Analysis of Cooper’s Dream Part 1
Analysis of Cooper’s Dream
Part One: “There’s always music in the air.”
At the end of episode 2, Cooper has a dream about a little man, BOB, Mike and also a woman who looks a lot like Laura Palmer. This dream is Cooper’s key to cracking the murder case. It will ultimately lead him to finding the person who brutally murdered Laura Palmer and later Maddy Ferguson. This article lays out the road Cooper took in finding the killer through the use of this dream. In this first part of an exploration into this dream, we will look at where it initially led Cooper up through the end of the first season where he thought Leo Johnson and Jacques Renault had something to do with Laura’s death.
Before this begins in full, we would like to mention that Sarah Palmer has a vision of BOB in episode one. He is seen by Sarah kneeling at the foot of Laura’s bed in this vision. We can incorporate this with the scene in FWWM, when BOB comes in through Laura’s window and she realizes (or rather is reminded) that BOB is her father, Leland. He approaches the bed from this area, at the foot of it and thus has some correlation with Sarah’s vision. Sarah’s vision is the first time we see BOB and is thus our first glimpse into the supernatural realm that lies on the outskirts of Twin Peaks.
Cooper’s Dream at the end of episode 2 takes this simple and brief vision of Sarah’s step farther. We are given a tiny indication of who BOB is; Cooper explains to Harry and Lucy over breakfast in episode 3, Mike is the one-armed man and BOB is the killer (not the teenagers Mike and Bobby as Truman suggests).
The dream begins with a quick look at the location of the dream’s conclusion, the Red Room. Cooper looks old, 25 years older to be exact. The LMFAP (Little Man From Another Place) is standing with his back to Cooper and aggressively rubbing his hands together. This rubbing of the hands is his way of tapping into sources of information that he will share with Cooper once the dream returns to this setting.
Next are random images of Sarah Palmer running down the stairs the morning after Laura was killed, looking for her daughter to prepare her for school. What follows are glimpses of Sarah’s vision of BOB, the outside of the train car, and then Laura laying in the morgue. These images help Cooper figure out that BOB was the killer of Laura. Sarah had a vision of BOB, but it is not stated that he is the killer in the dream. BOB is shown, then the location of the killing, then Laura dead. These three scenes are how Cooper reached the conclusion that BOB was the killer, in addition to what Mike will soon tell him. As a side note, the glimpses of Sarah might also hint that by looking through the house, Sarah will find the true identity of BOB.
Next in the dream, we are introduced to Mike. We learn in episode 13 that Mike is really an inhabiting spirit who takes control of Phillip Gerard to find BOB and stop his evil plans, and who once used to be partners with BOB. In the first season, when Cooper finds Phillip Gerard, he is just a traveling shoe salesman and does not discover his deeper connection to Laura’s death. Gerard, when Mike is in control, is the best material witness Cooper could have to Laura’s murder.
Mike says the following in Cooper’s Dream:
“Through the darkness of future past
the magician longs to see
one chants out between two worlds
Fire walk with me.”
This chant will also be recited when Cooper interrogates Mike/Gerard in episode 13.
It will verify for Cooper that Mike is who he says he is (For more information regarding this chant, please check out the Chant Theory Article).
After reciting the poem in the dream, Mike goes on to tell a little bit about himself:
“We lived among the people, I think you say convenient store. We lived above it.
I mean it like it is. Like it sounds. I too have been touched by the devilish one.
A tattoo on the left shoulder, but when I saw the face of God I was changed.
I took the entire arm off. My name is Mike, his name is BOB.
This information leads Cooper to track down the one-armed man. In episode 4, Hawk finds him at the Timber Falls Motel, where they question him. They have the sketch Andy drew at the beginning of the episode at the Palmer residence. The sketch is of BOB as described by Sarah Palmer from her vision. Mike says he never saw the man before in his life, but he kind of looks like someone (see the Possession Theory Article for more information regarding this statement). Cooper asks him if he had a tattoo, which, according to what Cooper told Harry the morning after the dream, should read “Fire walk with me.”, but Gerard breaks down when he tells him it read “Mom.” He also mentions the arm was lost in a car accident.
After Mike’s appearance in the dream, we see BOB. It is the same man as the one from Sarah’s vision.
“Mike?. Mike, can you hear me?
Catch you with my deathbag
You may think I’ve gone insane
But I promise I will kill again.”
The “deathbag” reference is initially a description of wrapping his victims in plastic. The promise to kill again is fulfilled in episode 14, when Maddy is murdered. Asking if Mike can hear him shows that BOB is fearful of Mike and does not wish for Mike to find him. Satisfied he is not nearby he speaks of his deathbag and makes his promise. Leland/BOB also recites these lines after his confession to the killings in episode 16. This recitation connects Leland to what Cooper saw of BOB in his dream. This crystallizes in Cooper’s mind that Leland is in fact the killer and confirms that his confession was accurate.
In the first season, we don’t see BOB except in Sarah’s vision and in Cooper’s dream.
After he shows Gerard the sketch in episode 4, Cooper is led on a search to find Bob Lydecker, Gerard’s best friend. Mike tells Cooper and Truman that Bob is a veterinarian and is in the hospital, comatose. Truman adds that a Lydecker was assaulted outside a bar in Low Town. That’s why Gerard was in the hospital and was spotted by Hawk; he was there visiting his friend. Later in the episode, they go to Lydecker’s office. The receptionist tells Cooper that the man in the sketch is not Dr. Lydecker.
Cooper has been using his intuition, drawing from parts of the dream to lead him in the right direction. He referred to the dream as a code, “Break the code, solve the crime.” Before they entered the vet’s office, he mentioned that Mike said that he and BOB lived above a convenient store. It is not shown, but perhaps there was an apartment above the gas station. Cooper has Andy go into the store and buy him some twine. He brings it to Cooper inside the vet’s office. It’s Findley’s Fine Twine, the same brand as one of the types of twine used to bind Laura the night of her death (and ultimately confirms the statement from Laura in his dream about her arms bending back). At that moment, Cooper makes the deduction that the bird that attacked Laura (Albert indicated that the wounds on Laura’s shoulders were bird bites) is a client of Dr. Lydecker’s.
Now the conclusion of Cooper’s dream, which takes place in the Red Room:
Cooper is still watching LMFAP vigorously rubbing his hands together trying to channel the information he is supposed to share with Cooper. Cooper realizes there is someone else in the room. He sees Laura sitting in a chair next to an empty chair adjacent to his, at least he thinks it’s her.
The little man turns around, claps his hands and says, “Let’s Rock.”
This phrase will be echoed in FWWM, when Cooper finds this written on the windshield of Agent Desmond’s car after he disappeared. For Agent Cooper (in chronological order), this phrase connects his dream with the Teresa Banks murder, and the disappearance of Agent Desmond, only supporting the fact that this is the same killer.
As the little man sits down, Laura touches her nose. The exact reason for touching the nose is unclear and may actually hold no purpose. One idea could be a reference to Laura’s cocaine addiction. Another reason could be that’s she telling Cooper that this dream is leading him in the right direction. “He’s got it right on the nose” so to speak, much like when the old waiter tells Cooper that he’s “getting warmer now.”. The little man rubs his hands again, but more slowly this time as the message takes its final form in his mind.
“I’ve got good news. That gum you like is going to come back in style.”, the little man says.
We do not hear this phrase again until episode 16, when the old room service waiter says this to Leland. This happens after Leland tells the waiter that the gum offered to Cooper was Leland’s “favorite gum in the world” and he used to chew it when he was a child. This connection will be covered in the second part of the analysis of the dream.
The little man sees Cooper staring at the woman and says: “She’s my cousin, but doesn’t she look almost exactly like Laura Palmer?”
Cooper replies, “But it is Laura Palmer. Are you Laura Palmer?”
The woman replies, “I feel like I know her but sometimes my arms bend back.”
The little man continues, “She’s filled with secrets. Where we’re from the birds sing a pretty song and there’s always music in the air.”
The midget rises from the chair, music starts playing in the background and slowly gets louder, and the little fellow starts dancing. The woman gets up and walks over to Cooper and looks at him flirtatiously, giving him a kiss before whispering the name of the killer in his ear. It is at this point Cooper wakes up and calls Harry, telling him to meet him for breakfast in the morning at the Great Northern.
“She’s my cousin.” is a reference to Maddy Ferguson who we meet in the next episode when she comes to the Palmer residence. She looks “almost exactly like Laura Palmer”. Maddy makes several comments about “knowing Laura” and “feeling close to Laura” (let alone the fact that the two are identical in appearance except for the hair and glasses). This reference could also be construed as a premonition that Maddy will be the next victim of the killer.
“Sometimes my arms bend back.” This is a reference to Laura being bound on the night of her death. In episode 3, before Harry and Cooper leave for Laura’s funeral, Albert describes how Laura was bound twice on that night, causing Cooper to quote this line from his dream. It is surmised by Cooper and/or Albert that she was tied up at the cabin and also at the train car. Albert explains how her arms were tied by raising his arms in the air and back. This is the way that BOB/Leland tied Laura up in the train car in order to prepare her for the ceremony that would culminate in his possession of Laura.
“She’s filled with secrets.” This is Laura as we know her and we discover her secrets throughout the series, especially when her secret diary is discovered.
“Where we’re from the birds sing a pretty song and there’s always music in the air.”
This phrase reaches its realization when Cooper, Harry, Hawk & Doc Hayward arrive at Jacques Renault’s cabin in episode 5.
Let’s look at how Cooper arrived at Jacques cabin by using elements from the dream:
As stated earlier, in episode 4 the dream led Cooper to Dr. Lydecker’s office. He then deduced the bird that attacked Laura was a client of the veterinarian. He also came to the conclusion that whoever the bird belonged to bought the Findley’s fine twine used to bind Laura the night of her death at the One Stop next to the vet’s office. Upon returning to the station, the files are searched and they discover the file of Waldo, a mynah bird owned by Jacques Renault. We learned earlier in the episode that the plastic fragment found in Laura’s stomach was part of a poker chip from One-Eyed Jack’s and that the bites were made by a parrot or a mynah bird. This inspires Cooper to make a house call to Jacques’ apartment. At this point, they are aided in no small part by Bobby Briggs, who places Leo’s bloody shirt in Jacques’ apartment for the sheriff and Cooper to find.
In episode 5, Cooper is looking at some photos on the inside of a cupboard door in Jacques’ kitchen. There, he sees a photo of a cabin with red drapes. They find another copy of Fleshworld (the magazine that contained a photo of Ronette Pulaski that Cooper and Truman found in Laura’s safe-deposit box in the pilot episode). Harry explains that they traced the ad and the answers to the ad came to a post office box. Cooper deduces the post office box belongs to Jacques’, which they later find to be true. Cooper also finds another ad with the same post office box, he tells them it’s Laura because of the red drapes and shows Hawk and Harry the picture of the cabin.
On their way to Jacques’ cabin, they come across another cabin that turns out to belong to the Log Lady. She invites them in for tea and cookies. Now, if Cooper had not made the connection between the red drapes and Jacques’ cabin, who knows if or when he would have had a conversation with the Log Lady and discovered the “significant” information about Laura. In episode 1, when Cooper first meets her, she said her log saw something that night. Cooper would not have reached this point if not for the trademark red curtains of the waiting room depicted in his dream. The Log Lady translates for her log and tells them that two men and two women passed by her cabin. Later on, another man passed by and then their were screams in the distance over the ridge. The description that she gives leads Cooper to believe someone brought the girls from the cabin and to the train car.
Approaching Jacques’ cabin, they hear “music in the air”. Inside the cabin, they find Waldo, the mynah bird. They also find traces of blood, the poker chip with the bite taken out of it and film in a camera. With this evidence, Cooper makes it his main directive to find Leo and Jacques. In episodes 6 &7, Cooper goes to undercover with Big Ed to One-Eyed Jack’s, where Jacques is dealing blackjack in the casino. They lure him across the border and he is arrested by Harry and Andy. Unfortunately, Jacques’ is murdered by Leland Palmer later that night in intensive care. So, Jacques is only able to tell Cooper and Truman that Laura talked Ronette into making the Fleshworld adds, the girls had been up to the cabin before, and finally, he knows nothing about the train car, only that when he awoke after passing out that Leo, his car and the girls were gone.
By the time Agent Cooper is shot at the conclusion of the season finale, he feels that Jacques had nothing to do with Laura’s death and that Leo is the man he wants to arrest for the crime. This changes dramatically in the first episode of the second season, where his dream takes on new meaning. This dream is the key for Cooper to discover the killer of the three women: Teresa Banks, Laura Palmer and Maddy Ferguson. Without following the code exactly, Cooper may have missed some of the most important information. Tracking down Leo and Jacques’ did give Cooper valuable information about the night of Laura’s death, but it led him astray from two of the central figures of the dream, Mike and BOB. Through the help of the Giant in the second season, Cooper starts to get back on track. With the Giant’s clues, a re-evaluation of his dream, and other occurrences, Cooper begins the search for the third man, the killer, who passed by the Log Lady’s cabin the night of Laura’s death. These elements will be discussed fully within the next article on Cooper’s dream.