Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

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NewtoTwinPeaks
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Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby NewtoTwinPeaks » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:08 am

I'm trying to make sense of the entire storyline with Ray/Bad Cooper/Jeffries.

So Ray was a paid informant for the Blue Rose Task Force, so what kind of information did he tell them?

When Ray gets caught, he tries to get Darya to kill Bad Cooper. She says someone offered them half a million to kill him, but she doesn't know who. It appears that Ray was 'in contact' with Phillip Jeffries and Phillip wanted him to kill Bad Cooper and put the ring on him. The whole jail thing was a setup. Did Gordon/Albert know about this given that Ray was their informant? Does this mean that Gordon is aware of Phillip Jeffries giving orders to kill Bad Coop? And, in turn, does this mean Gordon is aware this is a different Cooper prior to seeing him in the jail?

I'm also trying to understand why Phillip Jeffries is supposedly looking to have Bad Cooper killed? This gets a little muddier when Bad Cooper apparently calls Phillip but someone else answers saying they will be with Bob again. Who was this person supposed to be?

Finally, this must mean MIKE is involved given the involvement of the ring?

Lots of questions, I know, but trying to make sense of this storyline.
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby IcedOver » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:52 pm

Don't put too much thought into it; Lynch didn't. None of it adds up, yet according to those who find no fault with the show, that is part of an amazing and bold anti-narrative. No, not this. It's just basic "plot shit" that was thrown on the page and screen with very little care or conviction. If simple things lime this had been remedied, if what's been called just basic connective tissue among certain elements had been shored up, this show would have benefited from it.
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:09 pm

It’s pretty convoluted, that’s for sure. I still have doubts about how much L/F thought this kind of stuff through. In retrospect, it seems pretty obvious that Gordon and Albert were much further ahead of the audience than most of us initially assumed. For instance, given the Lois Duffy history, they clearly suspected Mr. C was some sort of second Cooper from the moment they met him in prison — if not before. It seems absurd that they wouldn’t know Cooper was Ray’s boss, unless Ray deliberately kept it from them...which I suppose is possible. The very idea of a covert FBI subsection that is kept top-secret even from most Bureau members revealing its existence to a street-level career criminal is inherently absurd. It’s never made particularly clear what Ray was tasked by the FBI to do, aside from getting the coordinates. The question becomes one of “chicken or the egg.” Did the FBI recruit Ray because he had a preexisting relationship with Hastings’s secretary, which Mr. C subsequently caught wind of? Did Mr. C find Ray first, and the FBI employed him because of that (this assumes the FBI did have knowledge of Mr. C and his operations)? Whatever the order of events, there has to be some connection. It would be profoundly stupid for Ray to miraculously end up as both a Blue Rose informant and Mr. C’s henchman through pure coincidence.

Jeffries’s motives and actions are pretty damn inscrutable. At points it seems he has become more powerful than anyone besides Judy and the Fireman, or at least more mysterious and manipulative. He does admit to Mr. C that he called Ray, and he is evasive when Mr. C accuses Jeffries of trying to have Mr. C killed. It’s heavily implied that Cooper hasn’t actually spoken to Jeffries since Jeffries stopped by the Philadelphia offices 25 years ago (“We used to talk”), but they have apparently been “working” together, with Mr. C leaving Jeffries “messages” (on the machine?). Albert’s mention that Jeffries contacted him about the man in Colombia doesn’t elicit much of a reaction from Gordon, and I suspected at that point from the lack of surprise that Gordon and Albert HAD been in semiregular contact with Jeffries — “our man in the Lodges”? — but the rest of the series doesn’t seem to bear that out (albeit also didn’t directly contradict it...in fact, Gordon is at least aware that Jeffries isn’t human anymore, so perhaps he did have some kind of contact?).

And then we have the person Mr. C calls in Part 2, who PROBABLY is not Jeffries, and is rather heavily implied to be Judy (the NY connection).

The coordinates are another maddening thing — although I think they may be a key element in helping us sort all this out.

Two people gave Mr. C the same set of coordinates, which (impliedly) led to the location where Richard gets fried (which — again impliedly — would have also been Mr. C’s fate). One person gave him the — impliedly — correct coordinates which lead to the Fireman’s, but cause him to be trapped, redirected and ultimately shot by Lucy. Logically, if two people gave the wrong coordinates, those people were conspiring together against him, right? Of the three people we saw give him coordinates, we know (or think we know) that Ray and Jeffries were conspiring, whereas nothing in the show indicates that Diane had any contact with either. So it seems a very rational assumption that Jeffries and Ray, who wanted Mr. C dead, gave him the fake coordinates. But if Diane has the real coordinates, why did Albert — knowing that she was a traitor — hold up the photo nice and long, allowing her to memorize the sequence? I posit that it is because Gordon and Albert were aware of the Fireman’s plan. They wanted Mr. C to go to the “real” coordinates location because they knew, at least in vague outline, that it would lead to his demise. (All of this ignores the fact that we actually don’t see Diane text him the coordinates until AFTER he says three people have sent him coordinates. I, and I think most fans, are assuming that this inconsistency was a result of scenes being shuffled in editing, which most certainly happened quite a bit on this project — see Dougie’s temporally-inappropriate game of catch. But it’s also possible that someone else sent him coordinates and we didn’t see it, which makes things even MORE convoluted and ambiguous.)

So, if we accept this, what does that tell us about whether or not Gordon and Jeffries were on the same page? Were the dummy coordinates the Fireman’s Plan A, hoping to keep Mr. C out of Twin Peaks altogether, with the real coordinates and the Fireman’s trap as the backup plan? What would have happened if Mr. C had gotten on the rock instead of Richard — without the ring or Freddie (seemingly two integral elements of the Fireman’s plan) present? Would Mr. C and Bob have simply been fried into oblivion as Richard was? Or does the lack of the ring and Freddie imply that Jeffries is on a very different page from the Fireman/Gordon, either out of ignorance or having a totally different agenda?

Also, it is heavily implied that Mr. C has the “real” Cooper’s memories (Jeffries: “So you ARE Cooper”). If this is so, it throws a monkey wrench into all the theories that Coop, Gordon & Briggs formed some elaborate plan with the Fireman — because if Dale knew about it, Mr. C should too. So, did Dale willingly submit to some form of memory loss so that Mr. C would remain oblivious to the plan? Is this part of why Dougie is such a blank slate? And how does this relate to the repeated references to remembering? Is it significant that Albert and Gordon forgot part of Jeffries’s 1989 visit? Did they also willingly give up part of their memories temporarily, sacrificing the “unofficial version” so that the plan could unfold? Jeffries’s reference to the “unofficial version” does imply the supernatural equivalent of Bureau censorship/redaction, supporting the inference that he is still on Team Blue Rose, but I half-suspect that he is off on his own mission and only using that language with an ironic smirk. I sort of like the idea of Cole and Jeffries, the Blue Rose cofounders and former partners, having become enemies/opposites, each coming at the same problem from different angles and each assuming the other is wrong.

I can’t even begin to get into Mike/Gerard’s role, except to note that he never even appeared in the Red Room until FWWM, and now seems to have become its primary resident, obviously in large part because MJA went off the rails. I’m still not sure what to make of the fact that Jeffries comes across as a far more sinister presence than Mike/Gerard/MfAP/EotA in TP:TR. And we haven’t even talked about Judy at all.....or the Woodsmen or the Jumping Man.......

That’s about as far as I can go tonight. As with much of this series, it’s fascinating but maddening, because it’s tough to determine how much we were meant to fixate on this stuff as opposed to glossing over it and just enjoying the dream. The push-and-pull of Frost and Lynch.
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby mtwentz » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:14 am

IcedOver wrote:Don't put too much thought into it; Lynch didn't. None of it adds up, yet according to those who find no fault with the show, that is part of an amazing and bold anti-narrative. No, not this. It's just basic "plot shit" that was thrown on the page and screen with very little care or conviction. If simple things lime this had been remedied, if what's been called just basic connective tissue among certain elements had been shored up, this show would have benefited from it.


I agree that there are a lot of plot holes in this story. But to be honest, I don't think they matter all that much. It pretty much goes with the territory. Almost anytime you create this huge, complex narrative, the plot holes become inevitable. Since 99.9% of the audience either doesn't catch them or doesn't care, as a writer it makes no sense to try and rewrite everything to eliminate each and every plot hole.

A great example is the original Mission Impossible movie with Tom Cruise. If you really break it down, there are some pretty big plot holes that stare you right in the kisser:

https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-bigg ... Impossible

The great thing about TP:TR is that it has the quality of a dream; it is surrealism so all the parts fitting together perfectly are even less important than they are in more conventional suspense/thriller stories.

And while I think plot holes are interesting to note, I really don't think they are a major part of the problem with audience acceptance of movies. If viewers otherwise like a story, they are more than willing to overlook some fairly big plotholes. And in the case of TP:TR, you are dealing on the one hand with comedic absurdism and on the other hand surrealism, so plotholes are even less important.

However, I will say that if you find the other elements of any piece of film art to be weak, then plot holes can seem more important and can ultimately sink your enjoyment of the film/show.

One last thing to note is that any story that involves time travel/changing the past has a built in plot hole, i.e. if you change the past, then the person going back into the past should never have been able to go back there in the first place because all the events that led to him/her going back there have been jumbled up. And yet, as the success of Back To The Future shows, audiences simply don't care about these contradictions. They just sit back and enjoy.

P.S.- In the case of TP:TR, one can argue there is no contradiction in time travel since an alternate timeline could have been created. This would be the answer to Laura's riddle, "I am dead, yet I live: (dead in one timeline, alive in another).
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby Mr. Strawberry » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:56 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:It seems absurd that they wouldn’t know Cooper was Ray’s boss, unless Ray deliberately kept it from them...which I suppose is possible. The very idea of a covert FBI subsection that is kept top-secret even from most Bureau members revealing its existence to a street-level career criminal is inherently absurd. It’s never made particularly clear what Ray was tasked by the FBI to do, aside from getting the coordinates. The question becomes one of “chicken or the egg.” Did the FBI recruit Ray because he had a preexisting relationship with Hastings’s secretary, which Mr. C subsequently caught wind of? Did Mr. C find Ray first, and the FBI employed him because of that (this assumes the FBI did have knowledge of Mr. C and his operations)? Whatever the order of events, there has to be some connection. It would be profoundly stupid for Ray to miraculously end up as both a Blue Rose informant and Mr. C’s henchman through pure coincidence.

Ray was probably an FBI informant that eventually caught the attention of Cole and crew due to the nature of the information that he was sharing with the Bureau about his case.

I can also see this beginning with Mr. C being fully aware of the fact that Ray is an informant, believing that he can work it to his advantage in various ways, including by feeding Ray lies to throw the FBI off.

As far as Hasting's secretary, I assume that Mr. C tried to gain her trust and failed, so he enlisted Ray. Must have been a situation where brute force wasn't going to get him what he wanted (not needed).

Mr. Reindeer wrote:Also, it is heavily implied that Mr. C has the “real” Cooper’s memories (Jeffries: “So you ARE Cooper”). If this is so, it throws a monkey wrench into all the theories that Coop, Gordon & Briggs formed some elaborate plan with the Fireman — because if Dale knew about it, Mr. C should too. So, did Dale willingly submit to some form of memory loss so that Mr. C would remain oblivious to the plan?

I don't think there is any willful memory loss going on. The reason that Mr. C doesn't know everything is because Cooper didn't either. He was working with Briggs and Cole but he vanished into the Red Room before everything was in place, no doubt, so naturally he doesn't have all the pieces of the puzzle. I think this does explain why Mr. C was after Briggs, though, and it explains why he's so exasperated about not knowing who Judy is -- he was a hair's breadth away from knowing that, then emerged as Mr. C and went to visit Briggs who wouldn't give the information up at any cost.

If any of the above contradicts the show, please keep in mind that I've only watched it once, as it aired, so details have inevitably faded ever so slightly.

Had a lot more that I wanted to talk about but I have a bad cold, and my son is waiting for me to go build some little houses with him. It's hard to focus with "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" being sung around the office on repeat while so foggy headed.
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby Agent Earle » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:38 pm

mtwentz wrote:I agree that there are a lot of plot holes in this story. But to be honest, I don't think they matter all that much. It pretty much goes with the territory. Almost anytime you create this huge, complex narrative, the plot holes become inevitable. Since 99.9% of the audience either doesn't catch them or doesn't care, as a writer it makes no sense to try and rewrite everything to eliminate each and every plot hole.



Sorry, but what you're saying here's just a load of bollocks, and I mean no disrespect to you personally. I've been watching quite a few of the acclaimed shows from the past couple of decades during the last 4 years and I don't recall a single one of them coming even close to the plot not only holes, but craters that The Return is riddled with. I'd say The Sopranos, The Wire, The Shield, Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under, to name just a few, all fall under your category of "huge, complex narratives" - are you saying they're down to The Return's level in regard to plot holes? Having watched the lot of them recently, I strongly disagree and I say claiming otherwise is not only false but downright insulting to their showrunners and writers who worked their asses off to deliver the kind of compact, water-tight narratives that are expected of the serialized storytelling in the age of quality TV and will stand up to the viewers' scrutiny. As a matter of fact, saying that the audiences don't care about such "petty stuff" as narrative logic, consistency, sense and coherence is insulting as well. I didn't mean to call you out but I just couldn't keep my mouth shut. I know you feel obliged to defend The Return as a fan, but don't do it by claiming its weaknesses are the most common thing in the current television universe.
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:56 pm

Agent Earle wrote:
mtwentz wrote:I agree that there are a lot of plot holes in this story. But to be honest, I don't think they matter all that much. It pretty much goes with the territory. Almost anytime you create this huge, complex narrative, the plot holes become inevitable. Since 99.9% of the audience either doesn't catch them or doesn't care, as a writer it makes no sense to try and rewrite everything to eliminate each and every plot hole.



Sorry, but what you're saying here's just a load of bollocks, and I mean no disrespect to you personally. I've been watching quite a few of the acclaimed shows from the past couple of decades during the last 4 years and I don't recall a single one of them coming even close to the plot not only holes, but craters that The Return is riddled with. I'd say The Sopranos, The Wire, The Shield, Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under, to name just a few, all fall under your category of "huge, complex narratives" - are you saying they're down to The Return's level in regard to plot holes? Having watched the lot of them recently, I strongly disagree and I say claiming otherwise is not only false but downright insulting to their showrunners and writers who worked their asses off to deliver the kind of compact, water-tight narratives that are expected of the serialized storytelling in the age of quality TV and will stand up to the viewers' scrutiny. As a matter of fact, saying that the audiences don't care about such "petty stuff" as narrative logic, consistency, sense and coherence is insulting as well. I didn't mean to call you out but I just couldn't keep my mouth shut. I know you feel obliged to defend The Return as a fan, but don't do it by claiming its weaknesses are the most common thing in the current television universe.


I think we’re conflating plot holes and unexplained story points, which are two different things. Plot holes are actual inconsistencies, where a work contradicts itself. I honestly don’t think there are too mant plot holes in TP:TR. The date of Jeffries’s arrival in the Philadelphia offices being changed to 1989 is one, as it contradicts FWWM. Cooper having been in on some plan in 1989 with Gordon and Briggs to bring down Judy is arguably another — although the characters’ behavior in the original show can possibly be rationalized in light of this information, it remains a very obvious and distracting retcon. However, most of what we’re talking about in this thread involves not plot holes but iceberg storytelling — where a lot of the explanation is kept out of view.

An example of a similar circumstance on Breaking Bad: Fans and interviewers have given Vince Gilligan crap over the absurditity of a certain plot point in the season 4 finale, and he has repeatedly stated that he doesn’t have any interest in pondering the specifics of what actually occurred.
Spoiler:
This is of course referring to the poisoning of Brock, and the absurdity of Huell maneuvering a specific cigarette out of Jesse’s pack during a split-second physical contact.
Vince has made jokes in interviews about Walt sneaking into school with a poisoned juice box, and he even introduced Huell on Better Call Saul with a tongue-in-cheek reference to his surprising dexterity. That’s an example of one of the shows you named doing something similar to what we’re talking about here — ignoring nuts-and-bolts story logistics to get to a certain result. It’s not that what we see is unexplainable, the writers simply chose not to explain it, whether out of faith in the audience’s imagination, laziness, or both.

I’m not saying that the shows you named don’t have tighter narratives than TP:TR. But they are also engaging in a very different type of storytelling than DKL has been interested for most of his career. While he has expressed his admiration for Breaking Bad, he has never been about making that type of narrative. That doesn’t mean you or anyone has to love what he’s doing in TP:TR (I have been pretty open about my own conflicted feelings about certain elements of the writing, especially in light of Mark’s comments about his rather flippant approach to consistency in TSHoTP), but I don’t think you can hold TP:TR to the same storytelling standard as The Wire because it’s an entirely different type of show. If anything, it is probably closest to The Sopranos of the shows you name, and that show frequently caught a fair degree of flack for similar narrative trailing-off, storylines that went nowhere, and the infamous Kevin Finnerty who in many ways is the spiritual progenitor of Dougie Jones. Mark has even admitted that The Sopranos’s “cut to black” ending was a personal inspiration and may well have subconsciously influenced the final scene of TP:TR.
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby LateReg » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:03 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:
Agent Earle wrote:
mtwentz wrote:I agree that there are a lot of plot holes in this story. But to be honest, I don't think they matter all that much. It pretty much goes with the territory. Almost anytime you create this huge, complex narrative, the plot holes become inevitable. Since 99.9% of the audience either doesn't catch them or doesn't care, as a writer it makes no sense to try and rewrite everything to eliminate each and every plot hole.



Sorry, but what you're saying here's just a load of bollocks, and I mean no disrespect to you personally. I've been watching quite a few of the acclaimed shows from the past couple of decades during the last 4 years and I don't recall a single one of them coming even close to the plot not only holes, but craters that The Return is riddled with. I'd say The Sopranos, The Wire, The Shield, Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under, to name just a few, all fall under your category of "huge, complex narratives" - are you saying they're down to The Return's level in regard to plot holes? Having watched the lot of them recently, I strongly disagree and I say claiming otherwise is not only false but downright insulting to their showrunners and writers who worked their asses off to deliver the kind of compact, water-tight narratives that are expected of the serialized storytelling in the age of quality TV and will stand up to the viewers' scrutiny. As a matter of fact, saying that the audiences don't care about such "petty stuff" as narrative logic, consistency, sense and coherence is insulting as well. I didn't mean to call you out but I just couldn't keep my mouth shut. I know you feel obliged to defend The Return as a fan, but don't do it by claiming its weaknesses are the most common thing in the current television universe.


I think we’re conflating plot holes and unexplained story points, which are two different things. Plot holes are actual inconsistencies, where a work contradicts itself. I honestly don’t think there are too mant plot holes in TP:TR. The date of Jeffries’s arrival in the Philadelphia offices being changed to 1989 is one, as it contradicts FWWM. Cooper having been in on some plan in 1989 with Gordon and Briggs to bring down Judy is arguably another — although the characters’ behavior in the original show can possibly be rationalized in light of this information, it remains a very obvious and distracting retcon. However, most of what we’re talking about in this thread involves not plot holes but iceberg storytelling — where a lot of the explanation is kept out of view.

An example of a similar circumstance on Breaking Bad: Fans and interviewers have given Vince Gilligan crap over the absurditity of a certain plot point in the season 4 finale, and he has repeatedly stated that he doesn’t have any interest in pondering the specifics of what actually occurred.
Spoiler:
This is of course referring to the poisoning of Brock, and the absurdity of Huell maneuvering a specific cigarette out of Jesse’s pack during a split-second physical contact.
Vince has made jokes in interviews about Walt sneaking into school with a poisoned juice box, and he even introduced Huell on Better Call Saul with a tongue-in-cheek reference to his surprising dexterity. That’s an example of one of the shows you named doing something similar to what we’re talking about here — ignoring nuts-and-bolts story logistics to get to a certain result. It’s not that what we see is unexplainable, the writers simply chose not to explain it, whether out of faith in the audience’s imagination, laziness, or both.

I’m not saying that the shows you named don’t have tighter narratives than TP:TR. But they are also engaging in a very different type of storytelling than DKL has been interested for most of his career. While he has expressed his admiration for Breaking Bad, he has never been about making that type of narrative. That doesn’t mean you or anyone has to love what he’s doing in TP:TR (I have been pretty open about my own conflicted feelings about certain elements of the writing, especially in light of Mark’s comments about his rather flippant approach to consistency in TSHoTP), but I don’t think you can hold TP:TR to the same storytelling standard as The Wire because it’s an entirely different type of show. If anything, it is probably closest to The Sopranos of the shows you name, and that show frequently caught a fair degree of flack for similar narrative trailing-off, storylines that went nowhere, and the infamous Kevin Finnerty who in many ways is the spiritual progenitor of Dougie Jones. Mark has even admitted that The Sopranos’s “cut to black” ending was a personal inspiration and may well have subconsciously influenced the final scene of TP:TR.


I'm in agreement with Earle in that those shows don't really have plotholes...though I would also disagree with Wentz that The Return does (or that it would be ok if it did), in that it's hard to say what actually constitutes a plot hole and what doesn't with this type of storytelling, as Reindeer said. A lot occurs offscreen, a lot is intentionally abandoned, and in the case of Ray/Jeffries/Gordon, a lot is muddled, and overall a lot is taking place in a slippery dreamlike state.

I know we are just focusing on the plot itself here, but I think Reindeer should also mention what he wrote in another thread about the massive info dump and retcon, given by the usually explanation phobic Lynch of all people, and how that seems to have fun playing on or satirizing certain shows. I think that's definitely a part of what's happening in Part 17, and therefore part of why everything suddenly seems so convoluted, and in turn why that works in a suddenly headspinning and ridiculous way.
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:01 am

LateReg wrote:I know we are just focusing on the plot itself here, but I think Reindeer should also mention what he wrote in another thread about the massive info dump and retcon, given by the usually explanation phobic Lynch of all people, and how that seems to have fun playing on or satirizing certain shows. I think that's definitely a part of what's happening in Part 17, and therefore part of why everything suddenly seems so convoluted, and in turn why that works in a suddenly headspinning and ridiculous way.


Since you asked. ;)

I think the original TP had two major influences on the TV landscape (both delayed by about a decade, showing how ahead of its time the original was). One of the things it did is to inspire creators like David Chase and Matthew Weiner to create compelling, original works — so-called “prestige drama” — shows which may not look much like TP, except in the ways they challenge the boundaries of what TV drama is supposed to be. The second influence was to create a cottage industry of mythology-based “puzzle box” shows, a template and a language which really didn’t exist for television prior to TP S2. While The X Files built on this, it was self-proclaimed TP freak Damon Lindelof who really broke this genre wide open with Lost, and it’s been booming ever since with Mr. Robot, Westworld, Legion, True Detective, &c. As I’ve said elsewhere, I think the script for this season (presumably influenced largely by Mark in this regard) was interested in engaging with that puzzle box genre. While having Matt Weiner say that TP was a huge influence on his creation of Mad Men might be the more prestigious influence, I think the connection between TP and Lost and its progeny is by far the more palpable one, and therefore I think Mark was far more interested in playing in that sandbox again in light of all the works that were influenced by his own, rather than trying to be The Wire or Breaking Bad.

In any event, I’ve postulated that just as the old show earnestly engaged with soap opera tropes while simultaneously mocking them, the new show is playing a similar game with the very genre it spawned. Mythology shows almost invariably lead to disappointment — either the answers are never revealed at all, or they inevitably don’t live up to the hype. I think Mark (a professed fan of many of these shows) was having some fan with what we’ll call “hatch syndrome” — the audience thinks it wants to know what’s inside the hatch, but it’s ultimately much more fun wondering than knowing. I think TP:TR’s seesaw between murky ambiguity and clunky information-dumps is partly Mark having fun and acknowledging the limitations of the genre he himself was integral in creating.

And, as LateReg noted, there is an added weirdness/irony when DKL — a man notoriously uncomfotable with words, a primarily visual storyteller and someone who generally seems to have little interest in mythology-building, the right brain to Mark’s left — is the one onscreen cheerfully spewing page after page of elaborate backstory.

The more I think about it, the script to some extent may reflect a playful back-and-forth between DKL and Mark about the reveal of Laura’s killer, which DKL fought (“you don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs”) and Mark at the time overruled him, but has since said he regrets the decision. Just as Fenn in BTS footage calls DKL out on basing some of Audrey’s behavior in the new show on the antagonism between Fenn and DKL, there might be a bit of a metatextual “I told you so”/mea culpa element to TR’s push-and-pull between mystery and reveal.

All of which is wandering pretty far afield of the original topic, but hopefully addresses Agent Earle’s post more fully.
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby cgs027 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:36 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:It’s pretty convoluted, that’s for sure. I still have doubts about how much L/F thought this kind of stuff through. In retrospect, it seems pretty obvious that Gordon and Albert were much further ahead of the audience than most of us initially assumed. For instance, given the Lois Duffy history, they clearly suspected Mr. C was some sort of second Cooper from the moment they met him in prison — if not before. It seems absurd that they wouldn’t know Cooper was Ray’s boss, unless Ray deliberately kept it from them...which I suppose is possible. The very idea of a covert FBI subsection that is kept top-secret even from most Bureau members revealing its existence to a street-level career criminal is inherently absurd. It’s never made particularly clear what Ray was tasked by the FBI to do, aside from getting the coordinates. The question becomes one of “chicken or the egg.” Did the FBI recruit Ray because he had a preexisting relationship with Hastings’s secretary, which Mr. C subsequently caught wind of? Did Mr. C find Ray first, and the FBI employed him because of that (this assumes the FBI did have knowledge of Mr. C and his operations)? Whatever the order of events, there has to be some connection. It would be profoundly stupid for Ray to miraculously end up as both a Blue Rose informant and Mr. C’s henchman through pure coincidence.


Don't forget that it's also heavily implied that Mr. C was on the scene when Ruth Davenport was killed (heck, The Final Dossier pretty much spells this out). Which makes things even sloppier with respect to Ray. If Mr. C was there, he already had access to the coordinates, they were written in LARGE font on her arm for pete's sake. So... why all the pestering of Ray for the coordinates (Ruth and the school secretary would no doubt have the same exact info)?!? And likewise, it is completely redundant to have Diane crib them off the pic of Ruth's arm and send them to him...
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby IcedOver » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:31 pm

cgs027 wrote:
Don't forget that it's also heavily implied that Mr. C was on the scene when Ruth Davenport was killed (heck, The Final Dossier pretty much spells this out). Which makes things even sloppier with respect to Ray. If Mr. C was there, he already had access to the coordinates, they were written in LARGE font on her arm for pete's sake. So... why all the pestering of Ray for the coordinates (Ruth and the school secretary would no doubt have the same exact info)?!? And likewise, it is completely redundant to have Diane crib them off the pic of Ruth's arm and send them to him...


I haven't yet read "The Final Dossier", but I took it that when Hastings talked about the bunch of people in the Zone, he was referring to the Woodsmen. The Woodsmen I guess killed Ruth and Briggs and positioned their bodies with the coordinates, and are in league with Mr. C, so the coordinates are available to Mr. C. And why the hell would Hastings give the coordinates to his secretary . . . and how the hell did Mr. C or anybody in his group know she had them?

Just such shoddiness, and it's not able to be explained away without totally disregarding it and focusing on something else. Same thing with the diary pages and other things. None of it is interesting enough to warrant much analysis; it's not as if we're analyzing clues about Laura's murder like in the original, desperate for any crumb and trying to figure out this great mystery ourselves. It also doesn't fall under the whole "room to dream" idea. It's just basic stuff. We don't have that emotional connection to the characters involved in the most egregious plot problems (Mr. C and his gang, Hastings, the dead Ruth, absent secretary, Jeffries, the voice on the phone, Woodsmen, et cetera), and much of that is presented in a flat, styleless, atypically emotionless (for Lynch) way, that why do we ultimately care? You could (and many people have) explain it all away as Lynch messing with and antagonizing the audience, ridiculing your desire to know ANYTHING and have ANY answer revealed or make sense. That may very well be present in this show, but when has he ever really done that before, and why to this extent? The simpler answer seems more likely to be correct at least in the circumstances under discussion in this thread -- a lack of attention to detail.
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:51 pm

IcedOver wrote:None of it is interesting enough to warrant much analysis; it's not as if we're analyzing clues about Laura's murder like in the original, desperate for any crumb and trying to figure out this great mystery.


But do you find the original series more satisfying in this regard? All of the clues were ultimately red herrings, and Cooper literally solves the crime by having the answer told to him. You don’t find that to be a colossal cheat? TP has always been about subverting the typical mystery narrative, and this new series is an extension of that. I can accept that the execution of this new season fell flat for for you, because it was a very different beast from S1-2. But in this particular regard, conceptually, I think the show was playing the exact same game as the original.
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby IcedOver » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:32 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:But do you find the original series more satisfying in this regard? All of the clues were ultimately red herrings, and Cooper literally solves the crime by having the answer told to him. You don’t find that to be a colossal cheat? TP has always been about subverting the typical mystery narrative, and this new series is an extension of that. I can accept that the execution of this new season fell flat for for you, because it was a very different beast from S1-2. But in this particular regard, conceptually, I think the show was playing the exact same game as the original.


The two situations aren't the same. I think the original was a traditional mystery narrative with the surreal, supernatural, and soap opera elements as its clothes, or maybe the other way around. We get a pretty clear picture of the mystery, and are even flat-out shown one subjective perspective of the murder itself in the final moments of episode 8. I don't think it was trying to subvert any tradition, just present it in a different way.

This show is so different from the original that it's hard to compare them. Plus, their creations couldn't have been more different -- a kitchen of cooks, some who show up some days and not others, and their stern and unhappy managers, versus two guys with the run of the kitchen. My problems with it are not because it's dissimilar, but because of its internal problems. It actually has very little mystery, just some stuff to figure out on the way to which no answer is really satisfactory. I'm not saying that concept of futility is a bad thing, just that what it is used on (if the futility was even intentional, which is unknowable) -- basic plot shit that's being discussed -- doesn't warrant it. The main mystery we want to figure out through the run is what Mr. C wants. The fact that we really never find out what that is can be interpreted as brilliant and wonderfully "subversive" or useless; I've alternated between both. However, the basic mechanics that drive that mystery are shoddy and weren't screwed together right or are missing parts, and that to me points to nothing more than, again, lack of care and attention to detail.
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby NormoftheAndes » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:39 am

It seems to me very blase to suggest that Lynch and Frost were amiss in their writing on s3 or sloppy. Isn't the question as to why certain plot elements are unclear or fuzzy?

I found s3 overall to have quite a depressing tone to it - that's not something I really demand from tv or film as a viewer - but Deer Meadow had literally moved to Twin Peaks with all of its drugs and unpleasantness. Just look at Chad! :)

Didn't s3 often have that feel of lapses into drug-induced blackouts or stupor? For me at least, I think so. Certainly, it wasn't an investigative delight like the first seasons often were. Stories would also just end abruptly. Frustrating.

Then look at Frank Truman - was he on a heavy dose of valium? A truckload? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ray/Phillip Jeffries storyline

Postby LateReg » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:58 am

NormoftheAndes wrote:It seems to me very blase to suggest that Lynch and Frost were amiss in their writing on s3 or sloppy. Isn't the question as to why certain plot elements are unclear or fuzzy?


Yes! This is I wholeheartedly agree with. To assume that Lynch/Frost were lazy or careless is the worst thing one can do. They may have made the wrong decisions, but there's far too many examples of clearly unorthodox decisions that were made to write off any as simply a product of lack of attention to detail.

Take this Ray conversation for example. One can say that it makes no sense, that it's a stupid reveal, etc., or one can note that it is so clearly a pointless reveal, and so clearly makes no sense, and is ironically delivered by Lynch at the last possible moment, that it must mean something to the creators, and therefore must mean something to the story they're trying to tell or ideas they wish to get across. Does that make it a good decision? Of course not! But it's a deliberate decision in a very deliberately designed work of art, and to think of it as anything less is to not give oneself the chance to fully engage with it.

I'd like to briefly draw attention to the fact that in The Return Cooper's Great Northern key has "Clean place reasonably priced" printed on it. One can chalk that up to the writers not remembering that it was Cooper himself who said that before arriving rather than the actual slogan of the hotel, or one can say that it's a fun nod to the original series and nothing more, or one can say that it's an important nostalgic reference to the original series since this series functions as a complicated reflection of the original, or one can say that it's a sign we are firmly implanted in Cooper's psyche. I'd say it's a combination of the latter three ideas, working in unison, and firing on all cylinders. And once those kinds of elements are introduced, this thing is functioning on a much different level than simple plot mechanics; and when we find ourselves in a work that builds characters not by how they develop but by how they see the world - as may be the case with multiple characters, including most obviously Cooper - and when that means that we're inside a character's or set of characters' psyche or dream or shared dream, then the work becomes further based on feeling and intuition, and all bets are off as the normal rules of storytelling don't apply. And yes, I'm aware of the slippery slope here where everything can be forgiven based on some notion of avant-garde storytelling where everything can be chalked up to feeling like a dream or some such, but I'm personally not doing that. I just notice the many patterns and try to think about what the intention may be; I find the filmmaking masterful and the meaning deep, so it's not hard for me to be enamored by the challenge. And no, this isn't the same kind of mystery as the original series, but there are still clues all around that point to the mystery in The Return being a much deeper thing. Each season is a different beast, but I definitely think The Return offers a deeper mystery than the carefully placed breadcrumbs of the enthralling original.

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