Twin Peaks: Episode 8 Review


By: Eric Flapjack Ashley (@flapjackashley)

Almost halfway through the 18-episode revival of Twin Peaks that has been marked with bizarre scenes, storytelling at a snail’s pace, random outbursts of violence, and questions that remain after 26 years…and we finally get an answer. The only thing is that the question seems to be “What would Twin Peaks look like in full, unfiltered David Lynch tilt?” And that is one question this episode is all too eager to answer.

The Original B.O.B.

In fact, the only predictable thing about the entire episode is that when a character has to pull a car over in the middle of the night to take a leak, you know bad things are on the horizon.

Doppelganger Cooper’s ride back to wherever he is heading does not go as planned. Emergency bathroom break turns into his ride-along Ray tricking Evil Cooper and shooting him dead. But of course, that’s not the end of it.

Ray watches in horror as dozens of Shadow Men – one of whom we have seen glimpses of in jail in the first episode and in last week’s, roaming the halls of the morgue – descend out of the darkness and onto Doppelganger’s bloodied body. They look like they are ripping the body to shreds, but in fact, it seems just the opposite. Ray also catches a long glimpse of Bob hovering around before taking off in the car in not-so-fast getaway. Ray calls Agent Phillip Jeffries to say Cooper is dead, even though he suspects he isn’t after all is said and done. And on that aspect, he’s right as Doppleganger is back up on his feet before the scene is over.

It should also be noted that original Bob actor Frank Silva passed away in 1995, so it’s always been a question as to how the show would move on since Bob is such a major part of the entire Twin Peaks universe. And it looks like this is how they will do it, which is very canon to the story and very respectful to the actor’s memory as well.

The Orbs and Men in Black-ish

If anything, this episode did make me pose a new question to myself as I wondered if I somehow blacked out and was on a bad acid trip. After the first ten minutes or so, the show became Eraserhead II: Twin Peaks as bizarre doesn’t even begin to describe what happened. It’s hard to even recap, as it is tough to even detail what happens.

Thanks to a handy title card, we are transported back to 1945, and we witness a nuclear bomb going off – something foreshadowed last week in Agent Gordon Cole’s office painting. Some monster appears in the wildly random sequences, complete with what can only be called Orbs – one of which contains B.O.B. Inside a familiar room devoid of color, the Giant spits out his own Orbs, and one of which reveals the face of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). Mind you, this is taking place in 1945 – as far as we know. But since Twin Peaks clearly likes to toy around with space and time, we don’t know for certainty despite having no title card to tell us otherwise.

Flashing ahead to 1956, a giant wasp of some sort hatches out of an egg in a New Mexico desert, and a sweet teenaged couple are ending an equally sweet date. The girl finds a penny heads-up on the ground and claims it signifies good luck. Her luck may be good, but everyone else’s turns out to be quite bad.

One of the Shadow Men floats down to earth and takes the form of an older man with a long beard. He is called “Woodsman” in the credits – and wastes no time in making his presence known – harassing a passing couple on the road by asking them if they “Gotta light?” for his cigarette dangling from his mouth. He walks to the local radio station, crushing the skulls of the secretary and the DJ. He takes the mic and speaks of white horse, causing random people around town to pass out at his words, while the hatched wasp flies into the room of the teenaged girl and promptly crawls down her throat. The Woodsman ends his dark poem and wanders out of the radio station and into parts unknown.

Observations and Going Forward

This hour was one of the most bizarre, not only in Twin Peaks history, but also in all of television history. A lot of the online reaction was praising how wonderfully weird it was, as if being weird made it brilliant when I wonder how many of those people actually knew what was going on, Being weird, random, and confusing is not the same thing as being brilliant.

That being said, this episode was fascinating to watch. Unlike the first half of episode three, which just was off the wall for no reason solid reason (yet), this entire episode felt like it was leading up to something. Possibly filling in a backstory as to where the Black Lodge came about? Maybe explaining why Laura Palmer’s death was just a small piece in a major puzzle? After last week’s very tame episode in which every scene moved the plot along, this week seemed set to satisfy those who missed the bizarre. There was no Dougie in this episode, nor were there any of the regulars (new or old, aside from the Giant) we have come to know. After the first ten minutes – highlighted by a five minute Roadhouse performance by “The” Nine Inch Nails – Lynch goes full Elephant Man on us, with a dash of Mulholland Drive for good measure. This abrupt break in narrative may not please some people watching, but it certainly kept your attention, even if you didn’t know WTF you were taking in.

Going forward, there is no episode next week due to the long holiday weekend, so you’ll have two weeks to brain munch on this High On Crazy episode. But when it returns, where does the show go from here. It will be episode nine – officially the halfway point of the revival – and we have seen a hint of the real Agent Cooper surfacing, introduced to Diane (Cooper’s unseen assistant from the original series) and hinted at a very disturbing backstory between her and the Doppelganger, and established that Laura Palmer is still on the minds of many of residents in town.

There are some fascinating theories going on out there. I mentioned one last week as to a potentially awful incident that could have happened between Doggelganger Cooper and Audrey Horne – much like what is being implied between him and Diane. This week’s whispers include the young dating teenage girl from 1956 will turn out to be a younger version of Laura Palmer’s mother, Sarah (Grace Zabriskie), who is the one person in the series to have experiences with visions of White Horses the Woodsman was speaking of as he was implanting his fingers into the DJ’s head like a bowling ball.

This week’s episode wasn’t like the last one that moved the plots along like no other that came before it. But while it’s easy to dismiss episode eight as a bunch of Lynchy mumbo jumbo, it is clearly establishing a backstory that will be tied into what is currently going on. Even as I didn’t quite understand what was going on, I had a feeling that I was watching something important.

It’ll be a long two weeks before the next episode – but “Got a Light?” is making me leave the light on of anticipation for what’s to come.

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