The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

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Robin Davies
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby Robin Davies » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:19 am

IcedOver wrote:I agree that it's a problem that S3 has almost no scenes that would be considered creepy.
Well each to his own, but huge amounts of season 3 felt intensely, thrillingly creepy to me - much more so than seasons 1 and 2.
LateReg
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby LateReg » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:04 am

HagbardCeline wrote:For me, The Return lacked the gravitation pull of all three of the forces present in the original Twin Peaks: Lynch, Frost, and the limitations of broadcast television. Those limitations are what made those creepy scenes mentioned by the OP even creepier, because our imaginations took over when there were things that they couldn't show. It would have been interesting to see what an AMC or FX produced Twin Peaks may have looked like.


Honestly, it would have looked exactly the same in terms of sex and violence minus the two scenes of actual nudity, which was tame compared to today's standards. Nevins even noted this in interviews before The Return aired. FX especially features insanely violent content that leaves little to the imagination.
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AXX°N N.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby AXX°N N. » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:42 pm

Not to dogpile, but I have to echo Robin Davies. There are many moments, at least 1 per part that, perhaps they didn't land for you, but nevertheless seem intended for creepiness. The woodsmen, Diane's duplicity, the Roadhouse patron's and Audrey's nebulousness, Sarah and Richard's behavior, much of the conspiracy and odd people involved in Doppelcoop's Dougie hunting, Naido both in the mauve zone and in the forest and prison, pretty much all of Part 8 and the final part, and the BOB confrontation, not least of which the intense buildup. That's off the top of my head, but it seemed like a focal part of the series, to the point I find it dissonant to see others paint it as toothless. As for me, the creepiest moment is the frogmoth, what felt like surprisingly classical, directly demonic imagery--and then the little handwave it does, like it's intended for the viewer, the only one watching, or merely slowing down as if to relish what's about to happen, when it enters the mouth. That put a deep, deep pit in my stomach and at the same time mezmerized me in a way I haven't felt watching the show since the Ep 2 red room scene, Maddie's death, the last ep, FWWM...

HagbardCeline wrote:For me, The Return lacked the gravitation pull of all three of the forces present in the original Twin Peaks: Lynch, Frost, and the limitations of broadcast television. Those limitations are what made those creepy scenes mentioned by the OP even creepier, because our imaginations took over when there were things that they couldn't show. It would have been interesting to see what an AMC or FX produced Twin Peaks may have looked like.

I can see where you're coming from, but I think a lot of the Return does in fact rely on our imaginations, perhaps it just didn't grab you and instigate yours. For instance, so much of the plot is veiled when it comes to Major Briggs, what transpired as he was crossing thresholds, the Fireman's motivations, what Doppelcoop actually wants, how much Cooper knows or doesn't know about what he's doing, exactly what it was Doppelcoop has been doing, what exactly has transpired in the red room to Cooper himself, etc. The fact that we're seeing all the old characters, and much of the new characters, in media res, as if it's been a 10 season long show and we're tuning in at random, there's a big feeling of missed time and that being the case, temporal gaps.
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Tony Franciosa
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby Tony Franciosa » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:02 am

For me, an area where I feel the fear/mystery was lacking was with regard to the Doppelganger. BOB/Leland in the original series was a perpetrator of cosmic evils (incest, murder, rape). Evil Coop in the Return looked like a drug runner from Scarface - particularly in the Buenos Aires photo Albert brings up. Not really that visceral horror that BOB was responsible for with regard to Laura, though clearly he was responsible for some of that with regard to Audrey/Diane.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby mtwentz » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:08 am

Tony Franciosa wrote:For me, an area where I feel the fear/mystery was lacking was with regard to the Doppelganger. BOB/Leland in the original series was a perpetrator of cosmic evils (incest, murder, rape). Evil Coop in the Return looked like a drug runner from Scarface - particularly in the Buenos Aires photo Albert brings up. Not really that visceral horror that BOB was responsible for with regard to Laura, though clearly he was responsible for some of that with regard to Audrey/Diane.


I felt Mr. C is meant to reflect all of Cooper's hidden desires, the 'bad boy' that he secretly wants to be, but if, of course repressed.

I don't think there was any attempt to make him into another Bob.

I think what they were making out Mr. C to be was the equivalent of Javier Bardem's character in No Country for Old Men. Now some may say they succeeded, others may think not, but I believe that was the feel they were going for.

If there was any attempt to give that BOB feel, it would be Sarah/Judy and some of the Woodsmen.
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Cappy
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby Cappy » Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:38 pm

I think Mr. C might have been more of a Windom Earle re-do than any sort of recreation of BOB/Leland.

That probably wasn't Lynch/Frost's intent, but Mr. C's quest for JUDY was primary narrative thrust of S3, much the same as Windom Earle's search for the Black Lodge structured the last 6 or so eps of the original series. Perhaps Mr. C was there attempt to get the conventional arch villain type character right? By conventional I mean a villain who has some detailed Bond-villain esque scheme, complete with henchmen to help carry it out.

So in that regard I do consider Mr. C to be a big success. Obviously his henchmen all failed and his scheme blew up in his face, but these kinds of characters all end that way. I think a useful way of viewing Mr. C is as a Cooper without any sense of intuition or joy. He is obsessed with getting cold, hard information that will take him to where he needs to go, whereas Dale Cooper could just listen to the world and pay attention to the signs it gives him. It's what lets Coop enjoy pie and coffee so much, and what allows him to have weird revelatory dreams and read (most) people so well. Mr. C is incapable of listening to the world and gleaming any intangible information from it -- hence his evilness.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby missoulamt » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:15 am

I think another reason why it feels so different from the original show is the sedate tempo and the absence of music a lot of the time. Gives it a colder feel somehow.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby missoulamt » Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:05 am

Watched FWWM again last night. While its slower tempo is a bit similar to The Return (even slower still), the fear element is on another level. The bonechilling effect when Laura holds onto Harold and her colors change. Or her finding Bob in her room. Arguably one scene like that in The Return, ie the final scene.

Wish TR had more of those. That would have helped elevate it and provided a contrast to the slow tempo and drawn out / unnecessary plot lines. I feel TR would have benefitted a lot from more editing, maybe cutting as much as 50%.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby 4815162342 » Tue May 12, 2020 9:55 am

Bob was completely ruined by Season 3, but that's partially not their fault. I think they struggled to reconcile doppelganger Cooper with Bob possession, this was a problem created in the 90s.

Also, the red room/black lodge stuff was not as effective as it used to be: the sets felt huge and empty, less claustrophobic and mysterious. The evolution of the arm doppelganger was poorly handled. This can probably be filed under: don't try to repeat the past.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby LateReg » Tue May 12, 2020 1:00 pm

4815162342 wrote:Bob was completely ruined by Season 3, but that's partially not their fault. I think they struggled to reconcile doppelganger Cooper with Bob possession, this was a problem created in the 90s.

Also, the red room/black lodge stuff was not as effective as it used to be: the sets felt huge and empty, less claustrophobic and mysterious. The evolution of the arm doppelganger was poorly handled. This can probably be filed under: don't try to repeat the past.


I disagree with all of that, but I understand where you're coming from. On the latter point regarding the Red Room, whatever combination of digital cinematography, wider, airy spaces, and the overall pace and mood of the room creates an endless sense of unease for me; the Evolution of the Arm and its doppelganger is one of my favorite parts of the entire series, from the way it looks and speaks and the crude-seeming ways it was manufactured to the (unintended) callback to episode 29's "when you see me again it won't be me."
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AXX°N N.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby AXX°N N. » Tue May 12, 2020 4:53 pm

I think the sterile and huge feeling is merely what was determined to work best in the new medium. CGI beasts and endless detail. Just the plush, scratched texture to the rows and rows of velvet curtain folds is almost overwhelming. I'm not sure digital could have afforded the same tone as the old Red Room, nor should it have. What's the argument here? It should have been the exact same, but also don't repeat the past, leaving us with...?

After spending 25 years there, wouldn't Cooper feel more at home, and so more subjectively attuned to the terrain? It's when he ventures into new locales, such as the Mauve Room, that things become claustrophobic but in different, also medium-apt ways, such as the odd digitized malfunction of the editing rhythm.
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boske
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby boske » Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:42 pm

Three years after the initial run, I had decided to rewatch the Return, and while Amazon had shipped my DVD set in March, it has not reached me yet in Europe, it is stuck somewhere in storage limbo, what an interesting time we live in! So my rewatch is on hold, but I am not giving up on it yet.

I agree that fear element is missing, but we do have a "mystery" element. If you look at Cooper's journey in the first several parts, there clearly is something mysterious at play. So what is missing? I think it is the emotional side of the world is not there, and it is intentional. Would lack of emotions make something sterile? Why not? Would a digital (a particular digital setup, to be more precise), better capture it than analog? Absolutely. Does one need to be emotional to be afraid? I think so.

So why all of that then? I had expected something more akin to the original story, a little bit of something that would tie up some loose ends, some "blast from the past", and a new twist in a familiar world, but instead we got what we got, and there's a whole thread out there on it. The Return is about TP as it is now. The world had changed in those 25 years. It is a statement on the world that has lost its soul, its emotions, its humanity, and part 8 just pinpoints an inflection point on a fatal journey to the netherworld. So S3 can be thought of as a kind of a revelation, and revelations are often very unpleasant, shattering imaginary conceptions and showing things what they really are. As that saying goes: truth hurts. While they are unpleasant, do they (revelations) make one afraid? It would be too late for that.

I hate parts of S3, and I guess I am supposed to hate them, they are not pretty, but me hating them will not change what they are. That said, it makes it easier to appreciate the thinly veiled candidness of Lynch and Frost. I still feel I was being trolled in a few places, but overall it was just the truth. Still though, nothing can redeem the green glove. :-)

Is there something positive to end with here? Yes, Audrey woke up, and to me that was a major clue. Not only that she was asleep, but where she had been just before she awoke. So with Audrey awake, maybe something emotional would find its way back into an eventual S4, if it were ever to happen.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby LateReg » Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:04 pm

boske wrote:Three years after the initial run, I had decided to rewatch the Return, and while Amazon had shipped my DVD set in March, it has not reached me yet in Europe, it is stuck somewhere in storage limbo, what an interesting time we live in! So my rewatch is on hold, but I am not giving up on it yet.

I agree that fear element is missing, but we do have a "mystery" element. If you look at Cooper's journey in the first several parts, there clearly is something mysterious at play. So what is missing? I think it is the emotional side of the world is not there, and it is intentional. Would lack of emotions make something sterile? Why not? Would a digital (a particular digital setup, to be more precise), better capture it than analog? Absolutely. Does one need to be emotional to be afraid? I think so.

So why all of that then? I had expected something more akin to the original story, a little bit of something that would tie up some loose ends, some "blast from the past", and a new twist in a familiar world, but instead we got what we got, and there's a whole thread out there on it. The Return is about TP as it is now. The world had changed in those 25 years. It is a statement on the world that has lost its soul, its emotions, its humanity, and part 8 just pinpoints an inflection point on a fatal journey to the netherworld. So S3 can be thought of as a kind of a revelation, and revelations are often very unpleasant, shattering imaginary conceptions and showing things what they really are. As that saying goes: truth hurts. While they are unpleasant, do they (revelations) make one afraid? It would be too late for that.

I hate parts of S3, and I guess I am supposed to hate them, they are not pretty, but me hating them will not change what they are. That said, it makes it easier to appreciate the thinly veiled candidness of Lynch and Frost. I still feel I was being trolled in a few places, but overall it was just the truth. Still though, nothing can redeem the green glove. :-)

Is there something positive to end with here? Yes, Audrey woke up, and to me that was a major clue. Not only that she was asleep, but where she had been just before she awoke. So with Audrey awake, maybe something emotional would find its way back into an eventual S4, if it were ever to happen.


Great post, a nice summary. Thanks.
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Re: The biggest problem with The Return - the fear/mystery element largely missing?

Postby 4815162342 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:51 pm

I don't think digital was the problem, it was rehashing old material. The good part of Season 3 (I acknowledge no marketing terms from Showtime) was Part 8, the purple place, etc, and used a lot of CGI and digital photography, but it was NEW, and I think Lynch was more excited about it than the old stuff. I've been thinking that it might have been better to just make a new TV show with that material, a limited series called something else.

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