My theory about the ending of the season.
Let me start by saying that I'm new, this has been a wild ride soaking in all this viewing and information in such a span; I can appreciate the art that David Lynch and Mark Frost have given us. I appreciate any criticism it would further my understanding. I will keep this very short.
I believe that "Richard Coop" was somewhat a tulpa. I believe that the seed that MIKE was given is actually a tulpa that the original coop gave to devise a plan to trick his fate. In a series that tackles light and dark, and brilliant acting, bare with me on this. The ending of part 17, with the whole "we live in a dream" thing a continuation happens, the good coop returns to las vegas to reside with his wife and sunny son. His son no longer has the jacket on which always made me draw correlation to the ring with the color schemes and all. The bad coop still resides in the dark lodge. So keep this in mind when the first episode past sequence with the fireman "richard and linda" and everything Cooper disappears the same way in which Laura does. A time paradox has been created. Richard and Linda or the "inbetween" go and have that awkward love scene, It's two tulpas recreating past experiences. This garmonbozia gives way to the location of Judy. The same "6" light pole is her location (let's rock!). Destroying Judy in two worlds, two bird one stone. The real Cooper or the one we knew to know and love resides with Jane-E and Sunny Jim. The Cooper we see in the first few episodes and the last suffers to fate of being non-existent. Killing all version of Judy, Sara Palmer and both of Laura's doppelgangers
I think its an interesting idea. What kind of puts a spanner in the works for me is that if Coop really is in the depths of his hubris, his white knight syndrome, then I don't think he could let go enough to let the tulpa rescue Laura. He has to do it; save the day, rescue the girl, free tibet, right the wrongs of the world. That's the tragedy of Coop at the end; he could start again, make up for lost time, have a family of his own. But his hubris drives him on to be the hero, to an utter fault, and to the detriment of any happiness he could find. Which doesn't sound like the Coop of 'treat yourself' original series fame, granted. But there you go. Can the discrepency between TOS Coop and Return Coop really be down to just the passing of 25 years?