TV: Twin Peaks S03 E08 - Reviewed

The latest entry into the Twin Peaks: The Return revival series is an elegant nightmare, both a resplendent miracle of the medium and an unrelenting exploration on the consequences of hubris.  What begins as a continuation of Evil Dale Cooper’s storyline abruptly sidesteps into oblivion, presenting a semiotic ballad of origin and damnation that lays to rest any possibility that David Lynch is not one of the greatest auteurs in history. 

Evil Cooper and his accomplice are speeding away from the prison they were incarcerated at when an act of betrayal sets off a series of confounding and ominous vignettes on the history of how the true evil of the Black Lodge was born into our reality.  The bulk of the episode could double as an expressionist silent film, eschewing dialogue to allow the images and their unspeakable implications to wash over the viewer’s subconscious.  Lynch’s sound design is impeccable, with a furious mixture of music and sound effects becoming the audible symbol of entities born from the void, including a disturbing and wonderful performance by Nine Inch Nails. 

The creation of Bob, perhaps precipitated by mankind’s haphazard entry into the nuclear age, uses Lynch’s long time refutation of polite suburbia to make its case.  Evil was born not from the use of the weapon, but from the moment it was manufactured and tested.  The inception of the idea was enough to conjure insatiable hate into the world.  Interpreting signs and visions, whether supernatural or mundane, will always be tainted by the wickedness of the soul and it seems that this is Lynch’s thesis: The word of Gods, and the men that hear them.    

Using thrilling homages to both Malick’s Tree of Life and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Lynch creates a world of his own design that, while clearly influenced by the two icons, is truly a thing that only he could have constructed.  Tunnels of fire and blood flood the optics, punctuated by Penderecki’s Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima to creating a skin crawling experience that never retreats.  Haunted chambers filled with broken cacophonies of jazz and prayer are explored, with their denizens taking note of the nuclear door’s opening and each of them making a play to influence the coming darkness.  Viewers looking for answers will find none; however, astute observation will yield a trove of minable details that are bound to keep even the most avid fans embroiled in discussion for the endless two weeks before the show returns. 

Please. Tell me you brought coffee.

The final segment involves a phantasmagorical assault on a sleepy New Mexico town that brings a level of gravity to the narrative.  Ebon ghosts stalk the streets, crushing the skulls of the unsuspecting while unleashing hypnotic recitations of profane poetry across the airways.  The price for dangerous knowledge is made clear through a skin crawling sequence in which the episode’s title “Got a light?” will become a phrase forever etched into the viewer’s psyche.  The threads of Bob and Laura Palmer are karmically entwined, leaving the central mystery intact, allowing the entire episode to serve as a means of feverish exposition. 

This is a once in a life time experience. 

Nothing on the small screen has ever come close to this level of artistic expression and time will tell if the Heavens can be breached once again when the series has concluded. 


-Kyle Jonathan