The tag line was "it is happening again" and that is very clear here.
There are several ways you can interpret the series as a whole as well as the ending. Here's one that I'm really leaning towards-
Given the numerous references to Buddhist/Tibetan beliefs in the first 2 seasons, I think that absolutely factors in here, either literally or figuratively. Buddhism is essentially all about learning to transcend or become at peace with your pain and suffering (garmonbozia) and realize that life IS suffering. If you can't enlighten yourself and accept your suffering, you experience desires, which causes more suffering, and you repeat the cycle until you can accept your inevitable suffering and reach nirvana which is a state of complete acceptance of and as a result a liberation from suffering.
I believe that despite Cooper's fascination with Buddhism, he was very far from enlightenment. His obsession with attachments- to the town of twin peaks, to Caroline, to Annie, to the FBI, Audrey, and yes, to Laura, particularly this concept of "fixing her death." are all examples of this. Attachments are another cause of suffering- when you love someone, eventually they will cause you suffering, whether they hurt you in some way, or simply by dying, which will hurt you as well. Hell-- he was fascinated with the "plight of the Tibetan people" and wanted to help fix that somehow, a classic example of a massive problem that one person such as Cooper can't possibly fix and a cause of suffering for him. (Not to mention that he has no idea if the Buddhist residents of Tibet want or need help, this could just be a part of their natural suffering in their eyes) All of these attachments led to what we could call his repeated undoing. The owl cave sign turning into an infinity loop is a warning. Jeffries is showing him the path he will go on if he continues this road. I believe that Judy IS suffering, and that she was inside Sarah Palmer- who as a character is the embodiment of suffering. That's the blackness inside of her. I also believe that Laura, in fact actually reached enlightenment, hence the white light inside of her, but that enlightenment can't exist in Cooper's reality because he is not ready or capable of understanding it yet.
Proof of this is in the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism:
1. The existence of suffering.
2. The causes of suffering.
3. The cessation of the causes of suffering
4. The path that leads to the cessation of the causes of suffering
We are introduced to the universal suffering we will all eventually endure, death, immediately in the first couple minutes of the pilot. Laura has endured that suffering and as the show progresses we find that she has endured much more than just that.
As the show moves on we learn about BOB and eventually her father and his role. We see this first hand in FWWM. We see her personal struggles with desire and suffering throughout the original series. Additionally in FWWM we are shown more of her inner turmoil in the first person. Ultimately as the plot moves forward we are introduced to the ring, and another possibility for Laura. A future where she doesn't submit to BOB and a future where she is free not only from the pain he and Leland inflicts on her, but from all of the suffering in her life. She sees in the ring that it is possible to end her suffering. In the conclusion of FWWM she takes the ring, and leaves behind all of her pain, suffering, and attachments on earth to a higher level of enlightenment. We see her rise at the end of the film to this next level of being. And she shows it directly to Cooper at the beginning of The Return.
Unfortunately, Cooper is still at odds with his own suffering and has an intense desire to fix the suffering in the world. When she shows him the light behind her face, she is spirited away from his reality because he cannot accept her peace. He still is obsessed with the idea of "making things right" and helping her whether she wants it of not. His first failure is at the end of season 2 with Caroline, Annie, and Earle. He fails again in FWWM when he tries to persuade Laura not to take the ring. He follows the advice of Leland (who, clearly is not a great person to listen to) in The Return, with the entire season essentially being a long journey back to Twin Peaks, where he fixes the immediate problems, but then quickly returns to the lodge to retcon Laura's death. Jeffries WARNS him he is on an infinite path and he disregards him. He saves Laura, but Judy, or suffering in general wins out, because saving her does nothing to rid the world of suffering, so this reality ends and he finds himself back in the lodge. Here he has another opportunity to behave differently, even after seeing Leland and hearing his request yet again when he exits the Lodge to the waiting Diane. But even with endless possibilities in front of himself, he takes her 430 miles away, and tries again to fix things. This time ending up even further away from his original reality, those he knew, himself as a person- his behavior is not original Cooper, it is clearly some distillation of Cooper, Mr. C, and Dougie. He is good, but emotionless, impatient, and somewhat confused as to what exactly to do. He takes Carrie/Laura back to the place of her suffering and once again suffering wins. Because it ALWAYS will, because life is suffering.
We have been introduced first hand to the beginning of Agent Coopers journey though life and whatever there is after. And this will continue on and on until he accepts the reality of his own suffering and reaches nirvana. Whether this all "actually happened" or was a dream doesn't matter in a literal sense. In some way it all definitely happened. What is real? What is a dream? It's inconsequential as long as Cooper keeps missing the point. So should there be a season 4? There could be, but is it really necessary?
Last edited by TheGum
on Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm back in style!