‘Twin Peaks’ Premiere Recap: Cult Show Returns To Television 26 Years Later
Twin Peaks, the David Lynch television show that arguably shaped the form in which hour-long TV dramas are told today, made its return to the small screen on Sunday night. The show, which first aired on ABC in 1990, was off the air for 26 years, but during that time, it generated a strong cult following.
The reboot, which is technically the show’s third season despite Lynch’s suggestion that it is actually an 18-hour film, premiered on Showtime on Sunday night and reintroduced audiences to many of the quirky characters and mind-bending plot points that made the first two seasons so fantastic.
The two-hour premier begins where the second season left off. F.B.I Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) – who originally came to Twin Peaks, Washington to solve the murder of the town’s teenage sweetheart, Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) – is trapped in the dreamworld of the Black Lodge while his evil twin has taken his place in the real world. In order for Cooper to escape the Lodge, his evil twin must first return.
The evil twin, donning a leather jacket and a long, slicked back head of hair, has emerged out of a glass box tucked away in a warehouse in New York City. While a nameless college student (Ben Rosenfield) had been told to watch the box and alert his bosses if anything emerges, he is easily seduced by a women sent to distract him (Madeline Zima), thus missing evil Cooper’s presence.
Back in Washington, there has been another murder. This time, a librarian named Ruth Davenport has been decapitated in her bed. When the cops pull off the bed sheet, though, they discover that the body underneath belongs to someone else.
Cooper’s evil twin, now let loose, is seemingly connected to the murder somehow, as he tracks down several suspects and their associates, killing a few along the way.
The main question driving the first season and a half of Twin Peaks was ‘who killed Laura Palmer?’ After ABC ordered that Lynch answer that question before viewers lost interest, the show divulged into a series of subplots connected to the remaining characters – Lynch has often expressed regret over the fact that he was ordered to answer the question so quickly. Now, in its return, and in the light of the show’s influence over the past two decades of television, new questions have been asked and Lynch has total control – he has directed every show in the 18-episode return and has a writing credit for each episode as well.
Like the show’s first iteration, there are cryptic messages coming from odd places – while Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) returns, audiences are also introduced to a talking tree.
And plenty of old characters have returned as well. Madchen Amick and Peggy Lipton again take up their posts at the Double R Diner and the lovable couple Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) and Andy (Harry Goaz) return as well, this time with a 24-year-old son.
Twin Peaks was one of the first shows to shatter the expectation that all questions must be answered by end of an episode and in it’s new iteration, with all the dizzying questions it has already asked, there is no reason to expect it wont shatter any more.
Twin Peaks airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on Showtime. Watch the trailer below.