We pick back up immediately with Dale standing right where we left him, by the statue outside Dougie’s workplace. The same song is even playing – Windswept by Johnny Jewel. He’s messing with the sleeve of his arm – notably it’s the left arm, same as the arm which Phillip Gerard lost, and on which Dougie wore the ring – though I couldn’t tell exactly what it is that he’s doing, it looks as if he’s trying to remove the jacket, or a button maybe. The guard – name Officer Reynaldo, walks by and says it’s been half an hour, and reminds him that there is no loitering on the grounds. Eventually he discovers the right series of prompts to get Dale to talk. At this point, he’s reminding me of those text based computer games from back in the day, where, if you didn’t type the correct sequence of the correct words, you couldn’t advance. This is Dougie to a ‘t’. During this line of questioning, Dale is drawn to the man’s badge. Once more, the real Dale is showing through.
After Reynaldo discovers where Dale lives – “Lancelot. Red Door,” – he asks Dale if he’s taken any drugs or has been drinking. FINALLY! The first genuinely sane person. Thank you Mr. Reynaldo! You’re my saviour!
The guards take Dale back to Dougie’s house, where Janey-E answers the door. She forgot about the fact that he didn’t have his car…really? It’s when-o’clock at night and you’re not wondering where he is? Anyhow, the genius security guard tells her that he thinks Dale’s a bit disoriented. They explain the seriousness of Dale’s condition to her and I think that it’s perhaps the first time she really realizes just how bad it really is.
As Janey-E ushers him inside, two things happen. Dale touches the Reynaldo’s badge again and the guard hands Janey-E a manila envelope which was on their doormat. In a weird parallel to the first night Dale spent at the Jones household, Janey-E once again decides to ‘fix’ him a sandwich. She tells him that she’d going to take him to the Doctor the next day (FINALLY).
Upstairs, Sonny Jim is reading, waiting for Dale to get home. After a few missteps and some firm directions from Janey-E, Dale makes it to Sonny Jim’s room, bringing his personal sized bag of chips with him.
Now, one of my most pressing questions up until this point was “can/does Sonny Jim talk?”. The answer is yes! He does! I was quite surprised but also hugely gratified. He seems to be the only one who can understand Dale, much less having noticed that he’s not all there. Dale shares a chip with Sonny Jim, whose first words are “I already brushed my teeth,”. Well apparently Dougie and Janey-E did something right, because Sonny Jim just escalated himself to perfect-childdom. A second aside – recall the last things that we heard from DoppelCoop in the Season Two finale about teeth brushing. Creepy! Dale, in response, lays the chip on Sonny Jim’s covers. Nice.
Sonny Jim then sends a barrage of questions at Dale, about leaving his ‘cowboy light’ on, about whether or not Dale will stay with him until he’s sleeping. “A-sleep” Dale replies, with Sonny Jim takes as a yes.
Fun fact – as Sonny Jim closes his book, you can see the cover and it’s a Hardy Boy’s mystery! I love it! If anyone can identify which one it is, please let me know in the comments. Update: It’s the Secret of the Old Mill, which is the 3rd book in the series. I highly suggest that you read the plot summary, because it deserves it’s own article comparing it with everything happening on TWIN PEAKS. The inclusion of this book is no accident.
The cowboy light, it turns out, it a clap-on, clap-off light, which absolutely bamboozles Dale. His childlike joy at the prospect is by far the most endearing scene yet. I absolutely adore Dale’s scenes with Sonny Jim. They are both heartwarming and terribly sad all at once. He claps, very deliberately, once, and the light goes out.
“Dad,” says Sonny Jim, clapping the light back on. There we are, question number two answered! Sonny Jim is indeed Dougie’s child.
Downstairs, Janey-E opens the manila envelope and what she discovers inside is enough for her to summon Dougie back down directly, much so her son’s disappointment and Dougie’s terror. Within is a picture of Dougie and jade together at the house in which we know they conducted their affair. Understandably, Janey-E is furious, both because her husband was having sex with a hooker, as well as the fact that she now knows that Dale didn’t call and arrange to pay off his debt like she told him that morning. I genuinely think that her previously uncaring nature towards Dougie is definitely because he was a total asshole. Dale, in his utter obliviousness blurts Jade’s name, followed by the infamous ‘two rides’ line. Nice one, Dale. The phone rings and Janey-E handles it, as it’s the debt collectors.
She says an absolutely bonkers line about how if they break Dale’s legs, it’ll be harder for him to get the money. I was laughing aloud at this point, but considering that I’m also mildly afraid of Janey-E, it was only for a moment. She arranges a meet for half past noon “at the corner of Guinevere and Merlin (more Arthurian names!), and later tells Dale that she can no longer take him to the doctor because of it. It’s almost as if no one wants Dale to be seen by a Doctor…?
At any rate, she chews him out about the debts, about the missing car and identification, and especially about work. Recall in the last part, Dougie’s boss threatened to fire Dale if he didn’t go over the case files, which Janey-E rather firmly instructs him to get to, right snappy. After he vacantly repeats some of her words, she seems to react, softening her voice and her demeanour. She seems almost sad when she gives him a kiss on the head, which seems to really shock Dale for a moment. Once she has left, he reaches for the stack, tracing the ‘7’ printed on the files with his finger.
One quick cut to the stoplight at the corner of Sparkwood and 21 (crackling electric noise included) later, we’re back in the Red Room, watching Phillip Gerard, arm out once again, searching for Dale, or a way to contact him. Back to Dale. Last time Phillip Gerard appeared to him, he was looking at a red chair. This time, Dale is gazing at the fire place.
“You have to wake up,” He repeats the line a couple of times before the Phillip’s message changes to “Don’t Die,” Which is the tagline for the episode, and for good reason, all things considered. He disappears, leaving Dale to look at the case files. Tiny pinpricks of light show up on them, which apparently must mean something to Dale, because he picks up the pencil – with a closed fist like a child – and begins to doodle, for lack of a better materials. He flips through file after file, drawing all over them, especially lines, circle scribbles and, or all things, ladders and steps (Step + ladder = stepladder. Like the one that Hawk uses later in the episode?) Is this another physical indicator of Dale’s intuition in this altered state? Is it similar to the green light we saw lash over the liar of an insurance agent’s face? Or is this the Lodge, acting on Dale’s behalf? If it is the lodge, is it for good or evil? It’s certainly meant to help Dale, but to what purpose? The drawings, to be honest, remind me of the Owl Cave map. Significant? We spent over 5 minutes on it, so I think it’s important to say the least.
We meet back up with Dale the next morning. He’s back in his smart, black suit, looking exceptionally fine, and holding his stack of case files and his coffee, a huge smile on his face. He’s absolutely exuberant as he stands within the elevator, listening to it ding open and closed while his coworker tries to lure him out into the building. This scene is absolutely precious and I loved it. Especially when they close on him as he’s exiting. Absolute gold.
In the primary coloured lobby, Dougie’s boss calls to Dale, who doesn’t respond to just ‘Jones’. It takes an exasperated ‘Dougie!’ to get Dale to respond. He totters into the bosses office with help from his coworker, while Tony, our liar, watches on nervously from his own office window.
Inside the office, Dougie’s boss looks through the case files with Dale watching on, drinking his coffee with zeal. During this period, Dale seems to make the connection between the prizefighter depicted in the poster on the wall and Dougie’s boss – the same person, Bushnell Mullins.
Mullins seems to grow increasingly frustrated with what he’s seeing – Dale’s doodles from the night prior. “How am I gonna make any sense out of this?” He asks. Dale, ever the mimic replies “Make…sense of it,”.
Mullins appears to actually listen to Dale because he runs back through the files are starts to see…something, involving Anthony Sinclair aka Tony the Liar. Mullins thanks Dougie for bringing the information to his attention, tells him to keep it to himself, that it is “disturbing to say the least”. He tells Dale he might need his help again and then puts out his hand to shake. Dale stands and imitates him, turning his back on the man and putting out his hand, much in parallel to the ‘thumbs up’ moment he shared with Sonny Jim. Mullin’s only response is to tell Dale that he’s “an interesting fellow,”. To say the least!
It’s noon. At the park Janey-E is waiting with her red purse for the bookies to show. Her leg is jittering a million miles per hour. The two grease-balls (named Jimmy and Tommy) who show up (whom we’ve seen before) look straight out of the seventies, just like Dougie did.
It turns out that Dougie’s gambling debt is actually due to a football bet. Typical. Now, up until this point, I’ve been pretty harsh on Janey-E, mostly because she’s been pretty hot/cold terrible to Cooper. If this were actually Dougie, I’d hazard to say he deserved it. Dougie was a lousy, worthless human being so far as I can tell, so I’m going to give Janey-E the props she deserves for taking his shit.
This scene is so powerful. Janey-E absolutely decimates, talking the bookies down from 52 thousand dollars to 25 thousand, using a fast talking, no-nonsense pitch. This woman needs to be selling oxyclean, or the host of a game show. I swear! When they try to take the money from her before she’s ready, she gives them the disappointed Mom talk with a side of political/economic commentary (which fits with the theme of this episode quite well. I think Dr. Amp would like her!) before shoving the massive role of cash into the one’s chest and walking away. When she slams the car door, one of the bookies flinches. It’s beautiful. The other, in his best stoner voice, says “Tough Dame!”
Janey-E-Take-No-Shit-Jones. What a woman.
Questions answered: Sonny Jim is Dougie’s child and he can talk! We finally heard reference to a ‘Linda’, so now we have both a Richard and a Linda.
Questions asked: Where is Dale’s intuition coming from? Will he wake up? What does that mean? Is Dougie’s life real, or imaginary? Is the life manufactured? It it’s a dream, does that mean Dale is in a coma somewhere, or ‘sleeping’ inside his Doppelganger? How will this plot coalesce with the others? What will trigger Dale to wake up?
Until next time, I’ll see you in the trees!
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