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A Second Look Into Doppelgänger Cooper and BOB

And What The Leland Palmer Days Say About That

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Something’s off about DoppelCoop when he’s in the prison being interviewed by Gordon, Albert and Tammy, and it’s not just his down pitched voice. You could make an easy case that DoppelCoop is run down. You can make a case that the garmonbozia he threw up while he was behind the wheel in Part 3 could’ve taken the vim and vigor out of him temporarily. It could make him sloppy, repeating himself. You can make this case.

Or you can think about all the things that hide in plain sight in Twin Peaks and realize the easy answer can make way for something even more chilling if you’re just willing to put the things you fear most as options on the table. DoppelCoop was indeed beaten down by the accident, he indeed lost a ton of garmonbozia. But all that did was make his body ripe for the taking by the lodge spirit we saw in the mirror of Great Northern Room 315 with our own eyes. I think the DoppelCooper speaking to Gordon in South Dakota had BOB in the driver’s seat.

The genius of The Return’s story so far is still unknown to us, but the thing I see as its best strength so far is how it manages our expectations. We’ve spent three and a half Parts accepting the fact that BOB has not appeared and shows no sign of surfacing where we thought he would. BOB will not be the big bad of this new Twin Peaks anytime soon, we shouldn’t expect to see him in South Dakota especially. He flew the Coop, right? I’ve heard this all over podcasts and blogs from all sorts of people. But there is so much more Twin Peaks to be had, and I refuse to believe BOB’s down for the count. That demon stayed in my nightmares for a reason. He’s not going to go away just because Frank Silva did.

It may take me a minute to consider other explanations if they’re presented as reasonable, but I can spot BOB even when he’s expertly hiding in plain sight. For one thing, I hear he smells like scorched engine oil. It makes people sick if they smell it. Jacoby could spot it even when he was in a coma. Maddie could smell it in her aunt and uncle’s living room (she started coughing right away). The officers at the scene of DoppelCoop’s accident got sick immediately. And, long after the garmonbozia had been cleaned off DoppelCoop, Albert wasn’t feeling so well during the interview.

Now let’s circle back to that night, Maddie’s night. Because there’s another part of this to think about. BOB chases Maddie. He’s ready to kill her, but from time to time things quiet down and Leland Palmer seems to appear in his own face. Leland asserts control over his body. He cries. He holds Maddie close and tries to dance with her as if she’s Laura. Then BOB reasserts control and things get intense again, but only for a while before Leland surfaces again. It’s a battle of wills. But then there’s a white light and Leland is never seen again until BOB’s drenched by fire sprinklers and leaves Leland’s body in a jail cell. What I’ve just described is BOB having a known history of being able to assert control over a weaker personality. And I don’t think DoppelCoop was a weaker personality (as it seems neither BOB nor Cooper had a chance to coexist in the body as Leland’s situation appeared to be) but what an opportunity to have that personality knocked out by tumbling through a car crash after vomiting its life stuff. BOB knows a gift when he sees one.

Back to his Leland days, we see BOB during the daytime. We see him pull random fur off a stuffed white fox in Ben Horne’s office when he should be listening to Ben. We see him acting stiltedly with Donna as he thinks about killing her right there. And we see Bob, chewing gum. Look at how unnaturally he does this. You can probably already remember. Then tell me you don’t see similar body mannerisms in any of the thumbs-ups he gives to Gordon.


And about his triple-greeting of Cole (“It’s yrev very good to see you again old friend,” “I haven’t seen you in a long long time,” and “Gordon I’ve really really missed spending time together,”) these hollow starter phrases and lack of conversational flow make me feel like this Cooper doppelgänger is acknowledging those around him about as much as that one time when he kept repeating “I want to brush my teeth.”

I think we have BOB back, right where we expected him, but only after we stopped expecting him there. I reserve the right to be wrong about this (and half expect to be proven wrong in the first five minutes of Part 5) but my gut says to pay attention to this line of thought. Think I’m on to something?

click here for my first look into this group dynamic, and here’s part three

and for another angle on this, check out this excellent article from Jordan Chambers at Twin Peaks Gazette.

Written by John Bernardy

John Bernardy has been writing for 25YL since before the site went public and he’s loved every minute. The show most important to him is Twin Peaks. He is husband to a damn fine woman, father to two fascinating individuals, and their pet thinks he’s a good dog walker.


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  1. Hmm. See… like you, I’m not sure whether or not BOB is in Mr. C. But I’m wondering if Bob was actually in Bill Hastings and I’m wondering if the extremely creepy black figure in the parralel jail cell was in fact BOB. At least, some kind of malevolent spirit was in Hastings as he thought the murder was a dream, which is much like Leland’s experience.
    BOB can come and go without pulling the “rip chord,” as we saw in the original series. Judging by how they interacted in the Red Room at the end of series 2 it would appear that they work in tandem, which makes me think there’d be no need for them to wrestle for control.
    Also, I always felt that Leland and BOB sometimes shared some control. It wasn’t a black and white thing, either BOB fully in control or Leland. During the Maddie murder scene Leland is dancing and hugging her whilst BOB is smooching her. Two acts at once. BOB living his fantasy of re-murdering Laura (or just enjoying murdering another young girl) and Leland fantasising that he’s with Laura again.
    In any case, we’ll find out soon 🙂
    P.s. check out my last WordPress article.

    • Sorry for late reply, podcast duty plus holiday took me down this week.
      I feel like bob shared control and so did Leland/doppelLeland, but in DoppelDale’s case he was a stronger personality and until I see otherwise (possibly in a few hours!) I’m working under the assumption that DoppelCoop is a little more selfish and wanting to run the ship alone, no good Dale allowed, and possibly no Bob either. This is in the front of Dale’s workings anyway. I’m assuming all the Doppelgangers and Good versions coexist in the same body at all times and it’s a perception issue that one is more in control than others. Think of this dynamic more like emotions of a person, how you can be angry and hurt at the same time for example.
      I don’t pretend to know the answer, I just feel my way to a truth, which I feel is all lynch ever intends anyway.

  2. It’s interesting to me that you associate the motor oil smell with Bob alone. I associate it with the manifestation of “lodge stuff” in the world in general. In FWWM, Leeland tries to cover the smell of motor oil during the confrontation with Mike. That could obviously be due to Bob manifesting in Leeland, but the motor-oil appearance of the stuff in the center of Glastonbury Grove (along with the smell from the Log Lady’s jar) makes me think it’s a lodge thing, not just a Bob thing. I like to think it’s the Doppelganger of coffee

    • I’m actually not just associating it with Bob, but Bob’s the only one who I’ve seen with my own eyes inside Dale and Leland so I’m pinning it on him rather than lodges in general. I think you’re spot on that garmonbozia works more like coffee than anything, and it’s probably associated with more than just bob, but it’s never been pinned on the giant or Mike so again, bob it is for my purposes. I’m a huge fan of conjecture obviously but I have to cut it off somewhere or I’ll be writing a novel ??

  3. This is a really interesting theory. Since Lynch himself stated that the doppelganger who left the Lodge at the end of Series 2 was literally a second Cooper, it’s often been thought that BOB didn’t *need* to inhabit him. But it doesn’t mean he *couldn’t*. And like theawjm said above, there would be no need for them to wrestle for control the way he needed to with Leland, because there is no opposing personality sharing the body with BOB–Coop’s doppelganger is already wholly evil, so he would not fight a visit from BOB the way Leland might. Now, of course, we’re only 4 hours in and maybe we will see this kind of fight play out in future episodes (if this theory holds). But for now it does seem likely that BOB is in control.

    One theory that my podcast partner Aidan put out there in our Part 3/4 episode was that both Dougie Cooper and Doppel Cooper act strangely only once they are both (presumably) sharing the same world. Aidan posited that this is because there is a finite amount of “Coop-stuff” allowed to exist at any one time in the world, and with two Coopers out there, that “Coop-stuff” would need to be shared, half to one and half to the other. That was Aidan’s way of explaining the strange behaviour. But we also think that Dougie Coop’s final “HIIIIIII!” after drinking coffee might be a sign that he is returning to himself–does that mean even more of Doppel Coop’s “Coop-stuff” will return to Dougie Coop? Hmmm…it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Is it Sunday yet???

    • I love the Coop-Stuff angle a lot, and it’s probably acurate as Coop’s seeming literally pulled apart.
      As far as bob not needing to assert control over doppelcooper, now that it’s pretty much proven that it’s the doppelgänger in the world rather than Coop (like I’d believed most of the last 26 years) and they were shown next to each other in the lodge, I completely believe that Bob would be shut out of this operation as often as doppelcoop could because doppelcoop appears to enjoy his autonomy. Wouldn’t be shocked if bob wants to teach doppelcoop a lesson in dominance before too long if he really was shut out of his prize possession.
      Just thinking out loud, don’t mind me

      • This is indeed an interesting take… when you mentioned the awkward “thumbs-up” that Doppel-Coop gives Cole and Albert during the prison interview, it reminded me of a scene from Season 2. After Dale is shot in his hotel room, the bellhop that discovers him does a whole lot of this weird “thumbs-upping.” We later learn that the bellhop was inhabited (or was the human manifestation of) The Giant (or ?????, or whatever), a lodge spirit. It makes me wonder if that thumbs up functions as a clue that that particular body is being commandeered by a lodge spirit, doing a slightly off approximation of human behavior. Just a thought.

        • It’s a quick thought but I like it quite a bit! Thanks for the comment, I’m putting it in the mental rolodex for pattern recognition ??

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