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Let's rock!
~ The Arm
Some of your friends are here.
~ The Arm introducing Laura Palmer's doppelganger to Dale Cooper.
I've got good news. That gum you like is going to... come back in style.
~ The Arm to Dale Cooper.

The Arm is a major character and anti-villain of the Twin Peaks series as well as the 1992 prequel-film. Although it is helpful and gives the protagonist Dale Cooper clue to apprehend Killer BOB, he is somewhat antagonistic in his behavior, he also has a creepy and treacherous demeanor and his intentions or agenda when helping Dale remains unknown.

He was portrayed by Michael J. Anderson. 

Appearance and description

The Arm appears as a skinny dwarf in a full-red suit as well as dancing-shoes and would dance in a weird and disturbing manner in Seasons 1-2 and the 1992 prequel-film as a way to give out clues on certain information. In Season 3, he would appear in the form of a talking tree with a faceless head on the top-center as a part of is "evolution". The Arm is well-known for speaking in reverse-speech, as well as other doppelgangers in The Black Lodge.

Biography

Background

The Arm was created by MIKE's severed left arm of evil before inhabiting in the Black Lodge. The Arm gives Agent Dale Cooper clues to apprehending his nemesis, BOB. He later makes recurring appearances in relation to the Black Lodge aside from feuding with BOB.

Twin Peaks

The Arm first appears in the series' third episode, in a dream experienced by Cooper. Although a spirit, he appears to Cooper as a dwarf in a red suit. In the dream, The Man gives Cooper a series of cryptic clues, which ultimately prove helpful in determining the identity of Laura Palmer's killer, The Man's fellow Black Lodge spirit, BOB. One of these clues is a strange 1940s-style jazz-dance, a sequence that makes repeated appearances throughout the course of the series. The series never made clear The Arm's reasons for wanting to help Cooper nor his true identity.

Following Cooper's dream, The Man appears only a few more times: once with BOB, appearing to Cooper following the death of Josie Packard, and again at the end of the series when Cooper ventures into the Black Lodge.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

The film expands upon The Arm's identity and his reasons for wanting to help Cooper. It explains that The Arm is connected to MIKE, the faceless spirit entity who possesses Philip Gerard, The One Armed Man, in the series. The script explicitly states that the Man from Another Place is, in fact, MIKE's severed arm. In the series, the one-armed Gerard tells Cooper a story about having been BOB's partner until he cut off his own arm in an effort to relieve himself of a tattoo on the left shoulder that BOB also had. In Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, The Arm tells Cooper, "I am the Arm, and I sound like this." before he makes a whooping noise with his hand and mouth. Later, a similar-sounding siren accompanies the first appearance of Gerard. At the end of the film, when BOB enters the Black Lodge and stands beside his host, Leland Palmer, The Arm appears, standing beside Philip Gerard. At one point The Man From Another Place puts his hand on Gerard's shoulder, linking the Arm with its owner and making MIKE whole. The Arm and MIKE then speak in unison to BOB, stating "I want all my garmonbozia" ("pain and sorrow", collected from victims and consumed in the Black Lodge). BOB then removes blood from Leland's shirt and throws it to the ground. The Arm is then seen slowly eating creamed corn, interspersed with close-up night vision footage of a monkey staring into the camera, which appears to be the same type of monkey as was earlier shown behind a mask of the type worn by other Lodge spirits (Mrs. Tremond's grandson and the "Jumping Man").

Twin Peaks: The Return

The character reappears as a talking tree, introducing itself as "the evolution of the arm". In the second episode, the tree warns Dale Cooper about its doppelgänger, who appears and attacks Dale, causing him to fall through the floor of the Black Lodge. In the seventh episode, Dale has a helpful vision of the tree in plain daylight, while he's attempting to disarm an assassin.

Personality

The Arm presents itself strangely in terms of behavior and personality with some implications of a sinister undertone. However, it proved to be very resourceful in helping Dale Cooper in though he allowed the doppelgangers in The Red Room to terrorize him.

Trivia

  • The Arm made a non-canonical appearance on Saturday Night Live. There, he was portrayed by Mike Myers.
  • The strange way of the Arm's dialogue was achieved by having Anderson speak into a recorder. This was then played in reverse, and Anderson was directed to repeat the reversed original. This "reverse-speak" was then reversed again in editing to bring it back to the normal direction. This created the strange rhythm and accentuation that set Cooper's dream world apart from the real world.
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