"This is the water. And this is the well; Drink full, and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within."
And descend, do we all. Social media echoed sentiment by many involved with the series that Part 8, would present to us something we've yet to experience. This in no way, was an exaggeration. Uncompromising to the end, this long form extension of a series known for flirting with the outright uncanny and frightening has opted to go full dark dream, offering little relief throughout most of its hour running time. A segment centered largely on the dark forces that have been floating about the larger story all this time, starting with the ride between Evil Cooper, and his erstwhile accomplice, Ray (George Griffith). A drawn out drive into the middle of nowhere leads to an altercation that reveals a little more about BobCoop, as well as ushers in the return of the soot covered men we've had hints of over the last several episodes. These foreboding creatures are seen in one moment dancing jubilantly, only to have them descend into what resembles a bloody mangling, which features the appearance of none other than Bob himself. The first ten minutes of this segment alone offers us little but the promise that we are at last going to have a greater taste of these otherwordly beings.
Then Lynch lets us have it.
In one of the most eloquently personal, and utterly baffling hours of television since that final thirty minutes of the original. So without going into too much detail that is better experienced than written about, here is where I currently am with it.
This, along with Cooper's journey between worlds in episode 3, feel very much like two major components of why this series not only exists, but what made the doubling of episodes something worth celebrating. Not only are we at last back in the ultimate sandbox of early Lynch, we are also in a sense living up to the visual text that the entire series has been binding together with all of his previous film, and art work. His choices here intimate that whether it be a painting, an installation, a music piece, stage show, or television series, that they are part of a whole. An examination of both his middle american childhood in the 1950s, but his own concerns about what led to his own incarnations of overt light and dark. The realms we explore in the wake of the atomic bombing tests in White Sands, is explored as origin point. That within that particular deal with unknowable evil, America's fate was sealed beyond any injustice that one culture has perpetrated on others for generations. It was an act of scientific checkmating that allowed for the proliferation of seeds that have now spread toward every corner of the nation.
Most impressive, are the visions of within a mushroom cloud, visualizing the deployment of Bob into the world, further examining the denizens of the ocean tower we has seen Cooper escape before, natural elements erupting within and without a rural gas station. And perhaps even the birth of Laura's goodness into Earth as some form of counter against encroaching darkness. However, the pervasive evil somehow caught wind of such power, and sought it wherever possible in order to claim it. (Not unlike how Leland himself was claimed as a young man.) And as abstract as this all is, again such care for the emotional texture of the entire hour, carrying with it the sense that this has been the kind of work the director hadn't been able to indulge in for well over twenty years due to studios and cold feet, and perhaps a need of some soul searching. We haven't seen sets, costume design, color grade, and homebrew effects work of this caliber since perhaps even the ill-fated, DUNE. There is even a great amount more ERASERHEAD and The Elephant Man, in here for measure. And while not laser direct about it, the reverberations are there without sense of irony or humor. We are at the nucleus of the trouble in Twin Peaks, and it is both alluring and deeply terrifying.
This is advanced level, hard left Peaks that opts for pure cinema. I can't think of any television event this willing to go here. This begs to be on a large theatrical screen with the soundtrack blaring.
Oh, and having Nine Inch Nails stop by was pretty rad too..