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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Twin Peaks: Cooper's Dreams Twin Peaks
Episode 5: "Cooper's Dreams"
TV episode
Written by Mark Frost
Directed by Leslie Linka Glatter
Original air date: May 10, 1990

Page last updated 1/5/2022


Clues are found in Jacque’s apartment and Cooper finds a surprise in his room; Audrey gets a job; James and Donna conspire with Maddy; Hank comes home; the log speaks.


Read the 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.


Notes from the Log Lady intros


When cable channel Bravo obtained the rights to air reruns of the 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 Log Lady remarks, "I play my part on my stage." This may be an allusion to a quote from Shakespeare's MacBeth: "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."


"I play my part on my stage. I tell what I can to form the perfect
answer. But that answer cannot come before all are ready to hear.
So I tell what I can to form the perfect answer.

"Sometimes my anger at the fire is evident. Sometimes it is not
anger, really. It may appear as such, but could it be a clue?
The fire I speak of is not a kind fire."


Didja Notice?


This episode opens on the morning of Wednesday, March 1, 1989.


At 2:50 on the Blu-ray, notice that Cooper is apparently still reading Great Expectations, an 1861 novel by Charles Dickens, as seen previously in Episode 1: "Traces to Nowhere". Notice also that he has what appears to be an FBI coffee mug sitting on the night stand which he later carries down with him to the Great Northern dining room for his morning coffee.


Discussing the visiting Icelanders with Cooper, Trudy remarks that she hopes the herring holds out. Pickled herring (and other styles of serving the fish) is popular in Iceland.


At 4:11 on the Blu-ray, notice that Trudy gives an amused looked behind Cooper's back as Audrey joins him once again for breakfast.


Notice that the table behind Cooper at breakfast is occupied by what appear to be four Native Americans.


Audrey tells Cooper she is 18 years old. But the Twin Peaks collectible card set has her birthday listed as August 15, 1972. But "Diane..." The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper has her birthdate as August 24th. Not only is the date different, but if she was born in 1972, she would be only 16 at the time the series takes place. Was Audrey lying so he wouldn't think she was too young? Or is the card set just wrong?


At 5:17 on the Blu-ray, notice that a layout of the proposed Ghostwood Estates is presented on a tripod behind Ben's desk. Below the "Ghostwood" heading is a banner reading "A project of Horne Development Corp."


At 6:02 on the Blu-ray, Jerry's collar pin appears to be a silver Cupid.


The blood on Leo's shirt is revealed to be AB-Negative, Jacques Renault's blood.


At 8:32 on the Blu-ray, Cooper asks Andy to hold his donut and coffee for a minute while he pulls down a hidden copy of Flesh World magazine from the ceiling lamp in Jacques' apartment. Just seconds later, notice that Andy absentmindedly takes a bite of Cooper's donut and takes a drink of his coffee!


At 8:59 on the Blu-ray, notice that there is a bong and a pair of droopy eye spring glasses sitting on a table in Jacques' apartment. At 9:58, we also see a chessboard covered with a bunch of popcorn and orange rinds scattered all over the table. 


Judging from the cover, the Flesh World issue found in Jacques' apartment appears to be the same issue found in Laura's safe deposit box in Episode 0B: "Northwest Passage". Yet the photo of Leo Johnson's truck in it is completely different! And why would he send a photo of his truck to the magazine anyway? Also, is it just me, or does the color photo look as if Leo's truck has Christmas lights strewn across the wheel well and hood?
Flesh World ad Leo's truck photo
Leo's Flesh World truck photo in this episode Leo's Flesh World truck photo in Episode 0B: "Northwest Passage"


Notice that above the photo of Leo's truck in Flesh World, an unrelated swinger's ad begins with "Ladies cum first"..! Appropriate for a magazine of this type, but kind of risqué for a prime time network TV show in the early 1990s! The producers probably figured they could get away with it because it appears for only a second and on only a small portion of the visible page.


Bobby comments on Shelly's mistake in dropping out of the 11th grade to marry Leo.


During the phone call with Leo, Shelly remarks to him, "You know how paranoid you get when you've been popping bennies on the road a couple of days." "Bennies" is a reference to Benzedrine, the trade name of an amphetamine with psychoactive properties.


At 13:02 on the Blu-ray, there is a highway mileage sign, right next to Big Ed's Gas Farm, for various upcoming sites, but it is too blurry to make out. There is also an advertising sign to "Ski Mt. Waterman, 6 miles ahead." This indicates the shot is from on location in the San Gabriel Mountains of California, as that is where Mt. Waterman is located. The car Ed is working on in this scene is a 1955 Buick Special.


At 13:14 on the Blu-ray, notice James' Harley parked at the Gas Farm.


The car Norma drives to Big Ed's Gas Farm is only seen in partial shots, but it's the RR station wagon seen in later episodes (not the one used in Fire Walk With Me), a 1960 Ford Country Squire.


Ed tells Norma that Nadine is at the patent attorney's in Fairvale. As far as I can tell there is no real world town called Fairvale within a less-than-a-day driving distance from the area of Twin Peaks.


At 13:34 on the Blu-ray, the log-hauling trailer behind Ed and Norma is seen to be a Whit-Log Trailer.


Notice that Emory Battis has a lot of toy or model cars in his office at Horne's Department Store. He must be a car aficionado.


James states that his father was a musician who ran out on him and his mom when he was 10. In Episode 1: "Traces to Nowhere", he told Dr. Hayward that his father died when he was 10. Both incidents could be true.


In Jacques' apartment, besides the photo of Jacques' log cabin in the woods, there is a postcard of a restroom built into a giant log segment and a photo of Chickita's Sex Parady, a real world sex shop in Amsterdam, Netherlands.


At 19:22 on the Blu-ray, a can of Campbell's soup is seen sitting on a table in Jacques' apartment.


At 19:55 on the Blu-ray, the shot of the Flesh World page with Laura's photo does not have the associated blurb with it that Cooper has just read out loud.


Cooper claims the red drapes in his dream were representative of the red drapes they find in Jacques' mountain cabin, where the initial assaults against Laura and Ronette took place. But, we later learn that the red drapes are part of the "waiting room" of the Black Lodge in Episode 30: "Beyond Life and Death".


When Maddie comes into the RR Diner to meet with Donna and James, James gets her a Cherry Coke at her request. But then they only talk for a minute and leave without her having taken a single sip!


Maddie reveals that the day before Laura died, she (Maddie) had a feeling that Laura was in trouble. This may be an indication that Maddie has certain psychic powers as well, just like Laura and Sarah. In later episodes, she has a couple of visions as well.


In the scene at the RR, we see that Hank has been in the next booth listening in on the collusion of James, Donna, and Maddie. But he never uses the information in any later episodes.


The small TV in the kitchen of the RR is a Quasar. This was an electronics brand at the time, currently owned by Panasonic but not in use.


Normally a psychiatric session in film and television depicts the doctor sitting upright in a chair and the patient in a reclined, relaxed position. During Dr. Jacoby's counseling session with the Briggs family, ironically, the Briggs' are sitting upright on a couch while Jacoby is reclined and relaxed with his hands resting behind his head!


Dr. Jacoby is wearing a tie that appears to have an image of a hunter and his dog on it. He also appears to be wearing a bowling shirt with someone else's name on it. The name is partially covered and only what looks like "rnie" is seen. Maybe it says "Ernie", as in Ernie Niles, who appears in season two and is Norma's stepfather and an ex-con. Maybe he was formerly a patient of Dr. Jacoby and left his bowling shirt in the office after a session, so Jacoby acquired it!


During the family counseling, Bobby makes a sarcastic remark about the fact that his father has killed people and the major defends himself that it was during wartime. Most likely Major Briggs is referring to service during the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War from 1962-1973. Bobby's bringing up his father's killing may be an indication that he himself is feeling guilt over shooting and killing Deer Meadow Deputy Cliff Howard, as depicted in Fire Walk With Me.


During his one-on-one session with Dr. Jacoby, notice that Bobby plays with the zipper on the cuff of his jacket.


The sidearm of choice of Sheriff Truman and his deputies (as seen when they approach the Log Lady's cabin) is a Smith & Wesson Model 10.


The sweater worn by the Log Lady here is the same one she wears in all of the first season "Log Lady Intros".


    The Log Lady has a number of old or antique items on her porch and in her cabin, such as old lumber saws, a butter churn, metal milk canisters, old wooden snowshoes, an ice box, a cast iron stove, a grandfather clock, and a wagon wheel.

   There is also a dreamcatcher hanging in the entryway. A dreamcatcher is a small, webbed, willow-wood hoop decorated with feathers and other sacred items, believed by a number of Native American peoples to trap bad dreams and allow only the good ones to pass through to the owner.


There is an owl statue on the mantle above the fireplace in the Log Lady's cabin. Notice that the fireplace itself is boarded over and several fire extinguishers are visible in locations throughout the house. She may be constantly on guard for fire due to the supernatural aspect that it seems to have in the Twin Peaks universe and the fact that fire killed her husband.


The Log Lady's cabin appears to be quite small. Notice that what looks like her bed is in the room with her dining table.


It's odd that Cooper is able to "see" much more than the average individual and generally easily accepts what others consider strange, but he seems to have some difficulty reading and accepting the Log Lady during the first season of the series.


It's clear the Log Lady has been expecting Truman, Cooper, Hawk, and Dr. Hayward and she tells them they are two days late. Two days previous would have been Monday, February 27, the day of Laura Palmer's funeral, at which she was present.


The Log Lady says, "Fire is the devil, hiding like a coward in the smoke." This may be the meaning of the "fire walk with me" phrase used by denizens of the Black Lodge...they are calling on the devil.


At 29:42 on the Blu-ray, we can see that the Log Lady has a wedding band on her left hand, in addition to the two rings she wears on her right. These are seen in the "Log Lady Intros" as well.


Hawk seems to prompt the Log Lady by saying, "The wood holds many spirits, doesn't it Margaret?" At this point she picks up her log and tells Cooper he can ask it now. Was Hawk referring specifically to the log when he said "the wood holds many spirits"? Or was he referring to wood in general? I have speculated that the log holds the spirit of the Log Lady's husband, but maybe it actually holds many spirits? On the other hand, it does seem that Hawk may be speaking of wood in general, as witnessed in the second season when Josie's spirit is hinted at haunting the wooden structure of the Great Northern.


After the Log Lady picks up the log and indicates that Cooper can ask it his questions, he asks it what it saw the night Laura Palmer was killed. Notice that after he asks the question, the Log Lady quickly pats her hand on the log and whispers, "Shhh, I'll do the talking." I had not noticed the "shh" before and had assumed her statement of "I'll do the talking" was simply said to Cooper and the others. But, the hand pat and the "shh" imply she is speaking to the log!


The song that plays over-and-over on the record player in Jacques' cabin is "Into the Night", performed by Julee Cruise, with lyrics by David Lynch.


At 34:41 on the Blu-ray, notice that Waldo's birdcage actually has his name on it.


At 34:48 on the Blu-ray, notice that there is a whip draped off of the table holding the record player.


The One-Eyed Jacks poker chip with a missing chunk that falls out of the cuckoo clock refers back to the small piece of poker chip that was found in Laura Palmer's stomach in the autopsy (Episode 3: "Rest in Pain").


Why were several $1000 poker chips from One-Eyed Jacks stuffed into the cuckoo clock in Jacques' cabin? Jacques was employed at One-Eyed Jack's as a blackjack dealer, and Laura and Ronette were employed there as prostitutes (it would seem). It would probably be rather difficult for poor high school girls to get away with $1000 chips, but probably hard for Jacques as well. Possibly, Leo won the chips while gambling with his drug-running earnings.


At 35:25 on the Blu-ray Josie is seen sitting in the dark in Ben's office. But a few minutes later, Ben and Catherine go to his office for a one-on-one and Josie is nowhere to be seen. Then she's back again to meet him there shortly after that!


The party for the Icelandic business contingent at the Great Northern is held in the Timber Room, where we've seen Agent Cooper take his breakfast.


The greeter at the party is holding a guest list with two small Icelandic flags attached to it.


As Pete and Catherine enter the party, the Icelanders are singing a song in Icelandic. I can't identify the real song, but it seems to have the same rhythm as "Home on the Range"! The waitress Trudy is seen to be playing the piano for this song.


Major Briggs comments to Einar, head of the Icelandic business contingent, that his people must still hold a vestigial interest in the legends and folklore of ancient Iceland. Einar seems a bit bemused as he responds, "Vestigial. Absolutely." In reality, Icelandic belief in much of the country's folklore and mythology is still strong, with farmers and even road construction crews observing respect for the stone "homes" of trolls, gardeners building tiny homes for elves, etc., so Einar's bemusement may come from the fact that an Icelander's respect for folklore is much more than vestigial. Major Briggs may have brought up the topic due to his own work with the government in regards to the mysterious woods around Twin Peaks (as revealed in season two and in The Secret History of Twin Peaks).


Jerry tries to convince his Icelandic goddess Heba that her name is an American figure of speech, exclaiming, "Heba! Heba!" He is referring to the phrase "Hubba! Hubba!" used, usually by American males, to express appreciation for the looks of a member of the opposite sex.


As Leland walks into the party at 36:43 on the Blu-ray, it looks as if he may have cut himself shaving. Notice a small white dot of paper covering the left side of his chin.


While speaking with some of the Icelanders at the party, Ben remarks that he travelled through their country once, calling it beautiful, but "not many trees". Although Iceland was once covered with forests in historical times, it suffered deforestation due to cutting of trees for firewood and timber, and now little forestation remains in place. Of course, this might be quite shocking to someone from Twin Peaks. A bit later, Pete seems to think the entire country of Iceland is above the timberline, but this is not strictly true; the timberline is the edge of where trees can grow, due to the environment, such as cold or lack of sufficient moisture.


When Ben tells the irked Catherine he will meet her in his office in two minutes, she retorts, "Hell hath no fury..." The phrase comes from the paraphrasing of a line from William Congreve's 1697 play, The Mourning Bride: "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned." The more well-known paraphrase in full is "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."


After Ben tells Catherine to give him two minutes to break away from the party, he approaches an off-screen person, saying, "Ah, Thor. I've been meaning to ask you. Are you familiar with the work of Knut Hamsun?" Knut Hamsun was a Norwegian writer and winner of the 1920 Nobel Prize in literature; he was later criticized for his support of Nazi Germany and Chancellor Hitler.


Alone in his office with Catherine, Ben complains of her dumping her Dom Pérignon on his shoe. Dom Pérignon is a premier brand of Champagne.


After their kiss, Ben offers Catherine a breath mint. I suppose he found her to have bad breath at that moment! Possibly her breath may reek of alcohol, as she is seen drinking several glasses of champagne and Pete even warned her earlier to "go easy on the sauce tonight". The breath mint case looks like it may be of the Tic Tac brand.


If you look closely in the background at 41:05 on the Blu-ray, you can see Audrey enter the Timber Room and hide behind the totem pole to observe. She can be seen hiding back there in the distance in several shots.


For unexplained reasons, dance music suddenly starts playing during Jerry's speech at the party, leading to another Leland breakdown. Who started the music? It wasn't Leland, he was among the crowd listening to Jerry's speech. Maybe Audrey set it to play earlier on a brief time delay as a way of messing with her father's party, just before sneaking in and hiding behind the totem pole; this might explain why we see her crying when we finally get a close-up of her a minute later...she did not intend her prank to have the effect on Leland that it had.


At 42:28 on the Blu-ray, a photo of Laura and Donna together is seen on the phone stand in the Palmer house.


While Maddie is on the phone with Donna, we can hear Sarah upstairs calling for Leland and asking, "Leland, where'd you go?" This might imply that Leland snuck away to attend the Icelander event at the Great Northern without telling her.


At 44:23 on the Blu-ray, Leo's pick-up is a Ford F-250.


After Leo pulls up to his house in his pick-up, he pulls two gas cans out of from the under-house storage. This is a foreshadowing of his arson of the Packard Mill in Episode 7: "The Last Evening".


After beating up Leo, Hank warns him only to do what he's told or next time he'll watch him take "your little chippy apart before I kill you." "Chippy" is a slang term for "prostitute", so Hank is presumably making a derogatory reference to Leo's wife, Shelly.


Lucy is not seen in this entire episode. In the following episode (Episode 6:_"Realization Time"), Cooper asks her if she's feeling ok, remarking that she was out sick "yesterday". This is an early indication of her pregnancy, which we will learn about in Episode 7: "The Last Evening".


The gun Cooper draws as he realizes someone is waiting for him inside his hotel room is a Smith & Wesson Model 629 Snub.


Notes from the audio commentary by director Leslie Linka Glatter


According to Glatter, Cooper does not see the copy of Flesh World magazine hidden above a light on the ceiling, but senses something is there.


Unanswered Questions


Why is Dr. Hayward along for the hike to Jacques' cabin in the woods?


Memorable Dialog


see you later, Audrey.wav

Twin Peaks' best and brightest.wav

we never want to hurt anyone.wav

Harry, you're all right.wav

I had a feeling that Laura was in trouble.wav

our folks were always telling us how much alike we were.wav

tune in tomorrow.wav

they move so slowly.wav

my log does not judge.wav

the owls won't see us in here.wav

shut your eyes and you'll burst into flames.wav

the fish aren't running.wav

my log saw something.wav

fire is the devil.wav

the wood holds many spirits.wav

music in the air.wav

go easy on the sauce.wav

Heba! Heba!.wav

I want to cook for you.wav

above the timber line.wav


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