Jesse Valencia imagines what the creators of Twin Peaks could do and where the series could go if they return for a Twin Peaks Season 4.
Warning: This article contains spoilers from both Twin Peaks: The Return (also known as Season 3) and The Final Dossier.
After picking up and finishing the recently-released (and excellent) Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier, written by the show’s co-creator Mark Frost, I couldn’t help but think where David Lynch could possibly take Season 4. If it never happens, I’m fine with that too, as this past summer’s Twin Peaks: The Return was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen on television. But with Lynch and now Frost both teasing it, here are five roads I think a Twin Peaks Season 4 could take …
If Twin Peaks Season 4 happens, it will have to address the problem of yet even more Coopers—not only is our beloved Special Agent (Kyle MacLachlan) seemingly trapped in a cosmic time loop with Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) as we saw in the final moments of “Part 18,” but he also now exists in a different central timeline as a Cooper who never got the chance to find Laura and that Cooper left after spending a few short weeks in Twin Peaks. This is the Dale Cooper that the novel’s narrator, Special Agent Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell), refers to in her research. Theoretically, they should now exist in the same timeline. By the end of The Final Dossier, Tammy has booked a flight back to the Blue Rose Task Force’s Philadelphia offices and mentions as she writes that her mind is getting fuzzy. It is entirely possible that when she arrives, there will be not just a Director Gordon Cole (David Lynch), but a Dale Cooper awaiting her arrival, ready to find Laura and stop Judy, now the series’ main antagonist, once and for all.
This situation assumes that Cooper as he exists now in Tammy’s timeline would still be a part of the Blue Rose Task Force, since he would have still encountered Philip Jeffries in 1989 (as played by the late David Bowie in the 1992 film Fire Walk with Me) and been recruited by both Cole and Albert Rosenfeld (played by the late Miguel Ferrer), but he would never have entered the Black Lodge, because he never would have received visions from The Fireman (Carel Struycken) in Season 1 that led him to discover Laura’s father Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) as the killer in Season 2.
Knowing Coop’s “White Knight syndrome,” as pointed out by Frost by way of Tammy in The Final Dossier, it’s possible that this new Coop has spent the past 25 years trying to find Laura and solve the Blue Rose case. For those fans of the series who missed the loveable, quirky Coop obsessed with pie, coffee, and Tibetan cosmology, this would be your best shot at seeing him again, especially if the “Dougie Jones” Coop we came to know in Season 3 is doomed to the same fate as Jeffries, now as lost in the fabric of dimension as he is mysterious, a permanent fixture of The Black Lodge. Which brings us to our next dilemma …
Will Laura Palmer Ever Be Saved?
If the real Laura as we saw at the end of “Part 18” ever makes it out of the Loop, as I call it, she will be returning to a Twin Peaks far different than the one that existed while her alternate self was dead, but nevertheless one that in either reality would be wholly new to her, and as her alias Carrie “Paige” suggests, there is still one missing page to her diary as Hawk (Michael Horse) pointed out in Season 3. It would be fun to see Laura, as Carrie Paige, navigate this new world and interact with the town as it now exists in this alternate timeline. Could we see her with Shelly? Bobby? Leo? Norma and Ed? Ben Horne? After all, why save Laura at all if she can’t truly live? Which leads us to the question …
Is Bob Really Gone?
Considering the lengthy efforts The Fireman/The Giant went through to destroy Bob (the late Frank Silva), to the point of employing a would-be superhero with a magic green glove (Jake Wardel) to literally punch him until he exploded, I’d say it’s a sure bet we’ve seen the last of the show’s classic villain. Pair this with the fact that in the new timeline Leland killed himself, however, and things get tricky. It’s possible now that after Leland died, a gaggle of Woodsmen (whom, let’s face it, we would all love to see again) came to reclaim Bob and take him to the Black Lodge where he would be reunited with the mysterious, still-unknown figure called Mr. C in The Return claiming he was Phillip Jeffries, but maybe it was double agent Ray Monroe leading him on a path, or maybe it was someone else entirely. But either way you look at it, there are scarier things than Bob now in the cosmology of Twin Peaks, which leads us to an even more curious question …
Are We Going to Talk about Judy?
As The Final Dossier now makes clear, Laura’s mother Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) is undoubtedly the “Judy” that Jefferies makes reference to in Fire Walk with Me, as well as the “Jowday” that Gordon Cole (Lynch) reveals as being the focal point of the entire Twin Peaks mythology in Season 3. It is implied by this mythology that Sarah/Judy was responsible for Bob inhabiting Leland, which led to him repeatedly raping and eventually killing Laura, their own daughter, which ended up with his soul trapped in the Black Lodge. Laura, of course, was sent by The Fireman to stop Judy. To keep Sarah from going full Judy, Leland had to drug her with a mysterious substance with similar hypnotic properties to the “Woodsman’s Mantra,” signified by her vision of a white horse while under the influence of the drug: “This is the water and this is the well. Drink full and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes, and the deep within …” and as we all well know, the cosmic dimensions underlying Twin Peaks run very deep, which may lead us to an even trickier new plot point …
Is It the Story of the Little Girl Down the Lane?
Had Cooper not gone back in time to save Laura, it can be assumed that Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) never would have been inspired to chain herself to the bank vault as her father, Ben Horne (Richard Beymer), would have easily sold his portion of Ghostwood Forest to the Norwegians who appear in the pilot. Audrey never would have used Laura’s murder to disrupt the negotiations, then never would have been raped by Coop’s doppelganger, and subsequently Richard (Eamon Farren) would never have existed. However, because The Arm referenced Audrey from The Black Lodge to Coop following his rescue of Laura in “Parts 17 and 18” of Season 3, it is entirely possible that in every timeline Audrey is stuck in some sort of cosmic limbo, and always ends up in her same psychological prison. Perhaps the Coop we saw at the end of “Part 18,” himself stuck in limbo, could find his way to Audrey and save her again, just like he did after she was drugged at One Eyed Jack’s in the original series.
Other characters who could return …
Diane (Laura Dern)
Coop may be stuck in limbo, but Diane didn’t go to Odessa, Texas, to help him retrieve Laura Palmer/Carrie Paige, either. It’s possible that Diane escaped the transdimensional fabric tear that led Coop to Laura/Carrie and returned to the Philadelphia offices, which would be a good launch-point for Season 4, since she would still be aware of everything that has happened from Season 1 onward, especially if there was more to the plan devised by Coop, Major Briggs, and Gordon Cole to trap Judy. Bets are on that Diane would be in on the case, and Dern has already said she would be open to a Season 4.
Annie Blackburn (Heather Graham)
The Final Dossier makes it clear that Annie Blackburn is still alive, living out her days in a mental institution in Spokane, near enough to Twin Peaks to still make her relevant, especially given the fact that on the same day every year at 8:38 a.m. she says, “I’m fine,” apparently an answer to Coop’s double asking, “How’s Annie?” in the final episode of Season 2. Is Annie caught in the same loop as Coop and Laura? Is she a doppelganger? A tulpa, frozen in time? It’s definitely something that could be explored and it would be fun to see Graham return to the role.
Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle)
After a rough 25 years where she became addicted to drugs and alcohol, by the end of The Final Dossier a sober Donna was studying to become a nurse practitioner. If Laura/Carrie returns to Twin Peaks, Donna hearing of it might herald her return to the town, maybe to work at Calhoun Memorial Hospital, and who knows where it could go from there? Lara Flynn Boyle has a complicated past with the show and its creators, but an appearance in Twin Peaks Season 4 might jumpstart her now-absent career.
Maddy Ferguson (Sheryl Lee)
Laura not dying means her doppelganger cousin Maddy Ferguson may never have come to Twin Peaks to comfort the Palmer family, which means she too would never have been murdered by Leland and may have gone on living a full life in Missoula where the character is from. Given the amount of time we spent in South Dakota and Missouri in Season 3, it is entirely possible that Maddy could have a new and different role in a theoretical Season 4.
Harold Smith (Lenny Von Dohlen)
Since Laura’s now-disappearance has altered the timeline, we may once again see the plant-loving hermit Harold Smith and he would still have Laura’s diary since she still would have given it to him prior to her disappearance. If a page to Laura’s diary is still missing, Chief Hawk (Michael Horse) may be knocking on Harold’s door for it soon.
Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak)
Perhaps the biggest mystery of all lies with the disappearance of Chester Desmond, the last remaining unaccounted-for Blue Rose agent in the Twin Peaks cosmology. With so much of the story Fire Walk with Me centralized in Season 3, Desmond may be a useful catalyst for a new level of mystery in Season 4, and it would be fun to see Isaak return to the character.
Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier is available now.