Twin Peaks: The Return, Part 14   First Watch 
August 13, 2017 6:06 PM - Season 3, Episode 14 - Subscribe

We are like the dreamer. (description from Showtime)
posted by infinitewindow (96 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
TRUCK YOU
posted by rocketman at 6:12 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


HE JUST FELL OVER, I DON'T KNOW

it's reading against the text night and Sarah Palmer is every woman's hero. patron saint of women at the bar. anybody here doesn't wish they could unhook their face and do that whenever it was necessary raise her hand, no hands up, the motion is carried

yes I know you have to live her life first and nobody wants that and plus she isn't too happy about it herself but it's READING AGAINST THE TEXT NIGHT I said

sarah palmer IS the thing in her kitchen, no wonder she's not more scared at home
posted by queenofbithynia at 6:12 PM on August 13 [20 favorites]


Note the pool of golden liquid at the portal site Andy gets sucked into, to contrast with the black oil pool in Glastonbury Grove.

I think James is in the boiler room from the end of the non-canon international pilot, which is an awesome, very clever way to get "new" Frank Silva footage into the show. I really hope this is the case.

This episode was so amazing that Chad's arrest or the Blue Rose history or the FWWM Bowie footage or *desk slam* "WILSON, HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU, THIS IS WHAT WE DO IN THE FBI" weren't even top three best parts, and those bits would have been the best in almost any other episode this season outside of episode 8. Holy shit it was so good.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:14 PM on August 13 [13 favorites]


I really thought the "Monica Bellucci dream" bit was going to pop the golden bubble of idealism I have around David Lynch but then they went ahead and showed it and IT DIDN'T
posted by queenofbithynia at 6:16 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


There are so many great things in this episode, but I think my favorite is Andy just holding that strange eyeless angel woman with so much clear, protective strength and confidence. I think that's the Andy who's always been there. It was like this was his destiny all along.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:24 PM on August 13 [15 favorites]


The way Andy was just suddenly In Charge in that situation was amazing. And he's like the perfect guy to absorb knowledge from the Giant, because he'll just accept it without question.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:24 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


We always kinda knew Sarah Palmer had a super power. Before this I thought it was just inhuman screams.

When she grunted that "I'll eat you" at the trucker, I knew her hour had come. I knew she had assumed her final form.
posted by rocketman at 6:25 PM on August 13 [6 favorites]


did Andy see a vision of Lucy in the near future being brought in to identify, probably, Andy's own body? that is what I thought he saw but it was not conclusive. but his demeanor when he came back made me think I was not seeing things.

I also thought Glove English was dispatched to Twin Peaks (by the giant) to kill the ouch-eye woman in jail, put there to keep her safe from harm (at the giant's orders) because the giant is playing all sides against the middle. and some firemen fight fires but some start them.
posted by queenofbithynia at 6:26 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


The giant finally has a name in the credits!!!

I bet the green glove will eventually have something to do with stopping the woodsman or some evil black lodge sorcery. Or so I would like to think.

The furnace room reminded me of the furnace-like thing that turned Cooper into Dougie?
posted by floweredfish at 6:27 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Deputy Andy Brennan is My Hero.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:37 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


Does the angel woman have Laura's soul?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:48 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


I was wondering if she might be Judy (we're not gonna talk about Judy). There was that monkey that said "Judy" in FWWM, and she makes monkey-like noises here.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:51 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


The spoilers did not even do this episode justice. Wow.

I've taken to pausing on the credits. One was Voice. I'm assuming that's who said "Do you really want to fuck with this?" That whole scene was terrifying.

Still think Audrey is in a coma, even though Billy really is missing (in jail?). Tina could be a nurse and Audrey is subconsciously picking up Tina's conversations.

I don't know. I don't know anything anymore.
posted by Ruki at 7:18 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


Good lord Sarah Palmer!

Also, more Billy talk.
posted by kenko at 7:27 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


I've taken to pausing on the credits. One was Voice. I'm assuming that's who said "Do you really want to fuck with this?" That whole scene was terrifying.

aw that's a let-down, I thought Grace Zabriskie did it all

including her underface, I thought that was just good classical technique like actors used to have back when there was discipline in art. "now make it look like there's a hand floating across the blank screen of your hollow face, with one dark finger and the rest light." the classic exercise
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:32 PM on August 13 [11 favorites]


I thought Grace Zabriskie did it all

It really sounded a lot like her.

The description of Billy jumping over the six-foot fence and looking through the window with a sinister aspect made me think of Bob stepping over the couch.

Frank Silva's credited though I don't think I noticed him.
posted by kenko at 7:40 PM on August 13


& what's with the ominous swell after the one woman asks the other her mom's name? What's going on with these conversations? What's the deal, Billy? Why can't the one woman remember if her uncle was there?
posted by kenko at 7:41 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


Frank Silva's credited though I don't think I noticed him.

We see him briefly when the fireman is getting Andy up to speed.
posted by maxsparber at 7:44 PM on August 13


ALSO, some may have questioned her acting ability, but the series of facial expressions Chrysta Bell makes when Lynch says he had another Monica Bellucci dream (after the muffled chortling from Miguel Ferrer) was great.
posted by kenko at 7:45 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


Billy is the dude in the jail...

(And I bet that was who was credited as Voice - echolalia.)
posted by elsietheeel at 7:54 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


some may have questioned her acting ability, but the series of facial expressions Chrysta Bell makes

I don't know how much of it is intentional and I would guess 0 percent, but it is such a good and even nuanced portrayal of this very specific situation of being the only woman in a very boy's clubby boy's club where the boys are two or three decades older than you and know each other like an old married couple, and you are still young enough you think you have to wear ridiculous shoes and skirts to work to be "professional," but also maintain a rigorously buttoned-up demeanor at all times so that the men respect you because they are probably evaluating you both physically and professionally at all times and you must maintain this rigid upright posture or all is lost, and every question is a test and every test is an equal opportunity to fail utterly or to show off enough to receive the invisible promotion into the real inner circle even though to all appearances you are there already, which is what is so frustrating

and then ANOTHER WOMAN shows up, you are ready to exhale for the first time in months although of course you can't show weakness in front of her either, but

it's diane.

fuck you, tammy.

and meanwhile Albert's regard for her appears to be entirely sincere, if cautious, and untinged by any sexual bias, but you can't allow yourself to relax enough to build any kind of rapport with him.

it is all a little bit awful but pretty funny and I am renaming my cat Agent Tammy Preston. because she tries.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:56 PM on August 13 [19 favorites]


Oh wait no, he's credited as Drunk. But I'm still pretty sure that's Billy.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:57 PM on August 13


Diane EVANS.

Why can't I remember the context of someone credited as "Experiment"?
posted by elsietheeel at 7:59 PM on August 13


& what's with the ominous swell after the one woman asks the other her mom's name?

That was so there to make us think she was going to say Audrey. Is Audrey Tina? And the Audrey scenes are the buried Audrey identity in the back of Tina's head?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Why can't I remember the context of someone credited as "Experiment"?

The figure in the glass box was "Experiment Model", and the figure in the atomic bomb blast spewing out those eggs was "Experiment"
posted by jason_steakums at 8:00 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Wilson is frustrated at the number of Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Joneses in Las Vegas and gets yelled at for it, meanwhile Gordon could have just said "Douglas and Jane Jones, who go by Dougie and Janey-E. Jane is the half-sister of one Diane Evans." and made things pretty straightforward. Poor Wilson.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:05 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


Andy just got the "Last time, on Twin Peaks..." treatment of the story.
posted by codacorolla at 8:16 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


Now I have to go back to see if Drunk was the guy at the bar, because then Voice could be Billy. Also, I was so put off by Chrysta Bell in the promo interview, but I really love Tammy now. Her awkwardness is so endearing. Plus what queenofbithynia said.
posted by Ruki at 8:18 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


I saw someone on another forum suggest that the magic glove lad is destined to arm wrestle Evil Cooper, and I can't get over it.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:05 PM on August 13 [13 favorites]


There's a lot of hand imagery: the arm, Evil Coop's arm wrestling, Glove Lad, Dougie Coop being told to tear Ike's hand off...
posted by codacorolla at 9:18 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


This is the Formica table. Green is its color.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:27 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


I've been in a deep sadness all this weekend because of events in the news, and watching this episode brought me out of it. It's a small consolation, and maybe finding comfort in a TV show makes me ridiculous, but this show is such a gift.
posted by Ipsifendus at 9:43 PM on August 13 [12 favorites]


I agree the jail guy with echolalia was Billy. It seems odd that nobody knows where he is, given how small the town is and how everybody at the sheriff's seems to know everyone.

I feel like we've heard the name Tina before, but I can't remember when in or in what context.

Was the thing inside Sarah Palmer's face the glass box monster?
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 10:48 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Tina was one of the many names dropped by Audrey the first time we see her in The Return.

Which brings me to…

If we live in a dream, then who is the dreamer?
posted by Brittanie at 11:08 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


For a minute I thought the Truck You guy was gonna be Eric DaRe.
posted by Brittanie at 11:10 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


That green rubber gardening glove is probably a decent insulator against electricity.
posted by destructive cactus at 11:29 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


color coding is silly but green is the color of evil, as Diane in her green top sitting in her green chair the same episode illustrates, so even if he weren't an ostentatious Englishman and a friend of James Hurley's I would still say that man's hand with the green glove on it is an evil hand. or I don't know evil hands when I see them.

(and I do)

and I am always scared of something that doesn't happen and this time I was scared the awful squeegee silhouette and its skreeky noises were going to make Gordon's head explode. I have a terrible fear for that man's head integrity.
posted by queenofbithynia at 11:36 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


The Green Glove seems like a nice bloke, and that's one hell of a superhero origin story, or one hell of a parody of a superhero origin story. Which is what the whole thing reminded me of.

I can easily subscribe to the arm wrestling theory. Or maybe when everyone else is paralyzed or mesmerized by Bad Coop, or worse, The Green Glove will show up and punch the bad guy's lights out. I can't see The Green Glove being a bad guy. Then again, I'm still not convinced Diane is evil either.

And I am in awe of Andy. Still goosebumps from thinking of him being chosen, and his strength. Also goosebumps from watching those four good men walk into the woods together. I could watch an entire series of them fighting crime and it would be the most heartwarming and amazing thing ever.
posted by honestcoyote at 12:52 AM on August 14 [7 favorites]


I don't think green signifies outright evil so much as deceit. And I'm not sure it's all shades of green -- when Dougie sees the green flicker, it's always a bright, unnatural green. Same for Diane's sweater, at least in this episode. But the woods themselves are not evil, and there's always a lot of green there, and the gem (signet?) in the ring that protects against Bob is also dark green.

While Andy held that woman's hand, all I could think was that he alone after all these years had kept his innocence -- not by trying, but because he couldn't help it. Someone on Twitter suggested he'd been pulled into the White Lodge, because his heart was pure. AFAIK the only other person to visit the White Lodge was Major Briggs; I hope it goes better for Andy.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 1:16 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Lois Duffy's murder trial had to be interesting, what with the unnatural duplicate body of the victim vanishing.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:22 AM on August 14


I can't see The Green Glove being a bad guy.

!!! never mind his egregious speech habits, his happy chuckling tail of hitting a store clerk in the face and feeling it go crunch as it caved in under his death hand, chuckle chuckle, that didn't seem bad, especially? this show has taken great pains to show us what that looks like even if we didn't want to know. he was very pleased with himself

and still can't believe they threw Chad in jail for ordering a bad sandwich. I mean sure he deserved it and sure it was offensive. but he's done worse things! somebody should tell them.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:10 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


I won't get to see the episode until tonight at the earliest. I just wanted to mention again that the spoilers increase my enjoyment of the show, somehow.

The Green Glove would be a terrible 1950s Batman villain.
posted by Grangousier at 7:14 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


So much stuff happened in this episode, but it just left me wanting more!

Compare and contrast Sheriff Truman not giving Gordon the full text of the diary pages (or mentioning Cooper's key or the Major's secret message) with Gordon not giving the Las Vegas FBI office enough information to track down Dougie Jones.

I like the cat-and-mouse game that Gordon and Albert are playing with Diane now. This episode didn't draw attention to it directly, but they did find the one piece of information that they hadn't shared with her yet.

Diane must know a lot about what is going on if she knows about Dougie. I find it hard to believe she's never even seen a picture of him. Unless...

What if Diane thinks that Dougie is Cooper, in disguise, married to her half-sister? No that doesn't make any sense.

It does seem like the black and white place where the fireman lives must be the White Lodge, based on the white/gold pool of oil at Jack Rabbit's Palace, contrasting with the black engine oil at Glastonbury Grove.

At first I thought that Cole's mention of the "Monicca Belucci dream" was just a self-satirical remark, but then it kept going!

The Sheriff clearly wanted to take care of the Chad situation before they went on their hike, but it seemed really abrupt. Somehow I'm glad his storyline isn't over.

After the scene with Jade way back in the first couple of episodes, I was expecting gratuitous nudity throughout, but it has actually been used very precisely.

I thought the "Truck You" guy was played by James Belushi for a second.

The Origin of the Green Glove, and Sarah's feeding time shifted the tone more radically towards science fiction than we've seen before.

I feel like David Lynch could probably pull of an "it was all a dream" ending better than just about anybody else, but I still hope that isn't where this is headed.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 7:17 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


(Obviously I meant a great terrible 1950s Batman villain.)
posted by Grangousier at 7:25 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


I feel like David Lynch could probably pull of an "it was all a dream" ending better than just about anybody else, but I still hope that isn't where this is headed.

I wouldn't mind if it all turned out to be Laura Palmer's slow decaying death dream, although I guess retroactively the original series would have had to be part of it too. like that extremely bad Aleister Crowley short story or that movie, what was it called, Mulholland Drive. but I think I don't mind when Lynch repeats himself and I expect other people would. I think Laura is the only one who would have that particular perceptive combination of horror and pity for her mother in her awful dreams.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:34 AM on August 14


A dream shouldn't have supplemental literature like The Secret History of Twin Peaks. Unless I'm in the dream too, and Laura is dreaming her story as a TV show, and us the watchers, and this very FanFare thread.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:41 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Monica Bellucci knew that she was playing herself while they were filming. It seems like the kind of thing that Lynch might decide later, when filming his scene describing the dream.
posted by doctornecessiter at 7:41 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Are you saying this might be a Jacob's Ladder situation?
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 7:43 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


his happy chuckling tail of hitting a store clerk in the face and feeling it go crunch

To be fair, he didn't know it would go crunch. He thought he was just giving a little pop to an annoying wanker who wouldn't leave him alone. The chuckling struck me as more disbelief at the suddenly absurd, if bloody, situation he found himself in. He doesn't seem to have repeated the performance or used his power for evil since. Doesn't seem to have used it for good either. Nor profit, since he's working as a 3rd shift security guard in a small town. Seems like he's just waiting.

Plus, he's given this gift by someone who seems to be good: the Fireman of the White Lodge. And this comes shortly after his realization that he's wasting his life and wants to do something good.

Of course, good intentions pave the road to you-know-where and the glove may put him in a bad place, but as far as intent goes, I don't think he's bad.
posted by honestcoyote at 7:55 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


The dreamers felt like a meta commentary on those of us watching. And also a reference to the in-universe spirits in the lodges also watching.

And maybe thats part of the point of having the bands play in nearly every episode. And having Monica Bellucci as herself within the dream. Real world people become part of the Twin Peaks mythology, interacting with the characters, and thus further blurring the boundry between the dream (the television show) and waking life. And the line between dreamers and the subjects in their dreams.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:12 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]


I thought this from the NY Times recapper person was good:
We still don’t know much about Billy or Tina, or how this all connects to Audrey. But it’s possibly meaningful that when Tina’s daughter is telling her story, she can’t recall whether her uncle was there that night or not. The deeper she goes into the anecdote, the less it sounds like she’s describing something that actually happened to her, and the more it sounds like she’s trying to recollect the details of a dream.
posted by kenko at 8:20 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]


I think much of the fabric of this season consists of moments when the characters become aware of themselves as characters in the show, or at least as parts of a dream. They catch glimpses of themselves. This very Ask MeFi discussion seems relevant: The dreamer is both a figment of the story and the creator of it, and very occasionally sees themselves emerging out of the field from which the story is generated.

Definitely the heroes are the seekers who want to see the larger truth. Not just the Blue Rose team but Dr. Amp, or Jerry in the woods, or Major Briggs, or Candie ("we're in the version layer"), and now the Twin Peaks PD, and of course (in his way) Dougie. Even Mr. C, seeking after the Mother and building the glass cube, is trying to Want his way to some understanding, or joining with the reality behind reality.

Somehow this episode, more than any other, made the collective longing of these characters emotional for me. I don't know why, but this one really moved me -- and I have loved this whole season. Is it just seeing the threads begin to tie together?
posted by argybarg at 9:53 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


This may be way off, but I'm noticing a couple of occurrences in this series of what seem to be deliberately induced film-making 101 level botches. Lots of people have commented on the almost maddeningly slow pace of some scenes. Or how the editing appears to go off the rails on occasion, leaving scenes to go on and on and on, long after they've been drained of any dramatic content (thinking here particularly of the roadhouse sweeping scene). Or how some events appear to happening in the wrong order...like, we see Dougy in company with the mobsters. Then an episode later he's playing catch with Sonny (Sunny?) Jim. Then, an episode after that, he's being delivered to his place of employment by the mobsters, apparently on the morning after his evening out with them.

And in this episode, I want to note specifically the scene with Sarah Palmer at the bar. There is a hell of lot of interesting stuff going on in that scene, but in particular I want to talk about the face removal effect. That was weird as hell, because it looked to me like they used a super cheap effect to make it happen. Like, it probably wasn't done using green screen, but it looked like it was at about that level of expense and difficulty: roughly on par with a local newscast's green screen effects for the weather report. But it was happening in the midst of a scene that was otherwise impeccably shot. Beautifully photographed, expertly lit, incredibly immersive set design for the bar itself, and absolutely top notch acting from Grace Z and her supporting players. And right in the middle of it, this obviously constructed effect. It makes the scene hard to parse in an odd way...not just because it's quote-unquote "surreal", but because it looks *wrong* as a media product. Off. Constructed with two mismatched systems of visual grammar. Not sure how to describe it in analytical terms, but just...off.

Or how we keep getting these conversations at the roadhouse, with new characters, discussing other new characters, and how none of them seem to have anything to do with the main story-line, or with each other.

Now, I'm not lobbing an accusation at David Lynch's basic competence. I know better. But the show seems to have a lot of these little semantic IEDs embedded in it. Like, I used to think that David Lynch always meant something specific with his weirdass films. I'd attempt to decode them. But these techniques seem like a deliberate refutation of that kind of scheme, attempts at undermining the way we normally extract a narrative from filmed moving images.
posted by Ipsifendus at 10:07 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


I noticed the, let's say "hand-made," quality of the effects back when Good Coop was falling from the lodge and it looked like they had MacLachlan lie down on a black blanket with white spots while Lynch shook the camera around.

Some rationales I've made are, one, Lynch being a playful filmmaker doing things the way he would have done back in school, and/or, two, he was legitimately trying to stretch his budget as far as I could. He doesn't have an actually infinite budget and there is a lot going on.

It will be interesting to see if he has another reason that reflects more on the story being told.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 10:29 AM on August 14


This may be way off, but I'm noticing a couple of occurrences in this series of what seem to be deliberately induced film-making 101 level botches. Lots of people have commented on the almost maddeningly slow pace of some scenes. Or how the editing appears to go off the rails on occasion, leaving scenes to go on and on and on, long after they've been drained of any dramatic content (thinking here particularly of the roadhouse sweeping scene). Or how some events appear to happening in the wrong order...

And did ya ever notice that Picasso drew horses and naked ladies kinda funny? And why is Charlie Parker playing all those wrong extra notes? What a couple of weirdos!

Like, I used to think that David Lynch always meant something specific with his weirdass films. I'd attempt to decode them. But these techniques seem like a deliberate refutation of that kind of scheme, attempts at undermining the way we normally extract a narrative from filmed moving images.

Aside from "The Straight Story", Lynch has never operated according to a strict 1:1 symbology in his films, operating more on an instinctual, almost accidental level with regard to narrative technique. He cares a great deal about motifs and themes, but there is no Rosetta Stone that directly decodes these into tight, coherent narratives. When he breaks the conventions of film and TV by introducing deliberately janky FX or long, awkward pauses, it's to create unease in the mind of the viewer. If it makes you uncomfortable, it's entirely on purpose.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:38 AM on August 14 [7 favorites]


And did ya ever notice that Picasso drew horses and naked ladies kinda funny? And why is Charlie Parker playing all those wrong extra notes? What a couple of weirdos!

This is needlessly condescending.
posted by Ipsifendus at 10:46 AM on August 14 [15 favorites]


Ah, sorry if that came out a little punchy.

But I stand by my statement that Lynch knows exactly what he's doing, even when he lets things get a bit rough around the edges. If it isn't your bag, so be it, but take it from someone who does find meaning in Lynch's work: It's in there if you have patience, pay attention to patterns and relationships, and don't go in expecting something with a hard beginning/middle/end.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:11 AM on August 14


He cares a great deal about motifs and themes, but there is no Rosetta Stone that directly decodes these into tight, coherent narratives.

And sometimes he does things strictly for his own pleasure, either because he thinks it just looks cool, or sounds cool, or seems cool, with no other motivation. I am thinking specifically of the Bang Bang Room sweeping scene. Lynch has already said he just wanted to have a scene that used the song Green Onions in its entirely, and that's the scene. There's no other meaning behind it. He just liked the song.

And also, in the DVD extras for Wild at Heart, Lynch talks about this scene were some extras in the background were randomly carrying a 2x4 (four by eights!) across the screen. He liked the way it looked, and wanted it to be more prominant, so he paused filming, had them paint the 2x4 (four by eights!) red, then made them film it again. It doesn't mean anything. It doesn't even add anything to the scene. He just liked the way it looked.*

(*I might be remembering this anecdote wrong as it's been a while since I've seen the film.)
posted by Brittanie at 11:13 AM on August 14 [4 favorites]


Lynch has already said he just wanted to have a scene that used the song Green Onions in its entirely, and that's the scene. There's no other meaning behind it. He just liked the song.
Is that online somewhere? A little googling didn't turn it up. (In fact any link to him discussing the content of Season 3 would be awesome.)
posted by dfan at 11:21 AM on August 14


I'm not any kind of film buff and don't have the vocabulary to unpack it, but a lot of Twin Peaks seems to function as exploration of and commentary on the nature and limits of film as a medium. There are moments when Lynch seems to want to remind us we're watching something filmed, to reflect on the medium itself both in a physical sense (film as tangible object, although I imagine this season has been shot digitally?) and as a means of transmitting ideas. That's not to say these choices have no narrative purpose, but I think part of what makes the watching experience so rich (for me, at least) is the feeling that I should be processing at least two parallel tracks simultaneously, both the story itself and the story as film, as imagined reality and as un-reality committed to this peculiar medium that both simulates an experience at once immediate and circumscribed.

I also wonder whether, in addition to the reasons already stated above, Lynch is using certain techniques to keep the "feel" of the show consistent with the original, so that someone who watched all three seasons for the first time next year might register a change in image quality but not in the overall aesthetic. I've seen older shows come back later on, and it's always jarring to see an effect introduced that didn't exist during the original run.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 11:23 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Like, I used to think that David Lynch always meant something specific with his weirdass films. I'd attempt to decode them. But these techniques seem like a deliberate refutation of that kind of scheme, attempts at undermining the way we normally extract a narrative from filmed moving images.

I don't think Lynch is interested in audiences decoding meanings from his films. I think he's much more interested in audiences synthesizing meanings from his films and his works in general, and I think that he himself finds so much pleasure in synthesizing meanings from art that he includes "happy accidents" in his works so he gets a shot at synthesizing meanings even from something he makes every choice about.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:27 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]


Couple interesting notes - when Suddenly Competent Andy returns from the Fireman's House and back to Jack Rabbit's Palace, the rest of the TPPD is shot triple overlapped and moving around in a verrrrry similar fashion to how the Filthy Trappers hover around the old store. Seems to indicate that the haziness of the motion isn't a function of the spirits themselves, but rather of the thin spots between our world and the lodges diffracting the presence of entities in the area. When Andy fades through, he's not tripled up and overlapped, he just slides right through and brings the camera shot with him to the point that everyone is finally synced up again in the real world.

Re: the 'hokey' effects used in the show - I think they're a very specific kind of perfect when contrasted against the frequently beautiful framing of the shots themselves. The point of SFX in general are to portray the unnatural or impossible, however we've taken as granted that the point of high-quality FX production is to make the impossible look natural. We want the dragons in GoT to look just like what a fantastical animal would look like when interacting with the 'real' elements. However, Lynch is all about presenting things that definitely should NOT look 'natural' to our eye - jarring effects that clash against the natural order of our material world, grating against the very grain that they are filmed on. Inland Empire had a similar moment towards the end, where an effect that was so 'primative' it looked like it was created in MS Paint ended up being utterly horrifying for how alien it appeared in the context of portrayed reality. And then, see how those TP elements of 'cheesy' effects contrast against things like e08, where the entire CG structure was hyper-real to the point of being hypnotizing, and yet the practical 'real' effects were simultaneously low-budget and grotesquely terrifying.

in short, Lynch is a dreamland of contrasts
posted by FatherDagon at 12:14 PM on August 14 [12 favorites]


I don't think Lynch is interested in audiences decoding meanings from his films

This is one of the reasons I think there's nothing significant, particularly, about tracking the color green in ways that would have no significance to the characters themselves. That is, having Diane wear a green blouse, and then having Janey-E wear green shoes, or whatever, is something that has significance only to the viewers, as a trail of clues for them to decode—it has no meaning within the world of the show (unlike the green signs that DougieCoop sees, for example, or the golden shimmer vs. motor oil in the various portals to the lodges). And I just doubt that Lynch is putting symbols in for our decoding pleasure at that level.

I also thought that the sweeping scene didn't go on too long at all. I thought that was excellent pacing. Some of the scenes in ep 12, not so much, but that one I thought was masterful.
posted by kenko at 12:24 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


dfan I'm trying to remember where I read that. I thought it was linked in a previous Fanfare discussion.
posted by Brittanie at 12:28 PM on August 14


There was a Fanfare comment saying 'Lynch held so long on that one sweeping-up shot because he wanted us to listen to "Green Onions"!' but I figured that it was a hypothesis rather than quoted from somewhere. (I loved the sweeping scene too.)
posted by dfan at 1:06 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


I've spent a good part of the episode thinking how Lynch pitched this to Monica Bellucci. Then again, at this point anyone in the biz knows how Lynch operates.

I'd also watch a show about Jay R Ferguson as Special Agent Randall Headley

WILSON HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU

THIS IS WHAT WE DO IN THE FBI

posted by lmfsilva at 1:09 PM on August 14 [4 favorites]


We want the dragons in GoT to look just like what a fantastical animal would look like when interacting with the 'real' elements. However, Lynch is all about presenting things that definitely should NOT look 'natural' to our eye - jarring effects that clash against the natural order of our material world, grating against the very grain that they are filmed on.

I think this is really it. These are things that might seem weird, even frightening, within their context, but not like they don't belong there. Like how the creature who vomits up BOB in the midst of the atomic explosion is terrifying, but seems of a piece with her environment. The Lodge spirits -- the Giant/Fireman, the Man from Another Place, MIKE, BOB, even the water/well men -- look off, but still look human, as if they're closer to our natures, or are trying to blend in with our world. But the raw, wild spirits either can't blend in or just don't give a damn. (The evolution of the Arm might imply that mature spirits are less humanoid, as if human nature is something to advance from, and not a goal.) In any case, I think that's why the effects don't look "realistic" -- they aren't supposed to.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:25 PM on August 14 [3 favorites]


I started eating a packet of crisps during the bar scene and I def started to worry they may have been made from green potatoes
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:59 PM on August 14


Also I think the thing I would have least expected in nu Twin Peaks was cockney rhyming slang
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:00 PM on August 14 [6 favorites]


Just rewatched with the Kid and the guy at the bar was listed in the credits as Trucker. Which makes Billy Drunk and Voice something else.
posted by Ruki at 3:39 PM on August 14


So it turns out Green Glove is this guy... I knew I'd seen him before.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:43 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


My take on Lynch is that he's a surrealist - in the pure sense. His films are often suffused with dream states, and dream reality and waking reality is given equal prominence. For that reason, I don't think I could go with "x wakes up and it was all a dream", because that would suggest a definitive real world outside the dream world, and that's not the way he rolls. On the other hand there are so many elements in this episode that are dreamlike - Sarah's face trick, the drunk in the cell, the weird time-glitching that accompanies the story the woman in the bar tells about Billy (it looks to me like they were playing with the speed of the video while she was talking, and the effect is very distancing) - that I do think it's a theme of this episode in particular. Especially as it effectively begins with Gordon talking about a dream that segues into something that's supposed to have actually happened, which both Gordon and Albert then refer to as something they're beginning to remember (like remembering a dream). Another thing about the Philip Jeffries scene from Fire Walk With Me is that I've never been exactly clear at what point Cooper's dream that he's telling Gordon about is supposed to end and the "real" visit from Jeffries is supposed to begin.

(Even the putative "real world" in Mulholland Drive breaks down at the end in the way that a dream would.)

One thing that Lynch is very interested in is the Uncanny - precisely as in the Uncanny Valley - and there's no one better at conjuring up irrational dread.

Watching some of the copious special features on the Complete Mystery blu ray set, it struck me that Lynch is like a jazz musician, in that by this point he's internalised so much of his symbolic grammar that he can just go onto a set and blow, and trust in where his instincts take him - he doesn't need to rationalise everything, but at the same time he knows that there is a grammar there. He recognises things that arise in the process that work - the most famous example would be turning the set dresser into the villain of the piece - and then sets to building a context that makes them work. What makes his most striking and apparently out-of-left-field imagery effective and disturbing isn't that it's random but that it's fully coherent.

I'm savouring being in the middle of something that will be looked at as a complete whole for a very long time (like, for example, reading Watchmen issue by issue as it came out). I wonder what it will be like to sit down and binge the whole thing - from "She's dead - wrapped in plastic" all the way to wherever it is we get in four weeks' time.
posted by Grangousier at 5:13 PM on August 14 [6 favorites]


The book "Welcome to Twin Peaks" puts James' birthday at January 1, 1973, but events in the show are somewhere around October 1st. This inconsistency is scandalous, and will not stand!
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:27 PM on August 14 [3 favorites]


I...

do not know where to fucking start.
posted by duffell at 6:29 PM on August 14 [3 favorites]


Just rewatched with the Kid and the guy at the bar was listed in the credits as Trucker. Which makes Billy Drunk and Voice something else.

So it turns out that they overdubbed Bowie's voice for some reason, and that's the Voice credit! Speculation is that more Jeffries might be coming, in some form, voiced by this guy.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:22 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


In the original Twin Peaks, I always liked that Andy and Lucy got together (to the spite of of Lucy/Dick scenario).

It's really gratifying to see that the Lucy/Andy relationship worked so well, and still so much love between them. I'm certain that Lucy is a big part of Andy's competence and confidence in his maturity. ("Now, what would Lucy suggest I do?")

If I was James Marshall (James Hurley), I'd *jump* on this role, but would have seriously weird feels. He hasn't had a lot of acting success (I don't know if he's had successes in other arenas) but playing a has-been must rankle at least a little.
posted by porpoise at 8:10 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


I have to say, I was quite impressed by James Marshall's acting on the episode. He was used as such a blank, vague beauty on the original show, but he was natural and friendly and sweet and present on this episode.

I think Shelley was right. James has always been cool. We just couldn't see it.
posted by maxsparber at 9:26 PM on August 14 [8 favorites]


James Marshall would be a fantastic Cool Dad on a CW show, like Riverdale maybe? And I genuinely mean that as a compliment, no shade to CW shows.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:11 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Oh, and what the blurry Bookhouse Boys walking around Jack Rabbit's Palace reminded me of (apart from the video for Blame It on the Boogie) was Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel Duchamp. From what I remember of my reading about Duchamp (thirty years ago), in his early Dada years he was very interested in n-dimensional theories (like C.H. Hinton or Flatland which have also recently influenced the magical works of Alan Moore).
posted by Grangousier at 2:24 AM on August 15 [1 favorite]


The FBI stuff in Twin Peaks has reminded me a bit of Moore and Jacen Burrows' Lovecraft-inspired Neonomicon (trigger warning: everything), and the slowed-down motion made me think of this sequence late in the game.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:56 AM on August 15


Andy, (Frank) Truman, Hawk, and Bobby Briggs walking into the woods reminded me so much of this shot from the original run.
posted by duffell at 7:29 AM on August 15


how the editing appears to go off the rails on occasion, leaving scenes to go on and on and on, long after they've been drained of any dramatic content (thinking here particularly of the roadhouse sweeping scene)

I don't watch Lynch for dramatic content. I watch him for the sake of a chance to see the world, however briefly, as Lynch sees it.

This is something I've been doing since the very first time I saw Eraserhead, mainly due to noticing that despite just having put myself through two hours of the bleakest bleak that ever bleaked a bleak, I walked out of the cinema feeling better about life than I had done for months.

The man has a very keen eye, and the things he makes are well worth extended contemplation. If Lynch wants to suggest to me that watching a man and a broom dance like lovers for a few minutes might be worth my while, I'm more than willing to give him a chance to prove it (and happy to report that he did).

In the words of this reviewer: "Twin Peaks Made No Sense At All And Has Aged Like A Fine Wine." I think the comparison between Lynch's filmmaking and the art of a skilled winemaker is apt: a well made, well cellared wine isn't supposed to taste nice, it's supposed to taste complex and interesting.

There are plenty of excellent directors reliably supplying the ice cream soda storytelling experience that is conventional drama. I'm not knocking that, because I enjoy a great ice cream soda as much as the next guy. But I'm also glad that Lynch keeps turning out these exceptional reds. So far I haven't encountered a dud and I've been particularly pleased with the 2017 vintage.
posted by flabdablet at 8:03 AM on August 15 [8 favorites]


Via birthmoviesdeath, Ramón Torrente is using his twitter account to highlight how visual motifs from Lynch's paintings keep working their way into the show.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:49 AM on August 15 [2 favorites]


James Marshall has the same genetics as Larry Mullin Jr, with those sharp cheekbones and the same forehead and nose and COMPLETE INABILITY TO AGE AT ALL OVER THE PAST 25+ YEARS.

Anyway, really interesting episode. A lot happened, but it's all just pieces being moved into place. And a bit of Deus Ex Machina with Green Glove suddenly appearing out of nowhere.

Also, my favorite music performance of the series so far.
posted by hippybear at 9:25 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]


And the shimmering noise continues... watch, the end of episode 18 will leave everything unresolved and will just end with a wood-nymph Josie Packard emerging from the wall in the Great Northern, opening her mouth to speak and just emitting high-pitched noises. Credits.
posted by duffell at 9:40 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]


If that is in fact how things pan out, I plan to lay in a case of cab sav and binge watch the entirety of seasons 1, 2, FWWM and 3 again, emitting occasional uncontrollable giggles and snorts the whole while.
posted by flabdablet at 5:34 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]


everything unresolved and will just end with a wood-nymph Josie Packard emerging from the wall in the Great Northern, opening her mouth to speak and just emitting high-pitched noises

Coincidentally, this is also how Game of Thrones will end.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:39 AM on August 16 [7 favorites]


I was just talking to a friend who's still on the last episode, about that episode, and in particular about the arm wrestling resolution, and, thinking about Boop's little jab to the thereby former gang leader's face, well, wouldn't you say he's got an arm like a piledriver?
posted by kenko at 8:04 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


Watching the credits, this week, I was searching hard for laura’s prom photo to appear, because a lot of times I’ve kind of spaced out and missed. I had forgotten what shot it was superimposed over, so I kind of managed to see Laura Palmer in every shot, especially where overlapping textures are moving across each other.

I often think about Lynch’s metaphysical universe here as one where unknown and unknowable alien forces are acting on earth in opaque ways, that this spirit world influences humans but not necessarily the other way around. But this episode I realized I had been missing that these two worlds co-permate, that the influence runs in both directions.

What made me think of this was the way that, when Agent Preston uses the word “tulpa” to describe who the doppelgänger was, she’s treated as if she’s hit on it precisely. But “tulpa” is conjured by the mind, in my understanding of the term, it’s not usually used to refer to as “outside” force, but one you make somehow. And I think the doppelgängers are kind of produced by the people they are doppelgängers of, that this other secret world of lodges kind of reflected reality back on it, somehow. And the “we are like the dreamer, who dreams, then lives inside the dream” kind of implied that these forces outside of our “reality” (the dream we are living in) are are also ourselves, (the dreamer).

And I think the weird darkness of that is so related to why the supernatural elements in that show feel so convincing, in the best sense of the word, not that the special effects of the supernatural are good, but that the way seeing them makes you feel the way you actually might if you encountered the supernatural.

The way that drunk in the other cell looked, the way he was filmed — they were were so completely like something supernaturally horrifying would be filmed, a half-eaten zombie, a demon, and yet you’re not entirely sure if he’s within the “real” wired within the show… so well done. So great.

And that kid’s story about the origin of the glove? The way the super, super shallow personal realization he had allowed him to access the upper world of the fireman but there he was granted the world’s most shallow, lanky, specific superpower? Hilarious.

The drugs all the kids are on definitely pull them slightly into the other world.
posted by Rinku at 8:13 PM on August 16 [3 favorites]


I have had those drugs.
posted by hippybear at 9:00 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


Green Glove didn't appear out of nowhere, he was with James in the roadhouse the first time we see him in the new episodes.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:20 AM on August 17 [2 favorites]


I have had those drugs.

Yeah, sorry if that was... off. Liked this episode a lot, though.
posted by Rinku at 7:04 AM on August 17


But “tulpa” is conjured by the mind, in my understanding of the term, it’s not usually used to refer to as “outside” force, but one you make somehow. And I think the doppelgängers are kind of produced by the people they are doppelgängers of, that this other secret world of lodges kind of reflected reality back on it, somehow.

I've quoted this line before, but a there's a writer I like a lot, a practitioner of Thelemic magic, who has addressed the question of whether the things perceived by mystics have some external existence, or if it's rather just in the visionary's head, by saying, "The answer is, it's all in your head. You just have no idea how big your head is."
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:00 PM on August 17 [1 favorite]




A thought that just crossed my mind that gives me genuine pleasure: there's one human being on earth who knows exactly what's going on. And it's Andy.
posted by Grangousier at 6:35 AM on August 18 [9 favorites]


I've been watching on the Showtime app on my phone (I know, I know) but I've slowly become aware that some of the granular "buffering" frames are built into the film, not artifacts of my viewing device. In this episode, the buffering flashes were decidedly red and grainy. I draw no conclusions beyond what's already been stated, but just that this emphasizes 1) our status as a viewer, and 2) David Lynch's dislike for modern viewing practices.
posted by samthemander at 12:36 AM on August 19


Lissie is a terrible lip-syncher.
posted by great_radio at 11:20 PM on November 11


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