Anybody find the last shot of The Return strange? Check out the below image. Sorry for the low picture quality (had to play with file size, remove color to make attachment size here at work to be able to upload). On viewing, I thought the image of Cooper was different in some way as it faded out. Looks like the color saturation was played with in some way to produce a white image on the forehead/nose of Cooper...a mushroom cloud perhaps (Cooper's mind being blown)? What about a white mask and beak?
If you get the chance, re-watch in slow motion and you will see the color change more prevalent than in this single image posted here. Thanks for humoring me.
Crackpot I know by the way, probably nothing there but it did make me rewind and forward the image in slow motion frame by frame for the last few minutes of the night...thanks Lynch...you made me this way. Guess we will have another 25 years to make a frame by frame analysis of the 18 hours of new material.
I got the impression that each time we saw Laura whispering into Coop's ear, he had a different reaction. We saw it at the end, in Part 2, and at the beginning of Part 18. I think each of them were different shots, but that's what gave the impression of a cycle, like he was trying to find her and each time starts with her telling him something, but each time its either a different message or something with a different meaning after the last cycle.
Or maybe... each time ENDS with her telling him a secret, and begins with Leland telling him to find her.
Which is interesting, if you take into account that the timeline seems to be fluctuating even before the end of Part 17.
If Coop's intention was to prevent her death by taking her to the White Lodge... then Laura would have still disappeared that night, and much of the original series and FWWM would still be in effect. Cooper would still be called to track down the missing girl, and possibly deal with Ronnette's death or kidnapping. In which case, one of the added events of the new timeline would be Leland Palmer telling him "Find Laura." at the beginning of this. Laura would still whisper to him in the dream (which for her occurred before her disappearance) in the red room. He would still meet the Arm, in one form or another, and be given clues. Leland's appearance in TPTR Part 2 may have been the first sign of the revised timeline.
A lot of theories are taking for granted that Laura HAD to die, but also argue that Cooper can't save her from her trauma by saving her from her death and that's where he's wrong. But Cooper knows this, he knows better than anyone else the pain started at 12, he's the one who investigated it. He's not trying to save her from her past, he's trying to make sure she survives. And a disappearance would leave the original mystery intact. Investigating that would still uncover the diary, still uncover her secret life, still open the safety deposit box, still find the missing pages... Still uncover BOB and Leland's abuse of Laura.
It's also worth noting... Cooper considered Leland a victim. He told Maj. Briggs this. We're also taking for granted he wants Laura to destroy Judy but really... if Judy is a goddess, if she's the dark side of Babalon, she probably can't be destroyed. But perhaps she can be banished from the world.
Suppose Judy gets into the world in TPTR Part 1, through the glass box, when Sam and Tracey summon her through sex in front of a device built by Doppelcoop's faction. Then Sarah's scene at the end of Part 2 would depict her early in her possession.
Maybe Cooper's "two birds with one stone" is to save both Laura and Sarah, by taking Laura to safety for 25 years and then showing her to Sarah, hopefully pulling a Luke Skywalker and allowing Sarah the strength to throw off Judy's possession and send the goddess back to the other dimension. This couldn't be done with Leland, because the years of incest rotted the father-daughter relationship, but if Judy's possession is so recent then the mother-daughter bond is still intact. (Maybe reflected in how Laura's picture can't be destroyed in Part 18, but back in the first season Leland covered it with blood.)
If that's the case, then he failed when she was taken from him before reaching the White Lodge. And he re-entered the Lodge to search for her. When they did find her, it was in this weird dream-trap realm that Cooper needed to enter by traveling 430 miles and having ritual sex. And his miscalculation would have been forgetting he's in a dream-realm and that they have to leave it to save Sarah.