Twin Peaks Revisited: 2.03
TV revivals are a big thing. In 2016, The X Files returned to our screens after a 14-year absence and here at The Digital Fix, we revisited key episodes across its ten seasons and two movies. But there is one revival that is surely bigger than that; Twin Peaks will be returning for an unprecedented third season, directed by David Lynch and set twenty-five years after season two’s shocking ending. It is a revival that has everyone excited and anxious in equal measure. With a phenomenal cast, including nearly every original actor there is hope that Twin Peaks’ new season can recapture the magic of the first year and a half. So, like The X Files, we’ve decided to revisit each episode in the build up to the show’s return. We’ll treat each revisit fresh and try to keep major conjecture to future episodes separate. So whether you’re seeking to revisit an old classic or ready to find out what all the fuss is about, let’s return to the world of Twin Peaks…
Cooper finds the One Armed Man from his dream, Leyland reveals a childhood connection to Bob, Donna meets the reclusive Harold Smith and discovers the secret diary of Laura Palmer...
Considering that David Lynch had no original plan to wrap up the mystery of Laura Palmer’s murder, there is a momentum carrying the second season forward and that is really apparent in the third episode as the clues keeping piling in. After a wonderful exchange with Truman and Rosenfield as Cooper tells them about his visitation by the giant in the season opener (“Any relation to the dwarf? ”), the third clue - man who points without chemicals – is revealed when the one armed man, Phillip Michael Gerard, comes face to face with the drawing of Bob on the police poster.
Gerard of course appeared way back in Cooper’s season one dream, a man with a connection to the mysterious killer and in this episode we discover he tried to kill Ronnette Polaski by injecting her IV with a mysterious blue liquid. There’s an intriguing mystery about him; does the man who knows Bob have a second personality, separate from his day to day persona as a shoe salesman? And what clues can he offer Cooper?
There’s even an arrest too – even if it isn’t for Laura’s murder as Jacoby undergoes hypnosis and reveals to Cooper that Leyland Palmer killed Jacques Renault. The brilliant Ray Wise is certainly getting more to do this season, after wakening from his grief-induced despair. He delivers a creepy performance when he impersonates Bob from his childhood while flicking matches “Do you want to play with fire with me”. It certainly makes Bob a more mysterious, chilling figure. His closeness to surrogate daughter Maddy is also becoming more apparent as the series progresses; Maddy might try to convince people that she is not Laura, but it is clear she becoming her cousin more and more.
Donna’s story takes a more interesting turn; she is still saddled with the dull romance storyline with James (are we supposed to feel sorry for him after Donna catches him kissing Maddy?), but her own personal journey to solve Laura’s murder takes another step forward when she meets the reclusive Harold Smith (Lenny Von Dholen). There is something very offbeat about this orchid cultivator, a young man with yet another secret relationship with Laura. He’s another Twin Peaks oddball – not a supernatural one or an over the top personality like Ben Horne – but despite being drawn to him, Donna also senses something is wrong and the discovery of Laura Palmer’s diary at the end of the episode confirms that. Her scene at Laura’s grave is also incredibly powerful; her best friend is not the person she thought she was and Donna’s rant is well justified.
Audrey’s situation goes from bad to worse, drugged and imprisoned at One Eyed Jacks while a new dangerous figure emerges – a third Renault brother Jean (Michael Parks), who is far more sinister than the criminal siblings we have seen in the past. The machinations of Blackie and Horne’s store owner Emory, planning to blackmail Ben in exchange for his daughter and the darker tale of revenge Jean has for Cooper certainly up the tension and Cooper seems no closer to finding her.
The show also has its usual brand of kookiness; Lucy’s date with potential father to her baby Richard "Dick" Tremayne (Ian Buchanan) is hilariously cringeworthy. While Nadine waking up from her coma as a 16-year old cheerleader is also an amusing twist. Overall, this latest episode weaves numerous narrative threads together, all taking a step closer to the bigger picture – the mystery of who killed Laura Palmer – while progressing their own plots. There is no sign of the lag in direction that would befall the latter half of season two yet. Twin Peaks at this point is firing on all cylinders…
Yet again, Albert Rosenfield steals the show, but this little exchange with Cooper and Truman has to be the best…
Cooper: “ Fellas, let's stand together for a moment. It's time I mentioned something. Now, I'm not sure, but I believe I was visited by a giant. Twice. In my room. He left me three clues. The first had to do with Jacques Renault in a body bag. It came true almost immediately. The second was, "The owls are not what they seem." The third was about a man who points without chemicals. ”
Truman: “You were visited... by a giant? ”
Rosenfield: “Any relation to the dwarf? ”
Future episode observations – spoilers afoot…
The key theme here is Maddy becoming more and more like Laura, and seeing her closeness to Leyland makes her future demise at his Bob-possessed hands all the more tragic.