Turns out I’m a little more in love with Twin peaks than I thought, I’ve been beyond ridiculously excited about the return on the new series that I went out and a now TV subscription especially so I wouldn’t miss out. I was also slightly anxious that it wouldn’t live up to the old series but the plot line was well guarded up to the premiere and so didn’t know what to expect. We had a few friends over to watch the first episode which was a double parter and suffice to say we were all left feeling in equal parts a little perplexed, terrified and excited for more!
So if you haven’t yet seen the series you might want to click out of this now as there will be some spoilers as I give a brief break down/main highlights of the first two episodes . Sky Atlantic released episodes 3 and 4 directly after parts 1 and 2 finished airing. I wasn’t committed enough to stay up till 2am for the premiere just enough to buy a new TV sub so I can watch. I’d liked to write more about music and media, so I guess a good way to start is with the stuff I like. Remember these are just opinions and speculations and I’m not here to tell people what’s what, you can make your own mind up about stuff but I’m always happy to trade theories and discuss stuff.
So What’s New?
The series starts with a flashback to the Red Room in the Black Lodge where Laura tells cooper she will see him in 25 years. A lot can happen in 25 years and rather than fill in a back story we skip to present day, for all we know this could be filled in as the series goes along. The first episode in spread across three states, New York where a Sam is left with the task of recording and observing an empty glass box, Brunswick, South Dakota where a bizarre murder happens and the principle of a high school is charged with the murder and Twin Peaks where we are shown some of the original and some new characters and how things have but haven’t really moved on. There’s a mention of Sheriff Truman but he seems absent at this point and deputy chief Hawk appears to be in charge, actually it seems that there are two which is a bit baffling but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. There is also Lucy and Andy who we learn called their son Wally, the Horne brothers and Dr Jacoby are also still in Twin Peaks. There is also the introduction of a very scary entity, also what is Tracy’s motive to get into the secret recording room in NY?
I was always under the impression that Agent Cooper left the Black Lodge and was possessed by Bob, turns out Agent Cooper is still in the Black Lodge and his doppelgänger Evil Cooper as we’ll call him is out there doing bad things. However we do learn that he has Agent Cooper’s ability to shoot dead on target through the eyes, is this significant, we’ll have to wait and see, we also learn he’s due to go back to the Black Lodge and doesn’t want to. Agent Cooper cannot leave until his doppelgänger returns. Evil Cooper is also a little cliche, though he doesn’t appear to be possessed by Bob and clearly in control of when he kills.
The Red Room
The Red Room in the black lodge is still pretty much the same except there is a weird talking brain tree which is supposed to be an evolved arm!!! I’m still trying to figure out the tree but there has been some likening to Eraserhead but I’ve not seen that! The tree tells Cooper that he can now leave the lodge. There is also Laura, Leland and the one-armed man named Mike and Agent Cooper all looking older, so we know time does exist in the Black Lodge but they all still talk in the signature backwards/forwards dialect and all move as in if reverse, except Cooper that it is.
Agent Cooper gets to leave the Black Lodge not before going on a whirlwind tour via the glass box in NY right before the scary entity incident! Did some thing else escape for the Black Lodge and follow Agent Cooper out?
The double parter ends up back in Roadhouse where we are introduced to some old and new characters. Shelly is back and we learn she has a daughter called Becky, James is back along with some guy wearing one green glove, and apparently had a motorcycle accident! Oh and the bar man looks oddly familiar, where I immediately yelled was Jacques but turns out to be another Renault relative! Also spied Balthazar Getty another alumni from the Lynchian Academy of Twisted Art in Lost Highway, so the cast is shaping up to be a pretty good one but that has always been one of Lynch’s strong points, he just seems to know who is right for each role.
The Log Lady also returns, her log providing messages to Hawk to try to find cooper who they all believe just disappeared after he returned from the Black Lodge. Catherine E. Coulson passed away in Sept 2015 from Cancer, I won’t lie I got little choked up seeing her screen, she was such a significant character in the first two series. The relationship between her and Hawk was touching to watch, there is respect there and understanding, the goodnights exchanged between them are almost heartbreaking. We know from the cast list there will be more characters returning, I expect to be also a bit teary eyed when Albert Rosenfield appears. Miguel Ferrer passed away this year from throat cancer but managed to complete his scenes even though he was ill.
The opening episodes were very intense, maybe that was because I had no idea what to expect, it was definitely very Lynch that for sure. I admit the effect were not wholly great but they the budget was probably blown on the cast alone! The series has an impressive cast and we spent most of the first two episodes trying to figure who was who and we’re we had seen them before.
There is very little music in these episodes except when in the forest and right at the end in the Roadhouse where we are introduced to the new house band played by the Chromatics, very similar in look to the old house band but a lot younger and a lot hipper, the roadhouse also seems to have gained some popularity.
In place of the music there is the use of infrasound and low level frequency noise that is used to in horror films to induce anxiety and a fear during performances, it works! There were a lot of questions that still need to be answered but my first impressions are good ones. I’m left wanting to watch more, my attention has been held and I’m curious to find out where this is going, I want to know how these stories lines interconnect and who is this billionaire in NY filming the glass box, are they looking for the existence of white or black lodge? Why Brunswick, South Dakota and the could be framing of a high school principle for a quite bizarre murder. Who is the entity in the glass box? Is it Laura? I mean she did remove her face and was glowing on the inside!
I’ve already had a look at the forums and there are some good theories out there, some people have obviously studied this way harder than I and I haven’t even got round to finishing the secrets of twin peaks book yet, so maybe this will help fill in some gaps.
It has been said that if you try and decode anything by Lynch then your missing the point but I don’t think that applies to Twin peaks and that half the fun is trying to work out the mysteries. So did you watch the new series? If so let me know what you think and your theories if you have any.
I’m not sure if this will be a regular series but I will be returning with episodes 2 & 3 as soon as I’ve watched them.
Also here is a list of all the ways to watch Twin Peaks around the world!
Photo credit: Suzanne Tenner/Showtime