BY JOHN BERNARDY
There appears to be a blending of worlds in Twin Peaks: The Return, and I suspect one major cause is the “designer Chinese drugs from Canada,” otherwise known as Sparkle, being pedaled by a magician who controls his body about as well as Phillip Gerard did back in Season Two. People bliss out on it, possibly transport to a different state of self from it, get it from lodge-like salespeople, and reality is all the more wonky from it. How is this happening? I think someone’s found (or made) a rip in the curtains between our world and the lodges and Sparkle is making its way through this gap. And it is, either on purpose or inadvertently, taking those curtains down with it as it affects our populations more and more.
The name alone is a connection
Sparkle is the drug’s name according to its seller. In that same episode, half of the podcasters referred to the green lodge-assisted dots on CooperDougie’s case files as “sparkles.” And who was CooperDougie contacted by right before this happened? Phillip Gerard, from the Waiting Room. In the lodge. The sparkles were superimposed over reality, pointing out important connections, just as CooperDougie was following the lodge symbols hovering over jackpot-ready slot machines that assisted him in appeasing his family and getting him out of trouble with debt collectors. The fact that green sparkles appeared in the same Lynch-directed episode as the mention of the drug’s name is not a coincidence.
The messengers: Red in 2015, and the Woodsmen in 1956
As I’ve said above, Red acts like he’s new to his body. He moves in similar ways as Phillip Gerard when inhabiting spirit MIKE was speaking. Either Red is from the same lodge or the drugs he’s selling is sending him into such a state that he may as well be an inhabiting spirit in his own body. Either way there’s a valid connection.
A deeper connection to the supernatural is implied when Red threatens to break open Richard Horne’s skull and eat his brain, the same fate the glass box demon (known commonly as Experiment or Mother) enacted on Sam and Tracy in Part One and that the Woodsman enacted on the Radio Station employees as he read his poem over the airwaves in Part Eight. It’s quite possible that Red is in a similar class as the Woodsmen. And as the Woodsmen appear connected to the Frog/Locust, that leads me to keep an eye on the Girl who was inhabited by the Frog/Locust to see if she acts like Red and Gerard or not when we see her next.
While a radio program delivering a poem to your ears is not the same as inhaling drugs, there is a similarity. Listening to music has brought patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia back to themselves. It can alter our states of mind, and the poem was so hypnotic to anyone listening to the radio that people fell right over, either asleep or dead. This reminds me of Dennis Craig, a school-aged Twin Peaks local, who died from Sparkle in 2015. The only other thing we know about him is the bell rang and he never got up. In 1956 Radio was the popular form of media, and many kids listened for their favorite songs to transport them away. In current day kids can find drugs for just such a purpose, and even more literally so. If a supernatural force was intentionally hijacking broadcast booths for similar purposes in 1956, it seems likely that same force would be more than interested in packaging their message into inhalable parcels for a connection more befitting of an immediate gratification age.
As I’m keeping an eye on the Girl from 1956, I want to mention three other characters: Richard Horne, Becky Burnett and Stephen Burnett. The scene between Red and Horne begins with the sound of Richard Horne inhaling Sparkle. The sound is a match to when Becky inhales the stuff that sends her to that sublime experience in the moving car (that happens to have red interior seats). We know this drug is the same stuff Stephen uses. While Becky’s and Stephen’s experiences lean positive and Horne’s is negative, state seems altered for sure. Sparkle seems to heighten inner nature, which is coincidentally how Doppelgangers (and Bob) also seem to operate: by exploiting inner nature.
Exactly which barriers are breaking down?
Things seem to be happening in concurrently in the same moment but different years. There’s still a distinct possibility that DoppelCooper’s 2015 is interacting with CooperDougie who (a strong case can still be made) may well be in 2003, even though inanimate objects seem to travel between them fairly well by post office. 2015 also may be lining up with (or at least similarly resonating strongly with) 1945 in that Bob may have been extracted from DoppelCooper to immediately be sent to 1945 by hitching a ride on Experiment’s eggs as they travelled through the atom bomb rift. And it’s also just as possible that the Laura Palmer with light inside her face was extracted from the lodge only to be formed by the Giant into the golden egg.
In her article The “Eyes” Have It: Intuition, Those Crazy Glasses and Hold My Purple Latte!, guest contributor Linda Novak discussed all the eye imagery and ways to perceive reality and the supernatural that was baked into Twin Peaks: The Return well before the Woodsman’s poem implying the horse was the white of the eye wrapped around the darkness of the iris. Linda’s article will prove perception is a major theme of The Return, and I would add that its importance is only going to become stronger as it continues to change the way characters interact with their realities.
Dougie Jones’ dream-world:
In their articles Dream a Little Dream of Me and No More Yielding But a Dream, columnists Lindsay Stamhuis and Eileen Mykkels posit that Dougie Jones’ world is a subliminal dreamlike reality, and even if this is true rather than the 2003 theory, the Great Northern room key mails just fine out of the bubble reality into the one with Twin Peaks. Barriers are thin for sure.
They are in our house now
As the Giant said it about his house, I believe Sparkle to be priming our bodies to be inhabited by supernatural beings, now ready to be in our “houses.” Just like the Frog/Locust, just like Bob, the Giant, etc. There has been a long history of beings in our bodies. Here are some possible reasons why this may be happening:
- Lodge vs. Lodge: A power struggle is afoot. The Giant’s golden egg creation appearing to be a direct balancing response to the appearance of the Bob egg sac implies as much. The two supernatural factions may be at war with each other and our world may be just another front in that war. And troops are needed.
- Lodge vs. Earth: The 50s Horror Movie vibe from Part Eight would have you believe the struggle is like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Are they punishing us for the treatment of the lodge-assisted Nez Perce tribe after America took their land and dumped plutonium there? Or is it the supernatural beings’ greed as they found a new source of land and resources on a place where we just happen to live?
- Earth vs Lodge: Or is this America, finally fighting back against the lodges after the lodge invasions of ’45 and ’56? Or could it be our greed as we finally found a way into their home after understanding their technology well enough. Could this be our attempt to exploit resources, colonize new territory and weaponize powers of the lodge? The Secret History of Twin Peaks, most prevalently on display in Part Eight but consistently represented throughout The Return, implies the government is using lodge technology in aircrafts, so it seems reasonable our use of said technology could be the source of the Giant’s trouble. It’s possible our own people could be mining Sparkle as well, or that Sparkle may merely be a counterattack to push back one more time on the constantly overreaching reality that split the atom and really messed up the universe.
Or is a world dying?
Do the lodge denizens need to be “in our house” because theirs is crumbling into nothingness? Since the walls between realities are breaking down and the realities are possibly colliding (In comic books such as Crisis on Infinite Earths this surely means Armageddon), could we be involved in a refugee mission? Does our world see hostile invaders but in reality we’re receiving hasty lifeboats? The Peaks TV Podcast got a Kal-El-from-Krypton-to-Earth vibe from the Golden Laura Egg being sent to our world, why couldn’t a supernatural world be looking for a new place to survive from? After all, the whole theme of Twin Peaks: The Return is about mortality. It would make sense the entire fate of the lodge reality is in question. Maybe the lodge reality understands it doesn’t have long, and is moving here to save itself. Based on the look of the Giant’s house in Part One, this seems plausible.
Sickness in The Return could be a signifier of the lodge’s sickness, or could be a sign our reality is suffering similarly to the degrading of reality walls. Everyone from the people in wheelchairs at Beulah’s place to Harry Truman to the Log Lady, and even Mickey’s friend Linda and Beverly’s husband Tom could all be suffering as our realities break down. This is all conjecture of course, but I fail to believe this is not connected.
This may work from a production standpoint as well. On a meta level, are Lynch and Frost destroying the world just so they can rebuild it? I’ve been getting an End Of Evangelion vibe ever since the purple sea in Part Three, so I would not be shocked if this death we’re being presented with is actually setting the stage for a rebirth. Agent Cooper’s slow rebirth could be a micro representation of what’s happening in the macro as realities open themselves to each other and superimpose through each other like the Woodsmen who are attacking/killing/healing/reviving DoppelCooper at the beginning of Part Eight. Or like the superimposed spinning lodge floor patterns in every Part’s opening credits sequence. Sparkle may all be for naught as far as plot would have it, but as a metaphor the concept of changing from one state into another works well with what Twin Peaks has presented us thusfar, even if it’s just as an expanded perception of how we exist. Now all we have to do is wait nine more weeks to discover whether our levels of perceptions will be opened like an eye, or swept away in the blast of a proverbial atom bomb.
For further reading, here are the links to my 25YL team members’ articles referenced above:
also, thank you to Pieter Dom of welcometotwinpeaks.com for snagging me my feature image photo.