Twin Peaks Season ThreeCannes Film Festival 2017
It’s been 25 years. What did you expect? Twin Peaks’ third season has been promised as “the pure heroin vision of David Lynch”, and judging from its two-episode opener, this is exactly what has been delivered. Not so much easing us back into things as throwing us, head-first, into a world of nightmares, these opening sections reintroduce us to characters while deepening the show’s existing mysteries – including The Red Room, a plane of existence that may or may not be hell – and creating some brand-new ones.
One of the first threads involves a young student (Ben Rosenfield), sitting in a concrete room opposite a glass box. The box has cameras focused on it, and his job is to sit and observe. In a way, it’s like watching Twin Peaks: nothing happens for a while, then a horrifying apparition appears and sprays blood everywhere. Elsewhere, Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is still possessed by Bob, the demon that once incited the death of Laura Palmer. He struts around now with long hair, a tan, and the kind of violent, misogynistic attitude that’s the hallmark of a Lynchian villain. And elsewhere still, the head of Ruth Davenport is found next to someone else’s body in a hotel room in Buckhorn, South Dakota – and the likeliest suspect is high-school principle William Hastings (Matthew Lillard). Oh, and at one point, there’s a talking tree.
What to make of all this? Well, it’s fine to be confused. Lynch has promised that the series is designed as one big film, split up into parts – so we’re barely passed the prologue. It’s like the alternative-history opening of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, only with the formal flair of Mulholland Drive and the frenzied anguish of Inland Empire. It is not a series that’s here to comfort you with good coffee and a slice of cherry pie – it’s a story about the ethereal darkness of small-town America, which the show was always about.
That’s not to say there aren’t moments that puncture your weak, nostalgic heart. It’s lovely to see that Andy (Harry Goaz), Lucy (Kimmy Robertson), and Deputy Sheriff “Hawk” (Michael Horse) are still kicking around, as are motel moguls Benjamin and Jerry Horne (Richard Beymer and David Patrick Kelly). Catherine E Coulson shows up for a heart-breaking cameo as Log Lady, clearly filmed shortly before her death; it’s a perfect goodbye for the woman who once did everything for Lynch except direct his movies. And the best scene in this opener – the scene that opened this critic’s emotional floodgates – comes at the very end, at the Bang Bang bar, where James Hurley (James Marshall) and Shelly Johnson (Mädchen Amick) exchange a sad, hopeful look to an appropriately wistful performance by The Chromatics. For all the difference 25 years has made to Twin Peaks, it’s comforting to know that, at its deepest level, nothing has really changed.
Twin Peaks Season Three is showing on Sky Atlantic, the first episode aired on 22nd May 2017.
Watch the trailer for Twin Peaks Season Three here: