Rarely does an episode of television inspire me to pick up my virtual pen; let alone use it to heap praise with absolute rhapsodic merriment about a medium, which I look upon with suspicion and fear. However, Part Seven (There’s a Body All Right) of Twin Peaks: The Return has awoken me from this rigid slumber.
The first third of the new series has been the visual equivalent of David Lynch blowing a belaboured raspberry in the face of the loyal fans and brave newcomers who have dared to enter his domain with innocent presumptions. Between imagery that harkens back to the cinematic surrealist’s first picture Eraserhead and wry commentary on the numbing “going through the motions” nature of modern life; and you have an auteur who has fundamentally slashed the fabric of television structure to deliver his vision.
Part Seven particularly resonates because Lynch sincerely depicts the decaying nature of time. Mysterious, relationships and half-forgotten memories of twenty-five years bubble to surface like a long-standing nightmare that has only begun to make sense.
In particular, Laura Dern’s potently brittle performance as Diane impresses in painting a picture of a woman whose life has been incontrovertibly changed by a certain moment in time. This brief point has lingered like a painful memory that has never stopped hurting, and Dern wonderfully evokes this quality in her performance. Her scene with Mr. C (Agent Dale Cooper’s evil Doppelgänger) is remarkable in creating a sense of inner life for a character we have long heard about but have never seen.
Between breathtaking sweeping shots of enveloping fog moving over the green scenery and an excellent example of deep-staging within the context of a crucial exposition scene and Lynch has once again shown the true meaning of a cinematic television. Twin Peaks has well and truly returned, echoing with a reflective and sombre heart that still has many dangerous secrets hidden within its innocently quaint and quiet small town.