After twenty-six years, three and a half months and lots of twists, turns, and revelations, Twin Peaks: The Return is almost over. As is par for the course for any David Lynch work, now the questions begin. Did this new iteration of Twin Peaks do its rabid fan base justice? When did Kyle Maclachlan discover the Fountain of Youth? Got a light? Most importantly, was it good?
Starting as a mid-season replacement in 1990, Twin Peaks was a big hit with fans. The quirky characters, beautiful score, and gorgeous setting captivated audiences. Network television had never seen anything like David Lynch. Along with Lynch’s expert direction and surreal sequences, there was an engaging whodunit. The Laura Palmer storyline kept television audiences glued to their screens. The first season and a half of Twin Peaks focused on the murder of Palmer and how it affected the small town of Twin Peaks. Audiences tuned in every week to find out how much closer Agent Dale Cooper was to solving the mystery. Then, one week on the order of ABC executives, America found out who killed Laura Palmer. The series would never be the same. Ratings plummeted and the show was cancelled with little fanfare.
Despite lasting only two seasons, the show built a cult following. Since Twin Peaks ended in 1991, a prequel movie and numerous books have been released. Twin Peaks fan fiction and fan made artwork can be found all over the internet. But most common of all were the rumors. Before The Return finally debuted on May 21 of this year, rumors of a new season of Twin Peaks were just as common as rumors of an Arrested Development or Sopranos movie.
Even before its first episode, Twin Peaks: The Return was surrounded by hype, speculation, and theories. Here is a mostly spoiler free recap of the recently ended series. (The nature of Twin Peaks makes it impossible to completely avoid spoilers.)
- Angelo Badalamenti is a brilliant composer. His collaborations with David Lynch constantly amaze, with the opening of Twin Peaks: The Return being one of the best openings sequences in television.
- Lynch has an ear for music. Most episodes of The Return would end with a musical number. The Chromantics and Sharon Van Etten were stand outs, but Rebekah Del Rio (singing a song Lynch co-wrote) and James Hurley(!) also make notable appearances. And of course, there was also Nine Inch Nails.
- Not as innocent as the original series or as dark as Fire Walk With Me, The Return is also easily the scariest entry in the Twin Peaks universe.
- The Return proves yet again that Lynch is a master horror director.
- After waiting most of The Return to see a favorite from the original series. Then they finally appeared and it was horrible.
- Lynch brings out the best in Naomi Watts. Janey-E is a welcome addition.
- Lynch took the best elements of everything he ever did and used them in The Return. Kudos to Showtime for letting Lynch go all out. Whether a fan of Twin Peaks, a fan of David Lynch, or a fan of film, there is something for everybody.
- Michael Cera steals the show in an episode he is in. Channeling Marlon Brando, Cera delivers a monologue that is quintessentially Twin Peaks.
- This is the Gordon Cole and Albert Rosenfield show. Cooper is great. Anyone who thinks different obviously has no soul. Since he is indisposed in The Return, we see more of Gordon and Albert. Their interactions show a wonderful friendship and camaraderie that is reminiscent of Coop and Truman.
- The more things change, the more they stay the same at the Double R. Just ask Shelly, Big Ed, and Norma.
- All the teases involving Cooper were great.
Twin Peaks: The Return was an event almost three decades in the making. Revisiting old television favorites has become increasingly popular. Full House, The X-Files, and even Boy Meets World all were brought back with varying degrees of success. Will there be more Twin Peaks to come? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain. No matter what happens in the season finale, Twin Peaks: The Return has raised the bar as to what makes a good revival.