Note 1: This is a first in a series of articles exploring the theory surrounding possession within Twin Peaks. As the new season progresses, I will continue to explore these ideas and adjust the theory as we learn more.
Note 2: this article has been updated after the airing of Part 5. Since we only have one extra piece of information, it doesn’t deserve a complete write-up.
Over 15 years ago, we published an article called The Art of Possession in which we explore 3 different aspects of possession in the world of Twin Peaks. The first is to open up oneself like Leland did at Pearl Lakes and allow BOB in. The second is through brute force in which BOB forces the person to give-in. This would be what Laura Palmer endured and never gave in. The third and final version is that of entering the Black Lodge and the “good self” being trapped while the “bad self” takes over the body or vessel (the “vessel” idea now needs to be revisited due to Season 3).
The question at the end of Season 2 and the question we still have with 4 episodes into Season 3 is:
What does this 3rd type of possession really look like?
One thing we know for sure is that the doppelganger and BOB are two separate entities – BOB is a spirit and the doppelganger is a “shadow self” — at least in the Lodge. However, I would venture to suggest these two remain separate entities outside the lodge, but are directly linked together as I will explain below.
In the final scene of the last episode, we see the image of BOB in the mirror in the bathroom. Moments before, Cooper looks dazed and confused – repeating himself that he needs to brush his teeth. These actions are similar to what we are seeing in Episode 4 of Season 3 in which Mr C in prison repeats himself multiple times. He tired and not quite with it, and speaks at a slower pace with a deeper voice.
Twenty-five years ago when Cooper slammed his head into the mirror and turned to the camera, we no longer see a slow and repetitive individual. We see a madman. It is in this moment that BOB may have taken full control – even from a doppelganger. In The Missing Pieces we watch as BOB/Cooper laid down on the floor and lied about how he fell to the ground. I’m fairly confident this is a calculated move made by BOB or Evil Cooper.
We know from watching the series and FWWM that Leland – the human soul version – is in control regularly. We see this version of Leland throughout much of the first season, and only when BOB killed Maddy do we see the full force of BOB. During the murder scene we see two versions of what was going on. We have BOB and Leland flipping back and forth – BOB with his insatiable need for murder and fear, and Leland who doesn’t want to commit an act of murder. It’s almost like we are watching two individuals fight for control. We see this in FWWM in which Leland cries out “Don’t make me do this!” just before killing Laura. Leland has some control, but is constantly overpowered by BOB. Only in death does Leland escape.
In FWWM, there is a scene in which Leland grabs Laura by her cheeks and squeeze. This upsets both Sarah and Laura. In Season 3, we have already seen Mr C grab Jake by his cheeks and slowly move them back and forth – similar to what Leland did to Laura. The similarities suggest that either BOB is in control of Mr C or the two entities are linked somehow (I lean toward the latter).
The thing is – in the first four episodes of Season 3 we are not seeing a madman in Mr C that we saw at the end of Season 2. We are watching a calculated criminal who uses a gun to kill two women rather than his hands. He has a plan to stay in the real world. This is NOT the type of doppleganger/person many of us thought we would see. To some extent, Mr C is scarier than a madman because of his evil calculations.
Time will tell as you go through these next few episodes but I think it’s likely BOB is not in control of Evil Cooper and this is what Cooper would look like if he went bad. This doppelganger has aspects of Cooper – including his ability to think ahead and know how a criminal is caught (so he can cover his tracks) – but he simply does not have a trace of goodness.
BOB does not need to possess the evil Cooper because he is already evil. They very well may communicate together on a regular basis above a convenience store (or elsewhere). Maybe Mr C delivers a can of garmonozia to BOB every so often. They may even think alike and have similar directions and motives. But I don’t believe BOB is **in** Mr C on a regular basis and Episode 2 of Season 3 confirms this (if I have the quote right).
In Episode 2, Mr C is supposedly talking with Phillip Jeffries. At the end of the conversation, Jeffries says something like, “You are going to back in tomorrow and be with Bob again.” The comment is hard to make out precisely, but if this is what is said, then this confirms that BOB is NOT inside Mr C at all times. In Part 5 of Season 3, we do have our first shot of BOB as Mr C stares at himself in the mirror. Following a series of flashbacks and the image of BOB, Mr C says, “You’re still with me.” This new piece of information supports a link between them. (The last 3 sentences were added after Part 5 aired.)
If all this is true (and I’m making a ton of assumptions and could be wrong at multiple levels), then it begs the question — what happens when Mr C becomes weak — like we now have in Episode 4.
At the exact same time, Dougie and Mr C both become sick as the veil between the real world and the spirit world lifts. Mr C holds his garmonbozia in while Dougie vomits his up. Dougie is thrown back into the spirit world.
Only after Mr C sees Dougie in the waiting room does he begin to throw up. The vomit looks like a mixture of creamed corn/garmonbozia AND a black substance. I believe this black substance is the oil that we see toward the end of Season 2 (the same kind of oil that Ronette smells and Log Lady confirms). When the cops arrive they talk about a horrible smell and we find out from Tammy Preston that the smell makes people very sick. My only conclusion at this point is that this oil and garmonbozia when mixed together becomes one nasty chemistry experiment.
With the lack of garmonbozia, Mr C is now in a weakened state. He is now acting similar to how he was acting at the end of season 2. And because of this weakened state, it is possible that it opens the door for BOB to assist Mr C until he becomes strong again. And in order to be strong again, Mr C must consume fresh garmonbozia which may be achieved through multiple deaths in the coming episodes.
Now here’s an interesting tidbit with even more assumptions on my part – Bobby Briggs tells us that Cooper was the last person to see his dad alive. We learn that there was a fire the next day and Briggs died in the fire. I think it’s safe to assume that BOB/Evil Cooper started the fire in order to kill Briggs. I will go one step further – BOB/Mr C killed Briggs and started the fire to cover up the murder. Briggs’ death may have been needed for Evil Cooper to receive garmonbozia. Briggs’ death also killed two birds with one stone — if anyone could help Cooper, it would be Major Garland Briggs. Killing him helped keep good Cooper in the Lodge while at the same time strengthening Mr C with garmonbozia.
With 14 more episodes to go, hopefully we will get a better handle on these questions.
For a related article, check out this one at 25yearslatersite.com. John and I seem to have similar thoughts but coming to those thoughts differently.