Special Agent Dale Bartholomew "Coop" Cooper/ Richard
Cooper is an FBI agent who arrives in Twin Peaks to help the local sheriff's department investigate the murder of Laura Palmer, as some details of the killing implies the work of a serial killer. A somewhat eccentric and quirky person, Cooper has a distinctive sense of humor, likes sprouting sage-like sayings, and believes that interpreting his dreams and investigating the subconscious of himself and others can give him a edge in finding the killer. He also appreciates a good cherry pie and a "damn fine cup of coffee" (which he takes black). During his time in Twin Peaks, he falls in love with the town and gains a great deal of acceptance within the tightly knit community.
- 100% Adoration Rating: Mostly true, Cooper's chipper personality and competency usually warms everyone up to him. If someone doesn't like Cooper then they're almost certain to be involved in something illegal or shady.
- The Ace: Agent Cooper is the best anyone will ever be at anything he ever does. He always takes home a ten to fifteen percent return when gambling with bureau funds. When at the firing range, he puts four rounds through the eyes and two through the nostrils. He can identify people's relationships at a glance. He's wary of being present for a witness's sketch artist session because he's "a strong sender" and might influence the results, and then corrects the sketch anyways. And to top it all off, he whittles up a flute from scratch in just a few hours. Come the end of The Return, he's fully become a Broken Ace.
- Agent Cooper: Co-Trope Namer.
- Agent Mulder: He investigates strange occurrences with a very open mind about the supernatural.
- All-Loving Hero: Incredibly forgiving, open-minded, and befriends nearly everyone he comes into contact with.
- Always Save the Girl: Frequently subverted and a Fatal Flaw of his, as pointed out in The Final Dossier. His lover, Caroline, was murdered under his watch, Maddy Ferguson was also murdered when Cooper and Harry failed to find the killer in time, and Annie, while still alive, wound up in a catatonic state for the rest of her life. The only exception to this may be Audrey Horne, when he rescued her from One-Eyed Jacks, but even that's debatable with how her life has turned out in The Return. In Part 17 of The Return, Cooper goes back in time to save Laura Palmer from her death and, at first, it appears to have worked, but then Part 18 implies she's been placed under a new identity, with no memories, and a just as awful life as before.
- And I Must Scream: Cooper becomes trapped in the Black Lodge in 1989, with a doppleganger inhabited by BOB taking his place and destroying his life. At the end of the series, it's unclear whether Cooper, in the form of Richard, is or isn't trapped in some sort of alternate dimension.
- Anti-Hero: In the finale of The Return. While still ostensibly a good guy, his attitudes and methods have become much more ruthless, including drawing a gun and firing at minor thugs and then dipping loaded pistols in a deep fryer and threatening restaurant staff that the bullets might ricochet. Not to mention the fact that he takes Laura or an identical stranger or doppelganger to the house where she was regularly abused as a child and teen, and where a possessed, deranged Sarah Palmer may well be waiting for her.
- Badass Bookworm: Cooper is a man who will do his research - even if it's through unorthodox methods - before ever needing to do anything badass.
- Badass Long Coat: Rocks his signature trench coat when he's doing field work for a case. Cooper could give the Tenth Doctor and John Constantine a run for their money in how to make trench coats look good.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Cooper is a badass FBI agent who wears a signature black suit. In The Return, he starts wearing his own black suit when he replaces Dougie Jones, who has a wardrobe of ridiculous and oversized suits.
- Beware the Nice Ones: For as sweet as Cooper is, he does have limits, and can be quite mean when the situation calls for it. He threatens to have Albert demoted when he's had enough of the latter's rude behavior to the locals (and not allowing the Palmers to hold a funeral), angrily tells Blackie's sister to shut up when rescuing Audrey, mocks Bobby about Laura during his interrogation, and has little patience for Ben Horne and Jacoby in general.
- Big Damn Heroes: A few times, like when he, Truman, and Hawk infiltrate One Eyed Jack's to rescue Audrey.
- Big Eater: Sheriff Truman remarks that he must have the metabolism of a bumblebee.
- Big Good: Cooper is the Big Good of the series, central to the opposition of BOB.Agent Cooper: I am the FBI.
- Born Lucky: While he isn't immune to suffering, things tend to naturally go right for the man. He tends to take home 10 to 15% returns when he gambles with bureau funds. In a casino, he receives supernatural help in seeing which slot machines are about to have a jackpot.
- Break the Cutie: After 25 years trapped in the Black Lodge he is barely able to function as a human being after being released, only capable of imitating the actions and statements of others. He gets better, though.
- For a brief amount of time. Then Part 18 happened.
- Broken Ace: Becomes this by the end of part 18, when the implications of his plan to save Laura Palmer begin to set in.
- Bulletproof Fashion Plate: He may have aged 25 years in the Lodge, but his suit is immaculate. (Give or take a hole in his sock.)
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: While he may be on the eccentric side, he really is a good detective.
- By-the-Book Cop: Somewhat. He generally follows police protocol unless lives are on the line, like when he goes out of his jurisdiction to investigate One Eyed Jack's.
- Captain's Log: His tape recordings to Diane.
- Cassette Craze: Carries around a tape recorder, into which he dictates memos and daily commentary addressing an unseen Diane.
- Cloudcuckoolander: To the point where, in the first scene of the regular episode of the series, he records his report hanging upside down from a coat rack.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Given that this is the Twin Peaks universe, though, the conspiracies he believes in may very well be real, at least in-universe.
- The Chosen One: After over two decades in the Black Lodge, it seems as if the spirits of the Lodge have designated Cooper as the envoy to fill out their mysterious plans. First they release him back into reality (albeit as an Empty Shell) then they display avatars of the Black Lodge above jackpot winning slot machines to ensure that he wins an absurd amount of money and attracts attention to himself. They also seem to be rebuilding Cooper's Hyper-Awareness as seen when they help braindead Cooper instantly identify a liar. By the end of The Return it seems that residents of the Lodge(s) intended for Cooper to not only stop BOB but go so far as to stop Laura Palmer from being killed in the first place.
- Cultured Badass: Knows a few things about a few things, hand in hand with his The Ace status.
- Disability Superpower: Despite being nearly braindead when he returns to the mortal realm, he can somehow sense which slot machines at a casino are going to be jackpots, as well as intuitively knowing to hide from a sniper he couldn't possibly know was there. It may be the beings in the Black Lodge sending him signs so he can fulfill their plans for him.
- Dreaming the Truth: A trait he has possessed since childhood and inherited from his late mother (similar to Sarah and Laura), according to The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In the pilot, he was as likely to (excessively, to the point of momentary obsession) express dislike and pickiness as he was to express liking, seemed to largely lack self-awareness, and his social manner was weird to the point of being somewhat creepy. He later became the perfect role-model of social grace, and less prone to childlike wonder at the sight of snowshoe rabbits.
- Empty Shell: In the third season, after returning to the mundane world, for some reason he is barely capabable of basic functions like walking and talking, to the point where other people think he's had a stroke..
- Establishing Character Moment: His iconic first scene chatting into his tape recorder, praising the trees near Twin Peaks, listing off the expenses of his drive, and obsessing over the food he's enjoyed. It quickly establishes his quirks, his dedication and dutifulness as an agent, and his instant affection for everything, especially for Twin Peaks.
- Evil Laugh: Post-BOB-possession.
- Expy: Partly a more morally upright version of Kyle MacLachlan's role as Jeffrey Beaumont in Blue Velvet. His final scene with Gordon and Diane seem to hark back this.
- Also comes across as an exaggerated Sherlock Holmes, with his bordering-on-the-absurd eccentricities and powers of deduction.
- Fair Cop: Probably the handsomest man in the FBI. Even with twenty five years in the Black Lodge under his belt, he's still shown to have aged fairly well.
- Fate Worse than Death: First, he ends up trapped in the Black Lodge for 25 years, witnessing an untold amount of surreal horrors while a Humanoid Abomination with his face rampages in the real world. Then he completely destroys reality as a side-effect of trying to save Laura Palmer in the past, trapping the two of them in an alternate timeline with no way back. As an added tragic bonus, he loses his beloved Diane in this new reality, possibly as a result of Identity Amnesia due to his Cosmic Retcon. And his own sense of self may be slowly slipping away too. Ouch.
- Fatal Flaw: Coopers near bottomless capacity for love and his desire to save others is as much of a flaw as it is a strength. He has a habit of thinking with his heart instead of his brain and only seems to fully grasp the consequences of his actions after the damage has already been done. Worst of all, he never truly learns from his mistakes. How he handles his relationship with Annie during Windom Earles killing spree makes all of this especially apparent; he tunnel-visions on her so badly that he fails to see how much of a horrible idea encouraging her to participate in the Miss Twin Peaks pageant is and fails to recognize Earle's plan until it's too late to stop it, which ultimately leads to his decades-long imprisonment within the Black Lodge. Even after he escapes in The Return and finally seems to put things right with his doppelganger and secure his own happy ending, Cooper doesnt believe his work is done because he sees the chance to rewrite history for the better by saving Laura's life which he does, causing a massive Cosmic Retcon that shatters reality, puts Laura in an arguably worse place than she was before, and strands the both of them in a new, uncertain world with no way back. And he may or may not be slowly losing his identity. All because he wanted to do the right thing.
- Foreign Culture Fetish: For Tibet. He draws some of his investigative techniques from Zen Buddhism, has a huge map of the country in his office, and states to his tape recorder while bleeding on the floor that one of his greatest dreams is for Tibet to be free, and that he really wants to visit it someday.
- Good Feels Good: Upon Cooper's return to reality, it seems that aside from coffee, the moments when Cooper, in his addled Dougie-state, starts to seem most like his old self and act independently are when he's able to help other people or make some kind of empathetic connection with them, like guiding the old woman in the casino to a winning slot machine, offering Sonny-Jim a potato chip, or protecting Janey-E from Ike.
- Good People Have Good Sex: Well if there's any consolation to make up for the twenty five years stolen from him at least Cooper got to have a roll in the hay with Janey-E that was clearly enjoyable for both parties.
- Grand Theft Me: Was strongly implied to have happened to him at the end of Season 2. And BOB was apparently in control of his body for twenty-five years.
- The Hero: Clean-cut, capable, highly ethical, and dedicated to unraveling the secrets of Twin Peaks.
- He's Back: Double subverted. After two and a half decades in the Black Lodge, Cooper is finally returned to reality. However his time in a dimension with no sense of space and time has left his mind fried so that he can only mimic and parrot what other people do. His first independent action was in response to seeing a cup of coffee, picking it up and, after scalding his tongue, loudly saying 'hi!' to the person scolding him. Then, after electrocuting himself in Part 15, he awakens from a coma in Part 16, finally acting like himself and with all his memories intact.
- Hyper-Awareness: Very little escapes Cooper's attention. Sometimes his eccentricity can overshadow the fact that he is a remarkably good detective. In The Return even in his brain dead state (and with a little help from the Black Lodge) Cooper is instantly able to point out that Dougie's co-worker is lying.
- Iconic Item: His tape recorder and trench coat.
- Ideal Hero: Cooper is unfailingly moral, extremely good at his job, and liked by just about everyone. Turns out he's a deconstruction of one. While Cooper is an undoubtedly good agent an even better person, his good intentions don't come without a cost and ultimately lead to his downfall.
- Idiot Ball: Holds onto it pretty tightly during the last three or four episodes. May be a case of Love Makes You Stupid, as most of his sudden incompetence is centered around Annie.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Arguably, given how Season 2 ends. But who can forget his response to Audrey Horne's question "Don't you have any secrets?"Agent Cooper: No.
- Living Lie Detector: His finely honed intuition returns as Dougie during the most inappropriate moment possible, as he calls a senior co-worker on bluffing, potentially fraudulent behavior. It doesn't go over too well in context.
- The Lost Lenore: Even years after losing Caroline, it still bothers him greatly and remains the reason behind his fear of pursuing romantic relationships.
- Laura Palmer as an interesting, non-romantic example, coming to a head in the The Return when it's revealed Cooper's quest was ultimately to save Laura from her death.
- Meaningful Name: Also a Punny Name. Coop's first and middle initials shorten to D.B., shared with D.B. Cooper, the epithet of the culprit behind the only unsolved instance of air piracy in aviation history. Said instance took place in the Northwest (on a flight between Portland and Seattle), further tying the name to the region.
- Mundane Object Amazement: Especially in the beginning, is completely amazed and enthralled by the country, bursting into spouts of excited admiration for trees and rabbits and other wilderness-y things.
- Must Have Caffeine: Though he doesn't seem to be addicted to it, rather he really loves coffee. A piping hot cup of black coffee is one of the few things that noticeably cracks Cooper's Empty Shell state in The Return
- My Greatest Failure: Long before he came to Twin Peaks, there was a mission where he was unable to prevent a woman that he was supposed to protect from getting killed because they fell in love with each other, and because of these feelings, he was unprepared for said attack. This also drove his former partner Windom Earle insane, although we later found out that he's the one that did it. Because of this incident, Agent Cooper is hesitant to get romantically involved with anyone else to avoid the risk of putting them in danger.
- Name's the Same: His Anti-Hero alter ego in the series finale shares a name with his evil doppelganger's bastard son. Oh, and his other doppelganger also has the same name as the in-universe founder of the Men in Black who lived out a supposedly peaceful retirement in Twin Peaks two decades earlier - but no relation. Wow, that was a mouthful.
- Nice Guy: The guy is incredibly friendly and polite, which makes BOB's possession of him at the end of the show all the more tragic.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: At the end of The Return, Cooper as his alter ego "Richard" has already reset the past but believes he has to help Laura/Carrie fulfill her destiny as the Chosen One in the new timeline. Too bad the Chalfonts/Tremonds get in the way - and it's strongly implied that Laura would need to get killed by JUDY instead of BOB in this timeline if she got past their meddling.
- Not So Above It All: Gordon Cole and Agent Cooper take way too much enjoyment in making a very hung over Harry Truman throw up by mentioning varieties of rich or spicy food.
- Occult Detective: Comes as close to this trope as an active FBI agent could. His methods are a little odd, but they work more often than they should.
- Oh, Crap!: In Fire Walk With Me after telling Cole that he had a troubling dream, Cooper certainly has this reaction when he see's long-lost FBI Agent Phillip Jeffries stroll into FBI headquarters on security footage and realizes the events of his dream are replaying in reality.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: He gets visibly angry for the first time in the show while hearing a description of the last night of Laura Palmer's life, and you just know things aren't going to end well for the guy provoking him.
- Police Psychic: Special Agent Cooper doesn't describe himself as a psychic, but he relies heavily on dreams, the "Tibetan method" and assorted kinds of magic to aid him in his investigations.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Is the recipient of several prophetic dreams from the Black Lodge.
- Relationship Upgrade: Whether it's a result of a Retcon of his romantic history or somehow happened during both their stay in the Black Lodge, the final episodes of The Return see Cooper's relationship with his former secretary Diane Evans go from professional to romantic.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: Agent Cooper is probably the second best in the series after Hawk. He's incredibly good at finding where people are, no matter how hard they try to hide from him. Justified as this is his job as an FBI agent. It's also less "woods" and finding out where criminals are hiding out.
- Seen It All: The Return shows that his lengthy stay in the Black Lodge has made him indifferent to all the surreal horror that surrounds him going hand in hand with the Empty Shell state he's turned into. Eyeless ladies, talking trees, floating heads? Just another day in the Lodge for Ol' Coop.
- Sense Freak: Particularly, taste.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Aside from the impeccable suit, his hair is so perfectly oiled in place that it defies the laws of physics - gravity seems to have no effect on it when Coop is hanging upside down in his hotel room.
- Sherlock Scan: Can deduce people's relationships—and honesty level—within the spans of a few minutes. At most.
- Signature Move: A thumbs up. Even bleeding on the floor from a gunshot wound and on the verge of death, Cooper manages to flash the kooky Waiter a thumbs up instead of calling for help. After all his time in the lodge, Cooper's able to return one to Sonny Jim. Whereas when the Doppleganger tries it, it just comes off as creepy and forced.
- To Hell and Back: Finally escapes the Black Lodge after twenty-five years, but with a massive toll on his psyche.
- Theme Music Power-Up: Upon finally awakening from his near-catatonic state in Part 16 of The Return, the show's theme plays to underscore the euphoria of seeing Cooper being fully himself after 25 years in-universe and out.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Keeps a rather chilling one while stuck in the Black Lodge and finally breaking out after 25 years.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Black coffee, cherry pie, donuts....it's a miracle his heart never exploded.
- Tragic Hero: The very last episode arguably turns him into one. See Fatal Flaw for why.
- Trapped in Another World: Spends two decades trapped in the hellish Black Lodge and then the rest of the foreseeable future in a new alternate reality of his own accidental creation.
- Trauma Conga Line: Let's see... Gets trapped in the Lodge and replaced by his doppelganger for two and a half decades, finally gets out, but is rendered completely catatonic, regains his consciousness and goes to save Laura, only to become trapped yet again somewhere else. The man can't catch a break.
- His life before the FBI, revealed in My Life, My Tapes, is basically one heartbreak after another.
- Turn in Your Badge: After solving the Laura Palmer case, he is put on trial for crossing national borders as part of his investigation. He's acquitted when it is shown that his accuser is impersonating a Mountie and is part of an international drug smuggling ring.
- We Used to Be Friends: With Windom Earle. Windom Earle went evil and Cooper fell in love with his wife. That will break any friendship.
- Wham Line: "What year is this?"
- Would Hit a Girl: Which he does in the process of saving Audrey.
Regional Bureau Chief later Assistant Director Gordon Cole
A high ranking member of the FBI with a special interest in Blue Rose (or paranormal) cases.
- Ascended Extra: He only appeared in four episodes in the original run and his voice was also heard in two others but he appear in almost all episodes of the revival.
- Badass Bookworm: Is apparently a big Franz Kafka fan, as he has a portrait of the author prominently displayed in his office.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: As of The Return, where his actions get put in a shadier light, especially his involvement in Blue Rose. Downplayed, in that he is still unambiguously one of the good guys.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Probably the weirdest man in the entire FBI, but also an extremely competent agent.
- Celeb Crush: He apparently has recurring dreams featuring Monica Bellucci.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Even when compared with Agent Cooper himself.COOP, TODAY YOU REMIND ME OF A SMALL MEXICAN CHI-WOW-WOW.
- Cool Old Guy: In The Return.
- Creator Cameo: Played by David Lynch himself. He shouts a lot and babbles almost incoherently.
- Da Chief: Completely averted.
- Department of Redundancy Department: He sometimes suggests that people do some suggested thing or other rather than whatever he misheard them as saying.
- Dirty Old Man: Played for Laughs. He's seen in a relationship with an attractive French woman who's likely a few decades younger than him, and in the penultimate episode when Albert tells him he's gone soft, he coolly replies "Not where it counts, buddy."
- The Faceless: Watching his early "appearances" over the phone, and knowing Lynch doesn't plan things out, it's clear that the casting was originally something of a joke.
- Has a Type: French women, judging by the lady Albert finds in Gordon's hotel room and his Monica Belluccinote dreams.
- Large Ham: And not just because he always speaks loudly. A lot of the things he says come off as quirky, if not outright eccentric at times, and it's this combined with his lack of an indoor voice that tends to make him come off as very bombastic. In a good way of course.
- Meaningful Name: He is named after a minor character from Sunset Boulevard, something that later helps Cooper regain his memories.
- Nice Guy: Once you look past his bombastic nature, Gordon is a good man to his very core. The Return reveals that Cole had been a big driving force in helping Denise's transition by putting the less open-minded Agents in their place.Chief Cole: WHEN YOU BECAME DENISE, I TOLD ALL OF YOUR COLLEAGUES, THOSE CLOWN COMICS, TO FIX THEIR HEARTS OR DIE.
- No Indoor Voice: AGENT GORDON COLE IS ALMOST DEAF. THIS CAN LEAD TO FUNNY SITUATIONS WHEN HE NEEDS TO SPEAK PRIVATELY. PERHAPS THAT'S WHY HE'S SO ABSTRUSE. His choice of hearing aids is much improved in The Return.
- Not So Above It All: Gordon Cole and Agent Cooper take way too much enjoyment in making a very hung over Harry Truman throw up by mentioning varieties of rich or spicy food.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In The Return, when he speaks privately to Albert and turns up his hearing aid so he can whisper, you know something's very, VERY wrong.Chief Cole: I hate admit this, but I don't understand this situation at all.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: As with Sheriff Truman, he is more than willing to allow some latitude in attitudes if it ends well.
- Spot the Imposter: One of his most important deductive skills, which helps him spot The Doppelganger almost immediately.
A secretary who works under Dale, and the person whom he refers to in his many audio tapes. She is never seen in the original series but has a substantial role in tie-in media. As well as The Return. Estranged Half-sister to Janey-E Jones... and, paradoxically, a tulpa created within the Black Lodge. Or one version of her is anyway.
- The Alcoholic: Albert was able to locate her in a bar and mentions he knows where she drinks. Later seen drinking on the way to meet Coopelganger. Probably used a coping mechanism for the possible rape by Coopelganger.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Tulpa of Diane has platinum blonde hair. The real Diane has bright red hair.
- Deadpan Snarker: An angry example.
- Disco Dan: Dresses in a strange, colorful array of vintage outfits well into the early 21st century. Justified as the version of Diane we see in The Return is a creation of the human psyche and/or Black Lodge, and the real Diane has been trapped in the Black Lodge for over 20 years, assuming she actually existed to begin with.
- The Ghost: We never see her. As of the Missing Pieces, there is one scene in Fire Walk With Me where Cooper is talking to Diane in her office, although we don't see her or hear her responses. She does finally appear onscreen in The Return. Maybe.
- Heroic Willpower: The only reason she's able to keep herself from shooting Gordon, Tammy and Albert long enough to tell them what happened to her and warn them of her true nature as the Doppelganger's tulpa agent.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: By the later parts of The Return, it's left unclear yet again whether or not there was ever a "real" Diane.
- Oral Fixation: She is having a smoke in every single scene of hers.
- Rape as Drama: She was raped by the Döppelgänger, thinking he was Cooper at the time, and as such, walks around with a chip on her shoulder towards everyone connected to the real Cooper.
- Real After All: Twice. She was always off screen during the original series and was only spoken to by Coop so it was speculated whether she was ever real at all. Then when she finally does appear in person during The Return it turns out that she was really a tulpa bringing Diane's existence in to question again. Finally in episode 17 of The Return the real Diane returns having been revealed to be Naido all along.
- Relationship Upgrade: Upon regaining her true form, Real!Diane becomes romantically involved with her former boss, Dale Cooper.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Rarely lets a sentence pass without a "fuck you" in it.
- At one point she asks Tammy's name, just so she can say "Fuck you, Tammy" to her.
- Staring Down Cthulhu: Stares right into the Doppelganger's eyes when they meet in prison, and determines from this that she is not talking to the real Dale Cooper.
- Smoking Is Not Cool: Considering the aforementioned implications of rape, she's likely doing it to cope with the trauma.
- Tragic Villain: She has all the memories and characteristics of the real Diane, including her violation by Döppel Coop, but due to being manufactured within the Black Lodge, she has no other choice than to side with her own rapist.
- Walking Spoiler: Diane's first appearance is the audience finally seeing Coop's unseen secretary from the original series. From there we have a series of revelations about her past, her relationships with other characters, and her role in some grander goal all fairly big reveals (and the fact that some of that information is ultimately irrelevant is also a reveal).
Former Special Agent Windom Earle
Agent Cooper's chess-obsessed former partner and mentor who went insane. He is tied to Project: Blue Book and the Black Lodge.
- Arch-Enemy: To Cooper, who used to be his partner until Earle killed the woman he loved.
- Ax-Crazy: Despite how competent and calculating he is, he is violently insane and kills without reason.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Downplayed. He's still a very dangerous villain, but he's small fry compared to BOB.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Has a speech where he discusses the heavenly White Lodge and the hellish Black Lodge before saying he'd love to unleash the latter on Earth to give himself ultimate power.
- Chess with Death: He plays a Chess game with Cooper. Every piece Earle takes, he kills someone.
- The Chessmaster: Literally and figuratively.
- Crazy-Prepared: In addition to his never ending supply of disguises, Earle travels with elaborate bugging equipment, all the tools and supplies needed to construct a giant chess piece, and enough strobe lights and pyrotechnics to completely sabotage a beauty pageant which he somehow does without anyone noticing. Not to mention a cage full of poisonous spiders.
- Crazy People Play Chess: He is a deranged murderous Serial Killer and Diabolical Mastermind who goes on lengthy rants about other dimensions. He's also obsessed with chess.
- Cultured Badass: Is a grandmaster of chess, a philosopher, and an FBI agent. He's also a psychotic killer and Diabolical Mastermind.
- Diabolical Mastermind: Believes himself to be one but he's out of his depth dealing with the Black Lodge.
- Did Not Think This Through: Windom Earle believes he can make a deal with the evil forces of the Black Lodge to gain great power. The problem is he seems to miss they're not Lawful Evil Deal with the Devil types but Always Chaotic Evil Eldritch Abomination ones.
- Evil Counterpart: A fallen version of Coop himself. Coop even blames himself for it, poor guy. Cooper is wrong as Earle's evil is a result of his study of the Black Lodge.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: What ultimately does him in. For all his cunning and intellect, Earle learns too late that the forces that he's dealing with cannot be bargained with or manipulated.
- FaceHeel Turn: He became obsessed with the occult power of the Black Lodge during his time with Project: Blue Book, which ultimately corrupted him.
- Fallen Hero: One of the worst in the FBI's history.
- Faux Affably Evil: He's prone to silly antics and can be quite charming but make no mistake, Earle's a murdering sadist to the core. This is probably best shown during his interactions with Leo. He acts almost fatherly to him and guides him through simple tasks and will violently torture him with electricity without changing that paternal tone.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: His research into the Black Lodge while working on Project: Blue Book developed into a dangerous obsession.
- Instrument of Murder: While he doesn't kill anyone with it, in one of his first appearances he uses his flute to lay a serious beatdown on Leo Johnson.
- Karmic Death: BOB takes Earle's soul because he broke the rules. This is the fate Earle intended for Cooper.
- Kick the Dog: The way he treats the mentally impaired Leo Johnson is needlessly cruel.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Still satisfying to watch, though. Leo is an awful, awful man.
- Large Ham: Is he ever! An example includes murdering a man so he can put him inside a giant chess piece. Also, a lengthy speech where he talks about harnessing the power of the Black Lodge to bring about hell on Earth.
- Laughably Evil: He may be someone you don't want to screw with, but some of the weird things he does (like walking through the woods in a horse costume, with Leo as the horse's rear end,) are so ridiculous you can't help but laugh.
- Love Makes You Crazy: A Crazy Jealous Guy who became obsessed with revenge on Cooper because of his wife falling in love with him. Cooper reciprocating didn't help.
- The Final Dossier reveals that Earle actually played a big role in setting up Cooper with Caroline in the first place. He introduced her and Cooper to each other at a Christmas party at the FBI office, and noticed that there was some chemistry between them. Already pretty mentally unhinged by this point, Earle grew deeply obsessed with the idea of his wife cheating on him, leading him to deliberately set up a lot of "coincidental" meetings between her and Cooper, because he needed his paranoid suspicion to be vindicated.
- Master of Disguise: A bit of an Informed Ability as his disguises, while good, are easily seen through by the viewer.
- Manipulative Bastard: Is very good at setting people against one another and playing on their psychological weaknesses.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Played With. He faked a number of symptoms to get himself committed to an asylum to throw people off his tracks but Earle himself is deranged and he only pretended to be less coherent and intelligent than what he was.
- We Used to Be Friends: With Cooper. Partners in fact.
- Teen Genius: The Final Dossier notes that he was quite accomplished in academic endeavours in his youth, having become a chess grandmaster at fourteen, enrolled in university when he was sixteen, and was already a graduate at eighteen.
- Your Soul Is Mine: In the Season 2 finale. And it's Double Subverted. He tries to steal Cooper's soul — then BOB steals Earle's for breaking the rules of the Black Lodge. Then Cooper's soul is trapped in the Lodge anyway. For 25 years.
Agent Albert Rosenfield
An abrasive Medical Examiner who works for the FBI.
- Actual Pacifist: He became an FBI Medical Examiner to fight against violence in a way that would never make him have to use violence. His deep commitment to pacifism results in a warming in his relationship with Sheriff Truman as he nonchalantly expresses his love for him.
- All-Loving Hero: What he professes to be, in spite of his sharp tongue.
- Agent Scully: A really abrasive one. He's no longer one in The Return.
- Birds of a Feather: In The Return it seems as though Albert has really hit it off with Deadpan Snarker Coroner Constance Talbot. Cole and Tammy even catch a glimpse of what looks like a date between the two.
- Character Development: Albert is an Agent Scully in the original series, but after 25 years he's become a member of Gordon Cole's Blue Rose Task Force investigating tulpas and the White and Black Lodge. He seems to have left his skepticism behind him.
- The Coroner: A medical examiner, actually. He clashes with actual Coroner "Doc" Hayward the instant he sets foot in Twin Peaks. He's a perfect example of the character type, though.
- The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: He objects emphatically when Cooper allows the body of Laura Palmer to be buried without a complete autopsy.
- City Mouse: To the extreme displeasure of the natives of Twin Peaks and Special Agent Cooper.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's got a bitingly dry sense of humor.Cooper: (after Albert tried to cheer him up) You're making a joke.
Albert: I like to think of myself as one of the happy generation.
- Dr. Jerk: He's an abrasive, stubborn medical examiner.
- Enraged by Idiocy: Has absolutely no patience for anyone he considers an idiot (which is everyone until proven otherwise), so he's pretty much in a constant state of rage and likely to blow up at anyone at any second.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's naturally rude, dismissive, and angry towards everyone. But he would never actually hurt anyone because of his strong dedication to pacifism. Best demonstrated when he returns to help with the Windom Earle case, where in quick succession he insults Bobby with a quick "Get a life, punk", happily greets Harry with a hug, and then makes fun of Gordon's No Indoor Voice. From there, it's strictly business.
- No Social Skills: His first instinct upon walking into the local police station is to scathingly express exactly what he thinks of Truman's operation and insulting everyone and everything within eyesight. This hasn't changed in The Return, where Gordon feels the need to apologize for him to local detectives.Cooper: Albert's lacking in some of the social niceties.
- Only Sane Man: Doesn't work too well in Twin Peaks though.
- Pet the Dog: In the second episode of season 2 Albert (genuinely) asks how Coop is doing after being shot. Coop's surprised by the concern, though Albert tells him not to get sentimental.
- Sixth Ranger: During the Laura Palmer case. His intermittent appearances start off in more of an antagonistic role against the Twin Peaks inhabitants, but in Season 2, once he reveals he isn't that bad a guy, he starts to fit in more, as if he's another member of the squad. Highlighted after Maddy Ferguson dies, where he comes back to help Cooper stop BOB before he can kill again. He's notably present in the room for both BOB's confession to the murders and Leland's death upon Bob's departure from his body.
- The Snark Knight: By the time of The Return Albert's deadpan delivery has gotten to the point where it would make Jerry Seinfeld blush.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: With Diane in The Return.
- Technical Pacifist: Is perfectly willing to kill Diane, once it has been revealed that Diane was a tulpa.
- The Smart Guy: One of the most intelligent and rationale people in the series. Which sucks for him because so much of what happens is completely irrational.
- Took a Level in Kindness: After his pacifism was revealed.
- Undying Loyalty: For all his prickly behavior, Albert has the utmost faith in Cooper and his abilities. He gave confidential information to Phillip at the mere mention of Cooper being in danger. Even years after his disappearance, he can immediately tell that something is wrong with Dopple Cooper.
Agent Roger Hardy
An FBI agent brought in to investigate Agent Cooper over the fact he went into Canada twice as part of his investigation into Laura Palmer's death.
- The Comically Serious: He's really been looking forward to try some Twin Peaks cherry pie.
- Roger is a lot more business-like and professional than the other FBI agents, an amazingly low bar to cross, so he's often a source of comedy due to everyone else's Bunny-Ears Lawyer behavior.
- Inspector Javert: He doesn't consider the motivations of Agent Cooper, the man may have illegally crossed national borders as part of his investigation he must be brought to justice!
- Jerkass Has a Point: Cooper has a lot of charges thrown at him and some are ridiculous like drugs going missing (with the implication Cooper sold them). However, Cooper's assault on One-Eyed Jacks to rescue Audrey resulted in a man being killed and didn't involve the Canadian authorities.
- Meaningful Name: Agent Hardy as in he's a hardened FBI Agent like Albert who isn't afraid to come off looking like a dick if it means he's doing his job.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Dumps this on Cooper, in addition to possibly crossing national borders illegally, Hardy claims that Cooper's actions may have compromised a sting on Jean Renault's drug operation.
- Not So Different: Agents Hardy and Cooper could probably bond over how much they enjoy Twin Peaks cherry pie.
- The Skeptic: Not a believer in Cooper's unorthodox and spiritual methods of detective work and recommends a full psych evaluation for Cooper.Hardy: Dale, there's a right way and a wrong way to do this.
- The Straight Man: Roger Hardy is, unfortunately, the only man in the Twin Peaks universe FBI who acts like a real FBI agent so he's in a constant state of frustration and confusion.
- Turn in Your Badge: Inflicts this on Cooper for the above mentioned charges and has nothing to do with keeping Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks after he solved the Laura Palmer case and should have moved on by now.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Last seen in the Double R Diner ordering pie. Cooper's charges were eventually dismissed so aside from apologizing its not like Hardy would have had much to offer to the plot.
Agent Denise Bryson (née Dennis Bryson)
A DEA agent who later becomes Chief of Staff at the FBI. Also a transgender woman.
- Ambiguous Gender Identity: In the second season, Denise dresses femme and states that she's changed her name from Dennis to Denise, but doesn't confirm how she identifies. In The Return, she confirms that she's transgender.
- Becoming the Mask: Back in 1988, she worked an undercover operation at the DEA to bust a drug dealer who only sold to transvestites. The relaxation she felt from wearing women's clothes led to renaming herself Denise and her eventual realization regarding her gender identity.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Cole mentions that Denise was confused during her time in the DEA and that Cole had "enough dirt on her to fill the grand canyon", but Cole felt she was trustworthy enough that he ignored all of that.
- Jurisdiction Friction: Bryson's gender identity became a source of this while she was transferred to work for the DEA and before eventually returning to the FBI. Gordon Cole recounts that he instructed them to "fix their hearts or die".
- Rank Up: Twenty five years later, Bryson has become the FBI Chief of Staff.
- Society Marches On: Both in-universe, and in how the character is portrayed. The Return takes greater care to emphasize Denise's strengths as both a public administrator and a field investigator early on. While the newer season still alludes to Bryson's gender identity, it does not play it for comedy as in her first appearances (in which characters are often visibly and uncomfortably confounded by Denise Bryson's appearance).
- Transgender: Bryson is a transgender woman.
Fire Walk With Me
Agent Phillip Jeffries
The FBI agent originally assigned to the murders which preceded Laura Palmer's.
- Ambiguously Evil: His reappearance in The Return. He's certainly creepy but how antagonistic he is is left up in the air. He told the Doppleganger that he wanted to be reunited with BOB and hired Ray and Darya to kill him all over the phone, but in person Jeffries denies that.
- Further complicating the debate, he is noticeably more helpful in person to Good!Coop than Evil!Coop.
- Brown Note: Seems to be this for reality. The more he rambles, the more reality seems to breakdown into a mess of static and creepy images of the Lodge spirits.
- The Bus Came Back: In 2016, Jeffries contacts BOB possessed!Dale. Eventually, he reappears trapped above the convenience store in Mechanical Abomination form.
- Body Horror: No longer occupies a human form by the time of The Return.
- Cryptic Conversation: His monologue on briefly reappearing is vague, weird and dissonant enough in tone that it only makes sense if you know what will happen later chronologically in the series. And even then, it's pretty cryptic and bizarre. The fact that brief flashes of a screaming monkey show up on screen during his speech sure doesn't add any clarity.
- Demonic Possession: His disappearance implies that while he was away, he was possessed by some creature or other from inside the Lodge.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: His experiences in the Lodge revealed some very ominous things about Cooper's future.
- FaceHeel Turn: He may have undergone one in The Return, but his scenes are laced with a lot of deliberate ambiguity. He calls the Doppleganger on the phone and claims that he wants to be reunited with BOB in and seemingly hired Ray and Darya to kill him. Yet when he appears, he denies having made that call and the hit. He offers the Doppleganger information but seems to be more helpful when Cooper and MIKE visit him.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Possibly. Of course most of his dialogue is exposition on The Black Lodge in Cryptic Conversation, so it's possible he has simply "gone native" in the Lodge and is no longer capable of typical human speech.
- Informed Attribute: Before his disappearance, Jeffries had a reputation as a hero or an expert of some kind. Cole tells Cooper he may have heard of Jeffries from training.
- It Makes Sense in Context: His entire monologue in The Movie sounds like an insane rant to any character or viewer who might not be familiar with the events of the series.
- Mechanical Abomination: Reappears above the convenience store as...a creepy giant talking tea kettle.
- Apparently, Lynch wasn't happy with the shape of the "tea kettle", and wishes the spout had been straighter—like a coffeepot.
- Noodle Incident: What exactly happened in Buenos Aires anyway? It is shown in The Missing Pieces (a compilation of deleted footage from FWWM), Jeffries, while checking in, up and teleported away to the FBI office... two years later. Afterwards, he teleports back again in Buenos Aires, scaring a bellboy.
- And just who is the Judy who doesn't want to talk about? Becomes a major plot point as of The Return. Eventually this is (somewhat) resolved, as Jeffries hints that Judy is The Experiment.
- Portent of Doom: "Who do you think this is there?"
- Sweet Home Alabama: David Bowie brought his take on Southern twang to his dialogue as Jeffries. The Secret History of Twin Peaks explains that Jefferies' accent comes from growing up in an upper-class Virginian household. The Return shows him keeping the same Southern twang even in his new form.
- They Walk Among Us: Reveals the Lodge's inhabitants and their role in relation to the real world. Too bad for Cooper and Cole that he speaks entirely in cryptic riddles and that this predates the point in the series at which any of that information might be useful in context.
- Wild Card: It's ultimately never really resolved whose side he was truly on. While he definitely helped out Cooper more, it's always been strongly implied he had always had ulterior motives for it.
Agent Chester Desmond
One of the ill-fated FBI agents caught up in the case which will eventually lead to Laura Palmer's murder.
- The Ace: Displays an extremely high level of competency at figuring things out and getting people to talk. Even he ends up suffering a mysterious but undoubtedly bad fate involving disappearing into the Black Lodge.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: The arm-twisting enforcer to Sam Stanley's Naïve Newcomer role.
- Occult Detective: Becomes involved in the investigation of Teresa Banks's murder in Deer Meadows, but already shows some familiarity with Blue Rose cases aka supernaturally-oriented crimes. Which isn't enough for him to handle BOB or the Black Lodge.
- Old Cop, Young Cop: He's relatively young as of Fire Walk With Me, but the dynamic still exists with him as the mentor to Naïve Newcomer Sam Stanley.
- Never Found the Body: Possibly. The Secret History of Twin Peaks is not very clear on his fate post-Deer Meadows other than that it very obviously was not a good end.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Word of God is that Kyle MacLachlan asked for a reduced role in Fire Walk With Me so Chet Desmond was created, possessing Cooper's style and competency. Interestingly enough, Cooper shows up in Fire Walk With Me immediately after Desmond vanishes after reaching for the ring in Deer Meadows. They also both end up trapped in the Black Lodge.
- Spy Speak: Is familiar with cases that involve the supernatural. At the very least he's seen the Blue Rose before and knows what it means.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: A very unsettling example. While Dale Cooper was able from return after his (very long) stint in the Black Lodge and Phillip Jeffries reappeared (albeit in a very different form), nothing is known about Desmond's current whereabouts or what happened to him. He's dropped off the face of reality.
Agent Sam Stanley
An FBI agent investigating the case which will eventually lead to Laura Palmer's murder.
- The Alcoholic: Implied in The Secret History of Twin Peaks, where it is noted that he suffered some mental breakdown some time after the Banks case and was placed on administrative leave by the Bureau. Rumors was going around that alcoholism was the reason for said breakdown.
- The Coroner: Being educated in forensics, he does the more technical work of the Teresa Banks case, such as doing the autopsy on her body.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Is awkward and pedantic when he speaks to people he and Desmond are asking for information.Waitress: I don't do drugs.
Stanley: Caffeine's a drug. Nicotine's a drug.
Waitress: Who's the towhead? Those drugs are legal!
- Early-Bird Cameo: Sam is actually name-dropped in the pilot, as Cooper metions to Diane that they shouldn't let Sam work the Palmer case, and that Albert Rosenfield has it "more on the ball."
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: The Good one, mostly because of his Naïve Newcomer role.
- Foil: To Albert. They are both forensic scientists working under another agent (Cooper in Albert's case, Desmond in Stanley's), but Stanley lacks Albert's cynicism and sharp tongue, being instead good natured and somewhat naive.
- Old Cop, Young Cop: The young one.
- Naïve Newcomer: Is not familiar with Blue Rose cases, and even being assigned one can not be explicitly told what it means or what kind of prospects he's in for.
Agent Tamara "Tammy" Preston
The beautiful archivist of The Secret History of Twin Peaks. Later she becomes part of the investigation of Agent Cooper's reappearance. Later the author of the Final Dossier.
- Badass Bookworm: She has a college education in both English and history, and her annotations in The Secret History of Twin Peaks are chock full of references.
- Book-Ends: Her role in The Secret History of Twin Peaks (set prior to The Return) is to recap and editorialize on the events of the first series, involving the many secrets and mysteries that were Left Hanging at the end. In The Final Dossier (set after The Return) her role is to recap and wrap up the fates of the characters after that series.
- Characterization Marches On: Her personality from The Secret History of Twin Peaks to The Return. The Final Dossier repackages this as Character Development: while she retains her Deadpan Snarker tendencies from The Secret History of Twin Peaks, she concludes the Final Dossier on an optimistic, wonderstruck, and almost spiritual note.
- City Mouse: Remarks to Gordon Cole in The Final Dossier that she is one, and can't possibly share his deep enchantment with Twin Peaks.
- Continuity Snarl: Seems to lose her knowledge of Phillip Jeffries from the The Secret History of Twin Peaks to The Return.
- Direct Line to the Author: She is the author and narrator of The Final Dossier.
- Fair Cop: She's young, attractive, and subject to scenes of Eating the Eye Candy. FBI Chief of Staff Denise Bryson suspects that this is the reason why Deputy Director Gordon Cole put her on his team.
- Hero of Another Story: She's the agent that The Secret History of Twin Peaks was given to and the author of The Final Dossier.
- Locked Out of the Loop: While she was given the numerous classified files to read in "The Secret History of Twin Peaks", Gordon and Albert specifically keep her information limited when sharing their suspicions on Dopple Cooper.
- Ms. Fanservice: Denise accuses Gordon of bringing her on the Cooper case because of her attractiveness and the camera hovers on her hips a few times.
- Occult Detective: As Gordon's chief occult detective in 2016, she's sort of Cooper's replacement in this role, although she and Albert both maintain a role as The Skeptic when presented with anything supernatural (at least initially).
- The Skeptic: While annotating the documents in The Secret History of Twin Peaks, Tammy notes that she does not believe in religion or the supernatural and that some of her notes may be colored by her views.
- Sexy Walk: The FBI take her along when they go see Evil Cooper in prison. Afterwards her boss Gordon tells her to go wait in the diner so he can have a private talk with his colleague Albert in the parking lot. She does a very sultry walk, which doesn't go unnoticed.Albert: I'm feeling better now.
- She Knows Too Much: While annotating The Secret History of Twin Peaks, she notes that she is concerned some of the information she stumbles on in the documents she annotates could cause her to lose her job or worse.
- Tranquil Fury: The Return shows her as mellow, cheerful, and spiritually attuned. Her annotations in The Secret History of Twin Peaks, however, make it very clear that her actual thoughts reflect an impatient, passive aggressive, and frustratedly skeptical side that she consciously hides in her day to day interactions.
- Unexpected Character: Sort of. After David Lynch publicly said that he had never read The Secret History of Twin Peaks it was certainly a surprise to learn that Lynch would incorporate one of the main characters from the book into the main series. However, the script of the third season was originally written by Mark Frost, so perhaps this isn't too surprising.
- The Watson: Her role in the series is primarily to receive exposition and look pretty.