My take on Twin Peaks: how’s Annie?

My take on Twin Peaks: how’s Annie?

SPOILERS AHEAD SO ONLY READ IF YOU SAW ALL THREE SEASONS

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?I?ll see you again in 25 years?, were the last words we saw Laura Palmer say in 1991. Well I was two years old then, so I didn?t get to see Twin Peaks until the second decade of the twenty-first century.

Nobody knew back in the nineties David Lynch and Mark Frost wanted to make a sequel series a quarter century after the highly influential story aired for the first time. The closing scene of season two is branded on viewers? retinas. Dale Cooper?s doppelgnger smashed his head into the mirror, after which BOB appears and says while maniacally laughing: ?How?s Annie?? referring to Annie Blackburn, sister of Norma Jennings (ne Lindstrm).

How?s Annie?

Annie (played by Heather Graham) made an appearance in the movie prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1993). You see her appearing next to Laura Palmer in bed. Annie says: ?The Good Dale is in the Lodge and he can?t leave? and Laura writes it in her diary. The strange thing is that this happened before Laura was murdered and Annie was still in a convent recovering from a bad relationship she had in high school. So in the movie we see Annie from the future visiting Laura from the past. This scene is crucial to understanding the new season.

There are several moments in the 2017 sequel series where we see the One-Armed Man (a.k.a. Philip Gerard, a.k.a. MIKE, portrayed by Al Strobel) sitting on a couch in the Red Room across Dale Cooper. In the backwards language of the Black Lodge the One-Armed Man says: ?Is it future, or is it past?? And indeed, the timeline of season 3 isn?t linear. The locations of this new season are more diverse than the original Twin Peaks, which was mainly set in Washington state. The revival season takes place all over the United States (though still only shot in Washington state).

Annie Blackburn is not a part of the 200+ cast of the 2017 Twin Peaks revival. However, she is mentioned when Deputy Hawk finds missing pages of Laura?s diary in the toilet door of the Sheriff?s station of Twin Peaks.

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The 2016 novel of Mark Frost, ?The Secret History of Twin Peaks?, offers nothing on Annie. But we get our answers in ?The Final Dossier?, published in 2017 after the third series had come to an end. Annie is in fact the half-sister of Norma through their father Marty Lindstrom. Vivian Smythe-Niles is Annie?s mother, while Ilsa Lindstrom gave birth to Norma. Annie?s last name comes from Vivian?s husband after Marty died.

Annie?s ultimate fate is a tragic one. During her youth years she survived an attempt at sexual assault by her stepfather Roland Blackburn, who subsequently drove into the river nearby. Annie tried to kill herself by downing tranquilizers, and then was treated in a psychiatric hospital. Norma took care of her half-sister, ever since she discovered Annie?s existence. Vivian didn?t bother to even visit Annie in the hospital or at catholic boarding school.

After Annie graduated she entered the convent she told Agent Cooper about in the second season of Twin Peaks. Vivian had in the meantime married a third guy, who went by the name of Ernie Niles. After awhile Annie decided she didn?t want to take full vows and so she moved to Twin Peaks to work at the Double R.

When she met Dale Cooper (and fell in love with him), she unknowingly entered into dangerous territory. Windom Earle was chasing his old colleague and saw Annie as the perfect hostage to lure Cooper into the Black Lodge, the realm/dimension of pure evil located in the woods of Twin Peaks. Windom Earle?s soul got destroyed and the doppelganger of Cooper (possessed by the demon BOB) managed to get out of the Red Room, carrying Annie in his arms. At the hospital everything seemed okay with her, but appearances can deceive. For the rest of her life Annie would remain a catatonic, except each year on the anniversary of the day she was brought out of the Black Lodge, when she would say: ?I?m fine?, even though nobody talked to her. What happened in that other dimension had traumatized Annie in such a way that she couldn?t continue living her life. A truly heartbreaking ending for an important Twin Peaks character. How?s Annie? ?I?m fine.? But not really.

The ending

I think the defining moment comes in episode 17 of season 3 (so episode 47 overall). We have just seen the destruction of BOB by the British guy Freddie who wears a green gardening glove that gives him unnatural strength. After that climactic scene the good Dale Cooper is reunited with his dear Diane (who was stuck in the faceless woman Naido after being raped by Evil Cooper). While the Good Dale and Diane kiss, we see the enlarged superimposed face of Dale Cooper saying ?We live inside a dream. I hope to see you all again?. The room darkens and then we see Cooper, Diane and Gordon Cole (played by David Lynch himself) walking through darkness. A door appears and Cooper addresses his companions: ?See you at the curtain call?. On the other side of the door Cooper meets MIKE the One-Armed Man who leads the way to see Philip Jeffries (originally portrayed by David Bowie, but due to circumstances he is now a tea kettle with someone else?s voice).

Image for postEnding of episode 17 of the Showtime Limited Event Series.

This ?See you at the curtain call? refers to the Red Room but on a more metaphorical level it shows how David Lynch and Mark Frost break down the fourth wall (of the audience). The moment Dale Cooper utters this sentence about the curtain call, he is speaking directly towards us, the audience watching Twin Peaks in front of our screens. This truly is a brilliant way of showing it is all just television, not real life. Twin Peaks is a supernatural show about different dimensions, disguised as a murder mystery slash whodunnit with comedic approach. People used to be occupied with the question of ?who killed Laura Palmer?, but that?s not the essence of this show. The identity of the killer was secondary to the real evil in this world, which was brought to Twin Peaks through the portal of the Black Lodge. It all came down to destroying this evil force called BOB who possessed Laura?s father Leland and who indirectly made Annie a catatonic. Of course there are other fiends, even more monumental and hence more difficult to beat. BOB got destroyed in episode 17 of season 3, but that?s not the end of all wicked creatures. We see other bad forces at work in episode 18 of season 3. In a way episode 17 is the end of Twin Peaks as we know it. Episode 18 is a new beginning of another story [with characters who resemble the ones we know so well after all these years].

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