A Skeleton Key to Twin Peaks: Part Seventeen

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Share of Voice Part 17.png

New Narrative Conflicts Introduced

  1. Save Laura Palmer: In many ways, this has been the original narrative, introduced back in the early 1990s. 

Episodic Part Summary By Scene and Focus

Part 17 Scene 1, South Dakota, Buckhorn (0:01:40 - 0:07:01)

Albert pours Gordon a drink while Gordon stares at his gun. He says, “I couldn’t do it.” Albert tells him he’s gone soft in his old age and then repeats it when Gordon doesn’t hear him. Gordon says, “Not where it counts buddy.” Tammy moons at him with this remark. They toast to the Bureau then Cole tells them a story, something he’s kept from Albert for 25 years. “Before he disappeared, Major Briggs shared with me and Cooper his discovery of an entity, an extreme negative force called, in olden times, ‘Jowday.’ Over time, it’s become ‘Judy.’ Major Briggs, Cooper and I put together a plan that could lead us to Judy. Then, something happened to Major Briggs, and something happened to Cooper. Philip Jeffries, who doesn’t really exist anymore, at least not in the normal sense, told me a long time ago, he was on to this entity. And he disappeared. Now, the last thing Cooper told me was, ‘If I disappear like the others, do everything you can to find me. I’m trying to kill two birds with one stone.’ And now, this thing with two Coopers. And recently, a paid informant named Ray Munroe sent a cryptic message indicating that the Cooper we met at prison is looking for coordinates, coordinates from a certain Major Briggs.” Gordon expresses how sorry is from keeping the plan from Albert and that he doesn’t know if it’s unfolding properly because they should’ve heard from, “Our dear Dale Cooper.” Just then the phone rings; it’s Agent Headley in Vegas. They found Douglas Jones but they don’t know where he is. Bushnell comes in and has a message from Dougie for Cole. “I am headed for Sheriff Truman’s. It is 2:53 in Las Vegas and that adds up to a 10, the number of completions.” Cole thanks Mullins and thanks him very much. Cole hangs up the phone and asks, “DOUGIE IS COOPER? HOW THE HELL IS THIS?” Albert and Tammy look around then Tammy recounts that they blew up Dougie Jones’s car, tried to shoot him and he’s been spotted in the company of two organized crime figures. He electrocuted himself by sticking a fork in a wall socket. Albert says, “That’s strange, even for Cooper.” Gordon says, “A Blue rose case, most definitely.” Tammy says he was hospitalized in a coma until this afternoon, to which Cole replies, “Pack it up! I know where he’s going!"

FBI Finds Cooper

Cooper Escapes

Part 17 Scene 2, Washington, Twin Peaks, Sheriff’s Station, Great Northern Hotel (0:07:01 - 0:010:19)

It’s night time at the Sheriff’s Station and the cells are quiet, the drunk having passed out against the bars. Chad stirs, gets up from his cot and movers to the edge of the bed but his movement stirs the drunk out of his stupor and Chad desists from his plan, calling the guy a “Fucker,” which he promptly repeats.

Cooper is driving at night.

Naido is at it again and no one knows what she is or what she’s doing.

Ben Horne is talking to a Sergeant Williams, a police officer in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Jerry was captured naked in Wyoming, telling a tale of how his binoculars killed someone. Ben is going to arrange for him to be picked up and he’s sending some clothes.

Revisit Old Twin Peaks

Meet New Twin Peaks

Part 17 Scene 3, Washington, Twin Peaks, Blue Pine Mountain / ????, The White Lodge / Twin Peaks, Sheriff’s Station / ????, The Red Room / Twin Peaks, The Great Northern Hotel / ????, The Dark Motel / Twin Peaks, 1989 /  (0:10:19 - 0:35:06)

We see the power lines and hear the crack of electricity as Mr C drives in the dark. Mr C’s truck is parked at the edge of the forest and he is stepping through the deep woods. We see the place, 253 yards due East from Jack Rabbit’s Palace. Mr C approaches it and steps into the smoke. We hear the electrical scratching and see the flashing lights. The vortex appears and Mr C disappears as expected.

In the White Lodge, we seem to be in the room the Fireman sent the golden orb forth in Part 8. He is still floating in the air and Major Brigg’s head hangs disincorporated from any body on the right side of the screen as we look at it straight on; he doesn’t speak. On the left side of the screen is a lateral cage with Mr C’s face inside. Between them is the placement tube that deposited Laura’s orb in Part 8. On the screen is a picture of the grove that Mr C just stood inside. Electricity and smoke boil underneath Mr C’s cage and a flashing light comes from the door behind the cage, on stage right. The Giant is now looking at the Palmer home. He waves his arm and the picture changes in a stream to a wooded view. We see into the room that was flashing behind Mr C’s cage and there are dozens of those power bells, flashing electicity and sparking crackle sounds. We hear a gear and pulley lock into place and Mr C’s cage starts moving towards the golden tube, gets pulled in and then deposited inside the screen. Mr C stands with his back to us, in black and white. We see him appear in color, his back still to us. Naido wakes up, agitated. Mr C turns around and sees the Sheriff’s Station and asks, “What is this?” He is clearly angry. He walks towards Andy, who greets him warmly and invites him inside.

Naido is getting everyone else stirred up in the cell.

Andy brings Cooper in and he is greeted warmly by Lucy. Sheriff Truman is very skeptical when he meets Truman and Mr C is surprised by Frank instead of Harry. Frank invites him into his office to sit down. Andy starts to remember something from his time with the Fireman, him guiding Lucy into place before running off.

Chad puts his plan into motion. He has a key in his boot, is able to unlock his cell, get into the locker room and secure a firearm.

Mr C sits in Truman’s office and Truman does as well but Mr C does not want coffee. Andy runs to tell Hawk that Cooper is back. Truman calls him by name twice and Mr C says, “In the flesh.”

The drunk starts peeling at his face.

Lucy stands up to look at Andy, who is running by the front desk, saying, “Very important! Very important!” She sits back down after he runs down the hall.

Andy is looking for Hawk and Cahd pulls the gun on him. Chad insults him and Freddie readies his glove, knocking Chad out completely. Andy cuffs Chad to the cell and gets Naido out of her cell.

Lucy takes a call and stands up, saying, “WHO?”

Truman asks Mr C, “What brings you back to Twin Peaks, Agent Cooper?” Mr C says, “Unfinished Business.” Lucy interrupts and begs Truman to take the call on line 2. Mr C looks on scrutinously. Frank picks up the phone and it’s Dale Cooper, who announced himself as, “Federal Bureau of Investigations, Dale Cooper.” They are just entering Twin Peaks city limits. He asks if the coffee’s on. Mr C smells the ruse and pulls his weapon, firing but hitting Frank’s hat, which lifts comically off his head. Lucy stands behind Mr C,  having shot him in the back and killed him. Cooper asks, “What was that?” Truman says, “Lucy?”

Andy says, “I’ve got to get you all upstairs.”

Truman looks at the body on the floor and says, “I think this one’s dead, Agent Cooper.” Coop says emphatically, “Don’t touch him! Stay away from that body!” Freddie, James and Naido enter the room with Andy. Lucy says she understands cellular phones now. Hawk comes running in and asks, “What the hell?” Truman says that Agent Cooper said don’t touch that body. Hawk says, “But that is Agent Cooper.” Frank says, “No, it’s not.” The Woodsman music starts up and they appear and begin their blood resurrection ritual while everyone looks on in shock. Coop and the Mitchum Brothers pull up and come running in. The Woodsman extract the Bob bubble, which floats threateningly in the air of Truman’s office. Cooper seems afraid of the bubble, unable to act and the BOB bubble rushes and bites at Cooper, who falls to the ground, unable to rise. Freddie says, “Oy,” and starts walking towards the BOB bubble. Cooper stands up and asks if he’s Freddie, who says, “That’s right. And this is me destiny.” He then starts battling with BOB, who attacks him and knocks him to the ground and bloodies his face. Freddie lands a punch, knocking the BOB ball back. BOB attacks again, knocking Freddie back down. He stands back up and lands another punch, then stands above the BOB ball and punches it through the floor, where fire shoots up from the hole, the screen shaking. The Woodsman music fades and the BOB ball rises into the air for one final strike, knocking Freddie down again. Dale calls for him to get up. Freddie rises, and BOB threatens to, “Catch you with my death bag.” BOB attacks and Freddie lands the dolorous blow, breaking the BOB bubble into several black shards, which ascend into the ceiling and disappear. Freddie is on his hands and knees and asks, “Did I do it?” Coop says, “You did it, Freddie!” Coop then walks over to Mr C’s body and places the ring on his finger. His body begins smoking and disappears. Rod says, “One for the grandkids,” and Bradley nods, stupefied. Cooper asks Frank if he has the room key to the Great Northern Hotel, Room 315. Frank asks how he knew about it and Coop says, “Major Briggs told me that Sheriff Truman had it.” Frank produces the key and hands it to Cooper.

Cole and team come squealing into the Sheriff’s lot.

Coop sees Naido and is taken aback, his face becomes frozen in afterimage on the screen. Bobby Briggs walks in and says, “What’s going on around here.” Bradley says, “Took the fucking words right out of my mouth.” Coop says, “Major Garland Briggs. Bobby, your father was well aware of what’s going on here today.” Bobby asks what that is. Coop says, “Many years ago, information your father gathered brought him together with Director Gordon Cole who...is here right on time.” Cole and team walk in and they greet each other and smile. Coop says, “And that’s what brought us to where we are today.” Then he looks serious and says, “Now, there are some things that will change. The past dictates the future.” The Y girls come in, carrying sandwiches and drinks. Candie says, “It’s a good thing we made so many sandwiches.” She and Coop smile at each other. Coop asks Frank to give him his regards. Naido walks towards Coop, helped by James and Freddie. They touch hands and she sheds her Tulpa exterior, revealing herself as Diane, after her face splits open vaginally and a black eyeball-looking meat orb descends into the Red Room, hanging above the chevron floor, Diane’s face appearing inside the black orb and Diane appearing where Naido stood seconds before in Sheriff Truman’s office wit red hair like ‘Lil in FWWM. Coop smiles and says, “Diane!” Diane smiles calmly at him and they kiss passionately. They break the kiss and Diane says, “Cooper, the one and only.” Coop says, “Do you remember everything?” Diane says, “Yes,” and exhales sharply. They both look as the clock on the wall which is bouncing to 2:53, back to 2:52 over and over again.

Diane grabs Coop’s arm and he slowly says (like Mr C in prison), “We live inside a dream.” In a normal voice, he says, “I hope I see all of you again, every one of you.” The light in the room begins to dim and Coop calls out, “Gordon!” Gordon says, “Coop!” and the screens fades to black with Cooper’s face still superimposed over the screen. 

Cooper Escapes


Mr C Has A Plan

FBI Finds Cooper

Meet New Twin Peaks

Revisit Old Twin Peaks

Bang Bang Band on Stage

Scene 4 Washington, Twin Peaks, The Great Northern Hotel / ????, The Dark Motel / Twin Peaks, 1989 / (0:35:06 - 0:59:12)

Walking through darkness, Coop, Diane and Cole approach the door in the generator basement room of the Great Northern Hotel, the now familiar hum ringing out. Coop pulls out the key, unlocks the door and says, “Now listen, I’m going through this door. Don’t try to follow me, either of you.” He hugs Diane and shakes Cole’s hand, who says, “Be thinking of you, Coop.” Cooper opens the door and steps inside. Before he does though, he looks back at Diane and says, “See you at the curtain call.” Diane looks at Cole, almost uncertainly. Coop steps in and closes the door behind him. He walks in Mike approaches him and, in a normal voice says, “Through the darkness of future past, the magician longs to see. One chants out between two worlds, Fire Walk With me.” Electricity sparks and Coop and Mike seem to change positions and/or faces, then fade out.

They are walking through woods and down the corridor to the stairwell above the convenience store. They begin walking up the stairs that lead to the Dark Motel, Coop following Mike. A switch is heard and the jumping boy is moving erratically down those same stairs. A door opens and crickets chirp, the Dark Motel still looking as it did when Mr C visited, Jeffries’ room light still on and his smoke still pouring, the machine sound still humming in a pattern. Coop calls out, “Phillip?” Phillip says, “Please, be specific.” Coop says, “The date. February 23. 1989.” Philip says, “I’ll find it for ya. It’s slippery in here. It’s good to see you again, Cooper. Say hello to Gordon, if you see him. He’ll remember the unofficial version. This...is where you’ll find Judy.” The camera zooms in on Cooper’s face. Jeffries says, “There may be someone. Did you ask me this?” Mike shakes his head no but Cooper just looks on. The owl cave symbol appear but the ears break off from the diamond and form another diamond, which then morphs into an infinity symbol (or 8) with a small, dark orb. The 8 rotates and the orb moves counter-clockwise to the other side of the lower loop, stopping at the 5’o clock position. Jeffries says, “There it is. You can go in now. Cooper, remember.” Mike says, “Electricity.” Sparks start flying and Cooper and Mike stutter in and out of frame, the screen freezing on Cooper with his eyes shut, a deep rhythmic wooshing and he fades to black.

The ceiling fan in the Palmer home bears witness to James pulling up to pick up Laura in Fire Walk With Me. Leland watches from the window with murder in his eyes. Events unfold as we know them, until Cooper appears in the woods where Laura and James stop for their final exchange. Laura spots Cooper in the woods and screams.

Laura never makes to Leo and Jacques car though, because Cooper approaches her as she sits on a log, after she has run off on James at Sparkwood and 21. She sees Cooper as asks who he is, if she knows him. He stays silent and she says, “Wait, I’ve seen you in a dream.” Laura’s Theme plays. She approaches him, his arm is stretched out to her. She takes his hand.

Her body, wrapped in plastic disappears from the rocky shore outside of the Packard home.

Laura asks him where they are going and Coop says, “We are going home.”

Josie is humming softly. Pete kisses his wife and goes off to fish (and actually makes it this time).

Cut to the Palmer home where an animal wailing permeates the home. Sarah Palmer eventually comes into the room with a bottle, grabs Laura’s picture and throws it to the ground, then starts stabbing it with a broken bottle on the living room floor, wailing and screaming, her hand stuttering back and forth in time. The screen goes black.

Coop and Laura are walking through the woods, walking towards the White Lodge vortex but Laura disappears along with the same scratching sound the giant played for Coop in Part 1. Laura’s scream rings out through the woods and he looks around, aimlessly for her.

Julee Cruise starts singing “The World Spins.” The lyrics are:

Haley’s Comet’s come and gone / The things I touch are made of stone / Falling through this night alone / Love don’t go away / come back this way / Come back and stay forever and ever / The world spins

Save Laura Palmer



Kyle McLachlan:Special Agent Dale Cooper/Mr C

Jay Aaseng:Drunk

Dana Ashbrook:Deputy Bobby Briggs

Phoebe Augustine:Ronette Pulaski

Chrysta Bell:FBI Agent Tammy Preston

Jim Belushi:Bradley Mitchum

Richard Beymer:Ben Horne

Joan Chen:Josie Packard

Giselle Damier:Sandie

Eric DaRe:Leo Johnson

Don S. Davis:Major Garland Briggs

Laura Dern:Diane Evans

Jay R. Ferguson:Special Agent Randall Headley

Miguel Ferrer:FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield

Robert Forster:Sheriff Frank Truman

Nathan Frizzell:Voice of Phillip Jeffries

Harry Goaz:Deputy Andy Brennan

Michael Horse:Deputy Chief Tommy “Hawk” Hill

Robert Knepper:Rodney Mitchum

Piper Laurie:Catherine Martell

Andrea Leal:Mandie

Sheryl Lee:Laura Palmer

David Lynch:FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole

James Marshall:James Hurley

Don Murray:Bushnell Mullins

Jack Nance:Pete Martell

Walter Olkewicz:Jacques Renault

John Pirruccello:Deputy Chad Broxford

Kimmy Robertson:Lucy Brennan

Carlton Lee Russell:Jumping Man

Amy Shiels:Candie

Frank Silva:Bob

Al Strobel:Phillip Gerard

Carel Struycken:The Fireman

Jake Wardle:Freddie Sykes

Ray Wise:Leland Palmer

Nae Yuuki:Naido

Grace Zabriskie:Sarah Palmer

Julee Cruise: Herself


  • “Sub Dream”:Written and Performed by David Lynch and Dean Hurley
  • “The World Spins”:Music by Angelo Badalamenti:Lyrics by David Lynch:Performed by Julee Cruise

Voice of The Return (Summary)

A Skeleton Key to Twin Peaks Returns Part 17.png

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JB Minton is the author of POETRYSEXLIFE..AND THE THIRD FLOOR MAGISTRATES TOOK THE RAPE and is a Technologist, Podcaster and Twitch Streamer. Follow JB on FacebookTwitter and the Web.

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