Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

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Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby p-air » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:15 am

Hi, been reading this board for a long time but never posted. So, I’ve picked up on a lot of interesting connections in Twin Peaks over the years, most of which have already been brought up and articulated by other viewers, but there are a handful - such as the following - which I’ve never seen discussed anywhere and thought might be worth sharing.

The two scenes are well-known to fans, one from Fire Walk With Me and one from S2 premeire “May the Giant be WIth You” (Episode 8).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nSqDMqCJQw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KBsYsJI23o

I’ll first identify some similarities between these two scenes, then explain why I believe the similarities are intentional, and finally try to speculate as to the significance or “meaning” behind it all.

The similarities:

    An FBI agent returns after some time away.

    There is an unusual sequence of dialogue, similar and delivered similarly. Compare in particular Andy’s “Do you know who it is” (while pointing) to Jeffries’ “Who do you think this is there” (while pointing).

    Jeffries’ figurative “bumps on the old noggin” (damaged mental condition) mirror Andy’s literal one. Andy (a more mundane character) suffers a physical injury while unwittingly stumbling upon an important clue in the real-world investigation, while Jeffries (a more mystical character) has stumbled upon startling cosmic truths to the detriment of his own mental state.

    As viewers have noted, there are continuity errors in the way Albert’s entrance is filmed in Episode 8 (he removes his sunglasses three separate times). I don’t argue that this is intentional but Fire Walk With Me seems to echo this in, yet again, this same scene, when Cooper observes real-life “continuity errors” on the security cameras surrounding Jeffries’ entrance.

    Jeffries' bloody countenance (in Missing Pieces portion of the scene) mirrors Andy’s, and his restless sitting/standing, up-and-down positionings (moreso in the FWWM edit) echo Andy’s gyrations after being hit with the plank

    The secret boots Andy uncovers are “Circle” brand/logo while a “Ring” lurks at the heart of the mystery Jeffries reveals (followed by lines “I found something” and “There they were”).

Why I suspect these similarities are intentional:

While the indirectness of the parallels is frustrating to comtemplate at first - Jeffries in some ways parallels Albert, while in other ways he parallels Andy - there is ample precendent for such narrative constructions to be found in David Lynch’s other work, one which harbors a recognizable if obscure internal logic. For example in Inland Empire when various characters are stabbed with a screwdriver and/or such imagery is repeatedly called to our attention we’re left with an impression that the occurences have been somewhat “pan-personal” or manifold in a sense rather than strictly dual or paralleled.

There is also ample precedent to suggest that David Lynch and Bob Engels revisited Episode 8 and in fact all the Lynch-conceived material when writing Fire Walk WIth Me, and sought to establish connections from various vantage points within this material. That is already evident elsewhere in FWWM as has been noted by many viewers.

What does it all mean:

The idea that diametrically linked or “doppelgänger" scenes exist at all (not that this is the only one) is itself an insight into the mythology of the show, since layers, levels, “tiers” of understanding are central to its meaning and aesthetic. For me the main takeaway is the connection between Andy and Jeffries’ predicaments detailed above (in my bullet point number 3). Because what this really calls to mind - what it really tells us about - is Cooper. The deeper that Cooper delves, the further he investigates, the more that he’ll need to suffer and to sacrafice, and he won’t penetrate the mystery without some “bumps on the old noggin”. That’s what Episode 29 is all about, it’s one of the big themes at the core of Twin Peaks, and I think here we’re seeing it reflected all around Cooper through “doppelganger” character moments at crucial points of discovery.

Any thoughts…?
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby LostInTheMovies » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:54 am

I would be pretty surprised if that was intentional, but I think there are some interesting examples of synchronicity there that could potentially tell us quite a bit about how Lynch works. I think a lot of times with his films, because he is working so closely with his subconscious, what's intentional and what isn't doesn't matter all that much.

Out of curiosity, what other connections do you see with the rest of the series in FWWM? I see lots of strong links with the pilot and a few with later parts of the first season, mostly relating to Laura's mystery. But I've heard theories that Lynch & Engels only re-watched/focused on the pilot when writing FWWM, which would also explain some continuity errors like Laura receiving a call from James on her last night when it was supposed to be other people calling her.

Also, according to Engels they wrote FWWM in something like three weeks so I don't know that they would have been revisiting the series in painstaking detail. Then again, Engels is so all-over-the-place that maybe his memories should be taken with a grain of salt. The timetable of FWWM does make clear though that, after a long break from active involvement with Twin Peaks, Lynch was approaching the movie at a feverish pace.
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby p-air » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:11 pm

Yes I would probably be going a bit far if I insisted that this was done consciously. Agree with you entirely – the line between intentional/non-intentional is very blurry with David Lynch. Mind you I’m sure if we sat down and asked him he’d affirm that all interpretations are valid insofar as they deepen and enhance our understanding of the whole. So I think the reason I’ve latched onto this particular interpretation is that it rewards repeated reflection with Lynchian motifs all seemingly at play such as doubling, head injury, “investigative” immersion, “fugue”, revelation/discovery, secret knowledge, the ring, and so on. It also allows for aspects of Cooper’s subsconscious and Cooper’s story to be externalized in supporting characters and surrounding events in a most illuminating way.

I’d have to rewatch, but off the top of my head one reason I tend to assume Lynch & Engels revisited Episode 8 is that they very clearly revisited Episode 9. That’s the only place in the series proper where we see the “Tremond” characters and the “creamed corn” which figured so heavily in the film.
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby OK,Bob » Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:33 am

LostInTheMovies wrote:Out of curiosity, what other connections do you see with the rest of the series in FWWM? I see lots of strong links with the pilot and a few with later parts of the first season, mostly relating to Laura's mystery.


Is there a pre-existing thread for this topic? If not, by all means let's have a go - I find the abundant parallels fascinating.

Jack warns that "Goodnight, Irene" NOT be quoted to the matron of Hap's ("her name is Irene and is night. Don't go any further with it."), whereas Bobby playfully quotes the same tune to Norma in the TP pilot, ("...I'll see you in my dreams."). Irene and Norma also wear identical brown sweaters over their uniforms in FWWM.

Speaking of identical sweaters, the hunched woman who enters Theresa's trailer is wearing one of the Log Lady's distinctive sweaters...
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:54 am

OK,Bob wrote:
LostInTheMovies wrote:Out of curiosity, what other connections do you see with the rest of the series in FWWM? I see lots of strong links with the pilot and a few with later parts of the first season, mostly relating to Laura's mystery.


Is there a pre-existing thread for this topic? If not, by all means let's have a go - I find the abundant parallels fascinating.

Jack warns that "Goodnight, Irene" NOT be quoted to the matron of Hap's ("her name is Irene and is night. Don't go any further with it."), whereas Bobby playfully quotes the same tune to Norma in the TP pilot, ("...I'll see you in my dreams."). Irene and Norma also wear identical brown sweaters over their uniforms in FWWM.

Speaking of identical sweaters, the hunched woman who enters Theresa's trailer is wearing one of the Log Lady's distinctive sweaters...


I can't remember where I read it but I feel like somewhere I saw someone posit her as the Log Lady doppelgänger (much as Hap's is RR's dopp, Fat Trout is the Great Northern's dopp, etc though it would prob be a stretch to say Carl is Ben's dopp in anythin other than fashion sense). Unlike Margaret, she only has mute impenetrability to offer the investigator - as opposed to, I guess, verbal impenetrability (just kidding, Margaret ;) ).

Also interesting to note, I guess: she and Carl are both wounded on the left side of their face (unless I'm remembering wrong). I love Carls reaction to her, love the music/sound cue that follows, and LOVE his next quote. Harry Dean Stanton just nails te delivery and aside from being a cool, spooky, enigmatic line it says so much about the film - and Twin Peaks - when you think about it.
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby OK,Bob » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:09 am

Harry Dean Stanton is outstanding in that scene!

The young foreign woman with the older bumpkin at Hap's also calls to mind Josie and Pete (both women wear pearl necklaces in their FWWM/Missing Pieces scenes, as well)... Which reminds me, the former bumpkin refers (twice) to that "little girl" that got murdered. Note that only Laura is referred to explicitly as "little girl": by Buck and Cliff in FWWM, and then by Leland in the pilot.
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:30 am

OK,Bob wrote:Harry Dean Stanton is outstanding in that scene!

The young foreign woman with the older bumpkin at Hap's also calls to mind Josie and Pete (both women wear pearl necklaces in their FWWM/Missing Pieces scenes, as well)... Which reminds me, the former bumpkin refers (twice) to that "little girl" that got murdered. Note that only Laura is referred to explicitly as "little girl": by Buck and Cliff in FWWM, and then by Leland in the pilot.


Yeah, that's a great scene too.

I understand the complaints about Deer Meadow feeling like it should be a different film from the last 7 days of Laura Palmer. That was generally how I felt the first time I saw it. The two worlds of this film are not as deftly woven together in this film as they would be in Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, and Inland Empire.

But the scenes are so damn GOOD. Some of Lynch's best absurdist, arch humor.

Plus I think the Deer Meadow stuff is an ingenious complement to the rest of the film and a brilliant gateway from the familiar world of the Twin Peaks into Laura's experience (and I feel that if watched between the series and film The Missing Pieces, with their more distanced approach to Laura and their chronologically unmoored timeline, amplify this gateway almost like the shock of Cooper's transformation in the finale has sent us into a time warp from which we only emerge at the beginning of FWWM).

The way I would put it is, yes, if taken as a standalone film (and I do believe FWWM can work this way), Deer Meadow is probably unnecessary/distracting (although I may be wrong about this given it sets up the ring and Teresa's death). But if taken as a part of the overall Twin Peaks saga, Deer Meadow - and perhaps the Cooper stuff afterwards - not only works, it may be essential.
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby HoodedMatt » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:50 am

Could Lynch have taken the whole doppelganger thing to another level with the Deer Meadow section? I don't just mean that DM is the dopp of TP, but that it was intentionally supposed to feel like two different movies: the first half is, in some way, the doppelganger of the second half and that they are intentionally* not interwoven?

*By which I mean there being different layers of intent, rather than it being as it is without any intent at all.
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby N. Needleman » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:58 am

I love the whole prologue - it's so dissonant, so strange and off the old axis, and for me, maybe it was my youth at the time but it only revealed its true importance, as a warped reflection of the town and the show, after the first time I viewed the film. The Lil sequence too, the piss-take on critical theory, is priceless, while also important to the background/texture of the series (I can't say 'mythology' in regards to this, I feel like David Lynch will rap my knuckles with a ruler).

As for Deer Meadow, I found everything about that awful little place fascinating, especially Carl Rodd and the vague idea that he knew much more than he was saying. About what? Whatever. I could happily spend another few hours in Deer Meadow on another Blue Rose case. Maybe with Special Agent Naomi Watts (or Laura Dern) assisted by the still long-suffering Sam Stanley. She can beat up the sheriff too. Oh, pipe dreams.
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby p-air » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:27 am

Interesting general topic this has turned into. I had noticed the Deer Meadow versions of the sheriff’s station, Ben and the Great Northern, Norma at the Double-R, and the Log Lady, though never once picked up on the connection of Pete and Josie to the bizarre characters at Hap’s. Brilliant !!

I was rewatching Episode 8 and I have to say there are not as many spooky “doppelganger”-type Fire Walk With Me parallels as I had thought or assumed, besides this plank/Jeffries thing (which admittedly may or may not exist outside my own imagination).

However there are a couple of major plot points that are pretty fundamental to FWWM, which we sometimes forget were only first established in Episode 8:

In the hospital scene with Dr. Jacoby, he suggests that Laura may have “allowed herself to be killed” – I believe this is only referenced again briefly in Episode 16, before being explored extensively in Fire Walk With Me.

Also – and again, we forget this after having watched through a few times – the entire sequence of events in the cabin and train car with the “third man” is only really first clearly explicated for us in Episode 8, by Albert in the boardroom. Prior to that we only got bits and pieces of this towards the end of Season 1.

I think in terms of which material Lynch and Engels “revisited” they don’t necessarily need to have sat down for a marathon viewing with a notepad and a big bag of popcorn, or even reread the scripts – these are after all the people (or among the people) who conceived the original material to begin with.

If anything, given the total absence of Mark Frost and the other writers from Fire Walk With Me + the unlikelihood of Lynch and Engels having had the time or wherewithal to scrutinize all the various other writers’ contributions to the series, we actually might be able to draw some conclusions the other way around: most of those themes and plot points from the series proper which FWWM seems to reference (aside from the Pilot which we know they rewatched) were probably David Lynch’s ideas originally/primarily. That’s obviously the case with the Tremonds/corn stuff. The two Laura/murder-related items above were probably collaborative with Mark Frost and still fresh in mind if not rewatched. As for the “plank” even if we don’t accept any direct FWWM parallels, that scene is recognizably Lynchian if nothing else – or, it certainly feels that way to me..
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:54 am

The only thing that comes to mind as being a reference to non-Lynch Twin Peaks is the baby laxative in the cocaine (cut out of the film, but in the Missing Pieces). Then again, I've always wondered if Dead Dog Farm in general wasn't one of Lynch's pop-in-for-5-seconds-and-suggest-something ideas. Certainly the whole idea of the dead dog (and the realtor's speech) is rather Lynchian and the decrepit location certainly has a Lynchian feel to it.

In fact, it reminds me a bit of the room above the convenience store, which, like Dead Dog Farm, is where the shadow world - spiritual in the film, criminal in the film - transacts its fundamental business in brute fashion while it deals with its "clients" so to speak in sumptuous red-curtained rooms (either One-Eyed Jack's or the Red Room, depending on which group you're talking about)

Ok, total side note but I recently realized that the room above the convenience store and the hallways Laura walks through in her dream are not the same location (I don't know why I assumed they were, but I feel like I'm not the only one). The room above the store does not have wallpaper but the hallways do, apparently the same wallpaper as in One Eyed Jack's.
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:57 am

p-air wrote:I was rewatching Episode 8 and I have to say there are not as many spooky “doppelganger”-type Fire Walk With Me parallels as I had thought or assumed, besides this plank/Jeffries thing (which admittedly may or may not exist outside my own imagination).


I don't know how many on-the-nose connections there are but there is a similar subversive/doppelganger feel to episode 8. You have all kinds of characters abruptly switching their personality and/or appearance and a ton of digs at Twin Peaks' food motifs (to wit: the absurdly over-the-top "HOT DAMN!" RR patron, the repeated jokes about hospital food, and the donuts covered up by images of the grisly crime scene). And in terms of pacing and style, it's the polar opposite of the season finale even though it picks up exactly where that one left off. I think this episode is the beginning of the "Fire Walk With Me" bug creeping into Twin Peaks. It's certainly where viewers and especially critics began to fall off the bandwagon.
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby N. Needleman » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:21 pm

I always liked the Dead Dog Farm bit and the final confrontation with Renault, and his big speech. Watching it again recently it did remind me very much of Deer Meadow.

(On a very tangential note, I also really liked the sort of waking nightmare of the Audrey hostage/drugging arc featuring Renault just before that. I know it drags for some people, but I think coming out the other side of that really evolved her character - you can almost take it as a micro-version of Laura's own struggle with corruption. Audrey is finally exposed to the shadow side of Twin Peaks that she's been looking for as part of her misguided attempt to become an adult, she dances on the edge of the fire ["I saw so much"] but comes out of it alive. Of course, where she went next as a character was not entirely what was first intended, but I actually really liked her junior tycoon transformation, which the writers now claim Sherilyn Fenn contributed to, at least in terms of the aesthetic - wanting to be more of a "Katharine Hepburn". Playing off an old Hollwood analogy it's sort of a Douglas Sirk thing, too, right out of Written on the Wind, where wild child Dorothy Malone becomes the heir to her father's empire, finally embracing Daddy.)

I remember watching Episode 8 live as a little kid (too little, I was maybe 9). I was so excited but I was very tense during the waiter sequence. I don't think it aggravated me so much as it had me scared for Cooper, but I could tell that something in the show, in its rhythms, was very different that night. The waiter/Giant (I think I recognized Carel Struycken from Star Trek) did not faze me because as a kid I sort of instinctually sensed that anything happening in TP had to involve "ghosts" or something. That sequence, some of the hospital stuff, the smiling bag, the "third man" discussion, then especially everything with the Palmers and the night at the Hayward house really unnerved me (in part because I'd always been unsettled by Ray Wise as a kid, period - my mother had pegged Leland as the killer around episode 3 and had told me so during Season 1, though she hadn't elaborated much to me as a child other than "his reaction was too much" - I've never asked her about it since, I should!). I didn't take much notice of the really nasty early scene with Blackie and Jerry at the beginning though, which, looking back, is incredibly disturbing and a real slap in the face from Lynch to some of the lighter stuff in the previous episodes - that's what screams FWWM to me in Episode 8, the sort of stripping away the wittier trappings of the past to show that this is that world and their relationship, however else they dress it up. Today I think it may be my favorite episode, or very close to it. It dramatically redefined a lot of the parameters of the show, and you can see why it alienated a lot of people, but as a kid I just went with it - I accepted that there were spirits and monsters, that things were getting stranger. But I was absolutely terrified of BOB, and as soon as the Ronette nightmare sequence started I ran out of the room.
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:54 pm

N. Needleman wrote:I always liked the Dead Dog Farm bit and the final confrontation with Renault, and his big speech. Watching it again recently it did remind me very much of Deer Meadow.

(On a very tangential note, I also really liked the sort of waking nightmare of the Audrey hostage/drugging arc featuring Renault just before that. I know it drags for some people, but I think coming out the other side of that really evolved her character - you can almost take it as a micro-version of Laura's own struggle with corruption. Audrey is finally exposed to the shadow side of Twin Peaks that she's been looking for as part of her misguided attempt to become an adult, she dances on the edge of the fire ["I saw so much"] but comes out of it alive. Of course, where she went next as a character was not entirely what was first intended, but I actually really liked her junior tycoon transformation, which the writers now claim Sherilyn Fenn contributed to, at least in terms of the aesthetic - wanting to be more of a "Katharine Hepburn". Playing off an old Hollwood analogy it's sort of a Douglas Sirk thing, too, right out of Written on the Wind, where wild child Dorothy Malone becomes the heir to her father's empire, finally embracing Daddy.)

I remember watching Episode 8 live as a little kid (too little, I was maybe 9). I was so excited but I was very tense during the waiter sequence. I don't think it aggravated me so much as it had me scared for Cooper, but I could tell that something in the show, in its rhythms, was very different that night. The waiter/Giant (I think I recognized Carel Struycken from Star Trek) did not faze me because as a kid I sort of instinctually sensed that anything happening in TP had to involve "ghosts" or something. That sequence, some of the hospital stuff, the smiling bag, the "third man" discussion, then especially everything with the Palmers and the night at the Hayward house really unnerved me (in part because I'd always been unsettled by Ray Wise as a kid, period - my mother had pegged Leland as the killer around episode 3 and had told me so during Season 1, though she hadn't elaborated much to me as a child other than "his reaction was too much" - I've never asked her about it since, I should!). I didn't take much notice of the really nasty early scene with Blackie and Jerry at the beginning though, which, looking back, is incredibly disturbing and a real slap in the face from Lynch to some of the lighter stuff in the previous episodes - that's what screams FWWM to me in Episode 8, the sort of stripping away the wittier trappings of the past to show that this is that world and their relationship, however else they dress it up. Today I think it may be my favorite episode, or very close to it. It dramatically redefined a lot of the parameters of the show, and you can see why it alienated a lot of people, but as a kid I just went with it - I accepted that there were spirits and monsters, that things were getting stranger. But I was absolutely terrified of BOB, and as soon as the Ronette nightmare sequence started I ran out of the room.


I love this kind of thing - in fact there's a whole thread going for it (which you may enjoy!): viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2600

I've gone back and forth on ep. 8. First time I saw it, I loved it - I think it was my favorite episode of the series so far and one of those "ok, here we go, I'm REALLY gonna like this show" moments. Second time I really didn't care for it, felt that it dragged and was way too heavy on exposition (so much information is repeated). Since then I've been more ambivalent and now I lean more toward loving it just because there are so many great moments and it's such an important turning point for the show.
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Re: Andy “plank” scene and Philip Jeffries scene

Postby p-air » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:07 am

LostInTheMovies wrote:The only thing that comes to mind as being a reference to non-Lynch Twin Peaks is the baby laxative in the cocaine (cut out of the film, but in the Missing Pieces). Then again, I've always wondered if Dead Dog Farm in general wasn't one of Lynch's pop-in-for-5-seconds-and-suggest-something ideas. Certainly the whole idea of the dead dog (and the realtor's speech) is rather Lynchian and the decrepit location certainly has a Lynchian feel to it.

In fact, it reminds me a bit of the room above the convenience store, which, like Dead Dog Farm, is where the shadow world - spiritual in the film, criminal in the film - transacts its fundamental business in brute fashion while it deals with its "clients" so to speak in sumptuous red-curtained rooms (either One-Eyed Jack's or the Red Room, depending on which group you're talking about)


Another interesting topic. One the one hand it may seem unlikely Dead Dog Farm was David Lynch's idea given that his creative involvement in Twin Peaks during that period was notoriously minimal. And since no one (to my knowledge) has ever confirmed or connected him to that subplot.

On the other hand as you said, the DDF location/name bears unmistakable Lynchian hallmarks, as does even the small sidestory itself. Compare for example Cooper's subtly bordering-on-perverse fascination with Dead Dog Farm to Jeffrey's behavior in Blue Velvet – or consider, more generally, how he follows his own obscure intuition into an investigation when he was meant to be off the clock shopping for real estate.

Then in Fire Walk With Me, he certainly seems to be referencing it. (I assume that in addition to the cocaine and baby laxatives you're also referring to the table top...?)

At the risk of veering way off, you mentioned “Lynch's pop-in-for-5-seconds-and-suggest-something" ideas. I wonder if we can point to other examples of that.

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