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Twin Peaks, the Return

Of all of the TV shows that I've been looking forward to, Twin Peak's return has been close to the top of the list. I'm not necessarily a David Lynch fanatic but I love his work, and was cautiously optimistic that Twin Peaks would be among his better works.

It looks like I was right. I think it was a good move to make him the only director for all 18 episodes, and I'm frankly amazed that he got that many out of Showtime. Anyway, here are my thoughts on the first two episodes.

OK, so Dale Cooper has basically spent 25 years sitting in an arm chair while dead people, giants, and electric flesh blob trees speak to him backwardsishly. He clearly hasn't been in stasis because he's noticeably 25 years older. So for that matter, is Laura Palmer who claims to be dead, yet she lives. I have no idea what that means, but if I've learned anything about Lynch's work, it's that you're not necessarily meant to understand it so much as meditate on it.

The tree blob thing seems like an homage to Eraserhead, but I also find the electricity apparently crackling through it makes me think back to Fire Walk With Me when the Man From Another Place (who is apparently now a tree because...Lynch) said something about electricity. I don't know if that's significant to the plot or if Lynch just felt that the tree thing needed some sparkle. Whatever.

The glass box scenes: Only Lynch can make exterior shots of New York look creepy like that. The guy staring at the glass box seems like a clear metaphor of the viewers watching the show. The girl coming in and distracting him with making out and sex also seems like Lynch punching fun at modern day distracted viewers of TV. It almost seemed to suggest to the viewer that if they didn't pay close attention to what they were watching, they might be better off not watching because a weird thing is going to leap out of the TV and horribly devour and mutilate them.

The Log Lady broke my heart, but I also have admiration for Catherine Coulson using what I assume to be her final days to film her scenes. Her appearance was raw, emotional and sad, but also very sweet, especially with her invitation to Hawk to come by.

It would appear that Hawk is going to be a major figure in Cooper's return, but then, with Lynch, who the hell knows? The Tree threatening Coop with nonexistence seemed rather scary, especially following that with Coop falling through space or wherever the heck he is. I assume that whatever it was that killed the couple is somehow pursuing Coop through the ether as well. Either that, or it's just a bad idea to get naked in front of glass boxes in a Lynch film/tv show.

I'm guessing that Cooper's doppelganger is basically Bob now. My question is, is he using Coopers body or is he a separate physical entity altogether? At the end of the original series, it seemed that Bob had possessed Cooper in a similar manner to that which he had done to Leland Palmer, but now I'm thinking it might be something different. I say this because Cooper appeared in the glass box, apparently as a physical presence before getting whisked away to crazyspace again.

Kyle Machlachlan playing bad Cooper is pretty damn awesome. He really projects menace in a way that previous Lynch villains have tended not to. He seems measured, assertive, and eerily calm despite being an obviously dangerous man. The mullet was a bit much for me at first, but it fits the character, and is a nice homage to Bob.

One thing I keep noticing about the Red Room: Cooper is the only person to occupy that room who doesn't speak in that weird backward speak. Even after 25 years as a resident, he is still not a native. This is telling considering that Windom Earle and Annie both spoke in the backward's talk when they were in there. It kind of speaks to Cooper being a sort of Joseph K type character, when there.

The murder in South Dakota seems to suggest that Bob/Cooper (as I'm calling him for now) isn't the only black lodge denizen haunting the land of the living. It might explain why a hit was planned on Bob/Cooper, but then, I don't expect a lot of explanation of things in a Lynch piece any more than I seek to understand the fucked up dreams I sometimes have.

Overall, I'm pleased with it so far. I do hope we spend a little more time in, well, Twin Peaks. I'd like to know what Dr. Jacoby wants those shovels for. I also think they need a product tie in with Jerry's edibles.

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