The return of Twin Peaks is a lot to process. After each episode, Uproxx‘s Alan Sepinwall and Keith Phipps attempt to hash out what we all just watched.
Alan: After the giddy creative highs of those first three hours, I’m starting to get a little worried about the revival, Keith. Wally Brando aside, the two most recent hours have felt awfully padded and formless — all my “18-hour movie” fears coming to pass in a string of Dougie Jones scenes that run on forever — without anyone ever noticing that slick salesman Dougie is now a barely-functional human — and other stories (like Hawk and Andy’s attempt to solve the Log Lady’s riddle) moving even more slowly.
It’s still Lynch directing, which means there will still be stunning shots like Amanda Seyfried’s Becky smiling as she gazes up at the heavens from her skeevy boyfriend’s car. (Twin Peaks in any era must have an abundance of beautiful but gullible young women in relationships with criminal idiots who will bring them nothing but grief.) But the deeper we get into the project, the more troubling the scattershot narrative becomes, as subplots are introduced and forgotten almost instantly so that Lynch and Frost can move onto the next big-name guest star they hired, in whom they have more interest than most of the returning characters from the original series.
I suppose I should be grateful that the mystery of Dr. Jacoby’s golden shovels wasn’t dragged out across the entire season, but I can’t help feeling like we’re in time-killing mode until Good Coop gets his memory back.
Talk me off the ledge here, Keith. Was there more to Part 5 than met the eye at first, or was it as much of a nothingburger as it felt to me last night?
Keith: Huh. I don’t know. Is it possible that anything would feel like a letdown after The Leftovers finale? I really liked this episode, which felt less formless than the show slipping back into the mode of a nighttime soap opera, which was the form it’s always taken when it’s not Lynch sneaking experimental films onto television. The Dougie scenes are long, I’ll grant you, and the characters’ reactions to him seem to be beyond the logic of even this strange world. But I thought they felt less drawn out than in last week’s episode and I thought they were funny. If nothing else, the revival has given me a deeper appreciation of Kyle MacLachlan. He’s chilling as Bad Coop, but just as convincing as a largely vacant man who discovers he really loves coffee. Also, I may order a green tea latte today. Apparently they’re extremely satisfying.
Beyond that, I thought the mystery deepened on a few fronts. With her sweet demeanor, bad choice of boyfriends, and coke habit, Becky looks like she’s destined to become Laura Palmer 2.0, which seems like it could go to some fascinating places in a series filed with echoes and doppelgängers. And speaking of echoes, did you catch the name of the sociopath in the roadhouse played by Eamon Farren? It’s “Richard Horne.” This isn’t intriguing? Evil Coop’s phone phreak abilities? Mr. Strawberry? The exploding car? All this added up to a pretty solid hour of television to me. Plus, we got the thrill of seeing Norma and Shelly behind the counter of the Double R. What more did you want?