BY JOHN BERNARDY
It’s become abundantly clear through the first half of Twin Peaks: The Return that resonance is important to the state of reality, as if the world needs to be tuned like an instrument to stay in balance. What is resonance but vibrations, and what do earthquakes cause but large vibrations? The earthquake metaphor I’ve been developing since Secret History of Twin Peaks is holding up rather well and that means my timequake theory can still work as an explanation for all the wibbles and wobbles we’re seeing in the Twin Peaks time stream.
In my original article I posed that our reality and the lodge realities act like tectonic plates against each other, and every time the two realities interact they are scraping against each other. Most interactions are low to mid level shocks and act more like aftershocks, but when big ones happen like an atom bomb test, it’s as if they slip and cause a massive quake to time itself.
Back in 1947, Allistair Crowley tells Jack Parsons his New Mexico test site is one of seven hell gates, and he should use it. Which Parsons does, thanks in part to the Owl Ring, in part to the Thelema lodge being made from Twin Peaks area lumber with all those potential Bobs and Josies trapped inside, and in part due to all the magick he works Pierre Tremond-style as he longs to see. He rips open the gate with man-made fire during his 1947 rocket test, which is followed like an aftershock one week later by the Roswell incident, where Doug Milford is pulled back into the weirdness. Also as a direct result, or aftershocks, we hear about events near a New Mexico construction site where a presumably possessed worker (who doesn’t seem himself) kills two kids, and also two unrelated people disappear in the style of Chet Desmond. And presumably soon after this, Leland Palmer is possessed by Bob.
The abduction of the three children (Carl Rodd, Margaret Coulson and Alan Trehern) are also an aftershock to the Parsons event. Doug Milford’s giant owl sighting and Andrew Packard’s Giant sighting are both foreshocks.
You could make an argument that the Parsons explosion is actually an aftershock rather than a main shock, thanks to the 1945 atom bomb test we see in Part Eight, as well as being payback for Chief Joseph’s earlier lodge interaction. But either way, one of Parsons’ colleagues said “I believe Jack Parsons summoned a Fire Demon,” and you don’t include a line like that if it wasn’t important.
Chief Joseph went to the “Sky People” (with love as his key for lodge entrance) in order to help his people gain safe passage to freedom, and since he went in with perfect courage and the right reasons, the lodge denizens granted this to him. But the US Government put the kibosh on their travel plans so the active lodge energy helping Joseph’s people was grounded abruptly, which means a fault was charged. And since magnitude does not change with time, the Parsons explosion could be that aftershock.
So here we are asking this question: How is one girl’s near-possession and murder just as strong (if not stronger) as the Jack Parsons event that took all that planning and devastation to enact? Because with the Laura Palmer event, Bob’s golden circle of appetite and satisfaction was rendered incomplete: instead of a circle it’s U-shaped. The energy normally contained in a closed circuit is now loose…hemorrhaging quakes of rage, dissatisfaction and hunger across our reality, sending ripples across time from the point of Laura’s death.
This main shock is strong enough that one of its foreshocks is fifteen years of Windom and Caroline Earle’s lives condensing into a single summer. Another foreshock could be Chet Desmond being eaten right out of existence.
The first time we see a timequake within Secret History, it’s masked in the text and explained away as forgery and political motivation. It sounded so perfectly sensible I breezed right past it the first time.
Major Gilbert Russell sent two letters to Thomas Jefferson, and he sent them two years apart.
The first letter was received by Jefferson within weeks of Lewis’ death. Russell paints a warm portrait of Lewis that declares him “thoughtful, strong-minded and purposeful.” Russell also refers to Lewis’ death as Murder.
Two years later, Jefferson receives a letter from Russell that says Lewis arrived in a state of derangement, and having attempted suicide twice before he arrived and once while staying at Fort Pickering. Russell wouldn’t allow Lewis to leave until was completely in his senses again and on his way to Nashville.
In both cases, Lewis leaves for Nashville with his probable killer James Neely.
I think both of these events exist within our universe and this is a timequake issue because I think Lewis’ death is an exact mirror to Laura’s death. The ring was missing when his body was found. He had blood on his mason garb, and the whole thing appeared ritualistic. Dirt mound. Wound to the back of the head. All the earmarks of one particular lodge denizen taking it to Lewis. You can even assume Neely is the Bob of the piece. And because of all those similarities, I believe that Lewis was meant to be possessed that night but, just like Laura, Lewis was too strong and therefore needed to be killed when possession became impossible. This would easily cause another incomplete circle of appetite and satisfaction, therefore an aftershock where one version of a letter arrives two years earlier than another version of the “same event’s” letter seems perfectly reasonable.
It could even explain an entirely different version of Lewis’s death happening two years later.
But, is it two different death scenarios like the two different letters, or was Lewis split in two as he died? Is there the well-adjusted strong-minded purposeful Lewis as well as the Lewis who is deranged and suicidal? Two Lewises. One Time steam. Reality quake at the point of his death, at the point of Lewis’ splitting in two.
But instead of posing these questions, the time-spread letters are explained away right under our noses as a forgery General James Wilkinson used to save his skin as he was being court-martialed for treason. If you assume that to be true, you’ll miss the time anomaly altogether.
The woodsmen distort time just by walking around. This tells me they are on the edge of realities or that they exist on both sides. The slowed down screaming of the woman in the ’40s car, and Ray Monroe’s screaming as well, were both downpitched, which means the woodsmen are out of synch with our world. Maddie’s screams did the same with Bob’s presence and we have a pretty good idea he’s got one foot in both worlds. This also means there was a woodsman around somewhere when Evelyn Marsh killed Malcolm Sloan, that’s the only reason for that voice distortion, right?
Besides the sound effects, there’s also the visual stuttering of the woodsmen as they converged on the convenience store. This was the same stuttering time effect as in the purple room with Naido that was in effect until Cooper touched Naido and their resonances were atuned. Before that, the distortion rippled through the scene like a shock wave, as the realities scraped against each other.
I almost wonder if some of the dates, some of the duplicate information, within Secret History is a stuttering of time described in paragraphs rather than film. I’m only putting it out there as a thought because I haven’t had time to dig into it that specifically (I’ll leave extreme minutea to the folks who don’t have toddlers to raise), but based on how Frost wove in music and sound cues I would not be surprised if this is the case.
Though the verdict is out about our favorite Major and his apparent time traveling in The Return, I think Garland Briggs is bounced around the Secret History of Twin Peaks as well, both as an aftershock to the Parsons event and a foreshock to the Laura Palmer event. I have to stretch the most for the Briggs connection, but here it is:
A Phantom pilot named Dan Leuhrman chased a saucer around the Twin Peaks area in 1947.
While Milford is talking to Briggs about how Milford found him, it comes out that Briggs was the Copilot of a Phantom in 1979 that chased a saucer around the Montana area. Since this is only the second mention of a Phantom the whole book, and Briggs made a specific point to call himself a copilot (and does not name his actual pilot in a dead giveaway) I suspect both Phantoms were the same exact plane, with the same exact pilot and copilot, and it was a timequake that moved them across time and space. I don’t currently have a major theory on the moving geography but if Carl’s Fat Trout Trailer Park can move from Deer Meadow to just outside Twin Peaks, and Twin Peaks can move from one side of Washington to the other, then we already have precedence for this kind of thing.
LAWRENCE AND ROBERT JACOBY
Parsons himself reaches out to intentionally summon Babalon, and while he has the Owl Ring to help him, that’s not the only way it can work, nor is he the only one in this book who proves interacting with the lodges can be a two-way street. Merriweather Lewis and Chief Joseph both entered the portal at the nexus of the mountains, and so did Windom Earle, Annie and Cooper later on. But the most interesting lodge interaction of the whole book is Lawrence Jacoby’s ceremony because there’s nothing else like it in Secret History.
Jacoby was guided by shamans through a ceremony that began when he drank something that undoubtedly tasted like scorched engine oil, and then he lost all sense of time and place while he met cold unfeeling giants. When he knew he was back in his own body, I believe he’d completed a lodge trial.
As squirrelly as Lawrence Jacoby is, the only form of courage he’d possess when he met his double is the imperfect kind, therefore he’d’ve been split in two in a similar way to how Lynch thinks of the Good Cooper and Bad Cooper, except Jacoby never promised his soul to anyone so he is allowed to leave too.
The end result when he was “reborn into a new world”? Our world now contains both halves of Lawrence Jacoby: himself, and his double, Robert Jacoby.
Why did neither “brother” come out a polarity of the other? Those crazy glasses, of course. Those lenses had him so balanced he’s got neither a good side nor a bad side, merely two sides. One just leans towards psychology and one leans towards journalism, but both are valid ways to reach the truth.
Both Lawrence and Robert are pictured in this book, and in both cases, right under our noses, are played by Russ Tamblyn. You try calling this a coincidence.
MOVING THROUGH TIME
Bear with me for one last metaphor about all the characters in Secret History who’ve touched the lodge, been abducted, possessed, or rent in two. Lynch/Frost says “Once a magician stands between two worlds, he’s in danger of not belonging to either one of them,” and I say “they’re like stickers, here’s why.” Each person has, however strong or slightly, been pulled away from their moorings on our reality, like stickers from a sticker sheet. If you’ve ever tried to put a sticker back on its sheet after you peel it off that first time, you know it doesn’t stay on like it should. It has a slight curl, or an edge doesn’t quite adhere anymore. If you pick the page up and wave it around, the sticker will probably fly right off. If you look at the people who’ve interacted with the lodge as the stickers, the sheet being standard linear time, and the sheet rustles every time our world and the lodge scrape against each other, then you can see how the stickers might move from their place up and down the timestream, and depending on how strong the sheet is shaken, might fall off the page entirely.
Out of all the things I’ve already mentioned about time discrepancies, the only people who appear in multiple time frames are those who’d interacted with the lodge. Everyone else, their events may change but never where they are in the timestream. And even those that do move up and down in time don’t do much of it. The only one that does is Robert Jacoby, the Rosetta Stone of Secret History. I think if you can explain his whole deal, you’ve solved the puzzle. And I believe my timequake theory could be the #14 solve in the answer book.
How is he kicked all over the time stream more than anyone else? Because he wasn’t even born here. He was born in the lodge as Lawrence’s Other. He has no moorings here whatsoever. He can die in 1970, the early 80’s, 1986 and 1989 because he never had an actual death date or birthday to shift from in the first place. His ashes can be on Pearl Lake when Lawrence was spreading his ashes in Hawaii. He’s practically imaginary. He’s practically a story. And stories can be re-remembered and retold. Besides, isn’t it poetry that the guy who “grew up in Hawaii” is surfing all over the time stream, riding the waves wherever they take him?
I’m not saying my explanations are perfect here, but there’s a certain poetry to this in the spirit of what Lynch and Frost seem to like to do, and I wanted to share it with all of you. I’m here to start a conversation and I’d love to hear what you think.
This article’s feature image is a partial version of a wonderful painting by Jess Purser, a true artist and great friend of all things Twin Peaks. Her etsy shop is here.