‘Twin Peaks’ Finally Explains That Weird Alternate Reality Ending
We may never return to Twin Peaks for answers on that head-scratching finale, but co-creator Mark Frost’s new book has just what we need. Where yesterday brought clues to Audrey’s mysterious predicament, new passages reveal a key time-travel component of Coop and Laura Palmer’s excellent adventure.
Those still baffled by the twist ending of Twin Peaks: The Return might do well to pick up Frost’s Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier, which sheds light on some of the season’s most trippy moments with a look at the FBI files recorded by Agent Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell). The notes in question revealed that scenes of Sherilyn Fenn’s Audrey were likely delusions from a “private care facility,” while another deep-dive from Vulture helps contextualize the seeming alternate timeline created by Dale Cooper plucking Laura Palmer from the night of her murder.
You might recall that Cooper went back to the night of Laura Palmer’s disappearance to save her from a gruesome fate at Killer BOB (in the guise of Leland Palmer)’s hands, though Laura seemingly disappeared regardless. The episode then showed us a version of pilot events in which Laura’s plastic-wrapped body was never found on the shore, before Cooper tracked down “Carrie Page” in present-day Odessa, Texas. As Preston’s notes now reveal, the history of Laura’s death was indeed wiped from record:
“Agent Cooper had come to town for a few months earlier, to aid in the investigation into the disappearance, still unsolved, of local teenage beauty queen, Laura Palmer.”
Let me repeat that phrase for you: “still unsolved.” No mention of “murder,” “wrapped in plastic,” or “father arrested for shocking crime eventually dies in police custody of self-inflicted wounds.”
It’s right there on the front page: Laura Palmer did not die. So, fairly certain I’ve not misplaced my own mind, I go back and check the corresponding police records. They tell me this: Laura Palmer disappeared from Twin Peaks without a trace — on the very same night when, in the world we thought we knew, it used to be said she died — but the police never found the girl or, if she had been killed elsewhere, her body or made a single arrest.
The book also specifies that the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department had little-to-no recollection of the events with Laura Palmer, and that Leland Palmer would eventually commit suicide regardless. Still unknown is why Laura could be found in Texas twenty-five years later under a different name, or why she and Cooper ended up in a timeline where the Palmer house had different owners. Gotta leave some questions for Season 4, right?
We’ll see if any other Twin Peaks mysteries get answered in time, but is an alternate reality without Laura Palmer’s death too tempting to ignore?
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