Norma is something of an underrated character on Twin Peaks.
Like most other characters, she behaves in a morally questionable way. She cheats on her husband with a married man. But there’s something about both her and her lover that makes you root for them, rather than despise them.
Maybe it’s the depiction of her suffering quietly, strongly; and this somehow making up for her bad behaviour. Maybe it’s all the other ways she demonstrates kindness and support.
Whatever the reason, I always looked forward to the Norma scenes. Not only did I find design inspiration in her wardrobe, I also thought, of nearly all the characters on Twin Peaks, she’s the one I’d want to be friends with. Just check out this scene with her and Shelly.
Norma is mature, collected, supportive, and strong. She’s made mistakes in the past and struggles with them. We get to see her work through some big issues in her own strong, quiet way, and she has one of my favourite lines in the show.
Her criminal husband tries to negotiate with her when she approaches him for a divorce. She’s tired and unhappy, and wants to be with the man she loves. When she refuses to jeopardize her morals to gain his assent to the divorce, he viciously calls her a whore. She replies, “I’d rather be his whore than your wife!”