Reviews

I’m Back (Twin Peaks, Episode 1)


It’s easy to get fooled by David Lynch. Things that appear extremely dadaistic, confusing and dream-like – Lynchian, as one might call them – are usually pretty clear in the end, if you’re willing to step into the world which Lynch has created for us, with laws you agree with. The world, where BOB roams the Earth, the dwarves dance and people talk backwards is no different from say Tolkien‘s world of elves, dwarves and hobbits fight the dragons. Once you accept these creatures exist,  it’s a world of magic where certain things can happen that don’t in our world, but simultaneously, certain laws are there to protect us – the viewer – from ridiculousness, disbelief and abandonment.

But where as Lynch’s magical universe of Twin Peaks is not unlike the one of the masters of fantasy literature, one gets easily betrayed by the “normal” world, the characters who, on the first glance, appear to be just the regular janes and joes. The locations, which are nothing more than just a typical hotel, an old guy getting a delivery of spades or an innocent conversation between a two people, may hold much more to be interpreted in them than would appear.

Twin Peaks begins calmly, from one of the Lodges – the extradimensional spaces where the spirits live. The Giant – now known as ?????? – tells now 25 years older Cooper to listen to the sounds from a gramophone. We hear crackling noises. Then, few mysterious tips – and Cooper disappears.

What follows is a tightly-written and extremely well-crafted ambience of threat that’s looming over several creepy settings – a dire looking concrete room in a skyscraper in New York, with a glass box in it, a colourful residential building in Buckhorn, South Dakota with a body in one of the rooms, and of course several well-known places such as The Great Northern Hotel, Twin Peaks Police Department and so on.

24-twin-peaks-glass-box.w710.h473.2x

And we meet already a hefty set of characters, all of which are dauntingly interesting and life-like, despite being somehow very stiff and strangely behaving. There’s the student who has been hired to observe the glass box in New York, and his girlfriend. There’s the resident who acts somewhat scared in the presence of the police, and almost seems to recognize one of them. There’s the head principal of Buckhorn, who gets accused of a double-homicide. We meet deputy Hawk, Andy and Lucy, Ben Horne and his brother Jerry and Dr. Jacoby, too. And, of course, most interestingly, we meet the long-lost agent Cooper, who goes now by the name of Mr. C.

And that’s where the story really gets going – and that’s why we’re here, sitting on the edges of our couches all across the world. We want to know what happened to Cooper, the well-behaving, coffee-loving, sharp-dressing agent who – as we remember from the end of the first run of Twin Peaks – got inhabited by the spirit BOB.

Arriving with spanking new Mercedes-Benz down a dusty road, Cooper is now boasting a Nick Cave -type of a hairdo, raven-black, long and combed down behind his ears. He’s in great shape, only his face betrays the 25 years that have passed. Well, his eyes are full black, so there’s that, and Cooper’s old suit is gone – now he’s wearing a black leather coat and jeans.

From what we can learn in the first episode is that he’s been missing. We don’t know exactly yet what he’s been up to, but one thing is for sure – it’s nothing nice. He’s dealing with rather dubious folk, and he’s looking for something. Simultaneously, we learn that a spirit of some kind gets loose from the world of the Lodges. The glass box the student has been observing breaks up, and kills the loving couple. And then there’s a new serial killer on the loose – the body found from Buckhorn is a severed head of a woman, and a body of a man. And the Log Lady gives Hawk an important clue – something is missing.

Lynch meticulously lays down the basic setting, but does it in a way only a true artist does: enjoying the wickedness of his own imagination. He’s more precise than ever, he’s headstrong to tell the story exactly the way he wants to, and offers no apologies for those looking for a revival of what they remembered as a slightly weird teen comedy from the early 90’s.

In the first episode Lynch says it clearly: I’m Back. So, we better be prepared.

★★★★★

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