Ross wrote:FWWM's scene was played more for sadness and sympathy
I think this is true, especially the sympathy part (the shots of Laura freaking out and crying are very humanizing compared to the more demonic look of the series, where she almost looks complicit) but for a while the "sadness" part seemed like overkill, almost cruel in a way since the film had already made us feel so sorry for her and now it was almost "rubbing it in" in a way or else being obligatory - paying the price Lynch had to pay (killing Laura) for doing what he really wanted to do (showing her alive, even though the series began with her dead).
What changed my opinion of the scene was focusing more on all the other stuff going on besides Leland tormenting Laura: the ring, Ronette, the angels (especially after reading John Thorne's interpretation, even though we came to somewhat different conclusions). I almost feel like the "murder" aspect of the scene which is what most people remember and look at for obvious reasons is a sleight of hand, distracting us - just like Laura herself was distracted up to this point - from the more fundamental spiritual nature of what's happening. It's interesting that the actual murder itself is such a small slice of the entire sequence - I think about 30 seconds out of 3 1/2 minutes? Though I'd have to go back and check the times.
I wonder how much Lynch intended this, or had his own specific personal reading of what happens there, or simply felt "this feels right" without really questioning why. Probably the latter. Regardless, much as I love FWWM the ending remained a bit of a sticking point for me until several viewing gradually warmed me to the idea that the scene was about Laura defeating Bob (specifically by - I won't say "summoning" - creating a space for the angel in the train car by her compassion for Ronette) moreso than her being killed.