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?
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.
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.