Who is Benjamin Horne; a lovable playboy or a self-serving deviant? Initially described by Agent Cooper in the pilot episode of Twin Peaks as a, "glad handing dandy," Ben Horne didn't seem like a very good person when we first met him in 1990. In fact, he looked to be a likely suspect in Laura Palmer's murder, not to mention an awful father, husband, arsonist, a scandalous businessman, a womanizer, and an attempted murderer. However, his character's arc in the original series took Ben on a very bumpy emotional ride. By the end of Season 2 he seemed to be a better man. Imploring the rules of goodness taught to him by none other than John Justice Wheeler, Ben appeared to have turned over a new leaf. Played brilliantly by the very talented Richard Beymer, Ben Horne's influence in Twin Peaks goes far beyond just the lives he affected, some positively, many negatively. His character creates a sort of moral compass for the show, proving that even the worst of us can find redemption if we truly want to change...maybe.
A Downward Spiral
here, while they admired her from their bunk beds. Then it moved into a more somber, but still sweet moment where Ben, now sporting a bathrobe and a five o'clock shadow in his office, reminisced while watching old movies of his childhood.
Telling the Hardest Truth
A Changed Man in 2017
In Season 3 of Twin Peaks, we learned that Ben and his wife Silva had divorced. His grandson, Richard Horne, the son of Audrey and Mr. C, was a stain on the town of Twin Peaks. Johnny Horne was living full time with Silva, while Ben was paying for their livelihood. Audrey was somewhere unknown, but seemingly unpleasant, depending on how you look at it, and Ben, although clearly tempted, was now showing, R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for Beverly, and her troubled marriage. By doing so, he politely rejects his desires for her. In a reflective moment with Sheriff Frank Truman, Ben seems a bit wistful about his life while having a recollection about a bike his father gave him as a child.
Overall in 2017 it would appear that Ben is a changed man. Maybe it was the sum total effect of his life's experiences, or maybe he's just too old to keep up with the games he once played. It seems reasonable to think that perhaps the troubles Audrey had, that Richard Horne had, that we learned Donna Hayward had in The Final Dossier, and the financial responsibilities Ben still had to Silva Horne and Johnny Horne, might have humbled Ben over the years. Although it played out slowly throughout Season 3, it seems Ben Horne might be a good example of the overarching theme of The Return, which I think is that life moves on, people change, life changes, but some things stay the same, cigars beat carrots.
Enjoy one of Ben's finest scenes below!