The Best Fan Theories About Twin Peaks: The Return

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Laura Dern in Twin Peaks: The Return. Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

With the unpleasant realization that David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks: The Return will end in a matter of days, another unpleasant realization emerges: that means the end of weekly fan theories! If you’ve been watching the 18-part mini-series, you’ll surely miss the never-ending cycle of well-informed Lynchian speculation. (And the just plain silly guesses, too.) Ahead of Sunday’s finale, here are five of the most prevalent theories gaining traction about The Return. Enter our Lodge.

Diane = Naido
Before FBI Agents Tammy Preston and Albert Rosenfield shoot Diane’s tulpa, she relays an upsetting story that confirms what some viewers already suspected: She was raped by Mr. C many years prior, assuming he was the good Dale Cooper she always knew him to be. Before she gets transported back into the Red Room, Diane’s tulpa reaches a mental breaking point in her monologue, explaining where her doppelgänger might be. “I’m in the sheriff’s station. I’m in the sheriff’s station! I sent him those coordinates,” she says. “I’m in the sheriff’s station because … because I’m not me.” Which woman is currently in the Twin Peaks sheriff’s station? The eyeless Naido, whom the real Cooper briefly encountered before his Dougie Jones adventure began. Rearranging the letters, “Naido” is very close in spelling to “Diane,” and although the women are of different ethnicities, Diane’s fashion choice of Asian-influenced clothing could be a little wink-wink of the reveal to come. Others have speculated Naido could also be the mysterious “Judy” that Mr. C is so keen on locating, since he, too, is heading to the sheriff’s station with a purpose. Don’t forget: Andy Brennan says that this woman is “very important and there are people who want her dead.”

Audrey is institutionalized
There are quite a few theories about Audrey Horne’s whereabouts — which include everything from comas to tulpas — but the most reasonable theory is that she’s institutionalized in a psych ward. Being raped by Mr. C when she was still a high-school student, coupled with the stress of raising a son who’s the personification of a demon child, could’ve simply driven her to insanity after all of these years. (The brief scene where she “wakes up” from her dream visually seems to suggest a hospital-like setting. The light is overwhelmingly bright and the only company she has in her room is a small mirror.) The “husband” in her dreams, Charlie, could very likely be a doctor or psychiatrist who assists in treating her. However, there could possibly be some Lodge activities at play here as well. Why else would the credits sequence to “Part 16” play “Audrey’s Dance” backwards, à la the Red Room? Who knows what the Lodges are capable of containing. If you want to dig even deeper, an Instagram post from Sherilyn Fenn hints that Audrey might be “the dreamer” who controls everything we’re seeing.

The “woodsmen” will arrive in Twin Peaks
Aside from Richard Horne, no other characters in The Return have been as purely terrifying as the gang of soot-covered woodsmen, who were introduced back in episode eight. With Sarah Palmer’s warning to the teen workers at a supermarket that “men are coming,” as well as all of our major players descending upon the Northwestern town for the two-part finale, it would be the perfect time for these woodsmen to invade and wreak bloody havoc. Might they even intercept Dr. Amp’s radio show to spew out some hypnotic “this is the water, and this is the well” ramblings once again?

Cooper will create a doppelgänger for Janey-E and Sonny Jim
After we finished screaming, “Oh my god!” when Cooper woke up from his fugue state, we took careful note of his request to Mike: “Make another one.” He even ripped out some of his hair to ensure his request is carried out, but what could it possibly mean? While Cooper could be planning a bigger operation to take down Mr. C, it seems more likely that he wants to ensure Janey-E and Sonny Jim have a normal (and devoted) husband and father back in their lives again. “We’re a family. Dougie — I mean, I — will be back,” he explains to the duo before he leaves for his flight to Spokane. “You’ll see me soon. I’ll walk through that red door and I’ll be home for good.”

Sarah Palmer is the “Mother”
There’s something indisputably wrong with Sarah, as evidenced by the way she literally opened up her face to reveal eternal darkness to the man who was harassing her at a bar. Oh, and then she slit his neck open to kill him. While the nature of what’s possessing her is unknown, some viewers believe she’s the “Mother” who’s been looming behind the scenes of The Return since the beginning on the season. Chronologically, Sarah could’ve been the young girl in 1940s New Mexico who swallowed the otherworldly, large black bug while asleep in episode eight, which means she’s been possessed by the creature for almost all of her life. In the present day, “Mother” was heard banging on some doors in the surrealist dreamscape that Agent Cooper found himself in — along with the “American Girl,” who warned Cooper not to attract her attention — before he traveled through an electric outlet to Las Vegas. Some suspect that this “Mother” was also responsible for killing the two young lovers who watched the glass box in New York City, because, as we know by Cooper’s brief appearance in it, the box serves as some type of station between two worlds. (Notice the similarities in how the lovers and the bar harasser were killed.) Additionally, the phone conversation between Mr. C and “Phillip Jeffries” in an early episode sounds like Sarah’s distorted voice — a.k.a the voice that spoke at the bar before killing the man, or, going back to the original series, the voice that warned Major Briggs about the Black Lodge and Cooper. By mentioning to Mr. C that she “missed” him “in New York,” this sentiment suggests that she was, indeed, the figure in the box.

The Best Fan Theories About Twin Peaks: The Return