Grab a cup of coffee and a slice of cherry pie, because Twin Peaks is officially back! But, just like the fresh-baked confections served at the Double R Diner, the upcoming revival of the cult classic show will only last so long. Is Twin Peaks only one season? Or could it return for more episodes sometime in the future?
Sadly, the short answer appears to be: yes, Showtime's resurrection of David Lynch's seminal ABC series is designed to run for just one batch of episodes. The new Twin Peaks is being heavily advertised as a "limited event series," which will be a one-and-done affair for the premium channel. There is some small solace to take in the fact that, while other limited series of the day — say, HBO's Big Little Lies or The Night Of — tend to run for a mere seven or eight hours, the Twin Peaks revival will last for a relatively super-sized 18 episodes.
Instead of taking this as bad news, Twin Peaks fans should perhaps look at the bright side: the fact that the revival is most likely a one-off means that Lynch has probably crafted a supremely satisfying, self-contained story. If the auteur knew his show was coming back for just one additional batch of episodes, he (hopefully) won't leave his viewers with too many confounding dangling plot threads — like the original finale did when ABC cancelled Twin Peaks in 1991 after only two seasons.
In fact, there's reason to believe the upcoming revival will have more in common with Lynch's puzzle-box films like Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet than the previous incarnation of the series. Eschewing the traditional episodic nature of television, Lynch (and his Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost) wrote the new season as one long, feature-esque script and shot the whole thing continuously — like a movie — according to Deadline. Only after shooting was completed were the hours and hours of material cut down into episode-sized chunks in the editing bay.
And although the revival may have come as a pleasant surprise to the show's many diehard fans, there's reason to suspect that such a turn of events was always part of Lynch's mysterious master plan. One of the most intriguing moments of the original Twin Peaks finale is when the ghost of Laura Palmer cryptically tells Agent Cooper, "I'll see you again in 25 years." When the revival premieres this weekend, it will have been — you guessed it — 25 years since the last new entry in the Twin Peaks canon: the 1992 prequel film Fire Walk With Me.
Even if the Twin Peaks revival was designed as and intended to be a one-and-done limited series, fans can always hold onto a thin shred of hope that there could still be more episodes waiting for them somewhere down the road. The television landscape is currently littered with revivals of well-known TV brands that are often advertised as "limited series" — but that the networks are more than happy to bring back for round two if the ratings and acclaim and buzz were high enough. (See: The X-Files, which is currently gearing up for a second revival season, and the recent resurrections of both Prison Break and 24, whose futures following their first return seasons are rumored to be up in the air.)
For now, fans would be wise to enjoy the delicious weirdness of Twin Peaks while the revival lasts — which is from this Sunday through Sept. 3, when the two-hour finale will air… and blow viewers' minds, no doubt.