What is going on in the Waiting Room Scene With the White Horse? And Why is It So Important?

Synopsis

In episode 2, Laura and Coop have a very strange conversation in the Waiting Room, in a scene that mirrors season 2. However, at the end of this exchange, Laura screams, and is whooshed away into the sky.

In episode 18, this same thing happens, except Laura is whooshed away in the woods, although the exact same scream and effects can be heard.

Hypothesis

After Laura is stolen away in episode 2, something tries to transport Cooper away as well.

 

The Facts

Let’s start the scene at Laura’s Whisper:

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  • After Laura whispers to Coop, it cuts to a wide shot of the room, with Laura as the center.
  • She turns, and makes a face of terror, and starts to scream. We hear the curtains start to rustle.

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  • Here is our first Point of View(POV) shot from Coop’s perspective. we see a reaction shot of his face, followed by his perspective of the curtains as they start to wave. It’s important to note how Lynch communicates POV shots: he always establishes them with a reaction shot either before or after, and often during the scenes.

 

  • We continue to see Coop’s POV as he watches Laura start to float up while screaming and waving her hands

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  • Next, we see a reaction shot, albeit a blurred one, of Laura’s face

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  • Following Lynch’s camera direction, this would put the next shot, after Laura’s reactions, as a POV shot from Laura’s perspective. The next shot we see is of the ground, shaky. While Laura’s looking up when we see her, it’s pretty clear this is what the ground is meant to look like from her perspective, even if she isn’t literally looking at the ground.

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  • After this, it’s a wide shot of the entire scene as Laura is swept away, followed by a reaction shot of Coop’s face.

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  • Remember the language of Lynch’s camerawork? We have a reaction shot, so get ready for a POV shot (from Coop’s perspective)

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  • The curtains start to rustle again, and we cut back to another reaction shot of Coop, as if to make sure we understand that this is, indeed, a POV shot

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  • And back to the POV:

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  • One more reaction shot just to make extra sure we know this is a POV shot:

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  • So Why all the fuss making sure that we know this is a POV shot? Because of what happens next:

 

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  • THE SCENE STARTS MOVING FORWARD! Why is this important? Because it’s a POV shot, and if it’s a POV shot, that means Coop is moving forward toward the horse as well.

 

  • Now, as we continue to move forward, the screen becomes totally dark. There are not, however, any cuts, implying that we are still in Coop’s POV.

 

  • As if to hammer this idea home, what is the next scene? It’s the same POV shot as the one when Laura gets taken away: a shaky shot of the floor as the viewer (in this case Coop) is rising through the air.

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  • We hear a rattle (Can anyone please find another scene with that rattle???) and the scene resets:

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What Does It All Mean?

One thing to keep in mind as we go through this discussion is The second time this is shown, in episode 18, it is in a flashback sequence.

If all this camerawork analysis seems unusual, I’d invite you to read this post before continuing: A Quick Note On Camera Techniques in Twin Peaks.

The Reaction-POV pattern that Lynch uses here, which he has established in countless Twin Peaks scenes, paints a pretty compelling picture that the Coop gets transported away in a similar manner, and by the same entity, as the one that is transporting Laura.

This, coupled with two other scenes, seems to imply that this scene is the focal scene to this season. One way or another, this scene provides the key to TPTR, and here are the other two pieces of evidence for that:

 

Results

Two things have been confirmed here:

  • Something tries to transport Coop away from the Waiting Room after it takes Laura
  • This scene in episode 2 is one of, or the key scene around which the TPTR mystery is based

Potential Theories

I would give just about anything to know what that rattle at the end of this scene represents. Is the reset part of Coop’s transportation? My intuition is that the rattle is someone else, like Mike, intervening and keeping Coop from being taken in the same way Laura was.

It also seems like that horse is trying to tell us who’s responsible for taking Laura. I strongly suspect it means Judy in this case, but who knows? That horse is everywhere, and could represent any number of things.

At the beginning of the Laura-Coop waiting room scene, we start with Mike saying, “Someone is here,” and popping away. We’re led to assume “someone” is Laura, but what if that someone is the thing that takes Laura away? It would make more sense for Mike to disappear in that case, because that thing that takes Laura clearly is powerful, and could pose a threat to Mike.

 

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