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DoppelCooper’s Got Black Knight Syndrome

And He’s Tragically In Love With Judy

DoppelCooper’s Got Black Knight Syndrome (and He’s Tragically In Love With Judy) is now available on Audio, read by the author, John Bernardy, exclusively for our Patreon supporters. For just $3 a month you will have access to our full library of Audio content, plus three new uploads every week. To sign up visit our Patreon page:

I knew this would be my next column when I found something BOB and Windom Earle have in common, even though parts of the premise of today’s rabbit hole gives me pause. I do believe the Good Dale and his shadow are basically similar people (they are two halves of a whole and all) but the verdict’s still out whether I can personally believe in the cage universe theory (where the White Lodge is trying to lure Judy into a pocket universe and blow her up with Laura the bomb) or even the fact that Judy’s an entity rather than a state of mind. This rabbit hole depends on believing in all these things, so even if you don’t I encourage you pretend you do while we mine it for some intriguing carrots.

In David Auerbach’s cage universe theory, Judy wants to be kept away from Laura because Laura has the power to end Judy’s power.

In Season 3, DoppelCooper is getting Dale out of the way by sending him to a pocket of Lodge-influenced Las Vegas because Dale has the power to end DoppelCooper’s power.

Dale’s job is to find Laura. DoppelCooper’s job is to find Judy. And both of them take their job a little too seriously and think knightly protection is the order of the day.

I think the same principles apply to both scenarios because, aside from scale, they are basically the same situations. DoppelCooper is the shadow of Dale Cooper, and as far as I’m concerned Judy is the shadow of pretty much everything. Both scenarios can easily be reflections of the other.

Assuming both situations reflect the other in a one-for-one comparison, Dale and DoppelCooper are on even footing with each other, and therefore Judy seems to be on equal footing with Laura (as Laura is at minimum channeling White Lodge power that can become a Judy-destroying bomb).

There’s a case to be made that Dale has done the noir thing and fallen in love with the victim (like the detective did in Preminger’s 1944 film Laura, and like the protagonist did in Hitchcock’s 1958 film Vertigo, both obvious and important Twin Peaks reference points). Not only does he want to solve Laura’s murder, he wants to save her. And those kisses they share in the Lodge appear to have a quantifiable passion to them. It may not be the most primal love Dale has for Laura, but I do think it runs deep. And he intentionally goes 25 years out of his way to rescue her from being killed in the first place.

And if Dale has that sort of complicated relationship to a woman he’s never met properly, DoppelCooper would have a similarly ethereal and passionate relationship with the “woman” he specifically tells Jeffries he is looking for.


In DoppelCooper’s side of the story, Judy is the one who needs to be rescued. His Other, the light self, has a plan to take down Judy. DoppelCooper knows this because he and Dale are the light and shadow selves of the same person. He is himself as much as Dale is. So he knows Dale’s plan. How does he stop the plan? By taking himself out of the equation.

He makes plans while his other self is incarcerated in the Lodge. He builds a glass box to capture Dale. He builds a tulpa that will switch with Dale in his place. He makes sure there are people in place to kill CooperDougie if and when the switch happens. If that Dale dies or is captured, all is well. DoppelCooper is the last self standing. He wins.

Because he’s a Cooper, DoppelCooper has supreme confidence in this plan. He believes the universe will meet him halfway on this because he sees himself as special. The rules can bend for him a little because his cause is most just. It has to work because it is the right thing to happen. He’s done the work, and the Good Dale will not be a problem.

This kind of confidence was on display when DoppelCooper, having a good idea he’d been redirected to the sheriff’s station in Part 17, goes in anyway and passively sees where the moment takes him. He knows it will work out even though he didn’t exactly plan for that. The plan is still sound.

Just as Dale’s confidence transferred into DoppelCooper, so also has his white knight syndrome (black knight syndrome, sorry). He is sure the Las Vegas trap is so able to contain the Good Dale that the intended victim Judy couldn’t possibly be hurt. And that means Judy is protected by a master protector.

DoppelCooper goes to such great lengths that Judy becomes such a dear thing for him to protect. She may be so dear in fact, that DoppelCooper may have a love for Judy. She may become special to him. Whether it’s paternal feelings or otherwise could vacillate just like the Good Dale’s love for Laura seems to.

Dale wants justice for Laura. DoppelCooper wants justice for Judy.

Let’s establish another similarity between Dale and DoppelCooper. Dale got involved with his partner’s wife, Caroline. DoppelCooper got involved with his henchman’s wife, Chantal. Dale got his partner’s wife killed because of his involvement with her (had he kept it professional he may have seen Earle coming and been ready). DoppelCooper’s involvement with Hutch and Chantal literally sent them to their deaths.

Can Dale stay away from married or involved women? Based on Caroline and all the women in The Autobiography of Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes, the answer is no. Do these relationships ever go well? No. Every woman who gets seriously involved with Dale ends up dead like Caroline and his first crush Marie, or stuck in a state of suffering or catatonia like Annie. And if Dale thinks Laura needs saving so much that he makes the grand sweeping gesture of time travel to make it happen, why would it end differently with her?

And in case you forgot, DoppelCooper has a partner in this show. His name is BOB. And if you take Tamara Preston’s research in The Final Dossier to be accurate to the situation, BOB also has a spouse. Joudy is a female utukku and it is heavily implied BOB is a male utukku, and if a male and a female ever “married” while on earth, the result would create the end of the world as we know it. That implies BOB has a spouse, and DoppelCooper has been charged with protecting this spouse from the Good Dale. If BOB isn’t concerned that DoppelCooper will fall for his “woman,” BOB isn’t paying attention. Or maybe BOB’s even more like Windom Earle in this scenario. Maybe BOB notices the attraction between DoppelCooper and Judy, and he’s setting this one up to end in a similar tragedy just to watch DoppelCooper puke out all his garmonbozia like a portable all-you-can-eat buffet. Because this story will end in tragedy. DoppelCooper’s a Cooper, tried and true.

At the end of Part 18, the Good Dale and his Shadow could have white knight syndromed their way into living up to their shared hubris and unluckiness in love. There’s a case to be made that the Good Dale brought more suffering to Laura when he pulled her from the timestream, and there’s a case to be made that DoppelCooper, while trying his damnedest to protect Judy, accidentally set it up just right so that his Other finds the one bomb in all the universes and it goes off right in Judy’s face.

In the end, things go right for the universe, but man is there a lot of destruction in the wake. And of course, neither woman fared too well after they crossed paths with Dale Cooper.


Written by John Bernardy

John Bernardy has been writing for 25YL since before the site went public and he’s loved every minute. The show most important to him is Twin Peaks. He is husband to a damn fine woman, father to two fascinating individuals, and their pet thinks he’s a good dog walker.

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