Miss Twin Peaks – was Windom Earle the real winner that night?

By Cheryl Lee Latter

‘Miss Twin Peaks. Now what do you get if you win? You get a dozen roses, a scholarship to the college of your choice, the accolades of your peers. And… I know, you get to die. A royal execution. And Cooper gets to watch.’

We all talk about Annie the lure, used by the Lodges to bring Dale in, but what if, in fact, it was Windom who was the lure?

It’s easy to see him as a madman, a psychotic killer fixed on the idea of revenge on Dale and on his fascination with harnessing the power of the otherworldly.

But Windom is no criminal genius. He’s a lunatic who dresses as barnyard animals to baffle his prey.

The fact that Windom was able to orchestrate the events at Miss Twin Peaks and take Annie right out from Dale and everyone else’s noses indicates that he maybe had some kind of help.

I asked Kenneth at the fest what his take on Windom was, and he felt he was initially genuinely one of the good guys ‘until something happened to him, and he snapped.’

He had already shown he was a threat by visiting Audrey, Donna and Shelly. He didn’t visit Annie or give her a piece of the poem. He was willing to take any girl, knowing that Coop would easily follow. Dale’s need to stop the bad guy and rescue a damsel in distress would take him anywhere.

That Windom took Dale’s love interest in the most public of places, the Roadhouse, filled with half the town, and got away with her, that Pete’s truck was waiting outside, that Annie was calmed in the circle of trees and stopped fighting, all is an indication that he had help.

Just as ‘Dougie’ was guided to the winning slot machines and to Anthony’s betrayal of Bushnell, Windom was given all the tools he needed to capture Cooper’s soul, whether for 25 years or for eternity depends on your reading of season 3.

It seems clear now that it wasn’t about Annie at all, or Caroline, or anyone else. Coop went into the trees as the good guy to defeat the villain. I feel that maybe he would have gone in anyway, as soon as those scarlet curtains opened up to him.

Cooper and Windom weren’t so different in many ways. They were just working for different sides. The lure of the unknown was too much for both of them.

So, is Windom really just to be dismissed as a cartoon bad guy, as so many do? Despite all his comedy and flaws, Windom, as is so rare in this story, and unlike Cooper, actually succeeded in his mission.

He found the key to the Lodges, got his revenge on Coop, and dragged him down with him into the pit of lost agents and hopeless souls. Which was really all he ever wanted.

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