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[Solved] Dale Coopers first experience of the waiting room of Black Lodge

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The answer may be simple, but this has been bugging me for a long time. Early in TP Season 1, Dale Cooper has some kind of dream or vision amidst the red curtains of the Black Lodge, with the arm and Laura. He had just arrived at Twin Peaks to investigate the murder. This was the first time we saw the waiting room. So my question is: what is he doing there, what was his access or entry point to it? He seemed to think it was just a dream, and was intrigued rather than disturbed by it. All the other characters there in the Lodge either belong to it, or have had some kind of connection to Bob or Mike, or they seek it out, as did Windom Earle. At the end of season 2, Cooper goes there more or less intentionally, but early in season 1 he had no idea about it. 

Is it possible that Cooper somehow "inhabited"" the Black Lodge, long before he arrived at Twin Peaks, and he is just a part of this whole reality in a way that the others, like Truman and Audrey and Shelley and all the others are not? I never understood why he so quickly discovered this other reality, especially when he wasn't looking for it and seemed totally unaware of this strange dimension. Was he always there?

The possible answers to this question make me nervous and very anxious for our beloved Agent Cooper. 

5 Answers

"The gifted or the damned" can see the Black Lodge and the "magic" that surrounds it. Dale is one of these ? 


Well Jocelyn, there are a couple of (not mutually exclusive) angles you can look at it. 

(I'm not sure if you have seen Fire Walk With Me: if you haven't, beware of a couple of minor spoilers ahead)

It's clearly stated, and shown, through out the whole series, that the Lodge is a timeless place - and, at the same time, a place where all time coexist ("?tsap ti si...ro...erutuf ti sI"). So, in a sense, one can assume that Cooper always existed - and will always exist - in the Lodge.


From another perspective, it's more or lessy openly hinted that the Lodges are on a inter-dimensional plane of (non-)existence and there are some clues, here and there, that could support an argument for this "inter-dimension" to be "intra-psychic" - basically, a dimension that exists in and through the Mind (although, not necessarily the mind of just one person).


This would make dreams the perfect "place" to "access" (or, at the very least, catch a glimpse) of the Lodges - an instance that occurs to Laura as well (in FWWM). It should be noted, in this regard, that Phillip Jeffries even goes on to flat out state that "we live inside a dream".  

"Dreams as an access to other dimensions" and the idea that "reality is a dream" are concepts that exist in several cultures and have been widely used and explored in narrative (Lovecraft being a prime example of this). 


If you watch Fire Walk With Me, it further shows that Cooper is "gifted" - At one point investigating after Agent Desmond goes missing, he is drawn for an unknown reason to go & look at a trailer space ( we learn it was used by the Chalfonts ( called the Tremonds in the tv show ) ). At another point he sees the killer's next victim is a high school girl, blonde, uses drugs, and at that moment is preparing a large quantity of food. 

Jocelyn Rowe Topic starter 18/06/2017 7:26 pm

Thank you all for your good answers. I did see Fire Walk with Me years ago, along with the first 2 seasons, but I am reviewing it all, The idea of "gifts" is very helpful, as well as broader ways to think about the psychic universe or whatever we would call this dimension. 


I think the Black Lodge incl. Waiting room existing outside of time from our understanding of it is key here. As simplistic as this may sound, I've been reconciling that Cooper was in the Lodge prior to Laura's death yet when he recalled the dream to Harry and Lucy at breakfast in the first season he talked of it as though it was a new thing for him. In particular he stood next to Laura in the Waiting Room as she was at peace having died rather than letting Bob in.

It kinda does my head in, but I love it nonetheless.



Dale Cooper was born with a "gift" that allows him to see things that others may not. Kind of like being psychic in a way.


That Dream Cooper has early in s1 was supposed to be 25 years ahead from that present. Cooper says that.

Makes no sense when The Arm has evolved into a tree in the 3rd season which starts 25 years later, and Laura Palmer looks 25 years older.

”Is it future or is it past”???

That’s a hard nut to crack!

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