Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Decoding Margaret Lanterman

I do not "introduce" the log!
Let's take a moment to discuss one of Twin Peaks most irreverent character's. Played by the very talented Catherine E. Coulson, Margaret Lanterman aka The Log Lady often stole every scene she was in with her impeccable timing and somewhat uncomfortable presence. She seems to have insight about a lot of Twin Peaks secrets, yet is dependent on her log for companionship and the psychic knowledge it provides. Hawk once said, "The wood holds many spirits, doesn't it Margaret?" With that in mind, you'd have to wonder if the log was in fact enchanted in someway. Or was it simply a representation of those who Margaret lost?

Here's what we know about the Log Lady. She was married briefly, but her husband "met the devil" (possibly Bob) on their wedding night and died in a mysterious fire. She lives in an isolated cabin in the woods and her log saw something the night Laura Palmer was killed. I think it's safe to conclude that her husband's spirit as well as various others may be trapped in her log. Thus making her a medium of sorts. Does this make a case for Josie's wood trapping or just a coincidence? Does the wood in Twin Peaks have special power? We also know that Margaret likes to chew pitch gum and much to Norma's dismay, she often sticks it on the wall of the Double R diner. See below!

In the movie Fire Walk With Me, Margaret encounters Laura outside the Roadhouse. She puts her hand to the log and then to Laura's forehead and says, "When this kind of fire starts, it is very hard to put out. The tender boughs of innocence burn first and the wind rises and then all goodness is in jeopardy." In my personal favorite of the Log Lady's introductions, she claims everything begins with the one and says that one was Laura Palmer. Watch below!

According to Twin Peaks Wiki, The conceptual history for the Log Lady was an old idea of David Lynch's, where he had intended to do a television series called "I'll Test My Log with Every Branch of Knowledge" based around the Log Lady character. The idea came about while he worked with Catherine Coulson on the set of Eraserhead. 

Thinking about all of this makes me wonder if the Log Lady knew that Laura Palmer was going to be murdered or was she simply trying to warn Laura of the lurking danger? She also advises Major Briggs to "deliver the message" which prompts him to tell Dale Cooper about the information he received from deep within the woods of Twin Peaks. See below!

Later Margaret leads Dale to the Roadhouse where he has a vision of The Giant in the infamous "It's happening again" scene prior to Maddy's murder. It appears she may have been forewarned by her log thus her efforts to steer Dale in the right direction. 

In an ironic twist, at the end of the series Wyndom Earle impersonates the Log Lady in order to kidnap Annie from the Miss Twin Peaks pageant. Bobby notices both Log Ladies and makes the unfortunate choice of confronting Wyndom's version. The result is the GIF image below. Poor Bobby! 

In conclusion Margaret Lanterman aka The Log Lady is not only one of the best female characters in Twin Peaks, she's one of the best characters period! Her presence is undeniable and always enjoyable. Thankfully Catherine Coulson has recently confirmed that she will return in 2017 to reprise her role of The Log Lady in the new episodes. To what degree is still unknown, but I don't think Twin Peaks would be the same without her!

Update: Sadly Catherine Coulson pasted away in Sept 2015. May she rest in peace.