Episode 16

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asmahan
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Re: Episode 16

Postby asmahan » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:28 am

David Locke wrote:Does anybody else feel like the ridiculously literal-minded deconstruction of Cooper's dream outside the cell was basically what was being parodied by the Lil scene and subsequent deconstruction by Desmond in FWWM? He's doing the same kind of absurd dissection of every little gesture, every "clue," for some symbolic fixed meaning. It just struck me as funny, is all. :D

Lil's performance really does reflect Cooper's dream in a number of ways: she's dressed all in red and does a funky dance, as well as "She's my mother's sister's girl" means essentially the same thing as "She's my cousin."
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David Locke
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Re: Episode 16

Postby David Locke » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:44 pm

asmahan wrote:
David Locke wrote:Does anybody else feel like the ridiculously literal-minded deconstruction of Cooper's dream outside the cell was basically what was being parodied by the Lil scene and subsequent deconstruction by Desmond in FWWM? He's doing the same kind of absurd dissection of every little gesture, every "clue," for some symbolic fixed meaning. It just struck me as funny, is all. :D

Lil's performance really does reflect Cooper's dream in a number of ways: she's dressed all in red and does a funky dance, as well as "She's my mother's sister's girl" means essentially the same thing as "She's my cousin."

Great insights. I realized vaguely the use of red (even down to Lil's hair color!) but it really does seem like an intentional reference to the MFAP dream now.

I don't agree with many who see it as a take-down of a certain type of overly-analytical/left-brained Peaks fan, though. I think it's more about the art itself and how Lynch is so resistant to Desmond/Ep 16 Cooper's kind of suck-the-mystery-out-of-everything rationalism. (Plus I just don't think Lynch has ever set out to insult or really toy with his viewers; I think he couldn't care less what people think and just wants to do what he wants to do).

Anyway, this all just makes the scene even funnier to me now, especially the "mother's sister's girl" line and all the various "clues" like Gordon's prison cell miming ("federal...")
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Jonah
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Re: Episode 16

Postby Jonah » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:43 am

I enjoyed this episode a lot on the latest rewatch.

I can see all its flaws -how the plotting is too contrived, over-explained and convenient, how it uses a Deus Ex Machina, and how the camera angles and shots and everything is overwrought and overblown and tries to mimic Lynch. I can see all that and by and large I agree with all the criticism that's been written here, and yet I found it not only entertaining but almost powerful on this latest rewatch.

Of course had Lynch directed this episode from the same script, I think we would have gotten the quality of Episode 14 or 29, but he didn't so we're left with what we did get. A script that is overblown (like the original script to 29) but that almost works. It's not a great episode, it will never be the great episode it should have been, but I did really warm to it this time around.

I really liked the scene with Donna and James in the diner. (That's not really an engagement ring he gave her, though, is it?)

And the bit with Donna and Andy is great.

The scene at the Tremonds is great too, very Lynchian. The whole feel.

The diary goof starts here. How did Laura write in her diary on that last night if she'd already given it to Harold Smith? A similar continuity error regarding the diary occurs in the new series. Nevertheless, I liked this.

And I really liked the Catherine/Ben scene in the Sheriff's Station!

All the stuff with Donna and Leland is great. The fact that she's wearing Laura's sunglasses again, which I thought almost seemed to possess both her and Maddy in Episode 8 is a nice touch. It's really creepy seeing Bob here in these scenes, and Leland saying "Shall WE have this dance?" implies he's fully aware he's working with Bob here. And it's a very powerful moment when he grabs and hugs Donna and she looks so shaken.

I also love the scene where Donna's running through the woods, crying, realising perhaps that not only is Maddy dead but that there's something very wrong with Leland.

The Donna/James scene is great too. A bit overblown, sure, but as someone else pointed out, at least we finally see these dreadful events causing emotion in the characters again, ala the pilot.

As for the big scene at the roadhouse. It is very Scooby Doo-ish or Agatha Christie/Poirot-like, but I like it. It's no less ridiculous than the trial scenes that previously took place here. Sure, it's convenient that Cooper suddenly remembers the dream - but the gum line probably did trigger it and the Giant had previously told him he'd forgotten something. So, from a writing standpoint, I feel this all works, albeit in a bit of a contrived manner.

I love the Giant reappearing and giving him the ring.

Leland going to the jail as Ben's attorney is ludicrous, of course, as has been pointed out. But again, is it anymore ludicrous than Leland being let wander around after killing Jacques Renault?

I think it's great when he's shoved into the cell and Bob goes wild like an animal. Apart from the obvious set wall that Leland bangs against, this is a great sequence.

Ray Wise's performance is great here. This is almost a throwback to Episode 11's opening scene - but now we see the full-on Leland as Bob. It's completely over the top but it works, I think. And the line about the ripcord is great.

It's a pity the Andy/Lucy/Dick subplot had to rear its head here - but at least it was used as a sort of catalyst when Dick's smoke sets off the fire alarms.

I didn't find Coop's speech to Leland as powerful on this rewatch, and I could see how this scene could be viewed two ways - some thinking its wonderful, others thinking its a bit much.

I like the final scene in the woods, though I wish they'd chosen a better outdoor set. All the outdoor scenes in the show look too obviously sunny and Californian.

I like the image of the owl flying through the woods too, I just wish they'd had better special effects. And I wish too they had followed up on this storyline of Bob being out there, possibly going to possess another towns person next.

All in all, I really enjoyed this episode this time around. It's very flawed but parts of it a pretty powerful. It should have been better, but all things considered, especially given the next few episodes, it's not bad.

Apart from a couple of the side stories, the whole episode plays like a season finale, maybe even a series finale, and I think they should have ended the season here - or taken a long mid-season break - to give them time to come up with new stories. This definitely is the end of this long arc that began with the pilot.
claaa7
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Re: Episode 16

Postby claaa7 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:20 am

like Jonah said this episode certainly plays like a season or even series finale which was a pretty damn strange decision on behalf of Mark Frost and everyone involved. almost every dangling plotline from the Laura Palmer investigation and other interesting storylines are neatly tied up and resolved. her killer is dead, we know how and why, the Mill is back to Catherine, Ben Horne is a free man, etc. Wyndom Earle should have been introduced slowly a couple of episodes back which would have allowed them to dip right into that right after here, and there should have been a lot more focus on the search for BOB and the "presence in those old woods".

seeing this episode for the first time was a blast however, it certainly was a crescendo that really hit the right notes for me. it's only on repeated viewings when you have all the information that i started seeing the many faults in it. as others have pointed out the way so much of the mystery is being pulled out from under the viewer by making sure that every single little thing be verbally explained is really miserable. so far the show has really trusted the intelligence of its viewers and all of a sudden the writers felt the need to subvert that. so for me the problem here is definitely in the writing, i don't have much of a problem with Tim Hunter's directing, i think he does a good job and though some of his stylistic choices are kind of half-baked at least he manages to make the episode feel visually interesting. something i can't say for the rather stale episode 15.

all in all a good episode that's both a strong showcase for the strengths and weaknesses of the show
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Episode 16

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:27 am

As many have noted, this one is such a mixed bag. I find myself liking it less and less with each viewing.

I do really like the opening scene. Albert’s little motivational speech really sets the stakes (and makes me believe he could be part of Blue Rose at this point despite his skepticism in Episode 10). Even Hawk appears to openly side with Cooper over Harry (who still believes Ben is their man). Note that Hawk’s advice about following the path echoes the Giant’s advice from Episode 8. Cooper also speaks to Leland about being on the path at the end when he ushers him to the afterlife.

Geez, Tim Hunter, give it a rest with the canted angles! And did that scene of Vivian critiquing an omelette really merit being shot with absurdly high and low angles a la Welles? I will admit I like the subjective dark romantic lighting in the Donna/James scene, even though it makes no rational sense in the context of the surrounding scenes.

I also love the ’60s mod aesthetic of Mrs. Tremond’s pad! She seems like a cool lady.

This is where the deeper connection between Dale and Laura is really cemented for me, and, I think for him too—when he learns that she dreamed about him. I think this is when he starts to get unhealthily invested, ultimately leading to the events of TR.

At some point (probably when I get to FWWM), I’m going to break down all the funky inconsistencies with Laura’s diary entries after the date she left the diary with Harold. I already dealt with this throughout my Timeline, but I want to lay it out in one place concisely, for my own peace of mind, and maybe to inspire a discussion trying to make sense of it.

I like Mike’s response to Cooper mentioning the Giant: “He is known to us here.” One gets the sense that Mike and the Fireman come from different places, but end up as unlikely allies in the sense that both are helping Cooper, particularly throughout TR. Also, his line to Cooper, “So much responsibility,” which takes on greater weight knowing all that Cooper will go through in the years to come.

It’s still not at all clear what becomes of Phillip Michael Gerard after this episode, especially in light of the fact that his mortal form seems to be bound to the Red Room by the time of TR. But for what it’s worth, he appears to be visibly breathing in the last shot we see of him. The script is pretty ambiguous: “Gerard goes slack in [Cooper’s] arms. ‘Mike’ is gone. Cooper holds Gerard's limp body. He looks at Doc.”

A better lawyer would tell Ben that he could easily void his contract with Catherine and get Ghostwood back, as the contract was clearly signed under duress, and as a result of bribery (offering legal testimony in exchange for the signing).

Just as she remained hidden upstairs in the prior episode, Sarah is conspicuously absent for all of this one. I get the sense that she is in denial about what is going on in the house, and struggling to cope by staying as isolated as possible (she’s also probably terrified of Leland and is staying out of his way). It’s a tragically realistic portrait in a lot of ways. She’s such a sad character. Just as the Bob/Leland dynamic is on one level a metaphor for the cycle of abuse, whatever is inside Sarah represents the guilt of being tacitly complicit in Leland’s crimes, which morphs into resentful anger by the time of TR.

It still really bothers me that the “lemonade” Leland gives Donna is a murky orange color.

It goes without saying that Ray Wise is really marvelous throughout. Truly a tour de force performance. I do like the mood of the Roadhouse scene too, at least before it devolves into an overly-literal answer-fest. The odd combination of characters is fun. At this point in the series, it’s almost shocking to see Ed in a serious scene related to the broader storyline. I could watch Beymer munching walnuts for hours.

Interesting to see Cooper using the word “magic”...embracing his role as the Magician? (Leland even recites the “Fire Walk with Me” poem later, to keep it fresh in our memories.)

I also love that the Waiter chose Garland as the one to bring him, given the alliance that will soon develop between Dale, Garland and the Fireman.

The shots of Leland and the Waiter joyfully bonding about gum are pretty odd when you realize that these two are really Bob and the Fireman. As strange as it is, I weirdly like it. I’m guessing Bob is pretty deep in Leland’s subconscious in this moment, and it almost comes across as the Waiter/Giant/Fireman toying with him.

It’s SO weird that, in the midst of what should be the biggest moment of the series (the killer caught), with less than ten minutes to go in the episode, Dick Tremayne pops up to talk about paternity! Why on Earth did ANYONE think that was the right choice? One of several flat-out bizarre writing decisions in this one.

Also weird that no one stops Dick OR Albert from smoking (even Hawk, who was very conscious of the policy in Episode 10!). Also, I hate Mr. Zipper, the mugging sprinkler repairman. (In the scripts, he’s actually in Episode 14 too!)

I’ve discussed my complicated feelings about the closing scenes at length elsewhere (there’s a whole thread about Leland’s relationship with Bob that deals largely with that scene in the interrogation room), so I won’t bother getting into it here. Wise is phenomenal, I’ve sort of made my peace with the forgiving nature of the scene by assuming that Leland is in denial and making excuses for himself. Certainly, he is sympathetic when he talks about Bob opening him. Margaret sums it up best in her intro to Episode 14: “The dream of suffering and pain; pain for the victim, pain for the inflicter of pain – a circle of pain, a circle of suffering.” Is the “golden circle” of appetite and satisfaction Mike mentions actually this circle of pain, wherein the abused abuse others?

On a lighter note, Dale’s Diet for this episode...
— In the Roadhouse, Albert has a flask with a clear liquor. He pours a bit into a glass, then offers the flask to Cooper. Although the camera moves mostly off Cooper at this moment, it does not appear that he takes it
— As he walks with Harry and Albert, Cooper has coffee in a paper to-go cup and something in a paper bag
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AXX°N N.
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Re: Episode 16

Postby AXX°N N. » Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:50 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:It’s SO weird that, in the midst of what should be the biggest moment of the series (the killer caught), with less than ten minutes to go in the episode, Dick Tremayne pops up to talk about paternity! Why on Earth did ANYONE think that was the right choice? One of several flat-out bizarre writing decisions in this one.

Yep! I know Frost is on this one, but I tend to lump this in with what I feel are several attempts to go for the typical Lynch thing of marrying the mundane to the hyper-weird, but failing. It also seems like an attempt to tie what we assume is an irrelevent subplot into the larger picture in a surprising way, and while I appreciate the effort to keep us on our toes and questioning what's mythically important or not, Dick is just such a superfluous presence on the show that I can't give it benefit of the doubt.

Compare it to the previous episode, where there are bizarre and almost uncharacteristic choices like Ben & Jerry as kids, but they feel refreshing instead of distracting. It's almost like E15 is the only glimpse we get at what the show could have been had Lynch left, but the core plotline stayed. The stuff with Leland anchors everything, and we get nice moments that feel like welcomed spins on character and theme. But in 16 everything is so determined to close all the doors, dot all the i's and cross all the t's, that so much of what's important feels rushed, and so much of smaller moments unwelcome. And then afterward, once the core plot is disposed of, it's a show composed solely of such small moments and they feel lost & meandering.

Mr. Reindeer wrote:I do like the mood of the Roadhouse scene too, at least before it devolves into an overly-literal answer-fest. The odd combination of characters is fun.

On reappraising this scene recently, it struck me that it's sort of a sister scene to P17 after the BOB orb is shattered. True, in E16 it's Cooper testing himself in a Choosing of the Lama-esque way who the killer is. But in both scenes, there's something visually interesting about it, as if all these distinct looking people, like dabs of color on a canvas, are instantly surreal when placed in a certain arrangement. And in each, I have this intuitive feeling that the magic almost results from this arrangement itself, like it's some sort of alchemy of souls.
Recipe not my own. In a coffee cup. 3 TBS flour, 2 TBS sugar, 1.5 TBS cocoa powder, .25 TSP baking powder, pinch of salt. 3 TBS milk, 1.5 TBS vegetable oil, 1 TBS peanut butter. Add and mix each set. Microwave 1 minute 10 seconds. The cup will be hot.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Episode 16

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:56 pm

AXX°N N. wrote:On reappraising this scene recently, it struck me that it's sort of a sister scene to P17 after the BOB orb is shattered. True, in E16 it's Cooper testing himself in a Choosing of the Lama-esque way who the killer is. But in both scenes, there's something visually interesting about it, as if all these distinct looking people, like dabs of color on a canvas, are instantly surreal when placed in a certain arrangement. And in each, I have this intuitive feeling that the magic almost results from this arrangement itself, like it's some sort of alchemy of souls.


I like this! Cooper does make a point in the scene of positioning people, tables and chairs, etc. Both scenes have a sense of finality/closure combined with an eclectic grouping of people, and Dale commanding the room even though he’s not fully sure what he’s doing.
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Re: Episode 16

Postby Aerozhul » Mon May 25, 2020 8:07 am

Currently in a rewatch, hit up episodes 15 & 16 yesterday...

Obviously, Ray Wise is the top performer in this episode, he owns it despite the somewhat flawed material he has to work with.

Lara Flynn Boyle really gave a great performance in this episode - Donna went through a gamut of emotions, and she played it all perfectly. She really gets a lot of shit on this and other forums, and in the Twin Peaks fandom in general, which I think is due to her alleged role in the behind-the-scenes shenanigans, but I think it's often overlooked that she is a very talented actress, and that shines through in episodes like this. It's too bad Donna got the short shrift after this, and it's too bad LFB got spit up and chewed out by the Hollywood machine (mostly due to her own bad choices). It's always sad when talent and potential go to waste.

Really nice to see Big Ed included in a scene that doesn't involve Nadine, even if he had little to no lines. He was introduced in Season 1 as an important part of the Bookhouse Boys and the community - he really gets relegated in Season 2 to being the straight man in the Nadine comedy show. A bit of a waste of a good character/actor.

I love the community scenes when you have a cross-section of characters getting together, it leads to some character interactions we wouldn't normally get. This episode had a smaller gathering, but when else would you see Leo in the same room as Big Ed or the elderly waiter?

This was maybe the one episode when Coop didn't really work for me as a character. His usually profound speeches fell pretty flat here, his logic didn't really add up. The resolution wasn't earned. This is in no way any disrespect to Kyle MacLachlan - he did the best with what he had to work with.

I agree that the Dick/Lucy/Andy bit was really out of place here. I realize that the smoke alarm had to be tripped somehow, but they could have maybe had Albert do it, since he was seen smoking later by the jail cells anyway. I don't necessarily dislike Lucy and Andy (I know I'm nearing blasphemy here), but they work so much better for me as background characters with occasional quirky scenes, rather than main players with their own soapy plotline. The chair-buying scene from The Return comes to mind as something that I found enjoyable. This "whose the Daddy" subplot? Not so much. Also, if I never hear about Andy's "sperms" again, it would be too soon. Don't get me started on Dick Tremayne.....another character that I like seeing hosting snooty wine-tasting events, not being involved in storylines. Great actor, grating character, really out of place in TP.

Overall this episode was a bit of a controversial wrap-up to the Palmer murder, but it's still enjoyable. I remember watching it when it aired on ABC (I was 13) and thinking it was a great episode. Now I feel that there are many problems, but it's still top shelf considering what is to come.

Really not looking forward to the next several episodes, but I will muster through it - maybe find something to enjoy as it seems every rewatch of the series, I find something I had missed prior.

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