Over 25 years after the end of its run on television, Twin Peaks has returned with new episodes from Mark Frost and David Lynch. I’ll admit that I was quite young when this show initially aired on ABC back in the day. My parents weren’t the type of people to censor me on the kinds of shows I watched as a very, young kid but I recall that the show fascinated me and terrified me at the same time. It occurred to me that I didn’t really understand what was really going on in the show as 10 year old kid that I had to rewatch again when I was in college. However, with this renewed interest in the series, I had to satisfy my curiosity in how this show would fare today. There was some apprehension that it wouldn’t translate very to today’s audiences as the show is incredibly slow-paced or it would only peak interest from people who were already fans of the original series. I found out that after the airing of the two part premiere episode that I still don’t have a clue as to what’s going on.
What we learned after the end of its run (and I can’t recall if it was at the end of the series or the film), is that Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) has disappeared into this alternate universe. The first episode begins with a view of Agent Cooper still trapped in this alternate world talking to Frankenstein type of character.
Chromatics – Shadow (Radio Edit)
And then the show, as with the original series, tends to skip around to different scenes. Some of the people are familiar, such as Ben and Jerry Horne (Richard Beymer and David Patrick Kelly) reprising their roles but other characters and locations are completely new to the series. And yes, that is Ashley Judd making a cameo appearance as Ben’s secretary. I think what’s interesting to note for any newcomer into Lynch’s world is that he’s so great at highlighting interesting quirks in his characters but it’s not clear whether these snippets are relevant to the larger story or not.
Dr. Jacoby is seen in the middle of the woods receiving a package of shovels. It’s not unclear what these shovels are going to be used for or why he needs so many. Chief Deputy Hawk receives a call from the Log Lady, in what I assume is Catherine Coulsen’s last performance before she passed away from cancer in 2016. She warns that her log has a message for him and the message is that there’s something missing in regards to Agent Cooper and Hawk’s heritage. It propels him to pull out all the old case files. That’s precisely what happens in this first episode as there is a rapid sequence of events that are seemingly unconnected.
Then there’s the storyline of Sam, a guy who has been hired to watch and record a giant glass box on the top floor of a New York City building. For what reason? It’s unclear but it’s super top-secret. However, we’re also introduced to his friend, Tracey, who brings him coffee and infatuated with him.
She wants to gain access to the secret room which Sam works in and it’s only until the guard is away that Sam gives her access. As they have sex, they are unaware that a dark figure is watching them in the box. Their end is quite violent but the significance of the scene is unclear until later.
In a small town in South Dakota, at the prompting of a neighbor, we discover a deceased woman whose head has been put on someone else’s body. This evidence in this case leads detectives to William Hastings (Matthew Lillard), the school principal.
He claims his innocence but the evidence is stacking up against him. And yet, his wife doesn’t seem to care too much, In fact, Hastings and his wife are in a loveless marriage in which the two are busy having affairs with other people.
That brings me to Evil Cooper, a doppelganger who is just as calm and composed as our hero except that he does evil things and has a mullet. He arrives at a house in the middle of nowhere to gather his crew. It looks like they have something illegal planned but it’s not clear what that is.
He also kills Hastings’ wife after she decides to betray her husband. And yet, I’m not sure why. Did she have more information on the woman who her husband is accused of killing?
However, Evil Cooper isn’t without his own hardships as his own gang is plotting against him. He just happens to be one step ahead of them.
From within the other world, Cooper discovers that he can escape that universe if only he finds Evil Cooper to take his place in the alternate world. Cooper does what he can to escape but it seems that Evil Cooper already came up with a backup plan. He created (?) or found another doppelganger who takes Cooper’s place in the alternate world.
We learn that Cooper is ejected from the other world and lands in the glass box. The same glass box that Sam had been hired to watch. Just as quickly as he floats into the box, he’s ejected from it before the evil entity enters the box which kills Tracey and Sam.
Did Cooper finally make his way back to our world? Is his job to now track down Evil Cooper and take him down? So many questions and David Lynch provides us with very little answers. I was surprised by how focused I was in the story. It was also interesting to see who I actually recognized because after all, it’s been 25 years. How will all of our favorite character figure into the larger story of this updated series, if at all?