Lost in the Movies: Jacques Renault (TWIN PEAKS Character Series #64)

Jacques Renault (TWIN PEAKS Character Series #64)

The TWIN PEAKS Character Series surveys one hundred ten characters from the series Twin Peaks (1990-91 on ABC and 2017 on Showtime as The Return), the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992), and The Missing Pieces (2014), a collection of deleted scenes from that film. The series will be rebooted in 2023 to reflect the third season (and patrons will have immediate access to each entry a month before it goes public), but this entry will remain intact. There will be spoilers.

Jacques lives a life of indulgence, exploitation, and greed without regret or apology - even when it catches up to him.

circa February 1988
Jacques Renault, the Road House bartender, is getting ready for work before the tavern opens for the evening. The phone rings, and when he picks it up he's greeted by Teresa Banks, a young prostitute from the town of Deer Meadow. Teresa asks him about the fathers of two other teenage hookers, Ronette Pulaski and Laura Palmer, and when Jacques describes them she says she had somebody else in mind and says goodbye. Jacques hangs up, but he isn't so sure he believes her.

Sunday, February 19, 1989
A year later, Jacques gets another call relating to another shady enterprise. Bobby Briggs, a local high school drug dealer, is looking to score some cocaine. Jacques teases him: "How come you only call me when you're desperate?" Then he arranges a buy for several nights hence, telling Bobby "For $10K I have a friend who has what you want." Bobby is grateful but Jacques looks like he has something more devious up his sleeve. That night, Jacques is tending bar for a busy crowd and two loggers are looking for some companionship. Jacques notices Laura smoking a cigarette at a table nearby and she nods to him, so he sends the two men her way. Not long afterwards, Jacques is off-duty, partying at an extremely loud Canadian club known as the Pink Room (or Partyland). Shouting to Laura, her friend Donna, and their two male companions over the music, the drunken, probably stoned Jacques slurs non sequiturs like "There's no tomorrow. Know why baby? 'Cause it'll never get here," and "I'm not Jacques. I am the Great Went." As the girls and the men fall under a woozy, druggy spell, Jacques approaches Laura and Ronette, who has just arrived, calling them his "high school sandwich" ("Let's put some meat inside," he sneers). Ronette reminds him that it's been exactly a year since Teresa was murdered, saying that she had plans to blackmail someone before she was killed. Jacques nods, and remembers that phone call: "She called me right before. She even asked what your fathers looked like." Laura seems shocked by this admission, but Jacques brushes right past, inviting the girls to his cabin for a party Thursday night. As he slumps over in his seat a little while later, ready to pass out, Laura jars him awake and yanks him over to where one of the johns is groping a half-naked, extremely high Donna; Laura forces Jacques to take her in his arms and bring them home.

Thursday, February 23, 1989
Jacques, Leo, and Ronette head out into the woods near the intersection of Sparkwood and 21, drinking beers while leaning on Leo's red convertible. Laura stumbles through the treeline to join them and they're off to Jacques' log cabin. Loud music plays, Jacques' pet bird Waldo squawks, cocaine is snorted by the lingerie-clad adolescents and an orgy unfolds. A woozy Laura shouts at Jacques as he ties her up: "Not tonight!" But he ignores her, eyes lit up in furious determination as she looks around her, seemingly startled by another presence. When he's finished, an extremely disheveled Jacques stumbles out the door for some fresh air and is immediately assaulted by someone else, who trips him, kicks him, and bashes him over the head with a bottle, knocking him out cold. He lies there immobile as Leo stumbles around him in shock and later a one-armed man passes by.

Monday, February 27, 1989
Jacques walks down the edge of a road, ready to tend bar, but stops in his tracks when he notices a red light flashing. He races to the closest phone booth and calls Leo, demanding a ride across the border because the red light signifies his brother Bernie is in trouble. An irritated Leo agrees.

Thursday, March 2, 1989
Tonight Jacques is working at his other job, dealing blackjack at the Canadian casino/bordello One Eyed Jack's. He's getting enormous tips from a card-counting high-roller and having a good time (despite the fact that Leo recently killed Bernie and threatened Jacques to keep him from returning to Twin Peaks). The stranger offers Jacques a poker chip with a piece missing, says "Leo told me about you," and invites him to have a drink. As they chat, the stranger tells Jacques that Leo works for him ("I'm the bank") and also that Leo has been screwing Jacques and Bernie over in their drug deals. Jacques is alarmed when this man explains the significance of the poker chip by mimicking Waldo - "Laura! Laura!" - but the stranger calms him down. Jacques is nervous because Laura was murdered that night in an abandoned train car, after she and Ronette were kidnapped from the cabin. When pressed, he tells the story of the poker chip, actually relaxing and enjoying the ghoulish absurdity of the anecdote: Leo had released Waldo from his cage and allowed him to peck on Laura's shoulder - as she screamed, Leo placed the chip in her mouth, making her bite it. While she did he shouted, "Bite the bullet, bay-be! Bite the bullet!" Jacques repeats this quote with grotesque relish. The man seems slightly disturbed but is more intent on other purposes: he wants to set up a drug run with Jacques, circumventing Leo and offering $10,000 cash, half up front, half on completion. They are to meet at the water processing plant on Black Lake in two hours. Jacques pulls up at the spot on schedule, only to be confronted by an armada of police cruisers. He's arrested by Sheriff Harry Truman for the attempted murder of Ronette and the murder of Laura, but as Harry walks away, Jacques grabs the arresting officer's gun and nearly shoots the sheriff down. Deputy Andy Brennan is a quicker draw, wounding Jacques in the arm. As he moans, Deputy Hawk Hill cuffs him and reads him his rights. That night Jacques is questioned by Harry and FBI Agent Dale Cooper (who was undercover as the stranger in the casino) about the night of Laura's death. Doped up on morphine, with his arm in a sling, Jacques smiles and chuckles: "They'd been up to the cabin before - they was no nuns." He thinks it was Leo who hit him over the head with a bottle, and remembers waking up to see that Leo's car is gone, forcing him to walk home fifteen miles. In the early pre-dawn hours of the morning, Jacques sleeps through a fire alarm until a pillow presses down on his face. His good arm is tied to the bedrail and he is unable to effectively resist, dying due to lack of oxygen as his EKG flatlines. The killer lifts the pillow - it's Leland Palmer (also the man who actually beat him up outside his cabin the night Laura died). His scream of rage ends with the alarm, at which point he turns and flees the room.

Friday, March 3, 1989
Jacques' very large corpse, enclosed in a big black bodybag, is wheeled into a hospital corridor as Harry, Cooper, Dr. Will Hayward, and Lucy Moran look on. "Is that bag smiling?" Cooper wonders. "What's there to smile about?" a dejected Lucy asks.

Characters Jacques interacts with onscreen…

Teresa Banks

Bobby Briggs

Laura Palmer

Donna Hayward

Ronette Pulaski

Leo Johnson

Leland Palmer (his killer)

Agent Cooper

Harry Truman

Deputy Andy

Deputy Hawk

also present for the Singer's performance of "Questions in a World of Blue"

Characters who encounter Jacques' corpse...

Doc Hayward & Lucy Moran

Impressions of TWIN PEAKS through Jacques
Certainly no character so far has taken us deeper into the seedy underbelly of Twin Peaks; even Teresa existed on its periphery (geographically and otherwise). Jacques is no big gun - he's an employee of the Road House and One Eyed Jack's, easily bullied by his pal Leo and even jerked around by the teenage Bobby. Yet he doesn't seem particularly ambitious; greedy, sure, which is why he foolishly falls for Cooper's sting, but money for a good time seems more motivating than a hunger for power. Despite this lowly nature, Jacques is involved with every Twin Peaks vice, legal or otherwise: gambling, drinking, drugs (sale and use), and underage sex/prostitution/pornography (in his apartment Cooper and Harry find incriminating copies of Flesh World, for which he photographed Laura and Ronette soliciting rendezvous). Like many of the villains we've met so far, Jacques' "local" status is questionable. Unlike Eckhardt's crew, he's certainly no outside interloper, and unlike Cable or Malcolm, he actually operates within Twin Peaks, but like Nancy, Blackie, and the Mountie, he is rooted in Canada - still suggesting that the danger of Twin Peaks is fundamentally external. Jacques' novel attribute, in the course of this character series, is his abject sleaziness; even Emory, with his bizarre kinks and leering manner, seemed more a nebbishy businessman than an unapologetic hedonist. Jacques is both an operator and a consumer in the Twin Peaks underworld, reminding us that if money motivates the criminals themselves, the customers' desires fuel the business in the first place. This in turn leads us closer to Laura, who lived a life defined in many ways by her complicated sexuality and addiction. And indeed, no character thus far has had a life so deeply intertwined with Laura's, or spent so much time onscreen with her (Jacques is also the first person in this character series whom we see sexually involved with Laura). The Jacques of the series offers insight into Cooper's smooth, masterful manipulation as an undercover agent; Cooper appeals to Jacques' scheming, money-grubbing side as readily as Laura appeals to his animal urges. And of course Jacques is our second character in these studies to be murdered by Leland Palmer, whose presence at the cabin brings us closer than ever to the event of Laura's death. In the chronology of the actual show, he is also the first person to be killed onscreen, and only the third person to die in the course of the series after Laura and his brother Bernard.

Jacques' journey
Jacques' story can be cleaved neatly into two halves, one before Laura's death, and one after, and these two halves can be arranged either in narrative chronology (Fire Walk With Me followed by the episodes of the first season) or production chronology (the series followed by the prequel film). Perhaps the more interesting is the latter, demonstrating Jacques' development as a character and also his function as a guide into the Twin Peaks underworld. Few characters are set up as extensively without being seen (much of this exposition occurs before we've glimpsed more than a quick cameo, some even before we've met him at all). I'll discuss "the offscreen Jacques" more extensively in a new section below, but his legend is established through visits to two homes, investigations into his work and play, and interactions between other characters connected to him. Given all this preparation, our first glimpse - in episode 3 - feels almost premature, not just because his entrace as a dealer in episode 6 would have served more dramatically, but because Walter Olkewicz hasn't quite grasped Jacques yet. (Jacques' demeanor when he calls Leo is a far cry from the loutish, lewd pimp of Fire Walk With Me, and even his accent is a lot more dodgy, with barely a hint of the exaggerated French-Canadian intonation that will become his trademark.) The actual character of Jacques really takes hold in the first season finale, exhibiting a juicy decadence that makes a great foil for Cooper's sophisticated sheen (even disguised as a pusher Cooper is a gentleman). The film character is drunk and/or stoned most of the time, further dramatizing and deepening the fleshy decadence of the show's Jacques, following through on the hints of his offscreen reputation and his onscreen anecdotes by delivering us into the hypnotic hellscape of Twin Peaks' nightlife. His chronological arc, of course, tells a slightly different story. In late February, Jacques' life is going about as well as it probably ever has: the roundelay between legal work, illegal work, and (nearly always) illegal recreation, functions as an established routine. Starting on the night of Laura's death, everything heads south - not only are Cliff, Laura, and Bernie killed, but Jacques himself is battered, bruised, and abandoned outside his own cabin, chased out of the drug business, tricked into an FBI set-up, arrested for murder, gunned down, hospitalized, and finally murdered through suffocation. It's a brutal week for the lowlife lout, though the seeds of his downfall were all planted by him.

Actor: Walter Olkewicz
Olkewicz worked steadily in film and television for over two decades until persistent health problems complicated his career. He appeared alongside Dan Ackroyd, John Candy and John Belushi in Steven Spielberg's comedy bomb 1941; what was supposed to be a one-day cameo mushroomed into a twenty-eight-day supporting role. Olkewicz started out in improv and often worked in comedy; one of his most famous roles was on Seinfeld (joining quite a lot of other Twin Peaks alums) where he played the cable guy tormenting Kramer. His eighties/nineties resume reads like a checklist of iconic prime-time television, ranging from guest spots on Who's the Boss, Cheers, The A-Team, Taxi, The Love Boat, Newhart, Family Ties, Moonlight, Married...with Children and L.A. Law (among many others) to recurring roles as Bubba on Dolly Parton's short-lived variety series Dolly, Harmon Shain on thirteen episodes of Partners in Crime, Marko on eight episodes of Wizards and Warriors, and Zack Comstock in fifteen episodes of The Last Resort. Most notably, Olkewicz played Dougie Boudreau for three seasons of Grace Under Fire. He was also cast in a very memorable role in The Client as a mob lawyer whose suicide traumatizes the main character. Olkewicz has been interviewed by Twin Peaks Archive, Brad Dukes, and Obnoxious and Anonymous. (series pictured: Seinfeld, 1996)

Episode 3 (German title: "Rest in Pain")

Episode 6 (German title: "Realization Time")

*Episode 7 (German title: "The Last Evening" - best episode)

Episode 8 (German title: "May the Giant Be With You")

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (feature film)

Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (collection of deleted scenes from the film)

Now here's an interesting situation. Unlike anyone else in this character series, Jacques is almost equally written/directed by Twin Peaks' two creators - Mark Frost and David Lynch. Frost writes and directs the bulk of his appearances on the series, which occur in the first season finale. He coaxes a rich, juicy performance out of Olkewicz, whose first couple cameos had been gruff and surly, less relaxed over all. The Jacques we all know and love to hate truly emerges in Frost's one episode (in some ways he's the star of that one-off venture), which also provides a glimpse of the laconic, colorful characterizations that would mark Frost's work in Storyville two years later (though the accents there would be Southern rather than French-Canadian). In Frost's conception, Jacques is observed entirely from the perspective of law enforcement: all of his scenes are with Cooper and/or Harry, and we're encouraged to explore his criminal life with curiosity but from a safe remove. Frost also writes episode 5, which spends a lot of time in Jacques' apartment and cabin (though we never see Jacques himself), helping to prep the character as the lawmen's peephole into the underworld. Lynch only met Olkewicz after shooting wrapped - and the character had been killed. He promised they'd work together and sure enough, a prequel film provided the opportunity. Fitting the M.O. of a film that takes us into the heart of Laura's mystery and dispenses with any protective distance, we are thrust right into the middle of Jacques' criminal world in Fire Walk With Me: we don't experience this milieu through the veneer of the "good guys". Lynch's Jacques is more gnomic than Frost's, delivering a half-dozen of the movie's most memorable, mystifying lines. There's also a sense of repetition - most notably as Leland attacks Jacques "again," further reinforcing the idea that the two halves of Jacques' story form two separate, almost parallel stories rather than one continuous arc. In addition to Frost's and Lynch's dominant contributions, just over a minute of Jacques' screentime is written by Harley Peyton (in two different episodes) and directed by Tina Rathborne and Caleb Deschanel. The second season premiere, in which Jacques' bodybag floats by, splits the difference between the creators since it is written by Frost and directed by Lynch. The film is co-written by Robert Engels.

Jacques is onscreen for roughly eighteen minutes. He is in fourteen scenes in four episodes (plus the feature film and deleted scenes collection), taking place over two weeks (plus one scene from a year earlier). He's featured the most in Fire Walk With Me/The Missing Pieces in which he participates in the decadence of Laura's last week alive (in the show he's featured the most in episode 7, the first season finale). We see him equally in two locations: the Pink Room and One Eyed Jack's. He shares the most screentime with Laura. Jacques is in the top ten of (collectively) Fire Walk With Me/The Missing Pieces and second only to Cooper in episode 7 - no previous character on this list has more screentime in a single episode.

Best Scene
Fire Walk With Me: Jacques is central to one of Lynch's most stunning setpieces, the blaring, bleary "Pink Room" sequence in which the drunken pimp hogs all the best lines, including...

Best Line
(see above)

Jacques Offscreen

Episode 1: Few names get dropped in a character's absence as often as Jacques in the first season. We are introduced to him in episode 1, when Big Ed Hurley tells Harry that Jacques spiked his drink at the Road House the night before, knocking him out (Ed was keeping an eye on the known drug dealer for the Bookhouse Boys).

Episode 3: After Laura's funeral in episode 3, Harry tells Cooper about the Bookhouse Boys and their investigation of Jacques' cocaine ring. That night they visit a kidnapped Bernie Renault (who is also a janitor at the Road House); he denies being Jacques' drug mule.

Episode 4: In episode 4, Harry says Bernie has been released on bail and an APB has been put out for Jacques. Shelly tells Bobby that Leo is out with "his friend, that creepy Jacques ... that Canuck guy." Bobby decides to plant Leo's shirt at Jacques' apartment so that police will realize they're connected and perhaps finger both for the murder of Laura. Cooper, Harry, and Hawk arrive at Jacques' apartment just as Bobby hops out the back window; they're looking for evidence after discovering that Jacques owned the myna bird that bit Laura's shoulders. They discover the shirt right away. That same night, Ben Horne meets up with Leo in the woods and Leo shows him a body wrapped head to toe: it's Bernie. Ben scolds Leo for getting involved with "a couple glue-sniffing squish-heads," but Leo says he "broke up their act," adding, "Jacques' back in Canada. We had a long talk. He's staying in Canada. Jacques was the brains of the outfit."

Episode 5: Aside from his actual appearance in the season finale, episode 5 is the most Jacques-centric episode of the series. Inside his apartment, Cooper, Harry, Hawk, Andy, and Doc dig up clue after clue. Harry offers some history of the character: "Jacques Renault's a Canadian national, worked the local lumber fields until he put on a little excess tonnage a couple seasons ago. That's when he started tending bar at the Roadhouse." The blood on the shirt is revealed as AB negative, which was Jacques' blood type. Cooper discovers an issue of Flesh World above a ceiling lamp, with a letter and envelope inside; this confirms that the magazine was a clearing house for sex work and that Jacques had a P.O. Box set up to receive letters for Ronette. Meanwhile, Andy goes to Leo's house where Shelly feeds him some false information to set up Leo and Jacques as the murderers (she says she heard them fighting the night Laura was killed, and that they mentioned her name before they left). Back at Jacques' apartment, the investigators discover a picture of Laura posing in front of red drapes, which match the drapes in a snapshot of Jacques' cabin. Cooper, Harry, Hawk, and Doc go into the woods to find the location. They run into the Log Lady who tells them what she heard the night Laura died (including Jacques' voice, though she doesn't identify it as such). When they finally reach Jacques' cabin, a record of Julee Cruise's "Into the Night" is playing in a loop. Hawk finds film in a camera, Cooper discovers a spool of twine, and Harry unveils Waldo in his birdcage. Hawk identifies a bloodstain on the floor of the cabin and Harry opens a cuckoo clock out of which spills a bunch of poker chips. Cooper crawls under the couch to retrieve one and sees that it has a piece missing from it, matching the piece of a poker chip they discovered in an autopsy of Laura several episodes earlier. He identifies the markings: "One Eyed Jack's".

Episode 6: In the last couple episodes of the season, Jacques' plot comes to a head. Forensics confirm the identity of Jacques' last three guests in his cabin, and a photo from the film roll is developed, showing Waldo perched on Laura's shoulder. Hawk reveals that Jacques works at One Eyed Jack's and Cooper proposes a Bookhouse Boys operation (since Jack's is outside their jurisdiction). That night Waldo is shot from outside the sheriff's station; a voice-activated recorder caught his last words which Cooper will recite to Jacques. Cooper and Big Ed disguise themselves to uncover Jacques.

Episode 7: Harry and Hawk eavesdrop on Cooper's conversation with Jacques from a surveillance van. Following their questioning of Jacques at the hospital, Cooper tells Harry that Jacques is "too stupid to lie" and suspicion recenters on Leo as the killer. At the sheriff's station, Andy boasts about shooting Jacques, which seems to impress his girlfriend Lucy. Leland bursts in asking about the man they've captured, and Harry lets it slip that he's at the hospital, which gives Leland all the information he needs to execute vengeance (if that's what it is).

Episode 8: Jacques' involvement with the narrative carries on long after he's dead, thanks to the continuing investigation of Laura's death and also the consequences of Leland's murder. In episode 8, Lucy tells Cooper about Jacques' fate. A few hours later, Cooper is fascinated with Jacques' body bag after he has been removed and the bag has been washed and unzipped; sagging from the wall where it has been pinned it looks like "a smiling bag" (one of the "signs" the Giant asked Cooper to look for as he hovered between life and death was "the man in the smiling bag"). That evening, Cooper and Harry visit Dr. Lawrence Jacoby, whose hospital bed is near Jacques', and ask him what happened. He was sedated at the time, and can only recall a smell: "scorched engine oil." (This is the first time this motif will be mentioned on the show, though it is later associated with Bob and Glastonbury Grove...the only fleeting connection Jacques ever has to Twin Peaks' supernatural elements.) Back at the station, Cooper lays out the whole case for Harry, Albert, Hawk, Andy, and Lucy, detailing everything they know, including Jacques' involvement.

Episode 9: Albert conducts Jacques' autopsy and reports to Cooper in episode 9: "Stomach contents revealed beer cans, a Maryland license plate, half a bicycle tire, a goat, and a small wooden puppet. Goes by the name of Pinocchio." More seriously, he adds, "If Jacques has any secrets, he'll be taking them underground."

Episode 10: From this point, references to Jacques are mostly linked to either Leland's murder charge or Jean Renault's revenge plot. In episode 10, Jacques' brother Jean, a much more powerful crime boss, arrives at One Eyed Jack's and lays out his plan to kill Cooper for setting up his brother (we also see surveillance footage of Jacques in the casino from the night he died). Later in that same episode, Cooper and Harry hypnotize Jacoby and we see a black-and-white slow motion flashback of Jacques' murder as Jacoby realizes who killed him. Cooper and Harry show up at Leland's house as he's comforting Maddy and arrest him for the murder of Jacques Renault.

Episode 11: Episode 11 opens with Leland's tearful confession to the murder of Jacques. Jean shows Ben surveillance footage of Cooper with his brother. Judge Clinton Sternwood arrives in town after this confession...

Episode 12: ...and in episode 12 he releases Leland without bail, pending an eventual trial (later episodes suggest Leland will cop an insanity plea, relying on the traumatizing death of his own daughter). Leland is never actually tried for the murder because he goes on to kill Maddy in episode 14 and is eventually captured.

Episode 15: When Cooper tells Leland that Ben has been arrested as a suspect in Laura's murder, Leland seems shocked, stammering "I thought that Jacques Renault..." Cooper shakes his head: "No."

Episode 16: Cooper notes that Leland's hair turned white after killing Jacques. He doesn't speculate as to Leland's actual motive for that crime (Leland dies soon after, confessing to the murders of Teresa and Laura before expiring).

Episode 20: Jean hangs around even after he's unable to kill Cooper in a ransom exchange as planned. In episode 20, Jean holds the FBI agent prisoner inside Dead Dog Farm, as police surround the drug den. He tells Cooper why he wants revenge: "Before you came here, Twin Peak was a simple place. My brothers sold drugs to truck-drivers and teenagers. ... My brother Bernard is shot and left to die in the woods. A grieving father smothers my surviving brother with a pillow. ... Maybe you brought the nightmare with you." I believe this is the last time Jacques is mentioned on the series; a few minutes later Jean is gunned down by Cooper (he may not have killed Bernie or Jacques, but ironically he is directly responsible for Jean's death).

Fire Walk With Me: Bobby is nearly shot by Deputy Cliff Howard, a corrupt cop from Deer Meadow, in the drug deal that Jacques arranged ("Jacques sent me," Cliff affirms, before reaching for his gun). Bobby manages to shoot first, killing Cliff and then hiding the body with Laura.

The Missing Pieces: In The Missing Pieces, Harry sets up surveillance of Bernie with Hawk and Andy after hearing that he has just crossed the border. Notably, he tells them to "stop watching Jacques"; by removing the focus from one brother to the other, he leaves Jacques unattended the night of Laura's death.

Additional Observations

The Renault family, Canadian or not, have long roots in Twin Peaks. The Access Guide traces them back to Dominick Renault, a trader whose search for the Northwest Passage was mocked by local natives. Rather bizarrely, the book reports that "he mated with owls, his anguished voice becoming a part of them in the endless and misty forests."

• Jacques, unsurprisingly, is mentioned frequently in Jennifer Lynch's The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer: "Jacques said that he used to play football, until he found out that you didn't have to ram yourself into a herd of huge guys all day to make good money. ... He's a big, fat guy, but he can really turn me on sometimes. He's the little-baby/big-man type, too, except that he knows a lot more about a woman's body than even Leo." Jacques encourages Laura to write down her fantasies and send them to Flesh World; he calls her at home all the time and if her parents answer, he says it's about a job application. The diary presents him more as lover and admirer than pimp.

I've never heard any explanation of why Jacques wants to murder Bobby although evidently he sent Cliff to do just that (unless Cliff is acting of his own sloppy accord for some even more mystifying reason). Is this a first strike against Leo, suspecting the turn of events that will culminate a week later when Leo drives the Renault brothers out of his operation? And why have Cliff deliver baby laxative instead of actual cocaine, especially if he was planning to kill the customers anyway? The whole incident is befuddling, especially since Laura - knowing that Jacques arranged the deal that nearly ended her boyfriend's life (and presumably hers as well) - is unperturbed enough to spend the night with their would-be murderer a few days later. This may just be one of those situations where Lynch and Engels had their mind on one aspect (let's find out who Bobby killed, since it's referenced in the pilot) and completely overlooked all the other complications. Adding to the confusion, when Cooper asks Jacques if he knows who was distributing the cocaine, Jacques answers, "Nah, some high school kid, that's all I know." As the film demonstrates, he clearly did know about Bobby's involvement in the drug trade. Why lie?

• There are several discrepancies between Jacques' explanation of events on the show and how we see them unfold in the film. Most notably Jacques tells Cooper and Harry that Leo hit him over the head with a bottle and then they fought, after which he wandered outside and passed out. It's possible, given his state at the time of the incident, that he's misremembering and conflating events. However, one plot hole that can't be explained is Leo's shirt: Jacques never uses it to clean up his blood, despite that shirt being a major piece of evidence throughout season one.

It's never entirely clear whether Leland or BOB was more responsible for Jacques' murder - even many who tend to sharply delineate between spirit and host often feel that this one was on Leland. I think a case could be made for both (and as usual, I like to think the two overlap). Leland, perhaps not remembering that he killed Laura either due to self- or BOB-repressed memory, wants to kill Jacques in revenge. BOB's motivations can be more calculating (as can Leland's for that matter): perhaps he wants to finish the job he started that night at the cabin, eliminating all witnesses (remember he goes after Ronette a few days later too, after she's awakened).

The draft of the episode 8 teleplay available online must be a combination of two versions. The Giant's dialogue still reads, "a man in a smiling bag" but when Cooper actually sees Jacques' body bag, he mutters to himself "Shock in a big rubber bag" and later tells the Giant he was "right about the rubber bag." This suggests to me that the Giant was originally scripted to say "Jacques in a big rubber bag" (which Cooper mishears as "shock") and that Lynch changed this line to the more enigmatic - and apparently more personally resonant - "man in a smiling bag" (an image Lynch says is inspired by his work in a morgue as a young man). Also according to the script, Lucy was supposed to report, "This morning, at around 5:45 am, Jacques Renault was found dead in his bed. It appears to be cardiac arrest, which is what happened to my Uncle Walter after he had the accident with the lawnmower, but the cause of death is not yet officially known." (Frost probably embedded two playful references in this one line: to Walter Olkewicz's real name, and to Blue Velvet which opens with a character suffering a stroke while watering his lawn.) In the actual episode, Lucy simply cuts to the chase, saying, "Jacques Renault was strangled."

There are many unfortunate families in Twin Peaks, but only the Palmers can rival the Renaults' body count; within a three-week period all the brothers were wiped out. ...Or were they?

SHOWTIME: Yes, Olkewicz is on the cast list for 2017.

Wait, what??!

• Update 2023: This entry was written in 2017, before the third season, and did not need to be revised as Jacques did not re-appear - the actor was cast as a different character. Only the description/intro at the top and the ranking were updated. In the original character series, Jacques was ranked #45, between Ernie and Ronette.

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