"The One-Armed Man"
Written by Robert Engels
Directed by Tim Hunter
Original air date: May 3, 1990
Cooper and Truman confront the
One-Armed Man; Mrs. Palmer relates her visions; Audrey and Donna
Read the episode transcription at Glastonberry.net
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
Notes from the Log Lady intros
When cable channel
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.
"Even the ones who laugh are sometimes caught without an
these creatures who introduce themselves but we swear we
them somewhere before.
"Yes, look in the mirror. What do you see? Is it a dream, or
nightmare? Are we being introduced against our will? Are
"I can see the smoke. I can smell the fire. The battle is
is it a dream or a nightmare?.wav
This episode opens on the morning of Tuesday, February 28,
The same several photos of Laura seem to be placed in
multiple locations throughout the Palmer household in
episodes of the series. Maybe Leland and Sarah keep moving
the same ones around in their grief?
In this episode, it is Andy who draws the sketch of BOB from
Sarah Palmer's description, not Hawk as in Cooper's dream in
"Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer".
When Sheriff Truman asks Lucy what's going on, she
misunderstands and tells him about the latest plotlines on
Invitation to Love. Of course, the twisted plots
and character manipulations are not all that different from
what is happening in Twin Peaks!
This scene may also have been informed by a very
similar one in the 1986 film Critters, in which the
small town sheriff asks his secretary what's happening and
she responds by telling him about a story she just read in a
tabloid that says John Travolta used to be a waitress in
Fort Meyers, Florida, and the sheriff is forced to clarify,
"What's happening here, Sal?"
Notice that the blackboard with the giant map of Tibet on it
"Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer" is now
in the conference room of the sheriff's station.
Dr. Jacoby's red-and-blue-lensed glasses are in red frames.
He also wears an earring on his left ear.
The sweater worn by Dr. Jacoby during his interview with
Agent Cooper has diamonds on it, similar to the diamond
shapes in the Owl Cave glyphs.
When Cooper asks Dr. Jacoby if Laura's problems resulting in her seeing him for psychiatric counseling were
of a sexual nature, Jacoby responds, "Agent Cooper, the
problems of our entire society are of a sexual nature." It
sounds like he subscribes to Dr. Sigmund Freud's (1856-1939)
theory of sexuality as the causative element of nearly all
Dr. Jacoby remarks that the ancient Hawaiians would use the
soothing rhizome of the ginger plant. The ginger rhizome
(rootstalk) is often used, even today, as the base for
medicines and spices.
In his interview with Agent Cooper, Dr. Jacoby reveals Laura
had been seeing him for six months. He also says he suspects
his own investigation into her past/death will be ongoing
for the rest of his life. Given his eccentric interests,
might Jacoby already suspect a mystical force behind Laura's
problems and death and that he will be challenged to decode
them for years to come?
Jacoby tells Cooper and Truman that the night after Laura's
death, he followed a man she had told him about who was
driving a red Corvette. He doesn't name the man, presumably
due to client/patient confidentiality, but it must have been
Leo Johnson, who drives a red Corvette (among other
vehicles) and is known to have been an associate of Laura's
in her dark times. The Corvette is a sports car manufactured
At the sheriff's station, Cooper receives a call from Gordon
Cole, his supervisor at the FBI. The voice is that of David
Lynch himself. Lynch appears in person as the character in a
few second season episodes. Here, Gordon's voice is not
particularly loud as it is in the second season episodes;
the audio commentary by Tim Hunter on the Season 1 DVD set tells that the
decision to make Gordon hard of hearing was not made until
season two. Hunter goes on to say that most of Gordon's
dialog was written by Robert Engels, based on his own mother
who was hard of hearing!
As Dr. Jacoby leaves the conference room, Sheriff Truman
asks if he's going to be in town. Jacoby responds he's
planning a pilgrimage to Pebble Beach, but not until the end
of the month. But "today" is February 28...the end of the
month! I suppose he must be referring to March.
The Pebble Beach Jacoby plans to visit is a well-known
extreme surfing spot on the California coast, probably his
reason for going, as the Twin Peaks trading card
set indicates he is an accomplished surfer. This is further
supported by his farewell shaka sign to the sheriff and
Cooper and the comment, "Hang loose, haoles." The shaka sign
is the hand wave he makes with his thumb and little finger
extended and middle digits curled, also called the "hang
loose" sign; the sign and term are associated with the
surfer community (and with Hawaii, another obsession of the
good doctor's). "Haole" is a Hawaiian term for "foreigner",
especially of European descent.
Truman tells Cooper that an A.P.B. is out for Jacques
Renault. An A.P.B. (All-Points
Bulletin) is a broadcast to all law enforcement agencies in
the area to be on the lookout for a suspect, person of
interest, or missing person.
Cole tells Cooper that Albert's analysis revealed that the
twine found on Laura's arms was a common household variety,
Finley's Fine Twine. This appears to be a fictitious brand.
|The speaker phone used for Cooper's call
with Gordon is a Duofone, an in-house brand of electronics
Shack. The phone as seen here may be intended as an
homage to the voice of Charlie on the 1978-1981 TV series
Charlie's Angels; the character appeared almost exclusively
as a voice on a speaker phone.
Gordon tells Cooper he has an O.O.J. and an A.F.O. from
Albert concerning Sheriff Truman. O.O.J. stands for
Obstruction of Justice. I'm not sure what A.F.O. stands for,
possibly "Additional Forms".
Notice that just before Cooper hangs up on him, Gordon says,
"Don't get excited and hang up on me now." I guess Gordon
knows Coop pretty well!
Cooper says he is a "strong sender". This refers to
unintentional telepathic communication from himself to
Cooper receives notice from Hawk that he's spotted the
One-Armed Man at the Timber Falls Motel on Highway 12. The
Timber Falls Motel is a fictitious establishment (actually
shot at the
Malibu Lake Mountain Club in Agoura Hills, CA).
The known Twin Peaks maps do not show a Highway 12; perhaps
it was a misreading of Highway 21, the main route into Twin
Peaks? There is a Highway 12 in Washington that runs through
Snoqualmie, where many exteriors were shot.
As Josie takes photos of Ben and Catherine's rendezvous at
the Timber Falls Motel, she uses a
What seems to be the sound of an Invitation to Love
episode can be heard from the television inside Ben and
Catherine's motel room. One of the show's characters
(Montana?) remarks on having spent time in the Amazon
dodging blow darts! The Amazon is a
large rainforest in the northern part of South America.
At their room at the Timber Falls Motel, Ben asks Catherine
if she would prefer the Lumber Baron Suite at the Great
Northern. This is the first mention of the Lumber Baron
At 10:52 on the Blu-ray, Hawk walks past a totem pole
outside the Timber Falls Motel. One of the faces on the pole
appears to be that of an owl.
Andy's holster is finally attached correctly in this
episode. And yet, this is when he drops his gun while trying
to draw it!
At 11:35 on the Blu-ray, actor Kyle MacLachlan (as Cooper)
makes a nice backwards jump in the air when Deputy Andy
accidentally drops his gun and it misfires!
|In the motel room, Ben holds up a small figurine of Elvis
Presley and says, "I'm going to give little Elvis a bath,"
and heads off to the bathroom. The audio commentary by Tim
Hunter on the DVD states that the term "little Elvis" was a
reference to Ben's penis and was a way to get around the
censors of the television network's standards and practices
division. But then, why the actual figure of Elvis in his
hand? It makes the moment seem even more sexually
explicit...as if the figurine had been, uh, "inserted" in
Philip Michael Gerard, the one-armed man, does not seem to
be aware of his secondary identity as "Mike". He does not
know the sketch of BOB, though he does think it looks like
"someone". When Cooper asks him if he knows a man named Bob,
he says that Bob Lydecker is just about his best friend in
the world. Lydecker turns out to be a veterinarian in town,
but he's currently in a coma at the hospital, which is why
Gerard has been there recently.
Gerard remarks that his middle name is Michael, after his
The name "Philip Gerard" is borrowed by Frost and Lynch from
the character of the same name in the 1963-1967 TV series
The Fugitive. In the series, the fugitive
character, Dr. Kimble, is wrongly convicted of murdering his
wife and escapes to pursue the real killer, a one-armed man.
Kimble himself is pursued by a police detective named Philip
When Gerard mentions his friend Bob Lydecker, Cooper asks if
his friend is a doctor and Gerard responds that he's a
veterinarian. How did Cooper know that Lydecker was some
kind of doctor? There doesn't seem to be an indication of
that in Cooper's dream.
Gerard tells Cooper he lost his arm in a car accident on the
road from Memphis selling pharmaceuticals. Apparently Gerard
has made a career of being a travelling salesman of various
products; he is currently depicted as a travelling shoe
salesman. "Memphis" presumably refers to the city in the
U.S. state of Tennessee. As far as how he lost the arm in
the a car accident, this is how actor Al Strobel lost his
arm. In Cooper's dream in
"Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer",
Mike says he took the arm off himself after being changed,
having seen "the face of God".
Gerard says the tattoo he had on his lost arm read "Mom". In
Cooper's dream, it is implied to have read, "Fire walk with
The branding on the cigarette pack Audrey smokes from in the
girls bathroom at the high school is not legible in this
scene, but the same pack design is later seen as
Metropolitan brand when Donna smokes at the RR in
"May the Giant Be With You". This is a
When Audrey tells Donna about all the things she's deduced
about Laura, Donna asks, "What else have you figured out,
Sherlock?" This is, of course, a reference to Sherlock
Holmes, the legendary fictional detective created by Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930).
When Audrey mentions One-Eyed Jacks to Donna, Donna thinks
of a western with Marlon Brando. One-Eyed Jacks was
a 1961 western film directed by and starring Marlon Brando.
Audrey and Donna make a pact to separately investigate
Laura's death and compare notes as needed, but it's never mentioned again in later
Hank Jennings has his parole hearing in this episode.
The Secret History of Twin Peaks, Hank
is serving his time at Washington State Penitentiary in
Walla Walla, Washington; the prison exterior seen here
is actually that of Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe,
WA. At the parole hearing, Norma tells the board she can
give Hank a job at the restaurant she owns, the RR in Twin
Peaks; since she specifically mentions it's in the town of
Twin Peaks, it would seem to imply that the prison is
elsewhere. In the book Twin Peaks: An Access Guide to
the Town, it is stated that there has been an ongoing
proposal for a maximum security prison facility in the area.
Is this related to the prison at which Hank was being held?
The gas pumps at the convenience store at 20:11 on the Blu-ray are for Indian Head
gasoline. Indian Head appears to be a fictitious brand of
gas. The convenience store is called One Stop. There are a
number of independent stores by this name throughout the
country, but this one is likely intended to be fictitious.
At 20:13 on the Blu-ray, the reflection of a production
crewmember is seen in the glass covering the gas pump
gauges. When Sheriff Truman's truck pulls in front of the
pump, the crewmember can still be seen reflected in the
shiny metal of the passenger door!
Why are the sheriff vehicles parked in front of the gas
pumps? They are not there to get gas, they are there to
visit the Lydecker Veterinary Clinic next door. Why block
the pumps for actual customers?
As Hawk exits his patrol vehicle at the One Stop, notice
that he is greeted by a biker who recognizes him and they
high five each other.
The slogan on the sign of Dr. Lydecker's veterinary clinic
is "Aid to the beast incarnate." Kind of has a sinister,
devil-like impression to it!
At 20:42 on the Blu-ray, notice that Sheriff Truman stops to
pet a young woman's cat in front of the Lydecker clinic.
Inside the Lydecker clinic, notice there is a giant fire
hydrant in the lobby! Doesn't that just encourage dogs to
relieve themselves within the premises?
The Lydecker clinic must have at least one other vet besides
Bob Lydecker himself considering the office is still open
and seeing animal patients even though Dr. Lydecker is said
to be in a coma at Calhoun Memorial Hospital.
In the audio commentary by Tom Holland on the DVD, he points
out that the silent, staring moment between Cooper and the
llama in the vet's office is an indication that even animals
realize there is something special about Cooper.
Shelly refers to Jacques Renault as a canuck. "Canuck" is a
slang term for a Canadian, especially a French-Canadian. It
is not generally considered derogatory, sort of like the
term "Yankee" for an American.
During his rendezvous with Shelly, Bobby is wearing what may
be a bowling shirt, with the name patch "Dick" above the
left breast pocket. The back of the shirt is embroidered
with "Family 4 Plus 1".
At 23:05 on the Blu-ray, notice that there is some mushroom
wallpaper on the wall of the Johnson kitchen. Kind of ironic
considering that Leo is a drug dealer!
At 23:21 on the Blu-ray, the dish soap bottle on the kitchen
sink behind Shelly appears to be Palmolive, a real world
brand of dish soap, with Comet cleanser sitting next to it.
Shelly states that Leo makes her sew his initials onto all
In the scene from 23:44-24:15 on the Blu-ray, a small shadow
continually passes across an object on top of the
refrigerator behind Shelly. It may the shadow of the boom
mic recording the dialog between the actors.
As Bobby formulates a plan in his head for framing Leo, he
tells Shelly, "You don't need to know." In the previous
episode (Episode 3:
"Rest in Pain"), Leo says the same
thing to her.
At 24:46 on the Blu-ray, Bobby suddenly has something in his
mouth that he spits out (gum?) in anticipation of kissing
Shelly again. But what was it? Where did it come from? He
did not have anything in his mouth just seconds before!
Hawk reveals that he is dating a woman named Diane Shapiro,
Ph.D. Brandeis. "Ph.D." is short for "Doctor of Philosophy".
is a university in Massachusetts.
Going through Dr. Lydecker's files, Lucy remarks on an otter
named Annette owned by a family near Elk River. Elk River is
at the other end of the state from Twin Peaks, closer to the
At 29:32 on the Blu-ray, there appear to be
two men at
the RR Diner dressed in Air Force uniforms, neither of them
Major Briggs. Perhaps they are associated with the former
(?) Unguin Air Force Base near Twin Peaks, as I speculated
about Major Briggs' posting in the study of
"Wrapped in Plastic".
The Secret History of Twin Peaks reveals that a
number of Air Force personnel, led by Major Briggs, run a
black ops project on Blue Pine Mountain for monitoring radio
transmissions from deep space.
At 33:39 on the Blu-ray, while Ben is riding on his
stationary bike and talking on the phone, we hear him say,
"No I...I don't know what you get when you cross a Norwegian
and a Swede," and then, "Oh, very good sir, very good." In
the next episode we finally hear the punch line when Ben
repeats the joke to his Icelandic investors, "A socialist
who wants to be king." I suppose the joke is that both
countries are similar in the first place, constitutional monarchies with
During the scene in Ben's office, photos of Laura Palmer can
be seen on his desk, possibly a red herring intended to lead
viewers into thinking he is the killer. Until the revelation
of the actual killer, Ben seems to be the most obvious
suspect from the clues laid out in the series.
Going through Dr. Lydecker's files, Andy finds one for a
parakeet named Louis Armstrong. Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)
was a jazz trumpeter and singer, often known by his nickname
If the Lydecker files were arranged alphabetically by the
names of the pets as stated by Lucy earlier in the episode,
why does Andy seem to have Louis Armstrong followed by
The name of Waldo the myna bird and his doctor, Lydecker,
are probably borrowed from the 1944 film Laura.
Besides the obvious "Laura" connection to Twin Peaks,
a character named Waldo Lydecker is featured in the film.
At their riverside meeting, Leo reveals to Ben that he
apparently killed Bernard Renault to keep him quiet. This
meeting by the river suggests that Ben may have been the
shadowy figure seen behind a tree in the woods during Leo's
meeting with Mike and Bobby in
"Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer".
Notice that an owl observes James and Donna in the forest
near the end of the episode. This is the first significant
appearance of an owl in the series; they become important in
the second season.
Pete reveals that he's the defending champion of the Fishing
Association's annual derby, which is coming up again. He
invites Josie to be his partner in the event and she agrees,
though she warns him she doesn't know the first thing about
fishing. It seems like this may have been intended as a
setup for a story in a future episode, but it never
Notes from the audio commentary on the Season 1 DVD
set by director Tim
The golf ball magic tricks performed by Dr. Jacoby were
suggested by actor Russ Tamblyn; he already knew how to
perform the trick.
The dwarf in Cooper's dream/Black Lodge was inspired by the
character of Dr. Loveless on the 1965-1969 TV series The
Wild Wild West.
Laura's name was borrowed from the classic 1944 film noir
A symbol of the twin peaks of Twin Peaks is painted on the
walls and stall doors of the girls restroom.
Hunter points out that the sign for the sheriff's office
should read "Twin Peaks Sheriff's Office" not "Twin Peaks
what's going on?.wav
Laura had secrets.wav
I'm a strong sender.wav
afraid to go to sleep at night.wav
women were drawn from a different set of blueprints.wav
only one in the cycle of life.wav
we're gonna need some more coffee.wav
one man too many.wav
two men apiece.wav
her mother was kind of spooky.wav
give me some mayo.wav
Josie, you're my kind of gal.wav
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