Twin Peaks 2017 Review: Part 1 & Part 2 – Just as daring and bonkers as the original!

In the last episode of the original run of Twin Peaks, the dearly departed Laura Palmer tells Agent Dale Cooper, “I’ll see you again in 25 years.” If this were a series by anyone other than David Lynch, I’d look at the show’s return 25 years after the film Fire Walk with Me as a funny coincidence. But this isn’t a show by anyone else.

Twin Peaks is pure, uncut David Lynch (and Mark Frost). And I’ve been mesmerized by it since its original run, when for some reason, my parents let me watch it. It’s been fun to see it become a cult classic for people who, in some cases, weren’t even born when it first aired. (I don’t know how that’s possible, but I’m not a scientist.) Anyway, since it’s become a cult classic, it tends to be boiled down to just a few elements, like a chevron floor, the owls are not what they seem, the log lady, and damn fine coffee. Usually lost in the mix are the feelings it gives you, like dread and loss and horror. David Lynch, being the David Lynch-iest man around, delivered on those in owl-defaced spades last night. [Note: Obviously, this being Twin Peaks, everything that happens is very open to interpretation and although this is me right now with the plot, I am bound to miss things/get things wrong. And there will be a lot of ground to cover in these first two weeks, when Showtime will be airing two episodes each week. So let’s discuss it together.]

We begin back in black or rather, back in black and white in the Black Lodge. Poor Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is still stuck there. We join him already in progress in conversation with The Giant (Carel Struycken). He will meet up with most of our ol’ pals from the Lodge and its Red Room, except for the Man from Another Place, aka the Arm. Part of that probably has to do with the fact that Michael J. Anderson indirectly accused Lynch of some pretty vile crimes, including murder. Also, the MfAP did tell Cooper in the original run, “When you see me again, it won’t be me.” This time, the Arm is a brain? a neuron? a piece of ABC gum? that grew out of a tree. And the fact that I just wrote that sentence tells you that we’re in Lynch country.

And if Cooper’s in here in the Lodge, who’s out there in the world? Well, we don’t get to see all of our old friends yet, but we do check in with many of them. Benjamin Horne (Richard Beymer) still runs the Great Northern and his brother Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) is now in the weed business. We also get to visit with the Twin Peaks sheriff’s department. Unfortunately, Michael Ontkean has retired from acting, so there will be no Sheriff Harry S. Truman, but the legendary Robert Forster will be appearing as his brother Frank. We do get to check in with Lucy (Kimmy Robertson), Andy (Harry Goaz), and the wonderful Hawk (Michael Horse). It’s Hawk who gets a phone call from one of the most iconic Twin Peaks characters, Margaret Lanterman (Catherine Coulson), aka the Log Lady. Coulson was terminally ill when she filmed her scenes and it’ll break your heart to see her, especially when she tells Hawk, “I’m too weak to go with you.” She’s phoning because the log has a message for him, “Something is missing and you have to find it. It has to do with Special Agent Dale Cooper. The way you will find it has something to do with your heritage.” This sends Hawk on a mission into the woods, particularly around Glastonbury Grove, which old fans might know as the entrance to the Black Lodge. We and Hawk don’t make much progress there, but he does see the ghostly rippling of translucent red curtains behind the trees.

Elsewhere, there’s Dark Cooper, the agent’s doppelganger who escaped from the Black Lodge and is under the thrall of BOB. He does not want to go back into the Lodge, but he’ll have to if regular Cooper is going to escape. It seems like that may be underway, as regular Cooper is expelled from the Lodge. Where he finally ends up is unclear, but he does make an appearance in New York City in a strange apartment. The apartment features a big glass box that encases a portal. Sam Colby (Ben Rosenfield) is employed by a mysterious billionaire to watch over the box and file away the video recordings being made of it. As he tells his equally doomed love interest, he hasn’t seen anything in the box yet. Little do they know that like in a horror movie, all it takes for evil to show up is a little hanky panky. There’s been some question about what bodily fluid exactly was in last week’s episode of Fargo, but in this show and this scene, it’s definitely blood.

And speaking of blood, there’s also a subplot involving a gruesome double murder in South Dakota that might be the work of a seemingly clean-cut man, high school principal William Hastings (Matthew Lillard). If that last part seems familiar, see also: Leland Palmer (Ray Wise). As for the man himself, he appears in the Red Room imploring Cooper to help find Laura (Sheryl Lee), who also appears to speak to Cooper. She is dead and yet she lives and boy, is she mad about it. Her fury and horror shrieks her right out of the room. (The other member of the Palmer family, Sarah (Grace Zabriskie), is still in Twin Peaks and not doing great, judging by the overflowing ashtrays.)

We end our visit to Twin Peaks by seeing two more familiar faces, Shelly (Mädchen Amick) and OG Lonely Boy James (James Marshall). In what may be the most surreal moment to date in this series, Shelly says, “James has always been cool.” WTF. Mr. Lynch, let’s not get that crazy.

9.5/10 – As Kevin pointed out last week, there have been a lot of TV shows and movies over the years that have clearly been trying to ape the Twin Peaks magic. But as the premiere episodes show us, there’s (still) nothing like the original.

Tags

  • Philip Marlowe

    Lynch is messing with our minds, perceptions and fears. I am surprised that after reading many reviews, no one observed how much the style of his TV film-making feels Quentino-Tarantino-ian, especially in the way evil characters speak slowly to normal (hopeless) human beings (and their sure victims).

    The new act has some diabolic imagery and it is, basically, a horror freak show; no one feels safe, not even poor Laura, she is not yet in a happy place, unfortunately. Being zapped, shaken and swept-up screaming in a different dimension is not too reassuring. David Lynch mocks previous stereotypes from iconic movies, but it appears tha he laughs at us…, when he comes up with utmost childish, absurd, quite primitive ideas about traveling between worlds (or intermediate realms) through electrical plugs and appliances. Come on! this is the worst kind of SciFi special effects, typical of the early versions (1960s?). It does project a candid, child-like, unreal feel to it, that may work only at a 2-3 am time slot, but it feels like a total non-sense at any other time(s).

    The new Zombie-like creature, only physically looking like the formerly sharp Cooper reminds us of the Walking Dead (TV) show. So, is Lynch attempting to satire all that has happened in TV in the mean time?. New-alien-robot-Zombie-amnesiac Cooper is the perfect fusion of Neo (of the Matrix) only totally brainwashed while passing through the corona discharge of teleportation from the parallel nether worlds, with Mr. Bean (on holiday on Earth), and Dustin Hofmann’s RainMan – MacLachlan appears to have studied them well and emulates all three of them in one character. Recall that Rainman also made a big impression and winnings at a casino. The suit and look is borrowed from Agent Smith (another famous “Agent” that traveled through eerie mental or inner worlds), but his only hope is – we have to assume… – that he carries the good spirit [of Coop/Neo/ aka The positive Hero… just now in shambles…], despite acting painfully clumsy and awkward and somewhat funny (but wait, wasn’t that performance mostly too much of a stretch and kind of unfunny?]… like Mr. Bean, and as the idiot savant and emotionally crippled “neo”-Rainman… Isn’t then Lynch making a full circle parody of all these moviesand cliches before him, in a subtly perverse and ironic fashion? So maybe he doesn’t give a damn about the story, about what happens to Cooper, if he will be saved or not. Or perhaps, in Episode 18 the regular Cooper will wake up from it, hey…, it was just “a dream” all along. Which explains the dream-like quality of the entire “action” (i.e. no sense at all, no logical narrative), the strange way Laura Palmer and the other “people” in Red Curtain Room(s) spoke, like a tape was played in reverse etc. An easy way out of this mess for Lynch.

    • Salome G

      These are some strong opinions, detective, and I can’t parse all of them right at the moment, esp since some refer to the next double-batch of episodes airing tonight, but I do appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Latest Articles

Review: THE PUNISHER is a troubled show about a troubled person

Review: THE PUNISHER is a troubled show about a troubled person

WWE Spoilers: Final card for Survivor Series 2017

WWE Spoilers: Final card for Survivor Series 2017

NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2017 Results

NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2017 Results

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: November 14, 2017

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: November 14, 2017

WWE RAW Results: November 13, 2017

WWE RAW Results: November 13, 2017

WWE Spoilers: Big changes made to Survivor Series card!

WWE Spoilers: Big changes made to Survivor Series card!

Star Trek Discovery: Into the Forest I Go – Midseason finale review

Star Trek Discovery: Into the Forest I Go – Midseason finale review

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: November 7, 2017

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: November 7, 2017

WWE RAW Results: November 6, 2017

WWE RAW Results: November 6, 2017

American Horror Story – Cult E10 Review: Charles (Manson) in Charge – I have no idea where they’re going w ...

American Horror Story – Cult E10 Review: Charles (Manson) in Charge – I have no idea where they’re going with this!

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: October 31, 2017

WWE SmackDown LIVE Results: October 31, 2017