“Black Lodge/White Lodge” is the 25 Years Later version of the popular point/counterpoint style of debating, wherein two sides take opposing views and hash it out on stage. Here, we’ll be debating the finer points of Twin Peaks lore, in writing, for your reading pleasure.
Today’s debaters are: Andrew Grevas & Eileen G. Mykkels
The topic is: Who is the mysterious billionaire behind the glass box?
Black Lodge: by Andrew Grevas
One of many burning questions to arise from the first few parts of Twin Peaks: The Return was the box. A glass box in a New York City loft, carefully guarded and monitored around the clock, we knew this ominous device was going to pay off in a big way. While many questions still linger, we do know that this box acts as a portal of sorts for what we can only assume are residents of the Black Lodge and that the man charged with “box surveillance” and his coffee bringing friend Tracey were brutally decimated during a quickie on the couch by some other worldly entity that emerged from the box when they least expected. Who builds a box like this? The conspiracy theories are running rampant over who could be responsible for this death portal but the conversation can end today. Audrey Horne is responsible for the creation of this box and I’ll tell you why.
There is nothing stronger or more powerful than your first love. The person that gives you the wide eyes, the person you daydream of and talk nonstop about to your friends. For the daughter of the incredibly wealthy Benjamin Horne, her first love was Special Agent Dale Cooper. The man whose bed she once sat on nude, covered only by a sheet in hopes of losing her virginity – only to have Saint Cooper ask her to get dressed and join him for a milkshake. The same Agent Cooper that rescued Audrey from the murderous Jean Renault and friends at One Eyed Jacks – a situation Audrey got herself into because she was trying to help Cooper solve the Laura Palmer murder case. The same Agent Cooper that restored Audrey’s faith in both men and mankind after seeing example after example of people living life in the shadows and being ok with being morally corrupt. The same Agent Cooper that has been missing for 25 years now without a trace.
So where would Audrey get the idea that Cooper could be in a place not accessible to most on this Earth? Bobby Briggs, the son of Major Garland Briggs and friend of one Audrey Horne during the latter half of Season 2. Think about it: Audrey is devastated that Cooper has vanished without a trace. Bobby is reeling from the death of his father. Being friends, they talk. Maybe Bobby looks through some of his father’s things. Perhaps someone mentions something to Bobby about what his father really worked on. While it’s a stretch, perhaps even Sheriff Truman lets it slip that he saw Cooper enter a large red curtain in the woods. Audrey starts researching, collecting data. At this point, she’s determined to save Agent Cooper the same way he saved her. All she needs is money and that’s where her father comes into play. Ben’s Season 2 quest to be a better man ended with the reveal that he was Donna Hayward’s father. Perhaps a little money thrown at Audrey’s project to find and bring Agent Cooper back from the Black Lodge is enough to ease some of the daughter that shares his last name’s pain and suffering. After all, she is Audrey Horne and she gets what she wants.
Love is the most powerful motivator. Money was no object and the ability to find the information required about the project shouldn’t be an issue either. Nobody would be more motivated to find Agent Cooper than his saddle shoe wearing teen aged admirer, all grown up now and ready to repay the debt she had once owed him. This box is dangerous and obviously can bring more than just the intended Cooper into the “real world” but I’m laying my cards down at the One Eyed Jack’s casino and saying that Audrey Horne is responsible for the creation of this device and project for one reason and one reason only: to find her Special Agent.
White Lodge: by Eileen G. Mykkels
The glass box. It’s straight out of the pages of Mark Frost’s The Secret History of Twin Peaks. Supposedly, it contains an ‘alien’ or, more likely, an extra dimensional being. After watching Part One of The Return, we can even say that it’s now obviously aggressive…though why is another matter entirely. But what we don’t know and can’t yet say is who is really in charge/funding the project, despite the fact that we are told it’s ‘some billionaire’.
Now, Sam Colby (Ben Rosenfield) is, so he says, a college age person trying to pay off his loans. This could mean that he’s out of college, or it could mean that he’s in college. All the same, why would the government hire him to watch this box? Any number of reasons are possible. On such idea could be that he’s not really a college student (I actually am inclined to believe that he is, but for these purposes…). Another is that they simply didn’t want to waste important personnel on something like ‘box sitting’. The government might do that (in this fictional situation) if they’re attempting to keep the operation covert and untraceable. If that is indeed the case, these elements lend credence to the theory:
Tracey Barberato (Madeline Zima), Sam’s ‘booty call’ seemed very interested in the work that they were doing…almost like she was…investigating. It would certainly make sense for a reporter to be investigating some secret, under-wraps government project.
- It was previously the government’s project in TSHOTP, which follows that it might still be, just funded in a roundabout way; the government could have contracted the project out to the highest bidder (thus the billionaire that they mention)
- Perhaps the project is still run by the same group from TSHOTP, but the government no longer would admit to knowledge of their activities.
- The government is no longer aware that the group is still operating post a possible shutdown of their project.
- The tech is very nice, probably immensely expensive – contracted out billionaire with a tech firm? Not impossible.Scientists on an independent grant? Working theory. Independent military contractor? Not unlikely.
With as many secret projects as the American government is running, none of these are out of the realm of believability. Especially in a post-TSHOTP world…and with Mark Frost’s particular views on politics at the moment, it would be a logical continuation for the government to still be secretly funding a project to find the entrance or gateways to the lodges. It fits with the conspiracy theory-esque elements of TSHOTP, and doesn’t introduce yet another new, unknown element, but rather builds on something that already has a presence in the show (think Major Briggs’ work in S2). Rather than starting something new, using something that was previously undeveloped is not an unusual tactic for writers to draw upon.
Whatever the truth may be, I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough, as this is about as speculative as it can get! However it turns out, it’s sure to satisfy. Secretly, I think that someone else is involved, but I can get behind almost any theory at this point. So while you puzzle over what is but one of many mysteries from the first four episodes, awaiting the fifth, take these points into your consideration. And last but not least, if it is an independent contractor or just a billionaire acting on her own, I wouldn’t be opposed to it being Audrey.
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