The psychic connections between the Palmer women have always been strong.
Not much is known about Sarah, but she clearly is of a nervous disposition.
A scene in the Missing Pieces implies that she has had a breakdown, and one recent enough for Laura to know about it. She and Laura are very close in the early years, but the presence of evil in their home drove a wedge between them as Laura’s life became darker and she pulled away from everyone she cared about.
When Laura first encounters Bob, it is in a dream of him singing to her in Sarah’s voice, a song that Sarah would sing to comfort her from nightmares. It stops Laura from telling her mother about the dreams, because the song begins to scare her.
Laura, until the last week of her life, knows really nothing about the spiritual elements of the town. She is only aware of Bob, and nothing else of the places between worlds. She doesn’t know anything about him, except that he is connected to the woods, and one night she dreams that Leland moves the whole family out to the woods to live. This was her first indication of the connection between the two, but she was too young to recognise it.
She does have one strange experience, aged 13, when she and Margaret Lanterman have the same dream and go to meet each other at River Road. There they strike up a friendship that lasts right to the end of Laura’s life. Margaret tries to warn Laura that things aren’t exactly as they seem to be.
Perhaps this experience with the Log Lady opened her up to the possibility of something more, and urged her to listen to the strangers that seem to understand her situation. Laura believes Mrs Tremond when she gives her the picture and tells her she should put it on her wall, and believes the grandson that the ‘man behind the mask’ is looking for her diary.
The picture is what opens her consciousness to the Black Lodge and those inside, enabling her to hear Cooper’s message, see the jade ring, and see Annie in her bed. It is unclear whether or not she understood the meaning of the ring, but the fact that she disregarded Cooper’s warning indicates that she does.
Maddy also is tuned in to the darkness beneath the surface in Twin Peaks. She has premonitory dreams of Laura in the woods even before Laura is visited by Bob. She has a vision of her own death when she sees Bob coming toward her and the huge bloodstain spreading across the carpet. And she smells the scorched engine oil when he is present before her murder.
Maddy seems to have been all but forgotten this season. She is probably irrelevant to the rest of the story, unless part of her restless soul still roams the haunted rooms of the Palmer house.
There is much conjecture about the Black Lodge and how Dale only encounters the Doppelgängers of those women he may feel like he should have saved – Laura, Maddy, Caroline and Annie. For the sake of argument, let’s say that the Lodge and the Red Room are the same and that it is a real place, an anteroom to the afterworld.
That Laura ended up in the place she dreamt about in life indicates that she was always destined to go there, to meet Dale, and for their journeys to become intertwined. Time is tricky in the Lodge, and it has always seemed possible that Dale’s vision of Laura after the Teresa Banks murder is so clear because he has already been in the Lodge in the future and learned all about her.
Is it future, or is it past? The answer is that it is both.
Sarah has channeled spirits and had revealing dreams from the day we met her. She saw the gold necklace hidden by James and Donna, saw Bob in Laura’s bedroom, and delivered a demonic Lodge message to Major Briggs. She has always been open to the ethereal, and it appears she has spent the past 25 years in a very disturbed state, from which alcohol is her only respite.
‘Your room seems different. And men are coming’ – Sarah Palmer, Twin Peaks The Return.
Sarah is steeling herself for something. She knows that ‘it is happening again’ and this time she needs to be ready. She feels more than most the weight of the tension and sadness in the town, and the evil that is about to be unleashed.
The electricity of the fan at the top of the stairs was a conduit for Bob all those years ago. The fan is still there and running, even though it is almost October, and Sarah is clearly channeling conversation from somewhere or someone. The fan may keep the spirit energy high around her, or perhaps the FWWM picture still hangs in the house and is still a kind of portal.
It is possible she has been in contact with Laura all this time. If others can reach out to her from the Lodge, there is no reason why her daughter can’t. Laura’s soul is out there somewhere, and her mother is open to hearing her. Their psychic bond could now be stronger than ever.