counterpaul wrote:I'm reading it (at least so far) a little differently. I don't see COOPER and Coop as simply the "bad side" and "good side" of Dale Cooper. I think what we're seeing is a good man who is desperately lost on a spiritual level. 25 years ago, he profoundly failed himself and it just about destroyed him. What was left out in the world was a hateful shell (COOPER) who created this cruel, empty parody of the life Coop might have lived, absent any of the substance of what truly made Dale Cooper who he is (Dougie). But Cooper's true self did survive and is now slowly reasserting himself. This is presented as a literal rebirth. This lost, battered core has to grow from infancy.
This is a beautiful, truthful metaphor to me! This happens. We make mistakes and spend years, sometimes lifetimes battering ourselves for it. We miss out of life. And sometimes we wake up. But waking up is only the beginning of the journey.
Very interesting post. What do you see as the nature/cause of Cooper's failure 25 years ago? This is something I am intrigued by now, especially as it applies to his current status in the ongoing series at present.
This is a question I've been pondering for 27 years! His doppelganger seems to be birthed the moment BOB destroys Earle and tells Coop to "go." And, then, when Coop sees his doppelganger, his reaction is to run away. He essentially follows BOB's instruction.
Over the years, I've gone back and forth on whether the key moment is when Coop offers his soul to Earle, or it's the moment he runs. I now think it's the moment he runs.
With Earle, he offers a sacrifice. It's probably a misguided gesture (what is it he's willing to unleash onto the world for Annie's sake, and what are the chances Earle is as good as his word?), but it is noble and it is for love. And, of course, BOB completely invalidates it anyway.
But, in that moment, Cooper does seem to, in a sense, summon BOB. He invites him in, as Leland had as a boy. Coop's soul is up for grabs, no? And so, it is when BOB appears that Cooper fails.
The way I read this is that Cooper is able to confront external demons, is even willing sacrifice himself in the process, but that he is (or was, 25 years ago) totally unwilling to look at the darkness within. When he catches a glimpse, he runs. And so it overtakes him.
As we meet him in The Return, he is a man lost and consumed by darkness. The red room (the "waiting room" as The Arm calls it), to me, is a state of stasis. For 25 years, Cooper endlessly ponders his mistakes, wandering between slightly different manifestations of a single room, going over the same things again and again. But there is a glimmer of light, now ready to reach out. And it's Laura, filled with light, who tells him he "can go out now." I find Cooper's gasp when Laura whispers to him so moving and telling. He's learning something he's still
not quite ready to know. But, finally, the stasis cannot hold. Things start to change. The Arm evolves, and Cooper is ejected out of the red room.
I'm totally fascinated by Dougie (and I'm talking about Dougie
here--not Cooper as an infant). I think it's very significant that it's Dougie
that Coop replaces, not COOPER. I actually think the line, "Someone manufactured you for a purpose, but I think now that's been fulfilled" can be read quite positively. If his darkest impulses "manufactured" this empty, bitter parody of a "life" for himself, in the form of Dougie (who is an "agent," but the wrong kind; who has a wife and child but daydreams through his life with them; who sleeps around and gets into debt, etc.), then getting to the point where Dougie's purpose (as a place-holder for the life Coop has not been leading) has been fulfilled is immense progress!
It's just the start, of course, but we all know that a path is formed by laying one stone at a time.