Twin Peaks

Season 1 Episode 5

Episode Four "The One-Armed Man"

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM May 03, 1990 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
156 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Cooper questions Dr. Jacoby, who suspects Leo Johnson is the killer. Cooper's supervisor, Gordon Cole, calls in with Albert's report. Josie Packard spies on Ben Horne and Catherine Martell. Hawk tracks down the One Armed Man. Mrs. Palmer tells Cooper and Truman about her vision of the killer, the same man Cooper saw in his dream (Bob). Truman and Cooper find that the bird who attacked Laura belonged to Leo's friend, Jacques Renault. Hank Jennings has his parole hearing and makes a threatening phone call to Josie.


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  • What's going on here?

    Some great dialogue in this episode. Dr. Jacoby makes a welcome appearance. We're also properly introduced to Hank Jennings. All things considered, another classic episode from season one.
  • The One Armed Man

    Not a lot of developments in this episode, so while it was pretty fast-moving, I have to give it a mediocre score because of that.

    Also, the sudden appearance of Laura's cousin, out of the blue, with no followup, didn't seem to make much sense.
  • The hunt for Laura's killer continues.

    Cooper follows up his dream of a suspect by meeting the one armed man named Phillip Gerard. However, the man is unable to give Cooper much clues for his composite sketch of the killer. Norma’s husband gets released from prison. We see an interesting conversation with Donna and Audrey about Laura’s past possibly working in the club 100 Jacks. This is an interesting conversation that they decide to keep secret for the moment. We also see the secret relationship with Bobby and Shelly Johnson get hot and heavy. Everybody has a secret in this town and no one is innocent. As Cooper pointed out in the pilot, Bobby didn’t love Laura. Then again Laura has a secret history of her own. Cooper finds the bloody shirt that Leo tried to bury but it was planted by Bobby so Leo could go to prison. Madeleine Ferguson,Laura's cousin meets James for the first time. The twist in this episode was the missing necklace and then this find about Laura being attacked by a bird. Overall, this episode was decent but not much action. This is an episode served to deliver even more backstory and plot twists for later.moreless
  • Smoke & Mirrors

    This is a solid, well-done episode. It is nicely paced and contains more action and plot development than the previous episode, which was a bit too talky. A good example of a non-Lynch directed episode.

    The set-ups are nicely done and the framing and composition of the shots are first rate. I particularly liked the noir feel of the scene where Cooper questions the One-Armed Man, filmed low and showing the ceiling of the motel looming high over the characters.

    The writing is compact and efficient. We move from scene to scene with a minimum of dawdling and little time wasted in unnecessary exposition. There is a lot of humor in this episode that manages to be quirky without going over the top. Some of the funnier moments for me include: Andy dropping his gun just before the police crash into the One-Armed man's motel room; Cooper coming face to face with a curious llama; and Bobby spitting out his gum when Shelly shows him the lingerie she is wearing beneath her uniform.

    It's interesting that nearly every young female character has two guys chasing after her and the women as a whole seem to possess a calm sense of power over the men around them. A lot of the women are like this in Lynch's work as a whole.

    The only thing that I didn't particularly care for in this episode is the final scene between Josie and Pete, which seemed to drag on for no apparent payoff. And the supposed cliffhanger revelation that Hank has some sinister connection with Josie was more yawn-inducing that exciting.moreless
Jed Mills

Jed Mills

Mr. Mooney

Guest Star

Mary Bond Davis

Mary Bond Davis

Female Parole Board Member # 1

Guest Star

Mary Chalon

Mary Chalon

Female Parole Board Member # 2

Guest Star

Kimmy Robertson

Kimmy Robertson

Lucy Moran

Recurring Role

David Lynch (I)

David Lynch (I)

Voice of Gordon Cole - uncredited

Recurring Role

Eric Da Re

Eric Da Re

Leo Johnson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Ben Horne's line about going to clean his "little Elvis" just after he had apparently slept with Catherine would not have made it past the censors so the director has him pull out an actual Elvis figurine from his pocket to deflect some attention away from his sexual innuendo.

    • This episode takes place on: Tuesday, February 28

    • Notice the map of Tibet now hanging on the chalkboard in the conference room.

    • Camera and crew are reflected in the police cruiser and a gas pump when Harry and Cooper visit Dr. Lydecker's office.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • (Standing over Bernard's corpse)
      Leo: Jacques' back in Canada. We had a long talk, he's staying there. Jacques was the brains in the outfit. Bernie made bail this morning on possession.
      Ben: Do me know if uh, the late Bernard gave you up?
      Leo: I told him if he ever did I'd kill him.
      Ben: Oh... did he?
      Leo: Nah, he shouldn't have trusted me, but like I said, Bernie wasn't too bright.

    • Shelly: I've got one man too many in my life and I'm married to him. Sound familiar?
      Norma: Maybe you should have a little talk with Leo.
      Shelly: Leo doesn't talk, he hits. He was so great at first, you know. This flashy guy in his hot car. Then we get married and I find out all he was looking for was a maid he didn't have to pay. I feel so stupid.
      Norma: Look at us. Two men apiece and we don't know what to do with any of the four of them.

    • Hawk: One woman can make you fly like an eagle, another can give you the strength of a lion, but only one in the cycle of life can fill your heart with wonder and the wisdom that you have known a singular joy. I wrote that for my girlfriend.

    • Dr. Jacoby: Laura had secrets and around those secrets she built the fortress that, well that in my six months with her, I was not able to penetrate and for which I consider myself an abject failure.

    • Log Lady intro: Even the ones who laugh are sometimes caught without an answer: these creatures who introduce themselves but we swear we have met them somewhere before.
      Yes, look in the mirror. What do you see? Is it a dream, or a nightmare? Are we being introduced against our will? Are they mirrors?
      I can see the smoke. I can smell the fire. The battle is drawing nigh.

    • Ben Horne: I'm going to give Little Elvis a bath.

  • NOTES (4)


    • Gordon Cole:
      The name of Cooper's boss, Gordon Cole, is taken from Sunset Boulevard, which is one of David Lynch's favorite films.

    • Waldo the Bird and Dr. Lydecker:
      Both the names "Waldo" and "Lydecker" are taken from the classic film Laura. The first season is filled with references to the film.

    • Phillip Gerard, The One Armed Man:
      Ths name "Gerard" comes from the classic television serial The Fugitive, which featured a policeman named Lt. Gerard and an One Armed Man as the series villian.