Why David Lynch Is Fascinated With Electricity And Thinks You Should Be Too

Dale Cooper electrocuted

[electricity crackling]

From [sound effects] to the way Dale Cooper re-enters our world, electricity is all the buzz in Twin Peaks: The Return. In Part 15, it may have even contributed to Dale Cooper’s long-awaited awakening, the fork being the key to restoring the former FBI agent’s brain.

“Bad electricity”

“E-lec-tri-ci-ty” was explicitly mentioned in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, but it has been a recurring motif in David Lynch’s work since before Eraserhead. It also plays a significant role in his Ronnie Rocket screenplay about a 3-foot tall, red-haired man who, right after he gets “10,000 volts through him,” only repeats people’s last words. The screenplay also introduces the concept of reversed or ‘bad electricity,’ which brings us back to the connection with the Lodge spirits, the ominous ceiling fan in the Palmer house, utility pole #6 that seems to spell death, etc.

David Lynch - Why Electricity Makes Me Do Bad Things
David Lynch – Why Electricity Makes Me Do Bad Things

When David Lynch attended a screening of Inland Empire at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA, back in December 2016, Charles Pieper asked the director what he found so fascinating about electricity. Here’s his answer…

“The fact that it controls us.

I don’t know why all people aren’t fascinated with it. It makes beautiful sounds, and it makes a lot of times some incredible light. It runs many things in our world and it’s beautiful. It’s sometimes dangerous, but it’s magical. It’s such a power and it can make some beautiful images… and sounds.”

David Lynch - Electricity in Hand and Home
David Lynch – Electricity in Hand and Home

So “modern day electricity” can either be good and magical, or bad and dangerous, but “it’s in our house now” and in control. From Chris Rodley’s Lynch on Lynch (Amazon):

“I don’t understand it either … There are things that come into the home, you know … things that are built or created outside the house, which all speak about the time and about the life. And then if something goes wrong with those things, or if they’re not in good working order, it can mean something else too.”

“[S]cientists don’t understand electricity. They say, “It’s moving electrons.” But there’s a certain point where they say, “We don’t know why that happens.” I’m not a scientist, and I haven’t talked to these guys that are into electricity, but it is a force. When electrons run down a wire— do they have that power. It’s amazing. How did a plug or an outlet get to be shaped that way? And lightbulbs: I can feel these random electrons, you know, hitting me. It’s like when you go under power lines. If you were blindfolded and drove down a highway under those power lines, and really concentrated, you could tell when they occurred. There’s something very disturbing about that amount of electricity—they know these things now. A tumor grows in the head. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not, you know, whacking you.”

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Written by Pieter Dom

Founder and curator of Welcome to Twin Peaks since 2011. Bobsessed since March 1991.


Share your thoughts
  1. Well Elec-tric-ity!

    It = Connects us all, CAN save LIVES in Hospitals, can SPREAD JOY through Radios/Music Instruments AMPS etc! Judy uses it like a power-up snack & transit system too..
    It WAS & STILL is a true breakthrough to harness- ITS POWER! In the past ONLY GODS/DEITY’S:
    So it is a reference point between FIRE-GODS- & Modern man/civilization itself!

    • Brining fire into this conversation is important, it’s obviously the precursor to electricity and key to understanding spiritual subtext throughout TP.

      Electricity is modern fire maybe, a modern demon?

  2. Why David Lynch Is Fascinated With Electricity And Thinks You Should Be Too

    Tesla and his invention that was stolen…AC Power.
    When you plug an appliance into the wall or charge your phone…This is the person you should thank.
    That’s why I’m Fascinated with Electricity…And Think you should be too.
    Nikolai Tesla…Not that stupid Car that everyone is under the impression is going to save the environment…

  3. What is an atom?

    What is an electron?

    What is electricity?

    Can you split an atom?

    Can you split an electron?

    An atom is just proton and neutron particles clumped together to form a nucleus, with electrons orbiting that nucleus. They care positive and negative charges, and interact with each other in this fashion.

    Maybe that has something to do with the reason for the electricity motif? Because it is the one form of energy that makes all living things, and allows those extra-dimensional entities to somehow communicate through this sacred form of energy that envelopes our universe.

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