Mr. Reindeer wrote:Heather Graham is freaking awesome, and I’d have loved to see her work with DKL as a more mature artist. But I don’t think Annie was ever anything more than another stone along a path. Not that Dale thought of her that way; I think his intentions were pure, and maybe they even might have become a serious long-term couple if they’d had the chance. But pretty much that whole arc was about the fact that Dale was repeating old patterns, with Annie and Caroline literally becoming interchangeable in Episode 29. MLMT shows a history of Dale falling in love with the idea rather than the reality of a woman (generally a damaged woman he perceives as needing protection), and convincing himself that she is “the one,” only for things to go horribly wrong, which he generally blames on a curse rather than any error in his own judgment. I think this is telling as to the writers’ mindset circa S2, and I think the new series continued mining the same terrain in a more abstract way.
This is a great analysis and synopsis of the thoughts we've been kicking around here, and what I personally feel is happening, and why it had to happen with Diane. I am however open to the idea of it having been Audrey at this point, but being that I was always against a romance emerging between Dale and Audrey in S3, I hadn't ever considered what it would have been like if he was merely rescuing her (again), this time from a place that his Doppelganger put her. That could have worked, for sure. A sex scene with Audrey could have been very haunting since it would have come out of nowhere (as if to fulfill fan expectations and then thoroughly crush them), but it perhaps works better with Diane, a woman whom Dale has known longer and whom I had always suspected him of having some sort of tensely flirtatious relationship wth, and also checks more boxes thematically since Diane was always just a soundboard/figment of imagination for Dale in the first place. But once again, she comes out dressed like the frickin' Red Room. I think anybody who thinks that it doesn't make sense that it's Diane should at least consider that it might not be.
Needleman, I'm not against the idea of Freddy being deliberately awesome! I just don't think of it in that way, but the reason I'm able to appreciate the scene in the first place is because I think the execution is indeed awesome in and of itself, which opened up my line of thinking into what it might mean rather than disregarding it as "bad" or "silly."