Those of us who wrote about Twin Peaks during the weeks of Season Three got a number of things right and a number of things wrong. And yes, by “right” I mean things that still can be credibly explained that are not easily disproved. I know Twin Peaks means very few things can be 100% anything (except ambiguous).
Here, each of our authors are going to look through their writings to toot our horns and share the things we’re most proud of, or our best tosses at the proverbial dartboard. Later today we’ll write about when we were way off the mark, or hit someone else’s dartboard altogether, but right now here are our ideas at their best.
As I began my Timequake Theory after Secret History of Twin Peaks but well before Season Three, I am still shocked it remains relevant today in regards to time discrepancies, reality shifts and stuttering time. Resonance remained ambiguously important throughout the season, and while my theory wasn’t specifically proven there was an overwhelming amount of information that pointed to my being on the right track. You can check out “Time Moves Strangely, or, Metaphysical Geologic Events in Twin Peaks” as well as “The Resonance of Timequake Theory: From Stuttering Time to Robert Jacoby” for a full take on my theory.
Also lucky on my part, I wrote “What DO We Know About The Owl Ring?” late enough into the season that nothing in it was contradicted in the end. The interpretations based on Season Three, Fire Walk With Me and Secret History of Twin Peaks hold up rather solidly and I’m particularly proud of this one.
Over the course of the first three weeks of Season Three (that covers the first five Parts), I wrote a series on the state of Dale Cooper and Bob. In “A First Look Into Doppelganger Cooper and Bob, and What That Says About Leland Palmer“, I was onto the fact right away that the Doppelganger was exhibiting a ton of Dale Cooper skills rather than Bob skills and therefore credited the show tunes and fingernails to Leland. In “A Second Look Into DoppelGanger Cooper and Bob, and What The Leland Palmer Days Say About That“, I touch on the storytelling techniques of how Lynch and Frost hide things in plain sight and how they manage our expectations by giving us things (in this case Cooper possessed by Bob) only after we stop expecting it to happen, but I was convinced Bob was running the show in Cooper’s body and by the time I wrote “Bob vs. Good Dale vs. DoppelCooper, and How Theosophy Might Just Make Some Sense Out Of This Mess“, about all my interpretation got right was how Good Coop was aware of DoppelCooper’s dealings by way of shared memories. Later on in August I gave Cooper equally over-heroic aspirations in “Come On, Hero, Do SOMETHING! (or, Evil Will Always Triumph Because Good Is Dumb)” but I do call out the CooperDougie scenes as being a message about mindfulness and TM.
I wrote two articles on Wizard of Oz comparisons, comparing which Twin Peaks Characters match with which Oz characters, but the only thing I got “right” was in “Dale Cooper’s Yellow Brick Road” where I conclude with Cooper probably being all the characters inside himself. Otherwise, it’s a laugh riot I’ll go into in our What We REALLY Didn’t Get Right article.
In “Richard Horne’s Car: A Character Profile“, I wrote about red and green having negative and positive connotations, an association between Richard Horne and Saturn imagery, and how the car’s colors predict Horne’s involvement in the series to go from negative to absence, though I swing and miss when I hope Dale’s the one to finish him off. In similar close-but-not-quite aim, “Sarah Palmer and the Case of the Living Map and Sudden Turkey Jerky” among other things talked about Sarah’s PTSD symptoms and I suggest we fans are partially to blame for her state by keeping her and her house alive all these years along with everything else Twin Peaks.
In “Sparkle: The Designer Drug That May Just Bring Down The Curtains Between Us and The Lodges” I definitely diagnose the problem correctly (that there’s a breakdown of the barrier) though I call Sparkle a cause rather than a symptom. I also correctly note that years and our perceptions are being effected, before I start describing unsubstantiated possible causes.
Much of “The Alchemical Origin of Laura Palmer: Does She Have a Choice or Is She A Chosen One?” asks the right relevant questions, such as if Laura is a tool rather than a human. Also solidly “answered” (I still think this is more so misdirection on Frost’s part) in The Final Dossier it appears we are to believe Laura was made from Bob, and the show implies that Golden Orb was meant to be Laura as well, so I’m calling my supposition here correct that Laura is made from equal parts darkness and light. This (however superhuman it makes her now) gives her equal power to choose which part of her nature to lean into, which makes her struggle as real, true and powerful as ever.
The very first article I wrote for 25YL Site (and which was co-authored by Aidan Hailes) was our pre-Season 3 theory piece about Annie Blackburn. “Who’s Annie?” is still one of my favourite articles. In it, we built on the theory that Annie may have been some kind of a lure for Agent Cooper, possibly even a Lodge spirit herself. Long before any of us had heard the words “manufactured” or “tulpa” mentioned with regard to Twin Peaks, we were among the people suggesting that Annie had been created with the sole purpose of bringing Agent Cooper to the Lodge at the end of Season 2. While the jury is still largely out on the full truth about Annie (and the strangeness of her story in The Final Dossier has only deepened the mystery there…) I’m pretty pleased that we anticipated the idea of Lodge-manufactured beings several weeks before they were introduced in the official story. (If you want more information about this, we highly recommend the Vlog Lady’s excellent video essay: “Twin Peaks Annie Theory“)
While the season was in full swing, there were a few key theories that I wrote about and which I’m also quite proud of. The idea that Mr. C was capable of raping Diane and Audrey was abhorrent to many in the fan community, to me it seemed horribly obvious; I wrote about it first in the Black Lodge/White Lodge debate “The Horne Headache“, in which I argued that Mr. C and Audrey were Richard Horne’s parents; later, when Diane confronted Mr. C in the Buckhorn prison, I felt compelled to write a deeply personal and troubling account of my theory that not only was it possible that Mr. C violated these two women he cared for, it was highly likely. I didn’t want to be right about it, but Part 16 made it crystal clear that my terrible hunch was correct.
The same goes for the hunches I had early on about the Roadhouse scenes. Together with Scott Prendergast, I delved into a theory that the Roadhouse might be serving as some kind of in-between space, possibly even connected to the Lodges, in our article “Conversations in Liminal Spaces: What’s Going On at the Roadhouse?“. Part 15 showed us a possible link between Agent Cooper and the Roadhouse, and Part 16 put Audrey Horne front and center of one of the biggest remaining mysteries when she finally made it to the Roadhouse.
Two days after I published that article, I swung for the fences with my theory that the most obvious answers in Twin Peaks were often the right one with my article “This Mystery Has a Blueprint: Deciphering the Obvious in The Return“. It seemed to me that in the process of all of this theorizing, many people were tying themselves in convoluted knots in order to explain away the uncomfortable truths about the stories they were being told. I was guilty of it myself. But as the season reached its end, it became clear that the first and most obvious answers were very often the right ones. It served as a great lesson to me about how to approach this show, and gave me a tremendous and newfound respect for David Lynch’s and Mark Frost’s subtleties as writers.
I’m also proud of my article about multiverses. Even though we don’t have concrete proof for multiple timelines, we do have some proof of timey-wimeyness going on. This is what I predicted as far back as October 2016, and I was pleased to not be wholly proven incorrect on that front.
Finally, I’m happy with my reaction to the finale. Mostly measured and introspective, both here and on our podcast, I’m proud of myself for keeping it together and being able to recognize that this was a show that I needed to site with and stew about for a while before coherent thought could form.
It feels weird to say that I got anything “right” about Twin Peaks. I’m much more comfortable talking about what I was wrong about since so much of this show is subject to interpretation. I’ll give this a go however. For starters, Freddie Sykes. I wrote about him being placed in the story to do what Agent Cooper couldn’t do not only in my column, “The Waiting Room” but also posed it as a question in “John Thorne Talks Twin Peaks Finale, What He Would Like To See, Theories & More!“. To be fair, I thought Freddie was there to kill Mr. C and not to fight off Bob, but I absolutely thought he was there because Cooper would need an ally to complete the task at hand.
I wrote weekly in “The Waiting Room” about the Roadhouse being used as a vehicle to tell the story of society from the perspective of Mark Frost and David Lynch. While there was obviously no scene that verified that, I did feel that The Final Dossier supported my claims. Twin Peaks had become like the rest of the world; impacted by outside influences and the same kind of turmoils the rest of the world faces. Reading about the impact the private prison had on Twin Peaks in Frost’s novel really drove home the point that the town that used to seem so disconnected from the rest of the world had become just like everywhere else and the Roadhouse every week was used to show that.
My personal writing style was always more about analyzing what we had just seen rather than trying to predict what was to come. So while my contributions to this feature will be limited, I encourage everyone to check out my post finale work which I will put up against anyone’s: What Exactly Is An 18 Hour Film? Audrey Is The New Chet Desmond & More – The Waiting Room Returns, How Part 8 is Crucial to Understanding The Return: The Waiting Room, The Role The Palmer Family & Their House Played In The Return: The Waiting Room, What If I Was Wrong: Exploring The Idea That Agent Cooper Changed The Past: The Waiting Room, Agent Cooper: My Thoughts & Theories On His Journey Throughout The Series – The Waiting Room, Nostalgia & It’s Importance in Twin Peaks: The Waiting room
Like Lindsay, long before Series 3 was on air I had believed that Annie was manufactured for a purpose, and that purpose was to lure Cooper into Glastonbury Grove in the first place as she was perfect for him, perhaps too perfect. Sadly this is only documented on Twitter, but it is probably what brought me to 25YL in the first place. Whilst that may have not come to pass for Annie, it certainly was a major story line for Dougie Jones & Diane in Series 3 and certainly leaves the theory open to interpretation for other characters. I had always hoped too that Laura did write in her diary about her dream visitation from Annie, telling her that the Good Dale was in the Lodge. This did indeed come to pass when Hawk found the missing pages in the restroom door. “Who Killed Ruth Davenport? Part 6: Don’t Die”
Throughout Series 3 I covered the Blue Rose Task Force threads in my column “Who Killed Ruth Davenport?”, which intertwined with several other threads by the end. In all honesty reading back through them there isn’t much I got right! and there are a few things which are still open to interpretation, for example, I’m still fond of my theory that ‘Gordon’s French Woman’ was a ‘key’ like ‘Lil the Dancer’. I wrote my interpretation of her behaviour in “Who Killed Ruth Davenport? Part 12: Let’s Rock”.
During the 4th July hiatus week I wrote about “The Convenience Store & Its Inhabitants” and from that I would like to mention BOB. Whilst I got a few things wrong that were ultimately played out on-screen, I stick by my theory that BOB is a metaphor of the evil that men do, just like Judy is, and that they are created by and live off garmonbozia—pain and suffering. That the pair of them had been walking around on earth for centuries, BOB’s birth via frogmoth or however he was hatched this time, was not the first time he’d set foot in our world.
Perhaps my only real ‘on the money hit’ was the same as Andrew’s—Freddie Sykes. I had high hopes for him (had to big up the British massive) and believed that he would annihilate someone i.e. Mr C/BOB into nonexistence. It was probably the least likely prediction to come true and yet that’s exactly what happened. Nice. I wrote about here in “Who Killed Ruth Davenport? Part 14: We are like the Dreamer“.
However it is probably my final two articles “Who Killed Ruth Davenport? Part 17: The Past Dictates the Future” and “Who Killed Ruth Davenport? Part 18: What’s your name?” that I stick by the most. Cooper should definitely not have tried to save Laura, she had already saved herself in the only way she could, and his attempt at being her White Knight messes everything up, including his own life. Laura Is The One, only she can save herself, for she is all powerful. What needs to happen is for Cooper to find his way to the true ending, that of Fire Walk With Me, where we see the jubilant Laura, free at last.
First of all, let me start by saying that I am so thankful for Twin Peaks’s return for inspiring me to write about it and letting me share my theories and crazy thoughts with the readers of 25YL. Do I think I got anything right during the run? Well the only article with a touch on theory that came out during the run was “My Love Letter to Dougie“. In it I touch upon how much we all wished to have more of the Agent Cooper we knew and loved, but how we needed the time with Dougie to appreciate the wonder that was our Special Agent. It was quite a well received article. In fact, when I had posted it to Twitter I had tagged Mark Frost, who indeed is a writing hero of mine, re-tweeted the link to the article and called it “Really lovely”. Which I believe gave a wonderful seal of approval and the Dougie love must of resonated with more than just me.
My other theory pieces came out after the finale of S3. I did a series called Reincarnation and The Return, Reincarnation and The Return” Part 1, Part 2 “Reincarnation and The Return: The Enlightenment of Cooper“; and “Reincarnation and The Return Part 3, Ding Dong, Cooper’s Dead“.
Now that S3 is over and I can delve in further with the DVD’s and extras, there will definitely be more to write about and possibly be right about. See you in 2018!
Well, this was inevitable. You put yourself out there as a “theories guy” for the site and eventually someone is going to cash that check and see how you did. In all humbleness, I don’t think I did too bad. But then again, I had an article series, Third Day Theories, that attempted to recap the prevailing theories generated with the release of each episode. So I was neck deep in some of the best theories coming out of Reddit and Facebook. If I was able to see further, it was because I stood on the shoulders of.. well, maybe not giants, but at least others.
That said, I’m going to focus on the first couple articles I wrote, up to and including the ones based on those first 4 “parts” that were dropped that first weekend. That includes:
- Comparing Reboots: What Star Wars Might Tell Us About What To Expect For Twin Peaks
- Third Day Theories – Pre-Season
- Third Day Theories – Parts 1 & 2 – It’s A World Of Truck Drivers
- The Magician Longs To See – A Theoretical Framework For Season 3
- Third Day Theories – Parts 3 & 4 – How about a truckload of valium?
So let’s see how I did.
Comparing Star Wars to Twin Peaks might have been a stretch, and mostly Comparing Reboots was full of misses, but there were two things I got right. The first one is not one that I’m proud of however. I worried that, like the “Lucasing” that has been done to the Star Wars franchise over the years, perhaps Lynch and Frost would likewise engage in a few retcons for Season 3. The Secret History had already shown us that Frost, at least, had a pretty fluid definition of the word “canon”. The season seemed to be going well until Part 8 dropped and gave us “origin stories” for BOB, Laura and Sarah Palmer. Maybe. There’s at least some wiggle room there to keep us from going down that dark path, but the retcon at the beginning of Part 17 though was utterly irredeemable. The meeting between Cole, Briggs and Cooper that simply could not have happened. The redefinition of Judy, from what Lynch had given us in The Missing Pieces just a few years ago. These were not just minor tweaks.
My other correct prediction from that article was much more positive, and that was that Showtime would prove to be a good home from Twin Peaks and do a good job of keeping the buzz alive. I think they did just that, with strategically timed articles, their presence at San Diego Comic Con, these post-season pop-up sites, and all the merchandise. Although, on that last count, I’m appalled there is no 2018 Twin Peaks calendar. Major fail Showtime! What gives? But other than that, you couldn’t have asked for a better home for the new season.
At the time, it was all but officially confirmed that parts of this season would take place outside of Twin Peaks, but where exactly was not yet revealed. In my Pre-Season review, I expected to see the FBI office in Philadelphia – check. Las Vegas – check. And the crime scene where The Secret History dossier was found, not Las Vegas, probably somewhere closer to Twin Peaks – check. Not bad. I even predicted one of the locations would be set in the past, something coming out of The Secret History’s context.
I also downplayed the worry from some fans that, freed of the restrictions of broadcast television, this version of Twin Peaks would be more graphic in terms of nudity and violence. Certainly there was more than the original series. That would be kind of inevitable, given the changes in television standards over the last 25 years. In comparison to most of the modern “premium TV” shows of this age, Season 3 was pretty low on both counts. We’ll chalk this one up to being a “got right”, I suppose.
I feel cheap claiming this as a “got right”, but I did correctly predict that there would be two Coopers, the “good Dale” trapped in the Lodge and the “bad Dale” doppelganger loosed upon the world. Prior to Season 3, a lot of people just didn’t get that, still thinking that it was our Agent Cooper, possessed by BOB, who smacked his face into the mirror at the end of Season 2. Lynch all but told us this outright with The Missing Pieces scene where Annie tells Laura in her dream.
Along with that, another thing coming out of Parts 1 & 2 that I “got right” was the relationship between Bad Cooper and BOB. BOB was not in possession of Bad Cooper, at least certainly not at this point in the story. He was more so along for the ride. Partners in crime, so to speak. It wouldn’t be until the prison mirror scene much later that this would be made crystal clear. Though none of that prepared me for the “BOB Bubble” that would be revealed in Part 8. Ugh.
Bouncing off all of that, I came up with the framework that I proposed in The Magician Longs To See, in which I proposed that Bad Cooper and Good Cooper were both magicians, or at least had the potential to become magicians. Bad Cooper had already revealed an ability to magically manipulate technology in the first few episodes, with his evil tape recorder (seriously, how cool was that?) and ability to hack into FBI databases with apparently random key strokes. More importantly though, he “manufactured” a tulpa version of himself as a decoy for the Good Cooper to switch into. Good Cooper did not reveal his magical abilities until the season finale, when he was able to open to Red Room curtains with a gesture of his hand. He had tried that in the premier also, but was blocked somehow. I guess we can’t say for sure that either one of them became true magicians, but I’m calling this one a “got right” as far as I’m concerned.
Come back later for What We REALLY Didn’t Get Right as we continue our send-off for the most amazing year that was 2017!