A Skeleton Key to Twin Peaks: Part Eighteen

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New Narrative Conflicts Introduced

  1. Richard & Diane's Last Shag: Is it a ritual? For what purpose? 430 miles from what and into what did they crossover? More questions than answers with this one.

Episodic Part Summary By Scene and Focus

Scene 1 ????, Red Room / Nevada, Las Vegas, Jones Home (0:01:39 - 0:03:09)

Mr C burns in the Red Room chair. Phillip put the golden seed along with Cooper’s hair into the chair and says, “Electricity.” The ball bounces and rises and Dougie Jones is born. He looks around and says, “Where am I?” The Red Room chevrons roll into the red door of the Jones home and the doorbell rings. Janey-E says, “Just a second,” and opens the door to see Dougie in his  black suit. She says, “Dougie!” Sonny Jim says, “Dad!” and comes running. Dougie says, “Home.”

That’s our Dougie:


Cooper Escapes


Scene 2 Washington, Twin Peaks (1989), Woods Near Sparkwood & 21 / ????, The Red Room / (0:03:09 - 0:09:45)

The scene replays where Cooper loses Laura in the woods. Cooper looks around and is back in the Red Room, where Philip asks him, “Is it future or is it past?” Cooper considers him and Philip disappears, leaving an empty chair where Laura Palmer originally appeared. Philip is standing on the other side of the room, beckoning Cooper, who gets up with a gasp and walks briskly towards Mike. He walks down the hall and enters the room with the Arm, who introduces itself and says, “I am the arm. And I sound like this (arm sounds). Is it the story of the little girl who lived down the lane?” Cooper consider this. The arm asks again, “Is it?” Cooper now is being whispered to by Laura and he says, “Huh?” She screams and gets pulled out again. He looks to the ceiling, seemingly shocked, then walks back into the large room, confronting Leland, sitting in a chair. He says, “Find Laura.” Coop hears a soft ringing tone and walks down the hall, commanding the curtains to ripple with his hand. He enters and is in Glastonbury Grove, where he meets Diane, who seems surprised to see him. She asks, “Is it you? Is it really you?” He smiles at her and says, “Yes, it’s really me, Diane. Is it really you?” She says yes. They smile at each other lovingly. The Red Room curtains disappear.  

Save Laura Palmer

Scene 3 Desert Road Day (year and place undetermined, 430 miles from somewhere) / Desert Road night (year and place undetermined) /  Motel (0:09:45 - 0:24:41)

Coop and Diane are driving an old bench seat car down a desert road. There are no power lines at first. Diane looks at Coop and then back to the road, where there are now large power lines. They are in the same car. Diane asks if he’s sure he wants to do this. He doesn’t respond. Now there are many power lines. She says, “You don’t know what it’s going to be like once we…” He interrupts and says, “I know that. We’re at that point now. I can feel it.” There are mile markers and signs in addition to the power lines. He looks at the car’s gauges and says, “Look. Almost exactly 430 miles.” Diane seems worried but Coop seems sure. He pulls over and stops the car. He says, “Exactly 430 miles.” Diane grabs his arm and says, “Just think about it, Cooper.” He opens the door and gets out, walking towards the power lines which are sizzling with electricity. His hands are spread wide, as if to steady himself and he looks up at the power lines, checks his watch and turns around in a circle, nodding his head. He takes a breath and walks back towards the car. Daine seems more concerned now. He gets in and says, “This is the place, all right.” He asks Diane to kiss him. He says, “Once we cross, it could all be different.” They kiss passionately and the break. Diane says, “Let’s go.” Coop puts the car in drive and they start moving forward, the power lines sizzling and a hum grows. They cross over some barrier.

Now they are driving at night. There are lights in the distance. They appear to be wearing the same clothes and are not speaking. There are signs and markers on the road, illuminated by the car headlights. Insects chirp as they pull up to a single-story motel, with a neon Open sign in the window. They are still driving the old car. Coop gets out and goes to the motel office. Diane watches the door and sees herself appear by one of the posts. She studies herself but does not react. Coop comes out and the second Diane is gone. Coop walks towards door 7 and looks at Diane. She gets out of the car and joins him in front of room 7. They enter. She closes the door behind them and turns on the light. Coop says, “Turn off the light.” She asks what they do now. He says, “You come over here to me.” She walks over and he says, “Diane.” They kiss and the Platters “My Prayer” begins to play. They are making love but an ominous music rises behind the Platters. It appears as if she is drawing Mr C out in Cooper. As she looks to the sky, “My Prayer” starts playing again. She kisses him but he does not kiss her back as she rides on top of him. She begins to rub his face and cover his face with her hands. She looks to the ceiling and seems to be in distress while in the middle of ecstasy.

Coop wakes up and it is daylight. The motel room still seems dated as if it were in the 50s or 60s. Diane is gone. He calls out to her but she is nowhere to be found. There is a letter on the nightstand. It says, “Dear Richard, When you read this, I’ll be gone. Please don’t try to find me. I don’t recognize you anymore. Whatever it was we had together is over. Linda.” Coop does not know what is happening. He repeats, “Richard. Linda.”

Richard and Linda’s Last Shag

Scene 4 Texas(?), Motel / Texas, Odessa, Judy’s Diner, Carrie Page’s House / FBI Vehicle Traveling from Odessa to Twin Peaks / Washington, Twin Peaks (year undetermined) / (0:24:41 - 0:56:55)

He exits the motel but it is different now, a two story more modern motel and it looks like the palm trees fit better in Southern California or Florida. Coop gets into a modern Lincoln and looks back disconcertingly at the room he just exited. He pulls out of the lot and it is a cloudy day that threatens rain. There is a post-2000 SUV parked in the lot he is leaving.

Coop is driving in Odessa now, City Limit Population 99,940. He passes Maersk trucks and eventually comes to a Judy’s Coffee Shop. He pulls in. A waitress named Kristi is pouring coffee for an older couple, the woman reading the Odessa Daily News. Coop gets out of the car and looks around, then takes a seat in a booth. Kristi offers him coffee and he watches her pour, before asking if there’s another waitress that works here. She says, “Yeah. It’s her day off. Actually, it’s her third day off.” She walks to another table to offer coffee and gets sexually harassed by three large cowboys. Coop tells them to leave her alone. One gets up and comes over to the table, then asks, “The fuck you doin?” Coop says, “What? And leans back in his booth. The cowboy pulls a gun and tells him, “Get the fuck out of that booth.” Coop disarms him, kicks him in the crotch, pulls his weapon and shoots Cowboy 2 in the foot and demands the other one put his gun on the ground (twice). He does this like Mr C would. He tells him to sit down, then Coop gets up, grabs the guns and walks to the back. The woman asks, “Who is he?” Coop walks to the kitchen and tells the waitress to write the address of the other waitress on a piece of paper. He then puts the guns in the hot oil, warning the cook to stand back because the bullets might go off. He says this in a very Mr C-like tone. He tells the waitress that it’s okay, he’s with the FBI. Coop walks out without even glancing at the cowboys. Cowboy 1 asks, “What the fuck just happened?” Coop pulls up to 1516 and hears electricity crackling above a wire. There is crap all over the yard, no grass; the place is a dump. He knocks on the door and Laura Palmer answers in a southern drawl. He says he’s the FBI and she opens the door immediately. She asks if he found him. Coop says, “Laura.” Her eyes grow wide and she asks, “You didn’t find him?” He says, “Laura” again. She says he’s got the wrong house. He says, “You’re saying you’re not Laura Palmer?” She asks, “Laura who? No, I’m not her.” He asks her name. She says it’s Carrie Page. He asks her to wait when she tries to shut the door. He says, “So the name Laura Palmer means nothing to you?” She has had enough. She says, “Look, I don’t know what you want but I’m not her.” He says, “Your father’s name was Leland.” She says, “Okay” (almost as if she didn’t know her father and is just accepting this at face value. He says, “Your mother’s name is Sarah.” She seems taken aback by this and asks, “S-Sarah?” He says yes. She closes her eyes and seems to take a deep breath. She asks him what’s going on. He says, “It’s difficult to explain. As strange as it sounds, I think you’re a girl named Laura Palmer. I want to take you to your mother’s home. Your home at one time. It’s very important.” She considers this and says, “Umm...Listen, normally somebody like you comes around and I tell them to fuck off. This door’d be slammed in their face. Right now, I gotta get outta dodge anyway. It’s a long story. So ridin’ with the FBI just might save my ass. Where we going?” He says, “Twin Peaks, Washington.” She asks DC? He says Washington State. She asks if it’s a long way. He confirms. She’s going to get her things. He comes in and there is a dead man, shot in the head in the chair. Coop seems surprised by this. There is a white horse on the mantle, standing in front of a blue plate. There is an automatic rifle on the floor by the fireplace and there seems to plastering tools. On the lower mantle. She comes running back in and asks if Washington is north and if she needs a coat. He says bring a coat if you’ve got one. She says she doesn’t have any food here. He says he’ll get food on the sway.

In the car, Carrie asks if he is really an FBI Agent. He shows her his badge and says yes. She says, “Well at least we’re getting out of this fuckin’ town of Odessa.”

It’s night now and they have been driving a long time, cars and road signs roll by. And they drive. And Drive. And Drive. Eventually, Carrie looks behind her, as does Cooper, like someone is following them. She asks if someone is following them. He doesn’t respond but continues looking behind them. Eventually the car passes them. And they drive. Laura says, “Odessa. I tried to keep a clean house, keep everything organized.”  And they drive. She says, “It’s a long way.” She falls asleep. Coop continues to drive. She says, “In those days, I was too young to know any better.”

They stop at a Valero station and gas in $2.89 for 87 octane and 3.09 for premium.

And they drive, eventually crossing Ronnette’s Bridge. They pull up to the RR Cafe (no RR2Go sign though). Coop asks her if she recognizes anything. She doesn’t. He stops outside 708 and asks her if she recognizes that house. She looks and all the lights are on. She says no. They get out and walk up to the front door. He offers his hands, she takes it and he says, “Come on.”

Carrie looks at him as they walk up, staring dreamily. He knocks and they look at each other. He knocks again. She looks around, as if something is familiar. A blonde woman answers the door and says, “Yes?” Coop says, “FBI. I’m Special Agent Dale Cooper. Is Sarah Palmer here?” The woman asks, “Who?” He repeats. She says, “No, there’s no one here by that name.” Then she looks at Laura. Coop asks, “Do you know Sarah Palmer?” She says no. Coop asks, “Is this your house? Do you own this house or do you rent this house?” She says, “Yes, we own this house.” Coop asks, “Who did you buy it from?” She asks her husband, “Honey, what was the name of the woman who sold us this house?” She gets an answer and says, “Chalfont, a Mrs. Chalfont.” Coop considers this a moment then asks, “Do you happen to know who she bought it from?” She said, “No I don’t, but…” She asks her husband and peeks back around the door and says, “No.” Coop asks her what her name is. She says, “Alice. Alice Tremond.” Coop says, “Okay. Sorry to bother you so late at night.” Alice says, “That’s okay.” They say goodnight and Coop and Carrie walk back to the street. Coop stops in the middle of the street and Carrie turns slowly around. Coop turns to look at the house and so does Carrie. The wind rustles and all the lights are on in the house. She dreamily looks from the house to Coop. Coop stumbles forward, hand outstretched (as if reaching for the door handle back in the Great Northern basement). She is watching him. He asks, “What year is this?” She blinks and considers this, then looks back to th house. We hear Sarah Palmer calling, “Laura!” (from the pilot before her death was revealed). Carrie starts to shake and screams piercingly, the same scream Coop heard in the Woods when Laura was taken. He is shocked by this, but not moved into action. The lights in the house go out and the screen goes black but the scream echoes.

Save Laura Palmer


Kyle McLachlan:Special Agent Dale Cooper

Matt Battaglia:Cowboy 3

Laura Dern:Diane Evans

Francesca Eastwood:Texas Waitress Kristi

Pierce Gagnon:Sonny Jim Jones

Heath Hensley:Cowboy 1

Sheryl Lee:Laura Palmer

Sheryl Lee:Carrie Page

Rob Mars:Cowboy 2

Mary Reber:Alice Tremond

Al Strobel:Phillip Gerard

Naomi Watts:Janey-E Jones

Ray Wise:Leland Palmer

Grace Zabriskie:Sarah Palmer


  • “My Prayer”:Written by Georges Boulanger and Jimmy Kennedy:Performed by The Platters

Voice of The Return (Summary)

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COMING SOON: Twin Peaks Returns Part Two

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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