gain entry into the Black Lodge. In his various disguises, Earle made his way into the town, committing murder and making the formerly diabolical and now impaired Leo Johnson into his own lackey. In a show full of mad characters, Welsh maniacal Earle managed to stand out by being just plan evil.
Ok, there’s the eyepatch. But that doesn’t make you crazy. Super strength? Still not grounds for being committed. No, when it comes to Nadine Hurley, I’ve got three words for you – silent drape runners.
There’s no question that Agent Cooper is the hero of Twin Peaks. And he is a complete and utter good guy. But that doesn’t mean he’s not as mad as a hatter. Think about his crime solving methods – throwing rocks to nail a suspect? That’s pretty out there. Or his complete and utter acceptance of the evil spirits that inhabit the Black Lodge; it just seems slightly creepy to me. Perhaps Cooper’s craziest minutes comes during the final episode of the series, when the real Dale meets his frightening doppleganger. For a series full of surreal and mad moments, the final half hour is surely its defining one.
There’s no argument that there’s a hugely tragic element to Leland Palmer. Possessed by the spirit of BOB, the evil, malevolent spirit that haunts Twin Peaks, he goes on to commit the most heinous of acts. But even before the big reveal, Leland was one of the most damaged and distraught characters – how could he not be, with the murder of his teenage daughter Laura. All credit goes to Ray Wise for his amazing portrayal, which veers from joy to sadness to madness, more often than not in the span of one scene.