The ending of Part 4 left us with a traditional TV cliffhanger; much like the original incarnation of Twin Peaks did on a weekly basis: Who is the woman Albert was referring to? The scene: Albert and Gordon Cole speak privately, after asking Agent Tammy Preston to wait for them inside the restaurant. In an intimate moment between longtime colleagues and friends, Cole turned his hearing aids up to the max volume and whispered his concerns to Albert. There was something very wrong with their interaction with the man they had been told was the long lost Agent Cooper. “The Blue Rose,” Albert said, letting both Gordon and the audience know that he believed something supernatural was at play. “The bluest” Gordon replied in agreement. The conversation concluded with an acknowledgement that they needed help from a particular, unnamed woman. “Do you know where she is?” Cole asked. “No, but I know where she drinks at,” Albert said, ending the scene. Who is this woman they’re speaking of? Is it someone who understands and can help with “Blue Rose” cases or is it someone who knows Agent Cooper well enough to know that it might not be him? At this point, either scenario could be true. Let’s examine the possibilities as to who this woman might be.
Diane: Agent Cooper’s often referred to but never seen secretary at the FBI. Throughout the original series, we frequently saw Cooper recording audio messages for Diane and know that she received these correspondences (when he thanked her in a tape for the earplugs she sent in the first season). In “The Missing Pieces” there was a scene where Cooper was standing outside an office door being silly and somewhat flirty with an again unseen Diane. In the book, “My Life, My Tapes” Diane again played a role with their relationship extending past co-workers into a dinner date, which Cooper himself questions whether or not it was appropriate. (Although not explicitly stated, some of the wording has led some readers to believe the relationship was sexual, if only for one night) The argument could easily be made that nobody would know Cooper better than his longtime secretary and that his disappearance could impact her greatly enough to where Albert’s line about “knowing where she drinks” could apply. The fan community really wants Diane to be seen in “The Return” and to be played by Laura Dern. On a different show, fan sentiment could dictate a decision like this. David Lynch, however, does not make decisions based on the wishes of others. Does he feel like it’s the right choice, creatively? That’s the question but I would still say the odds are high that Diane is the woman in question.
Sarah Palmer: Sarah’s abilities to see and know things from the supernatural realm are well documented. Her visions, her intuitive nature, ability to see Bob and in the second season finale, was the vessel to deliver a message to Major Briggs from the Black Lodge. It’s not a stretch to think that the FBI would be aware of Sarah and that she would be able to see through “Doppel-Cooper” and let the FBI know that their suspicions are in fact true. Albert’s line about “knowing where she drinks” definitely applies – in a brief scene in Part 2, Sarah was shown at home with a table full of bottles and ashtrays in front of her. Her life’s pain has taken her here; a life of solitude with enough alcohol to quiet the voices in her head. Could assisting the FBI to help quiet those voices and offer some healing and even redemption to this tragic character? Sarah Palmer has always been one of Lynch’s favorite characters. For all of the above reasons, I believe Sarah is the second most likely choice.
Annie: I can hear the rebuttals now. “Heather Graham isn’t in the cast list!” “They erased her in The Secret History of Twin Peaks!” My argument to that would be: How much bigger of a surprise would it be if it was Annie given those reasons? Perhaps the dossier in “TSHOTP” was altered to protect Annie’s identity, and the FBI has been keeping loose tabs on her over the past 25 years, to make sure she doesn’t suffer a fate like Major Briggs. As far as Graham not being included in the cast, would anyone really be shocked if Lynch withheld her name from the press release to get speculation going (it worked) and allow for a major surprise? Coming from the man who asked us to “keep the mystery alive” how could that surprise you? The other option would be to recast the role and if she’s not tapped to play Diane, Laura Dern as Annie would be perfect.
Audrey Horne: I recently made a case for Audrey being the person behind the glass box experiment in NYC with my point being that she was on a quest to find Cooper. I still have a strong feeling that could be true and that also would also make her even more likely to be the person Albert was referring to here. If the FBI was aware of Audrey’s search (and feelings) for Cooper, of course, they would want to talk to her here. What better person to be able to tell if something’s wrong with a man than a woman that’s always loved him?
Laura Palmer: She’s dead…but she lives. Laura’s words to Agent Cooper should not be taken lightly. She was expelled from the Lodge quickly after speaking them so while her whereabouts are currently unknown; it’s reasonable to assume that she’s able to be found. To make this theory work, you do have to think outside the box a little: How would Albert know where she drinks? Perhaps he has someone keeping tabs on her. She would be considered a “Blue Rose” case if she were seen wandering around. Another longshot possibility is that Lynch finally gave Sheryl Lee that red wig and third character. Would it make any sense? Not at first. Is Lynch still in love with the character of Laura Palmer? Absolutely. I’m calling this an extreme longshot but with Lynch, you can’t rule it out completely. Besides, who would be able to better point out a doppelgänger than Laura?
Judy: A name mentioned only by Agent Phillip Jeffries and a monkey, we know nothing about Judy. By virtue of only being name-dropped and told “we’re not going to talk about Judy” by Jeffries, Twin Peaks fans have spent decades speculating as to who she is and what her connection to the mythology might be. Introducing Judy would certainly send shockwaves throughout the fan base but is she a likely candidate to be revealed here? I would say not likely but it damn sure would be interesting.
So there are my top 6 candidates. There is always the possibility that a new character is introduced for this specific role and while there would likely be some initial disappointment, faith and trust in Lynch and Frost’s vision would eventually calm those concerns. This kind of cliffhanger really reminds me of the show’s first two seasons and has had me deep in thought since seeing it, speculating over all the possibilities and where the story could be headed. Have a prediction or a name that I didn’t have on my list? Think that Josie escaped the knob and Albert knows which watering hole she resides nightly at? We would love to hear your thoughts and theories, so please share them with us! Thanks for reading!