Wonderfully quirky yet full of menace, Twin Peaks: The Return is nothing like I expected yet everything I didn't know I needed. I watched the first two episodes on the night of their premiere and even though Episodes 3 and 4 were made available for streaming on Sky Atlantic here in Britain on the same day, I held off to fully appreciate the first two episodes and reflect on what I had just seen. Watching those first two episodes, I once again became entranced by the world of Twin Peaks. I had no idea what was going on and still have no clue to be honest but Lynch and Frost's work has sunk its hooks into me and I want to find out more, I need closure!
I don't know what future episodes will bring, but the series has so far subverted my expectations by being deliberately slow paced and oblique at times- counter to the current binge watching state of most series. It requires patience and thought; people hoping for a quick resolution to 'Where's Annie?' and what has happened to Dale/ doppeldale are going to have to wait and see.
The new episodes (6 at the time of writing) are not artificially structured to allow for adverts and so we have some extremely long scenes which last several minutes, this allows the show to present its dream logic in an uninterrupted way. This could go disastrously wrong, and there are a few scenes where I believe it does, but for the most part Twin Peaks: The Return is essential viewing.
Moving on to episode 3 and 4 we finally get to spend more time Dale Cooper but not as we once knew him. Out from the Black Lodge after 25 years he spends his timeacclimatising to life back on this plane and it is slow going. There are scenes that will make you laugh and some have led to memes galore, HelloOOOoo Mr Jackpot, but as a whole the deliberate slow world building has enraptured fans of Lynch's work whilst turning off some viewers who do not like the more Fire Walk With Me direction that The Return persues.
From episodes 5 things seem to ratchet up. In episode 5 but particularly 6, there is swearing, nudity and violence but it is all indicative of Lynch's auteur style. In episode 6 there is an incredibly brutal stabbing yet in typical Lynch fashion the scene has an absurdist humoured take on violence. Later on in the same episode there is an incredibly moving scene of a mother mourning the death of her son as he is run over whilst crossing a road. The scene is shocking and Lynch lingers on the mother's anguished face, yet there is lightness as a passerby sees the soul of the young boy ascend to the heavens and comforts the mourning mother. This is also where the first real new score by composer Angelo Badalamenti comes in, which heightens the emotions of whole scene further.
So how is the return of Twin Peaks? Well, the new episodes are like a fever dream, things don't make sense and for every moment of wonder and joy there are two for dark and disturbing. Some of the cast return but for the most part we are introduced to new characters, it has been over 25 years after all. It is starting to come together, I'm not sure where it will lead but I'm sure that it will be a journey that is both wonderful and strange, and I for one am going to enjoy the ride.