Twin Peaks Episode Six Review

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By: Eric Flapjack Ashley (@flapjackashley)

Episode six of the Twin Peaks revival series began to slow things to a snail’s pace – and that can be seen as either a very good thing, or something less than so. There was also one big reveal during this hour as well, so let’s get to it.


Disoriented


Good Cooper (still as Dougie Jones) is still loitering around the statue at work when a couple friendly security guards bring him home. Of note, he has a fascination with the badge of the guard, signaling that he is beginning to remember more things of his normal life. Janey (Naomi Watts) engages in a marital argument in a scene that is absolutely hilarious. Watts is really a show stealer – and her character also shows her chops in getting Dougie out of some tough situations.

Don’t Die


Cooper sees a vision of the One Armed Man in the Black Lodge who tells him to “wake up” and “don’t die.” Going through some paperwork that his boss gave him, he makes doodles and based on where his visions of that little red light tell him. Those scribblings seem to annoy his boss (whose office has the biggest, tallest doors I’ve ever seen).

Dougie/Cooper doesn’t die, but a few others are not as fortunate. Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) is the first major player from the feature film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me to make an extended appearance, but it’s not a happy return. He has a relaxing sit in the park interrupted by witnessing a very graphic hit-and-run on an innocent kid by a strung out Richard Horne (Eamon Farren). Richard’s actions do not go unrecognized as he is seen by the friend of the giggling Double R Diner waitress from the original series. The photo-stabbing little assassin claims a few victims towards the end of the episode – in a scene with a booming soundtrack that gives off American Psycho-vibes, leaving only Dougie in his sights.

It wouldn’t be Twin Peaks without someone finding random clues to something and Deputy Hawk and his wooden head nickel find some pages – again, to something – in the door of the men’s bathroom stall. One of the deputies mocks the fact that Sheriff Truman’s son committed suicide in the past.

Albert Rosenfield has some not-so-kind words about Gene Kelly before resuming his search for someone in particular who can help him with the Doppelganger Cooper. And that person is Diane (Laura Dern), the woman whom Agent Cooper always reported to in the original series. Finally, after all these years, getting to see her in person is very satisfying.


Meandering


Out of the six episodes so far, this one is probably the most “normal” – not a lot of screaming or faceless weirdos or Sarah Palmer watching gross animal documentaries late at night. It doesn’t move any plot forward at all very much, and that can try the patience of many fans who have waited over two and a half decades for some answers.

The main problem with this for me is that there are way too many storylines going on at once, and we get introduced to new ones before the paint can dry on other new ones. And the show doesn’t seem to know what to do with all of them. That high school principal from the first episode seemed to be heading for a big part of the show, but hasn’t been seen since. A hinted at story between Shelly Johnson and James Hurley (and Shelly’s mentioning of James’s motorcycle accident) has not been addressed since episode two. The show has done a run through of many characters from the original show, but has done nothing with them and many have no obvious relation to the plot at all.

And what is the plot? The show is clearly centered on Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), but there is one of the other problems. Twin Peaks worked for me because it was an ensemble show – Cooper was the lead character, but everyone had storylines that were of importance and many all weaved back into one another. Here, it seems like there are entire characters who have nothing to do with the story. Richard Horne has taken all of two episodes to establish him as a douche, but why? What does he have to do with anything? Normally, I wouldn’t be against a show that has multiple stories, but this is a limited run, 18-episode series, and it seems they are doing too much that takes away time from moving the real plot forward. The story is spread out over multiple cities and that further takes me out of the show in a lot of ways. With the main focus being on Agent Cooper, it feels like everyone else is secondary, and it just doesn’t feel like Twin Peaks. It doesn’t feel like a show about a quirky town with quirky residents anymore, and that was one of the main reasons I dug into the original series so much.

This is not to say that the revival so far has been a complete bust. I am heavily invested in the main story of Agent Cooper and Kyle MacLachlan has been doing some of his finest work. As noted, Naomi Watts is a real highlight for me, though, as she is easily the best part of the “new” stuff of this series – she is hilarious, and I just love her to pieces. I find it strangely amusing that after 25 years, Shelly still works as a waitress – how she managed to have a daughter and make ends meet on a Double R salary is beyond me.

And I also know that David Lynch will eventually work all of these stories and bring them together. Stuff that seems meaningless now will probably play a crucial role down the line. There is still twelve episodes left, and a lot can happen. I know there will be big payoffs in the end that will reward me for waiting a quarter of a century for the story to continue. David Lynch is a master of the bizarre, and it is on full, unfiltered display here.

It’s just that getting there isn’t quite as fun as I would have hoped.


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