Let's Rock! The Twin Peaks Character Countdown (50-41)
And we’re back! Yes, after a day to do some X-Files related things, I’m roaring back with the return of the Twin Peaks character countdown. Last time we were here, characters 60-51 were being knocked out of the way. Which means yes, finally we’re getting to the good stuff, which you can only find in a box of Double Stuffed Oreos, a perfectly chilled Pepsi or an episode of Twin Peaks. See what I did there? But enough comparing things, let’s…compare characters some more. Great transition there Cult. LET’S ROCK!
50. Teresa Banks
“Hey handsome. It’s your little party girl.” Man, you can’t help, but respect Teresa Banks. She literally puts the whole show into motion; her death at the hands of Leland/BOB makes it possible for Cooper to know that the same guy killed Laura. Teresa could’ve done nothing else and that would’ve been enough. Low and behold, she pretty much does do nothing else except look like someone out of Alfred Hitchcock’s wildest sexual fantasy. Seriously, look at this woman; she’s got the Janet Leigh in Psycho esq short hair, that blouse, lines like the one I put at the beginning of this paragraph. It’s like David Lynch went to a comic con, found the best Hitchcock blonde cosplayer he could and cast her as the first victim. It’s really too bad we didn’t learn more about her.
49. Harold Smith
This is a dude who should’ve been higher in the countdown than this. I think of Harold Smith, and I think of him as being a character with five tool potential. Just look at the backstory; this is a mild mannered dude who never leaves his house, grows orchids and has to tape every conversation he has with a person. Fox Mulder isn’t that paranoid. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all Harold has. For someone with so many issues, it amazes me how boring I always find him to be. The character is pretty much the equivalent of Tampa Bay Rays first baseman James Loney; a whole lot of potential, a whole lot of “meh” during his run and a shocking, out of nowhere resurgence that ultimately does nothing because the cement has been poured. At least in Loney’s case that just meant a few more years in Tampa. In Harold’s case, he hung himself because Donna and Maddy were using him. Really mature girls!
48. Andrew Packard
Gets points for being good friends with brother-in-law (and show fan favorite) Pete Martell and for totally pulling off the hidden ball trick on his wife and Hank Jennings when they tried to kill him in a boating accident. That takes some massive skill right there; hell, Oliver Queen, savior of Starling City, couldn’t sniff out when someone tried to have him and his father killed in a boating accident. AND HE’S THE GREEN ARROW! Well done Andrew; you could say that you haven’t failed this city. Well, at least until you got tricked into an obvious trap in the final episode. How he didn’t fall for the boat accident ploy, but did for the “key for a safety deposit box” one is just mindboggling. It’s like LeBron working his way into a wide open lane, only to then pass the ball out to a triple teamed Matthew Delavedova.
47. Sam Stanley
One of the most underrated weapons from Fire Walk With Me this Sam Stanley. Whereas Chester Desmond was borderline Hayden Christensen esq, Stanley (described by Grantland writer Alex Pappademas as an “intellectual dweeb”) is a revelation, if only because he just seems to be so oblivious to the weird ass world he finds himself in. Why is he so low then? Simple; when Dale Cooper arrives in Twin Peaks, he quickly determines that the best person to help him is Albert, not Sam. In fact, he even specifically tells Diane in his message to her not to get Sam. I don’t care how cool you may be in your hipster ways; if Dale Cooper thinks lesser of you, you are a lesser man. Especially in comparison to Albert, a guy who could probably land a date with WWE Diva Paige and still find something to complain about.
46. Jacques Renault
Finally, we’ve made it to the most cuddly, yet monstrous evil teddy bear in the history of the western hemisphere. Seriously, how are we supposed to love or hate Jacques? Just looking at him, you’d think he was the dopiest dude of all time, someone you’d just want to hug, bring over for a game of ping pong and have a good time. On the other hand, Jacques has that whole thing where he moonlights as a drug runner, has rough sex in dirty log cabins, and thinks hanging out with Leo Johnson is a good idea. Note to the wise; if you’re best friend is Leo Johnson, there’s a good chance your understanding of life isn’t really good. Also, you probably enjoy the Star Wars prequels.
Really, the only problem Jacques has in regards to this list is that we don’t really get to see him. He has that nice conversation with Cooper in One Eyed Jacks, gets shot and arrested, confesses to enjoying rough sex in dirty log cabins and then gets smothered by a pillow courtesy of good old Leland. After that, it’s some weird scenes in a Canadian roadhouse bar and that’s pretty much it, which sadly leaves him at 46. Poor Jacques; at least he can always say he was more likable than his brother Jean and much, MUCH more interesting than dear brother Bernie. Poor Bernie; I may have to write a Cult Tribute to him soon. It’ll be the shortest thing ever, but so what?
45. The Elderly Room Service Waiter
I love the man that Albert referred to as Senor Droolcup by Albert. Sure, he pretty much does nothing and really serves no purpose other than seemingly being connected to The Giant, but just because he’s this low doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate him. And why do I; because a) he’s played by long time John Ford stock company man Hank Worden and b) he’s just so adorably goofy. Who in their right mind would treat someone being shot like it was just another day on the job? Elderly Room Service Waiter does! Also, I’m pretty sure this guy may be the same one Worden played in all those westerns back in the fifties. Notice that “thank you kindly!” line the Waiter gives as he’s leaving Coop’s room? That’s either a nod, a wink, or both to that character. Gotta love those references!
44. Lana Budding Milford
I like Lana, and yet I don’t like Lana. Complicated I know. Overall, I don’t think she’s a bad idea of a character; she’s beautiful, smart, knows how to get what she wants and does so. Not a bad thing in the slightest. What I don’t like is that she’s pretty much a prize to be one by either one of the Milford brothers, not to mention that she’s pretty clearly portrayed as someone who’d have been the star of Kanye West’s “Gold Digger”. Not cool guys, not cool. Plus, let’s be honest, this is also a pretty stupid way to go about getting cash if you’re Lana, right? Why not just seduce Ben Horne? Sure, you’ll never get married to him because…I’m not really sure why, but at least you’ll get those lavish gifts and treatment. And don’t tell me Ben Horne wouldn’t have fallen for her plays; the man is willing to have sex with every single new girl at One Eyed Jacks. He’d definitely try to go after Lana.
43. Mayor Dwayne Milford
Hates his brother, watches his brother die, takes his wife after he’s dead. Thus ends anything of substance involving Mayor Dwayne. So why is he this high? Because all of that is actually pretty entertaining, especially when the two brothers are going at it. That’s enough to put Mayor Dwayne here, though not enough to get him ahead of his brother.
42. Dougie Milford
You can pretty much copy and paste everything I said about the Mayor and apply it to his brother here. That said, Dougie gets more points because the man was a player. Like, I’m talking Martha Rogers/Elizabeth Taylor levels of playing here. Good old Dougie was evidently married many a time prior to appearing on the show, and even managed to make one stick. Now granted, that mainly was because he croaked, but it still counts. Add that to the fact that he was a writer like yours truly, and he gets one extra spot.
41. Windom Earle
And we’ve made it to everyone’s least favorite bad guy. And well, that’s because as far as main villains go, Windom Earle is in the bottom tier. The sad thing is Windom isn’t even a poor villain; I enjoyed the whole chess match thing he did to play mind games with Cooper, and the back story the two share is excellent. Hell, it’s so good, I actually feel a bit sorry for Windom. Cooper sleeps with Earle’s wife and then fails to save her, driving him to insanity. Am I really supposed to feel bad for the Coop there? I love the man, but that’s a completely dick move. Dammit, lightning is now going to strike me down, isn’t it? Forgive me Coop!
So at the least, Earle has that working for him. What he doesn’t have working for him is that he’s not BOB. Well, that and being really over the top a lot of the time, but mostly BOB. Windom may have had the tragic fall from grace and the complete and utter insanity, but the bastard did tend to be a little goofier and groan inducing than he was menacing. BOB meanwhile was the most diabolical hater this side of the so called Beautiful. You just can’t compete with that. If Earle hadn’t had to follow that, perhaps things would’ve worked out differently for him here. Alas, no dice. Just another reminder that BOB is the man, and that the most difficult thing about the show’s return will be how they make things work without Frank Silva to play him.
And here endeth this section of the list. I’ll be back later with characters 40-31, though I wouldn’t expect it until late tonight at the earliest. Till next time, how about a Leland, Ben and Jerry Horne dance section?