Twin Peaks Revisited: 1.03
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 uses Tibetan stone-throwing logic to try and whittle down the suspects in Laura Palmer's murder while FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield makes his debut. Ben and Jerry visit One Eyed Jacks and Cooper has a dream where he is introduced to the mysterious Mike and Bob...
It’s interesting that it has only been a couple of days since Laura Palmer died and yet with so much already covered at this point, it feels like so much longer. David Lynch and Mark Frost have delivered a complex but well-paced web of interlocking stories, so much so that the wonderfully kooky ‘Tibet scene’ where Cooper and the Sheriff’s department recaps the identities of multiple characters connected to Laura, feels well-earned rather than unnecessary.
And it was a brilliant scene; even on re-watch, FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper stands out as one of the most unique detectives ever to be on TV. After a brief talk about the plight of the Tibetan people, he proceeds to narrow down the suspects beginning with a J, by throwing rocks at a bottle. Yes, it is ridiculous, but it is utterly absorbing and very fun.
Leo Johnson clearly emerges as the prime suspect (though special attention should be played to Doctor Jacoby too), who continues to be more terrifying than ever. The scene where he meets Bobby and Mike in the pitch black woods is tense and chilling, particularly when he casually mentions he knows Shelley has been stepping out on him. You can feel Bobby about to wet himself and his panic as he flees through the trees.
We are also introduced to Jerry Horne, brother to Ben (a great ice-cream pun) and the mysterious One Eyed Jacks. Ben learns that there is a new girl at the brothel run by the glamorous Madame Blackie, picked straight from the perfume counters, a position the now comatose Ronnette Pulaski once held. It is places like this that illustrates the dark underbelly of Twin Peaks – it can’t all be cherry pie and silent drape runners; even for Lynch I continue to find Nadine a little too odd for more liking but perhaps her mad invention is shown to illustrate the very different lives these characters live.
There are many more breadcrumbs laid; Pete gives Josie the key to Catherine’s secret ledger, hoping to uncover her secret plans with Ben. FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield and his team make their debut, with the late, great Miguel Ferrer threatening to steal the show from Kyle Machlachlan; I loved Sheriff Truman’s threat against him for speaking to his team in that aggressive manner. Michael Ontkean delivers a wonderfully understated but compelling performance and I will miss him in the revival (his retirement from acting means Truman has been recast). Cooper is given a blood rag a mile from the crime scene, adding more clues to the puzzle of Laura Palmer’s murder while Leyland clutching the picture of his daughter as he dances around the room is both heart-breaking and a creepy bit of foreshadowing. I still can’t stand Sarah Palmer’s gut-wrenching screaming though.
And then there is Cooper’s dream. There is so much that takes place in that final few minutes that I could write a whole piece just about that. On first glance it is a bizarre ramblings of Cooper’s mind, interjected with some very prophetic phrases, but in hindsight Lynch seems to have built the entire show around it. Sheryl Lee and Michael J Anderson's Man From Another Place make a compelling double act, their voices distorted (their dialogue running backwards and forwards simultaneously) as they interact with an aged Cooper.
And we get our first real glimpse of the supernatural as Cooper encounters Mike and Bob. This is probably the most Bob (Frank Silva) ever speaks but he immediately cements himself as a killer. Laura Palmer’s killer we assume, though this early on, it seems like a huge leap to the finish line, particularly when Cooper awakes knowing the culprit. It is a chilling ending and leaves you hooked for more. There is a HUGE amount of foreshadowing, but I’ll save that for the ‘future episode observations’ below…
The One-Armed Man: “Through the darkness of future's past, the magician longs to see. One chants out between two worlds... "Fire... walk with me." We lived among the people. I think you say, convenience store. We lived above it. I mean it like it is... like it sounds. I too have been touched by the devilish one. Tattoo on the left shoulder... Oh, but when I saw the face of God, I was changed. I took the entire arm off. My name is Mike. His name is Bob..”
Bob: “Mike. Mike! Can you hear me? Catch you... with my death bag! You may think I've gone insane... but I promise. I will kill again..”
Future episode observations – spoilers afoot…
There is A LOT of foreshadowing this episode. The introduction of One Eyed Jacks. Leyland dancing with the picture of Laura is disturbingly close to what happens with Maddie in season two’s shocking episode seven cliff-hanger.
But it is the dream – and the introduction of the Black Lodge that really stands out. It is our first glimpse of Bob, Laura Palmer’s killer through supernatural means. Sheryl Lee playing the cousin sets up the fate of the yet unseen Maddy. And the twenty-five years later comment is surely where the revival will pick up. The good Cooper ended Twin Peaks in the Black Lodge…this dream is surely him connecting to his future self and that is going to make season three so worthwhile…