TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return, Part 1

Long time Bureau 42 reader and commenter Blackadder has submitted his review of the returned Twin Peaks for all to enjoy.

Introduction to Twin Peaks: The Return

Twin Peaks was unusual in its day, and it changed the landscape to show that a long form show could be both interesting and sustainable. In its original run it was “Event TV”. It was quirky, unusual, discussed at the water cooler and ultimately unresolved. While the original plot of who killed Laura Palmer was solved, it lead on to open up a wider world. The power behind the murder was starting to be investigated and, due to unevenness in its execution in the second season, was cancelled on a cliff hanger. In trying to resolve this a prequel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, asked even more questions than it solved.

Twin Peaks: The Return or Season 3 isn’t a reboot. It picks up 25 years after the last episode of season 2 following a throw away line of “See you again in 25 years.”. It is able to do this as it has most of its original cast returning to the characters they played previously. Time has obviously passed between season 2 and 3 and part of this journey is to find out what has happened over the last 25 years. The directors have also taken the conscious decision that they expect that you have seen not just the original series but also Fire Walk With Me.

It also needs to be noted that some significant actors either died leading up to the filming of this or as filming completed. There are acknowledgements of these actors and the loss of their gifts these characters appear Amongst the list are Miguel Ferrer (Albert), David Bowie (Jeffries), Don S Davis (Major Briggs) and Catherine E. Coulson (Log Lady). Each of these characters were significant in the original series and their characters are still important to this series. Ferrer and Coulson passed after their scenes had been completed so their characters remain. In the case of Bowie and Davis they had unfortunately passed before filming and the way their characters are handled will be important as the decision has been made not to recast these actors.

This is not to say that the show is cursed. This is more to acknowledge the difficulty of picking up a show 25 years later and continuing from there. This isn’t a hand over to a new generation and how the story will resolve is rather unknown. So, as David Lynch has said, just watch it unfold and enjoy.

Title: “Part 1”

Cast and Crew
Director: David Lynch
Writer: Mark Frost and David Lynch

Kyle MacLachlan as Special Agent Dale Cooper / Cooper’s Doppelgänger / Douglas “Dougie” Jones
Jane Adams as Constance Talbot
Joseph Auger as Delivery Driver
Melissa Jo Bailey as Marjorie Green
Richard Beymer as Benjamin Horne
Michael Bisping as Guard
Brent Briscoe as Detective Dave Macklay
Bailey Chase as Detective Don Harrison
Catherine E. Coulson as Margaret Lanterman (The Log Lady)
James Croak as Robby
Kathleen Deming as Buella
Erica Eynon as Experiment Model
Allen Galli as Man in Suit
James Giordano as Officer Douglas
Harry Goaz as Deputy Andy Brennan
George Griffith as Ray Monroe
Cornelia Guest as Phyllis Hastings
Michael Horse as Deputy Chief Tommy ‘Hawk’ Hill
Ashley Judd as Beverly Paige
David Patrick Kelly as Jerry Horne
Dep Kirkland as Police Chief Mike Boyd
Nicole LaLiberte as Darya
Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer
Matthew Lillard as William Hastings
Christopher Murray as Officer Olson
Max Perlich as Hank
Kimmy Robertson as Lucy Brennan
Ben Rosenfield as Sam Colby
Mary Stofle as Ruth Davenport
Carel Struycken as Giant
Russ Tamblyn as Dr. Lawrence Jacoby
Redford Westwood as Otis
Madeline Zima as Tracey


Special Agent is shown as still in the Black Lodge while a number of seemingly random events happen around the world. In South Dakota, Cooper’s Doppelgänger is shown to still be loose in the real world picks up a couple of associates. Still in South Dakota, the Buckhorn police find the severed head of the local librarian with the body of a John Doe. In New York, an entity escapes from a glass box and murders the people watching the experiment. In Twin Peaks, Deputy Chief Hawk gets a message relating to Special Agent Dale Cooper from the Log Lady, and Dr Jacoby is shown to be painting shovels with gold paint.

High Points

Lucy Moran unable to cope with people having mobile phones. Lucy’s characters quirkiness embodied Twin Peaks originally.

Also at the end of this episode Agent Cooper is still in the Black Lodge. It hasn’t resorted to the magic reset button.

Low Point

A lot of people will love the tribute to old school horror from the creature escaping the box. I just don’t think the troupe works here as well as it should.

The Scores:

Originality: 6/6 This would have to be one of the more original things I have ever seen. It’s not a reboot or a rehash, it’s an attempt to return to a familiar setting and tell not just what happened after we last saw, but also explore more of that world. In the same vein, this is not the Twin Peaks I saw in High School, but something more.

Effects: 4/6 The effects are limited and budget. This is, I think, its charm, but see low point.

Story: 3/6 As part of an 18 part whole, this introduction to the first act may prove, in time, to be genius, but as a self contained element it falls short. Its a bunch of stuff but not a story.

Acting: 6/6 These actors appear to personify the characters they last played. They don’t appear to be off key or note.

Emotional Response: 6/6 My head is reeling here, where I have no idea how to react. I feel slightly disturbed, and if that is the intent it has definitely succeeded.

Production: 6/6 I have a feeling that everything here, even the ultra mundane, is completely deliberate and on purpose.

Overall: 6/6 I am curious as to where this goes. It has captured my attention by not being a complete replica of the previous season. It’s tonally Twin Peaks, but it’s also just as significantly not Twin Peaks.

In total, “Part 1” receives 37/42

2 replies on “TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return, Part 1”

  1. Will the legion of viewers who loved the first episodes but fled by the end of Season One likely enjoy this iteration?

    Erm, asking your opinion for a friend.

    • So far yes. Where it got weird in Season 2 was when Lynch and Frost were displaced from Showrunners. They are back at the helm for this final season and are making that dark time make sense.

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