The Convenience Store Revisited

woodsmen outside the convenience store

It’s been a few months now since the end of Series 3 and now that the dust has settled, a plethora of thoughts have started to solidify in my mind, further added to by the release of Mark Frost’s ‘Final Dossier’ last week.

Back on July 4th weekend, we had a hiatus from the series and during that break, I wrote this article The Convenience Store and its Inhabitants and now seemed like a good time to go back and revisit the Store in light of new discoveries.

The Convenience Store appears to have been created around the time that the Trinity Bomb was tested at White Sands, New Mexico on July 16th 1945.  It is in itself a gateway between ‘the two worlds’. It’s almost definite now from reading a couple of Mark Frost’s recent interviews that, as he wrote in The Secret History of Twin Peaks, Jack Parson’s and Ron. L Hubbard were successful in their Babalon Working rituals, opening the gateway to hell and perhaps inciting to Earth ‘The Mother of All Abominations’ Babalon herself, AKA Joudy/Jowday/Judy.

Tammy Preston tells us that Judy was an ancient entity, a Utukku, who escaped from the underworld, and she has been said to roam our planet since at least 3000BC. So she’s always been here? Moving freely between realms, choosing where to hang out? Perhaps not.  What Parsons & Hubbard’s Babalon Working rituals during January to March 1946 may have accomplished is summoning Judy to our world and she took that opportunity to spew out her offspring including BOB, amongst many (tens? thousands? millions?) of other eggs into the White Sands. This is where time gets a little tricky, did it all happen quickly or over a period of time as it wasn’t until 11 years after the Trinity bomb, in 1956 that one of those eggs hatched a ‘frogmoth’ which crept inside the mouth of a sleeping young girl. That girl is now confirmed to be Sarah Novak (later Palmer).

We can only guess that around the same time a similar violation was happening to a young Leland Palmer as BOB took him as host. What a sad tale this is, two innocent children, grew up destined not for love, but by the compulsion of evil to meet.  This was a disaster waiting to happen. For it is said that if a male and female Utukku ever united on earth it would spell the end for everything as we know it. Hence the alarms going off in ‘The White Lodge’ (if that’s what it is? I think I’m going to call it the Fireman’s Palace to be on the safe side),  alerting The Fireman (Giant) and Senorita Dido to what was about to happen, and them sending the glorious golden Laura to save us all. Literally.

So we have seen Judy, the Mother, the experiment captured in the glass box albeit briefly, before smashing her way out and taking her anger out on poor Ben and Tracey. Where she went was anyone’s guess after that.

Or is it?  This is where it all becomes a little cloudy for me.  If Judy was the Mother, and BOB and whatever is inside Sarah Palmer are her children, then is it Judy we saw in the glass box? Or the entity inside Sarah? or are they one and the same? My personal feeling is that it was Judy in the glass box, but that’s not what is inside Sarah.  I find it difficult to believe that BOB was himself Ba’al/Beelzebub, the devil himself, considering the relative ease with which he was destroyed by Freddie, the boy with the green glove — Mr Deus ex machina himself. So we may not have seen the Father of all evil yet, have we? Let’s delve back into the Convenience Store then to see what we can find out.

The Convenience Store itself looks on the surface to be a run-down old Gas Station, the store adjacent filled with stacked tins.  It appears and disappears from view but at a best guess is located somewhere between Missoula, Montana and Twin Peaks, Washington.  There is a telephone box at its front and has stairs leading to what looks to be the roof, but this is the most interesting place of all.  The Room Above.  It can be accessed from the store directly, or as we saw in Buckhorn, via a portal, and through a picture that would look nice on your wall, given to Laura Palmer in the days before her death, or should I say, ‘removal’.

The Woodsmen

woodsman in charge of electricity

The Woodsmen guard the store, as we have always seen them do, in control of the electricity, but with more menace and greater importance than we once expected.  At one time they seemed pretty harmless, just the odd slap of a thigh, but now we know they have a fondness for crushing skulls and at least one has all the ASMR skills and can send you to sleep with his poetry.  These guys I suspect, and so far they are all guys, have been living in the depths of a fiery hell (hence those charcoal faces) until the Trinity Bomb, (and maybe some sex magick) blew the door to that place wide open and let them pour into our world.  They have a mission to serve their devilish leader and can recover demon souls lost in battle. i.e. the resurrection of BOB when Ray Monroe shot Doppelcooper/Mr. C.  The Woodsmen also guard the door to a place only accessible via the Convenience Store…

The Dutchman’s Lodge

dutchmans motel stairs

A place that once existed in our reality, built in the 1930s by Horace ‘The Dutchman’ Vandersant. It was a notorious motel used by the mob and was demolished in 1962 after Vandersant’s death.  Despite no longer existing in our reality, it was still accessible, somehow, via the Convenience Store. I guess when a lot of evil goes down in one place those memories, the electricity created by the events that took place within those walls, stays, lingering in the ether.

Phillip Jeffries

We saw both Mr C and Agent Cooper visit this place and meet with the now ‘non existent’ Phillip Jeffries.  Ok, he does kind of exist, perhaps in spirit only, contained within a machine, not unlike those that feature regularly in the Fireman’s Palace, which gives us hope that he’s still fighting for the greater good.  Jeffries permanently resides in Room 8 of the motel, introduced to us by a Bosomy woman, who speaks backwards. This is most definitely a place between the two worlds. Maybe even more than two worlds, this may be the bridge between several different realities, and Jeffries appears now to have learned how to switch and send those that visit him to their location and time of choice.  However, in the case of Mr C, and the probable realisation that he was not dealing with the real Agent Cooper, he instead gave him a set of coordinates and sent him back outside the convenience store, where he met with his son Richard. It’s not fully clear what location the coordinates Jeffries gave him were for, it may have been the rock where Mr C sacrificed his son’s life, or it could have been to Jack Rabbits Palace, either way, it appears that Jeffries tried to trick him.

It could perhaps be said the same for Jeffries encounter with the real Agent Cooper, who travelled there alongside the one-armed man, Phillip Gerard. I specifically call him this as he spoke the words, “Through the darkness of future’s past, the magician longs to see, one chants out between two worlds, Fire Walk With Me” in forward speak, not his usual reversed language. Jeffries found the date of Laura Palmer’s murder and sent Cooper there to complete his mission. Cooper did indeed save her from death by BOB, instead, she was plucked from her life and given a whole new one, and became Carrie Page.

Removed from her dangerous parents surely her life would turn out a lot better right? Well yes and no. She’s still alive, yes, but she seems to have got herself into an abusive relationship which resulted in her taking the life of her spouse. He too may have been infected by a BOB like creature if the gaping hole in his stomach is anything to go by. Perhaps even BOB himself, I mean he can take a host in anyone that lets him in. BOB may have been defeated in the timeline we know, but if Laura survives and lives a different life, he only needs to track her down there instead, and not use Leland. Laura is the ultimate prize after all.

Meanwhile, Cooper finds himself leaving the Black Lodge and again and the real Diane is waiting for him. Cooper isn’t the man we once knew, he is steely and cold, on a mission to find Laura, as Leland asked him to in the lodge. Coop’s downfall is that he doesn’t appear to have realised just how long he’s been inside.  He finds Laura, takes her home but 25 years have passed.  He does not realise what year this is, so maybe Jeffries tricked him too? For Leland Palmer took his own life 24 years prior, a year after his only child went missing.  Sarah Palmer has spent a long time grieving the loss of her daughter and has become a depressed alcoholic who spends all day watching repeat boxing matches, now and then ripping out the throats of misogynistic truck drivers.  He was not delivering Laura back to a happy home that’s for sure.

Anyhow, I’m veering way off track here, back to the Convenience Store.  Next on my list is…

The Jumping Man

jumping man

Seen only very briefly in Series 3, once by Mr C at The Dutchman’s still appearing to wear his red suit, but his face flickering, morphing into others, in particular, that of Sarah Palmer.  There is a case to be heard then that the Jumping Man may be a grown Frogmoth or at least a physical metaphor of it. I may be totally wrong of course but there are a few physical characteristics that make me wonder, the long proboscis, the frog-like jumping, the screeching. I’m still unsure of what the slingshot/wand is for and then there’s the question of is there only one?  We only saw one frogmoth enter one person, Sarah Palmer, but The Final Dossier tells us that at least a dozen people in the same area of New Mexico also fell unconscious at the sound of the Woodsman’s lullaby.  Were they all infected? Or was Sarah just the perfect host at the perfect time and the others just unfortunate fallout?

This leads us nicely onto…

The Tremonds

Still a huge mystery and not explained any further in Series 3 other than in the very final scene, when Cooper and Laura return Laura home, only to find that Sarah no longer lives there and instead a lady called Alice Tremond resides in the house.  They bought the house from a Mrs Chalfont, another name used by the old lady whilst residing at the Fat Trout Trailer Park.

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Whilst Mrs Tremond appears to have no interest in garmonbozia, she is almost definitely a source of evil, along with her grandson, luring people into tricky situations, even to their deaths (yes I’m still going on about Harold Smith). Her grandson, sometimes known as Pierre, was studying magic and seemed to have a fondness for creamed corn. This may now explain what he is, another Utukku, as it said that they feast on human flesh and rip the souls from their victims, and particularly thrive on human suffering. So was he another of the frogmoths?  He’s somewhat younger than that which inhabits Sarah though and whilst he is indeed similar to The Jumping man, the mask, jumping and, the slingshot, he has way more humanity. He speaks, he has a human face. He sees the future, has intelligence, a conniving nature, way more than the hysterical, animalistic behaviour that we have seen from the Jumping Man.  Is this an evolution? A next-generation? The product of frogmoth and human breeding?

If this is the case, what does that make Mrs Tremond? Has Judy been hiding under our noses all this time? Disguised as a sweet little old lady? Is this the story of Little Red Riding Hood? Ok, maybe not, but it’s worth consideration. Let us not forget that when questioned by Mr C as to who Judy was, Jeffries told him that he had met Judy before.  This of course may not have happened in front of our eyes, and it’s quite probable that at the moment that sentence was uttered, Jeffries thought he was talking to Cooper. This perhaps does give scope to the fact that Judy is hiding within Sarah Palmer now, as Cooper had most certainly met her before. Did Cooper figure this out before he delivered Laura home?  I don’t think so, I feel he was expecting a joyful reunion. The white knight strikes again.

Red points his finger at shelly

Many believe that Pierre is a young Red, lover of Shelly and bringer of drug dependency to Twin Peaks. It’s certainly possible, the magic coin trick may allude to them being one and the same, but we have to remember that when Richard witnessed that trick he was super high on Sparkle, his vision may not be trustworthy.  Just like Stephen, whose mind was so overcome by the stuff he was convinced he killed Becky Briggs (he didn’t) and spoke of rhinoceros and turquoise and lightning bottles before blowing his brains out.  Was the coin a red herring? Sarah Novak found a coin shortly before her first kiss with the boy, so was that the good luck she was hoping for,  or was she marked from the moment she picked it up?

So Red is a possible contender for a ‘new’ lodge denizen, are there more?  We met the ‘bosomy woman’ albeit briefly and know nothing about her other than she talks backwards and appears to be a gatekeeper at the Dutchman’s.

Maybe we can assume that the other rooms at the Dutchman’s motel are also accessible, even inhabited by others.  One of those rooms may have been where we saw BOB and the Little Man From Another Place/The Arm conversing over the Formica table. The meeting room if you like.  Speaking of which…

The Evolution of The Arm

In Series 3 we did not see the Evolution of The Arm in the store, probably because he kinda has to stay where he is now that he’s a tree. MIKE/Phillip Gerard we saw just the once, delivering Cooper to Jeffries. But who is he, really? Whilst researching the Utukku I came across something interesting and I quote, “The mouth of such a being is so small that it can neither eat nor drink. They are said to look like trees that have been charred by a forest fire“.  Hmm, well he’s not got much foliage.

the evolution of the arm

So could it be that The Arm, or at least the combined Arm and Phillip Gerard/MIKE was Ba’al, the male counterpart to Judy?  He certainly feeds off garmonbozia which would suggest that he is a Utukku. It is said that they can be either benevolent or evil, and we know that MIKE decided to change his path when he saw the ‘face of God’ and took his evil arm right off. In Series 3 more than ever, the intent of The Arm has never been less clear.  He appears to work in unison with MIKE and helped Cooper finally return, in particular helping him when he was almost assassinated by  Ike the Spike. Has evolution had a profound and enlightening effect on him? Or is there more at play here?

Further to this, if he was Ba’al or something similar it could make him BOB’s father. It’s possible, but the previous explanation of their relationship is that BOB was his familiar, which in a literal sense means, “an animal-shaped spirit or minor demon believed to serve a witch or magician as domestic servant, spy and companion, in addition to helping to bewitch enemies or to divine information”. That sounds more like the relationship we knew them to have, with BOB turning into an owl and reaping garmonbozia for the Master Magician.

Did The Arm take it badly when his buddy jumped ship and stowed away on the Doppelcooper for 25 years? Did he not have anyone to bring him any pain and suffering to feed off during that time? Is that why he was so keen to bring him home to the Black Lodge? Not because it was dangerous for him to be outside for so long, but because he was bloody starving? No? No. We know that if Doppelcooper stayed outside much longer it would spell the death of the real Cooper and MIKE was eager for the good Dale to triumph. Why? Because maybe if BOB was to find Judy then it really would have been the end of the world and where’s the fun in that?  No garmonbozia to reap if there’s no one left to suffer. Clearly, I have trust issues when it comes to The Arm, I just can’t see that his motives are anything other than self-serving.

So is this all the Lodge folk covered?  Whilst we haven’t seen these characters in the store, or The Dutchman’s or The Lodge, I think ‘drugged out mom’ deserves an honorary mention here.

119 girl

Mark Frost recently stated in his Reddit AMA that those with one foot in the ‘other world’ have a tendency to talk backwards. 119!  It’s hard to say then if she’s human but so entrenched in drug addiction that the darkness of the lodge has taken her over, or whether she’s a similar sort of entity to The Tremonds, possibly visible to the human eye, though we never saw any interaction with anyone, other than her poor son.  She may always remain a mystery, a symptom of the darkness spreading across the land. The sad truth is  that she’s calling for help but no one can hear her.

Then there’s Ella and Chloe in the Roadhouse possibly heading in the same direction as drugged-out mom or Stephen.  The Drunk in the jail cell, who may or may not be all in the head of Deputy Chad who is losing his mind post-incarceration.  This whole narrative may be a visual exercise showing us how the snoozy small towns in America (and across the whole world) are falling apart as industry fails, jobs become scarce, people take desperate measures to make money or self medicate to dull the pain and mundanity of it all.

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The Final Dossier reveals that the Horne Brothers did sell part of Ghostwood Forest to make way for a correctional facility. A deep regret of Ben Horne as he drove an unremovable wedge between him and his daughter Audrey, who appears to be lost in those woods. It also brought a new level of deprivation to the town of Twin Peaks, it was never a good idea to contain a whole lot of evil in those woods.

As the veil between the two worlds diminishes further perhaps our question should be, can this be stopped? Maybe it already has been. I’d like to think that Laura Palmer’s final scream, more powerful than the evil determined to destroy us, she with her pure white light banished Judy back to the underworld, turned the lights out on her once and for all.

  1. Great article, Laura. While I tend toward letting it wash over me to let my brain and body feel the experience, noticing those kinesthetic responses as things play out, I am thoroughly enjoying how articles like these serve to augment my reactions as I / we watched the show, read the book…

    I love getting lost in this world, and although there’s evil in there, I almost prefer it to reality, whatever that is.

    I smiled at your Mr Deus ex machina. ROFL
    Thank you.

  2. Am I alone in thinking that there were two Evolved Arms, an original and a doppelganger? That was the impression that I got when I watched it. The version that he first meets had a mild temperament. When Cooper sees it again walking down the hallway, it’s acting more menacing (I want to say that there was a difference in its tone of voice, if not also its appearance, but I’ll have to wait to rewatch it when the bluray hits to be sure)– it blocks Coop’s path, then send him down a trap door. This same level of menace was also apparent when it appeared during the Ike the Spike attack, yet it seems calm again in every other appearance.

    We do know that the original Arm had a more aggressive doppelganger (“When you see me again, it won’t be me.”), but perhaps I’m just making assumptions.

    1. No, you’re definitely not alone! There were certainly 2 Evolved Arms, one was its doppelganger, it had a sort of yellowish rotten tinge. It was that the chucked Cooper into ‘non-existance’ of course.

  3. Wonderful Laura. Thank You! This on ‘Familiars’: they are not always evil serving evil.
    The idea of Red being Pierre is an interesting thought.
    The 119 mother and the druggy girls are great visual representations of the toxicity level of the evil Coop & BOB inhabited world.

  4. Watching it again recently, I noticed that the Woodsman activating the electrical machine was heavily bleeding from his mouth.
    Given that Audrey said she dreamt Billy was bleeding from his nose and mouth and that, on the Extras, Lynch wanted Fenn to be clear on that, could this guy be Billy?
    It was also mentioned at the Roadhouse, that he performed supernatural abilities, like jumping high over a fence.
    This is not a highly thought out theory yet, but wondered if it was possible if this Billy didn’t somehow BECOME a woodsman?

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