And with another week in the rear view mirror, we return to Twin Peaks: The Return. This week is absolutely the most David Lynch thing to ever David Lynch. I sat at my screen before typing for a while, struggling how to even talk about this because quite frankly, it is something you need to actually experience. It’s a completely visionary piece of television that still adds something very important to the bigger mythology of the series. At least I think so. I can merely speculate at what any of it means so let’s do this. Be warned, there are spoilers throughout this.
1. The Tables Have Been Turned
Last week, we saw BOOP (Coop + Killer Bob) literally walk out of prison like he was just visiting a friend for an hour. This week’s episode picks up right with that as BOOP and Ray drive off. They talk and Coop leads him to a secluded area off the road. He needs information from Ray, which is the only reason he’s still alive. BOOP aims a gun right at Ray and shoots but *GASP* his gun is empty and Ray unloads on him, seemingly killing him. At this point, the episode takes a turn. This is when we leave the very straightforward, conventional television storytelling. As BOOP lies there bleeding, he’s swarmed by some kind of dark, ghost-like figures. They’re hollow, only moving like shadows in the dark. Ray looks on, horrified by all of this and unsure what any of it means. This is just the beginning of what Lynch gives us in this episode but this is chilling. The way it’s shot with Ray’s expression just behind it all is very effective. I was a bit freaked out by my anxiety didn’t reach its peak until later this episode.
2. Who Knew The Roadhouse Had These Connections?
Listen, we already knew that freaking Nine Inch Nails would be featured on the show. A lot of the musical guests were revealed before hand so it was just a matter of how it would happen. Well, it happened, I saw it and it was at the Roadhouse of all places. Who knew that a tiny little bar in the Pacific Northwest could get THE Nine Inch Nails (that’s how it was listed in the credits) to play for them? The song they played was “She’s Gone” off the recent “Not The Actual Events” EP and I have to believe this wasn’t by accident. Nothing Lynch does is by accident. The lyrics of this song are simple but with lines like “I can’t remember what she came here for. I can’t remember much of anything anymore,” it’s easy to see how it might relate to Laura Palmer and Dale’s current state of not being awake. This performance was, as the kids say, LIT. I was super into it but still, after everything you see in this episode, this is the most unbelievable of them all.
As this performance ends, we get a big surprise as BOOP sits up. Now, this is something I’ve already seen being debated on Twitter. Is this BOOP or has Cooper somehow ended up back in his body? I don’t think that’s where this will go because Killer BOB is not exactly human and he’s the darkness that exists in humanity. He’s not exactly something you shoot with a gun.
3. A Big Bang
Okay, now here is where things really get wild. After BOOP sits up, we’re taken back in time to 1945, to the first-ever test of a nuclear bomb in White Springs.
Quick side note: These bombs were tested on American soil at this time, specifically in the New Mexico area and 1945 was when the first one happened. These test sites still exist. In fact, after a little research, I found out that the White Springs location is now part of a bigger military base.
We spend a few minutes literally watching the inside of this bomb explode. Things start of black and white and as we go deeper into the actual explosion, we get bursts of colors. This is like 2001: A Space Odyssey but isn’t a rip-off. It’s a beautiful tribute that relies on its score and the audience being willing to go on this ride. This entire thing is like watching a puzzle be taken apart and it’s really beautiful. After this, two things happen and both got my anxiety up. We see BOB born into the world (scroll down to my next point) and then we’re taken to a convenience store where dark shadows appear again. This is really disorienting and actually fairly scary because as more appear, the shot loses focus and goes in and out with static and an ominous score. It’s better than any actual horror movie I’ve seen in a few years and this wasn’t even trying to be that outright. It happened to be that because it purposely throws off your senses. You have no idea what’s happening in any of this and the way Lynch shoots it and scores it (he did the sound design according to the credits), gets under your skin. I almost had to flip the channel for a second.Continued below
4. The Black and White Lodges Begin A Battle
Literally, all of this is my own speculation here so take all this with a grain of salt. As we’re shown this bomb exploding, we see a black cloud come out of it and in that cloud is Killer BOB. After the convenience store sequence, we’re taken to a house of some kind where Senorita Dido (that’s her name, according to the official Twitter account) is sitting in a gorgeous gown, listening to music. An alarm of some kind goes off and the Giant appears. He leaves this room to go to a theater of some kind where he watches the atomic bomb go off. Senorita Dido follows later and watches the Giant ascend and create an orb of some kind. She takes the orb and inside is THE photo of Laura Palmer. She kisses it and sends it down to Earth. This again is pure Lynch. It’s confusing and could mean so many different things but it’s still the most amazing stuff happening on TV right now. Twin Peaks: The Return refuses to be about nostalgia. It’s the continuation of a story with an artist at the helm who refuses to settle on what he’s done in the past. This, in particular, is a breathtaking sequence of events because it speaks for itself and doesn’t use any dialogue.
I think this scene here is the beginning of a feud between the Black and White Lodges. Dido and The Giant represent the White Lodge and they are watching the literal birth of Killer BOB as the worst weapon in the history of mankind is invented. That darkness brings Killer BOB with it and they have to stop it because that darkness gets into people easily and damages everyone and everything. It looks like Laura Palmer is created to serve a purpose for the White Lodge. Her death is the thing that leads Dale Cooper to Twin Peaks and to Killer BOB himself. I don’t know if that’s a tangible enough connection but that’s what I got after one viewing. I don’t know where Dale Cooper fits into this at this point but I’m sure we’ll find out.
5. A Small Town Taken Over By Darkness
After we leave this, we’re back in another small town in Mexico but about a decade later. First, we see some kind of egg crack and some kind of insect creature crawls out of it. Elsewhere, a young girl finds a penny on the ground and says to her date “it’s face up, which means good luck.” Then a ragged man, almost covered in dirt (darkness) is seen in the town asking “got a light?” and he’s scaring motorists by doing this. He makes his way to a radio station, asks this and kills both the secretary and the DJ. He gets on the radio and says this:
“This is the water,
and this is the well.
Drink full and descend.
The horses is the white of the eyes.
And dark within.”
I think this man is the first physical incarnation of Killer BOB. I think this is when he was still early in his “career” and we’re watching him learn just how powerful he actually is. What I can’t figure out is the last scene with the young girl. She’s sleeping and the bug thing we saw earlier is more than a bug thing and it crawls into her mouth. I sat on that scene for a long time and still can’t make heads or tails of it. The real magic here is in what the presumed BOB does. This is so violent and horrific in its lack of restraint. It’s the most straightforward horror Lynch has touched in this series so far.
I don’t know if any of this made sense. It’s a very difficult episode to talk about. I’m curious as to what any of you thought of the imagery and what you took away from it. Let me know in the comments below!