in ,

Third Day Theories: A Recap of the Latest Theories, Analysis and Predictions Generated from Season 3 Part 5, “Case Files”

Welcome back, dear reader.  So at long last, we’re in the zone now.  One hour each week, just like the good old days.  Sorry binge watchers, I’m old school.  Even though there was only an hour this week, it was a juicy one, full of stuff to theorize over.  I’m going to start with a review of a few past predictions, then roll into new theories and/or new evidence for old ones.  Then we’ll wrap up with a few odds and ends.


Prediction: Laura Dern is going to play Diane.

Analysis: This one still stands.  We were teased at the end of Part 4 that Gordon and Albert need to get someone else to take a look at Bad Cooper in jail, and when asked if he knows where she lives, Albert replies “I don’t know where she lives, but I know where she drinks.”  One of the front runner candidates is, of course, Diane, because who knows more about Dale Cooper than his long time secretary.  Many expect David Lynch to give Laura Dern a prime role in this season, and we’re already 5/18ths of the way through.  This doesn’t quite explain Albert’s remark about drinking though.

Two other candidates for this teaser are Sarah Palmer (good because we know she drinks and she has seen BOB in the past, if that’s what Gordon and Albert are suspecting) and Annie Blackburn (because maybe she returned to being a nun and Albert is making a smart ass remark).


Prediction: ??? is the new BOB.

Analysis: Nope.

So it looks like, per the prison scene in Part 5, we have finally found BOB. BOB is still lurking somewhere within Bad Cooper.  The line “You’re still with me, that’s good.” implies Bad Cooper can’t even tell for sure that BOB is in there without glancing in the mirror.  He may have thought BOB left him, if allowed to come and go as he pleases (I’ve previously theorized he was in Phyllis Hastings when Bad Cooper shot her).  If BOB is kept on a short leash, he may have worried that BOB got pulled back into the Black Lodge while he managed to avoid it.  Or maybe BOB has been lying dormant within Bad Cooper for a long time now, perhaps to be pulled out as a weapon for the upcoming big picture battle.

I think it’s telling that both Bad Cooper and the Mystery Voice have referred to being “with” BOB (as pointed out by the Diane… podcast). Whatever their relationship, Bad Cooper is acting of his own accord.  BOB doesn’t look to be taking over Bad Cooper the way he could take over Leland.  They both continue to exist as separate entities.


Prediction: There’s a mole inside the FBI who tampered with the dossier found in The Secret History.

Analysis: While we’re still not even sure yet if the events we are seeing are before or after the discovery and analysis of the dossier, there is possible additional evidence that tampering has been going on.  The cameras and SD cards were recovered from the NYC glass box incident and Tamara showed Gordon and Albert an image captured of the monster.  But there was no such image of Good Cooper floating in the same box.  Now, it could be that the images were removed by the anonymous billionaire, but then what about mentioning the time gap, right before the murders?  Unlikely to be overlooked.  OK, maybe they faked that out too.  But how much time did they have to clean up the mess and doctor the evidence?

If it is a mole in the FBI who again is tampering with evidence, could it be Agent Tamara Preston? I was thinking it was possible until her scene in Part 5, where she’s checking out the fingerprints of Bad Cooper.  If she was the mole, she would be deleting real evidence or generating false evidence.  That does not seem to be what we are seeing here.


Prediction: There are alternate timelines and/or alternate realities.

Analysis: Yet to be determined.  The Secret History dossier definitely has clues that lead one to believe this (see my Pre-Season article).  The show is not yet being quite so forthcoming.

There are possible time inconsistencies, especially with the South Dakota scenes. It may only be that we’re being given them out of time sequence.  Also, our own Eileen has pointed out some interesting possibilities with the changing lapel pins on Good Cooper’s suit jacket (

There is a theory that the purple power station switch that changed the outlet label from “15” to “3” referred to 2015 vs 2003. Many jumped on the “03” sticker on Dougie Jones’ license plate (spotted in Part 5) as confirming evidence for this theory.  Nevada residents have been quick to counter though that in their state, it’s a month sticker (as in March), not a year sticker.  Bickering Peaks podcast points out though that it is a prop license plate, and David Lynch could make that sticker mean whatever he wants it to mean.

We sits and we waits.


Theory: The dead body paired up with librarian Ruth’s head is Major Briggs.

Analysis: Given the scene with Col Davis, or Col Exposition as I refer to him, we can confirm now that the militarily restricted finger print hit is indeed a match for Maj Briggs.  So yes, that’s his body.  But what has he been up to in the intervening 25 years?  Well, let’s see.

Remember first that Briggs was going to play a pivotal role in the original Season 3 that never happened. Sarah Palmer brought him a message from the Black Lodge, and he had just been to the White Lodge himself prior to that.  He was being set up to take the lead in finding and rescuing the Good Cooper.  In The Secret History, he takes over the Project Blue Book follow-on from Dougie Milford, and he was getting ready to bring Agent Cooper into the fold as his potential replacement.

Now in Part 5, we find out that there have been 15 previous inquiries matching Maj Briggs fingerprints over the last 25 years. It’s apparently become routine to send someone out from the Pentagon to investigate, only to come up empty handed every time.  This implies that Briggs did not die in the LPA fire, but instead faked his death and went underground, as we theorized last week.  This may be what the “mayday protocol” is, in fact.

Maj Briggs was brought up in the phone conversation between Bad Cooper and the Mystery Voice who was not Jeffries. The voice said Bad Cooper met with Briggs, which surprised Bad Cooper that he would know about that and tipped him off that he wasn’t talking to Jeffries.  It’s even implied that this meeting happened in South Dakota, as this was right after their “you’re in South Dakota” / “you’re still nowhere” exchange.  Now “met with” could be a euphemism for captured, tortured and killed, sure.  Or it really was just a meeting between them and it was the Mystery Voice who captured, tortured and killed Briggs.

Because yes, apparently Briggs was captured, tortured and killed by someone. He hadn’t eaten for days, except for having Dougie Jones’ wedding ring in his stomach, which we have to imagine he was forced to eat.  Yeah, ew.  Then his body was left with Ruth’s head at her apartment to be found by the Buckhorn PD.  Another ew.

So we have Bad Cooper working with Jeffries, but keeping his “meeting” with Briggs a secret. A clue is left on Briggs body to lead the investigation to Dougie Jones, who is now actually Good Cooper.  Bill Hastings, who has information Bad Cooper wants (not needs), has initially been framed for the double murder.  Bad Cooper killed Phyllis Hastings with George’s gun, presumably to frame George while Bill Hastings was in jail (same M.O., shot to the left eye).

To sort this out a bit, let’s assume that whoever killed Ruth also killed Briggs. Bad Cooper doesn’t want Bill Hastings framed for this, at least not until he gets his information (maybe the secretary has it, maybe not; maybe Ray can get it from her, maybe not).  He either shoots Phyllis to take the heat off Bill, or because he’s mad that she is the one who set Bill up (following human nature).  (I say this of course because I think she was inhabited by a lodge spirit – we talked about this in a previous article).  If the obvious evidence framing Bill runs counter to Bad Cooper’s plans, then likely so does the hidden evidence framing Dougie Jones (now replaced by Good Cooper).  So this says Bad Cooper did not want Bill Hastings framed, Maj Briggs dead, nor Good Cooper incarcerated.  It had to be someone else: his opponent in the big picture game (“the game begins”).


Theory: Bad Cooper is a magician.

Analysis: So this is a theory of my own, that I outlined more thoroughly in the article The Magician Longs To See (  Most of that still stands as of Part 5, I’m proud to say.

More specifically, Bad Cooper is a technomancer. He can manipulate technology magically. He just randomly, or seemingly randomly, pushes buttons on electronics and they do whatever he wants.  His tape recorder was able to record a phone conversation in a room he wasn’t even present in.  His briefcase computer can log into the FBI database and download gigs worth of data, to his magic tape recorder.  And now, he can activate the alarm system at the prison just by punching numbers on a telephone.

His magical abilities almost certainly extend beyond technology. He manufactured Dougie Jones.  He seems to have taken on BOB as his familiar, as the other known magician on the show, Mike, did in the past.  The looming big picture battle that Frost hints at is between the Masons and the Illuminati, both of which are associated with magicians.

Let me also take this opportunity to ponder on another idea, proposed by The Gifted and The Damned podcast: Bad Cooper is the anti-hero. We should expect that as Lynch and Frost transition Twin Peaks into a new generation, that the show will pick up on current trends (and better them, of course).  It the late 80s, that was the nighttime soap opera.  In the 2010s, it’s the anti-hero.  I’ve said many times that there is a big picture battle looming on the horizon.  The game begins, as Bad Cooper put it.  Bad Cooper is not necessarily on the side of evil in this battle.  We haven’t even seen the Big Bad he’s up against yet (could be the Mystery Voice, the anonymous billionaire, or someone else we haven’t even been introduced yet).


Theory: Good Cooper is a magician.

Analysis: One of my foundational arguments for Bad Cooper having magical abilities is that they come from Good Cooper’s inherent abilities.  We saw him display uncanny luck in Part 4, including the weird floating Red Room icons over slot machines that were sitting on a mega jackpot pull.  Now in Part 5, we see him identify someone who is lying with a flash of green light that apparently only he can see.  He blurts out “he’s lying” in his otherwise comatose state, as if it was an instinct, not something that was really observed and analyzed (as when he knew Bobby Briggs was lying in his Season 1 interrogation).

There’s a case to be made that all of this is really help coming from the White Lodge. After all, the slot machines were displaying a Red Room icon.  But is winning jackpots really something he needed on his journey?  Perhaps, to get Dougie out of his $50K debt problem.  Although from the White Lodge perspective, the sooner he leaves behind Dougie Jones’ life and re-assumes his own, the better.

The green flash in Part 5 did not have that same Lodge / Red Room connection. This seemed to be coming from within the Good Cooper.  His luck in ducking down in Jade’s jeep at just the right time also didn’t have any obvious ties back to the White Lodge / Red Room.  All of this inner ability was hinted at in the first two seasons, with the rock throwing, the dreams, etc., as well as in The Autobiography.  If Good Cooper is to join the big picture battle, as he must, I believe he’ll get these abilities under control and be able to use them more at will.


Theory: ??? is the one who took out the hit on Dougie Jones.

Analysis: It seems pretty clear now that Mr Todd gave Lorraine, aka The Worrier, the job of killing Dougie Jones.  Mr Todd warns his assistant to never let someone like “him” in his life.  The Worrier fears her inept hitmen are going to get her killed.  Whomever it is, they are a bad, bad person.

There’s primarily three candidates, in my mind. Bad Cooper manufactured Dougie Jones as a decoy to be swapped with Good Cooper, and if he knows that now one of the two of them must die, he’d definitely want it to be Good Cooper.  If Bad Cooper needs Good Cooper for some reason (more on this idea later), then his opponent, The Mystery Voice, could be the one trying to remove the Good Cooper piece from the playing board. He’s not a nice guy either, after all; he’s looking forward to being with BOB again.  And third candidate, if it’s a separate person, there’s the anonymous billionaire who funded the NYC glass box project.  Mainly because they are a player and have the funds, but also because they have shown themselves to not be above killing off employees.

Some are still holding on to the theory that the hit is coincidental and is just about the $50K Dougie owes to someone. Honestly, I don’t see that as being enough to warrant him being killed.  Hurt?  Sure, probably a lot.  But killed?  Doesn’t seem like it.  That casino manager just got the crap beat out of him, and that was $425K on the line.


Theory: ??? is the missing thing Hawk needs to find.

Analysis: Last week I theorized Annie might be the missing thing, as evidenced by the Annie shaped hole in The Secret History.  This is still my favorite theory.  The owl cave ring is another theorist’s favorite.

This week, we have a new candidate: Cooper’s hotel key. Jade just dropped them off in a mailbox and they are now on their way back to the Great Northern.  If Good Cooper had the keys on him in the lodge, then perhaps Bad Cooper would not have had them.  Of course, we saw him in his room at the end of Season 2 aided by Harry and Doc Hayward.  Did the hotel staff have to let them in and or is there a set of doppel-keys?  Even if Bad Cooper didn’t have his keys, would that be so unexpected as to warrant a note in the case files?  Seems unlikely.


Theory: Sonny Jim Jones is the reincarnation of Señor Droolcup.

Analysis: This was proposed last week, based on the similar scene set up for his initial thumbs up to Good Cooper in his bedroom.  This week, observant fans believe they observed Sonny Jim blinking in reverse, like a lodge denizen, while sitting in the car.  Reddit user u/cr0ybot says: ‘Hopefully this clears this up for good. I’ve reversed and slowed the clip of Sonny Jim reverse blinking, so you can see what the normal blink would have looked like:  Original clip:”

I’m going to be honest, I think both of these bits of evidence are a stretch. Now yes, if Dougie Jones was a manufactured being, his family certainly could also be manufactured.  But that doesn’t make him a lodge denizen.

It’s been pointed out that a major theme playing out this season is about being observant. The people in Dougie Jones life do not truly care about him.  When confronted, they take a moment to notice he’s being a little weird, but they don’t truly see him.  They move him to where they need him to be and then quickly move on with their lives.  Sonny Jim is the first person to truly interact with Good Cooper and help him just for the sake of helping him.  Kids live in the now.  This is exactly the kind of thing Transcendental Meditation, which Lynch is deeply into, is supposed to help people do.  I think it’s as simple as that.

Some of this theorizing about Sonny Jim has also played off that sad look Good Cooper gave him in the driveway. Maybe Cooper is seeing the son he never had.  Maybe he sees himself as a boy.  Maybe he just sees a boy who is otherwise living a very mundane life that will turn him into a consumerist drone like all the adults around him.

I have my own wild theory about Sonny Jim. I was wondering from the moment we heard his name if perhaps Sonny Jim wasn’t going to turn out to be autistic or something.  All of his interaction with Cooper that morning was with Janey-E’s back turned or upstairs out of sight.  We don’t get to see the school he’s dropped off at.  He seems catatonic in the car there.  Maybe one of Good Cooper’s newfound powers allows him to be able to reach in and interact with the real boy trapped within.  I like this idea.


Theory: Bad Cooper’s finger prints are reversed from Good Coopers.

Analysis: As previously mentioned, Tamara had a scene in Part 5 where she was examining Bad Cooper’s finger prints against those on record for Dale Cooper.  Fans with higher def TVs than me believe she was focused on the ring finger print, and it was a mirror image of Dale’s and/or there is possibly a shape of some sort in the print.

Let’s presume that Tamara is the first one to look at Bad Cooper’s prints (she really does have the stuff). If Bad Cooper just told the police that he was an FBI agent and to contact Gordon Cole when he was brought in, they may have only taken his prints, but not checked them.  Having doppelgängers mirror their counterpart’s finger prints is an interesting idea.  It would probably baffle any computer algorithms and keep his prints from matching Good Cooper’s all these 25 years.  Because from what we’ve seen so far, Bad Cooper seems to be extremely sloppy about his finger prints.  He used George’s gun to frame him for the murder of Phyllis, but he wasn’t wearing gloves or anything.

That brings up another theory though. It’s been proposed that he can mimic fingerprints.  So maybe he left George’s fingerprints on that gun.  Maybe he’s also responsible for some or all of the Maj Briggs fingerprint hits over the last 25 years.  Maybe this is how Bill Hastings’ prints were all over Ruth’s apartment without his knowledge.


Theory: People aren’t noticing Dougie Jones’ weird behavior because it’s happened before.

Analysis: Janey-E says he’s having another one of his “episodes” and is not overly surprised by his 3-day disappearance.  His coworkers welcome him back from Benderville.  The thing is, Dougie was a manufactured being.  We don’t really know what that means yet.  We know he threw up garmonbozia, which lodge entities use as a kind of sustenance.  From what we know of Dougie Jones, while he might have been a schlep, he doesn’t seem to have been a bad guy, the kind who would cause and collect his own pain and suffering.  My guess is that every now and then Bad Cooper had to recall him for a garmonbozia recharge.

On this last recall, he was probably given the owl cave ring, so that when the swap happened, he would be the more obvious choice. Then again, given where the wedding ring ended up, maybe this last disappearance wasn’t for a garmonbozia recharge.  Maybe Dougie was hijacked, and the rings were swapped during this absence.  Three days is even enough time to get to South Dakota and back.  Just sayin’.


Theory: Becky is the new Laura Palmer.

Analysis: There’s not much to theorize on yet here, but bad boyfriend choices?  Check.  Drug habit?  Check.  Living in a town with evil spirits that feed on pain and suffering?  Check.  We’ll have to wait and see, but don’t expect Frost and Lynch to retread old storylines quite so straight forwardly.


Theory: Jeffries betrayed the FBI by giving Bad Cooper the information about the Columbian informant.

Analysis: Much is still to be determined about Jeffries, and it’s going to be awkward without David Bowie to film actual scenes with the character in them.  But let me play out this scenario for you.  Jeffries gets a call from Cooper for help.  He doesn’t know yet that he’s talking to a doppelgänger.  He gets the info from Albert.  The informant is killed.  Realizing what just happened, Jeffries goes to Philadelphia to warn Cole about Cooper.  And thus we get the scene from FWWM, “Who do you think that is there?”  He was just off a year or so.


More wild theories:

  • The Roadhouse scene in Part 5 was left hanging. And really, so was the one from Part 2. Could it be that all the Roadhouse scenes are actually happening simultaneously? To come together and be resolved near the end of the season? That would be very Lynchian.
  • Richard Horne could be the “Richard” of the Giant’s new clue. (Though I think it’s still too early for any of those clues to be resolved.)
  • The inept hit men drive by, see the blown up car and dead bodies, and declare victory.
  • When Bad Cooper downloaded all the info on the South Dakota prison, maybe that’s when he got the information on Mr Strawberry.
  • Bad Cooper called Chantal, and “The cow jumped over the moon” was a signal for her to come pick him up, when he waltzes out of the prison through the front gate (after he finds, and probably kills, Ray in there).


Other miscellaneous observations:

  • Why the fascination with the lawman statue?  “So in dale cooper’s memoirs, he indicated that his prized possession that turned him on to the FBI was a poster of Jimmy Stewart in the movie, The FBI Agent. Maybe cooper was initially attracted because the statue’s pose reminded him of that poster?” (Mike P. Shin in Twin Peaks (2017) FB group).jimmy_stewart_poster
  • “From “The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes”. autobiography_clip
    (Sounds a lot like our Dougie Jones, don’t it?)” (Lindsay Stamhuis in 25 Years Later FB group).
  • The brand on the cigarette box full of pay off money was Morley, ala X-Files (though it’s a fake brand that’s been used in many things going back at least as far as Psycho – see And yes, that was Deputy Chad, the jerk cop who made fun of the Log Lady, taking the pay off.
  • Nadine seemed to have gone into the silent drapery business, because she is surrounded by fabric swatches and draped curtain rods.
  • Bad Cooper’s birthdate on his arrest report is the same as Bill Hastings’. It also has his birthplace as Buckhorn, South Dakota.
  • What was that message The Worrier typed in on the Blackberry? “The 159 on the blackberry is the message letter limit. There would have been 160 characters, she just types 2, which reduced it to 159.” (u/Chipchetchad in r/twinpeaks sub-Reddit)
  • TMFAP previously said “From pure air we have descended”. Buenos Aires means “good air”. (Gisela Katinka Dada in TwinPeaks (2017) FB group)
  • There’s another possible callback to The Autobiography in that, as a kid, Dale Cooper documented an experiment trying to hold his urine for 24 hours. (Bickering Peaks podcast)
  • Col Davis’ name (Ernie Hudson’s character) is probably a call out to Don Davis, who played Maj Briggs. (Bickering Peaks podcast)


One more thing. Please, for the love of Lynch, please stop people from saying the Cooper in Las Vegas is Dougie Jones.  Dougie Jones is gone now.  Bye-bye.  No more.  Kyle MacLachlan has even said he only filmed a short amount of material as Dougie.  Dougie is now a little gold ball sitting on a table in the Red Room.  That is Good Cooper in Las Vegas.  *Our* Cooper.  He’s just a little mind-wiped right now.  He’ll get it back together eventually.  We’ve seen a trailer scene of him driving a car in the dark.  Don’t give up hope.

While we’re at it, the one-armed man in the Red Room is Philip Gerard. This is how he’s been credited.  He is *not* Mike.  If you’re following this column, you know that I believe the Mystery Voice is Mike, we just don’t know yet who he might be inhabiting.


As always, please reply below with your own comments and corrections, or give me your own well thought out theory. You can catch me on various Facebook groups, such as “Twin Peaks (2017)” or our own “25 Years Later” page, on the Reddit r/twinpeaks forum, or email me at  See ya next week.

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.


Leave a Reply
  1. Re: the camera footage from the box room, Agent Preston says the camera did capture some blurry images that lasted only a few frames. My hunch is that one of these blurry images was Cooper, but he was only in the box/room for a fraction of a second (though it seemed longer to us) and thus didn’t register a recognizable image.

    • Another good point, though I still think those are more about the “something” the guy before saw and wouldn’t talk about (probably why the job was available).

  2. Jesus, my head is about to explode!! All the theories and many seem probable if not ‘on the money’. I’m not going to (talk about Judy. That stuff now just automatically comes out of my brain. I’m saturated) even try to assimilate all this ‘stuff’. It’s overwhelming and I look forward to letting them simmer as the weeks go on. I’m already worried (The Worrier) about what I’m going to do when this 18 weeks is over?? Christ, here comes the anxiety!!!! Great stuff, thanks Brien!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *