Twin Peaks: The Return
“Parts 1 & 2”
Season 3 , Episode 1 & 2
In one of the most anticipated encores in entertainment history, Twin Peaks: The Return debuted with a two-hour creep-fest that didn’t fail to spike my vein with a long-needed Lynch fix. Borrowing more from his films, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire. The Return is generally a sparer effort, devoid of the surreal camp that came to define the original series. There is also a complete lack of music and/or atmospheric soundscapes – Badalamenti’s classic themes are a no-show, save for the opening credits. So, if you are looking for a nostalgic trip down memory lane, replete with jazzy finger snaps and cherry pie you may wind up disappointed – at least based on this first chapter. What you will get, however, is one hell of a seminal David Lynch experience. Building slowly, like an unsettling dream, events unfold and twist with nightmare logic, ultimately climaxing in some of the most terrifying imagery I’ve ever seen on the small screen.
Deafening silence saturates every scene, lending a stilted awkwardness to the action which serves to disorient and unnerve the viewer and the few brief cameos by original alumni, feel weary. They appear frail and haggard, almost ghostly, like lost loved ones returning to haunt you in a dream.
But for the rest of this review, let’s set aside the descriptions of Lynch’s red hammer aesthetic (hey it just sounds good)…and get down to brass tacks.
As far as the developing plot is concerned, here’s what what’s happened since we last visited the town of Twin Peaks:
FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper still remains in the Black Lodge, a dismal purgatory ensconced in crimson velvet and jagged zebra flooring. Coop is informed by a strange creature – think the baby in Eraserhead – called “The Evolution of the Arm” that in order for him to “go out” his evil Doppelganger – you know the guy in the final episode of the original series who thwacks his noggin in the mirror, cackling “How’s Annie?” – must “come back”. This doppelganger – now a shaggy, rock n roll villain – is out roaming the earth with a couple of sleazeballs. He knows that he is being summoned by the controlling entities of the Black Lodge, but he’s fighting the call – he does not want to return.
Other subplots include a High School Principal – the always solid Mathew Lillard— accused of a grisly murder, a guarded room in New York City containing a large glass box in which something may or may not turn up, and a dying Log Lady informing Deputy Hawk that something is “missing” concerning Dale Cooper.
From what I gather, the series cannot be considered a true third season of Twin Peaks, as it was conceived as a whole – all 18 hours of it – by Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost. This might explain its decidedly non-episodic format. At the moment, I really have no clue where they are going with this. Will the returning characters play a more important role in the show or just continue to turn up in minor cameos? Will any of the twisted humor and campy charm of the original leaven the atmosphere or are we all in for a full-on trip into the darkest, most unforgiving region of Lynch’s transcendentally scrambled brain?
The Z Review will be continue to cover Twin Peaks: The Return for the entirety of the series, so I guess we’ll all find out together