Still need to see this edit before I give proper feedback but I agree with LeperMessiah that some stuff really can just be cut, I might need to check again but I don’t think James and Donna really come back for anything post Evelyn subplot, Donna is in Miss Twin Peaks but she also never left town except to talk to Evelyn in the same subplot, so truthfully I would cut it off when James leaves town and that’s it. I think same can go for Ben’s civil war mental break, he’s already been beaten and morally defeated so I don’t see a problem going from him in shambles reminiscing about his childhood to eating a carrot trying to reform his ways, cleaner just to avoid entirely.
On things that should be reduced but still kept in small doses either for continuity or character development, the whole travel critic thing and Norma having a bad relationship with her mother is so typical sitcom and pointless except that we need Ernie introduced. More obvious trims for Nadine and little Nicky, though I would keep some of the humor when it works.
Another I might be going out on a limb with is Windom Earle, haven’t seen his stuff mentioned but it’s a huge part of what makes season 2 abysmal for me personally. Giving Cooper this Joker-esque mad genius ex partner was really a mistake that only diminishes Cooper’s character to a comic book hero going after villain of the week. That stuff plays in so much it can only be tilted so it’s less on the nose, but if it can be helped I’d like only the best of Windom, no horse suit kidnapping Major Briggs, less with the stupid flute and dead random extras we’ve never met encased in paper mache chess pieces, the show should really be above those sorts of things.
Can’t wait to watch the edit!