I absolutely cannot get over the gift of Twin Peaks: The Return, this remarkable present that grows in scope and impact every single week. In some ways, Twin Peaks fans have always been the luckiest fans around. In memes and merch and quotability, in canon-friendly universe building, we've got it pretty good. But Twin Peaks fans also had to suffer the indignity of watching our beloved show tank early and stay there, of years-long deserts where we could find no legal means for watching the series in a proper format, of a devastating cliffhanger that's lasted two and a half decades.
But now we have Twin Peaks: The Return, and it's clear that no fandom has ever been so blessed. "Part 7" is the most generous episode yet, an hour of television that could be called mere fan service on a lesser show, but that is instead weird and challenging enough to be pure Lynch + Frost. It's like Twin Peaks: The Return is saying: "Do you miss the old Twin Peaks? Do you miss Harry and Ben and Jerry and Annie and Hawk and Andy and The Roadhouse? Here, take this -- but you're going to have to take some other stuff with it."
Because while we're bathing in nostalgia, we're also being given enormous pieces of a brand-new puzzle, compelling recontextualizations of Briggs and Dougie and Diane. And good lord, let's talk about Diane - and about Janey-E. Those are two terrifying women. I love them both so, so much. "My attitude is none of your fucking business." "Too many cars, too much going on!" They feel like two sides of the same coin, these formidable dames that keep Coop and Dougie alive and functional for very little reward. Janey-E, however, can't seem to notice that something's different about Dougie - though, as I mentioned on the podcast, that could be because Dougie was a facsimile to begin with - and Diane immediately knows that Bad Coop is not her Coop. Just as Gordon knew she would.
Other nostalgia shout-outs: Audrey and Laura and Harold - ugh, yes, Harold. Every minute we spend in this revival feels more and more like it's of a piece with the original Twin Peaks we all fell in love with, even as the boundaries of that world expand and deepen. We could spend time theorizing and Easter egg-spying, and please feel free to do so in the comments, but it feels too early for that, only seven hours into this eighteen-hour story. I'd rather marvel at the perfect, familiar tone that Twin Peaks: The Return has managed to capture, at the joy we feel when we're reunited with these unusual characters that have eluded us for twenty-six years. As Kyle MacLachlan continues to play a handful of new characters for us, as new faces fill in for old ones, it's a real miracle that Hawk still feels like Hawk, Andy's Andy. The Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department is the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Department, and the Double R Diner still feels like the Double R Diner.
Twin Peaks is still Twin Peaks, is what I guess I'm saying. It's as mysterious and funny, as strange and stylish and brain-splintering as ever it was. It doesn't feel like a reboot or a revival. It feels like the exact same show, brought back to us after a much-longer-than-usual hiatus. Actually, that's doing Twin Peaks: The Return a disservice, because it honestly feels better than it used to. It feels like the freedom of what Twin Peaks could have been, loosed from the shackles of network notes and ratings-dependency. It feels like a gift, and we're the luckiest damn recipients in the world.