Yesterday evening, while the rest of the world was watching the newest episode of Twin Peaks, I was sitting in my home office wrapping up the recording of the next episode of Trying Times. Technical difficulties had kept my co-host and I furiously busy all afternoon, and while I was eager to catch Twin Peaks' eighth episode, I also knew it'd be waiting for me whenever we finished. No rush, I thought.
And then my phone started blowing up.
Our own Phil Nobile Jr. messaged me on Slack, frantically warning me to "GO DARK!" on social media until I had a chance to watch the episode. As I was reading Phil's message, Twitter notifications started hammering my home screen: "Has anyone checked on Scott Wampler?" read one. "David Lynch designed this episode specifically for Scott Wampler" read another. No one outright spoiled the surprise for me, but still:
It could only mean one thing.
Yes, my beloved Nine Inch Nails - excuse me, The Nine Inch Nails - performed on Twin Peaks last night, delivering a hypnotic, powerhouse performance right in the middle of an already-hypnotic, powerhouse of an episode. When that music kicked in, I literally got to my feet: of course Episode 8 hadn't been created with me in mind, but in that moment? May as well've been.
There's been some chatter as to whether or not the song NIN performed ("She's Gone Away", from the band's recently-released album, Not The Actual Events) has any deeper meaning to Twin Peaks season three's ongoing story. I remain unconvinced, but I'll admit that there are some interesting parallels between the lyrics and what we saw last night.
"She's Gone Away" seems to have been written as a companion piece to "Reptile", the blistering fuck-you of a break-up song found on NIN's The Downward Spiral, but lines like "Spread the infection where you spill your seed/I can't remember what she came here for/I can't remember much of anything anymore" could definitely be interpreted as being about Laura Palmer, the abuse she suffered at the hands of BOB/Leland, and maybe even Laura's having been sent to Earth by the denizens of the White Lodge...but again, I think this is more a happy accident than anything else (for more on this, check out this thread from Twitter user @humanstein). If anyone gets a chance to talk to David Lynch in the next few weeks, definitely ask him.
Lynch and NIN's Oscar-winning frontman have a longstanding working relationship (Reznor produced and performed on the soundtrack to Lynch's Lost Highway, and Lynch recently directed a music video for NIN's "Came Back Haunted"), so I wasn't terribly surprised when we saw Reznor's name pop up on that leaked cast list last year. Once I wrapped my head around the format of Twin Peaks' third season - namely, that each episode would end with a brief snippet of some band playing in the Bang Bang Bar - it didn't take long to figure out what Reznor and company might be doing on the show. But to have them trotted out mid-episode, and permitted to play an entire song? My favorite song from their newest album? And to have Twin Peaks fans erupting in excitement right alongside me? This made my goddamn year.
New Twin Peaks is, as myself and the rest of the BMD team have been saying over and over again, an absolute gift we probably do not deserve. But for me, the moment above was unquestionably the third season's high point, and something I'll remember for a very long time.
Thanks, David Lynch. I needed that.