WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SEASON THREE OF
In my last post about the return of Twin Peaks, I neglected to mention some of the factors that contributed to my admiration for the third season:
- Each episode completely captured my attention, holding me riveted to the screen. It's been ages since any television show achieved that feat.
- Miraculously, the production team kept the show's secrets held very close; no episodes were spoiled.
- I never knew what was coming next. Having watched countless hours of film and television, I've gotten very good at spotting formulas and predicting character and story arcs well before their conclusion. I utterly failed to predict anything about Twin Peaks.
- I didn't dare hope for it, but Major Briggs' beautiful vision about Bobby's future from season two actually played out in season three. Bobby's redemption and growth were beautiful to see.
- I absolutely love that several important characters from the show's first two seasons had pivotal roles to play in the unfolding of season three, particularly Deputy Andy, probably my second-favourite character, who has a great extended moment in one of the later episodes.
- I loved the many touches of quirky, absurdist humour, most especially Sheriff Truman's pop-up wooden computer and Carl Rodd's superheroic action van.
- Episode 8, in which Lynch and Frost take the audience inside a nuclear explosion to witness the birth of evil, is perhaps the most insane and spectacular thing I've ever seen on television.
- This season of Twin Peaks frankly captures the passage of time and refuses to gloss over its impact on the aging original cast. How could we ever have expected Dale Cooper to just pop out of limbo and join his law enforcement buddies as if only days had passed? He spent 25 years in there, while in the outside world people got old, died, or otherwise moved on. It's easy enough to wonder why Donna Hayward, for example, rated not a single mention on the show (save for one line of dialogue in archival footage), considering her importance in seasons one and two. But there's a simple explanation: she left Twin Peaks behind and built a new life.
- Perhaps most importantly, I appreciated the show's unflinching refusal to compromise its own artistic integrity. There were no easy solutions or lazy storytelling choices to be found, even when making the hard choices upset the audience, including me.
Twin Peaks can be utterly confounding, baffling, frustrating. But it is, without question, a singular work of art that people will be debating for a long time to come. I'm just grateful it exists, and that I lived to see it return.