Fireman: “Remember 4-3-0.” This cryptic message from the Fireman to Coop, uttered at the beginning of this season, bears fruit only much later during the finale. There, at a 430 mile marker, Coop finds a portal to some other place on his time-warping quest to find Laura Palmer.
Before Coop and Diane are transported to 1989 Odessa, Texas, the portal they travel through fast-forwards to nighttime before transporting them to road to Odessa.
- In the portal transport scene, there is a sequence of frames during the actual transport process. However, there is one repeating frame that looks at Diane and Cooper from the front, and you can clearly see the skyline out the back window. In those frames, you can see the day turning to night while still at 430:
- We see sped up time sequences directly after two other portal incidents: Right after the 430 transport occurs on the Odessa road
- Right after Andy gets transported to the Fireman’s home
- At the start of the portal scene, we see a quick POV shot from Coop looking toward the electrical towers: (The shot actually gets much blurrier)
- This shot blurriness resembles A front shot of Cole when he’s getting sucked into the portal in Buckhorn:
What Does It All Mean?
Previously, I always thought it was weird that this portal took Diane and Coop to a different place and at a different time of day. I took it as an indication that this portal had to be something unique, and clearly transported Coop and Diane to an ethereal other realm.
These new facts actually simplify the finale in a satisfying way. There was wide speculation that this portal involved Time Travel, or was in some other way unique.
However, we’ve seen time fast forwards in other portal animations: we even see time fast forwarding on the other end of this one! Taken all together, this seems to imply that the portal didn’t do anything other than transport Coop and Diane where they needed to go.
The results are:
- Before the portal transports Coop and Diane, it speeds up time until it is night
- There is no reason to suspect that is portal is an unusual type of portal
I’m going to do something a little uncharacteristic and talk about a hypothesis I’ve been mulling over for a while. With this scene shot as is was, it strengthens the idea that there doesn’t need to be any alternate universes or dream worlds. At least, not for the main narrative. I can’t yet speak for the Roadhouse, and I definitely can’t speak for Audrey. However, my intuition is Coop and Laura’s story only needs the 2 realities it shows us: the official version (everything after Coop saves Laura), and the unofficial version (All of Twin Peaks up to the end of season 3 episode 17).