The long-awaited third season of Twin Peaks premiered on Sunday night, with Showtime dropping the first four episodes rather than the originally promised two. But it’s not really the third season. Don’t you dare call it the third season. Returning from, essentially, a 25-year hiatus, creators David Lynch and Mark Frost didn’t conceive the latest entry into the Twin Peaks universe as an episodic season.
An aside in the New York Times’s Twin Peaks review best summed it up, saying: “Don’t call it Season 3, by the way. The creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, conceived it as a single 18-hour work, and the first two ‘parts,’ as Showtime calls them, don’t feel particularly episodic.”
The third not-a-season season is meant to be consumed as a long movie of sorts, which would explain why Twin Peaks is being referred to as a “limited series” rather than a new season. This information certainly lends to the question of why Showtime would drop four hours worth of new content at once rather than drawing out the anticipation for a longer period of time. It was just never meant to be consumed that way.
You can watch the first four episodes of Twin Peaks via Showtime right now, with new episodes premiering on Sundays.