A Skeleton Key to Twin Peaks: Part Two

The narrative focus shifts in Part 2 from the Woman Murdered in South Dakota to Mr C's Plan and Cooper Escapes, which assume a whopping 70% of the Voice of the Episode.

The narrative focus shifts in Part 2 from the Woman Murdered in South Dakota to Mr C's Plan and Cooper Escapes, which assume a whopping 70% of the Voice of the Episode.

For a primer on how to use this tool, read A Skeleton Key to Twin Peaks: Overview

New Narrative Conflicts Introduced

  1. Shelly's Daughter Wrong Guy: This little plot line is dropped into some happy hour banter between Shelly Johnson and her friends at the Roadhouse. Turns out her daughter is with the wrong guy, just like her Mom.

  2. A Murder Hit From Vegas: In Las Vegas, a man named Mr Todd is being forced to do awful things by an awful man. And now he is being made to hire a woman to do a job. We are inferring a murder hit here.

Episodic Structure

Mr C's Plan rocketed up to 37% Share of Voice during this part and when you combine that with Cooper's Escape, we get a whopping 70% share of voice for this episode. So Part 2 is where the two primary narratives during the first half (as of the airing order at the time of writing) start to surface and take command, especially when one considers that the primary narrative from Part 1, the murder of poor Ruth Davenport in South Dakota (9% SOV this Part), is woven into Mr C's Plan. We're being generous here, keeping Scene 1 it's own story line but in Scene 2, they are wedded.

We get a couple of story seeds that are dropped in here with the Murder for Hire in Vegas (3% SOV) and Shelly's daughter is dating the wrong guy (10% SOV with a big help from The Chromatics). Hawk bumbles around the forest in the dark and talks to The Log Lady for a 6% SOV.

And finally, Sarah Palmer earns a small 2% SOV watching lions rip open their prey in a dark and sad house.

Episodic Part Summary By Scene and Focus

SCENE 1 SOUTH DAKOTA JAIL (0:01:37 - 0:06:15)

The scene starts with Bill Hastings in jail, looking very Leland-like. His wife Phyllis comes in and they stare each other in the eye as he confesses that he had a dream that he was in Ruth Davenport’s apartment. She tells him he was there but that it was a dream. She knew about this affair all along and he snaps too as his inner-BOB comes out. He knew about her affairs also with George, his friend and lawyer. She tells him he’s going to spend  his life in prison. When she says goodbye to him, he knows he’s truly alone and this truth breaks him. As the scene breaks, we hear Bill continuing his break down, saying, “Oh, my God…” but we pan across jail cells and we see a poor-looking fellow who looks frozen and his skin is like black oil, with a catatonic look. His body disappears and his face floats upwards and disappears as well; it looks like he’s saying something. 

A Woman is Murdered in South Dakota


Phyllis comes home and Mr. C is there to greet here. She greets him with recognition but confusion. He tells her that she did good and followed human nature perfectly. He then shows her George’s gun with a gloved hand and shoots her dead, right through the eye like another lady we saw with her head sawed off just one part ago.

A Woman is Murdered in South Dakota; Mr. C Has a Plan

SCENE 3 LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (0:07:17 - 0:09:01)

A high rise office and a man named Mr. Todd sitting  at a desk among other desks calls a young man named Roger over, hands him a stack of money and tells him, “Tell her she has the job.” Roger asks Mr. Todd why he makes him do these things. Mr. Todd responds and says, “Roger, you better hope you never get involved with someone like him, never have someone like him in your life.” Mr. Todd is visibly disturbed as Roger leaves the office. 

A Murder Hit From Vegas

SCENE 4 TRAIN CROSSING (0:09:01 - 0:12:06)

A train is coming, the gates are coming down. The train passes. We are inside a motor lodge diner. Mr C, Ray, Darya and another man are eating. Ray asks Mrr C if he is worried about tomorrow. Mr C does not respond kindly to the notion that is afraid of this or anything else. Ray is going to get information that Mr C (“wants, not needs…). This information is something that some woman will only give to Ray. The woman is Hasting’s secretary (Betty) and Ray thinks that she knows what Hastings knows. 

Mr C Has a Plan


The treetops are creaking and the wind blows eerily. We are following a flashlight beam as it ambles through dark woods. We see the Log Lady with her log, on the phone again. She is calling Hawk again. The flashlight belongs to Hawk, who takes Margaret’s call. She asks him where he’s walking tonight. Hawk is on the same page with her log. She tells him, “The stars turn and the time presents itself. Hawk, watch carefully.” He says he will. Margaret says, “I’m too weak to go with you. But stop by. I have coffee and pie for you.” Hawk says it will need to be after, that he’s almost there now. Margaret’s last words of the show are likely, “Please, let me know what happens.” Good night, Margaret. Hawk comes upon Glastonbury Grove and weird things start happening again, energy whistling and the music turns moody and dark.

Hawk is Missing Something

SCENE 6 THE RED ROOM (0:015:08 - 0:25:17)

We are back in the Red Room and the chairs are there with the white statue looking left with one arm covering the right breast and genitals. No one is sitting in the chairs and there is an astrolabe on the table. Now Cooper is sitting in one of the chairs with his black suit and circle pin on his lapel. Phillip Gerrard sits next to him and asks, “Is it future or is it past?” Cooper doesn’t answer. Phillip says, “Someone is here…” and then disappears suddenly. Laura Palmer (or someone who looks like her) is walking into the room, every step making a strange backwards energy sound. She sits in the chair next to where Phillip was sitting. She is wearing a black dress with a Oriental ornate brooch. She says, “Hello Agent Cooper. You can go out now.” She blinks strangely. Cooper doesn’t respond. She asks, “Do you recognize me?” Cooper asks her, “Are you Laura Palmer?” She says, “I feel like I know her…but sometimes my arms bend back.” Cooper asks, “Who are you?” She says, “I am Laura Palmer. Cooper says, “But Laura Palmer is dead.” She says, “I am dead...yet I live.” Laura then put her hand to her face and opens her face to reveal a strobing light beneath it. Cooper looks as if a secret has been revealed to him (she is full of secrets). Cooper asks, “When can I go?” Laura rises, touches the side of her face, and walks to Agent Cooper, bends down and kisses him full on the lips with a smile. She whispers something in his ear (another secret?). He groans softly. She stands and backs up, then looking up, suffers a seizure of some kind. Cooper is looking up in shock as well. The Red Room curtains are agitating upwards. Laura is screaming in pain and rising upwards. She flies up and away, while Cooper is in shock. Her screaming ends suddenly and there is a loud rustling and the curtains of the Red Room blow and rise. The white horse is off in the distance and the camera travels past the horse into the black. Mike is back sitting next to Cooper. He asks again, “Is it future or is it past?” Now Mike is across the room, motioning for Cooper to come to the curtain and go beyond. They are walking down a carpeted hallway. They stand in the room with a tree with a globe in the upper middle. Mike points at is and says, “The evolution of the arm.” The tree says, “I am the arm and I sound like this.” There is an electronic sputtering (like the old “whooo-hooo-hooo” that the Man From Another Place once gave). The arms asks Cooper, “Do you remember your Doppleganger?” The camera zooms in on Cooper and we see Cooper under the spell of BOB, laughing maniacally with BOB in the Red Room and we see the chase scene again. The arm says, “He must come back in before you can go out.”

Cooper Escapes


Mr C is storing his Mercedes and the man Jack, who was eating with them in the diner before, is lowering the storage door. Mr C grabs his face and massages his jaw while the man looks down. He does this for several seconds and the scene ends.

Mr C is back with another car and Darya is waiting in her underwear. Mr C asks her who she’s talking to and she says Jack, who says it’s all good to go. Ray was supposed to meet Mr C this afternoon but he never showed. He asks where her .45 is and she says that it’s by the bed. He checks outside the room for witnesses and then grabs her gun, getting on the bed and pulling her close, setting the gun down on the bed. He tells her that Jack is dead, that he killed him two hours ago after he wired the car (catching her in the lie). Darya tries to get away but Mr C is stronger. He plays something for her on his tape recorder. The recording is Darya talking to Ray, who got arrested in South Dakota for carrying weapons over the state line. Ray got a call from Jeffries (Phillip?) who says that Darya has to hit Cooper if he is still around tomorrow night. She says she will. Darya tries to get away and Mr C slams her hard three times into the hard wood of the bed. She stops struggling. She asks if he is going to kill her and he says he is. She tries to get away again and he punches her hard in the face. She is bleeding now and crying. He asks who hired her and Ray to kill him. She says she doesn’t know, that Ray never told her. Mr C says, “This is quite an interesting thing to think about. The game begins.” He asked why they want him dead and how much they want him dead. Half a million split two ways. Darya said they wouldn’t have done it but Mr C has no mercy. She reminds him that tomorrow he’s supposed to go away. He says, “Tomorrow I’m supposed to get pulled back into what they call the Black Lodge. But I’m not going back there. I’ve got a plan for that one. But this prison thing with that fucker Ray...” He asks if Ray got that information from Hasting’s secretary. He asks if Ray ever mentioned coordinates to her. He reaches into his inside pocket and pulls out a playing card and asks if anyone ever showed this to her before. It’s an Ace of Spades with a circle with ears in the middle and scratches above the circle. He asks if anyone ever showed something like this to her before. He said that this is what he wants, while smiling cruelly. She asks again if he is going to kill her and he says yes. She screams and struggles but he punches her unconscious, puts a pillow over her head and shoots her dead. He walks to the bathroom and washes his hands, then picks up a suitcase from the bathroom and brings it back into the room. There is some kind of device in the suitcase. There is static and he asks if it is Phillip. He says, “I missed you in New York but I see you’re still in Buckhorn.” Phillip says that Mr C. met with Major Garland Briggs. Mr C asks how he knew that. Phillip says, “Actually I just called to say good-bye.” Mr C asks if this is Phillip Jeffries. The voice responds and says, “You are going back in and I will be with Bob again.” Cooper asks who this is and the line goes dead. Mr C looks more intrigued that unnerved. He types into his FBI laptop, entering an agent ID of “kdhgw…” The screen shows a blinking red light in Buckhorn and a pin on Yankton Federal Prison. He is searching for “sdl04pcseprot” and the search results yield “Yankton Federal Prison, South Dakota - Level 4 Security System.” He then enters Yankton Federal Prison credentials as follows: “Organization: mkeuoucq / Name: eeuoubp3x / ID Number: 398715015787412” He downloads a large amount of scrolling schematics. And thens shuts off the devices. Mr C. then walks next door and says, “It’s me” to the voice behind the door. It’s Jennifer Jason Leigh and he tells her she will need to clean up the mess in 6. She says, “Darya? Good. I was getting so jealous of that bitch.” He tells her, Then go get your husband. I will need you and Hutch in a few days. I’ll get word to you.” She says, “Okay boss.” He says, “Chantal, come here.” She walks over and he runs a hand up her thigh then says, “Oh, you’re nice and wet.” She chuckles and the scene ends.

Mr C Has a Plan

SCENE 8 THE RED ROOM (0:40:32 - 0:47:56)

Cooper is still looking at the arm who says, “253 Time and time again. Bob...Bob...Bob...Go now! Go now!” Mike and Cooper run from the Arm’s room but Cooper walks down the hallway and is stopped when trying to go through the Red Room curtains.He looks perplexed and walks back down the hallway, entering the room where he last spoke to Laura. He looks around the room and walks to the far side, exiting into another hallway, to the exact same place he just was and is able to walk through these curtains. He is now in a room with Leland Palmer who is sitting in a chair. Leland is in a nice suit and tie. He pleads with Cooper, “Find Laura.” He looks down in sadness. Cooper walks across the room towards an ominous scratching noise with a strobing light. In this next room, the Red Room floor is shifting and stretching. Mike is back with the arm and we see another white statue, this one without a right arm and looking downwards. Mike says, “Something’s wrong.” The arm says, “My doppleganger.” Cooper exits the room into another hallway, where we see the armless statue. He walks towards the statue and opens the curtain the statue is looking downward at. The scene is a desert highway and there is a car rapidly approaching. It’s Mr C and he is late for something. The statue changes into what looks like the arm (tree). It seems to be threatening Cooper, roaring at him. The Red Room floor is shifting, moving up and down. The arm screams, “non-exist-ent!” at Cooper and he falls into what seems to be outer space filled with stars. He lands with a thud against glass in a city. He sinks into the glass box and enters the interior of the box through the hole we are familiar with from the previous Part. He is floating in stasis. There is no one sitting on the couch. The locked door is open and no guard is sitting at the desk outside. The man is looking in the bathroom for the guard (a scene we saw before) and the scene unfolds as we know it did. Cooper is rumbling in the box and there are creaks and groans. The box replicates itself and becomes smaller within itself, moving back and forth with metallic clicks. Finally the box fades dark and Cooper drifts outwards again. The screen flashes white and the box is empty again. Cooper is floating through space and the camera is jostling and shuddering.

Cooper Escapes

Mr C’s Plan

SCENE 9 THE 708 PALMER HOUSE (0:47:56 - 0:49:11)

Mrs. Palmer is smoking in the low lit living room, drinking hard liquor and watching a vicious animal show where lions are consuming their prey bloody and raw while the Chromatics song “Shadow” starts playing in the background.

Revisit Old Twin Peaks

SCENE 10 THE BANG BANG BAR (0:49:11 - 0:54:22)

The Chromatics are playing on stage. The lyrics are:

Shadow take me down / Shadow take me down with you / For the last time / For the last time / You’re in the water / At night I’m driving in your car / Pretending that we’ll leave this town / We’re watching all the streetlights fade / And now you’re just a stranger’s dream / I took your picture from the frame / And now you’re nothing like you seem / Your shadow fell like last night’s rain / For the last time /

Shelly and her friends are at a table and James walks in with his friend. Shelly tells her friends that her daughter Becky is with the wrong guy (Steven). James is taken aback when he sees Shelley and her friends notice and say that James is staring at her again. James was in a motorcycle accident and, “is just quiet now. James is still cool. He’s always been cool.” A man who looks like Jacques Renault is tending bar. A man in a leather jacket catches Shelly’s eye and they share a moment. He raises a finger gun and fires at her.

The scene ends with Shelly laughing with her friends and James looking at her and smiling with some pain behind the happiness.

Shelley’s Daughter is With the Wrong Guy

Revisit Old Twin Peaks


  • Kyle MacLachlan:Mr C / FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper
  • Joe Adler:Roger
  • Madchen Amick:Shelly
  • Steve Baker:Jack
  • Brent Briscoe:Detective Dave Macklay
  • Gia Carides:Hannah
  • Catherine Coulson:Margaret Lanterman (The Log Lady)
  • Neil Dickson:George Bautzer
  • Patrick Fischler:Duncan Todd
  • Balthazar Getty:Red
  • George Griffith:Ray Monroe
  • Cornelia Guest:Phyllis Hastings
  • Michael Horse:Deputy Chief Tommy "Hawk" Hill
  • Nicole LaLiberte:Darya
  • Sheryl Lee:Laura Palmer
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh:Chantal Hutchens
  • Matthew Lillard:William Hastings
  • James Marshall:James Hurley
  • Walter Olkewicz:Jean-Michel Renault
  • Benjamin Rosenfield:Sam Colby
  • Frank Silva:Bob
  • Al Strobel:Phillip Gerard
  • Jessica Szohr:Renee
  • Jake Wardle:Freddie Sykes
  • Ray Wise:Leland Palmer
  • Grace Zabriskie:Sarah Palmer
  • Madeline Zima:Tracey
  • Ruth Radelet:Chromatics
  • Adam Miller:Chromatics
  • Johnny Jewel:Chromatics
  • Nat Walker:Chromatics


“Shadow” :  Performed by Chromatics

Voice of The Return (Summary)

Part 2 spent 4 times as long on Cooper Escaping and Mr C's Plan than Part 1 did but that doesn't mean it dropped the thread of the woman being murdered in South Dakota. Quite the opposite in that it merged that storyline together with Mr C's Plan, which was a nice little trick. As we see there is a separate thread in that murder related to the man's body discovered, which will bring the US Airforce and the FBI, so that initial focus on the murder in South Dakota is extremely important to the show. Plus, Mr C needs whatever coordinates that Ray has in his head and he is about to got through an elaborate scheme to get hold of them. Also, we don't know who hired Ray and Darya to kill Mr C, though it would seem that the Murder Hit in Vegas storyline supports that. Hold on to that conclusion, however, as all hell is about to break loose in Part 3. We lost the Jacoby thread but it's likely we'll pick it back up and find out what the hell those shovels are all about...

CLICK HERE to read A Skeleton Key to Twin Peaks Returns Part Three

JB Minton is the author of POETRYSEXLIFE..AND THE THIRD FLOOR MAGISTRATES TOOK THE RAPE and is a Technologist, Podcaster and Twitch Streamer. Follow JB on FacebookTwitter and the Web.

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