Now that I had some time to think about the final episodes, I wrote down a few of my thoughts about Parts 17-18 and the complete season. Here are some of the things I disliked:
Lynch telling us that he hasn't gone soft where it counts. In fact all the gratuitous self-presentation throughout the series.
The fight in the Sheriff's Department was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. It seemed like an end boss battle in a bad video game. But at least it was very entertaining. I don't think I have ever seen an episode of any TV show that made me laugh so much.
I am not very happy that Diane became such an important part of the story. I don't care about her at all, she is so rude and there wasn't anything likeable about her. So why should I care about her relationship with Coop at all? And what about Annie? In season 2 Coop told Diane about his feelings for Annie. Now he seems to have forgotten Annie ever existed and we are to believe he was in a relationship with Diane all the time and they are in love? It's just stupid. The Cooper we knew and loved would have asked about Annie. Yes, 25 years passed, but I don't think Cooper would have changed so much (he seemed pretty much like his old self in Part 16). No matter how much Lynch hated season 2, he can't just pretend Annie never existed, especially since she was the reason Coop went into the Lodge in the first place. It seems Lynch ignored the whole Annie part just so that he could make Cooper hook up with Laura Dern and include an awful sex scene. In fact it seems like Lynch just wanted to make a film with MacLachlan and Dern and to get it funded, he claimed it was Twin Peaks and made 16 unrelated and pointless episodes that preceded the film (why did he even insist it had to be 18 episodes instead of 9, when the actual story was only 2-3 hours?). The sad thing is I might have even liked the film on it's own, if it had not been related to Twin Peaks and if there had been a better build up to the MacLachland/Dern relationship that made us care for them. But the way this storyline used Twin Peaks and Cooper felt so wrong. I was so angry at how Lynch was treating Twin Peaks that I actually cried throughout most of Part 18.
I was disappointed that we didn't get to see Audrey again. It was one of the few interesting storylines for me. I really would have liked to see what happens to her after she woke up and I wanted to see her reunited with Cooper.
I don't have anything against retconning, there are shows that do it well, but I hate the retconning of Laura's murder. What's the point of saving Laura, a girl who has been dead for 25 years? Can't she rest in piece? People are murdered all the time, what is so special about Laura that she gets to be "saved" (and has to suffer again)? People who dislike the new series are accused of being nostalgic because supposedly they only want to see the old characters and that they don't want to see something new. But it seemed to me more like Lynch just couldn't let go of the Laura character. Instead of telling us a new story, it was all about Laura and everyone was still so sad and affected by her death 25 years later (like when Bobby cried when he saw her photo, even though it was said in season 1 that he didn't love her). And retconning the story isn't something new and never-done-before either, it just seems like the usual butterfly effect story that has been done before countless times. You change the past, something goes wrong. How original. Absolutely brilliant
Furthermore, I always thought that Laura's murder in series 1 was very tragic. If she is alive again, her death in season 1 has less impact, in my opinion. And if Cooper saved her and therefore her body is not found in the new timeline, Cooper never has a reason to come to Twin Peaks in the first place, so all of seasons 1-2 are erased. This means everything we loved about Twin Peaks never happened
By the way, I thought the new Laura scenes mixed in with the old scenes from FWWM was done really bad. You'd think with the budget he got, Lynch would have been able to get a wig that at least slightly resembled Laura's wig from FWWM. Laura looked so different that it took me right out of the scenes.
I think the opportunity of exploring duality was wasted. We didn't really get to know anything about Mr. C., about what he was doing in the past 25 years or what his plans were. There was no similarity to Coop, he could have just been an ordinary villain with no connection to Cooper at all. Since he was there for 17 episodes I would have expected more. I am also disappointed that like Cooper he didn't really interact much with the old cast.
He was also a very disappointing villain. I liked him at the beginning of the season, especially in the prison scenes, but after Part 8 he didn't do anything and had not much screentime. We never saw him do anything horrible. He only killed shady people who were getting in his way, but he didn't pose much of a threat to innocent people, so he wasn't very scary (I remember how scared I was and still am of Bob in the old series). The only bad thing Mr. C. did was raping Diane (and probably Audrey), but these things weren't shown and happened in the past. By the way, I was very angry that regarding the rape they focused again on Diane and not on Audrey, a character who we cared about so much more. Why the hell make Richard Audrey and Mr. C.'s son if they never wanted to elaborate on that? We can probably guess that he raped her, but even though it would have been heartbreaking, I would have liked to know how she would deal with this and how seeing the good Cooper again would affect her, instead of giving that storyline to Diane. But yeah, who cares about Audrey? They only gave her a similar storyline to Diane so they could use her and Richard to mislead us with the "Richard and Linda" line, but in the end she was as irrelevant to the story as her son. And I'm so disappointed how they build up the meeting of Richard and Mr. C, promising a conversation, but then they never talked and Richard was just electrocuted on the stone. The more I think about how shitty the Audrey/Mr. C/Richard story was used just to build up Mr. C/Diane/Cooper, the angrier I get.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am really annoyed at all the sexism throughout the series. IIRC, when I mentioned Darya dying in her underwear compared to Ray dying dressed, people immediately argued that the point was to show that violence against women is bad. But in my opinion, that's just an excuse, and you could explain away anything that people critisize that way ("It's intentional bad acting", "it's an intentional pointless conversation because some conversations in real life are pointless", etc.). The point of this scene was never the victim, Darya isn't even addressed again (unlike Ray...), the point was that Mr. C. is killing everyone who stands in his way. Darya's and Ray's murders were basically the same, only that Darya had to be shown half-naked, because she's a woman.
In addition to that: I never got why so many people loved Candie, who seemed to me like the usual stereotypical dumb blond. Everyone claimed she was so mysterious, that she was a tulpa, that she was Laura, that she would play a larger part and that her purpose would be revealed. So did anything of that happen? No. Sure, she is cute and adorable, but she's still one of the worst female stereotypes (I'm sure, someone will tell me now that it's intentional and that Lynch is making fun of the stereotype in a brilliant way, because he can't do anything wrong).
What was the purpose of the drugged-out mother who was calling "119"? I disliked her during my first watch because she seemed to be there for no reason, but when she appeared three times I thought she might become important later on. She didn't.
Jacoby's scenes were useless. He was apparently the reason for Nadine finally releasing Ed, but it was one of the dumbest reasons ever. And I'm not even sure if Ed and Norma getting back together was real, because in episode 13 he sits depressed in his gas station playing with fire, not bothered by how dangerous this is and the next episode we get this dream-like sequence where he and Norma get back together because Nadine has suddenly realized how selfish she was? It all seemed too good to be true.
All those useless Roadhouse conversations. Before last Sunday I thought they might lead to something, but they didn't. They weren't even interesting and knowing that they are pointless I don't know why I ever should watch them again (like most of the entire season).
We got no resolution for Sarah/the experiment. Why was Mr. C. looking for her, when did he meet her and why didn't he know she was Judy? When and why did she possess Sarah, what was her goal?
I am also very disappointed that Parts 17-18 made Parts 1-16 unwatchable to me, because they seem so pointless (and like a mean deception) now. There were a few scenes and one (almost) entire episode that I liked, but knowing that they lead to nothing, I don't know if I ever want to watch them again. Besides, I don't think I will buy the DVD just for one episode, so I won't be able to rewatch the few things I liked anyway, even if I wanted to.
I don't know why I was so surprised that episodes 17-18 were so bad. When the new series started and I watched the first episode, I had a bad feeling about it early on and wasn't able to connect to it. I almost gave up after Part 8 because there hadn't been anything I liked about it and I didn't want to waste more money on the remaining episodes. But I decided to give it another chance because of my love for the original series. I liked it a bit more on re-watch and thought the story was improving with parts 7 and 9 because we got a few scenes that actually took place in Twin Peaks, and I was sure if I was patient, I would be rewarded. I was still mostly disappointed by the following episodes, but creating theories and looking for clues was fun and made the series seem better than it was, and then there was episode 15, which I really liked. I guess this was what misled me to think the final episodes might turn out okay, but Part 16 (which I disliked again) should have given me a clue. Unfortunately, I was very excited for Parts 17 and 18 and stayed up all night to watch it at 4am, only to realize within the first few minutes that it was awful and would end in a bad way
By the way, do you think I should discourage my family from watching this? We usually enjoy the same shows and films, but sometimes we have a completely different opinion about a show. A lot of people seem to like TPTR so I think it would be unfair of me to tell my family that this show sucked when they might actually like it. On the other hand I really don't want them to spend money and time on this show and have to sit through it hoping it might get better, only to be disappointed and sad like me.