Quirky characters and a horror/mystery/soap opera format have viewers talking about Twin Peaks more than 25 years after its initial television season, but you can watch Twin Peaks online. Over three seasons and 48 episodes, investigators try to find out who killed homecoming queen Laura Palmer, but there is more to her murder and the sinister nature of the town than anyone realizes. The series, which stars Kyle MacLaughlin, Michael Ontkean, Madchen Amick, Lara Flynn Boyle, and Sherilyn Fenn, has been nominated for 44 awards, and has won fifteen. Rolling Stone lists it at number 17 of their 100 Best TV Shows of All Time, it also made Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Best TV Shows, and TV Guide listed it at number 45 of their Top 50 Shows. Over three seasons, with the first two seasons in 1990 and 1991, and the third following up in 2017, 45 episodes were aired, and a feature film released. Though a relatively short-lived series, Twin Peaks has influenced many other shows, including the Psych episode “Dual Spires”, and has been listed as an influencer for video games including The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Deadly Premonition, and Max Payne. Here’s how you can see Twin Peaks streaming:
How to Watch Twin Peaks Online & Stream the Complete Series
In the United States, all three seasons of Twin Peaks are available on both Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. Here’s how to watch via either service:
If you have Prime, or if you want to sign up for a free 30-day trial of Prime, you can watch the first two original seasons of Twin Peaks on your computer via Amazon’s website, or you can watch on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app.
Then, for Season 3 (also known as Twin Peaks: The Return), you will need both Prime and the Showtime channel. Once signed up for both–you can start a free trial of one or both services right here–you can then watch on your computer via Amazon’s website right here, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app.
Hulu: If you simply want Hulu’s extensive on-demand library, which includes the first two seasons of Twin Peaks, you can sign up right here. It costs $7.99 per month for the limited commercials plan or $11.99 per month for the no commercials plan.
Hulu With Live TV: If you want to watch live TV in addition to episodes of Twin Peaks, you can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV”. This option gives you access to Hulu’s extensive on-demand library, as well as a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels. It costs $39.99 per month for the plan that includes limited commercials with the on-demand content or $43.99 per month for the plan that includes no commercials with the on-demand content.
With either of the above options, you can also include the Showtime add-on to watch Season 3 of Twin Peaks. Once signed up for either, you can watch every episode of Twin Peaks on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead
How Many Twin Peaks Seasons Are There?
There are three seasons of Twin Peaks, and 48 epsisodes, along with a feature film. The first two seasons aired in 1990 and 1991, with the show’s third season airing in 2017 on cable TV. The film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me serves as a prequel to the original series. Season three picks up twenty-five years after the ending of season two.
Twin Peaks Season 1
8 episodes | April 8, 1990 – May 23, 1990
Twin Peaks begins with the discovery of a body. Popular high school student and homecoming queen, Laura Palmer, has been killed. Local Sheriff Harry S. Truman investigates the killing, along with FBI agent Dale Cooper. Cooper isn’t sure what to make of the town’s eccentric residents. Cooper connects Laura’s death with the death of another young woman and believes a serial killer is at work. Laura’s boyfriend, Bobby, has an affair with her mother, and Laura is found to have had a secret boyfriend, as well James. Cooper finds out Laura’s life wasn’t as perfect as it seemed, and that she was a prostitute. Cooper begins have strange nightmares and discovers the “Bookhouse Boys”, a secret society that has vowed to protect the town against the evil in the woods. The authorities find that Jacques Renault was behind Laura’s death, but he has escaped to Canada. The manage to lure him back, but then Cooper is assaulted in his hotel room.
Twin Peaks Season 2
22 episodes | September 20, 1990 – June 10, 1991
Cooper has been shot in his hotel room and has a vision of a giant. Bobby plants drugs in James’ motorcycle, Josie goes missing, and a fire nearly killed Shelly and Pete. Audrey is taken hostage and Nadie, who has been comatose, awakes but seems to be a different person. Laura’s Secret Diary is found. Leland confesses to the murder of Jacques Renault. Pete and Catherine die in a fire at the sawmill and Cooper and Truman raid One Eyed Jacks, which results in Cooper being suspended from the FBI. Reading Laura’s diary, Cooper realizes they’ve had the exact same dream. Renault tries to frame Cooper, who is still looking into Laura’s death, and in the woods, Cooper has another vision. Both the FBI and DEA arrive to investigate Cooper and the raid at One Eyes Jacks. Cooper and Truman find strange markings when they search Owl Cave. A strange form, called BOB, takes the soul of Earle, and it turns out that other ‘BOB’ forms have taken over the bodies of other town residents.
Twin Peaks Season 3
18 episodes | May 21, 2017 – September 3, 2017
Special Agent Cooper is still trapped in Black Lodge, where alien forms take over the bodies of town residents. Local authorities reopen Laura’s murder case after new evidence is sent to them from Log Lady. Meanwhile, the killer spirit BOB and the alien who has taken over Cooper’s body are free to roam and continue killing. The FBI returns to the case when a South Dakota librarian is killed and an unidentified body is also found.
What Are the Best Twin Peaks Episodes?
Twin Peaks is known for its quirky characters and for melding multiple genres together. The series is part murder mystery, part horror, and part soap opera. Here’s a list of the best Twin Peaks episodes:
Season 1, Episode 1 “Pilot”
Homecoming Queen Laura Palmer has been killed, and though local law enforcement is investigating, it seems as if everyone in Twin Peaks is somehow connected to the murder. FBI Agent Cooper arrives to investigate, as well, and believes a serial killer may be at work. Collider ranks the pilot as the best Twin Peaks episode ever. The episode also won a Peabody Award.
Season 3, Episode 8 “Part 8”
Rolling Stone lists episode eight of season three as one of the “10 Best TV Episodes of 2017”. The episode harkens back to the shows roots as part soap opera, part mystery, and along with the eccentric cast, turns the series on its head. Before, Cooper was simply looking for a murderer, but in this episode, viewers find that there is more evil, that Twin Peaks isn’t the only town run amok by murderous aliens, and that nothing can save with Twin Peaks or the universe.
Season 1, Episode 6 “Episode 6/Cooper’s Dream”
Collider has ranked “Cooper’s Dream” at number ten of their Best Twin Peaks episodes. In this episode, viewers first realize that the quirkiness of the characters is covering something much deeper – many of the residents have been ‘taken over’ by aliens who are now inhabiting their bodies. Cooper doesn’t know what to make of the dream, but it sends him deeper in to the investigation of Laura’s death and the town.
Who Are the Actors in the Twin Peaks Cast?
The ensemble cast of Twin Peaks includes more than thirty characters ranging from local townspeople, law enforcement agents, and ‘aliens’ who take over the bodies of locals. Here are the main characters in Twin Peaks.
Kyle MacLachlan as Dale Cooper
Dale Cooper is an FBI agent assigned to investigate the murder of Laura Palmer. He often offers ‘thumbs ups’ when a job goes well and talks in a variety of anachronisms and cliché phrases. Kyle MacLachlan is best known for playing Dale Cooper on Twin Peaks. In addition, he played Charlotte’s first husband on Sex and the City. His film roles including Show Girls, The Flintstones, and Inside Out.
Michael Ontkean as Sheriff Harry S. Truman
Sheriff Truman is in love with Josie, and becomes good friends with Agent Cooper. He doesn’t realize Josie is using him until she dies soon after killing Eckhardt. Michael Ontkean is best known as a police rookie in the TV series The Rookies and as the Sheriff on Twin Peaks. In addition to the series, his most important roles include Slap Shot, North Shore, and Willie & Phil.
Madchen Amick as Shelly Johnson
Shelly Johnson is the abused wife of trucker, Leo. She works at the Double R Diner and has an affair with Bobby. Madchen Amick is best known as Shelly on Twin Peaks She also appeared in the film Sleepwalkers and currently stars in Riverdale.
Dana Ashbrook as Bobby Briggs.
Bobby was Laura’s official boyfriend, although he is also secretly involved with Shelly. Bobby was a drug dealer. Ashbrook is best known as Bobby Briggs on Twin Peaks.
Richard Beymer as Benjamin Horne
Benjamin may be the biological father of Donna Hayward. He is one of the richest people in Twin Peaks and owns The Great Northern Hotel. Ben is attacked by Dr. Hayward, which results in a serious head injury. Beyman is best known for the films West Side Story, The Innerview, and The Longest Day.
Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer
The dead homecoming queen. Viewers primarily learn about Laura through her discovered diary. Sheryl Lee is best known for playing Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks. She was originally cast simply to play a dead body, but when the creators of the show realized Sheryl, who was local to the Washington area where the series was filmed, could act, they gave her character a bigger role in the show. Sheryl also plays Laura’s cousin, Maddy, in the show.
Lara Flynn Boyle as Donna Hayward
Donna Hayward was Laura’s best friend and obsessed with her death. She may be the unrecognized daughter of Benjamin Horne, which would make her Audrey’s half-sister. Boyle is best known for the Men in Black movies and as Helen Gamble in the TV series The Practice.
Sherilyn Fenn as Audrey Horne
Ben Horne’s daughter, Audrey, is infatuated with Agent Cooper and becomes a key part of his investigation when she becomes part of the crew at One Eyed Jacks. Sherilyn Fenn is best known as Audrey in Twin Peaks. In addition to the series, she played Luke’s ex in Gilmore Girls, and has had roles in the films Of Mice and Men, Wild at Heart, and Wraith.
Peggy Lipton as Norma Jennings
Norma owns the Double R Diner and helps out with Laura’s program Meals on Wheels. She was Miss Twin Peaks in her younger days and is married to Hank, but is in love with Big Ed. Lipton is best known for playing Norma Jennings on Twin Peaks. In addition, she has had roles in Mod Squad, The Postman, and the TV series Crash.
James Marshall as James Hurley
James is being raised by his aunt and uncle and was Laura’s secret boyfriend. He rides a motorcycle and is considered an outsider. He is suspected, but later exonorated, in the death of Evelyn Marsh’s husband. Marshall is best known for his role in Twin Peaks. In addition, he played PFC Downey in the movie A Few Good Men.
Everett McGill as Big Ed Hurley
Big Ed runs the gas station and is raising James. Ed is a Bookhouse Boy and is an ‘unofficial deputy’ to Sheriff Truman. McGill is best known for his role in Twin Peaks. He has been nominated for two awards, and has appeared in films such as Quest for Fire, Heartbreak Ridge, and Under Siege II: Dark Territory.
Michael Horse as Detective Hill
Sheriff’s deputy “Hawk” Hill is a Native American who is a great tracker and very good at throwing a knife. He knows about the supernatural events happening around Twin Peaks and is one of the Bookhouse Boys. His actions save both Sheriff Truman and Agent Cooper in the series. Michael Horse is best known for his role on Twin Peaks. Horse has had a long Hollywood career, mostly as a character actor. His roles including The Legend of the Lone Ranger, The Check is in the Mail, New Kids on the Block, The Untouchables, and Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child.
Piper Laurie as Catherine Martell
Catherine Martell is Andrew Packard’s sister. She is married to lumberjack Pete, but doesn’t like him. She helps Josie run the mill and has an affair with Ben Horne. Catherine is a con woman. Piper Laurie is best known for playing Margaret White in the film Carrie. She is a three-time Oscar nominee, and an Emmy and Golden Globe winning actress. In addition to Carrie and Twin Peaks, she has acted in St. Elsewhere, The Hustler, Children of a Lesser God, and Promise.
Joan Chen as Josie Packard
Josie is married to Andrew Packard and becomes the owner of the lumber mill when he dies. She runs the mill with her sister and is later revealed to have killed Andrew. She dates Sheriff Truman and shoots Agent Cooper. Joan Chen is an award winning actress. She won China’s Best Actress award for her role in Xiao hua (The Little Flower) and is sometimes called “the Elizabeth Taylor of China”. She is best known for her role in The Last Emporer and Twin Peaks.
Who Are the Top Guest Stars on Twin Peaks?
Many actors got a start through either a recurring or guest starring role on the series. Here is a list of some of the most important guest stars on Twin Peaks:
Dr. Hayward is the benevolent town doctor and coroner. He has raised Donna, though he may not be her biological father. He is known as a balanced and fair-minded man. Warren Frost is a film and stage character actor who has had roles on series such as Quantum Leap and L.A. Law, and been in films such as The Mating Game and Psycho IV. He is best known for his role in Twin Peaks.
Heather Graham as Annie Blackburn
Annie is the love interest of Agent Cooper. Twin Peaks was one of Heather Graham’s first roles. She has gone on to star in films such as License to Drive, Boogie Nights, and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Graham has been listed on several ‘sexiest women’ lists, including FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World (2000, 2001, and 2002).
Ray Wise as Leland Palmer
Leland Palmer is the attorney for Ben Horne; he is well liked and respected. When Laura is found dead, Leland begins to fall apart and he is found to be unstable.
Ray Wise is a character actor best known for his roles in RoboCop and Swamp Thing, along with the TV series Twin Peaks.
Billy Zane as John Justice Wheeler
John Justice “Jack” is a friend of Ben’s and is in love with Audrey, but ultimately leaves Twin Peaks without her. Billy Zane is best known for playing Rose’s jilted fiancé in Titanic. He has also appeared in the films Dead Calm and Back to the Future.
David Duchovny as DEA Agent Bryson
Dennis, aka Denise, Bryson, is a DEA agent who investigated drug charges against Cooper; while undercover she discovers she likes wearing women’s clothes and begins identifying as a woman. Bryson becomes FBI Chief of Staff. David Duchovny is best known for playing Fox Mulder on The X Files. Throughout his career he has been nominated for 47 awards, and has won 13, including two Golden Globes.
Naomi Watts as Janey-E Jones
Janey-E is married to Dougie, whose body has been taken over. Dougie goes missing and returns home with a lot of money he calls casino winnings. She realizes Dougie is not her husband when he refers to himself in the third person. Naomi Watts is best known for her rolls in King Kong, The Impossible, and Mulholland Drive. She has won 55 awards in her career, including two Oscars.
Who Are the Writers & Creators Behind Twin Peaks?
Twin Peaks was the brain child of Mark Frost and David Lynch, and was one of the top rated shows in 1990, although it was cancelled only a year later. Despite it’s quick cancellation, the show still has a cult following. Here is a list of Twin Peaks’ key creators.
Frost is a writer and producer best known for the Twin Peaks series. He and Twin Peaks co-creator David Lynch are credited with writing 30 episodes of the show. In addition to that series, Frost is known for his work on the Fantastic Four films, the TV series Forbidden Island, Hill Street Blues, and The Six Million Dollar Man.
Lynch is a writer, director, and producer best known for Twin Peaks. Along with Mark Frost, Lynch is credited with writing 30 episodes of the series; he also directed six episodes. In addition to the hit show, he is known for the films The Elephant Man, Mulholland Drive, and Inland Empire.
Where Twin Peaks Ranks in the Television Pantheon
Twin Peaks is the cult TV hit from the 1990s that still has people asking ‘who killed Laura Palmer’. The series has been nominated for 44 awards and has won 15 including two Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes, the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama and Program of the Year (1990), and was inducted into the Online Film and Television Association’s Hall of Fame in 2006. Although there are fewer than 50 total episodes, the series has been listed among the greatest television series of all time by TV Guide, Time and Rolling Stone magazines, and is referenced often in other television shows, movies, and other media.