There seem to be three larger-than-life antagonistic forces at work in Season 3. One is Mr. C. Another is the Experiment, the Bob-vomiting, lover-slashing humanoid we see in episodes 1, 8, and 14. Lastly, there’s Judy: an abstract “extreme negative energy” pursued by Cooper, Briggs, Jeffries, and inquired after by Mr. C.
Judy and The Experiment are the same entity, or the Experiment is Judy’s avatar.
- Sarah Palmer is Possessed by The Experiment
- Mr. C Built the Glass Experiment Box in NYC
- In Episode 1, The Experiment breaks out of the Glass Box and attacks Sam and Tracey
- In Episode 8, the Experiment “gives birth” to bob and many Frogmoth eggs
- A the end of this episode, after the Woodsman helps the Frogmoth, we hear a whinnying horse
- In Episode 11, Frank Truman asks about the symbol above the mountains on Hawk’s map. Hawk responds, “You don’t ever want to know about that.”
- In Episode 15, Mr. C asks Jeffries, “Does Judy want something from me?.” Jeffries responds, “Let me write it down for ya,” and gives Mr. C coordinates to Jackrabbit’s Palace.
- In Episode 17, When Mr. C travels to Jackrabbit’s Palace, he gets sucked into a portal to the Fireman’s Home. The Fireman shifts his theater screen to the Sheriff Station, and sends Mr. C there
- Before the Fireman shifts the theater screen to the sheriff station, the screen is centered on the Palmer Residence.
- In Episode 12, Sarah Palmer gets spooked while shopping by Jerky with the shape of the ace of spades and the Experiment head.
- In Episode 17, Jeffries sends Cooper back in time. While he’s sending him he says, “This is where you’ll find Judy.”
What Does It All Mean?
Let’s take this analysis in three parts.
The Owl Shape and the Experiment
Let’s first establish that the owl shape represents the Experiment. First, the obvious: the Owl Shape is an almost perfect outline of the Experiment’s Head:
There is a second indication that these two align. In episode 2, Mr. C mentions to Darya. that the object on that Ace of Spades is what he wants– it’s the thing he’s driven to find. Just an episode prior, the Experiment breaks out of the glass box Mr. C built. While I discuss the purpose of that box in another post, there is a pretty strong implication that Mr. C’s box was built, at least in part, to try and gain access to the Experiment. This would strongly support the idea that Mr. C is looking for the Experiment, which is what’s represented on his card.
Is The Experiment An Extreme Negative Force?
In Parts 17 and 18, Judy is represented as “An Extreme Negative Force,” or, in the context of the season, the main antagonist / supreme entity that the Blue Rose Task Force is trying to track down.
So if the Experiment was a representation of Judy, we should see imagery that suggests that Experiment is both supreme and evil, right? Do we see that kind of portrayal in season 3?
Well, yeah. Right off the bat, we watch the Experiment materialize in a pitch black cloud in the middle of a mysterious glass box. Then we watch it eviscerate two lovers in middle of their lovemaking. Supreme? Maybe not. Powerful and malevolent? Definitely.
Let’s skip ahead to episode 11. Truman points to the Experiment-Owl Shape on Hawk’s Map, and asks about it. Hawk responds ominously and cryptically: “You don’t ever want to know about that.” Truman: “Really?” Hawk: “Really.” Again, no question here that Hawk finds that symbol to be extremely malevolent, and we’re starting to get the feeling that whatever that symbol represents (which, as we’ve just established, is the Experiment) must be pretty powerful as well.
The strongest indication by far is in Episode 8. Here we watch the Experiment give rise to BOB, the previous major antagonist, as well as countless Frogmoth eggs. We watch Woodsmen descend and murder two radio employees, as well as put an entire town to sleep, just to help one Frogmoth find a host. If that isn’t explicit enough, the Experiment in this episode is tied directly to the first atomic bomb, one of the most powerful weapons ever created by humanity.
Mr. C, Jeffries, and the Coordinates
In Episode 15, Mr. C and Jeffries have a strange, confusing conversation about Judy. Mr. C, in a rare moment of doubt and uncertainty, presses Jeffries for any kind of answers. Jeffries responds, “Why don’t you ask [Judy] yourself? Let me write it down for ya,” followed by a set of coordinates that lead To Jackrabbit’s Palace. Why is this important?
Let’s examine the scene where Mr. C uses the JRP portal. Mr. C gets whisked up into the portal. Then he appears in a cage in the Fireman’s Theater.
The scene then focuses on the theater screen, which shows the location of the portal Mr. C just came through:
We see a reaction shot of the Fireman’s face, then it cuts back to the theater screen, where we now see the Palmer Residence:
The Fireman swipes with his hand, and the screen changes to the front of the Sheriff’s Station, where Mr. C gets transported.
The implication here is clear: the initial destination of that portal was the Palmer Residence, and the FIreman swiped it so that Mr. C would go to the Sheriff Station instead.
Here’s the thing: why would Jeffries tell Mr. C he could find Judy at the Palmer residence? What could be there that is or represents Judy? One entity clearly sticks out: The Experiment, who, at that moment, is possessing Sarah Palmer.
In light of this evidence, especially the hints given by Jeffries, we can be reasonably certain that The Experiment is meant to represent Judy, either as Judy itself, or as an avatar for Judy in the Twin Peaks world.
A lot of my posts up to now have been what I call, “Establishing Posts.” That is, not particularly controversial or insightful post that give us a high level of certainty about things we already knew. A lot of the posts about Dougie-Tulpa so far would fit into this category. It’s nice to be able to start getting into some of the more mysterious, and main aspects of this season, and start to write about some of the questions that were really burning for myself, and others, after the season concluded.