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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Twin Peaks: Answers in Dreams Twin Peaks
Episode 8B: "Answers in Dreams"
(42:42-end of the Season Two 90-minute premiere)
TV episode
Story by Mark Frost & David Lynch
Teleplay by Mark Frost
Directed by David Lynch
Original air date: September 30, 1990

Page last updated 1/6/2022


Cooper confronts Jacoby about the locket and Jacque’s death and receives another visit from the Giant; Ed tells Nadine’s story; Major Briggs reveals a dream to Bobby; Andy stands up to Albert.


(This episode begins with Agent Cooper assigning Andy and Lucy to sort through issues of Flesh World and ends with Ronette's nightmare of the death of Laura Palmer.)


Read the full 2-hour episode transcription at


Didja Know?


For the titles of the Twin Peaks TV episodes, I have taken the unique approach of using both the episode numbers, which were the only titles given the scripts by series creators David Lynch and Mark Frost, and the translated German titles of the episodes that were assigned when the series aired in that country. Frequent readers of PopApostle know I like the aesthetic of actual episode titles, but I also wanted to honor the simple numbering used by Lynch and Frost, hence the expanded titles presented in these studies.


This study is part two of the 90-minute season two premiere episode. I have chosen to split the episode into two ~45-minute parts to maintain the consistency of the 45-minute regular episodes of the series. Part 1 keeps the title given to the whole of the 90-minute episode "May the Giant Be With You". I've given Part 2 the title of "Answers in Dreams".


Notes from the Log Lady intros


See Episode 8A: "May the Giant Be With You" for the Log Lady intro of the 90-minute season premiere.


Didja Notice?


This episode opens on Friday, March 3, 1989 and ends that night.


Dr. Jacoby tells Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman how he came into possession of the half-pendant that had belonged to James. As he tells it, the flashback scenes are from Episode 0B: "Northwest Passage".


As Bobby enters Shelly's hospital room at 49:31 on the Blu-ray, a woman's voice on the P.A. system says, "Dr. Brackett call the operator." The closed captions show the name of "Dr. Bradley" instead, but it sounds more like "Dr. Brackett". If so, it may be an homage to the character of Dr. Kelly Brackett on the 1972-1977 TV series Emergency!


As Bobby speaks to Shelly in the hospital room, notice that he starts to play with the draw string for the privacy curtain, an indication of his repeated tendency to fidget with things.


Apparently the food isn't the only thing bad at Calhoun Memorial Hospital...notice the face Albert makes drinking the coffee there at 54:30 on the Blu-ray.


Big Ed tells Cooper that he married Nadine in some little town in Montana out past Great Falls. He may be referring to the town of Belt, population under 1,000.


Ed goes on to say that he and Nadine spent their honeymoon at his father's old cabin "up in Eagle Pass." Though there are also a couple of Eagle Pass's in Montana as well, he is probably referring to Eagle Pass, British Columbia since he refers to it as "up in". British Columbia is north of Twin Peaks, which would normally be considered "up" in common idiom. The two in Montana are southeast of Twin Peaks and would thus normally be called "down".


At the hospital, Cooper tells Harry they'll all meet back at the station because he's ready to lay the whole thing out. Truman asks, "Rocks and bottles?" and Cooper responds, "Chalk and blackboard will be just fine." But in the later scene where he lays out the events leading to the murder of Laura Palmer, he doesn't use the chalk and blackboard at all (though it's possible he's the one who drew the map of the town on the blackboard). Truman's "rocks and bottles" reference, of course, goes back to Cooper's unusual deductive technique seen in Episode 2: "Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer".


At 58:11 on the Blu-ray, as Norma is saying goodbye to Shelly at the hospital, the boom mic is visible in the top-right corner of the screen.


As Bobby walks into the RR Diner, notice that his father's bald head is visible in the reflection of the glass door as he walks in! As Bobby walks past the hat and coat rack, his father's blue Air Force hat and overcoat are hanging on it. Ten seconds later, the major notices he has sat down at the bar and invites his son to join him at his booth.


In the diner, Bobby asks his father what it is he does exactly for work and the major replies, "That's classified." Presumably, Bobby has asked his Air Force father about this before, getting the same answer! In later episodes, we learn that Major Briggs is associated with the U.S. Air Force's Project Blue Book, the military branch's official study of Unidentified Flying Objects (though Project Blue Book ended in 1970 in the real world). The Secret History of Twin Peaks gives us more insight to the major's work.


    At 1:05:24 on the Blu-ray, notice that a map of Twin Peaks is drawn on the chalkboard in the conference room of the sheriff's office. Who drew it? Cooper? It's his meeting (he never refers to the map in the televised episode, but in the original script he traces Laura Palmer's location through the night of her murder, with Lucy pointing at each spot on the map; notice that Lucy stands next to the chalkboard with Cooper's extending pointer in her hands). Another possibility for drawing the map is Andy; he is shown to be the sheriff office's sketch artist in Episode 4: "The One-Armed Man".
   The map
is similar in layout to the map on the back cover of Twin Peaks: An Access Guide to the Town.
Twin Peaks chalkboard map Twin Peaks overview map


Albert reports that blood on the "Fire walk with me" note does not match Leo’s, Jacques’s, Laura’s, or Ronette’s, going on to say that the blood type is AB-negative. But Jacques' blood type was also found to be AB-negative in Episode 5: "Cooper's Dreams".


When Andy loses his temper with Albert during the meeting, he calls him "Albert Roserfeld".


At 1:13:24 on the Blu-ray, in the bottom left corner of the screen, there appears to be a book about owls sitting on the table in the Great Northern lobby.


Ben has a Navajo rug on the floor of his office.


The youngest Hayward daughter, Gersten, says she got the highest scores in math and English for the midseason term, just like her older sisters, Harriet and Donna, did before her.


At the dinner with the Haywards and Palmers, Harriet Hayward reads a poem she wrote about Laura. Poetry writing must be a hobby or passion for her, as we saw her writing a different poem in Episode 0B: "Northwest Passage". The poem is presented below:

It was Laura.

And I saw her glowing.

In the dark woods, I saw her smiling.

We were crying, and I saw her laughing.

In our sadness, I saw her dancing.

It was Laura,

Living in my dreams.

It was Laura.

The glow was life.

Her smile was to say it was alright to cry.

The woods was our sadness.

The dance was her calling.

It was Laura.

And she came to kiss me goodbye.


During Harriet's recital, Gersten plays an original piece by the actress, Alicia Witt (as revealed in her interview appearing in The Blue Rose magazine #14, September 2020). After the recital, Gersten plays Mendelssohn's "Rondo Capriccioso, Opus 14", a notable piano piece by German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847).


During the dinner, Leland sings "Get Happy". This is a 1930 song with lyrics by Ted Koehler and music by Harold Arlen.


Dr. Hayward uses smelling salts from his medical bag to revive Leland when he faints during his musical performance.


Upon revival, Leland states he is okay and that he feels happy. Then he says, "Begin the Beguine." This is actually the title of another song, written by Cole Porter in 1934.


At 1:26:00 on the Blu-ray, the lamp on the nightstand in Cooper's hotel room is different yet again...the built-in clock is gone! Notice also that Cooper appears to have another glass of warm milk sitting on the nightstand.


In his recording to Diane as he is about to go to sleep, Cooper reflects that he hasn't had any real sleep in three days and that studies conducted on American G.I.s during the Korean War show that sleep deprivation "is a one-way ticket to temporary psychosis." I've been unable to find any reference to legitimate "studies" of sleep deprivation during the Korean War, but the North Koreans are known to have subjected American P.O.W.s to sleep deprivation in attempts to brainwash them. Studies since then have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to symptoms similar to psychosis, a mental loss of contact with reality.


At One-Eyed Jacks, Audrey seems to pray to Special Agent Cooper rather than to God.


Audrey's forgotten note is seen under Cooper's bed. How did it get there? He had set it on the phone stand in Episode 7: "The Last Evening" and it was there at the beginning of Episode 8A: "May the Giant Be With You".


At 1:31:20 on the Blu-ray, a shadow can be fleetingly seen at the end of the supposedly empty hospital hallway.


As Ronette has a flashback to the night of the murder, a freeze-frame of BOB seems to show blood smeared on his lips. (The screengrab below is slightly brightened to show the red.)

BOB's bloody lips


In Ronette's flashback, BOB seems to make ape-like grunting noises (or is it the hoot of an owl?) after killing Laura. Listen: ape-like grunts


Freeze-framing at 1:32:52 on the Blu-ray, as he screams in rage, you can see the fillings in Killer BOB's teeth!


This final scene of the episode depicts BOB killing Laura. The Laura death scene in Fire Walk With Me depicts it mostly with Leland as the killer.


BOB is depicted here wearing a denim jacket with the arms cut off (as also seen in Cooper's dream in Episode 2: "Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer"). But in the same scene in Fire Walk With Me, he is wearing a full denim jacket (as seen in most of his other appearances).


How is Ronette able to have a flashback of BOB killing Laura when, in Fire Walk With Me, it is shown that Leland/BOB shoved her out of the train car before Laura was killed?


The end credits of this episode dedicate it to the memory of Kevin Young Jr. According to some sources, this was the son of the man who played Toad (occasionally seen in episodes as a patron in the RR Diner) and the boy had died in an accident that year.


    Instead of the usual homecoming photo of Laura Palmer, the end credits show Gersten Hayward playing the piano and the music is of her playing as well. In her interview appearing in The Blue Rose magazine #14, September 2020, the actress, Alicia Witt, reveals the piece is "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie" released in 1929 by artist Pinetop Smith. It is referred to only as "Hayward Boogie" on the Twin Peaks (Season Two Music and More) soundtrack album.

    Gersten does not appear again until season three's Part 11: "There's Fire Where You Are Going". Her time in between is mentioned in The Final Dossier


Unanswered Questions


Did Andy and Lucy find any more pictures of Laura or Ronette in the Flesh World back issues as they were assigned to do by Agent Cooper? It's never revealed.


Memorable Dialog


maybe she allowed herself to be killed.wav

a smell like scorched engine oil.wav

a real treat.wav

I shot out Nadine's eye on that honeymoon.wav

jelly donuts.wav

that's classified.wav

a real three hanky crime.wav

I don't like the way you talk smart.wav

nasty business.wav

a secret vice.wav

the last person standing.wav

God help her miserable soul.wav

brain damage.wav

that's confidence.wav

you're a bicep.wav

special agent.wav

the things I tell you.wav

better to listen.wav



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