"Big" Ed Hurley, Jr. runs the local gas station, Big Ed's Gas Farm. He is married to Nadine, with whom he is clearly troubled, but is secretly seeing Norma Jennings, with whom he had been in love since high school.
He also looks after his nephew James Hurley.
A member of the Bookhouse Boys, Big Ed was a tight end on the starting lineup of the Twin Peaks High School's football team in 1968 with Frank Truman, Harry S. Truman, Tommy "Hawk" Hill, Hank Jennings, Thad "Toad" Barker and Jerry Horne.
Contrary to the rest of his family he never worked at the Packard Sawmill and instead became a very skilled mechanic, then took over Ed's Gas Farm from his father and changed its name to Big Ed's Gas Farm. After Frank Truman became sheriff of Twin Peaks, Ed turned down his offer to become a deputy.
The spring after high school, Ed was married to Nadine Butler in the immediate aftermath after his sweetheart Norma had cheated with Hank Jennings while she and Ed had been dating. Frustrated, Ed encountered Nadine and in a state of frustration and half-drunkenness, and he suddenly proposed to marry Nadine and the marriage took place immediately afterward. On their honeymoon hunting trip, he fired a buckshot and a piece of it ricocheted off of a rock and hit Nadine in the eye.
Affair with NormaEdit
Ed and Norma soon became unhappy in their respective marriages and began to secretly resume their relationship. In February 1989, Ed and Nadine came to the Double R Diner -- which Norma owned -- for coffee, but the latter became upset upon seeing Norma and stormed out. Ed apologized to Norma and followed Nadine. He soon came back in to find Norma crying. He went to her and apologized again. They planned to get together and he says he would call her. They shared a smile and he left.
Later, Ed and Norma relaxed in his truck, drinking beer. He blew into a breathalyzer test given to him by Harry, finding that he had drank too much. He commented that they would be there "for a long time," so Norma searched for something on the radio and they discussed their relationship.
Ed was at his gas station on February 24, the day after Laura Palmer was killed. His nephew, James Hurley -- who had been secretly seeing Laura -- arrived and commented that Laura was "the one." James left a message for Laura's best friend Donna Hayward before driving away. Nadine, then yelled at Ed to go pick up the drapes she ordered. He then got in his truck and left.
He later came back to the gas station, where Donna was waiting for him. He gave her a hug and said he was sorry about Laura's death. He gave her James' message when she asked about him and they were interrupted by Donna's boyfriend, Mike, who angrily asked where she had been and insisted that she should have been with him to support his best friend, Bobby Briggs. This angered Ed, who defended Donna. Mike told her to go to the sheriff's station and he left. Nadine then yelled at him again, this time to hang the drapes. Donna then left.
Later in the evening, he received a call from Norma and agreed to meet with her at the Roadhouse. When there, they discussed their relationship as well as Norma's intention to leave Hank, who was in prison for manslaughter. Donna arrived and gets into an altercation with Mike, so Ed came to her aid, but he was beaten down by Bobby.
He went to the sheriff's department the next day, with a bandage over his left eye. He encountered Harry S. Truman -- who was by then the sheriff -- and was introduced to FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. He asked about James, who had been brought in for questioning about the murder. Cooper said that James would be free to go, but should be careful around Mike and Bobby. When Cooper went to take a call from Albert Rosenfield, Ed and Harry discussed the events that occurred in the Roadhouse, suspecting that his beer had been drugged by Jacques Renault, who had been working the bar.
James was released to him, saying that he needed the Bookhouse Boys watching his back and Ed told him that he was covered.
The following day, with greasy hands, Ed entered his house, where Nadine was exercising when he tripped over drape runners she had left in the middle of the floor and dripped grease on them. This upset her, as she was working on a silent drape runner.
He went to the diner and ordered a coffee from Norma, telling her about his trouble with Nadine.
When he came home that night, his wife immediately tackled and hugs him, then presented her now-silent drape runners, which had been achieved by the grease he had accidentally dripped on the cotton balls earlier.
Ed was kissed by Nadine as he observed her nick-nacks before Laura's funeral the next day. James then arrived but said that he would not go to the funeral.
When James came to the funeral and charged at Bobby -- who declared the whole town of killing Laura -- Ed helped Agent Cooper restrain him.
Ed later went to the diner with Harry and Hawk. They were joined by Cooper, who ordered huckleberry pie, ice cream, and coffee from Norma. When she walked away, the special agent immediately asked Ed how long he had been in love with her. They told him about their operation to stop drugs from entering Twin Peaks, officially introducing him to the Bookhouse Boys when they took him to the Bookhouse.
A couple of days later, Ed worked on a car at his gas station when Norma showed up, telling him that Hank made parole and would be coming home. Ed told her that he had not told Nadine about his plans to leave her, as she was not well, but Norma insisted that they both have the same problem - they did not want to hurt anyone. They then agreed to not call each other for a while.
He went to his home the next day, where Nadine was upset over her drape runner patent being rejected.
Ed met Harry and Cooper at the Great Northern Hotel to discuss a plan to go to One Eyed Jack's, a casino and brothel across the Canadian border, for which Cooper had acquired $10,000 of the FBI's money to gamble with. There they would lure Jacques Renault into Twin Peaks to bring him in for questioning in the Laura Palmer case. Ed was given $300 to start off with and he left the other two men alone.
He went with Cooper to One Eyed Jack's and was given the alias Fred when they met Blackie, the brothel's madame. When asked his line of work, Ed said he owns a gas station but quickly stated he was an oral surgeon. They were pointed to the casino and Ed went to the craps table while Cooper played blackjack.
He later observed Cooper playing blackjack but said that it was not his game. When he saw Jacques begin his shift as the card dealer, he gave Cooper the Bookhouse Boys gesture and left him alone.
Ed lost at roulette and wandered past Cooper. He left and goes back to the van with Hawk as they listened in on Cooper's conversation with Jacques.
He went home, where he found Nadine unconscious from overdosing on pills and he called emergency services.
Ed sits in the hospital the next day and is visited by Truman, Cooper, and Albert Rosenfield. They asked about Nadine's condition and he said she is in a coma. Cooper took him aside and Ed told him about his and Nadine's relationship. James was then brought to the hospital by Hawk and the two hugged. He returned to Nadine's room, where he held her hand.
A few days later, he went to visit Nadine, who had been restrained due to an exceptionally large production of adrenaline. Doctor Will Hayward suggested he sing her favorite song to her and left. Ed sang "On Top of Old Smoky" to her, which caused her to wake, crushing his hand and breaking through her restraints, then clapping as she said a cheer. She seemed as if her mind had reverted to the age of 18.
Ed brought Nadine home from the hospital a couple of days later and she did not recognize James. James suggested taking her to Doctor Lawrence Jacoby, but Ed said he was in Hawaii, recovering from a heart attack. After going to the kitchen to get herself something to drink, Nadine came back, having torn off a cabinet door.
Nadine happily came home after shopping the next day. Suggesting they act like they were married, she punched Ed in the gut and tackled him on the couch.
He took Nadine to the diner, showing Norma the current state of mind Nadine was in. When Nadine was brought a milkshake, she broke the glass and gave Ed a big kiss.
Ed went to the roadhouse days later, where he was requested to be by Agent Cooper. He helped clear the floor and Cooper determined the killer of Laura Palmer to be her father Leland Palmer, who later died in custody.
After Leland Palmer's funeral, Ed attended the reception. Donna confided in him that James believed the deaths in Twin Peaks to be his fault and left. Ed assured her that he would be back.
Ed picks at a slice of pie at the diner the following day. He and Norma then reminisced about their time together when they were young.
He sat at the diner again the next day and Norma refilled his coffee. He gave her a tip along with a note saying "We need to talk."
Ed received a call from James, who had still not returned to Twin Peaks, requesting all of the money James had in his savings.
Norma came to his home later and expressed her love for him and her wish for them to be together all the time. Instead of talking about what Ed had called her there for, they gave in to their undeniable attraction to each other.
Later, Donna knocked on his front door, still searching for James. He told her about James' money request and she offered to deliver it to him. Norma then left his home and he turned around to see Hank, who punched him. However, as he was being beaten, Nadine came to his rescue.
Ed met with Doctor Hayward the next day at the diner to discuss Nadine, concerned about her wish to begin dating boys. The doctor suggested he gave her a curfew of 9:00 on school nights and Norma brought him potatoes. Will asked him about Donna's activities looking for James, which Ed explained. Will then left and Norma came over and tells him that Hank was in the hospital, claiming to have had a tree fall on him, though Ed told her the truth about Nadine beating him up. She also said that Hank would be charged with parole violations, a fact that Ed felt should be celebrated and not caring who would find out about their relationship.
He lied awake in bed with Norma the following day, talking about the twenty years that had passed since they separated. Nadine came in, taking the door off of its hinges on her way. She got into bed with them, telling them about her disqualification from the wrestling tournament and apologizing for beating up Hank. She got up to leave and told them that she knew about their relationship and was okay with it, as she was seeing Mike Nelson.
Nadine came home early from school the next day to tell him that she and Mike were in love and she "breaks up" with Ed.
He went to the diner and embraced Norma, asking her to marry him.
Ed sat down with Nadine and Doctor Jacoby the next day to tell her he wanted a divorce, though she was confused as she believed they were only dating.
A few days later, Nadine showed some if her wrestling highlights to Ed, Norma, Mike, and Dr. Jacoby. Jacoby said he had gathered them all together, as he believed divorces were easier when all parties involved could talk about their feelings. Ed told Nadine that he planned on marrying Norma. This caused her to say that she and Mike would be doing the same.
After a bout of chaos that ensued at the Miss Twin Peaks Contest the following night, Doctor Hayward patched up Nadine and Mike, the former having been hit in the head by sandbags. Nadine came to and apparently returned to her adult mental state, telling Mike to leave, and asking Ed why Norma was there.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Hawk's account of Ed and Nadine's marriage in The Secret History of Twin Peaks is different than what Ed tells Cooper in the show. According to Hawk, Ed met Nadine at the gas station as a client after completely forgetting her from high school. They instantly fell in love and married shortly after. He also says that during a hunt with Harry, Nadine lost her left eye in an accident. It is also stated that he and Norma were broken up as a result of Hank intercepting Ed's letters to Norma while he was in Vietnam as a mechanic.
- It is also noted in The Secret History of Twin Peaks that his favorite book is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig, which he read five times and thought that he would figure it out the next time.