Windom Earle (also known by names Dr. Gerald Craig and Edward Perkins) is a fictional character in the American TV series Twin Peaks, played by Kenneth Welsh. He is one of Season 2 main antagonists and could be seen as an archenemy of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper
He is a former FBI agent, and the former partner and best friend of Agent Dale Cooper. He features in the second season. He is an evil genius and a master of disguise, well-versed in esoterica from all parts of the world. He has extensive knowledge of the "dugpas", ancient Tibetan sorcerers dedicated to pure evil.
Cooper says of Windom Earle "his mind is like a diamond: cold, hard and brilliant." Interestingly, Tibetan Buddhism is sometimes referred to as the vajrayana, which can be translated either as the "lightning way", or the "diamond way". Agent Cooper is also interested in Tibetan mysticism, but of the good variety, so in this sense, Windom Earle is his archenemy.
Earle claims to have killed his wife Caroline, the love of Cooper’s life, with whom she had an extraconjugal affair. He also has a fascination with the Black Lodge, whose secrets he is trying to unlock, as well as black magic. Major Garland Briggs states that Earle was involved in Project Blue Book, as was Briggs; however, their investigation in which Earle was involved was directly related to Twin Peaks and not the usual UFO investigations.
He is obsessed with chess and this also plays a role in some of the episodes, when he decides to use real people as the pieces. When he had worked with Cooper, they played a game every day. Cooper enlists the help of Pete Martell, a genius chess player, to stalemate the game with as few pieces lost as possible.
At one point, Earle leaves a plaster mask of Caroline on Cooper’s bed, with a tape recorder underneath. At another, he shuts down the town’s power station causing chaos. He also hides a microphone bug within a bonsai in Twin Peaks’ Sheriff’s Department, which Sheriff Truman thinks is from Josie Packard.
Towards the end of the second season, Leo Johnson becomes Windom Earle’s servant, and is controlled by an electric dog collar. They capture Major Garland Briggs, and Earle interrogates him fairly unsuccessfully using Haloperidol. Major Briggs does, however, end up revealing that fear opens the gate to the Black Lodge.
Earle chooses, “three Queens” (Audrey, Donna and Shelly) for a “gathering of the Angels,” by giving them each a third of a poem ('"Love's Philosophy" by Percy Shelley) and arranging for them to meet in the Roadhouse. However, in the end he uses Annie Blackburn for “queen” after she wins Miss Twin Peaks, and takes her into the Black Lodge.
Earle appears to be killed by BOB in the Black Lodge, when he attempts to take Cooper’s soul. BOB says that Earle cannot ask for souls, but he will take Earle’s, which he does, laughing at Earle's lifeless body with Dale Cooper's doppelganger at his side.
While Windom makes no appearance in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, nor is he mentioned, there are a few signs of his existence in the movie which are of note. Firstly, Annie Blackburn appearing in the vision of Laura Palmer is dressed like Caroline Earle and secondly, Dale Cooper acting very differently than what we see in the series may be interpreted as a sign of psychological trauma received by him in the encounter with Earle.
- Coma (mentioned)
- Masked Ball (voice on the tape)
- Checkmate (mentioned; killing spree)
- Double Play (first full appearance)
- Slaves and Masters
- The Condemned Woman
- Wounds and Scars
- On the Wings of Love
- Variations on Relations
- The Path to the Black Lodge
- Miss Twin Peaks
- Beyond Life and Death (dies)
Windom Earle is a meticulous and proficient serial killer, who lefts little to no clues, including a full absence of fingerprints and poses victims in rather eccentric ways, making tableaus, signifying some meaning. While his killing spree was originally stylized as a chess game with Dale Cooper with each victim being a lost figure of Cooper's in a play, it was later revealed to mostly being a façade for his real actions regarding The Black Lodge.
Windom Earle usually stabs his victims in aorta but could kill people in variety of ways, including crossbows and complicated traps.
- Caroline Earle - single stab wound, one inch beneath the sternum, severing the aorta. ("Double Play")
- Erik Powell ("The Dead Man"/"John Doe") - single stab wound, one inch beneath the sternum, severing the aorta. ("Double Play")
- Unknown Man - taped to the bottom of the table at the power station. ("Slaves and Masters")
- Rusty Tomasky ("Heavy Metal Youth"/"Young Man") - shot with a crossbow while being in a large papier-mâché figure of a chess pawn. ("Variations on Relations")
- Leo Johnson - implied to be killed by tarantulas in a trap. ("Beyond Life and Death")
- Dale Cooper - tried to claim his soul using Black Lodge. ("Beyond Life and Death")
- Annie Blackburn - tried to claim her soul using Black Lodge. ("Beyond Life and Death")
- Major Garland Briggs - drugged up and tortured with crossbow and arrows. ("The Path to the Black Lodge")
- Bobby Briggs - knocked off with a log. ("Miss Twin Peaks")
Windom Earle is a master of disguise, who can easily hide in plain sight, undetected even by people who had seen him. He casually changes his appearance with incredible ease, utilizing both elaborate make-up and costumes and full change of mannerisms.
It should be noted that an old photo of Earle as an FBI agent depicts him mustached - he may have shaven it to be less recognizable and versatile for make-up appliance.
- Courier - thick glasses, whiskers, stylized mustache, accent. Used to deliver a messages to Audrey Horne and Dale Cooper in Great Northern Hotel. ("Slaves and Masters")
- Trucker - "Courtwright Diesel & Machines" baseball cap, a single gold tooth, a fat suit under the shirt. Used to deliver a message to Shelly Johnson in Double R Diner and also to spy on Donna Hayward, Shelly and Audrie in a Roadhouse. ("The Condemned Woman")
- Dr. Gerald Craig - greyed eyebrows, grey mustache, a hat. Used to deliver "a gift" for William "Doc" Hayward through Donna Hayward which is also an announcement of his next move in a chess play with Dale Cooper. ("Wounds and Scars")
- A Kind Biker - Harley-Davidson motorcycle rider outfit, a long hair wig, bandana, fake tattoos on left arm (fire) and face (spider), mustache and beard. Used to spy on Dale Cooper and converse to Shelly Johnson in Double R Diner. ("Wounds and Scars")
- Edward Perkins - beard, mustache, thin glasses, a pipe, a bowtie. Used to converse to Audrey Horne in the library. ("On the Wings of Love")
- "Weird Suit" - used to lure Rusty Tomasky. ("The Path to the Black Lodge")
- Fisherman - fisherman outfit. ("Variations on Relations")
- The Log Lady - used to infiltrate Miss Twin Peaks contest and steal the car of Pete Martell. ("Miss Twin Peaks")