Let's talk about MIKE

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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:46 am

StealThisCorn wrote:To me it would be really weird if all were Mike. The waiter, the Giant, the Little Man, Philip Gerard, the Arm. It just seems so overcomplicated by that point.


I know what you mean, but I actually might say the opposite - if there are all these different spirits, many of whose roles seem to overlap significantly - THAT might end up being overcomplicated. Whereas if we boil it down to two essential forces (themselves indicative of a greater unity, perhaps gone astray) it becomes a bit simpler, and purer. I think "chaotic on the surface, simpler at the root" describes a lot of Lynch's work. I have to say I'm growing to really like the Bob/Mike-focused theory. Of course it also explains why we don't see the giant (as well as Philip or the waiter) in the convenience store scene. Not because they are good spirits/hosts who wouldn't be present there but because they are already represented in another form.

I would LOVE to see an analysis of the way everyone is positioned in the convenience store scene. It seems like Bob and Mike at the table are basically the kings of the roost, although the other spirits positioned behind them have some independent existence. The Jumping Man is the only one who moves while the rest sit still further in the background. Or maybe it's the reverse: Bob/Mike are under orders of the even more fundamental spirits/forces sitting behind them on the couch. Something highly allegorical of a larger spiritual, metaphysical cosmology is going on here. Though I doubt even Lynch knows entirely what it is though perhaps he's working on figure that out right now. ;) I think I need to read up on Hinduism/the Vedas!

I actually really hope there is no material connection between the humans Philip Gerard and Leland Palmer. If Philip Gerard had a literal tattoo on his arm that said, in ink, "Fire Walk With Me" (or the Owl Ring symbol as Al Strobel claimed in an interview) before he cut it off, Leland certainly has no such tattoo. Weirdly, Philip Gerard's middle name is actually Michael. I seriously doubt Leland Robert Palmer, though that does have a nice ring to it.


Yeah, I could go either way on this. I don't NEED a literal 1:1 connection between how hosts and spirits behave, but in lieu of another explanation it's something I'm looking at. Point being, ultimately, I'd like something that ties all the loose ends of Bob Lydecker/the OAM's literal missing arm/the actual convenience store etc back into all the more abstract stuff. Either a way it echoes the bigger game, or that Mike in Coop's dream was always referring to a metaphorical level etc. Why is Philip missing a physical arm, just like Mike is missing a spiritual one (this is the big one for me - is it really just supposed to be a coincidence that metaphysically one-armed Mike inhabits literally one-armed Philip, and presumably has since before he lost his arm)? I realize the real explanation is that the writers had no idea where they were going, and came up with some ideas they later mostly ignored, but considering how good Lynch is at tying seemingly random threads back in (even in Mulholland Drive he has minor characters wandering through the background of the director's party) I would love to see him have a go at this.

But, more specifically, I have read Robert Engels before say how the idea behind the Little Man being "the Arm" had something to do with he and Lynch's wish to incorporate something to do with phantom limb pain into the movie.


I've mentioned this before, and it seems like 99.9% impossible given that the obviousness of being the "arm" and the fact that we see the Little Man link up with Philip's left stub in the penultimate scene, but I would love it in a perverse way if the "arm" that the Little Man represented was in fact Philip's RIGHT arm - the one he still has, which he uses to wave the ring at Laura in traffic! This could, perhaps, leave Bob as the left arm that was detached and has now gone crazy on its own, a black dog off the leash. So that originally, when Mike talks about him and Bob forming a perfect circle, appetite and satisfaction, he is talking about the ultimate unity where we don't even have Bob and Mike, but just Bob/Mike, one being - the cosmic order before the breakdown.

Again, unlikely. And Mike saying "he saw the face of God" suggests that cutting the arm off was a good thing, and also that there are forces/is a force even higher than Bob/Mike. Or maybe in a sly way it's saying that "the face of God" was the actual illusion/false realization, the introduction of division into the unity. Thus Mike seeing God & cutting off his arm is actually a bad thing posing as a good thing. No way that's what was originally intended, but I wonder if it could be ret-conned that way which seems to be consistent with Lynch's actual philosophy/theology.

Anyway, I would like to know more about Bob/Mike before the arm-detachment.
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby StealThisCorn » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:03 am

Everything you said you would like to know more about there, I completely agree with. I really hope Lynch and Frost make the effort to clean this up in 2016.
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby Jasper » Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:48 pm

I've said this before, but my feeling (or rationalization) about MIKE/Gerard and Gerard's arm is that MIKE, while in control of Gerard, gets the tattoo with the FWWM poem/incantation.

Phillip Gerard, in a time of relative lucidity, cuts off the arm in an attempt to rid himself of MIKE, which either doesn't work, or only partially works.

MIKE, while in control of Gerard's body, manipulates Coop (et al) with his false story about cutting off the arm to become good, which is really an action taken by the human Phillip Gerard.

On the issue of the identities of MIKE and the LMFAP, I feel that the LMFAP is MIKE, at least prior to the arm cutting. For instance, the LMFAP is a complete MIKE in the above-the-convenience-store scene, hence the absence of Gerard's form. After the arm cutting, MIKE may be somewhat fractured or doubled. Because he may be no longer encompassed completely in TLMFAP, he takes on the visage of Gerard in the lodge to represent the other part of himself, the two becoming a complete MIKE when TLMFAP touches the shoulder of the Gerard-like MIKE and they speak in unison.

I'm sure TLMFAP wasn't ever meant to be MIKE in the series, but Lynch's conception of TLMFAP as MIKE's arm in FWWM is an absolute stroke of genius, despite what may be some logical inconsistencies.
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby Jasper » Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:35 pm

I dug up some stuff I transcribed from Al Strobel's responses at one of the 2013 USC Twin Peaks retrospective Q&A's, and this bit relates to the thread:

QUESTION: I had this friend who got me really into Twin Peaks, and he was kind of an odd guy. And he told me something that I never forgot, but I don't know where he got it, or if it was true or not. He says that when your arm was removed it became Michael Anderson.

AL STOBEL: That's what David told me. That also has to do with an alternate universe concept. It was scripted of the arm back in the motel scene, actually, that I told the cops that I had a tattoo on my arm and I didn't like the tattoo so I chopped the arm off. The tattoo said "mom" (laughs). And, so, there's another version and it comes from the script. So, what David told me personally, and what was written in the script are alternate universe.

At this point the host wonders about the connection to FWWM, and how Al Strobel appears in the lodge. He asks, "Was there ever a sense that there was an alternate MIKE?"

AL STROBEL: Absolutely. That's the way I always approached it. And, actually, I think in one of the episodes we saw tonight, I was blessedly allowed to do an actor's dream, to do the on-camera transition between the one MIKE and the other MIKE. And that's kind of the way I always approached it. My character was just caught up completely in this shifting alternate universe.

The host mentions how Ray Wise and Frank Silva are two different actors that have to perform the same characters.

AL STROBEL: Yeah, yeah, this is an artistic choice, and as you guys all know, Frank was never written and originally wasn't part of the thing, it's just that when he showed up it became obvious that he had to be part of it. So they gave Ray his alternate universe in Frank Silva, and in a way Mike Anderson is kind of my alternate universe too, although it's just a piece of me that I chopped off and is running around now.
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby StealThisCorn » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:20 am

LostInTheMovies wrote:...if there are all these different spirits, many of whose roles seem to overlap significantly - THAT might end up being overcomplicated. Whereas if we boil it down to two essential forces (themselves indicative of a greater unity, perhaps gone astray) it becomes a bit simpler, and purer. I think "chaotic on the surface, simpler at the root" describes a lot of Lynch's work. I have to say I'm growing to really like the Bob/Mike-focused theory. Of course it also explains why we don't see the giant (as well as Philip or the waiter) in the convenience store scene. Not because they are good spirits/hosts who wouldn't be present there but because they are already represented in another form.

I would LOVE to see an analysis of the way everyone is positioned in the convenience store scene. It seems like Bob and Mike at the table are basically the kings of the roost, although the other spirits positioned behind them have some independent existence. The Jumping Man is the only one who moves while the rest sit still further in the background. Or maybe it's the reverse: Bob/Mike are under orders of the even more fundamental spirits/forces sitting behind them on the couch. Something highly allegorical of a larger spiritual, metaphysical cosmology is going on here.


See I don't see it as too complex. In fact, I see the reverse, reducing everything down to Mike and Bob, as disappointingly shrinking the world of Twin Peaks. It takes some speculation and maybe a little familiarity with esoteric theories and traditions, particularly I think (as you've pointed out which came as a delightful new piece of the puzzle for me) the Vedic tradition and, personally, I see connections to some of the ideas of Carl Jung, Carlos Castaneda, Jacques Vallee, John Keel and H.P. Lovecraft. In the series, Hawk speaks of the "spirits who rule man and nature", so I like the idea that there are a whole host of alien (not as in extraterrestrial, but alien to the human mind and morality) entities out there who can move through dimensions, invade dreams, rule cosmic forces and prey on our fear, pain and suffering.

I have always seen the Convenience Store scene as representative of both an origin story of sorts for the surreal figures of the series and illustrative of their politics or hierarchy or ranking or whatever. I had thought, as probably most assumed, that the amount of creamed corn each of them had was indicative of their standing, with Bob and the Little Man (the Arm of Mike) occupying the foreground and feasting on large bowls while the ones sitting in the back row have either none at all or, in the case of the Grandson, a small bowl at his feet. Though some claim that the overturned bucket-like thing by the Jumping Man actually indicates that his was the largest bowl of all and it has already been consumed by him. But the reverse is an interesting idea--the back row seem more concerned with fundamental forces like animal life, wood, electricity and whatever the hell the Old Woman and the Grandson are about ("materials and combinations of atoms"), while the Little Man just likes the sensation of touching the Formica table and Bob has the fury of his own momentum. And, interestingly, at the end after Bob claps his hands and we see the light of fire appear, the Little Man and Bob go into the curtains of the Red Room (which, where the hell did that place come from, how long has it been and what is it really?) while we get a shot of the rest of them weirdly dissolving into a shot of misty forest. So does that mean they are different entities, not wholly evil, but just like woodland or owl spirits who put the Ghost into Ghostwood? And in the script after the Little Man and Bob leave, one the Woodsman was supposed to say, "And thus time moves on". I really would love to hear Lynch or Engels break down that scene and explain it.
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:22 am

StealThisCorn wrote:I really would love to hear Lynch or Engels break down that scene and explain it.


I don't think they could! (Also, all respect to Engels, I'm guessing that scene was pretty much Lynch's invention.)

Interesting ideas - I'd never really thought/noticed how much garmonbozia they have before them. Just to clarify, I don't mind there being other spirits who are somewhat independent of the Mike-Bob dynamic, but I think boiling it down to Bob and Mike as the two fundamental forces at play clarifies the drama and raises the stakes, rather than making it more of a hodgepodge. And although he gets accused of complexity for its own sake, I really do think Lynch likes that sense of clarity and simplicity at the heart of all the wild imagery and tangents. I also think the fact that we don't see the giant at all in FWWM is significant. I can't shake the sense that when the giant says "one and the same" in the finale he is speaking not just of himself and the waiter (though he is most certainly saying that) but also of himself and the Little Man. This also plays into Lynch's idea that opposites are just different sides of the same coin. I love the idea of all these manifestations folding back in on themselves.

Also worth noting that the alternate ending of the pilot seems to have created the paradigm within which Lynch wants to play (although of course the first few minutes of episodes 8 & 9 also provide some new details: specifically the giant/room-service waiter and the creamed corn/Tremonds - and the "scorched engine oil" is first mentioned halfway through episode 8, right?). Mike, Bob, Little Man, Red Room, and convenience store all derive from that ending; even the circle of candles parallels the pool at Glastonbury Grove, as I noticed while dissolving from one scene to the other in my mythology video). I tend to think those details are at the heart of any further mythology Lynch developed/will develop.
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby Ygdrasel » Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:56 am

StealThisCorn wrote:1) Every time MIKE appears, he is in the form of Philip Gerard, the one-armed man, rather than showing a "true face" like BOB inside of Leland. The Little Man From Another place identifies himself as "the Arm". Is this meant to mean that the LMFAP is what's left of MIKE's "true face" and the entity speaking inside of Gerard when MIKE takes over? But yet in Cooper's dream, where he explains how he "saw the face of God" and "took the entire arm off", he introduces himself as "MIKE", not "Philip Gerard", implying MIKE was the agency behind taking the Arm off, just as BOB was the agency behind Laura's murder. This would seem to rule out the idea that Philip Gerard cut off his physical arm to hinder evil MIKE possessing him, and if it were the case, doesn't seem to prevent MIKE from doing so anyways whenever he wants to.

2) So the implication is that the Arm is now a separate being from MIKE, the Man From Another Place, only seen above the Convenience Store, in the Red Room or in very brief visions such as Josie's death. If this is the case, and MIKE is now on the side of good whereas the Arm is the evil that was purged from him, then why does MIKE voluntarily join up with the Arm in the Red Room to, in unison, compel BOB to give up garmonbozia from Leland to feed him/them?

3) Or was MIKE lying about being seeing the face of God and being "changed" and is, in fact, still evil, and just uses Cooper to help him stop BOB so that he can bring him back under control ("he was my familiar")? He doesn't seem to care about Laura dying at all, he just shows up to thwart BOB from possessing her. If so, then why is the Arm now a separate entity in the first place? What would cause an entity to split like that? If he still feeds on pain and suffering, then why would he voluntarily "take the Arm off" at all?

4) But does this mean that these two things are unrelated, and MIKE's claim about taking the arm off was meant in a symbolic way, since he is a spirit entity without any true "body" to amputate, only coincidentally reinforced by Gerard actually only having one arm? Or perhaps a direct clue to point Cooper in Gerard's direction ("we've got to find the one-armed man!") so that he could eventually stop him from using medication ("without chemicals, he points") and allow MIKE to take over and tell him about BOB?

5) Which is another thing, in the film, MIKE/Gerard calls out BOB inside Leland Palmer in the traffic stop scene explicitly, so why in the series does he play games with Cooper like sniffing around for BOB and checking people at the hotel? Did he forget Leland was his host? Did BOB's removal of the garmonbozia from Leland "reset" him so much to where MIKE no longer sure BOB was in Leland anymore? When he is bed ridden, MIKE, inside Gerard, tells Cooper he has all the clues he needs and the answer lies in his heart. From the context of the film, it seems like he is just jerking Cooper around for no reason. I don't understand why.

6) Later Gerard/MIKE gives this same ring to Laura physically in the train car, which, when she puts it on, seems to stop BOB's ritual to possess her, compel him to kill her ("Don't make me do this!") and drive him to trudge all the way back to the Red Room to give up the garmonbozia to MIKE/the Little Man.

7) Did Gerard, possessed by MIKE, seek out Teresa specifically and give her the ring? For what reason was she chosen? Or possibly the Chalfonts/Tremonds gave it to her, since they lived in that same trailer park for a time.

8) Were he and BOB still partners at this point or had their "breakup" already happened eons ago?

9) MIKE said to Cooper that he and BOB used to have a "golden circle" of appetite and satisfaction. Was this represented by the ring? Or was BOB and MIKE's breakup what necessitated the creation of the Ring by the Little Man From Another Place ("With this ring, I thee wed")?

10) But again, if so, then why is Gerard/MIKE, wearing the ring and making a point to show it to BOB/Leland in the traffic stop scene, as if to remind him of his marriage vows or display his authority?

11) And how does his ring, on Laura's finger, prevent BOB from possessing Laura and force him to kill her? Or did BOB choose that as the only option left? I thought BOB was saying "Don't make me do this!" but I suppose it could have been Leland inside desperately begging BOB not to make him kill Laura?

12) And also, how does it make BOB go back to the Red Room and give it up to MIKE and the Little Man, if they are no longer partners and he is "changed"?



I split things up just for convenience.

1) I think MIKE and LMFAP are separate but connected entities. MIKE speaks through Philip. LMFAP speaks through dreams, visions, and representatives. I believe it was MIKE, not Philip, who cut off the arm. The tattoo was "Fire, Walk With Me", the mentioned 'chant' that opens the door to the Black Lodge. The arm was cut off to make gaining that access more difficult for Bob by transmuting the 'key' into its own entity. Essentially, LMFAP takes BOB's place as MIKE's familiar while simultaneously acting as a safeguard against BOB going where he shouldn't.

2) There is no "good" or "evil" at play here. Not even Bob is evil. BOB enjoying his "feeding time" (the torment of Laura which produced the garmonbozia) is no more evil than a human being enjoying a hamburger. The Lodge inhabitants don't operate out of deliberate malice. They operate out of instinct. They don't CHOOSE to subsist on "pain and sorrow". It's just...What they are. It's just so far beyond the narrow black/white scope of human morality, so alien, so removed from the whole idea. As for MIKE and LMFAP joining together at the end of FWWM, I think that was a show of intimidation more than any strictly necessary thing. This isn't just some nervous shoe salesman or stature-challenged familiar: This is MIKE, fully formed, and you've lost. Hand over the goods.

3) The arm thing I explained in #1. As for "seeing the face of God", most would assume it was a reference to some monotheistic deity to tie in with the good/evil thing. I think it was a reference to the Lodge itself. I think MIKE and BOB had it in their heads to go rogue but MIKE was brought to heel and instead turned toward reigning BOB back in. Again, it's still not necessarily evil but certainly with his own motives.

4) I do think MIKE was speaking literally here - "I mean it like it is, like it sounds" - so I don't think the words were symbolic in that case.

5) Listen to his voice during that scene. That's not MIKE'S voice. That's Philip, sounding a tad deranged if I say so myself. I think that confrontation was less MIKE going after BOB and more Philip madly trying to expediate the process so he could be rid of MIKE's possession. As for why MIKE doesn't immediately track Leland down in the series, two things.

One, I don't think MIKE knew that BOB was inside Leland, at least not specifically. I think it's more of a 'sense'. When near Leland or perhaps those closely connected to him, he had the sense of BOB's presence but never the exact explicit knowledge of "BOB is inside this exact man right now" - Remember in the show, without his 'chemicals', he points...Not to Leland but to Ben Horne. Philip himself evidently put it together during that altercation in FWWM, of course, but alas.

And second, I think the vessels are important. They are "inhabiting spirits" so presumably they are limited by the vessels they inhabit. By the time of the series, Philip has been using 'chemicals' for some time to ward off MIKE. I think those chemicals may have affected the 'vessel' (Philip) so much by then that while inhabiting Philip, MIKE's ability to 'sense' BOB was largely deteriorated. Prior to Laura's murder, we see MIKE in a circle of candles chanting...I think this was a ritual similarly designed to pinpoint where BOB had snuck off to - the train car, it turns out, to finally take Laura.


6) "Don't make me do this!" was Leland's plea to BOB. I think the ring basically claims its wearer for MIKE ("With this ring, I thee wed" - It 'weds' the wearer to MIKE) so BOB can't inhabit them. Enraged, he then kills Laura - not because he is compelled but because he is a spiteful being. As for why he returns the garmonbozia to MIKE, that's not a compulsion either. It's just business. The ring is MIKE's claim. Laura wore the ring. That garmonbozia is his. Even a rogue element knows when it's lost a battle.

7) I do think Teresa was chosen. Why? No idea. But I believe the Lodge spirits are somewhat particular about their menu - They don't just strike out willy-nilly. And I think the Tremonds delivered the ring, simply because their role in Lodge hierarchy seems to be of the "messenger" variety throughout series and film. In this case, the message was just a delivery instead.

8) I think MIKE and BOB had already come to disagreements at the time of Teresa's demise. In fact, I think Teresa was the catalyst of BOB going rogue.

9) I don't think it was explicitly represented by the ring so much as the show just has a lot of "circle" imagery in general. I think BOB's desire to hoard garmonbozia for himself is what led to the ring's creation. For what it's worth, I think it was MIKE who actually created the ring. LMFAP - MIKE's "arm" and new familiar - just puts it where it needs to be.

10) As stated before, I think Philip was a bit deranged in this altercation. The screaming and brandishing of the ring was probably his frantic mind's way of trying to out BOB or warn Laura.

11) It doesn't force him to kill her. He just does that to make good on his threats to Leland mentioned before Leland's death, essentially "If I can't have her, I'll kill her". It does prevent him inhabiting her though. The ring is MIKE's claim. I feel the Lodge spirits are innately very rule-oriented in nature so even if BOB wanted to take Laura at that point, he wouldn't have been able to do it. Even in a rogue state, he couldn't completely overcome that nature - Though as we see by the end of season two, he has successfully become unfettered entirely from the Lodge and its rule. The plea was most definitely Leland.

12) It doesn't "make" him trudge on to the Red Room. He just does. This goes back to the "rule-oriented in nature" and "Even a rogue element knows when it's lost a battle." stuff. MIKE won that particular battle. BOB begrudgingly accepted this.
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby OK,Bob » Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:33 am

I haven't finished reading this thread, but wanted to point out that I tossed around some related ideas here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2810
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:41 pm

Ok, an idea I am flirting with but not by any means married to...

What if the entire story about Mike cutting off his arm is more Phillip than Mike? FWWM teaches us to see more of a gray area between Leland/Bob and perhaps the same is true of Phillip/Mike. Maybe "Mike"'s whole speech in ep. 13 is Phillip with a dash of Mike operating under the incorrect assumption that he is speaking for the "whole" Mike? It could have been Phillip, rather than Mike, who concocted the idea of cutting off his own arm in a fit of false dualistic/warped thinking (later concocting the "accident" story as either an overt lie or a self-protecting false memory).

The physical result was, obviously, to cripple Phillip but, spiritually, maybe it severed him from a deeper, richer relationship to his inhabiting spirit - isolating the rest of Mike as "the arm" in the Red Room (not because Mike relies on a physically whole body, but rather because he requires a host that understand/embraces unity, balance, and order rather than division). Phillip from then on would alternate between being 100% Phillip to being maybe 25% or 50% Mike - but with the delusion that he is the "full Mike" in these latter scenarios. This would explain why he's so inefficient at catching Bob, why his memory is so erratic when it comes to Bob's host, and why he thinks cutting off an arm is a good thing when everything else in Twin Peaks tells us to distrust division.

The major hitch with this seems, to me, to be that Phillip and "the arm" are reunited at the end of FWWM which takes place chronologically before the series. Then again, the Red Room exists outside of space and time constraints. How does that work for the humans who enter and exit it at a specific time? The questions continue...

EDIT: A thought as to why Phillip/Mike seems more aware of Leland/Bob in the film than the series - he bears the ring in the film, but Laura ends up with it at the end of the movie.
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby OK,Bob » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:54 pm

Slight tangent:

"The king of Romania was unable to attend." - Maj. Briggs

And the given name of the most notable king of Romania? *drum roll* ...
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby Ygdrasel » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:13 pm

OK,Bob wrote:Slight tangent:

"The king of Romania was unable to attend." - Maj. Briggs

And the given name of the most notable king of Romania? *drum roll* ...



...Jim Belushi?
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby OK,Bob » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:25 pm

Ygdrasel wrote:
OK,Bob wrote:And the given name of the most notable king of Romania? *drum roll* ...

Michael :shock:
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby Ygdrasel » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:29 pm

OK,Bob wrote:
Ygdrasel wrote:
OK,Bob wrote:And the given name of the most notable king of Romania? *drum roll* ...

Michael :shock:


Oh god...Briggs has been in cahoots all along!
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby LostInTheMovies » Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:35 am

It occurs to me that the root of all the confusion about Mike might lie in the decision, in episode 4, to make the one-armed man of Coop's dream a real person while the long-haired man remained without body, the "true face." From that point on there is a vaguely out-of-sync quality between the two spirits.
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Re: Let's talk about MIKE

Postby StealThisCorn » Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:02 pm

LostInTheMovies wrote:It occurs to me that the root of all the confusion about Mike might lie in the decision, in episode 4, to make the one-armed man of Coop's dream a real person while the long-haired man remained without body, the "true face." From that point on there is a vaguely out-of-sync quality between the two spirits.


Well I always understood it as Mike appearing in the dream in the form of his host Philip Gerard, because he wanted Cooper to come and find him in the real world, as opposed to Bob who sought to hide inside Leland. Of course, if your theory about the Little Man From Another Place/the Arm essentially BEING Mike is correct, then both forms were actually in that first dream. Strangely, however, when Cooper goes to find Gerard in the real world and questions him he does not recognize the sketch of Bob and denies having a "Fire walk with me" tattoo or having cut it off (car accident).

This makes it seem like it was Philip the host simply having no knowledge of the other world and honestly telling them how he understood his fragmented reality through the lens of someone who assumed they were schizophrenic.

But then in Episode 13, Cooper asks Gerard, "Why did you lie to me when I questioned you before?"

Gerard (fearfully): "It wasn't me! Don't you understand it wasn't me!"

Which is a heavy implication that Mike was in control when he told Cooper and Truman about the story about Bob Lydecker and the car accident.

It's funny the more I read of some of your analysis of these hard to answer questions, the more they start making sense. At first, I'm like what? The Arm IS fully Mike? Bob DOESN'T eat garmonbozia? The Arm is Mike's RIGHT arm? But after reading your reasoning several times I slowly start to see either why there are indications that might be truth or at least good reasons why it would make for a stronger, more cohesive narrative. For example, like you said, I can see how in the film it would have made more sense if Mike and Bob were Jim and Bob but the pair were already part of the mythology by that point and the ring hadn't even been conceived. So thanks for writing that out. I may balk the first and maybe second time, but coming back I'm like hmm this is starting to make some sense to me.

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