“Do you recognize that house?”. Twin Peaks: The Return as a process of image identification

Luca Malavasi

Far from simply being a “return” to the set and story of Twin Peaks, the third installment of the series opens up an articulate and subtle work on the images, on their visual consistency, time-space position, and autonomy. In so doing, Twin Peaks: The Return addresses the issue of memory, and the distance from the previous seasons in terms of (sometimes uncanny) recognition and identification of images themselves, to the extent that there is a clash between the separate levels of story and discourse. David Lynch is clearly not interested in simply adding a third part in order to revisit the past (and the myth) and the stories and characters from previous seasons; in short, he does not seek to serialize the series by simply breathing life, for a third time, into the world of Twin Peaks. Instead, Twin Peaks: The Return is a complex, subtle visual operation, in which the famous promise made by Laura Palmer to Agent Cooper in the final episode of the second season ("I’ll see you again in 25 years") reveals itself, episode after episode, to be an unpredictable return on the imagery of the series, and on a time (that of images) that exceeds the standard, commonsense idea of time.