Binge Watch: Twin Peaks

Last month it was announced that David Lynch’s cult series Twin Peaks would be returning to television. Pop-Break’s resident horror maven Ann Hale reflects on the very best of the series and if it should actually be coming back.

Premise: FBI agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) investigates the mysterious death of a teenage girl Laura Palmer in a town full of secrets.

Watch If You Like: The Killing, True Detective, Northern Exposure, Carnivale

Seasons: 2

Watch It On: Originally on ABC on Thursday nights. You can watch both seasons on Netflix.

Behind the Scenes: David Lynch is best known for his strange and complicated movies such as Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Lost Highway.

Wait…Isn’t That: Twin Peaks sparked the careers of many of its cast members. The most recognizable name these days would be Lara Flynn Boyle, who played Laura Palmer’s (Sheryl Lee) best friend Donna. Lara went on to appear in many popular films and earned herself an Emmy nomination for her role on The Practice. Kyle MacLachlan, known as Agent Dale Cooper, had a fun reoccurring role on How I Met Your Mother as The Captain. Ray Wise, Laura Palmer’s father Leland, also had a role on How I Met Your Mother as Robin’s tough father Robin Scherbatsky Sr. Madchen Amick, who played waitress Shelly, has a regular role on the Lifetime hit series The Witches of East End. Sherilyn Fenn, who played the bored and seductive Audrey Horn, landed the role of Donna Cochran on the Showtime hit series Ray Donovan.

There’s random cameos from Alicia Witt (Justified), Molly Shannon, Willie Garson (Sex and the City, White Collar), Ted Raimi (Evil Dead) and Ian Abecrombie (Army of Darkness). There’s also multi-episode appearances from Clarence Williams III (Mod Squad), David Duchovny, Michael Parks (Kill Bill), Billy Zane, Heather Graham, Robyn Lively (Chicago Hope), David Patrick Kelly (Commando), David Lynch, Russ Tamblyn (West Side Story) and Mary Jo Deschanel – mother of Zoey and Emily Deschanel.

Favorite Character: There is no question about it, Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is the best character on the show. From his infectious positive attitude, to his love of the simple things like a “damn fine” cup of coffee and a slice of pie, Agent Cooper is possibly the most likeable person on the planet.

Agent Cooper appears to be a simple man, easily mistaken for foolish or sentimental, but proves himself to be an incredibly complicated and competent agent on the case. Perhaps it is this paradox that allows him to effectively maneuver in any situation.

He is open-minded to and accepting of the strange happenings and people of the town but can distance himself enough from situations to figure out everyone’s dirty little secrets and how they play into the disappearance of Laura Palmer.

A Close Second: It can only be The Log Lady (Catherine Coulson). Her appearances are always random and humorous but she does provide useful, though cryptic, information relating to the case. Why is she called The Log Lady, you ask? Well, because she always has a log with her that she talks to and for.

The Best Episodes:

First Season, Episode One: “Pilot”

Laura Palmer’s body is found nude and wrapped in plastic on the shore of the river. When another girl is found wander and falls into a coma, the FBI is called in and Agent Dale Cooper arrives to Twin Peaks. He finds many similarities between Laura’s murder and the murder of another girl just a year before, including a piece of paper found under her fingernail. An arrest is made but Cooper discovers there are more secrets in Twin Peaks than anyone realizes.

First Season, Episode 5: “Cooper’s Dreams”

Agent Cooper gets a lead that his prime suspect Jacques Renault is at One Eyed Jack’s, a casino and brothel. Here he finds that Audrey has taken a job as a hostess in order to help get information. Donna, James (James Marshall) and Laura’s identical cousin, Maddy (Sheryl Lee), work out a scheme to steal a tape that Laura made from Dr. Jacoby, a therapist that was infatuated with Laura.

Second Season, Episode 22: “Beyond Life and Death”

Laura’s killer has already been caught but there is a supernatural element involving an evil that Cooper must try to contain. When he takes a lead that points him towards the woods, he finds a red curtain that he disappears behind and the curtain disappears. Cooper is in this red room for over ten hours where he finds cryptic clues about Laura, the real killer and an evil doppelganger of himself. What emerges from the curtain into the woods may not be Cooper at all.

Is It Worth The Marathon?

The answer to this question completely depends on the viewer. Twin Peaks is, in no way cut and dry. The show is incredibly complicated and takes quite a bit of thought and focus to catch every little detail. If you have seen any of David Lynch’s films, you understand what you are walking into.

You have to watch straight through in order to keep up with the story line. If you take a week or longer break from the show, you may as well start over from the beginning because the show is far too complex and you will forget things.

If you do not have a tolerance for the strange or overly intelligent, Twin Peaks is not for you. The show was cancelled before the final episode could be explained so, if you are one of those people that cannot handle an open ended ending, Twin Peaks is not for you.

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Should The Show Come Back?

I want to start by saying that I am really excited about the show returning. Twin Peaks was a show that did not assume its viewers were stupid but expected that they were not. The show confused, shocked and made you laugh all at the same time. There has not been a show of its equal since.

That being said, I am curious as to how they will bring it back. It would be amazing to get some answers about the final episode of the series but it was been almost 25 years since the final episode and the actors have aged significantly since then.

I suppose that if I were to bring the show back myself, I would have Agent Dale Cooper finally escape the Red Room to find that his evil counterpart has been roaming in his place all of these years. From there, Cooper can continue on his path of catching and stopping the evil once and for all. This way, we can also bring back all of our favorite characters and incorporate their current lives into the case.

Twin Peaks will be returning in 2017. Until then, the storyline remains as mysterious as the Red Room itself.

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Ann Hale is the horror editor for Pop-Break.com and a senior contributing writer, reviewing horror movies and television shows. She is also the American Correspondent for Lovehorror.co.uk. Ann attended East Carolina University, majoring in English Literature. She is a collector of Halloween (the film) memorabilia and is a self-admitted opinionated horror nerd. You can follow her, her collection and her cat, Edward Kittyhands on Twitter and Instagram @Scarletjupiter
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Just a giant nerd in love with horror, 80’s action flicks, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @scarletjupiter to talk horror or just to browse the horror collection.