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.