Episode 23

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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Episode 23

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:17 pm

I'm up to this episode on my rewatch, and it has repeatedly struck me this time around that the show's biggest betrayal of Audrey isn't substituting Jack for Coop, or inexplicably turning her character into a "businesswoman" with no real setup. While the new romantic attachment feels undeniably forced (despite both actors being charming), and double-ditto for the whiplash change in characterization, the real failing is the fact that the show doesn't follow through on the trauma of Audrey's father unknowingly trying to have sex with her, and Audrey subsequently learning that he was in "love" with her classmate! She somehow sweeps the knowledge of her father's sleazy nature completely under the carpet and is suddenly super-proud of The Horne Family Legacy? WTF? While I can't help enjoying Beymer's hammy Civil War shenanigans, the show's white-washing of Ben's character, and particularly Audrey's relationship with him, is skin-crawlingly uncomfortable.

That said, the Packard stuff in this episode, while soapy and nonsensical, does give this one more momentum and focus than we've seen since 16 (largely thanks to O'Herlihy, Laurie and Warner having a ball, and Angelo's terrific Packard theme). Chen doesn't quite sell it for me, which hurts the proceedings a bit, but it still feels like the show is getting back on track -- not necessarily toward being what TP started out as or was originally meant to be, but at least toward being a more grounded TV show with narrative momentum.
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Re: Episode 23

Postby Gabriel » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:02 pm

So... we get told Thomas Eckhardt is such a big, scary guy. David Warner puts on his best 'mean' expressions in a couple of scenes and then... BLAM! That's it: basically the end of the Packard saga.

We never see any evidence Eckhardt is particularly evil; we get told a lot, then he and Josie are gone. Did no one on the series ever hear about 'show, don't tell?' Yet another potentially interesting storyline is burnt up in a couple of episodes. There's scope for a whole Wide Sargasso Sea-style spin-off film or miniseries set in Hong Kong of the early-mid-1980s in this plotline. Such a terrible waste of good actors and an interesting backstory. Can these Packhards really be the same people we saw in the pilot walking around a real sawmill?

For me, this episode, while nicely shot, exemplifies a churned out weekly TV episode existing in the moment with little concern for anything much before or after, just grabbing ideas from old episodes and throwing them into the mix with little care for any lasting meaning.

If Josie shot Coop and Leland beat up Jacoby in the first season finale, how many other masked, black-clad psychos were running around the town that night? I mean, was there a sale on at Horne's Department Store for ninja psycho killer stealth gear that day?
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Re: Episode 23

Postby Rami Airola » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:48 pm

-I don't still get what the point of John Justice Wheeler is. The character seems, so far, to be really underwhelming. It kinda feels like he's supposed to have some Lana quality to him, in that his mere presence and his charisma is enough for people to have a 180 degree turn in their thinking. Even as I've seen the whole series several times, I still don't remember what's the deal with him, except for how his story ends in the series. I'm kinda interested to try to follow that story with more attention, but so far the character feels very bland.

-What comes to the Packard stuff it took me, like, 20 years to begin to appreciate that storyline. I have begun to appreciate the mill storyline more in the past decade and currently I kinda love how it turns out to be. Andrew's and Eckhardt's meeting in the elevator is a FANTASTIC scene. It kinda alone makes the whole thing worthwhile.

-I think this episode gives a nice example of how things can go from lighthearted funny stuff to more serious in a second. Hank used to have a this feel of being someone to be afraid of, but for the past episodes he had been turned into more of a comic relief. However, the scene in the cell suddenly turns Hank back on the track and I love it.

-I used to love Bob's appearance here and used to think it was really terrifying but nowadays I think he REALLY should've had his mouth shut in that scene. Well, the laughter before talking is ok, but the rest is quite terrible. "COOP!! WADAPPENDDO JOUSSSIIII!! HAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!" I think him being just drooling with excitement would've been enough. I kinda like the question "what happened to josie" there but it's not delivered well at all. Also, I now suddenly realized that I don't like at all the fact that Bob calls Cooper Coop. There is something very odd with having a demon from other dimension call a person with his nickname. As if he was just "one of the dudes".

With all the criticism I still love that this scene happened. Bob being able to appear from behind an ordinary bed is terrifying for me and I love how all the vague talk about the White and the Black Lodge and Garland's disappearance and the tattoos and all are now slowly being grounded into the truly supernatural stuff we've been introduced with in the beginning of the series.

And as bad CGI the drawer pull is I still love it. The last impression the face does is horribly sad and terrifying at the same time. It's like a face of a person who has to suffer in Hell for eternity. There is unbelievable sadness to that expression. That's a truly tormented soul right there. I love it.

TwinPeaksFanatic wrote:It's interesting that Norma says Annie always seemed like she came from another time and place, don't you think 'The Secret History of Twin Peaks' fans?

Yeah, I didn't even remember this line being said. Today was the first time I watched this episode since The Secret History and for the first time this line jumped out for me.
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Re: Episode 23

Postby Jonah » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:05 pm

I've written about this episode a few times before. It's always one I liked more than most people, I think, mainly due to being a fan of the last scene with Josie and the drawer pull.

So thoughts on this latest rewatch -

There's actually a lot to like in this episode! A lot of good stuff.

I like the opening shot of an owl in a glass dome and a slow zoom across a chessboard, the mask, and the tape recorder, pulling out to reveal Harry and Cooper sitting together in the Sheriff's Station.

Another glass dome will appear in the key plot involving Pete, Catherine, and Andrew. I like the little bit of good humour with the face in the breakfast! (Is this a tongue in cheek reference to Josie's face in the knob at the end? Probably not!)

"No Clues to Killer" is a better headline than the one they used previously.

Hank's last scenes.

Josie officially revealed to be Cooper's shooter. I think this would have played better had it been revealed earlier or the shooting had been mentioned more throughout the season.

I love the bit where Audrey receives the letter at the hotel behind the concierge desk. (I had hoped we'd see something similar in the new series when the key to Room 315 was delivered, but alas Beverly and Ben have already dealt with that.)

And so begins the John Justice Wheeler arc.

It seems Nadine's shelves have been fixed since she pushed Hank through them.

I like the scene where Catherine spies on Cooper and Josie through the blinds.

Poor Josie really is at the end of her tether here.

Catherine really reveals just how cruel and manipulative she can be.

And so begins the era of 'Good Ben'.

Alas, so also begins the Pine Weasel storyline.

A slightly better disguise for Windom Earle when he delivers Shelly's letter.

First mention of Annie.

And an interesting line from Norma - "I always thought Annie was from another place and time."

Big Ed proposing to Norma in the diner is great!

Norma's classic line to Hank - "I'd rather be his whore than your wife." Strangely, I'd remembered this coming much earlier in the season.

Pete teaching Harry and Cooper about chess is great.

Albert and Coop talking about Josie while Harry listens/looks on is great.

Nice throwback to the Pilot - the shot of Josie putting on lipstick in the mirror. I never thought of it before but I wonder if this was suggested by Lynch too (given his love of the Pilot and also the fact that he suggested the drawer pull sequence in this episode).

I like the picnic scene with Donna and James. I think Donna is great in this scene. (Come to think of it, the picnic may be another throwback reference to the pilot.)

Catherine's reading "Great Expectations". Was there another Dickens reference earlier in the season?

The elevator scene with Eckhardt and Andrew is pretty great.

I sort of like the scene with Audrey and John Justice Wheeler at dinner.

The 'Gathering of Angels' at the roadhouse is pretty cool - great to see Donna, Shelly, and Audrey together in the roadhouse.

Coop on the bed with the flannel and the night-fishing equipment (?) is pretty ridiculous.

I love the stand-off with Cooper and Josie and Harry rushing in.

And all the rest of this sequence is great.

I can see why people might think the inclusion of Bob and LMFAP is over the top - or not fitting to this scene. And I can see why people might not like the drawer pull sequence either. But I think both are great.

Now, we know Lynch suggested the drawer pull sequence. And this lines up with the Log Lady intro to this episode (written by Lynch) where she talks at length exclusively about that element. So Lynch was clearly a big fan of this sequence.

It also fits in with the themes of spirits in wood we've seen mentioned on the series before - everything from the Ghostwood development to it being implied the spirt of the Log Lady's husband is in her log to Brigg's line about "Is my soul meant for this?" while he strokes a wooden table. It's a shame this wasn't developed further as the season went on - I'm sure it would have been if Season 3 had been made back then. We do get two more references to Josie in the wood - one from Pete and another from Ben, but they're blink and you'll miss them. And we know Josie was meant to appear in Episode 29, her head sticking out through the curtains. It's a shame this was dropped too.

The special effects bring the sequence down a little, but it looks better now on the Blu-Ray than it ever has, and all in all I just think it's wonderful. I always loved it. Hoping we get some more on this in the new series.

As for Bob and the LMFAP appearing here....the more I think about it, I don't think this is the writers throwing it in because they were desperate to recapture old Peaks. I can see why people would think that, but if Lynch suggested the drawer pull, then I think he probably also suggested the inclusion of Bob and the LMFAP.

Two questions:

Is this the first time Cooper properly sees Bob (outside of Leland)? That's pretty cool if so. (And it might be because he's getting closer to entering the lodge.)

Is the LMFAP/Michael Anderson actually dancing on the bed in this scene - or is this footage that's been put in as a special effect? I'm guessing it's the former but just checking.

Yeah, the more I think about it Lynch suggested them both appearing here, along with the drawer pull, and maybe even the Josie in the mirror scene.

Overall, this is far from a perfect episode and I know there's debate about whether this one, 24, or 25 is the "return to form" episode. I'm not sure. I'm not saying it's this one, but I don't think this one belongs in the stretch of weak episodes. There's weak elements but too much good stuff to ignore - and a lot of arcs closing here, some new ones being set up. I won't say this is the return to form episode, but I think it's a lot better than it's given credit for.

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