I can’t really say I was disappointed with the ending, or that the ending was a disappointment, I didn’t really expect the writers to go somewhere special with the ending in a way I would have liked them to, so in a way it was well anticipated. They didn’t, and in the end it settled into a “well at least they didn’t completely fuck it up” kind of vibe.
Nevertheless, I still feel like there were a whole lot of things done really well. Yes, the Lynch inspired, and indeed 30 Flights inspired elements
(to which they ping a dedication to at the head of the end titles) are played extremely loudly. Too loudly? I don’t know. I didn’t think so - except for maybe the whole blue key lifted from Mulholland Dr. That struck me as a liiiiittle too much, but even then, it was still kind of nice to have been played loud as a “Hey we get that some of you dig Lynch in a big way”. I certainly feel better respected than any developer throwing callbacks to Bioshock/System Shock or other such.
The music score is straight up Angelo Badalamenti Twin Peaks/everything Lynch synth pad and again no effort is made to obscure this but again there’s a comfort in it as far as mood and atmosphere go. As much as the music did seem to be keyed in to the Twin Peaks vibe, I didn’t really feel like too much else about the FBI angle was borrowed from that particular show - nor did I feel there was much of an X-Files vibe being thrown, either.
Where I think Virginia is its strongest is where it’s borrowing from 30 Flights and more-so perhaps the films of Edward Yang from where Brendan Chung sources much of his inspiration, and also where it feels like it brushes against one of Timmy’s all time pillars of video gaming greats Kentucky Route Zero albeit very gently. It’s in the gentle emphasis on relationship between the protagonist and your partner whom you investigate at the same time as the main narrative case. I feel the writing does a good job of playing the subtext loud enough that this really is the heart of the story, and the main narrative really is the mood/nostalgia flavour for the setting.
For some reason I’m OK with this. I dunno - I think I was expecting it to be more haphazard, more unwieldy, than I found it, but instead the two characters really endeared themselves to me. The storytelling that I mentioned previously utilising hard-cuts, non-sequitur transitions and surrealism really appealed to me and I loved being carried around back and forth to unknown moments in the narrative until slowly they became familiar and made more and more sense. It wasn’t just because it was expedient & that I’m a fan of expedience, it was also stylistically suited to both the tone and the subject matter.
The most significant weakness I feel we’re left with, then, is the conclusion. I’m less concerned with the main narrative or the crescendo of the strange events at hand, but of-course as is typical of my tastes, left wanting more engagement between the two characters, but perhaps what we’re left with is what’s best - without spoiling too much, more or less unresolved.