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Twin Peaks 2017 episode 3 and 4 review: An ode to Lynchian comedy

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Mandy Esser
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« on: May 29, 2017, 12:30:45 am »

Twin Peaks 2017 episode 3 and 4 review: An ode to Lynchian comedy

The tone has seemingly shifted in the second slate of episodes - shifting from night terror to nervous comedy

    Clarisse Loughrey
    8 hours ago

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The Independent Culture



While Twin Peaks' season 3 premiere opened strong on frights, a showcase of David Lynch's mutation as an artist into his era of Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire, the following two episodes stirred a major new ingredient into the director's dreamy surrealist pot.

That is, humour. Not necessarily the humour fans will so warmly remember from the original series, though: the quaint, bumbling quirks of small town life and an FBI Agent fixated on coffee, pie, and donuts.

Here, Lynch has doubled-down on his own surrealism, and there's a tinge of nervousness to the laughter now; episodes 3 and 4 are littered with strange, stilted, but strangely effective pantomimes.
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Dale Cooper, fresh out of the Black Lodge, awkwardly shuffling around a casino while hitting jackpot after jackpot; Lucy's horrified confession that she ate a piece of evidence, a small chocolate bunny, because she was suffering from gas; the introduction of Lucy and Andy's son Wally as Michael Cera dressed in poor Brando cosplay.

All scenarios that sound ridiculous on paper, but in the world of Twin Peaks, they fit. Their strangeness is both funny, but also slightly eerie; especially when characters from the first two seasons are suddenly acting colder, quieter than before. Something is so clearly wrong.

The episodes' horror moments themselves felt less immediate in their nightmarishness, too; for example, in episode 3's opening sequence in which Cooper was flung into a plane of existence inhabited by a woman with no eyes, and a skewed sense of time making it impossible for her to communicate.

These scenes, in their paper cut-out theatre-like qualities, seem so strongly reminiscent not of any of Lynch's recent work, but of his directorial debut Eraserhead. And, yet, though these flirtations in style would come off as inconsistent in the hands of almost any other director, it's a testament to the depth of Lynch's dreamworld that all of this seems to fit so beautifully together.
Twin Peaks season 3: Who's back?

    10 show all


The question is: where do we go next? Narratively, artistically. It's surprising to see Dale Cooper launched out of the Black Lodge so soon, especially when it seemed like Hawk's mission, as dictated by the Log Lady, was to rescue him.

Yet, there are more intriguing paths which have been laid: in the exact creation of Dougie Jones, and how he could seemingly have lived a normal family life with Naomi Watts' Janey-E Jones and their son. Or in the mention of one Phillip Jeffries.

In prequel film Fire Walk With Me, Phillip Jeffries is an FBI Agent who disappeared in Buenos Aires, only to suddenly reappear two years later out of the elevator of the FBI headquarters in Philadelphia wearing the same clothes, ranting about unfamiliar events and a woman named Judy before vanishing once more.

Jeffries seems to have had some association with Cooper's evil doppelganger, with the revelation in episode 4 being that Jeffries had requested information concerning an agent in Colombia, claiming it was crucial to Cooper's safety. A week later, the agent in Colombia was killed.

Presumably there'll be more answers to this down the line, though it won't be expected that Jeffries himself will appear since, in Fire Walk With Me, he was played by the late, great David Bowie. It was confirmed by actor Harry Goaz that Bowie was meant to have a cameo in the new season, with Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost presumably having to then write around his death.

With 18 episodes in total, it'll be interesting to see whether this bold, strong start can hold out for the season's entire run.

Twin Peaks airs 2am on Mondays on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV with the Entertainment Pass, in a simulcast with the US. Twin Peaks airs 2am on Mondays on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV with the Entertainment Pass, in a simulcast with the US airing on Showtime. The episode will then be shown again at 9pm on the following day. You can catch up now on season one and two via Sky Box Sets and NOW TV.
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Mandy Esser
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2017, 12:31:42 am »

Twin Peaks Season 3: Episodes 3 and 4 Review
The mystery begins to pick up steam as Twin Peaks rediscovers its whimsy. Also, there’s vomit!
Review Joe Matar
May 28, 2017



This Twin Peaks review contains spoilers.

I watched parts 3 and 4 of Twin Peaks’ return on Showtime’s streaming service, which presents them as two separate episodes. It does the same for the first two parts, but I believe those were meant to be viewed as one episode. Parts 3 and 4, however, feel more standalone so I’m reviewing them as such.
Twin Peaks Season 3 Episode 3

Part 3 of “The Return” of Twin Peaks feels like it marks an exciting turning point for this limited series. In my review of the first two parts, I said I found them intriguing but terribly unwelcoming, slow-moving and dour. The best way I can put it is the premiere engrossed me and piqued my interest, but I can’t say I much enjoyed watching it. I was left hoping for some of the whimsy of Twin Peaks’ past to find its way back into future installments.

Part 3 begins with an extended sequence of mind fuckery in line with the parts preceding it but, after a long stretch of abstraction, things begin to move a little more quickly as more concrete plot elements fall into place.

But, to briefly comment on that opening sequence, some of it is just gorgeous. The purple environment Cooper drops into at the start is so simple looking yet so effectually otherworldly. The sequence, in full, lasts a good fifteen minutes and—with all those banging noises and rewinding/fast-forwarding effects—tests the viewer’s patience at times. But it is deeply engrossing despite this and the pacing absolutely makes our time spent there all the more transporting.

Then (after a lot of genuinely stomach-churning vomiting) we meet another Cooper lookalike, Dougie, and his prostitute friend Jade (Nafessa Williams). What I love about these characters, and others we meet later, is they feel like normal people outside of the otherwise uncanny Twin Peaks universe. Considering how often Lynch favors people speaking unnaturally in stunted sentences with lengthy pauses in-between, it’s worth calling attention to the naturalistic dialogue that he and Mark Frost are capable of when they’re so inclined. Dougie commenting on what he witnesses in the Black Lodge mirrors what we’re all thinking (“That’s… weird”). It feels as though our experience may be mirroring Coop’s, being reeducated into the world as the influence of the Black Lodge ebbs away.
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Part 3 also sees the return of David Lynch as Gordon Cole and anytime Gordon Cole’s onscreen it’s an instant injection of joy into the proceedings. Another welcome, familiar face is the sadly late Miguel Ferrer as Albert Rosenfield. We also meet new FBI agent Tammy Preston (Chrysta Bell), who, incidentally, is meant to be the agent who reviewed and wrote comments throughout Mark Frost’s The Secret History of Twin Peaks. She also happens to share her initials with the titular town’s. Other than that, all we really know about her character so far is she enunciates things sultrily and has an exaggerated sway to her walk.

I’m glad we’re checking in with Hawk, Lucy, and Andy regularly, but I’m a little less enthused about how they all seem borderline brain damaged. Their drawn-out scenes are sort of funny, but it’s a little suspect. Lucy was never this spacey before and, with age, Hawk has evidently become verrrrry slowwww. I’d say this was just a stylistic choice that’s the same for every character across the board, but Jade speaks at a normal clip and Alfred and Cole still sound about like they always did, so I hold out hope that things back in Twin Peaks have somehow gone all weird and lethargic ever since Coop’s disappearance and perhaps his return will coincide with the return of these characters’ senses.

Mainly, however, it was exciting to witness Coop’s escape from the Lodge and to watch plot threads begin to more clearly reveal themselves.

4 out of 5
Twin Peaks Season 3 Episode 4

“Albert, I hate to admit this, but I don’t understand this situation at all.”

I rewatched the original series not long ago and was surprised to find I was disappointed that it wasn’t quite weird enough. In my memories of Twin Peaks, I recall the supernatural elements coexisting regularly alongside the soap opera stuff. But that’s not actually the case.

The pilot is surprisingly close to being a straight-up soap, just one that’s more tragic and ominous because it’s directed by David Lynch. The Black Lodge doesn’t show up until two episodes later and, after that, a lot of the weirdness is relegated to dialogue through discussions of Cooper’s dream and his spiritual approach to case-solving.

As far as actual imagery goes, there isn’t a whole lot of truly bizarre content over the course of the original show’s run. The Twin Peaks of old settled into some pretty conventional dramatic storytelling rhythms. Worse, sometimes other writers and directors tried to imbue Lynch’s imagery with some logic to make it fit with everything else, which just made it into a super-corny supernatural soap opera on par with Passions (feel free to take a moment to Google Passions).

This is why, with Part 4, I’m more excited about Twin Peaks’ return than ever. It all takes place in the real world, with elements of the past continuing to pop up. We get more Gordon Cole and check in with Denise Bryson (David Duchovny). I challenge you to resist the nostalgia chills when Bobby Briggs, now a cop, sees the iconic Laura Palmer photo and her old theme music kicks in. “The Return” has continued to be very stingy with its use of Angelo Badalamenti’s score, so this feels like a big moment and, further, another indication that we are being slowly but surely guided back to the town and its many intersecting dramas.

I don’t expect, nor do I want things to return to exactly the way they were. Better, I now dare to dream we may be on course for the rose-colored glasses version of Twin Peaks that exists in my mind, the Twin Peaks with all the whimsy and drama, but intermingled with Lynchian weirdness throughout.

In a way, we’re already there. The original series was not afraid of getting majorly goofy at times and, let’s be honest, Mr. Jackpots, while genuinely hilarious, is also, a tried and true cartoon plot.

4.5 out of 5
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