Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:46 am

yaxomoxay wrote:
blue_tomorrows wrote:What in the world happened to him in that decade between IE and now?


He started reading the daily newspaper.


Nah, he just started talking to Mark Frost more frequently. Which, if you've seen his Twitter feed, is the same as reading the paper.

I'm being glib, but I really do think there's a lot more of Mark in this season, for good or ill, than most people are giving credit for. I think we saw a lot of Mark's ideas and philosophy filtered through David's abstract lens.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby mine » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:33 am

ThumbsUp wrote:
RetconMetatron wrote:It's also not in character. By the end of S2, Cooper wasn't exactly obsessed with Laura Palmer. He went into the Black Lodge to save Annie. I don't think the original Dale Cooper would have annihilated the space/time continuum to save Laura, especially given the fact that he "saw" her ascension in the FWWM-ending and that removing Laura could have made things actually worse (like Bob/Leland not being caught and murdering more people).


I think in terms of saving someone from the Lodge, it could've been Laura, or Annie, or Audrey, or Diane, or Janey-E, or Maddy, or Caroline. Or the waitress in Judy's.

We were discussing this in the part 18 thread, but basically, Coop's biggest flaw is his hero complex and compulsive need to right wrongs and rescue people, especially women. That could be driven by many things: his need to be a knight in shining armor, or to avoid guilt for letting people down, especially women (that was the whole premise of his Black Lodge trial in the S2 finale).

Or, it could be driven by something else - the Fireman's instructions, perhaps. I don't think Cooper meant to annihilate time and space and all that. But it seemed that escaping the Lodge and defeating Bob and Mr. C once and for all wasn't good enough. He had to travel back in time to be the hero (again) and try (again) to redeem himself for failing to protect someone.

As for the ending of FWWM, yeah, I dunno. One could argue why Laura appeared in the Red Room at all 25 years later if she really had seen the angel and ascended to the White Lodge or whatever.

The whole rationale based on Cooper having a hero complex has one huge weak point. Cooper did barely anything heroic out of his own nature alone. He was always put on that path by either the people who wanted to be saved by him, the FBI when it comes to Laura's case or the entities from the surreal realm when it comes to whatever their machinations were. Even in retrospect Cooper trying to dissuade Laura from taking the ring is consistent with the notion that he was following The Fireman's instructions because whatever Laura was the chosen one for, she needed to be alive to fulfill her destiny (she just needed a dude to guide her, because hey it's Twin Peaks) which is what the finale was all about.
There is a better argument to be made that he is at the core a tropy super hero character. He doesn't always conclude his missions successfully, but so doesn't every super hero ever at some point.

I have 0 issues with happy endings and cosines being banned from Twin Peaks. It's actually a huge part of what makes it so fascinating for me. I also don't have any issues with there being no consistency with what happens in the supernatural realm because it's always been consistently inconsistent. As far as I'm concerned it always worked as such. I don't even care for every storyline being resolved.
But I've got the nagging feeling that there was plenty of stuff done in mean spirit. A lot of stuff, the ending included, feels just bitter rather than anything deeper than that.

It's ironic how cliché and mundane it all ended up being taking all that into account. The ending had to be continued written all over it which I don't believe to be intentional. I think it's far more likely that wanting to prove a point (an obsolete one at that) backfired.
I'm left with the impression that, if there was a larger point there, it only came through if you expected it going in. If not it comes across somewhat gimmicky.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby claaa7 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:49 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:
yaxomoxay wrote:
blue_tomorrows wrote:What in the world happened to him in that decade between IE and now?


He started reading the daily newspaper.


Nah, he just started talking to Mark Frost more frequently. Which, if you've seen his Twitter feed, is the same as reading the paper.

I'm being glib, but I really do think there's a lot more of Mark in this season, for good or ill, than most people are giving credit for. I think we saw a lot of Mark's ideas and philosophy filtered through David's abstract lens.


yeah you're probably right.. i still find it a bit curious considering that Frost at one point dissed Mulholland Drive as flat out bad storytelling.. the structure of TR is more similiar to MD than any other Project in either Frost or Lynch's canon imo
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby RetconMetatron » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:53 am

mine wrote:The whole rationale based on Cooper having a hero complex has one huge weak point. Cooper did barely anything heroic out of his own nature alone. He was always put on that path by either the people who wanted to be saved by him, the FBI when it comes to Laura's case or the entities from the surreal realm when it comes to whatever their machinations were.


Also, Cooper never had a particular deep connection to Laura Palmer, apart from weird lodge-dreams. She was basically just part of his work. Has anyone ever thought that Cooper would literally smash the universe to "save" Laura? I could see that maybe for Annie, like trying to stop Windom Earle from kidnapping her, since she is the main reason he ended up in the lodge and he has feelings for her, but even then: Erasing the timeline? REALLY?

Just terrible. The worst and most insulting Deux Ex Machina ending imaginable. And there's absolutely no good explanation or even a hint why he cooked up this batshit crazy plan in the first place.

And it really feels insulting towards the viewership who spent time with the show. Cooper's time travel rubs me completely wrong. Not only does he more bad than good (as I said, without Laura's sacrifice, Bob could have killed even more people, Cooper also robs her from the salvation at the end of FWWM), it also erases all the good Cooper has done in Twin Peaks, all his experiences there, all the scenes the viewers have memories of.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Cipher » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:07 am

Cooper and Laura's spirit connection may not have always been present in the series -- though the finale made beautiful use of their shared "dream" in which he's "twenty-five years older" -- but it's definitely existed since Fire Walk With Me, where they're dreaming of each other and encountering one another in the Lodge long before Cooper is set on her case chronologically.

I don't think Cooper's preoccupation with Laura in the finale requires any justifying against previous material, but if it did, complaints about it would becoming twenty-six years too late.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Dom834 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:36 am

RetconMetatron wrote:
blue_tomorrows wrote:
And honestly, we don't even know IF that's the reason he does it -- the motivation is never really even hinted at, and all we can do is speculate. Which makes the wiping-out of all that came before even worse -- we can only hazard a guess as to WHY it's even done in the first place!


It's not even clear why the team behind the show decided to go with such a cliched ending. I know that giving a defnite closure was considered as "fanservice" by some, but come on! What kind of a cliched ending is "timeline reset"/"it was all a dream"? Especially nowadays after Matrix, eXistenZ, Inception, dozens of Star Trek episodes/movies dealing with time travel etc.

Lazy. The original Twin Peaks mythology, the blend of spirituality and Native American legends, was far more interesting than this bland standard "fooled ya!" resolution. That's really far from clever today.


Hmmm... I think they turned that trope on its head when Laura, coming out of Ghostwood figuratively and literally, got snatched away. I don't think the past can be changed in our reality where time is linear. Where time isn't working that way is in the other dimension, where notably the Red Room/Black Lodge exists. Cooper almost changed the past, but I think it reverted the instant Laura was snatched away (back to Leo and co. and about to be killed, I'm sure).. we saw the body of Laura vanish, but it never reached the point where she returned.. it was stopped before. What Cooper achieved, IMHO, is that this changed something about the fate/existence of Laura in the Black Lodge. She also got snatched away (Perhaps her soul globe available to the Fireman again...???). We saw a replay of the early series Red Room scenes, but this time without the encounter with Laura. She's gone, and I sure the moment it happened in 2014 coincided to what Cooper did in the reflection/memory of 1989 Jeffries sent him to. Then Cooper could exit the Lodge the normal way - likely on 10/2, probably at 2:53 am. The freed Diane was waiting for him at the "curtain call" in Glastonbury Grove, as planned. They went on together with the plan to find Laura in a new quantum reality perhaps created by Cooper or perhaps to create a place for the snatched Laura to go.

If s1-s2 and FWWM are now negated, there's absolutely no point whatsoever to Frost's first novel, set two years after the Return, where the 1989 events all still exist exactly as depicted originally (I don't think the other discrepancies have anything to do with the multiverse. They're all concerned with covering up what happened at the end to Cooper and Briggs, and to disguise the fact Briggs worked on the dossier not before "his death" but in the years after 1989. This is Cole's and Preston's doings - the version of the Dossier we've read is doctored for the FBI at large. The Blue Rose elements that were changed/removed will be revealed in the second novel, as well as parts that would have exposed the fact Briggs kept writing from "the zone" after 1989.)
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby mine » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:38 am

RetconMetatron wrote:
mine wrote:The whole rationale based on Cooper having a hero complex has one huge weak point. Cooper did barely anything heroic out of his own nature alone. He was always put on that path by either the people who wanted to be saved by him, the FBI when it comes to Laura's case or the entities from the surreal realm when it comes to whatever their machinations were.


Also, Cooper never had a particular deep connection to Laura Palmer, apart from weird lodge-dreams. She was basically just part of his work. Has anyone ever thought that Cooper would literally smash the universe to "save" Laura? I could see that maybe for Annie, like trying to stop Windom Earle from kidnapping her, since she is the main reason he ended up in the lodge and he has feelings for her, but even then: Erasing the timeline? REALLY?

Just terrible. The worst and most insulting Deux Ex Machina ending imaginable. And there's absolutely no good explanation or even a hint why he cooked up this batshit crazy plan in the first place.

And it really feels insulting towards the viewership who spent time with the show. Cooper's time travel rubs me completely wrong. Not only does he more bad than good (as I said, without Laura's sacrifice, Bob could have killed even more people, Cooper also robs her from the salvation at the end of FWWM), it also erases all the good Cooper has done in Twin Peaks, all his experiences there, all the scenes the viewers have memories of.

I think it comes down to if you refuse to think about what you're doing you may end up doing something very stupid. I think it's why many like the flawed hero angle ignoring what The Return actually established. I don't even see how taking Laura to Sarah's house translates to Cooper wanting to save Laura.

If you take away Cooper's agency and accept the fact that he's doing somebody else's bidding, and both The Fireman and Cooper with Diane anticipate what he ended up finding in the alternate universe and the finale, especially taking account Sarah and Laura were in fact there, the ending is just dull. It's simply unfinished. It's not even particularly clever for being open ended at a time where open ended endings are fairly common. It's really hard seeing any deeper meaning to the ending if you don't have some degree of confirmation bias going on.

It's awfully convenient to create the mess they did with Cooper's time travel knowing you never have to clean the mess up. It's really less different than people would like to believe to how the worst TV writers do a half assed job at writing themselves out of their own messes due to what their past stupid decisions meant for the larger narrative.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Saturn's child » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:52 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:I'm being glib, but I really do think there's a lot more of Mark in this season, for good or ill, than most people are giving credit for. I think we saw a lot of Mark's ideas and philosophy filtered through David's abstract lens.


I agree with you, Reindeer. As you said (from memory) in an earlier post, it's almost as if they gave each other free reign, to an extent. Which is kind of thrilling in a way.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Novalis » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:55 am

I don't get this mean-spirited vibe from season 3 at all. I will concede that the ending is a little bleaker than I anticipated it would be, but in a way Lynch gives us two endings: one that is all dandy and one that isn't (roughly corresponding to part 17 and 18). If you want to see the series as a spiritual climb up the mountain, well this mountain has twin peaks. One is blue pine and the other is white tail; one is dominated by the hideous moon-and-owl symbol that can't be broken down, and one isn't.

Just because one comes after the other in terms of release date, it doesn't erase the earlier episodes, just as events in season 3 don't have to be read at retconning classic Twin Peaks. Remember Lynch saying something to the effect that it doesn't matter that much which order these parts are viewed in. German audiences got to view some parts in a different order as it was -- something I find strangely fitting to this attitude.

What I will also concede is that there are mean-spirited characters in this run. Richard Horne for one, Mr. C for another. The former flees the hit and run incident where an infant is mowed down and justifies it by blaming the kid, he later beats down on an elderly woman member of his family; the latter has an impenetrable, obsidian mean-ness to him, to the point he can shrug off the murder of his own estranged son or dispassionately inform Darya he is about to kill her in her underwear. Let's not forget the malicious indifference with which Gary Hutchens completely ignores the pleas of Warden Murphy's own child, who he has just dispatched, or Chantal's libidinous obsession with torture.

But then, we have always had bastards in Twin Peaks, e.g. Leo Johnson, Jacques and Jean Renault. Look at what they did: beat, raped and abandoned high school girls, trafficked and prostituted them, forcing them into drug addiction.

Granted, there haven't been as many warm and goofy slices of life mixed in with these things in the new season, which probably makes it somewhat less palatable than the old series and FWWM. But I don't think it's a radically more bleak show.

In general I think this story has been much less mean-spirited than all those more popular shows people rave about -- Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Wire, which have their high points but which I have to confess leave me pretty much cold, unfeeling and indifferent as to their content. And GoT sometimes feels like a sociopathic fantasy world born of Tarantino buggering Tolkien while the audience of Spartacus: The Dirty One with Lucy Lawless ogled and dribbled.

What seems to be lingering right now is the pitch-black night of the finale ending, which is truly a hovering blackness ('black as midnight on a moonless night') and reminds me of the ace-of-spades playing card symbol. Winged bleakness, which, trust me, we don't want to know about.

Any attempt to understand that dead end is almost like a way out, a comfort. You can go full on epileptic-trees and theorise Judy-Jowday as some interstellar Ogdru Jahad creature Briggs had discovered or you can think of it any way you like but the Tremond's house lights going out and leaving us with the floating (i.e. empty) signifier of Laura whispering into Cooper's ear is perfect in itself for where it leaves us.

But again, the end is not really by itself the important thing. The end is just the end. Holding this ending in tension with what led there, the lives of the characters and the life of the story, without seeing any contradiction, is something we maybe have to learn to do. I admit it's a struggle but I think its far from impossible.

Unless there's more to tell. Personally I'm not sold on that idea.
Last edited by Novalis on Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:29 am, edited 4 times in total.
As a matter of fact, 'Chalfont' was the name of the people that rented this space before. Two Chalfonts. Weird, huh?
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby cgs027 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:00 am

Dom834 wrote:Hmmm... I think they turned that trope on its head when Laura, coming out of Ghostwood figuratively and literally, got snatched away. I don't think the past can be changed in our reality where time is linear. Where time isn't working that way is in the other dimension, where notably the Red Room/Black Lodge exists. Cooper almost changed the past, but I think it reverted the instant Laura was snatched away (back to Leo and co. and about to be killed, I'm sure)..


I can buy this line of reasoning up until we hit that Sarah Palmer scene. If everything was restored and Laura was still murdered, etc... Why the freak out? Nothing in the Sarah Palmer story would have changed, there's plenty of garmonbozia to go around.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby mine » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:11 am

Novalis wrote:
Any attempt to understand that dead end is almost like a way out, a comfort.

That's one of the contradictions within the most satisfied public. Roughly people's satisfaction with the finale is proportional with the depth/understanding they give to it. Thing is in reality it had "because I can get away with it" written all over it which is what makes attempting to understand it pointless. I think it's very much up for debate weather there's anything more to it than it being merely mean spirited.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Novalis » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:26 am

Well I'm an outlier I guess. I sit above the rest of people on a balcony with blue hair and gleefully whisper 'Silencio' when the lights go out.

:D
As a matter of fact, 'Chalfont' was the name of the people that rented this space before. Two Chalfonts. Weird, huh?
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby mine » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:44 am

:lol:
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby Pinky » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:09 am

ThumbsUp wrote:
RetconMetatron wrote:It's also not in character. By the end of S2, Cooper wasn't exactly obsessed with Laura Palmer. He went into the Black Lodge to save Annie. I don't think the original Dale Cooper would have annihilated the space/time continuum to save Laura, especially given the fact that he "saw" her ascension in the FWWM-ending and that removing Laura could have made things actually worse (like Bob/Leland not being caught and murdering more people).


I think in terms of saving someone from the Lodge, it could've been Laura, or Annie, or Audrey, or Diane, or Janey-E, or Maddy, or Caroline. Or the waitress in Judy's.

We were discussing this in the part 18 thread, but basically, Coop's biggest flaw is his hero complex and compulsive need to right wrongs and rescue people, especially women. That could be driven by many things: his need to be a knight in shining armor, or to avoid guilt for letting people down, especially women (that was the whole premise of his Black Lodge trial in the S2 finale).

Or, it could be driven by something else - the Fireman's instructions, perhaps. I don't think Cooper meant to annihilate time and space and all that. But it seemed that escaping the Lodge and defeating Bob and Mr. C once and for all wasn't good enough. He had to travel back in time to be the hero (again) and try (again) to redeem himself for failing to protect someone.

As for the ending of FWWM, yeah, I dunno. One could argue why Laura appeared in the Red Room at all 25 years later if she really had seen the angel and ascended to the White Lodge or whatever.


If you're in the Red Room, all bets are off. You could go there for an hour, leave, live a long life etc yet some part of you will be there, out of time, always and forever.

Whatever Coop's flaws may be, it feels false to start blaming him now when he's doing what he's pretty much always been doing: following clues. Major Briggs seems pretty focused on making sure Coop makes the '430' trip, as does the Fireman. There's no changing of agency or recklessness in Coop's plan (outside of being foolhardy enough to agree to do the Lodge spirits bidding in the first place). Following clues with relative degrees of confusion has been Coop's path since we were introduced to him. If he does indeed fail, it's because the Fireman and Briggs have miscalculated. Either that, or Coop is a pawn, and expendable.
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Re: Season 3 was incredibly mean-spirited (spoilers)

Postby RetconMetatron » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:30 am

Novalis wrote:I don't get this mean-spirited vibe from season 3 at all. I will concede that the ending is a little bleaker than I anticipated it would be, but in a way Lynch gives us two endings: one that is all dandy and one that isn't (roughly corresponding to part 17 and 18). If you want to see the series as a spiritual climb up the mountain, well this mountain has twin peaks. One is blue pine and the other is white tail; one is dominated by the hideous moon-and-owl symbol that can't be broken down, and one isn't.


The ending erased all previous episodes.

That's not even "bleak", that's just a middle-finger to the audience. It would have been a more satisfying ending if Twin Peaks would have been hit by an asteroid: It would be horrific, but it would be at least tangible. But this whole never existed/dream/reset business... no no no. That is just wankery. You can do this in two-hour a movie, but not as a conclusion to a 50 episodes show.

Novalis wrote:In general I think this story has been much less mean-spirited than all those more popular shows people rave about -- Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Wire, which have their high points but which I have to confess leave me pretty much cold, unfeeling and indifferent as to their content.


Season 3's story is far more mean-spirited than those shows. We learn that Coop's primary objective was not stopping bad Coop, no, his main goal apparently was erasing all prior episodes that the audience got invested in! All the rooting for Dougie remembering his former self is turned on its head. I wish that he would have never recovered actually.

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