Every Episode Of Twin Peaks, Ranked From Worst To Best

Yes, even some of the first season is bad

Hello, and welcome to a complete ranking of every episode of Twin Peaks (plus the movie) from worst to best. That's 30 episodes and a feature, all carefully collated in order of quality for your enjoyment. I know what you're thinking: "How can you possibly rank every episode of Twin Peaks?" you'll ask. "It's not possible, or at the very least not reasonable. The show is heavily serialized. Episodes blend together across story arcs. Ranking is an arbitrary endeavor to begin with. Most of the show is bad!" All those things are true, and yet here we are.

Most people will tell you that Twin Peaks experiences a heavy drop-off in its back half after the killer is revealed and then caught. Those people are correct—oh boy, are they ever correct. There are not-so-great episodes throughout, however, including in the early going of the first season. In fact, it's safe to say that, for the most part, episodes not directed by David Lynch suffer greatly for it. That may be good news for people worried about the Twin Peaks revival on Showtime, considering Lynch is directing every episode.

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31. "Variations on Relations"—Season 2, Episode 19

The worst of the worst of Twin Peaks, with lots of weirdness, but every bit of it silly. Windom Earle, the series' back-half villain and Agent Dale Cooper's former partner, puts a guy in a giant chess piece and shoots him with a crossbow while shocking Leo with an electric collar. Throw in a terrible wine-tasting scene and Cooper's date with Annie (played by Heather Graham!), and you've got yourself a pretty insufferable hour of TV.

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30. "Wounds and Scars"—Season 2, Episode 17

Annie's first appearance, an insanely drunk Sheriff Truman, Nadine trying to get a room at the Great Northern with her new high-school aged boyfriend, and a weasel on the loose at a fashion show. What were they thinking?

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29. "Slaves and Masters"—Season 2, Episode 15

There's a lot of James in this episode, and nobody cares about James. Agent Rosenfield returns, but that minor good is outweighed by the Nadine super-strength nonsense, the further torment of Windom Earle, and the full-on indulgence of the Ben Horne Civil War delusion/obsession.

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28. "Dispute Between Brothers"—Season 2, Episode 10

The first episode after Laura Palmer's killer (spoiler alert: it was her father, Leland Palmer) is discovered by police and dies. This is the reset episode, set around Leland's funeral, and a clear sign of the trouble ahead for the series. All the juice is gone, and the show has now been taken over by its worst story arcs.

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27. "On the Wings of Love"—Season 2, Episode 18

David Lynch's Agent Gordon Cole shows up in this episode, which is fun, but hardly enough to distract from a seriously silly adventure in spelunking, and Sheriff Truman almost getting murdered by a lady with a wire early in the episode.

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26. "Double Play" - Season 2, Episode 14

So. Much. James. My god, nobody cares. And the reanimated Leo plotline? Kill me.

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25. "Checkmate"—Season 2, Episode 13

Ben Horne is on his Civil War kick, Andy and Tremayne try to figure out whether the orphan kid killed his own parents, Nadine uses her new strength to save Ed, and Cooper finds a body pointing at a chess set, left by Windom Earle. It's just no fun at all.

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24. "The Black Widow"—Season 2, Episode 12

Cooper decides he wants to live in Twin Peaks, and gets a real estate agent to show him a place called Dead Dog Farm. More of Nadine's super-strength. A redheaded girl who practically bewitches men into falling in love with her. Messages about Cooper being sent into space? At least this episode had Molly Shannon.

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23. "Masked Ball"—Season 2, Episode 11

Ben Horne is slowly losing his mind while the hunt for Major Briggs is on. Oh, and SO much Catherine. Why is Catherine even still in this show? One bright light is David Duchovny's great character, Denise Bryson, who arrives in Twin Peaks as part of the investigation into Cooper's cross-border adventurism.

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22. "Miss Twin Peaks"—Season 2, Episode 21

The series' penultimate episode. Still bad, but so much goes on that at least it remains mildly engaging. We've got Cooper figuring out how the doors to the White and Black Lodges work, and some quality BOB scares. But then there's Leo and tarantulas, Dr. Jacoby conducting couples therapy, the reveal that Donna is Ben Horne's daughter, and the incredibly ridiculous Miss Twin Peaks pageant, featuring an umbrella dance. Oh boy.

From: Esquire