I feel really out of step with the rest of the forum now, seeing that even the response in the 'profoundly disappointed' thread was largely positive on episode 16. I feel really bummed out I can't share in the excitement over this one. I've watched it again now, and although I was warmer towards it the second time (its reveals can only let you down once), it's still gone down as my least favourite episode.
Quoting myself after episode 7:
- Doc Hayward just said "I thought at the time he might've been there to visit Audrey Horne" - I certainly didn't infer from this that evil coop raped a comatose Audrey conceiving Richard, and don't think for a minute that we as an audience were supposed to. Now that it's mentioned, I wouldn't 100% rule it out given BOB's predilections, but I'd be astonished and disappointed if true; it'd be a terrible, heavy handed plot idea- a clumsy path to a completely unnecessary (and kind of hackneyed) family tie
Well there you go, consider me astonished and disappointed. Looks like I was in denial initially, but gradually became resigned that they'd gone there after Ben's response to Frank's mention of Cooper, and Richard and the doppelganget's paths crossing at the Farm. But still, the way it was confirmed (on the back of an otherwise strong scene)- "Goodbye, my son" was just awful. Like a telegraphed, jarring (in the context of the show) Empire Strikes Back play. When there's not even a great deal of time to explore the consequences and implications of this plotline, what's the point? Of course, we're still largely in the dark regarding the specifics of Audrey's story. If it turns out it wasn't just a case of the doppelgänger waking up and immediately hurrying to impregnate a comatose Audrey before leaving Twin Peaks, it may become more palatable. As it is, it just feels moronic. If it turns out to be more integral to the plot than it seems, it'll be frustrating for it all to be built on such a premise.
Cooper's long-awaited return was (to me, at least) unsatisfying*. Kyle's been fantastic throughout the show, but I don't think he got Cooper right here. I actually spent half the scene worrying that the doppelgänger had somehow transferred himself into that body. These scenes felt overly hurried. If it was a conscious decision on L&F's part to drastically amp up the pace in the final episodes, I don't think it's working. Sure, the Cooper scenes got across a sense of action and urgency, which I assume was the intention here, but it all felt so rushed, and almost flippant (the sadness of Janey-E and Sonny Jim excepted). I'm also surprised the people saying that Cooper snapping immediately back into proactive, one-liner FBI mode would be jarring, seemingly didn't in fact find it jarring. I certainly did, despite being more open to the idea of that happening than others. It does seem though that Cooper has changed- it now looks like we've been 'rewarded' with a classic domineering, alpha-male hero type, which obviously had Janey-E fawning, despite him acting like a bit of a dick. Sure, he wasn't afraid to impose himself or give orders in the original, but I wasn't picking up any of the disarming humility and slight dorkiness that so nicely counterbalanced these aspects of his character. Again, this could be remedied in the next two episodes- I'm really hoping.
*one-armed man's line "you are awake" being delivered in a broad Geordie accent kind of ruined the moment, as hilarious as it was
Audrey at the roadhouse... bleh. I've been pretty disengaged with that whole plotline to be honest, although it all became more interesting on a cerebral level off the back of the Roadhouse conversation about Billy and Tina. Still nothing about them feels in any way well realised to me, other than the obfuscation (i.e. the easy part). I can see though, that they've had others hooked, so I put this down to the nature of Lynch's intuitive approach with an emphasis on affect and perception. Some scenes will hit us hard, without us always being able to pinpoint exactly why. Some posters I usually agree with have been left cold by scenes I love, and vice versa. Some things may resonate with some individuals, but not others. So I can get over that. But still, as of now it feels like later career Lynch-by-numbers, an idea recycled, condensed and watered down, bolted on to the end of a show that doesn't really benefit from it. If Audrey's story, on the other hand, turns out to be the key that unlocks the whole thing, I'd rather it had all been integrated and executed very differently. As for the dance in 16... yeah, it might have been a nice moment (I loved the audience swaying), but the editing bothered me- the incessant cutting really took me out of the scene, which really needed to be more immersive.
I also couldn't stand the use of music in this one. It really felt like one of those fan edit videos where someone had grafted the old music onto the new show. For me, it just does not work. Not one iota. I was praising them on the assumption that they'd resisted these types of decisions, but maybe they were just making us wait for them. Oh well.
To continue the ranting... "That was a real Tulpa!!". Oh, come on. It felt clunky even when brought up just as an analogy. I love that they draw on these kinds of concepts for inspiration and ideas, but why literally point out and name them? The ideas have taken their own path, so why tie them down so specifically? See also the vacuous "But who is the dreamer?" line. Uh, read the quote again, David.
One of the main criticisms in the profoundly disappointed thread is the 'it's a 9 episode story told over 18', but I think the opposite, I think it's a 30 episode (at least) show squashed into 18. The vast majority of plot lines and characters would have been further enriched if there had been more time to do so. Ep 16 reinforces my concerns that after such refreshingly unhurried groundwork, the conclusion is looking like it might be "... and then this, this, and that happened, the end". See also Ed & Norma, beautiful scene though it was.
After all that negativity.... here's a few positives:
- Revealing Diane as a thoughtform created by an act of violence gets us closer towards the solid conceptual ground of the original + FWWM which many had commented had become unstable, if not lost altogether.
-Great final scene for Chantal and Hutch. I'll miss 'em.
- Diane with the one-armed man was just wonderful
- Glad Naomi Watts got another chance to make use of her considerable acting chops after largely having been wasted
- The Mitchums are so fun, but I'm not keen on how much we're seemingly supposed to like them, given the whole Candie/Mandie/Sandie thing, the casino beating, the corruption and murdering. The Horne brothers were also fun characters back in the day, but I wouldn't say I liked