Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): TWIN PEAKS First Time Viewer Companion: S2E1 "May the Giant Be With You"

Monday, September 10, 2018

TWIN PEAKS First Time Viewer Companion: S2E1 "May the Giant Be With You"


These short Twin Peaks episode responses are spoiler-free for upcoming episodes, presented here for first-time viewers who want to read a veteran viewer's perspective on each entry while remaining in the dark about what's to come. They were first published as comments on a Reddit rewatch in 2016.

I was definitely ready for this episode to come along. One thing the season 2 premiere does so well is to give us moments. Not in the sense of late season 1, where we get iconic images and lines that zip by, but in an almost Zen mode that allows us to sit with these moments. Everything is extended, giving us room to breathe and to study the faces of the cast which, as always when Lynch is at the helm, feel somehow intangibly different, more pure. The episode's great strength is in this ability to linger and savor, and that's also a big reason it was so controversial when it aired. As unconventional as previous Twin Peaks had been, this was really a lot more subversive in its tempo than even the pilot (which some critics had called glacial, mostly admiringly).

I've had my own ups and downs with this episode over the years. Depending upon my mood it feels like each time I watch it I have a different takeaway. Sometimes I've been completely enamored with its eerie polish (it's like pausing in a gallery of fine-tuned portraits after the increasingly comic-strip quality of the show). At others, I've been bored and disenchanted - and I will say that much of the episode lacks the uncanny, unsettling quality Lynch brings to most of his episodes (including his next one). We spend a lot of time with a lot of action that isn't really action, and the script compounds this by scaling back the stakes of last episode's cliffhangers and reiterating a lot of stuff we already know, for the benefit of viewers who presumably were tuning in months after the finale. Nonetheless, if you can relax and let the episode - like the waiter and giant at its beginning - guide you into the correct frame of mind, this is a refreshing turn in Twin Peaks. And it's absolutely vital if the show is to go forward and grow. Which it definitely will.


Next: "Coma" • Previous: "The Last Evening"


Want more? Here's my other coverage of the episode:


More for first-time viewers (SPOILER-FREE)
(but be careful of video recommendations at the end of YouTube videos and image/link recommendations at the end of Tumblr posts)

+ My "Journey Through Twin Peaks" chapter on this episode, from 2014:




The comments section below may contain spoilers.

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