Lost in the Movies: *Link to Ronette Pulaski (TWIN PEAKS Character Series #61)

*Link to Ronette Pulaski (TWIN PEAKS Character Series #61)

Visit the TWIN PEAKS Character Series directory for all entries as they are published or re-introduced.

The last paragraph of my 2017 entry on Ronette, and particularly its last line ("it wouldn't be Twin Peaks without her"), operates on the premise that the character would return in The Return. Some would argue that, in fact, she did. But I've decided to separate "American Girl" - the mysterious backwards-recorded figure Phoebe Augustine plays in the Purple World Tower of Part 3 - from the Ronette we met in the original series and prequel film. While it's possible that Ronette herself ended up in another dimension (either having died in the human world or divided herself spiritually and psychologically between different realms as many characters do), for our purposes her story really ends when she shudders at the memory of Laura's death in the season two finale. Therefore, I've kept my original piece intact rather than modifying it - despite some discrepancies sprinkled throughout. These aren't just based on the assumption that the character's story wasn't over, but also on the absence of characters with less screentime but even more direct involvement in key plot points than Ronette. For example, I write, "she is the first character in these studies to show us BOB" which was still true in early 2017. Now, however, Freddie pops up earlier in the line-up than Ronette and doesn't only "show us" BOB, he (sort of) defeats him. Unfortunately, the addition of Return characters does, in some cases, destroy the subtle worldbuilding of the old character rankings, in which the spiritual and Laura-centric aspects of the story were slowly unveiled as you climbed the ladder of entries. The third season is much more willing to distribute supernatural events and major narrative developments among minor characters than was original Twin Peaks.

In that sense, Ronette was a major exception to the old rules - a seemingly incidental, functional figure who took on increasing importance as the Secret Diary novel, the second season, and Fire Walk With Me rolled around. As such, her relatively low-ranking entry turned out to be much longer and in-depth than many which followed; the "journey" section alone runs four paragraphs. It's one of my favorites of the series and hopefully, despite those aforementioned inconsistencies, still holds up today.

Before moving on to the next entry, one addendum is in order for Ronette. I went ahead and updated the recent Ernie and Vivian entries because those characters do appear in Mark Frost's novel The Final Dossier. As a matter of fact, so does Ronette - but the point of her inclusion is to indicate what doesn't change in her story. Tammy informs us that even in the alternate timeline where Laura is not taken the train car, Ronette still is - and she still escapes and still ends up in the hospital; the only difference in her storyline from the original series is that when she recovers, she informs the police that Laura "wandered off into the woods" before anything happened. The implications of this will be discussed in more detail when we reach the Leland entry but it didn't seem worth creating a whole new post.

Speaking of alternate realities (and Final Dossier complications), the next character in this series is quite tricky to pin down. Does he exist in the same world as other characters? Is he even a separate being from the character he shares the most screentime with? The story treats him - at least for most of his screentime - as if he is a distinct character, so we'll follow suit, even as we ask, "What story is that...?"

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