The new Twin Peaks needs two viewings to be appreciated fully. It’s completely different in pacing, storytelling and plot-wise than anything else on TV or in theatres at this moment, so sitting back on the couch and watching an episode after consuming a week full of today’s entertainment in every possible form just isn’t good enough.
The first time I saw the sixth episode, I thought it’s more like a parody of Twin Peaks than Twin Peaks itself. Everything felt so very slow, obscure to the point of being silly and mostly unconnected. But then, the second viewing was completely a different experience. Grabbing a drink and putting on big earphones like Dr. Jacoby when listening to Laura’s tapes in the original run, the episode unfolded completely in a different tone, vibe and feeling.
Having said that, the episode did feel slightly a bottle episode-ish, with plot taking only very careful stride forward – yes, we met Diane for the first time! – and the pacing was slightly predictable. But there were important characters and locations re-visited, my favorite being Harry Dean Stanton‘s Carl Rodd and his trailer park (and the ominous utility pole). There was a traumatic death of a young kid, a magic show of two coins and of course, slow but steady progression with Dougie – this time, he connected with a policeman’s badge and with boxers’ fighting stance, and did some actual work.
Although mostly everyone in the show is doing pristine job, Naomi Watts‘ character Janey-E gets on my nerves. It’s not really her acting, although that feels rather superficial, too, but mostly the single note performance she’s giving – basically, barking every line at everyone, everywhere, all the time. This takes away layers from the character and leaves her a cardboard figure of a “angry housewife”, when usually Lynch’s characters have much more depth and history, even though they are just some background actors.
We also meet a strange new character, weirdly Vin Diesel -looking person of short stature, a contract killer who goes on a bloody murder spree, and apparently his next target is none other than poor Dougie.
Episode 6 is not necessarily the best of the lot, but not the worst, either. It does the job, and stays safely in a familiar territory, being pretty close to what today’s TV-shows appear to be – but, like I said in the beginning, with a completely different, Twin Peaks: The Return -type of vibe, pacing and atmosphere. Lynch takes his time, and that I would love to see more everywhere.