Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

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Cappy
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Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby Cappy » Tue May 07, 2019 2:01 pm

There are a lot of weird alleyways of thought to go down when contemplating the pitfalls of TP's second season, but lately I find myself having an issue with the three day time jump at the beginning of ep. 17. Many viewers have pointed out how jarring the transition from ep. 16 to 17 is, abruptly shifting from heady possession horror ("Maybe that's all BOB is, the evil that men do") to the sentimental light comedy of Leland's wake (I still hear Jack Nance uttering "the mayor and his brother" everytime a show I like starts to jump the shark). It is incredibly jarring, and I really question why the writers wanted to have a time jump, especially at the moment in the narrative that they did.

Twin Peaks, as it existed pre-Leland's death, had all of its characters and plot threads tightly woven all around the mystery of Laura Palmer's demise. Her death was what propelled nearly all of the town's inhabitants forward and gave them agency. James and Donna getting together, Cooper coming to town, the Norwegian delegation walking away from the Ghostwood project, etc. Just about the only plot point in Twin Peaks that wasn't a direct by-product of Laura's death was Lucy's pregnancy, but even that in a roundabout connected back to the core mystery, as Dick Tremayne's cigarette set off a chain of events which freed BOB from the Police Station. The mill fire probably would've happened too at some point, but possibly later, as Josie's reaction the Laura's death exacerbated tensions between her and Catherine in a major way.

ANYWAY, getting to my original point, if Laura's death is what set all of the characters down their personal arcs, then it stands to reason that the revelation of how Laura died might have had a similar impact on the townspeople. I feel like if the series really held the characters in place immediately following Leland's death, and let them react to the news, the second season would have been a lot better. I suspect that several key scenes might've transpired during the three day gap:

- Audrey and Benjamin reconcile in the wake of the news. The way the show just glosses over Audrey confronting Ben over One Eyed Jack's is one of S2's major shortcomings for me. I don't think it's wrong for them to ever reconcile, but in episode 17 Audrey is just working for Ben and generally okay with him without any explanation to the audience. It just doesn't ring true for Audrey's character. Also, does the fact that Ben owned One Eyed Jack's ever become public knowledge? This is never referenced, but I feel like with the police knowing about it and his employee Emory Battis getting murdered there, he would suffer more bad press than he did.
- I think maybe Senor Droolcup died during the three day gap. We never see him on Earth again after ep. 16. The next time he shows up is in the red room in the finale. Perhaps it wouldn't have been a major scene, but it's not hard to imagine Cooper and Maj. Briggs standing over his burial plot and one of them saying something like "in another time we would revere him as a prophet, a shaman, but today we lay him to rest in an unmarked grave."
- Philip Gerard might have died as well. He was not in good shape when we last saw him in ep. 16, but doesn't appear in the Red Room in the finale (although he seems to live in the Red Room by S3). Perhaps he recovered and hit the road during these three days, but if he did survive, I imagine that Cooper would at least try to pick his brain about the status of BOB.
- Cooper has an awkward phone call with Gordon Cole on speakerphone, wherein he tries to explain everything to him, constantly yelling as his boss mishears every other word. This is just a minor thing, but did Gordon have another assignment lined up for Coop? It seems weird to have Coop leaving Twin Peaks, especially when there was so much mystery to investigate relating to BOB.
- Albert performed an autopsy on Leland. Maybe some weird tidbit could've been uncovered.
- Josie kills Jonathan in Seattle (this probably would've happened off screen anyway). But did Josie hear about Leland? Laura was found in her front yard, and she had something of a relationship with her.
- Ronette Pulaski fully recovers and leaves the hospital.
- Donna puts some of Harold Smith's orchids on his grave.
- Doc Hayward and Sheriff Truman tasked with breaking the news about Leland to Sarah Palmer. Would they have even been able to wake her up that day? It's possible that Leland, full in his BOB frenzy after killing Maddie and seriously thinking about it with Donna, had drugged his wife not long before getting summoned to the Road House in 16.
- Bobby wrestles with guilt over not being able to save Laura from her father, maybe this furthers the wedge between him and Shelly.
- Norma, upset by the news, seeks comfort from Ed, only to get stuck playing Twister with him and Nadine.

Maybe these aren't particularly interesting ideas in any real sense, but in not showing us how its various characters reacted to the revelation of Laura's killer, the show kind of robbed of us a lot of dramatic "oomph", and distanced itself too abruptly from its primary mystery and narrative thread.
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby dkenny78 » Wed May 08, 2019 7:36 am

Cappy wrote:- Philip Gerard might have died as well. He was not in good shape when we last saw him in ep. 16, but doesn't appear in the Red Room in the finale (although he seems to live in the Red Room by S3). Perhaps he recovered and hit the road during these three days, but if he did survive, I imagine that Cooper would at least try to pick his brain about the status of BOB.


Fascinating topic. The time jump is ridiculously jarring. I've often wondered why the writers resorted to this when all episodes beforehand had adhered so strictly to the 'one-episode-per-day' format (or per two days in the case of 6 & 7). Was it to give Jean Renault enough time to frame Cooper? Was it so that we could start the episode with a dramatic event like Leland's wake which couldn't conceivably take place the very next day after Episode 16 (a real shame since the actual wake ends up missing the mark on so many levels)?

I'm glad you brought up Gerard/MIKE because it's always been one of the most baffling unresolved mysteries of the original show. When I first saw it in 1990, I had assumed he died, but upon rewatch, I find it hard to believe Cooper would be so irresponsible/callous to allow a civilian to perish in the pursuit of the killer when he has the immediate means of saving him. Plus it looks like Gerard is still breathing when Cooper leaves the room, and the script for the episode doesn't say that Gerard dies (just that 'MIKE is gone'). Now I tend to think that Doc Hayward administered the drug when Cooper left the room, but it caused MIKE to leave, so Cooper had to turn to the Giant to help him finish his quest. But it doesn't explain why they don't ever mention Gerard again in the show, especially once it becomes clear that BOB and the Lodges are linked.
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby Henrys Hair » Wed May 08, 2019 10:22 am

Agreed. When Twin Peaks first aired, I assumed Philip Gerard had died in the Great Northern. Many many rewatches later and it's much more ambiguous than I first thought.

I love Season 2, even the worst episodes have moments of greatness, but I also know I could love it more. I wish they'd kept Laura's death as the central axle nearly all the other stories revolve around and Leland's death could have deepened the main mystery instead of (mainly) drawing a line under it. I always wish they could have developed some of the smaller characters (Ronette leaving hospital and her life afterward could have been fantastic, surely Sylvia Horne would have been impacted about Ben's arrest, the scene with James' mum could even have been put to use) instead of bringing in so many new characters (some of who work better than others).

They were moving in unknown territory though, and I'd rather what we have than a meticulously calculated show that ran for 5 or 6 seasons while gradually losing the magic.
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby dkenny78 » Wed May 08, 2019 1:16 pm

Henrys Hair wrote:I wish they'd kept Laura's death as the central axle nearly all the other stories revolve around and Leland's death could have deepened the main mystery instead of (mainly) drawing a line under it.


Yes, and the fantastic 'Journey Through Twin Peaks' video series pretty much has the same hypothesis. The total abandonment of Laura as the show's heart and soul - not simply the reveal of her killer - was what caused the show to go off track in the back half of season 2. There were so many mysteries about Laura, Leland, BOB, Sarah that could have anchored the rest of the season but the time jump and the abrupt shift in tone seems like a concession to the network to make the show into more of a generic evening soap with accessible storylines.

What's always struck me as strange was why not do a LONGER time jump? Why not let a month, 6 months, or a year pass after Leland and Laura's death, and then pick up with these characters after they've had some time to move on with their lives? This would avoid some of the awkward and jarring plot developments (the FBI shows up to suspend Cooper literally the moment he's about to depart the Sheriff's station, Earle situates himself in Twin Peaks within weeks of Cooper's own arrival, James gets involved in a homicide frame job right after two of his girlfriends are murdered, dozens of prominent citizens from the same town die horribly in the same 4-5 week period).
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby Cappy » Wed May 08, 2019 6:56 pm

dkenny78 wrote:
Henrys Hair wrote:What's always struck me as strange was why not do a LONGER time jump? Why not let a month, 6 months, or a year pass after Leland and Laura's death, and then pick up with these characters after they've had some time to move on with their lives? This would avoid some of the awkward and jarring plot developments (the FBI shows up to suspend Cooper literally the moment he's about to depart the Sheriff's station, Earle situates himself in Twin Peaks within weeks of Cooper's own arrival, James gets involved in a homicide frame job right after two of his girlfriends are murdered, dozens of prominent citizens from the same town die horribly in the same 4-5 week period).


According to Robert Engels (via Matt Haley interview at http://twinpeaksarchive.blogspot.com/2007/07/exclusive-matt-haley-interview.html), in the original plans for Season 3 in the 90's, there was a going to be like a 10 year time jump after the BOB/Cooper possession arc was finished. Apparently one of the main motivations for this was that the writers hated the high school setting for all of the young characters (Audrey, Bobby, Donna, Mike).
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby Cappy » Wed May 08, 2019 7:21 pm

I feel like, on some level, the decision to jump time ahead three days and not have hardly any characters acknowledge who killed Laura Palmer might've been Lynch/Frost's way of protecting the secret as long as possible. Really, if a script of Leland's wake leaked out, would anyone even be able to tell who's wake it was, or if it was even a wake to begin with? He is mentioned during the opening scene between Cooper and Sarah, but then that's it.

On another level, it might be plausible that the writers just didn't want to write a separate scene for every character hearing and reacting to the same bit of news -- it could seem redundant and even cruel to show all of these different characters having to process and wrap their heads around Leland's unspeakable acts. However, the pilot episode showed most of the characters all reacting to the same bit of bad news, and it was incredible television. It really is a shame we didn't get to see all the different characters reacting to the revelation about Leland. Contrasting their reactions to that with their earlier reactions to Laura's death could have served as a bit of an inflection point for the series, allowing us to see how far all of they've all come since the pilot. Bobby exploded in indignant rage when he was arrested by Sheriff Truman for Laura's death, but what did he think when he heard his girlfriend's father raped and murdered her? Andy and Donna both cried upon hearing the news in the pilot, but what went through their head after the truth about Leland got out? Audrey reacted to Laura's death with mischievous glee and wanton disregard for Ben and the family business, but perhaps Leland's crimes led her to think that maybe her father, while a scumbag, wasn't that bad. And ditto for Sarah Palmer.
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby dkenny78 » Thu May 09, 2019 7:07 am

Cappy wrote: It really is a shame we didn't get to see all the different characters reacting to the revelation about Leland. Contrasting their reactions to that with their earlier reactions to Laura's death could have served as a bit of an inflection point for the series, allowing us to see how far all of they've all come since the pilot. Bobby exploded in indignant rage when he was arrested by Sheriff Truman for Laura's death, but what did he think when he heard his girlfriend's father raped and murdered her? Andy and Donna both cried upon hearing the news in the pilot, but what went through their head after the truth about Leland got out? Audrey reacted to Laura's death with mischievous glee and wanton disregard for Ben and the family business, but perhaps Leland's crimes led her to think that maybe her father, while a scumbag, wasn't that bad. And ditto for Sarah Palmer.


Yes, good point. Other than Sarah, does ANYONE have anything at all to say about Leland for the rest of the show? Ben makes one comment about his former lawyer being a homicidal lunatic but he speaks about it as if it's a business inconvenience and not a shocking revelation about someone he knew well and trusted. Everyone is so 'back-to-business' that it makes it seem like this sort of thing happens in the town all the time, which is a complete inversion of the effect Laura's death had on everyone.
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby mtwentz » Thu May 09, 2019 7:12 am

Cappy wrote:I feel like, on some level, the decision to jump time ahead three days and not have hardly any characters acknowledge who killed Laura Palmer might've been Lynch/Frost's way of protecting the secret as long as possible. Really, if a script of Leland's wake leaked out, would anyone even be able to tell who's wake it was, or if it was even a wake to begin with? He is mentioned during the opening scene between Cooper and Sarah, but then that's it.

On another level, it might be plausible that the writers just didn't want to write a separate scene for every character hearing and reacting to the same bit of news -- it could seem redundant and even cruel to show all of these different characters having to process and wrap their heads around Leland's unspeakable acts. However, the pilot episode showed most of the characters all reacting to the same bit of bad news, and it was incredible television. It really is a shame we didn't get to see all the different characters reacting to the revelation about Leland. Contrasting their reactions to that with their earlier reactions to Laura's death could have served as a bit of an inflection point for the series, allowing us to see how far all of they've all come since the pilot. Bobby exploded in indignant rage when he was arrested by Sheriff Truman for Laura's death, but what did he think when he heard his girlfriend's father raped and murdered her? Andy and Donna both cried upon hearing the news in the pilot, but what went through their head after the truth about Leland got out? Audrey reacted to Laura's death with mischievous glee and wanton disregard for Ben and the family business, but perhaps Leland's crimes led her to think that maybe her father, while a scumbag, wasn't that bad. And ditto for Sarah Palmer.


It seems to me the writers made the decision it would be better to 'move on' rather than dwell on a story line that was considered wrapped up. Maybe they felt they would lose the audience if they continued to have characters talk about Laura.

Personally, I love the 4 episodes after the Laura mystery was solved. Those episodes brought much needed levity after the intensely depressing conclusion of a father raping and murdering his daughter. In my view, Twin Peaks is more like Northern Exposure in those episodes; a light- hearted comedy.

Where things really got messed up, in my view, is the total mishandling of Windom Earle. Instead of a compelling new mystery, we get a cartoonish villian playing the flute in his underwear. I don't think a Season 3 was ever in the cards, but the one shot TP might have had for a Season 3 was squashed with that Diane Keaton episode. Only the true faithful were going to tune in week after week to see a campy villian play chess with the story's protagonist.
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby Agent Earle » Thu May 09, 2019 2:49 pm

mtwentz wrote:
Where things really got messed up, in my view, is the total mishandling of Windom Earle. Instead of a compelling new mystery, we get a cartoonish villian playing the flute in his underwear. I don't think a Season 3 was ever in the cards, but the one shot TP might have had for a Season 3 was squashed with that Diane Keaton episode. Only the true faithful were going to tune in week after week to see a campy villian play chess with the story's protagonist.


Except that things got better and better after the Diane Keaton episode. And you can say what you will about "campy villain playing chess", the fact remains that with the storytelling prop that was represented by this particular character, we got to know some very essential, even pivotal details regarding the protagonist's backstory, and learn some truths that didn't exactly paint him in such saintly colors we've come to associate with him up to that point. And it's not all about flute playing, wearing underwear and playing chess - there's a whole lot more going on with Earle. I will go on to say that Scott Frost's book My Life, My Tapes is practically a required reading for all who want to grasp the complexity of Windom Earle (and Dale Cooper, of course) - no campy villain there ... I consider the book as an absolute TP canon.

I agree with you about the merrits of the four episodes succeeding the resolution of the Laura Palmer mistery. They contain the continuation of one of my favourite arcs, ie. the Jean Renault one, so I can't be too hard on them for that reason alone. I also like the introductions of Andrew Packard and his nemesis Thomas and Major Briggs-related subplot that happen during this stretch of episodes (and - sue me - James & Evelyn rigamarole :D ). It's all of the light-weight, even comical shenanigans that went on during it that I'm not big on - they seriously overdid it with all that stuff (superNadine, little Nicky, Lana Milford, Ben in his Civil War mode, etc.) and it was mainly just useless filler.
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby mtwentz » Sat May 11, 2019 5:32 am

Agent Earle wrote:
mtwentz wrote:
Where things really got messed up, in my view, is the total mishandling of Windom Earle. Instead of a compelling new mystery, we get a cartoonish villian playing the flute in his underwear. I don't think a Season 3 was ever in the cards, but the one shot TP might have had for a Season 3 was squashed with that Diane Keaton episode. Only the true faithful were going to tune in week after week to see a campy villian play chess with the story's protagonist.


Except that things got better and better after the Diane Keaton episode. And you can say what you will about "campy villain playing chess", the fact remains that with the storytelling prop that was represented by this particular character, we got to know some very essential, even pivotal details regarding the protagonist's backstory, and learn some truths that didn't exactly paint him in such saintly colors we've come to associate with him up to that point. And it's not all about flute playing, wearing underwear and playing chess - there's a whole lot more going on with Earle. I will go on to say that Scott Frost's book My Life, My Tapes is practically a required reading for all who want to grasp the complexity of Windom Earle (and Dale Cooper, of course) - no campy villain there ... I consider the book as an absolute TP canon.

I agree with you about the merrits of the four episodes succeeding the resolution of the Laura Palmer mistery. They contain the continuation of one of my favourite arcs, ie. the Jean Renault one, so I can't be too hard on them for that reason alone. I also like the introductions of Andrew Packard and his nemesis Thomas and Major Briggs-related subplot that happen during this stretch of episodes (and - sue me - James & Evelyn rigamarole :D ). It's all of the light-weight, even comical shenanigans that went on during it that I'm not big on - they seriously overdid it with all that stuff (superNadine, little Nicky, Lana Milford, Ben in his Civil War mode, etc.) and it was mainly just useless filler.


I agree the Diane Keaton episode was the low point (along with the Josie death scene.) And Windom Earle became interesting the moment it was revealed he was seeking access to the Black Lodge. (In fact, I'm a big fan of the last 4 or 5 episodes of the series. )

But while I think Earle's initial appearance was chilling and effective ('Well Leo, you can call me Windom...'), the writing/directing team royally screwed up with the character from his appearance in his pajamas right up until his storyline merges with the Black Lodge storyline.

1. Chess just doesn't make for great drama on the screen.

2. Who cares if a bunch of minor characters are killed off?

3. Earle's initial meeting with Leo created some tension- will Earle off one of our favorite 'love to hate' characters? Afterward, though, Earle's torturing/enslaving of Leo became bad parody.

4. The stalking of Audrey, Donna and Shelley was a big yawn. MAYBE if they announced ahead of time that one of the three would be killed off, it might have created tension. But it never felt real; it never felt like any of them were in real danger.

5. As I've mentioned before on this board, Earle going after Cooper by holding a young lady hostage Cooper cares about sounds suspiciously like the Jean Renault story line. Once the Black Lodge comes into play, it takes everything to a higher level, but before that it feels like, 'been there, done that'.

I agree with you for the most part about the subplots. I didn't mind the James-Evelyn storyline at all; it had its moments, though it ultimately led nowhere. The one I really hated was Ben Horne-Civil War. To this day, I still can't watch those scenes.

But I actually think Lana the Witch is somewhat amusing, especially when Dick Tremayne gets involved :-).
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby Audrey Horne » Sat May 11, 2019 9:02 am

It’s so interesting to talk about and revisit this throughout the years, like pinpointing what went wrong or what could have saved the show. Save the show in this case, meaning keeping it on the air. It’s like a math problem.

Really at this point, circa early 1991, nothing could save the show. And that has nothing to do with whether you think the second half of the second season is brilliant, sloppy, genius, a mess ...take your pick. For so many reasons, the show had just everything working against it at that time.

But what is interesting is some of this was already planned before the ratings and writing on the wall was known. And for the topic (three days later) that is certainly the case. And this can’t be contributed to the Saturday night dead time slot or the writing is on the wall etc mentality. This one was drafted I believe in late October 1990 when Peaks was (if not the height of the collective public water cooler) settling into one of the few most prestigious television shows.

The writing think tank is what is fascinating here, and I’m so fuzzy now on the details I’ve learned and talked to from writers, actors from the show. For the most part I understand everyone was working very quickly and they didn’t have the luxury of the first season being mapped out meticulously. I think Engels told me they felt a quiet settling episode might be best before jumping into the next big thing. Also I’ve never been able to get a definitive answer about the actors filming the wake and knowing who killed Laura (since this would’ve been filmed a month before airing).

But the writing think tank is what I think of... what do you do? What do you do to maximize the hook for a hit tv show? Creative integrity aside, just from a get the Nelson numbers angle, what do you do? I know with the decade passing most fans love and worship Laura Palmer (and I get it, it was the most powerful aspect) but by this time the general viewing public were sick to death of it. The whodunit aspect and collective guessing was becoming a who cares. It was more than time to move on and give us a new exciting mystery. Whether you agree or not, to even having a chance of this show surviving, the Pamer arc needed to be “wrapped” up. In rose-colored retrospect, people fault revealing the killer too early killed the mystery... but that is with the luxury of having DVDs and episodes at our disposal. TV was different at the time, it existed only when it aired and thrived from word of mouth and retelling what happened the night before.

Basically, Peaks needed a shot of adrenaline. It probably needed a lot of mini mysteries that were set up and solved layered on top of one another. This probably back in 1990 would’ve been the safest bet to give it a chance to be a show that could stay in the air (whether artistically you agree or not). Probably a semi dumbing down to a general audience, while still cleverly delivering deeper meaning without them realizing it (like Laura still somehow being the eternal mystery)

The Windom Earle serial killer I think is actually a great approach for a hook and smart in theory. And it might be a gimmick (but tv especially at that time thrives on gimmicks) but it would be the wide swing the show would need. Someone beloved probably needed to be bumped off almost immediately to get the Windom arc in play. I don’t know who that could be, and also you have an ensemble cast that you don’t want to dismantle because that’s what made it a hit in the first place. But probably mini mysteries with the threat of Earle sprinkled throughout until the finale. Again, this is just on paper back in the planning for post Laura Peaks, without the knowledge of how the show was going to do. No matter how Earle turned out, he was going to get trumped by a bigger collective evil genius in the sleeper hit word of mouth film, Silence of the Lambs.

Next you have the problem of the spiraling new cast members and also all the bad guy heavies being neatralized (Leo, and especially Ben)... there were no soap opera basic tensions running through the story anymore. Basically, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Cooper probably being almost a week to week solving mini mysteries, pulling rabbits out of his hat. Truman being his trusty aid. Crafty Audrey being the thorn in Cooper’s side helping him (and mounting the week to week will they or won’t they tb tease). James and Donna solving mysteries in their wholesome manner. And Ben and Catherine each being their own versions of JR Ewing. With a Dwarf dream here and there for a little jolt of Lynch color. Not saying this would save the show, but was probably the best blue print for the basic premise of an ongoing television show in 1991.
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sat May 11, 2019 10:40 am

That’s interesting; I never made the SotL / Hannibal Lecter connection before. That really was some remarkably unfortunate timing, almost down to the week. Even if Earle had been brilliantly conceived and executed from start to finish, it would have reminded people of Hopkins’s (eventually Oscar-winning) performance due to inevitably hitting many of the same tropes, and probably wouldn’t have worked as a hook on the level of WKLP due to the “been there, done that” element.
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby Audrey Horne » Sat May 11, 2019 11:38 am

Yeah, the show really was in a pickle and with terrible luck even if it was firing on all cylinders.

Northern Exposure did what Peaks probably should’ve done. Kept a tight ensemble and in its genre’s case, stuck to almost weekly mini mysteries while also keeping a greater larger mystery. But again, this is for looking at it from a 1990 strategy of keeping it on the air and keeping working jobs. Not a legacy lightening in a bottle viewpoint.

Killing any Audrey Coooer scenes must’ve also been a hard hit. The general audience was really only talking about two things, who killed the prom queen and when are those two going to get together. But again, nothing I believe was going to save the show. The time slots, the fad of the mystery had all waned. The quality even if it was Citizen Kane probably would not have made a difference.
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby AXX°N N. » Sun May 19, 2019 1:06 pm

dkenny78 wrote:Other than Sarah, does ANYONE have anything at all to say about Leland for the rest of the show? Ben makes one comment about his former lawyer being a homicidal lunatic but he speaks about it as if it's a business inconvenience and not a shocking revelation about someone he knew well and trusted. Everyone is so 'back-to-business' that it makes it seem like this sort of thing happens in the town all the time, which is a complete inversion of the effect Laura's death had on everyone.


The only way I can reconcile this (not that I think this is the intentional effect) is to view everything in the slump as being a shared psychosis. The show is so rich with themes about denial already, so you can easily view these meandering plotlines as desperate attempts by characters to distract and return to a fraudelent normalcy, where people reduce themselves into walking tropes and camp is just a spellbinding, arch delusion much preferable (under the influence) to stark reality.

Alternatively, everyone is being forcibly lightened up by an extremely negative external force (Judy, or the network suits?), the demise of Leland at once bringing the townfolk too close to the truth, where they ironically find in his death the perfect scapegoat to look as far away as possible.

Or are each of these readings one and the same? :o

Anyway, the time skip is jarring, yes, and signals an interlinked series of bungled choices about to play themselves out. But to me, the absolute nadir of the latter portion of the show is just a few moments after the skip. Cooper's retrospective on Leland's life to Sarah is completely out of character to me. As a mystic he should know how reductive his summation was, and her response, this kind of placid acceptance, is also too quick a cap on her character and the intense grief she exhibited. Even as a pointedly fraudelent moment, a sign of Cooper's escapist tendencies or her own self-denial, it feels wrong, wrong, wrong. Thank god for how Sarah was featured in season 3.
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Re: Three Days Later (between ep. 16 & 17)

Postby Cappy » Mon May 20, 2019 11:39 am

AXX°N N. wrote:The only way I can reconcile this (not that I think this is the intentional effect) is to view everything in the slump as being a shared psychosis. The show is so rich with themes about denial already, so you can easily view these meandering plotlines as desperate attempts by characters to distract and return to a fraudelent normalcy, where people reduce themselves into walking tropes and camp is just a spellbinding, arch delusion much preferable (under the influence) to stark reality.


This take, all the way!

AXX°N N. wrote:Anyway, the time skip is jarring, yes, and signals an interlinked series of bungled choices about to play themselves out. But to me, the absolute nadir of the latter portion of the show is just a few moments after the skip. Cooper's retrospective on Leland's life to Sarah is completely out of character to me. As a mystic he should know how reductive his summation was, and her response, this kind of placid acceptance, is also too quick a cap on her character and the intense grief she exhibited. Even as a pointedly fraudelent moment, a sign of Cooper's escapist tendencies or her own self-denial, it feels wrong, wrong, wrong. Thank god for how Sarah was featured in season 3.


I agree. Cooper's conversation with Sarah never sits right with me. There's also Sarah's speech to Audrey and Eileen Hayward, about Donna and Laura forming some sort of bond against evil at an early age... what exactly was the point of that? I know that Donna is an important character, and her drive to find Laura's killer was a major driver of the plot, but Sarah speaking about this in such generalized terms at this point feels like a non-sequitur.

And ditto for Cooper getting sentimental about Twin Peaks at Leland's wake. For him to have already forgotten the horrors of BOB/Leland and be laughing at the antics of the Milford brothers just feels out of step with everything that's come before.

EDIT: Something weird I just realized about Cooper and Sarah's conversation -- they never actually appear in frame together during this exchange. I really wonder if Grace had any idea what Kyle's lines were here, and vice versa.
Last edited by Cappy on Mon May 20, 2019 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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