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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Twin Peaks: On the Wings of Love Twin Peaks
Episode 25: "On the Wings of Love"
TV episode
Written by Harley Peyton & Robert Engels
Directed by Duwayne Dunham
Original air date: April
4, 1991


Truman is attacked; Gordon reinstates Cooper, is strangely affected by Shelly’s voice, and brings Windom Earle’s dossier—which reveals some astounding coincidences; Cooper woos Annie with a joke about two penguins and is directed to Owl Cave.


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.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode


Sheriff Truman


John Justice Wheeler (Jack)

Audrey Horne

Benjamin Horne, Sr. (deceased, mentioned only)

Agent Cooper

Dr. Hayward

Windom Earle

Leo Johnson

Gordon Cole

Major Briggs

Donna Hayward

Shelly Johnson

Eileen Hayward

Ben Horne

Randy St. Croix

Mike Nelson

Nadine Hurley (née Butler)


Log Lady

Annie Blackburn

James Hurley

Edward Perkins (alias used by Windom Earle)

Lucy Moran

Deputy Andy

Deputy Hawk

Dick Tremayne

Johnny Horne



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 beautiful thing about treasure is that it exists. It exists
to be found. How beautiful it is to find treasure. Where is the
treasure, that when found, leaves one eternally happy? I think
we all know it exists. Some say it is inside us--inside us one
and all. That would be strange. It would be so near. Then why
is it so hard to find, and so difficult to attain?"


Didja Notice?


This episode opens immediately after Episode 24: "Wounds and Scars", during the evening of Tuesday, March 21, 1989. It then continues through the day of Wednesday, March 22. (Near the end of the episode, Cooper dictates into his tape recorder to Diane, indicating it's Thursday, but this would seem to be incorrect.)


Various book titles can be seen on the shelves of the Bookhouse as the episode opens: Nothing Can Go Wrong, a 1981 book by John H. Kilpack and John D. MacDonald about life on a cruise ship; a couple volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica; The Devil's Alternative, a 1979 novel by British writer Frederick Forsyth; Sociology; Crosswinds One; Rage of Angels, a 1980 novel by Sidney Sheldon; The Skaters' Waltz, a 1980 novel by Philip Norman; Love Story, a 1970 romance novel by Erich Segal; The Sunset Gang, a 1977 collection of short stories by Warren Adler; City Kid, a 1981 non-fiction book by Mary MacCracken; Don't Fall Off the Mountain, a 1985 book by Shirley Maclaine about her metaphysical experiences; Night Sanctuary, a 1983 novel by Monique Van Vooren; Gus the Great, the 1947 circus novel by Thomas William Duncan; The Far State; Main Street, U.S.S.R., a 1960 book about life in the Soviet Union by American journalist Irving R. Levine; The R Document, a 1979 novel of government conspiracy by Irving Wallace; Family Happiness, a 1982 novel by Laurie Colwin; and Voice of the Heart, a 1983 novel by Barbara Taylor Bradford.


At 2:51 on the Blu-ray, the right shoulder strap of Jones' negligee has fallen down her shoulder. But a few seconds later, it is back up again!


With Jones on top of him, the hungover Truman seems to see her Josie for a few moments. Is this just his imagination and longing for her? Or could it be Josie's spirit trying to communicate with him?


Jones attempts to strangle Truman with a garrote at the Bookhouse. For the rest of the episode, the scar left behind by the garrote is seen on his throat.


Jack has an odd contraption running in Ben's office as Audrey enters. The script describes it as a model for some kind of irrigation system.


Jack remembers Audrey's grandfather having said, "If you're gonna bring a hammer, better bring nails." According to Twin Peaks: An Access Guide to the Town, Audrey's grandfather was Benjamin Horne, Sr.


After her arrest, Jones tells Truman she wants to speak to the South African consulate. In Episode 22: "Slaves and Masters", Jones and Eckhardt speak Afrikaans, the official language of South Africa, possibly indicating that she (and maybe Eckhardt) originate from that nation. (This seems to be confirmed in The Secret History of Twin Peaks.)


At 9:10 on the Blu-ray, the deer's head is back on the wall again in Truman's office, but missing the "The Buck Stopped Here" sign.


As Gordon reinstates Cooper into the FBI, he also gives him the new standard issue gun for agents, a Smith & Wesson Model 1076. This was an actual FBI variant of the Smith & Wesson Model 1006 used in the early 1990s. However, the actual gun Gordon holds and hands to Cooper is a Smith & Wesson 4506.


Earle mistakenly says that one of the prizes for the woman who wins Miss Twin Peaks is a scholarship to the college of your choice. But the flyer for the contest says specifically it is two years tuition at WSC (Washington State College).


The cards that Leo picks from Earle's deck, laid out from right-to-left, feature Donna as queen of clubs, Audrey as queen of diamonds, and Shelly as queen of spades. But when Leo picks the king from the deck, the queen cards are suddenly rearranged with Shelly on the right and Donna on the left. A split-second later, it reverts back to the original formation. Also, recall that Audrey was the Queen of Diamonds when she was hired at One-Eyed Jacks in Episode 7: "The Last Evening"!


The blank-faced card that Earle holds back is the Queen of Hearts, representing the winner of the Miss Twin Peaks contest (to be revealed in Episode 28: "Miss Twin Peaks"). The Queen of Hearts is representative of love, and, of course, turns out to be Annie, Cooper's new-found love.


The joker card that Earle lays down on top of the faceless queen card representing the winner of Miss Twin Peaks, shows that it is a card made by the United States Playing Card Company. The fact the joker is seen riding atop a bee reveals the deck is a Bee brand, owned by USPCC. (The backing of a red diamond pattern also tells us the deck is Bee.)



Donna drives yet another car in this episode! Do the Haywards have a collection of them? This one is a 1960 Rambler Six Super.


At the RR Diner, Gordon remarks he's in the mood for a steak so rare you could it order it at Tiffany's. He is referring to Tiffany & Co., a U.S. luxury retailer, specializing in diamond jewelry.


Gordon compares Shelly to the Venus de Milo statue. Venus de Milo means "Aphrodite of Milos", a Greek statue of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty (Venus to the later Romans) carved in the 2nd Century BC by Alexandros of Antioch, currently in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. It is also one of the statues seen in the Black Lodge in Episode 29: "Beyond Life and Death".


Smitten by Shelly and wishing he spoke some French, Gordon tells Cooper he's going to try his hand at a little "counter Esperanto". Esperanto is a constructed international auxiliary language invented by L.L. Zamenhof in 1887 as a non-political, easy to learn language for use internationally. Gordon wisely continues to speak English in his attempt to woo her.


When Gordon is talking to Shelly at the RR, notice that Toad is seated at the counter in the background.


Gordon tells Shelly he's been wearing his hearing aid contraption for the past 20 years. This implies he had normal hearing before then. What happened to cause his hearing deficiency? In the study of Episode 29: "Beyond Life and Death", I speculate that hearing loss might be a symptom of long-term hosting of a spirit from another realm.


The Log Lady's sweater at the RR Diner has a diamond and points motif reminscent of the Owl Cave symbols.

Log Lady's sweater


At 20:50 on the Blu-ray, it appears that the Log Lady has built a miniature house out of toothpicks as she sat at the counter of the RR!


The amalgam of the tattoos found on Major Briggs and the Log Lady that Cooper draws on a napkin (and later seen as a petroglyph in Owl Cave) has vaguely the look of a symbolic owl with wings spread. However, Cooper has changed the triangles of Major Briggs' tattoo into diamonds instead.

combined tattoo


While sitting at a booth in the RR, Cooper sees a chickadee on a Dodge Dart through the window.


The music heard playing during the RR sequence is revealed to be coming from the diner's jukebox when one track ends and the other begins during the time from 21:33-21:53 on the Blu-ray, nicely segueing from the Gordon/Shelly theme to the Cooper/Annie theme.


The coffee pot Annie pours from at 22:05 on the Blu-ray is from Bunn, a manufacturer of coffee-making equipment for foodservice providers.


I like how the tables are turned on Cooper at the RR. This time it's Truman who is able to see that Cooper has fallen in love with Annie instead of Cooper figuring out everyone else's relationships.


As Donna goes through the Hayward mail, at 25:07 on the Blu-ray one of the pieces of mail is addressed to an entirely different person and place: Jeff Moore, 12115 Hoffman, Studio City, CA. Jeff Moore was the prop master on the series.


As Donna reads the postcard from James, the guitar music playing is from the song he recorded with her and Maddy in Episode 10: "The Man Behind Glass".


James' postcard to Donna is addressed to her at 552 Dale St., Twin Peaks, WA 59219. But Episode 24: "Wounds and Scars" puts the Hayward home on Lakeview Drive and in Twin Peaks:_An Access Guide to the Town, the Hayward home is instead shown at the corner of Church Lane and Owl Street. The zip code 59219 is for Dagmar, Montana. Twin Peaks:_An Access Guide to the Town gives the Twin Peaks zip code as 99153, but The Secret History of Twin Peaks gives the zip code of 98045 (the real world zip code of North Bend, WA). To top it all off, the card is postmarked Los Angeles, June 1973!

James' postcard


In his postcard, James says he's in San Francisco, heading for Mexico.


As Audrey looks through the stacks at the local library, the book In the Days is seen on the shelf.


When Earle, as poetry professor Edward Perkins, "bumps into" Audrey at the library, she asks for his help in identifying the poem she (and Donna and Shelly) received. He asks her to read the verse to him, then remarks, "Gazing at you, reciting the verse of look very much like a queen." There is a double reference here to both the author of the poem ("Love's Philosophy"), Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the fact that Shelly Johnson is the one who read the assembled pieces of the verse aloud at the Roadhouse when she, Audrey, and Donna met there in Episode 23: "The Condemned Woman".


At 30:40 on the Blu-ray, Lucy still has her Tibet book with her on the counter, besides reading a book about chess. 


Cooper's/Pete's chess move in this episode is P to QR3 (Pawn to Queen's Rook 3; chess expert John Jacobs describes this move as pointless). Cooper sees that it exposes the Pawn to being taken by Earle's Bishop, but it is protected by Cooper's Rook and Bishop, so taking the Pawn would not normally be considered a good move since Earle would presumably lose the more powerful Bishop in the process. (See "Patterns and Conflicts: An Analysis of the Windom Earle/Dale Cooper Chess Game", Wrapped in Plastic #4, April 1993, which includes input from chess expert John Jacobs, former chess columnist of the Dallas Times Herald.)
Pawn to Queen's Rook 3 (Cooper) Knight to King 2 (suggested move0
Cooper's/Pete's (black) P to QR2 move
(diagram from Wrapped in Plastic #4)
A better move, N to K2, suggested by John Jacobs
(diagram from Wrapped in Plastic #4)


As Truman and Cooper leave Truman's office to head out to Owl Cave, Cooper tells him that Shelly has taken Gordon to see Dr. Hayward about his hearing problem. Presumably, they are trying to find out why Gordon can hear Shelly perfectly but not others. This is never followed-up on in later episodes. The fact that he can hear Shelly, with whom he's clearly smitten, may be an indication that his hearing problem is psychosomatic.


At 33:02 on the Blu-ray, the left-top pane of the French doors in Ben's office is filled with glass again, unlike the darkened panel seen in Episode 23: "The Condemned Woman".


During his conversation with Audrey in his office, Ben mentions Jack Kennedy and his brother Bobby, as well as the Bay of Pigs and Russian missiles in Fidel's backyard. This is a reference to 35th U.S. president John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby Kennedy. "Bay of Pigs" refers to a failed invasion attempt of communist Cuba by a CIA-backed paramilitary group from Guatemala in April 1961. "Missiles in Fidel's backyard" refers to the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, when the Soviet Union attempted to place nuclear missiles in Cuba, threatening U.S. security. Fidel Castro was the Prime Minister/President of Cuba from 1959-2008.


Ben sends Audrey for a breakfast confab with some environmentalists in Seattle.


Owl Cave was shot at the Bronson Caves in the Hollywood Hills, right below the famous Hollywood sign. Many films and TV shows have shot there. Most famously, one of the caves there is the mouth of the Batcave in the 1960's Batman TV show.


The screech of an owl and the screams of someone that sounds like BOB can be heard when the owl flies into the cave and startles the assembled men.


When Andy's pick axe strikes the wall of the Owl Cave petroglyph a burst of light and flicker of flame is produced. But none of the men there comment on the light. What caused it? 


When the petroglyph in Owl Cave is first seen, the flame portion of the petroglyph is empty. But after Andy strikes it with his pick-axe, the flame suddenly has the so-called "Owl Cave symbol" inside it!
flame symbol flame and Owl Cave symbol
Flame symbol Flame and Owl Cave symbol


The symbol on the end of the stone rod that emerges when the diamond-shaped stone drops out of the wall of Owl Cave is the same as that seen on the ring that was briefly in the possession of first, Teresa Banks, then Laura Palmer, in Fire Walk With Me. The ring is also depicted in The Secret History of Twin Peaks.


Looking at the exposed stone rod and its hieroglyph, Cooper says, "Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us. But I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange." This is a sort of paraphrasing of Judge Sternwood's comment in Episode 12: "The Orchid's Curse", "The woods are wondrous here...but strange."


Bottles of Perrier mineral water and a bottle Jack Daniel's are seen behind the bartender in the Timber Room at 41:30 on the Blu-ray.


As Cooper walks into the Timber Room, he is dictating into his recorder for Diane about this night's visit to Owl Cave. Note that he incorrectly says that it's Thursday; it's still Wednesday.


Cooper, Truman, and the deputies all climbed down into Owl Cave with all sorts of spelunking equipment. But Windom Earle shows up there later at night and climbs down with nothing but a flashlight and the clothes on his back!


Unanswered Questions


Why does Jones undress down to her negligee and climb into bed with Truman in order to kill him? Why does she rub perfume (or whatever it was) on his lips and hers? Truman's dream/hallucination at that moment sort of implies she was trying to make him think she was Josie. I guess so he would die thinking Josie had killed him? It's kind of stupid of her. And her assassination attempt fails, leaving her in custody. Why didn't she just bring a gun and shoot him if she was under orders from the late Thomas Eckhardt to kill Truman?


Memorable Dialog


sexual jealousy.wav

whole lot of shakin' goin' on down in Bend.wav

Earle was investigating UFOs?.wav

it gives me great pleasure to reinstate you into the Federal Bureau of Investigation.wav

what do you get if you win?.wav

a steak so rare you could sell it at Tiffany's.wav

holy smokes, who is that?.wav

that statue, the babe without the arms.wav

an anecdote of no small amusement.wav

I heard that!.wav

some kind of miracle.wav

my socks are on fire.wav

I'm OK.wav

social niceties.wav

you just tried to tell her a joke.wav

the defense rests.wav

an epic poem.wav

I see that you've been to Owl Cave.wav

it is incumbent on the young to disobey.wav

a major opportunity.wav

a certain Dick we both know.wav

coincidence and fate.wav

wonderful and strange.wav

it all began with a pair of tattoos.wav

I know the feeling.wav 


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