The City of Absurdity Papers & Essayes
The Detective in 'Twin Peaks'  by Andreas Blassmann

4.1. The Black Lodge

The Red Room / Black Lodge It is as hard to grasp and define the reality of a place like the Black Lodge, and it is no accident that language is turned up side down in this realm. Logic and rationality are inverted in the otherworldy sphere. Here, we are confronted with an obliteration of meaning, at least the confined meaning of common sense and rational thinking. If anyone could succeed in finding his way through this labyrinth, it would be a new detective like Agent Cooper. But, as I mentioned, Cooper has retreated to a more conventional behavior than during his first contact with the Lodge, i.e. in his Red Room Dream. The aesthetics and the look of the Lodge have been described in Chapter 2.2. The Lodge can be regarded as the realization of Cooper's Red Room dream, which has in the course of the narrative evolved from a mere assembly of dream images to a 'real' place within the text. When Cooper had an encounter with the female victim on an intuitive level, in an unconscious dream state, he is entering a gateway to another plane of the unconscious in the very last episode of TP.

Although Cooper has been identified as a specialist in border crossing, the diffuse limits of the Lodge seem too unstable for Cooper to grasp and understand, especially since he enters the place not prepared. The narrative development made Cooper follow the mad gothic villain Earle and Cooper's new love Annie Blackburne into the Lodge. In chapter 3.2 I identified Earle's revenge plot as a red herring for Earle's real mission, i.e. his quest to find the Black Lodge. Cooper follows Earle and Annie, in order to confront his nemesis and to rescue his beloved. However, we will find that these stereotypical scenarios are not appropriate reasons to enter the supernatural sphere of the Lodge. Cooper's motivation as a Gothic hero are conventional and simple, and this reverberates in his behavioral pattern when entering the Black Lodge. The affair with Annie cannot sustain or compete with Cooper's supernatural contacts. The higher, spiritual love between Cooper and Annie (a former resident in a convent!) resembles the naiveté and helplessness of a couple in Gothic fiction.

The Lodge can be regarded as the testing ground for Cooper's philosophy and his believes; here he could apply his mind-body connection, the Freedom from Fear and his elastic ego. The Red Room and the appearance of the Giant seem like a trial run for an entrance into the real dimension of the Lodges, where Cooper "discovers with terror that he is an object of unseen factors" (Hague, 141). Cooper gives up conscious control of himself, yet this time he does it not in the safety of the sleep, where the dream offers comfort and enlightenment, but he opens himself in a sphere that he does not fully comprehend. The fusion of order and disorder seem to go beyond the understanding of Agent Cooper. Cooper falls back into a mode of controlled rationality and the urge to understand and think in a well-ordered fashion.

Cooper is diluted by conventional male fears of losing control in a sphere that rejects the rationality of the logical mind, a mind that after all tries to generate some form of order, an order that is definitely absent in the Lodge. The stroboscopic light that illuminates Cooper's face, while he is exploring the Lodge, has an hallucinating effect on the detective; his intuitive thinking does not seem to function anymore. "The power failure in Cooper is evident as the lights flicker on and off, deepest black alternating with brilliant light that cannot illuminate anything. Dale Cooper strains his eyes in the blinking dark. The apparitions still speak but Cooper is not receptive" (Nochimson, 156).

Within the testing ground of the Lodge, it seems, Cooper fails to incorporate the new detective's innovative and intuitive techniques.

back top next

The Detective in 'Twin Peaks' - Content
David Lynch main page

© Mike Hartmann