Lost in the Movies: Dr. Lawrence Jacoby (TWIN PEAKS Character Series #29)

Dr. Lawrence Jacoby (TWIN PEAKS Character Series #29)

*A revised entry will be published separately in 2024 or 2025 for an updated character series (which will be collected here). This is the original entry written before The Return.

The TWIN PEAKS Character Series surveys eighty-two characters from the series Twin Peaks (1990-91) and the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) as well as The Missing Pieces (2014), a collection of deleted scenes from that film. A new character study will appear every weekday morning until the premiere of Showtime's new season of Twin Peaks on May 21, 2017. There will be spoilers for the original series and film.

Jacoby is ambiguously caught between secretly lost soul, confident but offputting eccentric, and wise guide for Twin Peaks' psyche.

Wednesday, February 22, 1989
Dr. Lawrence Jacoby, psychiatrist for the small woodland town of Twin Peaks, sips a colorful mixed drink in his equally colorful, Hawaiian-themed office (he is wearing red- and blue-lensed glasses, to heighten the hues even more). Jacoby calls Laura Palmer, a teenage patient who doesn't want her parents to know about their therapy. She scolds the doctor for calling her at home. Jacoby tells Laura, whose secret life is filled with sex and drugs, that "a little trouble with your parents is the least of your worries" but Laura is upset and distressed. She reluctantly offers to record him another cassette tape tomorrow. With a twinge of desperation, Jacoby pleads "Send me a kiss?" but Laura hangs up on him.

Friday, February 24, 1989
Laura has been murdered. Far from grieving, Jacoby seems oddly manic. He glimpses Sheriff Harry Truman and visiting FBI Agent Dale Cooper at Calhoun Memorial Hospital and chases their elevator several flights to breathlessly inform them that Laura was his patient (and her parents didn't know). He laughs in a creepy fashion as he tells them this, while absentmindedly fondling the dancing girl on his tie - his finger traces back and forth beneath her three-dimensional grass skirt. Cooper and Truman turn down his offer to accompany them to the morgue. Although he has a cork in one ear (he removed the other to talk to them), Jacoby may overhear Cooper from around the corner: "That guy's a psychiatrist?!" That night, Jacoby treks through the woods with a flashlight and digs through the dirt until he uncovers Laura's buried half-heart necklace and takes it home with him.

Saturday, February 25, 1989
In his office, Jacoby pops in Laura's final tape, recorded the night of her death. He listens on headphones as she explains how tired she is of her secret boyfriend James Hurley and how she wishes she'd met Dr. Jacoby sooner. From beyond the grave, or at least the irretrievable past, she ominously tells her doctor, "I just know I'm gonna get lost in those woods again tonight." Then she begins to discuss her "mystery man." Jacoby plucks a hollow coconut off a fake palm tree, removes Laura's necklace hidden inside and weeps as he stares at this token and listens to her voice.

Monday, February 27, 1989
At the Great Northern Hotel, Jacoby comforts Johnny Horne, an emotionally disturbed young man who refuses to take off his Indian headdress for Laura's funeral. However, Jacoby shares his grief, soothes him, and makes a connection that few others can. Johnny removes this part of his outfit and he and Jacoby rock back and forth, touching their foreheads as Johnny's parents express their exasperation with his condition. That evening, Jacoby visits Laura's fresh gravesite alone, depositing a bouquet of flowers on her tombstone. Agent Cooper approaches and Jacoby explains that he couldn't bear to attend Laura's funeral, but that she changed his life. Before her, he had grown apathetic and cold to his patients - she reawakened his compassion.

Tuesday, February 28, 1989
The following morning, Jacoby's mood is much more relaxed, even cheerful, and Cooper seems put off by him as he was at their first meeting. Jacoby performs magic tricks with a golf ball (making it disappear and then pop out of his mouth) while refusing to answer Cooper's questions. He cites doctor-patient confidentiality but is willing to confirm that Laura's problems were sexual and she used cocaine for therapeutic purposes (he cites this as a positive sign, comparing her to Hawaiians who used ginger "to ease the pain of profound confusion). Jacoby suggests that the ultimate source of Laura's pain remains unknown to him. Cooper asks point-blank if Jacoby was one of the three men she had sex with the night she died, but he denies the charge. He tells the lawmen that he followed a red corvette into the woods the night after Laura died ("a man Laura had spoken to me about," though he won't say the name), and that he's planning a "pilgrimage to Pebble Beach" in a month.

Wednesday, March 1, 1989
Jacoby conducts a session with the Briggs family - father (Major Garland) and mother (Betty) are worried about their erratic, truant, violent teenage son (Bobby) - who was dating Laura when she died. Bobby acts bored and hostile, and Jacoby asks to talk with him alone. Telling him to "cut the crap," Jacoby asks a series of personal questions that stun Bobby ("What happened the first time you had sex with Laura? Did you cry?") and leads the grieving young man to confess that Laura forced him into a life of crime, that she wanted to die, and that she thought people wanted to be good but were dragged down by a darkness within. Jacoby guides and interrogates Bobby, asserting that Laura felt worthless and strove to make others feel like her; the two agree that she was "harboring some awful secret" as Bobby breaks down.

Thursday, March 2, 1989
Jacoby is watching the soap opera Invitation to Love when he receives a phone call from a familiar voice. She teases him with phrases used on Laura's tapes, but he denies that it could possibly the dead girl. She tells him to check his doorstep - there's a video in an envelope and when he pops it in the VCR he sees a picture of someone who does look remarkably like Laura holding a newspaper with today's date. She tells him to meet her at the intersection of Sparkwood and 21 but Jacoby identifies a gazebo from the video and heads there instead. When he arrives he stalks the blonde figure from the bushes. She turns around and he is stunned - could this really be Laura after all? Before he can figure out her identity, he is attacked from behind, bashed several times in the back before the masked man scurries away (halted by the sound of an approaching motorcyle). Jacoby gasps and grasps at the air as the Laura lookalike is escorted away by two teenagers on a bike. He nearly dies of a heart attack. At the hospital, Doc Will Hayward watches over the sedated Jacoby and says that when he was brought in he was making some "pretty incredible" statements.

Friday, March 3, 1989
Cooper and Truman visit Jacoby in the hospital. Cooper presents him with the half-heart necklace and insists he give them the straight truth. Jacoby admits that he followed two teenagers into the woods after losing the red corvette the other night. He saw them bury the necklace, and then he retrieved it after they'd gone, as a keepsake. Jacoby compares Laura to the torn heart on the necklace but says that the last time he saw her she seemed to be at peace, like she'd made a decision to die ("perhaps she let herself be killed," he explains). Cooper also asks him about a murder of a fellow patient that occurred when he was in intensive care. "It's all like a dream," Jacoby insists, but despite being drugged-up at the time he does remember "a peculiar smell...scorched engine oil."

Sunday, March 5, 1989
Cooper and Truman visit an almost fully recovered Jacoby at the hospital. His wife Eolani has flown in from Hawaii and is conducting a ceremony with him. Jacoby asks to be hypnotized so that he can recall the face of the man who smothered the patient the other night. Cooper reads a calming passage about a golf course while Truman holds a crystallized stone. Jacoby passes into another state and recalls that the smell of oil was in the park (he doesn't say if it was only in the park or also in the hospital, as he suggested before). Then he remembers the face of the killer...

Wednesday, March 15, 1989
...Ten days later, Jacoby is attending the wake of that killer, Leland Palmer. He is in high spirits, having just returned from an excursion to Hawaii. At this oddly cheerful event, Jacoby hangs out with Major Briggs, Truman, and Cooper, who has lost any aversion he once had toward the eccentric shrink. That afternoon, the doctor accompanies Big Ed Hurley to Twin Peaks High School, where they attempt to enroll Ed's wife Nadine in high school (she has embraced the delusion that she is still a teenager). Jacoby says nothing, allowing Ed to present his case to the perplexed vice principal.

Sunday, March 19, 1989
Jacoby watches, delighted, as Ben Horne re-enacts the Civil War in his office at the Great Northern. Having experienced a series of personal traumas and business failures, he believes himself to be Robert E. Lee. As Jacoby explains to Ben's horrified daughter Audrey and brother Jerry, "by reversing the South's defeat...he in turn will reverse his own emotional setback." Then the doctor joins in a rousing chorus of "Dixie," while waving the Confederate flag. Jacoby heads over to the sheriff's station, where he claims to have accompanied the recent widow Lana Milford for nearly twenty-four hours (except for the time he was visiting Ben?). He explains that, contrary to popular assumption, she is not cursed but simply possesses a "heightened sexual drive." He then heads off to a bowling date (apparently what happens in Twin Peaks stays in Twin Peaks as far as Eolani is concerned) but is interrupted by a shotgun-wielding Mayor Dwayne Milford, who wants to avenge his dead brother. "I'll blast her into kindgdom come," the old man insists, "and the hippie too!" Instead, the mayor winds up falling in love with Lana himself, stealing her away from Jacoby, who is simply relieved to survive.

Monday, March 20, 1989
Jacoby encourages Ben to enact his fantasies in the Great Northern lobby with the hope he'll slowly emerge into reality, but he only delves further into nineteenth-century lore. Jacoby and Audrey agree to conduct "the Appomattox scenario," in which Jacoby impersonates General Ulysses S. Grant and surrenders the Northern forces to Ben...er, General Lee. Upon victory, Ben passes out and awakens as himself, barely remembering the surreal experience as a dream.

Wednesday, March 22, 1989
Jacoby conducts a house call with Ed and Nadine, who is still immersed in her adolescent escape. She wants to "break up" with Ed, not realizing they are married, and Jacoby patiently tries to explain the situation to her. She doesn't quite seem to get it, but does realize for the first time that she's blind in her left eye.

Sunday, March 26, 1989
Jacoby operates a slideshow of Nadine's triumphs on the high school wrestling team and tries again to encourage the gathering (this time including both Ed's and Nadine's lovers) to explain that a divorce is imminent and Ed is getting re-married. Nadine, in an angry tone, insists she's getting married too, and clenches her boyfriend's hand so tight that something snaps and he begins to scream in pain.

Monday, March 27, 1989
Jacoby escorts Sarah Palmer, the only surviving family member of the girl he treated, into the RR Diner. "You were right," he affirms, shuffling her over to the Briggs and informing the Major that Sarah has a message she wants to deliver. Jacoby sits down beside Sarah in the booth, his job complete - the message is between them. He couldn't help her daughter but now, at least, he can provide assistance to another Palmer.

Characters Jacoby interacts with onscreen…

Laura Palmer

Agent Cooper

Sheriff Truman

Johnny Horne

Betty Briggs

Major Briggs

Bobby Briggs

Maddy Ferguson

Leland Palmer

Doc Hayward

Ed Hurley

Ben Horne

Jerry Horne

Audrey Horne

Lana Milford

Mayor Milford

Nadine Hurley

Sarah Palmer

watches/listens to INVITATION TO LOVE

Impressions of TWIN PEAKS through Jacoby
As we enter the twenties, we are reaching Twin Peaks' most distinctive characters. In terms of immediately identifiable features, Jacoby's red/blue glasses must be up there with Cooper's black suit, Laura's plastic wrapping, Nadine's eye patch. His clownish fashion sense made him an instant hit among viewers of the first season - among the characters we've discussed so far, perhaps only the Log Lady and one-armed man are as iconic. Indeed, if you were to assemble a list of "ten most memorable Twin Peaks characters," there's a good chance Jacoby would be on it, far above characters with much more screentime (although they're arguably all stars from here on). Why? Aside from being a catchy image on its own terms, his appearance telegraphed what for many was Twin Peaks' signature quality - flamboyant quirkiness that teetered between creepy unease and lovable eccentricity. Jacoby was one of the most popular suspects for contemporary audiences; various polls placed him near the top of the list. His presence on the show, and the suspicion it engendered, may link up with a widespread ambivalence about psychiatry (his kookiness is occasionally portrayed as both a contradiction of his professional role and the logical expression of a person whose job is to navigate the wild world of the psyche). Jacoby is also a bit of a foil to Cooper, who calls back to the ramrod-straight forties and fifties with his clipped delivery and slick appearance. By contrast, Jacoby's long hair, sexualized demeanor, and psychedelic style all suggest the sixties counterculture. As does the doctor's interest in mysticism and New Age techniques, although these are qualities Cooper himself shares - perhaps making him more of an eighties/nineties hybrid of these two cultural strains. Jacoby shows us a worldly side of Twin Peaks, connected to larger cultural trends and faraway places (his Hawaiian obsession is delightfully incongruous in the cold, damp woods of the Pacific Northwest). Meanwhile, Jacoby guides us inward as well as outward; Donna Hayward, who is instinctively drawn to the people Laura shared her secrets with, makes Jacoby the centerpiece of her investigation into Laura's psychic life.

Jacoby’s journey
Jacoby is certainly deeply connected to Laura. Every single one of his first season appearances centers around her. This makes him one of the characters closest to Twin Peaks' core, and it also makes him a relic of season one, lost in the broader, less focused landscape of season two. We've already discussed characters who hover around the periphery of other plots and then gain their own narrative arc later on. Jacoby takes the opposite course; with Laura gone he becomes a supporting figure in a variety of Twin Peaks' invariably farcical psychodramas. Cheerful where he once was sad, a professional presence rather than a wild card, Jacoby drifts through the latter half of the show without a true character purpose. We're always happy to see him, and he maintains his distinctive surface qualities till the end, but it's clear the writers no longer know how use this character to drive the narrative rather than just tag along. Every time he shows up, there's a faint twinge, a reminder not just of his character's former tragicomic ambiguity, but also of the first season's potent mixture of tight storytelling with a deep sense of mystery and atmosphere.

Jacoby is a character who clearly evolves before our eyes. In the pilot, he's almost a throwaway cameo, although the script definitely sets him up for later appearances. This version of Jacoby doesn't seem to care much about Laura's death (he grins and laughs the whole time) and his creep factor is turned up high...that hula skirt! - not to mention his desire to see his dead teenage patient in the morgue. Considering that the gloved hand retroactively belongs to him (although I think that decision was made after the pilot was completed), Jacoby closes both of the first two episodes on an ominous note. He'll never be quite so sinister again - as attention shifts to Leo and Jacques, Jacoby becomes a more benevolent, if still somewhat off-putting, guide into Laura's secret life rather than a strong suspect. His scene with Johnny, his visit to Laura's grave, even his diffident response to Cooper's queries, all suggest a character who may be an oddball but isn't a murderer, and probably has his heart in the right place. The tail end of the season uses Jacoby to bring us closer to Laura (he's talked about probably more than he's seen up to this point) and as if to hammer home the idea that he didn't do it, the finale even turns him into a casualty himself.

All of Jacoby's scenes in the first season are just as much about him - developing and expanding his persona - as they are about the characters he interacts with. Right away in season two, this is no longer the case. Jacoby's hospital appearances are primarily expositional, although the writers have fun with the Hawaiian motif once more when he's hypnotized (the last time we really learn anything about him as an individual). Observing just his scenes, there is a radical shift halfway through his narrative. As he recognizes Jacques' assassin in his mind, we dissolve to owls and trees...and then suddenly we're at a glibly joyful wake. Jacoby, of all people (maybe only Doc and Donna more so), should be deeply shaken at this event. Leland was not only the murderer he identified in his flashback, he was also the man whose assault placed Jacoby in the hospital. Perhaps most importantly, Leland was directly responsible for the trauma of Jacoby's most important patient - her abuser and, ultimately, her killer. And yet here Jacoby is, beaming and praising the "restorative powers of Hanalei Bay." It feels as if we've slipped into an alternate dimension or a pleasant, escapist dream, pulled backwards through Mulholland Drive's blue box.

From there, Jacoby provides, at best, a relief during some of the more tedious subplots of season two. His skill is now presented in a more unambiguously positive light than before, even if his methods still seem a bit wacky. Mostly he lets the drama unfold between the other characters onscreen, his presence more a spice than a central ingredient. And then, finally, there's another shift. When Nadine crushes Mike's arm, his full-throated yell wakes us up from our escapist reverie, its echo fading into the distinctive strains of "Dark Mood Woods", a piece of music perfectly suited to the Twin Peaks finale. Why? Because its depths and effects are fresh, an accumulation of the show's twists and turns that got us to this point (it's an entirely new track), yet somehow this soundscape taps into and expresses the mood that lingered beneath the surface from the beginning. It's a discovery and a re-discovery at the same time. To this accompaniment, Jacoby enters the diner - a location he's never been, but where he belongs as a fellow icon of Twin Peaks - with  Sarah - a character he's never interacted with before, though we find that hard to believe. And he facilitates the delivery of a supernatural message, despite only having the most tangential connection to the supernatural previously (he is the first to mention "scorched engine oil") - another first that astonishes us in retrospect.

Jacoby's final appearance was originally cut from Fire Walk With Me (the long pan/tease and the repetition of information from the pilot make it feel a bit like fanservice) but it reappears in The Missing Pieces. As a culmination to his tale (for now), it's a poignant send-off, finally connecting him to the character he loved so dearly - but in a way that reveals how one-sided that love may have been. As a chronological prologue it saturates the rest of his narrative with a sense of pathetic if endearing helplessness. He may not exactly be a super-shrink with mystical powers of observation, but at least he isn't a homicidal psycho. Jacoby goes through quite a journey to both start and end here, yet it all feels of a piece - he's one of the most clearly-drawn characters in Twin Peaks.

Actor: Russ Tamblyn
There comes a time in every Twin Peaks viewer's experience, hopefully many episodes into the series (the longer the wait, the sharper and sweeter the shock), when they realize that Ben Horne and Dr. Jacoby are Tony and Riff from West Side Story. Tamblyn, like so many Twin Peaks participants, has multiple talents. He got his start as a child actor ("Rusty Tamblyn") in classic Hollywood films like Gun CrazySamson and Delilah and Father of the Bride. A trained acrobat, Tamblyn's breakthrough came in musicals - starting with Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and climaxing with his role as the finger-snapping lead Jet, the single part for which he is still best-remembered today. In between he provided uncredited choreography for Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock (he continued to work as a choreographer for decades). But Tamblyn also took dramatic roles; he was Oscar-nominated for Peyton Place, the small-town melodrama that provided one of Twin Peaks' most-cited antecedents (especially when the film was later transformed into a prime-time soap opera).

In the mid-sixties, Tamblyn shifted his focus from performance to art, creating celebrated collages and joining the countercultural scene in Topanga Canyon with Neil Young, Dennis Hopper, and Dean Stockwell (Tamblyn also attended dance classes with Stockwell and Elizabeth Taylor back in the forties). He was only rarely appearing in films by this point (mostly B movies, including one shot on the Mansons' compound around the time of their killing spree); according to TCM, he was mostly appearing in regional theater by the early eighties. Nearly a decade before Twin Peaks, he co-wrote and starred in the cult classic Human Highway, a collaboration with Young, Hopper, and Stockwell. His career picked up again after Twin Peaks, but in old age he focused most of his energy on (successfully) promoting the career of his daughter Amber Tamblyn. They appeared together in Django Unchained and Joan of Arcadia, where she played the title character and he played God. Tamblyn's brother was the organist for the Standells ("Love that dirty water...oh, Boston you're my home...") and his parents were actors too. Probably one of the few people in movie history who has been directed by both Cecil B. DeMille and Quentin Tarantino, Tamblyn has been acting for nearly seventy years - likely the longest career of any Twin Peaks participant.

This interview covers some of the highlights (Amber Tamblyn has also written an interesting blog post about her dad's brief hitchhiking run-in with the Manson gang). (film pictured: West Side Story, 1961)

The Pilot

Episode 1 (German title: "Traces to Nowhere")

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

Episode 4 (German title: "The One-Armed Man")

*Episode 5 (German title: "Cooper's Dreams" - best episode)

Episode 6 (German title: "Realization Time")

Episode 7 (German title: "The Last Evening")

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

Episode 10 (German title: "The Man Behind Glass")

Episode 17 (German title: "Dispute Between Brothers")

Episode 21 (German title: "Double Play")

Episode 22 (German title: "Masters and Slaves")

Episode 24 (German title: "Wounds and Scars")

Episode 28 (German title: "Miss Twin Peaks")

Episode 29 (German title: "Beyond Life and Death")

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

Jacoby is written by Mark Frost in six episodes (twice in collaboration with David Lynch). Harley Peyton and Robert Engels each write two solo Jacoby scripts and collaborate on one other. Barry Pullman writes two Jacoby scripts, while Tricia Brock and Scortt Frost each write one. Jacoby's scene in the finale is not in the script - it's improvised by Lynch, who directs Jacoby four times overall (including in the film, which he co-writes with Engels). Jacoby is also directed by Lesli Linka Glatter (twice), Tim Hunter (twice), Tina Rathborne (twice), Caleb Deschanel, James Foley, Duwayne Dunham, Diane Keaton and Mark Frost. Uli Edel directs Jacoby's top episode, but Tamblyn loathed his experience with the strict director (as related years later in Brad Dukes' Reflections oral history).

Jacoby is onscreen for roughly forty-four minutes - we are now reaching characters whose screentime approaches a full episode. He is in twenty-four scenes in half the episodes of the series (fifteen - a record so far) plus the deleted scenes collection from the feature film, taking place in a little over a month. He's featured the most in episode 21, when he treats Ben and Lana. He appears the most in the hospital (although his office and the Great Northern are both close behind). He shares the most screentime with Cooper. He is one of the top ten characters in episode 22 and one of the top five characters in episode 21. Despite his strong showing in those particular season two episodes, Jacoby has much more of an impact in season one, where he's one of the top twenty characters, whereas in season two he doesn't even make the top thirty (granted, there's more competition). To put this in perspective, he has as much screentime in the first eight episodes of the series as he does in the last nineteen. The majority of Jacoby's story - roughly twenty-five minutes - takes place during the Laura Palmer investigation.

Best Scene
Episode 5: Bobby and Jacoby delve deep into the mind of Laura, exposing their own wounds and obsessions in the process.

Best Line
“Laura had seeeeecrets. And around those secrets she built a fortress that...well, in my six months, I was unable to penetrate, and for which I consider myself an abject failure.”

Jacoby Offscreen

The Pilot: The shot of the gloved hand grabbing the necklace is intercut with Sarah leaping up from the couch where she is resting. She screams and covers her mouth, implying that she is somehow "seeing" what Jacoby is doing.

Episode 2: Cooper conducts a mystical-psychic investigation to discover the identity of the "J" Laura wrote about in her diary. He throws rocks at a bottle, hoping the one that breaks will point to that mystery man. When Lucy calls out Jacoby's name, we see an image of Jacoby from the pilot before Cooper knocks a bottle off the stump without breaking it.

Episode 3: Audrey spies on Jacoby comforting Johnny from a hidden passageway.

Episode 4: Sarah recalls her vision of the hand scooping up the necklace, which shocks Donna. That afternoon at school, Audrey tells Donna that Laura was seeing Jacoby (she claims to have learned this by spying on them before the funeral, although we never hear Jacoby say this to Johnny). At night, Donna and James return to the woods and see that the necklace is gone.

Episode 5: Maddy Ferguson, Laura's cousin, finds other tapes to Jacoby hidden in Laura's bedroom and calls Donna to let her know.

Episode 6: Donna, James, and Maddy hear one of Laura's earlier tapes (apparently Jacoby would return them after listening). They notice an empty case with a later date and realize Jacoby must have her last tape, so they concoct a plan to get it back. Maddy dresses up as Laura (with a blonde wig), and repeats some of the lines from the tape to lure Jacoby out of his apartment/office, at which point Donna and James sneak in to snoop around.

Episode 7: The opening shot of the episode pans across the artificial tropical landscape of Jacoby's decor as Hawaiian music plays. Donna and James discover a collection of little cocktail umbrellas attached to various dates: the moon landing, Nixon's resignation... Then they find the tape they're looking for inside the coconut, along with Laura's necklace. Laura's friends listen to her final recording, and conclude that Jacoby was trying to help Laura, not kill her. James brings the tape to the sheriff's station where Cooper seems angry about the whole incident, especially since Jacoby has been hospitalized.

Episode 8: Truman plays Jacoby's tape with James and asks him how he got it (James lies). Cooper demands the necklace from James so that he can confront Jacoby with it in the hospital. Maddy is upset about Jacoby's condition ("maybe he wouldn't have been attacked if we hadn't" stolen his tape, she suggests), but Donna seems indifferent.

Episode 12: James asks Ed about bringing Nadine to Jacoby, and Ed tells him that the doctor is in Hawaii, recovering from the heart attack. I don't think Jacoby is ever mentioned again unless he's onscreen.


• Jacoby has an appropriately, if confoundingly, offbeat entry in the Access Guide. It asserts that he lived in Hawaii as a child rather than as a post-graduate, and describes him as "abjuring the Logical Positivist school of philosophy by turning instead to Spiderman and the National Enquirer. His "bests" are "the awesome number of dysfunctional families in Twin Peaks and 'my mailman, who argues with each envelope, analyzes the suitability of the stamp, a real case.'" We are told that his glasses (actually something the actor himself came up with) reflect the divide between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

• Jacoby cuts a striking, if shadowy, figure in Jennifer Lynch's The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer. Laura first encounters him while shooting rubber buffaloes with Johnny, and notices his attraction. But she's stunned that he is drawn to her very duality, and that when she begins seeing him as a patient he doesn't judge her or offer shocked reactions. He accepts the contradiction: "He did not mock my pain. He accepted it." Yet Laura says this makes her hate him sometimes, because he doesn't confirm her fears of turning into BOB. "Maybe it is the way he says it is: I've simply forgotten how to be loved." Jacoby's gift of a hot pink tape recorder causes Laura to write less in the diary, now that she's recording her thoughts for him. In the undated, penultimate entry, Laura recites all the things she told Jacoby at their last session (this includes some of the most memorable passages in the diary, including her description of the day her homecoming photo was taken). Jacoby's responses are not recorded. The entire portrait is an interesting reversal of the depiction we see on the series, in which a living, vibrant Jacoby peers into the impenetrable mystery of Laura Palmer. In the diary, we only glimpse the doctor through his patient's eyes, as a figure who can provide understanding yet remains somewhat vague and distant, unable to help her in the end.

• The diary and the first few episodes of season two provided Jacoby's last opportunities to be central to Twin Peaks. With Laura's mystery over, he faded into a decorative flourish in the town's tapestry. Only twenty-six years later, with the release of The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost, is Jacoby able to rise to prominence once again. His presence is scattered throughout the book - the illustrations even reflect the red/blue motif of his glasses - as is his very confusing older (or younger, depending on the totally screwy chronology) brother Robert. The Jacoby we know is introduced halfway through the novel, during the Ed/Nadine section. Apparently he was her therapist long before she awoke from the coma (his first report, following the loss of her eye, is included). We learn a great deal about Jacoby's history, including a sample from his book The Eye of God: Sacred Psychology in the Aboriginal Mind in which he details his ayahuasca trip. The back cover of the late sixties/early seventies paperback includes pull-quotes from Timothy Leary ("Jacoby talks the talk and he definitely walks the walk"), Jerry Garcia ("I felt like I was right there with him - maybe I was"), and, most tongue in cheek, Meher Baba ("I'm speechless").

• Jacoby's key passage, however, is held in reserve until the book is nearly over. Decades after the series allowed Laura to slip away without proper reflection, The Secret History finally permits one character, at least, to meditate on her legacy. We are presented an alternate version of Jacoby's trajectory; on March 19, the day he is tramping around with Ben Horne and Lana Milford on the show, the book finds him across the ocean on a beach in Kauai, awaiting the revocation of his license. In his final "case notes," Jacoby offers a stirring rumination on grief, evil, the false hopes of Western society, and his own inability to reconcile inner life and outer reality. He acknowledges Leland's culpability, and scolds himself for failing to recognize the signs of sexual abuse, while wondering what his "possession" really means ("a medicine man in the Amazon would take them both at their word, believe the story at face value and treat it accordingly"). "Creatures of unknown origin," Jacoby describes mankind, "trapped in time, pinned to a hostile rock whirling through indifferent and infinite space, clueless, inherently violent and condemned to death..."

Deleted Material from the Series

• Because his pilot scene was drafted after the shooting script (at least the one available online), Jacoby's first scripted appearance is in episode 1. According to the teleplay, Cooper and Jacoby walk around the hallways of the Great Northern and discuss Johnny's condition (Coop's dislike from the pilot carries over; he "slow burns" when Jacoby performs a magic trick). Jacoby giggles a lot and offers some interesting information: during Laura's visits she'd read Johnny Sleeping Beauty and "take him out on the grounds hunting for rubber buffalo with his little suction-cupped bow and arrow set." Director Duwayne Dunham took this cue and actually moved the scene outside, with footage of Johnny shooting at the colorful buffalo in the background of the conversation. The scene was cut and never aired, though it's available on both the Gold Box DVD and Entire Mystery blu-ray sets. Jacoby's giggle doesn't quite come off as well as it did in the pilot, which may be why they lost the scene and took the character in a less overtly "mad scientist" direction. Dunham finally incorporated the footage of Johnny firing the rubber arrow twenty-four episodes later, when he returned to direct in season two: it is used to open a scene between Ben and Audrey. 

• We also would have heard more of Laura's tape when Jacoby listens, including a very surprising reveal, but that's a fascinating detail I'll discuss in an upcoming entry. Notably, Jacoby does not reveal Laura's necklace, suggesting it was a last-minute decision to make him the gloved hand from the pilot (when they needed a replacement for what was originally scripted). The moment carries over into the script for episode 2, where Jacoby finishes Laura's tape and places it inside the coconut (still no sign of the necklace).

• Jacoby has some very interesting deleted dialogue in episode 4, when discussing Hawaii. "Five years post-graduate work," he explains. "There are sound solutions for our diseased family structures in native Hawaiian culture." This leads Cooper to state, "So there were problems at home." Jacoby carries on to talk about ginger, brushing past the implicit question. As far as I know, this would have been the only time in the entire series that the detectives, or someone they are questioning, raises the prospect of a troubled domestic life for Laura. Perhaps Lynch and Frost wanted to keep the suggestion implicit, rather than allowing anyone to voice it.

• The DVD and blu-ray both include footage of Jacoby interacting with the Hornes at the Great Northern, as I've described in Johnny's entry (Audrey is told that she caused Johnny's condition by pushing him down the stairs when they were children, but Jacoby informs Sylvia that this is wrong: Johnny's condition was not caused by any external factor, but rather by emotional trauma).

• For the rest of the series, what we see of Jacoby is mostly what we get (signifying his loss of stature in the narrative). In the episode 17 script, Jacoby talks to the vice principal and explain Nadine's condition instead of just remaining silent. In episode 21, he was supposed to say Ben needed "a good price for cotton, metaphorically speaking," which may have hit a bit too close to the unsavory side of Ben's Confederate cosplay. Oddly, the scene from episode 28 also appears in the episode 27 script available online. I'm not sure if this is due to error or if it was shifted from one episode to the other (in which case it should be credited to Harley Peyton and Robert Engels rather than Barry Pullman).

Additional Observations

• Why isn't Jacoby in the pilot script? By some accounts, Lynch and Frost had already cast Richard Beymer when they came across Russ Tamblyn's information through their casting director. They thought it would be a kick to use both of the infamous Jets (though the actors never appear together until the Civil War plot) and cooked up a character for Tamblyn on short notice. Tamblyn looked forward to experiencing the rustic charm of the location shoot, but his one scene was filmed quickly in a dingy Seattle hospital and his brief trip was spent at the airport hotel.

• Let us close on the soothing words with which Cooper hypnotizes Jacoby (presumably written by the doctor himself). Though credited to Robert Engels I wouldn't be surprised if Mark Frost stepped in to ghostwrite.
"You are standing on a smooth green carpet of grass. Your ball is fifteen feet from hole. Beyond the green, two pristine white sandtraps and a lily filled pond yawn out towards the emerald fairway. The hole seems to slowly drift away across the green towards the pond, carried by the summer wind. The green grows larger and larger ... the green engulfs you, enveloping you in a soft blanket of peace ... you stroke the ball, it drifts towards the hole and gently drops in its center ..."

SHOWTIME: Yes, Tamblyn is on the cast list for 2017. Mark Frost's book provides an exciting glimpse of the Jacoby we may meet again in the coming months: a man still haunted by Laura's memory and the terrors and wonders of human life that she, and his own experiences, embodied. Will we visit him in Hawaii? Will he remain in Twin Peaks? Does he retain a connection to Sarah, the last Palmer he can possibly help? Will he serve as a guide, or simply a companion, into the spirit world that gives abstract form to the mysteries he contemplated for so many years?

Tomorrow: Hank Jennings
Yesterday: Jerry Horne

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