Little responses and clarifications:
whoisalhedges wrote:OK - "Without seeing the complete picture" - THIS is fair. Someone, on the other thread (I think it was Cipher), talked about part 10 being upsetting "in a vacuum" specifically. It remains to be seen what'll come of it.
"In a vacuum" was never a phrase I used (I generally see that brought up to say that art does not exist within a vacuum, and that it offers commentary whether it wants to or not), but yes, I have been careful to stress that The Return
isn't over, and it may find a way to justify its largely uneven gender portrayal yet, even for those who don't feel it quite works. That's one of the reasons I really didn't want it split out of the episode 10 thread; conversation can only tackle how it's operated for its first ten hours, as highlighted by that particular tenth.
3) Part 10 is my favorite episode so far. Yep. Even with all the abuse. Because I see a point to it, I think it's going somewhere. I am trusting Lynch and Frost to tell this story. I don't think the women harmed in this part suffered in vain (yes, I'm aware they are fictional characters
), I think we're gonna see something more from Becky, maybe from Sylvia - and even poor Miriam might have a measure of comfort to come. I don't think there were any accidents in this show. The rapeyness of the Dougie/Janey-E scene was intentional - she didn't know he was... um, "compromised," he didn't know he wasn't actually her husband (which in turn would've made him a rapist by fraud) - I think this was a very deliberately scripted and shot almost-hour, that Coopie and Janey-E absolutely without the least intent
did violence to each other, and despite that, ended the scene in a loving embrace, both much more joyful than they started. That Carl permitted violence to continue, that Johnny wanted, more than anything, to stop the brutal attack on his mom, but physically couldn't
intervene.... It was not an easy
part to watch; but I truly think that it WAS done respectfully and responsibly. Some people disagree, and that's fine - we won't really know where we stand until it's over.
To be fair, I don't think anyone has been arguing that the violence in part ten, or any other episode, is supposed to be easy to digest.
That Lynch and Frost are coming down on the idea of violence against women or showing it in a negative light was (hopefully!) never up for debate.
Whether they've sufficiently and honestly shown women outside of their being responses to that highlighted abuse is where some don't feel it's working. And it does feel like it's in a slightly odd spot right now where it, through its bleak portrayals, is saying women shouldn't have to exist as victims of abuse, but at the same time doesn't seem nearly as interested in portraying them when they don't. We're missing the windows into female-female friendships of the original run, or the close personal perspective of, say, Inland Empire
, for this focus to feel totally honest or like it fully works.
So the question that came up in the other thread, as a response to the first ten hours, wasn't "Do Lynch and Frost think abuse is bad?" (they do!, and Lynch has put out some films that I agree are really successful in portraying this), but "Does that justify tying its female cast so consistently to abuse? Is that still honest, and does that actually work with the theme?"
Or at least that's always what I was trying to get at.
At the end of the day, maybe it does all work, but at the very least I sense it operating in a different mode in its gender portrayals than his films, and one that I feel at this point just slightly more reductive. But there are still eight hours to go and plenty that could be done.
On a different note, the Janey-E/Dougie scene is something I haven't even begun to work out my reaction to, but I like your commentary on it there!