As with all other duality in Twin Peaks, it is starting to become apparent that we are watching two journeys, two lives, two battles for the soul.
In episode 8, we saw Bob and his evil brethren spewed into the world in a stream of demonic larvae. Senorita Dido and ??????? release a golden starball of heavenly Laura in response.
The two are symbolic in this world of the age old battle between good and evil. Wherever there is violence and destruction and darkness, there is always someone watching, waiting to help. There is always hope.
Bob is an ancient entity, borne long before the atom bomb. Bob has always been. And now Laura must stop him.
Is this something that happens every time a demon enters the real world. An alarm sounds and there is an immediate celestial response? Or are Bob and Laura to meet endlessly in that filthy train car, through time and worlds, until the correct end is achieved?
At the same time, Dale is facing a battle with his own shadow self.
‘My people believe that the White Lodge is a place where the spirits that rule man and nature reside. There is also a legend of a place called the Black Lodge. The shadow self of the White Lodge. 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.’ – Deputy Hawk
It is fair to say that Cooper got into this mess all by himself. Unlike may others in the show, Coop is not an innocent. He has cheated, he has betrayed, he has already danced with death long before he even entered the town of Twin Peaks.
His curiosity and his arrogance led him to the door of the Black Lodge just as much as the lure of Annie did. Dale saw himself as a hero, and the only one who could face the shadow self with perfect courage.
In a spiritual version of Game of Death, Cooper enters room after room, facing down the evil doppelgängers of the MFAP, Maddy, Leland, and the perpetually screaming Laura. He faces his own past mistakes with Windom and Caroline, unafraid of the Red Room’s control of his visions, the dead version of Annie and his own knife wounds.
It is only in the confrontation with his own dark self that he falters, and makes the potentially fatal mistake of turning to run.
’It is said that if you confront the Black Lodge with imperfect courage, it will utterly annihilate your soul. – Deputy Hawk
Part 8 indicates to us that the story is bigger than this, bigger than Cooper and his delicate hold on life, bigger than the town of Twin Peaks, bigger than God. The fate of just one man is but a speck in the endless purple sea of existence.
But, this is the story of Cooper’s return. THIS is Coop’s test, not facing the doppelgänger in the Red Room or the games it played with him. This is the showdown. He still has time to make the right moves and become whole again, to come through the battle and achieve perfection, and perhaps, in time, ascend to the White Lodge.
These are the stories of The Return. As tiny as one man and his own dark side, and as huge as universes, creation and eternity.