Episode 17

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Aerozhul
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Re: Episode 17

Postby Aerozhul » Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:05 am

Re-watched episodes 17-19 tonight with my daughter (first time viewer) so forgive me as they all are sort of blurring together. As I know this is the beginning of a definite nosedive in quality, I am pretty surprised at how much I still enjoyed and surprised that she enjoyed at all - I warned her this was the beginning of some middling episodes after such a great ride. Turns out we actually liked these episodes quite a bit more than I expected. True that the Lynch flavor is almost completely absent here, but even without I still feel there is some compelling stuff here, a hair above regular episodic television of then and now. A few observations:

-Norma's dismissal of her mother was maybe Peggy Lipton's best scene in the series before we became aware of the fantastic scene between her and Ed in the truck in the Missing Pieces. Norma as a character I feel was very much underutilized, especially since she was a main cast member. Norma seems somewhat out of place in the series, as she's way too normal and somewhat soap opera-ish with absolutely no connection to the supernatural events that are so central, which may be why she was so backburnered as the series went forward. Kind of a shame and missed opportunity in grounding some of the more supernatural elements - instead of exploring Norma a bit more we get Lana Milford and Little Nicky. As much as I disliked the MT Wentz and Ernie subplots, the culmination of it was a pretty decent scene.

-Some decent Audrey / Coop interplay. Was this before or after the decision was made to deep-six that "relationship"? If after, I found these scenes somewhat misleading in that it clearly showed Audrey's intent (and seemingly, Coop's approval) of her pursuing him at a later date.

-Ben has some great scenes in these episodes, bordering on the Civil War subplot which I really detest. But prior to that, I love the scenes with him falling apart and re-arranging his office, brokering a deal with Bobby, being confronted by Hank, and watching the old home filmstrips of his childhood and the start of the Great Northern. Beymer's acting really shines in these scenes.

-Loved the Sarah Palmer intro to the wake. I'll err on the side of positivity and say that Coop was trying to giver her some hope to bolster her in the face of such horrific tragedy. Too bad they chose to end her storyline here.

-Thee wake sucked, yes. We were robbed of at the very least a scene where Donna learns who really killed Laura. Could have been very moving.

- Poor Mandy. No one really cared, it seems.

- Leland was totally absolved and that's total bulls***.

- Liked the Coop / Major Briggs connection. The mystical figure that appeared at Brigg's disappearance was interesting and I would have liked to see that expanded on - perhaps that was a Season 3 plot line.
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Rudagger
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Re: Episode 17

Postby Rudagger » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:36 am

Aerozhul wrote:Re-watched episodes 17-19 tonight with my daughter (first time viewer) so forgive me as they all are sort of blurring together. As I know this is the beginning of a definite nosedive in quality, I am pretty surprised at how much I still enjoyed and surprised that she enjoyed at all - I warned her this was the beginning of some middling episodes after such a great ride. Turns out we actually liked these episodes quite a bit more than I expected. True that the Lynch flavor is almost completely absent here, but even without I still feel there is some compelling stuff here, a hair above regular episodic television of then and now. A few observations:


I think for me, the innate likability of the characters carry me through it, but, that's still sort of a backhanded compliment on my part (it's more similar to how I sit back and watch a bad 90's sitcom with some nostalgia, like I'm hanging out with old friends).

Watching this episode literally as I type this. It's amazing how the episode actually kind of puts a foot down right; the first scene with Sarah is fairly well-executed (even if it again just dismisses Leland's culpability, and closes the book way too quickly), the music leading into it, all of that. But, then you can see the show twist it's ankle immediately in the next scene, where we go from classic dark Twin Peaks music and then abruptly shift lightly. I guess one can argue after the past few dark episodes, the show earned a moment of lightness, but, it's just so wrong headed. It should've been far more melancholy (I love a good wake scene), some tears, but, it just turns into a farce almost instantly. Where's the sadness? Would so many people attend Leland's wake knowing he was a serial rapist? Imagine how much sadder it would be if only Sarah, Coop, and two or three others showed, and if Sarah was ashamed?

I think there was a good episode or two of post-Leland drama that could've happened as the shellshocked town realized what Leland did. And maybe there could've been more scrutiny into other things he had done in his past (that people would only realize or question now knowing that he was a criminal).

God, it's just so mind boggling how this happened.

"Well Major, I'm not exactly sure!" (it's funny in retrospect how both Cooper, and the show itself really didn't know what it's purpose was).

Also, alas, is this the episode that drops the Audrey/Coop romance? Because it still sizzles here. "There's only one problem with you, you're perfect". Also, her hearing about him losing the love of his life in his arms, would if anything just make him fall for him even more. I think as much as solving Palmer's case was killing a golden goose, the ending of the Audrey/Coop romance was as well (even if they just never had it amount to anything beyond her being taken to the Lodge .. perhaps after snooping in on Windom Earle herself, as they could've kept her amateur detective angle?). Hoping that the new season can find elements of romance that work as well as this stuff did (even though it almost certainly won't be Coop/Audrey again).
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Gabriel
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Re: Episode 17

Postby Gabriel » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:19 pm

I wonder whether they should have jumped to a year after the Leland episode, rather than three days. If we'd rejoined the townspeople a year on and perhaps Cooper had returned on vacation in the Twin Peaks property he'd asked Diane to look for, it would have seemed a less slapdash, dismissive way of dealing with the storyline to date than what we got. Not dealing with consequences properly isn't uncommon in serial soaps of the era, but it still sits wrongly with me.
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Re: Episode 17

Postby missoulamt » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:50 am

Has anyone reflected over the signigicance of the elderly waiter, Briggs and Cooper all using the same thumbs up? All three share a connection to the black lodge and seem to have one foot in real life TP while the other one is in the woods, so to speak.

Briggs and the waiter even make a similar sort of facial expression while doing it.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Episode 17

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:44 am

David Locke wrote:And this is unrelated, but what's with that dreary, de-saturated exterior transition shot that comes right before Coop and Audrey's farewell scene? It's like some run-down, rainy/cloudy, industrial part of town that I feel like we never have quite seen before on the show (or maybe not since the pilot). It jars with the soft, warm-colored earth-toned fluffiness of Twin Peaks circa Episode 17, and always has stuck out to me. I suppose you could say it fits the unnecessarily dour tone of the following scene quite well...


I might be wrong (hopefully a local can confirm or refute), but I believe that same stretch of road features in FWWM during Leland & Laura's drive into town, shortly before the One-Armed Man confronts them by Mo's Motors.

The weird random location shots throughout the episode really threw me this time around. I think both of Rathborne's episodes suffer from some weird editing choices (what the HELL is with the poorly-dubbed slowed-down footage of Nadine throwing the jock?!). I can appreciate Lost's interpretation of what Rathborne was trying to do with those cutaways between scenes, but she wasn't an experienced enough filmmaker to make it work (the random closeup of a running faucet is another "huh?" moment).

I have to say, the Coop-centric stuff in this episode works for me. Even the Audrey scene, which people seem to dislike, gets by on the charisma of the actors (especially Fenn). And I actually like seeing Coop taken to task for violating his professional oaths (which we know he values highly). For a show that all too often ignored consequences, it's nice to acknowledge that our hero's shining armor is tarnished a bit, even if the show does very quickly put Coop back on the moral high ground with the "twist" of Mountie King at OEJ.
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LostInTheMovies
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Re: Episode 17

Postby LostInTheMovies » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:04 am

Curious: do we think this is a wake or a funeral? As I'm writing the character studies, I realized I don't have a good answer for this. I've always called a wake, and feel like that's what I've read elsewhere but the script makes reference to neither term, and in a way "funeral reception" makes more sense (where's the body if it's a wake?).
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LostInTheMovies
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Re: Episode 17

Postby LostInTheMovies » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:10 am

Aerozhul wrote:-Thee wake sucked, yes. We were robbed of at the very least a scene where Donna learns who really killed Laura. Could have been very moving.


I feel like she kinda gets that in ep. 16 though (true, she only mentions that Maddy was killed but it seems implicit that she understands something is super-off with Leland), and that frankly she's the only character other than Sarah (and those present for Leland's death - and maybe Ben when he says his lawyer lost his mind) who gets this. Even her dad, who was robbed of a really powerful scene in which he learns his close friend killed Laura (and nearly killed his own daughter too!), is present for Cooper's talk to Sarah yet essentially is allowed no reaction whatsoever except for a vague sympathy with Sarah.

If ever I could wave a magic wand and create some Twin Peaks that we could never get now, it would be those missing 3 days. Makes me all the more glad that Lynch made FWWM, another example of something that - had everyone waited - could never have come to pass.
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David Locke
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Re: Episode 17

Postby David Locke » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:03 am

It's a double edged sword. On the one hand, the 3-day jump is a tremendous mistake that sacrifices the emotional and thematic depth and core of the entire series.

On the other hand, that brief on-location transitional shot shown with the "THREE DAYS LATER" text is real pretty.

So, yeah.

Though you could even argue here that this shot is telling as it's a slightly uncharacteristically "bright" one, an almost Christian-looking landscape, as we see the clearing in the path leads straight to a heavenly, glowing sunlight. This jibes with all the "into the light, Leland..." stuff going on that serves to sanitize Leland's crimes, not just Cooper's speech which is of course quite beautiful but also especially the opening scenes of this episode, the way the gathering is unironically depicted as a positive "coming together" of the community, replete with that saccharine sad-yet-optimistic synth piece and shots of food being lovingly laid out on the table, etc. And how Leland is basically cleared of all wrongdoing in that first scene by Cooper basically saying that it wasn't "him," it was BOB, the other, the thing that possessed him completely - no culpability. Order is restored. These scenes are strange for their complete lack of irony or subtext or sinister implications; the show really seems to be insisting in this cover-up. LITM has likened the wake/funeral scene to a swift and disorienting coup. No doubt it is a thematic and tonal coup in many ways, as if the show traded in its moral sensibility for that of a Lifetime movie.

It sounds silly, but I've always thought the immediate presence of Hank in the wake scene is like a sign that things are amiss. Not that Hank's a bad character, but he's very much an "outsider," I feel -- not someone in the core Palmer/Hayward/Packard/Horne/Hurley/Briggs/police contingent who were closer to Laura and the Palmers both in life and in the ensuing investigations. Hank being there and talking and wearing that dopey shirt and that dopey face he always wears (forget Bill Maher, he's like a beefier Craig Wasson)... it just feels somehow wrong, and thus is an accurate signal of the wrongness to come. Nadine's cringe-inducing shoe-reflection and paranoia over her skirt being too short, et al, only makes matters worse, and by the time we get to Jacoby, Briggs and Coop talking warmly like old buddies, everything feels completely upside-down. Even just the way that scene is staged, the awkward way Jacoby and Briggs just... stand there, as does Coop... it'd odd. It's like everyone's just standing around, having these trivial/jovial/idiotic and irrelevant conversations, while very clearly not acknowledging the giant elephant in the room. More like horde of elephants, really. So much goes unsaid, so much missed potential it's as if the writers were having a contest just to see how much they could miss...
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Episode 17

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:19 am

In the foreward to the reissue of The Secret Diary, Mark sums up the series' missteps thus: "we let their fears become our fears" (referring to the network/industry). This never feels more apt than in summing up the Leland white-washing. After making the incredibly bold storytelling choice to address incestuous sexual abuse head-on on network TV in 1990, the show abruptly retreats with its tail between its legs, blaming everything on spirits and ignoring any and all emotional consequences. All over the course of four episodes! I'd give almost anything to be a fly on the wall during those few weeks in the TP writers' room.
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LostInTheMovies
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Re: Episode 17

Postby LostInTheMovies » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:53 am

"it's as if the writers were having a contest just to see how much they could miss..."

A lot of great evocations of what's wrong there, but this one especially sums it up. And yeah, Wasson and Maher are kinda like two sides of the same coin, aren't they?
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David Locke
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Re: Episode 17

Postby David Locke » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:05 am

I just hope that, before any one of them passes, somebody gets Wasson, Mulkey and Maher in the same room and films it. For art.
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Cappy
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Re: Episode 17

Postby Cappy » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:37 pm

Just watched this episode as part of a re-watch building up to the new series. This episode, and Leland's wake in general, are somewhat problematic for several reasons others have already brought up. But two things really jumped out at me during this ep:

-Audrey is working for her dad at the hotel, when merely 3 days ago she was turning him in to the cops for suspected murder. On top of that, all of the problems associated with her finding out he owned One Eyed Jacks... for her to go from that to being his right arm woman is hard to accept. I'm not saying that she couldn't ever reconcile with Ben, but the audience is never shown anything resembling a resolution to their strife. We are just forced to accept the fact that everything is forgiven. It just bugs me because Audrey was such a strong willed character. If anything it would've made more sense for her to go work at the Double R for a few eps just to spite her family.

-A technical nitpick, but at Leland's wake, Donna walks up to talk to Ed three separate times. A lot of this occurs in the background of Sara and Audrey's discussion on the couch. Also, while Donna is constantly approaching Ed, Donna and Ed both appear in the background of the mayor and his brother's argument. It's almost like Black Lodge hijinks once you notice it.

And yeah, the way in which the townspeople are able to turn a blind eye to Leland's crimes is troubling on a few levels. Either they don't understand the gravity of it, or they do, but they just want to brush everything under the rug. Watching Leland's wake actually makes me feel worse for Laura. Clearly she was in pain and in need of help, but everyone in Twin Peaks is too eager to look away from truth. The tone for the wake, and the rest of season 2, is oddly set by Nadine, who is consumed with her reflection on the top of her black shoes. It's a shame Bobby wasn't in attendance, just so he could tell everyone that they were somehow complicit in Laura's death.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Episode 17

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:20 pm

Cappy wrote:-Audrey is working for her dad at the hotel, when merely 3 days ago she was turning him in to the cops for suspected murder. On top of that, all of the problems associated with her finding out he owned One Eyed Jacks... for her to go from that to being his right arm woman is hard to accept. I'm not saying that she couldn't ever reconcile with Ben, but the audience is never shown anything resembling a resolution to their strife. We are just forced to accept the fact that everything is forgiven. It just bugs me because Audrey was such a strong willed character.


Yes! This. I expressed something similar in the Episode 23 thread a few days ago. I'm surprised this isn't a more common complaint: it's such a betrayal of her character. In addition to what you mentioned, she now knows that Ben was "in love" with her high school classmate and had sex with her, in addition to the trauma of Ben (unknowingly) trying to have sex with Audrey herself. The transition from her realistic skin-crawling revulsion at Ben in Episode 13 in the Bookhouse to her Horne family pride a few episodes later is jarring and made me extremely uncomfortable on this rewatch.
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Snailhead
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Re: Episode 17

Postby Snailhead » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:41 pm

Yes!
I think that's part of why I hate the Wheeler plot more than I should - it's so damn creepy to have her date one of her dad's friends after all her issues with Ben from before.

I sure hope the new scenes with Audrey and Ben revisit their tension - the Audrey bit in Mark's book has me hopeful!
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Cipher
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Re: Episode 17

Postby Cipher » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:55 pm

Flaming hot take: As I've arrived on what would commonly be referred to as the "season 2 slump" on my current rewatch, this episode felt like a breath of fresh air after the missteps of 16, my least favorite on this revisit so far.

The issues with the avoidance during the wake scene have been well-documented, and I certainly can't excuse them. Cooper's speech to Sarah Palmer, and in general the way the Leland storyline is wrapped up, echo the problems present in episode 16, especially with the shadow of Fire Walk With Me's unapologetic abuse narrative over them. Still, nothing episode 17 does is more off-putting than 16 to me in that regard, and once the off-kilter wake is over, a number of fun, if soap-ish, story lines are introduced.

The ramping up of the Lucy-Dick-Andy plot? Meaningless, but enjoyable.

Bobby's attempts to get in with a newly disheveled and disgraced Ben Horne? Promises growth, and intriguing in the moment. Leo's small movement in this episode promises terror to come.

Coop's suspension? Soapishly handled, especially with the melodramatic notice delivered by Roger just before the commercial break. But things are happening again.

Josie returning? Intriguing enough to propel the viewer into the next episode.

But perhaps most importantly, this is the episode that introduces the White Lodge mythology, and Briggs sells it with all the weight in the world, just before his disappearance. That disappearance, by the way, promises the return of the strange and uncanny in a major way. Even Catherine's "guardian angel" story promises more odd supernatural/spiritual presences emerging from the woods. That's a lovely scene I'd forgotten about, and I absolutely take it to be intended to dovetail with the emerging mythology of the White Lodge.

While the series' B-plots have certainly grown more whimsical (and it's a change from season one's tightly interwoven narratives that we even have identifiable B-plots now), a sense of genuine mystery has crept back into the series after the driving one flickered out so limply over episodes 15 and 16. And with the heightened humor, the promise of more uncanny elements and character-based terror to come signals the return of the tonal whiplash that's part of the series' identity since episode 1 (and which I believe the campy handling of 15 and 16 had somewhat diminished; jumping between humor and horror is one thing, but integrating camp into the resolution of a horrific story is another). I know which plotlines do and do not pay off at this point, but I remember being completely intrigued on first viewing, and am feeling that pull again now.

This may not be peak Peaks, but it's solidly entertaining and more in the mode of the series than I'd remembered. Next episode: Denise.

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