The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

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missoulamt
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The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby missoulamt » Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:18 am

The original series as well as FWWM had this air of mystery from beginning to end. The flashlights in the woods, the woods in general, the owls, Leland, Laura's decline, Bob of course. Countless moments that were really frightening, perhaps culminating in Leland's "dance of death" in the living room.

Off the top of my head, I can only think of two scenes in the whole of Return that made me feel ill at ease. Sarah acting weird in the supermarket and Cooper/Laura driving back into TP and the conversation with the tenants followed by the scream down in the street.

That's not a very good ratio when you compare with the original series / FWWM...
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:38 am

I found all the Sarah stuff pretty freaky, particularly her stabbing the photo. The Woodsmen as well, particularly reviving Mr. C in Part 8. The creepy sex scene in Part 18. Just to give a few more examples, not an exhaustive list.
LateReg
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby LateReg » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:33 am

I wouldn't argue that The Return has less "oh shit!" fear moments throughout, though like Reindeer I can name a few more that qualify as fear based mystery enhancers. But there's still an underlying sense of tension and dread and certainly unpredictability.

It is very much a different type of thing than the original series or film, though. More abstract, more intellectual, less narratively driven, etc. It's a trade off that results in a different (richer, imo) kind of experience.
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mtwentz
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby mtwentz » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:48 am

For me, much of The Return was utterly dark, dreary, bleak and delicious. There is nothing in The Return to compare to Leland killing Maddy; on the other hand, there is nothing in the original series that quite competes with the Mauve Room or Episode 8 or the scene in the Sheriffs station with Coopers superimposed face. Or all of Episode 18.

If there is one thing I missed in The Return, it is definitely not the mystery; if anything, there was too much mystery. What I missed was the emotion. The Return was more cerebral than emotional, whereas I felt the original show relied a lot on raw emotion- the sadness surrounding Laura’s death.

I never really felt the emotional impact of Cooper wasting the better part of his life in The Lodge.

But I think that boils down ultimately to Cooper being mission driven. He is focused on defeating Judy and completing his mission, not about his own personal life.

That being said, the scene where Richard runs over the little boy and where Cooper says goodbye to Janey-E and Sunny Jim were emotionally impactful scenes.
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mtwentz
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby mtwentz » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:54 am

LateReg wrote:I wouldn't argue that The Return has less "oh shit!" fear moments throughout, though like Reindeer I can name a few more that qualify as fear based mystery enhancers. But there's still an underlying sense of tension and dread and certainly unpredictability.

It is very much a different type of thing than the original series or film, though. More abstract, more intellectual, less narratively driven, etc. It's a trade off that results in a different (richer, imo) kind of experience.

You expressed much of what I wrote in my post, which I was writing as you were writing yours. Instead of intellectual, I used the word cerebral.

Ultimately, each has its strengths and weaknesses versus the other.
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LateReg
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby LateReg » Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:36 pm

mtwentz wrote:
LateReg wrote:I wouldn't argue that The Return has less "oh shit!" fear moments throughout, though like Reindeer I can name a few more that qualify as fear based mystery enhancers. But there's still an underlying sense of tension and dread and certainly unpredictability.

It is very much a different type of thing than the original series or film, though. More abstract, more intellectual, less narratively driven, etc. It's a trade off that results in a different (richer, imo) kind of experience.

You expressed much of what I wrote in my post, which I was writing as you were writing yours. Instead of intellectual, I used the word cerebral.

Ultimately, each has its strengths and weaknesses versus the other.


Cerebral is the better word for it anyway.

I disagree, however, that you don't feel the emotion of Cooper's lost time. I very much felt that watching Dougie, profoundly so. The sense of sadness and loss was overwhelmingly palpable throughout.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby djerdap » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:16 am

mtwentz wrote:I never really felt the emotional impact of Cooper wasting the better part of his life in The Lodge.


I definitely did on the other hand. The tear falling when Cooper is watching Sonny Jim, his goodbye to Dougie's family, and the final scene of the show all encompass the emotion of a life wasted and lost.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby krishnanspace » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:06 am

I loved the first 30 mins of FWWM, very mysterious even though we did not get answers. I would have wanted The Return to feel the same
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby LateReg » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:40 am

djerdap wrote:
mtwentz wrote:I never really felt the emotional impact of Cooper wasting the better part of his life in The Lodge.


I definitely did on the other hand. The tear falling when Cooper is watching Sonny Jim, his goodbye to Dougie's family, and the final scene of the show all encompass the emotion of a life wasted and lost.


And those are just the few overt examples. Honestly, there are few series that are infused at the molecular level with such a sense of wasted lives and lost time. I felt it profoundly throughout. It helps that no series has addressed mortality with such profundity, especially due to the use and respect paid to actors who were so close to death in a story about the passage of real time.

But back to the original question, innumerable sequences have come to mind. For example, the sequence with Hawk with his flashlight in the woods was exactly like the Peaksian mystery I always think of. Perhaps the problem for some viewers is that such scenes don't end up leading to more of the same kind of mystery, or choose not to sustain that exact feeling for very long or extend it into the next scene or even return to it. While I think there is a different sort of underlying tension and disorientation throughout, I think the most sustained feeling of more typical mystery/fear was in Parts 17/18, albeit with odd twists like Green Glove and "I hope to see all of you again" and the bottom dropping out more akin to Mulholland Drive/INLAND EMPIRE and the sparse realism of driving for miles on empty roads.
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mtwentz
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby mtwentz » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:44 pm

LateReg wrote:
djerdap wrote:
mtwentz wrote:I never really felt the emotional impact of Cooper wasting the better part of his life in The Lodge.


I definitely did on the other hand. The tear falling when Cooper is watching Sonny Jim, his goodbye to Dougie's family, and the final scene of the show all encompass the emotion of a life wasted and lost.


And those are just the few overt examples. Honestly, there are few series that are infused at the molecular level with such a sense of wasted lives and lost time. I felt it profoundly throughout. It helps that no series has addressed mortality with such profundity, especially due to the use and respect paid to actors who were so close to death in a story about the passage of real time.

But back to the original question, innumerable sequences have come to mind. For example, the sequence with Hawk with his flashlight in the woods was exactly like the Peaksian mystery I always think of. Perhaps the problem for some viewers is that such scenes don't end up leading to more of the same kind of mystery, or choose not to sustain that exact feeling for very long or extend it into the next scene or even return to it. While I think there is a different sort of underlying tension and disorientation throughout, I think the most sustained feeling of more typical mystery/fear was in Parts 17/18, albeit with odd twists like Green Glove and "I hope to see all of you again" and the bottom dropping out more akin to Mulholland Drive/INLAND EMPIRE and the sparse realism of driving for miles on empty roads.


Ultimately, The Return is one giant mystery, wrapped inside an enigma. It's a deliciously unsolvable puzzle that has exercised all our minds as we try to piece the clues together and come up with our own creative solutions.

This is TV at its best; it forces us to think, not just be passive viewers.
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Agent Earle
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby Agent Earle » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:28 pm

Unless, of course, the emperor is naked - for if it can be so many things for so many people, doesn't that indicate that it's ultimately about nothing? Sorry, had to :D
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby AXX°N N. » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:17 pm

Agent Earle wrote:Unless, of course, the emperor is naked - for if it can be so many things for so many people, doesn't that indicate that it's ultimately about nothing? Sorry, had to :D

It does if you want to throw much of world literature and art under the bus. TPS3 is far from the world's first interpretive narrative.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby Kilmoore » Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:57 am

Agent Earle wrote:Unless, of course, the emperor is naked - for if it can be so many things for so many people, doesn't that indicate that it's ultimately about nothing? Sorry, had to :D

Anyone can write a mystery story if they don't have to come up with any of the answers.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby IcedOver » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:18 pm

I agree that it's a problem that S3 has almost no scenes that would be considered creepy. Lynch was faced with the problem that anybody doing any revival, remake, or adaptation faces - how much you try to replicate things so that it doesn't look like you're bringing something in just because. Do you try to replicate the rhythms/look/feel? It seems like he just said "Fuck it" and did what felt right for this property as its own entity. The scene with the being in the glass box feels like an attempt to bring in Lynchian creepiness, but I felt it fell flat and was poorly executed.

I think trying to create a "mystery" element that attempted to recreate the same feeling of "Who killed Laura?" would have been a losing proposition and they likely realized that too. The show starts with something you think is going to develop into a whodunit (Ruth), but shoves it to the side and poorly develops it (on purpose or not I haven't decided). Instead the "mystery" in S3 is more in the classic sense of "mystery" - "the absurd mystery of the strange forces of existence" - larger themes of higher beings, fate, whether a grand plan exists or if it's all absurd nonsense. Of course no "answer" is given to any of that because it's not a mystery that can be solved.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby HagbardCeline » Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:50 pm

For me, The Return lacked the gravitation pull of all three of the forces present in the original Twin Peaks: Lynch, Frost, and the limitations of broadcast television. Those limitations are what made those creepy scenes mentioned by the OP even creepier, because our imaginations took over when there were things that they couldn't show. It would have been interesting to see what an AMC or FX produced Twin Peaks may have looked like.

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