LateReg wrote:I was going to say this a couple days ago in response to Cappy's initial post, but the idea of Windom Earle strikes me as flawed on the directorial level. I think you could have still had most of that dialogue, or variations of it, along with a similar plot, and the character would have been a villain worthy of his diamond-mind buildup. My evidence of this is that he has a couple great moments scattered throughout (I actually love him dressed as the Log Lady, which is silly without being overly theatrical from a performance perspective), and especially that as soon as Lynch gets ahold of him in episode 29, he suddenly becomes truly frightening, whether during his ride/walk with Annie or his time in the Black Lodge. I'm not trying to take away from anyone who loves the character as is, but I think that if Lynch would have directed Kenneth Welsh (a good actor) throughout, the very same character would have come across far more effectively. Episode 29 is suddenly like watching an entirely new, very scary character, so much so that I think it would be really interesting to show the episode to a first timer just to see how they might imagine how the character got to that point. As I already said, I do like Windom in episode 28 as well, and bits and pieces of him throughout.
What Lynch does with the character in E29 is gloriously creepy, but it’s important to note that he cut a LOT of scripted dialogue that would have undercut the character’s menace (including two song-and-dance numbers!). There’s the famous anecdote of Lynch throwing out a solid page of scripted dialogue and saying, “Just hold a flashlight under your face and say, ‘I’m Windom Earle!’” Even the best of the other directors working on the show wouldn’t have had the freedom to essentially scrap much of the script as Lynch did, and that paring-down of the writerly excesses—in addition to his unparalleled skill at directing actors—was an important element in how much he elevated Earle in E29.
It would sure have been interesting to see Earle pop up in TP:TR and see 2017-era Lynch’s approach to the character. It could have been really chilling, and I love the theories about him as substitute for Jeffries.