by Benjamín Harguindey
A weekly review of Twin Peaks, the 2017 revival of the 1990 cult classic. Created, produced and written by Mark Frost and David Lynch. Directed by David Lynch. Spoilers.
Bill Hastings (Matthew Lillard) is visited in jail by his wife Phyllys (Cornellia Guest), who accuses him of having an affair – only for Bill to accuse her of having an affair with his lawyer, George (Neil Dickson). She’s shortly murdered by Cooper’s doppelgänger with George’s gun – another move in BOB’s chess game. And as Bill waits in jail, a ghostly character vanishes from the cell next over, bringing memories of Lost Highway (1997)…
Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) remains trapped in the Black Lodge. After encountering the apparitions of Laura (Sheryl Lee) and Leland (Ray Wise) Palmer, he’s led by the one-armed Phillip Gerard (Al Strobel) to “the evolution of the arm”: a decrepit, electrical talking tree that commands him to recall his doppelgänger back so that he may leave. Falling through the floor, Cooper is siphoned into the real world via the glass box in New York and then, apparently, into space itself.
Meanwhile his doppelgänger remains busy at work looking for information he wants (not needs. He doesn’t need anything, he wants), murdering his cronies Jack and Darya (Nicole LaLiberte) and regrouping with one Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh). As stated earlier, this BOB appears more methodical than his previous incarnation and is diligently orchestrating a plan to ward off his imminent return to the Black Lodge.
A third player is also introduced, one Phillip Jeffries. If the name sounds familiar that’s because David Bowie played him in Fire Walk With Me – another FBI agent mysteriously spirited away into the Black Lodge. Jeffries calls the doppelgänger, telling him “you will go back in tomorrow” and that “I will be with Bob again.”
That’s the bulk of the episode. Snippets here and there provide some ominous filler – chiefly a scene in which money exchanges hands in a Las Vegas high-rise, where boss Mr. Todd (Patrich Fischler) warns employee Roger (Joe Adler) about getting “involved with someone like him“. Meanwhile Hawk (Michael Horse), guided by the Log Lady (Catherine Coulson), comes upon the entrance of the Black Lodge, Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie) is seen watching wildlife snuff alone at her home and in a nostalgic final scene Shelly Johnson (Mädchen Amick) and James Hurley (James Marshall) exchange glances at the Bang Bang Bar while the mellow Chromatics steal Julee Cruise’s spot on stage.
On the subject of music it’s interesting to note that while Angelo Badalamenti may be back as composer the soundtrack is surprisingly sparse, at least compared to the original show, where nary a scene went without music and practically every character had their own theme, so having them enter or exit the stage was tantamount to a musical cue. Some of the classic compositions are back, briefly and languidly, but bar the ocassional intrusion of industrial thunder and psychedlic remixes, most scenes are served with a creepy, very atmospheric ambient sound.
It becomes difficult to judge each episode singularly. There isn’t anything similar to a classic TV hour-long arc that might denote a beginning, a middle and an end. Like Mulholland Dr. (2001) and Inland Empire (2006) – and this comparison will get old fast – Lynch assembles a collage of scenes so incongruous and disconnected that reviewing the whole comes dangerously close to listing its parts. The overall picture is hypnotic though, and perhaps attempting to review Twin Peaks one episode at a time is like criticizing Inland Empire every 20 minutes of its run time.
Benjamín Harguindey / Managing Editor, Writer (Mar del Plata, Argentina – 1989) Screenwriter graduated from Universidad del Cine, Buenos Aires. Benja’s worked for EscribiendoCine as a film critic since 2010, covering the Biarritz, San Sebastián and Venice festivals. He judged the CILECT Prize and won several writing & criticism contests. He’s published one novel, Noches de Tartaria (2006).