Lost in the Movies: *Links to John Justice Wheeler // Harold Smith (#49 // #48)

*Links to John Justice Wheeler // Harold Smith (#49 // #48)

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

Although in many respects the characters couldn't be any more different, the back-to-back entries on John Justice Wheeler and Harold Smith do reveal some similarities. Both young men are dashing, highly intelligent, and smitten with high school seniors - their flirtation conducted largely in isolated side plots separated from the other characters. Both are introduced in season two and exit the story abruptly after five episodes thanks to a violent death: a friend in JJW's case; in Harold's case, his own suicide). Both are even accompanied by their own distinctive theme music. That said, I tend to find the secluded Harold's enigmatic encounters with Donna (and certainly poignant strains of "Harold's Theme") richer and more connected to the core of the story than the worldly JJW's gallant dalliance with Audrey (or his distinctive cowboy twang soundtrack). Neither character reappears in The Return so these studies do not need to be updated. However, it is worth mentioning the sad fact that Lenny Von Dohlen, like all too many Twin Peaks contributors, passed away last year (not long after Julee Cruise, who was also in her mid-sixties).

Wednesday's entry will focus on one of the most unambiguously vile characters in the whole series. And like Mr. Wheeler, he's closely linked to Audrey...

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