6:8 – Ike ‘The Spike’ Stadtler

At a motel, a diminutive bald hit-man named Ike ‘The Spike’ Stadtler (Christophe Zajac-Denek) sits before a mirror rolling dice. On the desk in front of him is a bottle of Bulleit bourbon, a measure poured in a glass, a salt seller, a notebook and pencil, and the lethally sharp spiked instrument that evidently gives him his nickname. He makes notes with the pencil based on the outcomes of rolling the dice. This, following the events earlier in Part 6 with Red, feels like another nod to the kinds of villains seen in films like No Country For Old Men who assuage their own culpability in events by obsessing over the role of fate in their work.

The white envelope with the black dot on it is passed underneath his motel room door and he goes to fetch it. He opens it back at the desk and takes out two photographs; one of Lorraine (Tammie Baird) (the Blunted Beatz music cue is revived to signal to audience members who might not recollect her) and one of Dougie Jones (Kyle MacLachlan) prior to his recent physical overhaul. Ike picks up his Spike and hovers it over the two photographs, trying to decide which to act on first. Evidently they are both to be killed. His instinct is to go for Lorraine, and as he brings the spike down to puncture the photograph the music cuts out.

He follows this stabbing motion by then stabbing the photo of Dougie Jones. He has determined his sequence.

Chance and intuition pay significant roles in David Lynch’s working practices. Take for example the notorious stories of how Frank Silva came to play BOB on the show, having been caught in frame hunkering down during a shot set-up in the filming of the Pilot. Lynch isn’t dismissive of happenstance, and perhaps an element of this is represented in Ike’s interest in the outcomes from rolling dice, over and over. Still, Lynch seems far more fascinated by incidents that spring from nowhere, rather than statistical variables.

Next time:  ‘Battling’ Bud

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