This eerie episode ends with a woman’s scream. It pretty much starts with a woman’s scream when Agent Cooper is in the red room in an alternate reality where a woman approaches him and then, screaming, is yanked into oblivion. It’s also in the red room where the one-armed man asks Cooper, “Is it the past or is it the future?”
Everyone’s isolation is made clear in this episode, where Cooper and Diane make love like zombies. They’re both so alienated they don’t even know each other’s name, even though they’re making love. Diane deserts Cooper during the night and leaves a note for him calling him Richard, though his name is Dale, and calling herself Linda, even though she’s Diane.
This is an episode about alienation and angst, an episode depicting the world as a horrifying place that elicits screams of terror at something we can’t see, where individuals are condemned to live in the solitude of their own bodies even when they are coupling. It is a world where paranoid people bound by horror drive laconically through the night watching endless ribbons of highway unspooling through the windshield, suspecting that the car behind them is following them. But is it really the end?
Hopefully, it will return next year.