This post contains spoilers from Episodes 1 and 2.
If you love Twin Peaks, and you always recognized the darkness underneath its Douglas firs and cherry pie, you still love Twin Peaks. And if you’re a David Lynch fan, especially of Mulholland Drive, Eraserhead, and Inland Empire, last night gave you exactly what you wanted. But if you’re used to the Etsy version of Twin Peaks, of Log Lady and Dale Cooper discoursing on Tibet, well, you’re SOL. And if you’ve never seen any of the above, you probably didn’t make it past the first few scenes.
Lynch throws us all a bone by starting with Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in the Black Lodge. Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) approaches, and the famous scene unfolds in what must be an outtake from the first season; “I’ll see you again in twenty-five years,” Laura says in the weird backward-speak of the Black Lodge (accomplished by a lot of speaking and recording and memorizing yourself backwards and playing it back). Someone comes in to see the Sheriff; we see that Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) has married Deputy Andy (Harry Goaz). Then comes a call from The Log, speaking in the voice of The Log Lady, Margaret (Catherine E. Coulson, who shot her two scenes before she died in 2015). She tells Deputy Hawk (Michael Horse) “something is missing” and that something is basically Dale Cooper.
Meanwhile, in the Black Lodge, MIKE the one-armed man (Al Strobel) tells Cooper he can’t leave until his doppelgänger comes back to the Black Lodge.
That could be a bit of a problem, since Doppelgänger Coop, who looks like a smarmy Bruce Campbell, is on a multi-state crime spree. He basically tells his underage girl toy that he ain’t going back to the Black Lodge for God or anybody. He’s everything Coop was, but without the compassion and mercy, and there’s a lot of remorseless shooting going down. You get the sense that the characters he kills are disposable: they’re only there to show that Coop’s a monster. And that he might have killed that librarian in South Dakota.
Because intercut with all of this are two weird scenes: a guy (Ben Rosenfield) in New York City is tasked with watching a 19th-century-sciency glass box. It’s top secret. No one can come in. Except the dude lets his girlfriend (Madeline Zima) sneak through, and while we get our requisite Showtime glance of tits as they make out on the couch, he sees a shadowy, terrifying something in the box.
Later, Dale Cooper drops into the box, but no one’s there.
Then there’s that librarian in South Dakota, who’s dead for three days before they break down the door and find her in bed, shot through the eye—and when they pull the covers back, notice it’s her head, but someone else’s body. The fingerprints of the school principal (Matthew Lillard) are all over the place. He’s arrested; his wife is pissed: they had guests coming for dinner, you assholes! His alibi slowly breaks down; they find a piece of, um, something that was once attached to a person, in the trunk of his car. Turns out he was banging the librarian. His wife is banging his lawyer and possibly someone else. Typical Twin Peaks-ian move: to turn the police procedural into the soap opera.
Where do we go from here? Probably deeper into some dark Lynchian vision where we’re given glimpses of the old characters: the show ends with Shelly (Mädchen Amick) and James (James Marshall) making eyes at each other over the dance floor at the Bang Bang Bar. And Hawk has to fight the Black Lodge to save Coop. And owls will not be what they seem. Or something.
The Most Memorable lines:
“Is it future or is it past?” —One-Armed Mike
“Stop by. I have coffee and pie for you.” —The Log Lady
“I am the evolution of the arm. This is what I sound like.” —Breathing tree with a talking flesh nub
And of course, the good old:
“I feel like I know her but sometimes my arms bend back.” —Laura Palmer