1. And so i saw the first four episodes of the new Twin Peaks season, and for once in my otherwise hate-filled life felt joy and gasping incredulity as my expectations were not merely undashed, but met and exceeded in strangeness.

i suppose because Twin Peaks was one of my first (positive) formative experiences, the new season felt like watching my own self recast and manifested on screen, different enough to be shocking & new, but essentially me, mine. That sense, that “this is me” always seemed nuts to me when i encountered it in Star Wars/Trek fans, but perhaps everyone has his own version – whether it is a TV show, film, book, music, or a place, or even people (one of Proust’s obsessions).

2. It is tempting to suppose my weirdness & occult interests come from watching Twin Peaks with religious fervour at a young age. And yet, i think it is rather that i responded so strongly to the show because something in Lynch’s vision matched my extra-temporal self, and i used the show to forcegrow this aspect of myself (Kierkegaard: education is the curriculum we pass through to catch up with ourselves). Oddly, a supposed past life of mine (i was told of this but remember nothing and feel absolutely no kinship) appears at one point, in a manner of speaking. When i think of the past life i do (partially) remember, i realise he shared something of Cooper’s general appearance: tidiness, a certain brisk manner, directness; though much else was different, as one would expect. Perhaps this is one reason i wanted to join the FBI when i was 14, stole my father’s dictaphone, and tried to like black coffee.

3. Cooper is one of these characters of whom one could say, as Harold Bloom claims of Hamlet, he is somehow realer and larger than us. There are characters, e.g. Tony Soprano, who are vivid and realistic, but Cooper is in a yet rarer category: characters who are undoubtedly unrealistic, like Tolkien’s Aragorn or the Biblical Christ, but somehow feel nonetheless real, even if not of our reality.

We cannot be like these characters, and so they are not realistic – you would never, i think, meet someone with Aragorn’s balance of delicacy, irony, and hard steel; and yet, they appeal because they seem all the same very real.

Perhaps such men did indeed exist, and became in legend gods, because i guess if you met such a person it would be an astonishing experience. Actually, Juniper seems to me somewhat of this kind, so the character Sini (in my novel, The Better Maker) was written and finished before i met Juniper, and realised they share a similar “note”, even though i always felt Sini was like Milton’s Eve an idealized, unrealistic character, and no one like that could exist.

4. So far the new season focuses gloriously on Cooper.

Spoiler alerts! – though i think it won’t interfere with one’s enjoyment of the show, as the magic lies in the execution.

Coop is trapped in the Black Lodge, seeming to have become a kind of inert consciousness. Meanwhile Evil Coop, his Doppelgänger, is out in our world getting up to all kinds of tricks, looking rather like Bob but evidently involved in drug running and all kinds of nefarious criminal activities. Evil Coop radiates a sense of the unnatural and of bone-deep malevolence:

Meanwhile Good Coop tries to escape the Black Lodge; he is stuck in some weird room that turns out to be suspended in a galactic void, however he escapes when a woman with no eyes seemingly electrocutes herself by pulling a giant lever, and then a machine in the wall absorbs him, and then another Coop – pathetic, fat, middle-aged – appears with a black prostitute, however this fat Coop dies and wakes up in the Black Lodge where the Man With One Arm tells him “you were manufactured for a specific purpose” and Fat Coop observes his own left hand shrinking and says, dumbly, “that’s weird”.

Here is Fat Coop:

So anyway, then Good Coop takes Fat Coop’s place in our world, the black prostitute puts his shoes on for him and drives him around:

i have to say it was nice to see the inclusion of a black character, and of only one black character, as i’ve gotten a bit sick of every TV show and film being 80% black or Asian and naturally all coloureds are more intelligent and better than the white devil. i actually liked the black hoor here: TV/film coloureds usually get on my nerves as they are almost always supposed to be morally and intellectually superior, yet it rarely comes off. The black hoor is somehow much more convincing than most coloureds: she’s charming, brusque, quite caring, but not hooker-with-heart-of-gold so.

Anyway, then Good Coop goes into a casino and becomes Mr Jackpot, winning millions by shouting “HELLOOOOO!!!” and pulling levers on gambling machines indicated to him by his sacred visions.

Meanwhile Evil Coop is in the slammer and gets i guess fingerprinted, FBI are called, Lynch appears as Gordon Cole and meets his now boss, David Duchovny’s transvestite Denise Bryson – a rather awkward scene which didn’t entirely gel for me. Then Lynch, Albert (my favourite character from the original series), and a FBI hotty interview Evil Coop and i nearly pissed myself in fear.

Kyle MacLachlan is to be saluted for three such varied Coops, and for the evil dripping from his Evil Coop. It’s rare, in cinema or TV, to see real evil or good. Good characters are usually just tough vigilantes or supersmart black women who swear and aren’t really very convincing. Bad characters are usually just cackling maniacs. Here you have a man so assured in his evil he makes Hillary Clinton look like Lucy the Receptionist:

He seems to pollute the world, just by being in it.

Good Coop, after escaping the Black Lodge, has become a child-like retard. i believe this is a kind of reincarnation, so he has only the most primal motor responses but can barely speak and doesn’t understand things like shoes, or how to wear a tie.

The three Coops sum up the range of tones so far: terror, a 2001-esque esoteric strangeness, and a very Lynchian suburban comedy. It’s handled remarkably well, with no jarring dislocation or incongruity. This is i would say part of Lynch’s genius, somewhat like Werner Herzog’s: his world includes both terrifying evil and nobility, and a humour and absurdity apt for our life.

5. i find it hard to believe there are several more episodes of Twin Peaks left to see: i almost don’t want to rewatch the first four in case it turns out they don’t exist and i just dreamt them. In future episodes it would be nice to see 2012-era Rust Cohle appear, but that may be hoping for too much; it could even be that the first four episodes have broken a natural law, that is the law of how much decent art we miserable sinners are to be allowed before reality itself explodes and we all end up in a metal box suspended in a galactic void. As it is, i feel we are now at the limit of what our world can take, and if 2012-era Rust Cohle appeared, with David Bowie, in Twin Peaks, on television, before my eyes, well, that would be altogether too much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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