Reviews

Is that David Bowie? – Twin Peaks, Episode 5


Story recap: The Good Dale Cooper, who had been stuck in the lodge for 25 years has been replaced by the Bad Dale Cooper to a decoy-Cooper, Dougie, who now roams the Earth as an amoeba-brained shell of a man. The Bad Dale Cooper has evaded being recalled back to the Lodge, but was caught by the police and is using his special BOB powers to conduct a mission  which is still to reveal its’ true nature. Many old Twin Peaks characters make reappearance but don’t seem to be connected at this point – save Twin Peaks Sheriff Department’s native American Hawk, who has reopened the case of Laura Palmer, to look for something that’s gone missing – only, he has no idea what it is that’s missing.

Yeah, there’s the red room, the dwarf-turned-to-tree, weird glass box, messages to strange boxes that suddenly disappear, huge floating heads in space and so forth, but if you look past all that – or, more like if you take it in just as a textures of dreams, the story itself is pretty clear.

It’s been five very, very different episodes, and I’d loved to know how many saw the first two episodes and jumpseated the hell out of Lynchland, but those who stuck around are probably happy they did.

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BOWIE’S SHADOW

Agent Phillip Jeffries, played by the past legend David Bowie, has definitely been planned to have a much bigger role in Twin Peaks, but due to his illness it’s apparent he hasn’t been able to make an appearance. In Lynchian style, he’s still present despite not being able to make it physically – he’s definitely one of the driving forces behind the main plotline of Mr. C., but Lynch found a way to slip him in the show even though he’s not there – his statue stands in front of Dougie’s workplace. Dressed in cowboy clothes and toting a gun, his facial features are clearly recognizeable, although never shown directly in a frontal shot. (Having said that, another angle of the statue taken by someone on the set doesn’t really look Bowie-esque, so it may be a wrong interpretation…)

SEX AND DRUGS AND ROCK AND ROLL

It’s great to see after the stumbling of the third episode that the story really starts to take off and find its’ pace with Episode 5. Characters are revisited and their stories are being pushed forward, carefully, yes, and without too much explanations. It’s great to see Lynch working with elements he’s the strongest at: drugs, mundane city life, sexual violence and tragic comedy, sprinkled with mysterious elements. Also, Angelo Badalamenti‘s beautiful score starts to kick in with more frequent appearances, which definitely helps to float the overall atmosphere forward.

The biggest discussion around Twin Peaks is the Dougie storyline. Lynch is giving small, tiny hints that there might be a way for Cooper to wake up as an agent – his coffee obsession, staring at the gun of the “Bowie statue”, him repeating words he should know (agent, case file etc.), but he’s not hurrying with it, and that seems to be an issue to some. So far, I’m enjoying Dougie’s stumbling around, but I must say, there’s a certain threshold after which it’s bound to become tiresome – let’s hope Lynch finds a new gear to Dougie pretty soon.

All in all, the fifth episode is closest to what brought so many people to Twin Peaks original run with its’ mixture of mystery, comedy and small town drama, and the pace is just wonderful. The fifth episode receives full five Blackstars!

★★★★★

 

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