"Episode 27", or, "The Path to the Black Lodge" is the twentieth episode of the second season of Twin Peaks, and the twenty-eighth episode of the series as a whole. It originally aired April 18, 1991.
"There are clues everywhere, all around us. But the puzzle maker is clever. The clues, although surrounding us, are somehow mistaken for something else. And the something else, the wrong interpretation of the clues, we call our world. Our world is a magical smoke screen. How should we interpret the happy song of the meadowlark or the robust flavor of a wild strawberry?"―Margaret Lanterman[src]
Lawmen remove Rusty Tomasky's body from the gazebo as Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman question a friend of Rusty's. He tells them that he was passing by Twin Peaks with his band and Rusty went with a man who offered him beer. Cooper states that Windom Earle is playing off the board.
The men return to the sheriff's station in the morning, and Lucy tells Andy that she will be choosing the father of her child the next day. Andy then gives her some pointers for her speech she is to give at the Miss Twin Peaks Contest.
Jack looks for Audrey as he prepares to leave the hotel. Doctor Hayward gives Ben an examination. Will tells him to stay away from Eileen, but Ben insists on doing what he believes to be the right thing. Jack comes and Doc leaves for his office. Jack tells Ben that he will be leaving Twin Peaks due to a partner being murdered.
Audrey returns to the hotel and Hawk stops her to take her to a meeting ordered by Agent Cooper.
Ben and Jack further discuss the latter's departure and the effects that it may have on the Stop Ghostwood campaign. Jack has Ben give Audrey a letter.
Major Briggs assigns Cappy some work and meets with Dale and Harry to discuss Earle's activities with Project Blue Book, telling them that he became obsessive and violent and was dropped from the project. He shows them footage of Earle speaking about dugpas and a place called the Black Lodge. Cooper figures that Earle's true motivation for coming to Twin Peaks is to find the Black Lodge and that the Owl Cave petroglyph has a sort of connection. Earle listens in on the conversation and states that he knows more than the lawmen do. He plans to go with Leo Johnson to ambush Major Briggs.
Cooper meets with Shelly, Audrey, and Donna concerning the poem that was given to them by Earle and any strange encounters they had with him. He tells them to check in with the sheriff twice a day and gives them guidelines for their safety.
Earle tells Leo about the dugpas as the latter cleans off a table saw. Leo notices Shelly on one of the queen cards, Earle expressing his doubt over whether Leo loves her. Leo holds out the shock collar remote, Earle feigning fear until Leo shocks himself entertaining Earle.
Audrey returns to the hotel, missing Jack as he leaves. She goes to her father's office and asks about Jack, but Ben tells her that he feels Stop Ghostwood needs a spokesperson, specifically her, and urges her to enter Miss Twin Peaks. Audrey finally gets Ben's attention about Jack; he tells her he has gone, and she leaves.
Cooper, Truman, and Andy observe the petroglyph and wonder where Briggs has gone. Truman has Andy call Betty. Cooper muses about Annie, saying that he thinks about her frequently throughout the day. His hand briefly shakes.
Briggs wanders through the woods until he encounters two men in a horse costume, who brandish a dart gun, incapacitating him. Earle reveals himself and Leo as the horse, laughing.
Jack prepares to leave in his plane.
Cooper goes to the diner and talks with Annie, and she notices that he is being troubled, and he admits that he has been thinking about her more than the case at hand. She admits to thinking about him all day. He offers to take her dancing later and they share a kiss, accidentally knocking over a stack of dishes.
Pete takes Audrey to the airport and right before Jack prepares for takeoff, Audrey stops him. They express their love for each other, and Jack states that he must leave, but does not know if he will return. She requests him to make love to her and they go inside his plane, leaving Pete teary-eyed as his hand starts shaking.
Earle interrogates Briggs about the Owl Cave, but the major states that he is not at liberty to give him the answers he seeks. Windom injects him with a sort of truth serum, causing Briggs to admit that he saw the petroglyph in a dream during his disappearance. He describes signs that say, "there is a time if Jupiter and Saturn meet, they will receive you."
Cooper meets Annie at the roadhouse and offers to teach her how to dance. She expressed to him that she wanted more than his kisses, but they are interrupted by Mayor Milford addressing the crowd, but struggling with the microphone. She expressed her attraction to Dale and they share a kiss, being once again interrupted by Milford. She decides to enter Miss Twin Peaks, but then the Giant appears to Cooper, waving his arms and mouthing "no."
Jack leaves, waking Pete up in his truck. Audrey goes to Pete, who reassures her that Jack would return. After she mentions Jack's promise to take her fishing, Pete offers to go with her, stating that a "trout's leap in the moonlight" is a cure for a broken heart.
Leo and Briggs are disturbed by computer noises as an unphased Earle discovers that the petroglyph is actually a map to the Black Lodge.
Deep in the woods, a light appears and BOB steps out into the open as a reflection on the ground in front of him reveals red drapes.
A deleted scene entitled "Bobby Coaches Shelly" features Bobby admitting to Shelly that he has not been fair to her, then they go over Shelly's speech for Miss Twin Peaks, which does not appear to follow the given theme for the speech.
- Kyle MacLachlan as Special Agent Dale Cooper
- Michael Ontkean as Sheriff Harry S. Truman
- Madchen Amick as Shelly Johnson
- Dana Ashbrook as Bobby Briggs
- Richard Beymer as Benjamin Horne
- Lara Flynn Boyle as Donna Hayward
- Sherilyn Fenn as Audrey Horne
- Warren Frost as Dr. Will Hayward
- Peggy Lipton as Norma Jennings (credit only)
- James Marshall as James Hurley (credit only)
- Everett McGill as Big Ed Hurley (credit only)
- Jack Nance as Pete Martell
- Kimmy Robertson as Lucy Moran
- Joan Chen as Jocelyn Packard (credit only)
- Piper Laurie as Catherine Martell
- Eric Da Re as Leo Johnson
- Harry Goaz as Deputy Andy Brennan
- Michael Horse as Deputy Tommy 'Hawk' Hill
- Kenneth Welsh as Windom Earle
Guest Starring Edit
- Billy Zane as John Justice Wheeler
- Heather Graham as Annie Blackburn
- Robyn Lively as Lana Budding Milford
- Don Davis as Maj. Garland Briggs
- Mary Jo Deschanel as Eileen Hayward
- Dan O'Herlihy as Andrew Packard
- Willie Garson as Heavy Metal Roadie
- John Boylan as Mayor Dwayne Milford
- Carel Struycken as The Giant
- Ron Blair as Randy St. Croix
- Ron Kirk as Cappy
- Ted Raimi as Heavy Metal Youth
- Frank Silva as Bob
- Layne Robert Rico as Pilot
- unknown performer as Lady with the Shaking Hand