This past week has seen the highly publicised return of an early 90’s TV staple, the undefinable, mind-melting Twin Peaks. Twin Peaks left our TV screens way back in 1991 with a WTF cliffhanger that left us waiting up until now to follow its fallout. As when approaching any David Lynch project, expect to be confounded, elated and to fall in love all over again with this insane, infuriating mindf**k of a show, now none of that is to be taken as a negative you understand because in its first 4 episodes it has become must see TV all over again.
It is 25 years later and FBI Agent Dale Cooper is still imprisoned in The Black Lodge whilst the demonic Bob has control of Dale’s Doppelgänger in the real world for the last quarter of a century. Dale is informed by MIKE, Laura Palmer & an evolved representation of The Arm that he can not leave The Lodge whilst his Doppelgänger resides in his place in our world, though a surprising and surreal turn of events place Dale back on our plane of reality whilst simultaneously, it seems, losing himself on the way.
Where to start? Wow, Lynch really knows how to throw his audience for a loop. This is David Lynch working full-bore, no restraints, no stabilisers, no explanations, no apologies. It is perhaps the director working at his unfiltered best, how he has always worked at his best, on his own terms. Gone is the familiar and comparatively cosy format of the first 2 seasons, replaced by a darker, more sinister tone. He has taken what he was left with at the end of Twin Peaks second season and flown with it in brave new ways, advances in technology allowing him to create new mend-bending & terrifying embellishments to a story that is evolving in many unexpected ways. The limits of early 90’s technology wouldn’t have allowed for such sights as the extra-dimensional creature that mulches the faces of two young lovers, for the Cooper’s expulsion from The Lodge and for the surprising and equally baffling evolution of The Arm/The Man From The Other Place.
To say that Season 3 is going to confuse the living hell out of the uninitiated is an understatement, the same could arguably be said for fans of the show. These opening episodes are setting up the framework for this 18 episode season so there are A LOT of bewildering new developments. What is the purpose of the glass box in New York and who is its elusive benefactor? Who was the other Dale-a-like Dougie and who “manufactured” him and for what ends? Why has Dale now seemingly lost his memory? So many questions with answers to come, some of which I am beginning to form theories on already.
There have been some real stand out moments already, the scenes in The Black Lodge have been utterly mesmerising, adding new layers to the growing mysteries of the show. The Dale/Bob doppelgänger sequences have at times been almost unbearably tense in their violence & menace. Some much welcome levity has been provided by Andy & Lucy, particularly their helping Hawk find the missing answer relating to his heritage and also in their reunion with their son Wally, also in Kyle MacLachlan’s fantastic turn as the newly returned and very confused Dale and the sense of vulnerability coupled with intentional humour he deftly conveys.
I am very happy with the way Season 3 is going already, it feels familiar yet so different, there have been some wonderful moments rediscovering the original characters and where their lives have taken them since we last saw them. I can’t wait to see where this season takes us because just 4 episodes in it has reignited that same feeling I had watching the first 2 seasons and to recapture that feeling nearly 3 decades on is remarkable. I only hope the rest of this season continues as it has begun.