Part 5’s ratatat pacing through smaller scenes continues abreast with a return to Dougie’s car, abandoned on the driveway at the Rancho Rosa estates. Lynch begins the scene in close, reminding us that the car has been rigged by Lorraine’s goons in an effort to assassinate Douglas Jones (Kyle MacLachlan). A red light blinking on the device tells the audience it is armed.
In the house across the street, the Little Boy (Sawyer Shipman), son of the Drugged-Out Mother (Hailey Gates) has seen it, too. He puts down his box of crackers and goes out to investigate; his mother passed out at her table, which is now revealed to be in a hallway; the red balloon still a blob of colour in the room.
The boy crosses the road to the armed vehicle. Peter Deming’s camera stays low with him, swooping across the road, too, giving the scene immediacy and a sense of nervousness; we are with the boy and don’t want him to be harmed.
He crouches low under the car to get a better look at the device, reaching out and touching it. Just then he is startled by the screeching wheels of the same black muscle car seen casing the house earlier in Part 5. Again, aggressive music from Uniform blasts from inside the car, which comes to a halt close by. The boy gets up and retreats from Dougie’s car as the men get out of the car, swearing. One throws something at him to hurry him along.
It’s just as well that the boy is frightened away to a safe distance, as when one of the men breaks into the car and starts the engine, he triggers the device underneath and the car explodes.
Complex stunt work is avoided by playing the explosion off of the boy’s face, but the explosion draws witnesses and the surviving hoods drive off, tires screeching once more. The boy runs back to his own home.
His return does rouse his mother. The boy watches the fire burn from the same window. The fire reflects over his face – fire and danger again co-mingled. It appears as though someone is going to need to call 911 after all; the Drugged-Out Mother’s mantra has become fact; a premonition revealed.
I wonder, idly, whether this helps to explain her addiction in an oblique way. Psychic ability exists in the world of Twin Peaks. Some harness it and use it to their advantage (eg. Cole, Margaret Lanterman). Others seem addled or disturbed by it. Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) appeared to fall into the latter category and, while other factors also contributed, turned to drugs as a method of escape. Could it be that the Drugged-Out Mother is so drugged-out because she too has troubling premonitions that traumatise her?
She’s a minor character in the grand scheme of The Return, but her existence adds further colour to its world, suggesting that even great gifts are, effectively, double-edged swords, and how people respond to their talents varies from individual to individual.
Next time: Jade