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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Twin Peaks: Lonely Souls Twin Peaks
Episode 14: "Lonely Souls"
TV episode
Written by Mark Frost
Directed by David Lynch
Original air date: November 10, 1990


Harold commits suicide; Leo speaks; Audrey confronts her father; Shelly quits the Double-R; “Mike” leads the search for BOB while the log sends Cooper to the Roadhouse.


Read the episode script 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.


Notes from the Log Lady intros


When cable channel Bravo obtained the rights to air reruns of Twin Peaks in 1993, David Lynch directed all-new introductions to each episode featuring the Log Lady, portrayed by original actress Catherine E. Coulson. These intros also appear as options on the DVD and Blu-ray collections of the series.


The lid is now off the sugar dish and the teapot has moved back into view from what was seen previously in Episode 13: "Demons".


For this intro, the Log Lady recites a poem. It appears to be an original one, though she introduces it as "a poem as lovely as a tree," which is a slightly altered line from the 1913 poem "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer. Trees are, of course, a motif in Twin Peaks. And, in Episode 26: "Variations on Relations", Pete waxes poetic,  "I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as Josie..." and some episodes suggest that Josie's soul may be imprisoned in the wood structure of the Great Northern Hotel where she died.


The final line of the Log Lady's poem, "Woe to the ones who behold the pale horse," is an obvious reference to Sarah Palmer, who sees a pale horse materialize in her bedroom just before Maddy is murdered by Leland/BOB in this episode. In the Bible's Book of Revelation, the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, Death, is said to ride a pale horse; her husband, Leland, is death, to her daughter Laura, and now her niece Maddy. Possibly, the horse is also representative of Sarah's own role in the deaths of her daughter and niece, as she seemingly refuses to consciously acknowledge what has been happening for years with her husband.


"A poem as lovely as a tree:

"As the night wind blows, the boughs move to and fro.
The rustling, the magic rustling that brings on the dark dream.
The dream of suffering and pain.
Pain for the victim, pain for the inflicter of pain.
A circle of pain, a circle of suffering.
Woe to the ones who behold the pale horse."



Didja Notice?


This episode takes place on Thursday, March 9, 1989.


Gordon tells Cooper he's headed for Bend, Oregon for something that's "real hush-hush".


At the beginning of the episode, Mike repeats his statement from the end of Episode 13: "Demons" about the Great Northern Hotel, "A large house, made of wood, surrounded by trees. The house is filled with many rooms, each alike, but occupied by different souls, night after night."


As the employees and clientele of the Great Northern are paraded in front of Mike for identification as to whether they are the host of BOB, notice at 3:58 that Mr. Tojamura is brought before him. Mike reacts a bit awkwardly, but confirms it is not BOB. It seems he many have been picking up (at least somewhat) on the fact that Tojamura was not what he seemed, being Catherine Martell in disguise.


The sheriff's vehicle that approaches the camera at 4:34 on the Blu-ray has one headlight out! Possibly, this was an intentional play on the missing body parts of the One-Armed Man and Nadine Hurley.


At 4:44 on the Blu-ray, notice that Harold Smith has strewn many of his beloved orchids across the floor of his cabin, a harbinger of the upcoming sight of his body hanging from the ceiling, he having committed suicide.


At 5:15 on the Blu-ray, a bag of Uni-Gro is seen in the background in Harold's cabin. Uni-Gro is a brand of peat moss and other products used for stimulating the healthy growth of plants.


The painting of an elk at the Palmer house at 5:24 on the Blu-ray has "Missoula Montana" painted in the lower left corner. It presages Maddy's announcement to her aunt and uncle that it's time for her to go back home to Missoula and it is also the picture Leland later smashes her face into when he shouts she's "going back to Missoula, Montana!"


On the mantel at 5:43 on the Blu-ray, a few books are seen, one being The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant. This is an actual book profiling a number of Western philosophers from ancient Greece to the early 20th Century. I can't quite make out the titles or authors of the other two books.


The mantel at the Palmer home also shows a couple additional childhood photos of Laura not previously seen.


The song playing at the Palmer home is "What a Wonderful World", performed by the great Louis Armstrong.


Maddy tells her uncle and aunt that it's time for her to head home to Missoula and get back to her job. It's never revealed what her job is.


A suicide note is found on the person of Harold Smith, reading only, "Je une ame solitaire," Roughly, French for "I am a lonely soul." This same phrase was used by Mrs. Tremond's grandson, Pierre, in Episode 9: "Coma".


Sheriff Truman remarks, "It's a good thing Andy didn't see this one." Deputy Andy has been shown to be so sensitive as to break down in tears at the scene of a death.


When Hawk discovers Laura's secret diary among the debris in Harold's cabin, it looks much thinner than seen before, presumably an indication that Harold tore a number of pages out of it in his despair and rage.


At 9:22 on the Blu-ray, a Ford pick-up drives by the Johnson house.


Bobby indicates that he has been staying the night with Shelly at her house, but can't keep on, "telling my mom and dad that I'm spending the night at Mike's."


Due to the lack of finances for supporting Shelly and Leo, Bobby suggests selling Leo's truck, saying, "He's not gonna be cannonballing down the highway any time soon." Since Leo was a trucker, Bobby may be referring to the 1981 film Cannonball Run, based on the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, an unsanctioned car race run four times in the 1970s from the east to west coasts of the United States.


Ben tells Audrey that he has owned One-Eyed Jacks for five years.


Ben claims that he loved Laura.


At 16:02 on the Blu-ray, the "RR" portion of the cafe sign is missing from the RR Diner! (This actually is seen fairly frequently in assorted establishing shots of the restaurant shot on location in North Bend, WA.)


During the RR scene with Shelly and Norma, the red tablecloths and flowers that have been on the tables in an attempt to impress the visiting critic M.T. Wentz are not in place. According to the original script, Norma simply had to launder them!


During Nadine's visit to the RR, she seems to think she has been to Europe with her parents for a month and the town has changed while she was gone. Did Nadine actually travel to Europe with her folks when she was in high school?


At 20:32 on the Blu-ray, we see that the day's special at the RR is split pea soup and lamb.


At 22:20 on the Blu-ray, Bobby and Mike arrive at the Johnson home and Bobby calls out for Shelly, who is apparently not home. So, she seemingly just left the semi-comatose Leo in the house by himself!


As Cooper goes through the remains of Laura's diary at the sheriff's station, he records to Diane, that BOB " referred to, on more than one occasion, as a friend of her father's." But this is never stated at all in the official The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer. Cooper also quotes from the diary, "Some day I'm going to tell the world about Ben Horne. I'm going to tell them who Ben Horne really is." The actual statement in the diary though is "I'm going to have to tell the world about Benjamin."


In his office with Mr. Tajamura, Ben tells him that Jerry has been checking with his people in Osaka and Tokyo Bank. Osaka is a city in Japan. Tokyo Bank appears to be a fictitious institution.


At 27:40 on the Blu-ray, as Truman, Cooper, and the deputies are entering Ben's office to take him into custody for questioning on the murder of Laura Palmer, a book on his desk is seen to be Joseph and His Brothers. This is a 1943 novel by the Nobel Prize laureate Thomas Mann (1875-1955). The novel is about the stories of Jacob and Joseph in the Genesis book of the Bible.


The sweater the Log Lady is wearing in this episode is the one she wears throughout the Season One Log Lady intros.


The performer singing at the Roadhouse is Julee Cruise, who performed many of the songs associated with Twin Peaks.


The first song performed by Julee Cruise at the Roadhouse is "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart", written by David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti. I recommend listening to the so-called Tibetan 12" version with extended lyrics, which seem particularly relevant to the story of Twin Peaks, as relayed in the lyrics below:

Do you remember our picnic lunch?
We both went up to the lake
And then we walked among the pines
The birds sang out a song for us

We had a fire when we came back
And your smile was beautiful
You touched my cheek and you kissed me
At night we went for a stroll

The wind blew our hair
The fire made us warm
The wind blew the waves
Out on the lake

We heard the owl in a nearby tree
I thought our love would last forever


As Cooper, Truman, and the Log Lady sit down for brews and peanuts at the Roadhouse, notice that a couple of the naval men seen earlier at the Great Northern are also visiting the bar behind them.


The second song performed by Julee Cruise at the Roadhouse is "The World Spins".


At 37:52 on the Blu-ray, notice that the decrepit room service waiter from the Great Northern is sitting at the bar inside the Roadhouse, presaging the appearance of the Giant.


As BOB manifests himself inside Leland to murder Maddy, she shouts to her aunt and uncle that it smells like something's burning. This must the be "scorched engine oil" smell that Dr. Jacoby noticed when Jacques was murdered in the bed next to him in the hospital, as he stated in Episode 8B: "Answers in Dreams".


As Leland bumps into the doorframe at 39:57 on the Blu-ray, notice that the pictures on the wall jiggle, indicating a flimsy set wall, not the solid wall of a real house.


BOB appears to wear Levi's brand jeans, judging from the small red label on the back pocket! In Episode 16: "Arbitrary Law", we see that his jean jacket is also a Levi's brand.


When Leland smashes Maddy's face into the painting at 43:18 on the Blu-ray, notice that there is the sound of breaking a glass pane, but the painting does not appear to have glass over it!


When the Giant appears on the Roadhouse stage, most of the people there appear to be frozen, but a few can still be seen moving. Cooper, of course, can still move as well, as does the Log Lady (though she seems less cognizant of the Giant's presence).


As Cooper observes the Giant on the stage, at 44:08 on the Blu-ray, he touches the little finger of his right hand, where he previously wore the ring taken by the Giant in Episode 8A: "May the Giant Be With You".


Immediately after Maddy's death, Donna breaks down in tears at the Roadhouse, in the booth she's sharing with James, seeming to sense that something horrible has just happened. Bobby, sitting at the bar, also has a look on his face of sadness, but like he doesn't know why; notice he looks at the old room service waiter sitting next to him as well, almost as if he senses the old man's connection to things...some fans have speculated that Bobby's mood swings throughout the series are an indication that he is an empath of some kind, probably without knowing it, possibly inheriting some mystic qualities from his father.


Instead of the usual closing credits sequence, this episode's closing credits feature the image of Cooper's face superimposed over red drapes, with Julee Cruise's "The World Spins" playing over them.


Unanswered Questions


Why does Mike go into a sort of fit when Ben Horne walks into the room? Is it because of Ben's association with Leland? Or just Ben's general undercover sleaziness?


Why are the naval personnel at the Great Northern bouncing rubber balls in the lobby?


What connection, if any, is there between Harold Smith and Pierre Tremond, considering they both used the phrase, "Je une ame solitaire"?


Memorable Dialog


real hush-hush.wav

I am a lonely soul.wav

new shoes.wav

I have to quit my job.wav

a warrant.wav

there are owls in the Roadhouse.wav

something is happening.wav

dummy, it's me.wav

everybody's hurt inside.wav

it is happening again.wav

I'm so sorry.wav 


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