Twin Peaks: The Return (parts one and two)

[SPOILERS FOR TWIN PEAKS THE RETURN, PARTS ONE AND TWO.]

Twenty five years ago I wasn’t alive. Nevertheless, Twin Peaks became a part of me, travelling through skin and flesh, right into the womb. As I struggled against the sticky mess of my mother’s belly I could hear it, that song, whistling through the wind. I could hear it, and I would remember it, for one day, I knew, it would return with a vengeance.

It was on my birthday that they announced the shows third season. A show I had recently been absorbed by for the very first time. I was lost in the town of Twin Peaks, in love with this place that had so carefully glued itself to my skull. My joy at this sudden announcement was unrivalled, and sent me back in time all the way into that fleshy sac, where I could wail and kick as I pleased.

What struck me first, about the return, was just how distant it was from the original series. The characters and town would get look-ins here and there, but for the most part we were watching new people, discovering new mysteries. I had expected this, thinking we were going to be watching a new Lynch movie more than a new series of Twin Peaks. Fire Walk With Me, in all it’s intense, terrifying beauty, was my closest touchstone to what I expected on screen. The sudden moments spent with the old cast, however, looking unabashedly like grandparents playing pretend, were strange, moody flashes of a time gone by. They gave me just enough hope to believe Mark Frost and David Lynch haven’t entirely forgotten the whimsical, off-putting stiltedness of the original characters, and haven’t forgotten the joy. I was expecting a nightmare, more than anything. What I got was somewhat closer to a dream, if a slightly unnerving one, which the show always was anyway.

The addition of the mysterious glass box, being observed coolly and quietly by a rather unsettling man, was a brilliant device for building tension. The sheer confusion over what it is, what its place might be in the story, even what it does, sparked enough mystery to keep me intrigued. Its design, full of cameras, glowing wires, and the shining cityscape beyond, gave me so much to look at. What I appreciate was the way the camera held, long enough for me to examine the machine at my own pace, to study it carefully, searching for points of interest. The lens didn’t direct me towards the important parts of the machine, it simply showed me in full the whole object, and let me examine it, finding what peculiarities were present for myself.

The Log Lady, brief and motionless in her scenes, made by far the biggest impact of all the returning characters. She was meaningful in her vulnerability, and powerful in her passing. She felt, most of all, necessary to the tone of the show. She belonged in this new world of Twin Peaks, more so, I think, than most.

Seeing Deputy Hawk, Andy and Lucy again was intensely strange. They were the same people, almost uncomfortably so, with the same clothes, ways of talking, and methods of holding themselves. Their place in the story was unclear to me, but seeing them again is something I can’t help but smile at, so I look forward to seeing them more.

The final scene, in the Bang Bang Bar, felt most true to the original show. It called back to some of the most terrifying moments in the original run, of a giant looming over the world, warning us that it’s happening again. It reminded me of the fear that ran throughout the original show, and the places it so brilliantly burnt into my mind. All the while, beneath the mellow hum of the most dreamy kind of music, we could watch two people from an age long gone, different bodies now, rekindling a little of what once was. Instead of the terror I so associate with a place like this, we were presented with arrested development, and hope. Cute little hope that our long lost buddies in the town of Twin Peaks might not be quite so done with each other just yet.

The return of Twin Peaks has, so far, taken it’s time, but by the end it’s convinced me it’ll be interesting, and not in a bad way. It’s pretentious and perhaps a little obvious to say, but after watching the first two hours I felt like I had woken from a dream. A dream I want to jump right back into. I remember pieces, fragments of a story, things I want to glue back together, but can’t just yet. I remember hazy fear, blurry beauty. It was the kind of dream that, no matter what, you always feel like you’ve been woken up just a little too early from. I can’t wait to shut my eyes tight, listen, listen really hard, and find myself back inside that impossible, unknowable world.

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