Review of Twin Peaks: The Return 1.3-4
Coffee and Cole
The second installment of Twin Peaks: The Return -- aka episodes 3 and 4 -- continued tonight in the unmitigated gonzo, steampunk, B-movie style to which we became accustomed last week.
Let me also say that one of the high points -- perhaps the highest points -- of David Lynch's work have been the singers on stage at one point or another in the narrative. The Dean Stockwell character lip synching Roy Orbison's "In Dreams" in Blue Velvet, with Dennis Hopper's self-tortured character trying to sing along but taking the needle off the record, and Kyle MacLachlan's character in shock in the small, standing audience in the room, was so powerful that I've wanted to write a book about that scene as a transcendent moment in popular culture for years. As it is, it's easily one of the best scenes in any movie.
Performances of original songs by unknown (to me) musicians and singers have ended every episode of Twin Peaks: The Return so far, and they've all been excellent. But that Everly Brothers-like performance at the end of 1.3 was superb and to my ears and eyes already a classic.
Back to Kyle MacLachlan, the central story in episodes 1.3-4 was Agent Cooper's return to this planet. It's unsurprisingly no easy return. Part of the difficulty makes sense. Cooper can't talk or think normally because he's been in that insane, other-dimensional room for 25 years. Part of it, like all Lynch works, doesn't -- or doesn't quite make sense. Apparently, Cooper was "tricked," and his doppelgänger is still out and about on Earth, though soon locked up. But the real Cooper seems to be making at least a little bit of progress, responding well to a cup of coffee in the morning, put on his breakfast table by his doppelgänger's wife (played by Naomi Watts, who starred in Mulholland Drive, generally recognized as David Lynch's second-best work -- high praise -- and I agree).
And speaking of Lynch, it was good to see him return as FBI Deputy Director Cole in these two episodes (he was actually an FBI Regional Bureau Chief in the original), which got me thinking: how about Cole as Comey's replacement, now that Lieberman has bowed out?
Hey, if that actually happened, it would be a lot less strange than some of the developments in Twin Peaks: The Return, which I'll be back to offer a few more paragraphs about next week.
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About the author
Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code & The Plot To Save Socrates; his LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up. His nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context, The Soft Edge, & Digital McLuhan have been translated into 15 languages.