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Twin Peaks Rewatch 42: The Return, Part 8

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2 hours ago, dartmonkey said:

I agree that what they're doing is very interesting, but I don't see how restoring Cooper 'ends' the story - certainly not in the way Leland's reveal stymied the initial run. The Return is delivering the surreal in spades and we've been savouring every little familiar character moment we're served (mainly through Gordon and Albert), but Cooper's zeal and optimism were a big part of Twin Peaks and we've had almost none of that.

 

And Cooper's 'return' needn't be reduced to him throwing his thumbs up while furiously downing coffee and doughnuts either. There's plenty of material (some we've perhaps already glimpsed) to help that character evolve - dealing with the loss of 25 years, the guilt of his bad self wreaking havoc with his friends and family, returning to the real world, processing his experiences in the Lodge. The investigation would continue - Gordon's down with the doppelgangers - just with his presence. I've really enjoyed the series so far, and for the second half I'd like just a little more Twin Peaks in my Twin Peaks. I miss his dialogue and his interactions with Harry and other residents. He was a fine audience surrogate and I'd like to see the show through his eyes again. I don't see how anything we've seen thus far needs to be sacrificed for that.

 

I appreciate the response, as I really do seem to feel differently so it's good for me to get inside that concept that way. It's just hard for me to see how Cooper, back in his body and with all his senses in the real world, doesn't feel like a resolution of the story's central crisis. Yes, the doppelganger could still be out and about and Coop would have to stop him but the most anxiety-inducing portion of the narrative would be finished. We could all breathe a sigh of relief and settle in and sit back as our hero solved the mystery that mattered less than his own return. And I can't help but feel that's the last thing Lynch wants, probably rightly so.

 

I think the bittersweet missing of good old Cooper, forcing us to scrape for what we can from what we see, is as much part of the flavor of The Return as the sadness and intense curiosity surrounding Laura's secrets were a part of the flavor of the original Twin Peaks. That's how they seem similar to me, or at least one way they do.

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4 minutes ago, LostInTheMovies said:

 

The diary also essentially says that Laura raped Harold, which I think is a step too far for the character, honestly -- in every other situation she may behave badly or take advantage of people but she doesn't quite go as far as BOB would want. I suspect that the incident is more the result of different mores/perceptions in 1990 (in terms of female-on-male assault or a psychological condition trapping one in a situation to which they don't actively consent) and wonder if Jennifer Lynch would prefer to write it differently today if she had the chance.

 

I'm not that far in the diary yet, about halfway through it.

 

I have a lot of thoughts about the diary and its exploration of shame, abuse, rebellion, fear and how those guide and shape people.  But they aren't things I'm particularly interested in getting into in a public forum.  From what I've read so far, I think Jennifer captured some themes and experiences that I've never seen tackled in quite this way (which may be more a reflection of my general reading choices than anything).  The venn diagram of natural teen sexuality and rebellion and then behavior influenced by trauma/abuse is something that is very messy and personal, but rarely explored in a believable way for as common as it is in our society.

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4 minutes ago, Bjorn said:

 

I'm not that far in the diary yet, about halfway through it.

 

I have a lot of thoughts about the diary and its exploration of shame, abuse, rebellion, fear and how those guide and shape people.  But they aren't things I'm particularly interested in getting into in a public forum.  From what I've read so far, I think Jennifer captured some themes and experiences that I've never seen tackled in quite this way (which may be more a reflection of my general reading choices than anything).  The venn diagram of natural teen sexuality and rebellion and then behavior influenced by trauma/abuse is something that is very messy and personal, but rarely explored in a believable way for as common as it is in our society.

 

The book is incredible, all the more so for being a spin-off of a hit TV show. There can't be anything else like it, I'd imagine.

 

For anyone who hasn't read it in a while and is thinking of re-visiting with the new series (or perhaps is just reading it for the first time, though I think the written form suits it quite well), I'd recommend checking out the recent Audible release in which Sheryl Lee narrates the audiobook. It's a daunting task for a near-50-year-old woman to portray a character who ages from 12 to 17 (and seemingly much more of a span than that, given her experiences) but so far from what I've heard she pulls it off with poignant sensitivity and warmth...almost with a sense that Laura is looking back from beyond the grave, with great wisdom, and re-visiting/re-experiencing her youth. I listened to a bit of it before The Return and am planning to pick it up again whenever the character returns to the series in earnest (right now it feels such a world apart from what we're seeing).

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Bjorn said:

 

 

I went back and rewatched the scene from FWWM.  It is quite believable that Laura could see the beer being drugged, the angle is right.

 

The Bobby stuff just isn't that cut and dried to me, it's very messy and both of them are using one another.  Bobby was already partying with Leo and involved in drugs to some degree before Laura.  He introduces Laura to Leo and that whole crowd (Secret Diary). He gives her cocaine for the first time (Secret Diary).  He was already multiple steps down that path, and there's not a lot of evidence he would have deviated from it with or without Laura.  Laura is manipulating him at times, sure.  But he's also feeding her drugs and manipulating her that way and getting things he wants.  Laura is a teenager who *thinks* she's a master manipulator, it's part of the internal framework she's built to view herself.  But that doesn't make the framework true to the outside world.  She's wrong.  She's a teenager.  Overestimating their ability is what they do. 

 

I'm not arguing that Laura's an angel, but I do think people want to offload other people's sins and bad actions onto her in ways that aren't particularly fair to the character. 

Yeah, agreed that people definitely try to offload too much onto Laura herself and demonize her. I haven't read the Secret Diary (have downloaded the audiobook, will get to it when I am done Secret History) so I didn't know about that elaboration on their background. Within just the show-canon though that moment with Jacoby felt really honest and like Bobby was accessing real pain.

 

Is there any consensus as to what degree of canonicity the things in the series/fwwm/secret diary/secret history have when they contradict eachother? The most glaring (recently) has got to be the M.T. Wentz potential retcon in Secret History...

 

Edit: fwiw I have theories about the Secret History contradictions but I am not sure this thread is the place for them.

Edited by Arianna

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18 minutes ago, Arianna said:

Yeah, agreed that people definitely try to offload too much onto Laura herself and demonize her. I haven't read the Secret Diary (have downloaded the audiobook, will get to it when I am done Secret History) so I didn't know about that elaboration on their background. Within just the show-canon though that moment with Jacoby felt really honest and like Bobby was accessing real pain.

 

Is there any consensus as to what degree of canonicity the things in the series/fwwm/secret diary/secret history have when they contradict eachother? The most glaring (recently) has got to be the M.T. Wentz potential retcon in Secret History...

 

I think part of the beauty of Twin Peaks is the very humanity of the characters that allows for them to be contradictory and truthful and self-deceiving in very honestly presented ways.  Bobby can totally believe and feel pain that he feels manipulated into selling drugs because of Laura.  But the truth of his emotion doesn't mean that this isn't where he would have ended up anyways, or that his actions aren't also still self serving and he's offloading responsibility for his own decisions and actions onto his girlfriend.  Or that Laura could feel manipulated into having developed a drug habit because of her boyfriend introducing her to them, even while she's also responsible for her own decisions.  Humans are contradictory messes when it comes to contemplating the roles and responsibilities of their own actions and others in regards to their lives.

 

But Laura is a character, because of her own fear and self-loathing, who tends to assign herself responsibility for things around her (even to blaming herself for her own abuse, something common with abuse victims) while other characters, in a very human way, try to offload the responsibility their actions.  Which might also be some fans want to do the same. 

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6 hours ago, Bjorn said:

 

I think part of the beauty of Twin Peaks is the very humanity of the characters that allows for them to be contradictory and truthful and self-deceiving in very honestly presented ways.  Bobby can totally believe and feel pain that he feels manipulated into selling drugs because of Laura.  But the truth of his emotion doesn't mean that this isn't where he would have ended up anyways, or that his actions aren't also still self serving and he's offloading responsibility for his own decisions and actions onto his girlfriend.  Or that Laura could feel manipulated into having developed a drug habit because of her boyfriend introducing her to them, even while she's also responsible for her own decisions.  Humans are contradictory messes when it comes to contemplating the roles and responsibilities of their own actions and others in regards to their lives.

 

But Laura is a character, because of her own fear and self-loathing, who tends to assign herself responsibility for things around her (even to blaming herself for her own abuse, something common with abuse victims) while other characters, in a very human way, try to offload the responsibility their actions.  Which might also be some fans want to do the same. 

It seems weird that you seem to believe Laura is almost blameless, and Bobby and others are "off loading."  I don't see what in the text backs that up.  I can not a remember any time on the show where anyone had anything bad to say about Laura.  They all loved her and wanted to help her.  Donna has one moment of resentment, but I can't remember any other character that blamed their problems on her.  I don't see why we can't take Bobby at his word when it is obviously a moment of catharsis, we have moments with his dad where he reveals (and Briggs believes) he is a sensitive and loving person, and in the current day he is a police officer who breaks down at the sight of Laura's picture.  He was never my favorite character I find it strange I am defending him.  

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3 hours ago, Digger said:

It seems weird that you seem to believe Laura is almost blameless, and Bobby and others are "off loading."  I don't see what in the text backs that up.  I can not a remember any time on the show where anyone had anything bad to say about Laura.  They all loved her and wanted to help her.  Donna has one moment of resentment, but I can't remember any other character that blamed their problems on her.  I don't see why we can't take Bobby at his word when it is obviously a moment of catharsis, we have moments with his dad where he reveals (and Briggs believes) he is a sensitive and loving person, and in the current day he is a police officer who breaks down at the sight of Laura's picture.  He was never my favorite character I find it strange I am defending him.  

 

I think you misread (or I didn't write clearly enough) part of what I intended.

 

Quote

But Laura is a character, because of her own fear and self-loathing, who tends to assign herself responsibility for things around her (even to blaming herself for her own abuse, something common with abuse victims) while other characters, in a very human way, try to offload the responsibility their actions. 

 

This wasn't intended to say that a whole bunch of characters blame Laura for their own failings/inequities/etc.  It was that many other characters do try to blame others for things that are their own responsibility.  Much of the soap opera elements of the show involve people in relationships where various amounts of blame and responsibility are being shifted around.  This is a very common human thing to do, to very minor to very major ways.  It's also a very common component to abusive relationships, of which Twin Peaks has a few.  I was pointing out the dichotomy between the bulk of characters who try to blame others for their problems, and Laura who tends to blame herself. 

 

And I do think that there is an element of the fandom that wants to paint her in a worse light than I see her.  I've never described her as blameless.  I do think that she's someone who has suffered the worst trauma of any other character in the show.  That doesn't leave her blameless, but it gives me a lot more empathy for her than for Bobby or many of the other characters.  Her desire for escape from her vulnerability puts her in a position of people using that desire to get what they want out of her.  In her own narrative, in her own head, she's in control.  She's deciding to do the things that she does.  Child abuse victims often desire a sense of control more than anything else.  For some, that need for control can go as extreme as them casting themselves as the seducer of their adult rapist.  Because the narrative that they caused their own abuse is easier to handle than to say that something was done to them and they couldn't stop it.  Imaginary power is better than real helplessness. 

 

To me, that's groundwork to understand the way I see how some fans react to her.  Because what I see out of fans is the Lolita tendency to want to assign a level of agency to a child that is exculpatory to the adults around that child.  You see this shit over and over and over in rape cases where a 12, or 13, or 14 year old is said to have seduced a 40 year old.  Laura is, at the most, 11 when BOB starts visiting her (I think the diary starts on her 12th bday).  She's 13 when she tries pot and is making out naked with 20-somethings.  She's 15 when she gets introduced to cocaine and the local sex work scene.  Bobby is an age peer, and it's understandable that he's also in over his head.  But when Laura is otherwise beginning to move in a world of criminals, drug dealers and pimps, she's still very much a child in desperate search of control and escape.  She's perfectly primed for predators like Leo, the Renaults and the Hornes to take advantage of her.  I think the adults are far more culpable for their ill deeds than someone like Laura is. 

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I've finally caught up after watching all of Twin Peaks from S1E1 to now over a few weeks. Adjusting to a weekly schedule is gonna be tough! 

 

Just to speculate on the speculation for a moment, I didn't necessarily read the golden orb scene as Laura Palmer being bestowed onto the world. I saw it more as the orb being a symbol of protection, and the woman chose Laura as its destination. Perhaps this is a manifestation of the angel we see in FWWM? 

 

Either way, I am loving the ride so far. The podcast is amazing too! 

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6 hours ago, Captain Fram said:

Just to speculate on the speculation for a moment, I didn't necessarily read the golden orb scene as Laura Palmer being bestowed onto the world. I saw it more as the orb being a symbol of protection, and the woman chose Laura as its destination. Perhaps this is a manifestation of the angel we see in FWWM? 

The thing that bothers me the most is that they used her prom photo in that orb. That feels so much out of place to me.

But then again, maybe the person who took the photo was also a supernatural being who jumped into the future to get a proper profile pic for the orb.

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21 minutes ago, Marius said:

The thing that bothers me the most is that they used her prom photo in that orb. That feels so much out of place to me.

But then again, maybe the person who took the photo was also a supernatural being who jumped into the future to get a proper profile pic for the orb.

That's more of a iconography kind of thing. The orb wasn't literally an image of her face (just as the Black Lodge probably isn't ACTUALLY a lounge room with red curtains), it was her essence. For the audience to understand, it's the perfect image to represent Laura. Same with BOB's orb. It's more a matter of conveying things in a cinematic way than a literal interpretation of events. The orbs are their essence, and the only way for the audience to understand what is going on is to see their faces.

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Yeah, there's only one shot where we see Laura Palmer's face on the golden orb, and in my estimation it's simply there for the audience to understand that the orb is somehow her, her essence or connected to her in whatever way.

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Found this interesting passage in Secret History that comes from Jacoby's book, The Eye of God, describing what he saw when he took ayahuasca

 

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As soon as I got to the part about the violet light and sphere, it reminded me of this episode. 

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Good find! The detail that the other figures were all afraid of the Giant is interesting; I don't think we have ever seen him explicitly interact with The Arm or Mike or anyone else.

 

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9 minutes ago, WickedCestus said:

Good find! The detail that the other figures were all afraid of the Giant is interesting; I don't think we have ever seen him explicitly interact with The Arm or Mike or anyone else.

 

The Giant and the arm were both there in The Lodge when Coop first arrives. The Giant gives coop coffee and then sits next to the Arm and they both say hallelujah to each other. 

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On 5/26/2015 at 7:52 AM, mikemariano said:

I just found this 1992 alt.tv.twin-peaks recap of an advance Minneapolis screening of Fire Walk With Me.  It was a 3:40 cut with Robert Engels doing a Q&A afterwards.

 

Engels also talked about a planned sequel movie to Fire Walk With Me!

 

It's crazy to think about a Cooper-less sequel to Twin Peaks that would just be following David Bowie around.

 

Just re-read my post from the Fire Walk With Me thread, in which Robert Engels said a post-series Twin Peaks movie would need to include at least "one of the four people who knew what was going on," which included Cooper, Windom Earle, Major Briggs, and another character the audience member didn't remember, plus a wish to use Phillip Jeffries again.

 

Except for Windom Earle, all of these characters have (sort of) shown up again in Twin Peaks: The Return.

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And with this episode, my favorite tee shirt became my favorite Twin Peaks tee shirt ...

20170708_113422.jpg

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Catching up again. Thoughts before reading/listening to comments:

  • Opening sequence with badcoop was 10/10, one of the best parts of the season so far. Why are all the tar hobos rubbing his blood on his face? Based on the sound, I wonder if BOB has now moved into Ray's body (Later, this is probably not the case)
  • Nine Inch Nails. Is it the same music that was playing during Ep1 when Badcoop was driving? I remember thinking that sounded a bit NIN-like. It's interesting that this isn't at the end of an episode. Maybe it was going to be before they expanded the run of the season. Badcoop going full Undertaker wake-up was nice - that could have probably been a menacing ending shot, in the style of s01e01
  • Nuke scene onwards - some proper Lynch shit. Like 25 minutes of continuous madness. Reminds me of the void Cooper got sucked into by the arm's doppelganger. Then we come to a gas station/convenience store with the door flopping aorund. Is this where Mike and Bob used to be? And the same white smoke from when Cooper "died".
  • It now makes sense why the episode didnt end with the music scene. The gold ball flies towards us. Is this is also supposed to be in 1945, and somehow implying that BOB's origins are related to nuclear weapons testing?
  • Suddenly - the ocean from the purple room, and what looks like another part/time of the purple room itself. Maybe in the past?
  • The giant is back! No idea what to make of his bit, but I loved it. He's watching the video we just saw, and levitates when he sees Bob, then creates a sparkle cloud birthing the Laura Palmer Orb and sending it back to USA?
  • Now 1956 New Mexico. Teens are here again, with coins. Could they be adults from the original series? The age would line up.
  • Tar hobo slendermans his way to Earth, and wants a light. Young teens kiss. Tar hobo still wants a light, and messes with reality when he gets near people. Some kind of involuntary, surreal fear response.
  • The receptionist burst apart much in the same style as how the black monster was animated in ep 1/2. Surely tar hobo is related to that black monster somehow.
  • "This is the water and this is the well. Drink full and ascend. The horse is the white of the eyes and dark within."
    • I couldn't stop feeling this is parallel to the "Fire walk with me" monologue from the original series. It's just got such a similar tone.
  • I guess "Woodsman" is now the official name for the tar hobo. There's something dark in those woods.
  • Overall really enjoyed this episode. As crazy as it is, it could probably almost stand on its own as a tone piece.

 

Thoughts after processing mentally for a few days (I havent watched any further episodes yet)

  • I'm a bit nervous about this. I really, really hope that Laura Palmer doesn't become some literal cosmic force of good. The whole initial setting of TP with its teenagers and small town worked because it was a believable story that became more and more complex as it went on. Having the Giant involved with this is fine, having the introduction of a new "big bad" is fine, but please don't elevate Laura too much.
  • I don't mind a bit of lore-dumping in my Twin Peaks, but it needs to stay involved with the main story. So far the electric noises and the Woodsmen are the only link this stuff has to the main story. At the least, I want this to have a payoff like the Red Room in s1-2 did.

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Just watched the episode, and I also want to jot down a thought.

  • I want to watch this again on Blu Ray, because the visual noise of the bomb sequence interacted very poorly with the low bitrate stream that Fios on-demand stuff uses. It looked like an FMV game from the dawn of the CD-ROM era.

That's it, really.

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On 28/06/2017 at 2:56 PM, LillyBaeum said:

Also, they have determined that in Twin Peaks canon, based on the part of the history book listed below, 6 logmen died in a fire and 2 more died from complications.

6 Logmen were dancing around/excising Coop.

 

61iInV5.jpg

 

 

I really want to draw a bit more attention to this. The fact that there is a proper (plausible) connection that links these guys to the town of Twin Peaks deep in the lore satisfies me. I haven't watched past Ep8 yet, but I'm hoping these connections are surfaced in the show.

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