Category Archives: Twin Peaks
One of the highlights of 2017 for me was Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks this summer. Not everyone who tuned in enjoyed the show as much as I did. Given complete creative control, a sizable budget and 18 hours to fill director David Lynch followed his creative impulses with little concern for the show’s eager fans. Many viewers, myself among them, had waited over twenty-five years for the resolution to the cliffhanger that ended the original series. Technically, Lynch closed the loop on that story-line but in doing so he raised dozens of new questions which are unlikely to ever be answered on television. Fan of Lynch should be used to that treatment but many viewers were understandably frustrated by the glacial pace of The Return and how dissimilar it was from the show they loved. If the end of Twin Peaks left you wanting more (specifically more answers), Mark Frost’s new book, The Final Dossier, fills in some of the blanks.
Twin Peaks has ended again. When the original series came to a close over a quarter of a century ago, many fans – myself included – were upset by the show’s dark, uncertain non-conclusion. This revival – rare even in a pop culture landscape dominated by reboots, prequels, sequels and all other manner of recycled ideas – offered David Lynch and the audience the chance to go back and retroactively fix the past. Or so it seemed. On some level, that’s what a lot of us wanted. That’s part of what I know I wanted. Lynch knew I wanted it too, so offered it up as a possibility in the show’s second-to-last hour before smashing it to pieces and blowing the whole thing up with another ending that refuses to bring closure. “Is it future or is it the past?” I have no idea, but Twin Peaks: The Return was as frustrating and fascinating as ever.
This is the episode we have been waiting for. The penultimate episode of Twin Peaks: The Return moves all the pieces in place for next week’s two-hour finale. The most important piece of all, Agent Dale Cooper, is finally back! Despite the fact I have been waiting for more than fifteen hours for this to happen, the reveal was surprisingly rewarding. The wait, which tested the patience of many a viewer, made the return which was promised in the season’s title that much sweeter.
As much as it saddens me to say it, we’re reaching the final hours of Twin Peaks: The Return. This episode begins the difficult process of wrapping up a story that began more than twenty-five years ago. Part 15 moved a few pieces in place for the final act, but it also offered some very satisfying conclusions. The hour started off with a rare, unabashed happy ending for two characters who have waited a very long time for their happily ever after.
With only five hours left to go (four remaining after this installment), Twin Peaks: The Return has entered its endgame. The pace is picking up as Lynch begins paying off plot lines that were set up in the early episodes. This hour was filled with more head-scratching “did I just see what I think I saw” moments than most. As Lynch got down to the business of ending his story, this was an episode about story-telling.
Last week’s episode suffered from a deficiency of Kyle MacLachlan. Twin Peaks: The Return‘s thirteenth hour makes up for that with a double dose of its leading man. Like a slice of cherry pie with a cup of black coffee, this episode served up MacLachlan as sweet Dougie Jones and bitter Dark Cooper. These two opposing forced have been on a collision course since the season premiere and this hour brought them incrementally closer to impact.
At long last, Audrey Horne has returned! Fans who have been clamoring for the character to appear on the new season of Twin Peaks can put down their pitchforks and stop storming the Black Lodge. But I suspect that these fans might not be happy with the 21st century incarnation of their favorite character. The playful girl we fell in love with has returned as a bitter middle-aged woman who harangues her husband when he doesn’t want to help her search for her missing lover. This person is barely recognizable as the girl who once tied cherry stems in knots. David Lynch gave fans what they said they wanted, but not in the way they wanted it.
A lot of things have changed in the two and a half decades since the end of the original Twin Peaks. But a lot of things remain the same as well. Agent Cooper may not be himself, but he still enjoys a slice of damn good cherry pie. After a forkful of fruity goodness, you could see his taste-buds igniting resulting in yet another minor reawakening within dormant part’s of Cooper’s brain. One piece at a time, Agent Cooper is being reassembled, but who will he be when he finally returns? Surely twenty-five years in the Black Lodge and living another man’s life will change Agent Cooper despite his persistent love of baked goods and coffee.
We’re a little more than halfway through the third (and presumably final) season of Twin Peaks and David Lynch is starting to reward us for our patience. The first several episodes introduced seemingly random, disjointed plot threads. Characters would appear for a scene and then disappear for weeks at a time. It was easy to think that a lot of these diversions served no purpose other than to entertain the show’s eccentric creator. But it turns out a lot of those dangling plot threads are actually connected. This episode connects some dots without giving viewers the full picture.
From week to week, this season of Twin Peaks can feel like a different show. Even within a single episode, the new Twin Peaks can turn on a dime. From moment to moment, you never know what to expect. After last week’s transcendental journey through Lynchian horror, it probably comes as a relief to some viewers that this week’s episode is more grounded. For others, this episode might feel a bit pedestrian following the grand weirdness of the previous hour. For that reason, it’s probably for the best that we got a week off to process the nuclear-powered origin story Lynch served up in episode 8. Part 9 feels like Lynch gathering up loose plot threads and tying them together so we can start to move on.
Halfway through this week’s episode of Twin Peaks: The Return, I started to panic. I realized that the episode was half over and almost nothing had happened in the conventional sense. How the hell was I supposed o write a recap in the morning? After nearly thirty minutes that resembled an experimental film with almost no dialogue, I figured it was very likely the back half of the episode was going to follow suit. While I couldn’t imagine what images would flash across my television screen next, I was correct that the entire hour would be devoted to surrealism. This was the strangest, most disturbing, most ambitious hour of television I have ever watched.
Viewers who have been frustrated with the Twin Peaks‘ revival’s stubborn refusal to indulge their nostalgia for the original show had reason to celebrate during this, the seventh hour of the new season. Not only did the episode spend more time within the familiar city limits of Twin Peaks, but there were lots of familiar faces, references to old mysteries and even a few answers to be found. After six straight hours of keeping his audience off-balance, David Lynch finally let Twin Peaks fans find their footing for a moment or two. This hour was arguably less audacious than previous episodes, but in exchange it packed more payoffs than one is used to seeing in the weird world of Twin Peaks.
Mike, the One-Armed Man, arrives to Agent Cooper in a vision with a warning. “You have to wake up.” His words echo the thoughts of viewers who may be growing frustrated with the glacial pace of Cooper’s return from the Black Lodge. Through six hours of television, we have watched helplessly as our protagonist stumbles through someone else’s life. On some level, we all just want him to snap out of it! Little by little, that’s happening. This week Coop traded in his awful green blazer for his familiar black suit and one more piece snapped back into place.