"Variations on Relations"
Written by Mark Frost & Harley Peyton
Directed by Jonathan Sanger
Original air date: April 11, 1991
Cooper returns to Owl Cave and goes on a
nature study with Annie; Windom Earle takes a pawn; Lana schemes
to win the Miss Twin Peaks pageant.
Read the episode
script 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 actor playing the young heavy metal band member killed by Windom
Earle is Ted Raimi, brother of film director Sam Raimi.
Characters appearing or mentioned in this episode
Rusty Tomaski (Heavy metal band member, not named until the next
Josie Packard (deceased, mentioned only)
Thomas Eckhardt (deceased, mentioned only)
Dale Doolittle (mentioned only)
Dale Doolittle's twin brother (unnamed, mentioned only)
Mrs. Gardner (mentioned only, Shelly's fourth grade teacher)
John Justice Wheeler (Jack)
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.
"Pie. Whoever invented the pie? Here was a great person.
Twin Peaks, we specialize in cherry pie and huckleberry pie.
do have many other types of pie, and at the Double R Diner,
knows how to make them all better than anyone I have ever
"I hope Norma likes me. I know I like her and respect her. I
spit my pitch gum out of my mouth onto her walls and floors
sometimes onto her booths. Sometimes I get angry and do
I'm not proud of. I do love Norma's pies. I love pie with
This episode opens on the morning of Thursday, March 23,
As the camera pans past the young heavy metal band member
(named as Rusty Tomaski in Episode
27: "The Path To The Black
Earle's cabin at 4:06 on the Blu-ray, notice that a copy of
the Twin Peaks Post is sitting under a large
tractor drill bit.
At 4:33 on the Blu-ray, a
Depot painters cap is seen among the tools and supplies
Earle is/will be using to build a giant chess piece around
Rusty. Is there a Home Depot in Twin Peaks?
As Pete contemplates chess moves at the Blue Pine Lodge, he
tries to compose his own ode to Josie aloud, mumbling in his
grief, "I think I shall never see, a girl as lovely as
Josie. When she walked into the room, the flowers were all
abloom..." He has altered lines from the 1913 poem "Trees"
by Joyce Kilmer, which begins, "I think that I shall never
see, a poem lovely as a tree." Trees are, of course, a motif
in Twin Peaks. Some episodes of the series suggest
that Josie's soul may be imprisoned in the wood structure of
the Great Northern Hotel where she died. The actual poem
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Attempting to help Catherine open the puzzle box left to her
by Thomas Eckhardt, Pete mentions he saw one once when he
was on R and R in Guam. Guam is a territory of the United
States and the largest island of Micronesia. That Pete took
R and R there suggests he was in the
U.S. Armed Forces
(or possibly the U.S. merchant marines) at some point in the
Bobby tells Shelly he wants her to enter the Miss Twin Peaks
contest because "Beautiful people get everything they want,"
and she retorts sardonically, "Know any senators I can
marry?" Ironically, Bobby's current employer, Ben Horne,
"The Condemned Woman"
that he's considering a run for the senate!
Cooper picks up donuts and coffee from the RR Diner for him,
the sheriff, and the deputies. But according to
Twin Peaks: An Access Guide to the
Town, the sheriff's station gets its donuts from Wagon
Wheel Bakery. It may be that Cooper talked his cohorts from
the sheriff's station into stopping at the RR (after their
morning excursion to Owl Cave) because he wanted to take the
opportunity to invite Annie on a nature study. Additionally,
the RR does not really seem geared towards donut service,
though it's possible they contract with Wagon Wheel Bakery
to provide them with some on a daily basis for customers who
desire donuts with their breakfast.
Cooper invites Annie on a nature study. "Nature study" is a
philosophy that espouses a reconciliation of science and
spirituality through the study of nature, not books. As
presented by Liberty Hyde Bailey (1858-1954), one of the
founders of the nature study movement, in his "Leaflet I:
What Is Nature-Study?", "Nature-study, as a process, is
seeing the things that one looks at, and the drawing of
proper conclusions from what one sees...[it] is not the
study of a science...it takes the things at hand and
endeavors to understand them...it is informal, as are the
objects which one sees. It is entirely divorced from mere
definitions, or from formal explanations in books...it
trains the eye and the mind to see and to comprehend the
common things of life; and the result is not directly the
acquiring of science but the establishing of a living
sympathy with everything that is." This sounds like the
kind of thing with which Cooper would be sympathetic.
|Notice that the donut box Annie brings to
Cooper has a label on it with a logo that reads "Donuts
Donuts", similar to the logo of the U.S. donut chain
At 11:37 on the Blu-ray, notice that the RR's "stock pot
soup" of the day is "hearty beaver broth"!!
As the clueless Rusty is being entombed
within a giant pawn chess piece, he asks Earle, "Hey, is
this for, like, the Lilac Parade or what?" He is presumably
referring to the famous Lilac Parade that accompanies the
10-day Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island, Michigan, known
for its large and beautiful lilac flowers.
Interestingly, Leo seems to have gained some morality from
his ordeal of injuries and time with the twisted Windom
Earle. He at first does not want to give any sort of aid to
Earle in the murder of Rusty and, in
"The Path to the Black Lodge" and
"Miss Twin Peaks", seeks to prevent the
potential murder of Shelly (even though he tried to kill her
himself way back in
Episode 7: "The Last
At 21:03 on the Blu-ray, as Earle's arrow strikes the giant
papier-mâché chess piece, part of the Twin Peaks Gazette
banner can be seen on one of the newspaper strips.
The symbols on the inner box of Eckhardt's gift to Catherine
are partially zodiacal and partially I-don't-know-what. There
are only eight stylized symbols, representing here the eight
phases of the Moon (clockwise, as depicted below): full moon
(w/ Libra symbol), waning gibbous (w/ Pisces symbol), last
quarter (w/ Cancer symbol), waning crescent (w/ unknown
symbol; possibly Juno, a large asteroid in the belt
between Mars and Jupiter), new moon (w/ Aries symbol),
waxing crescent (w/ Sagittarius symbol), first quarter (w/
Taurus symbol), and waxing gibbous (w/ Gemini symbol).
During their nature study, Annie implies to Cooper that her
wrist scars (presumably an attempt to commit suicide) were
related to a relationship she had with a boy in high school.
Who was the boy? Is he still in town?
As the wine-tasting gathering at the Great Northern begins,
Dick says, "Good evening. Evening all. And welcome to our
oenophiliac soiree, another in a continuing series of public
events, sponsored by Horne Industries, to benefit the Stop
Ghostwood Development movement." "Oenophiliac" is a Greek
word for "one who loves wine".
Gordon remarks that "people who need people are the luckiest
people in the world." This is a line from the 1964 song
"People" by Barbra Streisand, originally performed in that
year's Broadway musical Funny Girl.
As Gordon is about to kiss Shelly at the RR, Bobby walks in
and the country music playing on the jukebox suddenly wipes
out like a phonograph needle dragged across a record!
Lana remarks that one of the wines has a banana flavor to it
and Dick responds that it is the result of the metachloric
acid. The term "metachloric acid" is fictitious, though
types of hydrochloric acid do add a banana flavor to various
foodstuffs and beverages.
When Jack sits down next to Cooper at the fireplace in the
Great Northern lobby, he says, "Love is hell," and Cooper
responds with, "The Hindus say love is a ladder to heaven."
As far as I can find, there is no such aphorism in Hindu
The bellman who delivers the message to Jack has a name
badge identifying him as Jeff Moore. This is the same name
seen on a piece of mail at the Hayward house in
"On the Wings of Love",
Moore being the prop master on the series! The Bellman
himself is actually played by John Charles Sheehan.
Where are Donna's sisters Harriet and Gersten at the Hayward
As Donna presses her mother at the dinner table for information about her
relationship with Ben Horne, her mother
twice asks her to pass the peas! And helps herself to two
helpings within the span of a minute! This seems like an
editing error...but the scene is actually written that way
in the original script as well! It could be argued that
Eileen was flustered by her daughter's questions about Ben
and asked for the peas again, having forgot she already had
some...but then why scoop out a second helping? She would
notice she already had peas on her plate!
Donna tells her mother she entered the Miss Twin Peaks
contest because she figured she could use the scholarship
money to study overseas. But the fliers for the contest say
the scholarship is for WSC (Washington State College), in
her own state! Though it is possible that WSC has an
overseas studies program.
When Cooper's car pulls up to Easter Park at 44:01 on the
Blu-ray, the reflections of several members of the
production crew are visible on the car door! Notice the car
is not the same rental he drove to Twin Peaks in in
Episode 0A: "Wrapped in Plastic".
Earle's chess move in this episode is BxP (Bishop
takes Pawn), resulting in the death of another innocent. As
pointed out in the study of
"On the Wings of Love",
this is a bad move as far as the game goes, as Earle takes
only Cooper's pawn and would lose a bishop in Cooper's
response. Of course, the game never proceeds beyond this
point. Chess expert John Jacobs says this move would lose Earle the game
in a genuine match of experts. (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.)
In The next episode,
"The Path to the Black Lodge", Earle
sweeps the chess pieces off his board, apparently having
abandoned the game. We also never see Cooper respond with
the next move, but how does he know Earle has abandoned the
game? It seems as if the producers of the show decided to
abandon the plotline, therefore the characters do as well.
|Earle's (white) BxP move
(diagram from Wrapped in Plastic #4)
|A more strategic move, B-QB4, suggested by
(diagram from Wrapped in Plastic #4)
How did Windom Earle get the giant pawn piece with Rusty's
body inside from his remote cabin in the woods to the gazebo
at Easter Park? Does Earle have a truck hidden somewhere? If
so, why is he later forced to steal Pete's truck in
"Beyond Life and Death"?
Did he steal another truck for this scheme?
a ghastly place.wav
a power so vast.wav
you promised me beer.wav
what's the big deal.wav
I think that I shall never see.wav
know any senators I can marry?.wav
we need donuts.wav
a tingling sensation.wav
Windom Earle's work with Project Blue Book.wav
sometimes the urge to do bad is nearly overpowering.wav
I do not appreciate practical jokes.wav
don't zap the geek.wav
sexual maturity and superhuman strength.wav
some pretty strange neighbors.wav
a brief but touching funeral.wav
this world of Twin Peaks.wav
a goddess sent from heaven.wav
meeting you has been more than a privilege.wav
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