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The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:17 pm
by LostInTheMovies
Thought it would be a good idea to start a thread on this topic (apologies if there already is one out there).

I'm most interested in how the images, dialogue, and even themes of this ending play out in the rest of the series. It's been observed that this ending is unusually clumsy and silly (I think BOB1 called it "the worst thing he's ever put his name to") but it fascinates me how huge its impact on the series is.

If you look at Lynch's input into the mythology - i.e. the visualizations of the spirit world - something like 70-80% of it comes directly from this 20-minute sequence. You have the Red Room, the Little Man, Killer Bob, the one-armed man, "the convenience store," Laura as a post-mortem apparition, a bird (leading to either owls - which don't appear in the pilot as I recall - or Waldo) and Coop in old-age makeup + the concept of "25 Years Later" (yes, Laura says that line in the finale but recall that the original ending actually had that superimposed over the intro the Red Room)...which ties into at least a part of him being stuck in the Lodge in the finale. Hell, even Saturn (although not Jupiter) makes an appearance on the tabletop. Someone else (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=405) pointed out that Mike refers to "stitches with the red thread" which may be referenced in FWWM: both Lil's dress (and Phillip's shouts "the thread will be torn." And recently, I realized that if Leland is the one anonymously calling Lucy in ep. 9, it's a nice echo of him calling her in the alternate ending. In both cases, the aim is to catch Bob...with a twist, of course.

Wondering if anyone else has caught interesting links - either specific stuff, or the beginning of more general ideas - between the 20-minute sequence and the rest of the series/film. This is the place to discuss it.

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:07 am
by p-air
If I’m not mistaken the European ending is the only filmed material we’ve ever seen which sits squarely outside the Twin Peaks canon – in other words what we’re shown onscreen (or some of it) ostensibly “didn’t happen” and conflicts with what did. Leland didn’t call Lucy at this point, Mike didn’t call Cooper, Cooper and Truman didn’t talk to Mike, who didn’t shoot BOB, and so on. So it is indeed surprising that all these concepts arose from it.

I would add to your list the idea of “she’s my cousin”. I wonder if this came first and then the Maddy idea, or the other way around. Either way the kind of confusion this ultimately engenders – the Little Man says Laura’s his cousin, Maddy says she’s Laura’s cousin – seems to prefigure a lot of what came after, not only in Twin Peaks but in David Lynch’s subsequent films. I tried explaining this as a “transpersonal” effect here http://www.dugpa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2799 but I must say it defies a clear explanation. It’s definitely recognizable to me throughout Inland Empire especially.

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:22 am
by OK,Bob
p-air wrote:If I’m not mistaken the European ending is the only filmed material we’ve ever seen which sits squarely outside the Twin Peaks canon – in other words what we’re shown onscreen (or some of it) ostensibly “didn’t happen” and conflicts with what did. Leland didn’t call Lucy at this point, Mike didn’t call Cooper, Cooper and Truman didn’t talk to Mike, who didn’t shoot BOB, and so on.

I interpret the "European ending" as being an unedited version of Cooper's dream of Episode 2. Note that in Episode 3 Coop describes events that weren't aired as part of the dream, but were seen or described in the alternate pilot ending: "Sarah Palmer saw her daughter's killer...Hawk sketched a picture... I got a phone call from a one-armed man named Mike... Bob vowed to kill again, so Mike shot him."

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:24 am
by OK,Bob
p-air wrote:I would add to your list the idea of “she’s my cousin”. ...the Little Man says Laura’s his cousin, Maddy says she’s Laura’s cousin...

And, of course, "SHE'S MY MOTHER'S SISTER'S GIRL."

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:41 am
by p-air
OK,Bob wrote:I interpret the "European ending" as being an unedited version of Cooper's dream of Episode 2. Note that in Episode 3 Coop describes events that weren't aired as part of the dream, but were seen or described in the alternate pilot ending: "Sarah Palmer saw her daughter's killer...Hawk sketched a picture... I got a phone call from a one-armed man named Mike... Bob vowed to kill again, so Mike shot him."


Ah yes that does work. I never pieced all that together..

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:04 pm
by LostInTheMovies
OK,Bob wrote:I interpret the "European ending" as being an unedited version of Cooper's dream of Episode 2. Note that in Episode 3 Coop describes events that weren't aired as part of the dream, but were seen or described in the alternate pilot ending: "Sarah Palmer saw her daughter's killer...Hawk sketched a picture... I got a phone call from a one-armed man named Mike... Bob vowed to kill again, so Mike shot him."


I agree completely. In fact, I suspect that the original plan was to air the entire alternate ending and to trick audiences into thinking that what they were seeing was "really happening." That would have been kind of ingenious but also might have started the backlash really darn early haha. And aesthetically, I think it works better as they actually did it in ep. 2.

But what makes me think this is that Lynch went to ABC and asked them if he could make ep. 2 a 2-hour episode. Plus, the way ep. 2 is scripted makes the transition to the dream rather seamless. There's a sequence where Leland and Sarah are in bed and then Sarah goes downstairs. Cut to Cooper going to bed, then we could cut back to the Palmers for Sarah leaping up and realizing she saw Bob in the mirror (although they'd have to do a bit of cutting/re-dubbing so that Leland doesn't say "she saw him this morning"). And when we cut back to Cooper tossing & turning in bed, it would seem like he was waking up from what we saw previously - we wouldn't realize he's waking up within the dream.

p-air wrote:I would add to your list the idea of “she’s my cousin”. I wonder if this came first and then the Maddy idea, or the other way around. Either way the kind of confusion this ultimately engenders – the Little Man says Laura’s his cousin, Maddy says she’s Laura’s cousin – seems to prefigure a lot of what came after, not only in Twin Peaks but in David Lynch’s subsequent films. I tried explaining this as a “transpersonal” effect here http://www.dugpa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2799 but I must say it defies a clear explanation. It’s definitely recognizable to me throughout Inland Empire especially.


Yeah, including that and all the other stuff that gets followed through from the dream (red drapes in Jacques' cabin, her arms bent back in the train car, even "filled with secrets" for all the stuff found in the autopsy - not to mention the ep. 16 clues) there's even more derived from the alternate ending. But it's slightly different from the things I mentioned because it's Mark Frost "explaining" the oddities rather than Lynch expanding upon them.

Which does bring up an interesting question - Lynch has said he wrote the Red Room sequence with Frost even though he (Lynch) came up with the imagery himself. I've always wondered if he says this as a courtesy to his partner (he leaves it kind of vague) or if they really did collaborate on the dialogue (which has a very Lynchian non sequitur sound to it). Either way, I can't imagine they intended to follow up on any of it since this was originally just supposed to be a disposable ending.

As for Maddy specifically, yeah my gut says she came much later than the Red Room, and probably even after season 1 had started being written. Lynch supposedly called Sheryl Lee months after the pilot (and alternate ending) had been shot and invited her to L.A. and when she asked how (since her character was dead), he said "We'll think of something." Possibly he was just being coy, but he could have genuinely not been sure.

The first regular episode finds all kinds of random way to include Lee: a flashback (the only time we see a flashback during the series, right?), Sarah's vision, that weird "Help me" montage (admittedly using previous footage). Perhaps Lynch had wanted to keep Laura a presence in this sense, although it's hard to imagine that sustaining itself through a whole show. Then again - considering a fairly specific arc of the season was probably outlined before individual episodes were written, maybe this was just a holding pattern to keep Lee involved before the official arrival of Maddy (which is brilliantly placed immediately after we see Laura's corpse for the last time in ep. 3).

In a way, Maddy feels more like a Frost character to me but I could be wrong (I really feel a bit lost on how closely Lynch & Frost actually worked on outlining ep. 3-7). Note how when Lynch returns (for the season 2 premiere) he immediately makes her over to look more like Laura and cuts a scene from the following episode in which her background is fleshed out (she has a malt with Leland in the diner and reveals that her father has died recently, and he invites her to stay with the Palmers perpetually).

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:07 pm
by LostInTheMovies
Something else from the European version, which I forgot to mention, although I brought it up on another thread. The circle of candles looks suspiciously like the pool of oil in the center of Glastonbury Grove. And the pipes surrounding Bob in the basement even look a bit like the sycamore trees.

We know that Lynch himself added the sycamores detail (wasn't the Glastonbury circle supposed to be surrounded by Douglas firs in the Access Guide?) to match the song he'd written, which comes from dialogue written much earlier for Ronnie Rocket. It stands to reason he designed the location and I wonder it was a conscious - or even subconscious throwback - to the original "killer's lair"?

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:07 pm
by StealThisCorn
It would have been great to see the full alternate ending as a dream sequence in a feature length Episode 2, BUT something would have had to be done about Frank Silva's singing. It is so awful and, I think, really would have ruined the terror that his image was able to evoke throughout so many of his appearances later. They really did use the only good line he delivered there in the actual episode, "Catch you with my death bag! You may think I've gone insane, but I promise I. Will Kill. Again."

Also, I don't have a script in front of me, but what is with Mike saying as he dies, "Anybody got a nickel?" Is that what he says?

And then I have wondered what the intentions were behind the clearly supernatural way Mike dies after killing Bob, saying "Wait till it's your turn Bob!". What might the conception behind their nature and relationship have been?

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:20 pm
by LostInTheMovies
StealThisCorn wrote:Also, I don't have a script in front of me, but what is with Mike saying as he dies, "Anybody got a nickel?" Is that what he says?


That line also makes me laugh out loud. I even chuckled a little bit reason right now. In some ways it might be one of my favorite lines in Twin Peaks - just because of the delivery it. And yeah, Bob's singing...not just how he says it but the actual lines. LOL.

I agree this stuff just wouldn't have worked as a dream sequence (what they included was startling enough, and a lot more effective with the streamlining) but I am glad it exists as this weird Brechtian/Dadaist alternate-universe fountainhead out of which the mythology emerged.

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:22 pm
by LostInTheMovies
Holy crap that was my 814th post. I should start paying rent here...

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:23 pm
by OK,Bob
StealThisCorn wrote:Also, I don't have a script in front of me, but what is with Mike saying as he dies, "Anybody got a nickel?" Is that what he says?

"Have you got a nickle?" SUCH a curious line. My only suggestion is that perhaps one or both of these cultural oddities had been lodged in Lynch or Frost's subconscious:

https://youtu.be/MEekqbdQJeg

https://youtu.be/EkcieWccaAA

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:58 pm
by StealThisCorn
OK,Bob wrote:"Have you got a nickle?" SUCH a curious line. My only suggestion is that perhaps one or both of these cultural oddities had been lodged in Lynch or Frost's subconscious:

https://youtu.be/MEekqbdQJeg

https://youtu.be/EkcieWccaAA


Oh. My. God.

The song was excruciating and I skipped around to find the "nickel" line. And then, I watched in utter fascination/horror at what was passed for '70s TV--two women pretending to give blowjobs to popsicles while the audience jeers like idiots. I...can't even. I had no idea. My mind is blown.

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:38 am
by Gabriel
Of course, the red room also appears in Mark Frost's The List of Seven. Arthur Conan-Doyle hides behind the curtains as something takes place and the room then returns to a normal one...

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:12 am
by LostInTheMovies
Gabriel wrote:Of course, the red room also appears in Mark Frost's The List of Seven. Arthur Conan-Doyle hides behind the curtains as something takes place and the room then returns to a normal one...


Woah, I didn't remember that! Do you remember what part of the book? I have a copy & I'll look it up...

Re: The European Version alternate ending

Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:07 pm
by Brad D
Gabriel wrote:Of course, the red room also appears in Mark Frost's The List of Seven. Arthur Conan-Doyle hides behind the curtains as something takes place and the room then returns to a normal one...


Yeah, where is this? I re-read it a few months ago and dont remember this...