Rancho Rosa Estates; a new suburban housing development on the outskirts of Las Vegas. We’re greeted with a billboard for the site, incorporating the name and logo of the production company for The Return as indicated at the very beginning of every instalment. It’s a nice – if glaring – Easter egg.
I did think about tracking the different colours that occur in the ident for Rancho Rosa at the beginning of every part; but if there’s a meaning or code to crack behind these then it’s beyond me.
One of the new homes has two cars parked outside; a silver saloon and a yellow jeep. An illicit rendezvous is taking place here.
Inside the house we find another Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). But this third man is not Dale Cooper. He is a facsimile created by Mr. C; a tulpa (we’ll cover these in more detail in Part 14). This tulpa is named Douglas Jones and known informally as Dougie. Our reality has been changed to incorporate him. Dougie differs from Mr. C and Cooper physically. He is overweight and has shaggier hair (the wig on MacLachlan is almost/deliberately(?) comical). We find him in the company of a prostitute named Jade (Nafessa Williams). Jade is naked except for her jewelry – following the scene with Darya in Part 2, this introduction doesn’t exactly put Lynch in good stead whenever the case for the show’s misogyny is made. Dougie and Jade have clearly just had sex.
Jade asks Dougie what’s wrong with his arm.
“I don’t know,” he says, “Think it fell asleep. It’s sort of tingly”. This is not irrelevant. In Fire Walk With Me when FBI Agents Chester Desmond (Chris Isaak) and Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) are investigating the murder of Teresa Banks (Pamela Gidley) the visit Hap’s Diner in the town of Deer Meadow. Banks worked there as a waitress. While interviewing the owner – a morose woman named Irene (Sandra Kinder) – they learn that, before Teresa was murdered, her arm went completely numb. Later on in Fire Walk With Me, Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) experiences the same difficulty a few days before her own death at the hands of the same killer.
Laura was intended to be BOB’s (Frank Silva) next host, and perhaps Teresa was a candidate before her. Becoming one with BOB means visiting the Black Lodge. It seems as though in the run-up to this happening, numbness of the arm occurs. Dougie’s numb arm here is a harbinger of his experience to come…
That it is an arm that feels numb seems like no coincidence either. As previously explained, in order to end his association with BOB, the entity MIKE (Al Strobel) cut off his own/Phillip Gerard’s arm. Perhaps this is the only way to remain living and out of the influence of the Black Lodge/BOB? If it is, it’s rather extreme.
Jade goes to have a shower and Dougie gives her money for services rendered. Dougie stands and we see he is wearing the Owl Cave Ring.
The Owl Cave Ring was a focal point of Fire Walk With Me and did not appear in the series beforehand. In FWWM it was worn by Teresa Banks before her murder, but notably missing when she was autopsied by Sam Stanley. Later on in their investigation, Chet Desmond located the ring, seemingly via intuition, on a mound of dirt underneath a trailer that was owned by Mrs. Chalfont (Frances Bay) and her grandson. Other scenes in FWWM establish that Mrs. Chalfont and her grandson are spirits who also inhabit the Convenience Store. The name ‘Chalfont’ will become curiously important to the very final scene of The Return.
During the last seven days of her life, Laura is visited by the Chalfonts in the RR parking lot. They give her a painting to hang on her wall. The painting is of a room with floral wallpaper and a large wooden door. When Laura hands this on her wall she has a dream that she is inside the painting. In the dream she is ushered through a series of rooms by Mrs. Chalfont until the grandson snaps his fingers. Snapping his fingers starts a fire which transitions Laura to the Black Lodge. The Man From Another Place (Michael J Anderson) offers Laura the Owl Cave Ring. Cooper, trapped in the Black Lodge and outside of time, urges Laura not to take the ring. Laura wakes to find the ring in her palm. This turns out to be a dream within a dream and when she wakes for real, the ring is gone.
Later again in FWWM, the Owl Cave Ring is seen in the possession of Phillip Gerard. He wears it on his little finger when he accosts Leland (Ray Wise) in traffic. On the night that Laura is killed, Gerard throws the Owl Cave Ring into the train car where Leland/BOB has her tied up. Laura puts the ring on. It appears as though killing Laura was not BOB’s intention; rather he wanted to port into her and taste through her mouth. When Laura puts the ring on, BOB is compelled to kill her.
Why rehash all of this? Because the Own Cave Ring is back in the series. With the above catalogued experiences of the ring in mind, one can infer that it is an object that enhances the ability to be transported between worlds. It seems to have other properties as well. Why does wearing it mean that BOB has to kill Laura rather than inhabit her? Is that also why Teresa had to die? Does it prevent BOB from possessing someone? The answers to these questions aren’t clear. But that it is on Dougie Jones’ hand – coupled with his experience of having a numb arm – advises us in the audience that it is he who will end up replacing Mr. C in the Black Lodge.
Dougie puts on his mustard coloured suit jacket and appears nauseous. He falls to his knees.
Next time: I feel funny