Surreality TV: Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return

content_image Talking trees, people turning into golden balls, eating (real, not fake) chocolate bunnies to alleviate gas and mystery surrounding the murder of a woman (and a man). This abundant amount of bewildering imagery can only mean one thing: Twin Peaks is back and it’s as cryptic as ever.

Since the 1992 movie, Fire Walk with Me, Twin Peaks has been a ghost in the back of fans’ minds. Viewers who would get their weird fix from X-Files, Tales from the Crypt and a small revival of Twilight Zone in the early 2000s. And with poor American box office numbers, in addition to declining ratings in the series’ season two, it seemed Fire Walk with Me would be Twin Peaks‘ last hurrah. It was a huge bummer for some of us (you’ve read our article on director David Lynch and quinoa, right?). But before the series marked the 25th anniversary of its disappearance, it came back with all of its strange charm and then some. Although the show’s premiere seemed to suggest a waning interest (as reports an estimated 1.1 million viewers), Twin Peaks: The Return is still going strong as it recently aired its 12th (out of 18) episode. So before the season ends on September 3, we would like to take a look at some of the more interesting scenes the show has graced us with. This one’s for all of our fellow weirdos out there, especially for those who aren’t sure if Twin Peaks is for them. Give it a go if you like all things weird and quirky, we say.


What’s In The Box?! (Episode. 1)

Stranger Things isn’t the only show to deal with other dimensions. Except that one of the portals in at least one of the extra dimensions in Twin Peaks leads straight into a glass box. The box sits in a New York building and has a circular window looking out into the city. However, this box also has a keeper – someone paid to watch it and anything that might appear in it, filming the whole thing and making sure he reports back anything he finds to the anonymous billionaire who’s funding the “viewing party.”

A security guard stays in the room next door to … watch the watcher? Either way, not a whole lot happens with this until the guard leaves and the guy watching the box invites in a female friend, who brings him a latte. All great stories start with a girl, or so they say. Unfortunately, this story has a gruesome ending. As the two begin to get frisky on a couch, the box goes dark and a white, alien-looking (think Signs) creature appears inside the glass case. The creature, angered most likely because he appeared inside a futuristic zoo, breaks free from the box and attacks the two leaving blood running down the walls.

The scene quickly goes from boring to brutal, but seems to touch on a larger point about media consumption and how it affects us. has even gone so far as to say the box might be key in understanding the series’ revival, maybe a hard concept to grasp after the show being off the air for almost a quarter of a century. Regardless, the scene proved that Lynch is here to bring back the bizarre and teach a few lessons while doing it.


Mr Jackpots (Episodes 3 and 4)

Dale Cooper returns from the Black Lodge (or was he just in the Red Room?) in episode 3 and winds up at the Silver Mustang Casino in Las Vegas. However, being back in the physical world seems to have taken a toll on his mind and Cooper/Dougie is only able to repeat phrases and feed quarters into brightly-colored slot machines. The recovering man aimlessly walks around the casino continuously hitting mega jackpots after letting out an echoing “HELLO-O-O” each time he pulls the lever, a technique he mimes after watching another gambler hit it big.

We’re sure Lynch is trying to use the casino to make another big point about humanity and its frantic pursuit of money or “victory”. It’s not the first time a show used Las Vegas as a platform to convey such messages actually, as we read in a piece discussing casino’s place in pop culture, both in terms of games depicted or casinos as a background for the action. Still, you’d be hard-pressed to figure that out during the constant “Hellos” spewing from Cooper’s mouth. While not quite as annoying as the Aflac duck’s quacking, the catchphrase is clearly profitable as it nets the damaged man nearly half a million dollars. The scene is a bit grating, but it’s endearing in a way too as we see the detective back and (nearly) in action.


Dying For A Snack (Episode 8)

Okay, so this episode as a whole is pretty crazy, which you might have heard even if you don’t watch Twin Peaks. We’ve chosen one of the most normal scenes, but we had to go with it in particular for two important reasons: 1.) You don’t see ghost hobos devouring a body every day, and 2.) It almost convinced us Cooper’s evil doppelganger (A.K.A. Mr C, AKA Booper) had gotten what he deserved. To recap, Ray and evil Cooper end up getting released from prison in the previous episode and Mr C threatens Ray with a gun if he doesn’t give him pertinent information. Ray refuses but when Mr C tries to shoot him with a gun that his accomplice unloaded, Ray says “Tricked ya, Fucker”, and then blows him away.

That’s the normal part. The craziness begins when a horde of homeless-looking apparitions surround and apparently devour Cooper’s body, revealing BOB’s head as they feast. Ray, traumatized by the sight and most likely vowing to never watch Ghost Hunters again, gets in his car and speeds off. Again, this is Twin Peaks at its finest. A little bit of plot twist followed by a ton of “what the hell am I watching right now?” Bear in mind that this all happens with Dougie still having the intelligence of a can of cream corn (garmonbozia, for the uninitiated), so as the doppelganger died, we hoped to see the return of actual Agent Cooper. How many Coops are there by now? 2.5, according to some, 2 according to others, but who really knows at this point?

And with that, Twin Peaks is finally back in our lives and on our TV screens as strange as we’d hoped. With only six episodes left, there’s really no telling where the surreal show’s going to go. We’re just happy one of our wishes came true when we asked Hollywood to bring it back years ago. It’s nice to be listened to for once! Does that mean Freak and Geeks is coming back too?

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