CHILL - It's Not A Dream
I understand there is a lot of angst from fans thinking this whole series is a dream, presumably by Cooper. Perhaps I can share an insight as a novelist and 13-year veteran television writer and pull some of you out of the abyss. Having this all be a dream would mean Frost and Lynch had touched the third rail of television production.
Some TV history is in order. One of the most successful series in television history was a show in the early 1980s called St. Elsewhere. It had a devoted audience and featured, among others, some great young actors such as Ed Begley, Jr., Denzel Washington and Mark Harmon. When it finally wrapped with its finale, the show's creators pulled a fast one and decided that they would reveal the entire drama, the entire series, was nothing more than a dream that a young boy was having in a hospital bed.
The revelation was a disaster! The audience, invested in these great characters for years, felt absolutely violated and let the network know it. It's actually one of the most famous screw ups in TV history, almost equal to the famous 1968 "Heidi Game" where the network cutaway from during a 1968 NFL football game between the Raiders and the Jets in its final climactic minute with the lead changing hands in the final seconds.
While Lynch is not a veteran TV guy, Mark Frost certainly is and from the very era of the the St. Elsewhere debacle. He would have never agreed to "it's all a dream" conclusion simply because I have no doubt he's well aware of the horrendous impact it has on an audience.
I would discount the "dream" interpretation entirely based simply on that.
As for my theory, I believe the real Coop returned to the Dougie household to embrace the all-American dream his character has always embraced. The Coop that found Laura again is a doppleganger. That's not the real Coop. He would never turn down a cup of coffee as he did in the Judy restaurant. The real Coop didn't have the combat skills that were used on the cowboys. The Coop that took the road trip with Laura was made from the seed of Mr. C., with Coop saying "make another one."
So if you want a happy ending, there -- you have one. Coop's journey ended at the red door of Dougie's house, even though it was brief, but poignant.
I also don't buy the dream theory and am completely stick of reading about it and people complaining about it. Thanks for the television history lesson as well, interesting!
I agree with a lot that you wrote but I want to mention that the real Dale Cooper DOES have what it takes to defeat those cowboys if you think back to his assault on Ike the Spike which he undertook even while being catatonic.
There are several more examples of series ending debacles. It is far from an isolated event. Just because somebody has done it before, does not mean that somebody else won't make the foolish mistake as well.
I like the idea that SA Cooper is living the American Dream behind the red door (red curtain?) that that tulpa Cooper is perusing Odessa. It actually makes some sense to me and it is a theory I've been working on for a little while now.
I also do not buy into the whole "this was all a dream" school of thought either.
Honestly, as mush as I want the happily ever after, I just don't think it's correct. And as much as I just want to hate Lynch/Frost for giving us such a piss-poor ending like a dream, I can't do that either. I do not think either is correct. There are too man things that go unaccounted for, like the time lapse between motels, Carrie's ultimate reaction to the Palmer house, etc.
I wish it were as cut and dry as one of the above. But I have strong suspicion that it is so much deeper and scarier and weirder than all that.
True, but he certainly wasn't enthusiastic about the coffee. It was a much different Coop in the final sequences in body language, facial expressions and dialogue.
It was really shitty coffee.
And I don't think it was good ole Cooper. I don't know exactly what or who, but things were definitely different.
Apparently Janey has what it takes to take down Spike as well. 😀
I never believed it is a dream. It's real, as really real as anything in the Twin Peaks continuity.
That's the real Cooper, losing his way, his identity and possibly his marbles. He messed up. Again.
Yes. But I can't quite get with you on the "Cooper messing up" thing. Maybe this is simply the way it has to be? Perhaps no one can stay the same in such a situation?
I still think he was sent on this mission and that it wasn't his choice. But nothing is explained via the catch-all toilet of dreams theories. Begs the whole question. As you said, all real, in TP manner of the real.
Interesting lesson and good perspective.
I think the easiest way I can reconcile this being reality and not some extended dream (as in comatose for 25 years extended, like the situation perhaps that Audrey is experiencing) is that they have flat screens and cellphones.
Now if someone thinks just Season 3 is an encapsulated dream, it would be harder to refute. I think it unlikely, primarily based on the diversity of perspectives and side stories. Moreover, it's unnecessary, because there are more things in heaven and earth than dreamt of in anyone's philosophy. They had creative license to bring in dopplegangers, aliens, multidimensional beings, time travel, vortexes, manufactured beings, etc, and no dream was necessary for us to suspend disbelief.