The Biggest Mysteries of ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’

Brian Linder

The long-awaited return of Twin Peaks, after a 25-year hiatus, has been well received by fans and critics. Creators David Lynch and Mark Frost have created a brilliantly weird follow-up that recaptures the magic and mystery of the original series while simultaneously making a show that feels like something new. Did we mention it’s weird? Twin Peaks: The Return is like a Lynch-Frost mystery box that opens to reveal another new mystery box, then another, and then another. We’re hoping to find answers along the way — as the show leads to a September 3 finale — but first we’ve got to figure out the questions. Here’s a running list of the biggest mysteries in Twin Peaks: The Return.

LAST UPDATED for Part 8 on June 26. 

What the hell did everything in Part 8 mean?

In Part 8 of Lynch’s magnum opus, he took us on a long strange trip to other times and spaces where we seemingly witnessed the creation/release of BOB and the moment of Laura Palmer’s incarnation. It’s essentially the creation story for the Twin Peaks mythos. But it’s mostly left up to viewer interpretation. This is our best guess…

After DoppelCoop is shot by Ray, we see a group of ghostly Woodsmen spirits surround him and perform a ritual. BOB’s face begins to emerge from DoppelCoop’s stomach inside of a gelatinous sack, but it’s unclear if he is actually “released” or not. DoppelCoop wakes up and it’s unclear whether or not BOB is still with him.

Here’s where it gets REALLY weird: We flashback to July 16, 1945 to White Sands, New Mexico where the Trinity nuclear test is occurring. As the mushroom cloud rises, we travel inside of it and experience a series of extremely Kubrik-esque sequences with explosions and frenetic particles filling the screen.

We then cut to a convenience store where we witness what COULD represent the moment of creation for the Woodsmen entities — swarming in and around the store as they glitch in and out.

What follows is a scene showing the “Experiment” which we last saw inside the glass box (referenced below). Here’s she’s floating in a void as a mysterious substance flows from her open mouth. We zoom in on the material and see that it contains eggs along with a gelatinous sack in which we see the face of BOB. Is this the moment that BOB was created? We think so.

Later, we go back to what looks like the same expansive seascape where Cooper seemingly traveled upon leaving the Lodge. On a rocky island stands a fortress inhabited by ??????? and a character named Senorita Dido. They are seemingly alerted by an electrical device of the atomic bomb detonation and the release of BOB.

The Giant watches all of this on a movie screen before floating into the air and releasing gold-colored particles from his mouth. The particles form a pattern from which emerges a translucent golden orb. Inside the orb, we see the face of Laura Palmer. The giant uses a Jules Verne-like mechanical contraption to send the “Laura orb” into our dimension. Does this mean that Laura was sent to Earth to be the one to somehow counteract BOB? Possibly.

Back in the desert southwest, we see a winged frog-like creature hatch from an egg. And two Woodsmen descend from the sky. The main Woodsman, after scaring the crap out of a middle-aged couple, makes his way to a radio station where he kills the receptionist and DJ before taking over the airwaves to utter an incantation. Those who hear the broadcast appear to be put under a spell and fall asleep. One is a young girl we meet as she returns home from a date.

As the episode ends, the winged frog-like flies into the girl’s window and crawls inside her mouth as she sleeps. What does does it mean, exactly? We’re not sure, but… ew.

What did “The Giant” mean when he said “4-3-0. Richard and Linda. Two birds with one stone”?

The Giant’s clue for Cooper opened the new series. We’ve now met a Richard — Richard Horne. Horne sexually harassed a young girl at The Bang Bang Bar, and we later saw him committing vehicular manslaughter. We’ve heard of, but haven’t yet met Linda — but we learned about her from her husband Mickey. She’s a disabled war veteran who lives in the New Fat Trout Trailer Park. We don’t yet know the meaning of “4-3-0.” However, it may be significant that in Part 7, Andy was supposed to meet the man who owned the truck that Richard Horne was driving at 4:30. What does it all mean? Cooper tells the Giant, whose official name in the credits of the new season is “???????,” that he understands. We don’t. Not yet, anyway.

What’s the deal with the glass box in New York City and who is the “anonymous billionaire” who owns it?

Early in the season, we were introduced to the mysterious glass box inside of a building in New York City. The box sat in a room surrounded by cameras and had what looked like computer network equipment underneath. It was Sam’s job to watch the mysterious box for any sign of activity. He wasn’t supposed to let anyone else in the room, and when he did he paid a steep price. Sam and his friend Tracey were killed by a an “Experiment” entity which appeared in the box and then broke through the glass to slaughter them. Prior to the killing, Agent Cooper briefly floated into the box during his exit from the Black Lodge.

We don’t know anything about the box’s actual purpose, but it’s obviously linked to the same otherworldly realm as the Lodges. We do know, thanks to Sam’s conversation with Tracey, that it’s owned by a “mysterious billionaire.”

The “Experiment” that killed Sam and Tracey appears identical to the being we saw floating in the void in Part 8 — the one that puked out all of the eggs and the BOB orb.

Who or what is the soot-covered man that appears to haunt the Buckhorn Police Department?

We first saw this mysterious darkened figure in the Buckhorn, South Dakota jail. He sat terrifyingly still, just a few cells away from Bill Hastings, before his head and then body drifted away.

Another bearing a striking resemblance later appeared in a corridor of the Buckhorn morgue. He approached Lieutenant Cynthia Knox while she phoned Colonel Davis to inform him that she believed the headless body found in Buckhorn to be that of Major Garland Briggs.

These are the Woodsmen, which we finally (maybe) learned more about in Part 8. We see them swarming DoopleCoop after he’s shot by Ray and seemingly tending to the gooey BOB sack coming out of his stomach. Later, their origin is (again MAYBE) revealed as we see them appear and being swarming the Convenience Store after the atomic bomb test.

If the headless body is Major Briggs, why hasn’t he aged? And what was Dougie’s ring doing in his stomach?

Here’s one we may have some answers on… Garland Briggs is, arguably, the most mysterious human character in Twin Peaks history. And there’s a wealth of information available about the character available from various “expanded universe” sources — you can read a summary of it all here.

Briggs has been to the White Lodge. He was involved in Project Blue Book. He once disappeared from Twin Peaks and later reappeared wearing a WWI-era pilot’s outfit. It’s easy to make the leap that he’s been involved in some very mysterious stuff and could’ve been slipping in and out of time for years. That could help explain how he seemingly aged very little in the last 25 years, as postulated by Lt. Knox.

Another mystery involving Briggs: How did Dougie’s ring end up in the stomach of his headless body? We’re not sure how it all adds up yet, but we’re pretty sure Briggs has more to tell us from beyond the grave.

What happened to Phillip Jeffries and what was the black box with the red lights?

There’s been a lot of talk this season about the late David Bowie’s character, Phillip Jeffries. Jeffries has been an enigmatic figure in Twin Peaks lore since he first appeared in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

Jeffries, or someone pretending to be him, seems to have had an arrangement with Cooper’s doppelganger. And Jeffries had recently been in contact with Albert about an issue concerning an agent in Colombia, which he said was related to Cooper’s safety.

One of the most mysterious moments potentially involving Jeffries comes when Cooper’s doppelganger seemingly sends a message to a black box with two red lights blinking alone in Argentina — a location long associated with Jeffries. When the message is received, the box dissolves into small metallic object. What the hell is going on here? Is the box related to Jeffries? IS it Jeffries? We hope to find out.

In Part 8, we saw Ray seemingly call Jeffries to update him on the status of DoopleCoop. But we don’t know if he actually talked to him or just left a message.

More questions that we’re hoping to find answers for in the coming weeks…

There are a lot of other mysteries on Twin Peaks and the questions we already know about are evolving every week. We’ll keep this post updated. Maybe soon we’ll learn…

  • What was the “box in space” that Cooper fell into during his journey out of the Black Lodge?
  • What happened to Laura Palmer when she was pulled out of the Waiting Room screaming?
  • We’ll be updating this post with more questions and (hopefully) answers each week.
Brian Linder
Sr. Content Producer at FANDOM, Brian has been on the fan-media scene since dial-up. He loves space sagas and superheroes.
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