I fell behind a few episodes after Part 9, so haven't visited this board in a while. I caught up over the last week plus and watched Part 14 last night. Man, my feelings for this show vary minute by minute as I think about it, but they do trend towards the negative, which is why I'm still in the "disappointed" camp. The show has many interesting themes running through it, and I appreciate that Lynch is keeping his audience off balance, but every good element and moment feels like it's balanced out with something that's clunky. I can't help but think that while this show is unique, that even in its uniqueness, it could have been better. It could have had all its current elements and been better photographed, had better special effects, more care taken with some scenes during filming and editing, better acting at times, etc. People have made excuses the whole run for some of these elements, but why is it so hard to believe/admit that some things weren't intentional and could have been the product of a rushed production and editing process?
For example, take a look at the visit to "Jack Rabbit's Palace". It's something that has been promised since Part 9, and felt like it was going to be a convergence of several different elements (i.e., perhaps Evil Cooper arriving at the same time), or at least be pretty spooky. Instead, the scene had very little atmosphere, with the flat digital cinematography giving the woods an uninteresting look. Then the framing the whole way through was uninspired, as was the acting (especially by Ashbrook) and editing. The special effects spoke for themselves. It just didn't . . . work. It felt cheap, like very little care was given to it. Andy's view screen, with scenes from past episodes including the original series, also was poorly executed. That's just one example, but the series has been filled with similar moments, including Cole's dream in the same episode, where the photography and editing just didn't work, then the Sarah scene in the bar where the special effects would have been cheap looking twenty years ago.
While the show is working on a thematic level, I can't shake the feeling that it could be more . . . compelling. On a bare bones story level, I wouldn't choose to watch the story through lines that we're getting if I wasn't already predisposed to watch it. I'm very concerned that this show isn't going to resolve itself in any sort of interesting or cathartic way. Time on it is running short, and the "most main" plot points with Cooper may just have one more story beat. I'm not the only one who wanted Dougie gone and the "real" Coop back months ago (he really hasn't been in this show at all, as the Red Room Coop was a virtual mute too). It's pretty much a given that the real Coop won't be back until the finale, maybe not at all.
However . . . I believe Lynch is asking us to ask ourselves why that kind of comfort is important. As the series has stretched on, perhaps that's been what has come to the forefront, the challenge we're being given to let go of what we thought we wanted. Without question Lynch is dealing with the idea of time passing, with the concept of "25 years" used as sort of a generational or personal shift. Several characters are doing different things than we or they thought they would be 25 years ago: Bobby is a deputy, James a low-rent security guard, Jacoby is a rage-filled radical in the woods rather than chilling on a Hawaiian beach, Audrey is an old shrew in thrall to . . . someone, Sarah is some kind of monster, and Cooper is . . . well, you get the point. Lynch is tearing down the old comfort structures we're used to not just from "TP", but from conventional storytelling. We want to know what happened between Ed and Norma, but we don't get that. We don't have characters talking about themselves, their dreams, their internal lives, like in the original. Instead, people are behaving in a more "realistic" (Lynch-level realism) way. I get all that, but as I said, if all this were done in a more . . . compelling way, I think the show would be immeasurably better. It's hard to explain.
I DON'T FEEL GOOD!!!!!