Twin Peaks Style, Part 1: The Owls Are Not What They Seem

[Editor's note: WARNING! The following blog post contains many a spoiler concerning the events in our favourite fictional Pacific Northwest town. Read at your own risk. - Anna]

Laura Palmer’s plastic-wrapped body, discovered by an over-eager fisherman in the pilot episode of Twin Peaks, is the first sign that everything is about to break. Audrey Horne’s switch from saddle shoes to heels, moments later, is the first sign that nothing — as long as the show lasts — will ever be as it seems.

Throughout the two seasons of Twin Peaks, there are several incidents that reveal things to be different from what they seem — there are doppelgängers, dream worlds, and Killer BOB, who takes over the bodies of innocent men and uses them to rape and kill. [Editor's note: See?! Told you there were spoilers! Back to you, Stephanie. - Anna] There’s also the character of Laura: though we never meet her alive, she is portrayed in flashbacks and memories as the perfect teenage girl — well-liked and intelligent, beautiful, and every parent’s dream — but in reality, she was addicted to cocaine and was cheating on her long-term boyfriend with several men, including her employer, who is married with children. Finally, and most obviously, there is the town of Twin Peaks itself; it appears to be quaint and quiet, but has horrible things brewing under its surface, in its forests.

The characters in Twin Peaks are defined largely by their wardrobes, which reveal their true personalities, often by making such drastic attempts at concealing them.

AUDREY HORNE: A SEDUCTRESS IN SADDLE SHOES

“I’m insane? Well, I’m Audrey Horne and I get what I want.”

Audrey Horne, played by Sherilyn Fenn, is a high school student and the only daughter of Benjamin Horne, who owns the Great Northern Hotel, Horne’s department store, and — according to Sheriff Truman — half the town of Twin Peaks. In one of the first scenes in the pilot episode, Audrey changes from a pair of black and white saddle shoes to a pair of bright red heels. This moment represents Audrey’s always changing personality and her deceitful, manipulative ways. Audrey’s saddle shoes are the picture-perfect side of the quaint little town of Twin Peaks, and her red heels are the dirty side, the secret “something” that makes Twin Peaks different — and scary. At school, Audrey wears fitted sweaters and pencil skirts and smokes in the bathroom. At the Great Northern, she plays Daddy’s little girl, often dressed in saddle shoes and simple t-shirts, blazers, and matching skirts. Audrey makes it her mission to solve the mystery of Laura’s murder, not because she misses Laura, but because she desperately wants to sleep with Special Agent Dale Cooper. Then again, who doesn’t? Never mind.

JOSIE PACKARD: A WOLF IN WOMEN’S CLOTHING

“If anything unfortunate were to happen to me, it would lead authorities to a certain safety deposit box in a bank in another city, inside of which there is enough evidence to lock you away for three lifetimes.”

Josie Packard, played by Joan Chen, is the wife and heir to the (supposedly) “late” mill owner Andrew Packard. On more than one occasion, she mysteriously disappears to “go shopping in Washington” during an investigation in which she’s a suspect. Josie always looks over-dressed, or like she’s going somewhere important — when really, she stays cooped up in her log cabin, waiting for something to happen. Josie tries to appear fragile and feminine and like the “ideal” waif-like woman, and we’re supposed to recognize her as such. She’s beautiful and immaculately dressed. She’s soft-spoken and apologetic. She’s perfect. And then you realize that she isn’t — she killed her husband for his money and has a long life of crime trailing behind her. Josie is, as Dale Cooper puts it, “a hardened criminal,” and her clothing conceal more than her thin, delicate frame. Even at the end of her life, when she tries to shoot and kill Agent Cooper, she is wearing an ultra-feminine dress that looks almost childish — like something a debutante would wear to her coming out party.

Stay tuned for more on Twin Peaks style, coming soon to WORNJournal.com.

- Stephanie Fereiro

14 thoughts on “Twin Peaks Style, Part 1: The Owls Are Not What They Seem

  1. OH MY GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD I’M SO EXCITED TO READ THIS I HAVEN’T EVEN READ IT YET AND NEEDED TO COMMENT IMMEDIATELY

  2. perfect. this is awesome. when you said there were spoilers you were not kidding.

    i love audrey! and josie! (SPOILER:) the part where her soul gets trapped in that wooden dresser was really weird. didn’t really get that one.

    anyway, great job steph! does “part 1″ mean we can look forward to more of these??

  3. Thanks for your comments, you guys! Yes, Ave, the part where her soul gets caught in the dresser is weird. Also, was BOB in Josie’s soul? So much to debate. There will be at least two more parts to this Twin Peaks Style business… I’m making you wait, though. xx

  4. I am SO into this! I’m just about to hunker down and pay a visit to Twin Peaks and your timing could not be more perfect. Audrey is a kitten on fire! Can’t wait for your next installment.

  5. This really makes me want to watch the series, which I have not yet mostly due to my ‘Mulholland Drive’-derived fear of Lynch. But it looks like I’ll have to borrow the DVDs when you’re done with them. Keep ‘em coming, Stephanie F!

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