If you’ve come to this recap of the Twin Peaks revival premiere seeking answers about what the heck happens in the series premiere, I’m going to have to make like Cooper in the Black Lodge and say next to nothing.
Because, honestly, Nadine’s drape runners have a better idea of what’s going on in the two-hour huh?-fest than I do. It doesn’t mean I won’t recount the highlights of the long-awaited continuation’s first installments, it just means that this long-time fan found the first few episodes tough to navigate.
A note about the format: The action in the premiere takes place in a handful of loosely connected segments, and not much overlaps, so that’s how we’ve organized the recap.
Read on for what at least seems important from “The Return: Parts 1 and 2.”
IN TWIN PEAKS | Dr. Jacoby, still sporting those glasses, is living in a trailer in the woods. We see him get a delivery of some shovels. Elsewhere, Hawk — who appears to be acting sheriff, even though there are two Sheriff Trumans now — gets a tip from the Log Lady (who appears to be ailing) that he should investigate Agent Cooper’s disappearance. So he does, visiting the place in the woods where Coop and Annie went missing in the series finale.
Lucy and Andy’s kid, Wally, is 24, and he’s never met Agent Cooper. (So that gives us an idea of how long Bob’s been cavorting in Dale’s skin.) Ben’s still running the Great Northern. His brother, Jerry, is now a highly successful pot farmer. And Ben’s new assistant, Beverly, is played by Ashley Judd.
James and Shelly run into each other at the Road House, where Jacques Renault — whom, you’ll remember, died in Season 1 — is tending bar. Wait, what? (UPDATE: As some of you have pointed out, maybe, per the credits, it’s just a look-alike brother played by the same actor.) Shelly has a daughter, Becky, whom we hear is into a boy who’s no good for her. Also of interest: James has been in a motorcycle accident. Meanwhile, Sarah Palmer is at home, being weird and smoking like a chimney. The more things change…
GREASY EVIL COOPER | I’m assuming Bob is still inside Agent Cooper while the good Coop or his essence or whatever is hanging out in the Black Lodge, because the first time we see the G-man out and about in the world, he’s got long, gross hair, is tanned like a leather cross-body bag and seems to be involved in some nefarious business with some people who don’t like to shower much.
Evil Cooper is a hitman who trusts almost no one and kills two associates in the premiere. He’s also in contact with Agent Phillip Jeffries (the FBI agent played by David Bowie in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me), or maybe someone pretending to be Agent Jeffries?, and Maj. Briggs, aka Bobby’s father. In related news, Evil Cooper has sex with a woman who really enjoys Cheetos, and it seems like she knows everything that’s going on. Also interesting: At one point, Evil Cooper says he’s supposed to get pulled back into the Black Lodge soon, but he doesn’t want to go.
THE ROOM WITH THE BOX | A bland-looking guy is watching a large empty glass box in some Manhattan building. It’s his job to stare at the box and make sure that the cameras recording it are working. There’s a security guard at the front entrance, but when the guard’s not there, the guy’s friend Tracy slips in to “bring him coffee” which soon leads to them “having sex.” Of course, just then, the glass box turns black and a white, humanoid figure appears in the box. It kind of looks like X-Files‘ Flukeman, if Flukeman went on a diet and grew boobs. The thing hits the glass (which, I’ll admit, made me jump), then breaks through and kills the mid-coital pair in a flurry of really bad CGI and gouts of fake blood. (Side note: Anyone notice the (cough Windom Earle cough) bonsai tree next to the guy when he was watching the box?) (Another side note: Could the acting by Bland Guy and Tracy be any worse? This looks like a Kickstarter-funded porno version of a direct-to-DVD movie starring Joey Tribbiani.)
BUCKHORN, SOUTH DAKOTA | A woman calls the cops when a strange smell emanates from her neighbor’s apartment. Cops discover a decapitated head in bed with someone else’s headless dead body. It seems like someone has set up a local principal to take the blame, and that someone appears to be the guy’s wife. It also seems like David Lynch wanted to put his own spin on the 1940s classic film Double Indemnity, and he inexplicably decided to do it within the first two hours of this revival. Major takeaways: The principal is jailed near someone who’s painted completely and whose body disappears as his head floats away, and Screwed Principal’s wife is in cahoots with Greasy Evil Cooper. Doesn’t stop him from shooting her dead, though.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA | A man wearing a suit and tie in a Vegas office talks to his younger male assistant, who wonders, “Why do you let him make you do these things?” The older man ominously warns the assistant, whose name is Roger, never to let someone like “him” into his life. And… scene!
THE RED ROOM/BLACK LODGE | The premiere’s scariest section, by far, focuses on Good Cooper in the Red Room. That’s where he encounters the one-armed man, Laura Palmer (who takes off her face, revealing a glowing… something? inside of her, then starts screaming and is hauled away), Leland Palmer, and a tree topped by a brain that’s supposed to be the “evolution” of the little man in red who used to shimmy around the place. (Side note: I feared that this revival would mess me up the way that the show used to, and it didn’t… until that brief clip of Original Flavor Bob and Possessed Cooper cackling. If you need me, feel free to call or text anytime, because I will never sleep again.)
Anyway, Cooper almost exits the Red Room twice — once when he pulls back the curtains and encounters Evil Cooper driving on a highway, then right after when the brain-tree thing freaks out and yells “Non-existen-ent” until Cooper falls through space and time or something and winds up melting into the glass box that the guy was supposed to watch — and we see that this happens just before the busty Demagorgon enters and makes hamburger out of the rutting couple. — With a very helpful assist from Scott Prendergast
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