The Blue Rose and The Ring

This is definitely one of the subjects in Twin Peaks that generates significant debate. Personally I feel pretty strongly about the Blue Rose, so here's my take on it. The Blue Rose makes its most symbolic appearances early on in the film, Fire Walk With Me notably in the first half, which focuses on FBI Special Agents Chester Desmond and Sam Stanley (Chris Isaak and Kiefer Sutherland, respectively). As Gordon Cole (David Lynch) introduces Sam Stanley to FBI Special Agent Chester Desmond, an awkward girl in a red dress appears; pinned upon the red dress is a blue rose. Shortly thereafter, Chester Desmond explains the symbolism of her gestures and appearance, with the exception of the blue rose: "I can't tell you about that." Naturally, such a twist has created quite a frenzy in the Twin Peaks community.

It's important to point out another symbolic element prevalent throughout the film, which I believe to be central to the functions of the Black Lodge itself. In my view, the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks is the nemesis of the White Lodge. Whilst they're actual locations in Twin Peaks, they also seem to represent human capacities, the dark and the good side in everyone. As with the numerous double entendres in David Lynch's works, it is the black vs. its opposite, white, good versus evil. Of course, all this takes places in a most ambiguous, yet also obvious way throughout the film and the series. The Black Lodge is the evil side seeking to control and dominate the good and innocent. It is also a test of the wills. The spirits of the Black Lodge seem ever intent on capturing innocence, and in Twin Peaks it targets those within Laura Palmer's triangle. To do this it needs some kind of vehicle and the validation of success. The vehicle is BOB, who controls the host body weak enough to accept his spirit. Bobs' sign of victory is very relevant to the blue rose.

'She's my mother's sister's girl.' 'What's missing?' 'The Uncle.' The first, and probably most important clue to this sign is Theresa Banks. She is the first murder victim in Twin Peaks and is found deceased, wrapped in plastic, outside Twin Peaks, exactly a year before Laura Palmer's death. During their investigation of her death, Agents Chester Desmond and Sam Stanley visit Hap's Diner. This venue is the antithesis to the Double R Diner in the series, as is its owner Irene the antithesis to Norma Jennings. Irene reluctantly comments that Theresa Bank's arm went dead a couple of days before her death. Later on they find a recent picture pinned in the kitchen of her trailer, showing Theresa wearing the blue ring on the same arm. The pale band of the missing ring is highlighted on her finger while Sam Stanley inspects her body at the morgue. Under a fingernail of the same hand, he discovers BOB's personal memento left under every victim, a cut out letter. The ring has become a focal point, as it seems the moment Theresa Banks placed it on her finger, she signed her spiraling death certificate.

To further this point, as the film moves into it's second half the focus shifts to the last seven days of Laura Palmer. During this time we witness several events during a particular evening after which Laura has hung a picture on her wall. She was given this picture by Mrs. Tremond and her grandson, who are known to inhabit the White Lodge. This gesture appaers to be a warning to Laura from the good side and is immediately followed by several key events. That night, Laura awakes in bed to find Annie Blackburn lying next to her covered in blood. She is in the condition in which she left the Black Lodge at the end of the series following Windom Earle's kidnapping of her. Annie tells Laura to inscribe a couple of facts into her diary about Special Agent Dale Cooper's spirits between the two Lodges, after which Laura opens the palm of her hand to find the blue ring resting in it. As the scene switches to the Lodge, the Man From Another Place holds the blue ring up to the camera, as Dale Cooper poignantly says: "Don't take the ring, Laura, don't take the ring." Again, this is not only a warning, but also a hint that the wearing of the ring will set the scene for something ominous, and obviously, victorious to the Black Lodge.

Further on in the film, most notably after Laura is suspicious of her father being BOB's vehicle, Laura is driving with her father in his convertible through Twin Peaks. In what could be one of the finest examples of Lynchian cinematic creation, the scene takes a twist as the car's engine begins to heat up, during which time an elderly resident halts the traffic whilst slowly crossing the road at the intersection of Sparkwood / 21, and a truck pulls up in the opposite direction, alongside to the car. The driver, Philip Gerard, or the One-Armed Man, leans out and begins to maniacally yell to Laura, his words indistinguishable due to the blaring horn of Leland's car and his flooding of the engine, complimented by his crazed eyes. On reflection, we see through Laura's eyes the marking element of the scene, as the hand of the One-Armed Man is focused upon, revealing again the blue ring around his little finger. (note: NOT the ring finger) It would seem, given Philip Gerad's history to Bob (he saw the light, turned towards the good, and acts as a messenger from the White Lodge] that this is another warning not to wear the ring.

Finally, the significance of the ring is shown during Laura's murder scene. Trapped by Leland Palmer (who is possessed by BOB) in an abandoned train car outside Twin Peaks, Laura and Ronette Pulaski appear to be the next sacrifices to the Black Lodge. However, this takes a twist when Ronette, frantically praying by the door of the train car, is apparently redeemed by the temporary appearance of an angel. Her hands fall free of their binds and she manages to escape. The ring remains and as soon as Ronette vanishes, appears on Laura's left hand, the same arm as Theresa Banks'. Bob gains complete control and kills Laura. She has given herself to the Black Lodge. As with Theresa Banks, Bob inserts a cut out letter under Laura's finger. Imitating the placement of the ring found under the trailer of the Chalfonds (Tremonds in the series) by Chester Desmond earlier in the film, Leland places Laura's heart necklace on a mound of dirt.

How does this all link together, you may ask? Just as the White Lodge has its own symbols, so does the Black Lodge. To symbolise the ring, as a warning, the White Lodge presents the Blue Rose. Symbolic of a lure to the Black Lodge, it presents the Blue Ring. Once worn, the victim is destined to be killed by Bob, or whichever messenger it sends. Of course, many will also want to draw parallels between the Blue Rose, the Blue Ring, and Project Blue Book, the term for the secret project headed by the Air Force, assigned to Major Briggs, which was chased down by Windom Earle before and after his turn to insanity. Furthermore, upon finding the vanished Agent Chester Desmond's old Ford with 'Let's Rock!' scrawled across the windshield, Special Agent Dale Cooper dictates to Diane, noting the case was one of Gordon Cole's 'blue rose cases'. These further elements are still causing much question in my mind, so if you have any ideas of your own regarding them, I'd be very interested to hear them.