10 Things We Learned From Twin Peaks: The Return Part 5

Black boxes and black comedy.

Becky Burnett
Showtime

Mark Frost broached the idea of returning to Twin Peaks with David Lynch in 2012, inspired and challenged by the prestige drama heirs to their groundbreaking throne. Those first meetings were, by all accounts, interesting and fruitful. It took several, however, for the co-creators to find a way back into the story.

The irony of the original series finale is that it was conceived as a highlight reel of cliffhangers intended to persuade ABC to pick up a third season. The longer time marched on, the harder it become to pick up the the thread. It had been torn by the duration Cooper spent in the Black Lodge; it was no longer possible to run with the original idea of a Garland Briggs-helmed rescue mission. The doppelgänger had spent too much time in the real world. There was too much scope for him to commit terrible deeds.

In that sense, the arc of Dale Cooper as Dougie Jones is ingenious. The idea of Dale Cooper was dead. He had to be reborn.

Derided in some quarters for its broad comedic strokes, the almost unbearable pathos of Part 5's protracted last scene has humanised this bastardised version of Dale Cooper. You might not believe those around him can remain oblivious. You might not buy that coffee has the inherent ability to tap into the human soul. But you cannot deny how much you desperately want Cooper to return to the world.

In an indefinable sensory assault, that might be the point.

10. The Scariest Things Are That Which We Cannot See

Becky Burnett
Showtime

The opening scene sees Tammie Baird's Lorraine lament the botched assassination job on Dougie Jones in a terrified panic.

"She's a worrier," one of the goons says. The camera cuts to her office, her face twisted in a fearful grimace, her fingers digging into her nails. She agonises over the message she needs to send, nostrils flared, her hair as frayed as her nerves. She dials a number on her Blackberry. We then cut to an as-yet unknown location signposted by a lightbulb. More electricity. The message is received by a mysterious black device decorated only by two LEDs. They flicker - in red, naturally - but there is no response.

Lynch has added a Blackberry smartphone to his list of utterly mundane items (ceiling fans, videocameras ) rendered completely terrifying in his hands.

We know from the premiere that Jeffries wants Mr. C dead. We know from Part 3 that attempts on the decoy, Dougie Jones, failed. What we don't know is why Jeffries wants the doppelgänger dead - though a choice use of understated dialogue quickly led us (but didn't tell us; the sign of advanced storytelling) to a bizarre conclusion.

Recasting isn't new to the Twin Peaks universe, though Lynch resisted the temptation (and reiterated the theme of duality) by creating a second Sheriff Truman. Harry Goaz (Deputy Andy Brennan) let slip that David Bowie was slated to appear before his death, but didn't film his scenes. Then again: respectfully, how would he know? Scene partner dialogue was kept from every actor. It can be reasonably inferred that an earth-shattering cameo wasn't the topic of choice in the make-up chair.

If not Bowie, then who? Tim Roth has yet to appear. The Little Man From Another Place is now a tree. Garland Briggs and BOB have appeared via computer trickery. It's borderline impossible to predict at this point.

Contributor
Contributor

Writer, podcaster and editor. Deft Punk. Author of Becoming All Elite: The Rise of AEW, which is available to purchase at the following link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Becoming-All-Elite-powerful-Wrestling/dp/B09MYSNT71