"The Path to the Black Lodge"
Written by Harley Peyton & Robert Engels
Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal
Original air date: April 18, 1991
Major Briggs uncovers some
interesting info on Windom Earle’s involvement in Project Blue
Book and goes for a walk in the woods; Jack’s partner in Brazil is murdered; Leo attempts to
overwhelm Windom Earle; Andrew and Catherine open the second and
third boxes of Eckhart’s gift.
Read the episode
transcript 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
The director of this episode,
Stephen Gyllenhaal, is the father of actors Maggie Gyllenhaal
and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode
Rusty Tomaski (deceased)
Roadie (unnamed, friend of Rusty Tomaski)
John Justice Wheeler (Jack)
Jack's partner (unnamed, deceased)
Randy St. Croix
Dr. R. Robinson (mentioned only)
Josie Packard (deceased, mentioned only)
Betty Briggs (mentioned only)
Notes from the Log Lady intros
When cable channel
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.
In the Log Lady's intro, the chinaware has all disappeared
from the table, replaced with what appears to be a single
duck or pheasant sculpture.
I really like the Log Lady's statements in this intro, so
I've included the entire thing as a sound file below the
transcription. Her statements also go to the Heisenberg
quote Annie makes in this episode, "What we observe is not
nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of
"There are clues everywhere--all around us. But the
is clever. The clues, although surrounding us, are somehow
for something else. And the something else--the wrong
of the clues--we call our world. Our world is a magical
screen. How should we interpret the happy song of the
or the robust flavor of a wild strawberry?"
there are clues everywhere.wav
This episode opens shortly after the end of
"Variations on Relations"
on the night of Thursday, March 23, 1989, then continues
through the day of Friday, March 24.
As the men remove the giant chess piece from the gazebo at
Easter Park, notice that the gazebo floor is actually a
carpet of grass even though it is on a platform raised above
the lawn of the park.
The young man who was a roadie for a heavy metal band
reveals that the man murdered by Windom Earle and entombed
in the giant pawn piece was named Rusty Tomaski, who was
staying with his uncle in
Lake. He says the band was supposed to play a gig in
Knife River, but the van had a tire blow out. Knife River
probably refers to Knife River, Montana (though the town has
a population of only 320 as of the 2010 census and was
probably less in 1989! Could there have been much of a
demand for a heavy metal gig there?).
At 3:35 on the Blu-ray, as the roadie speaks to Cooper,
notice that the sound of a chainsaw is heard in the
background, indicating that Rusty's body is being cut out of
the giant chess piece.
At 4:01 on the Blu-ray, notice that a poster in the foyer of
the sheriff's station reads, "Support Your Police - We
At 4:06 on the Blu-ray, the donut boxes carried into the
sheriff's station have the same "Donuts Donuts" label on
them seen on the box given to Cooper at the RR Diner in
"Variations on Relations".
At 4:34 on the Blu-ray, it looks as if Lucy has traced the
borders and headline of the Miss Twin Peaks flyer with a
black marker (possibly so the viewer can tell what it is
from the reverse side, since we only see that part of the
At 5:49 on the Blu-ray, an Apple Macintosh computer is seen
behind the reception desk at the Great Northern.
Jack tells Dr. Hayward that he met his daughter and that
she's a lovely girl. When did they meet? We did not see it in
Jack is forced to leave Twin Peaks early because he has
learned that his business partner has been murdered in South
America. Could it be that Ben is behind the murder? It seems
as if he might be trying to keep Jack away from Audrey. In
"On the Wings of Love",
Ben learned from Jack himself that he was falling in love
with Audrey and, in that same episode, Ben suddenly sends
his daughter to Seattle for an environmental meeting. Now,
as Audrey is about to return, Jack suddenly learns his
partner has been murdered and must leave. On the other hand,
Ben seems genuine in his attempts to be good and in
his affection for Jack.
As Donna looks at her birth certificate at 8:24 on the
Blu-ray, notice that a number of words are obscured by
printover. Notice also that the line for "Mother's Maiden
Name" has "Eileen Hayward" typed in...but "Hayward" would be
her married name instead!
Donna's birth certificate shows her birth date as September
2, but the year is not revealed. According to the Twin
Peaks card set, her birthday is September 2, 1972. The
birth certificate also shows the birth was guided by Dr. R.
Robinson. The blank line after "Father" on the certificate
suggests that her parentage was up for question. It is
strongly suggested in this and later episodes that Ben Horne
is her actual father, not William Hayward.
The first old photograph that Donna looks at shows her
mother and father together and her mother is obviously
standing, not in a wheelchair. What happened to put her in
the wheelchair? Was Ben Horne somehow involved?
As Audrey walks into the Great Northern lobby at 9:20 on the
Blu-ray, Hawk is seen reading the coffee table book about
owls seen there in some previous episodes.
According to the original script, the Bookhouse Boy seen
working with Major Briggs on researching the Blue Book files
is called Cappy.
On a videotape found by Major Briggs in the Blue Book
archives, Windom Earle speaks of the "dugpas", evil
sorcerers who were able to access a place of evil and power
called the Black Lodge. In the real world, Dugpas, or the
Drukpa Lineage as they are sometimes called, are a branch of
the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, no kind of evil
fraternity at all, though some 19th and early 20th Century
fiction writers used them as sorcerer-practioners of the "left-hand
path" (LHP), allegedly malicious black magic, as opposed to
practitioners of the "right-hand path" (RHP) of benevolent
white magic. Definitions of LHP and RHP that go back to the
origins of the terms in Indian Tantra suggest a more
middle-of-the-road approach for each, RHP being based on
ethical codes and social convention and LHP being based on
the breaking of taboos and desire for individual freedom. It
seems that Lynch and Frost borrowed their version of dugpas and
Black/White Lodges used in Twin Peaks from the 1926 Talbot Mundy novel
Devil's Guard. Some of Earle's dialog about the
dugpas on the Blue Book videotape is nearly word-for-word
from that early novel!
Later in the episode, Earle compares the
dupgas to the Kali worshippers of India and their ideas of
"blood for breakfast, blood for lunch." Kali is the Hindu
goddess of empowerment, but is not evil; in the earliest
depictions of her, she was actually a destroyer of mostly
evil forces. She is, however, depicted as having a literal
thirst for the blood of her victims, even becoming drunk off
At 13:52 on the Blu-ray, notice that the screen on Windom
Earle's computer in the background has on it a
representation of the twelve sycamore trees of Glastonbury
After listening in on Cooper's ruminations at the sheriff's
station about Earle's motives and the Black Lodge, he
remarks to Leo, "You know, Leo, the only thing Columbus
discovered was that he was lost. Cooper and the gang haven't
even left the snide, yet." I'm not sure what he means by
"snide" here; in the English language, a "snide" (noun) is a
"devious person" or "sham jewelry".
At 14:25 on the Blu-ray, Earle whisks aside the chess pieces
on the playing board as he smacks down his sketches of the
Owl Cave hieroglyphs, symbolically showing us that the chess
game no longer matters, just as Cooper speculated moments
ago in the sheriff's station.
At the RR, when Shelly gets up from the booth and kisses
Bobby, notice that there is a man seated at another booth
behind them who seems to be watching the exchange and then
follows Shelly with his head as she walks behind the counter
to take the phone call from Agent Cooper.
The sketch of the Owl Cave hieroglyph pinned to the mantel
at 21:36 on the Blu-ray as Leo recognizes Shelly's photo on
the Queen of Spades playing card, appears to be a beetle.
Ben tells Audrey that Jack had to leave due to "some
tragedy" in Brazil. The tragedy is the murder of his partner
After Audrey leaves her father's office at 25:15 on the
Blu-ray, the musical hum that has been associated with
Cooper's visions in past episodes is heard and Ben whirls
around as if someone else is suddenly present in the office
and his eyes widen as if he sees something unexpected. Then
the scene cuts away and is never mentioned again! What did
Ben see? Was it some kind of supernatural manifestation?
There are a couple of side doors to the office, so someone
(Jerry?) could have walked in, but if it was a normal
person, why the musical hum accompaniment? It may be
significant that the scene immediately following is of Pete
talking to "Josie" in the lobby of the hotel...could Ben
also have seen a manifestation of her in his office?
At 25:18 on the Blu-ray, Pete seems to be gazing at an
abstract painting on the mantel above the fireplace at the
Great Northern as he says, "Josie, I see your face..." Or is
he gazing at the wood of the mantel itself? When Audrey
grabs him to drive her to the airport to catch Jack before
he leaves, notice that Pete gives a little wave of goodbye
to Josie towards the fireplace.
As Cooper talks about his wandering mind going back to
thoughts of Annie, notice that Truman gets a dejected look
on his face, despite being happy for his friend; obviously,
he's thinking of the late Josie.
The song sung by Windom Earle as he and Leo are disguised as
a horse in the woods as they approach Major Briggs is "Home on the Range",
the state song of Kansas, with lyrics
originally published as a poem called "My Western Home" in
1873 by Dr. Brewster M. Higley (1823–1911). As Earle
approaches Briggs, he stops singing and says, "Hello,
Wilbur!" This is a reference to the 1961-1966 sitcom Mr.
Ed, about a talking horse owned by a man named Wilbur
Post; Mr. Ed (the horse) would often say to his owner,
As the head of the horse costume, Earle says, "Leo, it looks
like you've finally found your calling." That is to say, a
At the RR Diner, Cooper tells Annie to "Hear the other side,
see the other side," and Annie attributes his quote to St.
Augustine. This statement is attributed to Augustine of
Hippo (354-430), an early Christian philosopher, in
some quarters, but I've been unable to confirm it.
At 29:47 on the Blu-ray, notice that the sign above the
kitchen door at the RR advertises the day's special as
"squirrel loaf"! Between this and "hearty beaver broth" in
"Variations on Relations",
the RR offers some rather strange meals!
Annie makes the quote, "What we observe is not nature itself
but nature exposed to our method of questioning." This was
first said by Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976), a German Nobel
laureate who was one of the founders of the scientific field
of quantum mechanics.
Pete's truck is a 1968
D100. Notice that it has a Packard Mill logo on the doors.
Jack's personal plane, which he pilots, appears to be a
Major Briggs is seen held captive by Windom Earle at 32:57
on the Blu-ray, held and tied into an awkward position in
front of a bull's-eye target against a stack of hay bales. How
did Earle come into possession of a stack of hay bales? It
seems unlikely they were already in the cabin when he
commandeered it. It again suggests (as in
"Variations on Relations")
that he has a vehicle for transporting relatively large
Having difficulty getting Major Briggs to answer his
questions about the Owl Cave petroglyph, Earle asks him,
"What is the capital of North Carolina?" and he gets the
correct response, "Raleigh."
Under the influence of some kind of drug administered by
Earle, Briggs tells him about seeing a light and a figure
the night he went fishing with Cooper. He refers to the
figure as a "guardian". In the study of
"Dispute Between Brothers",
I speculated the figure might be the Dweller on the
Threshold spoken of by Hawk in
Episode 18:_"Masked Ball".
When Briggs is later picked up and taken to the sheriff's
"Miss Twin Peaks",
Cooper is able to smell haloperidol on him, the same drug
the One-Armed Man uses to keep Mike at bay.
Briggs tells Earle the signs of the Owl Cave petroglyph
indicate that "they" will receive you at the time when
Jupiter and Saturn meet. Conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn
have been considered important omens by human societies
since ancient times.
After Earle asks Briggs what the signs of the Owl Cave
petroglyph mean and Briggs answers that they will receive
you at the time when Jupiter and Saturn meet, he then goes
on to say what seem to be nonsense words. But he is actually
speaking English words in reverse and what he is saying is
actually "That gum you like is coming back in style,"
(though his struggle to speak makes it difficult to make out
the words "back in"). A slightly different version of this
phrase was first said by the Dwarf in
Cooper's dream in
"Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer".
Listen to Briggs: Forward,
"Taht mug uoy ekil si gnimoc kcab ni elyts" and reverse,
"That gum you like is coming back in style."
An unlit neon sign for Killian Red is behind the bar of the
Roadhouse at 38:01 on the Blu-ray. This is a real world beer,
though it actually goes by
On the dance floor, Annie tells Cooper her mom and dad used
to dance the Lindy. This is the Lindy hop, a swing dance
popular in the 1930s and '40s, for famed American aviator of
the time, Charles "Lucky Lindy" Lindbergh.
At 39:37 on the Blu-ray, a man who looks like Toad is
dancing with a woman in the background behind Cooper and
Annie at the Roadhouse!
In Earle's cabin at 43:12 on the Blu-ray, why is Leo seen
freaking out, with his eyes rolled up into his head? Has he
been drugged by Earle?
As he researches the conjunction of
Jupiter and Saturn that will allegedly allow him to enter
the Black Lodge, Earle sings the lines, "When Jupiter and
Saturn meet, Oh, what a crop of mummy wheat!" These lines
were written by Irish poet W. B. Yeats (1865-1935) in his
rumination "The End of the Cycle". Some have interpreted the
term "mummy wheat" to be a reference by Yeats to the
Egyptian god Osiris, whose mummified body is depicted in
some ancient stylings with wheat sprouting from it, a
harbinger of his impending resurrection.
Earle sings the lines to the tune of "O Tannenbaum",
a German Christmas song inspired by an earlier folk song.
At 43:30 on the Blu-ray, notice that Earle has a number of
star and astrological charts hanging on the wall behind him.
At 43:54 on the Blu-ray, the blue sticky note that was on
Earle's computer screen has suddenly vanished.
Near the end of the episode, we get our
closest look at the Owl Cave petroglyph, in the form of Andy's
drawing on the blackboard at the sheriff's station. We see
representations of the Giant and the Dwarf and the astronomical symbols for Jupiter and Saturn,
among many other symbols.
Notice that there are only 11 trees in
the circle of what is later (in
Episode 28: "Miss Twin
Peaks") said to be 12 sycamores representing
Glastonbury Grove! But notice there is a gap in the ring of
trees where the twelfth one should be...is there any
significance to this?
Is the pool of liquid in Glastonbury Grove meant to be oil
(as hinted at in
"Beyond Life and Death")?
What is the white residue surrounding the pool? Frost? If
so, why only around the rim of the pool?
It's kind of hard to make out because the voice is
deliberately distorted, but after he steps out of the Black
Lodge, BOB says, "I'm out!" Listen:
Windom Earle's playing off the board.wav
Styrofoam never dies.wav
from outer space to the wooded areas surrounding Twin
the dugpas have many names for it.wav
a fish I don't particularly care for.wav
British or Bohemian or something.wav
the slit cut halfway up to Seattle.wav
I've never known your mind to wander.wav
your face in fried eggs.wav
it's your jet.wav
what do you fear most?.wav
if Jupiter and Saturn meet.wav
a trout's leap in the moonlight.wav
a map to the Black Lodge.wav
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