Physiognomy is the practice of reading into a person’s personality and health through the features of their face. Every part of the face is thought to correspond to another part or trait of the body. By examining someone’s cheekbones, for instance, one might gather insight into the wellness of their stomach. It’s a talent that can also – supposedly – be used to prognosticate, giving insights into fate, character and more. It’s an art with disparate roots. The Greeks practiced it. So too did the Chinese.
It’s reasonable to assume that Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) would have heard of it, given his interest in Eastern philosophies. Therefore, it stands to reason that his doppelganger Mr. C would know of it, too.
We return to the real world at a safe-storage facility in the vicinity of the diner where we last saw Mr. C. He is there with Jack (Steve Baker); the mechanic who was making short work of his three dinners. Jack draws down the shutter on the storage unit, securing a BMW away for his boss. Another BMW is parked beside them. Jack hands Mr. C both sets of keys.
“Jack, come here,” Mr. C says as he prepares to get into the parked car. Jack obeys.
Mr. C reaches over the car door and takes Jack’s face in his hand, cradling his chin between thumb and forefinger. Mr. C massages and palpates Jack’s jowly cheeks, as though divining some aspect of his personality or some knowledge held within the man.
Jack, for his part, stands and allows this to happen, docile; a supplicant.
It could be that Jack is under his thrall, as though Mr. C’s villainy here has manifested like some kind of Stoker-esque vampire. Is he in a daze? Incapable of defending himself? Or is he just trusting of his boss? Does this happen often?
There are no answers to these questions. The scene is rather inexplicable. Still, it feels as though Mr. C is drawing something from Jack. If indeed he does gain knowledge from him this way, perhaps it includes some clue as to malicious intent or duplicity. Why? Because this is the last time we see Jack. We learn, in the next scene, that Mr. C has killed him. If a psychic transference is occurring in this wordless transaction, it evidently displeases Cooper’s intimidating doppelganger.
At the end of this short scene (little more than a minute), Mr. C stops massaging Jack’s face and just holds him. Jack doesn’t move, and one might well wonder if this act – this action itself – has killed him. It’s not a power we see demonstrated again, but the power play between the men speaks volumes regarding Mr. C’s control of those who follow him.
Next time: Motel room