Two Birds With One Stone: What is the Importance of Richard and Linda? (UPDATED)

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Written by Eden H. Roquelaire for Twin Peaks Freaks.

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers for Twin Peaks: The Return episodes 1 – 7.

In Twin Peaks: The Return – Part 5, we were introduced to a particularly despicable new character, who assaults and threatens a woman, is involved in shady dealings with a corrupt police officer, and, perhaps most devious of all, smokes in a non-smoking area. Many fans were shocked and dismayed to see this character credited as Richard Horne, the potential offspring of fan favorite Audrey. But is he really? What is the importance of Richard in the new series? Why does the Giant mention his name to Cooper?

The first question we have, of course, is, just how is Richard Horne related to the Hornes that we know? Let’s examine all the possibilities.

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If he’s not a cousin, related to some branch of the Horne family we’ve never seen before, then he must be the son of either Ben, Jerry, Johnny, or Audrey. Johnny is perhaps the least likely candidate, though not out of the question, as his mental condition complicates social interactions. Richard could always be a bastard son of either Ben or Jerry, as both are well-known philanderers, or Jerry could have had a child with a wife or girlfriend (Maybe Heba?) Of course, Ben and Sylvia could have had another child, but considering the state of their marriage, especially after the debacle at the Haywards’, I’d say this is even less likely than Johnny being the father.

The most probable situation is that Audrey is Richard’s mother, which leaves the question of paternity. The fact that Richard has his mother’s name implies an absent father. Audrey did have sex with Jack Wheeler before he departed for South America, but I find it hard to believe that she wouldn’t tell Jack he was a father, or that he wouldn’t come back for him. Jack seemed like an honorable enough guy, I doubt he’d abandon his child. Something could, of course, have happened to Jack, preventing him from ever returning. But there’s no way Jack was Audrey’s only suitor. Could Bobby be the father? He and Audrey did have some flirtatious moments in season 2. But, as bad as Bobby has been in the past, he seems to have turned over a new leaf, and I don’t think Bobby would be absent from his son’s life. It could also be someone we’ve never heard of, who Audrey met in the aftermath of season 2. But there’s one final, disturbing possibility.

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Sherilyn Fenn in a Twin Peaks photo shoot for Entertainment Weekly.

In Part 7 of The Return, Doc Hayward mentions that, after the events of the season 2 finale, he saw Cooper’s Doppelganger leaving the ICU. When questioned about why Cooper would be in the ICU, Doc says that he thought Cooper was visiting Audrey, who was in a coma after the bank explosion. Could it be that Cooper’s Doppelganger impregnated Audrey while she was comatose? The possibility is horrifying, but makes a lot of sense.

Before I continue, I want to address the idea that Cooper was actually visiting Annie, to steal back the Owl Ring, or try to kill her, and the mention of Audrey is just to throw us off. To me, this just doesn’t stand up to closer examination. Why mention Audrey, and not Annie? They had already talked about how Annie was with Cooper the night they both entered the Black Lodge, so why wouldn’t Doc think Cooper might be visiting Annie? I’m not saying that Doppelcoop didn’t want to get the ring back ( he obviously does get it, since Dougie has it later,) but, firstly, it’s no longer with Annie, it’s with one of the nurses, and secondly, mentioning Audrey then makes no sense. Why would Lynch and Frost bring her up for the first time in the new series if she was just a red herring? I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to mention her here and now. I think if he had been visiting Annie, it would have been a time to be direct. And if he had been trying to kill Annie, I think Doc also would have mentioned something about it, either that Annie was dead, or that there was trouble in the ICU immediately after, or something else. SOMETHING. No. I think Lynch and Frost mentioned Audrey because she is important here, and they want us to think about her.

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I think, especially in the scheme of the narrative, it makes the most sense for Richard to be the spawn of Cooper’s Doppelganger. It fits. It would explain Richard’s tendency for evil actions (although many characters are evil, without such an excuse), the fact that he has his mother’s surname, and why the Giant mentions him to Cooper in the first scene of the first episode. He is clearly important. All this would make sense if he was Cooper’s son. But, the Giant also says it is important to remember someone named Linda, who is mentioned in Part 6 of The Return. What does she have to do with Cooper and Richard?

For the sake of thoroughness, I want to throw out the idea that Richard is from a previously unseen branch of the Horne family, and Linda could be his mother. Someone has also suggested that Linda is actually Audrey in hiding, and that she was crippled after the bank explosion, hence why she needs a wheel chair. As of now, I don’t have a lot of evidence to support that theory, so let’s move on.

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My theory is that Richard and Linda are both the children of Cooper. They are the “two birds,” and Cooper is the “one stone.” Richard is the son of Audrey and Cooper’s Doppelganger, conceived when Audrey was in a coma after the bank explosion. Linda is the daughter of the Good Dale and Annie, conceived before they entered the Lodge at the end of season 2. I think Linda is also a soldier who was crippled in combat, explaining how she could be so young and need a wheel chair, and government assistance. That is also why Carl Rod says “F***ing war” while he and Mickey are talking about Linda, which otherwise is a non sequitor. It also falls in line with the later revelation that Frank Truman’s son was a soldier who committed suicide. He and Linda may have even known each other, both being soldiers from the Twin Peaks area.

Some have suggested that Linda is the result of Doppelcooper’s sexual assault on Diane, but it doesn’t make sense that she would end up in Deer Meadow when Diane lives in Philadelphia. It would be an odd coincidence, even if the child was given up for adoption. I think it’s far more likely that Annie is the mother, and this could possibly be a situation reminiscent of Clive Barker’s novel The Great and Secret Show, in which two opposing entities, one “good,” the other “evil,” sire offspring to battle each other. Incidentally, this novel has a lot of common themes with Twin Peaks: Small towns with many secrets, and lots of supernatural occurrences happening beneath it all. The sequel, Everville, even takes place in the Pacific Northwest.

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If all this is true, I think that Richard and Linda will be instrumental to the conclusion of the show. This would nicely bring things full circle, taking us back to that first scene between Cooper and the Giant. I cannot predict what will happen, but I think it will call for an emotional and profound conclusion, with Cooper facing the dark half of himself and having to reconcile with it.

UPDATE (08/04/2017)

It seems undeniable at this point that Audrey is Richard’s mother, and it’s probably only a matter of time before we get in-show confirmation. The only thing left to really prove is that DoppelCoop could be Richard’s father. Some fans have resisted the idea, finding it harder to believe that Richard is the spawn of DoppelCoop raping a comatose Audrey, rather than him just being the result of her fling with Jack Wheeler, or another man she might have met in the interim, which is, of course, still plausible. These fans ask the question, “Isn’t it much more likely that DoppelCoop went to reclaim the Owl Ring, rather than to sexually assault Audrey for some reason?”

Let me start by saying: I think he did both. It’s obvious he reclaimed the Owl Ring, but that doesn’t negate him visiting Audrey. Especially since many of us seem to be forgetting the most crucial element to DoppelCoop’s character: He is the Shadow Self of Dale Cooper, containing all his darkest, innermost thoughts and desires. It brings to mind the tagline, “In a town like Twin Peaks, no one is innocent.” Not even Dale Cooper. He probably had libidinous thoughts about Miss Horne, which is probably why DoppelCoop targeted her. Perhaps it was even part of DoppelCoop’s endgame to procreate, and Richard Horne may prove to be a bigger player than we might think.

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What are your thoughts on this theory? Where do you think Richard Horne’s character will go from here? What do you think this means for Audrey’s role in The Return? Comment below!

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5 Final Predictions for Twin Peaks: The Return

 

Written by Eden H. Roquelaire for Twin Peaks Freaks.

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers for The Secret History of Twin Peaks.

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As we prepare to delve back into the strange and wonderful world of Twin Peaks, we all have our anticipations, our hopes, and our assumptions. If you are looking for some last-minute theories to get you revved up for the premiere this Sunday, look no further. Here are my final predictions for Twin Peaks: The Return.

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5. Big Ed stayed with Nadine

In the recent trailer released from Showtime, Big Ed is seen, presumably at the desk of his Gas Farm, looking pretty sullen. Many fans hoped that 2017 would see Big Ed Hurley finally united with his long-time sweetheart, Norma Jennings. But from the looks of this clip, either things have gone wrong with Norma, or he has stayed in his unhappy marriage to Nadine. Alternately, he may have lost both women. When Nadine comes out of her teenage fantasy, she finally realizes that she has truly lost Ed to Norma. She may have been too heartbroken to go back to Ed, and Norma may have been too tired of Ed’s inability to leave Nadine to stay with him.

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4. There are two Dale Coopers

“My name is Annie, and I’ve been with Laura and Dale. The good Dale is in the Lodge, and he can’t leave. Write it in your diary.”

-Annie Blackburn, Fire Walk With Me

At the end of Twin Peaks Season 2, viewers discovered the worst had happened when Agent Cooper, acting a little oddly after escaping from the Black Lodge, looked into the mirror and saw BOB in the reflection. This left us with an agonizing and iconic cliffhanger, and it would be a shame to not deliver on the 26-year-old promise of seeing an “Evil Dale Cooper.” This cliffhanger was referenced again in Fire Walk With Me when Annie Blackburn, who had also been in the Black Lodge with Cooper, appears to Laura Palmer and tells her that “The good Dale is in the Lodge and he can’t leave.” While it is a confusing situation at best, it would seem to imply that Cooper has become spiritually bisected, leaving his “good” self in the Black Lodge, while his body, possessed by killer BOB, returned to Twin Peaks.

There are many possible approaches that could be taken to this situation, as some fans theorize that the body we see possessed by BOB is actually that of Cooper’s Doppelganger, and not the original Cooper we know and love. Perhaps the Good Dale has finally escaped the Black Lodge, 25 years later, and is hunting down his Doppelganger, or perhaps he still needs to be rescued. If the body is his, and not the Doppelganger’s, then it is possible he will not be able to leave the Black Lodge until his body is returned to him. Perhaps, until that time comes, he will be exploring the various dimensions of the Lodges…

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3. Return to the Roadhouse

When the official cast list for Twin Peaks: The Return was released last year, it was obvious that the new series had enough musicians to fill their 18 episodes, and then some. These musicians include previous Lynch collaborators Julee Cruise, Chrysta Bell, and Trent Reznor, as well as some surprising newcomers like Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder. While it’s not clear if these musicians are simply listed as collaborators on the soundtrack, or will be making an appearance in the show, it would be a lovely treat and in keeping with the original series to include some haunting musical performances on the stage of the Roadhouse.

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2. I’m not saying it’s aliens…

I don’t think we will ever see a spaceship in Twin Peaks. I do think further discussion of Project Blue Book, and blatant addressing of the subject of aliens, is unavoidable in order to progress certain plot elements. But Twin Peaks will never be a sci-fi story. I don’t think Mark Frost or David Lynch want to do that by any means. I don’t think we will ever hear it definitively said that the owls are alien spies, or that the Dugpas are from another planet, as some have speculated. In true enigmatic form, I think it will be left up for interpretation, and implied that the Dugpas are not spirits, or Native American gods, or extraterrestrials, but something beyond our comprehension, and far more terrifying.

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1. The Blue Rose is code for Listening Post Alpha

More than anything else, when the photos for the Entertainment Weekly photo shoot came out earlier this year, I think I was most stunned by the appearance of a blue rose, right there on the table between Audrey and Shelly. One of the enduring mysteries of Twin Peaks is that of the Blue Rose. It only appeared in FWWM, but it made a huge impression on fans. Agent Cooper refers to Teresa Banks’ murder as “one of Gordon Cole’s Blue Rose cases,” and Agent Desmond says that he can’t talk about the Blue Rose with Agent Stanley. With no further information, fans analyzed the symbol as best they could, and came up with some interesting theories. The most popular and most believable of these theories is that the Blue Rose is code for Project Blue Book, due to 1) color association, 2) apparent ties to the government, and 3) the fact that blue roses do not exist in nature, suggesting an “otherworldly” element to them. After reading The Secret History of Twin Peaks, I am convinced more than ever that this theory is very near the mark.

While the Blue Rose itself is never mentioned in The Secret History, we are given more background on Project Blue Book’s connection with the rest of the Twin Peaks mythology. It turns out that newspaper mogul Douglas Milford was, in his younger days, an agent working on Project Blue Book under then-President Richard Nixon. He was, in a manner of speaking, one of the “men in black,” appearing to investigate UFO cases, and other bizarre phenomena for the government. After Nixon’s death, Milford was spurred to create his own successor to Project Blue Book in Twin Peaks itself, known as Listening Post Alpha (LPA). He also recruited Major Garland Briggs to help him, and this is most likely the job that prompted him to so commonly quip, “That’s classified.” Milford then dies, suspected to have been murdered by his wife, possible assassin Lana Budding. He leaves Briggs a letter, philosophizing about the nature of the strange phenomena surrounding Twin Peaks, and concluding by telling Briggs to wait until his “next control arrives.”

Briggs, now in charge of LPA, believes that Agent Cooper has been sent by Gordon Cole to be his aid in these endeavors. This raises an eyebrow. Also contained in the dossier that comprises The Secret History is a list containing the names of FBI agents Cooper, Cole, Desmond, Stanley, Rosenfield, and Jeffries. The nature of this list is never revealed, but it is clearly important. Briggs and Milford must have been working with Cole on some level, otherwise there’s no reason for him to believe that Cole would “send” anyone to Briggs.

Remember how Cooper referred to the Blue Rose cases as being Cole’s? And which agents has Cole assigned to his Blue Rose cases? Agents Cooper, Desmond, Stanley, Rosenfield, and, in all probability, Jeffries. So it isn’t that big of a leap to suspect that the Blue Rose cases are linked to LPA, if not specifically code for LPA and its interests. Adding to this connection is the discovery by one sharp-eyed fan of a blue flower prop in Major Briggs’ house. While it appears to be a tulip, and not a rose, the similarities are distinctly there.

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I could of course be wrong about all of this. After all, the owls are not what they seem, and Lynch and Frost have kept us guessing from the very beginning, and the mystery they created together has lasted 27 long years. Only time will tell what truths are to be unveiled, and what mysteries are to be left uncertain forevermore.

What do you think will happen in the new series? What’s your favorite mystery from the show or the movie? How will you be celebrating the return of Twin Peaks? Post a comment below!

How’s Annie? The Implications of The Secret History of Twin Peaks

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Written by Eden H. Roquelaire for Twin Peaks Freaks.

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers for Mark Frost’s novel, The Secret History of Twin Peaks.

On October 18th, 2016, Mark Frost released his much-anticipated novel The Secret History of Twin Peaks to tie in with the new season due to arrive in 2017. Fans hoped that this would answer many of their pressing questions, however, the book seemed to create more mysteries than it solved. The fates of Annie Blackburn, Benjamin Horne, and Agent Cooper are left up in the air, characters that seemed like comic relief in the show are revealed to be involved in wild conspiracies, and while the “Owl Ring” is given an origin, it is still not explained what, exactly, it does. Not only that, but the book is seemingly riddled with inconsistencies. Listed below are only a few:

  • Andrew Packard’s “death” date is inconsistent
  • Norma’s mother is named Ilsa Lindstrom, not Vivian Niles, and supposedly died 5 years before the show
  • Annie seems not to exist at all
  • Cooper expected to get shot by Josie
  • Audrey leaves a note before heading to the bank, telling her father that she knows he plans to continue with the Ghostwood Development Project, despite his behavior to the contrary in the last episodes of Season 2
  • In the book, Laura reportedly began seeing Jacoby at age 18; however, she died at age 17

(Read a more extensive list here.)

It’s rather difficult to believe that, after all these years to prepare, that Frost would make so many drastic and obvious errors. Some can be written off as retcon, such as Pete Martell shielding Audrey from the bank explosion, when in the show, he’s quite a ways away from her when the blast goes off. Had the series continued back in 1991, most likely Pete would have survived along with Audrey, but after Jack Nance’s death in 1996, a noble death was probably penned in memory of him. Other issues, like Audrey’s note, are much harder to reconcile.

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One of the biggest questions we are left with at the end of Twin Peaks and Fire Walk with Me is the fate of Annie Blackburn. Despite the importance established for her character in the show and film, the book does not mention the ill-fated damsel once, even in her sister Norma’s post card home. In fact, the information provided within the post card seems to conflict with Annie’s very existence.

First of all, Norma writes the post card to her parents, Mr and Mrs Lindstrom. This is problematic for many reasons, but let’s forget about Vivian Niles’ brief stint in Season 2 for the sake of staying on track, and suppose for a moment, Norma’s maiden name is Lindstrom. So why is Annie’s last name Blackburn? Mrs Lindstrom is said to have never remarried. Did Annie have a brief, unmentioned marriage to a Mr Blackburn, and keep her married name? Was Annie actually adopted, and kept her old family name? Did Annie simply change her name, out of personal choice? Furthermore, how could Norma not mention her little sister in her post card home from her honeymoon? As for Annie the possibility of Annie having not been born yet, Norma is at least 18 at this point, and it’s hard to believe that Annie is nearly 20 years younger than Norma.

Did the novel write Annie out of existence? Annie’s character was created for the show’s revival, after brief cancellation during the second season. The show runners managed to convince the network to bring back Twin Peaks for a few final episodes, which would wrap up the major story lines (more or less). Due to the dissolution of the Audrey/Cooper romance, Annie Blackburn’s character was speedily written in order to fill the role of Cooper’s love interest. It is possible, if unlikely, that Lynch and Frost decided to rewrite the series to omit characters not in their original plans.

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When asked about Annie by a fan at a book signing, Frost allegedly responded that he can’t talk about Annie, but that Lana Budding won Miss Twin Peaks in 1989 (the year Twin Peaks is set and Annie Blackburn is supposed to have won Miss Twin Peaks). What does this mean? Was Lana, as runner-up, granted the title after Annie fell into a coma? That wouldn’t exactly make her win Miss Twin Peaks. Frost chose this very specific way of answering this particular question. There must be a reason. Annie had to have been purposefully omitted, after having played such an important part of Season 2. But why was she omitted, and what is the explanation for her disappearance from the story?

All these apparent “errors” could have one answer: The book, and the new season, take place in an alternate universe.

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There are other hints that the new Twin Peaks will have something to do with alternate dimensions: An actor from nearly every other Lynch film is slated to appear in the new season — Laura Dern (Blue Velvet, Wild at HeartInland Empire), Naomi Watts (Mulholland DriveRabbits), Balthazar Getty (Lost Highway), plus Twin Peaks vet Charlotte Stewart (Betty Briggs), who also appeared in Eraserhead. This could easily fit with the Lynchian Universe Theory, which supposes that all of David Lynch’s major films are connected through interdimensional pathways, such as the Black Lodge, or the hotel from Inland Empire, or Club Silencio from Mulholland Drive.

We already know that alternate dimensions exist within Lynch’s films, and it has already been confirmed by Lynch himself that Twin Peaks and Lost Highway take place in the same universe. We’ve also seen that interdimensional travel is possible. So, what role could it play in Twin Peaks 2017? Could it be that, when the Good Dale emerges from the Lodge at last, he finds things… not quite as he left them? Could he end up in an alternate version of Twin Peaks, or even in another time altogether?

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Some fans propose that we are not so much seeing an alternate dimension, as an alternate timeline. This theory says that time travel, possibly by Cooper, has changed history, resulting in the “discrepancies” in The Secret History. Laura might still be alive, Annie might not have been born, and Ben Horne might never have reformed. As a matter of fact, Laura not being murdered would cause Leland to not die the way he did, and Ben Horne would never have been arrested, prompting his reformation (This would explain Audrey’s letter). Perhaps Cooper traveled back in time (maybe using the Black Lodge) and saved her life? And if Norma had different parents, they might not have had Annie.

If either the alternate universe or alternate timeline theories are correct, it would nicely clean up inconsistencies in the book, and explain why dead characters will appear 25 years later, aged 25 years older (ageing ghosts?). Whatever the truth is, we may learn the answers sooner than we think…

UPDATE: Ready for 2017? Here’s a Preview…

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Written by Eden H. Roquelaire for Twin Peaks Freaks.

Greetings to my readers! Here are the Little White Mask Blog, I’ve been taking a little break for the holidays. The posts shall return in full force next year. In the meantime, I thought I’d give you a little preview of what’s to come. Some of my future posts will discuss:

  • The Secret History of Twin Peaks and the many questions it raised (and a couple it answered)
  • An in-depth, three-part analysis of Inland Empire
  • Non-Lynch films for David Lynch fans
  • Character studies
  • Lynchian music playlists (here’s mine, what’s yours?)
  • The humorous side of David Lynch
  • and more!

If you have trouble waiting, here’s a preview of one of my upcoming articles, where I discuss the character of Annie and the possible meaning behind her absence in Mark Frost’s novel and the new series:

One of the biggest questions we are left with at the end of Twin Peaks and Fire Walk with Me is the fate of Annie Blackburn. Despite the seeming importance established for her character in the show and film, the book does not mention the ill-fated damsel once, even in her sister Norma’s post card home. In fact, the information provided within the post card seems to conflict with Annie’s very existence.

First of all, Norma writes the post card to her parents, Mr and Mrs Lindstrom, revealing Norma’s last name prior to her taking Hank’s surname upon marriage. So, if Norma’s parents are named Lindstrom, why is Annie’s last name Blackburn? Mrs Lindstrom never remarried. Did Annie have a brief, unmentioned marriage, and kept her married name? Was Annie actually adopted, and kept her old family name? Did Annie simply change her name, out of personal choice? Furthermore, how could Norma not mention her little sister in her post card home from her honeymoon? The message is marked 1969, which virtually rules out Annie having not been born yet.

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Did the novel write Annie out of existence? Annie’s character was created for the show’s revival, after brief cancellation during the second season. The show runners managed to convince the network to bring back Twin Peaks in order to wrap up the major story lines (more or less). Due to the dissolution of the Audrey/Cooper romance, Annie Blackburn’s character was speedily written in order to fill the role of Cooper’s love interest. It is possible, if unlikely, that Lynch and Frost decided to rewrite the series to omit characters not in their original plans.

Another solution? Alternate timeline. If other dimensions are involved, it wouldn’t be too much of a leap to suggest that alternate time lines could be involved, which could explain the apparent presence of deceased characters such as Leland and Laura Palmer.

Of course (do I even need to say it?) 2017 will see what we’ve all really been waiting for–the RETURN OF TWIN PEAKS! This will, of course, open up all new avenues of questioning and analysis, which means more articles! There’s also the possibility of episode reviews from yours truly!

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As far as Twin Peaks news is concerned, we have been given very little officially to go on, aside from some obscure teasers and secretive interviews with the cast members. Beyond that, it has been recently confirmed that we have Twin Peaks action figures and Funko Pops to look forward to at an undisclosed date, so keep your eyes peeled for those!

I will leave you, my lovely readers, with a question: What are you most interested in hearing about? Are there some Lynchian mysteries that still leave you scratching your head? Would you like more film theories? Would you like to hear about Twin Peaks‘ influence on other shows, video games, and comics? How would you feel about some Cracked-style humor articles? Let me know in the comments! I’ll see you next year. Meanwhile…

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HEADLINE: Twin Peaks Season 3 Cast Revealed

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Written by Eden H. Roquelaire for Twin Peaks Freaks.

Yesterday morning (April 25th, 2016), the official Facebook page for Twin Peaks released the final line-up for the cast of the long-awaited Season 3. There are many familiar faces, and many new faces to be excited about, as well as some names that are painfully absent. Below is an exact quote from Twin Peaks‘s official page, followed by a quick Who’s Who of some of the cast members.

DO NOT read below if you don’t want to know! This is your last warning to turn back. For everyone else, it is my pleasure to pass the happy news on to you:

The cameras have stopped rolling.
A key piece of the mystery is revealed.
Welcome back* to Twin Peaks.

Jay Aaseng
Alon Aboutboul
Jane Adams
Joe Adler
Kate Alden
Stephanie Allynne
Mädchen Amick*
Eric Ray Anderson
Finn Andrews
Elizabeth Anwies
Dana Ashbrook*
Joe Auger
Phoebe Augustine*
Melissa Bailey
Tammie Baird
Matt Battaglia
Chrysta Bell
Monica Bellucci
Jim Belushi
Leslie Berger
Richard Beymer*
John Billingsley
Michael Bisping
Ronnie Gene Blevins
Kelsey Bohlen
Sean Bolger
Rachael Bower
Brent Briscoe
Robert Broski
Wes Brown
Richard Bucher
Page Burkum
Scott Cameron
Juan Carlos Cantu
Gia Carides
Vincent Castellanos
Michael Cera
Richard Chamberlain
Bailey Chase
Johnny Chavez
Candy Clark
Larry Clarke
Scott Coffey*
Frank Collison
Lisa Coronado
Catherine E. Coulson*
Grace Victoria Cox
Jonny Coyne
James Croak
Julee Cruise*
Heather D’Angelo
Jan D’Arcy*
David Dastmalchian
Jeremy Davies
Owain Rhys Davies
Ana de la Reguera
Rebekah Del Rio
Laura Dern
Neil Dickson
Hugh Dillon
Cullen Douglas
Edward “Ted” Dowlin
Judith Drake
David Duchovny*
Christopher Durbin
Francesca Eastwood
Eric Edelstein
John Ennis
Josh Fadem
Tikaeni Faircrest
Eamon Farren
Sherilyn Fenn*
Jay R. Ferguson
Sky Ferreira
Miguel Ferrer*
Rebecca Field
Robin Finck
Brian Finney
Patrick Fischler
Erika Forster
Robert Forster
Meg Foster
Travis Frost
Warren Frost*
Pierce Gagnon
Allen Galli
Hailey Gates
Brett Gelman
Ivy George
Balthazar Getty
James Giordano
Harry Goaz*
Grant Goodeve
George Griffith
Tad Griffith
James Grixoni
Cornelia Guest
Travis Hammer
Hank Harris
Annie Hart
Andrea Hays*
Stephen Heath
Heath Hensley
Gary Hershberger*
Michael Horse*
Ernie Hudson
Jay Jee
Jesse Johnson
Caleb Landry Jones
Ashley Judd
Luke Judy
Stephen Kearin
David Patrick Kelly*
Laura Kenny
Dep Kirkland
Robert Knepper
David Koechner
Virginia Kull
Nicole LaLiberte
Jay Larson
Sheryl Lee*
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Jane Levy
Matthew Lillard
Jeremy Lindholm
Peggy Lipton*
Bellina Martin Logan*
Sarah Jean Long
David Lynch*
Riley Lynch
Shane Lynch
Kyle MacLachlan*
Mark Mahoney
Karl Makinen
Malone
Xolo Maridueña
Berenice Marlohe
Rob Mars
James Marshall*
Elisabeth Maurus
Josh McDermitt
Everett McGill*
Zoe McLane
Derek Mears
Clark Middleton
Greg Mills
James Morrison
Christopher Murray
Don Murray
Joy Nash
Priya Diane Niehaus
Bill O’Dell
Casey O’Neill
Johnny Ochsner
Walter Olkewicz*
Charity Parenzini
Elias Nelson Parenzini
John Paulsen
Sara Paxton
Max Perlich
Linas Phillips
Tracy Phillips
John Pirruccello
Linda Porter
Jelani Quinn
Ruth Radelet
Mary Reber
Adele René
Mariqueen Reznor
Trent Reznor
Carolyn P. Riggs
Kimmy Robertson*
Wendy Robie*
Erik L. Rondell
Marv Rosand*
Ben Rosenfield
Tim Roth
Rod Rowland
Carlton Lee Russell*
Elena Satine
John Savage
Amanda Seyfried
Amy Shiels
Sawyer Shipman
Tom Sizemore
Sara Sohn
Malachy Sreenan
Harry Dean Stanton*
J.R. Starr
Bob Stephenson
Charlotte Stewart*
Emily Stofle
Al Strobel*
Carel Struycken*
Ethan Suplee
Sabrina S. Sutherland
Jessica Szohr
Russ Tamblyn*
Bill Tangradi
Cynthia Lauren Tewes
Jodee Thelen
Jack Torrey
Sharon Van Etten
Eddie Vedder
Greg Vrotsos
Jake Wardle
Naomi Watts
Nafessa Williams
Ray Wise*
Alicia Witt*
Karolina Wydra
Charlyne Yi
Nae Yuuki
Grace Zabriskie*
Christophe Zajac-Denek
Madeline Zima
Blake Zingale

You’ll notice many returning cast members (as indicated by an asterisk*), which means we can (most likely) expect these characters in Season 3: Shelly Briggs (formerly Johnson), Bobby Briggs, Ronette Pulaski, a cop played by Matt Battaglia, Benjamin Horne, Margaret Lanterman a.k.a. the Log Lady, Sylvia Horne, Julee Cruise, Dennis/Denise Bryson, Albert Rosenfield, Doc Hayward, Audrey Horne, a trucker played by Brian T. Finney, Andy Brennan, Heidi the German Waitress, Mike Nelson, Jerry Horne, Laura Palmer/Maddy Ferguson, Norma Jennings, the Great Northern Desk Clerk (played by Bellina Martin Logan), Gordon Cole, Dale Cooper, James Hurley, “Big” Ed Hurley, Jacques Renault, Lucy Moran, Nadine Hurley, Cook (at the Double R Diner), the Jumping Man, Carl Rodd, Betty Briggs, Philip Gerard/MIKE, the Giant, Dr Jacoby, Leland Palmer, Gersten Hayward, and Sarah Palmer.

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Notably absent are either Lara Flynn Boyle are Moira Kelly, which would imply that Donna is not going to appear in the season, unless, as speculated by some fans, the character is recast once again. Her sister, the pianist Gersten, is going to be present. This should be quite a treat, as actress Alicia Witt has been honing her acting skills, giving amazing performances on television series, most recently as a guest star on The Walking Dead.

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Heather Graham, who played Annie, is also absent, leaving questions as to how Lynch and Frost plan on wrapping up her story. Last we saw Annie, she was comatose in a hospital, wearing the Owl Ring (until it was taken by the nurse). Her fate is one of many that has been left up in the air for the last 26 years, along with Leo Johnson, and, with Eric Da Re’s name missing from the list, it looks like we’re not going to get to see what happened with him either. It also looks as though Billy Zane’s character, Jack, isn’t coming back from South America.

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Despite the grim prospects of his character’s survival in the final episode of season 2, many fans hoped to see Kenneth Walsh reprise his role as Windom Earle, and find out what happened after BOB stole his soul.

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One of my personal disappointments was the lack of Joan Chen, who portrayed Josie Packard, and recently has done amazing work on the series Marco Polo as Chabi. Her rival Catherine Martell doesn’t look to be around either, with actress Piper Laurie sadly missing from the list. Neither Chris Isaak or Kiefer Sutherland are set to reprise their roles as the ill-fated detectives from Fire Walk with Me, leaving their fates in question. It also seems that Norma finally settled her issues with Hank, as actor Chris Mulkey is not included on the list.

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Perhaps the most disappointing of all, however, is the apparent confirmation that Michael Ontkean, who played Sheriff Harry S. Truman, will not be reprising his role, which is rumored to have been recast with Robert Forster. This has gained mixed reactions from fans, but overall, his presence in Twin Peaks and unique back-and-forth with Kyle MacLachlan will be sorely missed.

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Another blow for fans is the lack of an appearance by Michael Anderson, who played the Man from Another Place; easily one of the most iconic characters from the original series. It is possible that his role will be replaced by the Jumping Man, who appeared in Fire Walk With Me, wearing an identical red suit, and proving to be just as mysterious.

There are quite a few newcomers of note, as well, many of whom have collaborated with David Lynch in the past:

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Laura Dern is set to appear, generating much speculation by fans as to who she will be playing, the most popular theory being that she will play the infamous Diane. Dern began her career with Lynch at age 19, playing Sandy Williams alongside Kyle MacLachlan in Blue Velvet. She then reappeared in Lynch’s works Industrial Symphony, Wild At Heart, and Inland Empire, for which Lynch campaigned to win her an Oscar.

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Naomi Watts is another exciting addition to the cast. She, of course, starred in Mulholland Drive, playing the dual roles of Betty Elms and Diane Selwyn. Her amazing performance catapulted her career, earning her roles in well-known films such as King Kong (2005) and the Ring. Her most recent work with David Lynch was providing the voice of Suzie Rabbit for the Rabbits series and Inland Empire.

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Balthazar Getty is another previous Lynch collaborator to appear on the list. He played Pete Dayton in Lost Highway, which makes his inclusion all the more intriguing, as Lynch has said that the film takes place in the same universe as Twin Peaks. Is it possible that Getty will be reprising his role?

Other Mulholland Drive cast members are set to appear. Brent Briscoe, who played on of the detectives seen at the beginning of the film, Scott Coffey, who played Wilkins, a character whose role was greatly cut back when Mulholland Drive became a film, Vincent Castellanos, whose character Ed stole the notorious “Black Book” before being taken out by a hit man, and Patrick Fischler, who played the dreamer Dan from the infamous diner scene, are all confirmed as cast members in Twin Peaks Season 3. Frank Collison (Wild At Heart), Neil Dickson, Emily Stofle and Nae Yuuki (Inland Empire) are other previous Lynch collaborators to appear this season.

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Several musicians are slated to appear, some of whom have worked with Lynch previously: Chrysta Bell sang on the Inland Empire soundtrack, and collaborated with Lynch on her album This Train. Rebekah Del Rio made an infamous appearance singing “Llorando,” a Spanish version of Roy Orbison’s song “Crying,” in Club Silencio for Mulholland Drive. Trent Reznor, who collaborated with Lynch on the Lost Highway soundtrack, and a video for his song “Came Back Haunted,” will be lending his talents in some way, along with his wife, singer Mariqueen. Robin Finck, a guitarist who has worked with Reznor’s band Nine Inch Nails since the early 1990s, is also on the list, as is Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder. Page Burkum, Finn Andrews, Heather D’Angelo, Sky Ferreira, Erika Forster, Shane Lynch (no relation to David), Elisabeth Maurus, Ruth Radelet, Jack Torrey, and Sharon Van Etten are other musicians attached to the project.

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However, not all of the actors listed are Twin Peaks vets, and actually several are pretty big name actors. Some of the more famous names included on the list:

  • Monica Bellucci, the famous Italian actress and model.
  • Comedic actor Jim Belushi, brother of infamous Saturday Night Live star John Belushi.
  • John Billingsley, best known perhaps for his roles in sci-fi such as Star Trek: Enterprise and The Man From Earth.
  • Michael Cera is an interesting inclusion on the list. He is mostly known for him comedic roles in television and film such as Arrested Development, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Superbad.
  • Ernie Hudson, who played Winston Zeddemore in Ghostbusters, is also slated to appear. Perhaps he can use his Proton Pack to get BOB out of Agent Cooper?
  • Actress and activist Ashley Judd.
  • Jennifer Jason Lee, who recently garnered mass critical acclaim with her performance in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, is rumored to be playing an FBI Agent, and was reported by Kyle MacLachlan to be filming scenes with him in Death Valley.
  • Josh McDermitt, who played Eugene in 37 episodes of The Walking Dead, is a fitting choice, considering his previous experience with the horror/drama television genre, and worked with Jennifer Chambers Lynch on the show.
  • Tim Roth, who has appeared in multiple works by Quentin Tarantino.
  • Award winning-actress Amanda Seyfried is rumored to be playing the daughter of Shelly and Bobby Briggs, and reportedly filmed scenes with Madchen Amick and Harry Dean Stanton at the Fat Trout Trailer Park.

MMA fighter Michael Bisping, stuntmen Richard Bucher and Tad Griffith, Abraham Lincoln impersonator Robert Broski, visual artist James Croak, voice actor Oawin Rhys Davies, Francesca Eastwood (daughter of Clint), child actors Pierce Gagnon and Ivy George, voice actor Stephen Kearin, David Lynch’s son Riley Lynch, Christopher Murray (son of Peyton Place and Blue Velvet actress Hope Lange) and his dad Don Murray, and prolific television character actress Linda Porter, are all interesting additions to the cast, whose roles we can thus far only guess at.

This list would also seem to include crew members behind the camera (Jay Aaseng, Joe Auger, and Sabrina S. Sutherland). The rest of the cast is made up of a great variety of talent. Some are veterans like Meg Foster and Grant Goodeve, some are new to acting, like James David Grixoni and Travis Hammer. There are several comedic actors (Heath Hensley, David Koechner, lending their talents as well, presumably helping to lift the heavy mood. Quite a few stuntmen have been cast for the new season. What kind of wild action could we be in store for? Another interesting thing to note is a proliferation of child actors. Is it possible we will be seeing some flashbacks? Cooper as a child? When Leland met BOB at the Summer house on Pearl Lakes? Maybe some scenes from Laura’s Secret Diary?

Maddy

Many fans wonder if Sheryl Lee will be playing neither Laura nor Maddy, but a third character, a redhead, as was allegedly planned for the potential season 3 back in 1991. It’s also up in the air as to how returning cast members with deceased characters such as Ray Wise (Leland Palmer) and Walter Olkewicz (Jacques Renault) will be written in. Will they be playing inexplicably aged ghosts? Doppelgangers? Lookalikes?

While on the subjects of deaths, there are several characters whose actors have died, forcing their exclusion in the new season, despite the importance of their characters. The Log Lady’s actress, Catherine Coulson, is known to have shot some footage before passing away in 2015, but it is unknown how much footage she was able to film, and if she was able to complete the role written for her. Jack Nance, who played Pete Martell and was a long-time collaborator with David Lynch, died in 1996 after filming Lost Highway. While Pete most likely would have been slated to survive the fateful bank explosion had the series continued in 1992, his character will most likely be written off as having died as a result of the blast. Don Davis’s character Major Garland Briggs was originally planned to play a large role in season 3, going with Sheriff Truman and the One-Armed Man to rescue Cooper from the Black Lodge. However, Davis sadly passed away in 2008 of a heart-attack. His character’s role will most likely be re-written for Bobby Briggs, who is rumored to be part of the Twin Peaks law enforcement.

One of the most hotly debated points is who will play BOB, after the death of actor Frank Silva in 1995. Some fans have speculated that BOB could be recreated using CGI, or simply recast (musician Andrew WK kindly volunteered for the role). My personal opinion has always been that BOB will be portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan, playing a fusion of Evil Dale/Killer BOB.

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The new lineup contains an array of talent, and many possibilities we can only speculate upon. One point that particularly fascinates me is the fact that the new season contains at least one actor from every David Lynch movie to date, opening the possibility of some kind of Lynchverse crossover. I have long suspected that all of Lynch’s movies are linked through the Black Lodge, and now may be the perfect time for that to come to light.

What do you think? Are you happy with the lineup? Who do you think the newcomers will play? Do you have any other speculations about the new season? Let me know in the comments below!

Beyond Life and Death, Part 2: The Return of Agent Cooper

Written by Eden H. Roquelaire for Twin Peaks Freaks.

Warning: Contains spoilers for Twin Peaks Season 2.

Note: This is the second part of a two-part article. To read the first part, click here.

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Without doubt, the most anticipated moment of the new season of Twin Peaks is the return of Agent Cooper. Speculations abound as to how this might go. Is Cooper still possessed by BOB? Has he killed anyone? Or was BOB cast out of him already? If the Good Dale is still in the Black Lodge, what has he been doing all this time? Is Laura still there with him? Is he still being pursued by the terrifying Doppelgangers? In this article, we will theorize how Agent Cooper might return to the series.

So we’ve journeyed through the Black Lodge, and analyzed the many symbols that confronted Agent Cooper during his pilgrimage to rescue Annie Blackburn. We have some idea of the meanings behind these symbols, but what does all this mean for the future of the Good Dale? What has happened to our hero?

As Hawk said in his description of the Black Lodge, any being passing through the Lodge will have their soul “utterly annihilated” if they do not demonstrate perfect courage. When Cooper is forced to confront all of his demons — his fears, his regrets, his desires — he keeps a cool facade, until the very end, when, shaken by his confrontation with Windom Earle, the man who tried to murder him, and whose wife he loved, Cooper sees the ultimate embodiment of all his weaknesses, and the evil that might dwell in his own heart: His Doppelganger. Instead of facing his Doppelganger, Cooper turns and runs from him.

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It is because he ran that he was overtaken. But in what way was Cooper’s soul “utterly annihilated”? Wouldn’t that mean his soul would cease to exist? Not necessarily. Legends are often mistranslated and/or misinterpreted, and this seems to be such a case. In reality, it seems that the soul is simply removed, rather than actually destroyed, leaving the vessel empty and able to be possessed by evil spirits. Based on the dream shared by Cooper and Laura, we know that Cooper’s spirit still exists in the Lodge 25 years later, and thus we know his spirit was, thankfully, not annihilated, but still exists somehow.

So why say that the spirit would be “utterly annihilated,” giving the impression that it would no longer exist at all? One could say that Hawk was just misinformed, and that is a possibility, but all the rest of Hawk’s information seems accurate. So why would this be wrong? Perhaps it is a case of mistranslation: “Utterly annihilated” could just mean it will be overwhelmed, defeated, and captured by the dark spirits within the Black Lodge. However this leads us to another question: What exactly is BOB doing to the souls of those he possesses?

GoldenCircle

Knowing Twin Peaks‘s penchant for references to Tibetan Buddhism, I think this ties in with reincarnation. According to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the afterlife must be strictly prepared for during one’s lifetime. If an individual fails to live by Right Thought, Right Action, Right Words, and goes into the afterlife unprepared, they will re-enter the cycle of reincarnation instead of ascending to a higher spiritual plain. The Tibetan Book of the Dead tells us that, as a spirit is leaving its body and heading into the afterlife, it will meet a series of entities in pairs of two, who will test the spirit. These beings are almost exact mirror images of each other, and laden with symbolism. One represents letting go of the physical plain, and the other represents material temptation. Choosing the correct one will lead your spirit towards a higher plain, while choosing the wrong one will lead you back into the circle of reincarnation.

Garmonbozia

I believe that the Dugpas are purposely manipulating people to keep them in the cycle of reincarnation. Keeping them in their physical bodies, unable to reach the higher plain, keeps them in the cycle of pain and suffering (garmonbozia), which in turn feeds the Dugpas and continues their equivocal cycle of appetite and satisfaction (the “golden ring” described by MIKE). The Doppelgangers that appear in the Lodge are similar to the entities that appear to the spirit in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. In fact, I believe, in Cooper’s experience, that Laura is a prime example of this: Good Laura represents letting go and ascending to a higher plain, as she has actually transcended to the White Lodge (more on that in a bit), while her Doppelganger represents Cooper’s guilt, and his inability to let go of the past.

[For more analysis on the symbolism of rings in Twin Peaks, click here.]

So any body possessed by BOB is being made to suffer, and being fed off of. Perhaps being “utterly annihilated” takes time, as the soul is slowly feasted upon by the Dugpas. Note that Leland seems to not have become possessed by BOB by entering the Black Lodge and being overtaken, and he still had moments of being able to control his own body. However, Cooper failed his test in the Black Lodge, and so had his spirit “utterly annihilated”; in other words, his spirit is no longer able to occupy his body AT ALL. Instead, it is trapped in the Black Lodge to be food for the Dugpas, until it is completely devoured.

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Now, here’s a tricky part: What exactly does it mean when Laura says, “Meanwhile…”? I’ve got a theory, but it gets a little complicated, so hang in there.

I believe it is another allusion to the non-linear procession of time in the Lodge, and is a hint at the importance of its existence. The non-linear time flow can explain many puzzling elements of Twin Peaks. Think about what Laura’s Doppelganger is really saying to Cooper in the Lodge: She says, “Meanwhile…” and starts screaming. But that’s not just any scream; that’s her scream from the night she was killed in the train car. So what does that mean?

The Good Laura will see him again in 25 years. Meanwhile, she is still going to be murdered in the train car.

This event both has happened already, and hasn’t happened yet. Remember that the “25 years Later” scene is a dream that Cooper and Laura shared at different times. This dream is technically taking place in three different times: When Laura had the dream before her murder, when Cooper had the dream after the murder, and 25 years later, when it “actually” happens.

It is key to remember that the Black Lodge does not run by time as we perceive it. Because of that, time travel (for lack of a better term) is technically possible. This power could be used for both good and evil. If a powerful psychic on the side of Good, like, say, Agent Cooper, was able to harness this power, imagine the heroism they could achieve. Maybe saving a certain  character from a bank vault explosion? Or sending messages back through time to warn Laura about the ring? Who knows. We are getting into an area of total speculation, but there are some amazing possibilities when we consider the warping of time in the Lodge.

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So, what does this mean for Cooper in the aftermath of Season 2?

There are many signs throughout the series and in the film that suggest that Cooper will become a shaman. Keep in mind that, from the beginning of the series, we are shown that Cooper is special. He is highly intuitive, borderline psychic perhaps, describing himself as “a powerful sender” of mental images. So we know that Cooper has some mystic abilities already. But there seems to be evidence that these powers became stronger in the course of his hero’s journey.

In the episode “Traces to Nowhere,” we see Cooper fashioning a wooden whistle. Later, he stands in the doorway of his hotel room and blows on the whistle before smiling in satisfaction and entering the room. The subtext is that this whistle is meant to scare away any evil spirits that might be dwelling in the room. This is an old superstition:

“…the older belief that the friendly wind would blow if an evil spirit had not stifled it, and that whistling would scare the evil spirit and the kindly breeze would be able to blow.”

Indian Antiquary, Volume 25

Cooper is satisfied with his whistle.

Cooper is satisfied with his whistle.

So we can see Coop, in a small way, being connected to purification rituals. But big deal, right? That doesn’t make him a shaman. However, let’s move to our next example before you form your opinion:

In the episode “Arbitrary Law,” when it becomes apparent that Leland is dying, Cooper turns Leland onto his left side, and speaks to him, guiding him through his death experience, so that he passes into the afterlife safely. This is related to a Tibetan Buddhist death rite, which requires a shaman to accompany an individual during their time of death. The shaman is to turn the dying individual onto their side and talk them through the experience to help guide them successfully into the afterlife, and out of the cycle of reincarnation. This is exactly what Cooper does once he realizes that Leland is dying. Notice how he even makes a point to turn Leland onto his side.

Agent Cooper talks Leland through his death experience.

Agent Cooper talks Leland through his death experience.

Finally, let’s look at the ending scene of Fire Walk With Me, where we have the rare experience of seeing Laura Palmer and Agent Cooper, the two heroes of Twin Peaks, together. It was recently rumored to be of particular significance as some sort of foreshadow to what would happen in season 3. Whether this rumor is true or not, I believe it gives us a clue about Agent Cooper’s character development. Let’s re-watch this beautiful scene:

It looks like Cooper is doing the same thing for Laura as he did for Leland. If you subscribe to the popular theory that this scene depicts Laura ascending to the White Lodge, then think about what Cooper’s presence during this scene means. He has a hand place comfortingly on her back as the angel appears. Perhaps he brought the angel to her? But how did Cooper acquire a skill like that?

We can theorize that Cooper and Laura have already been in the Black Lodge for a while by this scene, since Laura appears resigned to being stuck in the Black Lodge, whereas Cooper seems to be endowed with renewed hope of escape; very different from how he appeared when he was talking to the Man from Another Place. This idea would give Cooper time to investigate the Black Lodge, perhaps to realize why he failed his test, and to learn and grow from his near-fatal mistake. Perhaps he found a way of communicating with the angels of the White Lodge. Cooper is no fool, and as powerful as the Black Lodge is, I believe there’s no way it could continue to outsmart him; especially since he is known to already be gifted with some form of psychic abilities.

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But if Cooper can aid people in escaping the Black Lodge, why has he himself not left yet?

The first possible answer to this is that Cooper has only found one way out, and that is into the White Lodge. Perhaps one cannot enter the White Lodge unless they are truly dead. In this case, it’s not the exit Coop is looking for. Another possibility is that he actually did go with Laura into the White Lodge, and met with the good spirits that live there. Perhaps he even ran into Major Briggs while he was there, and learned how to escape the Black Lodge for good? Either way, what this scene implies is that Cooper has grown and become more powerful while he has been trapped. I believe that, the next time we see Agent Cooper, he will be a fully-fledged shaman, capable of using his powers to overcome the forces of the Black Lodge.

So, in sum, what does all this mean for the fate of Agent Cooper, both in body and soul?

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It means that, in the last 25 years, Agent Cooper has most likely sharpened his psychic abilities, and is now an Agent of the White Lodge. 25 years is a long time, and it’s plenty of time for an inquisitive and determined soul to evolve and become stronger than ever. If this is true, Cooper could be as powerful (or more powerful) than BOB, especially if we consider the non-linear procession of time in the Black Lodge, 25 years to us may be an eternity to someone trapped in the Black Lodge. And I doubt Cooper would just be sitting idly by in all this time.

Until next time…

“All things considered, being shot is not as bad as I always thought it might be. As long as you can keep the fear from your mind. But I guess you can say that about almost anything in life. It’s not so bad as long as you can keep the fear from your mind.”

-Agent Dale B. Cooper

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Beyond Life and Death, Part 1: Cooper’s Voyage Through the Black Lodge, and What It Means

BeyondLife&Death

Written by Eden H. Roquelaire for Twin Peaks Freaks.

Warning: Contains massive spoilers for the final episode of Twin Peaks Season 2.

“The shadow-self of the White Lodge. The legend says that every spirit must pass through there on the way to perfection. There, you will meet your own shadow self. My people call it ‘The Dweller on the Threshold’ … But it is said, if you confront the Black Lodge with imperfect courage, it will utterly annihilate your soul.”

-Deputy Hawk

We all know that the final episode of Twin Peaks Season 2 revolves around Agent Cooper and his exploration of the other dimension known as the Black Lodge. What you may not know, however, is what, exactly, it means. In this first segment, we will do a scene-by-scene analysis of Cooper’s pilgrimage through the Black Lodge, and attempt to shed some light on the mysteries that lie beyond life and death.

Evil Doppelgangers of Cooper and Leland.

Evil Doppelgangers of Cooper and Leland.

The journey through the Black Lodge is, ultimately, a test of one’s true character. Cooper must face his “Shadow,” or, in Lynch-Frost language, his “Doppelganger,” or “the Dweller on the Threshold.” He must confront everything he feels guilty for, particularly all the deaths he could not prevent: Laura, Maddy, Leland, and Caroline. He also encounters a specter of Annie, whose death he fears he will not be able to stop. He also faces one of (if not the) most traumatic events of his life: The murder of Caroline Earle, his illicit love, and the attempted murder of Cooper himself. This is similar to many accounts of NDE’s (Near-Death Experiences), wherein people say that they go through a “Life Review.” In this Life Review, they experience everything that has happened to them in their lives, and not only feel all their own emotions again, but feel the emotions of the people whom their actions affected, making them aware of the consequences to their choices in life. With this in mind, let us proceed with our scene-by-scene analysis of Cooper’s journey through the Black Lodge.

The entrance to the Black Lodge, surrounded by Sycamore Trees.

The entrance to the Black Lodge, surrounded by Sycamore Trees.

First, Cooper enters the Lodge, and the lights begin to flicker in a strobe effect, mirroring the black and white/dark and light pattern on the Lodge floor. Cooper stares, wide-eyed, as the Man From Another Place dances by, and seats himself in the black chair. Jimmy Scott sings the final lines of “Sycamore Trees,” then vanishes.

Let’s talk about this song for a moment. It is given prominence, as it is playing when Cooper first enters the Lodge, but what is its significance? Of course sycamores are the kind of trees that encircle the portal to the Lodges in Twin Peaks’ woods, and these trees have an intriguing symbolism in the lore of Ancient Egypt:

“In Egypt the Holy Sycamore is said to stand on the threshold of life and death, connecting the worlds.”

(Source: Ancient Wisdom Foundation: Tree Lore)

That’s a bit on the nose, I would say, and most likely why Mark Frost chose to use them. However, with David Lynch, it might be another story. Lynch has always been inspired by music, as most famously seen with Blue Velvet, and music is most likely a source of inspiration for him here, as well. There is a classic standard from the 1930s, entitled Dream a Little Dream of Me. Here are the lyrics:

Stars shining bright above you, night breezes seem to whisper, “I love you”.
Birds singing in the sycamore tree, “Dream a little dream of me”.
Say “nighty-night” and kiss me. Just hold me tight and tell me you’ll miss me.
While I’m alone and blue as can be, dream a little dream of me.

Stars fading, but I linger on, dear.
Still craving your kiss, I’m longing to linger till dawn, dear.
Just saying this: Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you.
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you.
But in your dreams whatever they be, dream a little dream of me.

Stars fading, but I linger on, dear.
Still craving your kiss, I’m longing to linger till dawn, dear.
Just saying this: Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you.
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you.
But in your dreams whatever they be, dream a little dream of me.

This classic has similar lyrics to the Lynch/Badalamenti penned song, Sycamore Trees. Notice also certain elements that coincide with imagery from Twin Peaks: Sycamore trees, dreams (The Lodge is seen in the dreams of Cooper and Laura), kisses (Laura kisses Cooper before she tells him the identity of her killer), the stars (celestial events are connected with the Lodges), and birdsong (“Where we’re from, the birds sing a pretty song.”) Have a listen to this version by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, because this sounds like it could be the version that inspired David Lynch to create the first scene where Laura meets Cooper in the Black Lodge:

Returning to our analysis, let’s take a moment to examine the Waiting Room decor:

There is an oddly specific lamp sitting on a small table in this room: A 1939 World’s Fair Saturn Lamp. Saturn is the Roman God of the harvest, and, as such, was considered to reign over the cycles of time as well. Time is shown to be non-linear in the Lodge, and the presence of this lamp could be referring to this fact. Perhaps a more important point, however, is the identity of Saturn as the lord of the harvest, as the Dugpas harvest pain and suffering to feed on. In mythology, Saturn was also known to have devoured his children, which is similar in the way that Leland murdered his daughter Laura and niece Maddy, and BOB devoured their pain and suffering. Also consider that the people BOB inhabited were “his children.”

Notice the Grecian-style statue in the background: It is called the Venus Pudica and I shall return to it later.

Cooper sits in a black chair, across from the Man From Another Place. The Man From Another Place tells him, “When you see me again, it won’t be me,” a foreshadow of the later appearance of the Man From Another Place’s Doppelganger. He asks, “Would you like some coffee?” (which doesn’t come right away) and informs Cooper that some of his friends are there. This indicates that Cooper will have to meet the spirits or representations of important people in his life. Cooper looks up and watches as Laura walks in and sits down in the black chair next to the Man From Another Place. She winks at Coop, and snaps her fingers, leaving her middle and index fingers pointing sharply downward. In Lynch’s later film, Inland Empire, snapping is used almost as a magical gesture by Laura Dern’s characters, and her sex worker friends. (I will cover magical gestures in a later article.) Laura then tells Cooper, “I’ll see you in 25 years,” referencing the eventuality of Cooper being trapped in the Black Lodge for 25 years. She then says “Meanwhile…” (remember this for later) and holds her hands up in a cryptic pose.

“Meanwhile…”

Meanwhile: Also seen during the waiting room sequence, and accompanied by the words “meanwhile”. The gesture is later mirrored by the “doppelganger Laura” during Cooper’s Black Lodge test, before she starts to scream hysterically. The exact meaning of the sign is controversial, but allegedly refers to a vedic mudra meaning “do not fear”. Other theories suggest that she is holding an imaginary object, like a picture, a vase, or (my interpretation) perhaps a pillow. The pose looks similar to that of a person asleep holding their pillow, but upright. It is interesting that Laura makes the sign after saying “I’ll see you in 25 years“. It has been suggested that the sign foreshadows what Cooper will experience in between, that is, being trapped inside the Red Room, or as Jeffries puts it: “[living] inside a dream“.

-From the Twin Peaks Gazette

Laura’s hand gesture is similar, though not identical, to the vedic abhaya mudra, or “Do Not Fear” hand gesture. This fits so well with the circumstances and symbols of Twin Peaks that I feel we should overlook the slight variation of the pose and consider them to have the same meaning. Laura’s spirit is appearing to Cooper to remind him not to fear the Black Lodge, as that would ensure his demise. Laura’s expression in this scene also seems to be blissful, or aloof; much like depictions of the Buddha. Notice also that this is actually Laura, not her Doppelganger.

The vedic abhaya mudra, or

The vedic abhaya mudra, or “Fear Not” pose: One palm facing forward, and the other facing upward.

Laura disappears, and a moment later, the Elderly Bellhop is sitting in her place, holding a cup of coffee. The Bellhop makes the “Indian Whooping Call.” The significance of the whooping call may be one of two things: 1) It has to do with interactions between the Dugpas and the Native Americans in the past, since, based on what Hawk tells Cooper, the Native Americans had knowledge of the Black and White Lodges, or 2) it represents the wind whistling in the trees; Considering the statement in The Missing Pieces, “We have descended from pure air,” spoken by the Man from Another Place during the meeting above the convenience store, as well as other references to air and wind in the series, such as the repeated imagery of the wind blowing through the trees, we can associate the Dugpas with this element.

The Bellhop says, “Hallelujah,” and the Man From Another Place says “Hallelujah” back. “Hallelujah” originated as a command to a congregation of people to praise the God Yahweh. Its significance here, I cannot say, except that it is yet another example of ritualistic behavior exhibited by the Dugpas (For more analysis on this subject, review my article “With This Ring, I Thee Wed”). It may, however, play into the theory that the Giant and the Man From Another Place have been wanting to put a stop to BOB’s antics, and Cooper may be the savior they’ve been waiting for: The one who can reign in the rogue agent who has the fury of his own momentum.

The Elderly Bellhop serves Cooper coffee, then turns into the Giant. The Giant sits down in the chair next to the Man From Another Place and says with a smirk, “One and the same.” This is to say, the Giant was most likely possessing the Bellhop in the same way that BOB possessed Leland, and the spirit MIKE was possessing Philip Gerard. Similar antics are most likely also in play in the cases of Mrs Tremond/Chalfont and her grandson. It is also possible that the Log Lady’s husband is similarly possessing and speaking through her log; we see these similarities again with Josie being trapped in the wood of the Great Northern Hotel. The famous line, “The owls are not what they seem,” may allude to the owls being used in this same manner, being possessed by Lodge spirits in order to watch the human world. The Giant is finally letting Cooper in on his secret.

BOB with an Owl overlaying his face, suggesting that he might be possessing the owls to disguise himself.

BOB with an Owl overlaying his face, suggesting that he might be possessing the owls to disguise himself.

The Giant then disappears, and the Man From Another Place begins rubbing his hands together. This may mean that he is satisfied with the way things are going, or it may be one of the mysterious “magical hand gestures” that I have noticed occur in many of David Lynch’s works. Cooper looks at the steaming cup of coffee left by the Elderly Bellhop. He attempts to drink the coffee, only to find it solidified. He shows it to the Man From Another Place, who looks pleased. Cooper looks at his coffee again, and tips the glass. This time the coffee spills like normal. Cooper is confused, and looks to the Man From Another Place for answers, only to have him look off in another direction, seemingly angry. Finally, Cooper tips the mug again, and it pours out slowly: It seems to have transformed into something like tar (perhaps oil?). The Man From Another Place looks unhappy, and, looking off at some unseen thing or person, says, “Wow, Bob, wow,” and “Fire walk with me.”

There is an interesting theory about this scene, and it goes as follows: The coffee is a sort of fortune telling device that the Dugpas are using to predict how Cooper will fare in his test. At first it is solid and unmoving, and the Man From Another Place looks satisfied. This means that Cooper, at first, will be steadfast and brave, and potentially defeat BOB. Then, it takes a darker turn, when it transmutes into the motor oil, suggesting the presence of BOB. Then, finally, the coffee runs, predicting that, ultimately, when Cooper faces BOB and his evil Doppelganger, he will run. The Man From Another Place then looks angrily at perhaps an invisible BOB and says to him, “Wow, Bob, wow,” as in, “Impressive, BOB: Looks like you win, again.” Other theories related to this scene are that the changes in the coffee represent the manipulation of time — slowing down, or freezing entirely, and that the hand rubbing motion made by the Man From Another Place represents the conjuring of heat or fire by use of friction. Another interesting thing of note: Both the words “Bob” and “Wow” are the same backwards and forwards. This could suggest the mutability of time, and linear events.

Nobody likes stiff coffee.

That coffee might be a little stale…

The idea of the coffee being an important fortune telling device is not as far-fetched as you might initially think, especially considering David Lynch’s (and Cooper’s) obvious adoration of the beverage. It actually reminds me quite a bit of the concept of reading tea leaves.

When the Man From Another Place says “Fire walk with me,” it is almost as if he is resigned, as if to say that BOB is on his way, and the ritual is about to begin, whether Cooper is destined to persevere, or not.

Flames explode in the darkness, announcing the approach of BOB and the Doppelgangers. The light begins to flicker. This strobe effect, I believe, is a variation on the Black Lodge carpet – the black-and-white chevron pattern. Hence, I believe they both represent the duality of light and dark within everyone, as well as referencing the Black and White Lodges. We also hear Laura’s dying scream in the distance, as if it is “moving through time” to reach Agent Cooper. Cooper gets up and walks out of the room. The Man From Another Place has disappeared. Cooper enters the hallway and walks toward the Venus DeMilo statue, parts the curtains next to it, and walks into another room, identical to the first.

Let me break here and talk about the two statues in the Lodge. There are a few points to make. First let’s note that these are both depictions of the Goddess Venus, and thus are another planetary reference (along with Saturn) within the Black Lodge. Another thing to note is that this is another example of Doppelgangers in Twin Peaks.

The first is the Venus DeMilo, which has a couple of connections to Lynch: Gordon Cole refers to it as “the babe with no arms” when comparing Shelly to the statue. Incidentally, shortly after Twin Peaks ended, David Lynch’s daughter, Jennifer, put out the movie Boxing Helena, which was built entirely around the symbolic connotations of the Venus DeMilo. The film also starred Sherilyn Fenn, a.k.a. Audrey Horne, as the Venus figure.

The Venus DeMilo as seen in the Black Lodge.

The Venus DeMilo as seen in the Black Lodge.

The other is Venus Pudica (meaning “modest Venus”). This represents the “Virgin” archetype, the dual half of the more sensuous Venus DeMilo.

The Venus Pudica seen in the background of the Black Lodge.

The Venus Pudica seen in the background of the Black Lodge.

It’s probably my imagination playing tricks on me, but from a certain angle, it almost looks as if she looks like she is pointing with her right hand into the empty space of the room, perhaps at the same unseen thing that the Man From Another Place is gazing at when he says “Wow, Bob, wow.” Or, as seen above, she may be pointing to Laura, who is, in a way, the “Venus” of the Black Lodge.

These statues are another reference to duality, being two different depictions of the same Goddess. On the one hand, Venus brings loving couples together, but on the other hand, the word “venereal” (as in “venereal disease”) is derived from her name. Through Venus, we can be shown both the light and dark sides of love and lust. Being a Goddess of sex, Venus could be thought to represent Laura and her own struggles with the contrasting personality traits, particularly her sexual relationships. Another way of looking at it is that the DeMilo represents Laura, and the Pudica represents Maddy, her more timid lookalike cousin.

Venus Pudica could also be related to the story of Eve and the apple in the garden on Eden, as she is covering her nudity as if in shame. This could tie back to those feelings of disgust and shame that Laura felt when she prostituted herself and did drugs. In The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, Laura wonders if it was her discovery of her own sexuality that brought BOB to her, as a form of punishment.

Returning to the narrative… Cooper enters another room, which looks just like the first, except it is devoid of life. He leaves, goes back down the hallway, and enters what may be the first room, again. The Man From Another Place is there. He points toward Cooper (or in the direction he should be going) and says “Wrong way.” Cooper turns, goes back down the hall, and enters what should be the room he left earlier. It looks the same, only empty of any occupants, but we soon hear the Man From Another Place laughing maniacally. He appears out of nowhere, and dances in reverse to his chair and sits down. This is not the normal Man From Another Place, this is his Doppelganger, and this is what the Man From Another Place means when he tells Cooper, “When you see me again, it won’t be me.” The Doppelganger says, “Another friend.” This relates to the Man From Another Place’s earlier statement to Cooper, “Some of your friends are here.” The Doppelganger then laughs and hides behind the chair he was sitting in, right as Maddy walks in.

Maddy tilts her head coquettishly and says, “I’m Maddy. Watch out for my cousin.” Of course it refers to Laura, but not the Laura we’re thinking of: Her evil Doppelganger. I think this indicates that this Maddy is also a Doppelganger, and not her actual spirit. However, as we do not get a close look at her eyes, we cannot tell for sure where she is or isn’t. Cooper turns away and Maddy vanishes.

Cooper returns to the other room. This time, the room appears completely devoid of any people, spirits, or furniture. Then Cooper sees something out of the corner of his eye and turns his head to the left, where he sees the Man From Another Place’s Doppelganger, who says, “Doppelganger.” This can be construed as a warning, or an announcement: We are here, and we’re coming for you.

Doppelganger.

Doppelganger.

Cooper then looks to the right, where he see Laura’s Doppelganger (this is the cousin Doppelganger Maddy was warning Cooper about), holding the “Meanwhile…” pose. Only now, instead of an expression of aloofness or bliss, she looks angry.Her hands shake with rage, and her lips curl into a sneer as she says, “Meanwhile…,” then begins to scream. Of course this is Laura’s death scream. She backs up and steps behind a new chair, one that is particularly unique: It is red, with two conjoined seats, both facing opposite directions. This of course is another representation of duality.

A unique chair in the Black Lodge.

A unique chair in the Black Lodge.

She then runs up and screams in Cooper’s face, as if mocking him with her death, as he will never be able to save her. Cooper, frightened, turns and runs. Note that after Cooper leaves, we see a shot of Doppelganger Laura’s screaming face. This particular shot is not a continuous one, using the strobe light; it is actually two different shots of Laura’s face, interchanging. Another example of duality.

Cooper enters the other room, but begins to stagger. Confused, he looks down to see blood running from his torso. This is because the Doppelgangers have succeeded in frightening him, and now he is slowly being drained by them. Of course, this wound also mirrors the one dealt to him by Windom Earle in Pittsburgh, when Caroline Earle was murdered. Cooper looks at the trail of blood he has left, and follows it back out into the hallway. Judging by the trail, he has been bleeding since he left the room with Laura’s Doppelganger: Notice that that was also the first instance he showed obvious fear.

Cooper peers into the room, clutching his injury, and sees himself, lying wounded on the floor, holding the murdered Caroline Earle. When she sits up, however, we see that she is actually Annie in Caroline’s dress.

Annie replacing Caroline in her murder scene.

Annie replacing Caroline in her murder scene.

Annie looks confused, scared, and seems to be unable to speak. The strobe light begins again. The next few seconds are actually a continuous shot of the Lodge’s chevron floor lit by the strobe light. This shot fades into a view of the red curtains as Cooper walks through the hallway again. I believe this indicates a time lapse: He’s been wandering around for a while. Things get a bit more confusing here. Cooper looks into the room and sees Annie, wearing her black dress from earlier, standing there. She walks up to him and says, “Dale. I saw the face of the man who killed me.” Of course, this is referring to Windom Earle. Cooper does not understand this. She tells him, “It was my husband.” Again, this means Windom, but it could be a foreshadow to something we may see in the new season. I’ll get back to that in the second part of this article. Everything here has a dual meaning: Some of it just relates to Caroline’s past, but it is also playing on Cooper’s anxieties over Annie’s potential death.

Confused, Cooper says Annie’s name again, only to have her respond with, “Who’s Annie? It’s me.” She then turns into Caroline, who continues to say, “It’s me.” However, notice the appearance of Caroline’s eyes: They are the same as the Doppelgangers of Laura, Maddy, Leland, and the Man From Another Place. To me, this suggests that Caroline herself is not trapped in the Black Lodge. We are only seeing a sort of “puppet” of her, created by the Black Lodge to test Cooper.

Caroline Earle in the Black Lodge, with eyes similar to those of a Doppelganger.

Caroline Earle in the Black Lodge, with the eyes of a Doppelganger.

She then turns back into Annie, but wearing Caroline’s dress. She touches Cooper’s face lovingly and says, “You must be mistaken. I’m alive.” This is actually Annie responding to Cooper earlier, when he asked, “The face of the man who killed you?” Suddenly Annie’s hand is gone from Cooper’s face, and she has turned into angry Doppelganger Laura, who continues to scream, before stopping abruptly and standing, staring angrily at Cooper. Cooper then flinches as she turns into Windom Earle.

Now, it must be noted that this scene has played a large part in shaping people’s interpretation of Cooper’s journey through the Black Lodge. Many people take this scene as an indication that the interchanging Annie, Caroline and Laura were all just Windom Earle using the power of the Black Lodge to shape-shift, and scare the wits out of Cooper. Some even believe that all the spirits that we see in the Lodge are Windom in disguise. I don’t believe this for several reasons. First of all, there are too many bits of hidden wisdom spoken for me for think that Windom could pull off imitating the Lodge spirits all this time. Windom, no matter how evil he may be, is just an arrogant human who went insane. He’s too weak to control to Black Lodge’s magic to this extent. Also, Windom has not made any sacrifice yet, thus has harvested no garmonbozia, and so has most likely not received any power from the Lodge. And finally, everything thus far has gone according to Hawk’s descriptions of the Black Lodge, and what one must go through within. Therefore, it is my opinion that Windom had nothing to do with any of the events, between him taking Annie and entering the Lodge, and his reappearance in front of Cooper. I even believe that Windom was not aware of Cooper’s presence until that moment, and has no idea that the Black Lodge is also playing tricks.

Windom addresses Cooper, and then Annie, wearing her own black dress, materializes. She is breathing heavily, as suggested by her movements. She looks from Cooper to Windom, then disappears again. This implies to me that Windom is holding her captive, in a sort of psychic cell, and he is only showing her to Cooper to prove that he has her. She is his bargaining chip.

In the corner of this room, we in fact see the table from Fire Walk With Me (The one in the Lodge, when the Man From Another Place shows Cooper the ring). This table has golden wings holding it up, perhaps connecting it to the Angels of the White Lodge. However, because the Owl Ring is seen on it in Fire Walk With Me, it is also connected to the sacrificial rituals the Dugpas of the Black Lodge perform.

Windom laughs maniacally and says, “If you give me your soul, I’ll let Annie live.” Of course Cooper consents unflinchingly. Here’s where things start to get even more confusing.

Windom stabs Cooper, right where he stabbed him in Pittsburgh, and Cooper falls. However, the wound is bloodless: It is actually a psychic attack, and Windom is taking Cooper’s soul. Then everything explodes into fire, announcing the arrival of BOB. The scene where Windom stabs Cooper is played in reverse, suggesting that it has been undone (this would mean Cooper got his soul back). The strobe begins again, and Windom cries out for help as BOB gets a hold of him and begins torturing him. BOB says “Be quiet,” which mutes Windom’s screams. BOB then tells Cooper, “You go. He’s wrong. He can’t ask for your soul. I will take his.” This indicates again to me how powerless Windom really is.

BOB takes Windom Earle's soul.

BOB takes Windom Earle’s soul.

Windom begins to scream again, and we see fire go into his head, seemingly at BOB’s beckoning. Windom then goes still and quiet. BOB has presumably taken his soul. Cooper walks slowly out of the room. As he does, however, another figure comes running up behind the red curtains. It is Cooper’s Doppelganger. Even if BOB told him to go, it isn’t that simple: There is still another trial that Cooper must pass. The Doppelganger laughs with BOB, who still has Windom.

(This is the last we see of Windom Earle.)

Leland's Doppelganger tells Cooper,

Leland’s Doppelganger tells Cooper, “I did not kill anyone.”

Back in the hall, Cooper is about to enter another room when Leland Palmer’s Doppelganger steps out, laughing, from an area where there should be nothing. His hair is its original brown shade. Doppelganger Leland tells Cooper “I did not kill anybody,” which is a reference to Leland’s role as a pawn in BOB’s murders, and Cooper’s guilt that he could not save Leland. He steps toward Cooper, seemingly trying to intimidate him, but Cooper avoids him and parts to curtains to enter the other room. However, he steals one last look backward at Leland’s Doppelganger, and sees his own emerge from the other end of the hall. This is a continuation of his mistake of not facing his Doppelganger, but instead continuing to search for Annie. Cooper steps into the other room, and the Doppelganger enters the hallway. He and Leland’s Doppelganger smile and laugh.

The appearance of Leland’s Doppelganger is significant because of what is about to happen to Cooper: He is about to be a vessel for BOB. The only other vessel for BOB that we have met is Leland, hence his Doppelganger’s appearance at the end of the Black Lodge sequence.

Now, instead of going back and forth down the hallway, Cooper is running consistently through the rooms of the Lodge, most of which are empty. Doppelganger Cooper laughs as he pursues Cooper, and as he finally catches his quarry, the strobe light once again begins to flash, and we see BOB’s face smiling into the camera. The scene in the Lodge fades into the scene of the entrance – red curtains hanging in the circle of Sycamore trees. There is a spotlight on the curtains, and it become brighter right as two bodies suddenly materialize outside…

Cooper made the fatal mistake when he ran from his Doppelganger: He had already shown fear, but I believe that, if he had ultimately faced his Doppelganger, the “Dweller on the Threshold,” he could had succeeded. The fact that he ran at that crucial moment is what spelled demise for Cooper, and why he ended up trapped there for 25 years, while his Doppelganger and BOB run amok.

So that is the sum of what, exactly, happened to Cooper inside the Lodge. So what does that mean for the future of Agent Cooper and Twin Peaks? We will explore that in the second part of this article; Beyond Life and Death, Part 2: The Rebirth of Agent Cooper.

To Be continued.

To be continued.