The Problematic Treatment of Titans’ Heroines [Spoilers]

In lieu of a standard review of Episode 2 and 3, I’d like to address a trend that has been bothering me in the new Titans thus far: The problematic portrayal of the female heroes. Many bloggers have already covered the disturbing behavior of Dick Grayson, and with Beast Boy so far barely getting any screen time (which needs to change ASAP, I’m stoked to see him more), there’s not much to say about the male heroes at this point. Hopefully, once they are more fleshed out, I will be able to discuss their portrayals, whether good or mad or neutral. For now, I’m going to focus on our heroines, Raven, Kory, and Dove.

Before delving in, I’d like to make a few distinctions. There will be spoilers for the first three episodes of Titans, so if you’re not caught up, I recommend stopping now. Secondly, my references to the comic book materials will be drawn solely from the Marv Wolfman and George Perez run on The New Teen Titans from the 1980s. As I am not as familiar with their iteration in the more recent New 52, I will not be talking about it. Furthermore, as a Progressive Feminist, this article will be written with that mindset. If you don’t care for that, you may wish to click away from this, rather than sending us hate mail. Much appreciated.

23b9aaecc427b22e30f983420da899a7

I will first address Raven’s loss of agency. In the comics, Raven is the one who brings the Titans together. Knowing the arrival of her father, the dreaded devil Trigon, is imminent, she takes action, finding heroes with specific characteristics that will be able to take down the fiend. At first, she is portrayed as a woman with unshakeable willpower who is in control of her emotions. It was only later that we discovered that she was someone who needed help. She could be vulnerable and tender, and she truly loves her friends, despite her icy demeanor.

In Titans, the writers have opted for the inverse. Raven is, straight away, a damaged individual who needs protection. She’s basically helpless on her own. Even when she does “save herself” from dangerous situations, it is actually the dark spirit inhabiting her that takes action. Yes, Raven is much younger than she is in the comics. But I feel it would have behooved the show to show her as an old soul, with wisdom remarkable for her age. No, she doesn’t need to be perfect. It would make sense that she is less disciplined and more flawed. But, I would have liked to see Raven possess more agency, and more able to defend herself.

KORY

Our next subject is Kory. Volumes have been written on the unfortunate wardrobe, and I fully agree it was a poor decision to dress her in such a way. It’s an odd choice, and led to a lot of PR problems that sadly dissuaded many from watching the show. It wasn’t worth it. Kory is vastly different from her comic book portrayal, showing almost no relation to the endearing but powerful alien girl we came to love. Don’t get me wrong, Kory is a compelling character in her own right, but if you’re going to do an adaptation of Starfire, you need to retain some of the traits that have made her such a classic character. Kory is all toughness, no heart. And that was what made us love Starfire: She beautifully juxtaposed a warrior identity with compassion. She could be filled with fury, she could luxuriate in a pool party with her friends, she could be tender with Dick, and merciless with her enemies. She was naïve, but she had convictions. This complexity is what made her beloved by fans.

Minor gripe: When Kory meets Dick, sparks should have flown. They’re one of the best couples in the DCU, and the show needs to do justice to that.

titans-is-dawn-dead

Finally, we come to Dove. And my goodness, despite a good performance by Minka Kelly, and a comics-accurate costume, I have a lot of problems with Dove’s characterization. I’d like to first call your attention to the Women in Refrigerators trope, a term coined by veteran comics writer Gail Simone. I suggest perusing the page linked above, but the basic idea is that there are countless female comic characters who are mistreated in various abhorrent ways, often of a sexual nature, solely to provide motivation for the male characters. In Titans, Dove is not only weaker than she is in the comics (though her male compatriot Hawk is depowered as well), she is given a previously nonexistent sexual history with Dick Grayson, and is swiftly put into a coma before we can really get to know and care about her.

Why? What does this do to service the plot, other than to give emotional motivation to our brooding male heroes. It actually robs the story of an intriguing character. Okay, sure, she’s in a coma, which is TV code for “She’ll definitely positively absolutely be back soon,” but in the meantime, her absence is just a testament to the fact that writers often don’t care about their heroines, viewing them more as plot points than as active protagonists in their own right. I’m not saying writers don’t create complex, amazing female characters. I’m not saying such unfortunate treatment doesn’t befall male characters. I’m saying, by and large, these kinds of tropes are imposed upon female characters.

5635154-img_8069

Within her first episode, Dove gets refrigerated. Raven’s adopted mother, Angela, is also refrigerated in her first episode. Rather than develop her into Raven’s biological mother, Arella, whose actual name is Angela, they kill her off to motivate Raven. Arella, also a fascinating and powerful character, who stands against Trigon and leads the forces of Azarath, seems to be inconsequential in the context of the show.

I would like to sum this up by saying, I don’t hate everything about the heroines in Titans. I honestly think the show is worth checking out. As I mentioned earlier, Kory is an intriguing character, and, while she’s not our Starfire, she could go to some very interesting places. Raven could grow into a stronger, solid character in her own right. And Dove is comics accurate and likable. As I said, the show has potential.

All that said, my biggest complaint is the way Raven drinks her coffee. There’s a handle there for a reason: So you don’t burn your hand holding the ceramic cup. Because coffee is hot. Drink your coffee like a normal person, Raven! Jeez. Also, Raven likes pineapple on her pizza. It’s canon. Get it together, people.

(I have no life, help me.)

pineapple

If you like what I’m doing on this blog and would like to support, consider making a donation via ko-fi.

Advertisements

‘Titans’ Episode 1 Review [Minor Spoilers]

As someone who’s read DC comics since she was 8 years old, I have been following the development of the new Titans series since it was announced. As the train wreck progressed, it became more and more cringey and painful as a fan to see some of my favorite characters ever being mutilated beyond recognition. The horror. It got to the point where, after hearing the first reviews, I had decided I was no longer going to give it a chance.

After a couple of beers, I changed my mind.

source-TIT101e001220V1

I can say many terrible things about the first episode. My main takeaway, however, was that it was surprisingly not as agonizing to watch as it appeared from the trailers. Mind you, this is just the first episode. There is plenty of time for it to go downhill, especially with the DCEU’s track record. But for the first episode, I was prepared for the worst and was surprised that it wasn’t entirely loathsome. Like I said, there are a lot of terrible aspects to the show that I can bemoan all day (and I will do so in a minute), but, overall, Titans’ first episode isn’t as bad as the CW superhero shows like Supergirl and The Flash, but is nowhere near the lofty level of the Marvel-Netflix series that it aspires to match.

The first thing we must get out of the way is this: These are not the Titans you grew up with. And I don’t mean that in the cool, edgy way. I mean it in the “they made no effort to retain the aspects of these characters that make them who they are” way. The characters visually barely resemble their counterparts, and the same goes in terms of personality. Let’s go character by character and pick them apart.

Robin-in-Titans-TV-Show-Close-Up

Dick Grayson straight up mutilates and, from the looks of it, potentially murders some thugs, which will no doubt add fuel to the “Batman and family don’t kill” controversy. Yes, in the comics, Dick has a lot of resentment towards Bruce. He can be dark, obsessive, and driven, like his mentor. But Dick will never be Bruce. He retains his humanity, whereas Bruce will purposefully discard it in order to reach his objective. The difference between the characters is the prioritization of their feelings and empathy.

Raven, as far as the first episode goes, has exclusively been called “Rachel.” I don’t care, I’m calling her Raven in this article. My main complaint about Raven is that she seems to have been aged down considerably, after having started out her existence as one of the older Titans. I feel that this naive, overly-emotional take on her doesn’t suit the character. For those that don’t know, there is an actual story-related reason that Raven doesn’t express emotions and it’s very, very freaking important. I don’t hate Teagan Croft as Raven, but I feel she is too young for the role. Raven, in Titans, comes off as a Goth Tumblr blogger who writes about how nobody understands her and does Photoshop portraits of herself with her eyes oozing blackness. The portrayal is juvenile and one-dimensional.

Starfire, who so far has been referred to by the alias “Kory Anders,” is just … not Starfire. Anna Diop looks beautiful, despite the terrible things the wardrobe department did to her, and she does fairly well in her role in the episode. But the character is not Starfire. Instead of the strong but naive and free-spirited girl we know from the comic books, Kory Anders is a femme fatale with amnesia, embroiled in a plot more easily likened to a spy thriller than to a sci-fi superhero story.

Beast Boy appears for maybe a minute out of the entire first episode, so I can’t do much analysis on him, which is a shame, because out of the entire cast, I’d say I’m happiest with their choice for Beast Boy, and I think he will be the closest to his comic book counterpart, which will be a welcome change of pace.

19-Titans-Raven-600x454

The writers for the show don’t seem to understand what makes these characters great. Raven’s Soul Self makes an appearance in the show, but its nature is completely inverse from its nature in the comics. In the show, it is a representation of Raven’s inner demon, whereas in the comics, it’s the opposite: The Soul Self is the pure part of Raven, whereas her body is evil. Dick Grayson is portrayed as a gloomy, disillusioned brute, which is a shame, because he’s the only one who got a good costume. Starfire just isn’t Starfire.

So now that we’ve established the characters we are dealing with, we can delve into the plot and script, and the pros and cons therein.

The central conflict so far is: Everyone is looking for Raven, while Dick is trying to protect her. This is almost like an inversion of the 1980’s Titans’ origin story, wherein Starfire arrives on Earth, pursued by the Gordanians, and Raven brings the team together to help her. The shifting of the power dynamic, changing Raven from the authoritative position, to the victim in need of protection, to me, diminishes her. And for clarification, in the 1980’s comics origin, Starfire is not diminished by needing help, as she is still an active participant in the fight against her attackers. Raven in the 2018 TV show, is mostly running away and looking for help.

bb

I’d say, other than character portrayals, the worst part of Titans is the dialogue. Conversations are generic, uninteresting, and unrealistic. They do not keep you engaged and tend towards the predictable. There is nothing truly clever or shocking, though it tries very hard to be both. Some of it makes no sense whatsoever, sounding very little like anything that a real person would say. (“I don’t care about your emotional problems!”) I’ve heard people praise Titans for its use of humor. In the first episode, I can say, what I did see of humor was very little and very cringeworthy. I’ll let you know if that changes, but for the meantime I’m going to put a big red “NOPE” stamp on Titans‘ use of humor.

The main villain of the first episode appears in what is probably the worst scene of the entire hour. His dialogue is pure, uncut exposition, literally explaining what the viewers are supposed to feel about him and his allies. At the same time that we’re told too much, we’re also not told or shown anything that will actually make us feel invested in him or his cause, one way or another.

The soundtrack is painfully disappointing, despite being composed by Clint Mansell, whose scores so beautifully enhanced such films as Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain. His work on Titans comes off as derivative and dull.

source-TIT101t0107V1

So, overall, what do I have to say about Titans’ debut episode? It’s bad. It’s not good. But it’s not the absolute steaming pile of garbage I expected. It’s not as bad as the DCEU’s big screen disappointments like Suicide Squad or Justice League. It’s slightly better than DC’s CW series The Flash and Supergirl, mostly thanks to its ability thus far to stay away from hackneyed romance plots and soap opera drama, both of which plague the CW series. With time, the willingness to cut out the weak parts, and temper the better aspects, Titans could potentially be good. It’s nothing to write home about. The costumes are still awful, the script is laughable, and the concepts are poorly executed.

What would it take for me to say Titans is good? The characters need to be better developed. Convince me these aren’t just some emo-tinged fan fiction versions of the complex characters created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Show me that there’s true respect for the source material. Give me a killer version of Trigon, Brother Blood, or Deathstroke. Really make me believe you know what you’re doing, show runners. Prove me wrong, that this show will slowly devolve into a dumpster fire like the rest of the DCEU.

Also, please stop with the wigs.

 

If you like my work and would like to support, consider making a donation via ko-fi.

Twin Peaks: Picking Up the Missing Pieces

The Cast of Twin Peaks

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Showtime has signed Twin Peaks co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost to resurrect their groundbreaking series for 2016, leaving Twin Peaks’ amazingly loyal fanbase in a state of revelry. So, now that we’ve finally gotten what we wanted, the question on everybody’s mind is just how it will be done.

There has been much speculation going on, as Mark Frost has been reluctant to say much of anything in interviews (which is understandable–don’t count your eggs until they’re hatched), leaving us fans to hypothesize, make educated guesses, or just plain make up what we might see in the long-awaited season three of Twin Peaks. So let’s go character-by-character and look at some of these ideas, shall we?

(Incidentally, need I say it? Major spoilers for those who haven’t seen Twin Peaks or Fire Walk With Me.)

Special Agent Dale Cooper This is the one everybody wants to know about. Whether you give us the conclusion to any other story, so long as you give us a satisfactory answer to WHAT HAPPENED TO DALE COOPER, we will be happy. It seems like actor Kyle MacLachlan has signed on to reprise the character, so chances are good that we will finally get what we’ve been waiting for. But as for what that could entail, well, theories abound.
One hypothesis is that BOB, thrilled to have taken possession of a government agent, used his host to commit crimes on a political level which, I assume, means he is now the President of the United States in the Twin Peaks universe. Another idea is that Cooper, with nothing else to do while trapped in the Lodge for 25 Earth years, decides that his only hope of escaping lies within the mysteries of meditation. He essentially meditates himself to enlightenment and uses his new psychic abilities to utilize the Lodge to do good, basically becoming an agent of the White Lodge. What crossed my mind is that BOB wouldn’t get very far pretending to be Cooper, because too many Twin Peaks residents (particularly Sheriff Truman and Audrey Horne) would smell that something was fishy besides the coffee and uncover the truth, which would probably land Cooper in a mental ward, at least until the whole unpleasantness was sorted out (more on that later).
If, on the other hand, you believe that BOB really could fool the whole town, or even the government, there is potential for quite an interesting rampage, which could just give the Good Dale more emotional impetus to stop BOB and right the wrongs committed using his own body.
(Also, yes, there is another thing to note while we’re here: The Dale Cooper that we see at the end of Twin Peaks is technically the Evil Dale, since Good Dale is trapped in the Lodge, according to Annie Blackburn. What that really means, however, is anyone’s guess. [Is it the same body? So that means BOB actually possessed an Evil being? Does that make him doubly Evil?])

Sheriff Harry S. Truman As far as fan speculation goes, it’s not looking so good for Sheriff Truman. Most people expect that he will have retired from the police force and has turned into a drunken recluse, haunted by the guilt of what happened the night Good Dale disappeared, as well as the death of his beloved Josie Packard. It would be interesting to see this, and to see him turn himself around again once the action starts to pick up, and possibly mentor the next generation of Bookhouse Boys. One does have to allow for the possibility though, that Harry just plum picked himself up and went on with life, and now has a wife and two or three kids.
No word on Michael Ontkean and whether or not he’s interested in returning. If he doesn’t, we’ll of course be very sad: His friendship with Cooper was one of the cornerstones of Twin Peaks, and as far as characters go, Harry has more motivation than most to save Cooper and stop BOB. It’ll be a missed opportunity if we don’t get to see his character take on some kind of role in the new season, but, if Ontkean doesn’t sign on, there are ways to get around it.

Audrey Horne Something that intrigued me was one fan’s insistent assumption that Audrey had to have kids by now. And that is of course possible. One thought that did cross my mind after watching the final episode of Twin Peaks was that Audrey would wake up in the hospital and find out she was pregnant, because, unless John Justice Wheeler had some condoms kicking around in that plane of his, he and Ms Horne had unprotected sex. Something much more interesting to me, though, would be that Audrey followed through with her dream of becoming an FBI agent, and is now the savvy, intuitive detective, trying desperately to find out what really happened to the Good Dale.
And YES, he romance with Cooper absolutely needs to be revisited, now that the story is free from outside meddling, and Audrey no longer has the stigma of being a high school student. Along with Sheriff Truman, Audrey was one of Cooper’s strongest relationships in the show, and helped to keep the fans interested. Her tacked-on romance with John Wheeler? Let’s hope that we never have to hear about it again.
And finally, there is a repeatedly revisited idea which tells of Audrey inheriting her father’s business, which is highly probable. Opinions vary on whether or not she would be corrupted like her father was, or maintain her integrity and use her new power to help make the town a better place. There is also the possibility of Audrey being off doing one thing, (such as being in the FBI,) while she has someone else hired to run the Horne industry.

“Big” Ed Hurley Where is Everett McGill? Seems like we haven’t gotten an answer on that one yet. David Lynch was looking for him, even asking his Twitter followers to help find him. No word on whether or not the search has proved fruitful. This was actually one of the early signs that life was stirring in Twin Peaks once more: Lynch must be looking for him for some reason. Fans give this varying degrees of importance, one of the more extreme ideas being that the story actually centers around “Big” Ed Hurley, or that the character somehow plays an integral part in the story. It might actually be interesting to play on the search for Everett McGill within the series by including a search for Big Ed as a story element.
In the original two seasons, Ed was mostly important as a Bookhouse Boy, and Norma Jennings’s love interest, despite legally being the husband of Nadine “Where Are My Drape Runners” Hurley. He was also James’s uncle, since James’s mother, Big Ed’s sister, was notoriously absent. The storyline about James’s mother being a drunken writer who slept around was introduced, then dropped like a hot potato. There might have been potential in this storyline back during the original run, but by now too much time has gone by and other mysteries have taken precedence. Unless Lynch can pull something miraculous out of his sleeve (and I wouldn’t put it past him), it would be hard to make fans interested in James’s mother again.
Where is Everett McGill? Hopefully we’ll get an answer to that mystery by the time season 3 rolls around.

Josie Packard (and her sister Judy) Possibly one of the least-mentioned characters when the subject of a Twin Peaks revival comes up, Josie’s storylines ranged from confusing to incredibly confusing. If you could keep track of her dealings with the Packards, Hornes and Thomas Eckhardt, then you had to sort out really why the fuck she shot Cooper (a mystery we’d all been dying to hear the answer for and could barely even react when we were finally given the answer), and THEN deduce why she is trapped in the “drawer pull knob.” This long, confusing arc led plenty of fans to shy away from the character, which, to me, seemed to hold much unrealized potential. While far from my favorite (really, what the fuck was with those story arcs?), the character of Josie abounds with hints and false starts that suggested she had plenty to do in Twin Peaks, while none of it was ever realized.
For starters, the character of Josie was originally Giovanna, an Italian, and was slated to be played by Isabella Rosselini (of Blue Velvet fame) back when she and David Lynch were dating. The relationship went south, and she dropped out of the project. Giovanna was rewritten as Josie, a Chinese woman, but this bit of back story explains why Josie always seemed to have a larger importance than we were ever shown. Josie also wound up with a pretty harsh deal of an open end: Getting trapped in a drawer pull knob after BOB kills her with fear (I guess?). It is suggested that her ghost now inhabits the wood in the Great Northern Hotel (Pete mentions he can see her face), and a cut scene in the final episode would have shown Josie wandering the Black Lodge. As if that’s not enough to give the character potential for a revival, there’s Judy. But we’re not going to talk about Judy.
Or, let’s talk about her a little. The famously confusing line, uttered by David Bowie (playing long-lost FBI agent Philip Jeffries), “Well now, I’m not gonna talk about Judy. In fact, we’re not gonna talk about Judy at all. We’re gonna keep her out of it..” No one but Lynch and Frost know for sure, but studying of early drafts of Twin peaks: Fire Walk With Me give us the idea that Judy is Josie’s sister, and she is in Buenos Aires waiting for Jeffries, along with Josie (or at least part of her), and, Frost suggested, Windom Earle. Judy seems to have tipped Jeffries off to the location of another Glastonbury Grove-type portal to the Black Lodge, located in Buenos Aires, and she also seems to have received a visit from her sister Josie, who’s (partly?) trapped in the Lodge (time works strangely in the Lodge: These events are prior to Laura’s murder, but Josie seems to already be dead). Judy’s name recurs even in the heavily altered script, suggesting that Lynch always had it in his head that Judy was important. There’s enough speculation about Judy to fill three articles, but for now let’s leave it at this: While Judy was mostly edited out of the final script for FWWM due mainly to time constraints, there would be room to explore the character in season 3.

Catherine Martell Not much speculation on Catherine, who would now be a widow (while Pete’s original fate would have been debatable, actor Jack Nance passed away, leaving Pete’s fate rather unquestionable). Somewhere I heard it suggested that she and Audrey are actually working together, although Catherine would have to be quite a changed woman to be willing to work amicably with was business rival like Ben Horne’s daughter. The bank explosion that killed her husband and brother most likely spared Audrey, which, if anything, might lead to sore feelings on Catherine’s part.
Piper Laurie was one of the veterans Twin Peaks picked up, along with Russ Tamblyn and Richard Beymer, so Twin Peaks wasn’t her defining role (she’s probably best remembered for playing Carrie’s mom in Carrie). It’s debatable whether Laurie would be interested in reprising the role, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

Norma Jennings One of the many things we were hoping for and were denied at the end of Twin Peaks was a happy ending for mixed-up lovers Ed and Norma. Norma, without whom we would not have the damn fine cherry pie, was mostly relegated to being a background player, and even when attempts were made to give her character interesting things to do in the forefront, it just didn’t work out. She was most interesting for her romantic problems, namely being in love with Big Ed, while married to criminal Hank Jennings. Her most important role, really, was as owner of the Double R Diner, which was a key setting in the show. When Twin Peaks is revisited, the Double R Diner will have to come up (Is it still there? Does Norma still own it? If not, who does? Shelly?). I still want a happy ending for Norma and Ed, but it wouldn’t play a large role in the 9-episode season.

Leo Johnson One thing Lynch inexplicably cut out of the script for the final episode was the conclusion of Leo Johnson’s story arc, which left him stuck in Windom Earle’s booby trap (featuring hilariously fake “giant” black widows). The original draft of the script doesn’t make things look any better for Leo, as he would have eventually triggered the trap. This is for better or worse: Leo’s harsh experience being enslaved by Windom Earle might have finally taught him something about being a decent person. When he frees Major Briggs, he tells Briggs to find Shelly, whose life may be in danger. Judging by this, Leo, who we all originally thought killed Laura Palmer, may have been on his way to redeeming himself. Where would he be now? Probably still a trucker, or maybe he works at the mill now (providing it was rebuilt, of course). There is of course the possibility that Leo was supposed to have died from the “black widow” bites, which would free Shelly legally to marry Bobby, but close his arc off for sure (unless of course he also got trapped in the Black Lodge).

Shelly Johnson and Bobby Briggs Most likely, one way or another, Shelly and Bobby would be married. Shelly might own the Double R Diner, or be part of the next generation of Twin Peaks’ stay-at-home moms. As for Bobby, he probably redeemed himself for years of juvenile delinquency by becoming the Sheriff and/or a Bookhouse Boy. One thing I am a little curious about, though, is whatever happened to Bobby killing a guy? It seemed like it was never given adequate attention. Maybe that comes back to haunt him at some point. Bobby would also most likely be interested in his late father’s work, as he never got to know about it. There’s potential for a storyline in which Bobby discovers some classified documents once belonging to his father, which reveals pertinent information about the Lodges.

Major Briggs When Twin Peaks‘ second season was nearing its close, writers were scrambling to keep the network interested, writing up ideas for a third season. One of these told how Major Briggs led a raid on the Black Lodge and rescued the Good Dale. However, in the 25 years since then, actor Don Davis passed away, leaving this story up in the air. A good way to keep the basic idea would be to have Bobby, now the Sheriff/Bookhouse Boy, lead the raid in his father’s stead. Major Briggs was definitely a key character in the series, and his role would have to be filled by someone.

Special Agent Chester Desmond and Agent Sam Stanley Not much to say in this regard, except we’re still wondering what in the hell happened to them, but it’s unlikely either of the roles will be revitalized. The most we can hope for is a brief reference to them being trapped in the Black Lodge. Or long dead. Or both.

Dr. Lawrence Jacoby One of the last times we saw Dr Jacoby, he was counseling Nadine, who was still under the delusion that she was in high school. Once the truth was revealed, he was probably stuck with the job of counseling all five of the parties involved (Nadine, Norma, Ed, Hank, and even Mike). Over the 25 years since that happened, it’s really doubtful that the residents of Twin Peaks have stopped having mental problems, and, in my mind, a return by Russ Tamblyn is not unlikely. Another possibility? He retired to Hawaii.

Sarah Palmer One of the most interesting and underrated characters, to me, is Sarah Palmer. Being the survivor of her husband, daughter and niece, Sarah was dealt a pretty bad hand of cards. Last we saw, she was delivering a psychic message to Major Briggs from Windom Earle, telling him that Earle and Cooper were in the Black Lodge. I could see Sarah, 25 years later, now a recluse, and thought of as a witch by Twin Peaks’ younger residents. Her ability to psychically communicate with the Lodge makes her an invaluable player, and Grace Zabriskie has reprised her role as Sarah Palmer in the “Between Two Worlds” BluRay extra, as well as appearing in David Lynch’s most recent feature film, Inland Empire in 2007, where she played, arguably, a woman bringing a message from otherworldly beings to the protagonist.

Annie Blackburn One of the least interesting possibilities to me is that of Annie Blackburn’s return. The most interesting thing about this character was the fact that it told us that Norma’s maiden name was Blackburn. Beyond that, the character always fell rather flat to me. Personal dislike aside, the possibility occurred to me that Annie was scarred by the Black Lodge in more ways than one. In FWWM, Annie appears in a psychic vision to Laura, telling her that “The Good Dale is trapped” in the Black Lodge. The recently revealed deleted scene meant to be at the end of the movie shows Annie repeating her message, this time while lying in a hospital bed. She is also wearing the ring bearing the “Owl Cave” sigil, which most likely marked her for murder by BOB (since BOB killed both women known to have worn the ring, and Agent Desmond disappeared after picking it up). However, the nurse steals the ring from Annie and puts it on herself, inadvertently sealing her own demise. Also, if the Evil Cooper is on the loose, then that spells bad things for Annie, who would probably be the first victim if Evil Cooper/BOB were to go on a killing spree in town. Another possibility, which chills me in more ways than one: Annie turns out to be pregnant by Dale, and is tricked by the Evil Cooper. The two get married, she has the baby, and the whole Leland/Sarah/Laura story replays itself.

Hank Jennings Last we see Hank, Norma has left him in a jail cell to rot. And rightly so. While redemption plays a noticeable role in Twin Peaks, Hank Jennings showed no signs of turning over a new leaf. He most likely went back to prison, and hopefully never got out this time.

Benjamin Horne and Doc Hayward Because of the final scene, the fate of both Doc Hayward and Benjamin Horne are inextricably linked. There is much speculation as to whether the blow to the head killed Ben, or whether he would have woken up, and if he woke up, might he be back to his former, wicked self? While this does seem to be a rapid backpedaling from a redemption that took a long time to initiate, it is probable, or at least it was 25 years ago. Now, the story might be different. Richard Beymer is still alive a presumably able to return to the role should Ben Horne still be alive. He may still be running Horne industries, using it for good or for evil, or might have retired to allow Audrey to run it. Perhaps in his retirement he found Buddhism and is working his way toward enlightenment, as was suggested by one of the last few episodes of season 2. Alternatively, he may still be running Horne industries, allowing Audrey to go off and have other adventures.
The last storyline Ben is featured in is where Donna Hayward’s true parentage is discovered, making her the half-sister of Audrey. After recovering from his concussion, if Ben was still on his journey to become a better person, he probably continued to try to make amends to Eileen Hayward, and build a relationship with Donna, much to Doc Hayward’s chagrin. On the other hand, if Ben recovered and was back to his nasty former self, this could spell ruin for Doc: Ben might have sued him for battery, or even attempted murder. Being wealthy and powerful, Ben could have destroyed Doc’s life and career. One theory was that Eileen ends up leaving Doc for Ben, but that is unlikely, considering they would have to address what happens to Ben’s wife, Sylvia.

Deputy Tommy “Hawk” Hill One of my personal favorites in the police department, Hawk provided interesting input using Native American lore, which the story of Twin Peaks is tied to. His knowledge of this lore makes him a valuable member of the cast, as he even knows how one must navigate through the Lodge, and could help with the previously mentioned raid on the Black Lodge.

Philip Michael Gerard a.k.a. the One-Armed Man, or MIKE One of the most enigmatic characters in the series, MIKE the One-Armed Man has never had his motives or goals fully explained. While he at first seems to be helpful and honestly trying to help Cooper stop BOB, his true nature is called into question when one witnesses his actions in FWWM, where he insists on giving Laura the dreaded ring bearing the “Owl Cave” insignia. He may be using Cooper as a front to get his revenge on BOB for stealing his garmonbozia. His character was basically forgotten in the series after Maddy is killed. Al Strobel who portrayed him is now retired, but if he was to return to the role, even as a cameo, it would provide an intriguing opportunity to further explore MIKE’s motivations.

Laura Palmer/Maddy Fergusson While Sheryl Lee portrayed Laura Palmer once again in the featurette “Between Two Worlds,” it is difficult to say how she could fit into season 3, except as a mysteriously aged ghost. A nice excuse to have her return to the cast would be to have her play another relative of Laura’s, but beyond that, it would be a mystery, especially since Sheryl Lee is probably one of the most-wanted and most-likely to return.

Gordon Cole Who wouldn’t want to see David Lynch revive this character? He would still probably be the regional director over Cooper, although the return of the character might seem too much like a gag used to pander to the fans. If he is used, however, he would definitely have more than enough to deal with in the past 25 years, what with three missing agents and one possessed agent on his hands. Cole might even get into the field more, providing Lynch wanted to do it.

Nadine Hurley The big question with this character would be whether or not she and Big Ed stayed together, or if they divorced so that he could be with Norma. Nadine never really provided much to the storyline of Twin Peaks, so her involvement in season 3 is completely optional, and I don’t see much for her to do, since there never really was much for her to do in the first place.

Margaret Lanterman a.k.a. the Log Lady (and her Log) Season 3 has to have the Log Lady. It would be a massive error to leave her out. Luckily, it’s unlikely that she won’t be involved, as the character is one of the most memorable aspects of the show and Catherine Coulson has been a long-time friend of David Lynch, going back to his film school days (She’s to thank for that Eraserhead hair, by the way). The Log Lady would probably fulfill the same purpose she did in the first two seasons, providing obscure but pertinent clues. We might even get to learn more about her husband, whose spirit seems to go back and forth between the Log and the Black Lodge, or exist simultaneously in both places, like Josie’s apparently does. It will also be a relief to see her again, after witnessing that final, ominous Log Lady intro Lynch wrote up for the last episode. She is probably more well-suited to deal with the Dugpas of the Lodge than most, as her Log seems to keep her connected to the other world, through whisperings of knowledge. The Log Lady, like Sarah Palmer, is a medium, and in a situation like this, you can never have too many of those to go around.

Windom Earle So what became of Windom Earle after BOB took his soul? Is he now a servant of BOB, gathering garmonbozia on his behalf? Does he fill the same role that MIKE once did, as BOB’s partner? Or is he now just a lost soul, wandering the Lodge hopelessly? Has he met up with Cooper? Did they resolve their conflict and work together to find a way out? Did Windom Earle himself find a way out, before Cooper? And, if so, after his experiences, has he changed? Or is he still as evil as ever?

Lana Budding Milford Truly the most pointless character in the series, there is absolutely no reason for the character to return, even if she and her husband got busy, or she left him for Dick, and she is now a homemaker. That’s literally the most interesting thing she could have done, and so, she’s at the absolute bottom of the list of people we need to bring back. Robyn Lively is most likely available for a return, as she was there for the Psych reunion.

Harold Smith I’m sad that this character is dead, because it would have been interesting to see him return. It might be possible for him to be a denizen of the Lodge now, but since his primary role was guy-who-had-Laura’s-secret-diary, I doubt there would be much call for him to return.

John Justice Wheeler This character appeared in the dark, confusing time in Twin Peaks history that was the end of the second season. I would really rather that he not be mentioned again, and hopefully Billy Zane will declare himself too busy to reprise the role should he be asked. There are definitely loose ends to tie up, such as the mysterious murder of his friend somewhere in South America (I could not find a reference for this part on the internet. That’s how uninteresting it is.), which may or may not be involved with the Black Lodge (another portal, maybe). The possibility of Audrey having gotten pregnant from him is also there, although so is the high likelihood of miscarriage due to the whole bank explosion thing.

Deputy Andy Brennan and Lucy Morann Most likely, Lucy and Andy got married and raised their baby together. That baby is now 25-years-old and ready to be a main player in season 3, should Lynch and Frost will it. Boy or girl, s/he could have gotten involved with the police department, becoming a deputy.

Special Agent Philip Jeffries He’s still probably not gonna talk about Judy, but it would definitely be interesting to see David Bowie revitalize that bizarre role.

Dennis/Denise Bryson This one seems to be a fan favorite minor character. Tons of fans are hoping that David Duchovny of X-Files fame will once again put on a dress and tights as Dennis/Denise Bryson. I would like to see him again, and the activities the FBI could be involved with in season 3 are abundant, so there’s no lack of things for him to do: Search for Good Dale, apprehend Evil Dale, search for Windom Earle or one of the three other missing agents. Or he could just be in town for some fun. At least give us a cameo, Davids.

Donna Hayward and Jame Hurley Here’s one of the biggest debates among fans: Donna and James. While there seems to be a consensus that they should return, most fans have turned against Lara Flynn Boyle, leaving Moira Kelly as the favored actress to play the role. As for James, he might be a lot more interesting now as an aged biker dude with some time on the road behind him. I would like to see James finally return to the Roadhouse, and surprise Donna. Beyond that, there are plenty of variations being tossed around by fans. By some, James is viewed as a character whose incredible importance was never realized due to cancellation, as they claim that he represented the pure-hearted love in Twin Peaks. When he left, the door was left wide open for more evil to seep in. Or so the theory goes. One of the main problems people had with James was that he didn’t do much other than whine, and I concur. But I can see James returning as a bona fide badass, ready to help out with the raid on the Black Lodge. Of course, he could also have returned to Twin Peaks sometime during the 25-year interval, married Donna, and had kids. Which would be much less interesting in my mind, although it would help provide a fresh cast of kids from season 3.
So what about Donna? Well, the character and actresses bring up some strong and mixed feelings for fans. I personally would rather see her moved out of the focal point and, if necessary, her role can be filled by one of her younger sisters. Otherwise, James returns, sweeps her off her feet, and they both become more interesting characters. Other than that? What has happened to her in the last 25 years? Well, maybe she married Mike, had kids, got jaded, and now she’s a bitter single mother. That could be interesting. In the original series, James and Donna were there to represent the purity and innocence that lived in Twin Peaks, to juxtapose with the horror and despair flooding out of the Lodge. Even if their roles change in season 3, there would have to at least be a nod to that original concept. Maybe the reunion of James and Donna signifies the beginning of true healing for the community of Twin Peaks, and things begin to return to purity and kindness. James Marshall seems interested in returning to Twin Peaks, and even offered his thoughts on what’s been happening with James Hurley in the years since the show’s cancellation. No word on either Moira Kelly or Lara Flynn Boyle, however.
Or, James could have settled down somewhere, Donna went to meet him, and they settled down and had a family elsewhere. That’s also a possibility.

Leland Palmer and Killer BOB Now here’s another one up for debate. Ray Wise is almost DEFINITELY returning for season 3; he was basically promised by Lynch himself that they would “find a way around” the fact that Leland Palmer is dead. Some fans have theorized that Leland’s restless spirit is now the new BOB, terrorizing the town. And while that’s possible, that sounds like a pretty harsh deal for Leland, who was really a victim himself. In my mind, Leland could replace some other character as a Lodge denizen, conversing with Cooper and other visitors, giving them clues and such. Alternatively, he could play Leland’s brother (it wouldn’t be Maddy’s father, though: Maddy is probably from Sarah’s side of the family). However they pull it off, we are getting Ray Wise, and fans are rejoicing for that.

DIANE Interestingly enough, I’ve heard quite a bit of speculation on Diane, Cooper’s notoriously unseen assistant, and receiver of all those tapes he records over the course of the series. When rumors started milling about Lynch working on a project with Laura Dern, some fans threw out the idea that Dern could play Diane. Perhaps she could come to Twin Peaks in search of Cooper, or maybe she’s with Gordon Cole, helping him go through Coop’s notes to uncover the mystery. It would be pretty awesome if Dern was cast as Diane, and she played a role in saving Cooper. After her seminal performance in Inland Empire, Dern has proved that she can traverse dimensions and face demonic forces in her own right. It would also provide a reunion for MacLachlan and Dern, who worked together along with David Lynch on Blue Velvet, a story which is considered to be a sort of prototype for Twin Peaks.

Whew. Well, there you have it: Virtually every character (sans Pete Martell, may he rest in peace) in Twin Peaks, and all the theories that have circulated about their involvement in the upcoming season 3. Of course, we won’t know for sure until the show is out in 2016, so until then, enjoy some damn good coffee, some fine cherry pie, and enjoy the first two seasons (and the movie)!