While I was underwhelmed with Part 12, I believe the fact I hadn't tuned in to the pre-show hype that took twitter by storm (which I don't read, except when other discussion boards link to it) most likely kept me from being disappointed.
I still wasn't ready for the slowness of the scenes. Ben and Frank's chat was for me especially excruciating because it was serious (whereas Albert & Gordon in Cole's hotel room invoked more comedy).
Two things intrigue me about Audrey and Charlie's scene:
1. Neither moved from their spot at all while the conversation went on
Any suggested action about to take place -- even just him getting up from his desk (like when he starts to relent toward the end, "OK I'll go...") was not happening. I mean, zero blocking of any kind for the actors. Usually there's some pacing or change of position at some point. Was this another meta joke from the show's creators? (in response to the complaint "Where's the action?!")
There are many times during Twin Peaks I get the sense not just a dream-quality is being evoked but the scenes that take place inside a dollhouse.. not unlike Johnny's in S1 but really any dollhouse. The dream glimpses that feel unreal mimick at times what children playing-out or role-playing with a doll set would sound like. They're making it up as they go, such children: manipulating the dolls in some moments while at others you have fellow-character dolls or animals or players sitting stock-still in place (like Charlie) almost for props.
(Part 11 had one scene in the desert where the close-up of the Mitchem brothers arguing, reveals in the background watching, waiting, a blurred image of DougieCoop holding the box; he looks like a doll figure as the camera lets him occupy the background without focusing for several seconds.)
Agent Earle wrote: I wish they'd go back to that early showrunning approach (various writing-directing contributors putting on screen Lynch & Frost-approved concepts and plottings, with Lynch himself doing an odd one here and there).
I'm convinced the TP that I came to love was the result of this multi-voiced collaboration, various POVs and styles, as flawed as the result could become at times the momentum restored itself somehow. Thus: I didn't expect a strictly-Lynchian endeavor such as The Return to resemble much of the same *except* if upcoming episodes prove otherwise. That omniverse of participating guest directors was a little like Lynch & Frost inviting playmates to have-at-it with DKL's dollhouse or scale model railroad settings or miniatures set. Except at times I feel I'm getting manipulated as much as the players.
2. Audrey mentions having had a dream
. I'd almost forgotten.
She points out that she dreamed Billy showed up "bleeding from the nose and mouth." Since much of her argument badgering Charlie was nonsensical and more haranguing him which would seem ineffective persuasion-tactic to get him to do as she asked: mentioning the dream was kind of thrown-in there and nearly obscured in the rest of her nattering. I think we, the viewers, are supposed to pay attention to most any mention of dreams in TP:TR.