Spoilers below for the most recent episode of Twin Peaks' revival on Showtime.
When Twin Peaks finally returned to TV after its quarter-century hiatus, the mystery drama's cast of characters had notably changed quite a bit, and a big unfortunate reason for that lies in several of the original actors having passed away over the years. And yet, almost everyone still appears in episodes in one fashion or another -- from Miguel Ferrer's Albert to Warren Frost's Doctor Hayward and more -- thanks to David Lynch's far-flung imagination. Star Kyle MacLachlan recently discussed how he feels about Twin Peaks honoring its deceased cast members in such ways.
I think it's beautiful. As actors, this is how we stay around. To see even Catherine Coulson, who was able to work as the Log Lady [shortly before she passed away in 2015]. It's bittersweet. There's a sadness there. I think it's intentional, and a recognition again that we are mortal. We have had some real tragedies with the show. Losing Miguel and losing Catherine ... it's not easy. It was challenging to David. But he has done an amazing job remembering, appropriately, I think, and with impact. The characters are still making an impact. As an actor, that's what you want.
To be fair, actors' deaths are often honored in some way by the TV shows that they starred in - Miguel Ferrer's NCIS: Los Angeles character also had to be handled in such a way -- but because this is Twin Peaks, viewers aren't just seeing a quick bit of dialogue exposition paired with a post-credits "In Memory Of" placard. Of the six stars who died before Twin Peaks' 2017 premiere, four of them were able to film new footage that seems _almost _normal, though they obviously weren't.
For one, Miguel Ferrer's Albert scenes were always with David Lynch's hearing-impaired FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole, which meant they were slightly slapsticky, but also quite warm and mournful in a way. Catherine Coulson's Log Lady appeared with her wooden compadre to offer Deputy Chief Hawk some information about Cooper'survival. Marv Rosand's Toad appeared in the Double R Diner to take a bread delivery. And Warren Frost's Doctor Hayward appeared in a recent episode to talk to Sheriff Truman about the day when he examined "Cooper" all those years ago after the Black Lodge incident.
And then there are the two actors who passed away long before Twin Peaks' return season went into production. Frank Silva, who played the eternally haunting and exceedingly important evil entity B.O.B.,was initially used via archival footage from him and Cooper's mirror fun, but the so-out-there Episode 8 showed us that Cooper's swagger-dripping double has kept B.O.B. around as some kind of gross, smiling souvenir. Later, during the Trinity explosion, we see B.O.B.'s face within the Garmonbozia, which has inspired a slew of theories over how it pertained to the entity's "birth," as it were. Silva died in 1995, but David Lynch has once again made him one of the show's most interesting elements, something that Kyle MacLachlan seems to acknowledge and appreciate in his interview with THR.
Another bizarre return came via Don S. Davis' Major Briggs, who'd seemingly died in a fire during the show's original run. In the 25 years since his supposed death, his fingerprints have matched that of others well over a dozen times, once notably on a decapitated corpse. But that was nowhere near as weird as seeing Davis' disembodied head floating around. "Blue Rose," indeed.
It's obviously a tough gig to return to an old job when some of your old pals aren't around anymore, and Twin Peaks has done a pretty fabulous job of reminding audiences that fictional characters allow for myriad ways for audiences to accept and cope with tragedies. Even if that character is B.O.B. Thankfully, Kyle MacLachlan also said that a lot of this season will end up making sense one day, so here's hoping that part is just as true.
After taking a one-week break that felt years longer, Twin Peaks will return to Showtime for the remainder of its revival season on Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what other new and returning shows are hitting the small screen soon, check out our summer premiere schedule.