“I’ll see you again in 25 years,” Laura Palmer promised Special Agent Dale Cooper in the Red Room. That was 1991, the end of the second season of Twin Peaks. Since then, there has been a prequel movie, Fire Walk With Me, and multiple books to expand on the mythology of the series. But this year, creators David Lynch and Mark Frost returned to the small screen with Twin Peaks: The Return on Showtime.
The small screen has gotten bigger in the intervening years. TV has become more cinematic, with series like Game of Thrones. CRTs have given way to 65-inch flat screens. Video production technology has made special effects cheap and seamless. And streaming services have changed the TV business model by trying to attract subscriptions from niche audiences. So it’s only natural that Lynch and Frost would revive their legendary television show.
This series deals with the “return” of Cooper to the real world. There are forces of both good and evil at work in the Red Room, but Cooper is finally able to escape with a little help from his backwards-talking friends. But he has changed: after 25 years in limbo, he is not the charming, gregarious agent he once was. Instead, Kyle MacLachlan plays a deadpan comedic role, as Cooper learns to walk, talk, and drink coffee again. Meanwhile, Bad Cooper, also MacLachlan, has been very busy in the real world. As Cooper’s doppelganger, he seems to be on a mission to sow corruption and strife on a global level.
Corruption and purity, evil and good, embodied in the Black and White Lodges, are ever-present in Twin Peaks. It looks like evil has the upper hand, with rampant drug abuse, smuggling, and assassins running wild. Good Cooper is needed now more than ever.
Twin Peaks: The Return airs Sundays on Showtime.