What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

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WhiteLodge90
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What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

Postby WhiteLodge90 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:47 am

Just rewatched FWWM and had two things that really bugged me that I can't find much of online

In Fire Walk With Me during the prologue Agents Desmond and Stanley are interviewing the trailer park supervisor Carl Rodd in Teresa Banks trailer. During this talk a woman listed on IMDB as "Curious Woman" appears creeply in the trailer with an ice pack over her eye and looking rather ragged. She just stares at them and after Desmond asks if she knew Banks she seems to shake a bit then walks away after the question and Rodd precedes to stare blankly and subtly terrified while flashing back to the powerlines. Then he says his "I've all ready gone places line." I'm wondering what's up with this woman and if she has any connection to the Chalfont's or the black lodge? Or is there something else abut her. Also it's interesting both her and Rodd seem to have injuries with Rodd having a big band aid on his head.

The other question I had was when Rodd says the Chalfont's lived there and before them was another Chalfont which he passes off as being a weird coincidence (which it obviously isn't) So did the old woman just use the name Chalfont because it was the one she saw on previous lease not unlike she did with Mrs. Tremond? Or is there something else to this as well.
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Cappy
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Re: What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

Postby Cappy » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:59 am

Is the Icepack Woman the Deer Meadow version of the Log Lady?

I've read others interpret Deer Meadow as an evil/mirror/bizarro Twin Peaks, with Deputy Cliff Howard being Andy's counterpart, Sheriff Cable being the evil Sheriff Truman, and Irene from Hap's diner is the rude version of Norma.

You could even suggest that Carl Rod, the landlord/owner of the trailer park was the unglamorous Deer Meadow version of Ben Horne.

Not that this way of looking at the Deer Meadow inhabitants is particularly useful here, but thinking of the Icepack Woman as being akin to the Log Lady "seer" archetype helps us to imagine her relationship to the case. Perhaps she knew something or had some kind of insight into Teresa Banks' fate. Maybe her Icepack spoke to her, maybe that was why she held it on the side of her head, so she could better hear what is was communicating.

Maybe her icepack was filled with a bag of frozen corn.
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Re: What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

Postby saygoodbyetojack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:31 pm

I always assumed Carl and the curious woman were unlucky enough to cross Lelands/Bobs path in the caravan park when he was on the way to murder Teresa that night and they were both bashed on the head by him
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Re: What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

Postby claaa7 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:39 pm

yes that is a very strange and interesting character which i haven't seen discussed all that much.. also take note of her suggested entrance into the scene, when the camera creeps into the doorway before it cuts to Desmond's view and our first sight of the woman. the first shot suggests it's the womans point of view and imo suggests a materialization or something supernatural/otherwordly.. perhaps similiar to Philip Jeffries into the FBI offices
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Re: What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

Postby Mr. Jackpots » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:11 pm

I am of the opinion that deer meadow and the fat trout trailer park are a bizarro version of twin peaks.

And I think that would make the curious woman an opposite of nadine. I believe this because both characters wear an eye patch/ice pack.

I am intrigued by the fact that the curious woman trembles as she exits. I think the curious woman has a lodge connection. The trembling is reminiscent of the way the LMFAP trembles when we first encounter him. And also the way residents arms tremble towards the end of Season 2 as if some type of growing power is emanating from the lodge and effecting people's nerves.
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Re: What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:29 pm

Lost in the Movies's (wonderful) character studies brought my attention to this theory: https://www.reddit.com/r/twinpeaks/comments/571jha/official_rewatch_twin_peaks_fire_walk_with_me/d8oruka/. I'm not convinced that Lynch planned anything so elaborate, and I prefer to let her be a mysterious otherwordly presence, but it's food for thought.
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Re: What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

Postby CuriousWoman » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:35 pm

Probably not significant but her shirt has a cigarette burn on it.

I'm pretty sure that she is linked to the Lodge (which would be another parallel with theLog Lady).

I don't think we will ever anything new about her, but considering that Carl also is linked to the Lodge, that would support his reaction after seeing her
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Re: What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

Postby tmurry » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:27 am

Lynch's three films with female protagonists are all variations on one subliminal story: life is crappy, but particularly to women due to the fact that the traditional female gender role is inherently de-powering, putting them at the mercy of outside forces and subjecting them to difficult choices. An intense burning desire for something more pushes the point of view character from "normal" existence into the realm of personal excess and radical experimentation with the self. This is extremely dangerous, and can lead to transcendence or complete annihilation. We see three versions of that story ending in victory (inland Empire), defeat (Mulholland Drive), or purgatory with ultimate victory (FWWM).

All three of these movies contain a female vagrant/dirty old crone character who represents a failure mode of this "stepping out between two worlds" (the world of societal confines and the world of risky extreme self-examination), the endpoint of someone who burns brightly and who has burned out, who has risked and lost. In Mulholland Drive this is a homeless bag lady who has dropped out of society, and is the ultimate bogeyman to the actress who wants to make it (it is her worst nightmare of how she can wind up in LA, an ever present specter). In Inland Empire, it is a homeless crack addict who again represents the end point of failure of an actress and wife. As Vincent says in Pulp Fiction, "You've decided to be a bum. Just like those pieces of shit out there who beg for change, sleep in garbage bins and eat what I throw away. They got a name for that, Jules: it's called "a bum"" (the worst thing you can be in that movie's interrogation of LA). In FWWM, it is a dirty trailer park denizen who brings out the risk-averse side of Carl Rodd -- he's already gone places and just wants to stay where he is. He's aware that there is further to fall than a trailer park. Even though she never meets Laura, the degraded world of Deer Meadow and the trailer park hang like a specter of a fallen world over the rest of the movie, serving as a dark version of Twin Peaks, where the darkness at the edge of town has not been kept at bay. Likewise, this curious woman hangs over the story of Laura.

In Mulholland Drive, the figure is relatively blunt (all Lynch movies have characters are similar but not exactly the same -- the Phantom is not the same as Bob or the mystery man, but they are cut from the same archetypal cloth), in that she is the recognition of death superimposed on the ultimate degradation that she sees herself sliding into and his/her own personal idea of hell. But in the other two instances, the figure offers some clues to transcendence (maybe that's why Diane failed -- the process of degrading herself, the road of excess she had set out on, did not have a transcendent dimension). The crack addict in IE presents her with the flame and the incantation about blue tomorrows. The curious woman in FWWM has the ice pack covering her eye which brings to mind the common religious/mythological (Norse/Egyptian/the Matrix) image of plucking out the eye to gain a more transcendent type of sight.

There are a number of different vectors here, but I think it all converges into this idea that all of the women in these films push themselves into a dangerous place, and the specter of winding up dirty and homeless and crazy is the ever present risk of going past what society permits, and this character in some way embodies that as either complete existential horror, the potential for transcendence in degradation, or the looming dread of living at the edge.

"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom" -- William Blake
"A little girl went out to play. Lost in the marketplace, as if half-born. Then, not through the marketplace - you see that, don't you? - but through the alley behind the marketplace. This is the way to the palace." - Visitor #1
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Re: What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

Postby WhiteLodge90 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:47 pm

tmurry wrote:Lynch's three films with female protagonists are all variations on one subliminal story: life is crappy, but particularly to women due to the fact that the traditional female gender role is inherently de-powering, putting them at the mercy of outside forces and subjecting them to difficult choices. An intense burning desire for something more pushes the point of view character from "normal" existence into the realm of personal excess and radical experimentation with the self. This is extremely dangerous, and can lead to transcendence or complete annihilation. We see three versions of that story ending in victory (inland Empire), defeat (Mulholland Drive), or purgatory with ultimate victory (FWWM).

A This is the way to the palace." - Visitor #1



An interesting theory. I know because of Lynch's style that these opinions are just that theories but I do find yours to be a bit too convoluted even for Lynch.

I think what we do know is that the Curious Woman obviously had something supernatural about her. Perhaps she was just a vessel for a lodge spirit? But the fact that the camera show her entering from her point of view leads me to believe it was some sort of supernatural appearance. The rest I'm speechless on but I think in my humble opinion it's a bit of a stretch to compare the curious woman who was just briefly seen to the homeless woman from Mulholland Drive (Who is much more prominently featured as being an important character and obvious theme to the movie. But your theory is definitely unique and well thought out. I just don't think it's plausible personally.
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Re: What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

Postby Cappy » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:08 pm

Platypus2000 wrote:And I think that would make the curious woman an opposite of nadine. I believe this because both characters wear an eye patch/ice pack.


I would've thought the woman who wants her hot water turned on was Nadine's counterpart, but that makes a lot of sense too.
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Re: What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

Postby tmurry » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:34 am

An interesting theory. I know because of Lynch's style that these opinions are just that theories but I do find yours to be a bit too convoluted even for Lynch.

I think what we do know is that the Curious Woman obviously had something supernatural about her. Perhaps she was just a vessel for a lodge spirit? But the fact that the camera show her entering from her point of view leads me to believe it was some sort of supernatural appearance. The rest I'm speechless on but I think in my humble opinion it's a bit of a stretch to compare the curious woman who was just briefly seen to the homeless woman from Mulholland Drive (Who is much more prominently featured as being an important character and obvious theme to the movie. But your theory is definitely unique and well thought out. I just don't think it's plausible personally.


Well, thanks for considering. Everyone has to find their own bead on this stuff. I've always disliked the word "theory" for this, which in its scientistic suggestivity inherently posits right-or-wrong instead of a word like "take" (squatted on by the hoi palloi as it is) which implies useful or unuseful collective explanatory power. The three stories of Lynch's female protagonists are quite different and I was trying to tease out the common part, which is women suffering in an inherently female way and playing with fire because they are trying to reach at something. I view this through the lens of Inland Empire as the apotheosis of these themes and that colors my view, probably. Also I tend to conflate supernatural, extraterrestrial, and archetypal as different flavors of the same thing so saying she is an archetype is the same as you saying she is supernatural.

Not to flog this to death but Laura is the May Queen (from Wikipedia): "She wears a white gown to symbolize purity and usually a tiara or crown... According to folklore, the tradition once had a sinister twist, in that the May Queen was put to death once the festivities were over." This doesn't get into the ritualistic defilement but, for civilization to exist, there is a very old archetypal story that a symbolic girl embodying innocence on the cusp of womanhood must be venerated for her purity which must then be destroyed/defiled/rotted away. This is true even before we know the killer. Once we know, it is almost unbearable how awful this is and yet we still want Lindsey Lohan to play out our dark primordial agrarian myths.

Mulholland Drive is different, partly due to the fact that Diane's sexual abuse by her grandfather and even her scraping by through prostitution are extremely speculative, which leaves her apparent orientation to the world as a person who is selfish and superficial in the meat market of Hollywood. Her lack of moral compass seems de novo and thus we kind of think she has it coming. Sympathy takes some real sensitivity, but I watched all of Sex and the City so I have empathy-with-horrible-women practice. If you imagine the backstory, however, this could be Laura if events didn't come to a head (and if she wasn't morally strong enough to sacrifice herself). Inland Empire could be Laura as a stronger version even later who has decided to take the archetypal story into her own hands and bend it towards grace and love.

Anyhoo, When I saw MD the first time, I immediately instinctively connected "Bum" with the Curious Woman (whose name implies a Laura analogue, as the girl "experimenting" with experiences) due to sheer image - a mound of a woman, dirty, skulking hunched around corners, evoking Norse images (maybe that last bit is just me) - so they "rhyme" to me instinctively. Rodd, who seems to "see" her, then talks about how he wants to stay where he is - he sees her as a symbol if the danger of exploration. Since she visually relates to the MD vagrant, it enhances the vibe of fear of death and degradation and the risk of who you'll become if you "step out" and are of imperfect mettle. Carl is staying where he is. Deer Meadow is a dark mirror of Twin Peaks and, given the way these things line up, this is a one possible future for Laura (maybe the one if she doesn't take the ring) and female "Magicians" in general.

Whether this helps anyone is a matter of whether my interpretation has taken me farther afield than they way other people's minds digest this stuff, and if it is too far then this is a weak "take" as a general rule. Myself in 3 months I may not feel this anymore. This is an interpretive path, not gospel.
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Re: What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

Postby OK,Bob » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:14 am

Cappy wrote:Is the Icepack Woman the Deer Meadow version of the Log Lady?


Her sweater suggests SOME link. (Irene in FWWM and Norma in MP also don identical sweaters.)
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Re: What's up with the creepy old woman in FWWM

Postby Saturn's child » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:18 pm

tmurry wrote:...for civilization to exist, there is a very old archetypal story that a symbolic girl embodying innocence on the cusp of womanhood must be venerated for her purity which must then be destroyed/defiled/rotted away. This is true even before we know the killer. Once we know, it is almost unbearable how awful this is and yet we still want Lindsey Lohan to play out our dark primordial agrarian myths.


Excellent contributions to the thread; I tend to find myself floating around loosely similar perspectives. & speaking of dark primordial agrarian myths, I wonder if there's any chance of Coop resembling a dying-&-rising god by the end of the new season? We already have corn itself in an integral role, & death will be a pretty prominent theme as per Frost's intimations... Could see an interesting take on death/rebirth by part 18.

& OK,Bob -- great catch!! (likewise with Norma/Irene)

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