Episode 21

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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Episode 21

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:01 pm

Audrey Horne wrote:Shelly is therefore in the house with Leo for an hour before she makes a move of getting out?!


I mean, it had to take Leo awhile to wash all that cake off his face...... :roll:
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David Locke
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Re: Episode 21

Postby David Locke » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:00 pm

I think I wrote earlier here that this episode represents along with Keaton's episode something of a return of a strong sense of directorial style after Episodes 17-20 which were relatively lacking in this. However, with time and further viewings I'm not sure quite why I said this -- if anything, I'd almost say that Edel's episode is one of the most anonymous, bland and blandly directed in the series! He has some nice touches, some distinctive touches, sure, but nothing very memorable at all... only two or three shots or scenes really stick in the mind (well, both for quality and for visual panache). It's odd because Edel seems to be renowned for being this auteur with his own strong vision, but I don't feel like he made much of a mark here. Honestly, while 21 and 22 will always be the nadir of the series for me, the closest it came to being flat-out dull -- even Ep 17, wake scene and all, remains watchable -- I think in some ways 21 is even weaker than Keaton's absurdly irritating/boring episode. Both are almost equally devoid of great scenes, but 21 has a real strong sense of workmanlike apathy to it, where nothing really aims for more than competence.

Additionally, speaking of visual style, I was also mistaken in deriding 17-20. While 17 isn't a standout in this area by any means, it's still nicely lensed in the kind of classic Twin Peaks house style. And 18 I find actually quite wonderfully directed -- it's my favorite of this 17-22 bunch and Dunham's highly atmospheric and intelligent touch is a big part of that (notice how elegantly he utilizes silence, making the music he does include all the more effective; also notice how much better and more alive Kyle's performance seems to be in Dunham's three episodes than many of those surrounding them). 19 is a silly, weaker episode for sure, but Deschanel directs and especially lights the hell out of it -- it can't overcome the material, but the grand effort is admirable (lots of bright, high-key lighting as well as a generally lighter color scheme, which as Lost has noted makes it seem even more like a kind of "Nickelodeon" episode!) Then 20 is a step up, with a lot of strong scenes, and some very interesting work from Holland, who makes even the weakest scenes at least memorable with some almost De Palma-esque operatic camerawork.

But 21? Bland. And of course Keaton's episode is the opposite, but in all the wrong ways -- like an over-eager film student trying out all their little "cool ideas" about blocking and framing and composition, while paying little to no attention to the actors or story that those shots feature.
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Gabriel
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Re: Episode 21

Postby Gabriel » Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:50 pm

Aerozhul wrote:There are several things in this episode that leave me scratching my head:


-The dead drifter's obvious resemblance to Coop (a lost opportunity to expose even more how twisted Earle is)


Yeah, I noticed the resemblance back watching it on the original run. Earle killing Coop lookalikes was tragically wasted.

-Dr. Jacoby is seen holding court over Ben's civil war battle but just a few scenes later he's in the Sheriff's office proclaiming that he's spent the last 24 hours with Lana.


Methinks there was a lot of rewriting and reordering going on! :wink: The timeline with Bobby doesn't make sense either. I'd almost be tempted to think scenes were brought over from the previous episode either at script or shooting stage!

- Men falling all over Lana when there's women like Audrey, Shelly and Norma walking around. I mean, the actress is attractive, but not on that scale.


Yeah, the 'siren' aspect could have been played up as something quite sinister.

- Coop not taking away the Mayor's gun before putting him in a room with his intended victim. Whaaat?!!


There's a reason I call this the Ballykissangel era of the show, but Ballykissangel wouldn't have gone to that level.

- The Little Nicky wrap up scene with Andy and Dick blubbering like babies is so terribly unfunny and cringeworthy. How embarrassing for everyone involved.


Just death on toast with lots of saccharine added on top!

And worst of all: Windom Earle. Kenneth Welsh as a short, scruffy nobody. I still think Robert Vaughan (given his resemblance to Kyle) playing it smartly dressed and as an ice cold psychopath would have worked better.
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Re: Episode 21

Postby Aerozhul » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:03 pm

David Locke wrote:I'd almost say that Edel's episode is one of the most anonymous, bland and blandly directed in the series! He has some nice touches, some distinctive touches, sure, but nothing very memorable at all...


Except for the "Leo attacks Shelly" scene. This was by far the best sequence in an otherwise very bland episode, I really liked the way it was shot - very horror movie-esque and sufficiently creepy while also ratcheting up the tension. The first time I saw it, I wasn't sure if Shelly would survive or not. I mean, I suspected she would since she was a main character, but the atmosphere of it all gave me some doubt. Well done.

I also agree that the whole episode would have nicely benefitted from the blackout lasting longer.
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Re: Episode 21

Postby Agent Earle » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:40 pm

Gabriel wrote:
Aerozhul wrote:There are several things in this episode that leave me scratching my head:


-The dead drifter's obvious resemblance to Coop (a lost opportunity to expose even more how twisted Earle is)


Yeah, I noticed the resemblance back watching it on the original run. Earle killing Coop lookalikes was tragically wasted.



You guys do realize the dead vagrant is actually played by Kyle MacLachlan's real-life brother Craig, don't you?
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Re: Episode 21

Postby Agent Earle » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:43 pm

Aerozhul wrote:
Except for the "Leo attacks Shelly" scene. This was by far the best sequence in an otherwise very bland episode, I really liked the way it was shot - very horror movie-esque and sufficiently creepy while also ratcheting up the tension. The first time I saw it, I wasn't sure if Shelly would survive or not. I mean, I suspected she would since she was a main character, but the atmosphere of it all gave me some doubt. Well done.


Wholeheartedly agree about the merits of the mentioned scene, except for the fact that the standoff at the Dead Dog Farm and Coop's later discovery of the murdered vagrant at the Sheriff Department are just as good and all three scenes manage to make this not-at-all-bad episode.
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Re: Episode 21

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:52 pm

Agent Earle wrote:Wholeheartedly agree about the merits of the mentioned scene, except for the fact that the standoff at the Dead Dog Farm and Coop's later discovery of the murdered vagrant at the Sheriff Department are just as good and all three scenes manage to make this not-at-all-bad episode.


You're thinking of Episode 20.

Agent Earle wrote:You guys do realize the dead vagrant is actually played by Kyle MacLachlan's real-life brother Craig, don't you?


Yep, it's been mentioned multiple times in this thread. Doesn't make it any less jarring (and of course casual viewers WOULDN'T be aware of that).
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Re: Episode 21

Postby Agent Earle » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:02 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:
Agent Earle wrote:Wholeheartedly agree about the merits of the mentioned scene, except for the fact that the standoff at the Dead Dog Farm and Coop's later discovery of the murdered vagrant at the Sheriff Department are just as good and all three scenes manage to make this not-at-all-bad episode.


You're thinking of Episode 20.


You're right, my bad.

Mr. Reindeer wrote:
Agent Earle wrote:You guys do realize the dead vagrant is actually played by Kyle MacLachlan's real-life brother Craig, don't you?


Yep, it's been mentioned multiple times in this thread. Doesn't make it any less jarring (and of course casual viewers WOULDN'T be aware of that).


For what it's worth, I haven't noticed the resemblance during my first few viewings of the episode, so it flew completely by me.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Episode 21

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:09 pm

Agent Earle wrote:For what it's worth, I haven't noticed the resemblance during my first few viewings of the episode, so it flew completely by me.


That's fair. I think that's probably true of many viewers, but on my first viewing the resemblance was glaringly obvious to me. I wondered whether Earle had killed Coop's brother, or deliberately killed a lookalike, and I was shocked when no one commented on it onscreen! I'm the sort of guy who scrutinizes cast lists for shows that I like, so I then noticed the tell-tale name in the end credits.

My girlfriend is watching the show for the first time. I'm curious to see whether she notices when we get there.
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David Locke
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Re: Episode 21

Postby David Locke » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:59 am

Aerozhul wrote:
David Locke wrote:I'd almost say that Edel's episode is one of the most anonymous, bland and blandly directed in the series! He has some nice touches, some distinctive touches, sure, but nothing very memorable at all...


Except for the "Leo attacks Shelly" scene. This was by far the best sequence in an otherwise very bland episode, I really liked the way it was shot - very horror movie-esque and sufficiently creepy while also ratcheting up the tension. The first time I saw it, I wasn't sure if Shelly would survive or not. I mean, I suspected she would since she was a main character, but the atmosphere of it all gave me some doubt. Well done.

I also agree that the whole episode would have nicely benefitted from the blackout lasting longer.

I love the idea of the blackout lasting longer. Those scenes, both at the end of Episode 20 and the start of Episode 21, really ratchet up the suspense and moody atmosphere of the show - a lot of the first few post-Leland episodes had been dedicated to very jokey, light-hearted plots, so Dead Dog Farm and the following scenes of the murdered vagrant and Leo attacking Shelly during that blackout feel like a return to the darker, more sinister Peaks. (Recall how it was just an episode before the lights first go out when we were treated to the infamous Little Nicky 'devil' thought bubble!)

However, though I like the beginning (or rather, ending, of Episode 20), I just can't get on board with the Leo/Shelly scene as it's executed by Edel. I'd much rather follow Shelley around the dilapidated, darkness-enshrouded house as she calls out "Leo? Leo?" etc after that eerie burst of clown imagery and electrical failure, than actually get the stock-standard slasher-movie "narrowly-survives-death" scene Edel gives us. The whole thing's not only not scary, it just feels beamed in from a zillion other shows or movies, with the unstoppable killer waving the knife/axe/weapon of choice around as the helpless woman screams out for the Good Guy to save her -- all the while the killer both paradoxically shows almost super-human level powers and strength, and yet sub-human ability to just kill, or even strike, their victim. Oh, and of course Leo gives the typical slasher pun/stupid line just before The Final Attempt at killing her -- "goodbye, wife" or something idiotic like that. Plus Badalamenti contributes one of his most disposable works (if it is his?) to the scene, just a straight-to-video horror-synth thingy, less out of place and dated but basically equally objectionable as the weird electronic piece that plays in Episode 7 during the mill fire.

Pretty silly, somehow this generic slasher-flick stuff actually feels almost like more of a violation to the spirit of Twin Peaks than, say, Super-Nadine or other kooky happenings. Perhaps because it feels so common, not unique, whereas even the weaker Peaks stuff like Nadine is nothing if not unique and odd and intriguing on some level. I don't even think the blocking and directing of this Leo/Shelly scene is anything special, either; just another pretty bland effort from Edel. We do get a few quick shots that suggest so much more, like the long shot of the whole Johnson house, seemingly lit up in fiery orange-red hues (almost recalling the final shot of Episode 13, of the Great Northern). But on the whole, it's a tellingly humdrum start to a humdrum episode... and, just like that, we get back to the silliest schlock, like the Lana/Mayor scene - almost hard to believe that occurs at the same station where earlier that very morning the power was out and a dead man had been staged against a chess board... I do really like the opening bits in the station with Harry and Coop, just because it's so much more interesting than anything else going on in that episode.

I guess another way to sum up the problem with Episode 21 is it's kind of stuck between the mid-S2 kitsch and the darker parts of Peaks, residing in an awkward tonal spot. I'd rather watch either Episode 19, where everything is bright and silly and wacky, or Episode 23, where everything is very gloomy (that's not fair, though, I guess, because 23's so much better than basically any episode since 16). Even Keaton's episode has a more coherent tone and feel to it.

But of course all of this has a lot to do with the script, as well, maybe more than the director at hand.
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Re: Episode 21

Postby Aerozhul » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:00 pm

David Locke wrote:
Aerozhul wrote:
David Locke wrote:I'd almost say that Edel's episode is one of the most anonymous, bland and blandly directed in the series! He has some nice touches, some distinctive touches, sure, but nothing very memorable at all...


Except for the "Leo attacks Shelly" scene. This was by far the best sequence in an otherwise very bland episode, I really liked the way it was shot - very horror movie-esque and sufficiently creepy while also ratcheting up the tension. The first time I saw it, I wasn't sure if Shelly would survive or not. I mean, I suspected she would since she was a main character, but the atmosphere of it all gave me some doubt. Well done.

I also agree that the whole episode would have nicely benefitted from the blackout lasting longer.

I love the idea of the blackout lasting longer. Those scenes, both at the end of Episode 20 and the start of Episode 21, really ratchet up the suspense and moody atmosphere of the show - a lot of the first few post-Leland episodes had been dedicated to very jokey, light-hearted plots, so Dead Dog Farm and the following scenes of the murdered vagrant and Leo attacking Shelly during that blackout feel like a return to the darker, more sinister Peaks. (Recall how it was just an episode before the lights first go out when we were treated to the infamous Little Nicky 'devil' thought bubble!)

However, though I like the beginning (or rather, ending, of Episode 20), I just can't get on board with the Leo/Shelly scene as it's executed by Edel. I'd much rather follow Shelley around the dilapidated, darkness-enshrouded house as she calls out "Leo? Leo?" etc after that eerie burst of clown imagery and electrical failure, than actually get the stock-standard slasher-movie "narrowly-survives-death" scene Edel gives us. The whole thing's not only not scary, it just feels beamed in from a zillion other shows or movies, with the unstoppable killer waving the knife/axe/weapon of choice around as the helpless woman screams out for the Good Guy to save her -- all the while the killer both paradoxically shows almost super-human level powers and strength, and yet sub-human ability to just kill, or even strike, their victim. Oh, and of course Leo gives the typical slasher pun/stupid line just before The Final Attempt at killing her -- "goodbye, wife" or something idiotic like that. Plus Badalamenti contributes one of his most disposable works (if it is his?) to the scene, just a straight-to-video horror-synth thingy, less out of place and dated but basically equally objectionable as the weird electronic piece that plays in Episode 7 during the mill fire.

Pretty silly, somehow this generic slasher-flick stuff actually feels almost like more of a violation to the spirit of Twin Peaks than, say, Super-Nadine or other kooky happenings. Perhaps because it feels so common, not unique, whereas even the weaker Peaks stuff like Nadine is nothing if not unique and odd and intriguing on some level. I don't even think the blocking and directing of this Leo/Shelly scene is anything special, either; just another pretty bland effort from Edel. We do get a few quick shots that suggest so much more, like the long shot of the whole Johnson house, seemingly lit up in fiery orange-red hues (almost recalling the final shot of Episode 13, of the Great Northern). But on the whole, it's a tellingly humdrum start to a humdrum episode... and, just like that, we get back to the silliest schlock, like the Lana/Mayor scene - almost hard to believe that occurs at the same station where earlier that very morning the power was out and a dead man had been staged against a chess board... I do really like the opening bits in the station with Harry and Coop, just because it's so much more interesting than anything else going on in that episode.

I guess another way to sum up the problem with Episode 21 is it's kind of stuck between the mid-S2 kitsch and the darker parts of Peaks, residing in an awkward tonal spot. I'd rather watch either Episode 19, where everything is bright and silly and wacky, or Episode 23, where everything is very gloomy (that's not fair, though, I guess, because 23's so much better than basically any episode since 16). Even Keaton's episode has a more coherent tone and feel to it.

But of course all of this has a lot to do with the script, as well, maybe more than the director at hand.


Yes, but as pointed out earlier in this thread, the common slasher scene is disrupted a bit as Shelly is the one who saves the day, not Bobby. Had she not stabbed Leo, Bobby would have been choked out. I get your points, but I still liked the sequence a lot better than the rest of the episode.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Episode 21

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:37 pm

I think I mostly enjoy how Edel uses the plastic wall to ratchet up the suspense of Shelly's escape attempts, and ultimately to bring the "howling wind and blowing leaves" vibe he builds outside into the scene. On this rewatch, I've been surprised at how few scenes we really get that exploit the theme Lynch used to sell the show: the woods at night. This sequence gives us a little of that, even if it is executed in a somewhat pedestrian fashion.
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Gabriel
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Re: Episode 21

Postby Gabriel » Mon May 01, 2017 9:15 am

Agent Earle wrote: You guys do realize the dead vagrant is actually played by Kyle MacLachlan's real-life brother Craig, don't you?

Yes, that's why I said what did.
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Re: Episode 21

Postby Jonah » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:37 pm

The opening scenes here are all pretty good and suitably atmospheric and creepy - the vagrant in the Sheriff's Station, Audrey and Bobby talking by candelight (with appropriate little owl ornament near at hand), and Leo attacking Shelly and Bobby in a very horror-movie-like scene (and another shot of an owl - this time a real one - outside). I agree it was a good idea to have Shelly stab Leo and save Bobby rather than the other way around. The use of those plastic-covered walls were bound to show up in a horror scene.

This is still less-than-stellar stuff, but it's not bad. I agree it was a wasted opportunity to not have the Kyle-lookalike vagrant mentioned, though I can't say the similarity struck me as strongly as some of you. Oh and the clown ornament on the wall in Leo's house - I just assume Shelly and Bobby bought that when they threw Leo his party? Can't explain the clown ornament seen at the end of the last episode though.

I sort of like the Doc Hayward/Big Ed scene in the diner, followed by Norma and Big Ed talking. And glad to see Hank seems to be going away. I wouldn't have minded him coming back some time though. Chris Mulkey was a fairly good actor.

All the Evelyn stuff - no comment. Yawn.

I like the scene where Cooper tells Harry about Caroline and Earle.

Donna confronting Evelyn Marsh is sort of fun, but this is still an awful storyline.

The Civil War stuff - blah. I think the actors do a good job with these scenes considering what they were given though.

The scene with Doc Hayward and Dick, Andy, and Lucy.... I like that Doc Hayward is trying to talk sense into them, but the whole speech followed by the crying is pretty bad - though I don't think it's much worse than the scene with Candie in the new series. They both feature a fly being swatted.

Glad to see the Evelyn Marsh storyline winding down. The Lana storyline too, though alas she'll be back.
And I like the final scene of Leo creeping through the woods and stumbling upon the isolated cabin - and we finally see Windom Earle. There's some nice synchronicity here with the feel of this scene to the opening scenes.

All in all, not a great episode but like most of the others of this stretch, there's a few promising moments - and even a couple of pretty good scenes. I think this wasn't the worst episode of this stretch - it's weaker than 20, but a bit better than 19.
Actually, now that some time has passed, I like "The full blossom of the evening".

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