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REDRUM ROAD – ROUND THREE – SKIP TO A PAGE
COME TOGETHER ⎔ SOMETHING ⎔ MAXWELL’S SILVER HAMMER ⎔ OH! DARLING ⎔ OCTOPUS’S GARDEN ⎔ I WANT YOU ⎔ HERE COMES THE SUN ⎔ BECAUSE ⎔ YOU NEVER GIVE ME YOUR MONEY ⎔ SUN KING ⎔ MEAN MR. MUSTARD ⎔ POLYTHENE PAM ⎔ SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW ⎔ GOLDEN SLUMBERS ⎔ CARRY THAT WEIGHT ⎔ THE END
ROUND ONE START ⎔ ROUND TWO START ⎔ SPECIAL: STORY ROOM
- Right on the “D” of the first “Darling!”, which kicks the instruments into gear, Jack begins his stalk upon Wendy.
- Also, right in the transition between McCartney songs, Wendy is telling Jack she made the eggs sunny side up, just like he likes them. McCartney’s favourite snack was eggs over easy. The difference is basically that Jack’s are cooked on one side only, while McCartney’s would be cooked on both sides. (Maybe cuz Jack’s only half-Paul…?)
- “I’ll never do you, no harm/Believe me when I tell you” – On “do”, backward Jack sticks his out at Danny, as if to give away the lie in this line. This line also features a sustained “Aaaaaahhhh” choir, which, you’ll recall, is what we heard the last time we saw Danny’s shine face here, during round 1 on Sun King.
- “I’ll never do you/No harm” – Plays over the bloodfall vision, ending just as we get the last vision of REDRUM, before Tony/Danny starts writing it. Backward Jack also falls back asleep right on REDRUM, as if to suggest that the only safe Jack is a sleeping Jack.
- In round 1, Danny has made his final plea to Tony to see what’s so bad about the hotel, and in a second, his bloodfall vision will occur. In round 2 Danny has just entered 237, and we transition to Wendy checking the boiler while Jack is having his murder dream. And while it’s not super close, the next bloodfall vision is only 3 minutes away, exactly, including another REDRUM (3:35 away).
- “If you leave me/I’ll never make it alone” – On “leave” we cut back to murder Jack’s face, and backward Jack has just been left by Wendy, carrying out breakfast. Jack is also asking what should be done with Danny, to which Wendy will eventually confess she wants to take him to a doctor, which means leaving the hotel. Round 1 backward Jack knows exactly what should be done with Danny, but Wendy is also about to see the BJ bear, which I’d say pairs nicely with my conquest theory.
- “Believe me when I tell you/Ooooo!” – In round 1, backward Wendy is heading up the blowjob well at this moment, which bears a strong resemblance to the well outside Suite 3 in the mirrorform, here. In round 2, it’s backward Jack at the ghost ball while Wendy works the boiler room. So the notion of Wendy’s working and striving is pretty consistent.
- “When you told me” – On “told” in round 2 we had the slow zoom on nightmare Jack screaming to himself, and in round 1 we had the appearance of the doctor at the same time as the appearance of backward Jack stalking Danny after killing Hallorann. Here, backward Danny is exactly opposite his father’s position in the room. Also, this is the moment where Wendy is saying “doctor” in the phrase, “I think maybe he should be taken to a doctor” and in round 1, the film’s only professional doctor appears on the same beat.
- I’ll get into this more specifically in a second, but there’s a cool thing about to happen where two sets of Torrances are going to be in the lounge at the same time. Here in round 3 we have the Jack-Wendy fight and the backward Danny trike (the family is broken up by the mirrorform). And in round 2 we’ll have Wendy racing to wake nightmare Jack, while Danny slowly escapes 237, and comes down to reveal his bruises (the family is all together). What’s pretty stunning is that Danny’s backward trike, Wendy’s rescue sprint, and other Danny’s 237 escape, all begin around the same spot in the lounge back hall (with 237 Danny being just a floor up). And because triking Danny is moving backwards, all three of those figures will move in a clockwise direction. And yes, if you’ve gotten this far, and you still have a few functioning brain cells left, you know that the same is true in the reverse for the “1234567/All good children go to heaven” part of You Never Give Me Your Money. So here (clockwise) we have Paul McCartney promising that he nearly fell down and died, and there (counterclockwise) we have a promise about goodness leading to a glorious afterlife for dead children.
- “When you told me/You didn’t need me anymore” – On “need” Jack is saying “doctor” in “When do you think maybe he should be taken to a doctor?” Part of Jack’s overall psychosis is his fear that he could be replaced, and that his family isn’t concerned about his well-being. Jack himself needs a doctor, but because he can’t make himself go to one, no one should get to go to one.
- “Well you know/I nearly broke down and cried” – Backward Danny is here triking past the exact spot that we see behind nightmare Jack’s head when he’s screaming asleep in round 2 during this line. In round 1, backward Jack is up the hall from where Danny’s hiding, calling out and hoping to chop him up, fresh from murdering Hallorann. So, this line, and this song/these sequences do an amazing job of connecting Jack’s nightmare to the various stages of his collapse. We’ve got Wendy calling a doctor to help Danny, Danny exploring the lounge and getting his first lesson of survival, Jack’s nightmare, Jack storming to the ghost ball, Jack stalking Wendy through the lounge, and Jack stalking Danny with an axe. Maybe what the message there is (including the X on the rug backward Danny’s triking on as he passes between his parents in the forward dimension) is that what Jack (and Paul) really needed was a good breakdown and a good cry. “As soon as possible”, to quote the good Wendy, here.
- Also, a moment later, Jack mimics Wendy mockingly, “As soon as poss-a-bull!!!” in a way like he was breaking down crying.
- I should mention at least once how the song Cry plays a major factor in Shutter Island, a shine baby. You know, maybe there should be a day of the month set aside for men to cry on. Just get it all out. Like the second Sunday. Cryday. Just throw on some heartbreaking Nina Simone, and weep powerful, manly tears.
- “When you told me!” – On “told”, all three rounds feature someone racing into a turn. Here it’s Danny, round 1 it’s backward Jack going between the Hallorann kill and Danny, and in round 2 it’s the appearance of Wendy racing to save nightmare Jack. And, as discussed, round 2 Wendy and round 3 backward Danny are moving in the same clockwise motion around the lounge.
- “You didn’t need me anymore” – Just for the record, on “need” backward Danny and round 2 Wendy are at opposite ends of this hall, facing opposite directions.
- Also, Jack is saying “You believe his health might be at stake?”, which keeps up the “replaced by doctors” theme from the last “need”.
- Also, the following lyric, “I nearly falled down and died” occurs while Jack is saying “You are concerned about him.” Also, backward Danny would be right under 237 at that moment.
- “Oh darling!” – In round 1 backward Hallorann is getting the axe to the chest in the very spot where backward Wendy is here about to pass through (having charted the exact same path to the spot as Hallorann, with a food tray, no less). In round 2, backward Hallorann is making his second distress call to the forest rangers while a wakeful Jack reacts in extreme terror at coming out of his murder dream.
- “I’ll never make it alone!” – On “I’ll” Jack is pointing at himself, saying, “Have you ever thought about my responsibilities!?”
- Round 1 pairs this with backward Hallorann starting to walk away from his murder, again, tracing the same line as Wendy, here. It’s interesting that this song contains a moment of Wendy and Hallorann tracing each other, and one of Wendy and Danny doing similarly. Especially since Jack and Wendy are locked in mortal path-tracing here.
- Round 2 has backward Jack’s stalk to the ghost ball, where he really won’t make it alone.
- On “alone” (as seen in the second image below) Jack makes a bupkiss symbol with his right hand.
- “Believe me when I tell you” – This line pairs beautifully with Jack’s motions here, clapping his hands together on “tell”.
- Also, “alone” from the last line, leads into this image of the third last time we’ll see the lonesome yellow Beetle. And the last time we’ll see it parked alone outside the hotel.
- “I’ll never do you no harm” – On “harm”, the placard shows up. I like the way that speaks to how quickly Jack disintegrated. What harm could a little old month do? Turns out quite a lot. And Jack is about to say “May the 1st!”
- “When you told me/You didn’t need me anymore” – Jack hectoring Wendy about the nature of signing a letter of agreement, “A contract!” In round 2 backward Jack is storming to the ghost ball, scattering objects everywhere, because, you know, he cares about his contract, and about looking after the Overlook.
- Also, backward Hallorann here is admonishing Danny to stay out of 237. This part of the Danny-Hallorann talk ends the scene, but it’s also interesting that Paul’s violent singing at this point pairs perfectly with this discordant finale to their tryst.
- I’m not sure if it works to say that Hallorann is feeling unneeded by Danny due to Danny’s reading his mind and poking him about being scared of 237. That said, the song that plays over the other side of the movie here is You Never Give Me Your Money, which was, in some senses, Paul mourning the fact that the band didn’t need him anymore, so to speak.
- “When you told me/You didn’t need me anymore” – Wendy takes her first swing at the end of this line, saying “Stay away from me!” Backward Danny asking about 237.
- “Well you know/I nearly falled down and died” – Wendy saying she’s very confused. As anyone who’s read the art section knows, the Tower of Babel gets its name from the word “bilal”, which means “to confuse”. Sure enough, Wendy is standing directly across the room from where Bruegel the Elder’s The Tower of Babel appeared on an issue of Scientific American during the tennis ball scene, which was (in mirrorform) toward the end of the last song, in Redrum Road. So, although I think I’ve made this point before, there seems to be a connection between the Tower of Babel and the idea of not being needed anymore. God smashed apart the human race in their egotism for trying to work together as one big happy family, and cursed them with a confusing multiplicity of tongues (as all-loving gods are wont to do). And when the tower fell down and died, probably some people fell down and died too, eh? What’s interesting is that the tower was built by Noah’s grandson, Nimrod (a name derived from the word “mrd”, which means “rebellion”, but also looks a lot like “murder”), meaning the tower episode followed the great flood, but bears a rather intimate chronological relationship. In fact, there’s only one chapter (10; The Table of Nations, in which we just get a long list of who’s who in the post-flood world) between the Ark story (6-9) and the tower story (11). I’m pointing all that out for fans of my Pillars of Hercules analysis.
- Another neat thing to point out is how, in the round 2 version of this line, Wendy is pulling Jack up off the floor, after his nightmare. Here, she’s going to strike him down. And on “and died” in round 2, Danny is seen entering the lounge in his post-237 state, which would put him directly behind Wendy and Jack here, during the entire flight up the stairs. In round 1, this is the moment Danny has just said he doesn’t wanna talk about Tony anymore, and the doctor says that’s fine and stands up to leave. So it’s interesting that in all three of these moments, Danny is just about to lose a helper forever (the doctor there, Hallorann here), or in round 2, he’s about to gain the help of his mom for the first major time.
- “I’ll never let you down” – Mirror Hallorann is explaining how not everything that’s happened in the past was a good thing, and how shiners can sometimes see those things. Jack’s explaining how Wendy’s had her whole fucking life to think things over, and wondering what a few minutes more are gonna do her now. These are let-downs of a sort (although both will come through for Danny before the end).
- Another funny thing is how in round 2 of this moment, Wendy’s telling Danny from across the lounge that everything’s okay, and to go back to his room. In round 1 the doctor is telling Danny to stay quietly in bed for the rest of the day. So there’s a unity of guardians trying to shield Danny from the horrors of the world. Also round 3 Wendy is swinging the bat while round 1 mirror Jack is stalking to the spot where he’ll kill Hallorann, axe in hand. In the second image below, from a moment later, Jack’s grasping at Wendy looks like he’s grasping at Hallorann, who round 1 mirror Jack is indeed about to slay. This gives a kind of sick irony to the ensuing lyrics where Paul’s saying “Believe me, darling”. Because Jack never does “harm” Wendy. Certainly not the way he harms Hallorann.
- “I’ll never DO YOU no harm” – Jack assures Wendy three times he won’t hurt her: once during the line, once before it, and once after. The “I’m just gonna bash your brains in” line happens during the very last bit of fade-out (which is almost too cute).
- One last minor thing, here: all three rounds of finale here make an allusion to fiction. Jack is making an unintentional Peter Pan reference when he says “Wendy?! Darling?!”, round 1 of Danny’s room has Peanuts and Snow White and Mickey Mouse stickers throughout, and round 2 ends with mirror Jack saying “…when I finally have the chance to accomplish something. When I’m really into my work.” So that’s not a specific reference, but he’s implying that he’s in the middle of creating the next Great American Something.
Click here to continue to Redrum Road: Octopus’s Garden – Round 3
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