Welcome back, dear reader. Amazing episode. If Part 8 was pure heroin Lynch, then Part 16 (double-8?) was pure heroin Twin Peaks. In the fan community, there is near universal agreement. It scored a 9.8 post-episode survey result on Reddit – completely blowing the previous high score of 9.2 for Part 14.
That said, now after the big reveal on both Diane and Audrey, the theorizing community is infected with a severe case of tulpa-mania. Every character might be a tulpa, all the extras at the Roadhouse might be tulpas, and even the entire town of Twin Peaks may have been replaced by tulpas! As usual, we’ll try to take a calmer approach and see what theories make sense and which ones less so.
This is the last time we get to do this folks. Dad sure is talking a lot. Let’s theorize.
Theory: Good Cooper will “wake up” when (you name it) happens.
Analysis: Case closed, “Finally.”
Theory: (You name it) are Richard’s parents.
Analysis: Case closed, “Goodby, my son.” And Luke Skywalker thought he had it bad.
Theory: Diane is a member of Team Doppelganger.
Analysis: So, wow, not only is she on Team Doppelganger, she was a tulpa version of Diane all along.
I don’t have much to add here, but I will mention that it seems like she, the tulpa version of Diane that is, didn’t actually have full memory of that night with Bad Cooper until she got that final “:-) ALL” text message. That seemed to jolt her memories and well as activate a command in her to kill all the FBI crew in a suicide mission. It seems that maybe her memories had been repressed until she received the trigger. She even glances at it again and seems to get a recharge when her story starts to trail off. Perhaps Bad Cooper needed to open up her memory fully to get the full set of coordinates, but it had the side effect of also giving her full access to her memories of what happened to her that night. Not enough to override her programming, but it gave her an excuse to stall and tell her story that she had been previously asked about. She may have been a full-fledged member of Team Doppelganger, but she went down fighting her programming in the end.
Is the real Diane dead or alive? Well, dulpa-Diane said she was at the sheriff’s station. A lot of people think that she’s connecting to the real Diane and that she is in disguise as or somehow imprisoned in Naido. Her love of oriental fashion and décor could be a hint at their connection.
Theory: There are alternate timelines at work here.
Analysis: Not much to talk about this week (Audrey gets her own section here in a bit). For starters, once again your Reddit team, hard at work for you, has updated the big giant timeline resolution post: [S3E15] Yet Another Timeline, updated to 3.0 (HUGE graph with almost everything).
There was also, once again, some shenanigans with the text message Diane received. When he typed it in around 2am, Bad Cooper did not have service and the message was stuck unsent. When Diane sees it the first time, the time on the message reads 4:31. When she looks at the inbound text again while telling her story to Gordon, it reads 3:50. Did she get the message twice? And did time just move backwards roughly 40 minutes? Just to throw some more weirdness in here, her reply with the coordinates didn’t show on her phone during that second glance, one message ends in a period and one doesn’t, and there’s more weirdness involving iMessage versus Android and how that all looks on an iPhone. What is going on here? (See [S3E16] Timestamp Issues for more details.)
Theory: Audrey is dead / in a coma / in a mental institution / etc.
Analysis: So, watching this episode was a bit of a roller coaster ride for this one. Ah, see, Audrey is not living a dream. Oops, never mind, I guess she is. Whoa, what the hell?
Our first hints might have been given around Good Cooper’s bedside, with all the talk of comas and electricity. For example, Janey-E says that when people go into a coma, they can be in there for years. But 25 years? We’ve also wondered if the hum at the Great Northern might not be coming from a room where Audrey’s comatose body is being kept (rather than a hospital). But of course, the final scene with Audrey in person puts a lot of doubt on any coma theories.
Certainly this Roadhouse scene with her in it was not “reality”. But what about all the others? We have connections to the “real world” of Twin Peaks, via Shelly and Red, Richard and Chad, James and Freddie. If those scenes are not real, then everything we’re seeing in Twin Peaks is suspect. Let’s not go there. Yet.
But if any of the other Roadhouse scenes are “real”, then Audrey’s Roadhouse scene shows that she knows what the modern Roadhouse looks like and knows the Emcee. This implies she hasn’t been in a coma for the last 25 years. Ben Horne also said that Richard was raised without a father, implying that Audrey raised him by herself. Certainly he and Sylvia did not raise him. So Audrey has been awake and alive in the real world for at least some amount of time. Whatever is happening to her is recent.
The music playing backwards and the electrical hum are clues that what is happening is Lodge related. But the white room she wakes up in looks unlike any other environment we’ve seen thus far. Could she have woken up to yet another dream within a dream? Is Lynch going full Inception here?
Another clue is the Emcee’s words. He calls it “Audrey’s Dance”. That is the name of that track on the Twin Peaks soundtrack alright, but in *our* world. Not in the world of Twin Peaks. She didn’t punch “Audrey’s Dance” on the RR Diner jukebox 25 years ago. So what is *that* supposed to mean?
We’ve all felt that most of the Roadhouse scenes are frustrating. They do not advance the plot and show us characters we don’t know talking about other characters we don’t know. Some have commented that in these scenes, we become like Audrey, the dweller on the threshold. Stuck, frustrated, unable to move forward. We are the dreamer. That’s pretty meta, I dunno.
Theory: (You name it) are the sources of the three sets of coordinates Bad Cooper has.
Analysis: This is a new one and deserves its own category. There’s a lot of theorizing that swirls around this one simple statement that Bad Cooper made to Richard. He has been given three sets of coordinates, two matching, and those two (at least) led to the trap that killed Richard. So where did these coordinates come from and who is trying to kill Bad Cooper?
So, first thought most people had is that the three coordinates came from Ray (handed over on a piece of paper), Jeffries (puffed out as the “number” for Judy), and Diane via text message. Except Diane hadn’t actually sent the coordinates to Bad Cooper. We saw her type them in on her phone, into a GPS app that showed her the location in or around Twin Peaks. We only just saw her text the coordinates after receiving the “:-) ALL” text message, with a whispered “Hope this works” under her breath. Now, granted, she could have sent them off-screen before this, but then why send them now? So let’s work with the assumption that Diane is not the third party.
Let’s also assume Ray’s and Jeffries’ coordinates led to the trap. I believe both Ray and Jeffries have been lying to Bad Cooper. Ray said he was going to get the coordinates from Hastings’ secretary (Betty), who knew everything he knew. But Hastings didn’t work with his secretary on The Zone research, he worked with the librarian Ruth. Ray never mentions Ruth. Ray is full of crap, and Bad Cooper is on to him, even saying at the diner that it was kind of funny she’d only talk to Ray.
Likewise, Jeffries doesn’t so much lie to Bad Cooper, as he does just avoid the question. Did he tell Ray to kill Bad Cooper? Well, he called Ray, but that’s all the further he goes. We already knew he called Ray from the eavesdropped conversation with Darya. Called him and put him and Darya on the job. After all, Jeffries was until recently working as an ally to Bad Cooper. He may have lost his corporeal form, but he didn’t ascend into the light like Major Briggs. Ray tries weakly to cover up for Jeffries by hedging his bets during his final confession, saying it was maybe just someone who sounded like him. Also, Jeffries couldn’t have known Bad Cooper would come to visit him in person. He seemed genuinely surprised when Bad Cooper showed up. Everything he said in that conversation makes so much more sense if you view it through the lens of Jeffries knowing exactly what Bad Cooper is and that he’s lying through his virtual teeth in everything he’s saying.
So, not knowing that Bad Cooper would visit, and knowing that Ray might fail, he gives Ray the bad coordinates to pass on (maybe even tells him to write them down, so that his dead body will still prove useful to pass them on). These are supposed to lead to the Experiment. When Bad Cooper visits in person, he gives those same coordinates. These are now supposed to lead to Judy. Bad Cooper knows this is all a load of baloney when he sends Richard up to that rock.
The third source of coordinates that we know of is the body of Ruth Davenport. The FBI team has those, Diane has those, and sometime after Richard’s death, Diane texts them to Bad Cooper. Whoever was present at Ruth’s murder scene also could have those coordinates. She and Bill gave them to Major Briggs at that meetings, and Bad Cooper “met with” Major Briggs. Her gunshot wound to the head looks remarkably like the one Bad Cooper dealt to both Phyllis Hastings and Darya (his M.O., if you will). I would presume that Bad Cooper and the Woodsmen showed up at that meeting. They killed Ruth and Bad Cooper got his third (actually first) set of coordinates off her body. Major Briggs ascended and got away (well, at least his head did). Bad Cooper plants the bodies and cleans up by killing Phyllis (his own personal source of information on Bill Hastings) and arranging for Betty’s car to be bombed.
One last question remains, what do these coordinates lead to? Briggs would not be trying to get to the Experiment, and presumably his old files in the Air Force databases he sent them to hack would not have coordinates to anything like that either. It’s highly doubtful they lead to Judy. They may be the coordinates to the entrance to the White Lodge, where the Sheriff’s crew just retrieved Naido from. We’ll see.
Theory: (You name it) is / always has been a tulpa.
Analysis: I can’t even list all of the characters that have been named as possibly being tulpas. It’s truly a mania. But let’s talk about one or two.
- Laura Palmer – OK, look, Laura was not replaced by a tulpa prior to the events of the series. Who Laura is and what she endured is one of the most important cores of Twin Peaks. The entire movie Fire Walk With Me is a deep dive into it. If she was spared that pain and suffering, it would invalidate everything Frost and Lynch built with this show and this world. No way.
- Annie and/or Vivian – Tulpas do not get us out of the Secret History conundrum. They may replace the real person, they may live out some chunk of that person’s life from that point forward, but they do *not* rewrite history. Dougie Jones did not exist before 1997. If Annie was created for Agent Cooper to fall in love with, that does not explain Norma, and everyone else in the town, remembering her existence prior to her return. Same applies for Norma’s mother, Vivian.
- Audery Horne – Could Audrey have a tulpa? Well, sure, maybe. She did say she doesn’t feel like herself or know who she is anymore. Not too dissimilar from “I’m not me.” But at this point, what would be the purpose in introducing a second Audrey? Audrey is barely present in the show as it is. I won’t write this one off completely, but I’ll be very surprised if it turns out to be the case.
- Chantal and Hutch – Did they go all wonky-whoosh and disappear when they died? Then no, sorry, I don’t think they were tulpas.
Speed Round – Unresolved Plot Lines:
There are a lot of “unresolved plot live” threads going around on social media. I thought I’d do some quick takes on my thoughts for a few of them (we’ll try to hit more of these next week for our last article):
- The Buenos Aires box – Looking at this logically, Loraine obviously had instructions to text the box if the hit on Dougie Jones was not immediately successful. This would tell Bad Cooper that Good Cooper was being protected, because it should have been a no brainier hit. The box was probably there to set something in motion automatically, because Bad Cooper knew he might be incapacitated after the swap. The day after Loraine sent the text, Mr. Todd gets the red box on his screen that prompts him to put Ike the Spike on the job. Again, this was something set up ahead of time, the envelope with Dougie’s and Loraine’s pictures was already in his safe. Bad Cooper most likely did not initiate that action, he was still in jail at that point (I think the “Cow jumped over the moon” message was an activation for Diane). So, I think it’s nothing more than that, a pre-setup plan B for killing Good Cooper after the swap.
- The Seed – When the original Dougie Jones went to the Red Room back in Part 3, he imploded into a little gold ball. We find out in Part 16 that this is referred to as a “seed” when Good Cooper asks Philip Gerard if he still has it. Good Cooper tells Gerard he needs him to make “another one”, as in another Dougie Jones, to take his place with Janey-E and Sonny Jim. But this time, it will be templated from Good Cooper (from the hair sample he gave Gerard), not the Bad Cooper. He should be a better all-around father and husband.
- We talked previously how there is an alternative translation of “fireman” in railroad terms where it means someone who stokes the fire for a steam engine. Turns out, this is exactly the way “Fireman” is translated in the Italian dub. It’s “Fuochista” (“Fire starter”), instead of “Pompiere” (what we would call a Fireman). [Source: Gian Marco Foschini, Twin Peaks (2017) FB group]
- Also, the code “430” for firefighters is a code for “Radioactive condition”. [Source: Vitor Domingos]
- “I think it’s fair to assume that Mr. C’s smiley face doesn’t mean what everybody else’s smiley face means.” – Mork, from Twin Peaks: The Gifted and The Damned podcast. Just had to throw that in there.
- There’s a wonderful easter egg built into Bad Cooper’s phone when he texts Diane. The word recommendations along the bottom say “I thank you”. See [S3E16] Easter Egg?.
- Actress Bellina Logan, who played “Female Doctor” in this part, played Great Northern desk clerk Louie Budway in the original series. Since her name is not given here, we can imagine maybe this is the same character, who went back to school, became a doctor and moved to Las Vegas. Good for her.
- Some clever fan had put a location on Google Maps for “The Black Lodge” (it’s since been removed). It was not at the coordinates (which are 48°55’14.20″N 117°16’39.56″W, BTW), but it was nearby on the exact spot “five miles south of the Candian border, twelve miles west of the state line.” [Source: u/Billiardly on r/twinpeaks]
- People are back to theorizing that Diane is not real again, drudging back up the old standbys like that she’s just a name for Dale’s tape recorder. However, buried right in that scene was a reference to the book “My Life, My Tapes”, in which Dale and Diane go out on a date one time and then decide to never do that again.
- Perhaps it was not Philip Gerard and The Arm helping Good Cooper all this time. He was so aware of his surroundings that he knew Mullins carried a concealed gun and even what type of gun it was. The theories that the green flash and the highlights on the insurance paperwork are just what it looks like to Agent Cooper when his intuition kicks in, maybe those weren’t so crazy.
- Diane mentions seeing a face before Bad Cooper raped her, same as Doc Hayward mentions seeing a face when he spotted Cooper leaving intensive care. This would be the face of BOB, showing through as he took over Bad Cooper and had his way with Diane and Audrey (whether he took over or was given the controls).
As always, please reply below with your own comments and corrections, or give me your own well thought out theory. You can catch me on various Facebook groups, such as “Twin Peaks (2017)” or our own “25 Years Later” page, on the Reddit r/twinpeaks forum, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See ya next week.