The cut from Dougie saying “home” to Dale leading Laura “home” is a nice contrast, and goes back to what I was saying in the Part 16 thread about how Cooper might have done more good by staying with the family that loved him and not trying to change the world (literally).
“The story of the little girl who lives down the lane” is another one of those beautifully maddening elements of TR that makes sense mostly on an intuitive/dream level. It definitely reminds me of the two “old tales” told by Grace Zabriskie’s character in INLAND EMPIRE, and echoes the last line of “Baa Baa Black Sheep” with the gender flipped. (I know people have pointed out that this is also the title of a horror novel which was turned into a Jodie Foster movie, but I really doubt that was in Lynch’s mind; and I assume this was purely a Lynch innovation, given that it’s in an Audrey scene.) What is the link between Audrey and this EotA scene? Is Audrey the little girl? Is Laura? Both Audrey and Carrie Page seem to be living in manufactured realities, both possibly as a result of Cooper’s actions (Audrey arguably due to the rape trauma, just as Diane was imprisoned in the Lodge and replaced by a tulpa following her rape, although this is admittedly subject to many interpretations). Are these “stories” used by the Lodge spirits to entrap lost souls and feed on their suffering?
I continue to believe that Cooper acts weird in this Part because he gave up the joyful part of himself to stay with the Joneses as Dougie. I also wonder if perhaps overconfidence in his abilities (i.e., moving the Red Room curtain with a wave of his hand) leads to the attitude change/more domineering nature. Cooper seems pretty off the second he comes out of the Red Room, but then in the “430” scene with Diane in the car, he seems much more human. He doesn’t necessarily seem like himself, but when he says, “Once we cross, it could all be different,” he seems really sad. It’s after they “cross” that he seems to become almost soulless.
Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern in a car inevitably evokes Blue Velvet. We’re a long ways from the robins coming.
What do we make of the other Diane she sees lurking at the motel? I’m inclined to think it’s her doppelganger stalking her. On an abstract level, it feels to me like the trauma of her past following her. She’s trying to be there for Cooper and enact the plan they made together at some ambiguous point in the past (possibly involving sex magick), but the events that went down with Cooper’s doppelganger are never far away. Interesting that the DoppelDiane (or whatever it is) vanishes as soon as Cooper comes back out the door. Maybe this is “Linda,” waiting to take over once the trauma becomes too overwhelming?
For those numerologists out there, they stay in room 7 (Lynch’s favorite number), and 430 also adds up to a 7.
I love the moment when Cooper, shrouded in shadow, says “Diane.” It’s an inversion of the old show, when Diane was the one we couldn’t see as Cooper would say her name into his tape recorder in chipper tones. Kyle’s line reading here creeps me out.
That is such a disturbing sex scene. This version of Cooper doesn’t seem to take joy out of anything. That scene is a nice study in contrasts with the Janey-E sex scene in Part 10. Diane and Janey-E are sisters (however literally you want to take that), and both scenes involve writhing female backs, but Cooper’s reactions are night and day. The Cooper we see in Part 18 seems almost as comatose as our beloved DougieCoop, but instead of arm-flopping joy, he just sits there stone-faced. I also think back on his warmth in the love scene with Annie in Episode 28 as another contrast. The Cooper we get here is pretty chilling.
The pairing of song to scene is so perfect, just in terms of the rhythm, but also the lyrics. “My prayer and the answer you give, may they still be the same just as long as we live.” It’s clear from Diane’s face, even before she leaves the “Linda” letter, that things between her and Cooper are never going to be the same again.
This isn’t your father’s Dale Cooper! He wakes up in the motel in his boxers. No blue pajamas, no upturned cowlick.
It’s really unclear how many levels of unreality deep we go in this Part. It’s ambiguous what universe we’re in when Cooper emerges from the Red Room (original universe? Altered continuity “Laura disappeared” universe? Somewhere else entirely?). Cooper and Diane then cross over to somewhere else when they pass the 430 mark, and of course Cooper once again seems to end up somewhere else entirely after the sex scene.
I’m not sure what the deal is with Richard and Linda, although I’m in good company, since Mark Frost also isn’t sure! I’d do a lot of things I’m not proud of to see just the portion of the script relating to this Part, to see how much was changed/added. The Fireman references Richard and Linda in Part 1, yet Cooper seems confused here, despite him remembering 430.
The name Richard obviously evokes the spawn of the doppel’s other rape, again indicating the importance of Audrey in all this. The “will they or won’t they, but also, she’s in high school” nature of the Cooper/Audrey dynamic on the original series is one of the most fun, charming, controversial, confusing, polarizing, fascinating and gossipy elements of the series’ legacy. It feels appropriate that, in some abstract sense, Cooper’s guilt over his feelings for Audrey, and what they led to when the doppel got out, seems to play into things here, with him being given a name that links him to the doppel’s sin.
Linda is of course another near-anagram of Diane, who seems to be hopelessly fragmented due to trauma.
What do we make of the fact that when Dale comes out of the motel to find himself in Texas, he finds Mr. C’s Lincoln Town Car from Part 2/3 waiting for him in the parking lot? As far as talismans go, that certainly doesn’t bode well for “our” Cooper. I’ve encountered, and toyed with, the notion that when the Doppel is destroyed at the top of this hour, he is reintegrated into Cooper Prime, explaining why Cooper’s demeanor seems more dour, his delivery slower, and his behavior occasionally borderline-sinister. Maybe it’s a combination of all the things I’ve mentioned (giving up part of himself to make a Dougie tulpa, having the doppel reintegrated, and becoming overly prideful with his advanced connection to the spirit world) that lead to the perfect storm of a Cooper ill-suited to carry out this task. It definitely doesn’t seem like a coincidence that Lynch starts the hour with the doppel’s destruction and the tulpa’s creation, before settling in with the “real” Cooper for the rest of the Part. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions...
A detail I don’t recall seeing mentioned (perhaps further demonstrating the breakdown of reality, or maybe just a continuity error): after Cooper’s confrontation with the cowboys, he only picks up two guns (the second cowboy appears to reach for a gun in his rear waistband right before Dale shoots him in the foot, but Cooper never takes that gun off him). Then, when he gets behind the counter, Dale magically has a third gun (not counting his own), a revolver he wasn’t carrying a second earlier.
Carrie’s first question when she opens the door is, “Did you find him?” I never made this connection before, but might she be referring to Billy?
I still really don’t know what to make of Tommy the loan shark from Part 6 seemingly being dead on Laura’s couch. For awhile I thought that was a Bob-orb popping out of his chest, but now I’m not entirely sure. He definitely has a really distinctive bulge going on there, but the coloring of the material sticking out of his shirt looks more like a mixture of creamed corn and motor oil, like when Mr. C vomited or when the Bob-orb got punched through the floor. Assuming it is an orb, I guess the idea is that Bob is still pursuing Laura across time and space to obtain her as a host?
Sheryl’s adeptness at physical comedy is really underrated. She cracks me up as she scampers back and forth in her house gathering what she needs to take with her. Of course, the “clean house” bit is a wonderful little dramatic mini-monologue. And this Part could serve as the Sheryl Lee scream demo. Part of me wishes L/F had found a way to give Sheryl/Laura more to do in TR, but her performance as Carrie here is a treasure I’m grateful to have.
I know much has been made of the presence of Mary Reber (or a Tremond who looks like her), and the idea that Dale and Laura may have stumbled into our “reality.” However, note that the diner still has the “RR” sign up, indicating that Twin Peaks is still Twin Peaks to at least some degree.
I like that Dale takes Carrie’s hand as he leads her to the Palmer house, just as he took Laura’s when bringing her “home” earlier.
I still get goosebumps when all the lights surge and then suddenly go out in the house, even though I know it’s coming. It’s really an electric moment, pun intended.
Dale’s Diet, the Final Installment:
— Coffee at Eat at Judy’s (he seems thoroughly nonplussed, although this Dale doesn’t seem to enjoy much of anything)
— He tells Carrie he’ll get them food on the way, and they go inside a Valero gas station, but we don’t see what they buy