Episode 23

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Dalai Cooper
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Re: Episode 23

Postby Dalai Cooper » Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:00 pm

That said, I like this one a fair bit. Love the ending, although they waste its promise in the subsequent episodes, with coop not thinking it worth mentioning that he saw the evil spirit that killed Laura palmer for, what, another four episodes? Up there with him ignoring his vision of the giant as far as frustrating s2 laziness goes
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Jasper
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Re: Episode 23

Postby Jasper » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:13 pm

Dalai Cooper wrote:That said, I like this one a fair bit. Love the ending, although they waste its promise in the subsequent episodes, with coop not thinking it worth mentioning that he saw the evil spirit that killed Laura palmer for, what, another four episodes? Up there with him ignoring his vision of the giant as far as frustrating s2 laziness goes


While that stuff is dumb, especially the former, I'm a bit more lax about the latter. Why? Because I think they're building on the theme of Cooper not keeping his eye on the ball because of love (a mistake he said he'd never make again). They don't do a great job of it, and the giant thing is frustrating, but there's a very good and related moment where Coop goes into the diner and kisses Annie over the counter, and a bunch of dirty dishes fall and shatter on the floor, with a closeup up maple syrup slowly and ominously dripping like oily blood. Looking at it this way makes the giant thing a bit less unbelievable, though it's still pretty ridiculous.

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Dalai Cooper
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Re: Episode 23

Postby Dalai Cooper » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:48 am

Yeah, it's obvious what they're going for (probably too obvious, although I also really like that scene you mention). In a way, this stuff is harder to take than dale's imperfect courage and eventual succumbing to bob in the final episode - it's like, ok, but did you have to turn our guy into an actual moron? This could be partly due to their doing such an inadequate job of setting up windom as the ultimate match for cooper's intellect - so they just, uh, remove that intellect entirely.

But I think there's a general problem with some of the s2 writing where the pacing is just completely off, which I actually find way more offputting than the notorious tonal confusion. Events that really should be the motor of the next episode's drama just get forgotten. WHERE IS BOB NOW? (6 hours of television later) holy shit there's bob! (four hours of television later) hey did I ever mention to you that I saw that guy bob?

Or, like, the gang discover owl cave - and then go home. Cooper's suspension takes as long to resolve as the entire first season!

(I always sound complainy when I talk about this stuff, which is funny cause I enjoy pretty much all of s2!)
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Twin Peaks Out of Order #25: Episode 23

Postby LostInTheMovies » Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:57 pm

Re-watching Twin Peaks from my least favorite to favorite episode...

Previously: Episode 19 (http://www.dugpa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=42549#p42549)

This is the first episode on the list that I can’t comfortably describe as “bad.” For one thing, there are none of the cringeworthy cheese-factor moments that occur throughout the mid-season (including the next episode, which I otherwise consider an improvement). Episode 23 generally feels classier than its immediate predecessors, due in part to the return of Lesli Linka Glatter, the show’s most accomplished and prolific director aside from David Lynch himself. Back on even keel, Twin Peaks re-harnesses its dissipated energy in order to conclude the long-simmering story of Josie Packard and plant the seeds for some new plotlines (Annie, good Ben, JJW, and Windom’s first overt attempt to interfere with the townspeople). We even glimpse the long-forgotten Bob once again! Not to mention the Little Man; it’s easy to forget (given the multiple flashbacks, references, and upcoming reappearances) that this was the first time Michael J. Anderson shot anything for Twin Peaks since the alternate ending to the pilot in 1989 before ABC had even commissioned a series. Between Bob, the Little Man, and Josie’s memorable appearance in a drawer pull it also feels like maybe a whisper of David Lynch is finally in the air again (Lynch’s direct intervention in a show he had mostly been removing himself from). I always found it interesting (maybe it’s just arbitrary?) that every collection of Twin Peaks’ second season has included episode 23 on the disc with 24/25/26, rather than 19/20/21/22, as if a new chapter has begun. For many viewers this is the comeback episode where Twin Peaks starts to get good again. And yet while planning this list, I struggled to rank 23 even as high as it is; at one point I even started viewing it before changing my mind and elevating it a few spaces. Here’s a good example of how watching an episode out of context can benefit that episode. Following closely on the heels of the deadly 21 & 22, 23 always felt like the straw that broke the camel’s back. By this point in a given rewatch, I am sick of the Josie plot and the episode’s deliberately ponderous pacing usually just frustrates me. The first time I saw this episode, having no idea where it was heading or how long it would stay good or bad, the reappearance of Bob and the Little Man didn’t feel like a comeback, it felt like Twin Peaks jumping the shark. Bob wasn’t scary and the Little Man looked foolish dancing on a bed and what the fuck was with that terrible CGI knob?? At least, I initially felt, the mid-season slump had avoided soiling the show’s Lynchian iconography but now that too had been dragged through the muck. Tonight, however, I enjoyed the episode more than I ever have before; I’d even be inclined to rank it at least two spots higher. For the first time ever Josie’s dilemma felt mildly engaging to me, not just in theory but in execution. It played less as the result of confused writers and a confused actress unsure of Josie’s own intentions and thought process (which was part of the problem, let’s be honest - Joan Chen wanted out, and the staff never had a clear read on her part), and more like what David Lynch intended Josie to be from the beginning: a character who has been victimized and also victimized others, and is supposed to be unsure of what she wants. Unlike those other quintessentially Lynchian inventions Laura and Cooper, the filmmaker was unable to rescue Josie from the show’s betrayals. So he stuck her soul in a drawer pull for safekeeping. The character whose enigmatic expression opened and very nearly closed the series (since ABC almost canceled Twin Peaks in February 1991) may very well return to our screens in 2017. “Josie, I see your face…”

Next: Episode 20 (http://www.dugpa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2845&p=42624#p42624)
Last edited by LostInTheMovies on Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:56 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Jonah
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Re: Twin Peaks Out of Order #25: Episode 23

Postby Jonah » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:07 pm

LostintheMovies- I'm really enjoying reading these new analyses of episodes in your out-of-chronological-order rewatch! Episode 23 is one of my favourites from the "weak" or "bad" episodes. Always loved those closing moments, though as I've said before, I can see how they could be viewed as straining or fan service - but later on when we realize Josie was supposed to appear in the lodge (head peeking out beyond the curtains) in Episode 29, it makes narrative sense for BOB and the LMFAP to be here as a clue to that. I think this episode can be viewed as you said before - (to paraphrase) as either the end of the bad, or the beginning of the good. I prefer to view it as the latter and I'm so glad to read you enjoyed it more this go around. For me, it's definitely the episode that begins to lift TP out of its slump.

LostInTheMovies wrote:Re-watching Twin Peaks from my least favorite to favorite episode...
Not to mention the Little Man; it's easy to forget given the multiple flashbacks, references, and upcoming reappearances, that this was the first time Michael J. Anderson had shot anything for Twin Peaks since the alternate ending to the pilot in 1989 before ABC had even commissioned a series.


This is a great point. You know, I just rewatched that scene, and - Lol - for some reason I think I may have sort of assumed that the LMFAP's appearance here was CGI (superimposed shot of him dancing from the pilot onto the bed), and that he only came back after the pilot for Episode 29 and FWWM.
Last edited by Jonah on Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Actually, now that some time has passed, I like "The full blossom of the evening".
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Re: Episode 23

Postby N. Needleman » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:18 pm

I said my piece on Josie on the last page here, but suffice it to say I agree with a fair bit of that.

Like the Evelyn Marsh plotline, Josie's story (on paper) is quintessential film noir and Lynchian, but the execution of both is flawed, and in the case of the Evelyn story basically unwatchable. But it didn't have to be, and IMO Lynch added something to Josie both at the beginning and the end. I think maybe only with the direct supervision of himself and Frost could the story really sing. To me the character and arc are fascinating as mysterious failures that may yet have a deeper connection to the future mythology, because Lynch never let her go. And that ending here is why Episode 23, to me, is the beginning of the turnaround.
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Jonah
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Re: Episode 23

Postby Jonah » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:31 pm

Agreed. And regarding those closing moments, and Josie in general... I really like the whole concept introduced here of ghosts in the wood, a sort of natural progression from the "Ghostwood Properties" of Season 1 and allusions to the Log Lady's possible spiritual/mystical log (that may be connected to her husband's spirt). It's never fully fleshed out of course. But in Episode 27, there's a lot more ties to all that, and to Josie and Episode 23 in general. Been a while since I rewatched, but Briggs asking "is my soul meant for this?" while stroking the table, and Cooper discussing Josie's body weight when she was found and fear being the key to unlocking the lodge... and of course the Great Northern scenes with Ben Horne whipping around, as if he sees a ghost, and then Pete saying "Josie I see your face" while examining the wood... all of that connects back nicely to the ghosts in the wood and other Josie themes introduced in those closing moments of Episode 23. And of course we know now Josie was originally meant to appear with her head peeking out through the curtains of the Red Room in Episode 29. So I really think Lynch was onto something with the drawer pull scene in those final moments of this episode when he suggested it, that he and the writers weren't just throwing it in there to experiment with new CGI at the time or to be weird, as some have suggested. I hope to see more about Josie - and about the ghosts in the wood, and spirits connection to wood in general - in the new series!
Actually, now that some time has passed, I like "The full blossom of the evening".
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Re: Episode 23

Postby N. Needleman » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:32 pm

Yeah, there's something perversely appropriate too - Josie's machinations were all about burning the mill and getting the payoff from all that ruined lumber. She herself ends up in the wood.
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Re: Episode 23

Postby Jonah » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:35 pm

N. Needleman wrote:Yeah, there's something perversely appropriate too - Josie's machinations were all about burning the mill and getting the payoff from all that ruined lumber. She herself ends up in the wood.


Ooooh, yes. Not sure that ever occurred to me. Nice - and very astute - observation! I really hope we see more of Josie playing out in the new series, even if she's just a ghost haunting the hotel. When I first heard about the planned Red Room scene with a double for Josie, I thought this sounded so eerie and cool. Pity that shot of her wasn't included, even briefly, in 29.
Actually, now that some time has passed, I like "The full blossom of the evening".
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Re: Episode 23

Postby David Locke » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:43 pm

I really like this episode -- particularly compared to the half-dozen before it! Josie was never a great character but she gets a compelling send-off here, finishing in one of the most striking final images of the series. And overall, I would agree that this is the first post-slump episode essentially -- Linka Glatter is a big part of it, probably, as it just finally feels like real Peaks for the first time since Episode 16. It's confidently-directed, the actors don't seem completely bored or rudderless, and it sports the quintessential Peaks style without resorting to flashy tricks like Edel or Keaton. Fittingly, given Josie's fate, the whole hour is suffused with a quiet dread and eeriness throughout, and peppered with great moments -- with Andrew's "I'm al-iiiive!" being one of the most memorable.
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Re: Episode 23

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:41 pm

Enjoying your blurbs on each episode - keep 'em coming! I'm especially interested in how you take ep. 28 this time. It's pretty much officially become my least favorite episode, and definitely the one I least look forward to re-watching.
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Re: Episode 23

Postby David Locke » Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:07 pm

That's interesting -- I'm not a big fan of it, but I can't imagine ever placing it below, say, 19 or 21 or 22... Then again, you never know. I guess what I'd say about 28 is that its position as the penultimate hour kind of forces one to contemplate it as the yin to Lynch's disturbing avant-garde yang, as the culmination of the show at its literal-minded, off-the-rails, conventional late-S2 worst. But while it is guilty of all the flaws of late S2, I find it still a very competent episode that succeeds as pure popcorn suspense. Kind of in the same way that Hunter's Episode 16 was often shallow and contrived but still incredibly important and entertaining, Episode 28 is simply dumb fun.
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Re: Episode 23

Postby LostInTheMovies » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:37 pm

For a long time I've been chipping away at a series of character studies which I hope to post before they re-air the old series (if that's still the plan - aside from that brief correspondence with Nevins early in the year, more recently I've just heard about streaming plans). As part of that project, I've been breaking down when the characters appear, which episodes they are in the most etc. Without going to the extreme of wathing the series with a stopwatch (thank God for digital files which make this relatively easy to estimate), I've been able to pretty readily determine roughly who has the most screentime overall and in each episode.

That's where episode 23 comes in. Unsurprisingly, in pretty much every episode of the series Cooper dominates the screentime, with Truman almost always coming in a close second. This is the one that really upsets the apple cart. As we might guess, Josie and Andrew are in the episode a lot but to my surprise, both John Justice Wheeler and Audrey are onscreen substantially more than Coop. In fact, this episode features Audrey more than any other in the entire series, including the hits of season 1.

Just thought the board might enjoy that nerdy little detail...it's funny, I never really thought of this as "the Audrey episode" but in terms of her presence it seems to be.
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Re: Episode 23

Postby djerdap » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:28 am

LostInTheMovies wrote:For a long time I've been chipping away at a series of character studies which I hope to post before they re-air the old series (if that's still the plan - aside from that brief correspondence with Nevins early in the year, more recently I've just heard about streaming plans). As part of that project, I've been breaking down when the characters appear, which episodes they are in the most etc. Without going to the extreme of wathing the series with a stopwatch (thank God for digital files which make this relatively easy to estimate), I've been able to pretty readily determine roughly who has the most screentime overall and in each episode.

That's where episode 23 comes in. Unsurprisingly, in pretty much every episode of the series Cooper dominates the screentime, with Truman almost always coming in a close second. This is the one that really upsets the apple cart. As we might guess, Josie and Andrew are in the episode a lot but to my surprise, both John Justice Wheeler and Audrey are onscreen substantially more than Coop. In fact, this episode features Audrey more than any other in the entire series, including the hits of season 1.

Just thought the board might enjoy that nerdy little detail...it's funny, I never really thought of this as "the Audrey episode" but in terms of her presence it seems to be.


That's interesting, and kinda depressing for Audrey, heh. I'm mildly surprised that Truman does indeed have the second biggest screentime, despite Michael Ontkean's place in the cast list during the credits, but he was always a more quite and subtle presence than Cooper, and often more in the background as opposed to Coop. Makes Ontkean's absence in the new season all the more frustrating.

Looking forward to the character studies!
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Re: Episode 23

Postby TwinPeaksFanatic » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:58 pm

It's interesting that Norma says Annie always seemed like she came from another time and place, don't you think 'The Secret History of Twin Peaks' fans? Another bit of dialogue that might have influenced the very clever Mr. Frost. I wrote a recap for this episode here ---> http://twinpeaksfanatic.blogspot.com/20 ... de-23.html :D

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