Mr. Reindeer wrote:I can’t imagine that they never meant to reveal the killer. I think the killer reveal led to some of the richest material in the franchise (Episode 14, FWWM), and gave much more depth to the series. Laura’s death went from being a MacGuffin in a Hardy Boys story to a genuine real tragedy. Even today, I think the incest reveal is genuinely shocking to first time viewers, and provided an opportunity for Lynch to really explore a horrifying real world phenomenon in a meaningful way in FWWM. I think the real narrative failing is not that the reveal happened when it did, but that the show moved on so quickly to frivolous bullshit after the fact, which Lynch thankfully corrected in FWWM. I get Lynch’s desire to let the “golden goose” keep laying eggs, but I’m not really sure how much more they could have drawn that one out.
FWIW, what I’ve read happened is that Frost sided with the network over Lynch and decided the reveal should happen. I’m not sure the network could have forced their hand if not for Mark agreeing. He has since said he regrets his decision and that Lynch was right. Again, it’s impossible to know what could/would have been, but in this instance, I’m not so sure Mark/ABC were wrong. The show might well have similarly declined if they stretched that mystery out (the cracks were already beginning to show by Episode 11 or so), and the reveal led to some of the most compelling stuff in the TP world.
Come to think of it, has Lynch gone on record saying it was flat out never supposed to be revealed? I feel as if it might be hyperbole on his part, or shaky memory on my part. I feel every time I've seen Frost discuss it, he treats it more as a general 'mystery was meant to be retained' kind of thing, not that answers would never ever be given.
I agree, it's a blessing in disguise, and the material is stellar. Then again, I have no idea what a TP without a reveal would have looked like, so who knows?
The bigger problem was the diminishing involvement of Lynch and Frost, not necesarilly that the reveal happened or not. And in a sense, the fact that they integrated the reveal into the broader canvas in a meaningful sense, points to the enduring vision of the series as something constantly evolving and responding to itself, which is how I saw Frost recently describe it in a Blue Rose mag interview.
As for if the reveal would have happened on its own before S2 was up, I do feel it'd be likely. What else do you end a season with? I wonder if the significance of the reveal would have been heightened had it been an actual season climax? I've often seen it said that Ep14 would work as a season ending, or even a series ending.
But I don't want to discount that it would have been possible to tease it out indefinitely, at least in theory. Something about mystery bleeding out of mystery is appealing, and it doesn't foreclose that answers are given along the way. I mean, even Leland's reveal still posits the question of what BOB is.
I recall Frost saying that, in retrospect, what he would have done to strengthen S2 would be to introduce the Windom plot way earlier, because there was a vacuum of plot momentum once Leland was resolved. And I agree, of all the things that were wrong about the reveal, because its execution was so good, the real pratfalls were what happened in its immediate aftermath.
Recipe not my own. In a coffee cup. 3 TBS flour, 2 TBS sugar, 1.5 TBS cocoa powder, .25 TSP baking powder, pinch of salt. 3 TBS milk, 1.5 TBS vegetable oil, 1 TBS peanut butter. Add and mix each set. Microwave 1 minute 10 seconds. The cup will be hot.