There is more in heaven and earth than is
dreamt of in our philosophy.
(August 4, 1942 – June 29, 2008)
I think one of the saddest things about Twin Peaks returning in 2017 is that the wonderfully talented Don Davis won't be a part of it. Major Briggs is one of my favorite characters. If I'm being honest, I have a lot of favorite characters, but there certainly was something special about Major Briggs. The unique combination of his controlled insights and depth made each scene he was in just a little more fun and mysterious. It takes a special kind of intelligence to pull that off, especially in the genuine manner that Don did.
In the early part of the series Major Briggs seemed to be a little stern and humorless, but that was what made him so funny. His delivery was intense, but underneath there was always a sense of compassion and goodness. Season 1 gave the distinct impression that the Briggs family was a bit dysfunctional. Watch here - "Afraid!?!" or here for family counseling. Over time, I think next to the Hayward's, they actually turned out to be one of the most loving families in town.
In season 2 it slowly becomes apparent that, although unconventional, the Major had a ton of love for his son Bobby Briggs, played by the amazing Dana Ashbrook, and his wife Betty Briggs, played by the lovely Charlotte Stewart. Despite the "classified" nature of his work, he always found a unique way of expressing himself to his family. See here is his "Vision of Light" speech given to Bobby. Also watch his return after disappearing while night fishing with Cooper here. I feel like there is no doubt he was a devoted family man.
In addition, much like Agent Cooper, Major Briggs' particular set of mental hardware seemed to be pivotal in uncovering more about the Black Lodge. It appeared the owls knew it, see here, as did Windom Earle. Watch here & here. (That reminds me. I should do a blog post dedicated to Windom's many costumes) Nonetheless, the Major's presence in Twin Peaks was invaluable and Don's acting ability was inspiring. He is and will continue to be greatly missed!
Perhaps 25 years later Bobby might be ready to follow in his father's footsteps?
Enjoy this touching tribute to Don from TP Fest!