Monday, February 28, 2011


When I saw Joan Chen was the guest star in a 'Fringe' episode a few weeks ago, my heart gave a little skip - but not because of the pozz'bilities for a connection to 'Twin Peaks'. (I already had that covered when Walter said that he was friends with Dr. Jacoby.)

It was simply because it had been far too long since I had seen her.

So no, I didn't start spinning splainins for her characters in 'Fringe' and 'Twin Peaks', but it did get me thinking about Josie Packard and her strange fate in the town of Twin Peaks.

In case you don't remember, Josie's physical form died, but her spirit was transferred into the knob on the small bureau by the side of the bed. This would become her own personal hell.

Since that occurred in 1991, what has since happened to the soul of Josie Packard? Is she trapped in the knob still? If not, wha' hoppint, as Ricky Ricardo would say.

Here are a few options:

1) She's still trapped in the knob.

A spiritualist released her soul to go to her final fate. (I'm thinking maybe defrocked priest John 'Strange'.)

3) The bureau was burned which extinguished her soul.

Josie's spirit was transferred to another vessel. (If this was the movie universe, maybe she got "back in de bowl"....)

5) Someone attuned to the spiritual plane touched the knob and became the host to her soul.

Pretty close to a Super Six List right there, but I did come up with a Super Six List connected to the theory that she was still trapped in the bureau:


(This is contingent on the premise that eventually the Great Northern Lodge would want to get rid of the bureau because of it being the locus for unusual occurrences in their hotel, and that they didn't just trash or burn it.)

Here are my six candidates for those who might have tried to gain possession of the possessed bureau. And as always, I cheated at the end......
Curious Goods used to be Vendredi Antiques, owned by Lewis Vendredi. He made a pact with the Devil to sell the accursed inventory which would spread the Devil's evil far and wide. But when he finally reneged on the deal and lost his soul, it was then up to his old friend Jack Marshak, Vendredi's niece Micki Foster, and her cousin Ryan Dallion to retrieve those items.

They could easily have mistaken the possessed bureau for one of those damned objects and brought it back to the Curious Goods store. (This would have happened at least two years after the 'Friday The Thirteenth' series ended. So we have to assume all three of those characters were still alive by late 1991.)
When a hotel decides to get rid of furniture, it could just toss it out if its badly damaged, or it might try to recoup some of its original cost by selling it off - to consignment shops, antique dealers, collectors, or maybe even to another hotel.

An inn like the one on nearby Harper's Island might have been interested in any cast-offs from the Great Northern to heighten their outdoors-y theme in some of the rooms. But the tortured aura of Josie Packard's doomed soul would have proven to be a deadly influence on a youngster who spent summers on the island......
This is the archive of strange items that are either imbued with mysterious powers, or even have lives of their own. Its curator, Artie Nielsen, calls it America's attic.

Not understanding the reason why, the WH13 agents would have collected the bureau - or at the very least, it's knob - once their detection system picked up on the source of the disturbance. This means that the agents involved would not have been Mika and Pete, who didn't join the Warehouse team until two years ago.
The Metropolitan would be the biggest rival to Warehouse 13 for the acquisition of magical artifacts. (And with items in its collection like the Holy Grail, Excalibur (above, right), and Pandora's Box, Chief Librarian Judson would have dispatched the current Librarian (probably Edward Wilde) to retrieve it before the WH13 agents got their mitts on it.

And since Wilde bore an "uncanny resemblance" to FBI Agent Dale Cooper, he probably just bluffed the Great Northern Hotel staff into surrendering the bureau as "evidence".
Torchwood would be a major rival to both Warehouse 13 and the Metropolitan Public Library for collecting items, although their interest would lie more with alien technology. After all, their motto is: "If it's alien, it's ours." But they might have assumed the bureau was alien in origin, and like their rivals, national boundaries would not be seen as an impediment in reaching their target.

The way I'd play it out in Toobworld, it would not have been until the end of the 1990's before Torchwood would have become aware of the bureau's existence. And it would have been Torchwood Three, based in Cardiff, who would have been mobilized to bring it back to the Institute. But the presence of the bureau - and Josie's damned spirit - in the close quarters of the "Hub" would have traumatized the psyches of the team members. It would finally be team leader Alex Hopkins who would snap, killing all of the other agents of Torchwood Three on New Year's Eve, 1999.

Alien artifacts remained at the various sub-stations only long enough to be shipped to Torchwood One in the Canary Wharf area of London. So eventually Jack Harkness, who "survived" the New Year's massacre, would have shipped that bureau on to the main facility's storage area. And there it would have been destroyed as collateral damage in the battle of Canary Wharf between the Daleks and the Cybermen.


Yeah, I guess I'm always going to go to the Who well.....

'Doctor Who' serves as an umbrella for three options that appeared in the series. (Torchwood got its own entry because it was spun off to its own show.)
With the Doctor, he could have discovered the true nature of that bureau while on a trip to the Pacific Northwest (maybe while he was visiting the town of 'Eureka'?). The Time Lord would have then decided it would be safer to store it in the TARDIS (as he did the globe containing the three Carrionite witches) until he could properly dispose of it and/or free Josie Packard's soul.
B] U.N.I.T.
The Unified Intelligence Task-force (formerly the United Nations Intelligence Task-force) has its own warehouse of the alien and the bizarre, which was seen in an episode of the spin-off 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'. Since UNIT is international in scope, they would have no problem in superceding local authorities to O'Btain that bureau.
As with almost all of the options I've come up with, Van Statten's main interest lay in the alien ("Lay in" the alien. Heh heh. Heh heh....) But as with the others, he may have made a bid for that bureau as well. However, if he did acquire it, then Josie's soul would probably be doomed for eternity since the underground chambers will be flooded with cement in 2012.

So that's my Super Six List (Plus) on what could have happened to the bureau that contained the soul of Josie Packard. There could have been even more pozz'bilities - like former FBI agent Fox Mulder who used to work 'The X-Files' (and who had a doppelganger DEA agent helping Cooper in Twin Peaks back in the early '90's - Thanks, Sean!), the aforementioned John 'Strange', the NID in cooperation with the 'Stargate SG-1' project, and private collectors looking for items that might have come from 'The Lost Room'.

I do have one final O'Bservation - I don't think we can assume that Joan Chen's character of Reiko in 'Fringe' was the "Over There" counterpart to Josie Packard of the main Toobworld. Born in Hong Kong, it's like her name wasn't originally Josie, but it would have been a Chinese name. Reiko is Japanese in origin. Of course, she might have even been playing the long game about her nationality with Old Man Andrew Packard when he met and married her in Hong Kong so that it would be difficult for him to check her background if he got suspicious. At any rate, whether Reiko and Josie are dimensional counterparts or not is beside the point. It could be that Reiko does have a marriage to Andrew Packard in her background.

But O'Bviously, the "Over There" Josie didn't die and get knobbed up.....


* Yeah, I could have typed "Six Organizations Who Would Want Josie's Bureau", but where's the sport in that? Know what I mean? Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink......


Sean Levin said...

Toby, great post, but I have to point out that Dennis "Denise" Bryson (played hilariously by David Duchovny) was a DEA agent, not FBI. Love these ideas, though!

Toby O'B said...

Thanks, Sean. I'll change it when I get home. I haven't seen the series since it was first broadcast and only remembered he was even in it as I was mentioning Fox Mulder! So not too shabby for an old televisiologist.....