No scene in Twin Peaks Season 3 is ever cut and dry whether it is set in material reality or Lodgespace. As I said in Part 1 of this theory:
Fans are constantly debating if the Roadhouse is material or non-material, if Audrey is in a mental institution or the Black Lodge. Fans debate if the Las Vegas scenes are any bit real, or if everything in Season 3 is a dream. And there is debate if Season 3 is connected to Seasons 1 and 2 or if it erases them outright, and whether or not the Fire Walk With Me ending is invalidated by the Season 3 ending.
In Part 1, we looked at Season 3 as a state of reality situated between the Timeline (the material state of reality) and Lodgespace (the non-material state of reality).
In Part 2, we looked at the in-between state of reality as if it were a mirror, then how it was likely formed by Dale Cooper and his doppelganger when they switched states of reality with each other.
In this part, we will explore how both the Timeline and Lodgespace are tethered onto this in-between state of reality, fortifying both its shape and its solidity.
How Lodgespace asserts itself to the in-between state
Besides the reversed polarity of Dale and his Doppelganger, there are a number of ways Lodgespace and the Timeline adhere to this in-between state to make it a more solid construction. Here are some of them.
Glitches are signs of the “dream” asserting itself from Lodgespace into the 2nd Loop.
DoppelCooper, made of pure Lodgespace, has his agents on Earth. Some of them are killed on screen, and there are glitches at the moment of their deaths: Phyllis Hastings, Warden Murphy, Duncan Todd and Roger. The direct connection/influence of DoppelCooper was disconnected from their bodies as their life force was no longer part of the energy cycle and only their bodies remained.
Many viewers noted blinking glitches on the windows of the FBI plane as it was returning to Buckhorn. They thought there was a pattern to be had, but it’s possible the glitches were merely texts from DoppelCooper trying to arrive on Diane’s phone but were being blocked.
The same glitch happens to the doorknob of Gordon Cole’s room in Buckhorn as Tammy arrives there in Part 10. What happened right before it? A vision of Laura from Fire Walk With Me flowed through that doorway like a river. It was likely a temporary influence from Dale’s 1989 “dream” that disconnected as Albert arrived. Why did Cole receive that vision? He was free drawing, in tune more than most people with dreams, and therefore Lodgespace.
In addition to the glitch at Gordon Cole’s door, the vision also left in a fog. Per Tamara Preston’s report in The Final Dossier, she asks questions of people regarding the validity of Laura Palmer disappearing (rather than being murdered):
[T]hey all got a slightly dazed and confused expression on their faces when I brought it up, as if they were lost in a fog, having trouble recalling, unable to fully wrap their minds around something that happened so very long ago.
Until finally they said, each and every one of them, “Yeah, that sounds right. That’s how I remember it.”
Later on, Preston explains her own thoughts possibly re-tuning:
Chief, I’m glad I’ve written all this down rapidly, because my own thoughts about every one of these events are growing fuzzier and more indistinct the longer I stay here, creeping into my mind like a mist.
Sounds like tuning from 2nd Loop to 3rd Loop, as far as I’m concerned.
The Unofficial Version
Jeffries is untethered enough from time to know that the Unofficial Version likely comes from Lodgespace, and that Gordon Cole is in the middle enough where he’s able to tune to Lodgespace at least as often as the Timeline. How do we see Gordon tuned to the Unofficial Version besides his odd reindeer drawing?
- He’s there at the end with Diane and Cooper: Dale Cooper wants him there at the end of the Timeline before he goes all-in with changing events.
- The Judy ret-con: Out of nowhere, blatantly disregarding both subtlety and continuity, Gordon explains a plan to find an entity of negative energy known as Jow-Day. And this happens near the end, after the frequency of the 3rd Loop (and Unofficial Version) seems to be well-asserted into the story despite Dale having yet to travel back in Lodgespace time to “save” Laura.
- When Tammy is inducted into the Blue Rose Task Force, there’s a room with red curtains and Diane says “Let’s Rock.” If they’re not privy to Lodgespace-adjacent tuning, there’s no way to explain that coincidence. Lynch uses his symbols as language, not inconsistently. I think, as that’s Part 12 right around when Sarah Palmer starts to break down in the grocery store, this scene is a sign of Lodgespace asserting itself.
- Albert, Albert, Albert: In a scene made entirely of blue tones (my code color for Timeline), Gordon Cole deliberately and slowly says “Albert” three times while a strange hum fills the air, as if tuning from the Timeline into a completely different frequency. While the color doesn’t change, it appears they reach a different state (2nd Loop from 1st Loop) as they decide the tulpa version of Diane is part of their shared experience.
- “I’m really worried about you”: another Albert connection. Albert seems connected to the Timeline most. Gordon re-tunes him in that just-mentioned blue-hued scene by saying his name repeatedly and slowly over the strange hum. Albert has a happy dinner date with Constance Talbot. And he doesn’t seem to catch onto any clues from Gordon’s Lil-like French Woman. He’s regularly needing help from Gordon tuning to the middle. When Gordon says “I’m really worried about you,” Gordon may know that his agent, tuned mostly to the Timeline, is only in the middle zone because (like Margaret Coulson, Will Hayward and Harry Truman) he’s near to death. And with that logic, it’s quite possible that the fog cleared from the Part 10 Laura Vision because Albert was closer to the Timeline and pushed the dream away.
Visual recognition/ object permanence
It seems that any number of non-material things from Lodgespace need to be visually recognized in order to become fixed in reality. This probably goes back to faerie magic, where you can get faerie and leprechaun magic to work for you, but you have to keep an eye on them the whole time or they disappear along with their magic. If you look away from them for even a moment, as Rosie says on The Shadow Trap podcast, “they turn into a rock.” So too do Lodgespace things fade away, as if they were just a dream all along, if not properly acknowledged by the material universe.
- DoppelCooper: The doppelganger himself possibly needed to be captured on film for his solidity: First with a man near the glass box, and another time in one of his palaces in South America.
- The Owl Ring: It was able to be used as a key near portals when covered, but it became real and a portal all its own when per Secret History of Twin Peaks it was removed from its pouch after Merriweather Lewis was killed and it was stolen from him.
- The Glass Box: Sam needed to be there the whole time to visually verify things that come through it.
- Sam was not there for Dale Cooper’s pass-through. Dale continued on.
- Sam (with Tracey) was there for Experiment Model. It broke through and ate him as real as any earthly predator.
- Coordinates: Ray Monroe says in Part 15 that Jeffries told him not to write down the coordinates. Per Final Dossier, “Hastings indicated that [Briggs] had cautioned them to put nothing on paper.” In Part 15, DoppelCooper takes out a pad of paper and a pen to write down every single coordinate Phillip Jeffries reveals in his smoke.
- Dougie’s Wedding Band: I explored many avenues of why Major Briggs had Dougie’s wedding band in his stomach, but it could be as simple as this: Dougie Jones needed to be anchored to the timeline by those who knew Dale Cooper. This could be what was needed to anchor Dale to the 2nd loop even though he completely believed that he could not be on Earth until his doppelganger switched places with him. “Did they ask about Vegas yet” could be DoppelCooper asking if they’ve anchored Dale to the 2nd Loop yet and therefore DoppelCooper knows he still has time before he has to meet Dale.
- Diane: In Part 18, during the most awkward sex scene of all time, Diane covers “Dale’s” eyes, as if to unanchor herself from the 3rd loop. (which, among other things, I explain in-depth in Why Diane and Laura are the Heroes of Twin Peaks).
IT IS IN OUR HOUSE NOW
In a variation of visual recognition, it’s possible “It is in our house now” could mean that the “dream” (3rd loop) was asserting dominance over the 2nd Loop and the Fireman was giving Dale clues so that he could break out of his Lodge loops and undo the 3rd Loop before Lodgespace fully asserted itself over the Timeline. In order to not anchor it even further, the Fireman could not give it a proper name or refer to it as anything, because that would attach it even more than it already dangerously was.
The glitch as Dale disappears at the end of that scene, by the way, is different than any other glitch besides the one where Laura Palmer’s body is overwritten from that of the timeline. What I see this glitch as, is this: the POV is likely from within a Lodgespace territory, and the glitch connotes something leaving Lodgespace for frequencies closer to the Timeline.
T. Kyle King also asks:
Could this also explain why the Fireman shows scenes to Andy (in what also appears to be a crucial scene affecting this theory) on a porthole above Andy’s head? In Part 8 and in Part 17, we see the Fireman watching events on a large screen directly before him, in his clear line of sight, but what he shows Andy, he shows in a place and in a way that only Andy can see, so the Fireman cannot even accidentally gaze upon what Andy is being shown. (Could this relate to DoppelCooper being anchored by images of himself?)
I like the way Kyle thinks. Maybe the Fireman can’t look at it because of DoppelCooper’s presence (or the presence of other frequencies in any capacity) in that vision. There’s plausibility for this, with references of multiples (the #6 pole for example) that could be visual confirmation of up to three different realities in play.
This sort of thinking can also apply to Hawk telling Frank “you don’t ever want to know about that” when asked what the black winged dot symbol means, and really, about why no one ever wants to talk about Judy. The fact you have to name Ultimate Negative Energy something else entirely implies just saying it out loud can attach it to the speaker’s worldview.
This can apply to the Monica Bellucci Dream, too. Once Gordon speaks of it, suddenly Albert can remember it as well. I don’t have all the subtleties down, but there’s definitely something to this line of thought.
How the Timeline re-asserts itself into the in-between state
Twin Peaks Music from Seasons 1 & 2 and Fire Walk With Me
We hear “Dark Mood Woods” when Hawk is going to the red curtains in Part 2 as he’s still tuned completely to the Timeline. We hear “Laura Palmer’s Theme” as Andy has his failed meeting with the Farmer in Part 7.
These are when the timeline is being overwritten by the next Lodge loop (in that case the 1st Loop being overwritten by the 2nd Loop), but then in Part 4 there’s when Bobby sees Laura’s homecoming photo and begins crying while “Laura Palmer’s Theme” plays. I’ve previously credited this moment as the truth being remembered in How The Fireman “Brings Back Some Memories”, and here, the truth being remembered is tuning to the frequency of a different time loop.
Audrey almost breaks out of her Lodge-adjacent state as “Audrey’s Dance” (which is verbally named in-show) plays, but then she relapses back into Lodge-adjacency and the song plays backwards over credits in a blatant reversal or take-back.
And let’s not forget James singing at the Roadhouse just to remind us how things used to be.
Through a lifting fog, “Twin Peaks Theme” plays every week along with Laura’s photo image, but then we enter the Lodge by the end of the opening credits as the music fades away.
The most Timeline-asserting moment happens with the Part 16 reemergence of Dale Cooper after weeks of only Dougie Jones. The take-charge charmer we all know is awake and we hear the longest version of “Twin Peaks Theme” we’ve heard in a while. He takes it back later just like Audrey does, but we almost had a breakthrough there.
Will Hayward, Harry Truman and Margaret Coulson all call characters during the course of the show. They are between life and death (an in-between state all by itself) so that’s perhaps how they entered the in-between state, but the phone lines are part of that equation as well.
There’s also the curious case that Ray Monroe only spoke to Phillip Jeffries over the phone, traversing frequencies and probably from 2nd Loop to either 3rd Loop frequency or Lodgespace itself.
Another phone call that may go from one state to another is Bushnell Mullins to Gordon Cole in Part 16. As Dale is tuned closely to the Timeline at that moment, and Gordon Cole was tuned mostly to the Judy ret-con (Unofficial Version) it’s quite possible they needed the phone to communicate just as much as DoppelCooper needed the phone to return him to the in-between state of reality from the Lodgespace location of the Dutchman’s when he met with Phillip Jeffries in Part 15.
I’d also posit a guess the ringing phone in Carrie’s Odessa house was there to bring Dale or Carrie from the 3rd Loop back to the middle frequency of the 2nd Loop, though I freely admit this one is pure speculation.
And then there’s the curiosity of DoppelCooper’s cellphone usage. Why does he collect so many phones? Could it be that he needs them to access Lodge logic, which looks to the material world like magic? Does each phone serve as a short range re-tuner so that Lodgespace influences his reality the way he wants it to? That’s my hypothesis.
Pie and Coffee
Margaret invites Hawk over for pie and coffee but he chooses to stay in the in-between state.
Coffee is present during leaps of intuition or revelation per usual, though coffee (perhaps just like the Timeline itself) is nowhere near as present as it used to be.
Dougie brings a pie to the Mitchums and it changes their tune from dark thugs to generous hearts of gold.
Over the phone, Shelly invites Becky to the Double R for pie, and Becky accepts.
The Great Northern Key
It comes from the pocket of Dougie Jones from Lodgespace, but it seems the key is a remnant of the Timeline and is possibly a symbol of Dale disconnecting from the Timeline, only to reconnect to it at the end when he begins his reconnection with his shadow known as DoppelCooper.
Jade gets the key first and sends it through the mail after helping Cooper-as-Dougie then presumably leaving for the Timeline. Then it goes through the mail, and to Ben Horne, who “remembers” events associated with it. And when Ben hands the key to Frank Truman, he says “for Harry.” Which is another nod to remember the Timeline.
The note within Major Briggs’ message pod asks Frank and the deputies to put soil in their pockets. I assume it’s so they can tune to the correct state (2nd Loop frequency) when the vortex closes. The soil grounds them in the particular reality state much like Albert grabbing Gordon’s shoulder anchored Cole at the Buckhorn vortex site.
Signposts for loop tuning in Season 3
For the Timeline and Loop 1, we have the mention of Harry Truman and Margaret Lanterman/Coulson. We also have the Homecoming Photo, which I explained at length in How The Fireman “Brings Back Some Memories” and a trigger to remember Laura and the fact that she died.
For 2nd Loop, we have Frank Truman.
For 3rd Loop, the mention of Billy, which I will go into later on.
Kylee Karre of the Between Two Worlds Facebook group noticed Lucy wore a single timepiece as a necklace up through Part 7, and that afterwards she wore two timepieces as necklaces, up through Part 17. Kylee thought the findings of her excellent work were a solid marker for keeping track of timelines, but it works just as well for keeping track of which of Cooper’s time loops we’re currently tuned to.
What does this mean to me? When Lucy’s stuck in the past, she is frozen in place and tuned to the 1st Loop because it is associated with the past she remembers. When the 3rd Loop begins to assert itself over the 2nd Loop, her two timepieces show she’s stuck in the middle. In Part 17 when she literally shoots the source of actual Lodge-based darkness (DoppelCooper), she is wearing a single timepiece again, signifying she’s tuned back to the 1st Loop and Timeline, but this time because she actually chose that frequency rather than being frozen there.
How does this show something besides her internal changes? From that point forward in Part 17, Lodgespace and the Timeline begin to separate once more. It’s possible to see this as the Lodgespace “dream” winning, but it wasn’t Dale who ended his doppelganger’s time, it was Lucy and the representatives of the Timeline (like Freddie) who did it while Dale stood there. They pushed back against the darkness, forcibly and literally.
This is why I think the 3rd Loop appears so different from the others. It’s been pushed out on its own. And because the camera POV is following Cooper, we don’t see much more of the Timeline then. But as I’ve said before, the Timeline is still there all the same.
Everything I ever said in Fireman Brings Back Some Memories about the golden orb and the Laura Homecoming picture triggering memories of the truth is still accurate within this theory. Making someone remember the truth that Laura died felt emotionally true and explains the what that happens, and I feel this exploration of tuning between the coexisting Lodge time loops and the Timeline can actually explain the how of it.
Remembering Laura’s presence (that is “missing” from their perception) re-tunes characters from the 2nd Loop to the 1st Loop and Timeline. The presence of the symbol of Laura’s death (that’s what that picture means to all of us who ever watched the show years ago) makes people “find Laura”.
Though, like all the other stuttering time, I believe there are oscillations in play. There is tuning back and forth in Season 3 between events closer to 1st Loop and those more tuned to 3rd Loop. Just like Dale coming back in his most close-to-Timeline way in Part 16 right before he dives headlong into Lodgespace’s dream logic.
Just like a clock that moves back and forth between 2:52 and 2:53. Just like that arm wrestling scene goes back to starting positions.
Every character’s struggle in Season 3 is an oscillation between these two loops, and every instance of remembering means you’re tuning from a point of view directed to Timeline to or from Lodgespace. As you re-tune, you “remember” things in this new loop you’re freshly experiencing, much like how the Part 8 “flashback” is being introduced (or “remembered”) right after whatever the Woodsmen did to DoppelCooper and the musical rite incited by the Nine Inch Nails.
Now that we’ve explored the shape of reality well enough, it’s time to move onto how characters go about their lives from within the in-between reality state. Next time I will explain how I think characters find a way to break free from this oscillating in-between state and make their choice: Rejoin the Timeline and step into the light, or stagnate and enter Lodgespace’s darkness.
Thanks go out to Adam Stewart, T. Kyle King, Kylee Karre, Caemeron Crain, Brien Allen and Rob King for their tenacity in reading every part of this theory and providing me feedback during my writing process.