The Fireman created the Golden Laura Orb in direct response to BOB’s appearance in our skies in 1945. This is one of the few things we can verify. We watched the orb come out of the Fireman’s head, then be blessed by the Fireman’s companion, Senorita Dido. Then it was loaded into the uterus trumpet (Diane Podcast’s nickname is fun to write, what can I say) and it was sent over the map of the United States where it appeared to be heading to the western side of the country, though the shot cut away before we could pinpoint where the orb lands. This column’s rabbit hole exploration will look at two scenarios (much in the style of our site’s Black Lodge/White Lodge debates) of where the Golden Laura Orb could have found purchase.
1945, Sarah Novack
I know Gisela and Ali have my back on this one: I think Sarah Palmer is not possessed by Judy. I think she’s possessed by the FrogMoth that eventually evolved into a Jumping Man. Specifically, the Jumping Man who had Sarah’s face superimposed over his mask. That image, even though they were in different spaces entirely, showed me the two characters were connected.
But how would Jumping Man, when it takes its mask off, have Laura’s smile? And why would the Jumping Man say things in such a Laura way? “It’s a real mystery.”
I am assuming it to be truth that the Girl in New Mexico was Sarah. Before she was possessed by the FrogMoth, she “just knew” where Boy lived. I’m going to take that her clairvoyance came before the parasite climbed in. I am also taking the leap to say it’s perfectly plausible that the Golden Laura Orb descended on Sarah Novack as a little girl (much around the same age as when Leland was possessed by BOB). The presence of that orb could easily be the explanation for Sarah’s clairvoyance. Because the image was of Laura’s prom photo, it literally contained a moment in Sarah’s future. The orb could have given Sarah a connection through time to that point in Sarah’s future, and Sarah may have memories between past and future passing through her mind from the moment the orb entered her. She could just know these things. And she probably wouldn’t even know why.
But instead of being inside Sarah to become Laura one day through her mother, what if it went another way? When the Woodsmen hypnotized Sarah’s town through the radio signals to allow for the parasite to find a body, the freshly hatched FrogMoth had its pick of anyone. Yet it went through orb-infused Sarah’s window. Was it the thoughts of sexual awakening from her kiss with the Boy? I suggest it was the magic alchemical orb inside her that was too attractive for the bug to pass up. And it began feeding on it immediately. That orb was the FrogMoth’s early sustenance, and the parasite could have evolved into the Jumping Man because it ate the strongest meal it could find.
Years later, the Laura Orb energy becomes dark because it’s been devoured by the parasite. The Jumping Man begins to run Sarah’s body sometime after the events of Seasons 1 and 2, and by the time Truck You happens in Season 3, Jumping Man is 100 percent in charge of Sarah whenever it wants to be. But inside Jumping Man, when its mask is taken away, it’s the Laura orb, smile and all, through the darkness.
Sarah’s demon talks like Laura to the truck driver. Discussion boards and social media were full of fans who at the time wondered if it was Laura. That tells me the Laura Orb was slowly but surely growing through that dark FrogMoth and reasserting control. If I were the Jumping Man, I’d be worried, because after all, you are what you eat, and I think Sarah has another internal struggle inside her: the Jumping Man, that spawn of Experiment, is being taken over from within by that golden orb. Instead of completely being able to take over Sarah like BOB was able to take over Leland, Sarah maintained her autonomy from Jumping Man because the essence of Laura was coming through the FrogMoth. The double possession ends up making an odd hybrid creature that has Laura’s face within a Jumping Man, and by Season 3, Sarah appears to be inhabited by a spirit that doesn’t know if it’s for positivity or negativity.
Keeping Jumping Man at bay could have easily been the golden orb’s intention by design of the Fireman. The orb would be a safety mechanism to protect Laura from being raised outright by two monsters. And it could very easily be a metaphor for a fight for Sarah’s soul as well.
But this is only one possibility.
1988, The Prom Photo
It’s also possible the Golden Laura Orb was gestating as long as, or longer, than Experiment’s 11 year-old eggs when they hatched into FrogMoths. It’s possible the Fireman sent the actual Laura Homecoming Photo down to Earth, much like the Tremond/Chalfonts gave Laura the picture of the Angel in the Dutchman’s hallway that ended up appearing to be a portal to likely the Dutchman.
The Laura homecoming photo could easily be a magical portal as well. A talisman that can take someone to a safer place. And by someone I mean Laura, after she was removed from the timestream but before Cooper could take her to an intended destination. It would be a roadway or circuit for traveling upon on Laura’s way to a path of change. It’s possible there was a safehouse on the other end of that photo where a plucked Laura could be deposited until a safe time allows her to resurface, like the White Lodge’s form of witness protection program.
Based on how “Sarah” was trying to shatter the photo as Cooper was traveling back in time to take Laura from the moment of her death, I’d say that one was the specific imbued prom photo sent by the Fireman. It’s not as odd an idea when you remember the angel painting in general, but it literally wouldn’t even be the first time a transportative image ended up in the Palmers’ house.
It’s plausible that the Jumping Man or Experiment Model inhabiting Sarah understood the homecoming photo’s transportative nature in the Palmer’s house (especially as Jumping Man itself is considered a talisman brought to life according the acting instructions Lynch gave to the actor during the filming of Fire Walk With Me). It’s possible this picture was a portal with a particular lock that would have allowed Laura in and no one else. The image could’ve been more than just its form too, it could have been the lock. It could have been mystical facial recognition. Only the one who bears this face may enter. It could be prophecy straight out of a fairy tale, as well as an easy explanation for why Sarah’s parasite was unable to destroy the picture when shattering the glass.
It’s also possible that the hammering Sarah gave to it in Part 17 could’ve been the source of the pounding sounds on the entrance of the purple room in Part 3. And that American Girl, a likely a nesting identity like Diane and Naido’s complicated relationship, could be Laura in hiding after being swiped in the forest. After all, American Girl was worried that her mother was the one trying to get in.
As part of the above-mentioned lodge-style witness protection program, the Laura from the Fire Walk With Me scene could be dressed in an identity more like Ronette, and could have finally been found out when the portal was revealed to Sarah’s parasite because the connection was felt as Laura was sent there when she and Cooper’s handhold was broken in Part 17. It’s possible that Cooper, leaving to steal Laura away from the forest, was a connection enough for the Evolution of the FrogMoth in Sarah to be able to feel when Laura was taken away, and it’s possible that Sarah was then able to feel the essence of that Golden Orb in its new shape as a portal hidden in plain sight. And that evolved FrogMoth wanted to get in there to get at the missing daughter that was so desirable.
And where do I think that location is? It’s part of the White Lodge, home of the Fireman. Why do I think so? It’s filmed in the same mansion room as the Fireman’s theater room. You can hear the same klaxons in the Part 3 scene as you can hear in Part 8. Both buildings have an establishing shot outside with a surrounding purple sea. Not to mention it’s the safest place the Fireman could think of hiding someone, and would be a good explanation for why a parasitic creature likely from the Black Lodge would not be able to gain entry. If it’s not the same building they are at least affiliated and aligned.
One last point why I think the Fireman may have sent down an image rather than an identity? The BOB orb was always moving with actual Frank Silva appearances from Seasons 1 and 2, culminating in his “I will catch you in my death bag” line from the European Pilot. In the golden orb, it was a static image the entire time. No life within it, merely a symbol. I quite like the earlier idea where the orb was inside Sarah turning her more into a Laura, but the orb itself felt much more like an image or a message rather than a life or an identity.
Do I think the orb really is a portal or a message? I’m still working out the answer, honestly. I like going down these rabbit holes because it lets me explore possible answers as if they’re fact. It gives me the allowance to discover aspects that feel true to me, and in that way it feels like puzzle pieces have been revealed. From there I take the puzzle pieces I find in my columns and wait until I can see a bigger picture in the patterns. And I’ll have you know, you’re going to see what I do with them rather soon when I finally put together my overall theory on what I actually think is happening in Season 3. And it won’t be long now.
In the meantime, let me know what you think about all this. The Golden Laura Orb is a fascinating piece of ambiguity and there’s as many different definitions for it as there are fans of Twin Peaks. I’d love to hear what you have to say about it.