It’s happening again
That gum we liked was going to come back in style. After three years of patience, television audiences and specifically, dedicated die-hard fans of Twin Peaks got their wish on the evening of Sunday, May 21, 2017. The series that last aired 27 years ago and was resurrected by original co-creators David Lynch (Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet) and Mark Frost (Hill Street Blues) is back. Shrouded in secrecy, in a world full of advance spoilers, it already began to set a new benchmark that protecting your vision is still possible; thanks to a broadcast company like Showtime being amazingly supportive and keen with their marketing, and the loyal fans who wished nothing more than to discover the mystery on their own.
If the casual cable clicker wanted something refreshing on their channels, then this new incarnation (or third season) of Twin Peaks will have their eyes bulging and their brains exploding. Starting out strong with a flashback to the Season 2 (then Series) Finale, we see Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee, Dirty Sexy Money and John Carpenter’s Vampires) telling Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan, Desperate Housewives and Showgirls) she will see him again in 25 years. The beautiful and artistic camera pans transition us right into the opening credits with Angelo Badalamenti’s famous, award-winning, theme striking all the right chords to re-enter this beautiful world. Instantly the chills are re-awakened in our psyches and our subconscious as we see Cooper, the good side of him that was trapped in the evil-dwelling maze of The Black Lodge, receiving new messages from The Giant (Carol Struycken, The Addams Family and The Witches of Eastwick); The Giant being just one of many supernatural inhabitants found there (a.k.a. “Dugpas” for the fellow Peaks geeks) however the current credits list him now only as ?????.
Keep reading after the trailer
Admittedly, by the half-hour mark, the viewer could be easily lost due to the stretched tone of certain scenes where running time is not of the essence or simply because we are here, then there, with new characters that are not introduced immediately but rather through explanatory means of later scenes and sometimes other characters. Alas these strings do tie together in some way, shape or form; creating a key to unlocking this new series and the mysteries therein.
The first two parts in what is proposed as an 18-hour long film aired back-to-back and if the first set up some serious “What the F*CK!?” reactions, and everybody’s nails were ruined from scratching their heads; the latter was the hammer that drove the nails deeper. Gloriously returning to some more familiar territory, if you would call The Black Lodge, familiar territory, and welcoming back more residents of the small Washington town including Shelly Johnson (Mädchen Amick, Riverdale and Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers), James Hurley (James Marshall, A Few Good Men and Gladiator (1992)) and Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie, Gone in 60 Seconds and Wild at Heart) – Sarah clearly having not much prosperity in her life since her daughter’s murder and the revelation that her late husband committed the crime. Speaking of, Leland Palmer (Ray Wise, Jeepers Creepers 2 and RoboCop) appears to good Cooper, in the lodge, and so does Laura. A few more friends join this lodge party already in progress too but Lynch brilliantly reassures us not to be content with the old faces because things are still not as they seem. In fact, something is wrong and the question lingering throughout this new narrative: Is it future…or is it past?
Not the Twin Peaks you know
Undoubtedly, some viewers and Peaks fans will not be happy and it is impossible to please all, but Lynch and Frost repeatedly spoke that this is not the same Twin Peaks seen last so we were all duly warned, and for those of us adventurous and daring enough to embark on the new journey then we are, so far, greatly rewarded if not mentally tasked (or even emotionally drained starting with the brilliant return of the late Catherine E. Coulson as The Log Lady; performing to standards despite her failing health).
By the end of the part 102, we are getting closer to the town we once knew and the people in it, but we have to allow Lynch and Frost the freedom and TIME to get us there. Anybody can complain that this isn’t what they expected, and why are we not with all our beloved characters of the past, and the answer is simple. Twin Peaks is going to be a journey between two worlds; the good Cooper is in the Lodge and can’t leave while the bad is doing business dealings of his own including manipulation of people from South Dakota all the way up to Las Vegas.
We have 16 more hours ahead of sheer art and entertainment reflected in a pristine box of brilliance and madness. Like one, or two, characters in the new series, we have to watch this box continuously, patiently, and if you watch close enough, some wondrous things are bound to appear! (Get aroused too soon in the process and there’s going to be trouble!)
I’m a long-time, huge fan of this series, as is my Mother who I remember watching it on TV in its original run, yet I was too afraid to watch. Having now submerged myself into the world of David Lynch and his filmography, it is a trip always worth taking whether I understand right away, or continue to doubt my own theories on what his stories are about with every re-watch. I was so pleasantly mind-warped by these first two episodes and yet I instantly warmed to seeing the familiar once again, and disturbingly moved by the unfamiliar. That is the work of David Lynch folks, and that is the Twin Peaks we are getting now. It’s not just a slice of nostalgia; it’s truly a whole new Cherry Pie. Recommendation: pick-up Mark Frost’s The Secret History of Twin Peaks book available now and it just might help you with some stuff. Parts 103 and 104 are already on demand for those with Showtime and some other on demand media services as well. Don’t spoil it!