Arbitrary Law



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Episode Info

Episode 16 of Twin Peaks, "Arbitrary Law," originally aired on December 1, 1990, and was directed by Tim Hunter. This episode features the elusive elements of Cooper's dream from Episode Two finally coming together to crack the case. The evidence shows that Maddy's killer was the same as Laura's, and Albert Rosenfeld and Deputy Hawk show faith in Cooper's declaration that he needs 24 hours to solve the investigation. Meanwhile, the secret identity of Mr. Tojamura is revealed to Ben, only after he signs over the mill and Ghostwood estates. Seeking the connection between the magical boy and Harold Smith's suicide note, Donna visits Mrs. Tremond's house with Agent Cooper and Andy. She receives an envelope with a page from Laura's secret diary that reveals Laura and Cooper had the same dream. Cooper then stages a confrontation at the Roadhouse with suspect Ben and the help of Ed and Hawk. Truman brings Leland, Bobby brings Leo, and Major Briggs arrives unexpectedly with the old waiter. As his visions become clearer, Cooper remembers Laura's message from his dream and the Giant gives him back his ring. The final chaotic conclusion at the Sheriff's office officially answers the question of who killed Laura Palmer.


Kyle MacLachlan
as Agent Dale Cooper
Ray Wise
as Leland Palmer
Lara Flynn Boyle
as Donna Hayward
Kimmy Robertson
as Lucy Moran
Harry Goaz
as Dep. Andy Brennan
Ian Buchanan
as Richard Tremayne
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Arbitrary Law Photos

Critic Reviews for Arbitrary Law

Imagine my surprise when I watch "Arbitrary Law" and it was...great. Really, really great. This has been by far the best 40 and some change minutes I've spent in the town of Twin Peaks.

May 20, 2017 | Full Review…

This "resolution" to the mystery has always bothered me.

Jun 19, 2017 | Full Review…

Brace yourself for a powerful and confounding hour of television, and the climax of the Laura Palmer storyline.

May 19, 2017 | Full Review…

Director Tim Hunter, who previously directed the funeral episode of the series, brings his A-game to this one, as the episode is shot beautifully throughout.

May 17, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

On the whole though, "Arbitrary Law" is better than most of what comes next in Season 2, if only because it still highlights the grace and charisma of Ray Wise.

May 19, 2017 | Full Review…

This is the first episode that really feels rushed, even tacked on.

May 14, 2017 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
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