The complying with is a guest short article written by girlfriend of the site, T. Kyle King indigenous the wrapped in Podcast. This is quickly one the the ideal theories i’ve read due to the fact that the display ended. Expect you enjoy it as lot as ns do! – Andrew

Twin Peaks: The Return is behind us, yet enduring questions remain – as, indeed, they constantly will. Together David Lynch self famously stated of his work, “It’s therefore beautiful simply to leave it abstract. Once it i do not care specific, that no longer true to a the majority of people, where, if it’s abstract, there could be some reality to it for everybody.” This absolutely was the case with parts 17 and 18 of Twin Peaks: The Return, therefore what adheres to is intended not as the definitive details solution, yet rather as one fan’s reality of the series ending.

You are watching: Twin peaks we live inside a dream


For me, the succession in the twin Peaks Sheriff’s station at the midpoint of part 17 is the vital to everything. Up till that point, component 17 had actually been 30 right minutes of fairly linear narrative. Everything initially seemed prefer it was including up, but, the immediate “the Cooper super” appeared over the screen, a divergence occurred; Mr. C. Was gone, however still over there were two Coopers, literally visible on the very same screen, one atop the other. Notably, the very first lines uttered ~ this double-image showed up were Bobby Briggs’s baffled question and also Bradley Mitchum’s forthright answer. They spoke not just for every one of us in the audience, but likewise for Lynch himself: we were not supposed to recognize what happened from that point forward – yet major Briggs clearly did, and also Agent Cooper ostensibly does.


Coop claims Gordon is showing up right top top time, yet Gordon previously had actually been unsure even if it is the arrangement was functioning as intended and was involved that Cooper’s call was overdue. Come the group, Coop says, “And that’s what’s lugged us to where we space today” – effectively ending the narrative the was the very first sixteen and a fifty percent hours of Twin Peaks: The Return. That then transforms to face the camera, and also two Coopers’ deals with are looking the end at the viewer when one of lock says: “Now there are some points that will certainly change. The past dictates the future.” In between these two sentences, Deputy Chief hawk – who, prefer Phillip Jeffries, is aware of things he no willing to comment on – nods knowingly.

The various other Cooper, speaking directly to the audience and evidently to nobody else, straightforwardly says: “We live within a dream.” The very first Coop climate tells his assembled friends, “I hope ns see all of you again. Every among you.” At the point, ominous music swells, darkness inexplicably descends, and also the seemingly physical Cooper calls out to Cole, that calls the end to Coop in return – climate they fade, the ethereal floating Cooper head solidifies in darkness, and the continuing to be 90 minute bear only minimal resemblance or connection to what has come before.

What happened in this critical transitional moment? In the midst of so many cross-currents of ostensible subtext, ns sticking v the text: Cooper says, “We live inside a dream” – and also I take him in ~ his word. Essentially everything that happens ~ the Cooper super shows up happens in a dream, Dale Cooper is the dreamer that dreams and also then stays inside the dream, and also Naido put him there, since Naido is Judy.


There are numerous ideas throughout component 17 pointing us towards this conclusion. Twin Peaks: The Return had actually a remarkable degree of symmetry to it, therefore it complies with logically that, ~ the sleeper awakened halfway through component 16, that went back to sleep halfway through part 17. Shortly before that happened, in fact, poor guy Chad sprung into action after the repetitious drunk briefly awakened and also went back to sleep. The drunk otherwise serves no stare purpose, and Chad’s actions do no live independence sense. As a cue to those happening v Cooper upstairs, however, the sleeper waking up prior to nodding off again soon thereafter is perfect congruent.

The Cooper super, describe Dale’s re-entry into dreamland, shows up as shortly as Cooper looks at Naido. In ~ the boundaries of the story, this is explained away by the apparent revelation that Naido is Diane, but, choose the remainder of what follows, this makes linear sense only superficially and collapses upon closer scrutiny. (Regardless of how the misleading subtitles may have read, words “in” was i do not have anything audible in the earlier statement supposedly uttered by the Diane tulpa the “I’m in the sheriff’s station.”)

Naido likewise reacted nervously to Doppelcooper’s come at the sheriff’s station, which seems strange. The Fireman, who sent Mr. C. There because that the last confrontation, has actually been putting the pieces into place in ready for this moment. Consequently, everyone who’s doing the White Lodge’s bidding is confident and at ease, also in the face of excessive danger. The good Dale knows just what to do to send negative Coop earlier to the black Lodge; Freddie stays resolute around fulfilling his destiny even after BOB bloodies him; Andy no panic as soon as Chad traction a gun on him; only Naido is frantic. Why would Naido it is in in such a state uneven she and the Fireman to be at overcome purposes?

Finally, the collaborates the Diane tulpa texted to Mr. C. ~ receiving his “:-) ALL” message evidently led Doppelcooper to the location from i beg your pardon the Fireman was able to deposit him in ~ the twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station. If this is the Diane tulpa’s minute of clarity – “I expect this works!” – and Naido is Diane, why would certainly Diane text negative Coop the coordinates that she knew would ar the genuine Diane in ~ risk?

In light of every that, it makes no sense for Naido to it is in Diane, so she need to be who else, and also who she yes, really is must explain why and also how she stupid Cooper into thinking she Diane. By much the most judicious explanation is the this crucial unidentified oriental female character is Jiao Dei, an ancient name that the western tongue eventually bastardized into “Judy” – just as, over time, a similar Eastern consonantal transition might fine have adjusted Jiao Dei into Nai-doh. Accordingly, Naido is Judy, and also what’s troubling her about Mr. C.’s come is the fear that Doppelcooper and also BOB will dispense with Cooper and deny her the privilege that doing therefore (and the collecting his garmonbozia in the process).

It’s as soon as our Dale first sees Naido the his large disembodied slow-talking dream head appears, just as the was once our Dale last observed Naido that the large disembodied slow-talking dream head the his Judy-pursuing compatriot, significant Briggs, appeared to say, “Blue rose” – thus delivering the can be fried coded warning in between these colleagues that Naido was not what she seemed. (He definitely wouldn’t have actually used the artificiality-revealing expression to average that Naido was the real Diane!) It’s when our Dale makes physical contact with Naido in part 17 that the moment displacements begin, just as it was our Dale’s physical call with Naido in the Mauve region that finished the comparable time displacements in component 3. We know the time displacements have begun here because the clock continues to be perpetually ~ above the cusp of switching from 2:52 come 2:53, which is precisely the time change we saw take place on Naido’s wristwatch in the Mauve Zone.



What Naido walk here, therefore, is what Naido did the an initial time we experienced her, in component 3. There, she led to Cooper to adjust course and take a different panel ago into the genuine world. MIKE, who plainly was functioning to practice Cooper back into his old self, made no bones around Dale’s situation: “Don’t die!” “You to be tricked!” “Wake up!


Who tricked Coop by placing him to sleep so he can be killed by the villains in part 3? It to be Naido – Judy – and also that’s exactly what she did here, as well. It just looks different to us now because, from part 3 through part 15, we saw Dougie Coop’s dream state native the exterior looking in, and, this time, we’ve join Dale in the dream. This, however, enables us to see that Judy has actually learned from she previous mistakes. In part 15, the incongruous intrusion the the surname “Gordon Cole” to be the very first jolt in shocking Coop back to consciousness, so, this time, Judy allows Cooper save his own identity, consists of Gordon at the beginning of the dream, and also has Dale himself tell his boss not to follow him right into his significantly divergent dreamscape in the boiler room of the good Northern.


Judy an in similar way has learned the the an essential to compromising Cooper’s referee is come cloud his reason with affection and guilt end a mrs he failed come save. It taken place with Caroline Earle, Audrey Horne, and Annie Blackburn in turn, therefore Judy inserts herself right into the dream, disguised as Diane Evans, and she sends him top top a futile and unending quest to rescue Laura Palmer. These room the 2 iconic summary female avatars in Dale Cooper’s life – the one we never saw in the original collection and the one he never ever met top top this planet – and also the violent crimes committed versus the 2 of them proceed to haunt him. Lock the perfect albatrosses about Dale Cooper’s neck to offer as the anchors that will certainly drag him permanently down into the dream. By masquerading as Diane, Judy is likewise able to stay a existence within the dream, whereby she deserve to watch the while hiding in plain sight as a continuous reminder of his require to continue into perpetuity his quixotic subconscious crusade. (Besides, it’s Twin Peaks, so, naturally, there have to be 2 of them.)


Moreover, a dream is the perfect trap for ensnaring Dale Cooper. He trusts his intuition, oftentimes come the detriment of reason, yet he is oblivious to his own ignorance. Back Coop understands the mechanics of acetylcholine neurons shoot high-voltage impulses right into the forebrain, he is clueless about the content, believing the “no one to know why we select these particular pictures.” Judy has actually shrewdly offered his trusting wonder versus him by choosing the images that offer her sinister purposes. Judy is the water, the dream is the well, and also Dale drink full and descends right into this people that significantly is dark within.

In short, Naido cheat Coop right into the waking dream that Dougietude to stop him from saving the job earlier, and also she repeats precisely that exact same trick, only much more effectively, by placing him back to sleep to avoid him indigenous completing major Briggs’s setup now. Those Naido’s an ideas for act so? it’s simple: Cooper’s, Gordon’s, and also Briggs’s most far-ranging mission to be to find Judy and capture her. Naido has the ultimate incentive for wanting to avoid that, because Naido is it s her Judy.

Accordingly, when the lamp dim and Gordon and Cooper speak to out come one one more in open minded Truman’s office, fact is intruding in a way the audience deserve to perceive straight for the final time before Dale lapses fully into the Judy-induced dream. ~ that, every step featuring the original Agent Cooper is had wholly in ~ Dale’s unconscious mind, which renders sense of everything that happens in the last 90 minute of Twin Peaks: The Return.

It defines the supremacy of “dream logic” in the development of the plot. It explains the recurrence of scene we understand Dale Cooper has actually dreamt before, such as MIKE reciting the “Fire walk with me” poem, an older Dale wait in the Red Room, and Laura whispering disastrous revelations to Dale. It defines the otherwise inexplicable shifts in scene and also nomenclature that Dale seems to take in stride, consisting of his blasé accept of a murdered man in the middle of Carrie’s living room. It describes Cooper’s erratic and strangely detached behavior, not the very least of every his uncharacteristic and also indifferent carelessness with guns behind the counter at the Odessa diner.


More importantly, it also explains the two dominant themes the Cooper’s extended and also externally command dream: Judy keeping a continuous presence for this reason she can keep watch on Cooper and exercise manage over the food of his dream, top top the one hand, and Cooper’s reason attempting come break through the fog and bring him ago to aware awareness, top top the other. These are the competing forces in ~ work, vying for the top hand, and also this – no the meant faceoff between the great Dale and also Mr. C. The never involved pass – is, ultimately, the final fight between the forces of the White and Black Lodges. Have the right to Cooper, his ship perfected by his time in the Red Room and also his front passage through his waking dream state as Dougie, get rid of the original ancient evil the Judy by escaping from this trap prior to her wicked progeny have the right to kill his catatonic form in the real world?

Judy is with him every step of the way, assuming multiple forms. However, because she is the “Mother” who gave birth come the evil that males do, she invariably presume a mrs form, as she walk both as “the young lady” from The lacking Pieces and as Naido. In the dream, she appears as Diane, as the waitress in the diner, as the driver that the auto that tailgates Cooper on the highway, and also as the current owner the the Palmer house. (Given the gender-fluidity that the Dutchman’s – whereby “Bosomy Woman” to be played by a man and also the Jumping man wore buy it Palmer’s challenge beneath his mask – it is conceivable that the Jumping guy on the stairway in component 17 may be Judy lurking in the dream, together well.)

At every turn, Judy is the town hall him and directing him earlier toward Laura, or to the photo of Laura, so the he have the right to replay again and also again his doomed initiatives to conserve a young woman who made decision to die more than 25 year ago. In addition to dredging up desires Cooper has had before, Judy also exploits his memories: Cooper relives his experiences exiting the Red Room, this time through a telling twist. Judy – who is below disguised as the developed Arm that initially bore a tattoo that review “Mom” – steers him toward Laura, the small girl that lived down the lane. (Judy’s dependency on making use of Coop’s memories explains the lack of the “Double R come Go” sign once Dale and Laura – or, rather, Richard and also Carrie – arrive in pair Peaks, because this is the dual R as Dale remembers it, no as it currently is.)


Although that is asleep, Dale’s mind knows better; as his somnolent self descended come dwell within the dream, his waking consciousness drowsily recognized that the previous dictated the future just prior to he nodded off. Unfortunately, as MIKE’s repeated concern makes plain, the dreamer is unsure whether the is the future the Carrie page or the past of February 23, 1989; nevertheless, Coop’s silenced reason endeavors constantly to break through into the dream, in bespeak to pressure him back up come awareness. Cooper repeatedly sends these messages in bottles to himself.

We watch it in MIKE’s befuddlement in ~ the Dutchman’s. Us hear it in Phillip Jeffries’s otherwise incoherent statement the “his is where you’ll discover Judy” – the only human being he finds when he gets ago to 1989 is Laura – and also his spicy exhortation: “Cooper . . . Remember!” (which sounds a lot like MIKE’s “Wake up!” and the Fireman’s “Remember 430”). It’s even visually stood for in the motel room, in the type of the number 8 and the marble the moves within it:

Within the number 8, the marble is flipped end to the other side, climate it shifts ago to where it began, signaling to Dale both what has actually happened to gain him here and what has actually to take place to acquire him back. The small ball also looks favor the seed into which a human being is decreased by Lodge magic – representing Coop himself – which we know from component 16 he is able to recognize. (This is a clue for the audience, too; in this show around doubling, we view in a figure 8 other he defined to us in part 16.)

Finally, about the figure 8 itself, we recognize Cooper is a great admirer the the Dalai Lama, so, of course, once trying to guide his unconscious mind to a literal awakening into enlightenment, his reasoning mind would direct his dream follow me the eightfold route of Buddhism. Thus, the infinity price Judy do the efforts to job inside his mental – symbolizing the long-term recursion come which she has consigned the – is literally and also metaphorically upended through Coop’s psychic attempting come reassert itself. Because Judy will not permit the clock come strike 2:53, Cooper can never do 2+5+3 include up to the number of completion; since he cannot do it come 10, he have to settle rather for 8: 10, indigenous which two – Richard and Linda – have actually been subtracted. Viewed much more positively, 8 is the happy 7 that 4+3+0, through one an ext added. Judy (as Naido/Diane) tried come fool him right into believing he was the one (“and only”), but the log Lady knew the truth: “Laura is the one.”

Likewise, as soon as Cooper relives slightly transformed versions the his memories, important differences emerge. As soon as his unconscious psychic takes him earlier through his exit from the Red Room in the premiere, Judy alters events so the the developed Arm – i m sorry looks prefer nothing so much as those acetylcholine neurons shooting high-voltage impulses of i beg your pardon Coop is so well conscious – speak of the tiny girl who lived down the lane . . . But reason intrudes when that selfsame eight then poses the an overwhelming question: “Is it?” (This referral to the tiny girl that lived down the roadway – a phrase earlier introduced through Audrey – likewise ought to remind us that it was Audrey that said: “Dreams sometimes hearken a truth.”)

When Cooper dreams of awakening together Richard in the dorn motel room and also driving far in the not correct car, his factor tries come warn that by attaching the surname “Judy’s” to the diner. When Dale is waiting in Carrie’s living room, evidently unaffected by the every the oddities roughly him, a ringing phone intrudes yet is never ever answered; this is Coop’s awareness calling him in the most literal method possible in ~ the boundaries of his delusion.

During the journey to twin Peaks, Laura – “the one” that takes united state to the variety of completion; the gold child introduced into the people by the White Lodge together the countervailing great to Judy’s overwhelming evil – continuously is the voice the reason and remembrance. That is Laura, after ~ all, who calls Cooper’s attention to Judy following in the automobile behind and makes comments carefully calculated to speak to to his mind the recollection that his meeting with her progenitor, the Fireman, at the start of component 1. “I make the efforts to keep a clean house.” “It is in our house now.” “It’s a lengthy way.” “You are far away.

" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-19351" src="" alt="rr-21209-r" width="670" height="377" srcset=" 670w, 200w, 400w, 364w, 313w" sizes="(max-width: 670px) 100vw, 670px"/>Kyle MacLachlan and Sheryl Lee in a tho from twin Peaks. Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIMEWho, then, wins in the end? In 1997, an post I composed was released in Wrapped in Plastic, in i beg your pardon I called upon David Lynch to provide Twin Peaks one of what I believed were his common unconventional happy endings. I believe he offered us one here. Up until now, Cooper has gone in addition to the dream reasonable of everything that has happened, stoically accepting Laura’s disappearance in the woods, his and also Diane’s time jumps, Laura’s new identity, and the general weirdness that his bizarre surroundings. At the very end of component 18, though, his reason breaks through; his confusion shows that he ultimately recognizes that this renders no sense, and that awareness begins his ascent back toward consciousness, precisely the way it yes, really happens as soon as a human being awakens from a dream.

How perform we know this is in reality what’s happening? We know it since we formerly saw Dale Cooper waking increase after gift tricked right into a danger dream state by Judy in her kind as Naido. How did the unfold? In component 15, a declare made in ~ the hallucination captured Cooper’s attention, and this very first stirring of conscious awareness was complied with by a flicker that electricity, the lights going out, and also the blonde woman who was v him screaming.

This time, we’re looking in ~ it native the inside, but exactly the very same sequence seeps down into the dream indigenous the real civilization outside. There is a flicker that the e-lec-tri-city MIKE stated at the Dutchman’s (in one more instance of reason attempting to break through), the lights go the end (this time, in the Palmer house), and also a blonde mrs (in this case, Carrie) screams, arresting Dale’s wandering attention and also snapping him earlier to full awareness. This methodically repetitive sequence is as certain a authorize as the is feasible for united state to obtain from our perspective in ~ the dream that Agent Cooper as soon as again is waking up and that Judy has actually been defeated.


The concern “What year is this?” – mirroring MIKE’s inquiry “Is the future or is the past?” – isn’t the new “How’s Annie?” Instead, that the brand-new “Get Gordon Cole!” since we room living inside the dream the is ending, the screen fades to black prior to we space able to check out it, however the unseen following scene of Twin Peaks: The Return is Dale Cooper’s triumphant reawakening. What follows exterior our monitoring is the perfect inversion of the frustration of the closing moments of the season 2 finale: Cooper awakened there, in Room 315 that the great Northern, with Sheriff take care of Truman alongside him, come the realization that evil had been victorious; he awakens here, having been offered the key to Room 315 that the an excellent Northern through Sheriff frank Truman, through the knowledge that good has won the end in the end.

When the dream concludes, Coop wakes up, the clock finally strikes 2:53, and also Dale – the just one that understands completely the long video game the Fireman and major Briggs were playing – reveals to the assembled lawmen in harry’s office that Naido is yes, really Judy rather of Diane. Given the location junxtap of the dimming lights both in the sheriff’s station at the start of the dream and also in the Palmer home at the ending, maybe what Judy portrays through horror in ~ the illusion – Cooper and also Cole calling the end one another’s name in are afraid – plays the end in fact upon Dale’s awakening as two old girlfriend greeting one an additional in victory and also in love: “Gordon!” “Cooper!”

The mommy of all evil is led earlier downstairs to her cell – this time together a prisoner instead of in security custody – to await the justice she must face at the hand of the Fireman, who insights from part 1 Coop truly concerned comprehend in his darkest hour. We, too, now know that, in the monochromatic opening scene, the Fireman said the very special agent all he would require to know to totally free himself indigenous Judy’s trap.

Agent Cooper. Listen to the sounds.” The noise of the scratching phonograph an initial heard then would be repeated in Dale’s dream when Laura to be whisked far at the finish of part 17. “It is in our residence now.” The purple sea and also the Phillip Jeffries bell clearly shows both in the Mauve zone in component 3 and also in the White Lodge in part 8 do it clear the Judy (disguised as Naido) is in a room adjacent come the Fireman’s and also Senorita Dido’s home. (Dale responds v the tentative “It is” of which his repressed reason later on tries to repeat him v the provocative inquiry “Is it?”)

It all cannot be claimed aloud now. Remember 430. Richard and Linda. 2 birds with one stone.” The Fireman to know what is coming, and he is prepare Cooper to acknowledge it, for this reason that, as soon as the numbers “430” and the surname “Richard and also Linda” later show up in Coop’s Judy-induced dream, they start the stirrings that progressively lead him ago to full awareness. Dale states he understands, but he doesn’t yet. “You are much away” . . . From full comprehension, and also from coming full circle the way the number 8 visually shown he would. Ultimately, though, the Fireman has actually said every that requirements saying; together was true the the cryptic insights the Fireman provided in solving Laura Palmer’s killing 25 year earlier, certified dealer Cooper has actually all the clues he needs – as, in retrospect, perform we.

See more: 03.05 Getting The Most For Your Money, Assignment 03

Agent Cooper’s suffer at the finish of season 3 is opposing of Audrey Horne’s; she awakens native a moment of idyllic fantasy right into a harsh reality, while Dale departs from unconscious tragedy to aware triumph. In season 3 of Twin Peaks, together in season one, Dale Cooper’s dream was a code, wait to be broken – and, as before, breaking the password led him to deal with the riddle of the season’s central mystery.