Netflix
Darren Franich and Jeff Jensen
June 16, 2017 AT 06:00 PM EDT

Subscribe to A Twin Peaks Podcast: A Podcast About Twin Peaks – on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts – to unwrap the mysteries in EW’s after-show every Monday during the Showtime revival.

You’ve got questions about Twin Peaks? We’ve got answers! Or, probably, more questions. In the first six hours of the Showtime revival, we’ve been given a sprawling global narrative, flipping across time zones, between dimensions. There are three Agent Coopers, maybe more. Mysteries sprout new mysteries. What was that black box in Buenos Aires? Who is the anonymous billionaire financing the glass cage in New York? Is Amanda Seyfried playing the new Laura Palmer? Is [insert name of new younger character] the child of [insert name of beloved original series character]? Um, like, David Bowie, question mark?

We’ve been busily digging into the show on A Twin Peaks Podcast: A Podcast About Twin Peaks, which is a podcast about Twin Peaks. (You can subscribe and listen to past episodes here.) Listeners have been filling our inbox with questions, concerns, clarifications, theories, and at least one selfie. At the one-third mark in the season, we figured now was a great time to dig into the mailbag. You can send your big ideas to twinpeaks@ew.com.

Now – let’s talk Dougie!!!

So after 6 episodes of the new season, I think I’m ready for Cooper to come back. I know these are just fictional characters that aren’t real but… I’d really like to see Dougie suffer a slow, horrible, painful death. #DieDougieDie —Myst from Chicago

Stray thoughts as I watch Twin Peaks: 1) I feel like I’ve been watching Coop as Dougie for 17 years of my life. 2) However, it’s actually therapy for me. I’m seeing myself in him. Seeing that I’m not who I’m supposed to be, not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. 3) I want to hug David Lynch, and I want to punch David Lynch. 4) When you talk about “Nez Perce”, make sure you pronounce it properly: “Nay Pair-SAY.” It’s French for “pierced nose.” —Phil Mahoney

JEFF RESPONDS:

Two emails that tell the tale of Dougie Jones, the Cooper no one was expecting and not everyone wants to keep. He took me aback when we first encountered him in Part 3. I wanted my Classic Cooper, dammit! But I quickly warmed to Dougie and the humanizing comedy and themes that came with him. I was engaged by the ideas he represented — the critique of American materialism and busyness, the value of innocence, and the metaphor for David Lynch himself, which I explored in detail in my recap of Parts 3 and 4. Phil, I’m with you: I like how Dougie forces me to slow down and just sit with him. Dougie has also been a vehicle for artfulness that’s worth our praise. I think Kyle MacLachlan’s performance is just wonderful, and Dougie’s slowness makes him a perfect subject for Lynch’s long-take observational/absurdist comedy. As Vikram Murthi argues at Vulture, there’s something delightfully subversive and correctively disruptive about making a character like Dougie the organizing element and chief protagonist of a television show right here, right now. His blankness and flux capture a transitional period for male characters on TV. We’re suffering from anti-hero exhaustion, but where do we go from here? Would moving backward, to recover elements of classical genre heroism, be worthwhile? Or does TV try to evolve toward something new, complex, real? I also think Dougie participates in the show’s interrogation of nostalgia in the broader context of the show’s thematic interest in mortality. Okay, so we want to see Agent Cooper again. But why do we want to see that?

All that said, I get the sense the audience reached a tipping point with Dougie in Part 6. Some of you are all-in on Twin Peaks being all about Dougie. Others, like Myst, are #DieDougieDie. I confessed in my recap to feeling torn. I can roll with Dougie as long as Lynch and Mark Frost can keep him interesting. But I am wondering if they are drawing out Dougie — and delaying Cooper’s full restoration — simply to fill the time the show must fill. And I think these teases of Cooper’s consciousness might be more interesting and compelling if they built upon each other, if they suggested that Cooper was coming back by degrees. Instead, right now, they just feel like teases, which makes me sympathetic to the complaint of some that the show is meanly trolling the audience. I dig Dougie. But the stakes are rising on his continued presence.

I just wanted to point out that “Max Von’s Bar” is probably not a reference to Max Von Sydow but almost certainly a reference to Max Von Mayerling, the character played by Erich Von Stroheim in Sunset Boulevard (which is also, of course, the source of the name Gordon Cole). Keith Uhlich pointed this out in his MUBI recap. I think the idea is that Diane’s relationship to Cooper is analogous to Max’s role as “faithful servant” to Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. – Mike Smith

DARREN RESPONDS:

Great catch, Mike! Sunset Boulevard seems like an urtext for Lynch, an early vision of inside-Hollywood showbiz horror. Fading silent film star Norma Desmond (played by fortunately-less-fading silent film star Gloria Swanson) could be the distant matriarch of some of Lynch’s most memorable heroines. Norma’s La La Land dreams suggest a more decadent Diane Selwyn. And the collapse of Norma’s true personality into her celebrity persona link her to Nikki Grace, the actress Laura Dern plays in Inland Empire. (Dern also plays three or four other characters in Inland Empire; tragically none of them are named Dougie.)

I’m intrigued by Mike’s idea that Diane is Cooper’s version of Max. In Sunset Boulevard, Max serves various strange purposes in Norma’s life. There’s something paternal about him, and whimsically romantic; he was her director and her husband, and now he lives in thrall to her, maintaining her illusions (and keeping her alive.) The connection could confirm that Diane and Cooper were romantically linked at some point — which would itself reference back to Laura Dern and Kyle MacLachlan’s romance in Blue Velvet.

The Sunset Boulevard link also complexifies our understanding of what this show is doing with Agent Cooper. Is he meant to be a Norma Desmond, a declining vision of a nostalgic past, a falling star? Will Diane’s arrival “save” Cooper — or will it somehow entrap him? Like Jeff was just saying, we’re all excited at this point for Cooper to be Cooper again. (“Investigate Something In Twin Peaks, Already!” seems to be the rallying cry.) I wonder if, with this throwaway bar name, Lynch and Frost are cluing us into some deep melancholy. To echo something Jeff just wrote: Would Cooper becoming Cooper be a step backward?

I am disappointed that the bar isn’t named for Max Von Sydow. I was really hoping we’d get a cameo from a playing-himself Max Von Sydow, mixing Diane and Albert a couple of his world-famous Max Von Sydecars. (Recipe: 1 part Cointreau, 1 part lemon juice, 2 parts cognac, garnish with 3 teaspoons of garmonbozia.)

I was a devotee back in the day — Twin Peaks happened in my high school years, and I was obsessed and read the secret diary and even listened to the tapes of Agent Cooper that they released somewhere in there. I probably watched Twin Peaks maybe a year after the American release (I was living in a suburb of London at the time) and with no internet, and having only four television channels, I somehow missed any of the fan culture that was happening around Twin Peaks. What I am finding extremely fascinating right now is that with the announcement of the return, I am finding out 25 years later that there is a whole giant group of us that exists that I somehow didn¹t really know about. Listening to the both of you talk about Twin Peaks reminds me so much of the analysis and the rewatching that my friend and I did in high school, and I love it.

But I have to admit that I am so excited about hearing people talk about Twin Peaks and about seeing familiar faces and just about the existence of a new season that it’s hard to just focus on the story of the new season. Listening to your two episodes post the debut, I also had a thought about what happens to a television show where the viewers are experts? The first two seasons were surprises and new information, but now, most of us Twin Peaks fans have watched the first two seasons multiple times and have had over two decades to think about it.  Does this give David Lynch more artistic freedom? Can he go deeper into his mythology because he’s dealing with experts? How do you succeed when in some ways, your audience is more expert than you?

Which somehow leads to my big question about this season — which questions do we NOT want answered? —Shoko Kambara

JEFF RESPONDS:

Shoko Kambara wrote us a long, lovely letter (thanks!) that gave us an interesting question to ponder: “Which questions do we NOT want answered?” I immediately think of two things:

1. The Black Lodge. I’m captivated by the weirdness of this otherworldly place and its supernatural denizens, and I hope we see more of it as the series progresses. At the same time, I hope we don’t see so much of The Black Lodge that it loses its mystique. LynchFrost should tread carefully if they feel a need to explain what The Black Lodge means and how it works. I always find that the occult mythology of mystery-driven, supernaturally framed TV serials becomes less vibrant and too simplistic as it passes from ambiguity and abstraction toward clarity and concreteness, and it never winds up as coherent as you want it to be. I hope The Black Lodge forever remains something we interpret and debate.

2. Dougie before Dougie-Cooper. Over the past couple weeks, there’s been mention that Dougie was prone to “episodes” of being “disoriented” even before Dougie Jones was replaced in this realm of existence by Eraserhead Cooper. These nods to Dougie’s past invite us to wonder what Dougie used to be like and how Dirty Cooper (who allegedly “manufactured” Dougie as a dummy version of himself) made him and used him over the years. If Twin Peaks wants to fill in the blanks here, I’ll take the backstory. I am curious! But I don’t feel the show needs to satisfy that curiosity about Dougie history or Dougie mechanics in order for me to understand or enjoy Dirty Cooper. Just the profoundly simple and despicable idea that this is a guy who’ll do anything to survive — who sees people as tools and equipment, things to use and abuse for his own flourishing — tells me everything I need to know. I’ll be perfectly content if LynchFrost leave the details to our imagination.

What if the Red Room scenes are actually shown backwards, where Cooper would be the one actually doing reverse speech, which could explain why he doesn’t speak backwards;, Laura is FALLING toward the Lodge instead of getting away from it, and the arm turns into the tree that turns into the MFAP? Is that how the ring gets BACK on the pedestal? Are the two “times” happening in reverse order of each other, with Cooper going forward and getting older, with BOB heading towards his roots in Twin Peaks past? Could Dirty Cooper actually end up being Bob at the end, and then that Cooper/Bob goes back to the lodge and reverses direction? (This last part makes little sense, I know.)

Could explain, somewhat, how agent Cooper can dream of Laura before meeting her. Hell, it might even be a constant boomerang effect, allowing Bob to be the constant with the palindromic name. –Jon Morel

Darren Responds:

This is a wildly ambitious attempt to express some heavy fourth-dimensional multi-plane geometric storytelling in 152 words. I salute you, Jon! And I think I understand about half of what you’re getting at. We should remember the very first words we heard inside the Red Room this season: “Is it future… or is it past?” That question was asked by the One-Armed Man, and was an echo from another unstuck-in-time dream sequence. In Fire Walk With Me, the Man From Another Place says the same thing. He’s talking to Dale Cooper, kind of, but also to Laura Palmer, kind of: two characters who have never properly met, yet who seem linked together in eternity.

Watch the cast discuss the show’s odd universe and the upcoming revival in the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN) special EW Reunites: Twin Peaks here, or download the app on your favorite mobile and streaming devices.

I’m not sure I can quite wrap my head around the idea of two times moving in reverse of each other. It sounds very Memento, and it adds further complexity to the problem of figuring out how Dirty Cooper and Dougie/Dale are linked together. Many people have theorized that everything Dougie-related is a dream sequence or another corner of the Red Room. The hottest take I have is that everything in this new season so far is “Real,” whatever that means in the context of Twin Peaks‘ various dimensions.

But Jon’s idea about various timelines was in my head this week when I went back and rewatched the two-hour season premiere. (If you haven’t gone back to Parts 1 and 2, I highly recommend it.) And I noticed something interesting, which lead to a theory I have termed “The FlashHawkward.”

In Part 1, we see Hawk receive a phone call from the Log Lady. She tells him that something is missing; it’s from 25 years ago, and it has to do with Dale Cooper and Hawk’s heritage.

Then, we see Hawk bring case files into the conference room. He talks to Andy and Lucy, and when they go off on a long tangent about their son, Hawk says: “Lucy. It’s late.”

This sequence comes right in the middle of several scenes set in Buckhorn — between the cops coming to take Matthew Lillard into prison (“But the Morgans are coming for dinner!”) and the cops interrogating him and then returning to Matthew Lillard’s house. All of these scenes happen in broad daylight. It’s certainly not “late” — and south two time zones ahead of Washington.

Now, maybe Hawk has a funny definition of “late.” And maybe this is a big clue for something I should have been thinking of from minute one: the different settings are not all following the same chronological time.

Now, here’s another strange thing. The next time we see Hawk — his third scene in the new season — he is walking through the woods. He gets a phone call from the Log Lady. He tells her there is “supposed to be something happening here tonight.” She tells him: “Watch carefully.” And she tells him to come by her house afterward, for coffee and pie.

Hawk, of course, is going to Glastonbury Grove. We follow the path of his flashlight, as we begin to see the red curtains appear. Hawk points his flashlight DIRECTLY at the camera, seems to meet our gaze…

…and then we are inside the Red Room, and the first thing we hear is the One-Armed Man saying: “Is it future, or is it past?”

Now, curiously, the NEXT time we see Hawk — Hawk’s fourth scene in this season — he makes no reference to Glastonbury Grove. In fact, he is right where we left him in his second scene: In the conference room with Andy and Lucy, going through files. And since then, Hawk has continued this process, digging into files, following “clues.”

That scene of Hawk walking through the woods? I think it comes later in the story — AFTER he has followed the clues back to Glastonbury. That was a flash forward. In fact, it’s possible that everything we’ve seen in Twin Peaks is a flash forward, taking place after the events surrounding Dirty Cooper and Dougie.

And so, sometime soon, we will see this Hawk scene from another angle. He walks to Glastonbury Grove, gets the phone call from the Log Lady. He arrives at the Sycamore Trees, the curtains appear — and then Dale Cooper emerges from out of the Red Room, the hero returned to Twin Peaks.

Problematic part of this theory: This seems to make all of the Dougie storyline into a weird spirit-trip-dream, and I don’t want it to be a weird spirit-trip-dream. I want Dougie to be Tony Soprano going to Las Vegas and doing peyote, not Tony Soprano dreamlifing as optics salesman “Kevin Finnerty” in Costa Mesa. So, an easy solution: Dale will somehow be transported to Glastonbury Grove, like the transporting Phillip Jeffries in the Fire Walk With Me deleted scenes.

And why would Hawk go to Glastonbury? Following the assumption that David Lynch thinks Fire Walk With Me is the most important narrative foundation for this season, Hawk discovered the last lost diary pages from Laura Palmer, where she marked down a very specific message that she received from a dream visitor: “THE GOOD DALE IS IN THE LODGE AND HE CAN’T LEAVE.”

Why is this theory exciting? Because it seems to demand a follow-up scene, where Hawk takes Dale Cooper to have coffee and pie with the Log Lady. I’m crying just thinking about it.

Remember, we know for a kinda-fact that the premiere had another flash forward: that opening moment between Agent Cooper and a character who could be the Giant. That scene could be a clue to the grander pretzel-time arc of these opening episodes: the possibility that different sequences are taking place at different points in the story’s time.

Am I the only one who thought the New York sequences in the first hour played like a mash-up of two episodes from the first season of The Outer Limits, “The Galaxy Being” and “The Bellero Shield”? —Robert Getz of Pennsylvania

JEFF RESPONDS:

I love questions like this, because this is exactly how my pop-soaked brain works, too, for better, for worse. I can’t tell you how many comics, movies, sci-fi novels and episodes of The Twilight Zone that I saw — or thought I saw — in episodes of Lost. I was projecting 90 percent of them, of course. Okay, 99 percent. There’s validity to this kind of analysis when it comes to Lost, Twin Peaks, Mr. Robot, Legion and other shows that are clearly influenced by so much pop culture, that internalize so much pop culture in their story and style. Still, I got pretty crazy with pop-spotting in my Lost work, and I find myself resisting it, or trying to minimize it, in my current recapping: I fear cluttering the minds of readers of stuff they shouldn’t consider, especially when it comes to shows that are confusing enough.

But you, dear reader, should never, ever hesitate to clutter my mind with these possibilities. I dig pondering these possible connections, and at very least, they provide an opportunity to revisit or experience for the first time some classic, essential television. I don’t recall seeing “The Galaxy Being” (which was the first episode of the original series) or “The Bellero Shield” (the 20th episode of season 1), but I want to after reading about them over at Wikipedia. Both episodes tell stories about reckless scientists who pull down strange entities from other planets or dimensions to Earth via illicit experiments, with “The Galaxy Being” serving as a rumination on God and the afterlife and “The Bellero Shield” being a Macbeth-inspired tale that’s something of a fall myth. The closing narration of “The Galaxy Being” expresses themes of cosmic horror and humanism shared by Twin Peaks. “The planet Earth is a speck of dust, remote and alone in the void. There are powers in the universe inscrutable and profound. Fear cannot save us. Rage cannot help us. We must see the stranger in a new light — the light of understanding. And to achieve this, we must begin to understand ourselves, and each other.” The opening narration of “The Bellero Shield” could be seen as a motto for any Black Lodge monster. “There is a passion in the human heart which is called aspiration. It flares with the noble flame, and by its light, Man has traveled from the caves of darkness to the darkness of outer space. But when this passion becomes lust, when its flame is fanned by greed and private hunger, then aspiration becomes ambition — by which sin the angels fell.” Looking forward to watching both episodes soon.

One of you mentioned how you think “Dirty Cooper” isn’t really Bob, but maybe Bob is lurking somewhere deep within him or just a part of him. I agree with this to a certain extent, but I’m curious on how you interpret Bob’s “control” of Leland. In the case of Leland, it seemed that Bob was controlling him but only came out, say, 10 percent of the time. Leland does indeed kill Laura — but while he appears to be possessed. Leland only comes to this realization later in a sort of repressed memory moment. It almost seems that Leland was present but was hidden behind the thick cloud that was Bob. Leland passively watched while Bob did the damage.

However, in the case of Dirty Cooper, it seems that this is almost the opposite. Bob only appears briefly (as you mentioned when Dirty Cooper is looking at himself in his jail cell), but all Dirty Cooper’s actions are motivated by this evil force, and he is completely cognizant of the fact that Bob is present. I’m curious if you think this is a progression of Bob between Leland and Dirty Cooper or if this is another facet of Bob’s control over a human “host.” Perhaps neither of these are correct, and this is just another case entirely. Leland, if I’m remembering correctly, didn’t really have a doppelgänger. Perhaps it’s more effective to have Bob work through a doppelgänger who is purely evil while Leland was complex in motivations and overall behavior (and had a moral compass).

I’m hoping we get more of Bob within the series (R.I.P. Frank Silva) although I’m really enjoying just letting whatever David Lynch has in store wash over me. —Becky Savitt

DARREN RESPONDS:

It’s clear to me now that I completely misunderstood the finale of Twin Peaks. In fairness, “confusion” seems to have been the mission statement of that episode. But I (and I think a lot of people) assumed that we were seeing a variation of BOB’s “possession” of Leland Palmer. Now, the precise details of that “possession” were always a bit vague. After the death of Leland, the show’s characters even had an explicit conversation about that vagueness. Was Bob a physical manifestation of Leland’s evil? A demonic representation of ALL evil? Or just Leland himself, a bad man exploring the deepest sub-basements of inhumanity?

As we discussed in our episode about season 2, that vagueness was equally tantalizing and frustrating; read one way, it almost seemed to pardon Leland, or at least suggest that his actions weren’t entirely his own doing. Fire Walk With Me walked back that idea and gave Ray Wise the opportunity to add even freakier shades to Leland. But Fire Walk With Me also had a scene where a Bob-possessed Leland goes to the Red Room, where he splits into both Bob and Leland.

This is all to say: I thought that the Agent Cooper we saw at the end of the Twin Peaks season 2 finale was our beloved Agent Cooper, inhabited by a demon. It’s becoming clear that this is something very different: He is a distinct character, currently sharing a body with Bob. We should perhaps separate the Black Lodge denizens into two distinct species. There are creatures like Bob, the Giant, the One-Armed Man, and the Arm, who live in the Lodge. And there are doppelgängers: white-eyed darkside doubles of humans like Dale.

How are the doppelgängers created? Maybe it happens when a human walks into the Lodge, or maybe the doppelgängers are always there. (We should note that the Black Lodge denizens have their own doppelgängers. The Arm’s doppelgänger sent Dale on a trip through space; perhaps there is a white-eyed One-Armed Man walking around in there, too.)

And remember: We actually saw a Leland doppelgänger in the season 2 finale, who said, “I did not kill anybody.” We can interpret that to mean, maybe, that Bob didn’t need Leland’s doppelgänger (Leland himself was a willing vessel). Or maybe the Leland doppelgänger is lying. Or maybe LynchFrost really wanted Ray Wise to appear in the finale, so they gave him white contact lenses and said, “Say something crazy backward.”

So, where does all this leave us? I think it means that, for Dale Cooper, there are two major Bossfights coming this season. There must be a reckoning with Dirty Cooper, and the nature of that reckoning is elusive. And there must be a further reckoning with Bob. On one hand, I can’t believe we’re going to get much more of the great Frank Silva (R.I.P.), and so I suspect we will see Bob in some new form. Maybe he’ll be another tree with a mouth!

And speaking of trees with mouths, a shout-out to listener Trey, who pointed us to this Julee Cruise album art. Cruise was the Roadhouse singer whose music haunted the original run of Twin Peaks, and this album cover art looks rather suggestively like a certain tree who used to be a man…

In conclusion, speaking as someone who thinks the first two seasons of Gossip Girl are in the TV Hall of Fame, I am excited to check out Amanda and Becky Talk About Gossip Girl! I just realized that Twin Peaks star Madchen Amick was on Gossip Girl in season 2. This means we are just one Sebastian Stan cameo away from a Gossip Girl hat trick! What if it turns out the anonymous billionaire is Carter Baizen???

I think episode 6 conclusively closed the loop on the mysterious billionaire. It’s Dirty Cooper and Jeffries in partnership. Dirty Cooper, in conjunction with Phillip Jeffries (or someone posing as Jeffries) constructed the glass box as a trap for Agent Cooper. I think the electronic wraith (I don’t think it’s Laura) that killed the young lovers was supposed to telescope into that floating way station after Cooper and get him. Smashing out of the box and killing those lovers gave Cooper a head start. The Patrick Fischler character (“Duncan Todd”) who says, “I hope you never work for a man like that” is talking about Dirty Cooper. He definitely takes his orders from someone from the Black Lodge, as evidenced by what I’m calling the Black Lodge Technology — the magical black and red devices seen throughout the show:

-The surveillance cameras and equipment in New York.

-The explosive device under Dougie’s car.

-Dirty Cooper’s little recording devices

-The black box in Buenos Aires

These devices are the hallmark of Dirty Cooper/Jeffries and people who work for them.

Dirty Cooper hires Duncan Todd to hire Lorraine “the worrier” to take out Dougie.

She hired two incompetent fools; they failed.

Lorraine reports the failure to… who do we know in South America? Jeffries.

Then Duncan Todd gets the order to send Ike The Spike.

I love that Lorraine has a theme song.

Presumably, Ike the Spike will be after Agent Cooper next.

After he buys a new ice pick. — Nathan Alexander, Los Angeles

DARREN RESPONDS:

The identity of the Anonymous Billionaire is probably the single most-discussed and least-nourished mystery of the season. Literally all we have to go on is the statement that Sam tells Tracey that the glass box facility was built by an “anonymous billionaire.”

Some people have emailed saying that the Billionaire is Ben Horne, based on the fact that in Ben’s single scene so far, he makes a reference to “Mrs. Houseman and her New York friends.” Nathan’s idea builds off another New York reference from the finale: When Dirty Cooper is talking to Jeffries in Part 2, Jeffries says, “I missed you in New York.” My own ludicrous theory is that the billionaire is John Justice Wheeler, the wonderfully inessential but perfectly dressed character played by Billy Zane in season 2.

I do think Nathan’s right to draw a line between the Black Lodge Technology — what Jeff has referred to as “magic technology,” these weird devices that Dirty Cooper carries with him (and his weird ability to hack all electricity, as seen in his prison phone call). But I’m still not convinced. It’s not entirely clear to me that Dirty Cooper is working with Jeffries — and, for that matter, Dirty Cooper doesn’t even seem to think Jeffries is Jeffries. The voice on the phone seems to be threatening Dirty Cooper, saying that he will be going back into the Lodge. (The voice also says “I will be with Bob again.” I’ve got a theory about that, but I’ll save it till next week.)

I’m intrigued by Nathan’s idea that the box was designed to “trap” Cooper. But rewatching that part of the premiere, it seems equally possible that the box was designed for a different purpose. Cooper has just fallen through the Black Lodge, cursed to “nonexistence” by the Arm’s doppelgänger. Is it possible that the nefarious forces in the Lodge — let’s link Jeffries and Dirty Cooper with Bob and the Arm’s doppelgänger — wanted to send Cooper sailing through infinite space, and the Glass Box actually rescued him, accidentally?

But also, why would Phillip Jeffries want to harm Dale? And also, if Phillip Jeffries isn’t Phillip Jeffries, who is he?

I guess what I’m saying is: I still have no idea who the anonymous billionaire is, but I believe fervently he’s a man who likes to wear baggy sweaters tucked into his pants.

I have a bit of a different take than you guys on the guy staring into the box that I thought you might find interesting. Lynch puts great value on taking the time to sit and observe. For example: meditation, going deeper by “catching the big fish,” etc. Cooper uses gravity boots in the morning to think. Alvin Straight in The Straight Story says, “It’s amazing what you see when you’re just sitting.” Lynch… has said “ideas are the best thing going” on many occasions. He has a platonic concept of ideas that they are real but in another place, and your mind is like a net and can go and get them and make them real in this world. I think the man sitting and staring at the box [made] a tragic mistake. … He doesn’t appreciate what is right there: an opportunity to sit and stare and benefit from it. When he gets distracted, he misses out on very important things, such as Cooper and the manifestation of something that is perhaps very sinister.

My take on this is that the patient and observant person will solve whatever is happening in the world of Twin Peaks, and I’d bet that is going to be Cooper. The story will not be about concrete resolution, though I think it will be more about the process of observation that matters. Thanks for taking the time to read this, guys. —Travis

JEFF RESPONDS:

Only in the world of Twin Peaks (and many horror films) would choosing sex over gazing into a big glass box and waiting for magic to happen be considered “a tragic mistake.” Kidding. Travis, the thing I love most about your email is its sincerity. I completely get what you mean. I don’t know if The Parable of the Glass Box was meant to foreshadow the kind of heroism that Cooper will employ to bring order to the mad world of Twin Peaks, USA. But I certainly think you’ve articulated the best way to enjoy the mad entertainment that is Twin Peaks, at least at present. There’s just great pleasure to be had in paying close, active attention to the sounds and images, moods and ideas that Lynch and his collaborators are artfully putting on the screen, as well as reflecting on them, talking through them, and being careful about coming to conclusions about them. Let nothing distract us from that quality of engagement! Not even sexy beaus baring coffee… and other temptations.

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