By Magda Mariamidze
One of the biggest surprises of The Return was that we finally met Diane. We had never seen her in person before. It was not even entirely clear if she was a real person or just a name made up by Cooper for his tapes in order to address someone.
In The Return, Diane is personified. We first meet white-haired Diane who is later revealed to be a tulpa, and then another Diane, red-haired, who in reply to Cooper’s question says that she is the real Diane. At the Sheriff’s Station, after red-haired Diane emerged from Naido, there is another question Coopers asks her: does she remember everything? – She does. It looks like the mission of Diane in The Return is the same as it was before – to remember.
Red-haired Diane, carrying her memories, is there only to assist Cooper. But yet another Diane appears at the motel entrance – the copy of the red-haired. And what exactly Diane has to remember? Is it the events form 25 years ago, everything that happened with Cooper in the Lodge, or she can remember things that happened with both Coopers inside and outside the Lodge? (When white haired Diane says ‘I’m not myself and ‘I’m at the Sheriff’s Station’, she is connected with the other Diane (Naido), so it could be that she knows what the other one knows.)
Whatever it is to remember, her function basically didn’t change, she receives and records information, remembers it for Cooper to use later. All that Cooper wants to accomplish highly depends on Diane’s memory, probably that’s why he needs her in the motel while transporting to the new reality.
Only here we see two red-haired Dianes. She is split in two: is one from official version and another from unofficial version? One of them is left out of the motel door. After transporting to a new reality, Diane’s personality changed, possibly because she’s not whole anymore. Cooper’s personality did not change, he’s still Dale Cooper and doesn’t take into consideration the changes in other people – despite the warning of the Fireman about Richard and Linda. He believes Diane’s memories are full and complete, but instead he relies on the false or partial memories. Maybe this is why he is lost in the end.
But let’s go back to Diane. When we first meet her, she’s angry with Gordon and Albert and they are not surprised, it is expected. Probably she had all the reasons to be angry. I imagine that at the FBI she always served as a medium, as a memory, and always taken for granted. Gordon’s team and especially Cooper relied on her. But what happens if this perfect memory source refuses to retrieve all the necessary information? Because she can do that, because it’s too painful, or because she can just forget – all in all she’s not a tape recorder, but a living human being.