Written by Eden H. Roquelaire for Twin Peaks Freaks.
Disclaimer: Contains spoilers for Twin Peaks: The Return parts 1 – 11.
A lot of questions have been asked about Candie, one of the three Vegas girls (along with Mandie and Sandie) who accompanies the Mitchum brothers. Actress Amy Shiels has her own explanation for why Candie acts the way she does, and it’s a valid idea. But I think there might be a much more significant secret behind the innocuous-seeming girl, and I may have uncovered it when I noticed something hiding in plain sight.
Candie, as I mentioned before, is played by Amy Shiels, who voiced Agent “T.P.” Tammy Preston for The Secret History of Twin Peaks audiobook. As we know, it’s not Shiels, but Chrysta Bell who plays Agent Preston in the show. Why would Lynch replace Shiels, just to have her play an entirely different character? Could this be another clue for the existence of alternate timelines in The Return? Could he maybe have just changed his mind about who worked best for the role? Nonsense, I say! These other possibilities are just red herrings disguising the deep, dark truth: Amy Shiels is still playing Agent Preston, but we just haven’t realized it yet.
Many fans have had mixed feelings about Chrysta Bell’s portrayal of Agent Preston, citing her stylistic acting as unrealistic and distracting (although, in my honest opinion, this fits right in with Lynch’s surreal film noir style). There could, however, be an in-universe explanation for Tammy’s odd behavior: She’s not Agent Preston at all, she’s a decoy.
My theory: Agent Preston, played by Amy Shiels, has gone deep undercover to take down a drug network, which starts in Canada, goes through Twin Peaks, to Vegas, where the Mitchum brothers help distribute it, through Buckhorn, and ends in New York. In order for her to penetrate the network, she had to pose as a down-on-her-luck girl looking for work in the Mitchum Brothers’ casino, and become their trusted companion, all the while acting like a “dumb blonde” so that no suspicion is put upon her. However, what if someone noticed that Agent Preston coincidentally went missing at the exact same time that “Candie” showed up? That’s why they needed a decoy. (Who would notice this, you ask? Shut up, I say. Go along with it.)
Enter Chrysta Bell, a lower-level FBI agent and friend of the real Agent Preston. She’s not the best agent, and she’s a bit of an oddball, but she’s clever, and trustworthy. So Cole arranges for her to temporarily take Preston’s place while they infiltrate the drug network. In the meantime, Cole, sensing promise in Tammy, decides to take her under his wing and help her learn the ropes. Of course, he does this by taking her on the most dangerous case yet. This is sort of like tossing someone into the ocean so they can learn to swim, which is a flawless, time-tested method of teaching.
So, where do I think all this is going? Well, clearly, it’s not a coincidence that Agent Preston should happen to be where Agent Cooper shows up. I think it’s obvious that she’s going to recognize him, and try to get him back to Cole. In the process, however, she will blow her cover to the Mitchum brothers, who will attempt to kill both her and Cooper for betraying them, forcing Cooper to wake from his stupor and rescue them both. Slapping on a pair of shades and grabbing a gun, he will say, “Let’s rock,” and take down the Mitchum Brothers, action hero style. He will then convince Agent Preston to return to Twin Peaks with him, to bring the story back around full circle.
Meanwhile, it will turn out that Cole’s hunch about Chrysta Bell was actually him sensing that she was, in fact, a human manufactured by the White Lodge, who is destined to finally kill BOB. So they go to Twin Peaks, where they run into Cooper and Preston and the whole truth is revealed. Before departing this realm, Chrysta Bell will give Cole the dossier that comprises The Secret History of Twin Peaks, and tells him that “Tammy will know what to do with this.” She will then return to the White Lodge, just before the final showdown ensues: Janey-E, Audrey Horne (in her one and only appearance in this season), and Diane all fight for the love of Agent Cooper, who is too busy spending time with his true love, which is the coffee at the Double R Diner.
(Editor’s note: It has been called to my attention that Amy Shiels voiced literally all the women in The Secret History of Twin Peaks audiobook, with the exception of Agent T. P., who was voiced by Annie Wersching. The fact that I remember differently is clearly evidence of an alternate timeline.)
Whew. So, I think I may have taken one or two liberties there, but overall I think my theory is pretty solid and explains everything about Candie and Tammy. What do you think about these characters? What do you think will happen in the remaining episodes? Also, how did you enjoy my first ever parody article? Leave a comment below.
(Edit: Yes, this was in fact a joke. I really hope you didn’t read through that whole thing taking it seriously.)