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Episode 28

Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:17 pm
by LostInTheMovies
Just watched this episode so I'll start a new thread for it.

Although I generally think late season 2 is an improvement on mid-, this is one of my least favorite from that stretch. It has a draggy, obligatory air to much of it, setting up the grand finale (which ended up being quite a different grand finale than expected, but that's another story). In particular, the Ben-Audrey scene feels really flat to me (though her line about "will it hurt this much in a week?" is - unintentionally? - hilarious). The Cooper-Annie dialogue is painful, and I could do without much of Miss Twin Peaks shenanigans (Lana's snake dance did not charm me). But there are good bits as well.

Highlights include:

-Windom Earle's black teeth/white face. Favorite image from this episode and one of the scariest Earle moments.

-Lucy's dance is cute although. How far along as she in her pregnancy though?!

-Maj. Briggs' babbling in the sheriff's office, about Judy Garland and the Queen of Romania (though Cooper's Jupiter-Saturn-comet-speed of light speech makes my head hurt)

-I LOVE Shelly & Donna goofing off and sharing a cigarette in the back of the chorus line. Blink and you'll miss it but a classic little character (or maybe just actor) moment. Wish we got more stuff like that to remind us that after all, they're just high school kids at the end of the day. (Shelly's not, I guess, but I get the sense she married Leo as a teenager so maybe she should be...)

Interesting that Laura Palmer's name gets dropped for the first time in a few episodes, and while brief it's the most substantial reference since James' talk with Evelyn. Shelly's "I think it will take more than a day" to recover feels like a dig at the show's missteps circa episode 17.

Indeed, there are several moments in #28 that feel like the show criticizing/referencing itself. The girls dancing in plastic see-through raincoats at the Miss Twin Peaks definitely seems like a wrapped-in-plastic in-joke and a perhaps unintended comment on how Twin Peaks has allowed its mystery to descend into kitsch. Also noteworthy is the Log Lady's appearance. She's being molested by the grubby salesman/choreographer and then she is actually replaced by Windom Earle in Log Lady drag. Which as a good a summary as any of what happened to the series link with the subconscious.

Some of the flaws feel similar to ep. 16, which Tim Hunter also directed though he can't be blamed for the screenplays. There are logical lapses for the sake of setting up a big climax: how hard is it for Andy to find Cooper in the one-room Road House???

Question for people who watched the two-part finale back in 1991: were there credits after 28, before 29? Or, as I'm assuming was the case, were the two episodes edited so that when Andy says "It's a map!" we faded to black and then came back from the commercial with the quick establishing shot of the sheriff's station and then the close-up of Andy/Lucy without any guest credits imposed over them? (Or were those credits there, just not the end-credits for #28?) When #29 ended, did the Laura-in-the-coffee cup credits go longer than usual to incorporate stuff from #28?

I doubt anyone has this good a memory, so I guess I'm asking if anyone is compelled to check their old VHS tapes. ;)

Oh...and that's definitely John Wentworth carrying the deer head, right? I've never heard anybody note this but it seems pretty clear to me.

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:02 pm
by Ross
LostInTheMovies wrote:The Cooper-Annie dialogue is painful

Annie's line "I can see half my life's history in your face... And I'm not sure that I want to." (which is in my signature) is actually my favorite line of dialogue in the whole series!

I just find it so beautiful and tragic at the same time- perfectly describing why I think their coupling works so well, and describing TP as a whole.



LostInTheMovies wrote:Question for people who watched the two-part finale back in 1991: were there credits after 28, before 29?

No.

LostInTheMovies wrote:Or, as I'm assuming was the case, were the two episodes edited so that when Andy says "It's a map!" we faded to black and then came back from the commercial with the quick establishing shot of the sheriff's station and then the close-up of Andy/Lucy without any guest credits imposed over them? (Or were those credits there, just not the end-credits for #28?)

Correct. The onscreen credits for both parts were combined at the beginning of ep 28 (over the Leo getting the key scene.) Which ended with "Part 1 written by... Part 1 directed by..."
When they came back from commercial for ep 29, we see "Part 2 written by..." over the shot of the station. The Andy Lucy scene then played without credits, and then "Part 2 directed by" when we first see Cooper.
LostInTheMovies wrote:When #29 ended, did the Laura-in-the-coffee cup credits go longer than usual to incorporate stuff from #28?

Correct again. They were combined at the end.

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:25 pm
by LostInTheMovies
Thanks! Must have been interesting to watch at the time without any signification that Lynch had taken the reigns even though it's pretty apparent from the whole visual/aural presentation.

To backtrack a little bit, I don't necessarily hate all the lines in that scene (I'm thinking more of the forest metaphor, which makes me cringe, than the dialogue you quote). It's as much a matter of direction as writing; to me it feels like Hunter plays it straight but still doesn't quite buy it himself. I kind of wish Lynch had been able to tackle it; if anyone can find the sublime in the potentially ridiculous, it's him. Exhibit A: "Gobble, gobble" in FWWM. Most absurd conversation ever and yet the pacing of the delivery and Sheryl Lee's expression makes it poignant and hilarious at the same time.

Anyway, I find Coop-Annie much more watchable than the Ben-Audrey scene. I don't know why, it isn't a very long scene, but every time I watch the episode I immediately get restless as Ben talks religion and Audrey pines for JJW. Two great characters who are not really living up to their potential.

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:03 am
by bosguy1981
Ross wrote:The onscreen credits for both parts were combined at the beginning of ep 28 (over the Leo getting the key scene.) Which ended with "Part 1 written by... Part 1 directed by..."
When they came back from commercial for ep 29, we see "Part 2 written by..." over the shot of the station. The Andy Lucy scene then played without credits, and then "Part 2 directed by" when we first see Cooper.


I know it's a rather nitpicky, stylistic thing, but the (non-original broadcast) version of Episode 29 (i.e. the one we've been watching all these years on home video and now on Bluray), with those opening credits smooshed all around Lucy's and Andy's heads during the close-up in that scene is just AWFUL looking!

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:24 am
by LostInTheMovies
bosguy1981 wrote:
Ross wrote:The onscreen credits for both parts were combined at the beginning of ep 28 (over the Leo getting the key scene.) Which ended with "Part 1 written by... Part 1 directed by..."
When they came back from commercial for ep 29, we see "Part 2 written by..." over the shot of the station. The Andy Lucy scene then played without credits, and then "Part 2 directed by" when we first see Cooper.


I know it's a rather nitpicky, stylistic thing, but the (non-original broadcast) version of Episode 29 (i.e. the one we've been watching all these years on home video and now on Bluray), with those opening credits smooshed all around Lucy's and Andy's heads during the close-up in that scene is just AWFUL looking!


Ha, I kind of like it. Don't know why but I have a thing for credits working their way around the image. Though it would probably be better to just to see them talk without any distractions.

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:24 am
by Audrey Horne
you wouldn't like "Right at home on ABC" or the ABC logo on the bottom screen. It would be even worse now -imagine something like the Maddy murder with a popup at the bottom of the Real Housewives of Nebraska or something. That's a good thing about HBO or Showtime, the image won't be cluttered with advertising.

And ha - "Yeah, it's only been a day, I hope it doesn't hurt this much in a week."

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:02 pm
by LostInTheMovies
Audrey Horne wrote:you wouldn't like "Right at home on ABC" or the ABC logo on the bottom screen. It would be even worse now -imagine something like the Maddy murder with a popup at the bottom of the Real Housewives of Nebraska or something.


I once watched It's a Wonderful Life on network TV and right when Jimmy Stewart says, "I wanna big one!" (about the suitcase) and the frame freezes, two tiny computer-generated women walked across the bottom of the screen, losing about 150 lbs as they went from right to left. It was an ad for the The Biggest Loser.

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:00 pm
by David Locke
Yeah I agree with a lot of the criticisms of this episode; it certainly builds into a nice climax (at least, nice enough considering the circumstances), but it's a pretty empty-headed hour, much like the vapid contest it lavishes so much time on. In retrospect, Tim Hunter's one of the more problematic multi-ep directors of the series; though he directs Episode 4 very well, even then there's already a hint of the awkwardly over-stylized aesthetic that would make Episode 16 in particular a mixed bag (what with the clumsy roadhouse scene and overall unnecessary use of canted angles and silly Peckinpah-esque capital-D Dramatic staging). Here, he does a pretty decent job, but as has been noted he just can't salvage the awful dialogue between Coop and Annie. Like with Episode 27 (a much better hour, I think) I remembered this episode as more intense and better than it actually is -- after this last series marathon I'm thinking more and more that the resurgence of quality in the last 5-6 episodes is more confined to the infectiously romantic Episode 25 (with Lynch's return and the great RR scene) and, of course, the powerhouse final episode. The three in between are often exciting and certainly have their great scenes and moments, but they're comprised of much more dumb stuff (Billy Zane, Miss Twin Peaks, Annie, Lana, Dick, etc.) than I had remembered.

Should we do specific threads for the much-maligned Episodes 17-23, as well? As flawed as those hours are, there's something compelling about their tonal "off"-ness and overall lack of tension and interest, that it becomes very interesting to analyze and critique.

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:23 am
by harmolodic
And speaking of awkwardly over-stylized aesthetic....I've always thought the Diane Keaton-directed episode (22?) was the worst of the worst. It's as if she looked at Lynch's aesthetic and thought "OK, I'll be pointlessly stylized and weird, randomly." Talk about tone-deaf. It's so jarring...

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:35 am
by David Locke
harmolodic wrote:And speaking of awkwardly over-stylized aesthetic....I've always thought the Diane Keaton-directed episode (22?) was the worst of the worst. It's as if she looked at Lynch's aesthetic and thought "OK, I'll be pointlessly stylized and weird, randomly." Talk about tone-deaf. It's so jarring...

I agree Keaton's episode doesn't really work, but I think it's at least interesting to watch because of how hard she's trying (and some of the surreal touches are kind of amusing, like the officers in the bar simultaneously saying hello). Part of the problem is she got stuck with perhaps the worst material of the series (along with Uli Edel's episode, which came right before I think -- Doc Hayward's laughable Little Nicky speech, anyone?) If Keaton got better material, her episode might not have been so awkward.

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:42 pm
by BOB1
Here I'll agree, both Diane Keaton's and Uli Edel's episodes are really surprisingly enjoayble for how weak lots of the material was.
David Locke wrote:Doc Hayward's laughable Little Nicky speech, anyone?

:oops: :oops: :oops:
for me - the one single worst moment of Twin Peaks.

Here underneath though, I will disagree:
LostInTheMovies wrote:Some of the flaws feel similar to ep. 16

There is NOTHING SIMILAR :evil: :evil: :evil:

Episode 28 is indeed, well, so-so... Very average. In my book I think I'd call it the worst since Ep.20. Perhaps due to Windom's black teeth and spiders, and Major Briggs's King of Romania, I'd put it above Ep.21 or 24 or something... but it's not very interesting, the miss twin peaks contest doesn't really work (actually from the beginning it's not a convincing plotline in any aspect...), the cliffhanger is weak (yeah, it's a map, so what?).
Where is the similarity to the best non-Lynch (or even yes-Lynch!) episode of the series?!? Speak or give me satisfaction!

;)

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:24 pm
by LostInTheMovies
BOB1 wrote:Here I'll agree, both Diane Keaton's and Uli Edel's episodes are really surprisingly enjoayble for how weak lots of the material was.
David Locke wrote:Doc Hayward's laughable Little Nicky speech, anyone?

:oops: :oops: :oops:
for me - the one single worst moment of Twin Peaks.

Here underneath though, I will disagree:
LostInTheMovies wrote:Some of the flaws feel similar to ep. 16

There is NOTHING SIMILAR :evil: :evil: :evil:

Episode 28 is indeed, well, so-so... Very average. In my book I think I'd call it the worst since Ep.20. Perhaps due to Windom's black teeth and spiders, and Major Briggs's King of Romania, I'd put it above Ep.21 or 24 or something... but it's not very interesting, the miss twin peaks contest doesn't really work (actually from the beginning it's not a convincing plotline in any aspect...), the cliffhanger is weak (yeah, it's a map, so what?).
Where is the similarity to the best non-Lynch (or even yes-Lynch!) episode of the series?!? Speak or give me satisfaction!

;)


Uh-oh...

In all seriousness, the similarity to me is that both episodes are written with a certain obligatory air. They exist to set up big climaxes (big difference being that ep. 16 includes ALL of the climax, whereas most of 28's climax is pushed to ep. 29). This is more to do with the teleplay than the direction, of course, but I'd argue in both cases Tim Hunter feels somewhat uncomfortable with the demands of the rising tension. His best episode, to me, is ep. 4 which has a cool, coasting kind of vibe to it: Laura's in the ground and now we have the opportunity to explore the mystery at a leisurely but still absorbing pace. When pushed to deliver BIG moments, I find Hunter falls a bit flat for me (and also falls back on too many pumped-up stylistic touches, which is not so much a problem on #28 admittedly).

I do have very mixed feelings about 16. I've shared my misgivings elsewhere, but I will say as far as the strengths go: I like that Laura provides the answer to his own mystery (and like the use of the diary, Red Room superimpositions, and close-ups of Donna reading), I appreciate that Cooper has to "go beyond" to solve the crime (though the particular way this is done, I don't care for), the imagery of the ring is a cool signifier of wisdom (especially when related to the ring mythos in both FWWM and Cooper's My Tapes autobiography), and the scene where Leland nearly molests Donna is truly terrifying. And of course the conclusion is classic. Ray Wise's tearful confession is moving, MacLachlan nails the Tibetan Book of the Dead speech, and the decision to drench the jail cell in an indoor downpour is brilliant. I also kind of like the final scene, with everyone gathered in the woods; it's a bit awkward, but the awkwardness works for me - these guys (and the show itself) really are confused about what just happened, and who can blame them?

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:30 pm
by Jonah
I agree that 28 is one of the weaker of the very last few. I actually think Episode 27 is better than this one. They both suffer from redundant plots, meandering threads, but both feature great moments - but I think the strong stuff in 27 is stronger than here in 28.

Just watched this episode literally this minute on Blu-Ray - my first time rewatching it since the Gold Box DVD a couple of years ago. Is it just me or has the Blu-Ray kind of toned down the effects of the strobe lighting while making the picture much nicer/clearer? I seem to remember this scene having much harsher strobe effects and therefore being much creeper when Earle grabs Annie. This time around it didn't give me a creepy affect at all, and looked "toned down" somehow. This is my first time watching Blu-Ray so might be my imagination, just wondering if anyone else noticed this.

But perhaps it's just me because I also seem to have misremembered Earle's face. I always thought when he walked into the cabin, he looked normal until after he swung the bag back to reveal the creepy white face and black teeth, but watching it again, he clearly is wearing the white make up in the long shot as he enters the cabin door. And again in a close up shot speaking to Leo before swinging the bag and revealing the black teeth. In this close up before he raises the bag, the white make up/powder is very obvious or somehow tacky looking. For some reason, I remember this scene as scarier - with his face changing behind the bag! Think it would have been more powerful if they'd only had him in make up for that final shot.

Funny thing - very few people seem to have attended the pageant? So few extras! And what's with it taking Andy so long to find Cooper in that one fairly small, uncrowded space, even before the lights go out? Also: Donna is so upset when she finds out backstage that Ben Horne is her father and rushes off looking absolutely shaken to her very core, but minutes later she's back on stage, laughing and happy. It doesn't even seem like she's composed herself and is putting on a brave face, but rather like the previous scene never happened! Bad staging?

Some great bits but a weak and at times silly and rushed episode. I think it's such a shame they combined this with 29 for the final airing, it must have made 29 seem less intense? I don't remember seeing this when it first aired - did anyone find it weakened the whole thing or was the second half too amazing to be weakened?

Onto 29 now, can't wait... My second all time favourite!

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:02 am
by BOB1
Jonah wrote:I think it's such a shame they combined this with 29 for the final airing, it must have made 29 seem less intense?

The original airing in Poland split the two episodes and 29 was UNBELIEVABLY intense! :shock: I share your feeling but I don't know what it was really like.

rather like the previous scene never happened

I wish it never had! The Miss Twin Peaks subplot is weak and not very convincing but the "who is Donna's father" subplot is in my book on the short list of nominees for the worst thing about Twin Peaks. Good observation about Donna's mood, by the way. I remember noticing it once, too, but then I forgot about it again...

Is it just me or has the Blu-Ray kind of toned down the effects

Not only have I never watched anything on Blu-ray - I even believe I have never seen a blu-ray disc (it's a disc, isn't it?) in my life ;)
It's gotta be me though... While I do use CDs, I have a big collection of cassettes, too, and I still use them a lot.

Re: Episode 28

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:34 pm
by LostInTheMovies
Jonah wrote:I agree that 28 is one of the weaker of the very last few. I actually think Episode 27 is better than this one. They both suffer from redundant plots, meandering threads, but both feature great moments - but I think the strong stuff in 27 is stronger than here in 28.

Just watched this episode literally this minute on Blu-Ray - my first time rewatching it since the Gold Box DVD a couple of years ago. Is it just me or has the Blu-Ray kind of toned down the effects of the strobe lighting while making the picture much nicer/clearer? I seem to remember this scene having much harsher strobe effects and therefore being much creeper when Earle grabs Annie. This time around it didn't give me a creepy affect at all, and looked "toned down" somehow. This is my first time watching Blu-Ray so might be my imagination, just wondering if anyone else noticed this.

But perhaps it's just me because I also seem to have misremembered Earle's face. I always thought when he walked into the cabin, he looked normal until after he swung the bag back to reveal the creepy white face and black teeth, but watching it again, he clearly is wearing the white make up in the long shot as he enters the cabin door. And again in a close up shot speaking to Leo before swinging the bag and revealing the black teeth. In this close up before he raises the bag, the white make up/powder is very obvious or somehow tacky looking. For some reason, I remember this scene as scarier - with his face changing behind the bag! Think it would have been more powerful if they'd only had him in make up for that final shot.

Funny thing - very few people seem to have attended the pageant? So few extras! And what's with it taking Andy so long to find Cooper in that one fairly small, uncrowded space, even before the lights go out? Also: Donna is so upset when she finds out backstage that Ben Horne is her father and rushes off looking absolutely shaken to her very core, but minutes later she's back on stage, laughing and happy. It doesn't even seem like she's composed herself and is putting on a brave face, but rather like the previous scene never happened! Bad staging?


Great point! Someone also pointed out...why the hell is Norma laughing and snapping with Ed at the beginning of ep. 29 when her sister has just been kidnapped by a madman?! Only excuse I can come up with is they all fled and don't know what happened, but wouldn't she want to be in touch with her sister? (EDIT: Just noticed you brought this up in the other thread.) Oh well, I get it...Lynch was not going for realism in that episode, but a mood. I'm not sure what Hunter's excuse is in #28 though, because this episode has neither!