Who Was Speaking Through Sarah Palmer From the Black Lodge?

If you’ve been with us from the beginning, you know we started as a Twin Peaks site, and in some sense we always will be—in our heart, in our bones and sinew, or whatever fills the nooks and crannies of our spirit. February is Twin Peaks Month around here, and 2022 sees us marking it for the last time as 25 Years Later Site, since by 2023 we will have become TV Obsessive. But don’t worry, we’ll still always keep writing about Twin Peaks. We hope you’ll stick with us.

To mark the occasion, we’ve invited some of our friends to revist an old series. Black Lodge/White Lodge is the 25YL version of the popular point/counterpoint style of debating, wherein two sides take opposing views and hash it out on stage. Here, we debate the finer points of Twin Peaks lore, in writing, for your reading pleasure.

Today’s debaters are: Mya McBriar and Courtenay Stallings

The topic is: Who was speaking through Sarah Palmer in Episode 29?

Black Lodge: Mya McBriar

Interwoven within the supernatural spectrum of Twin Peaks universe are many unanswered questions and mysteries yet to be solved. Spanning three seasons, of which 26 years passed between Seasons 2 and 3, it remains debatable how much of the original series truly coincides with The Return. Fans across the world interpret the material in a variety of ways, with a few universally accepted truths. There seems to be a Lynchian approach to the work, as well as a Frostian approach, which at times appear to differ. 

One brief scene in the Season 2 finale is vexing, because depending on how you look at it, there are a few possible explanations. The validity of these explanations are somewhat contingent on whether you embrace The Return as a true extension of the original series or see it as a separate story, in addition to embracing Mark Frost’s books, as well as all the books spawned from the series, as canon or separate entities—the scene where Sarah Palmer walks into the Double R with Dr. Jacoby seeking Major Briggs is a perfect case study for this conundrum.

“I’m in the Black Lodge with Dale Cooper…I’m waiting for you,” says the voice speaking through Sarah Palmer with an urgent message for the Major. So who is it? The list of potential choices are Windom Earle, The Arm, The Fireman, Judy, or possibly even someone or something completely different. I think a case could be made for any of them, but in my opinion, the likeliest candidates are The Arm or The Fireman. 

Upon listening to it, it sounds like a distorted version of The Arm’s voice. Was he acting alone or as an agent for BOB in an effort to collect gifted and damned souls? Maybe.

Prior to The Return, Windom Earle also made for a good candidate. However, he’d already kidnapped Major Briggs and extorted from him that fear and love open the doors to the Lodges, so I don’t believe he’d have any more use for the Major after that. Not to mention, BOB set fire to Windom Earle’s Black Lodge agenda.

Judy is a strong candidate as well given that we learned in The Return that a frog-like creature entered Sarah as a girl. I think it’s fair to extrapolate that Sarah Palmer had spent a good portion of her life possessed by one or multiple beings. However, that doesn’t mean it was always Judy in control of her. Sarah may have been a conduit for many otherworldly beings. 

Many times throughout the series either as The Giant or The Fireman, he sent key messages and clues from the beyond. First to Agent Cooper in the original series and then to Andy in The Return. We learned in The Return that Major Briggs and The Fireman had been working on a secret plan to trap Mr. C. So it’s very plausible that he was the one reaching out to Major Briggs with a message through the darkness of future past.

The Red Room from Twin Peaks with no furniture or people. Black and white zig-zagged floor and red curtain.

White Lodge: Courtenay Stallings

Dr. Jacoby ushers Sarah Palmer to the Double R Diner booth where Major Garland Briggs and Betty Briggs are sitting next to each other enjoying a cup of damn fine black coffee. Sarah Palmer seems to disassociate. Her eyes glaze over. Briggs leans forward, inquiringly; his eyebrow lifts. “I’m in the Black Lodge with Dale Cooper,” Sarah says as her voice devolves into something deeper, darker, more masculine. Cut to Briggs—his jaw seems to set knowingly, perhaps. The scene cuts to a hallway of the Red Room with the scarlet curtains and the Chevron floor. The camera glides, zigzagging across the floor. A disembodied voice that sounds like The Man From Another Place says, “I’m waiting for you.”

Who is speaking through Sarah Palmer to Major Briggs? Is it The Man From Another Place? Is it Windom Earle, as some have argued, who is using Annie Blackburn to lure Agent Cooper into the Red Room? Is it BOB himself who will soon possess Cooper? Is it Judy/Jowday, the embodiment of evil, trauma and destruction? Or is it someone or something more sinister, more unbelievable? Is it the hunchback seamstress from One Eyed Jacks? Is it Dell Mibbler mumbling as he peers through his owl-eye lenses? Is it Heavy Metal Youth Ted Raimi looking for someone to score him a brewski? Is it Hank trying to call Chip because he still ain’t got no phone?

Well, folks, I have solved this one mystery of Twin Peaks, so you can now rest assured. It is all of us. We are all stuck in the Black Lodge and have been since March 2020. Only Major Briggs can save us, and he must traverse space and time to do so. Whether it’s his disembodied head or his naked body prone on Ruth Davenport’s bed, Briggs is our last hope. And that’s all we got these days. Case closed. Mystery solved. Tell Chip to go home. He don’t need no phone. We’re calling it in instead.

Sarah Palmer on the phone Twin Peaks

Here are some previous editions of Black Lodge/White Lodge, if you’re interested in exploring some of these matters further, in debate form:

Conversation Conundrum: Who Was Mr. C Talking to in Part 2?
Counterpart or Contrast: Is Season 3 Still Twin Peaks, or Something Else?
Judging Judy

Have topics you’d like to see us explore in the future? Let us know in the comments! Happy Twin Peaks Month!

Written by 25YL

This article was written either by a Guest Author or by an assortment of 25YL staff

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