Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

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ManBehindWinkies
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby ManBehindWinkies » Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:53 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:I also think the idea that the show would go the darkest possible route, incorporating incest and parental abuse, was something people assumed no network show would touch in that era, and for that reason alone it presumably didn’t cross most viewers’ minds that Leland was even a suspect.


Yeah, this was all quite shocking for 1990 network TV. The reveal scene itself might still be the most viscerally intense scene that's ever been on television, even today after the era of cable/premium cable peak TV.

In retrospect after Twin Peaks changed the television landscape, it may seem more obvious, but at the time all the reveal implies was very challenging by network TV standards.
IcedOver
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby IcedOver » Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:50 pm

ManBehindWinkies wrote:
Yeah, this was all quite shocking for 1990 network TV. The reveal scene itself might still be the most viscerally intense scene that's ever been on television, even today after the era of cable/premium cable peak TV.


Sure, then it was probably one of the most brutally violent things on TV, but I'm sure it's been surpassed since then.
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ManBehindWinkies
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby ManBehindWinkies » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:02 am

IcedOver wrote:
ManBehindWinkies wrote:
Yeah, this was all quite shocking for 1990 network TV. The reveal scene itself might still be the most viscerally intense scene that's ever been on television, even today after the era of cable/premium cable peak TV.


Sure, then it was probably one of the most brutally violent things on TV, but I'm sure it's been surpassed since then.


It's not just about the violence. Lynch actually had to scale back the violence to get it on television and that may have made it even more horrific to behold, in true Lynchian fashion. It's the filmmaking. The sound design, the fact that we are getting this reveal we were waiting for in such a horrific way. It's one of the few scenes I can think of that never loses its power no matter how many times I see it. I'm not interested in making a hot take, maybe there's something else that had such mesmerizing, horrific power. I can't think of one, but it's all subjective anyway and this is derailing the thread.

The identity of the killer itself, as the subject of the thread, has lost some power and would benefit from being put in historical context. It's probably difficult for people who grew up with Peak TV to understand how transgressive the identity of the killer was for network television.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:07 am

For me, more than anything else in the scene, it’s Zabriskie’s performance as a drugged Sarah dragging herself down the stairs that is completely chilling and sets the tone for everything that comes after.
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby Agent Earle » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:56 am

Yeah, and the complete and total lack of scenes that would have even remotely similar power and resonance in the new series, the so-called "Season 3", makes one almost weep, as he remembers what Lynch was capable of back in his heyday...
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby JackwithOneEye » Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:45 am

Agent Earle wrote:Yeah, and the complete and total lack of scenes that would have even remotely similar power and resonance in the new series, the so-called "Season 3", makes one almost weep, as he remembers what Lynch was capable of back in his heyday...


Lynch isn't quite the same filmmaker as he was in those years 1980-91. He's got more back to his avant grade roots. He was able to blend in more with mainstream, and then surprise mainstream audiences with something like this , or the dream sequence in ep 2 (or 3, depending how you count pilot)

post TP, he seemed to not even try to attempt to camouflage himself as a mainstream director. Lost Highway's performances were ultra stylized, the long gaps in dialogue, long takes, pastiche detectives with purposefully stilted acting, felt more experimental like Eraserhead or The Grandmother from the start. If he had directed Arquette and Pullman to act more natural like Twin Peaks ABC had been, more realism with the detectives, then the metamorphosis in the jail cell might have been as shocking as the killer reveal in TP.
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby Agent Earle » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:11 am

JackwithOneEye wrote:
Agent Earle wrote:Yeah, and the complete and total lack of scenes that would have even remotely similar power and resonance in the new series, the so-called "Season 3", makes one almost weep, as he remembers what Lynch was capable of back in his heyday...


Lynch isn't quite the same filmmaker as he was in those years 1980-91. He's got more back to his avant grade roots. He was able to blend in more with mainstream, and then surprise mainstream audiences with something like this , or the dream sequence in ep 2 (or 3, depending how you count pilot)

post TP, he seemed to not even try to attempt to camouflage himself as a mainstream director. Lost Highway's performances were ultra stylized, the long gaps in dialogue, long takes, pastiche detectives with purposefully stilted acting, felt more experimental like Eraserhead or The Grandmother from the start. If he had directed Arquette and Pullman to act more natural like Twin Peaks ABC had been, more realism with the detectives, then the metamorphosis in the jail cell might have been as shocking as the killer reveal in TP.


Agreed on all counts. I guess the "mainstream" version of Lynch is more my cup of tea - that's why my favourite film works of his are all from the pre-Lost Highway era (1. Blue Velvet; 2. FWWM; 3. Wild at Heart). If I had to choose a favourite out of his post-LH phase, I'd definitely go with The Straight Story, the least Lynchian film of his entire career! :)
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Audrey Horne
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby Audrey Horne » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:19 am

This is fun.

Back in the day during the first season, I was positive it could only be a few people. First, it HAD to be someone listed in the opening credits or otherwise it’s a cheat. And second, it had to be one of the good guys. And third, it had to be someone Coooer had significant interaction with.

When people kept saying Leo or Ben, I would roll my eyes and think have you ever watched or read a whodunit or Agatha Christie before?

I was positive it had to be shocking. I was zeroed in on Doc Hayward, then quickly took him off because he was too much of a boring supporting character. But mainly it was three characters. Donna Hayward, the nice girl and main character that there’d be a huge narrative payoff with. Leland Palmer, the nice, sad sack father that there could be a surprising payoff to. Both Boyle and Wkse were in the opening credits and fit the list. But not too central to Cooper. And Leland was becoming more and more of a side character for zany antics (what did I know, huh.).

My main number one suspect from a narrative point of view that would turn everything upside down... well, the mystery has to wrap up, we need a way for Cooper to stay in town and fight crime, and our murderer has to be a good guy who was always in plain sight.... it has to be Sheriff Truman!

It fit with the surprising tone the show had in its first season. And pit the two top-billed stars’ characters against one another, with Ontkean always meant to be removed from the credits after the first season wrapped. Dr. Watson was the killer under Sherlock Holmes’nose all the time. And Cooper would feel a sense of protection for the town and become the new sheriff... hey, it was TV, and this is what I thought at the time.

I was also thinking who could they lose after this Laura mystery would finally be over. No way will the murderer be Cooper. No way it’s going to be Audrey... they want her to be mini Cooper getting into trouble and solving new crimes. No way it’s Ben or Catherine or Josie, they’re needed for future Dallas/Dynasty plots. Donna and James and Bobby and Shelly are needed for more future sex scenes. Norma and Ed are needed for future soap opera angles and future mysteries. And Pete is needed for local color. I don’t know what they’ll do with Leland since a grieving father is kinda a downer but he’s probably not that important to the show, right?

I can’t remember when I jumped off the Truman train though. I know it was when the second season proemeired though. And by the time of the reveal I was fully back on it being Donna or Leland.
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JackwithOneEye
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby JackwithOneEye » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:37 am

I remember in TV Guide, they asked some mystery authors and whatnot who the killer was, and I think Tony Hillerman got it right. or sorta right. Summer of 1990, people weren't counting BOB as part of the equation.

I remember some kid in my gym class telling me 'KILLER BOB' was the killer , and I was like the guy from the dream sequence ? and then the season 2 premiere rolled around, and I was like, oh he's a spirit, presence. I was in love with the show, but it was funny how quick it drifted from the realism in the pilot. When the pilot first aired, I thought Dr Jacoby had to be the killer.
LateReg
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby LateReg » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:45 am

ManBehindWinkies wrote:
IcedOver wrote:
ManBehindWinkies wrote:
Yeah, this was all quite shocking for 1990 network TV. The reveal scene itself might still be the most viscerally intense scene that's ever been on television, even today after the era of cable/premium cable peak TV.


Sure, then it was probably one of the most brutally violent things on TV, but I'm sure it's been surpassed since then.


It's not just about the violence. Lynch actually had to scale back the violence to get it on television and that may have made it even more horrific to behold, in true Lynchian fashion. It's the filmmaking. The sound design, the fact that we are getting this reveal we were waiting for in such a horrific way. It's one of the few scenes I can think of that never loses its power no matter how many times I see it. I'm not interested in making a hot take, maybe there's something else that had such mesmerizing, horrific power. I can't think of one...


This. Nothing has surpassed the brutality of that scene for all the reasons you mention, and at this point it's likely nothing will. Definitely not a hot take at all, and I've said the same thing so many times.
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mtwentz
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby mtwentz » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:53 am

When we talking ‘red herrings’, don’t forget BOB himself is a red herring. We don’t know BOB is an inhabiting spirit until episode 13, and even then it’s not explicitly spelled out. I am sure some fans figured that angle out, but I was not one of them.

If you figures that out; the identity of the killer was given away with Jacobys ‘scorched engine oil’ comment.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:13 am

I only learned recently that the “European ending” was released on VHS outside the US before the Pilot even aired! Imagine if that happened today, how quickly the general public would have been aware of Bob.
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby JackwithOneEye » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:23 am

mtwentz wrote:When we talking ‘red herrings’, don’t forget BOB himself is a red herring. We don’t know BOB is an inhabiting spirit until episode 13, and even then it’s not explicitly spelled out. I am sure some fans figured that angle out, but I was not one of them.

If you figures that out; the identity of the killer was given away with Jacobys ‘scorched engine oil’ comment.



good memory. yeah. i remember now, kids in school telling me that the killer was 'killer bob' based on the 2nd season premiere and some press that was out there saying it was 'killer bob'. i think press articles added 'killer' to his name. i assumed at the time it was all red herring because i figured the killer had to be someone in the opening credits. bob became established as an inhabiting spirit with the MIKE speech. before that you could have assumed he was a biker, or drifter, or the guy from the house on pearl lake.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:54 am

JackwithOneEye wrote:
mtwentz wrote:When we talking ‘red herrings’, don’t forget BOB himself is a red herring. We don’t know BOB is an inhabiting spirit until episode 13, and even then it’s not explicitly spelled out. I am sure some fans figured that angle out, but I was not one of them.

If you figures that out; the identity of the killer was given away with Jacobys ‘scorched engine oil’ comment.



good memory. yeah. i remember now, kids in school telling me that the killer was 'killer bob' based on the 2nd season premiere and some press that was out there saying it was 'killer bob'. i think press articles added 'killer' to his name. i assumed at the time it was all red herring because i figured the killer had to be someone in the opening credits. bob became established as an inhabiting spirit with the MIKE speech. before that you could have assumed he was a biker, or drifter, or the guy from the house on pearl lake.


He was credited as “Killer Bob” in the end credits starting with Episode 2! Also in the cast list in the first soundtrack.
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Re: Wasn't the killer obvious? (SPOILERS)

Postby JackwithOneEye » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:18 am

He was credited as “Killer Bob” in the end credits starting with Episode 2! Also in the cast list in the first soundtrack.[/quote]

Yeah, I seem to remember that now. I remember this kid who barely watched the show in 1990 kept saying to me 'Killer Bob' was the killer. And I remember him just being referred to in dialogue as Bob, and i noticed press articles kept saying Killer Bob, which i think is where those kids must have picked it up. I don't think they were pausing on the end credits or looked at the soundtrack CD. In my gym class at the time in 7th grade, it was mostly girls who watched Twin Peaks or had watched part of it. And I remember this guy who kept going on about Killer Bob, told me it was a girls show anyway, and being a male, why was i watching it.. and that the murder mystery was too obvious and it was Killer Bob, and I should watch something else instead.

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