Shelly Johnson works at the Double R Diner, which is owned by Norma Jennings, a good friend of hers. Shelly dropped out of high school to marry trucker Leo Johnson, who had swept her off her feet by lavishing her with attention. As soon as they got married, it turned out that Leo just "wanted a maid he didn't have to pay for," in her words. Leo is a monstrous home dictator, wife-beater, and dangerous criminal, and he is tangibly connected to Laura Palmer's murder.
Shelly has been having an affair with Laura's boyfriend, Bobby Briggs, who, like Laura, is still in high school, and besides being a jock, he's something of a known hooligan. Although Bobby doesn't quite tread on the right side of the law, he is at least kind to Shelly, unlike Leo. The risk of the affair is great; Bobby deals drugs for Leo and knows just how dangerous Leo is.
During the show's second season, Leo lapses into a catatonic state and Shelly and Bobby openly flaunt their relationship in front of him.
Twin Peaks (1990-1991)Edit
Shelly is at work at the Double R Diner on the morning of February 24, 1989. She asks fellow waitress Heidi why she was late to work. Heidi claims she could not get her car started. Shelly finishes this thought with "too busy jump-starting the old man, huh?" Which causes Heidi to giggle as she heads to the kitchen. Bobby Briggs offers to take her home on his way to football practice, which she accepts. She leaves the diner with Bobby and goes out to his car. He says that he thinks Norma suspects their secret relationship, but she says she probably does not.
They drive to her house, drinking as they go until Bobby spots her husband, Leo's, truck after she says he is out of town. Bobby backs up and drops her off away from her house.
Later, she sits with Leo, who is examining cigarettes in their ash tray and notes that there are different brands. When he questions her, she says she just smokes whatever she can find, so he insists she smoke one brand from now on and threatens her if she does not listen.
Shelly leaves her house, ready for work, and goes over to Leo, who is cleaning his truck. She says she has finished doing laundry, but he gives her a pile of dirty clothes to wash, and tells her to do it immediately. She takes the clothes to their washing machine, but finds a bloody shirt among them. When Norma arrives to take her to work, she hides the shirt. Before she leaves, Leo tells her that he may come to the diner and to save her a piece of pie.
She later serves coffee to Sheriff Harry S. Truman and FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, the former suggesting the latter to try the diner's cherry pie, which Shelly says to be the "best in the tri-counties." Truman then asks her if he can speak to Norma.
She goes home where Leo is waiting for her and questions her about his shirt that she hid. He then beats her with a sock stuffed with a bar of soap.
She turns off the TV showing Invitation to Love when Bobby shows up. She reluctantly lets him in, but he sees where Leo had beaten her. He declares that if Leo does it again, he will kill him.
Shelly attends Laura's funeral, where Leland breaks down and throws himself onto Laura's casket. Shelly later makes fun of this to customers at the diner.
She comes home to Leo, who angrily leaves the house, not telling her where he is going. She takes a pistol from her purse and hides it in a drawer.
Shelly sits on Bobby's lap at her home, kissing him. She says that Leo is with Jacques Renault. He tells her about the drug operation run by Leo and Jaques, and that Laura had bought cocaine from them. Shelly then shows him Leo's bloody shirt and he happily says that the shirt could be the "answer to [their] prayers." She then shows him her gun.
She comes into work, venting to Norma about her problems with Leo. Norma then suggests they have a beauty day together.
After Norma receives a call, she tells Shelly that her husband, Hank has made parole.
Shelly makes breakfast for Bobby, who then plays out a scenario in which he threatens Leo's life if he harms Shelly again. Bobby hides when Deputy Andy Brennan comes to the door, asking about Leo and the sheriff's department's current interest in speaking to him. Shelly says that she overheard an argument about Laura between Leo and Jacques. Andy leaves and Bobby comes back out from hiding, having listened in on the conversation. They share a romantic moment, but are interrupted by a call from Leo, who asks if there is anyone looking for him, but Shelly does not say there is. He says he is coming home soon and Bobby places the gun in her hand.
After devoting much of the day to beauty with Norma, she comes to work with her and they are stopped by Hank, freshly released on parole. Shelly leaves them alone.
Later that night, Shelly lights a cigarette with her stove, nervously awaiting Leo's inevitable return. Leo comes in, all bloody, commanding her to get him a beer. She tries to ask him what happened, but he pushes her down and she draws her pistol. When he comes closer to her, she shoots him.
Shelly welcomes Bobby to her home, upset after shooting Leo. She expresses that she thinks Leo is outside, waiting to kill her and tells Bobby what happened leading up to her shooting him. Bobby then promises he will take care of Leo.
Later at work, Hank tells Shelly about prison life. She then overhears a conversation regarding Hank's parole when Sheriff Truman arrives. She then offers Cooper a cup of coffee.
She washes her hair in the kitchen sink at her home, placing her pistol next to her. She is stung by her shampoo and reaches for her towel, which is not where she placed it. Realizing she is not alone, she reaches for her gun, but is grabbed by Leo and taken to the Packard Sawmill, where she is tied up. Leo shows her a bomb and tells her that Bobby will be dead by the time it goes off in an hour.
She is found by Catherine Martell just before the bomb goes off, sparking a fire. Catherine cuts her free and takes her by the hand as part of the roof falls in.
She lays in a hospital bed, sobbing about Bobby.
Shelly is later visited by him. They talk about Leo, who is also in the hospital, having been shot. She tells him about what Leo did to her the previous night. Bobby then leaves, confirming his love for her.
She is visited by Norma, who promises to bring her food instead of making her eat the hospital's appalling menu.
With Doctor Hayward, she observes Leo, who had a bullet lodged in his spine and is possibly paralyzed. His current comatose state can be contained, but Hayward does not know when he will improve.
She sits with Bobby in his car, discussing a plan to live off of disability checks for Leo, but she is resistant, not wanting Leo to be home in any condition.
Shelly goes to the sheriff's station to give her statement on Leo, but does not wish to say anything against him. Cooper lets her go.
Shelly watches as Tim Pinkle demonstrates a Port-O-Patient for she and Bobby for use with Leo. However, the machine proves to be unsafe. She takes Bobby aside to ask how their current situation is before she goes to meet Leo's lawyer. He reassures her and they go outside, leaving Pinkle in the Port-O-Patient.
She attends the hearing held on behalf of Leo, who is determined to be not competent to stand trial.
Shelly stands in her home with insurance representative Tom Brockman, who admires their choice to take care of him in the home. However, they are dismayed to find out that they will only receive $700 in insurance every month rather than the $5000 they expected.
They throw a party for Leo's return and for the first time openly express their relationship in front of him. However, she is frightened when Leo moves while they kiss.
Bobby determines that she only has $42 to live on for the month. Leo begins to scream, then spits and says, "New shoes." Bobby asks what this could mean and Shelly mentions a pair of boots Leo had repaired the previous week.
She tearfully tells Norma that she must quit her job at the diner to take care of Leo. Norma reassures her that there will always be an opening for her at the diner. Ed and Nadine then enter, the latter having reverted back to an 18-year-old state of mind. She brings out a coffee for Ed and a milkshake for Nadine, which she breaks.
After attempting to feed Leo, Shelly goes to Bobby, who says he has decided to pursue a business career and will earn enough money for them to get by.
Shelly watches Bobby put on one of Leo's suits to go meet with Benjamin Horne. She requests Bobby to take her out later at night, but they do not know what to do with Leo. Bobby assures her that his business with Horne will make them financially secure.
She brushes Leo's teeth as the phone rings. She reluctantly answers the call from Bobby and notices that Leo is moving.
Shelly feeds Leo and is angered at Bobby, as it was his turn to take care of him. Bobby gets up and leaves for the Great Northern, much to Shelly's anger.
At night, the power at her home fluctuates, and she finds Leo's wheelchair to be empty, then sees that he is standing and grinning at her.
She moves through the house, calling for Leo as the lights pulse. He throws a bottle at her, which shatters against the fridge and she runs for the door, which she cannot manage to open. She cries for help and darts for the backdoor, but is hit by Leo's wheelchair. She takes a knife from the kitchen drawer and swears she will kill him. She tries to cut through the plastic over the house's unfinished wall, but he picks her up and throws her across the room. She hears Bobby asking for her as Leo picks up an axe. Bobby comes and tries to disarm him, but is pinned against the wall with the axe's handle. Shelly manages to find the knife she was using and stabs Leo in the leg. He escapes from the hole she had cut in the plastic.
Shelly and Bobby go to the station, where they speak with Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman about the attack. When questioned about his reason for being at the Johnson home, Bobby openly admits that his and Shelly's relationship. Truman tells Shelly that he will assign deputies to keep watch on her home.
She goes to the diner to get her job back.
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with MeEdit
She is set to return in the 2017 revival.