Watching Boxes And Other Thoughts On Twin Peaks Parts 1 & 2

It is finally happening again. Seemingly a master prankster, David Lynch reintroduces Twin Peaks by making the audience wait just a little longer. And like the mystery experiment in New York, we are left watching boxes for something wonderful and strange.

Spoilers, of course, follow.

The Case

We are introduced to a weird murder in Buckhorn, South Dakota and the prime suspect, William Hastings (Matthew Lillard). He is guilty of adultery; a favorite sin in Twin Peaks. But the murder appears to have been manufactured by his wife. Of course, that detail is partially obscured by the appearance of Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). He’s more than happy to shoot her, but it may be part of a larger plan.


That is to say, Special Agent Dale Cooper’s doppelganger has a plan.

After carefully laying out the particulars of the South Dakota conspiracy and a young man watching a box in New York, we finally peer back into the waiting room. It seems Cooper — the “Good Cooper” as Annie Blackburn called him back in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me — waited there all this time for something to change. The “Bad Cooper” roams the Northwest cultivating plenty of garmonbozia. Provided that is even the doppelganger’s aim.

Bad Cooper’s interest in the Buckhorn murder centers on something Hastings knows. But before he can learn this vital clue, he rushes off to the other end of the state to deal with a disloyal subordinate.

Meanwhile in Twin Peaks, Deputy Hawk receives a phone call from Margaret telling him that her log says something is missing. It somehow concerns Cooper, who we finally learn went missing shortly after the Miss Twin Peaks pageant. Or, as Lucy Moran says, before her son was born. Hawk pulls the files out of storage and quickly finds himself at the door to the Black Lodge. Margaret calls him again, hoping to learn what he discovers there.

Back inside the waiting room, Good Cooper is told he can leave once his doppelganger returns. Unfortunately for Coop, this is counter to Bad Cooper’s ambition as he plans to avoid returning to the Black Lodge. Complicating matters, though, is a mysterious voice on the other end of phone previously connected to Philip Jeffries. He tells Bad Coop that he will soon be with BOB again.

The Updates

Besides the strange happenings with Cooper and his doppleganger, the first two parts offer us a few updates on old characters. Benjamin Horne is still running the Great Northern, but brother Jerry is big into the craft marijuana business. Jerry claims the business is tripling the revenue of the Horne empire. Lucy still mans the reception at the Sheriff’s station and Andy is still a deputy, but it is unclear who the Sheriff might be. The Roadhouse is still in business and Shelly appears to be enjoying it more than in her younger days. She also has a daughter who might be with the wrong man. It could be some bleed through as Alice Cooper feels the same way about Betty and Jughead over in Riverdale. James Hurley also frequents the bar, but we learn he was in an accident and is now “quiet.” It is unclear how he could possibly be quieter than when he was a teenager, but Shelly only knew him in passing back then. Margaret’s health is failing her as she is using oxygen.

Oh, and Doctor Jacoby lives somewhere in the woods.

The Questions

  1. What is Jacoby digging? And why does he need four shovels to do it?
  2. There are two Trumans now?
  3. Who is the anonymous billionaire paying for the box-watching? Is he trying to capture a Black Lodge denizen?
  4. Was that Walter Olkewicz tending bar behind Balthazar Getty at the Roadhouse? A wink to the past or an intentional call forward? UPDATE: He’s another Renault brother, Jean-Michel.
  5. What came through the box?
  6. Why is the Arm now a tree?
  7. Where is the Giant speaking to Cooper? Is it our first glimpse of the White Lodge? Why must Cooper remember “430” and “Richard and Linda?”

Not about Judy

But perhaps the greatest mystery buried in the first two hours of Twin Peaks‘ return is Philip Jeffries. As longtime fans will recall, that was the name of the agent played by David Bowie in Fire Walk with Me. He infamously denied any mention of Judy in one of the film’s most baffling scenes.

Now, twenty-six years later, it appears he and Bad Cooper are in contact. We know Jeffries has been to the Black Lodge, so it is possible he is planning his own return. Or, it could be a lot of noise without context; just like Judy.

The Future or the Past?

While it is a pleasure to see Twin Peaks finally back, it comes with trademark Lynchian obstructions. Besides the short vignettes in town and the Black Lodge material, the Buckhorn murder could be a new David Lynch film drawing on his usual themes and obsessions. For fans anxious to learn some sort of resolution to the second season cliffhangers, it could be a painful experience. Of course, it is clear that Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost know the audience expectations and are playing with that tension as the new mystery unfolds. In fact, the man watching the box learns just how painful sitting and waiting can be.

What do you think of the new Twin Peaks? Did it meet your expectations? Are you willing to unravel the new mysteries? Join us in the discussion below.

Erik Amaya
Erik Amaya
Host of Tread Perilously and a writer at Monkeys Fighting Robots. Voice of Puppet Tommy on The Room Responds and former host of The Satellite Show. A seeker of the Seastone Chair and the owner of a Legion Flight Ring. Sorted into Gryffindor, which came as some surprise.