Watch an Epic, 4‑Hour Video Essay on the Making & Mythology of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks

If you’re like me, every lit­tle bit of infor­ma­tion doled out for the upcom­ing third sea­son of Twin Peaks is like a series of clues found along a dark path through the Ghost­wood Nation­al For­est. We’ve seen brief views of some major char­ac­ters. We’ve heard Ange­lo Badala­men­ti con­firm he’s back to score the series. We picked up and speed read the Mark Frost-writ­ten Secret His­to­ry. We know that it will be 18 hours of pure David Lynch and Mark Frost, and that what­ev­er it may do, it won’t go all wonky and not-so-good like the ter­ri­ble trough in the mid­dle of Sea­son Two. And now we have a date for the pre­miere: May 21.

So it’s not time to brew cof­fee, or put a cher­ry pie in the oven, just yet. Instead, it’s time to bone up on the series itself and ask our­selves, is Twin Peaks a failed series that needs to be rec­ti­fied? Or if Lynch and Frost had nev­er agreed to revis­it their icon­ic work, would we still have a cohe­sive work?

Video essay­ist Joel Bocko says yes, and has made what is prob­a­bly the defin­i­tive and most thor­ough analy­sis of the series out there on the web.

I first stum­bled across Jour­ney Through Twin Peaks one night, and think­ing that it was only one short video essay I start­ed watch­ing. My mis­take: episode one was only the first in a 28-chap­ter series that totaled over four hours, arranged in four parts. And, yes, I sat and watched the whole damn thing.

Bocko is good, real good. This is not uncrit­i­cal fan wor­ship. This is a man, like many of us, who fell in love with the tran­scen­dent heights of the show and suf­fered through its mis­er­able lows, but, through that mis­ery, fig­ured out what made the show such a game-chang­er.

One impor­tant thing Bocko does is give Mark Frost his due. Usu­al­ly hid­den behind the art and the mythos of Lynch, Frost brought much to the show, from the detec­tive pro­ce­dur­al frame­work to themes of the occult and Theos­o­phy. Bocko shows how Lynch came out of the Twin Peaks expe­ri­ence with a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent and much more com­plex idea of char­ac­ter. Before Peaks, Lynch’s work saw good and evil exist­ing not just on oppo­site sides of the spec­trum, but as dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters. (Think of Blue Vel­vet.) In the films he makes after­wards, dop­pel­gangers, fugue states, and self-nega­tion, along with the spir­i­tu­al con­fu­sion that come with it, are cen­tral to Lynch’s work.

But that’s just one of the many insights wait­ing for you in this reward­ing ana­lyt­i­cal work, which also takes in Fire Walk With Me and Mul­hol­land Dr. through to Inland Empire. Suf­fice it to say, it’s full of spoil­ers, so pro­ceed with cau­tion.

On the oth­er hand, if you don’t have time before the pre­miere, you can always watch the first sea­son in under a minute here.

via Wel­come to Twin Peaks

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Twin Peaks Tarot Cards Now Avail­able as 78-Card Deck

David Lynch’s Twin Peaks Title Sequence, Recre­at­ed in an Adorable Paper Ani­ma­tion

Hear the Music of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks Played by the Exper­i­men­tal Band, Xiu Xiu: A Free Stream of Their New Album

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the artist inter­view-based FunkZone Pod­cast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, read his oth­er arts writ­ing at and/or watch his films here.

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