This is an update from my first posting about the pages Hawk found in the restroom stall. That one was written before Part 7 aired. This post is an attempt to make sense of everything that we know. You might want to read the first one, but it’s not required. I cover much of those facts here too.
Before we get into the mud with this plot issue, I’d like to take a moment to explain how I have approached creating theories in Twin Peaks for the last 25 years. As you explore the site, the dates on these articles look new, but the writings are over 15 years old. Some of these articles I wrote myself and others are written or co-written by others.
When I theorize about TP, I do not bring the fact that it’s a show into the equation (however, I will use scripts, etc to help clarify a scenario). As I develop ideas, I look at what I see on the screen as if these events are unfolding before us in reality. And it’s my task to put these pieces together in a way that makes sense. Simply shrugging and saying that something is a continuity error is not a good answer (even though that might be the truth and the reason for the inconsistency). It’s an important concept when you’re trying to piece together the mythology of any show – especially Twin Peaks. My general rule – continuity is your very last option because continuity doesn’t exist to the characters.
So with that in mind, let’s discuss the diary and the pages Hawk found.
Let’s begin with the facts as we know them BEFORE the airing of The Return in chronological order. Reviewing these facts are important as we work through the new facts.
1. Laura discovers that the pages are ripped out of her secret diary.
2. She gives Harold the diary for safe-keeping because she believes that BOB doesn’t know about Harold.
3. Laura has her dream and receives Annie’s warning.
4. Laura dies and pages of a diary are found near the crime scene, along with a bloody towel.
5. Donna takes over Meals on Wheels and discovers Harold Smith and the secret diary.
6. Laura and Maddy attempt to steal the diary and fail. Harold kills himself, but not before ripping the diary to shreds.
7. Cooper reassembles the diary.
8. While with Cooper and visiting the house across from Harold’s, Donna receives a page from Laura’s diary from Harold – it’s dated the last day of Laura’s life. The page is white. Laura writes about a dream she had – same one that Cooper had in Episode 2, and also mentions that this is the night she will die.
With these facts, we have a very solid list of facts for the canon of Twin Peaks. Laura wrote her secret diary, gave it up after discovering pages were ripped out by BOB/Leland. Harold keeps it and then destroys it. The warning from Annie never made it into the diary and so Cooper never would have learned about the future event that would trap him. The only issue we had was Donna getting that last page. Up to this point, I didn’t really care about that little inconsistent detail but could explain it off as Laura dropped by to write one last entry. What I thought was a throw away explanation is now key.
The problem is that the Return makes things much more difficult with regards to canon facts. The facts surrounding the diary as we have understood for 25 years are now in question. Here’s our new facts:
1. The pages that Hawk finds are yellow.
2. The pages are not torn the way they are shown in FWWM. These newly found pages are pulled from the binding whereas the pages from the movie are torn straight down leaving a margin of writing.
3. The content of at least one page has Laura’s dream about Annie and the warning. She did write it down!!!
So with these new facts, we must adapt our previous conclusions. The problem is that we have some serious inconsistencies from assumed canon.
The first problem we have is that both of Laura’s Diaries have white pages. These pages found by Hawk are yellow. Yes, pages can yellow overtime, but these pages are a “clean” yellow suggesting they are from a memo notebook. But I can at least accept that they have yellowed overtime if need be for a theory. (Click on image to see a bigger picture.)
The second major problem is that these new found pages are ripped differently. They were pulled out of the binding and not straight down as we saw in FWWM. This information I cannot explain away this problem. In deleted conversation from Season 2 that I posted on previously, Frost writes that some pages are yellow. These pages are also pulled from the binding unlike the white pages which have been ripped and shredded (by Harold). This is consistent with what we saw in The Return putting into question FWWM (if we accept that deleted conversation as canon). Take a closer look at the picture above – the yellow diary page – it’s ripped cleanly. Now look at the picture from FWWM – not cleanly ripped. When she flips to the final pages of the diary, the shot is not straight on but you can tell the pages are still ripped in this style below.
Bottom line – the combined facts of yellow pages and inconsistent tearing of these pages do not line up with previous facts.
The other problem we have is timeline. If these pages are original pages from Laura’s Diary, then she handed the diary over to Harold BEFORE her dream. There’s just no getting around this fact unless you move the timeline in FWWM. The problem is that Lynch and Engels put the dream sequence AFTER the diary exchange in the script itself. In FWWM, they even give us the days of each event. There’s no getting around the fact that Laura had her dream AFTER giving up her diary.
This is why Donna receiving that last day page is now important – we now have new facts that suggest that Laura really did go back to Harold’s the day she was killed. It is now the only conclusion we can make if we are trying to make the storyline consistent.
So with all these new facts, I present the following canon suggestion that ties all this together in a decently wrapped present:
Laura drops the diary off with Harold and then has her dream (like we saw in FWWM). Even though we don’t see it, Laura cannot shake this dream. She writes it down on a memo notebook with yellow pages (maybe at school). Laura, not BOB/Leland, rips these yellow pages from the binding. On her final day alive, she does Meals on Wheels and drops by Harold’s house. She writes one last entry in her diary and then places the yellow papers into the diary for safe-keeping. She probably gives Harold a final kiss goodbye knowing this will be her last.
This conclusion handles much of our inconsistencies with the diary. The central key is simple – Laura returned to Harold’s. If we accept this then everything falls into place.
But we still have a major problem on our hands – how did these yellow “addendum” pages get into the Sheriff Station.
Hawk suggests that the person who dropped them here is Leland and he offers an reasonable explanation. BUT if these have been in Harold’s possession since the last day of Laura’s life (as I have proposed), then Leland obtaining these pages become problematic.
However we can figure out some possible answers.
Even though Laura doesn’t think Leland/BOB knew about Harold doesn’t mean that he didn’t know about him. It is possible that Leland sneaks into Harold’s house and took these pages. Problem that I have with this is that Leland would have taken the whole diary, not just these pages. Harold’s house doesn’t appear to be the biggest and there’s a good chance that Leland would have been caught.
I think it is more likely that these pages remained at Harold’s until the cops arrived. These addendum pages were collected and then were stolen by Leland/BOB during a visit to the station or by the OAM who was had the station for quite some time too. Either one could have ample time to dispose of these pages in the restroom stall.
You will notice in the shot below of Harold’s living room floor – there are white and YELLOW pages.
Next time we see these pages, we see Cooper handling white ones only. Where did the yellow ones go? The only yellow paper on the table is his memo pad.
The only conclusion I can come up with is that these pages were stolen at some point.
One final time, let’s lay out all our facts up to Part 7. Facts are in black font and my conclusions/dot-connecting are in red.
Fact 1. Laura discovers that the pages are ripped out of the diary. These pages are not pulled from the spine but ripped downward leaving portions of writing intact.
Fact 2. She gives Harold the diary for safe-keeping because she believes that BOB doesn’t know about Harold.
Fact 3. Laura has her dream and receives Annie’s warning.
Dot 1: At some point before death, she writes down Annie’s warning among other things on a yellow page.
Fact 4. Laura dies and pages of a diary are found near the crime scene, along with a bloody towel.
Dot 2: These pages were ripped out earlier by BOB/Leland before Laura dropped the diary off. These are the pages that Laura gets freaked out about.
Fact 5. Donna takes over Meals on Wheels and discovers Harold Smith and the secret diary.
Fact 6. Laura and Maddy attempt to steal the diary and fail. Harold kills himself, but not before ripping the diary to shreds. On the floor there are both white and yellow pages.
Fact 7. Cooper reassembles the diary with the white pages only.
Fact 8. While with Cooper, Donna receives a white page from Laura’s diary from Harold – it’s dated the last day of Laura’s life.
Dot 3: This confirms that Laura must have returned to Harold’s after dropping off the diary the first time. She wrote quickly in her diary that she is going to die that night. While there she places the yellow pages inside the diary. (With this dot, FWWM and the first two seasons are consistent in this regard.)
Fact 10. 25 years later, Hawk finds these yellow pages.
Dot 4: Someone stole these specific yellow pages and hid them away in the bathroom stall (I am not convinced it was Leland just because Hawk said it was). Both Gerard/Mike and Leland/BOB were around the station a lot over those 2 or 3 days between Harold’s death and Leland’s death. We also cannot ignore that an evil Dale Cooper may be able to manipulate time and hide these pages. We also cannot ignore that a “good” spirit has placed these pages here in an effort to help Hawk discover the truth about Cooper for a specific time and place in the future.
Now you might ask, wouldn’t it make sense that Hawk would have verified that these pages are from Laura’s Diary. Yes, and he may have done this as a character but not shown to us. He easily could have looked at the ripped pages in evidence and saw that 1) they matched Laura’s handwriting and 2) there was a mix of white and yellow pages from the diary. For Hawk, it doesn’t matter how, when or why – it just matters that they are from Laura and are similar to the papers found at Harold’s house. For Hawk, the evidence is obvious. But for us, we know more than Hawk.
I don’t normally do this in my theories but I would like to add that at this point I do believe these issues are due to creative license by Lynch and Frost and may ultimately be an issue of continuity. Lynch and Engels created this issue with Fire Walk With Me and now Lynch and Frost have fully used creative license to make these strings very frayed.
Engels and Lynch probably never went back and confirmed the order of events in Twin Peaks. For the story they were telling, it really didn’t matter. For the story being told today, Lynch and Frost both admitted to not rewatching FWWM and the Series. However, I wouldn’t put it past either of them if they reviewed some of the old TV scripts which is why these yellow pages look a lot like the pages that Frost described in an episode I mentioned in previously. I wouldn’t at all be surprised that Frost found his original script and integrated it with the new story not remembering or not concerned that it wasn’t actually shown to us.
So yes, I think it’s a continuity issue, but with a some logical conclusions, I think we can at least make sense of it.
Final note – all of this could change in the next 11 parts of the show. 🙂 There are lots more that we still don’t know and the Secret History of Twin Peaks has not yet been explained, and as we know, that’s full of inconsistencies — just like Laura’s Diary.
So it is possible, these discrepancies **are** on purpose and suggest a bigger plot point that we don’t know yet.