Mr. Strawberry wrote:Further reflection not directly related to Part 18:
During my recent rewatch of the first two seasons -- which began to overlap The Return -- I found the Windom Earle character and storyline to be sort of embarrassingly bad. It felt so banal and immature compared with everything that had come before it.
Similarly, the Annie storyline was a bit difficult. I found it heartwarming way back when I originally watched the show and beyond, but during this rewatch, the lack of depth really jumped out at me. They seem to fall in love in the space of a few days. Maybe I'm just jealous, but it seemed rushed, and inauthentic.
Not to mention, Annie didn't seem like the kind of girl that Cooper would fall for when you consider his reasons for rejecting Audrey. She seemed inexperienced and a bit childlike even, and regardless of her backstory, she lacked a certain dynamism that was written all over Audrey. Mystery, I suppose, didn't seem to be there. Audrey seemed like the kind of woman that would always challenge and stimulate, always be there for an adventure. Annie struck me as an undeveloped character, portrayed as nowhere near as "emotionally intelligent" as Audrey.
These are just a few things that highlight how strong The Return is, and how it put the Peaks back into a story that had lost its way.
Really, the Return makes her even more of an outlier. If you mapped the character traits of Diane (we'd have to count her tulpa here), Janey-E and Audrey on a Venn Diagram you'd probably get a decent amount of overlap. Annie has no overlap with Diane and Janey-E. It's clear that Cooper, whatever his form, likes a woman who challenges him. In the case of both Evans sisters, he seems to prefer someone who takes care of him as opposed to someone he needs to watch out for.
It seems like the romance with Annie surfaced because Cooper was open to love, particularly in this setting, after nearly dying, but wasn't willing to go for Audrey. Annie, despite her inexperience, was a few years out of school. But yeah, it didn't seem substantial at all, which is why I think Dale offering up his soul was something he'd have done for just about anybody in the Lodge. And after 25 years there, his mind really doesn't go to her before it goes to Laura or his job or Gordon.