'Twin Peaks': 10 Questions to Ponder Before the David Lynch Drama Returns

The supernatural series makes its comeback May 21 on Showtime with a two-hour premiere.
Patrick Wymore/SHOWTIME

[This story contains spoilers through two seasons of Twin Peaks.]

"I'll see you again in 25 years."

The final promise of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) is days away from fulfillment, as the premiere of Showtime's Twin Peaks revival looms. The David Lynch and Mark Frost drama returns May 21, and with it, come the answers to the pressing questions on viewers' minds since the series first went off the air, and since the events of the follow-up film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

Except this is Twin Peaks, where events rarely transpire as expected, and questions often lead to more questions. In the spirit of that, here are 10 questions worth pondering ahead of the upcoming season premiere, and presumably worth wondering well beyond.

1. What the heck are we getting into?

Lynch has instituted a strict "no plot discussion" mandate when it comes to discussing the new Twin Peaks. Critics and reporters won't watch episodes ahead of time. Interview subjects won't be allowed to speak about future storylines. The whole thing is under lock and key, with the only real plot detail we know being that the series takes place 25 years after the show first went off the air. So, it leaves us with the big, bad umbrella of a question: "What is the new Twin Peaks all about?" We can (and will) speculate wildly all we want, but we won't be anywhere closer to the answer until the show begins. 

2. Which Cooper are we about to meet?

The second season famously ended on a devastating cliffhanger, as Killer BOB (Frank Silva) possessed Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), leaving the good-natured agent's soul trapped inside the Black Lodge. Will that painful twist remain the status quo, all these years later? Or has Cooper somehow escaped his fate? And if he hasn't escaped the Lodge, then how much horror has BOB unleashed under Cooper's guise? It's a devastating thought to ponder, but it's very possible — likely, even — that we're not going to be able to trust Agent Cooper right away.

3. How will the show handle Killer BOB?

Frank Silva was iconic as the silver-haired spirit of darkness, the icon of Lynch's "happy accident" approach to making Twin Peaks. Silva was a crewmember who wound up playing this integral role after Lynch accidentally caught him on camera; the rest is television history. Sadly, Silva passed away a few years after Twin Peaks went off the air. BOB was and remains one of the most important characters in the show's mythology. The question of how the series will solve the difficult problem of delivering more BOB without Silva is high on the list of pressing concerns.

4. How will the show handle Sheriff Truman?

Michael Ontkean's earnest lawman won't return for the new series, as the actor retired from the business several years ago. Truman's friendship with Cooper was the heart of the story for many viewers, making it difficult to imagine further stories set in the world of Twin Peaks without the character in place. Is it possible that Truman was recast? Robert Forster is on board for the new series, allegedly in a law enforcement role; what's more, he was tapped for the role of Truman in the original Twin Peaks pilot, before having to drop out over scheduling issues. Is he now getting a second shot at the character, and if so, how will fans reconcile a recasting for Truman, even with someone as accomplished as Forster stepping in?

5. Who is Diane, the woman Cooper is recording tapes for?

Throughout the first two seasons of Twin Peaks, Cooper is seen recording notes for Diane, a woman who is never seen that plays the role of his secretary. He dictates his notes into a tape recorder for her, often sending along requests. At a certain point though, you can't help but wonder if Diane actually exists. Will the revival finally reveal the person that served as perhaps Cooper's closest confidant? One fan theory posits that this will be the unknown role Laura Dern plays in the new season. Should that be the case, it will be nice to finally get some closure on Diane's identity.

6. Who is the actual father of Lucy's baby?

Given that Twin Peaks ended 25 years ago, at this point Lucy's (Kimmy Robertson) baby would be an adult. The question is, who is the child's actual father? Viewers never found out for sure whether it was Andy Brennan (Harry Goaz) or Dick Tremayne (Ian Buchanan) who fathered her baby. While she decided to have Andy act as dad to her baby, many still want to know who the biological parent truly is.

7. Is Audrey alive? How did she survive the bomb?

When Twin Peaks ended, it left on a note of uncertainty as a bomb exploded, theoretically taking Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn), Andrew (Dan O'Herlihy) and Pete (Jack Nance) with it. Sherilyn Fenn is back for the new season of the series, which likely means she somehow survived the explosion. Then again, this is Twin Peaks, so anything is possible. One thing's for sure: the series has some explaining to do when it comes to revealing how she survived the blast.

8. Why did Nadine's amnesia give her powers?

When Nadine (Wendy Robie) came out of her coma with amnesia that left her believing she was a high schooler, she also gained strange superhuman strength. It was never quite explained how that happened. Instead, she went back to high school and joined the wrestling team. It's the exact level of weird that Twin Peaks was known for. Still, all these years later it would be nice for the creative team to explain what exactly happened to Nadine.

9. Will they explain what happened to Annie?

The introduction of Annie (Heather Graham) was a major one on Twin Peaks. It gave Dale Cooper a potential love interest that wasn't a lovestruck high schooler. The series also left her future in the air when Cooper essentially sacrificed himself to the Black Lodge in exchange for her freedom. Still, Annie is nowhere to be seen in the new season. What happened to her after leaving the Black Lodge? And how did it impact Cooper? These are things fans want and need to know.

10. How much do we need to remember?

Fans have had a couple of years now to refamiliarize themselves with the first two seasons of Twin Peaks, and the Fire Walk With Me film that followed. Did they use that time (Ray) wisely? Do they remember every single, nitty-gritty, episode-by-episode detail from the original series? We suspect that some of the show's less acclaimed episodes (here's looking at you, midseason two) won't matter too much to the overall story, but the Killer BOB and Black Lodge of it all are almost certainly going to factor in heavily. In other words, if you're excited for the new Twin Peaks, but haven't watched the first series in a while — or possibly not ever — then it's a good idea to spend the next few days brushing up on your Lynch. To paraphrase a backwards-speaking spirit: "That show you like is about to come back in style," and time, like BOB, is not your friend.

What are your big questions heading into the new Twin Peaks season? Sound off in the comments below, and keep checking in for more coverage of the series.

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