**Warning: Twin Peaks: The Return spoilers below**
The recent return of David Lynch’s classic Twin Peaks (aptly titled Twin Peaks: The Return) was met with delight and, almost immediately after, absolute befuddlement. The eighteen episode series concluded in a satisfying yet eyebrow-raising final five minutes.
Agent Dale Cooper tracks down a Texas woman who looks exactly like Laura Palmer, but she insists her name is Carrie Page. She has no recollection of Laura Palmer. Cooper takes Page back to Twin Peaks to return her to her mother after twenty-five years. Turns out Mrs. Palmer doesn’t live in the house and never did. Cooper’s completely baffled, Carrie hears a voice whisper “Laura,” and screams. Really wails, it’s a scream that’ll make you believe in ghosts. There’s a shot of the house, then the lights go out. Fade to black.
As Twin Peaks does, this scene takes inspiration from several sharp fan theories. Co-creator Mark Frost’s new book, Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier, confirms the meaning behind The Return’s final moments: the theory Frost essentially confirms is that Cooper has crossed into an alternate dimension to reverse Laura’s fate, with electric-demon Judy foiling Cooper’s plan and trapping him in another Twin Peaks, unable to ever return to reality. The theory also suggests Cooper succeeded in preventing Laura’s death.
Here’s the excerpt from Frost’s book, written as if it’s a dossier of classified FBI files, that seems to confirm certain parts of the theory:
You know what else I discovered, Chief, in that same article, a few sentences later? This:
“Agent Cooper had come to town for a few months earlier, to aid in the investigation into the disappearance, still unsolved, of local teenage beauty queen, Laura Palmer.”
Let me repeat that phrase for you: “still unsolved.” No mention of “murder,” “wrapped in plastic,” or “father arrested for shocking crime eventually dies in police custody of self-inflicted wounds.”
It’s right there on the front page: Laura Palmer did not die. So, fairly certain I’ve not misplaced my own mind, I go back and check the corresponding police records. They tell me this: Laura Palmer disappeared from Twin Peaks without a trace — on the very same night when, in the world we thought we knew, it used to be said she died — but the police never found the girl or, if she had been killed elsewhere, her body or made a single arrest.
Cooper seems to have succeeded saving Laura Palmer, but at what cost? His own well-being and presence in reality?
Cooper is the hero we need. Lynch and Frost know this and that’s why they took him from us.
Pick up Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier here in hopes that it will make sense of TV’s greatest bamboozler.
Feature Image Via Showtime.