'Twin Peaks' is back! And boy, it's just as weird as ever

March 28, 1991|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic

"Twin Peaks" is back in all its weirdness tonight.

For those who missed a few chapters of the real-life saga of last season's most talked-about show, "Twin Peaks" was pulled from rTC the regular schedule in February and put on hiatus.

At the time, ABC did say the show would be back. But "hiatus" is a network-speak term that usually translates as "it's canceled, but we have a few episodes already in the can that we want to burn off before we admit this is a piece of dead meat."

Following the announcement, life started getting more complicated in the the mailroom at ABC. The network not only received lots of letters (ABC says "thousands"), but also logs (like the one the Log Lady carries around with her), doughnuts (like the ones the law enforcement guys are always eating) and other things too strange to mention. Almost all the items were accompanied by pleas to bring "Twin Peaks" back.

ABC brings the show back at 9 tonight on WJZ-TV (Channel 13). And it seems weirder than ever -- but weird in a fun way.

The big news, for those who missed a few chapters in the make-believe life of the show, is that Josie Packard is dead. They still don't know the cause of death and the autopsy shows that she weighed only 65 pounds when she died. Her police record also shows she was "a hardened criminal and a killer," in the words of Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan).

Meanwhile, Sheriff Harry Truman (Michael Ontkean), Josie's lover, feels guilty about her death and has "crawled into a bottle" of Jack Daniels. Cooper has taken over as chief of the local police shop in Twin Peaks. There's a big, big scene where Truman has a bottle in one hand and a gun in the other, looking as if he's going to take his life. It's up to Cooper to talk Truman down.

The other great plot development is that Cooper, the archetypal hero on a quest, is smitten with a new waitress at the diner, who makes a very strong cup of coffee. The wait ress, named Annie, is the sister of Norma. And she has just come to Twin Peaks straight from (get this) the convent.

Strange enough for you?

There's also: Leo, who now appears to be a kind of manservant, regularly getting clubbed by his master; Audrey, who is sharing picnics and kisses with a cowboy who sings "Bury Me Not" to her; Lucy, now a model in a fashion show; Benjamin Horne, born again as an environmentalist; and a mysterious woman who sort of looks like a dark-haired Diane Sawyer and just might be the most dangerous character since Bob.

We asked for it, we got it.

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