By Bluma Gross
During Twin Peaks’ original run in the early ’90s, FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper went to Twin Peaks, Washington, to uncover the murder of seemingly innocent homecoming sweetheart, Laura Palmer. After experiencing paranormal instances while trying to get to the bottom of the homicide, Cooper realized that the case is linked to the top-secret Blue Rose, a military and FBI task force aimed at researching “troubling abstractions,” interdimensional negative forces that take form in sinister tulpas and paranormal phenomena. Cooper found Laura in another hellish dimension called the Black Lodge, and it was there that Cooper got stuck and possessed by an evil embedded spirit. 25 years after the last season, creator David Lynch brings back the cast of Twin Peaks to continue that story.
In the revival-cum-continuation of this masterpiece, a trapped Cooper (one Cooper of many) travels through mysterious dimensions, chasing a sinister twin possessed by the notorious soul-wrenching spirit BOB. Meanwhile, in Twin Peaks, the local sheriff’s office revisits the unsolved homicide case of Laura Palmer. When Cooper races to cross dimensions and reverse Laura’s dire fate by bringing her to where the nightmare started, he finds that everything he thought he knew about alternative dimensions is not really as it seems.
Lynch brings a fascinating new angle in The Return by subliminally manifesting the idea that humans are continuously destined to endure their worst dreams. In The Return, Lynch drops Cooper into a foreign– but extremely familiar– town that he once knew so well from working there on the previous Palmer case. An overwhelming sense of deja vu is apparent when Cooper crosses into an alternate dimension, and his world becomes a distorted nightmare. The same implication can be made from the woeful symbolism in the plot of The Return, where Cooper is constantly at risk of his demise and miraculously escapes at the last second. Left and right, Lynch creates otherworldly scenes of terrifying phantasms, all of which seem to the viewer as a puzzling hallucination that has to be figured out in order to comprehend their own phobias and grievances.
What makes Twin Peaks so appealing, albeit disturbing, is the fact that the audience is constantly challenged to formulate answers, because they are not given an explanation punctually– or frankly, at all. Lynch lures in the audience with the familiarity of the old cast but what really grabs its attention is the anticipation of suspense. The Return radiates a formidable mystique that envelops viewers in a heap of confusion and leaves them wanting more.
Lynch delivers a surreal presentation of an abnormal fluctuating reality that warps our sense of time and space, found frequently in rooms with never-ending red curtains and the sprawl of America’s suburbia. Lynch commonly uses metaphysical and surreal undertones which makes his cinematography unique. There is no escape from Lynch’s eccentric film style. He is a true auteurist in every sense, which is portrayed in The Return.