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Twin Peaks 2017: "I'm Like the Blue Rose"

by James Giles 5 years ago in tv
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An In-Depth Look at the Magical Tulpas, as the Revelations Spill Out in Part 16

"I feel funny"

A few weeks ago, I wondered what further secrets Diane Evans had in store for us; in Part 16 we found out two of the most devastating and shocking yet. First, the terrible truth came out that many had suspected since Part 7—that on the night they last met, Mr. C had raped Diane. The second was one that only a few had considered but everyone was undoubtedly shocked to find out; Diane was a tulpa, a manufactured replicate of the original, acting directly on behalf of Mr. C. But what does this actually mean? What exactly is a tulpa and how are they created? And what does their existence mean for the fates of the real Diane Evans & Douglas Jones?

"Blue rose does not occur in nature. It's not a natural thing. The dying woman was not natural. Conjured. What's the word? A tulpa."

- Tammy Preston, Twin Peaks: The Return, Part 14

We first hear the term "tulpa" used by Tammy Preston in Part 14, after Albert has told her the story of the first "Blue Rose" case; Tammy uses it to describe the effigy of Lois Duffy that died and then vanished before Gordon Cole and Phillip Jeffries. In Tibetan Buddhist mysticism, a tulpa is a "thought-form," a manifestation created using spiritual or mental powers, although that only seems to partly describe what we see in Twin Peaks. The "tulpas" here have a tangible physical form, and are possibly under the creator's control, similar the Golem myth; the golden balls that represent the 'seed' also suggest an alchemical component in their creation, like stories of the homunculus. Whatever the precise influences, the Twin Peaks tulpa is a feat of magic in which a physical & characteristic likeness of a person is created for a purpose; it seems to be distinctly different to a doppelganger, the shadow self. But how, and perhaps more importantly, why?

Dougie: "I feel funny. What's happening to me?"Phillip Gerard: "Someone manufactured you."Dougie: "What?"Phillip Gerard: "For a purpose, but I think now that's been fulfilled."
- Twin Peaks: The Return, Part 3

In Part 3, we're introduced (albeit briefly) to Dougie Jones, an out-of-shape badly coiffeured Cooper facsimile, relaxing post-coitus with call girl Jade. Before we get much chance to know him, Dougie feels his arm go numb and gets sucked into The Red Room, where Phillip Gerard (he is credited as such, rather than MIKE) is waiting. As the bemused Dougie looks on, Gerard explains that Dougie was "manufactured" for a purpose, which has now been fulfilled; the suggestion based on this, and Mr. C's earlier comments on having a plan to avoid returning to the Black Lodge, is that Dougie exists to trick the rules of Lodge, returning there in Mr. C's place. Dougie's left hand, with the Owl Ring on his ring finger, shrinks before his head disappears; black vapour rises out, followed by a floating golden orb. Dougie's body disintegrates in crackles and sparks of electricity and smoke as Gerard covers his eyes; all that remains after is the gold orb, which Gerard takes, and the Owl Ring, which he returns to its pedestal.

"With this ring, I thee wed"

Trying to pin down quite how Dougie was "manufactured" is a bit more difficult, but here is what we know—there are no records of him existing before 1997, about 5 or 6 years after the events of the original Twin Peaks, so this seems likely the time he was created. It's also likely Mr. C devised his plan for Dougie with Diane (or rather, her tulpa), as Dougie is married to her half sister Janey-E. It's unclear what components are required to create a tulpa exactly; Mr. C appears to have made Diane from her original form, which is why she is seemingly physically and characteristically almost identical to the true Diane. But Part 16 seems to indicate another Dougie tulpa can be made from True Dale's hair, which is presumably how Mr. C made Dougie originally; this could explain why Dougie has a personality that doesn't quite match either. He must have been a kind and decent enough guy that Janey fell for him, and he has a great relationship with Sonny Jim (Dale's good traits?) but he frequently railroads his life with selfish indulgences of gambling and alcohol abuse, and is wilfully neglectful of his family (Mr. C's negative traits?).

It also seems plausible that Douglas Jones could have already existed and been married to Janey-E prior to 1997; Bushnell notes that Dougie was involved in a car accident before coming to work for him, and it could have been under these pretenses that Mr. C & Diane took Dougie and replaced him with a tulpa. The accident would serve as a good explanation to Janey why there were any differences in Dougie's personality or behaviour, as elements of Coops could be mixed in; it could also mean their wedding ring, found later in Briggs body, was part of the creation process. However, it does not account for why there are no records of him prior to '97; maybe when Dougie tulpa was "born" it somehow erased the existence ("non-existent"!) of the true Douglas Jones's life up to that point? Does that then mean that the essence of the real Douglas Jones could still exist somewhere? Perhaps the nature of the golden orbs and the fate of Diane Evans could shed some light on that...

Diane's tulpa gives her final "Fuck you" to Phillip Gerard no less

During a deeply unnerving sequence in Part 16, Diane finally reveals what happened when Mr. C visited her on that fateful night long ago. After years missing and no contact at all, Mr. C simply appeared in Diane's living room one evening—"no knock, no doorbell." Ecstatic to see him again, Diane embraced Mr. C and brought him up to speed on FBI goings on. As they sat on the sofa, he leaned in to kiss her ("as he had, once before") but just as their lips touched, Diane became overwhelmed with fear; it's strongly suggested that in that moment she saw the face of BOB, smiling manically—engorged on her terror, Mr. C then raped Diane. She says that afterwards he took her to a gas station or convenience store before her thoughts trail off and she becomes more panicked—"I'm not me!..I'm..aaa...sheriffs station...sheriffs station." Taking a final look at the text from Mr. C ( : - ) ALL) and seemingly unable to resist the command, she pulls a gun and aims for Gordon, but the ready-prepared Albert shoots her dead; she's then whisked away into the Red Room.

Phillip Gerard: You were manufactured for a purpose, but I think that purpose has been fulfilled.
Diane: Yeah I know. Fuck you.
- Twin Peaks: The Return, Part 16

As the red velvet curtains ruffle with the breeze, Diane appears in that familiar chair; unlike the befuddled Dougie, Diane is fully aware of her situation and tells Gerard where to go. Much like Dougie, her head pops open and a golden orb floats out, and her body then dissolves into smoke and electricity. There are a few interesting elements to arise from this: firstly is the golden orb left behind when both Dougie & Diane's tulpas are destroyed. When True Dale awakes from his coma and speaks to Gerard, he pointedly asks him, "Do you have the seed? Do you have the seed?" In response, Gerard produces the gold orb, confirming it as the seed; Coop then gives him a strand of his hair and asks Gerard to create "another one," which we can assume is another Dougie tulpa. This, in turn, suggests that the golden ball is like the essence of a person, and maybe, therefore, it can be used not just to create duplicates, but actually restore the original individual. Coops dialogue with Janey & Sonny Jim strongly implies some version of Dougie will return to them once all is said and done. Perhaps the original Diane can be restored too? There may be more to that it first appears though...

The real Diane Evans...?

Tulpa Diane's final words before being blown away by Albert suggest another Twin Peaks identity crisis—"I'm not me...I'm aaah...the sheriff's station..." Considering her revelations and their Red Room aftermath, Diane not feeling herself seems reasonable. But why does Diane mention a sheriff's station? It certainly strikes a chord of interest with Gordon Cole, and almost certainly refers to offices of the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department. Although not heard perfectly on the audio, its does really sound like Diane is saying she is there, yet how could that be? Is it possible that Naido, escapee of the purple room, is the true Diane? Perhaps trapped in some strange form by Mr. C? Superficially, it doesn't appear likely; Naido does not particularly resemble Diane physically, having different colour hair and facial features. But given that Diane has been inside the Black Lodge, this probably isn't much of an indicator; after all, Phillip Jeffries experiences of it have transformed him into a giant coffee pot full of smoke, so anything goes really.

What we've seen and do know of Naido and Diane could support this idea though. When Naido is first seen in Part 3, she helps Coop navigate through the purple room; she prevents him from going through the portal which she signals would be fatal, and then flips a switch which activates the safe portal. We sense from Diane's thoughts on Coop, and his on her, that they have a deeply loyal friendship, and would do anything to help each other. After Naido has flipped the switch and fallen into space, a vision of Major Briggs head floats by and whispers "Blue Rose;" we know Diane was aware of the task force and had knowledge of some of the cases through Cooper. The term is also used to refer to something that is unnatural or not of this world; if Naido is Diane, then she sure isn't existing in her natural state.

There's also the fact that when True Cooper explains his mission to The Mitchum Brothers, he specifically notes he has to head to Twin Peaks Sheriff's Station. OK, so there are a whole bunch of other plausible reasons why that could be; he wants to catch up with those guys first and let them know what's happening, he could be aware they're looking for him or he could be aware that The Fireman has spoken to Andy and given him a mission. It could also be all those at once, and that he knows Diane is Naido and needs restoring to her real self; Andy did say that she is important and they have to protect her from men that are coming—once Mr. C realises Diane's tupla has been destroyed, he would likely go after Naido too. True Cooper already seems determined to not only stop Mr. C, but undo as much of the damage he has caused as he can; restoring both Diane & Dougie to their true selves (and reuniting Dougie with his family) would be a huge step towards this. Even with just two hours of programming left, there is still so much that could happen; Frost & Lynch have given life to such a magical world and experience in The Return, that at this point, literally anything feels possible.

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About the author

James Giles

Writer, confessed geek and pop culture enthusiast, loves film, TV and video games. Blogged and written for various websites on all the above.

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