Without pandering to the expectations of a nostalgia-television obsessed America, and even his cult fan-base, David Lynch has managed to breathe new life into an unforgettable old town. Every new episode tumbles down as subtly as needles from a Douglas Fir. Although the new plot points are terribly profound, Badalamenti pulled back the reins in the first couple episodes, choosing to bathe the viewer in the palpable discomfort of their own silence. Thankfully, by the seventh episode, Badalamenti is building, and at long last, hauntingly wooing us back to the town of damn good coffee.
Since the beginning of the 1990's, Lynch has left people scratching their heads in agony about his Noir creation Twin Peaks. When Lynch and Mark Frost first came together on this project, it was ground-breaking, because it turned soap operas into part quirky day-time drama, part psychological nightmare that went beyond anything that had ever been imagined! The reality of Twin Peaks and the zany characters, were also so fully formed and vibrant, that very little could compare or hold a flame to this world. Twin Peaks changed the face of TV by crossing boundaries of expectation. Television was violated forever, but Hell, an uprising was overdue!
The limitations that we find in programming is constantly blamed on the intelligence of America. One thing that's forgotten is that the Orchestrators of Popular Culure are just as much to blame. They tell us what they think we want, and then like pigs we all come running back to the trough. It gets to be quite mind-numbing when our troughs are so very rarely switched out. Luckily, for our little piggy snouts, directors and writers like David Lynch and Mark Frost waltzed in and turned the whole game of entertainment on it's nose.
Jump to 26 years later, and you've got a return to surreal writing and fantastic filmmaking! Lynch is fully aware of how independent film has transformed, and that television is the new art house. He handles the medium with expert skill, not playing to the fans, but laying the brickwork for this unraveling tale with the finesse of a magician that is wise beyond his years. I've heard that he has been quoted saying this will be the last film that he will make. This adds even more poignancy, and magnificence to this significant work of art.
Everyone's favorite secret agent, Dale Cooper(Kyle MachLachlan) reemerges at the same place Lynch left him at the end of the second season. Marooned in a exhaustingly surreal landscape called 'The Black Lodge'. The ultra-reality of The Black Lodge was happened upon by Dale, after his arch nemesis Windom Earle dragged his girlfriend, Annie through it's red curtained portal. Wisdom was luring Dale in there, presumably to taunt him, and poach his soul. The entrance to this alternate reality was achieved after enacting Annie Blackburn's fear whilst standing in a pool of scorched engine oil. If any of this seem ludicrous to you, then you're either not privy to the show's formula, or never caught the Peaksie Fever. Or, in the immortal words of Robert Crumb's guru, Mr. Natural, "If you don't know by now, forget it."
In the new episodes of Twin Peaks, Coop returns, (Hence, 'Twin Peaks: The Return') but through an entirely obtuse process that defies logic. The process is so unique that I feel it an injustice to mention here. Suffice to say, despite the fact that the fans scream for their eccentric agent to return to Twin Peaks, he's become a changed, and frazzled man from the process of returning. Not to mention that there's a deranged duplicate of his person, an Evil Cooper that's been brutalizing his friends, and dragging his respected name in the mud. Here we have a return to the interest of duplicates that's latent in many on Lynch films. His leading man, MachLachlan is as engaging as ever, despite playing a quite different role then the one he originally inhabited before entering The Black Lodge.
Lynch not only directs, but practically acts in every episode, as his previous character Gordon Cole, who possesses a picture of Franz Kafka in his F.B.I. office. This bit of detail most likely being a nod to the ultimate absurdist, Lynch keeps on in his merry parade of offering three questions for every one answer. Lynch accentuates the natural odd flavor of his own F.B.I. agent by making him almost deaf. His technique seems random at times, but the needles are spilled in a sinister way that paints a patient picture of secrecy, and swirling darkness to come. As the old world begins to naturally rouse itself, the gifted sound man Badalmenti emerges out from behind the pines, and subtly ensnares the viewer once again.
"Here we are (The music seems to say), back in the clutches of a true master of words and sights!"
Back in Twin Peaks, and back to being deeply embroiled in the concreteness of a quirky town, where shadows lurk under every unturned stone.