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tristy

Twin Peaks

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I've seen people suggesting that the continuity errors in Secret History (names changing, dates not adding up, etc.) are actually intentional - introducing the idea that the reality we see is not necessarily set in stone, that it's changeable, and nothing is quite as it seems. I often think that with Lynch, like Kubrick, nothing is done by mistake, and nothing is coincidence, that every seemingly innocuous moment carries some meaning...but I'm not sure I'm willing to extend the same courtesy to supplementary material by Mark Frost. I think sometimes a mistake is a mistake.

I do think that time, and perhaps memory, are key to understanding this series, though - "Is this future, or is this past?". We know that scenes, and whole episodes, weren't necessarily presented in a linear order. But was that a directorial choice to better express the story, or was time out of joint for the characters within the story too? Was everybody in Twin Peaks, to some extent, caught in the same kind of loop as Sarah Palmer watching the same thirty seconds of television endlessly? Ed's reflection being out of sync with him, the diner customers in episode 7 changing, what was going on?

Did that conversation between Cooper and MIKE take place twice, or did we just see it twice? Was the change in The Arm's dialogue a sign that it was a new conversation, or that we were seeing the same thing again in an altered timeline? Was Gordon Cole suddenly remembering meetings with Cooper and Briggs a cheap plot contrivance, or a sign that Cooper was already altering the past to bring everyone together in Twin Peaks at the right time? When could Cole possibly have had that conversation with Cooper otherwise, how did he know what happened to Jeffries? The last thing Cooper said to Cole was apparently "two birds with one stone" - something the Fireman said to Cooper much later; was Cooper, the last time Cole saw him, actually relaying a message from the Fireman he wouldn't himself hear for 25 years in linear time? Was the Cooper that Cole met with not, in fact, Cooper before he disappeared, but present day Cooper appearing to Cole in the past in the same way he appeared to Laura Palmer?

I've been unsure about the relationship between Judy and Sarah Palmer - initially I had assumed that whatever was possessing Sarah seized on her grief after the events of the original series, but since the finale I'd been working on the assumption that Judy had been dormant in Sarah for decades, working together with BOB to bring Sarah and Leland together, giving Judy the best chance at targeting Laura. But maybe the little girl in episode 8 wasn't Sarah. Going back to the earlier theory that Judy seized on Sarah Palmer's grief and possessed her after the death of Laura Palmer, it would make sense why Cooper felt he had to save Laura - if Laura was never murdered, Sarah would never have suffered the grief and heartbreak that created the opening for Judy to enter the world. But preventing Laura's death 25 years earlier also removed Laura from the Red Room at the beginning of the series, and perhaps that is what re-shaped everything? Laura Palmer needed to die so that she could enter the Red Room and shape events from there - through Cooper's dreams, his own journey in the Lodge, and so on.

Perhaps the Tremonts/Chalfonts owning the Palmer house in the Laura-less timeline is a sign that Judy, or the Black Lodge, won. That they had a far greater hold on Twin Peaks in this universe. Or maybe it really was just the past, and we're all overthinking this?

 

So many other questions unanswered...how the hell did Dougie's wedding ring end up in the body of Major Briggs? What actually happened to Major Briggs? Who is the New York billionaire actively monitoring the Black Lodge, and how do they know about it?

Above all, how's Annie?

 

Overall, the idea I'm most happy with is my theory of Twin Peaks as the thread connecting all of Lynch's work, and of this series as a conscious subversion of expectations and of TV in general - from murder mysteries that go nowhere, major characters killed off in an instant with no pomp and circumstance, and little narrative significance, to my interpretation of Dougie as a critique of nostalgia and catchphrase-heavy expectation-driven TV. So many subplots went nowhere, so many seemingly significant moments seemed to have no bearing on anything by the end, the barely hidden subtext of Norma's stand for art against commercialism (perhaps significant to note that, like Gordon Cole, Norma's name is taken from Sunset Boulevard) - it seemed like a conscious effort to thwart, undermine and frustrate audiences, knowing that we would spend all our time theorising and guessing at what comes next, and throwing a thousand and one red herrings our way. The first series was built on a question - "Who Killed Laura Palmer?", that Lynch & Frost were pressured into answering too early; this series consciously gave us considerably more questions than it ever intended to answer. It seemed like Lynch trying to tell us that theme, atmosphere and presentation are more important than straightforward plot. David Lynch's Wild Ride!

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Showtime would be incredibly dumb not to pursue a fourth and final season. What are they going to do, rely on Ray Donovan? Twin Peaks drove up interest in Showtime a lot more than any of their other shows, and it did pretty good numbers when you combine first-air viewing, DVR, streaming, etc.

I'm almost positive it'll happen.

Edited by tristy

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I think it comes down to what Lynch and Frost want, more than what Showtime want. The official word from Showtime is that discussions haven't happened, but the door is always open to David Lynch.

If Lynch saw this series as offering closure (ha!), he might not want to do it again - and where do you go from here?

 

I said it earlier, but I think I'd actually be more interested in seeing what Lynch would come up with if they offered him a brand new series to start from scratch.

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Something I thought about the numbers is that Jefferies exits a lift numbered 7. The electrical poles are 6 or 9 when inverted. The door to the motel room where Jefferies is is 8.

So there you have 6, 7, 8, 9. The Palmer house is 708. 

I dunno if that is anything but then, you can say that about all of it. 

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I saw this last night. The idea that episode 17 and 18s endings are happening simultaneously is interesting.

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I figured I would watch this whole thing twice, the first time not putting much thought into theories and meanings and just kinda viewing it as it is without thinking about the why and the how, and in that regard I loved it. Having said that, it is very hard not to view the ending as the bleak victory of darkness over good, which really is a motif that is always present in Lynch's work. 

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A friend of mine has formed a group on Facebook wherein the members will all watch the full series again, one episode per week, and discuss as we go. We'll likely choose a podcast to follow along with that in concert as well. Then we'll discuss each week's viewing/listening. Some people have seen it all, some are brand new, so we're discussing it spoiler free as we go. We start the week of October 1st.

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I hope that's not because of scheduling conflicts or anything like that, but that he just picked a random date out of thin air.

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I believe he said it took four and a half years to write season 3 so I guess it would make sense that it would take roughly four years to do the next one?
 

I'm pretty happy with how things ended now that enough time as passed.  I kinda like the idea that all of Twin Peaks is Laura Palmer's dream and I also still kinda like the idea that Fire Walk With Me is the actual ending.

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I finished Twin Peaks tonight. While I don't have the energy to start going through theories right now, I will say it was a beautiful series and I loved every moment of it. The final 20 minutes of episode 17 may be a contender for the best David Lynch sequence ever - equal parts mind-blowing and emotional. Okay, it gives you the happy ending before jamming a fork in your eye by going even deeper, but that's a moment 25-years in the making and the sort of release fans have looked for since then.

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The Final Dossier is out. I've not read it only browsed the Reddit thread and a few articles and nothing of the spoilery stuff I gleaned from that really really rubs me the wrong way about it. I did read a spoiler about Annie and now I can't stop thinking about it.

Is anyone going to read it?

 

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I'm expecting my copy to arrive any day now - it's between that and Mike Quackenbush's new book as to what's next on my list. I was contemplating re-reading The Secret History with the context of having seen series 3 now, but I'll see what the Final Dossier has to offer first. Going into completely spoiler-free - the only thing I know is that it deals with what happened to Annie, but I don't know any specifics.

EDIT: And I just got an email to tell me it's been delivered!

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I’m attending a ladies’ arm wrestling show Friday night. A friend of mine is a competitor and I’m part of her entourage. She’s gonna be Tawdry Horne. I’m going as Sheriff Frank Truman. There’s also going to be a Log Lady, Gordon Cole, Dr. Jacoby, MIKE, and possibly more.

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Read the Final Dossier today. Didn't think much of it; while I didn't like Secret History, it was at least packed full of content and ideas, this felt really light on detail, and much more of a cash-in. It confirms a few theories, though, and fleshes out the stories of characters that didn't appear in the Return, or only barely. 

Thoughts on some of the things it more or less confirms, and what that might mean, though;

Spoiler

Richard is definitely the son of BadCoop and Audrey, and Audrey is probably in a private care facility, though nothing to really explain anything beyond that.

BadCoop was the one responsible for the New York experiment.

The timeline has been altered - Laura Palmer disappeared twenty-five years ago, rather than having been murdered. Her life up to the point that Cooper appeared to her in the Fire Walk With Me timeline seems to have been no different, though - so that still leaves a fair few question marks around the ending of the series, and whether the woman Cooper found actually was Laura Palmer or not.

It's speculated that, when Jeffries appeared to Cooper in Fire Walk With Me and seemed shocked to see him, or to doubt that it was the real Cooper, this may be to do with Jeffries travelling through time via the dimension of the Lodges etc. - he thought he was looking at the doppelganger Cooper, not the real thing. This would suggest that the events of Fire Walk With Me, in Jeffries' timeline, happened after he encountered Bad Coop in the most recent series. That would also suggest to me that, while the Lodges exist outside of time and allow people to travel across space and time, the process isn't always entire controlled or conscious - Jeffries didn't necessarily know, at this point, that he had travelled through time, hence his shock and confusion when told what year it was. This is echoed by Cooper freaking out and asking what year it was at the end of the series. I'd assumed that Cooper had altered the timeline of events so drastically by saving Laura that he was effectively in an alternate timeline, but in the present year - what's more likely is that Cooper had travelled either forwards or backwards in time, though which, and whether that's significant, I couldn't say. It's also unclear what that means in regards to the Not-Laura he finds in that timeline, or the significance of the Palmer house seemingly belonging to Lodge spirits at that point. I'm not sure if any clues during that storyline would point to any anachronisms to suggest that it's taking place in the past. 

The Dutchman was a motel in the '30s, but demolished decades ago - so somehow it either exists out of time, or something about its location allows people to travel back in time to a point when it did exist. Why Jeffries has taken up residence there, I don't know.

Sarah Palmer was born in New Mexico, so is all but 100% confirmed to be the young girl from episode 8.

Joudy is named as a Sumerian demon, linked with Ba'al. Joudy doesn't seem to be a real aspect of Sumerian mythology, so appears to have been invented for the purposes of the show's mythos. It's an evil female spirit that feeds on human suffering, and Ba'al or Beelzebub is its male counterpart. Something evil and disastrous will happen if the two ever unite.

 

This is where we get into my theory part of it, which I'd been working with during the series, now expanded to include the mythology - we know that Leland was tormented by BOB as far back as his early childhood, and Sarah was attacked/possessed/something by what we can assume was a Lodge entity back in her childhood. Working on the assumption that Joudy has possessed Sarah Palmer, perhaps BOB was effectively Ba'al, and the two possessed Leland and Sarah and moved them closer together in an attempt to bring about whatever the end result of them combining their powers would be. Laura Palmer was created by the White Lodge to provide counterbalance and attempt to stop them. The question mark over this, though, is that if BOB then possessed Cooper, BadCoop was presumably using the New York experiment to try and locate (and trap?) Joudy for the same ends - how or why did he not just know that Joudy was still possessing Sarah, unless BOB himself/itself was unaware?

My theory, then, is that we've never really seen Ba'al or Joudy - the "Mother" creature is perhaps the closest to either - and BOB and whatever's possessing Sarah aren't Ba'al or Joudy, but are aspects of them, or lesser demons somehow under their control, working at bringing about the union of Ba'al and Joudy in part. Perhaps there are other examples all over the world - other Sarah Palmers and Leland Palmers brought together unwittingly by demonic forces, until the whole of Ba'al and Joudy are united. The underlying essence of the story seems to be about karma, and man's capacity for evil.

 

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Most of what I've read about The Final Dossier hasn't really bee that surprising.

I would be inclined to believe that Carrie Page is Laura Palmer. Or at least a version of her. I feel like the ending of The Return and the way she reacts to hearing the names of her parents is an indicator of that.

I did see a theory about "The Fireman" in a video I watched about The Final Dossier suggesting that The Fireman is like the Fireman of a steamtrain. He keeps the whole system going rather than putting out fires (although come to think of it the fact he sends Mr C to the Sherrif's Station rather than the Palmer House seems to indicate something?). Not sure if that was from the book or just something the video maker asserted.


The whole thing with the frogmoth had to be tied to Sarah Palmer was the only logical thing. One of the very first lines in The Return is The Fireman/Giant telling Cooper "It is in our house now". I would see sense in "it" not being all of Jouday but rather some of it. The same could probably be said of BOB and MIKE. They're representative of something but not the whole thing.

On the subject of Judy

I was re-listening to The Fire Talk With Me podcast the other day. It was an episode discussing a season 2 ep and they were talking about Josie Packard. Josie was the very first person we ever saw in Twin Peaks and there was that suggestion that "Judy" was at one point meant to be Josie's sister. I have to wonder if at some point Josie was going to be more important.

Then again maybe she has remained important?  I know that Joan Chen wasn't included because Lynch couldn't find a way to fit her into the show but I still feel like there's some stuff in The Return that bares at least some echo of Josie.

I feel similarly about the MC at the Roadhouse. In an alternate universe Jimmy Scott might have played that part.

I don't mean this in a "all minorities look alike" kinda way but the casting of Naido and the Roadhouse MC feel like specific choices meant to remind the audience of certain characters.

 

 

 

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Spoiler

I've also heard that Judy was originally intended to be Josie's sister, though with the change to "Joudy" I assume that angle was dropped, rather than still carrying any particular relevance to the plot as is.

As for Carrie Page, I still can't quite grasp a lot about that; when she "disappeared", did Cooper (or some Lodge entity) simply deposit her in another timeline entirely? So Laura Palmer grew old as Carrie Page, with no memory of her former self? I have to assume that the time Cooper met Carrie was in the past - maybe the Palmers hadn't moved into the house yet, maybe they moved in there when Sarah was expecting Laura? Did Carrie grow up in another timeline, arriving there as a teenager, yet somehow losing all memory of Laura Palmer? Maybe she lived a Dougie-esque existence forming a whole new set of memories, until she was traumatically awoken back as her Laura-self? Or maybe Carrie just freaked out, and her fear at whatever was going on was enough to open the gate to the Black Lodge again?

Mrs Tremond gave Laura Palmer the painting that was a gateway to the Black Lodge, now Mrs Tremond is in the Palmer house, and Carrie has (willingly or otherwise) been drawn there. Maybe Cooper is an unwilling agent in opening that door again.

At the moment, I would lean towards Carrie actually being a Tulpa of Laura, while the real Laura remained in the Red Room, whispering to Dale Cooper. But then, perhaps Laura was a Tulpa of Carrie - the Fireman had to create Laura (episode 8) from somewhere, maybe it was from this seemingly random woman in Odessa?

There's also a lot of fan speculation that "Carrie Page" is representative of the missing page of Laura's diary.

 

And then there's Diane...we assume that Naido is the real Diane, but that Diane has a red, black and white colour scheme, a little too Red Room, and that can't be coincidence. Particularly not when there's another Diane doppelganger outside the motel. Was this third Diane the real thing, and the one that went with Cooper another Black Lodge creation? Maybe there was never a real Diane - remember that we'd never seen her before this series, and we already know that the Lodge can play havoc with people's memories, so Cole and Albert having knowledge of her doesn't necessarily contradict that. Diane could have been created out of Dale Cooper.

Still can't begin to grasp the meaning of "Richard and Linda", though.

 

But then, at the same time, a lot of my interpretation of this series is that it's a dream - not in a literal Dallas sense, but that it's a not-quite reality, more shaped by one individual than another, and follows a dream-like logic. "Who is the dreamer?", probably Cooper. Cooper's psychological impulse to save damaged women may have saved Laura Palmer, or may have condemned her to worse. And who knows what impact it had on the broader world? Or is it the dream of Laura Palmer, coping with traumatic abuse from her father - none of the supernatural elements have been true, it's just Laura's coping mechanism to explain a horrific act?

I also think there's significance behind “Is it the story of the little girl who lived down the lane? Is it?”, from both Audrey and The Arm, especially as The Arm says it in the last episode. I assume "The Little Girl Who Lived Down The Lane" is Laura Palmer, and both The Arm and Audrey are somehow aware of there being two timelines - one where Laura died, and one where she disappeared - and just as The Arm asked, "is it future or is it past?" to determine where in the timeline he was meeting Dale Cooper, "Is it the story..." may be a means of determining which timeline we're currently occupying. But, then, how does Audrey play into that? She's obviously institutionalised somewhere, so is her seeming ability to tune into something outside conventional reality being taken for insanity?

 

 

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I would 100% assume Carrie is a Laura tulpa and she "woke up" in the same way Cooper in the final scene. It never occurred to me just

when the final scene of The Return might have taken place. It wouldn't surprise me if it was an alternative timeline or if it was the past. 

I'm of the belief that Diane was never real, just an affection Cooper developed. I would think the one we see for most of the series is BOB's creation. Naido is a version created and hidden from BOB by Lodge spirits. As for the third, she seems to exist just to get Cooper to a certain point. Then, I think we see once her job is done she loses her memories of being Diane and becomes someone else, Linda. The Lodge grants her a sort of freedom rather than destroying her as they did Dougie and the other Diane. Possibly because she may have some further use? Or because the others were created for a more sinister purpose?
 

I would also tend to believe it's all a dream. I waver between whose dream it is. I think at points it's Laura's dream. It being her coping mechanism seems like a completely logical idea. I also think sometimes we see Cooper's dreams. I think, possibly, we see Audrey's dreams. It all sort of mixes together in some ethereal way.

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Bored, I've been looking through comments I made at the time the show was airing, and seeing if there are any theories I threw around that might have come true, but that I forgot about, or if any throwaway comments might take on more significance now.

I had a thought.

In Episode 8, we saw The Fireman seemingly create Laura Palmer, and deposit her in the world. It looked like this was in direct contrast to Joudy (?) creating BOB - but they can't have happened at the same time, as BOB was born of nuclear testing happening while Sarah Palmer was only a child, and Laura had to have been born much later. Time is probably irrelevant in the Lodge, though.

But maybe that wasn't Laura Palmer. Maybe whatever Laura Palmer is, she's necessary to the balance between White and Black Lodge. Perhaps, knowing that BOB was going to kill Laura Palmer (the "true" Laura Palmer?), that was The Fireman creating a Laura Palmer Tulpa - perhaps that was the only time in the whole series we actually witnessed the creation of a Tulpa, a Lodge-created Laura Palmer doppelganger ("she's my cousin, but doesn't she look just like Laura Palmer?"). Or maybe the "Laura Palmer" created by the Fireman is the Laura Palmer that's been in the Red Room all along, whispering plot points in Dale Cooper's ear ever since the first season.

If it was necessary for a Laura Palmer to exist in the world, perhaps The Fireman created Carrie, so that she could be safe and hidden away while the "true" Laura Palmer was killed. Which is the real Laura Palmer? is that even a useful distinction?

 

Outside of meta-narratives about the nature of art and storytelling, and of David Lynch's entire oeuvre, I think there's something really significant in doubles and doppelgangers that provides the key to everything happening in Twin Peaks.

Two Coopers.
Laura and Carrie (or Laura and Maddy)
Two (or three?) Dianes
The Double R Diner.
Two Sherriff Trumans.
Two Mitchum Brothers
Two Milford Brothers
Two Horne Brothers
BOB and Bobby
MIKE and Mike
The Black Lodge and The White Lodge
Twin Peaks.

 

And then there's this;

http://welcometotwinpeaks.com/theories/easter-egg-secret-history-of-twin-peaks/

bookhouse-boys-bookshelf-785x589.jpg

 

Quote

The two-page spread shows a picture of a “special shelf” at the Bookhouse library, with the favorite members’ books on display. Each of the eleven books is labeled with a number, matching the book to its owner. There was something very strange about this picture. For one, why dedicate two whole pages to show off some books? Secondly, the use of numbers above the books felt like a classic cipher to a secret coded message. And finally, notes about the books included phrases like “Much can be learned in unexpected places” and “Good literature is a mirror through which we see ourselves more clearly.” Alarm bells were going off…

So, I did what any good Bookhouse Boy would do; I held the picture up to a mirror. And looking back at me was the secret to the code, clear as day. I had been wondering why Mark Frost chose to use the Roman numeral “I” instead of the number “1” throughout the novel, and I finally had an answer why. When reflected in a mirror, the Roman numeral “I” reverses  perfectly, while the number “1” does not. The only number that does reverse perfectly is “8.” Therefore, book I, book 8, and book II all stand out from the other books, because only these three look uniform in the mirror. Now it was time to decode the message…

When using the first word of each book title, a frightening warning is revealed:

I. Fear and Loathing: on the Campaign Trail ‘72
8. The Warren Commission Report
II. Double Indemnity

“Fear The Double.”

 

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On the dopplegangers: I've got FWWM on in the background and two sets of Chalfonts  rented the trailer at the Fat Trout.

 

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If anyone has the DVD or Blu-Ray of The Return do watch the Behind The Scenes films. They're really fascinating.

 

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http://politicsslashletters.org/dreamer-twin-peaks-return/ An interesting take on The Return, focusing on the theme of duality, and the question of "Who Is The Dreamer?".

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