Hello hello, long time lurker, first time poster. I've been curating (& contributing to) a series of essays about Twin Peaks in advance of the new series, for New Zealand culture website The Ruminator. We've just hit the article for episode 29, which I cowrote with a friend, and as we talked about it I had a thought that felt like it might be worth sharing here. (Relevant link: http://ruminator.co.nz/peak-peak-rumination-17-wow-bob-wow/
In the Red Room sequence, we see Bob take Windom Earle's soul in a flash of fire. Then, almost immediately after, we see the evil Cooper appear behind the curtain and come into the room.
It suddenly seems clear to me that this timing is not coincidental. Bob took Windom's soul and used it to make the evil Cooper
Windom is already a "shadow self" of Cooper, as another mystically-inclined FBI agent, so this transfiguration feels very much in tune with the Lynchian dream logic at work. Having Bob take Earle's soul and put it to use
removes the sense of anticlimax that hangs over the Earle storyline, by subsuming the Cooper vs. Earle dynamic into the greater Cooper vs. Bob/Red Room structure that is at the heart of the TV series.
I know this doesn't really explain much about what's happening in the Red Room - what difference does it make to what happens to Cooper? What would that imply about the other doppelgangers? - but thematically it seems very satisfying to me...