by Francis Friel
- seen by Cooper scrawled on the windshield of a car, 1988
- The Man From Another Place, 1989
- Diane Evans, 2017
We need to talk about Evans. Seriously. Something is drastically wrong here. Not only is she still communicating with someone (Mr. C? Jeffries?), but in Part 12 she gets officially deputized into the Blue Rose Task Force. Her response: “Let’s rock.” But it’s the way she says it that’s interesting.
Leading into this episode, I was excited to see some kind of show of force from the Lodge. What we got instead was a quick rundown of the history of the Blue Rose. Where the name came from, who and what are involved, and how this might tie into Cooper’s current MIA status all become clear. But it’s Cole who’s already given us a huge hint. Earlier this season, Cole explained to Preston the significance of the Doppelganger’s backwards speech in the interrogation room, pointing out that his “spiritual mound” had been corrupted (it is and it isn’t, seeing as he was manufactured by BOB to do evil in the first place). So we’re now paying attention to speech and finger association. This is much in keeping with Lynch’s classic eye/ear substitution method I went over in a previous review. We should be looking as we’re hearing, reading the words that are said aloud. In this case, it’s how Diane is holding her fingers as she speaks the words. “Let’s rock.”
Not only does she make a dramatic entrance into the room through red drapes, but she herself has turned into the living embodiment of the eye/ear thing Lynch loves so much. Previously only seen as a tape recorder into which Cooper would dictate his thoughts, she now speaks for herself. And now here she is speaking aloud this infamous phrase. Not only that, but a quick Google search led me to this:
As she speaks, she is aligning Jupiter and Saturn. This is pretty fucking troubling, knowing what we do about the Black Lodge and how (and when) it works. Is she signalling her true allegiance here? Is she speaking in code to the group?
Cooper saw Let’s Rock in 1988, dreamt the same phrase in 1989, and now we are hearing it in the “real world” in 2017. There’s been a lot of online chatter this week about how Lynch may be playing around with the timelines of some of the onscreen action in this new season, but what about this: Diane appearing in the red-draped room and saying the phrase is somehow echoing across time, Cooper picks it up, the Lodge feeds that vision back to him, and it becomes its own loop. When Coop first heard it in his dream, the Man From Another Place started with his back to Cooper, just as how Diane is now hiding something. Then he swung around quickly and grabbed hold of a lamp. When Diane speaks in the room with Gordon, Albert, and Tammy, a lamp is framed behind her head. This could all be a bit of a stretch but, as always with Lynch, you can’t be too careful. And if that’s the case, will Cooper experience the same dream? Will this be part of what finally wakes him up?
Speaking of which, who cares if Cooper never wakes up? He’s completely linked to the Lodges now. He was educated by the Giant / Fireman at the same time as he was trapped in the Waiting Room with MIKE. So he could actually be more valuable now than ever before. He certainly seemed lucid enough before returning to Earth, but what does that mean, exactly? He was derailed by Mr. C, so no matter what else happened, he was never going to come out whole. So now the waiting game has turned into character development and introduced new thematic elements that the show otherwise quite possibly never could’ve addressed. We’re seeing how people react to “Dougie.” He’s moving through the world as a very powerful being in his own way. He changed the life of the woman in the casino, he’s mending Dougie’s relationship with Janey-E, and he’s influencing the brothers to fix their hearts. All while doing more or less nothing. But he’s still being guided.
We didn’t get much of Cooper this week, and zero new info on the Doppelganger. We know Murphy is now dead, so his master plan is being put into action, but Mr. C remained hidden this hour. Instead we got a few new additions to the returning cast. There were three big ones this week, so let’s start off with the ones you’re all thinking of: Sarah Palmer and her ceiling fan.
The fan was part of Leland’s BOB ritual, and always signaled something horrific was about to happen (or had just happened). So seeing it again in Part 12 (along with whatever was in Sarah’s kitchen) might not spell good things for the Palmer house. Living alone (as far as we know) and having meltdowns in public, Sarah doesn’t look like she’s doing too well these days. And when Hawk shows up to offer support, all she can do is go on a cryptic rant about the “horrible story” they’re living through before shutting him out after he notices strange noises coming from the kitchen. Who or what is in there? Does Sarah have a frog-moth in her throat? I’m pretty afraid of where all this might be heading.
Finally, we got our long-awaited return of Audrey herself. Truthfully, I don’t have much to say about her yet. I’m sure as things keep rolling, we’ll get a little more insight into just what the hell she was talking about, but for now it was perhaps the most abstract info dump this show has given us yet outside of Part 8. We can possibly draw a line between this episode and an earlier one, where a character barged into the RR Diner asking if anyone had seen Billy (and it might have been Billy’s truck that Richard was driving when he hit that kid). But, again, as of now we don’t even have that much confirmed for us. So I’m going to play the wait-and-see game with Audrey for the time being. Yes, it was good to see her, and Lynch has promised that she plays a “major” role this season. But it brings up some questions, like why didn’t Richard go to her for money? Why didn’t Ben ask if Audrey knew about all the trouble Richard was in when Hawk showed up at the Great Northern to inform Ben on what’s been going on? It’s all a little shaky, but I’m not complaining. We’ve still got a lot of time to sort through all this.
In the meantime, my biggest worry is that Jacoby, or Dr. Amp as he’s now known, is about to get his brain ripped out by the Woodsmen. They’re known for interrupting broadcasts, after all.