Getting a bit spoilery here, sorry.
The revival of Twin Peaks, David Lynch and Mark Frost’s landmark television series, has been easily the entertainment highlight of my year so far (and that’s saying something in a set of months that gave us Get Out, Logan, Baby Driver, Legion, the latest season of Better Call Saul, etc).
David Lynch’s return to television, and return to directing in general, has been nothing I’ve expected, yet everything I could have possibly wanted thus far. From Kyle MacLachlan’s double-turn as both the evil as all hell Mr. C and the talk of television the past month “Dougie”, to Robert Forster’s grizzled and befuddled Frank Truman, Wally Brando, whatever the heck is going on with Balthazar Getty’s character, the reveal of Diane, everything that comes out of Gordon Cole’s mouth, the music performed at the Road House, the long-takes focused on everyday life, HARRY. DEAN. STANTON., etc…
But last night’s episode, bouncing off last week’s which everyone hailed as a return to the Twin Peaks of old – to an extent, redoubled on all the Lynchian style outreness that continues to grow within the director’s filmography since the series’ initial end. Between soot-covered men spread blood all over a shot-down Mr. C, to a performance from “The” Nine Inch Nails (great song btw), things took a turn for the art-house and never really looked back. But there was one particular bit that stuck with me.
Just as Trent Reznor sang his last note, the screen flashes back to 1945, and we witness the Trinity Test, the first detonation of a nuclear weapon enacted by J. Robert Oppenheimer in New Mexico just ahead of what would strike down upon the cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki. One of the world’s most devastating horrors. In the episode, this is the moment where BOB, the terrifying villain of the series, is set loose upon the world – along with perhaps the rest of the inhabitants of the Black Lodge, it’s kind of hard to say.
But I was struck by the similarities to another work of fiction that did something similar a number of years ago, from Grant Morrison and Phil Jimenez’s work on The Invisibles Vol 2 #4:
This was the point in the series that it was revealed that God had become dragged into his own creation by the rupture created by that same explosion, which in turn allowed for a softening of the delineation between past, present and future.
It’s fascinating to see two very different creators draw from the same event with similar impact on their narrative worlds. Given their relative ages, growing up in the Atomic era was surely a formative experience for all involved. I’m certain Lynch and Frost have little awareness of a far-too-underread Vertigo comics series, but much like True Detective a few years ago – it’s fun to see concepts that you’ve loved in the four-color world show up in prestige television.
“This is the water and this is the well…”
Entertainment Editor for The Beat covering film, television and the occasional comic book. His work can also be found at GeekRex.com and can be heard on the GeekRex podcast. He really loves the Legion of Super-Heroes a lot.