Things start to get a little interesting in David Lynch (Eraserhead) and Mark Frost’s (Hill Street Blues) little jaunt into the American wilderness. It almost seems like they were surprised they managed to get a second season up after all the wacky insanity they pulled in Season One and consequently some of the plot lines get, well, a little bit silly. It’s hard to say whether Lara Flynn Boyle’s subsequent career is what makes her sappy petulant scenes with motor cycle heartthrob James so damn unwatchable, but when he skips town and gets drawn into a set-up straight from fifties noir territory you get the feeling that the writers were making this up as they went along.
Yet other strands are absolutely compelling. Agent Copper’s former partner gets the best introduction since Orson Welles in the Third Man, and like Welles he doesn’t disappoint. Wyndom Earle, the violent genius psychotic lurking in the woods amply makes up for the fact that we know who killed Laura Palmer. It’s here that the supernatural elements of the show that were only vaguely alluded to in Season One are expanded upon. It still makes no sense; they’re just talking about it more. David Duchovny (X-Files) pops up in drag, Heather Graham (Boogie Nights) arrives as a former nun Annie and immediately gives Cooper the horn, showing a side of him we haven’t seen previously and of course Lynch himself returns as Jimmy Stewart on crack, I mean FBI agent Gordon Cole. The last episode in the series, episode 29, directed by Lynch is still the strangest most terrifying thing to have ever screened on television. This is a series that changed television forever and this episode basically ripped out its intestines and then cheerfully fed it back to itself.
It’s a testament to the esteem that the actors continue to hold for Lynch that we’ve got a bunch of interviews from most of the stars of the show as well as a bunch of directors. Sorry no David though.
You can read the review for part 1 here.