Well, well, well. Part 14 of Twin Peaks: The Return has aired, and if this were a book of the Bible, it would be called Revelations. What an episode! I have so much to talk about this week.
We kick off in Buckhorn, South Dakota, where we find Gordon Cole. He is calling the Twin Peaks Sheriffs Department. Lucy Brennan answers the phone, she recognises his voice immediately, of course, despite it being 25 years since they last spoke, not that his booming voice is hard not to notice, but there are no flies on Lucy. After discussing the fact that she’s been there all that time, the exception being vacations, Bora Bora no less, she puts him through to Sheriff Truman.
Gordon is expecting to speak to Harry. Frank Truman explains that he is unwell and being cared for. Frank then tells him the reason for his call, that Hawk has found missing pages of Laura Palmers Diary that could indicate that there are two Coopers. Gordon thanks him for the information but tells him that he cannot comment on this information but that he appreciates it. Frank doesn’t ask anything more, and interestingly, and very frustratingly doesn’t tell him anything more either. No mention of the Great Northern Hotel room key of Coopers sent in and no mention of their planned trip to Jack Rabbits Palace and the message left by Major Briggs for Bobby. Goddammit!
But at least we know now that Gordon is on to the fact that there are two Coopers. I mean, we have pretty much understood that they’ve known for a while, but this is clarification.
The next stop is the hotel room in Buckhorn, which appears to have been turned into some super FBI Intelligence hub! What with Gordon keeping his wine cellar there and now this, that hotel is super accommodating!
Albert starts to tell Tammy the story of the first Blue Rose case. You know, I never really thought we would ever get to hear this, so it was quite a stunning moment in an episode full of them.
Albert tells her that Case no.1, which started the whole thing happened in 1975. Two young Field Agents investigate a murder in Olympia, Washington. They arrive at a Motel to arrest a suspect named Lois Duffy. They hear a gunshot outside her room and kick the door in. They find two women, one on the floor dying from a bullet wound to the abdomen. The other holds a gun which she drops as she backs away. She speaks her last words to them, “I am like the Blue Rose“. She smiles. Then dies. Then disappears before their eyes. The other woman screaming in the corner, they now notice, is also Lois Duffy. But Lois did not have a twin sister. Then while awaiting trial for a murder she swore she didn’t commit, this Lois hangs herself. The two arresting officers were Gordon Cole and Phillip Jeffries.
Albert then asks Tammy, “Now what’s the question that you should ask me?” Tammy replies, “What is the significance of the Blue Rose?”, “And the answer?” Albert asks, “A blue rose does not occur in nature, it’s not a natural thing. The dying woman was not natural. Conjured. What’s the word? A Tulpa.” Albert nods, impressed with her insight and calmness at the receipt of this information. They have made a good choice with Tammy. She’s cool.
So what is a Tulpa? Wikipedia tells me, A Tupla is a thought form, or being, created from the collective thoughts of separate individuals. The concept of Tulpas is theoretical in nature and originates from Tibetan mythology, where Tulpas are described as extra bodies that were created from one person’s mind in order to travel to spiritual realms. So Tulpa’s are manifestations conjured up by people, perhaps like an imaginary friend. Alexandra David-Neel wrote about the Tulpa’s ability to develop a mind of its own once it is endowed with enough vitality that it can play the part of a real being, free of maker’s control.
I am not ashamed to say that I had not heard of a Tulpa before. When I read what they were, I was a little shocked. Of course, it all makes sense in the world of Twin Peaks, and perhaps also to me personally. I had an imaginary friend when I was four years old. This little girl I called Nelly was very naughty; she got me into all sorts of trouble for messing up my bedroom in the middle of the night. She would sit on my bed and throw my dolls all over the place, and I would get a telling off for it the next morning. My family knew of Nelly, but they didn’t believe in her, of course. Then one day, after another telling off, I sat on my bed and told Nelly that I didn’t want to play with her anymore. I remember this clearly, despite being only five years old by now. She got angry with me, and the left half of her face turned completely jet black. Then she disappeared, never to be seen again. I haven’t told anyone that bit before.
Many, many years later, for some reason, she was brought up at a family meal. My brothers are 9 and 11 years older than me. The eldest had not been around much as he had gone to college in Liverpool. I described what Nelly looked like, and I noticed my eldest brothers face turn ghostly white. He had seen her too, standing at the top of the stairs, in precisely the white frilly clothes I described, auburn hair in ringlets. Had I conjured up a Tulpa? I had moved from my birthplace, aged 4, left all the friends I knew at playgroup. Did I make a new friend for myself, who didn’t turn out so nice?
What does this mean in the world of Twin Peaks? There are many doubles, the most obvious being the current Cooper situation. Was the doppelgänger Cooper someone who our Good Dale had been thinking about, manifesting in his mind all these years, only for him to come to fruition in the most terrifying way? Doppelcooper now being free of his maker, with his own thoughts and objectives. What makes these imaginary beings become real? Garmonbozia? Pain and suffering/sorrow. While we see the creamed corn being eaten, it is perhaps just symbolic, a reference to the pain and suffering we all face in our lives, at varying levels, becoming real-life manifestations, becoming a life of their own, taking over. It’s said that poltergeists are formed by heightened emotions and often happen in homes where a child is going through puberty. Tulpa’s sound similarly charged. This thought brings me back to Part 8, where we see the girl in Mexico swallowing the frogmoth. This, at a time in her life, starting her journey through adolescence, starting to bloom, feelings of lust/love for the first time. Something had been conjured inside her. I suspect something is conjured in all of us at that time in our lives, and it’s no different than in the case of Laura Palmer herself. Her secret diary tells a tragic tale of an innocence snatched away from her. Something terrible was growing inside her, but as we know, she is The One, and she fought the darkness, did not allow BOB in. Did not allow her own Tulpa to surface.
I am not sure that anyone has suffered more in Twin Peaks than Sarah Palmer, who I will touch on again later, but thinking back to Series 1 and 2, when she first lost her only child, her precious Laura. Not only that, to discover that her husband, the father of her child, had been molesting their daughter for years and then murdered her. That’s a lot of suffering, pain, guilt, grief. So much Garmonbozia—what a weight to live with.
In those first few days, she would have made enough to conjure someone up—Maddy, for instance. I am not suggesting that Maddy wasn’t real, of course she was, but she really did look exactly like Laura Palmer, and Sarah needed her to be her so much. And so did Leland. It was her telling them that she was leaving to return to Missoula that sealed her fate. They did not want her to go. Leland/BOB would rather her be dead.
I have personally experienced something similar to this on several occasions, the most recent being last Summer. I saw who I thought to be my best friend walking down the street one afternoon, too far away for me to speak to her, but I was sure it was her. She didn’t see me. A few hours later, I learned that she had been found dead that morning. This is a fairly common phenomenon, a bit like that ‘thinking of someone and then they phone’ (or more likely text or WhatsApp these days). Had the vision of my friend been conjured up by her grieving mother? Had she come to say goodbye? This world we live in is a strange and mysterious place; I won’t write anything off.
Who else appeared sort of suddenly and perhaps mysteriously and then disappeared with very little commotion? That’s right, Annie Blackburn. I have always thought her arrival in Twin Peaks was odd, and since we learned about the manufacture of Dougie Jones, her story made more sense. Did Dale Cooper himself conjure up his perfect woman at a time when he needed someone to love the most? She was strange, cute, and full of wonder, just like him. He was under threat from Windom Earle, alone and couldn’t be with the eighteen-year-old Audrey Horne, so maybe he made someone to take his mind off the temptation of her? Did he also instinctively know that love was the key to the Lodge? Annie was catatonic post abduction. We know not of her fate, other than that she was wearing the owl ring when she returned from the Lodge. Her sister Norma seemed somewhat nonplussed, considering. Was she actually her sister at all? There was no mention of her in The Secret History of Twin Peaks, but she was not ret-conned. There’s more to this story, and we will find out, I am sure. Whilst she did exist, Hawk confirmed this earlier in Series 3; she was just perhaps someone’s dream made real.
So who was Dougie Jones conjured by? Does a Tulpa have the power to create a Tulpa of their own? Or was he manufactured by something good? The fact that he was reduced to a golden ball may be telling. That whoever created him created him out of love. But who?
This leads us nicely onto the next part of the episode. Gordon walks into the room with Tammy and Albert and heralds, “It’s coffee time!” Tammy gets up to make it with a smile. The feminist in me always questions why she makes the coffee every time, but she might just make a damn fine cup of coffee! Just then, the world’s worst window cleaner starts making an awful screeching noise that messes with Gordon’s hearing aid in a truly comical fashion. Gordon tells them that Diane is on her way.
She enters, lights up her cigarette, sits downs and says, “Deputy Diane Reporting”. Gordon asks her about the last night she saw Cooper. Did he by any chance mention Major Garland Briggs? Diane tells him she doesn’t want to talk about that night, but Gordon persuades her. Albert explains that a wedding ring was found in the stomach of Major Briggs, and it was inscribed with the words, to Dougie, from Janey-E. Now for a massive and unexpected twist — Diane tells them that she has a sister, a half-sister named Jane and she’s married to someone called Douglas Jones. They lived in Las Vegas last she knew, but they are estranged and haven’t spoken in years.
What the hell?! Let’s think about this logically. Diane has a sister who is married to a man who looks almost exactly like Agent Dale Cooper? Does Diane know this? It could be that she’s never seen him if they have been estranged for some time, she might never have seen her sister’s husband. If she has, is this why they are estranged? Does Diane know that her sister married a manufactured being? If Diane is working with Doppelcooper and he manufactured Dougie, then maybe she does know this. I still can’t quite believe that Diane is that mean though. Yes, she’s a tough cookie on the outside, but I bet she’s got a gooey middle. I am still not convinced that Diane is working with Doppelcooper. If it’s not him, and it’s Jeffries that she is working with, then she’s leading them to exactly the right place.
In Part 12, we saw Diane receive a text message saying, ‘Las Vegas’. She replied, ‘they haven’t asked yet’. So she knew that the time was coming for them to tell her about the ring in Briggs’ stomach. Is Janey-E really her sister? There’s no real reason for her to lie about it, but at the same time, it could just have been a way to get them to go to Las Vegas. Quite a tall tale though, if not true. Surely Gordon and Albert would have known about Diane having a sister named Jane with a husband named Douglas Jones? They will have every bit of background information available to them. They knew what bar to find her drinking in, so they’d know her family makeup for sure. So was this a test to see what she would do next? Where would she lead them to?
After calling the FBI in Las Vegas and asking them to look out for Douglas Jones and Janey-E because they are wanted for questioning in relation to homicide, Gordon says, “Last night I had another Monica Belluci dream”. Tammy and Albert raise their eyebrows, assuming that his penchant for beautiful European women meant this dream was going to be a little risqué.
“I was in Paris on a case, Monica called and asked me to meet her at a certain café, she said she needed to talk to me. When we met at the café, Cooper was there but I couldn’t see his face. Monica was very pleasant, she had brought friends, we all had a coffee. And then she said the ancient phrase, ‘We are like the dreamer, that dreams then lives inside a dream’. I told her I understood, and then she said, ‘but who is the dreamer?’ A very powerful uneasy feeling came over me, Monica looked past me and indicated to me to look back at something that was happening there, I turned and looked, I saw myself from long ago, in the old Philadelphia office listening to Cooper telling me he was worried about a dream he had, ‘Gordon its 10.10am on February 16th, I was worried about today because of the dream I told you about’ and that was the day Phillip Jeffries appeared and didn’t appear, ‘Cooper, meet the long lost Phillip Jeffries! you may have heard of him from the Academy’ and while Jeffries was apparently there he raised his arm and pointed at Cooper, and asked me ‘who do you think that is there?’ Damn! I hadn’t remembered that! Now this is really something interesting to think about!”
Albert replies, “Yes I am beginning to remember that too“.
The dream inside a dream. But was it a dream? The Monica Belluci part was, but it appears that what happened in Philadelphia with Jeffries really did happen, as Gordon and Albert are starting to remember. I am not sure what made them forget, but I am glad it’s coming back to them now. This scene is what we have seen in Fire Walk With Me. It is infamous as Jeffries tells them about the meeting at the Convenience Store, Judy and The Ring. Will they remember the rest of that moment?
Why couldn’t Gordon see Coopers face in the Paris dream? Purely because it is a symbolic reference that it is not the real Cooper? A tear drops down the face of Monica Belluci. Why is she sad? Does she know what fate beholds them?
Who is the dreamer? I don’t think we will find that out until the end of the series, if ever. The last time we saw Jeffries, he warned Gordon et al. that they could not trust the Cooper they saw in front of them. That Cooper looked just like the Cooper we know and love, all the right clothing, hair and FBI pin, but maybe this is what the future Doppelcooper will look like if he’s clever enough. It appears then that Jeffries is one of the good guys. We have no idea if he still is, but considering he has been ‘missing’ but known to be alive all these years, in contact with Albert at one point, that he’s still working to find BOB and defeat him once and for all. Or has he, like Windom Earle was, been lured into the darkness?
Next, we find ourselves in Twin Peaks Sheriff station. Bobby has brought sandwiches for Frank, Andy, Hawk and himself. Frank brings in Chad jovially, but it’s a trap—the four police officer draw their weapons and arrest Chad. Frank tells him they’ve been watching him for months, and Andy takes him down to the cells.
Frank, Hawk, Andy and Bobby walk through the Ghostwood Forest on their way to find Jack Rabbits Palace. A hum of electricity can be heard whistling in the trees. As they pass by a stream, Bobby tells them that this is the way to Listening Post Alpha, where his father worked. It was all top secret. He took him there when he was little, but it was just lots and lots of machines. Bobby chuckles to himself when he sees it. A giant tree stump, high up like a mini mountain. This is it, Jack Rabbits Palace. Bobby tells them that they would sit there and make up tall tales. Hawk says they need to move 253 yards due East, and they all put some soil from the ground there in their pockets.
There’s some ethereal whooshing as they walk through the woods deeper until they see some smoke in a clearing buzzing with electricity. As they get closer, they see the naked body of a woman, lying on the mossy ground, next to a stone pool, very much like the oily gateway we have seen before at Glastonberry Grove, but this pool is not filled with the dark substance, this is more like a thick pool of golden liquid. One sycamore tree stands beside the pool. The woman is alive. Andy holds her in his arms and turns her over. It is Naido. The woman who fell from the Purple space rooftop, who pulled the lever and was chucked, we assumed then to her death. She has lost her burgundy dress in the process, but her eyes are still sealed shut. It appears that she may have three eye holes, though that is not clear. The third eye being symbolic of intuition, I wonder whether her eyes will need to be opened for Cooper to find himself whole again.
It is now 2.53, fellas. A vortex starts to appear above the, much like the one found at The Zone, that almost sucked Gordon in. Andy lets go of Naido’s hand, and the four lawmen look up into the sky. It gets dark. Then whoosh, Andy is sucked up into the grey place (White Lodge?) and sits opposite ?????? “I am the Fireman“, he says and raises his right hand. Andy is suddenly holding a strange contraption, a tesseract type shape but with a smoking proboscis. The smoke comes in reverse into the object.
Andy looks up at a circular window above him. In the window appears several images. Firstly ‘the experiment’ as we saw it in the glass box in Part 1. Then ‘mother’ spewing the black orb of BOB. The Woodsman asks, ‘Got a Light?’, electricity cables, and the Woodsmen scurrying outside the convenience store. Then footage from the pilot of Twin Peaks, the schoolgirl screaming and crying after learning of Laura Palmer’s death, red curtains shimmy then the face of Laura Palmer, this time with two angels on either side, hers and Ronette’s? Then a blurry image of Cooper that steadies to reveal the two Coopers faces. Next is a telephone that looks like one from the Sheriff’s station with a blinking button.
Then Andy sees himself bringing Lucy down a hallway and presenting her in front of a doorway. Then, a vision of the telephone pole from the Fat Trout Trailer park with the number 6 on it flashes three times as if to state 666. The smoke travels into the object Andy is holding, and with that, he is gone again. Andy speaks no words, but you know he knows what he has to do; he understands. Wow, Andy! Who would have thought this could happen to you. Was Andy one of the few people to have entered the White Lodge, and with perfect courage? What is the significance of Lucy—is that moment she looks into the room a vision of the future? I can’t help feeling that she might be the one who will be able to recognise the real Cooper from his doppelgänger when it comes down to the wire. There are no flies on Lucy—she’s the queen of solving puzzles, as I said before.
In a visual similar to that of the woodsmen outside the convenience store, Frank, Hawk, and Bobby all find themselves back at Jack Rabbits Palace. Shortly afterwards, Andy arrives too, carrying Naido. He tells his comrades, “We have to get her down the mountain. She’s very important and people want her dead. She’s fine physically, we’ll need to put her in a cell where she will be safe“. Frank says ‘ok‘, and Andy tells them not to tell anyone about this. Frank and Hawk ask what happened back there, but neither of them can remember.
Back at the Sheriff’s station Andy and Lucy take care of Naido. Lucy finds her a gown to wear. Chad is locked in one of the cells, and in another is a ‘drunk’ who is bleeding profusely from the mouth. He has black eyes, some of his teeth appear smashed out (I can’t help thinking of the teddy bear that talks to Johnny Horne, the teeth set in its mouth, probably not related at all, but this is almost as disturbing), and he has a dirty, bloodied piece of string tied around his face. The drunk repeats everything everyone says, which drives Chad crazy. Naido makes a sound like a squawking bird or a monkey call. The drunk appears to copy her, but it’s almost as if they are communicating. Can this be the case?
The blood coming out of the drunk’s mouth is dripping in a pool on the floor, but it doesn’t look like blood; it’s yellowy, almost like oil. At this point, we don’t know who the drunk is and if he’s important to the story or just a grotesque and freakish character making an already bizarre scene even more uncomfortable. But we do know that the last time anyone saw Billy (Audrey Horne’s mysterious lover), he was bleeding from the mouth and nose. Is this Billy? Does that mean that Billy is real and not all in Audrey’s head as many suspect?
I am reminded of the barking scene that Bobby and Mike did at James way back in Series 1. Naido’s animal sounds are a little disturbing; she can’t see, and she doesn’t know where she is, and she’s stuck in a cell with a man either parodying or tormenting her and Chad, of all people.
Who can Naido be? Her name in Japanese and Buddhism means ‘Inner Path’, and in the now-extinct Tambora language, it means Black. Reversed, it spells Odian, which means ‘hated by’ in Spanish. Does any of this mean anything? She appears to be from the White Lodge, and she is important, but to whom? And who wants her dead and why? She must hold the key to something special. She was able to switch the lever that sent Cooper through the electric portal and into the life of Dougie Jones. Without her, where would he be now? Would he be dead if he had gone through the original portal?
We meet up with James Hurley, who it appears now is working as a security guard at the Great Northern Hotel. It’s outside here that he’s sitting with colleague Freddie Sykes, who wears a mysterious green glove. We first saw Freddie In Parts 1 & 2. At the time, he was just the bloke with the green glove. It was odd, but this is David Lynch, so no one really bothered too much about it; I thought it was just ‘one of those oddities’ and that it would probably never be mentioned again. Oh, how we were wrong. Freddie sits crushing walnuts with said gloved hand. James asks if it’s true that Freddie really can’t take the glove off, and Freddie tells him he tried, but it’s a part of him, he went to the doctor to take it off, but he started bleeding. James reveals that it’s his birthday today (October 1st, we assume if the trip to Jack Rabbits Palace is anything to go by) and persuades Freddie to tell him the story of how he came to wear the glove.
The story is quite extraordinary and totally unexpected. Freddie is from Laandaan Taaaan (London Town) East End, and his accent is so cock-er-ney I imagined him sprinting up a chimney any second. To anyone not UK-based reading this, there is not a single Londoner that really sounds like this; I found it hilarious! I can only imagine that Lynch asked him to do the most ridiculous accent he could do, which made perhaps the tallest tale of all in Twin Peaks even more absurd, but here goes:
Six months ago, after a night out, Freddie gets a peculiar feeling as he’s walking into an alleyway. It strikes him that he’s wasting his life and that he should be helping people. He jumps up some boxes stacked high, and then he gets sucked up into a vortex. He floats in thin air in a void then all of a sudden he’s in a room with ‘the Fireman’ who tells him he has to go to the hardware store and to buy one glove, one package will be open, buy that one and when he wears the glove it will give him the power of an enormous pile driver. Once he’s got the glove go to Twin Peaks, Washington. There he will find his destiny.
That’s pretty impressive. Firstly it appears he’s had the most coherent conversation with the Fireman anyone has ever had, either that or he just interpreted everything perfectly. Secondly, he has a green rubber gardening glove fixed on his hand, which gives him super strength! Superhuman strength has been a running theme in Twin Peaks over the years. Nadine found it but did not require a glove to harness it and, as far as we know, was not sent for by The Fireman to help out when the Apocalypse came. Freddie has been chosen for a reason, and he’s a nice, simple lad, not unlike Andy, pure of heart, always wants to help others. So here he is, awaiting his destiny with pure courage for whatever is about to happen next. What will his super strength be required for? In an arm wrestle against Doppelcooper? to break something unbreakable? To pile-drive someone into non-existence? Who knows, but my god, I am so looking forward to finding out. It is, without a doubt, going to be absurd and surreal and magnificent. Freddie Sykes—my hero.
After hearing this spectacular story, James goes into the furnace area of the Great Northern and hears the hum that Ben and Beverley have heard in the building. There’s something behind a door. What can it possibly be? After the green glove story, I don’t think I am even going to try to predict what might happen next. But you know I just have a feeling this lovely ethereal tune, like a Tibetan singing bowl, could be something, or someone glorious, and who better to find her than old flame James? And on his birthday, what a present that would be.
Lastly but definitely not least, we see Sarah Palmer visiting Elks Point #9 Bar. She pulls up a stool at the bar and orders a Bloody Mary. A male patron wearing a t-shirt with the motif, ‘Truck You’, sidles up to her. Sarah is polite but makes it obvious she is not interested, and this guy—like so many men do—gets nasty, calls her a bull dyke, says it’s a free country, and he can do what he likes, FREE CUNT-RY. Now I don’t think there is a woman reading this who hasn’t experienced something similar in her lifetime at a bar with some sleazy guy. Most men aren’t like this, of course, but there’s always one, and that one you’ll never forget. So when Sarah Palmer then turned to face him and said, “Do you really wanna fuck with this?” while removing her face, I was pretty damned impressed (and shocked). Behind her face mask reveals a black void, a razor tongue, then a white hand, the ring (spiritual) finger blackened. The hand disappears to be replaced by a huge grinning set of teeth, which don’t look unlike Laura Palmer’s. She puts her face back on then lunges at the man, ripping his throat out. He falls to the floor, gushing with blood until dead.
Woah. That was pretty hardcore. So what has got a hold of Sarah? As I said earlier, there is perhaps no one that has suffered quite as much as Sarah. Twenty-five years of pain and sorrow have created a monster more powerful than anything we have seen before. Is this where ‘mother’ has been hiding out since her release from the glass box? Now we know that Laura was ripped from the Lodge just before Cooper was dropped into non-existence, could Laura be the experiment? What we see of Laura in the Lodge may not be the Laura we know and love. She’s never answered yes when Cooper asks if she’s Laura Palmer. Sometimes her arms bend back. She’s her cousin. She’s dead, yet she lives. This horrific manifestation of abuse and pain and the hands of BOB, her father and countless other men and women during her short life may have created something really nasty, and it’s about to get its revenge.
But the real Laura is The One, and the pure golden version of her is out there too, and she is going to be needed for the final battle. How she will play her part and what effect her rebirth into our world will have is perhaps beyond the realms of our imagination. The truth is out there. But don’t look. Patience is its own reward.
All images courtesy of Showtime/CBS unless stated otherwise.