Lost in the Movies: *Link to Windom Earle (TWIN PEAKS Character Series #34)

*Link to Windom Earle (TWIN PEAKS Character Series #34)

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

At this point, we're running low on characters limited to one storyline and section of the series. Of these characters, Windom pushes his limits more than most. His personal plot ends up touching on and tying together many others, like Miss Twin Peaks, Cooper's romance with Annie, and the Lodge lore. And while he doesn't actually appear until well into the second half of season two and disappears before season three (hence the permanence of the unrevised 2017 entry - see the link below), his importance is asserted quite early in the season and the consequences of his actions linger long after he's gone. In Mark Frost's novel The Final Dossier, Windom is mentioned briefly at the outset: Albert files a report on Leo's death and mocks Windom's use of non-deadly tarantulas while observing that the shooter who did kill him "set his feet Bureau style." Albert guesses that it was Windom (incorrectly, not knowing what happened to him in the Lodge). After that, Windom features prominently in a chapter named for him, as well as the subsequent chapter, "Back in Twin Peaks." Because most of these pages just reiterate what we learned on the series itself or in the Cooper-narrated book My Life, My Tapes (described in the entry below), I didn't think this warranted an update. However, Frost does re-arrange/streamline the account of what led to Caroline's murder and offer additional information about Windom's background, noting that he graduated from UPenn at just eighteen and that he and Caroline both worked on the Watergate investigation. Tammy Preston, narrating the book, observes that after Cooper chased him into the Lodge and then re-emerged with Annie, "Windom Earle was never seen again. No trace of him, dead or alive, ever turned up in those woods or elsewhere."

Some viewers detected a connection between the Cooper doppelganger's and Windom's metal briefcases, but for the most part they'd have to get their Earle fix elsewhere. The podcast Twin Peaks Unwrapped provided this in 2021 when they concluded their "Community Rewatch" series by staging the cut scenes from the Black Lodge with volunteer vocal performers - including Kenneth Welsh himself finally getting to read the original dialogue thirty years later! This would turn out to be his last hurrah. Like so many other cast and crew members, Welsh passed away in 2022 at eighty years old.

On Monday, an original series character who did return for season three will make his appearance...if he doesn't get lost on the way!

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