TV: Twin Peaks S03 E06 - Reviewed

Six episodes into the new Twin Peaks: The Return revival on Showtime, I can already call David Lynch’s return to the director’s chair to be one that again not only show America’s singular surrealist giving his own oeuvre something of an overview but looking far ahead into the future into an ocean of possibilities and many, many surprises.  I can also say this time around we’ve received probably the heaviest and most emotionally taxing David Lynch effort of any kind since the director’s recently reappraised Fire Walk with Me prequel as well as his Palme d’Or winning Wild at Heart.  Not everyone will be prepared for some of the jolts ahead in this new episode, but then again do you really need preparation to dive into Lynch’s world with a fresh pair of eyes?

Picking up where the fifth episode left off with Dougie with Johnny Jewel’s Windswept taking up far more of this episode’s soundtrack than I initially expected, the mood and arena largely stays within the ending of the previous episode before picking up a haunting thread involving the previous episode’s most infamous character: Richard Horne (Eamon Farren).  Having already rustled the jimmies of some of the more sensitive fans with the Horne’s malevolent and chauvinistic introduction, we’re only scratching the surface of this character as he proceeds to display even uglier dark weathers than previously.  This is also the first time the show ties itself directly into Lynch’s Fire Walk with Me, though the revelation where is a surprise best left discovered on your own.

By now you’re aware Naomi Watts is part of the world of Twin Peaks: The Return and it’s in this episode where she really spreads her acting wings.  Granted her character as the hapless wife of the catatonic Dougie already left plenty of room for Watts to assert herself but it’s here that we realize just how formidable her character can be.  As with the prior episodes, the show begins to leap from location to location with a still great degree of mystery behind their significance to the central thread involving the small town of Twin Peaks, though a brief moment of locked eyes could spell doom for the show’s current greatest antagonist. 

The story indeed continues and only now is beginning to reveal a rhythm, but there’s a brutal shock I won’t reveal that is as random and devastating as Sailor and Lula’s encounter with a half-alive car accident victim in Wild at Heart.  It not only has the power to catch you off guard but Lynch weighs in heavily on the emotional consequences and they’re every bit as hard to take as any of the worst moments in Lynch’s oeuvre.  It’s also shot beautifully and while tying into Fire Walk with Me it’s a moment that viewers will remember the most vividly. 

As always, Lynch’s command of the medium and ability to shift in and out of reality or dream, comedy or drama, beauty or horror is still amazing to watch if not get lost in.  Even as we’re in one moment giggling uncontrollably and welling tears up in our eyes the next, watching Lynch’s new Twin Peaks: The Return is so far this year one of the wildest and truly exhilarating viewing experiences you’re likely to have this year whether it’s on the big screen or not.  Six episodes in, it’s fair to say this Lynch die-hard is completely hooked and cannot wait to see which dark and dangerous rabbit holes the show will disappear down next!


- Andrew Kotwicki