Review: Twin Peaks – Season 3, Episodes 1 – 4 on Sky Atlantic/Now TV

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Twin Peaks – Season 3, Episodes 1 – 4

*potential Peaker spoilers follow*

“It is happening again…it is happening again.”

Peakers rejoice…the wait is over! It’s now been over 9,477 days since David Lynch’s and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks left our TV, and its effect on the small screen has been unprecedented.

I should start by saying how disappointed I am that this new series is not on a Freeview channel. When it first aired in the UK back in 1990, it was on BBC 2 and should have gone there or even Channel 4. Because of this, I could not watch it at home, though I would like to thank good friend Mark Sadler. For fours hours we sat and gave a commentary on the proceedings. Black coffee and cherry pie was also mandatory and was damn good grub. I just know that other people have been having parties around the world as well.

These first few episodes could only be described as a total mind f*** of the highest order. We’ve waited all this time and we still don’t know how Annie is, or even where she it. We see brief snippets of the past two seasons and things get off to a compelling start as Dale Cooper and the Giant are in The Black Lodge. This scene is black and white and whips up back into the Twin Peaks aesthetic instantly. Kyle MacLachlan no longer requires aging make up as Laura Palmer said “I’ll see you again in 25 years”.

This is the case and the first, two hour long episode is intense and a lot to process in both plot and imagery. So many visceral images attack the screen and us. Another character guarding a box in a factory, has sex with a friend there only for awful things involving said box to happen. The moment Laura Palmer (or her doppelgänger) arrives back in the Lodge, she shortly flies off and we are left reeling on the intensity of the film work.

Through all the horror and trippy dream states of certain scenes, there are still the eye rolling and giddy moments when some characters appear child like and hilarity usually ensues. The Log Lady played by the late Catherine E. Coulson, gives insights and aid Officer Hawk as he arrives at the gateway to the Lodge.

There are many questions raised that at times it becomes unbearable. Yet with the promise of a whole season, us as Peakers hope for so much and we prey for satisfaction in these terms. Thought, the featuring of the tree pulsing with   flesh heart is an unforgettable image and harks back to Lynch’s earlier time as an painter and artist. Winks are made to fans as well see owls pop up here and there, the RR club is referenced, Cooper’s room key to his hotel room back in Twin Peaks is still in is pocket.

In keeping with Lynch’s cinematic presentation Inland Empire, the work in HD brings an unrelenting clarity to this sow. There are moments where it looks and feels like an entirely different show, though this only proves Lynch’s variety and shock value as a director.

Several performers from the first two season are now dead (Michael Parks, who played Jean Renault, is a recent example) and the filling in of gaps is glaring. The absence of Bob, the main antagonist is evident and we would really like him karma to get him, after the unspeakable acts he committed in the series and Fire Walk with Me. We pray that Michael Cera (who plays Booby) is not a frequent member of the cast.

Perhaps, the worst thing about these new episodes, his Marlon Brando like appearance and lisp is aggregating beyond measure. Naomi Watts (from Mulholland Drive) is a welcome addition to the cast, as is Crista Bell, the sublime singer whose work is features in Inland Empire, as well as another collaboration with Lynch which resulted in an album.

There are already some quotes to relish: “It’s not about the bunnies” and “Call for help” are already instantly quotable remarks from these episodes. Some characters have nothing to do and they are just there for decoration. James returns to the bar, just to ogle some women. Lynch himself is on top form as Gordon the supper slick, hard-of-hearing agent whose zany remarks are just really good fun.

Here are some random plot points: Coop escapes the Black Lodge and gets lucky at a casino, with the winnings from 30 slots machines and grand sweeps. His doppelgänger escaped the Lodge and has become a seedy gangster and murderer. The weird tree thing appears to run the Lodge as well and is declares that for Cooper to leave, his doppelgänger must return to the Lodge.

Some of the original music features and is at its peak when Bobby (who is now a police officer) is triggered by the famous image of Laura Palmer as her aching theme swells out and I’m drowning in tears, just like him. Clunky endings with hipsters bands are welcome, though I will say that Julie Cruise is deeply missed on the soundtrack. I hope see appears in the future. Lynch’s baying and booming sound work is an staple which helps construct scenes in our intense form of concentration.

I can’t express all my feelings in one review (though expect more writing from me).The whole thing flew by in a frenzied few hours of gripping, infuriating and beautiful televised viewing.

Baffling, beguiling & brilliant. A must watch!

Ratings:

5 stars all round!

Twin Peaks continues on Sky Atlantic, Tuesday nights at 9pm and also on Now TV.

Photo Credit: Ana Paula Hirama Flickr via Compfight cc

 

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