Before we return to the misadventures of Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan), another playful tease of what Dr. Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn) is up to.
We last saw him near the top of Part 1 taking delivery of a number of shovels. So early did this appear that we are naturally drawn to conclude its relevance to the unfolding story; an urge to assume that Mark Frost and David Lynch have some good-natured fun with.
Jacoby now has the shovels on an elaborate runner so that he can spray-paint them gold, with pedals that allow him to turn the implements back and forth. We watch him as he methodically works, and we wonder what the purpose of this set-up could be. Doubt enters our minds that Jacoby’s efforts will have an impactful baring on the greater story of the two Coopers…
The entire set-up of Jacoby’s outdoor work station is very Lynch. In the intervening years between INLAND EMPIRE and The Return, Lynch didn’t make any new features, but he was hardly inactive. Besides working with Mark Frost and Showtime on the gestation of The Return (a 5 year process in itself), he produced and recorded music, continued with his work as a painter and photographer (passions that predate his film work) and crafted steadily in his home workshop, doing carpentry, making lamps, etc, etc.
Creativity manifests in different ways for Lynch. One can readily imagine him building a complex shovel-turning frame in his own life, enjoying the efforts involved in making a contraption that serves a single purpose, getting as much fulfillment from that as any other expression of his art.
We’ll have to wait until Part 5 to learn the (in)significance of Dr. Jacoby’s shovels…
Next time: Call for help