“I’ll see you again in 25 years.” And so the story of Laura Palmer’s mysterious death and Agent Dale Cooper’s search for the truth continued. Twin Peaks returned with anticipation and a lot of expectations. Season 2 ended on such a cliffhanger, that it felt right to explore new territory in the development of the main characters of the original series.
The all important opening scene of Twin Peaks: The Return
This isn’t going to be some deep analysis on the series itself, I feel like a lot of other people online have digested it and articulated their thoughts better than I have, plus I don’t think one week is long enough to fully understand what happened. What I can safely say is that Twin Peaks: The Return is one of the most ambitious, poignant and experimental pieces of film/TV ever. It’s not only about the narrative of the complex and multi-dimensional storyline. It’s the timing of every episode, the start, the finish and everything in between- every scene, sequence, action seemed to have an direct impact on the story, which is something Season 2 lacked. I felt like the second season had unimportant storylines and overused unimportant characters. The central theme of the story could have also been shortened to 10-12 episodes. Season 3 does have 18 episodes, but it felt like all 18 were needed to fully flesh out David Lynch and Mark Frost’s vision for the show.
It was scary, unpredictable, patience-testing, funny, abstract, tense, entertaining and thought-provoking. Episode 8 was an example of how David Lynch revolutionised the way we look at TV. Having little to do with the main storyline of the show, that episode created mood through abstract and unexplained series of events, from a massive atom bomb hitting the earth in 1945 to a breathtakingly beautiful scene through the universe to the mysterious but creepy world of the ‘woodsmen.’ This was an open canvas for David Lynch to film a masterpiece of abstract surrealism. For those who have watched the new Twin Peaks season- which show has a similar experimental ‘what the fuck’ type moment as with that episode?
Moving to the acting. Exquisite. Kyle MacLachlan deserves all the awards he can get for his portrayal of not only FBI Agent Dale Cooper, but Mr C. (evil Cooper) and Douggie Jones. Naomi Watts is flawless as Janey-E Jones. Michael Cera even had a cameo as Wally Brando, Lucy and Andy’s son. There were so many highlights in regards to performances.
Now for the ending. In a season which already baffled thousands, the penultimate and final episode were the best episodes of TV I have ever watched. From the use of flashbacks from the last seasons to the surreal special effects in the sheriff’s station, it’s a breathtaking piece of cinema. And for the final episode, to see Dale Cooper and Laura Palmer supposedly reunited in the ‘real world,’ whichever that world is, is just a perfect way to end such an emotional journey. Dale Cooper’s ‘what year is this?’ moment and Laura Palmer’s scream at her mother’s calling was chilling.
Last but not least, Angelo Badalamenti’s score pierces the heart with nostalgia, elegance and beauty. A true soundtrack legend is back and he’s at his best as usual.
Twin Peaks defies reality and expectation. How 18 hours of pure Lynchian bliss can exist on TV is beyond me, but this might be his magnum opus. This might, as the original series did, revolutionise the way we as the audience and filmmakers view television and the endless possibilities of creativity that come with it.
So hats off to David Lynch and Mark Frost and the whole team who made this event possible.