I've completely loved these two episodes. It's not the good old Twin Peaks, but that's understandable. This is, and (I think) it's gonna be a different animal, because neither Lynch nor tv itself are the same than 25 years ago (in no small part because of the actual existence of the original Twin Peaks). For one, nowadays soap-operas are a non-factor on tv, so it makes perfect sense to me for them to eschew that angle.
I don't feel the Inland Empire vibe that some people are feeling in these two episodes. And I'm happy for it, because IE is probably the only Lynch film that I can't stand. The feel has much more to do with Eraserhead, Lost Highway and Mulholland Dr (and obviously Twin Peaks) that IE.
A couple of ramdom thoughts:
The "TOP SECRET" "I'm so curious now, you're driving me crazy" exchange between Sam and Tracey in the NY scene feels to me like a mirror image of Lil's clue dance in FWWM. There, Lynch mocked people who wanted to decypher all TP through smalls clues. Here he mocks those who want to know spoilers before the thing itself airs. Even the "couldn't tell, wouldn't tell" that Sam says about the previous worker mirrors to me the "couldn't tell" "couldn't or wouldn't?" exchange between Desmond and Stanley about the blue rose in FWWM.
Two small coffee-related things. I loooved the scene where Bad Cooper drinks coffee; and the cups used by the Buckhorn Police Department are the same kind as those used in Mulholland Dr. Winkie's and by Diane at her place (minus the Buckhorn Police logo, obviously).
The "phone" conversation with (the fake?) Philip Jeffries gives me hope that Bowie were able to record at least a few audio lines to be used during the series (and that they dedicate an episode to his memory, as they made with Coulson and Silva in this episode).