I am thoroughly enjoying the Twin Peaks Revival. So much so that I would rather lose sleep on a Sunday night than to miss the buzz from whatever Lynch & Frost may throw at us next. From Dougie Cooper to Richard Horne, from the sights of the good ol’ cast to hearing Albert cussing out Gene Kelly, it’s been one helluva ride back to the quaint world of Twin Peaks.
Then came Episode 8. Motherfucking Episode 8…….
I have no words to describe what just happened last Sunday. No words except that it was a surreal mindfuck. 7 episodes in and I was already convulsing about what in God’s name was going to happen next. Was the simple charm of Dougie Coop finally ready to give way into our Special Agent Dale after he judo chopped Ike the Spike? Was Hawk going to find more clues to unravel where that missing page went from Laura’s diary? Were we gonna see more hijinks from the Horne Brothers, or even Dr. Jacoby? What about Ed, Nadine & James Hurley? Will we get to see more heartbreaking moments with Bobby Briggs? Will we get to see more of Laura Dern as Diane?
Well, we didn’t see any of that.
What we saw was this:
From there we saw creation, obliteration, the collision of worlds, the birth of Bob, the Experiment, the cans and, yes, we saw the Golden Orb. We saw Laura Palmer.
However, these surreal, brutal flashbacks weren’t over. They weren’t done with us yet. Other horrors had emerged in its wake, many of which we can never look away from again. The eeriness of the Woodsman. The head crushing. The gutting of Bad Cooper, and yes, the bug crawling into the little girl’s mouth. There’s so much that we don’t know in this episode that it’s simply mind-boggling. It changes how we view Bob, how we view the Trinity test and yes, how we view Laura. Was she sent by the Giant as a heroine to fight the coming darkness? How crucial is she in the push-and-pull between Good and Evil? Did Bob know all along, hence the abuse and suffering that he put her through via Leland? Noel Murray from the New York Times explains this hour as such:
I think we saw mankind setting loose forces beyond its control with the introduction of potentially civilization-destroying weapons in 1945. That test blast may have been what brought Bob into the world, and thus re-engaged our celestial overseers. But as is often the case with the way the universe works in “Twin Peaks,” nothing happened instantaneously. The darker elements took root gradually, while the warriors meant to combat them — like the spirit of Laura Palmer, or the various non-malevolent forms of Agent Dale Cooper — slipped into the world in ways both clumsy and imprecise.
This is one of the most provocative ideas from the original series that these new episodes have been carrying forward: this sense that even the most well-intentioned humans are incapable of interpreting and acting on the messages coming from the gods, who neither think nor communicate as we do. That’s why the dark side keeps winning out — except on rare occasions when someone as completely unselfconscious as “Dougie Jones” just blindly follows the directions from above, winning slot-machine jackpots and brilliantly analyzing insurance documents along the way.
It’s because of this disconnect between what the immortals are saying and how the humans are responding that it seems inadequate to reduce this hour to a simple explanation.
Whatever it may be, I believe we can all count on one thing: that this Episode is TV history in the making. We all thought that Lynch & Frost would be ill-prepared for this era of the boob-tube. We were worried that it couldn’t be done. We all feared that Twin Peaks would render itself a dud after 25+ years and be laughed off by the fucks that wouldn’t want to understand it. However, it’s only Episode 8. We’ve been totally mindfucked. All our collective heads are spinning just to make sense of what we all saw and we are all hooked.
That’s right everyone. It is happening again.
Note: For those of you who might not know about Twin Peaks and are interested, see below: