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The TWIN PEAKS’ Premiere’s 10 Most Lynchian Moments

The TWIN PEAKS’ Premiere’s 10 Most Lynchian Moments

Anyone expecting a “traditional” reboot in Showtime’s 25-years-later revival of Twin Peaks realized within minutes of the premiere that such was not going to be the case. What this series is, perhaps even more than its predecessor, is pure, unfiltered David Lynch. You could say it’s as much as successor to later Lynch projects like Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive as it is to the original show.

In fact, if Twin Peaks was David Lynch conforming to the standards of television in 1990, this new outing is Lynch making television conform to him. And it is therefore as gloriously weird and challenging as anything he’s ever done before, and filled with disturbing images that will no doubt ingrain themselves in the psyches of the viewers for years to come.

It’s almost impossible to sum up what this new Twin Peaks is about, although we can say that is involves a series of murders in South Dakota, a mysterious New York City building that is meant to contain access to supernatural entities, and the return of Agent Dale Cooper’s (Kyle MacLachlan) evil doppelgänger. Nevertheless, SPOILERS abound in this article, as we dissect the 10 most Lynchian moments in the first two episodes of the series.

The Giant Warns Dale Cooper

The show opens on the mysterious Giant (Carel Struycken), sitting in some black-and-white-hued room in the Black Lodge. He proceeds to gave Agent Cooper several cryptic clues, all while speaking backwards, in classic Twin Peaks fashion. It was a flashback in many ways to the original Red Room sequence, and sets the tone for just how damn weird this new version of Twin Peaks is going to be. Interestingly, the Giant isn’t credited as the Giant at all, but instead as “????”

The Evolution of the Arm

When it was reported that Michael J. Anderson, the actor who portrayed “the Man from Another Place”, a.k.a. “MIKE’s Left Arm” would not be coming back, many fans were scratching their heads as to just how the Black Lodge/Red Room scenes would be done without him. Apparently, the Arm has evolved into a tree with a talking head that looks kind of like a scrotum. Why not? Actually the Evolved Arm is supremely creepy, in classic Lynchian fashion. And looks a lot like something straight out of Lynch’s first film, Eraserhead.

The Thing Inside the Glass

In the first episode, we are taken out of the confines of the Pacific Northwest for the first time in Twin Peaks, and into a mysterious high rise in New York City. There, in a mostly empty room, a young man stares at a giant glass box encasing a hole in the wall. Cameras are recording this empty glass box at all times. We eventually find out, after some very long and deliberate scenes of staring, that the man is being paid by a mysterious billionaire to watch and see if the box “catches something.” When the young man brings a lady friend to the secret room (against strict orders not to) and begins to get frisky with her, something appears in the box: a white, faceless thing, which quickly breaks out and rips the pair to shreds. A truly terrifying moment.

Mrs. Palmer Watches Nature Videos

The years have not been kind to Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie). Since her husband murdered their daughter Laura and then killed himself, she’s apparently spent her life drinking her troubles away at home. In one moment towards the end of the second part of the premiere, we see her drinking in her living room late at night, watching nature videos of big cats in Africa killing their prey. The scenes are reflected in the mirrors behind her, and it’s all spookily lit, yet kind of sad and haunting.

Laura Palmer Lives Again?

One of the more bizarre moments in the Red Room takes place in the second hour of the show, when Laura (Sheryl Lee) herself appears to Agent Cooper. When Dale insists that she can’t be the Laura that he knew, what with her being dead, she replies, “I am dead… yet I live.” We don’t know what that means just yet, but as Laura is wrenched away by unseen forces, her screams will haunt you for days.

The Weird Hillbilly Family

Early in episode one, we find out that Dale Cooper–or at least, the evil Coop doppelgänger–has  some kind of connection to a strange backwoods family involved with some kind of criminal endeavor. When we meet them, they wear a bunch of faces only a mother–or David Lynch–could love.

Ben and Jerry Horne

One of the few scenes in Twin Peaks that actually takes place in Twin Peaks features the return of characters Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) and Jerry Horne (David Patrick Kelly). Ben is still the owner of the Great Northern Hotel, and has a new assistant named Beverly played by Ashley Judd; Jerry, on the other hand, is now running a perfectly legal pot farm, and is indulging happily in his wares. Have these two once dastardly brothers reformed? Who knows, but this scene if filled with typical Lynchian quirk.

The Bodies in Buckhorn, South Dakota

As I mentioned, a lot of the new Twin Peaks doesn’t actually take place in Twin Peaks, and one particular subplot deals with the discovery of a rather grisly corpse in an apartment building. The discovery of the body (actually, bodies–a mismatched severed head of a woman and a bloated torso of an unidentified second party) via the an overly excited neighbor and her dog Armstrong is the kind of random whimsy Lynch loves so very much to mix in with horrible tragedy.

Agent Cooper Floats in the Glass Box

After (seemingly) escaping the Black Lodge, Dale Cooper finds himself floating in the glass box in New York City, moments before the entity murders the young couple in the earlier scene. Did Coop bring something back with him from that supernatural dimension? Regardless, the scene of Dale Cooper floating in mid air inside the glass box in a powerful image, even if we don’t yet know what it really means.

Farewell, Margaret

In one of the premiere’s most touching scenes, we see Margaret Lanterman, better known as the Log Lady, one last time, as she calls Deputy Hawk to tell him her log has a message for him. Actress Catherine E. Coulson was obviously very ill when she filmed these scenes, and you can tell that she knew that this was her farewell moment. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful. In other words, pure Lynch.

What were your stand out moments in the new Twin Peaks? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Images: Showtime / CBS

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