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Third Day Theories: Pre-Season

So, here we are, dear reader. Pull up a chair and let’s have a quick chat about what this weekly feature is going to be like.  First of all, it *is* going to be a weekly feature, at least while season 3 is ongoing.  The idea behind Third Day Theories is that every Wednesday, i.e. the “third day” after an episode airs, we’re going to explore some of the more compelling analysis, theories, and predictions that are being bandied about in the fan community.

Needless to say, but I’m going to say it anyway, SPOILER WARNING. Oh yes, there will be spoilers.  Personally, I will read and listen to everything I can get my hands on.  I may hate myself afterwards, but I’m not going to try to pretend that I can resist.  I want this to be fun though.  If someone leaks the entire 400+ page script for season 3, well now I’m not going to read *that*, and I promise I wouldn’t share such an evil thing with you either.  We’ll be working with mostly open source material here, not dark net stuff, so to speak.  The fun is in figuring it out, not in being told what it is.  Make sense?

For this week’s pre-season 3 article, I’m going to try to review some of the more prevalent predictions being made based on the recent trailers, casting and filming location info, magazine articles, interviews, and of course The Secret History of Twin Peaks. We’ll analyze them and see whether or not they hold up to a little bit of scrutiny.  I’m going to focus mostly on the legitimate theories, not so much the tin foil hat stuff.

I’ll usually have a few of my own ideas to bounce off you, and this week will be no exception. I encourage you to share yours as well by either replying directly to the articles in the space provided below or shoot me an email at

Here we go..

Prediction: The scope of Season 3 is going to take us outside of the town of Twin Peaks.

Analysis: This one is solid, but we can still guest at where.  From the Variety article:

“There are different threads in different parts of the U.S.” that eventually converge, Nevins says. “It does not go outside the U.S., but it is in multiple locations in the U.S.”

The Philadelphia office is an obvious location that we’d all probably expect. Though that has been previously filmed strictly as interior shots, and I suspect it’s not big enough to count as one of the “three different parts of the U.S.”  Maybe it is though.

One of the locations would likely seem to be Las Vegas. Of the 14 filming locations currently showing in IMDB (, the Mojave Desert and of course Las Vegas itself would lend a bit of credence to that theory.  Most of the rest of the list are either California or Washington locations, which could all be stand-ins for Twin Peaks itself, or for interiors that could be located anywhere in the Twin Peaks universe.

Big Sky Ranch, another of the listed locations, is a place commonly used for filming westerns, perhaps hinting that some of the historical aspects of Secret History may find their way into this season?  Maybe one of the “locations” is simply the past, working its way up to a merger in the present.

Another possible location, though unknown where exactly, would be the scene of the June 2016 murder where the Secret History dossier is found. Perhaps that is Las Vegas, but I would expect something a little closer to the Twin Peaks area.  Much like Deer Meadow in FWWM.  Again though, like the Philadelphia office, is this big enough to count as one of the three main storyline threads?  All will be revealed.

Prediction: Laura Dern is playing Diane in Season 3

Analysis: This one is wildly popular, but with zero substantiation, so far as I can tell.  It is telling that the recent Variety article featured only Kyle and Laura (along with David Lynch, of course).  This would seem to indicate Laura Dern has a substantial part to play in the series.  Or David is just playing favorites.  Either way, is Diane a big enough character for one of Lynch’s favorite actresses?  Personally, I think he’d be foolish to tip his hat this late in the game and reveal the real Diane.  Diane has mythical status at this point.  Let’s keep it that way.

That said, when (as I believe) Cooper is reinstated and puts on his black suit, I would really love to see him pull out the old tape recorder and speak “Diane..” into it once again. Maybe a dream fan service moment, but I could see it happening.

Prediction: Freed of the restrictions of broadcast television standards, this version of Twin Peaks is going to be more graphic, both in terms of nudity and violence.

Analysis: From the Variety article again:

The freedom of airing on a premium channel didn’t change his approach, Lynch says. There’s not much in the way of nudity or extreme violence in the finished product. “You don’t think, ‘Oh, I can do this now,’” he says. “The story tells you what’s going to happen.”

It doesn’t sound like this prediction has any wheels.

Prediction: Andy/Hawk /Harry(recast)/Harry’s brother is now the sheriff.

Analysis: Both Andy and Hawk would seem to be eliminated, based on careful analysis of screen shots from recent trailers (their badges clearly say “Deputy” on them).  Robert Forester is currently listed on the IMDB cast page as “Sheriff Frank Truman”.  He was if you did not know, David Lynch’s original pick for playing the role of Harry Truman.  The Secret History introduces the character of Harry’s brother, having never been mentioned in the original series.  He was the sheriff prior to Harry, which might explain how he could leap out in front of Andy or Hawk to take over the roll.

Other folks theorize that, like the character of Donna, Lynch/Frost could recast the roll of Harry, possibly even with the original pick of Robert Forester. I don’t lend much credence to that idea; however, as the interaction between Harry and Cooper was so critical to the original series, I don’t see how you could, or would even want to, try to recreate that for season 3.

There is also a theory that Cooper’s doppelganger committed one or more murders once out into the real world, and Harry would be high up on the list of potential victims. Harry would certainly be one victim that would cause Cooper the most pain, so I wouldn’t rule it out.

Of course, any predictions based on omissions in the IMDB Cast and Crew is suspect, given everything else David Lynch has put into maintaining secrecy. We’ve already seen one actress featured in a trailer who was never on the list.  Maybe Harry is still the sheriff, and everything else is a red herring.  I don’t believe that at this point, but I could certainly live with that.

Prediction: Leland / Laura / Cooper / a new actor / one of the other characters is the new BOB.

Analysis: Obviously, Frank Silva is no longer with us, but can Twin Peaks survive without one of its most iconic characters?  First, let’s ask, do we *need* Bob to come back?  This one might actually be a yes.  Several other denizens/agents of the two lodges are going to be back: The Giant, The One-Armed Man, and The Jumping Man.  In the extra-canonical materials, Bob has been described as having existed as long as mankind has existed.  He’s an integral part of the story and always has been.  If FWWM is to be important to season 3 as David Lynch as told us, how could we not have a Bob?

I certainly would not expect Bob to be brought back as some CGI monstrosity, ala Rogue One. Not David Lynch’s style.  Laura was redeemed at the end of FWWM and has defeated Bob’s attempts to become her.  Cooper’s doppelganger invited Bob in at the end of season 2, but since this season is going to revolve pretty heavily around Cooper’s journey, I can’t see him also being the new Bob on top of everything else going on with that character.  Leland is a possibility, but again, he saw and went into the light at the end.  I’ll put it as a maybe, but I’m not counting on it.  There’s a wacky theory that Hawk is the new Bob because his hair turned white, but, in the words of Freud, sometimes white hair is just white hair.

Recasting is my bet. It was done with Donna, couldn’t just write her out of the story of Laura’s final few days.  It may be painful for us to accept, but if the story necessitates we have a Bob, then by golly we’re going to have to have a Bob.  Same deal.

Speaking of recasting Donna, part of me sure hopes they recast yet another Donna, just as a sort of inside joke. We don’t need it, but it might be fun fan service at a low cost.

Prediction: The dossier from Secret History was purposely tampered with.

Analysis: It is an absolute fact that there are continuity discrepancies within the Secret History as compared with the original series (and other Twin Peaks sources).  What these discontinuities might mean for season 3 is still a guessing game, but I personally do not even give a second’s thought to ideas that these are accidental or just a frivolous little puzzle for the hardcore fans to obsess over.  Well, maybe a few of the smaller ones, but not the big ones.

From Mark Frost’s Reddit AMA:

AndreasHalskov: Hello Mark, I am a huge fan. I like the idea of doing the book as a dossier. Would it make sense to see “Fire Walk with Me” and “The Secret History of Twin Peaks” as new layers to the mystery, rather than new pieces of the puzzle? In any case, your book certainly is puzzling, and I cannot help but feel that somebody has tampered with the dossier…

MarkFrostTwinPeaks: It takes many coats, or layers, of paint to finish a portrait. After this last week I’m shocked, shocked I say, at your suggestion that someone in the FBI might have tampered with a dossier… 😉

So while maybe not all of the discrepancies are due to tampering, Mark would seem to be hinting here that at least some are. If someone within the FBI did tamper with the dossier, it would have to have been done before it was handed off to Agent Tamara Preston, meaning it was done by Gordon Cole himself or directed by him at least.

One of the main discrepancies of the Secret History is the rewriting of Norma’s past, with tendrils leaking into the historical narratives of Big Ed, Nadine, Hank, Hawk, and probably others that I’m forgetting. Annie, Norma’s sister in the original series, is notably written out of the story.  Could that be to protect her?  From someone whose evil doppelganger is still in the FBI?  No, I don’t really buy that Cooper’s doppelganger would be able to maintain a low profile for 25 years as one of the “good guys”.  But in the world of warring secret organizations within the government set up by The Secret History, there could certainly be moles buried deep within Cole’s office that he is aware of or at least has good reason to suspect.

Prediction: Cooper’s evil doppelganger is loosed upon the world and “the good Dale” is trapped in the Black Lodge.

Analysis: Well, after all, this *is* what Annie told Laura in the Missing Pieces (“The good Dale is in the Lodge, and he can’t leave”).  Saying “the good Dale” implies strongly that there is a “bad Dale” as well.  We even saw the two of them bump into each other, running around in the Red Room.  But I don’t think this is a separate being; it’s Cooper split into two people.  In the Log Lady intro for the season 2 finale, she even says “Where there was once one there are now two.”

From the Entertainment Weekly article:

In the episode’s final shot, we saw that it was Cooper’s dark half — or, to put the same idea a different way, Cooper possessed by demon BOB — that made it out of that red-curtained underworld. “As we left, evil has established a beachhead in Twin Peaks through Agent Cooper,” says MacLachlan, who declined to elaborate further, other than to say that he found it very rewarding to play Cooper’s dark side and that we might be surprised how Cooper reconciles and resolves this crisis of duality.

Pretty telling.

One of the chief complaints folks had about My Life, My Tapes was that Cooper was portrayed at times as a less than perfect character. He can be kind of a know-it-all dick at times, he’s a bit of a skirt-chasing hound dog, and his moral compass with regard to married women is not very well aligned.  Perhaps that was actually a setup for the endgame of season 2 and lead-in to the original season 3.  In the end, it sounds like he will have to reunite his two halves, the light and the dark, and make himself whole again.

Prediction: Season 3 will take place in an alternate reality or alternate timeline.

Analysis: This stems mainly from The Secret History, with all of its “discrepancies”.  Many of these discrepancies lie outside of the world of Twin Peaks:

  • On older typewriters, people used to use the letter “I” in place of a “1”, as opposed to using a lower-case “l” (listen to Counter Esperanto’s first podcast for more details)
  • The moon landing happened a little earlier than it did in our reality
  • The US Air Force came into being earlier than it did in our reality

That’s a little more than a mere retcon to make the past match up a little better with your plans for the upcoming season. A lot of Lynch’s movies have this kind of many paths / same outcome motif, exploring alternative realities and timelines.  There’s also the words of the poem, “one chants/chance out between two worlds.”  Two worlds?  Maybe we’re finally going to get to see them.

It’s possible that one of the three main story threads will be set in this alternate timeline/reality, but we will not know it is following a skewed reality until a reveal later in the season (as Mark Frost keeps saying, “all will be revealed in time”). The discrepancies, especially those outside the town of Twin Peaks, are subtle.  If it takes a while to get the story to the actual town of Twin Peaks, it could be hard to spot.  Of course, Westworld recently did this exact kind of thing, and a lot of diligent fans saw it coming from a mile away.  Lynch will surely know of that.  It’ll be interesting to see if he schools them and shows us all how it’s done when a master is at the helm.

There’s so many more, of course, but I want to get this out there for Weds. The last thing though, here are a couple of my own predictions for season 3:

Prediction: Cooper’s doppelganger committed at least one murder back in the early 90s, switched back (or Cooper was rescued somehow), and “the good Dale” went to jail for the crimes.  This season starts with a new murder (the crime scene where the Secret History dossier was found) that in some way generates new evidence to exonerate Cooper from the earlier murder(s).  Cooper is released and reinstated to help Agent Tamara Preston investigate as her partner.

Analysis: Have you seen the trailers?  Coop looks grim and beleaguered like a man who has had a hard life for the last 25 years.  Now granted, Lynch has said that season 3 is about Coop’s journey back from Black Lodge, but perhaps that’s a figurative journey.  He escaped or was released long ago, but is still haunted by it the experience.  If the victim was someone he cared about, like Harry or Annie, that would especially take a toll on his upbeat boy scout attitude.

Prediction: Sarah Palmer will have a moment of redemption in season 3.

Analysis: For starters, let’s say that the scene of Sarah Palmer walking down liquor isle does not bode well for any theories of Leland and/or Laura somehow being alive in a new alternate reality.  In the strange trailer of David Lynch interviewing the Palmer family, she reveals she is still living in the same house and that it’s falling apart a little bit (like a lot of things).  Sarah is already known to have a six sense and has already communicated once with the Black Lodge.  Maybe she will be the key to getting back there, and perhaps saving Laura, Leland, or the “good Dale” in some manner.  I think that would be nice for her story arch.

So there you have it. Our first edition of Third Day Theories.  Hope you enjoyed it and come back next Weds.  We’ll have 4 hours of the new series to digest.  I may try to break that down into multiple installments; I can’t really say for sure until I see them for myself.  Probably at least two, so that folks who can’t get a hold of the early streaming of hours 3 and 4 can participate without being spoiled.  So much is still up in the air.

As for my own thoughts, I’m both excited and scared. In four days, everything we know and love about Twin Peaks is going to change forever.  The Secret History was a warning shot across the bow, but it was not substantially different from what had come before.  It filled in gaps, but did not generate *new* content so much.  This will be new.  This will be different.

I’ve said elsewhere that I fear that this season, this 18-hour movie broken up into parts, not episodes, will be the Fire Walk With Me for Agent Cooper. Cooper is, without doubt, my favorite character on the show and the reason I love Twin Peaks.  It seems this revival is going to be largely about Cooper, so I know that I will love it.  I know whatever it is, it’s going to be a masterpiece.  I trust Frost and Lynch to amaze us, and to set a new bar for the television medium, just like they did 25 years ago.

Written by Brien Allen

Brien Allen is the last of the original crazy people who responded to this nutjob on Facebook wanting to start an online blog prior to Twin Peaks S3. Some of his other favorite shows have been Vr.5, Buffy, Lost, Stargate: Universe, The OA, and Counterpart. He's an OG BBSer, Trekkie, Blue Blaze Irregular, and former semi-professional improviser. He is also a staunch defender of putting two spaces after a period, but has been told to shut up and color.

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