News

Did David Lynch Win New Fans With His Twin Peaks Revival?

Our writer, new to the series, seeks out other Lynch newbies to find out if the legend lives up to the hype.

by | May 22, 2017 | Comments

The revival of Twin Peaks, the ’90s cultural phenomenon created by David Lynch, was announced years ago. There was plenty of time for anyone who missed the show’s original two seasons and movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, to catch up. But life gets busy and Netflix drops a new season of some show every week —Master of None and Kimmy Schmidt aren’t going to watch themselves! — so viewers who never found the time to catch up on Twin Peaks probably aren’t alone.

There were plenty of fans on Twitter sharing theories to help fill in the gaps — or not.

A Twin Peaks newb wasn’t that far behind the fanboys when Showtime aired the first two hours of Twin Peaks: The Return on Sunday. Episodes 3 and 4 went up on Showtime Anytime right after, but the first two already provide a lot to unpack, so let’s start there.

Anyone alive in the ‘90s already knows the basics even if they never watched it: Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) went to Twin Peaks to solve the murder of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). The kooky town had a Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson), who shares messages from her log; owls; a pale horse; and some damn fine coffee and cherry pie.


SPOILER WARNING: THE FOLLOWING INCLUDES PLOT DETAILS FROM EPISODES 1 and 2 OF TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN


Double the Cooper With Double the Hair

After 25 years, Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost upended even the few basic things Twin Peaks thought they could count on. The Agent Cooper we first meet (after a brief intro in the Black Lodge, that weird red-curtained place with stripey floors), now has hair like Nicolas Cage in Con Air — and a temper like Nicolas Cage in everything else!


It soon became clear that this had something to do with BOB, an evil spirit from the Black Lodge who possessed Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) in the original series. By the end of part 2, long-haired Cooper was refusing to go back to the Black Lodge, where mysterious callers were trying to get back to BOB. Some fans were onto BOB much earlier.


Fortunately, good old clean-cut Cooper was still there in the Black Lodge. That doesn’t look like a fun place to spend 25 years. Somebody get that man some coffee and pie!

At least he got to see Laura Palmer again.


So in the Black Lodge, a dead person can age 25 years. Or at least some bright white light can wear a Laura Palmer face!

The horse appears briefly too.

And a talking tree. So this gets complicated. The tree says he is the arm. The arm was played by Michael J. Anderson in the original series. You know what they say: When Michael J. Anderson isn’t available, get a tree.

So yes, for double Kyle MacLachlan, and just to see how these trippy visuals develop, whether they’re explained or not, keep watching Twin Peaks.


The Log Lady And Other Friendly Neighbors

I totally know the log lady! It’s still Catherine E. Coulson, who passed away in 2015, so she must have filmed scenes before she died. She’s got breathing tubes in her nose, which could have been her reality near the end of life, but it was very touching that Lynch was able to include her.

Hawk (Michael Horse) was still there to follow the Log’s guidance.


There were plenty of other Twin Peaks regulars a newcomer would be excited to meet for the first time. Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) is still the sheriff’s receptionist, and she filled everyone in that Cooper’s been missing for at least 24 years.

It wasn’t until the last scene in The Bang Bang Bar that Shelly (Madchen Amick) shows up. She’s out with her girlfriends and notices James (James Marshall) eyeing one of her friends.

James, I had to look up, but he was on the original show too. Shelly says he had a motorcycle accident so he’s quiet now, but if the fans are happy to see him again, so am I.

Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) is clearly a fan favorite, so can’t wait to see more of him.

Leland Palmer and Phillip Michael Gerard (Al Strobel) are also in the Black Lodge with Cooper. The Giant (Carel Struycken) is now officially credited as “???????,” so people we thought we knew are getting more vague!


The Glass Box of Doom

Of course there are totally new characters and bizarre scenarios, so everyone is in the same boat watching the new storylines unfold. That science experiment in New York City where a college student (Ben Rosenfield) is watching a glass box to see if anything appears becomes the second most graphic scene in the show when a figure appears in the box, then busts out and kills both the college student and the flirtatious Tracy (Madeline Zima).


By the end of the second hour, Cooper has appeared in the glass box, but it was while the observer was out in the hall with Tracy. So did Cooper come back and kill them, or was that BOB? Or something else? Definitely going to have to watch the series to find out.


Who Killed Ruth Davenport?

We met a lot of new characters, some briefly like Beverly (Ashley Judd) and Chantal Hutchens (Jennifer Jason Leigh). It looks like Bill Hastings (Mathew Lillard) is the main suspect in a new murder. A body was found in an apartment in Buckhorn, South Dakota, in what was the most graphic scene.

Since she was missing an eye, some fans thought she was someone familiar, but they were wrong.

The body was Ruth Davenport, a librarian. Bill’s fingerprints are all over her apartment and his only alibi is an affair he was having. But his wife Phyllis (Cornelia Guest) is cheating on him too. Phyllis is letting Bill go down for this, but Evil Cooper kills her before we got much of a chance to know her.

And then, two cells over from Bill, a black figure dematerializes from the cell. If Lillard’s unhinged performance and the murder mystery werent’ enough (they were), you’ve got to keep watching to find out what that was.This sure ain’t Law & Order.


Mr. Lynch, You Have Our Attention

Low-fi visual effects punctuate the twisted nature of the Twin Peaks story, and there are trails of breadcrumbs dropped that we’ll also have to follow, like Evil Cooper’s Ace of Not Quite Spades. What’s that about?

And there are plenty of cast members who have not yet appeared. So we can look forward to finding out who Robert Knepper, Jim Belushi, David Koechner, Trent Reznor, and Amanda Seyfried are going to play. One guess is that Seyfried’s character is Shelly’s daughter.


So yes, here’s one viewer who got sucked into David Lynch’s trippy world tonight and who’s going to watch to the end, and maybe even go back and catch up on the original finally.

Twin Peaks airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on Showtime.


POLL: 


Tag Cloud

Food Network technology hist Marathons Freeform crime drama Tomatazos El Rey Calendar FXX Emmys Comedy comiccon CW Seed Toys Epix Adult Swim YA Syfy discovery Logo TLC FX TV Land Infographic CNN Netflix Masterpiece Sundance Sony Pictures Action Drama composers BBC anime zombies Sundance Now Trailer Awards Reality Competition Cosplay mutant Polls and Games Certified Fresh Paramount Columbia Pictures what to watch spy thriller ABC TCA 2017 Writers Guild of America medical drama History Acorn TV boxoffice USA SDCC Martial Arts NBC harry potter Election Cartoon Network Comedy Central YouTube Premium E! biography dc 24 frames thriller GLAAD Musicals Mindy Kaling robots RT History streaming NYCC supernatural Paramount Network ABC Family Extras Set visit SundanceTV Fantasy MSNBC Photos Dark Horse Comics TCA zombie GoT Character Guide Creative Arts Emmys Musical period drama IFC Films 2016 The CW docudrama Lifetime BET The Arrangement Lionsgate Superheroes Star Wars IFC National Geographic political drama Music Teen PBS cults cinemax science fiction 45 festivals Mystery Opinion USA Network Premiere Dates Ghostbusters travel Best and Worst SXSW war E3 Britbox cops OWN TruTV HBO Trivia crime thriller diversity cooking Nat Geo singing competition Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Biopics crime politics Horror San Diego Comic-Con TV psycho Nickelodeon Schedule Marvel Rom-Com vampires social media Interview VICE DC Universe Watching Series Country dramedy Year in Review unscripted Grammys PaleyFest Thanksgiving justice league Comic Book DC streaming service DirecTV Superheroe Sci-Fi Summer Kids & Family Rock LGBTQ based on movie DC Comics Pirates Spring TV ESPN Super Bowl MTV X-Men golden globes Showtime TCM doctor who Crackle Warner Bros. aliens Shudder Star Trek TIFF Countdown police drama Hulu serial killer CBS All Access blaxploitation ITV American Society of Cinematographers TNT YouTube Red Valentine's Day Shondaland Disney Winners Sneak Peek Box Office cats See It Skip It Western Ellie Kemper Pop Christmas Universal talk show APB Animation BBC America Reality Apple First Look 2015 President dceu WGN Mary Tyler Moore Esquire 20th Century Fox binge 21st Century Fox Disney Channel Rocky GIFs CMT FOX finale 007 Video Games jamie lee curtis TBS New York Comic Con historical drama Oscars A&E Pixar Fall TV Holidays Tumblr sitcom Song of Ice and Fire Red Carpet Ovation Winter TV CBS romance Lucasfilm Nominations Fox News Amazon Starz Podcast Spike sports VH1 Comics on TV transformers AMC ratings adventure Bravo 2017 Walt Disney Pictures crossover