Sometime around 1969, as a result of an incident he would only explain as a "long story," Cole was suffered severe and permanent hearing loss, requiring him to wear two hearing aids at maximum volume. Even still, he was known to constantly mishear others' statements, and constantly spoke in a loud volume to compensate.
In 1978, Gordon Cole was the deputy director of the FBI's Criminal Investigation Division. He first met Dale Cooper when he flew to Pittsburgh to oversee the investigation of Windom Earle's kidnapping and a bizarre series of murders. They talked through the case together, after which Cole, in Cooper's words, "gave it the thumbs-up, then blew back to Washington just as fast and loud as he came in."
Cole was contacted by Douglas Milford one year after the demise of President Nixon, helping him to secretly continue Project Blue Book.
In early 1983, Cole and Special Agent Phillip Jeffries visited the town of Twin Peaks, supposedly in order to investigate the construction of the Listening Post Alpha facility by the U.S. Air Force on Blue Pine Mountain that Mayor Dwayne Milford and a number of locals were concerned about. Afterward, Cole sent the mayor a letter stating that he had personally spoken to the project supervisor Major Garland Briggs and his superiors and determined that the base was a new radar and weather forecasting facility, part of President Reagan's new Strategic Defense Initiative also known as the "Star Wars" project. In truth, Cole's report was part of the cover story for Listening Post Alpha, officially known as SETI Array 7-I, a deep-space monitoring operation overseen by the mayor's brother Douglas Milford.
Around 1985, while protecting Caroline Earle at a safe house, Agent Cooper was shot and gravely injured by an unknown assailant, while Caroline was killed. Cole was the one to break the news to Cooper when he awoke, and also revealed that Windom had lost his mind upon finding the two of them. Heartbroken, Cooper requested a leave of absence, returning to duty months later. After visiting Earle in the insane asylum, Cooper shared a recording of their conversation with Cole and confided his belief that Earle had been insane far earlier than Caroline's death, and was in fact somehow responsible for it. After hearing the tape, Cole agreed that Earle clearly needed to remain institutionalized for the rest of his life.
Murder of Teresa BanksEdit
In early 1988, the body of Teresa Banks was found in Deer Meadow, Oregon. Cole dispatched Agent Chester Desmond to lead the investigation, and arranged to meet him in Portland for a briefing. At the airport, Cole introduced Desmond to Agent Sam Stanley and then presented Lil the Dancer, who performed an interpretive dance to share important facts about the case. Cole said that Lil was "his mother's sister's girl," before covering his face with his hand. On the car ride over, Desmond explained to Stanley what Gordon and Lil had "told" him about Deer Meadow.
On February 16, Agent Phillip Jeffries reappeared at the FBI office in Philadelphia after two years missing. Cole, along with Cooper and Albert Rosenfield, tried to make sense of Jeffries' story, shortly before Jeffries disappeared from the office once again.
Murder of Laura PalmerEdit
On February 28, 1989 - four days after Laura Palmer's murder - Cole called Agent Cooper at the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department to update him on Laura's autopsy results. He also warned that Albert Rosenfield intended to press assault charges against Sheriff Truman. Cooper vehemently insisted that he would fight against it, and implored Cole to intervene. Later in the day, Gordon faxed Cooper a reconstruction of the plastic fragment found in Laura's stomach, which was part of a One Eyed Jack's poker chip.
Cole arrived in Twin Peaks in person on March 8, following Cooper's shooting at the Great Northern Hotel. He interrupted Truman's questioning of Donna Hayward to introduce himself, and to share Rosenfield's lab report on the shooting incident and the syringe found on Philip Gerard. Later, Cole met Cooper at the sheriff's station, enthusiastically greeting him and remarking that Cooper reminded him of a "small Mexican chihuahua." In Truman's office, Cole conveyed Agent Rosenfield's concern that Cooper was getting in over his head, and shared a troubling message sent to the bureau from the escaped Windom Earle - the first move in a chess game.
That evening, along with Cooper, Truman, and Deputy Hawk, Cole withheld Gerard's haloperidol dose and watched as he was possessed by MIKE, an inhabiting spirit from the Black Lodge. MIKE explained his nature and his purpose: to stop BOB, his former partner in crime. He then revealed that BOB was, at that moment, somewhere at the Great Northern.
Early the next morning, Cole mentioned to Cooper and the others that pages from Laura Palmer's secret diary had been found a mile away from the crime scene; Cooper sent Deputy Hawk to search Harold Smith's home for the diary. Cole then took his leave, heading for Bend, Oregon on secret business, and wished them luck.
Cooper's Suspension from the FBIEdit
Days after Cole departed from Twin Peaks, Leland Palmer was found to be the killer of Laura, having committed the act while possessed by BOB. Following this, Cooper was suspended from the FBI due to acting outside of his jurisdiction and an apparent connection to a drug trade operated by the Canadian Renault family.
Return of Windom EarleEdit
On March 22, Cole returned to Twin Peaks to bring Cooper the classified portion of Windom Earle's dossier. He also presented Cooper with a sidearm and announced that he was reinstating Cooper as an FBI agent to help locate and stop Earle before he could complete his insane plan.
Cole and Cooper took Sheriff Truman to the Double R Diner, where Cole recommended raw meat and eggs to treat Truman's hangover. While Truman ran to the restroom, Gordon became smitten by the sight of Shelly Johnson, comparing her aloud to the Venus de Milo and stepping up to the counter to chat with her. As they talked, Cole was astonished to realize that he could hear her perfectly, and could converse at a normal volume for the first time in twenty years. After a testy exchange with the Log Lady sitting nearby, Cole ordered coffee and a massive piece of pie, explaining that his socks were on fire. He later requested a piece of paper and a pencil in order to write an epic poem about the meal he had just had.
The next morning, Cole was at the Double R regaling Shelly with a case story when they were joined by Cooper and Annie Blackburn. Cole explained to Shelly that he would soon be leaving Twin Peaks indefinitely, and said that during their short friendship she had touched his heart. Then, saying that he might regret it the rest of his days unless he did it, Cole leaned in to kiss her. Bobby Briggs, entering the diner, angrily shouted at them, prompting Cole to yell, "YOU ARE WITNESSING A FRONT THREE-QUARTER VIEW OF TWO ADULTS SHARING A TENDER MOMENT!" He then advised Bobby that he would soon see it again, and kissed Shelly a second time.
By 2016, Cole had been promoted to Deputy Director. On July 17, a ledger was recovered from an active crime scene, containing a lengthy dossier on the history of Twin Peaks and unusual phenomena in the region, compiled by an unknown individual. On August 4, Cole tasked Agent "TP" of the bureau's Investigations and Operations Support Section with reviewing the dossier and determining the identity of its author.
"Cooper, you remind me today of a small Mexican chihuahua."
- – "Episode 13"
Behind the scenesEdit
Cole is played by Twin Peaks co-creator David Lynch. According to Lynch in the DVD extra A Slice of Lynch, the loud voice was originally unintentional, but soon became one of, if not the most significant trait of the character.
David Lynch is set to reprise the role in the 2017 revival and was featured in a teaser released on December 18, 2016.