6. A Game of Chess
The game between Agent Cooper and Windom Earle is a dangerous game, a deadly game - both because of various reasons, but the most endangering and critical reason would be that none of them is fully aware of the consequences of his own actions. This inability (and in-enabledness) of both men would culminate into the tragic that both are being caught and consumed and kept by forces and concepts none of them is able to understand. This lack of knowledge has fatal consequences, for both of them are forced to give up their identity and their loyality to concepts they previously believed in. Windom Earle might definitely be the bad guy, but he, too, fells victim to the spiritual entities inhabiting the Black Lodge. Salvation is a goal appreciated by both of them, salvation from the past and for their lack of understanding.
What is the consequence of their game of chess - apart from the lives taken by Earle and the personal tragedy for Cooper when his loved one, Annie, disappears? The connectedness of the very town of Twin Peaks is proving throughout the game - none of the actions of Earle is singular, his appearance is causing a long-lasting and far-reaching chain of events striking hard into the heart of the town. A game - a setup, a constructed havoc, a mayhem created by anti-creational force, a distortion of reality. The change of pace is a catalyst for more action, action driving several plots to their ultimate peaks and chaos. The death of Josie and the fate of her spirit as well as the resulting desparation of Sheriff Truman, the (serious?) change of heart of Benjamin Horne, the personal tragedy resulting from Horne's involvement in the family matters of the Haywards, the general succession of events leading to the ultimate cliffhanger.
Windom Earle's interest in the lodges - how can that be explained? Is there a personal interest in that, a motivation for raising the stakes in this personal vendetta of his? A continuing effort to solve the puzzle he was confronted with while working for Blue Book? A puzzle he couldn't solve then and is hoping to solve now? Did he know about the Lodges while working for Blue Book, or did his involvement have more to do with extraterrestrial phenomena (which the Lodges would very well be, but departing from the usual conception of ET influence on this planet)? The motivation of Windom Earle could be a key to his game, but the easiest (but most incomplete) explanation of his doings would be a combination of his yearning for revenge and his zealous search for the Black Lodge.
There still is another factor to be taken into account, the influence of the Lodges themselves. The Lodge inhabitants regularly appear on the show, may it be in the form of the owls or the Giant or the Little Man From Another Place, might it be through their counterparts (the old man in the hospital holding the spirit of the Giant), or BOB, or any indirect way of experiencing their influence (blue electric light, shaking of hands, microphone failures, messages from the Log Lady or Major Briggs, several visions etc.). The resulting observation would lead to the implication that there is a continuing influence on the inhabitants of Twin Peaks, an atmosphere of darkness and desparation.
The game played in Twin Peaks is a Lynchian game, a never ending game, a devastating game, a never fully explained game, a cosmic game, a game allowing multiple interpretations. Weird is just a mild description for this style. The inhabitants of the town are not the players, they are merely puppets whose strings are moved from somewhere else, ultimately by Lynch, of course, but when trying to find an in-show explanation, the Lodges could very well serve not only as observers but also as an influencing institution.
October 22nd, 1998