WARNING: SPOILERS AHOY! Anyone expecting the Twin Peaks revival to come roaring out of the gate with a ton of new revelations and action and explanations…has probably never seen anything David Lynch has been responsible for. Indeed, even after almost 27 years of waiting, this continuation of the cult classic is more than content to
WARNING: SPOILERS AHOY!
Anyone expecting the Twin Peaks revival to come roaring out of the gate with a ton of new revelations and action and explanations…has probably never seen anything David Lynch has been responsible for. Indeed, even after almost 27 years of waiting, this continuation of the cult classic is more than content to take its time, building up that Lynch-esque dread through long minutes of nothing really happening.
The pieces that take place in New York seem almost self-referential. A character has been tasked with staring at an empty glass box and maintaining the cameras that monitor it. We follow him for several minutes as he watches the box, swaps out SD cards on the cameras, and hear him explain to a female guest that he’s never actually seen anything happen. All this eventually builds up to one of the more bizarre and violent scenes in the first two “Chapters,” but it also serves as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on Lynch’s style…not to mention the fans of a very influential show waiting for a quarter-century for something to happen.
But, Lynch doesn’t waste too much time, and is surprisingly straightforward in some respects. The premiere show does pick up 25 years later, but Agent Cooper – the real Agent Cooper – is right where we left him: trapped in the red curtains and black-and-white chevron floor of the infamous Black Lodge. He sees Laura Palmer again, and she gives him some good news: he’s about to get out! Of course, there’s a catch: the Cooper Doppelganger that’s been loose in the real world has to come back.
Over the course of the first two hours, we learn that the Doppelganger has absolutely no intention of doing that. In fact, he’s engaged in a pretty complicated web of murder and information gathering that will somehow ensure he never has to go back to the Black Lodge. And so we have our plot!
Twin Peaks, and the characters we know and love therein, are seen pretty minimally. There’s a fun exchange between the Brothers Horne at The Great Northern. We see Lucy’s still at the reception desk at the Sheriff’s office, and that she married Andy. The Log Lady sets Hawk in motion towards recovering Agent Cooper. Shelley and James stare at each other across an absolutely packed Bang Bang Bar. Poor Sarah Palmer is still living alone in her cursed house watching animal documentaries. And Doctor Jacoby is out in the woods buying shovels for…something. But all of this feels disconnected, and doesn’t introduce any obvious plot threads. The Hornes, for instance, once the shows primary schemers, seem content to simply run their hotel and grow pot. Perhaps Cooper’s eventual return will bring the town into sharper focus.
More time is spent at the glass box in New York, a brief scene in Las Vegas, and in Buckthorn, South Dakota, where “Bad Cooper” is leaving his trail of bodies, and in the somehow-even-weirder Black Lodge. The famous dancing midget has morphed into an electrified tree with a brain-glob. The chevron floor can move and break apart, dumping Cooper (temporarily) into that mysterious glass box.
But for all the time spent elsewhere, none of the characters in these locales seem important. Most of them, in fact, are already dead. The young couple in New York are slaughtered by a terrifying extradimensional being after committing the #1 Cardinal Sin of Horror Movies: having sex. A woman in Buckthorn who frames her husband for the grisly murder of his mistress is then murdered by “Bad Cooper,” who goes on to kill a couple more of his underlings. Those that remain alive, aside from the framed husband (played by Matthew Lillard), seem more like bit characters than anyone who could drive a plot when either of the Coopers isn’t on the screen.
Of course, the important thing with most Lynch projects is the mystery. And there’s plenty of that introduced. What does “Bad Cooper” have planned? Why does he have such questionable fashion sense? Who’s trying to kill him? Who commissioned the glass box? Where did “Good Cooper” end up after appearing in it? How soon will he be returned to the real world? Why does Jacoby need all those shovels…and why isn’t he on a beach in Hawaii?
It’s possible all of these questions may be answered in parts 3 & 4, airing next week (or available now on Showtime’s app for subscribers), but then again, we’ve been waiting for an answer to “How’s Annie?” for 27 years with no end in sight…
Want to talk more about Twin Peaks? Comment below, or visit our Twin Peaks thread in the forums!