Twin Peaks Revisited: 1.05
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 searches for the One Armed Man, Audrey and Donna launch their own investigations into Laura Palmer's murder, Norma's husband Hank seeks parole and shares a mysterious connection with Josie, Bobby frames Leo and the hunt begins for the bird that attacked Laura...
The first season of Twin Peaks seemed to take a little bit of a slower pace after the revelatory dream at the end of episode three and this is the second episode that feels at first glance like not much has happened. But the chessboard is being set and pieces are moving around the board as character revelations and new plots develop.
Most significantly, Cooper’s investigation into the mysterious, terrifying Bob begins. After his dream about the killer and his one-armed friend Mike, the hunt is on. Sarah Palmer describes her dream to Sheriff Truman and the authorities close in on the real one-armed man, Al Strobel’s shoe salesman; except he doesn’t appear to resemble anything supernatural or mysterious and his friend Bob is in a coma at the hospital. Nothing is clear yet and there is a lot of misdirection, but that is what makes the show so intriguing. There are clues everywhere – to what, we just don’t know yet.
Take the seemingly unrelated side-plot of Norma’s husband Hank (Chris Mulkey). Besides the fact that everyone who works at the RR Diner has a violent criminal for a spouse, there is nothing to suggest he has anything to do with the investigation; he was in jail when Laura was killed and yet at the end of the episode he is sending messages to Josie. What is their connection? Is it something to do with her spying on Catherine as she has an affair with Ben Horne who is plotting with Leo to burn down the Packard Mill? David Lynch and Mark Frost had weaved a thrilling web of events and the great thing about the show is that there is far more going on than just the murder of a local schoolgirl.
Except of course that the more Cooper investigates Laura Palmer’s murder, the more connected to the wider events Laura is. She took cocaine that was being sold in the school by Leo Johnson and Jacques Renault. And Ben Horne is at the heart of this all, seemingly the only one in Twin Peaks who can stand up to and order Leo about. Considering he is the most aggressive, violent, terrifying figure in the whole of the show, that is saying something.
The great thing about this episode is seeing all the side investigations going on. Audrey has decided that the best way to impress Agent Cooper is to solve Laura’s murder herself. And after igniting a surprising friendship with Donna she manipulates her father into getting a job at the perfume counter Ronnette Polaksi worked. Her destination is One Eyed Jacks, a place that is becoming more prominent in Cooper and Truman’s investigation. Already threads are starting to converge. Donna meanwhile is working on her own investigation with James, who has also been introduced to Laura’s cousin Maddy, played of course by Sheryl Lee. Maddy’s question “ Do you think I look like Laura Palmer?” is both incredibly endearing and somewhat ominous. Wearing the face of the murder victim – it’s a little odd and yet perfectly in keeping with the weird, dreamlike state Lynch has created in Twin Peaks.
Talking of Lynch, it is also the first of his appearances in the show, as the voice of Cooper’s boss Gordon Cole on phone.
There are also some other random and intriguing developments. The hunt for the bird leads to the discovery that Jacques Renault’s pet miner bird caused the scratches and cuts to Laura’s body on the night of the murder. That bloody shirt of Leo’s makes a return appearance as Shelly confides in Booby who quickly sets up his lover’s evil husband by planting it at Jacques Renault’s apartment for the authorities to find as they close in. Renault continues to be a mysterious player in his own right; we hear a lot abound him over these episodes but he remains silent in the shadows. Another suspect in Laura’s murder? Absolutely. Just like the shady Doctor Jacoby who denies being one of the three people Laura had sex with on the night she was killed.
It isn’t all dark though. Cooper and Truman’s trip to the vets with the alpaca walking through their conversation is odd but hilarious. And Andy and Lucy, even in their sudden angst driven drama, remain the cutest couple ever to be on TV. Oh poor Andy, you can’t help but feel for him as he accidentally drops his gun during the raid on the one-armed man’s motel room.
I should also mention Invitation To Love quite possibly the most ridiculous soap opera ever conceived that has being quietly playing in the background over the last few episodes. Lucy’s avid description of what is happening on the show as Truman asks her what is happening (in the station) is priceless.
There is still a lot of scene setting going and mysteries aplenty and with every character seemingly involved in their own investigation or torrid drama there is plenty to keep audiences hooked.
Sheriff Truman: “ Morning Lucy, what's going on? .”
Lucy Moran: “ Er... thanks to Jade, Jared decided not to kill himself, and he's changed his will leaving the Towers to Jade instead of Emerald, but Emerald found out about it, and now she's trying to seduce Chet to give her the new will so that she can destroy it; Montana's planning to kill Jared at midnight so the Towers will belong to Emerald and Montana, but I think she's going to double-cross him and he doesn't know it yet. Poor Chet. .”
Sheriff Truman: “ What's going on *here*?.”
Future episode observations – spoilers afoot…
Josie’s connection to Hank really is the start of her end. Enjoy her happiness with Harry Truman while it lasts. Maddy's question about looking like her cousin will have serious consequences as the show progresses. The infamous phrase ‘the owls are not what they seem’ comes to mind as the owl watches Donna and James…it is more significant than just the local wildlife out at night.