Jake

Twin Peaks Rewatch 45: The Return, Part 10

165 posts in this topic

Re: "context" for the brutal Richard scene,

 

I don't think Jake and Chris were saying that they lacked context to understand the character motivations or narrative significance or anything like that. It sounded like they were talking about the ugly psychological impact of such a raw, assaultive portrayal. It's enough to make an audience member question the artist, as in "why am I being asked to endure this?" If it feels excessive in the moment, we can only look to the future, some additional context provided by later events. This is the nature of watching a work of art over time, which is inherent to film but even more of a factor when spread out over so many weeks like this.

 

Tell me if I misunderstood, but I think that was the idea.

 

Personally I was okay with the scene… It was very uncomfortable and sad but I didn't feel shocked out of appreciating the film, or anything… I think it's just highly personal how one reacts to that kind of thing.

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To speculate wildly off the deep end for a moment, what if there are more doppelgangers and/or possessed people running around than we think? Maybe Diane, after her bad encounter with BadCoop, tried to figure out what happened in Twin Peaks and got herself wrapped up in the lodge, and now the Diane we see is actually her doppelganger. She's certainly convincing in the prison scene, but at least some of the lodge spirits (Bob, particularly) are stunningly good actors. But in that case I'd expect real Diane to be in the lodge, and we've never seen her there, although I assume Cooper didn't necessarily see everybody or everything in there.

 

Or, maybe fake-Jeffries is real-Jeffries's doppelganger and/or is tricking Diane. That does seem to match up better with the text's formatting being different on her phone and BadCoop's, and I think real-Jeffries could plausibly be in the lodge. 

 

What about the white lodge? Are there maybe good, white lodge doppelgangers as well as the bad 'shadow self' black lodge ones? Maybe that's what Laura is? The way she showed up in front of Cole reminds me of how Bob used to show up. And it sort of works with her being dead but not. The black lodge doppelgangers seem more physical than that, but it could be different for the white lodge.

 

/nonsense

 

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11 minutes ago, Existing user? said:

Re: "context" for the brutal Richard scene,

 

I don't think Jake and Chris were saying that they lacked context to understand the character motivations or narrative significance or anything like that. It sounded like they were talking about the ugly psychological impact of such a raw, assaultive portrayal. It's enough to make an audience member question the artist, as in "why am I being asked to endure this?" If it feels excessive in the moment, we can only look to the future, some additional context provided by later events. This is the nature of watching a work of art over time, which is inherent to film but even more of a factor when spread out over so many weeks like this.

 

Tell me if I misunderstood, but I think that was the idea.

 

Personally I was okay with the scene… It was very uncomfortable and sad but I didn't feel shocked out of appreciating the film, or anything… I think it's just highly personal how one reacts to that kind of thing.

 

Yes this! I understand and appreciate the Richard Horne scene in and of itself - it's a fantastic piece of cinema for all the reasons everyone here has said, and the motivations of the characters and the story it told within the scene is easy to follow as has also been said - but as to why this scene, this character, this plot thread is there to begin with, it's impossible to definitively know right now because of how the show is structured and because we haven't reached the end of the story.

 

I understand the impulse to say "I don't care, it's so great that the big picture doesn't matter," or to chastise me and my attitude for not having enough faith that the complete picture of this "18 hour movie" will have a home for this scene, but I can't push these questions aside. That feels very similar to "just switch off your brain and enjoy it." A great scene is a great scene, but ultimately its success in isolation will be judged against what it's doing inside the show as a whole. 

 

To ignore "why am I watching this" is to ignore the big picture of what's unfolding. I understand that the way this particular story was constructed, it unfolds in a way that makes the purpose and context of most things unknowable until way down the line. I don't think that is BAD (duh) but it is undeniably unique, and I think it's completely worth recording my thought process and my reactions in real time as I experience them, even if they are critical or unclear in the moment.

 

This week this thread has been really bad about jumping down people's throats because they had a reaction to Twin Peaks that's different from the one you had. It's a bad look! You can't revel in how different and daring the show is on one hand, and then blast someone because you think their interpretation or experience is somehow wrong!

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For me, a good example of a perplexing/challenging scene being "justified" by a later scene actually occurred within this episode.

 

Candie's undignified remorse for swatting her boss was weird and uncomfortable and seemed random. On its own, it just felt like "look at this dumb blonde in her pink dress being a dingbat." Mean-spirited and also kinda pointless.

 

But this got complicated by her later scene when she was passively defiant, ignoring her bosses and then carrying out their orders in the most patience-testing way. This did not read to me as just another example of Candie being "dumb" in a cliche sense. Instead it felt like she was getting back at them – retracting her apologies? – under the guise of airheadedness, maybe.

 

It was still weird and unexplained! But there was some new interesting friction between those two modes: airhead-subservient and airhead-like-a-fox-defiant. The way each mode is cartoonishly overplayed or heightened further provokes comparison. There is some uncanny reversal going on…

 

It also reminds me a lot of Hastings. In his early appearances he seems super guilty, gets vein-bulgingly mad at his wife, and is obviously lying to the cops. Then some episodes later, with no intervening developments, he reappears in a completely different mode: broken, divulging everything, pathetically lamenting his lost love and the tropical vacation he'll never have.

 

There's something up with these jarring reversals, deliberately without logical, comforting transitions to ease us from one point to the next. Just overclocked in one direction, then another.

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Was Candie explaining "Mr Jackpots" to Anthony? The way she was gesturing towards different parts of the room almost made it look like she was pointing out the various slot machines he won at.

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2 hours ago, Jake said:

To ignore "why am I watching this" is to ignore the big picture of what's unfolding.

 

I haven't listened to the episode or read much of the thread yet but it seems like this question can be approached from a place of puzzled curiosity or a place of "this is dicey for now unless there's a payoff later," (or both). I'm sure I'm being reductive with the latter statement. I just think the former mode lends itself to rhizomatic thinking which can lead to deep interpretive connections and revelations. But I guess one can be overly forgiving operating within that. Of course social criticism is valuable as well, and if the scene makes people uncomfortable in an excessive way that they find detrimental to the art, that experience should for sure be noted.

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I was surprised that Chris and Jake, and others here, interpreted the Candie on camera scene completely differently to me. If you look at the casino employee and the insurance guy while she's talking, they appear (I think) as baffled as the brothers watching via camera. Then when the brothers ask Insurance Guy what she'd said, he shrugs and says "ask her." I didn't see that as the response of someone who'd just been given vital information, and I believed her explanation to the brothers. She totally could have been talking about the weather.

 

To me this was David Lynch reveling in a person's absurd and awkward behaviour during what should be a tense situation - see also old man shuffling slowly while Cooper lay shot. I would not be surprised if it never comes up again.

 

Later, when the brothers are talking about having to kill Dougie, I got the impression that while they are criminals they might not have had to kill many people before. Belushi is getting drunk, and the other guy is staring ahead seething over the supposed betrayal. I saw them as psyching themselves up to give the order. When they mangled the 'fool us' quote, to me that was them clumsily coming to the decision together, reassuring themselves they were doing the right thing according to their twisted morality.

 

Regardless of the interpretation, both scenes were amazing. I never expected a couple of Casino scenes to give me as much joy as these did this episode.

 

 

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I had initially thought Candie may have been describing what Mr Jackpots did the day he was in the casino, which the other guy may have seen as baffling or nonsensical. The scene didn't play out that way, but the way she was gesturing around at stuff looked like she was telling a specific story to me, not something general and nonsensical. 

 

4 minutes ago, Paul Smith said:

Regardless of the interpretation, both scenes were amazing. I never expected a couple of Casino scenes to give me as much joy as these did this episode.

 

Agreed! Related: Jim Belushi is doing great work in this show.

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Whatever she was saying it seemed to me like the violent trauma she caused threw her into a bizarre state, crossing all her wires. The talk about the "Version Layer" and the weather felt somehow uncanny and creepy to me. I assumed she was talking about another dimension approaching ours tbh.

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On first viewing, I actually thought there was a small special effect played during Candy's long-winded talk with Anthony on the casino floor, but it is actually just someone behind her lighting a cigarette just a she brings her hands together...  (For a moment I thought it was a small version of the 'guiding vision' that Mr Jackpots is following to different machines)

 

I wonder what the Mitchums meant by "she's got nowhere else to go" too.  Why would they care?  (I may be being harsh on the Mitchums here - they seem pretty brutal when conducting business, but maybe outside of that they're not such bad guys?)  Is her erratic behaviour part of why she wouldn't find work elsewhere? 

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6 hours ago, Owl said:

To speculate wildly off the deep end for a moment, what if there are more doppelgangers and/or possessed people running around than we think? Maybe Diane, after her bad encounter with BadCoop, tried to figure out what happened in Twin Peaks and got herself wrapped up in the lodge, and now the Diane we see is actually her doppelganger. She's certainly convincing in the prison scene, but at least some of the lodge spirits (Bob, particularly) are stunningly good actors. But in that case I'd expect real Diane to be in the lodge, and we've never seen her there, although I assume Cooper didn't necessarily see everybody or everything in there.

 

Or, maybe fake-Jeffries is real-Jeffries's doppelganger and/or is tricking Diane. That does seem to match up better with the text's formatting being different on her phone and BadCoop's, and I think real-Jeffries could plausibly be in the lodge. 

 

What about the white lodge? Are there maybe good, white lodge doppelgangers as well as the bad 'shadow self' black lodge ones? Maybe that's what Laura is? The way she showed up in front of Cole reminds me of how Bob used to show up. And it sort of works with her being dead but not. The black lodge doppelgangers seem more physical than that, but it could be different for the white lodge.

 

/nonsense

 

Quote

 

 The White Lodge speculation is interesting, but it doesn't gel for me with what little we know about it, although we admittedly know VERY little. In the original series Hawk says the White Lodge is a place where the spirits that rule man and nature reside, and that every spirit must pass through the Black Lodge on its way to perfection. This impiles to me that the spirits in the White Lodge have already attained perfection.

 

Hawk also says the Black Lodge is the shadow self of the White Lodge, and that those souls who confront the Black Lodge with imperfect courage will be "utterly annihilated."

 

It is dangerous to take this mythology too literally, but it seems to me the 'shadow self' aspect of the Black Lodge is what explains DoppleCooper. Here we have the duality. Bad Coop is Coop's shadow self, a point upon which I think most viewers agree. It doesn't make sense to me the White Lodge inhabitants would have separate dopplegangers apart from the Black Lodge. The only dopplegangers of the White Lodge are the denizens of the Black Lodge, the shadow selves of perfected beings or, perhaps, those on their way to perfection. 

 

Of course, considering Hawk's line about those who confront the BL with imperfect courage being utterly annihilated, it does raise the question of how Cooper himself was not annihalated and has come back into the world in The Return. The common assumption is that Cooper was trapped in the BL because he came with imperfect courage, but since he still exists, perhaps he actually succeeded in the confrontation and was trapped by some other trickery, allowing him to now return and complete the circle of attaining perfection. 

 

Damn it, now I have to go Rewatch the last few episodes of season 2. I got stalled in my rewatch ahead of the new season during the middling episodes of James Hurley's adventure in Great Gatsby land. 

 

---

As for Candie, I interpreted that scene as Paul Smith did above, assuming she actually was talking about the weather and pointing out the AC vents in the casino. "Version layer" is odd, however. Googling it brings up only fruitless references to this Twin Peaks episode and random graphics software. Knowing Lynch is into TM, I added "buddhism" to the search string and did find a couple interesting tidbits that are intriguing, though the connection is perhaps grasping at straws. 

 

The "Narakas" are a kind of purgatory, and there are both 'cold' and 'hot' Narakas, the hot version of which is strongly associated with fire, like the Christian Hell. There are many layers, and time spent there is measured in millions and billions of years.

 

Beings suffering in the Narakas are similar, but different from, a cosmological being known as a Preta, which sounds a lot like Bob and, unlike someone in a Naraka,  is able to move outside the subterranean world:

 

"Pretas are believed to have been false, corrupted, compulsive, deceitful, jealous or greedy people in a previous life. As a result of their karma, they are afflicted with an insatiable hunger for a particular substance or object. Traditionally, this is something repugnant or humiliating, such as cadavers or feces, though in more recent stories, it can be anything, however bizarre.[2]"

----

 

And then there is the concept of the nine consciousnesses, some of which seems to echo what we see with Dougie Coop:

 

"The first five of these consciousnesses are the familiar senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. The sixth consciousness is the function that integrates and processes the various sensory data to form an overall picture or thought, identifying what it is that our five senses are communicating to us. It is primarily with these six functions of life that we perform our daily activities.

 

Below this level of consciousness is the seventh consciousness. Unlike those layers of consciousness that are directed toward the outer world, the seventh consciousness is directed toward our inner life and is largely independent of sensory input. The seventh consciousness is the basis for our sense of individual identity; attachment to a self distinct to and separate from others has its basis in this consciousness, as does our sense of right and wrong.

 

Below the seventh consciousness, Buddhism elucidates a deeper layer, the eighth or ālaya consciousness, also known as the never-perishing or storehouse consciousness. It is here that the energy of our karma resides. Whereas the first seven consciousnesses disappear on death, the eighth consciousness persists through the cycles of active life and the latency of death. It can be thought of as the life-flow that supports the activities of the other consciousnesses. The experiences described by those who have undergone clinical death and been revived could be said to be occurrences at the borderline of the seventh and eighth consciousnesses."

 

(Apologies for the length and any poor formatting. Still getting used to this forum software)

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Hmmm... maybe Goodcoop was supposed to have been annihilated by the Lodge but the spirits within decided to let him remain after Bob & Doppelcoop escape?  Bob not returning on time seems to definitely be a violation of some kind of order/rules but I don't remember S2 clearly enough to guess whether he and the doppelganger escaping in the first place was seen as a similar violation. The motivation of the other Lodge-denizens is unclear, but they at least seem to be less nasty than Bob, as a rule.  It might explain the Doppel-arm's cry of 'NONEXISTENT' as it causes Coop to drop through the floor into the glass box/purple sea-world, too, if he is supposed to have been annihilated by now, but wasn't.

In any case, I am very interested to see what 'The Zone' reveals.  It would be cool if it is a whole different aspect of the Lodges, or if we get to see the White Lodge...  (From the Major & Hastings' accounts of the place it sounds like a positive experience for the most part, but presumably it is not beyond the reach of the less savoury spirits if Briggs got beheaded while there)

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If @Mentalgongfu's speculations are correct, I wonder if Bob is the doppleganger of another not-evil spirit, or if he is the original and is just corrupted.  If he is the original, then presumably he has a doppleganger somewhere also.

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2 hours ago, Mentalgongfu said:

Of course, considering Hawk's line about those who confront the BL with imperfect courage being utterly annihilated, it does raise the question of how Cooper himself was not annihalated and has come back into the world in The Return. The common assumption is that Cooper was trapped in the BL because he came with imperfect courage, but since he still exists, perhaps he actually succeeded in the confrontation and was trapped by some other trickery, allowing him to now return and complete the circle of attaining perfection. 

 

I think there's an assumption here you're forgetting. The annihilation is never claimed to be instantaneous. Cooper in a sense is still confronting the Black Lodge and his doppelganger, so his test is not over. Depending on how strictly you're taking the definition of "imperfect", I would say he may not have failed yet.

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