S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

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Which subplot left you most frustrated, wanting more?

Poll ended at Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:33 am

Audrey
49
42%
Sarah Palmer
32
28%
Red/Shelly/Bobby
17
15%
Becky/Steven/Gersten
2
2%
Ben/Beverly
2
2%
Other (please specify)
14
12%
 
Total votes: 116
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Novalis
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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby Novalis » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:36 am

counterpaul wrote:
Snailhead wrote:
counterpaul wrote:(...)

Because cosmic battles aren't the point, and they never were. All the Really Important stuff being investigated by cops and Feds and military folks, all the codes to crack, and powerful mystic forces are the way in to the real stuff: the traumas that define us. (...)



I wish I could agree with you, unfortunately the majority of what actually took up the majority running time of The Return consisted of the things that you say "aren't the point" - cops, feds, military, codes, mystic forces. The emotionally powerful scenes are kind of scarce in comparison.


Well, they aren't the point, but they do serve a purpose. What most of this material boils down to is people trying to derive meaning from the inscrutable--and taking that task seriously. If we want to talk about what really took up the running time, I'd bet (not having done any calculations) that a huge chunk of it (certainly what consistently drove it hour by hour) was the act of trying to suss things out. So much of The Return was about people trying to describe what they've witnessed or felt and make some kind of sense of it. So much of the running time was devoted to the simple but profound act of people telling each other stories and then trying to figure out what those stories might mean.

That act, the storytelling and contemplation, does matter, even if nearly everybody was most likely totally wrong about every conclusion they came to, when they were able to come to a conclusion at all. Finally, Hastings's "zone" and Tammy's "tulpas" and Gordon's "Judy" and Audrey's "Billy" and Coop's "home" (among many other such examples, including all the wonderful sketches in The Roadhouse) are all pretty much equal. In and of themselves they are not the point, but they act as crucial incantations. They cast a spell, as stories do--as storytelling does. They get us where we need to be. They lay the path. They may not be the point, but they are the way.


Interesting and thoughtful post. I tend to disagree with some of this, but I think it is powerfully expressed. In a way, I think this disagreement on my part comes from, precisely the idea that 'emotionally powerful scenes' and 'the traumas that define us' can be separated from the relentless search for meaning. I'm not entirely convinced that the core trauma is not precisely the kind of existential drive that powers this searching, probing, burning questioning within us, and that we tend to escape into powerful emotions and the dynamics of relationships as a way of coping with it, not because these things are our most primary experience.

I realise the preference has been to refer to Jung when dealing with Lynch, but I'm going to be a bit Freudian here if I may.

A trauma is, by definition, something we do not experience -- it's a gap in our experience that we cannot face or account for. For example, a brain injury is traumatic when it damages part of the brain, rendering its function inaccessible. An assault is traumatic when we can't remember what happened -- when our unconscious mind protects us by repressing the event. On this basis the idea of 'a traumatic experience' is a bit of a misnomer: a trauma exists where there is a lack of experience, a jump or skip in the account of our lives. I do agree that trauma is a central feature of being human (Otto Rank's theory of 'birth trauma' for example proposes a trauma that would seem to be universal -- who remembers being born?) but I can't agree that there is any universality in the powerful emotionality of certain kinds of relationships -- good and bad. Family, for example, is important to humans because we have extended periods of 'prematurational helplessness' (Freud called this hilflosigkeit, literally 'help-lostness') not seen in other creatures: in comparison we're born too early, and unequipped to walk and bear the burdens of existence that other creatures far more quickly acquire or are born with. Family relations then occupy the place of trauma, insofar as they have evolved collectively (and always somewhat differently in every age and culture) as a human institution for dealing with this existential condition, and so they absorb the traumatic nature of the thing they were intended to insure us against: the infantile state of being blind, unable to walk or talk, and utterly dependant on others for nutrition and survival in a hostile, competitive environment. The relationship to family members is always traumatic, insofar as it was always something provided to cover over this tragic and inhospitable condition. Societies and sociality itself is largely a coping mechanism writ large because none of us are a good fit with the world when taken as individual life forms; we survive only because of social co-operation writ large. We never attain anything that might be considered ultimate maturity or adulthood, but remain dependant on a certain level of social co-operation and consistency until the day we die. We're never really finished, as far as acclimatisation to existence is concerned.

(Watching Cooper as Dougie brought all this to the fore for me)

Where I think Lynch succeeds is in intimating that the world as we customarily accept it, as a way of carrying on with each other, is not filled with mundane, if necessary, distractions from some deeper, traumatic, truth (this would be a typically gnostic reading, turning away from the world), but that our mundane social existence, with all its quirks and idiosyncrasies and obsessions, is itself the only reality worthy of the name: something in itself profound, a made world, a work of art. Who the artist is is a question I won't bicker about here, but I think the underlying message is: there is not life on one side and art on the other; life is already art. Living is an art-form. Culture is not just cultivation, but the way we handle the trauma of existence, the gap in our collective memory of where we come from and our inability to underwrite ourselves, to go back and give rise to ourselves by our own willpower.

Because of this I see nothing in Lynch as padding, as time-wasting, nothing as a 'red herring' that deflects us or protects us from some central, more 'normal' traumatic experience consisting of emotions rather than thoughts. Indeed the intellectual padding, the peculiarities, fetishes and obsessions we have are ways of stoking and getting at the burning desire in all our hearts, a hankering for love and reciprocation: they are the 'traumas' that define us, as perhaps nothing else can.

In the end, what I am saying may sound eerily similar to what you just wrote, but I think it is a quirk of language. It may be a case of having hold of different dog legs in the dark; we might both have hold of the same beast. But I feel we stand in different places.
Last edited by Novalis on Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby Dreamy Audrey » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:42 am

LonelySoul wrote:
  • Where is Briggs' head?

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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby Candie » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:49 am

The very most disappointing subplot was by far doppleganger Cooper.

The start of his story in no way connects to what we saw at the end of season 2 - absolutely no mention of any of the characters who led coop to the lodge, absolutely no connection in personality or mention of Bob, you know, the guy who HAD BEEN possessing him last we checked?

On top of that his whole arc is so muddled, unmotivated, and plain boring. I had no idea all season what his game was. He was totally irrelevant to all the other subplot, and basically stayed that way through the finale.

Given how painfully bad his scenes were, and what a non impact he made on the story combined with how important a character he should have been, I'm genuinely shocked that his name wasn't on this list.
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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby Candie » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:03 am

David Locke wrote:I really don't mean to be flippant, but I don't think Annie is important at all 25 years later in the context of a continuation. She was basically a narrative pawn to get Coop in the lodge, and it's not like Lynch or Frost are terribly invested in her or any mid/late S2-unique characters. Maybe Annie getting another mention, sure, but it's just silly to expect to actually see her again. And I say this as a huge fan of the first two seasons who thinks TR doesn't at all shape up to them on the whole.


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So silly to expect Annie to show up, when this series was advertised as meaning to bring closure to one of the most iconic cliffhanger moments: how's Annie? How's Annie!? HOW'S ANNIE???

To be clear, I really hated the Annie are in the original and thought she was one of the worst characters (until TR came around to blow her out of the water) but that doesn't mean it's artistically responsible to just say "well, she wasn't my idea" and wash your hands of her. Given how boring she was in the original, I was really hoping that they'd find some way to make her interesting, like they did a little in FWWM. That's my personal wish, but at least Cooper should have some memory of her and feelings about her, given that she's literally the reason why he was trapped in the lodge all that time.
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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby LonelySoul » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:06 am

Another thing I forgot to mention in my list above - what was up with Renault at the Roadhouse and the phone call about the two underage girls? Why was that left hanging?
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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby droolcup » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:30 am

When the Log Lady said "there's fire where you're going" and the map of black fire. It amounted to nothing :(
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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby waferwhitemilk » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:37 am

To be fair, I think that firemap Hawk en Truman were looking at was just a fantasymap Hawk made in his free time. For me the most jarring unresolved plotline is we never got to see Jesse's sweet new ride!
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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby Cipher » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:57 am

I think the map was just part of the cartoonish build-up of fantasy and exposition that came to a head in episode 17, before being wiped off the table for the remystification of the supernatural elements as all representing elements of Laura (and Cooper's) journeys. So I'm pretty satisfied with its role, in that regard.

I'm actually struggling to come up with plot points I truly feel are unresolved. I'd want more for Audrey as a character, absolutely, but her role as part of the mystery here is intriguing, and a bit of a gut punch that feeds into the ending on an emotional level. Conflicted on that. I'm thoroughly satisfied with Sarah-as-Judy, and wouldn't want any more. That worked for me so well, even with its late and oblique reveal.

Mostly I'm just left with things I could have done with more of. I could have done with more Bobby and Shelley, definitely with more "magic motherfucker" Red (that one actually does feel half-baked, and so intruiging), and Betty and Stephen, for sure. They could have kept feeding into the world. They're fine as the kind of vignettes/tone-expanders we got -- the idea that all these things are still happening in the periphery of Cooper and Laura's stories, this suffering, these moments of beauty, these mysteries -- but I could have done with more too.
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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby N. Needleman » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:02 am

I would like to see Bobby and Shelly's trouble resolved, to see them back together and happy. I'd like to see Audrey okay. I'd like to see Laura freed from the place Cooper has dragged her to and possibly Judy subdued. Beyond that I'm okay. I don't know if Cooper will ever learn. If this is solved I don't think it will come wholly from him, and I don't think he will return to the world as we know it. He's gone too far.

(Should add: I personally suspect Ben and Beverly got together.)
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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby Troubbble » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:06 am

If we take The Return as a single piece of art, and theorize that David and Mark are open to return to this world again, I think they wrote themselves into interesting corners with old characters and new ones alike--leaving many potential storylines to follow up on and resolve.

This is the only way I can currently process most of the characters' storylines. Nothing about these side stories feels complete right now, but it certainly seems like David and Mark HOPE to complete them.

Take Jerry as an example: He's lost for virtually the entire show, wandering as far as Wyoming before finding himself at the exact right place at the exact right moment to witness his nephew's fate at the hands of the Doppelganger. Afterward, we see Ben being informed of Jerry's whereabouts, so we're essentially promised he will return to describe more about what he saw... Only why would that matter, given the fact that the Doppelganger is dead and gone?

In my opinion, it matters with respect to Richard's storyline -- which could potentially continue at another time. It was no accident that Richard disappeared, when it probably would've been simpler to film if he just dropped dead on the spot.

It's like they actively tried to conceive of cliffhangers for everyone, establishing more of a purpose for them in a story which could still continue.

There's no reason Jerry had to be there for that scene, and certainly no reason we needed to follow his odyssey in the woods leading up to that, unless Richard's (assumed) death is important and required a witness. Moreover, there is no reason Ben needs to hear from Jerry afterward--especially given where the story is headed in the final two parts--unless that scene promises further payoff down the road.

Granted, if Mark and David can't secure a budget to continue, we will all just have to use our imagination... But I'm feeling pretty strongly that they left these subplots unresolved for a reason.
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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby waferwhitemilk » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:19 am

FWIW, this is how i imagine Jesse's new car:

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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby Troubbble » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:20 am

Troubbble wrote:There's no reason Jerry had to be there for that scene, and certainly no reason we needed to follow his odyssey in the woods leading up to that, unless Richard's (assumed) death is important and required a witness. Moreover, there is no reason Ben needs to hear from Jerry afterward--especially given where the story is headed in the final two parts--unless that scene promises further payoff down the road.


Wanted to add that Stephen and Becky's plotline is capped off similarly. We don't just hear Stephen's gunshot -- we get confirmation that he has apparently committed suicide, and see Carl Rodd informed.

Mark and David were also VERY specific about Harry Truman being alive and in contact with his brother. Given Ontkean's original intentions to return, I have always taken this as a purposeful effort to preserve his place in the show.
Last edited by Troubbble on Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby Cipher » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:21 am

Oh yeah. What the fuck happened to Jesse's car?

Did Sheriff Truman ever go look at it??
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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby NewtoTwinPeaks » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:57 am

A number of unresolved plots imo or thing I didn't fully understand:

- Hawk mentioned that there was one more diary page missing. Was that ever discussed?
- Who called Bad Cooper in episode 2? They brought that up in episode 15 but was it ever explained?
- So who was the billionaire behind the glass box? Was that Bad Cooper? What was he trying to do with it?
- What did he know about 'Judy'? He had that card but he had never heard the name Judy.
- What was Bad Cooper's goal? He was looking for coordinates but what was he trying to do?
- Who were the bad people trying to kill Naido? Was it Bad Cooper and if so, why? If he wanted Diane dead, could he not have killed her already?
- The Annie thing. I feel like the Diane romance came out of nowhere? Didn't Cooper leave Diane a message about how Annie makes him feel in the original? Why would that happen if him and Diane had a thing before?


Another missed opportunity was Cooper reconnecting or at least saying hello to the Twin Peaks people. Not to mention he didn't even say hi to Albert after 25 years. I know there were pressing matters, but it would've been good to see those scenes.
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Re: S3: Biggest Disappointment About Unresolved Subplots?

Postby douglasb » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:59 am

Not a hanging plot point per se, but the whole Truman's wife situation. Their relationship is developed and you guess this will inform things down the road but, no. Similarly, you get an insight into Beverly's life which goes some way to explain her relationship with Ben. But it stops. It's not a loose end - I don't really know what you would call it. You can only imagine that during the script writing sessions, either Lynch or Frost said "And then what happens?" to which the other replies "Nothing."

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