January of 2019, I started watching a show called Twin Peaks with my parents. It was a particularly icy winter where I live so I was stuck at home a lot- so we decided it would be the perfect show to finally watch while we were stuck inside. I loved the show- it really did open my eyes to a new style of television I hadn't really seen before and it made me a huge fan of David Lynch. I had never really truly appreciated Lynch in the past until I watched Twin Peaks and now I practically love all of his filmography. He lives in a different stratosphere then any of us and his crazy and overactive imagination has challenged, dared and inspired so many people.
April of 2020, a pandemic happened worldwide. The COVID-19 virus forced several people to stay inside their house with lockdown orders. In those scary times, I decided to finally visit The Return. I knew I wanted to watch it a year after the original- because I feel like a break from the original series to The Return just feels right. This show is like revisiting old friends you haven't seen in a while. When I started playing episode one and the logo came up with the swelling score- I got goosebumps all over my back. We were back in Twin Peaks...
Or were we? Twin Peaks: The Return is a whole different animal then the original Twin Peaks. I waited a few days before typing up this review because I'm still comprehending exactly how I feel about this show. I described to someone that I felt as though Twin Peaks The Return is to Twin Peaks what Blade Runner 2049 is to the original Blade Runner. This is a much more polished show then the original and much grander in scale. The show ramps up everything about the original and it's even more of a cerebral experience. Yet, like I prefer the original Blade Runner to its sequel, I also will always prefer the original series over The Return.
This isn't to say that The Return isn't great. It's a towering achievement of television and a complete game changer. Yet, I will always prefer the quirkier elements of the original show. While this still has some goofier elements, it takes itself dead serious. This is a very grim and dark show and a lot of the fluff in the original Twin Peaks is gone. However- that is how it should have been. That last episode of season 2 of Twin Peaks you know that everything has changed- we can't go back to the way things are. To quote The Last Jedi, "we must let the past die."
They do with this show. Ultimately, the show is about reconciling for past mistakes and wrapping your head around tragedy that otherwise seems pointless. Why do such awful things happen? Is there a reason to any of this? David Lynch shows us in his grand scope that sure- there probably is but that isn't the point. We loose track of ourselves, we sometimes forget what day or what year it is because we fixate on questions that we might never find the answer to. We have to life with that grief- and maybe we must learn from it. Yet, with all the Dale Coopers in the world, I think we will find some sort of peace of knowing that good people exist.
Through David Lynch cerebral filmmaking, a beautiful score by the great Angelo Badalamenti and a perplexing narrative that continues to provoke thought and keep its audience in its grasp- The Return is everything you've heard it is and even more. I still don't have all the answers and I might never get them- but the ride to get to these questions is such an experience that I think I will be okay with that.