Charylyne Yi aka "Ruby"
Excellent point about Hawk, CommanderEnigma. He is one of my favorite characters in Twin Peaks and having him promoted to sheriff at some point during the past 25 years would have realized much more character development and growth than what is evidenced as is.
I think Frank's introduction into the show is a little-too-convenient way to allude to Harry's presence in absentia. However, you're correct: Hawk could've easily served the same function and also had an expanded role.
Lynch/Frost's perspectives on race and gender are never thoughtlessly stereotypical, but they are very iconographic and physical/visual. So if someone looks Asian, or African-American (I was a little perturbed by the portrayal of Jade early in the game, since people of color appear so seldom in the show, and here was an intelligent black woman--working as a hooker (legally of course, since it's Las Vegas) they are probably chosen for their visual appearance as well as their acting skill etc.
Likewise, it's probably likely that forums like this are dominated by Caucasians and we need to listen to viewpoints that call out speaking for others. We're usually good at doing that--too good--and good to hear from those who aren't in that group.
Thanks for the welcome, everyone.
Diversity in media is a difficult subject for me because I appreciate so much film and television that isn't diverse at all, and David Lynch and Twin Peaks is no exception.
I am grateful for Hawk, and very glad he's had a big role in the current season. I wonder if his role would have been as big if Harry/Ontkean had been able to return, I also wonder if he couldn't have had an even bigger role in the absence of Harry. I enjoy Robert Forester but Frank has often felt like a ham fisted stand-in for Harry, and it would have been cool to see Hawk as Sheriff. But I say that with the caveat that I don't know how this story will end and this is Frost and Lynch's story to do with as they please.
I had a similar reaction to Jade. I'm not inclined to react negatively to the character by herself, but she's been one of only a small number of woman of color in this season or the series as a whole. I've seen people site her as a good example of diversity in the show, and I'll just say that I wouldn't do that. Other than that, there's Naido, who may not be human, a couple of Roadhouse characters, and now Ruby.
As a fleeting character that we'll likely never see again, I had a lot of appreciation for her appearance. I'm not sure if the casting of an Asian actress to play this role was specific but for it me it felt like the first time Lynch has ever recognized some of the pain of being a minority in American society, which has been otherwise never been touched upon in his work, at least not that I can recall. Not even with Hawk do I recall Lynch ever constructing a scene that had such a strong sense of emotional empathy for a minority character.
Lynch will likely never make very diverse films. Hell we may be about to see the final three hours of cinematic work of his career (I hope not). But if that's the case I'm glad this scene came into existence before it's all over. Ultimately the question of diversity has to turn to lead roles and Lynch won't be the one to address that.
Michael Horse has been incredible this season. I agree with you that he could have been a great sheriff. Robert Forster was a dream of Lynch's from the start that he didn't want to let go of, and he's good in the role, and there seems to be some kind of family business in the sheriff's office which does seem pretty realistic for a town like that.
I really liked Charlene Yi's presence and character. She made a strong impression on me beyond what she did in the scene. She seemed like a real young woman rather than a soap opera beauty, and she does beautifully express the WTF spirit of the universe. I would love to see more of her.
I watch video podcasts by a young gal named Gisela--her channel is called Garmonbozia on YouTube and maybe you've seen it, but it's not one of the super known ones. She is my favorite though of all the TP reviewers. Humble, quirky, and super smart (and she's also a good musician). She focuses quite a lot on Hawk and the Log Lady and wrote a full-length article analyzing Hawk's map with references to alchemy. It's really interesting stuff. Hawk knows things that no one else knows in the TP universe, and he knows enough to not share it with everyone--not even the people he loves, which is why Margaret tries to coax him to trust his friends before she passes, because he needs them.
I think it possible that Ruby is a Log Lady tulpa or something. She's kind of dressed like the log lady... maybe she was waiting for her death/spirit to inhabit her... something like that?