“To Dougie, With Love, Janey- E”
Is it just me or does Janey-E’s inscription on Dougie’s wedding ring (found in the stomach of the headless man’s body in Buckhorn) seem pretty insincere?
Around ten minutes into the episode we pick up shortly after where we left off with Dale, Janey-E and Sonny Jim. Janey-E orders Sonny Jim (still not sure if he’s actually Dougie’s son, or just Janey-E’s) into the car and then, utterly exasperated, tugs Dale along and out of the house. The tie is now hanging limp around his neck. I get the sense that it’s been a long morning already.
Contrary to what Janey-E said in the previous episode, she can apparently tie a tie, because she does so for Dale as they stand outside the house. She explains to a still uncomprehending Dale that she hid all four hundred and twenty-five k that Dale won in ‘their secret place’, which of course wouldn’t help Dale even if he was able to articulate himself because HE’S NOT DOUGIE. She tells him that when he gets to work he needs to call ‘them’ and pay them their fifty grand. Ouch! Something tells me that these twice mentioned debts are most likely from gambling, as Janey-E seemed pretty peeved that he was out at the casino the other night. It’s also probably why Dougie has a hit out on him, which is bad news for Dale (or is it?) as he’s in no shape to deal with the mob. Unless of course he continues to display synchronicity. Only time will tell.
All the while that she’s talking, we’re cutting back and forth between shots of Sonny Jim staring vacantly as he waits in the car, and Dale watching him intently. Dale looks so, so sad, it actually hurt my heart, and then he sheds a single tear. Why is he looking at Sonny Jim that way? Is Dale, somewhere deep in his consciousness, lamenting the years he’s lost and mourning the likelihood that he’ll never have children of his own? Is he sad because he knows that he’s not really Sonny Jim’s dad? Because Sonny Jim knows that Dale isn’t his father? Because Sonny Jim doesn’t talk? Because Sonny Jim has shit for parents? I don’t know. Maybe a combination of the above, maybe none.
And then, Janey-E finally says the magic words. She grabs Dale’s face, turns it towards her and says “Okay Dougie, you’re acting weird as shit,”
Yeah. Right. And you didn’t do something about this sooner why??? Janey-E is not a woman I’d want for a wife. No wonder Dougie’s sleeping around. Unless her general terribleness is a symptom and not a cause, which could be the case, in all fairness to her. Dougie didn’t exactly seem like a real catch either.
“Just don’t forget to call them. And no more drinking and gambling. Now get going. You’ll be late for work,”
“Work,” Dale repeats in that same monotone.
Janey-E realizes that Dale is without a vehicle – seriously? You were going to let that man drive a car? He came downstairs wearing a tie over his head and drank boiling hot coffee. Janey-E, I’m slightly concerned about your state of mind too… – and says she’ll give him a ride. Also, there’s absolutely no way that Dale’s going to make a phone call. I’m not even sure he knows what a phone is anymore. And guaranteed, he’d only recognize a rotary, which has finally passed into bygone years (I’m sad to say that last year I replaced my last corded, rotary phone).
Back at Rancho Rosa developments we view two cars drive past. The first car is part of the hit team, still waiting on Dougie to emerge and start the vehicle, setting off the bomb. The second appears to be a group of thugs – carjackers at the very least – with their music obnoxiously loud.
We get a nice, close up shot of the license plate: DUGE LV, or, if the LV is roman numerals, like I suspect, DUGE 55. Fives have been cropping up all over this show, so it’s definitely something to keep at eye on. It’s a Nevada plate, and at the bottom it says “The Silver State” – Silver and Gold also being major themes in both this Season Three and in TSHOTP. Finally, there’s a plate sticker reading 03. Now, there’s been some debate about this, but I’ve clarified it with an authority on the matter and the location of the 03 is generally supposed to indicate the year (but not apparently in Nevada). If this is indeed the case, then I literally have no idea what the hell is going on – what’s happening in 2003 and what’s happening in 2016?
Is the Coop and DoppelCoop plotline in 2003, and the Murder Mystery/Twin Peaks moments in 2016? Is it back and forth? A combination of the two? Future or Past??? Phillip Gerard, I hate it when you’re being straightforward. Gives me a headache.
Especially when you factor in that, in the state of Nevada, the typical year location (ie the 03) is generally the month instead, with the year printed to the side. The only way this is helpful to us is that, in some states, the year is indicated by colour of the sticker as well. The colour of this sticker is yellow, which corresponds to 2007, 2013 and 2016. But we do have to keep in mind that this is a production prop and thus, anything goes.
Anyways, moving on, Dale and Janey-E arrive at a business park, where we then undergo another round of ‘Get Out of the Car, Dougie,” complete with him leaving behind an open car door.
“You’re having another one of your episodes,” Janey-E says as she unbuckles him. This strikes me as important. It could explain why people who are least somewhat familiar with Dougie don’t seem very concerned about his state. And by very concerned I mean that no one actually calls a doctor for him. It’s what I would have done, but then I’m not a Lynch character in a Lynch mega-film. Such is life.
After Dale exits the car and ventures off into the corporate world, he stops, entranced by a statue. This statue was made for the show, so there’s no real life equivalent, but it sure looks most like it’s supposed to be James Stewart from The FBI Story, which, if you’ve read The Autobiography of Special Agent Dale Cooper, My Life My Tapes, you’d know was Dale Cooper’s favourite movie as a child. This is not the only reference, however. Strangely enough, the following appears in the book:
Who does that happen to sound an awful lot like? Not that I think they’re one and the same, but the coincidence is too remarkable to actually be coincidence. Happenstance like this is below Lynch and Frost. Usually, someone spouts a theory about a show, and I’ll tell them that the writers aren’t smart enough. Generally, this is true. Not, of course, as well all well know, in the case of TWIN PEAKS. A secondary incident relates to the two sequences of Dale urinating, which coincides well with the description of one of Dale’s experiments in college, where he tested the limits of the human body to his maximum tolerance.
Back to the statue. As per the usual, Dale mimics the gun motion with his hand, perhaps recalling his history as an agent, perhaps not. I think that it is likely the former and not the latter. Dale has shown evidence so far of picking up small tidbits of his personality.
He follows the direction the statue is pointing and makes his way to an office building, which just so happens to be the one where Dougie is employed. Once again, synchronicity. I was pretty skeptical when people started talking about the possibility that all of this is just a dream/parallel to the sequence of events in the Power Station/ Purple Dimension, but now I’m not so sure. Maybe it too is manufactured, like Dougie. All the same, I’m still more inclined to believe that this is all actually happening.
Side note, as Dale starts towards the building, we get another shot of red balloons, just like in the Jones household.
As Dale shuffles around the open courtyard of Dougie’s place of employ, absolutely clueless, it is coffee that guides his way, or rather, it’s coffee that lures him, as he follows the coworker into the elevator (Seven, up!) where Kyle MacLachlan once again gives a rousing performance as a man reuniting with his one true love – a damn good cup of joe.
“Damn Good,” Yes indeed, I think Dale is on his way back to us.
They exit the elevator onto the seventh floor to a company called “Lucky 7 Insurance” which is one too many sevens to be an accident. The coworker steers him away from more of “other people’s coffee” and into the conference room where he awkwardly stands while the rest sit, because, obviously despite the best efforts of Sonny Jim, Dale has not yet grasped the mechanics of sitting down.
‘Tony’ leads them off with an apparently false relation of events and cases because Dale, after a strange green light flits over Tony’s face, piquing his interest, says “He’s lying”. Despite, or perhaps in light of, the strange circumstances, this is the first time that Dale actually sounds like Dale, sounds like there’s a properly functioning brain inside his head. Unfortunately for him and everyone around him, that’s all the more we get of it, and he immediately goes back to the same old catatonia. Is the green light a physical representation of Dale’s intuition? Does it come from the Lodge? Why green? With what do we associate green? I’m at a loss on this one, to be honest, but it was an exceptionally exciting moment to see and have a little bit of that old Dale back again.
The boss gets annoyed with Dale’s behaviour and he ends up in the man’s office. While there, the boss drops the words “Agent” and “Case Files” which really resonate with Dale, especially Agent, which he repeats, twice, with feeling. He is coming back to us. I just know it. After being handed the stack of case files (which look an awful lot like my stacks of ungraded student work) we cut to Dale, files strewn about the hall, once again grabbing his crotch.
Apparently he’s not so returned that he can recall how to use the bathroom. The woman insurance agent from the meeting makes the assumption that the men’s room must be locked and lets Dale use the women’s room, after insinuating that Dougie had once made passes at her “You know, I was thinking maybe I’d let you kiss me now, handsome,”. Let me just say, I’m agreed. Despite the atrocious oversized clothes, Dale/Kyle looks pretty darn good. Earlier in the episode she rebuffed the advances of another, younger man, telling him to “Talk to your wife,”. Amusing that she’d make her own pass at Dale, whilst he’s in desperate need to pee. Typical. Muted, from within the bathroom, we hear Dale groan in relief, and she laughs.
We make a brief pitstop at the Silver Mustang Casino to witness Robert Knepper and Jim Belushi kick the ever loving crap out of Manager “I’m Dead” from the night that Dale won his massive payout. They’re not pleased that Dale ran off with their money, and have a very, very good camera shot of his face. This does not bode well for our questing hero.
Then, a brief callback to the “119” drugged out Mother and her son, who live across from the house where Dougie’s car is parked. The kid, curious, goes over to check out the bomb, the punks-carjackers chase him away, start up the car and absolutely demolish both themselves and the vehicle in question.
Surprisingly, we next cut to Jade, who is getting her car cleaned. The man doing so discovers the Great Northern room key on the floor. I immediately felt a wave of anguish, as she throws the key in the mailbox. Is this good luck or bad luck? I thought at first bad, because without it Dale has no connection or knowledge of the place. But perhaps it could be good luck, inducing the persons at the Great Northern to report the incident to the FBI, thus alerting them to Dale’s presence.
It’s night. We’re back in Vegas. Dale is in the elevator, his back to the doors and, this time going down. He still has the case files clutched in his arms. The people yell and push and admonish him when he does not move. The same male coworker from before walks him back and out and spins him around, setting him on his way. Outside, Dale stands captivated, looking up at the statue. Based on how the scene is cut, we can determine that lengths of time are passing. He peers down briefly to examine the statue’s shoes.
The final scene – the credits scene – breaks from the past three episodes tradition of ending in the Roadhouse and instead features Dale, still standing by the statute, at an obviously later hour. The scene is set to Johnny Jewel’s Windswept. Dale is touching the statue’s shoes.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again – whatever is up with Dale’s shoes, it is definitely important.
Questions Answered – We have a Richard in Richard Horne! Is it that the right Richard? Who knows? The White Horse of Death could have related to the Silver Mustang Casino. Things are definitely happening out of chronological order.
Things to consider – timelines are strange – keep an eye on those license plates! Shoes – still a prominent theme, obviously. I’m feeling stronger in my assessment of the importance of Dale having left them behind in the Purple dimension. What kind of episodes did Dougie have? Are they related to the fact that he’s a creation of the Black Lodge? What’s up with Sonny Jim? Will losing the Great Northern Key have a positive or negative affect? Still no Linda, still no 430.
Until next time, this has been Homeward Bound.
What do you think about my theories? Did I miss something? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know what you think! Leave your thoughts a comment!
Some images Courtesy of Showtime