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Review of Twin Peaks: The Return 1.8

by Paul Levinson 5 years ago in pop culture / science fiction / scifi tv / tv review
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Atom Bomb

Anyone who doubted that Twin Peaks is one bizarre science fiction horror story of a story got their answer tonight in episode 1.8: it is, with a vengeance, spun of gut-wrenching, stomach-churning, searingly mind-blowing wordless narrative the likes of which you don't often see on any television, unless you're maybe watching Donnie Darko someplace the 20th time.

Also—I'm pretty sure we got an answer of sorts to what brought the alternate reality or realities into being: the first atom bomb test in White Sands, New Mexico in 1945. This indeed was first atom bomb ever exploded (as far as I know) on this Earth, and who knows about the universe. If I'm getting the silent movie correctly, which was the most powerful part of tonight's extraordinary episode, that first atom bomb brought into being the alternate reality or alternate universe and all the insanity it's brought us in all the Twin Peaks stories. You could almost hear the atoms crying in anguish as they were torn apart—more than enough to create an alternate reality. (Come to think of it, that's how Bizarro Superman was brought into being.)

At very least, we saw Laura Palmer's iconic young face in the little globe that was one of the products of what the blast wrought. Also spawned tonight and a decade after the blast was a homicidal maniac—the woodsman—who only wants a light, but kills the receptionist and DJ at the radio station playing The Platters' "My Prayer," and whose talking into the microphone (the woodsman's, that is) in turn kills more people, including a teenager who was just kissed but later has some grotesque insect with maybe human legs crawl into her sleeping or dead mouth (I told you this was horror—of the classic 1950s variety, raised or razed up a notch, to be more precise).

The one thing we can't be sure of is whether the atom bomb brought into being the alternate reality, or whether the alternate world already existed but was understandably agitated and aggravated by the bomb. Doesn't ultimately matter, though, because it probably all amounts to the same thing.

None of this has any discernible connection to our 2017 story—though, hey, an atom bomb creating an alternate monstrous world should be enough of a story for one hour. But we do get a significant step forward anyway in that 2017 story, at the beginning, when evil Cooper is killed, but monsters from the alternate world bring him back to life. It's tough indeed to get rid of bad guys in this nightmare.

I was hoping against hope that the atom bomb would waken good Cooper from his stupor, but I guess it's still too early in our story at this point for that to happen, and since the atom bomb was already exploded in 1945, long before Cooper was put in his stupor, it wouldn't make sense for that same bomb to now bring him out of his stupor. (There is some underlying logic in this story—at least, I hope so.) But it was great to see Mr. Homn aka Carel Struycken again, from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I'll tell you one thing: I'm glad I've been listening these days to Sirius/XM's Beatles channel in my car and not any broadcast radio. That atom bomb couldn't have an effect on satellite radio—uh, could it??

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About the author

Paul Levinson

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.

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