Episode 19

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Agent Earle
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Re: Episode 19

Postby Agent Earle » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:29 pm

Gabriel wrote:Generally, it's a bad episode in the show's 'Ballykissangel' era, although Sherilyn Fenn is great and David Duchovny is a complete showstealer.

It all just feels inconsequential and silly after the Leland/Maddy murder scene a few weeks earlier. Can this really be the same show?


Yeah, and David Duchovny's definitely a part of that feeling...
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Gabriel
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Re: Episode 19

Postby Gabriel » Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:27 pm

Agent Earle wrote:Yeah, and David Duchovny's definitely a part of that feeling...

Agreed. He's excellent, but he's yet another outsider where the concentration should have stayed focussed on the town.
Agent Earle
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Re: Episode 19

Postby Agent Earle » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:51 pm

Gabriel wrote:
Agent Earle wrote:Yeah, and David Duchovny's definitely a part of that feeling...

Agreed. He's excellent, but he's yet another outsider where the concentration should have stayed focussed on the town.


You misunderstood me: you mentioned in your original post that in the post-Leland and Maddy episode, the show feels inconsequential and silly. I merely added that Duchovny's character - which I've never really liked - contributed to that feeling of silliness.
And I've always maintained that outsider characters (apart from Duchovny) like Earle, Renault and Eckhardt keep things interesting in that post-Laura Palmer phase of the show, mainly because they bring an air of seriousness and menace to the proceedings (hell, I'm even kinda partial to James & Evelyn stuff because of that reason) when the majority of the town people we've got to know in the first half of the show simply kinda waste away in their silly plotlines or disappear altogether; I realize most of that's problems with the chaotic storytelling at that point, as the characters as they were initially conceived by Lynch and Frost are truly remarkable and vibrant and deserved better, but at the end of the day, that's what we got on the screen and that's how I judge them. I hope the new show treats them better.
djerdap
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Re: Episode 19

Postby djerdap » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:47 pm

Denise is the only new character post-Leland I found to be interesting and compelling to watch.
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Gabriel
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Re: Episode 19

Postby Gabriel » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:47 pm

Agent Earle wrote:You misunderstood me: you mentioned in your original post that in the post-Leland and Maddy episode, the show feels inconsequential and silly. I merely added that Duchovny's character - which I've never really liked - contributed to that feeling of silliness.
And I've always maintained that outsider characters (apart from Duchovny) like Earle, Renault and Eckhardt keep things interesting in that post-Laura Palmer phase of the show, mainly because they bring an air of seriousness and menace to the proceedings (hell, I'm even kinda partial to James & Evelyn stuff because of that reason) when the majority of the town people we've got to know in the first half of the show simply kinda waste away in their silly plotlines or disappear altogether; I realize most of that's problems with the chaotic storytelling at that point, as the characters as they were initially conceived by Lynch and Frost are truly remarkable and vibrant and deserved better, but at the end of the day, that's what we got on the screen and that's how I judge them. I hope the new show treats them better.


Ah, I see.

Jean Renault I never considered an outsider: he's Jacques and Bernard's brother, so he's a local we simply haven't seen before. Eckhardt I never took issue with because he's essential to the Josie and Andrew Packard characters and, therefore, the town. I've said before that I'd have wanted a longer time spent on the story, even with flashbacks to Hong Kong, as well as the Andrew Packard 'murder.' Clearly Josie's villainy was intended to emerge more strongly: look at her portrayal in the Secret Diary of Laura Palmer. It's all rushed through.

Earle is an essential character to Cooper's backstory, but he belongs in a later season when Cooper is fully embedded in the town as a local – perhaps running a small regional office at Gordon's behest – rather than a Pennsylvanian outsider. Earle's portrayal was often silly and campy, too, which ruined it for me, especially having read My Life, My Tapes. I'd rather have had Robert Vaughan playing the role in an ice cold and ruthless manner; more of a Hannibal Lector. There's so much material burned through in season two that isn't given room to breathe and develop properly, which is part of the problem. Characters show up for two or three episodes, then get killed off and we're on to another rushed storyline. The Evelyn storyline was rather pointless (as were James and Donna at this time) and seems like a Zalman King discard. There could have been something done with it, but better James had left after Maddy's murder and the Evelyn storyline used to bring him back in a third season when there was some distance between adventures. In amidst that, Hank Jennings sputters out too; his history with Harry, the Packard murder, the domino...

I'm fine with outsiders carefully mixed into the series gradually, but the bombardment in a very short time is part of what everything out of gear. It's all very watchable, but still a lot of rushed missteps.
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Gabriel
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Re: Episode 19

Postby Gabriel » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:51 pm

djerdap wrote:Denise is the only new character post-Leland I found to be interesting and compelling to watch.

I wouldn't say 'compelling,' but bloody funny! David Duchovny is clearly having a ball and steals every scene. As soon as he walks into the room, you start laughing because of his body language. I wouldn't have necessarily expected him to become such a big name at the time, but looking back, the future Fox Mulder and Hank Moody is there for all to see. Hilarious comedy character, well played.
Agent Earle
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Re: Episode 19

Postby Agent Earle » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:28 am

Gabriel wrote:
Agent Earle wrote:You misunderstood me: you mentioned in your original post that in the post-Leland and Maddy episode, the show feels inconsequential and silly. I merely added that Duchovny's character - which I've never really liked - contributed to that feeling of silliness.
And I've always maintained that outsider characters (apart from Duchovny) like Earle, Renault and Eckhardt keep things interesting in that post-Laura Palmer phase of the show, mainly because they bring an air of seriousness and menace to the proceedings (hell, I'm even kinda partial to James & Evelyn stuff because of that reason) when the majority of the town people we've got to know in the first half of the show simply kinda waste away in their silly plotlines or disappear altogether; I realize most of that's problems with the chaotic storytelling at that point, as the characters as they were initially conceived by Lynch and Frost are truly remarkable and vibrant and deserved better, but at the end of the day, that's what we got on the screen and that's how I judge them. I hope the new show treats them better.


Ah, I see.

Jean Renault I never considered an outsider: he's Jacques and Bernard's brother, so he's a local we simply haven't seen before. Eckhardt I never took issue with because he's essential to the Josie and Andrew Packard characters and, therefore, the town. I've said before that I'd have wanted a longer time spent on the story, even with flashbacks to Hong Kong, as well as the Andrew Packard 'murder.' Clearly Josie's villainy was intended to emerge more strongly: look at her portrayal in the Secret Diary of Laura Palmer. It's all rushed through.

Earle is an essential character to Cooper's backstory, but he belongs in a later season when Cooper is fully embedded in the town as a local – perhaps running a small regional office at Gordon's behest – rather than a Pennsylvanian outsider. Earle's portrayal was often silly and campy, too, which ruined it for me, especially having read My Life, My Tapes. I'd rather have had Robert Vaughan playing the role in an ice cold and ruthless manner; more of a Hannibal Lector. There's so much material burned through in season two that isn't given room to breathe and develop properly, which is part of the problem. Characters show up for two or three episodes, then get killed off and we're on to another rushed storyline. The Evelyn storyline was rather pointless (as were James and Donna at this time) and seems like a Zalman King discard. There could have been something done with it, but better James had left after Maddy's murder and the Evelyn storyline used to bring him back in a third season when there was some distance between adventures. In amidst that, Hank Jennings sputters out too; his history with Harry, the Packard murder, the domino...

I'm fine with outsiders carefully mixed into the series gradually, but the bombardment in a very short time is part of what everything out of gear. It's all very watchable, but still a lot of rushed missteps.


I can basically agree with everything, well said!

I still think, however, that these "serious" storylines were more interesting than what was given to the majority of the 1st season folks, lets call 'em (like Bobby, Shelley, Donna, Audrey, Mike Nelson, Ben Horne, dr. Jacoby, Nadine, Big Ed, Andy, Lucy etc.; great exceptions would be, for me, Major Briggs, who took a turn in the direction I actually liked, and Leo Johnson, whose downfall as Earle's gimp I found scary and amusing at the same time), and helped Cooper and Truman to keep the show afloat when those I mentioned in brackets pulled it down. Of course, Bob and the Black Lodge stuff are in a category all their own, but they were used sparingly (which might not have been a bad thing given the less you know of a thing the more powerful and intimidating it seems), gradually gaining momentum only as the show drew to its end; I remember being downright electrified when we first caught a glimpse of Bob post-E16, ie. during Josie's death scene!
Agent Earle
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Re: Episode 19

Postby Agent Earle » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:41 am

djerdap wrote:Denise is the only new character post-Leland I found to be interesting and compelling to watch.


UGH!
Dalai Cooper
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Re: Episode 19

Postby Dalai Cooper » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:16 am

Yeah, the guy in the horse costume really brought some much-needed gravitas.
Agent Earle
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Re: Episode 19

Postby Agent Earle » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:02 am

He's second only to the FBI guy going about as a woman.
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David Locke
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Re: Episode 19

Postby David Locke » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:38 pm

Agent Earle wrote:He's second only to the FBI guy going about as a woman.

"guy going about as a woman"? Really? The show didn't even give Denise much of a "wacky" or weird treatment - she's positively banal and down-to-Earth, compared to Nadine/Little Nicky/Dick/Windom Earle/Lana/the Milfords, and all the other mid-S2 fixtures. Even the writers back in 1990 had the good sense to skewer the close-mindedness of some of those that meet Denise instead of the character herself or her gender.
Agent Earle
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Re: Episode 19

Postby Agent Earle » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:34 am

David Locke wrote:
Agent Earle wrote:He's second only to the FBI guy going about as a woman.

"guy going about as a woman"? Really? The show didn't even give Denise much of a "wacky" or weird treatment - she's positively banal and down-to-Earth, compared to Nadine/Little Nicky/Dick/Windom Earle/Lana/the Milfords, and all the other mid-S2 fixtures. Even the writers back in 1990 had the good sense to skewer the close-mindedness of some of those that meet Denise instead of the character herself or her gender.


I was not trying to say that I have anything against genderswapping, transsexual identity or any kind of alternative lifestyle - in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I'm simply saying the character him/herself never clicked for me (like it did for so many others, apparently) nor have I seen it as some kind of saving grace for that part of the show, far from it - it's just ridiculous storyline that I file among Nadine/Little Nicky/Dick, Andy & Lucy/Lana and the Milfords/Ben the Civil War General stuff of Peaks temporarily losing its grandeur. So what?
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David Locke
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Re: Episode 19

Postby David Locke » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:21 pm

Agent Earle wrote:
David Locke wrote:
Agent Earle wrote:He's second only to the FBI guy going about as a woman.

"guy going about as a woman"? Really? The show didn't even give Denise much of a "wacky" or weird treatment - she's positively banal and down-to-Earth, compared to Nadine/Little Nicky/Dick/Windom Earle/Lana/the Milfords, and all the other mid-S2 fixtures. Even the writers back in 1990 had the good sense to skewer the close-mindedness of some of those that meet Denise instead of the character herself or her gender.


I was not trying to say that I have anything against genderswapping, transsexual identity or any kind of alternative lifestyle - in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I'm simply saying the character him/herself never clicked for me (like it did for so many others, apparently) nor have I seen it as some kind of saving grace for that part of the show, far from it - it's just ridiculous storyline that I file among Nadine/Little Nicky/Dick, Andy & Lucy/Lana and the Milfords/Ben the Civil War General stuff of Peaks temporarily losing its grandeur. So what?

Alright, sorry for jumping to conclusions. If I understand you correctly, I can see how the Denise character/plot would seem a bit too self-consciously "silly," as if the writers were saying "Get this -- Coop teams up with an old partner, but he's no longer a 'he' anymore! Isn't that hilarious!" So, not dissimilar from, "Get this -- Nadine regresses to a teenage girl, WITH super-human strength, AND she goes back to high school and starts banging Mike! Heheheh!"

Actually on my first several watches I don't think I cared for Denise much at all; not dislike, but more indifference. It was only reading people's enthusiasm for the character here and then watching again, that I could see how her character was a breath of fresh air -- at least in her introduction scene in Episode 18 where she meets all the guys at the station, I think that's pretty great stuff. But Denise also is only in the show for 3 episodes (I believe), with most of her screentime being confined to Episode 18 probably, so she didn't wear out her welcome like Nadine/General Horne/Evelyn/etc did.
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Gabriel
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Re: Episode 19

Postby Gabriel » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:15 am

It's not the character I like so much as David Duchovny's performance as Denis/Denise. He underplays it to the perfect extent that he's hysterically funny whenever he's on screen. David Duchovny gets the mannerisms down perfectly, but he's a hulking great 6'4" tall bloke who doesn't look at all feminine. It's that clash which makes the character so memorable. Not to mention the hilarity of him turning up in a waitress costume later on and beating up the bad guys. It's bordering on pantomime dame territory, but still very funny.

Oh no it isn't!

Oh yes it is!
Agent Earle
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Re: Episode 19

Postby Agent Earle » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:21 am

David Locke wrote:Alright, sorry for jumping to conclusions. If I understand you correctly, I can see how the Denise character/plot would seem a bit too self-consciously "silly," as if the writers were saying "Get this -- Coop teams up with an old partner, but he's no longer a 'he' anymore! Isn't that hilarious!" So, not dissimilar from, "Get this -- Nadine regresses to a teenage girl, WITH super-human strength, AND she goes back to high school and starts banging Mike! Heheheh!"


You nailed it - that's EXACTLY how I feel/felt about the character!

Actually on my first several watches I don't think I cared for Denise much at all; not dislike, but more indifference. It was only reading people's enthusiasm for the character here and then watching again, that I could see how her character was a breath of fresh air -- at least in her introduction scene in Episode 18 where she meets all the guys at the station, I think that's pretty great stuff. But Denise also is only in the show for 3 episodes (I believe), with most of her screentime being confined to Episode 18 probably, so she didn't wear out her welcome like Nadine/General Horne/Evelyn/etc did.


Now that you mention it, my attitude towards Denise can be better described as "indifferent" as well. :) I can get how it resonated with the viewers as strongly as it did, what with it being presented at a time when such characters were marvelously exotic in the TV landscape, and here they played it completely straight and matter-of-factly at that. The "silly" aspect of it bothered me too much, though, but I'm completely willing to give him/her another chance in the new show.
Oh, but I've always liked how Denise played a crucial role in the downfall of Jean Renault during the standoff at the Dead Dog Farm (one of my favorite sequences in the whole series, btw!); finding a narrative purpose for his/her female guise somewhat redeemed the character in my eyes.

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