Twin Peaks Revisited: 1.02
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…
The investigation into Laura Palmer's murder continues, Cooper meets Audrey, Shelley finds blood on Leo's shirt and is beaten, Ben and Catherine plot to destroy Josie, Sarah has a vision of Bob and Jacoby is revealed to have the other half of Laura's necklace.
Despite being filmed a year after the pilot, the second episode continues almost seamlessly as day two of the investigation into the murder of Laura Palmer continues. I say almost seamlessly as there are a few noticeable haircut changes, but the second episode of Twin Peaks is so engaging, building on the intriguing premise, that it isn’t noticeable in the slightest. The second episode manages to deftly balance multiple storylines around that central investigation, delving deeper into the inhabitants of Twin Peaks and Cooper, and laying breadcrumbs for greater mysteries to come.
Kyle MacLachlan continues to shine as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, balancing the mix of eccentric and keen investigator; the first time we see him, he is hanging by his ankles, talking to Diane on his Dictaphone as he ponders the murder of Laura Palmer, talks about what a great place the Great Western Lodge is and questioning who killed JFK. His love of damn fine coffee and pie is a joy to watch but his ability to command the room in the interrogation makes him one of the best sleuths ever on TV.
The teen drama between Donna and James is a little saccharine though but I think that really goes to contrast their innocence with the real horrors lurking in this town. And while modern TV has teenagers played by actual teenagers, these actors look far too old to be seventeen year olds. That’s certainly the only way to explain the instant spark between Audrey and Cooper in their first meeting; yes, it’s mostly unrequited but there is a suggestion that he only fails to take things further because of her age and her proximity to the investigation.
After playing a threatening, almost off-screen presence in the pilot, Eric DaRe’s Leo makes a terrifying impact in episode two and quickly becomes the prime suspect in the audience's’ eyes, even if he his unknown to Cooper. The bloody shirt and the shady money transactions with Bobby and Mike put him at the heart of the darker events going on in Twin Peaks and we see just how violent he really is when he closes in on poor wife Shelly, with a bar of soap in a sock ready to beat her.
On the David Lynchian-soap opera front, we see Ben Horne having an affair with queen bitch Catherine Martell, and plotting to undermine sister-in-law Josie by burning the Packard mill to the ground. Cooper too picks up in the body language between Sheriff Truman and Josie during his first meeting with her to realise that they are in a secret relationship. Local R&R diner owner Peggy runs into her lover Big Ed’s wife Nadine and the beginning of her ridiculous silent drapes drama begins.
There is plenty of offbeat Lunch-humour too, from Pete discovering that there was a fish in the coffee percolator, to Cooper’s unfortunate first encounter with the Log Lady; but hey, her log knows things as inanimate objects do.
The best part of the episode is the unfolding mystery, particularly around Laura Palmer. On one hand, she is the innocent, model homecoming queen, tutored Josie in English and Audrey’s mentally disabled brother but on the other side she was into cocaine, had a preoccupation with death and as we learn during the disturbing outcome of her autopsy, had sex with three different men during the night of her death. But there is more. Big Ed tells Truman he was drugged at the Roadhouse the night before and we first hear the name Jacques Renault. We also finally get a first vision of the terrifying Bob, lurking in the Palmer House to the horror of Sarah Palmer.
The episode ends with Laura’s psychiatrist Doctor Jacoby listening to his recordings from Laura and clutching the second half of the split heart necklace – revealing that he was the one who stole it from the hiding place in the pilot episode. It makes him another suspect; at this stage Leo is the prime candidate but Jacoby certainly looks complicit in the whole affair. And that’s the great thing about Twin Peaks season one – every episode reveals one enticing breadcrumb after another, mixing horror, comedy and drama to create a show that leaves you hooked. If anything, episode two is stronger and tighter than the pilot and even on repeat viewing, I’m still excited to see where the show goes next…
Pete Martell: “Fellas, don't drink that coffee! You'd never guess. There was a fish... in the percolator! Sorry....”
Future episode observations – spoilers afoot…
The blood on Leo’s shirt is certainly part of something bigger, but it is the name Jacques Renault that will soon spark a whole other element to the show moving forward…