Have We Lost Faith In Our Special Agent?

We have been a week removed from the finale.  There is still a buzz regarding theories.  There are still questions being formed and answers trying to be found.  One question that I’ve seen making the rounds pretty regularly has been, “What happened to Cooper once he emerged for his ‘curtain call’?” While I tend to still remain optimistic that the Cooper that emerged from the Red Room after losing Laura was our Special Agent OG in the flesh, after a re-watch I’m starting to question that possibility.  Hell everything I have seen has me questioning all that I have come to know and love about Special Agent Dale Cooper and Twin Peaks.  Have I, like some others I have seen lost faith in our Special Agent? twin-peaks-finale-cooper-and-diane

I tried to think back to the exact moment where my faith started to falter a bit, and for me it was when he was sitting in the car with Diane, ready to go across the electric threshold that was going to change everything.  Really Dale?  You just got out of the Red Room, again, and you are going to just jump right back into Jowday’s fire by going to this other plane of existence?  While I know this is how you have always done things, because yes, you are the FBI; I still believe you should have assessed the situation a little better and let things marinate a bit.  You would think after twenty five years you would want to catch up with everyone, have a piece of pie with a damn fine cup of coffee with the old crew.  Reconnect with Gordon, Albert and meet the new member of the Blue Rose Task Force, Tammy.  Go visit Harry in the hospital.  No, instead you just dive head first back into the fire, black at that, listen to poetry from Mike, chat with Phillip the teapot and go and pluck Laura from non-exist-ence.  Do you really believe after all that time, that is what will lure Judy out into the open and using Laura as a trap will help her rid  her of her pain and trauma?  (For a more in-depth take on the trauma and changing of Laura’s fate read Lindsay Stamhuis’s, The Continuing Education of Dale Cooper).


I needed to hear my Special Agent Dale Cooper again after all these thoughts, so I recently downloaded, “The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper” performed by the wonderful Kyle MacLachlan.  It’s a collection of the tapes we heard in Season 1 and some never before heard messages to his Cracker Jack assistant, Diane.  It made me smile when I first heard him say, “Diane.”  His tone, his cadence, the Special Agent Dale Cooper I have come to know and love.  This was also the Special Agent that emerged from the coma of Dougie Jones and claimed he was “100 percent”.  This was not the Special Agent that emerged from the Red Room, and certainly not the Special Agent that woke up after having passionless sex with Diane for whatever purpose, then to materialize and make him all of a sudden a man named Richard.  This is not the man that I have put my faith in all these years, this is a different Cooper. Again, maybe not, this could be the Cooper that always existed.   I do know that this is a man I do not recognize, just as Diane/Linda says when she leaves her note.  Our Cooper would want to go and find Diane/Linda and comfort her.  He would want to make sure she was alright.  This Cooper/Richard, was more of a man on a mission than even OG Dale would have been.  More calculating, like Mr. C.  A lack for words, like Dougie.  He was a combination of all incarnations of Cooper.  Was this to make it easier for me to not fear the outcome and the void that I would be left with at the end of the journey?  This changes twenty five years of thinking, Maybe Coop has a shot at coming out of this not as tortured and haunted as I thought?  Has it been so long without him that I do not recognize even when he is Cooper?   No, I still have faith that Cooper knows what he is doing, and we will all come out of this on the other side stronger and…oh, I don’t know.  Maybe I have no clue.  Right now I am having a hard time recognizing our Special Agent.  I am having a hard time wondering if Twin Peaks was all just a figment of his imagination.  My other thought, if Twin Peaks was real, did Jowday set a trap for Cooper to be there and investigate Laura’s death, which he now just made null and void?  BOB did know Cooper beforehand.  Leland says that to Dale in his interrogation scene in S2, Episode 9 (or Episode 16 overall) Arbitrary Law.  BOB tells Dale he’s been watching him since Pittsburgh.  So does this mean Judy has known about Dale since Pittsburgh as well?  If that is the case, Dale could have been used as a pawn this whole time.  Knowing that his desire to always do the right thing, could lead to his complete undoing after being trapped inside the Lodge for the past twenty five years.  Therefore, it is very possible our knight in shining armor, is just a page boy with a king complex.  That’s hard for me to concept.  tmp_28949-maxresdefault130663725

These things can all be possible or they could just be a way for us to deal with the fact that our Special Agent was not the savior of Twin Peaks that we thought he might be.  He acclimated and fit in so well, he became just as much a fixture of Twin Peaks as the Great Northern itself.  So again, the question comes around, is this Cooper that has emerged from the Lodge the same Cooper we have put our trust in?  This is where my faith in Cooper comes into the light.  He led himself into another dimension with the purpose of making things right.  In doing so, he lost, then found, then lost Laura, and leads them back to a much changed Twin Peaks.  His promise to hope to see each and every one of the people he cared for during this journey has vanished from this world now, or at least is living very different lives.  He even asks, “What year is this?” To me, he has now even lost faith in himself.  If Cooper has lost his faith in himself, how are we supposed to retain ours?  This will be something I will battle with for a while.  I went into the Return excited to see our Special Agent again.  Maybe just maybe, the Cooper we knew and loved wasn’t a complete Cooper at all.  Maybe he was always one half of Cooper, the good half.   I have now left the Return questioning if my faith in that Special Agent should have had warrant in the first place.  I still think so, but as with all Twin Peaks mysteries, this one is to be continued.


If you want to read about how Cooper’s inability to move forward may be in the form of time, please read Cooper’s Time Loop Isn’t Just His – Electricity Nexus #1 by John Bernardy.

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Written by J.C. Hotchkiss

J.C. Hotchkiss is a Office Manager by day and Managing News Editor for 25YL Site the other 16 hours of the day. In her most recent article for 25YL, she delves into whether Special Agent Dale Cooper (the best written television character of all time, in her eyes), is Laura Palmer's Dream Man. When she isn’t writing of her love of FBI Agents with a penchant for doughnuts, coffee and pie, she enjoys getting lost in a good book, sipping a damn fine glass of wine among friends, and trying to keep up with the latest cartoon craze via her 5 1/2 year old. She lives smack in the middle of the Big Apple and Beantown, so for a girl with many different interests and tastes it's the perfect place to be.


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      • I hear ya J C but man, I have a difficult time with a guy that seems to me, through all his incarnations of 3 seasons, to have the moral goals he has projected. I particularly have a problem with the writer of ‘Further Education…’ using a misogynistic approach to lay all on Cooper the horrors of our feminine characters. You have a more pragmatic approach and I value your valid questioning. Thanks!!

  1. Agent Cooper warned that when they crossed the 430 mile mark, things probably would not be the same, and that was the last we saw of the “100%” Agent Cooper. In the hotel room, when Diane says, “What should we do now?”, that’s not our Coop the way he replies, “Why don’t you come over here.” When he walks out of the two-story motel (which had previously been a one-story motel) and climbs into the new Cadillac (which had previously been a late model Cadillac) he is a different Cooper in a different reality, just as the Laura he meets is a different Laura in a different reality. The FBI agent who doesn’t know where to hang the fry basket and drops a loaded gun into the boiling oil, saying he’s not sure if the bullets will go, telling the civilians to take cover, that sure as heck is not the Agent Cooper we knew and loved. He seems to have a memory of being an FBI agent, but that’s not 100% Cooper, when he transferred over to the alternate reality, he came over as a shadow of his former self.

  2. I noticed that the re-making of Dougie seemed to happen at a point in the end of things that implied that building tulpas may have some kind of cost to the original. It seemed to me that when Dougie was restored, all of Cooper’s affable nature went into that Dougie, to continue living with Janey-E and Sonny Jim.

  3. Very interesting point. Dale gave his own hair to Mike, who then made a new Dougie (second tulpa). It’s possible it has a cost. Dale gives a part of his own good manners, intelligence, honest and charmy behaviour to Dougie 2.0, and maybe he and Mike know the consequences in advance.
    If that is true, Cooper will be darker, less polite, a Fbi agent but with certain similarities to Mr C (his shadow).
    I have another near impossible theory: imagine Coop is tired of Red Room and so on. He doesn’t want to travel past, he hates have lost 25 years, his best years, without having a family, why not a boy, etc. So, he ask for a tulpa of himself. And the real Cooper stop here, the dangerous mission is completed by his hulpa. Coop doesn’t accept the risk, he believes it’s a suicide mission.
    Imagine the silly face of Dougie when return with Janey-E and Sony-Jim is Coop acting like Dougie, we are deceived.
    And therefore, we see a very strange Cooper in Odessa. This one is the tulpa, the methodic one, he never gives up.
    I know, it sounds crazy, but is the best way to have our happy ending after all.

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