Catherine Martell

"I find adherence to fantasy troubling and unreasonable." Click to Tweet

Screenshot of Piper Laurie as Catherine Martell, from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.
© Lynch/Frost & Twin Peaks Productions.

Catherine Martell runs the Packard saw mill…

… though Josie is the legal owner. Catherine Martell is the sister of Andrew Packard, the owner of the Packard Mill. After her brother Andrew’s death in a boating accident, Catherine runs the Packard Mill although Andrew’s widow Josie is the legal owner.

This awkward situation often leads to managerial conflicts, like when Josie decides, much against Catherine Martell’s will, to shut down the mill after Laura’s death and the disappearance of another high school girl.

Catherine on Pinterest

Catherine Martell’s Story

Catherine Martell is having an affair with local businessman Benjamin Horne

Catherine married lumberjack Pete Martell, but their happiness was short lived. Though they remained married, Catherine feels her husband is a useless, soft old fool. She hates his stupid jokes, his musings and the way he makes everything smell like fish around the house.

Catherine Martell is having an affair with Twin Peaks’ business magnate Benjamin Horne. She finds in him all the qualities sadly lacking in her husband.

By conspiring with Ben Horne, Catherine hopes to regain the Packard land property from Josie. Catherine Martell secretely runs her family business into the red to force Josie to sell it at a low price.

To block Josie from intervening, Catherine Martell masterminds a second account ledger for the mill, one that hides the fact that it is slowly sinking into bankruptcy. The account ledger showing the real, negative figures is kept in Catherine’s secret safe.

Benjamin Horne conspires with Josie behind Catherine’s back

Catherine doesn’t notice that, behind her back, the key to her secret hiding place is handed over to Josie – by her husband Pete. After discovering the real business figures of the Packard saw mill, Josie sets up a secret meeting with Ben Horne.

They hatch a plan to burn down the Packard saw mill, after which Josie will sell the Packard lands cheaply to Ben’s Ghostwood Development Project. To get rid of Catherine, a phone call must place her at the mill when the fire starts.

Catherine Martell begins to suspect she’s being double-crossed when she discovers a $1,000,000 worth life insurance policy has been set up, naming Josie Packard as her sole beneficiary.

Soon later she finds out the real account ledger that spells bankruptcy has disappeared from her secret hiding place.

Catherine Martell missing after the Packard saw mill’s fire

Just before the mill’s fire starts, Catherine Martell receives a phone call telling her that the missing account ledger is at the saw mill’s a warehouse.

Armed with a hand gun she goes off to investigate. The warehouse goes up in flames and Catherine Martell goes missing. Her body is never found.

Catherine gets her revenge, Japanese style

Some time after the mill’s fire a mysterious Japanese investor, Mr Tojamura, comes to Twin Peaks. He offers Ben Horne $5 million for the Packard lands. Mr Tojamura later reveals himself to be Catherine Martell in disguise.

After Ben Horne is arrested for the murder of Laura Palmer, Catherine Martell visits him in jail and manages to make him sign the deal. The Packard family’s lands are finally hers.

Catherine Martell – Quotes

[To Josie Packard] “I just thought you ought to know what your sentimental good-will shenanigans cost us yesterday. You do know what shenanigans are, don’t you?”

[To Benjamin Horne] “Are you talking about business or pleasure?”

[To Benjamin Horne] “Sing it to somebody else. I’m not one of your teenage pea-brained chambermaids.”

[To Pete Martell] “Everything smells like fish around here.”

[To Pete Martell] “The next time you and the merry widow want a peek in my safe, don’t go to so much trouble. Be a man about it, Pete. Ask me to my face.”

“Dummy! It’s me!”

“I find adherence to fantasy troubling and unreasonable.”