Let's talk changes: how would you change the second season?

Discussion of Twin Peaks TV Series, Fire Walk With Me, and Books

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D0ppelgangerDale
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Postby D0ppelgangerDale » Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:14 pm

First, I would have waited until the end of the second season AT EARLIEST to reveal Laura's killer. In my opinion, season 2 feels anti-climactic as a result of the decision to reveal the killer mid-season. The Windom Earle arc is simply not as strong as the who-killed-Laura-Palmer arc. The Earle arc feels like an afterthought in comparison, even with the REALLY interesting Black Lodge elements. I've heard some people say that Lynch did not want to reveal the killer so early, and I think it's a shame that his wishes weren't respected.

Second, I would not have made Windom Earle the primary antagonist of the second season. Instead, I would have used Earle as a subplot to dig a bit deeper into the mystery of the black/white lodge. After a few episodes, I would have resolved the subplot and then shifted the focus back to the Palmer investigation.

Third, I would not have changed the relationship between Audrey Horne and Agent Cooper. I realize that Kyle MacLachlan vetoed the idea of the relationship getting serious, but the relationship didn't necessarily have to end either. I like the idea of forbidden love. It worked with Buffy and Angel all the way through Buffy's third season. It could have worked with Audrey and Dale for quite a while, too. As you might imagine, I would not have introduced the character Annie as a new love interest for Agent Cooper.

And finally, I would have tossed the James subplot. As others have mentioned, he could have gone away and then returned at some later date, similar to the character Oz in Buffy (as you can tell, I'm a big Buffy fan). We didn't need to see what happened to him while he was away. He could have told us.
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Audrey Horne
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Postby Audrey Horne » Sun Aug 12, 2007 8:49 am

yay, much better.

although I like the idea of finding out the identity to Laura's killer, but perhaps the characters do not. And since ABC would have still put the screws to Lynch and Frost in giving us an answer around the same time (planned for Novemeber sweeps), it would be hard to avoid that reality.

But who's to say it wouldn't be more interesting to switch the way the structure is from who killed Laura Palmer to now what/when will BOB/Leland strike next? Would Leland be defending Ben for the murder of Laura?

James Marshall was leaving the show -at least it was reported in early January right in the beginning of the Evelyn subplot- I don't know about Joan Chen though (I know she was juggling a bit with her huge film career overseas).

I still like the idea of Windom Earle though, but hate the execution. I love the Chess plot in theory, but think it's inane and really sloppy on the show. But I would have changed Josie shooting Cooper to Windom being the culprit -and it ties in the backstory, and connects season one and two in an interesting way bridging Laura Palmer plot to the Cooper's past plot. (Windom would reveal he knew he wouldn't be killing Cooper but getting the ball rolling on a sort of game of Tag)

And get Audrey's feet back in those damn saddleshoes where they belong and get her in holding the cards of the mill plot between Ben and Catherine.
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D0ppelgangerDale
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Postby D0ppelgangerDale » Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:06 am

Audrey Horne wrote:But who's to say it wouldn't be more interesting to switch the way the structure is from who killed Laura Palmer to now what/when will BOB/Leland strike next?


Good point. I think that would have worked a lot better than revealing the killer mid-season. The second season would have flowed much better if your approach had been taken. In its current state, the second season feels uneven and anti-climactic...at least to me.
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Audrey Horne
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Postby Audrey Horne » Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:54 am

uneven, sloppy, a mess, conventional in its seemingly unconventionalist.

funny, I just got someone into this show who never knew anything about it -he's 25, so I guess that's a bit of a buffer to miss the heyday and not even know the catchphrase, Who Killed Laura Palmer.

and he and his wife have been watching this rather slowly but steadily over the past couple of months and they're really into it. I've been doling out episodes one disc at a time.

Interestingly, when I ask him who he thinks the killer is, he says the vagrant guy (BOB). But when I press that well, who is that guy/isn't there more to it, my friend answered, "just some random guy." Basically he said that he thought it was cool that some random guy killed Laura because the murder was just a way to get you into the show.

He started out liking Pete a lot and Cooper. And right on cue, around episode five, jumped to Audrey as to the best reason to watch the show, and what is going to happen to her and Cooper. (no proding from me, honest). He also got on the Catherine bandwagon too around the time she danced with Leland and found out she was being double crossed.

They got to the cliffhanger and were completely hooked. So I gave him a slight summer hiatus and waited like a week and a half. He wanted to know if Cooper survived, new he must but still wasn't sure. I printed out articles that would have been in the press, gave him the SNL skit, and interviews to get him exicted, and it worked.

For who killed Laura? He changed his mind to it probably being Donna (!) since she was always saying, "we have to keep what we find out secret." hmmmm, and doesn't even think Ben, Leland or Audrey are prime suspects (which were the main ones at the time)

Believe it or not, he really liked the second season premiere, wasn't bothered by the slow paced beginning. And has made it through the third episode. But his interest is starting to wane. He says why are they introducing all these new characters that I don't care about? And doesn't seem to care about who the killer is, but when is Cooper going to find the note Audrey left and get her out of there.

I guess this is how I felt too at the time. I thought the episodes weren't nearly as good and had a lot of filler. Of course compared to the later ones, they're great.
God, I love this music. Isn't it too dreamy?
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They-Shot-Waldo!
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Postby They-Shot-Waldo! » Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:26 pm

A very nice way to introduce someone to Twin Peaks, Audrey... particularly with all the old articles during the eh, break, between seasons. ;) It would certainly be a fun and interactive way to introduce someone to the series. Let us know what your friend thinks!
-- Gerry

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Audrey Horne
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Postby Audrey Horne » Sun Aug 12, 2007 8:20 pm

Yeah, he really has appricaited it -old tv guide articles, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, made a DVD of my old interviews/shows (Donahue, Alan Thicke recap -with Cop Rock lol, SNL, Sherilyn Fenn frenzy etc)

but I did tell one little fip -I said Piper Laurie only expected the show to be one season and wasn't available for -so it was publice knowledge that her character had been killed off.

*for myself though, I screamed as soon as her character was shown in disguise originally. I screamed, "that's Catherine!!" still surprised when I hear some people didn't figure it out at first.

I'm still very impressed this guy hasn't caved into youtube, wikipedia territory, but seems to be very adament he won't because he knows it will spoil the fun.
God, I love this music. Isn't it too dreamy?
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D0ppelgangerDale
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Postby D0ppelgangerDale » Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:02 pm

Audrey, I was reading your comments over at Twin Peaks Gazette, and I totally agree that Agent Cooper should have entered the Black Lodge to rescue Audrey, not Annie. Narratively, it would have made the most sense. It would have been a satisfying continuation (or conclusion) of the Audrey/Cooper relationship after the big build-up. But instead, the relationship just fizzled out, and one relationship that was charming and subtly crafted was replaced by two relationships that felt incredibly contrived (Audrey/Wheeler and Cooper/Annie).

The finale could have ended with Cooper -while not ever admitting it -going into the Lodge and offering his life in exchange for Audrey's. Perhaps a shot or two where Audrey actually aknowledges where she is for us to speculate that Audrey always had insight, and of course it ends in the same cliffhanger.

It would give more forshadowing even with Audrey's first meeting with Cooper -"Do you like my ring?"


What could have been...

*sigh*

:(
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Gabriel
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Postby Gabriel » Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:17 am

After their dalliances with other people, I'd have had Audrey (her body in a coma in real life and her soul appearing in the lodges) help rescue Coop from the Black Lodge!!!

Ultimately, even with its failings, TP was so riotously oddball that I could always find watching it interesting.

Had there been another season, I think TP could have turned things around. I still live in hope of a miniseries of some kind one day (vainly, I'm sure! ;))
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Audrey Horne
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Postby Audrey Horne » Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:41 pm

Gabriel, I think that makes sense if they were trying to bridge back the original intent and themes -but at the time I think things had gotten so off track behind the scenes and there was no intention of going back to it despite the threads that had been established ("Laura always got what she wanted -just like you."; Windom introduced narratively when also combined with Audrey and Cooper's past etc). Production-wise Kyle protested, and Sherilyn was having a hard time on set with the others.

At the time, me and my die hard Peak friends -they were dwindling fast- debated the Audrey/Cooper plot (nothing was made public until over a year after the show ended)- so we were all confused. I thought something was fishy after the Denise/Audrey/Cooper episode. Not that episode, but the series of episodes after -three to be exact. (prior to that, there hadn't been an episode save for Leland's death that didn't have an Cooper/Audrey scene or bridge connecting them). Some friends thought they were just taking a break and going to jump back in, but I felt something was off. But then there was the AHA as soon as Windom teased with the queens (Donna, Audrey, Shelly) and the episode ended with him selecting it to be Audrey and Cooper finding the mask in his bed. Okay, now we're back on track FINALLY (Windom enters, Audrey is the target, and Cooper's past love is resurfaced) -that all went to crap in the next episode though -and the handling of Jack was definitely going in a direction that it was a good match for Audrey and not a block to prolong the Cooper/Audrey. (He wasn't a Frasier for Sam/Diane etc).

Then we had a long break between episodes, and most of my friends lost interest. Earle was too hooky, Owl Cave was too metaphorical and sloppy and a bunch of us moaned when Truman put the nail in the coffin by asking Cooper, "how long have you been in love with her (Annie)?" -that line practicallly felt like sacreligious.

Internet fans seem really into Laura Palmer, and it's fine by me -maybe because it has to do with Fire Walk With Me, but Twin Peaks to me was always about Audrey and Cooper, and I feel it's just as valid. Laura was always a plot device (albeit a very good plot device) to bring us into other people's world and she never seemed that interesting to me as a full bodied character but as the MacGuffin.
God, I love this music. Isn't it too dreamy?
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barryconvex
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Postby barryconvex » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:05 pm

I agree with many points already mentioned. Window Earle is far too prominent to be scary (and there's no balance because he's just nuts all the time). 2 episodes just seem to lose the Twin Peaks spirit completely in my opion (Truman's hangover and the one immediately before or after, can't remember right now).

Amazingly, serious ;) people also asked themselves exactly the same questions. This is from the Toronto Star (I'd have to look it up once more for the exact date), constructive criticism:




"Still time to whip sagging Peaks into shape

By Peter Howell
TORONTO STAR

What was once weird and wonderful is now stupid and boring. That's the real problem with Twin Peaks, the quirky nighttime soap opera that has gone from being critics choice to candidate for the executioner's axe.

The show, which has been in deep freeze for a month, returned last Wednesday to Global and Thursday to ABC in an attempt to revive viewer interest.

Series creators David Lynch and Mark Frost have blamed Twin Peaks' basement-level ratings on last September's broadcast schedule change from midweek to Saturday nights. Peaks Freaks are party animals, Lynch reasoned, and as much as they hate to miss their favorite show, they just can't stay at home Saturdays to watch it.

That argument has more holes than a bag of doughnuts. The real problems with the show are linked to bad writing and the lack of a clear vision.

Here's why Twin Peaks faltered, with suggestions for improvements if the show is to have any chance of making it to a third season:

* Laura Palmer's ghost: The "Who Killed Laura Palmer?" mystery was at once the show's major attraction and its biggest albatross. Laura was the dead prom queen found wrapped in plastic on the beach of the quiet Washington state lumber town. Her spirit hovered over Twin Peaks and maintained momentum in a painfully slow plot; the more we learned about her hidden interests in sex, drugs and satanism, the more fascinated we became with the secrets of Twin Peaks, and of smalltown America.

But once the murder was solved, the memory of Laura Palmer seemed to haunt the series, reminding viewers that the follow-up plot about Special Agent Dale Cooper's demented former partner was awfully thin.

* Suggested remedy: Concoct another elaborate murder mystery, involving a cast member that viewers still care about. How about knocking off Margaret, the Log Lady?

* Dumb characters: It's a fine line between weird and just plain stupid, as Twin Peaks showed this year. We were amazed and delighted in the first season by the dancing dwarf, the eyepatch-and-drapery nut Nadine Hurley, the tea-and-hellfire Log Lady, and of course, the devil in blue jeans"Killer Bob." Only Killer Bob improved in the second season - the others became silly - and he had to fight for recognition amid a crew of freaks that made Twin Peaks look like a circus audition. The losers' list of new characters included a geeky giant, a transvestite drug enforcement officer, a daughter-hating food critic and her incompetent conman husband, and a fey menswear specialist-Lothario.

* Solution: Introduce fewer and more believable characters; strengthen the ones the show already has.

* Plot absurdities: As weird as it was, Twin Peaks in its first year had an internal logic that tied into the central plot of a small town tormented by both spiritual and physical demons. The second season has taken numerous plot twists that can be nothing more than padding by the writers.

Not even the gullible Lucy Moran would believe that paralyzed badboy Leo Johnson would rise from his wheelchair to commit more mayhem; that evil schemer Ben Horne would start reliving the Civil War; that Nadine Hurley would become a teenage superwoman after surviving a drug overdose; that a beautiful, mystery blonde would fall for thick-as-a-brick biker James Hurley; or that Canadian druglord Jean Renault could be suckered into a fatal gunfight by a transvestite who had just changed clothes.

* Solution: Get new writers, or tell the current ones to smarten up.

* Loose ends: While meandering down its many twisted paths, second season Twin Peaks frequently introduced new sub-plots and characters while failing to tell us what happened to previous ones. Are Ronette Pulaski and Phil the veterinarian still in comas? Is Mike, the one-armed-man and former Killer Bob partner, dead or alive? Who really was Harold Smith, besides being a self-mutilating, suicidal recluse? Is the One-Eyed Jack's brothel still operating? Who was the "magician" in Cooper's first dream sequence?

* Solution: Just tie up the loose ends. Don't leave viewers frustrated."
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Audrey Horne
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Postby Audrey Horne » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:34 pm

Here, here! absoultely correct.

My god, the first season had enough characters and all of them were just fine, and more than enough to keep twisting and following. Simpliciity was always key -complexity in its simplicity. Look at the third episode (or what zealets called episode two -it's the third friggin episode!) not much happens at all, and yet it is full and rich and completely embodies because it's all about observing character. Take Audrey's scene as an example (since I always do) -what happens? Not much -we find out she has a crush on Cooper and perhaps jealousy about her Dad favoring Laura. It could be done in 30 seconds -yet instead we get to watch her fiddle with a coffee rim, she and Donna glance at one another while not saying anything and then she dances. Nothing is explained or answered, yet everything seems filled, we're asking for more, we're titalated and yet also satisfied. In scenes like this we can go on and debate with others what could be going on and everyone could be right. Epic in its simplicity.

The end of Maddy's murder back at the Road House is a perfect example of this as well. What is happening? Everything and nothing, and no one and everyone is right.

I would have vetoed the Lanas, Justice Wheelers, Nickys, Dicks etc -they had the cast and that's all that was needed.
God, I love this music. Isn't it too dreamy?
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jmichael
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Postby jmichael » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:58 pm

Audrey Horne wrote:Look at the third episode (or what zealets called episode two -it's the third friggin episode!)


Not to start a whole thing here, but it is officially known as "Episode 2", on the script and on every home video release. I know, I know, it's the third episode (To be frank it used to bug the heck out of me, and certainly confused me when I bought the first season vhs boxset).

But the point is, it's not out of mere zealousness, it's just a way to properly identify episodes as they were officially numbered. :-)
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Audrey Horne
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Postby Audrey Horne » Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:26 pm

yeah, I know. I was just being overly dramatic, I guess.

Another interesting tidbit for me in the Audrey/Cooper plot, and I don't think I'm reaching here. Why was it developed in the script and then carried out by Lynch for the giant to tell Cooper he "forgot something" in reference to Audrey's letter? I believe he says this to Cooper in his second visit to Cooper, not in his first batch of clues. This is of course after Audrey has prayed to Cooper.

The prayer section itself is filmed by Lynch sandwiched between Cooper going to bed and then being revisited by the giant. The implication to me that she is connected to Cooper -does he intuitively dream her prayer, does her prayer reach someone that can help her reach Cooper -in this case, the giant?

but most importantly, the Giant is only giving Cooper clues to help him -susposedly in the Laura Palmer case, but it clearly goes deeper than that since it involved warning against BOB and dark forces (the warning againt Annie entering the contest). "Forgot something" is Audrey's letter. Audrey is at OEJ, and this is all a red herring in the grand scheme. it does not help Cooper find any answers, so therefore is not connected to larger themes. But it makes much more sense if it is to protect and help Audrey who will be much more important to the other world and has some sort of connection to it. At the time, I thought this was the beginning of tying them together through deeper forces and imagine it was originally planned to go in that direction.
God, I love this music. Isn't it too dreamy?
whatif
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Postby whatif » Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:06 pm

Which episode was it where Nadine thows the guy? I would have definitely changed that.

Also, what does everyone think of the whole Ben Horne Civil War story? I think that would be my second least favorite next to the Evelyn Marsh story.
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TravisD
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Postby TravisD » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:03 pm

IMHO,most of it was fine........just over direction and over acting kinda numbed it out.

The Lynch eps are all good....

Speaking of which,even though it would never happen....

I could live with a Stanley/Coop/Albert/Cole/Desmond/Earle spin off somewhere the hell else...like a prequel prequel.

IMHO,the FBI bits were always the best.
"Give Sam Stanley the glad hand........just come over from Spokane"

Even the movie,the first 30-35 minutes.......superduper.....rest is
the show on steroids.

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