I had completely forgotten about Between Two Worlds! I went back and watched it last night after seeing this post.Mr. Reindeer wrote: I think Between Two Worlds gives us a clue as to Lynch’s mindset, re: Leland during the period he was scripting TP:TR. In BTW, Leland—even after twenty-five years in the afterlife—is in complete denial about his own culpability, insisting that it was someone else who carried out those acts (which we know from FWWM is a vast oversimplification/obfuscation). Therefore, I think he is sincere in wanting Cooper to save Laura on the surface, but may be more conflicted deep down...so, (c) might be the closest, IMO. Significantly, it seems that by aligning himself with the misguided/self-righteous Leland’s agenda, Cooper does Laura more harm than good.
Yeah, I see your point, it is most likely c), conflicted FWWM Leland. Although I dislike the implication of Cooper somehow working with Leland, I guess it's also possible that Coop and Leland both want to find Laura for different purposes altogether. I'm not sure, it's difficult to gauge Cooper's reaction to Leland.
It kinda puts that scene from the beginning of S3E18 into perspective, where Dougie (or Dougie's clone/tulpa?) reunites with his wife and son. That scene never really fit into the episode for me, or even within the larger framework of S3, but maybe it's telling that E18 starts with the Jones family reunion, which is warm and loving, then ends with an implied Palmer family reunion, which is at first cold and alien, before sharply turning into unintelligible horror.
Getting back to Leland, perhaps the Jones family reunion is what Leland imagines a Palmer family reunion would be like -- the beloved father welcomed at the front door with hugs. Perhaps there is a little bit of Leland tangled up in Cooper's jumbled Season 3 self.
EDIT: Also worth considering, the framing of Dougie's homecoming vs. Laura's homecoming. Dougie's homecoming is shot from entirely inside of the Jones home, with no camera angles from outside the house. Also, it is one continuous shot. Laura's homecoming, on the other hand, is shot from outside of the Palmer house, with multiple cuts. In the Dougie scene we can't see anything outside of the house, in the Laura sequence we see nothing inside of the Palmer home (except for the current inhabitant).