Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby Jonah » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:55 am

Just rewatched this. Along with Parts 1 - 4, 16, and 18, I think this is the strongest part. I still think that wig on Sheryl Lee is hideous, though. The scenes would have been much stronger had they just used a better wig or got someone to trim/style it a bit to match the FWWM hair. It was sitcom-level bad for a wig. I also think they could have gotten a better double for Pete, at least someone with grey hair - the brown hair of whomever they used is very noticeable when he's fishing! These are small gripes admittedly, but it would have raised the production values slightly had these two things been fitted in a bit more seamlessly.

The whole Bob as a ball fight has gotten slightly better with age. It's still silly, but doesn't seem quite as bad on rewatch. Not a big fan of Freddie in general though.

Disappointed Coop never seemed to address Albert in the Sheriff's Station?

I remember Julee Cruise being so upset and disappointed about her song being cut down so much. Remember noticing it the first time I watched it. Has it ever come out why it was cut so much? Was it just a timing issue? And in the couple of years since, has Cruise ever mentioned it again or come around a bit on TP/DL?
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby Rainwater » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:37 am

Jonah wrote:Disappointed Coop never seemed to address Albert in the Sheriff's Station?

Why there is absolutely no interaction in the whole thing between Cooper and Albert, other than Mr. C briefly staring him down, is a mystery to me. Almost like they've mutually agreed to completely disregard each other. I don't get it
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby mtwentz » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:54 am

Rainwater wrote:
Jonah wrote:Disappointed Coop never seemed to address Albert in the Sheriff's Station?

Why there is absolutely no interaction in the whole thing between Cooper and Albert, other than Mr. C briefly staring him down, is a mystery to me. Almost like they've mutually agreed to completely disregard each other. I don't get it


It's part of the anti-nostalgia theme of The Return. In a nostalgia fest, Cooper wouldhave an interaction with each and every character he interacted with in the original series. A scene akin to the Episode 17 scene where Cooper says goodbye to everyone at the Sheriff's station (right before he's arrested for drug possession).

Also, in a nostalgia-fest, Cooper makes a stop at the RR instead of driving right by it without so much as slowing down.
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby Jonah » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:39 am

I understand the anti-nostalgia part, but he did greet Andy and others, so I was just a bit surprised he and Albert didn't even say hello, considering they worked together a lot.
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby Mr. Strawberry » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:25 pm

Yep, I too was saddened that Coop didn't get to exchange a quick hello with Albert before disappearing into the void. Part of this was due to my knowledge of the actor having passed, so there was a potent awareness of this being their last chance to reunite. But yeah considering that they were good friends and associates, it is a shame there was only time for a quick "Gordon?!" before Coop had to be off on his way. On the other hand a warm reunion between old pals at the RR would have felt even more off.
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby mtwentz » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:28 pm

I have a different take on the whole thing. I thought Mr. C walking toward the Sheriff station and saying 'Hello Andy' gave a real disconcerting feeling I like to call 'twisted nostalgia'. To me, that was the real payoff. Because I felt that feeling, 'Cooper is finally here', but it's the WRONG Cooper.

So nostalgia was mixed in with that Lynchian feel of not being anchored in a normal reality.

And when we do finally get to a 'reunion' with the old crowd back together again, we get the superimposed face; is this really happening, or is it a dream? Or another timeline? or an alternate universe?
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby Mr. Strawberry » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:19 pm

Regarding the meeting between Andy and Dale, I am with you 100%, and the way Andy said, "Agent Cooper! Agent Cooper! We were just talking about you!" was downright awesome, it really zipped me back to the good ol' days. You're right, it was all nostalgia on Andy's part and you could really feel it, but on Dale's side, all bad, seedy and fake. I was genuinely worried for Andy. That was such an awesome scene. I was reeling too, because something about the way Mr. C materialized there was subtly peculiar. For some reason, it really felt like he had switched over to a different reality as well as a different place.

I think Cooper's reunion in the station would have been a lot more powerful if Harry had been present too, but that is an unfortunate part of starting a show up again after 25 years -- there are no guarantees and you've got to do the best with what you have.
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:41 pm

I’m always wondering, who/what are the two birds? Judy is presumably one. Is the other saving Laura? But at that point in the second season, when he allegedly said this, Cooper is also preoccupied with defeating Earle and saving Annie. Having just rewatched the original series, almost all the other retcons surprisingly check out for me, but it feels a tiny bit off for this to have been the last thing Cooper said to Gordon before entering the Red Room in Episode 29.

And what is the stone? Is Laura the stone (per the Fireman seeming to weaponize her as a force to use against Judy in Part 8 )? If so, is Cooper taking her to the White Lodge/Fireman’s to prepare to wage war on Judy? If so, I then wonder who the other bird is....I could go in circles for hours.

It’s fun to try to track who knows what when. Gordon really seems to play it close to the vest, even with his extreme inner circle. When Gordon confesses the Judy plot to Albert, he makes it sound like a joint venture between him, Briggs and Cooper. But later, Cooper makes it sound distinctly like Gordon and Garland took the lead. This is consistent with Cooper and Albert clearly having no idea who Judy is in FWWM/TMP, even though Gordon had apparently debriefed Jeffries in some fashion before his disappearance. My assumption is that Briggs starts regaining memories offscreen during Episode 28 and Cooper calls Gordon, and Briggs and Cole then compare notes on Judy and hatch the plan. In this sense, Cooper may be a bit of a willing pawn.

Albert understands why Gordon couldn’t tell him about Judy...but I don’t! Blue Rose was a two-person task force for 25 years, and Gordon never told Albert about this huge piece of vital information?! What the hell, Gordon? Maybe this is another instance of Gordon’s character basically morphing into a portrayal of Lynch on TR, the withholding of secrets being a grand Lynch tradition.

Ray as paid informant is one of those things I’m still trying to wrap my head around. TFD paints it like Jeffries was Ray’s FBI handler, but it doesn’t seem like Jeffries has had contact with Gordon since FWWM (although it’s never exactly clear). It seems much more likely that that fucker Ray was playing all sides. He’s presumably an underworld no-goodnik who gets caught by the FBI on something relatively small-potatoes and flipped. During the course of his underworld dealings, he comes across the doppel, and in turn what he learns working for the doppel brings Ray into contact with Jeffries, who turns Ray into HIS cat’s-paw. It’s not clear if he’s supposed to be investigating the supernatural in his capacity as an informant, or if he just stumbles onto it, but he seemingly withholds information about the doppel (since Gordon seems genuinely surprised by his existence), but eventually tells the FBI about the doppel at some point before he dies (probably after the Part 8 shootout, perhaps desperately seeking protection when Jeffries doesn’t respond).

I love Albert’s line, “That’s strange even for Cooper.” A lot of times when characters talk about Cooper in TR, Albert doesn’t have much of a reaction, which is a little odd given that they had a pretty good rapport on the original show, although Albert is pretty deadpan/droll. It’s nice to see an acknowledgement of their past here, even in a lovingly wry remark.

I sort of wish we’d gotten a shot of the doppel driving past the “Welcome to Twin Peaks” sign at night as a dark mirror of the Pilot.

The white sycamore at the portal site looks so much like the EotA, it can’t be a coincidence, especially that slow pan up with electric lights flashing on it. Interesting that this seems to be a White Lodge portal, whereas MfAP typically seems like a Black Lodge dweller.

So the doppel is presumably following the coordinates Diane sent him at this point, as part of the plan she remembered in Part 16. I wonder when Cooper roped her into all this. A tape he sent her, again offscreen during Episode 28? Or I suppose he could have even conveyed or implanted the plan during a dream sometime after his disappearance.

Briggs’s presence in the Fireman’s seems to indicate that things are still going according to the original plan at this point, and Cooper also seems to know to go to the sheriff’s station the moment he awakens in Part 16. Assuming that Dale is not speaking hyperbolically in the sheriff’s station later on when he says Briggs was well aware of all of this, did Briggs actually foresee the doppel and all the coordinates shenanigans 25 years earlier? Maybe the Fireman implanted all these memories in him when he was abducted during the original series? How literally did he articulate these events to Coop and Gordon? Gordon seems fairly blindsided by the existence of the doppel at first in TR.

Why do people think the Fireman displays that shot of the Palmer house? Is he hinting at the “real” location of Judy? Or for some reason giving a preview of the final scene. I can’t think of any relationship between the doppel and the Palmer house. And then there’s a shot of window blinds, I think? Presumably at the Palmer house?

I’m also still not quite sure why the doppel WANTS to find Judy, especially since he’s not even sure who Judy is. Who/what does he think he’s looking for, and what does he hope to accomplish when he finds it? It’s left pretty vague—I don’t even recall TFD trying to clear it up much—and at the end of the day, it seems like the doppel and Judy both have the same goal, to meet (in Judy’s case, so she can be with Bob again).

Perhaps Judy’s original hope was for the doppel to just go back in to the Black Lodge at 2:53 like he was supposed to, which would have been the easiest outcome. But failing that, perhaps she preemptively baited him into being obsessed with some vague notion of her (the playing card, etc.) as a backup plan to draw him to her. This makes sense to me (for the moment): he is unwittingly acting out Judy’s plan for him as her puppet the whole time. While the Fireman and Briggs (and surprise hero tulpa Diane) bait him into the honey-trap that leads to his death and Bob’s destruction, countering Judy.

It’s so satisfyingly unsatisfying that we see our Cooper entering the sheriff’s station, but it’s in a rushed moment of desperation where neither character nor viewer can revel in the momentum of the occasion. In a way those two shots of Cooper running in are the embodiment of TP:TR.

Disembodied heads play a real role in this one: the superimposed Cooper, Briggs, the Bob orb, and there’s even a shot during the green glove battle where a giant Freddie head overlaps Freddie, as an echo/preview of the upcoming Cooper sequence.

Cooper says Briggs told him Sheriff Truman would have the room key. Again, when did he tell him this? I’m assuming at some point during their quarter century in the Lodge, not in Episode 28! That is a very specific piece of plot to have predicted 25 years earlier.

There’s a wonderful wide shot of everyone in that eclectic scene right after Cooper says, “I hope I see all of you again. Every one of you.” It’s a poignant line as to many of the characters (particularly the old associates he didn’t get to talk to, like Albert and Hawk). But it’s also kind of funny with the new characters he’s barely met—particularly Tammy, with whom he has zero interaction ever!

Cooper’s lapel pin returns after he’s transported to the Great Northern basement.

The words of that “Fire Walk with Me” poem apply in very literal fashion to what is about to happen. It’s been speculated that Cooper becomes the “magician” here, and I do believe that is at least Frost’s intention, given his conflation of the supernatural and Crowley-type magick in TSHoTP.

It’s tough to know what Mike is playing at in all of this. Hell, it’s tough to even know WHAT Mike is. The guy that we see, played by Al Strobel, was initially the mortal form of Phillip Gerard, who is inhabited by a spirit named Mike who we never see. He also cuts off his arm, which morphs into its own separate Lodge spirit (then becomes a brain-tree, but that’s neither here nor there). Mike even refers to Phillip Gerard’s form as a “vessel” he has remained close to. So is the guy we see in the Red Room Mike having taken on Phillip Gerard’s form permanently? Or a deceased Phillip Gerard inhabited by Mike? Or Phillip Gerard NOT inhabited by Mike, just our beloved shoe salesman having passed over and entered a state of spiritual insight (possibly aided by his earlier entanglements with the spirit world and association with Mike)? The credits consistently call him “Phillip Gerard,” and I suspect the answer might be the second option I posit above (deceased Gerard inhabited by Mike). Is he ever even referred to as Mike (or as anything) in the dialogue of TR?

In any event, on this rewatch, I’ve been toying with the idea that Mike is an agent of Judy and his goal along with the Woodsmen has been to pull the doppel in with Bob inside, so Judy can be with him. I’m having my doubts now though. This mission, if mission it be, seemingly fails, with the wildcard of Freddie solving the Fireman’s Catch-22 decision (to let Bob go to Judy or else let Bob go free) by seeing Bob released from the doppel and then destroyed (at least temporarily, seemingly). So why does Mike/Gerard keep helping Cooper after his apparent mission failure? Maybe this is the human Gerard after all, and he is benevolent (unlike his inhabiting spirit). Or, perhaps he and Jeffries are setting Cooper up for failure? It is strange that Mike (if Mike he be) would be working with Cooper on the same scheme as the Fireman. They’ve always seems to be on opposite sides, and one would think Cooper would be highly suspicious of this. But then again, if Mike/Gerard is setting him up, why would Mike keep his promise and manufacture the new tulpa, a seemingly innocuous act that benefits no one but Janey-E and Sonny Jim?

It’s interesting that Jeffries seems to have become more powerful than Mike/Gerard. He can send people through time, and Gerard seems to observe him almost with awe, again perhaps supporting the notion that this is the mortal Gerard and not the spirit Mike at all.

How do people take the phrase “the unofficial version”? I generally assume it to mean Gordon remembers what “really” happened (i.e., in the intelligence community an agency might cover up what really happened and release a sanitized “official version” for the public). In this sense, Gordon regaining his lost memories of the scene in Part 14 would be him remembering the unofficial (true) version. However, on an intuitive level that I can’t quite articulate, I can also see the opposite interpretation: logically, the truth could be considered official, and a manufactured version would be unofficial (since it didn’t really happen). I lean toward the former interpretation.

I’ve also noted that the scene in question does actually have two released versions (FWWM and TMP), and depending which one you watch, the year of the scene changes! Gordon remembers TMP version in Part 14 (IMO the fake reality, because it contradicts the timeline of the movie), and I noodled with the idea that the doppel remembering the scene taking place in 1989 might have been a tell to Jeffries that this isn’t the real Cooper because he remembers this version. However, this is the same version Gordon remembers in Part 14, which Jeffries says is the “unofficial version”...unless Jeffries means Gordon later comes to remember the FWWM version offscreen sometime after Part 14.

I’m reading way too much into it because that line in Part 15 seemingly canonizing the 1989 date seriously messed with my timeline, and I’m still bitter. :lol:

“This is where you’ll find Judy.” I wonder what Jeffries is referring to here? The date Cooper is traveling to? Or more generally, to the course of events/travels he’s about to embark upon? The full context is: “Say hello to Gordon if you see him. He’ll remember the unofficial version. This is where you’ll find Judy. There may be someone. Did you ask me this?” Then the owl cave symbol floats up.

Just before he sends him in, Jeffries says, “Cooper, remember.” There are a lot of ambiguous references to characters remembering! Does this relate to the Fireman’s, “Remember 430. Richard and Linda”?

Interesting that Lynch begins the FWWM clip one scene BEFORE Cooper flashes in, showing Laura and James riding off from the Palmer house, with Leland covertly watching them. I’ve written here and there over the years about the connections TR draws between Leland and Cooper, both of whom have been inhabited (in some form) by Bob. It’s interesting that Lynch goes out of his way to show Leland spying on the two, just as Cooper is about to do.

It’s fun to think back on James telling Cooper way back in the Pilot about the last night he saw Laura, then we as audience members got to see it in FWWM, and now here’s Cooper actually getting to witness it first-hand. Again, all this time-travel material plays like Cooper taking the role of detective to its most absurdly logical extreme, actually observing the evidence in person, and then preventing the crime from ever happening.

Cooper also serves as a stand-in for Lynch, unable to let go of Laura, constantly circling back and revisiting the events that immediately precede the series proper.

I’ve written a bit on this rewatch about the idea of slightly-different alternate realities briefly intersecting (for instance, Ed seeing the reflection). This is my explanation for why Laura screams in FWWM even though Cooper clearly doesn’t rescue her in that reality/timeline. She catches a brief glimpse of him as the realities move through each other. I do also firmly believe that Cooper doesn’t actually create a stable timeline where Laura disappears instead of turning up as a corpse, but rather creates a repeating record-skip where reality is constantly shifting back and forth between the two possibilities, as Cooper and Laura live out the loop over and over.

I really love the image of Leo, Ronette and Jacques waiting for a Laura who is never to come. It feels weirdly sad, even though it shouldn’t, because that cabin orgy is gross. There’s just a sense of wrongness to things not playing out the way they’re supposed to.

I still find the “young Laura” effects a bit dodgy compared to what other shows like Westworld have done in this area, but Sheryl absolutely kills it. As on her audiobook of TSDoLP, she sounds EXACTLY like her younger self. It’s uncanny.

The use of the “Laura Palmer Theme” over that sequence is so beautifully timed out with the beats of the scene. It hits the crescendo just as Laura says, “I’ve seen you in a dream,” but becomes ominous again as Laura takes Cooper’s hand...then starts getting hopeful again as the “wrapped in plastic” Laura is erased from the shore, and again reaches climax when Cooper says they’re going home. That whole sequence is also such a wonderful marriage of FWWM, TR, and Pilot footage. So many different styles that somehow add up to a beautiful whole, the TP experiment in a nutshell.

...and then suddenly, out of nowhere at all, we are thrust into that SUPREMELY fucked up Sarah scene. And that juxtaposition is TR in a nutshell. That Sarah scene disturbed me much more than I expected it to on this rewatch. To see a mother doing that to her dead daughter’s image...it was almost more horrific than the “neck-biting” scene. It’s sad, it’s chilling, it’s so intensely personal that I feel skeevy watching it.

I’m still on the fence about what Laura’s disappearance means and who is responsible. I get the sense from interviews that Mark’s intention was that Cooper’s “white knight” complex goes too far in trying to change the past, and he single-handedly dooms Laura to the Odessaverse, and whatever happens at the end of Part 18. I really don’t know that this Sarah scene was part of the initial L/F plan. It feels like something added by Lynch during shooting/editing, and it seemingly inserts the idea of Laura as prisoner of Judy, undermining Cooper’s culpability to some extent. The push and pull between Lynch and Frost on the original series is one of the most fascinating behind-the-scenes dynamics in show business history, IMO, and I really hope we get some insight into how TR changed from the original script someday.

I think this is super obvious, but Laura’s scream when she gets taken away is the exact same scream and sound mix from when she gets pulled up from the Red Room in Part 2/18, right down to the same wind sound effect.

The use of “The World Spins” echoes Cooper’s last failure, failing to find the killer in time to prevent Maddie’s death, in Episode 14.

Today’s Dale’s Diet: A Study in Contrasts
— Andy: “Would you like a cup of coffee?” Doppel: “No thanks. I’m alright.”
— Cooper to Frank: “We’re just entering Twin Peaks city limits. Is the coffee on?”
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby mtwentz » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:20 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote: Ray as paid informant is one of those things I’m still trying to wrap my head around. TFD paints it like Jeffries was Ray’s FBI handler, but it doesn’t seem like Jeffries has had contact with Gordon since FWWM (although it’s never exactly clear). It seems much more likely that that fucker Ray was playing all sides. He’s presumably an underworld no-goodnik who gets caught by the FBI on something relatively small-potatoes and flipped. During the course of his underworld dealings, he comes across the doppel, and in turn what he learns working for the doppel brings Ray into contact with Jeffries, who turns Ray into HIS cat’s-paw. It’s not clear if he’s supposed to be investigating the supernatural in his capacity as an informant, or if he just stumbles onto it, but he seemingly withholds information about the doppel (since Gordon seems genuinely surprised by his existence), but eventually tells the FBI about the doppel at some point before he dies (probably after the Part 8 shootout, perhaps desperately seeking protection when Jeffries doesn’t respond).


I wouldn't overthink this one: informants give their handlers what information they deem it in their self interest to give. And yes, there are many notorious cases of informants playing all sides and even committing crimes while being FBI informants. Of all the seeming plotholes in The Return, anything related to Ray being an informant would be the lease of my worries.

I also don't worry too much about Cole not telling Albert about Judy. Obviously, Albert also withheld information from Gordon about Cooper (ep. 4).
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:29 am

The Ray stuff makes sense, I’m more just trying to keep track of it/articulate it for myself. The convoluted/messy nature of much of TR’s plot mechanism is one of the things I love about it. As you said, this is how life works: people do strange things clandestinely for reasons that are known only to them, and we don’t always know why. The labyrinthine plot feels very noirish. It reminds me of that classic story when they were adapting The Big Sleep to film and no one could figure out who murdered a chauffeur character. After hours of going through the book and trying to track the various plotlines and character motivations, they called Raymond Chandler, the writer of the book, who realized he also had no idea!

I just chalk the Gordon/Albert mutual secret-keeping to the elevated nature of the show’s depiction of the FBI, which is very influenced by TV shows and movies Mark and David watched as kids. It doesn’t really make any character sense (well, in Albert’s case it does, because he inadvertently caused a death), but it sort of intuitively fits that spymaster Gordon only parses out information on a VERY need-to-know basis.
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby Saturn's child » Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:13 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:The labyrinthine plot feels very noirish. It reminds me of that classic story when they were adapting The Big Sleep to film and no one could figure out who murdered a chauffeur character. After hours of going through the book and trying to track the various plotlines and character motivations, they called Raymond Chandler, the writer of the book, who realized he also had no idea!


I hadn't head this story, but I feel it's a great parallel to the way Lynch at least seems to work (caring more about the mood generated rather than the logistic whole). It's always the way I've taken -- for instance -- the shadowy figure behind a tree in the original series, when Leo, Bobby, & Mike are sorting out their drug deal. It's never really mattered to me plot-wise who that was, it just works, this elusive figure on the periphery! Well, at least for me. :)
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:53 pm

Saturn's child wrote:
Mr. Reindeer wrote:The labyrinthine plot feels very noirish. It reminds me of that classic story when they were adapting The Big Sleep to film and no one could figure out who murdered a chauffeur character. After hours of going through the book and trying to track the various plotlines and character motivations, they called Raymond Chandler, the writer of the book, who realized he also had no idea!


I hadn't head this story, but I feel it's a great parallel to the way Lynch at least seems to work (caring more about the mood generated rather than the logistic whole). It's always the way I've taken -- for instance -- the shadowy figure behind a tree in the original series, when Leo, Bobby, & Mike are sorting out their drug deal. It's never really mattered to me plot-wise who that was, it just works, this elusive figure on the periphery! Well, at least for me. :)


I agree. It’s fun to think about this stuff after the fact, but while I’m watching it, it’s the mood and tone that draw me in.
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby LateReg » Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:50 pm

Haha, Reindeer, I think a lot of what you're questioning in this epic post regarding when who told who what, when and where is so off the narrative path that it's simply impossible to say! Furthermore, I take it as more of a fun retcon and commentary on last-minute reveals in TV (you put that in my head a long time ago, haha), as well as more meta-activity with Lynch serving as the only one who has the entire script and only knows what's going on in his own head (as you've also pointed out), as well as, narratively speaking, more evidence that time is slipping and multiple realities (or whatever) are taking shape and interfering with the past based on what is happening in the present/future as a result of a changing past...and round and round we go! Honestly, that seems like the simplest explanation to me: over time and throughout Cooper's loops, things subtly changed and new plans were hatched until there's only one "official" version, and that's what Lynch/Gordon is relaying here. I mean, you can make sense of it otherwise of course, and simply say that the original series just didn't allow the viewer any knowledge of Cooper's real plans, and that's cool, too, and fun. But, also for fun, if we treat this series as a perfectly planned entity from the start way back in 1989 and take at face value that the original series never led on, then the retcon/reveal of these longstanding plans seems to insinuate that plans changed in 1989 based on people meddling with time in the 25 year interim. Which also works on the retcon-satire and authorial/meta-levels, of course. That's how it seems to work in Frost's books, anyway: People just seem to remember things like they've always happened a certain way, even if we know they initially didn't.


Mr. Reindeer wrote:The white sycamore at the portal site looks so much like the EotA, it can’t be a coincidence, especially that slow pan up with electric lights flashing on it. Interesting that this seems to be a White Lodge portal, whereas MfAP typically seems like a Black Lodge dweller.


That's very interesting. It's also interesting because the MfAP turned Evolution of the Arm now also has a doppelganger. Though I guess he always did. Were both evil? Does Black Lodge dweller signify evil? You ask about Mike/Gerard...is it possible that, like The Evolution of the Arm, hasn't simply softened in his old age? Grown less nefarious? Plus, isn't there some deleted line about bewaring of a 13th sycamore?


Why do people think the Fireman displays that shot of the Palmer house? Is he hinting at the “real” location of Judy? Or for some reason giving a preview of the final scene. I can’t think of any relationship between the doppel and the Palmer house. And then there’s a shot of window blinds, I think? Presumably at the Palmer house?


Isn't the prevalent theory that The Fireman is looking at what is supposed to happen, showing us where Mr. C intends to go? He then swipes the screen and it turns to where Mr. C is actually sent. So, Mr. C wanted coordinates to Judy, and thus the screen shows us where those coordinates were supposed to be leading. But Diane's coordinates led him to the tree portal, at which point he is then redirected to the Sheriff's Station. I guess that makes sense.

I echo your thoughts on the confusion as to what Mr. C wants with Judy, and vice versa. Do we only know that Judy wants Mr. C because we assume it's her on the phone call in Part 2 stating that she missed him in New York and will be with Bob again?


Disembodied heads play a real role in this one: the superimposed Cooper, Briggs, the Bob orb, and there’s even a shot during the green glove battle where a giant Freddie head overlaps Freddie, as an echo/preview of the upcoming Cooper sequence.


Also, the disembodied Woodsman head in Part 2, floating up in the jail cell. I've been wondering if that is a display of what had happened to Briggs in the scene that Matthew Lillard describes.


Cooper’s lapel pin returns after he’s transported to the Great Northern basement.


Was Part 1's opening Fireman/Cooper sequence actually supposed to be placed there, after the Sheriff's Station, then?


How do people take the phrase “the unofficial version”? I generally assume it to mean Gordon remembers what “really” happened (i.e., in the intelligence community an agency might cover up what really happened and release a sanitized “official version” for the public). In this sense, Gordon regaining his lost memories of the scene in Part 14 would be him remembering the unofficial (true) version. However, on an intuitive level that I can’t quite articulate, I can also see the opposite interpretation: logically, the truth could be considered official, and a manufactured version would be unofficial (since it didn’t really happen). I lean toward the former interpretation.

I’ve also noted that the scene in question does actually have two released versions (FWWM and TMP), and depending which one you watch, the year of the scene changes! Gordon remembers TMP version in Part 14 (IMO the fake reality, because it contradicts the timeline of the movie), and I noodled with the idea that the doppel remembering the scene taking place in 1989 might have been a tell to Jeffries that this isn’t the real Cooper because he remembers this version. However, this is the same version Gordon remembers in Part 14, which Jeffries says is the “unofficial version”...unless Jeffries means Gordon later comes to remember the FWWM version offscreen sometime after Part 14.


That is all very interesting, and lends more fascination with the different takes from FWWM and TMP. I definitely view unofficial version as being the stuff that is now erased from the recorded history of time due to Cooper meddling with time and causing all the stuff we thought we knew, to change.


“This is where you’ll find Judy.” I wonder what Jeffries is referring to here? The date Cooper is traveling to? Or more generally, to the course of events/travels he’s about to embark upon? The full context is: “Say hello to Gordon if you see him. He’ll remember the unofficial version. This is where you’ll find Judy. There may be someone. Did you ask me this?” Then the owl cave symbol floats up.


I apologize if I read this somewhere here, but I recently encountered a theory that Cooper is supposed to go straight to the Palmer household in 1989. Instead, he decides to rescue Laura. If he would have just gone to the house, Sarah would have been home alone and Cooper could have encountered Judy.

Interesting that Lynch begins the FWWM clip one scene BEFORE Cooper flashes in, showing Laura and James riding off from the Palmer house, with Leland covertly watching them. I’ve written here and there over the years about the connections TR draws between Leland and Cooper, both of whom have been inhabited (in some form) by Bob. It’s interesting that Lynch goes out of his way to show Leland spying on the two, just as Cooper is about to do.


This is great!


I’ve written a bit on this rewatch about the idea of slightly-different alternate realities briefly intersecting (for instance, Ed seeing the reflection). This is my explanation for why Laura screams in FWWM even though Cooper clearly doesn’t rescue her in that reality/timeline. She catches a brief glimpse of him as the realities move through each other. I do also firmly believe that Cooper doesn’t actually create a stable timeline where Laura disappears instead of turning up as a corpse, but rather creates a repeating record-skip where reality is constantly shifting back and forth between the two possibilities, as Cooper and Laura live out the loop over and over.


And this checks out, yep.

I still find the “young Laura” effects a bit dodgy compared to what other shows like Westworld have done in this area, but Sheryl absolutely kills it. As on her audiobook of TSDoLP, she sounds EXACTLY like her younger self. It’s uncanny.


We've talked about this. Are we talking from a technical level of absolute realism? Sam Jackson in Captain Marvel and Will Smith in Gemini Man are the best I've seen, and yes, this is dodgy compared to that. Should Laura look exactly like her orb/homecoming photo? That could have been very powerful, Laura stepping out like Rachel in Blade Runner 2049 (another of the top de-aging effects, though one that isn't technically de-aging as far as I've heard). But what are the actual best uses of de-aging? Films about aging, Benjamin Button and The Irishman, without a doubt, even though one was the progenitor and has technically, if barely, been surpassed at this point and the other is obviously dodgy at times, but in a way that always makes you cognizant of the effects of age, which is more interesting to me. Laura in Part 17 at the culmination of a work precisely about the effects of time is something similar to those, in that there's a power in seeing her appear, and in that its imperfection lends power to the illusion, the haziness of the composition of both the physical Sheryl Lee and her wig alongside the deaging and the use of light and shadow, lends to its dreamlike nature and sense of uncertainty of the moment. Now, I'm not saying that it couldn't have also worked that way with a perfect-Rachel-esque recreation, but I think that it works that way as is precisely because of whatever method Lynch used, one which I find to be very honest and wonderfully dreamlike, magical. I also happen to think it looks great in general, if not as great as the technical "marvels" we often discuss. At any rate it definitely fits Lynch's aesthetic to let the seams show a bit, so I think what we'd really have to discuss is whether he should have gone for something different entirely. (The answer's no :D )


The use of “The World Spins” echoes Cooper’s last failure, failing to find the killer in time to prevent Maddie’s death, in Episode 14.


I had also really put this into perspective on my last viewing. It's a really meaningful use of the song in that way, seemingly very specifically. It really hit me.

The most fascinating aspect of this very aggressive whirlwind of an episode that is Part 17 is something I have never seen mentioned. How about that last shot pre-Roadhouse after Laura disappears? The shot of the trees, vague and blurring into one another like a solid yet smeary block of foliage, practically begging you to lean in and look for something there. That is honestly one of the most beguiling, mysterious shots in the entire series, but it's so subtle and so much else happens in this Part alone that it continues to go unremarked upon.
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:36 pm

LateReg wrote:
Mr. Reindeer wrote:The white sycamore at the portal site looks so much like the EotA, it can’t be a coincidence, especially that slow pan up with electric lights flashing on it. Interesting that this seems to be a White Lodge portal, whereas MfAP typically seems like a Black Lodge dweller.


That's very interesting. It's also interesting because the MfAP turned Evolution of the Arm now also has a doppelganger. Though I guess he always did. Were both evil? Does Black Lodge dweller signify evil? You ask about Mike/Gerard...is it possible that, like The Evolution of the Arm, hasn't simply softened in his old age? Grown less nefarious? Plus, isn't there some deleted line about bewaring of a 13th sycamore?


As far as the MfAP doppel, my pre-TR interpretation was that both are evil, but the doppel just seems absolutely insane! Note that Bob, who is undeniably malevolent, also has an insane doppel in the briefly-seen deleted footage on the Entire Mystery menu. I think post-TR I feel mostly the same way, but it’s difficult to say with certainty. Sure, it does seem MfAP/EotA has mellowed with age as you say. But both MfAP and Gerard/Mike seemed relatively benign on the original series, only to subvert that in FWWM. I think they just obscure their true natures a lot of the time to achieve their goals.

I have really fallen in love with the idea that the guy we see in TR is the human shoe salesman Gerard, and we never actually see “Mike” in the “flesh” throughout the entire series.

Just for the hell of it, here are all the ways Al Strobel has been credited:
One-Armed Man (Pilot, E1, E2, E4)
Phillip Michael Gerard (E8, E10, E15)
No character name listed (promoted to Guest Star: E13, E14, E16)
Philip Gerard (The One Armed Man) (FWWM)
Phillip Gerard (P2, P3, P4, P6, P11, P16, P17, P18)


Why do people think the Fireman displays that shot of the Palmer house? Is he hinting at the “real” location of Judy? Or for some reason giving a preview of the final scene. I can’t think of any relationship between the doppel and the Palmer house. And then there’s a shot of window blinds, I think? Presumably at the Palmer house?


Isn't the prevalent theory that The Fireman is looking at what is supposed to happen, showing us where Mr. C intends to go? He then swipes the screen and it turns to where Mr. C is actually sent. So, Mr. C wanted coordinates to Judy, and thus the screen shows us where those coordinates were supposed to be leading. But Diane's coordinates led him to the tree portal, at which point he is then redirected to the Sheriff's Station. I guess that makes sense.


Yeah, I buy that. That’s basically what I was thinking.

I echo your thoughts on the confusion as to what Mr. C wants with Judy, and vice versa. Do we only know that Judy wants Mr. C because we assume it's her on the phone call in Part 2 stating that she missed him in New York and will be with Bob again?


I’m mostly going off that phone call, but there’s also a passage in TFD about the Judy and Bob entities mating and destroying the world. I think that’s pretty probative as to what Frost was getting at in the series, at least, and seems to connect directly to that call.


Cooper’s lapel pin returns after he’s transported to the Great Northern basement.


Was Part 1's opening Fireman/Cooper sequence actually supposed to be placed there, after the Sheriff's Station, then?


It’s tough to tell where that scene was originally intended to be, but the period where the pin is missing goes from him being sucked into the socket in Part 3, through him emerging in the Great Northern basement here. So we can pretty safely say it was meant to be sometimes in between those two moments. Other than that, anything is fair game.


I still find the “young Laura” effects a bit dodgy compared to what other shows like Westworld have done in this area, but Sheryl absolutely kills it. As on her audiobook of TSDoLP, she sounds EXACTLY like her younger self. It’s uncanny.


We've talked about this. Are we talking from a technical level of absolute realism? Sam Jackson in Captain Marvel and Will Smith in Gemini Man are the best I've seen, and yes, this is dodgy compared to that. Should Laura look exactly like her orb/homecoming photo? That could have been very powerful, Laura stepping out like Rachel in Blade Runner 2049 (another of the top de-aging effects, though one that isn't technically de-aging as far as I've heard). But what are the actual best uses of de-aging? Films about aging, Benjamin Button and The Irishman, without a doubt, even though one was the progenitor and has technically, if barely, been surpassed at this point and the other is obviously dodgy at times, but in a way that always makes you cognizant of the effects of age, which is more interesting to me. Laura in Part 17 at the culmination of a work precisely about the effects of time is something similar to those, in that there's a power in seeing her appear, and in that its imperfection lends power to the illusion, the haziness of the composition of both the physical Sheryl Lee and her wig alongside the deaging and the use of light and shadow, lends to its dreamlike nature and sense of uncertainty of the moment. Now, I'm not saying that it couldn't have also worked that way with a perfect-Rachel-esque recreation, but I think that it works that way as is precisely because of whatever method Lynch used, one which I find to be very honest and wonderfully dreamlike, magical. I also happen to think it looks great in general, if not as great as the technical "marvels" we often discuss. At any rate it definitely fits Lynch's aesthetic to let the seams show a bit, so I think what we'd really have to discuss is whether he should have gone for something different entirely. (The answer's no :D )


I don’t hate it, I just find the imperfection slightly distracting given how much else is going on in the scene. It feels like Lynch wants the new footage to be a seamless direct continuation from the FWWM footage we’ve just been shown, and the show doesn’t quite sell that effect. But, again, Sheryl is the greatest tool and it works 95% for me just because of how well she channels her past self.

And let the record be clear, I am by no means faulting the wig, because the awful wig is already an indelible part of the FWWM legacy. That feels totally of a piece with the old footage. ;)



The most fascinating aspect of this very aggressive whirlwind of an episode that is Part 17 is something I have never seen mentioned. How about that last shot pre-Roadhouse after Laura disappears? The shot of the trees, vague and blurring into one another like a solid yet smeary block of foliage, practically begging you to lean in and look for something there. That is honestly one of the most beguiling, mysterious shots in the entire series, but it's so subtle and so much else happens in this Part alone that it continues to go unremarked upon.


Oh, yeah, I’m with you. It’s one of Lynch’s most beautiful uses of the woods. The use of color in that whole scene once it fades in from B&W is sort of surreal and pumped-up, in a very subtle way. The greens and the flesh tones are a little bit elevated in a dreamy way, as you note.
Last edited by Mr. Reindeer on Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Part 17 - The past dictates the future (SPOILERS)

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:26 am

Another thing I just thought of: Why does Mr. C even think the real Briggs/Ruth coordinates lead to Judy? Per Hastings, Garland wanted these coordinates to get to a safe place to hide, presumably FROM Judy! It seems like that would be the last place to find her.

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