The miasmic pace of the first few episodes of Twin Peaks’ long-awaited third season has not abated, and last week’s episode—the show’s 12th—was perhaps the slowest yet. Multiple scenes dragged on way longer than expected, with conversations including wordless shots and reverse shots, the actors staring at each other expectantly. The series has already proven capable of conjuring the best from David Lynch, but the unsettling, alien rhythms of human interaction, drawn across minutes and minutes of screen time, are also making audiences work for these more transcendent scenes. That two-and-a-half-minute sweeping scene was just a harbinger of some of the drawn-out passages explored in the series’ back half.
A new video essay on Fandor by Dominick Nero explores Lynch’s various uses of stillness in Twin Peaks, and the way it can funnel into violence, comedy, uneasiness, or, much likelier, a combination of all of them. But with this latest season of Twin Peaks, he’s also playing on our expectations of his use of stillness, infusing it into every scene and plot point, creating a weird sense of dread, boredom, fear, deadpan humor, and confusion that permeates the entire series. No matter what else it is, it’s singular, and it marks an evolution of Lynch’s storytelling technique.