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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Twin Peaks: The Man Behind Glass Twin Peaks
Episode 10: "The Man Behind Glass"
TV episode
Written by Robert Engels
Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter
Original air date: October 13, 1990


Another letter is found placed under Ronette’s fingernail; Albert shares his philosophy; Gerard reveals his other self; Jacque and Bernard’s brother turns up for revenge; Dr. Jacoby undergoes hypnosis; Nadine awakens from her coma with unexpected side-effects.


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 burlap sack on the table keeps inching closer to the Log Lady from one intro to the next!


"Letters are symbols. They are building blocks of words which
form our languages. Languages help us communicate. Even with
complicated languages used by intelligent people, misunderstanding
is a common occurrence.

"We write things down sometimes--letters, words--hoping they will
serve us and those with whom we wish to communicate. Letters and
words, calling out for understanding."


Didja Notice?


This episode opens on the morning of Sunday, March 5, 1989.


As the screaming, twisting Ronette is being placed back on her hospital bed by an orderly and a deputy at 1:49 on the Blu-ray, Sheriff Truman can be seen turning around, bending down, and turning off the intravenous feeding monitor that is emitting a shrill tone because Ronette has pulled out her intravenous line.


Cooper finds the letter "B" under Ronette's fingernail, presumably placed by BOB/Leland. But (as commented in the study of the previous episode, Episode 9: "Coma") how would Leland have been able to get into Ronette's hospital room if she was supposedly under 24-hour guard at the time? Did BOB possess one of the guards or nurses to do the deed? And why does BOB place a letter under the fingernail of a girl he hasn't killed? Is it meant to lure Cooper closer?


At 3:58 on the Blu-ray, Harold Smith extends his left hand to Donna for a handshake instead of the normal right.


In the same shot above, notice that Harold has a previous Meals on Wheels serving platter sitting on a stand next to the door. That night, later in the episode, the platter is gone even though Donna didn't take it with her after her earlier visit!


Harold tells Donna he can't go outside. In Episode 12: "The Orchid's Curse", we see that when he does step outside his home, his right hand begins to quiver and he collapses to the ground. This may be related to the quivering hands experienced by several others in Episode 28: "Miss Twin Peaks", during the planetary alignment that opens the gateway to the Black Lodge.


Is it just me or does Harold wear a woman's watch on his wrist?

Harold's watch


At 7:58 on the Blu-ray, Cooper tells Truman that Mrs. Palmer called this morning to say that Maddy had seen BOB twice in visions over the past two days. But we only saw Maddy have a vision of him once (in Episode 9: "Coma")! Perhaps the second vision was the one in the Japanese version of Episode 8A: "May the Giant Be With You" (you can see the scene on YouTube: "Twin Peaks Episode 8 Alternate BOB Japanese Animation").


As Cooper tries to explain that the clues he received from the Giant will lead them to the killer (BOB), Albert caustically retorts, "And you gave him the beans you were supposed to use to buy a cow." Albert is, of course, referring to the English fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk, but he distorts the story some by saying that "Jack" gave his beans that were supposed to go to buying a cow to the giant; in the story, Jack is to take the family cow to market and sell it for money, but accepts a handful of magic beans for it instead.


Albert tells Cooper they sent the portrait of the long-haired man (BOB) to every agency from NASA to DEA and came up empty. NASA is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the DEA is the Drug Enforcement Administration.


Albert snarks that Leo Johnson is currently appearing at Calhoun Memorial Hospital as Mr. Potato Head. Mr. Potato Head is an American toy made by Hasbro since 1952.


Albert informs Cooper he was shot by a Walther PPK, James Bond's gun. This was, in fact, Bond's gun in many of the 007 novels and films. Bond, of course, is a fictional British super-spy created by Ian Fleming (1908-1964).


Albert tells Cooper he Hoovered up some fibers from the floor outside Cooper's room for analysis, his ticket "out of Trolleyville." "Hoovered" is a reference to Hoover vacuum cleaners. I'm unsure exactly what he means by "Trolleyville", other than, presumably, another euphemism for "Hicksville".


When Truman gets fed up with Albert's insults for the second time, he threatens him with another knuckle sandwich. Albert responds that he rejects all thoughts of violence and retribution, walking with the likes of Gandhi and King. Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) and Martin Luther King (1929-1968) were social leaders who preached and followed a dogma of nonviolent civil disobedience to affect change. But, Albert's actions in Episode 3: "Rest in Pain" seem to border on violence when he launches himself at Dr. Hayward for attempting to block his potentially mutilating autopsy on Laura Palmer. Albert heads back to Seattle in this episode, not to return until Episode 16: "Arbitrary Law". When he does return, he and Truman suddenly act like long-lost buds, even hugging each other in greeting. I guess something about this encounter changed them both!


After the above exchange, Cooper remarks to Truman, "Albert's path is a strange and difficult one." That's saying something coming from an odd egg like Cooper!


At 11:11 on the Blu-ray, an identical Apple Macintosh computer to the one in Sheriff Truman's office is seen behind Lucy at the reception desk.


In the scene mentioned above, notice that Lucy is using a Scrabble game board and pieces to find words that contain the letters R, B, and T, those found under the fingernails of Teresa Banks, Laura Palmer, and Ronette Pulaski. At the moment, it looks like she is spelling out "rabbit" with the tiles.


Lucy is wearing another vaguely Owl Cave-ish sweater in this episode.

Lucy's sweater


Hawk can be seen to wear an earring in his left ear.


Hawk remarks that Lucy's lunch date with Dick Tremayne made Andy call in sick today. In fact, Andy is not seen at all in this episode.


Dick remarks that Lucy is a "woman of letters". This refers to the English term "man of letters" which originated in the 17th Century to describe someone who was literate (as opposed to the illiterate masses of the time).


Notice that when Hawk gives Lucy the word "prohibited", he grabs Dick's cigarette from his hand and breaks it in two, tossing it aside. There is a "No Smoking" sign hanging in the foyer (though it wasn't there, and no one objected, when Donna came in smoking a cigarette in Episode 8A: "May the Giant Be With You")!


At 13:21 on the Blu-ray, a recruiting poster in the sheriff's office reads, "Is your job a bore? Not any more! Be an E.A. Deputy Sheriff". I've been unable to determine what "E.A." stands for. 


As Leland tells Cooper and Truman that he recognizes the sketch of BOB as a neighbor, Robertson, at his grandfather's cabin at Pearl Lakes, he says the neighbors on the other side were the Chalberts. Pearl Lakes appears to be a fictitious geographical location. The site appears on the overview map of Twin Peaks on the back cover of Twin Peaks: An Access Guide to the Town. Possibly the lakes are so-named due to their resemblance on the river (possibly the Pend Oreille River) to a string of pearls. The map drawn by David Lynch for a Twin Peaks 20th Anniversary art exhibit depicts the lakes a bit differently; it also identifies the twin peaks for which the town is named...White Tail Mountain and Blue Pine Mountain.
Pearl Lakes David Lynch Twin Peaks map
Access Guide map David Lynch map


Shouldn't Cooper recognize the name "Robert" from his dream (i.e. his "full" dream from the European pilot, discussed in our study of Episode 2: "Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer").


Leland tells Cooper and Truman that the Robertson man used to flick lit matches at him and ask, "Do you want to play with fire, little boy?" Recall that in Episode 8A: "May the Giant Be With You", James tells Truman about a time that Laura asked him, "Would like to play with fire, little boy? Would like to play with BOB?". As Leland tells the story, Leland lights a match from a matchbook in his pocket and flicks it into an ashtray stand in the hallway of the sheriff's office. Why is there an ashtray there if smoking is prohibited?


At 16:20 on the Blu-ray, the cigarette pack Dick smokes from are Valiant brand. Though there is a real world brand by that name, the package design seen here appears to be fictitious.


Dick reveals he has a cat when he tells Lucy he's been so busy he barely has time to feed it, let alone call Lucy in the past six weeks.


Lucy remarks that Dick took her to family night at the Pancake Plantation. Although there are a few real world independent pancake restaurants by this name in the U.S., the one she refers to in Washington is probably intended to be fictitious.


At 18:55 on the Blu-ray, the cigarette vending machine in the RR Diner is seen to be a Seeburg Tobacco Counter.


James tells Maddy that sometimes he feels like he should just take off on his bike and ride away. He does essentially this near the end of Episode 17: "Dispute Between Brothers".


The 52 Pick-Up Girl who videotapes Audrey for Blackie and Battis at One-Eyed Jacks is the "new girl" seen a few times in the first season of the series.


After forcibly injecting Audrey with a drug, Blackie chortles that the girl is riding the "white tiger". "Riding the white tiger" is a phrase associated with getting high on heroin.


    At 21:48 on the Blu-ray, the HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN? one-sheet of BOB can be seen in slightly blurry close-up. The man's height and weight are given below the sketch! How do they know those measurements from a figure that has appeared only in dreams and visions?

   The phone number listed on the one-sheet for the sheriff's office is 555-9911. The 555 prefix of the phone number is a long-time convention in Hollywood TV and film.

Have You Seen This Man?


The map on the wall of Truman's office is presumably of Twin Peaks County, but we never get a sharp look at it.


In the men's room of the sheriff station, notice that one of the urinals is blocked off with police tape and a sign reading "Broken. Do Not Use."


The indicator above the elevator at the Great Northern indicates the hotel has five floors.


Ben remarks that Audrey has gone missing before on a semi-regular basis. Where did she go during those times? What was she doing?


The coffee table book about owls, previously glimpsed in the lobby of the Great Northern in Episode 8B: "Answers in Dreams", is seen again at 27:00.


At 30:19 on the Blu-ray, it's clear that the wooden statue sitting on a table against one wall of Truman's office is of a pair of owls. At 30:34 on the Blu-ray, there is also a painting of what appears to be an owl hanging on the opposite wall.


Although she doesn't appear in the actual episode (or at any time in the series), the script of this episode depicts a scene where James' mother comes home after a week away. Her name is Colleen Hurley.


Telling Big Ed to sing to Nadine, Dr. Hayward says, "It beats a trip to Lourdes." Lourdes is a town in south-west France that has become known for alleged miraculous healings since the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to a peasant girl there in 1858.


Ed sings "On Top of Old Smokey" to Nadine, a folk song. Ironically, the song's lyrics of losing a lover and being false to another, could be compared to Ed's true love for Norma and reluctant marriage with Nadine.


When Nadine awakens from her coma, she begins a cheerleader chant from her days at Twin Peaks High School (home of the Steeplejacks):

I'm a jack and you're a jack/Steeple jacks are we...
I'm a jack and you're a jack/Steeple jacks are we
And when we climb up to the top/The cry is "Victory!"


In this episode, we briefly meet Dr. Jacoby's young, pretty, Hawaiian wife, Eolani, who lives at their home in Hanalei. Jacoby explains to Cooper and Truman that she and he are practicing a kind of Kahuna healing. Hanalei is a small town in the state of Hawaii. Kahuna is a Hawaiian word with various meanings; here, it may be meant as someone who is a magical healer. Eolani


The stone that Dr. Jacoby has Sheriff Truman hold up for him to focus on as he slips into a hypnotic state, is a slice from a geode.


During Jacoby's hypnosis session, Eolani holds a pyramid-shaped stone carving in each hand. Might these represent the twin peaks?


Notice that Truman begins to fall into the hypnotic spell as well, until Cooper prods him back to reality!


Jacoby describes having a dream of being in Hanauma Bay, juggling coconuts at a luau for Nigerian guests. Hanauma is a bay on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.


Jacoby's hypnosis session seems to imply he smelled the scorched engine oil smell in Easter Park just before he was attacked (in Episode 7: "The Last Evening"), not in the hospital room during Jacques Renault's murder as previously assumed.


At 42:15 on the Blu-ray, Uniroyal Tiger Paw tires are seen on a van being driven by Donna. Presuming this is a Hayward family vehicle, this makes the third one!


When Donna goes to visit Harold again in the evening to vent her troubles, he already knows about her relationship with James. How did he know? She did not tell him during their first meeting earlier.


When Donna finds Laura's secret diary in Harold's cabin, a knife is lying next to it. This may have been intended as a bit of a red herring that Harold was her killer.


Memorable Dialog


any relation to the dwarf?.wav

what's the matter with me?.wav

and you gave him the beans.wav

confining my conclusions to the planet Earth.wav

Mr. Potato Head.wav

every agency from NASA to DEA.wav

practice walking without dragging your knuckles on the floor.wav

let's talk about knuckles.wav

my concerns are global.wav

I love you, Sheriff Truman.wav

Albert's path is a strange and difficult one.wav


he used to flick matches at me.wav


I know you're near.wav

like ducks in a shooting gallery.wav

we've got to find the one-armed man.wav

you're only 18 once.wav

they didn't bury you deep enough.wav

it's like I fell into a dream.wav

those summers up at Pearl Lakes.wav

there's always mañana.wav


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