by Cheryl Lee Latter
On the 24th February, 87 years before Laura’s body drifted up on that cold stony beach, another tragedy occurred by the water.
According to the Secret History, a huge logjam between two rival mills caught fire, spreading flames along the river and onto the land, and killing 6 people.
From this point on, groupings of 6 happen several times throughout the Twin Peaks story.
As if in parallel to that earlier event, Season 3 featured exactly 6 woodsmen. Although varying numbers appear in various scenes, in total, there were 6. Are they related to the Night of the Burning River? Are they the furious and displaced spirits of the ravaged woods?
The script for FWWM clearly describes 6 beings above the convenience store – the Man From Another Place, Bob, The Jumping Man, Mrs Tremond and her grandson, and a woodsman. What is the significance of them? Does the woodsman represent his people? Are the Tremonds there to ensure the meeting is fairly balanced? Is this simply some kind of Lodges management meeting to confront an unruly employee?
It seems the Blue Rose Task Force is also conveniently kept at 6, if not by design, but facilitated by agents going missing, and new ones being added to even out the numbers. Who is left at the end? Cole, Albert, Cooper, Tammy, Diane, and Jeffries in his vaporous state. Windom and Chet are gone, and poor Sam is conveniently forgotten, relegated back to beige anonymity.
Where else is the number 6 apparent when it comes to a particular group? The 6 primary Twin Peaks High School teens? Laura, Donna, Audrey, Bobby, Mike, and James?
6 tragic sons in Season 3? Can we even differentiate the tragic from the simply unfortunate in that dark and violent season?
6 key employees in the old-school Sheriff Station? Or even in the new-fangled Sheriff Station? Maybe if we use our imaginations a little as to who counts as ‘key.’
6 working in the RR, if you include Laura and her Meals on Wheels?
Is the power of the number 6 important in Twin Peaks? I don’t believe in numerology at all, and really don’t consider it, but in the interests of the story it seems a satisfyingly balanced and rounded number that seems to come up again and again.