Pete Martell

“Fellas don’t drink that coffee. You never guess! There was a fish in the percolator!”

Screenshot of Jack Nance as Pete Martell, from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.
© Lynch/Frost & Twin Peaks Productions.

Pete Martell, a poetic soul unappreciated by his wife Catherine

Catherine Martell’s husband Pete is fundamentally a kind-hearted, grandfatherly guy. He got married with the Packard saw mill boss’s sister after a summer’s indiscretion. Back then Pete Martell was to Catherine the fellow who caught her eye, the lumberjack who could scamper up a tree like a cat.

Pete on Pinterest

Pete Martell’s Story

Catherine and Pete Martell: their happiness was short lived

Though they remained married, Catherine began to feel her husband was a useless, soft old fool. She doesn’t make anything easy for Pete. Catherine barely acknowledges her husband’s existence.

Pete Martell’s rather silly jokes are meant to lighten the mood around the house but they actually contribute to the opposite.

Catherine hates her husband’s nostalgia and the way he makes everything smell like fish around the house. Pete finds a good friend in Josie Packard who laughs at his jokes and is just like him a victim of Catherine’s hatred.

“She’s dead. Wrapped in plastic!” – Pete Martell finds Laura Palmer’s dead body

On February 24th in 1989 Pete Martell leaves the house early to go morning fishing. On the sandbank of the river, laying at the base of a large tree trunk, Laura Palmer’s dead body scares the heck out of Pete who calls Sheriff Harry S Truman and stutters “She’s dead. Wrapped in plastic!”

The Packard Lands first jeopardized later saved by Pete Martell

Blinded by the pretty Josie Packard’s charms, Pete Martell unconsciously jeopardizes his wife’s plan to regain her family business and the Packard land which came in Josie’s hands after her husband, the late Andrew Packard, died in a boating accident.

Catherine’s got a secret safe where she keeps the real account ledger for the mill – Josie is only shown a fake account ledger, one that hides the fact that it is slowly sinking into bankruptcy.

Using her charms, Josie Packard manages to persuade Pete Martell into giving her the key to the safe, giving her the chance to be one step ahead of Catherine.

Catherine & Pete Martell: Under all that scar tissue there’s a flicker of what they used to feel for each other

Although their marriage is a living train wreck, Pete Martell stands by his wife when she is in trouble and – given what she has become and the way she’s treated people – there’s no one else she can turn to.

When Catherine calls for Pete’s help after the secret account ledger has disappeared, he does try. Pete Martell’s dedication to his conniving wife does get heroic proportions when the mill is on fire with Catherine inside. Without hesitation he runs inside shouting out “She’s still my wife!”

Pete ends up in the hospital with smoke inhalation and is devastated when he learns Catherine went missing.

When Catherine re-appears, Pete Martell turns into a silent witness and at times active accomplish of his wife’s wrong-doings and plans against Benjamin Horne and Josie.

Pete Martell, Twin Peaks’ Chess champignon

When Dale Cooper is invited to a macabre Chess tournament by his former partner Windom Earle, he turns to Pete Martell who is a Chess champion.

Each time Cooper loses a piece, someone will die by the hands of Windom Earle. Agent Cooper hopes for a stalemate losing as little pieces as possible.

Pete Martell’s genius and his efforts to prevent future loss of life earn him the respect of the Twin Peaks Sheriff Department but Windom Earle is enraged by what he perceives as a “violation of the rules of the game”.

Pete Martell – Quotes


“The lonesome foghorn blows.”

“She’s dead. Wrapped in plastic!”

“Fellas don’t drink that coffee. You never guess! There was a fish in the percolator!”

“I have no complaints about the house.”

“Midge. Midge Jones… It’s uh my old High School Year Book. I thought it was gone forever. I’m sorry.”

“She’s still my wife!”

“You don’t like musicals? Not even Fiddler on a roof?”