In light of TSHoTP, it's a little odd that the name "Dougie" doesn't ring a bell for Gordon, especially in connection with Garland Briggs. According to the book, Cole worked with Milford for years. Or maybe Gordon does make this connection, and that's why he becomes alarmed and says they have to talk to Bill?
Phyllis's role in everything is still tantalizingly unexplained. She knows DoppelCoop, and he seems to have somehow manipulated her; and in this Part, we learn that people in the Zone (Woodsmen?) ask Bill his wife's name.
I know a cat's eye is a type of marble. Does "dog" have some special meaning in marbles? I haven't been able to find one online. Is the "joke" simply that a dog ate Bill's marble (because dogs hate cats, har har?). Like many of Albert's lines this season, this feels like it's trying to be a lot more clever than it is, and I don't really buy it as a joke that impresses Albert. However, Jane Adams is absolutely charming, and her performance sells the moment even where the writing falls flat.
I really like the little detail that Betty says Garland held her shoulders when he told her what was going to happen. The very first time we see them in the Pilot, Betty is rubbing Garland's shoulders. This is a beautiful little parallel, intentional or (probably) not.
So Betty told Bobby that Cooper was the last person to see Garland alive. But then in this Part, she says Garland talked to her after Cooper left. Wouldn't that make BETTY the last person to see him alive? Hrrmm. (Of course, DoppelCoop likely saw him again the next day when LPA burned down, but Betty doesn't seem to know/suspect that.)
For an unseen/deceased character, Garland really has one of the most moving character arcs of this season. I had figured that TSHoTP was to be our goodbye to the good Major, but I'm delighted that DKL clearly had great affection for the character. While Garland was an original L/F Pilot creation, and had that brilliant character-defining moment in the diner scene in the DKL-directed Episode 8, he didn't truly come to prominence as a major character (no pun intended) until the latter part of season 2, which DKL had little involvement in creating, and may not have even fully watched! Garland's increased prominence in that era is pretty much the only element of Episodes 17-28 that is universally lauded as a solid development, and I'm so glad DKL saw fit to pay tribute to Garland, both as a key player in the show's mythology and as a kind beautiful human being and father. I know some people have said that Garland deserved better than to end up as a bloated, headless corpse repeatedly showed off in gruesome fashion. I think those people are ignoring the fact that the show -- and Part 9 in particular -- pay tribute to his bravery, intelligence and humanity (how beautiful that his message on how to get to the Lodge serves a triumvirate of purposes: it also reminds Bobby of happy childhood memories AND lets Bobby knows that his dad saw his future and is proud of him). When I listen to "The Chair" on the soundtrack album, I see not Betty or Bobby in my mind's eye, but Garland himself. The track's subdued majesty and quiet emotion suit his character perfectly. That is the series' true sendoff to the character, not the corpse.
(Little sidebar that may give a sliver of insight into DKL's love for the character, even very early on: Tina Rathborne says on the Episode 3 audio commentary that she planned to direct Garland's monologue to Bobby about death as if Garland were a stodgy, out-of-touch fool. DKL corrected her and explained that Garland is a very wise man.)
A little thing has bugged me since Part 9 first aired: there is a banner in front of Ike's motel for a Los Angeles event (Occidental College's "3rd LA" project -- see https://www.oxy.edu/news/third-la-annou ... rging-city
). The "LA" on the sign is very prominent in the shot. When we first saw this establishing shot, I figured Ike is staying in LA when he first gets Duncan's envelope, but Part 9 makes clear that this motel is meant to be just off the Vegas strip. Stupid careless detail that could have been easily fixed in post.