Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Moderators: Annie, BookhouseBoyBob, Ross, Jerry Horne, Brad D

User avatar
mine
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby mine » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:02 pm

referendum wrote:
Frost writing 2 books after what was to be the last word on the Twin Peaks universe took definitive shape speaks for itself. What artistic reason is for him to do something like that if he was truly satisfied with The Return. Not that what he'll come up with will necessarily be better.


i don't think this is right. For what it's worth ( and i know this is an idea alot of people dislike ) Lynch and Frost seem to have unmoored TP from the need to have a consistent linear narrative, and decided that Twin Peaks is a sort of story generating machine, so it is possible to tell different stories around the same themes, or with some connection to the world of TP , that can overlap or contradict each other as much as they like, because that's all they are, separate stories - separate fictional worlds - each with their own integrity, but with defining elements and themes in common. There is not one definitive version - there are versions. Frost's book has no obligation towards respecting the storyline of TP3 or vice- versa. I dunno whether i would call this meta-fiction or alternative time-lines as other people have done: I think it is something else. I suppose if we get more books and maybe another series it will be clearer what it is.
@Novalis has been trying to say something about this aswell. He described it as moving from duality to multiplicity. As a structural/ story telling mechanism I am still trying to get my head round it and put it into words. If that is what is happening...I might just be seeing faces in the shadows....:)

ps, there was an interview i read that Lynch gave, i think it was around 2014 - before he had started filming TP but after most of it was written - when he talked about finding it an interesting idea if a detail of someone's life turned up in another time-zone, for instance, if you told a story about events that happened in 1920, but somewhere in it a character finds a piece of paper with the name ' Lee Harvey Oswald' on it, which would have of course massive significance for the viewer nowadays but meaning nothing to the character inside the story. Maybe him and Frost talk about this kind of stuff, who knows?

I don't have an issue with TP not sticking to linear narrative. I don't think it deviates from that much though. When it does it's usually an added layer rather than something that disturbs the basic linear timeline. FWWM had an unconventional structure in the sense that the Theresa Banks part was in a way a backstory within a backstory. The most obvious deviation from conventional narrative pertains to the supernatural where consistency is dismissed altogether (movements within it and between the realities never follow a formula) which as far as i'm concerned works perfectly well.

Considering Frost's upcoming book will inevitably be a companion piece to The Return. The title implies it will address the finale because there isn't much sense to a final dossier on Twin Peaks prior to the events of the finale even in context of the Secret History. I can't see how the ideal scenario would not be to deliver the final all encompassing epilogue within the 18 hour show. The book just has a plan B vibe to it.

In retrospect TP is not so much about TP but about Blue Rose. If you look at it from that perspective, the narrative is pretty standard with some deviations in the specifics of the cases and topics of interest to the project. We know more than we thought we needed to know about what Blue Rose is, how it came to be, how the agents got involved and their whereabouts throughout the timeline the universe covers. The original run was about Laura's case and after that was resolved the main plot was Windom Earl - again a deviation from Twin Peaks towards the FBI. FWWM was essentially about two cases that turned out to be connected. The Return is a collection of things of interest to Blue Rose and as per usual the agents don't really have the competency to make much sense of what they're dealing with. The Secret History is all about Blue Rose through the eyes of the people involved in it.
User avatar
sylvia_north
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:41 pm

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby sylvia_north » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:22 pm

Final Dossier is a mere 160 pages :cry:
referendum wrote: I dunno whether i would call this meta-fiction or alternative time-lines as other people have done: I think it is something else. I suppose if we get more books and maybe another series it will be clearer what it is.
Would the "something else" be a surrealist parlor game? (I know that Lynch recommends the cut-up technique for inspiration http://isabellastreffen.com/wp-content/ ... -Games.pdf Can't deny there's something fascinating about some of the crude end products of universal field spontaneity, and using this mode to say, portray Tammy as a competent agent in the book, but an out-of-place feminine ornament to prop up Gordon Cole in the show. Also can't deny I prefer the elegant polish and brevity of FWWM, LH, MD.

TR especially combined with SH have definitely been another exercise in depicting "bubble universes" (Lynch's word) and I sensed this was an ambitious undertaking- they could have done lots more with it without hitting anyone over the head with linear/cohesive/101 structure, or sacrificing precious screentime to Roadhouse bands (Billy hates that place and so do I now) or making Naido Diane (something someone must have come up with on the toilet) or the DYNAMIC AND PROFOUND jail dialog.
i .. am .. not ... your... foot
User avatar
mine
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby mine » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:26 pm

Joe McCluskey wrote:Glad you enjoyed the video! In regard to the Denise scene, I am hesitant to believe that it was intended to be condescending towards those who are apologetic of him. There is a certain level of self-awareness on his part, but he quickly dismisses the allegation from Denise by saying he's "old school." I don't think Lynch's ego allows for complete self-depreciation. But yes, all of this meta bologna, regardless of how it is interpreted, certainly reflects that it's more so about Lynch rather than Twin Peaks.

All the meta stuff also implies lack of artistic vision. Why bother with it if you genuinely have something artistically worthwhile to say.

I think where he overstepped is in what was supposed to be the core of the return (Cooper's path back from the black lodge to Twin Peaks) was reduced to a convenient device to make plenty of room for Gordon Cole among other things. It was weirdly obvious. There was at least one Gordon heavy episode without one Cooper scene. Both Cooper's were just there, it became obvious early on from the Dougy storyline that he was put in that state because they needed him out of the way. With the doppelganger it became obvious a little later because he started slowly disappearing from the episodes.
User avatar
mine
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby mine » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:39 pm

Shloogorgh wrote:
mine wrote:That covers the first book but it doesn't the Final Dossier. In any case there's not much of an argument to stick to without knowing the contents of the yet to be released book.


I'm pretty sure the Final Dossier came about because Frost realized fairly quickly that his hands were tied on the Secret History on revealing much on what had transpired in the last 25 years due to spoilers, but he still wanted to release something before s3. And now he can do the rest without worry

I could see that, but do we really imagine it to be a collection of stuff like anecdote's from Wally Brando Brennan's childhood with the medical records of that time either Andy or Lucy dropped him on his head as a baby? There really isn't much interesting stuff left in the 25 years unless the unresolved storylines from the return aren't addressed.
If you consider The Secret History was essentially written from a Blue Rose perspective a sequel can't avoid dealing with the aftermath of Cooper's return.
User avatar
referendum
Posts: 309
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:29 am

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby referendum » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:13 pm

sylvia_north wrote: Would the "something else" be a surrealist parlor game? (I know that Lynch recommends the cut-up technique for inspiration http://isabellastreffen.com/wp-content/ ... -Games.pdf Can't deny there's something fascinating about some of the crude end products of universal field spontaneity, a
TR especially combined with SH have definitely been another exercise in depicting "bubble universes" (Lynch's word) and I sensed this was an ambitious undertaking-
mine wrote:
All the meta stuff also implies lack of artistic vision.


again, I am not sure this is ' meta' stuff, if you mean meta-fiction, it seems to me more like a way of generating ideas, by saying, ok, we have this place, these people, these themes, let's perform a set of variations with them. I mean, bach generates variations from basic material like this. It's hardly a surrealist idea. Plenty of writers have used this format of kind of linked short stories all of which sit in the same frame. Sure, you can talk about Borges and Calvino and Perec and all the Oulipo people in Paris as being fictions about fictions, etc, but the best of those writers have a real emotional pull, and really bring you into their world, it isn't only games, any more than something like Burroughs is. The best parts of Lynch are the bits that drag you in where you really don't know where you are or where you are going.

One of the annoying parts of TP for me has been the cribs from other movies, including his own, but I am wondering - when you refer to '' bubble universes'' ( I hadn't come across that before), whether this borrowing, or rather referring to the world of other films, is not deliberate, there to support the '' bubble universe'' structure of it all.
I mean referring directly to the wild ones doesn't invalidate the emotional truth of the wild ones, anymore than the return invalidates the original TP. They are past fictional worlds with their own integrity ('' trapped in amber'', as another poster on here says) and TP TR making a different story out of the original, or sarah palmer taking her face of, does not - for me - puncture the ' bubble universe' of the original, take away Sarah Palmer's or Laura's past suffereing, etc - we have already seen and felt the truth of that. For me, at least, that can't be taken away by telling a different story years later.

Me i am interested in all this kind of structural stuff ( as you may have noticed, ha) and i don't think it '' implies lack of artistic vision; one of the things i have always liked about Lynch's work ( when it works ) is that it has a solid structural spine, and is technically very assured, which is precisely what frees him up to do all the expressionist and off-the-wall stuff. It is just that the structure in this case is a sort of fluid organic shifting thing, you could even call it modular ( sorry) this business of throwing the pieces of the puzzle over the wall in a random order. Anyway structurally i am still trying to figure this thing out, and I don't think it is a mess, I think structurally it is actually pretty solid - even if some things have gone wrong in the course of making and editing it, as discussed at length here :)

ps - the part where i really get off the boat is the suggestion that the character's might be able to know that they are fictional and in a story. I mean a story written by Lynch and Frost. On the other hand, it is clear that Cooper knows he is in Dougie ( but not vice versa) and he knows he is Richard at the end. And audrey senses she is in some... i don't know what. I can just about take the dreams within dreams supernatural explanation for this ( after all, FWWM is classified as ' fantasy ' on the copy i downloaded the other week) but I really don't buy it as ' meta-fiction' on a structural level, even though there might be the odd spanner in the works here and there, like, er... Monica Bellucci. :)

Sorry to go on abit, I am thinking out loud trying to work this thing out.

ps - just noticed this:
@mine said - I don't have an issue with TP not sticking to linear narrative. I don't think it deviates from that much though.
Yeah, one write up i read, by some well known film critic, said the main problem with it for him was when it stuck to the linear narrative and gave blobs of exposition dumps or slightly leaden character development 'old favourites' scenes - those were the bits, for him, that stopped it working as a ' whole', even though he otherwise liked alot of things about it. Well, ''it’s precisely in that fateful realm of detail-fitting and of interpretive madness that it’s distinguished, to its disadvantage, from the realm of the great movies that inspire it.'' is actually what he said. Last two paragraphs here: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/richa ... the-return
''let's not overthink this opportunity''
Poiuyt
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:26 am

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Poiuyt » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:09 pm

TR totally punctured through to TP. It expanded on the pilot and changed the very essence of TP as a scripted drama watched by tens of millions of peeps. For better or worse imo, maybe a little bit of both! :idea:
Manwith
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:04 pm

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Manwith » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:54 pm

mine wrote:
Shloogorgh wrote:
mine wrote:That covers the first book but it doesn't the Final Dossier. In any case there's not much of an argument to stick to without knowing the contents of the yet to be released book.


I'm pretty sure the Final Dossier came about because Frost realized fairly quickly that his hands were tied on the Secret History on revealing much on what had transpired in the last 25 years due to spoilers, but he still wanted to release something before s3. And now he can do the rest without worry

I could see that, but do we really imagine it to be a collection of stuff like anecdote's from Wally Brando Brennan's childhood with the medical records of that time either Andy or Lucy dropped him on his head as a baby? There really isn't much interesting stuff left in the 25 years unless the unresolved storylines from the return aren't addressed.
If you consider The Secret History was essentially written from a Blue Rose perspective a sequel can't avoid dealing with the aftermath of Cooper's return.


I suspect The Final Dossier will try very hard not to "spoil" the ambiguity of the ending of season 3. So similar to how in Secret History we learned virtually nothing about the season 2 cliffhanger except Audrey was in a coma, in "Final Dossier" we might learn "Cooper vanished again" or "Audrey went missing, an unconfirmed Audrey sighting happened one year in Florida" or other open-ended ambiguous non-revelations in the spirit of The Secret History. But maybe I'll be wrong and Frost will actually undermine Lynch's ambiguity. We'll see.
User avatar
Snailhead
Posts: 526
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:45 pm

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Snailhead » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:57 pm

I liked the post by Steve Liam that critiqued the Return as a failure in terms of plot. While I applaud experimentation with and deviance from a traditional plot structure, it's a whole other matter to make so many rookie mistakes. I think I've mentioned it elsewhere but one of the things that bugged me most about The Return was how much screen time was devoted to people talking to other people over the phone. One of the first things you'll learn as a screenwriting student is that phonecalls make for boring/uninteresting scenes - not that you should never have them as a rule, but they should be used sparingly and only when they're crucial to progressing the plot or are depicted in an interesting way. For example, the phone calls in "Mullholand Drive" and "Lost Highway" work really well - when Betty and Rita are calling Diane Selwyn, it's exciting because Rita thinks she might be calling herself. Or in Lost Highway, when the Mystery Man calls Fred at the party, or later when Alice phones Pete, it's a sumptuous closeup and full of dread - an audiovisual delight. Most of the phone calls in The Return are plain boring.

It's funny - I've said before that if the aesthetic of The Return was stronger that I would forgive its other issues more readily. Now I'm thinking, if the writing was stronger I could forgive the other issues. When it comes down to it, it needed at least one other element of it to be really strong, to balance out some of the more questionable parts. It was just underwhelming on one too many levels.

No matter how I end up feeling about it in the long run, though, I feel very confident in saying that it's still significantly stronger than the weak stretch of S2 (Episodes 17-28), and I'd be happy to debate those who think otherwise. But sadly I think it's Lynch's weakest work and it irks me to see critics call it his masterpiece. I have no issue with people liking or loving The Return - heck, I really like a lot of it and even love some of it - but to say it's his best work doesn't sit well with me at all.
Welcome to Canada...
User avatar
Joe McCluskey
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:06 am

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Joe McCluskey » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:11 pm

Steve Liam wrote:The Return failed on a screenwriting 101/filmmaking 101 level.

For example, the main antagonist in a work of dramatic fiction should probably pose a threat.

Evil Cooper wanted mysterious coordinates to a mysterious location for mysterious reasons. What was he trying to accomplish? What threat did he pose exactly? If the main antagonist doesn't seem to pose a threat, then there's nothing at stake. If there's nothing at stake, then there's no conflict - there's no tension - there's no suspense - there's no drama. And, without any of that, what is there?

Gordon Cole and company seemed mildly curious about Evil Cooper. But, because Evil Cooper posed no clear threat, there was no urgency for the trio to take any action against him. They mostly just hung out at a hotel and did nothing of consequence.

The Twin Peaks sheriff's department decided to investigate the coordinates left behind by Major Briggs. Why? They had no compelling reason to do so. There was nothing at stake to motivate them into action. They decided to do it out of sheer curiosity, and nothing more - that doesn't make for a gripping story! And, the discoveries that they made at the location amounted to nothing. Naido ended up doing nothing of consequence. The information that Andy received from The Giant ended up being of no consequence.

What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas - the events that took place in Las Vegas had no bearing on the rest of the series. The insurance fraud storyline existed in a vacuum - it was entirely irrelevant. Cooper returned to his senses as the result of a single random event - an event that was not predicated on any of the events that preceded it - thus rendering everything that came before it entirely pointless. Bushnell Mullins and the Mitchum brothers served no purpose in the overall narrative. In episode 17, the Mitchum brothers were relegated to watching from the sidelines with absolutely nothing to do, much like Hawk and Bobby and James and many other characters.

There was no mystery in The Return. In a legitimate mystery, there is something at stake which drives the narrative and motivates the characters to find the solution. What was at stake in The Return? Viewers waited patiently for the series to answer such questions as - Why is Jacoby painting shovels? - Is Richard Horne's mother Audrey? - Who is Duncan Todd working for? - Is Bobby the father of Becky? - But, none of these questions function as legitimate mysteries. In place of legitimate mystery, The Return took its sweet time to clarify basic details, such as how one character relates to another, in an attempt to tantalize viewers. Why did we have to wait until episode 15 to have it confirmed that Richard Horne's mother was Audrey? We could've been given that information in episode 6, and it wouldn't have changed a thing! I suppose that if we had been given such information right away, there would've been one less thing to distract from the fact that there was no actual story to talk about.

There's an old filmmaking adage that goes, "Show, don't tell." The Return often had a problem with telling instead of showing. For example, we're told that Tammy Preston is a great agent - she's "got the stuff" according to Gordon Cole. But, she never does anything to demonstrate it. We just have to take David Lynch's word for it - that's boring!

There's been a lot of talk about how The Return subverts viewer expectations. Subverting the expectations of the viewer is worthwhile only if the author delivers something that is more exciting and satisfying than what the viewer expected to see. Lucy being the one to kill Evil Cooper was good for a cheap laugh, but did anyone prefer it to a confrontation between Cooper and Evil Cooper? Wouldn't it have been more exciting if Tim Roth & Jennifer Jason Leigh had a confrontation with the Mitchum brothers, like we all expected, instead of a random character that appeared out of nowhere? It certainly would've given the Mitchum brothers something to do in the scene.

Anyway, I just wanted to highlight some of the major, fundamental problems with The Return. There are many more problems that one could discuss, and many of you have already done so. I loved reading this thread as the series was unfolding. I give my thanks to all of the contributors.

Excellent post, Steve. There was a lot of potential to be had with the idea of Evil Coop manipulating the characters in Twin Peaks into thinking that he was the Dale they once knew. Also, the idea a Good Coop & Evil Coop showdown was teased from the get-go of THE RETURN, only for him to be abruptly offed by Lucy. as you mention. In addition to his underdeveloped character and unclear motivation, he also makes poor choices and associates himself with some incompetent people. He even manages to get shot twice within the span of just a few days! It makes you wonder why Bob even bothered sticking around with such a loser.
Eva Marie
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:26 am

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Eva Marie » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:17 pm

I struggle tracing the original comment about needing to get Lynch off the stage because he's an old man embarrassing himself and everyone who comes into contact with him, but that was incredibly well-said. TR has made him look like an inmate that's running the TP asylum. Before it seemed like actors were clamouring to be Lynch favourites: it was a like a secret privileged society and the chosen ones went on and on about how special they felt in interviews. Perhaps now they will think twice about sharing their Lynch closeness because it could cheapen their worth. I mean, if Chrysta Bell can deliver a Razzie-worthy performance and still be a Lynch muse - well, there isn't much to it, is there? It won't taint MacLachlan, Watts and Dern because they got admitted into the club when DL still had his marbles, but his judgement can no longer be trusted with anyone new.

Also another post about fearing that this trainwreck could be used a stick to beat unformulaic projects with in the future is a fear of mine too. Once the dust settles, TR could become the "Showgirls" of cable TV among execs. It's sad that the money Showtime put into this garbage could've been spent on roughly 2 more seasons of Masters of Sex. They were better off blowing it on slot machines with this kind of outcome.
Last edited by Eva Marie on Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
Eva Marie
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:26 am

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Eva Marie » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:28 pm

"There was a lot of potential to be had with the idea of Evil Coop manipulating the characters in Twin Peaks into thinking that he was the Dale they once knew."

Kyle came out looking like gold out of the sorry mess that is TR - his work was the only thing keeping me going until ep. 11 because of both its subtle quality and the sentimental reasons of him being the heart of the original. Then he largely disappeared for 2 parts and that put everything else in perspective: that there was nothing else worthwhile in TR.

But he would've done even better with a clean-cut Evil Coop impersonating the Good Coop and messing everything up in his life. That's truly a dream role for someone with his resume full of playing white collar characters where something's not quite right with them.
User avatar
sylvia_north
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:41 pm

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby sylvia_north » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:33 pm

Joe McCluskey wrote: There was a lot of potential to be had with the idea of Evil Coop manipulating the characters in Twin Peaks into thinking that he was the Dale they once knew. Also, the idea a Good Coop & Evil Coop showdown was teased from the get-go of THE RETURN, only for him to be abruptly offed by Lucy. as you mention. In addition to his underdeveloped character and unclear motivation, he also makes poor choices and associates himself with some incompetent people. He even manages to get shot twice within the span of just a few days! It makes you wonder why Bob even bothered sticking around with such a loser.


Hey, Dale managed to get shot in like a week, too, and lose his badge DOUBLE HOMICIDE? STOLEN DRUGS? STORMING A WHOREHOUSE? Clearly he's done a crap job of his Blue Rose duties, too. Doppleganger apple doesn't fall far from the tree :P
i .. am .. not ... your... foot
User avatar
Steve Liam
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:28 pm

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Steve Liam » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:38 pm

Snailhead wrote:I liked the post by Steve Liam that critiqued the Return as a failure in terms of plot. While I applaud experimentation with and deviance from a traditional plot structure, it's a whole other matter to make so many rookie mistakes.

Thank you. I have nothing against experimental, unconventional, surreal, abstract films. Eraserhead is probably my favorite David Lynch movie. The difference is that Eraserhead has a central theme, and most of its scenes exist to explore and service that theme. There's a cohesiveness to it a result, and it resonates emotionally. The Return was all over the place. It didn't seem to have anything in particular on its mind. But, it didn't really have a story, either. Soooo, where does that leave us?

Joe McCluskey wrote:Excellent post, Steve. There was a lot of potential to be had with the idea of Evil Coop manipulating the characters in Twin Peaks into thinking that he was the Dale they once knew. Also, the idea a Good Coop & Evil Coop showdown was teased from the get-go of THE RETURN, only for him to be abruptly offed by Lucy. as you mention. In addition to his underdeveloped character and unclear motivation, he also makes poor choices and associates himself with some incompetent people. He even manages to get shot twice within the span of just a few days! It makes you wonder why Bob even bothered sticking around with such a loser.

Thanks, Joe. I agree with much of what you've said. I enjoyed your video, by the way. Keep up the good work.
User avatar
Dreamy Audrey
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:27 pm

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby Dreamy Audrey » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:07 am

Joe McCluskey wrote:
Steve Liam wrote:The Return failed on a screenwriting 101/filmmaking 101 level.

For example, the main antagonist in a work of dramatic fiction should probably pose a threat.

Evil Cooper wanted mysterious coordinates to a mysterious location for mysterious reasons. What was he trying to accomplish? What threat did he pose exactly? If the main antagonist doesn't seem to pose a threat, then there's nothing at stake. If there's nothing at stake, then there's no conflict - there's no tension - there's no suspense - there's no drama. And, without any of that, what is there?

Gordon Cole and company seemed mildly curious about Evil Cooper. But, because Evil Cooper posed no clear threat, there was no urgency for the trio to take any action against him. They mostly just hung out at a hotel and did nothing of consequence.

The Twin Peaks sheriff's department decided to investigate the coordinates left behind by Major Briggs. Why? They had no compelling reason to do so. There was nothing at stake to motivate them into action. They decided to do it out of sheer curiosity, and nothing more - that doesn't make for a gripping story! And, the discoveries that they made at the location amounted to nothing. Naido ended up doing nothing of consequence. The information that Andy received from The Giant ended up being of no consequence.

What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas - the events that took place in Las Vegas had no bearing on the rest of the series. The insurance fraud storyline existed in a vacuum - it was entirely irrelevant. Cooper returned to his senses as the result of a single random event - an event that was not predicated on any of the events that preceded it - thus rendering everything that came before it entirely pointless. Bushnell Mullins and the Mitchum brothers served no purpose in the overall narrative. In episode 17, the Mitchum brothers were relegated to watching from the sidelines with absolutely nothing to do, much like Hawk and Bobby and James and many other characters.

There was no mystery in The Return. In a legitimate mystery, there is something at stake which drives the narrative and motivates the characters to find the solution. What was at stake in The Return? Viewers waited patiently for the series to answer such questions as - Why is Jacoby painting shovels? - Is Richard Horne's mother Audrey? - Who is Duncan Todd working for? - Is Bobby the father of Becky? - But, none of these questions function as legitimate mysteries. In place of legitimate mystery, The Return took its sweet time to clarify basic details, such as how one character relates to another, in an attempt to tantalize viewers. Why did we have to wait until episode 15 to have it confirmed that Richard Horne's mother was Audrey? We could've been given that information in episode 6, and it wouldn't have changed a thing! I suppose that if we had been given such information right away, there would've been one less thing to distract from the fact that there was no actual story to talk about.

There's an old filmmaking adage that goes, "Show, don't tell." The Return often had a problem with telling instead of showing. For example, we're told that Tammy Preston is a great agent - she's "got the stuff" according to Gordon Cole. But, she never does anything to demonstrate it. We just have to take David Lynch's word for it - that's boring!

There's been a lot of talk about how The Return subverts viewer expectations. Subverting the expectations of the viewer is worthwhile only if the author delivers something that is more exciting and satisfying than what the viewer expected to see. Lucy being the one to kill Evil Cooper was good for a cheap laugh, but did anyone prefer it to a confrontation between Cooper and Evil Cooper? Wouldn't it have been more exciting if Tim Roth & Jennifer Jason Leigh had a confrontation with the Mitchum brothers, like we all expected, instead of a random character that appeared out of nowhere? It certainly would've given the Mitchum brothers something to do in the scene.

Anyway, I just wanted to highlight some of the major, fundamental problems with The Return. There are many more problems that one could discuss, and many of you have already done so. I loved reading this thread as the series was unfolding. I give my thanks to all of the contributors.

Excellent post, Steve. There was a lot of potential to be had with the idea of Evil Coop manipulating the characters in Twin Peaks into thinking that he was the Dale they once knew. Also, the idea a Good Coop & Evil Coop showdown was teased from the get-go of THE RETURN, only for him to be abruptly offed by Lucy. as you mention. In addition to his underdeveloped character and unclear motivation, he also makes poor choices and associates himself with some incompetent people. He even manages to get shot twice within the span of just a few days! It makes you wonder why Bob even bothered sticking around with such a loser.

Evil Cooper was such a disappointment. The character started promising but after Part 8 he was sidelined for Gordon, just like Dougie. And he's another example of the "show, don't tell" problem. We were told that he was evil because he raped Diane, but we never saw him do anything shocking. He killed a few unimportant characters that we didn't care about and who were shady anyways, so none of his actions were shocking or surprising. He seemed like an ordinary criminal, who wasn't even very good at what he was doing, and there was nothing scary about him (compare that to Bob in the original series who was so creepy). I don't understand how this character could be there for 18 episodes and still be so underdeveloped. They could have done so much with him :(
User avatar
powerleftist
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:40 pm

Re: Twin Peaks Return: The Profoundly Disappointed Support Group (SPOILERS)

Postby powerleftist » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:37 am

@Steve Liam et al.: yrev very insightful comments.

Things like Richard being Audrey's son worked as mysteries only because such basic information was hidden from the audience. Everyone in Twin Peaks knows who Richard is, being the grandson of Benjamin; it's only that every possible scene delivering this infomation was 'cut' (so to speak) to keep a mystery that wasn't even there in the first place.

It's the same with Annie: everybody must know what happened to Cooper's girlfriend. It is not a mystery. It is a manufactured, cheap mystery designed to keep viewers watching; everybody, I repeat, everybody in town knows this information, and still it is kept from us.

This is not how a good screenwriter creates suspense.

Return to “Season 3 (2017) The Return (Spoilers)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], ThumbsUp and 17 guests