Twin Peaks Revisited: 2.19
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…
Windom Earle tells the tale of the White and Black Lodges and kills his next victim. Catherine continues to study the puzzle box, Annie and Cooper's romance blossoms and Shelley and Gordon Cole share pies and and a kiss...
I'm really enjoying Twin Peaks again; it's evident why it was cancelled back in 1991 but as it nears the end, the stage is set for a brutal, bloody final showdown between Dale Cooper and Windom Earle. And now that it ties into the supernatural elements of the show - which certainly elevated the Laura Palmer murder mystery - it feels as if the show is capitalising on the fight against evil end speech back from episode nine. It's also the first episode in awhile co-written by Mark Frost (while David Lynch would be back for the finale) and that sense of direction really shows.
It's not all perfect. I hate the irritating Dick Trumane with a passion (though I like Ben Horne's common about fighting the urge to be bad when talking to him) and the wine tasting scenes were painful yet again. Dipping his bandaged nose in the red wine just wasn't funny at all and he has well and truly destroyed Lucy and Andy's story arc by dragging them into every monotonous action he takes. Perhaps if Windom Earle had killed him and put him in the giant pawn, that would have made his story more satisfying. But alas, he sticks around like a bad penny.
Fortunately it was balanced by my favourite scenes of the episode as yet again Gordon Cole's adoration for Shelley Johnson stole the show. "YOU ARE WITNESSING A FRONT THREE-QUARTER VIEW OF TWO ADULTS SHARING A TENDER MOMENT." he tells the exasperated Bobby before giving the eager Shelley a kiss on the lips. Twice.
I am also really enjoying the Dale Cooper / Annie Blackburn romance. His comment about getting a tingling in his toes and tummy when he speaks to her was adorable and there boating scene on the lake allowed them to really connect. We learn that something happened with a boy in her senior year that caused her to cut herself and flee to convent. She has returned to face that darkness, just as Cooper is with Earle but their first kiss is marred with tragedy, unknowing that Earle is watching their every move.
And that's what is so great about this new villain; his actions have tainted all the joy in Twin Peaks.The upcoming Miss Twin Peaks contest would have felt like another random sub plot except for the fact that Earle has set his sights on killing the winner. Bobby pressurises Shelley into entering (she really has swapped one aggressive partner for another) and Donna actions to win the scholarship and leave him in light of her mother's possible affair will also have potentially tragic consequences. Lana manipulates her new husband, the judge and mayor Dwayne Milford into fixing the contest for her and even sweet Nadine could find herself Earle's victim - though I would love to see her go up against him with her adrenalin-fuelled super strength.
The episode also keeps Cooper one step ahead and then two steps back. He overhears Shelley reciting the poem Earle sent to her, Audrey and Donna, realising it is the one he read to Caroline and the discovery that it was transcribed by Leo Johnson connects the dots between these two bad guys. But even with Briggs agreeing to help him investigate Earle's past on Project Blue Book, he can't prevent another murder. This time it's a young Ted Raimi as a local stoner promised beer and used as Earle's sounding board while he builds a literally pawn around him made out of paper mache. You can't help but feel for him; he has no idea what Earle is talking about when he tells the tale of the saintly white lodge and horrifying black lodge that he intends to find in search of great power. And he is clueless to the end, when Earle shoots him with a crossbow, killing him. The discovery of the giant pawn in the box at the end of the episode should feel ridiculous but it works as another manifestation of Earle's over the top, psychotic flair. And the message 'next time it will be someone you know' is a chilling note to end the episode on.
It's another good episode that builds towards the finale. Even the side plot of Catherine unlocking the next puzzle box within the larger box left to her by Thomas Eckhardt promises more mystery to come. But it is the threat of Windom Earle's next move that provides the hook for the next episode and the one after that. Twin Peaks began in an air of tragedy and it looks like it is going to go out in the same manner...
Gordon Cole: “YOU ARE WITNESSING A FRONT THREE-QUARTER VIEW OF TWO ADULTS SHARING A TENDER MOMENT.”
and the opening...
Windom Earle: “Once upon a time, there was a place of great goodness called the White Lodge. Gentle fawns gathered there amongst laughing, happy spirits. The sounds of innocence and joy filled the air. When it rained, it rained sweet nectar that infused one's heart to live life with true beauty. Generally speaking, a ghastly place, reeking of virtue in a showered smell, engorged with the whispering prayers of kneeling mothers, mewling newborns, and fools, both young and old compelled to do good without reason. But I'm happy to point out that our story does not end in this sutured place of joy and success. For there is another place, its opposite. A place of almost unimaginable power, chock full of dark forces and vicious secrets. No prayers dare enter this frightful maw, for spirits there care not for good deeds or priestly implications. They are likely to rip the flesh from your bones then greet you with a happy "good day". And of the highest, these spirits in this hidden land of unmuffled screams and broken hearts offer up a power so vast that its bearer might reorder the Earth, to his liking. Now this place is called the Black Lodge... and I intend to find it.”
Future episode observations – spoilers afoot…
Everything is set up for the finale; Pete helping Catherine with the puzzle box will have tragic consequences for him and the Earle will kidnap the winner of Miss Twin Peaks - Annie - and drag her to the Black Lodge.