Twin Peaks: The Return is directed by David Lynch and co-written by Lynch and Mark Frost. It stars Kyle MacLachlan as FBI special Agent Dale Cooper. This new, third series takes place 25 years after the original series, one of the most influential series of the modern TV age.
After last week’s disappointing episode, Twin Peaks: The Return is back on track. This episode was, for the most part, very satisfying. I still believe that this episode would have worked best as a double bill with the previous episode. As I suspected, the disjointed plot threads of Part 5 would have made much more sense in relation to this episode. The creepy guy in the Bang Bang club? He has a major role in this episode. Good Agent Cooper is creeping ever closer to being his old cheery Pie and Coffee loving self.
This wasn’t a perfect episode. There was one element I really hated. “Ike the Spike”, the ice pick-wielding little person, was a real blunder for me. This series hasn’t really been blessed with balanced and reasonable portrayals of its characters. Female characters are either sex workers, nagging wives or sex objects. Most end up dead or topless. There are very few black characters, one of whom was even a topless sex worker! This week we have our first dwarf character, and he is an ice pick-wielding assassin who stabs women to death. I thought the whole “dwarves are freaky” cliche had been outdated. Not in the mind of David Lynch. It’s a misogynistic and backward portrayal and left a bad taste in my mouth.
However, the rest of the episode is very strong. The creepy guy in the Bang Bang Club is revealed to be Richard Horne, a surname well known to fans of the original series. How Audrey Horne is related to this cocaine-addicted horror is unclear as yet. In this episode he meets with Balthazar Getty’s character Red (who we first saw back in Part Two) who appears to have a magic coin which can float in the air and then teleport into your mouth. The coin is one of the connecting threads of this episode and appeared later on. Richard Horne then goes on a bender and runs over a little boy in his truck. Without stopping, he drives away then pulls over to wipe the boy’s blood from his front fender. This is a harrowing and powerful scene, showing the real life evil that has been so lacking from this series. Couple this with Harry Dean Stanton (an amazing actor) and his moving performance as Carl, who sees what appeared to be the boy’s soul ascending to heaven (I did note that the soul looked like the signs that Good Agent Cooper was receiving in the casino in Part Three), and we’re definitely looking up from Part Five.
However, the best bit of this episode (apart from Naomi Watts shouting at the loan sharks) has to be the reveal of Laura Dern’s character. Dern is one of the finest actresses working today and I was incredibly excited to see her in this series. We see Agent Albert walk into a bar in the pouring rain (whilst shouting abuse at Gene Kelly). He spots a woman in a blonde wig, who turns and reveals herself to be Diane, the woman Dale Cooper recorded all those messages to in the original series. This was a brilliant reveal, and with an actress of Dern’s calibre playing Diane, she must be playing a major role in the rest of the series.
This was a strong episode with one or two negatives (I hope Jane Levy appears again soon) but put the series back on track after a wobbly Part Five. Please join me again next week when I review more of Twin Peaks: The Return.
Twin Peaks: The Return Part Six aired in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Tuesday 13th June 2017 and is available to watch on various catch-up services. Image source: Indiewire.com