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A Multi-Layered Analysis of Mulholland Dr. (by Alan Shaw)

Basic Narrative  | Background & Motivation  | Diane Selwyn Story | Symbolism & Metaphor  | Scene by Scene Analysis  | Lynch's 10 Clues  | Conclusion

Scenes: 1 - 5    6 - 10    11 - 15    16 - 20    21 - 25    26 - 30    31 - 37


Scene 16

In the next scene, we are back with Betty and Rita in the Aunt's home at night. They are on the floor near a coffee table looking at a map. Betty is convincing Rita that they should go to the address they found in the phonebook for "D. Selwyn." Rita is very nervous about this idea, and as she hesitates, someone comes up to their door in the darkness and knocks. As they get up, we see the Beatrice Cenci painting shown prominently again, and the camera lingers on it telling us to be prepared for more references to sexual abuse as Betty goes to answer the door. When she opens the door we see a woman with long blonde hair named Louise Bonner. She is dressed all in black, and as her face is shrouded in the shadows she appears to be some type of psychic or spiritual medium. She says to Betty, "Someone is in trouble. Who are you? What are you doing in Ruth's apartment?" Some of Betty's face is also in the shadows now, and she replies, "She's letting me stay here. I'm her niece. My name's Betty." To this Louise responds strongly, "No it's not! That's not what she said. Someone is in trouble. Something bad is happening." Coco interrupts soon after this. And Louise says to Coco, "Oh Coco. I've been trying to get a hold of you since 3 o'clock this afternoon. That one is in my room and she won't leave. I want you to get her out. I want you to get her out now!" Then, after Coco gives Betty a script for an audition the next day, she tries to escort Louise away. But Louise pulls free for one last premonition. Louise says, "No, she said it was someone else who was in trouble." After all of this, when Betty closes the door and turns back to Rita, she sees a look of absolute terror on Rita's face.

To understand this scene we have to understand the identity of Louise Bonner. To do that we need to unravel her symbolism. Since she is wearing all black she has power of some sort. Since she is acting like a medium, she must be a powerful one. Who then is she channeling? It's not Aunt Ruth, because she came to the apartment expecting to speak to Aunt Ruth. Since Louise is in a dream world, the other world to communicate with would be the real world of Diane Selwyn. Like the arrows on the side of the Winkie's, I think Diane Selwyn is trying to give important information to our characters, but this time through Louise. "Someone is in trouble," refers both to the Rita persona and to Diane Selwyn who is descending into a suicidal depression. Clearly when Louise says, "No it's not" she's referring to the fact that Betty is not Diane's real name. You might say that Diane realizes that the fantasy is taking a turn for the worse, and she is trying to wake up before the things end horribly. There is a truth waiting to be discovered that would destroy the innocence of the Betty character, perhaps for good, and with Betty gone, any hope of holding on to something to live for would be gone as well. Of course, Betty still thinks her hope lies in connecting with the Rita persona, even though that was never the right path for her. And the Rita persona's doom is coming, as we can see by the look of terror on Rita's face after Louise has delivered her premonition. Just as the grandmother probably wanted Diane out because of the infidelity, so too does Diane's vindictive side want to completely erase Camilla and Rita from existence because of Camilla's betrayal of the love-struck Diane.

When Coco interrupts them, Louise snaps out of her trance and then begins to represent someone else. When she says that there is a female in her room who she wants out now, she refers to 3 o'clock. When Adam discovered his wife in her room having an affair, there is a clock on the shelves next to the door as he walks in that show it is just before 4 o'clock. This means that the incest that that infidelity represented had probably been occurring since 3 o'clock. In my opinion, this is why we saw the Beatrice Cenci painting again right before Betty came to the door. Louise is now referring to the incest, and I believe she is taking on the role of Diane's mother figure, like Lorraine did. And Louise is wearing black, like Lorraine was before putting on the blue dress to symbolize the transition forced upon Diane that I talked about early. In the Beatrice Cenci story, the mother's name began with an "L," Lucrezia. So I believe that both Louise's and Lorraine's name begins with an "L" for that reason, and I believe that their long blonde hair is to show you that they are related to Diane, although they do not entirely represent her character. And the mother figure's anger ultimately drives out Diane, just as Adam was driven out of his home when he was representing Diane trying to go back home. Louise Bonner is unhappy that Betty is there, because as Diane's mother figure she had always wanted her out ever since she found Diane in her bedroom.

Moreover, I believe the complex character of Louise Bonner also represents a third person. In my view, the name "Bonner" comes from the Sam Peckinpah film, "Junior Bonner." I believe Lynch is making an ode here to the Peckinpah's use of psychologically intense character confrontations, with often violent endings. The scenes with the hit man and with Kenny the thug show the violent direction that Peckinpah is so well known for, but here we have the non-violent thread developed in the "Junior Bonner" film. The main character in the film was a rodeo cowboy who rides bulls and is past his prime. Louise Bonner is an actress past her prime in Coco's court of Hollywood hopefuls. What happens to actresses in Louise's state? If they have no life outside of Hollywood to return to, as Diane did not, they become a shell of their old selves, as Coco indicates that this "happens sometimes" with Louise. So Louise also represents the state of Diane's acting career, which was contributing to her depression. This reference to "Junior Bonner" becomes clearer as we head into the next scene, where we come upon an old rundown corral, just like where a rodeo might take place, with the skull of an old steer hanging from the gates entrance. The corral, like Diane's hopes for an acting career looks like it has been abandoned.

Scene 17

Adam arrives for his meeting with the Midnight Cowboy at the old beat up corral. It is a difficult meeting for Adam because the Cowboy is there to make him give in to the corrupt personas in Diane's mind that want Rita/Camilla dead. The Cowboy ridicules Adam by telling him things like, "You're too busy being a smart aleck to be thinkin'." At one point he says, "A man's attitude ... a man's attitude goes some ways to the way his life will be." Then at another point he says, "There's sometimes a buggy. How many drivers does a buggy have?" "One," Adam replies. To which the Cowboy says, "So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy and if you fix your attitude, you can ride along with me." It becomes clearer what he is getting at when he says to Adam, "You must be a person who does not care about the good life." Adam, knowing that he wants the "good life," inevitably capitulates saying, "What do you want me to do?" What the Cowboy wants more than anything else is for Adam to say, "This is the Girl," when the fake Camilla Rhodes girl shows up for the part during auditions the next day. This will indicate that he agrees that she will play the lead in Diane's life story, instead of the old Camilla Rhodes character, who had the lead role before. If Adam gives into this, he can go back to living the "good life." Finally, the Cowboy says his most mysterious statement, "Now, you will see me one more time if you do good. You will see me two more times if you do bad. Good night." And then he walks off and disappears into the night.

It is both a very difficult scene and a very illuminating scene. The Cowboy seems to be a calm, soft-spoken type, but he has a dark malevolence to him that finally breaks down Adam's resistance. The Cowboy has the same type of no-eyebrow, death-like presence as the Mystery Man in Lynch's "Lost Highway." But the Cowboy is not Death personified. I've discussed before how the Cowboy is like Dorothy's scarecrow in a darker sense, the same way that Mr. Roque is like the Tinman and the Castigliane brothers are like the Lion. But in some ways, the Cowboy is more central than the others. He explains what is going on at a level that none of the others even attempt. As I mentioned before, Adam, like Betty, represents a side of Diane that is still somewhat innocent. A side that believes in the Hollywood enterprise so much, that, like Diane, he falls in love with a person like Camilla who so personifies the image-over-substance Hollywood conceit. But Adam is being told that if he wants the good life, he is going to have to let the jaded and darker figures in Diane's life take over. The personas who want to be rid of the real Camilla want to be in the driver's seat. When you connect this to the idea that Diane probably chose to get out of poverty and embrace the "good life" by becoming a call girl, then the same corrupt thinking is convincing her director persona to agree with the "this is the girl" statement that spells doom for Camilla.

Yet, in a malevolent way, the Midnight Cowboy and his ominous partners are only doing what they think is in the best interests of Diane. The Cowboy explains that he believes Diane's sad life is the result of a sad attitude. Since Diane believes more in Camilla than in herself, Camilla is the one becoming the star. To them, the logical solution to this is to get rid of Camilla. In their view, if Camilla stays, then Diane is doomed. The Cowboy's last statement about one or two more visits explains this when you look at what happens at the end of the fantasy. He enters Diane's room smiling, saying to the "Pretty Girl" in the bed that it is time to wake up. But it is not Diane in the bed, it is Rita/Camilla. In the Cowboy's logic this is bad. Or, more to the point, something bad happens because of it. Diane is still obsessed on Rita/Camilla because she is in her bed. The wrong woman is in the room, just as Louise Bonner had told us earlier. There are going to be terrible consequences because of this. The scene fades out, and then back in. The Cowboy is now appearing for the second time and he is no longer smiling. As he leaves the second time, we now see on the bed the image of the Diane Selwyn from the dream, and she is dead and the fantasy comes to an end. I will explain in more what the implications of this later scene is and what it was that caused the Cowboy to be seen twice when we get to that scene below.

Scene 18

In this scene it is morning time, and the Hollywood sign shows up once again very prominently. Betty's quest for stardom is in full swing as she rehearses her lines with Rita for her big audition. The script they are reading is very revealing in more than one way. Because of her fantasy's logic, The Sylvia North Story script is really about Diane's life story. Initially, we get subtle clues in the script about the relationship between Diane and Camilla. Later the same script gives us clues about the relationship between Diane and her grandfather who we finally learn must be the abusive father figure, the called her father's best friend.

The first line is from Betty. She says, "You're still here?" To which Rita replies, "I came back. I thought that's what you wanted." In an angry voice Betty answers back, "Nobody wants you here!" At this point in the scene the camera moves to a position to show you that Camilla is reading a script. Before that point, it was not clear that they were rehearsing lines, and it would have been possible to think they were actually in a real conversation. By putting on this brief but fake conversation, Lynch is asking us to think about those lines. They are coming from somewhere. Although they are not the words that the Betty persona would like to be said between the two of them, other aspects of Betty's mind would very much like this conversation to happen between Betty and Rita. They want to be rid of Rita/Camilla, and through the script they have found a way to briefly show themselves.

Another issue that I have alluded to earlier is that the scene shows that Betty takes acting seriously, while apparently Rita does not. Yet, once again, it is Rita who is wearing the glamorous red and black robe, while Betty is in a cheap pink one. Even though Rita says that Betty is very good, that hasn't made a difference in the real Diane's life. Camilla will always beat Diane out for big roles because image is more important than talent. And this fact is not lost on Diane, or her Betty persona, because Betty will take a chapter out of Rita/Camilla's book when she performs in the audition.

Next, the scene jumps a little bit ahead in the morning. Coco, comes to the door and notices Rita for the first time. When Coco asks Rita who she is, Rita says, "Uh, Betty…" In the context of her response, she is calling Betty to have her deal with Coco. But in a literal sense Rita is Betty, since they both are just personas of Diane. When Betty comes out of the kitchen, Coco is frowning. She does not approve of Rita. Coco asks Betty to go outside so that they can talk. In the conversation Coco lets Betty know that she spoke with the aunt on the phone and the aunt doesn't want Rita there. Betty tries to cover for Rita, saying that the aunt misunderstood in their earlier conversation about Rita. And besides, Betty further argues, Rita is "very nice." To this Coco says, "Honey, you're a good kid. But what you're telling me is a load of horse puckey, even though it comes from a good place. Now I'm going to trust you to sort this thing out." This allows Betty to keep Rita from being kicked out, but Coco does add, "Don't make me out to be a sucker. Louise Bonner said there's trouble in there. Remember last night? Well… Sometimes she's wrong, but if there is trouble - get rid of it." With that, Coco leaves, and Betty goes back inside to reassure Rita that she is not abandoning her.

The message in the dialogue with Coco is clear. Coco does not believe that Betty is right about Rita. She thinks she's trouble and that means she should get rid of her. That puts Coco in line with all of the other personas that have been out to get Rita. But Betty is holding out. She still wants to protect Rita from an increasingly hostile dream world.

Scene 19

In this scene, we see men driving around who appear to be undercover police or undercover mobsters who are searching for Rita. Betty has her safely inside of Aunt Ruth's apartment, and so she heads off to her audition in a yellow cab. When she arrives at the office of her aunt's friend, Wally Brown, she finds that he has invited the director and many others to come see her audition for the part. The director's name is Bob Brooker, and the actor who has been hired to play opposite her is named Woody Katz. Among the others there, there is a red head woman named Linney James who is a very successful casting agent, with her black clad assistant named Nicki. Before Betty and Woody do the scene, Bob at first says he has nothing to say, and then he offers some advice nevertheless. He says, "It's not a contest. The two of them with themselves … so don't play it for real until it gets real." Everyone looks confused and unimpressed at this. Then Woody says with a smirk on his face, "Just tell me where it hurts, baby." And then he looks at the director and says, "Hey Bobby, I want to play this one nice and close. Like we did with that other girl, uh, what's her name? The one with the black hair. That felt kinda good. Whaddya think?" The director then says, "That's good, Woody. Just don't rush that line again. I told you... the line where you say, 'Before what?'" And Woody responds, "Bobby, acting is reacting." Then after explaining why it is always the other person's fault when he rushes the line, Woody says to Betty, "Betty, look, you don't rush it, I don't rush it, okay? Now, we're gonna play this nice and close, just like in the movies. Okay? … Dad's best friend goes to work."

Even before the acting starts, there are many issues to learn from this scene. First off, we find a red haired successful Hollywood agent. In my view, this is Diane giving us our closest look yet of how she remembered her aunt when she was alive. The woman is described by Wally in glowing terms, "Now our surprise guest, Linney James. Alas, we can't afford her to cast our show. But, well, as casting agents go, she is the best." Wally emphasizes her successfulness twice, explaining that she gets paid more than they can afford, and stating that she is the best. We know that this is what Diane probably believed about her aunt, and it seems a little bit over the top and not necessarily true. Another interesting feature of this scene is Linney's assistant, Nicki. She is dressed completely in black like a person of power, although she is only an assistant. The reason for this becomes clear when we notice that her jet-black hair and the way it is styled along with her thick black glasses, makes her a female double of Adam. Adam is the one whom Diane has chosen to be the persona who directs the re-casting of her life story, so we know that Diane admired Adam in real life and probably thought she would have chosen to be like him if she had not decided to become an actress. So it seems evident then that she is identifying with Nicki as well. Nicki is where she might have been if only her aunt had lived and Diane had been able to work with her aunt. The fact that Diane is using such an idealized image of her aunt and her assistant should warn us that the outcome of the audition will not be a true to life account. Instead, this is the audition as she would have wanted it to be, since we do find out later from the party conversation in the reality portion of the film that in real life this audition was a flop for Diane.

The next character that appears to have some important symbolic significance is Woody. Like the family jewels in an earlier scene, with Woody we again have a slang term for the sex organ of a man. And when you add this to the fact that Woody starts off his interaction with Betty with let's-play-doctor jokes like, "Just tell me where it hurts, baby," it should come as no surprise that with Woody, we are entering into Diane's sexual abuse territory. This means that when Woody says things like, "you don't rush it, I don't rush it," we have to consider that maybe this is what Diane's father figure said during the acts of incest. And when Woody says, "Dad's best friend goes to work," we have to consider that maybe he is saying that the best friend of a father figure is his penis. As I said earlier, the script gives us clues both about Diane's relationship with Camilla and her relationship with her grandfather. And this audition scene especially focuses on her the issue of her relationship with the father figure who is her grandfather.

There is one other issue in the subtext that we should consider before we look at what is in the script. There is a clear implication being made when Woody says, "Hey Bobby, I want to play this one nice and close. Like we did with that other girl, uh, what's her name? The one with the black hair. That felt kinda good. Whaddya think?" The girl with black hair that liked playing it really close was probably a memory from Diane's real life. And during the real life dinner scene, Diane told us that Camilla won the role instead of her. So the clear implication is that Camilla was the one who liked to play it close. In fact, she seems to have been the only one who wanted to play it close since the issue stood out in everyone's mind, and this tells us a lot about Camilla. As we see when Betty has to play it close, it turns into a hot sexual scene, and this is the first time we are getting a clear indication that this is how Camilla gets parts. She plays it very hot and very sexual, and she is very successful. No wonder then that when Diane revisits this traumatic event in her life through her fantasy, Betty decides to play the scene the way Camilla did. And sure enough, she gets the same reaction. The scene that Betty called "lame" when she rehearsed it with Rita in Aunt Ruth's apartment, now has become hot and heavy. As we have seen all along, Diane's innocent Betty persona believes in Camilla passionately. And so she cannot help but try to relive her life in Camilla's image.

The following is how David Lynch's script describes the scene:

Betty and Woody start the scene. It is very difficult for
Betty as Woody has her in an absurd clench now.

You're still here?

I came back. I thought that's what you wanted.

Woody plays this with a big lecherous smile. He gives the
last part of the line across her cheek up to her ear.

Nobody wants you here.

Betty uses the anger of this line to push herself away from
Woody. Woody reaches out and grabs her wrist.


Betty pulls her hand away and stands her ground.

My parents are right upstairs! They think you've left.

Woody smiles broadly and moves again toward Betty.

So ... surprise!

Betty pushes him back.

I can call them... I can call my dad.

But you won't.

He grabs Betty by the wrist again and pulls her in to him. He puts his hand on her waist and it accidentally slips and keeps going down her hips. He jerks his hand back. Betty looks down and sees Woody's hand hovering above her thigh. Betty takes her hand and gently presses down on Woody's hand. She slowly looks up with the most seductive smile. Woody lets his hand rest more firmly on her thigh, and squeezes her thigh as he sees her smile. With his other hand Woody gently pulls her closer. Something has started coming over Betty and she catches the drift of this scene in a different way. She's surprising herself.

(almost a hot whisper)
You're playing a dangerous game here. If you're trying to blackmail me... it's not going to work.

Woody now surprises himself. He becomes almost tender and genuinely worked up from the heat coming off Betty.

You know what I's not that difficult.

Where the scene should turn to anger from Betty it can't now and Betty plays it as she feels it. She stays in very close to Woody - looking him right in the eyes.

(whispering desperately - slowly)
Get out... Get out before I call my dad. He trusts you... you're his best friend. 
(her arms go around him)
This will be the end of everything.

Woody gets lost. He doesn't know where he is anymore. He can only see Betty's eyes.

What about you? What will your dad think about you?

Betty still playing it in a dreamy whisper... lost in heat.

Stop... stop it. That's what you said from the beginning. If I tell them what happened... they'll arrest you and put you in jail. So get out of here… before...

(caught by her transfixing, sultry eyes, and almost breathless ... he finds himself taking an extra long pause)
Before what?

As scripted Betty pretends to pull the knife from behind her back, but wraps the knife around behind Woody and pulls him into a kiss.

(as she kisses him - whispers)
Before… I kill you.

Woody panics and pushes Betty away with his hands on her shoulders as if forcing himself to come out of a trance. He finally is able to say his line.

Well, then they'd put you in jail.

As scripted Betty is supposed to cry now and it is very easy for her to do this because she's ashamed at how the sex of the scene took her over. Tears begin running down her cheeks. She backs away.

I hate you... I hate us both!

She pretends to drop the knife. The scene ends.

At the end of the scene, everyone is amazed with Betty's performance, except Bob, the director. In fact, the director may not have been paying too close attention because he appears to have been reading the script during the audition. He starts off by saying, "Very good. Really." But then he adds a more ambiguous comment, "I mean it was forced maybe, but still humanistic. Yeah, very good. Really. Really." Like everything else he has said up to this point, his comments don't appear to be especially insightful. But when we deal with the content of the dialogue, the director may have a valid point after all. When you take the script somewhat literally, the scene seems to be about a girl who is sexually involved with someone who is sneaking into the house under the nose of the parents. The person seems to be the best friend of the father, and could easily be a relative. And the person seems to have kept the girl from telling anyone by convincing her that if she does tell, her relationship with her father will be destroyed. The girl has become unstable because of the sexual abuse, and she is becoming both suicidal and homicidal.

The literal reading by itself is an indication that Diane is remembering some type of sexual abuse in her past when she plays out this scene. But when we deal with the symbolism involved, we learn even more. In the dialogue we are told that the mother and the father are upstairs, and I believe this to be a reference to the two of them being in heaven. And her threats to call on the father I believe to be an indication that the father was very close to her abuser and so calling on his memory would be damaging to the abuser. And since the grandparents' persecution Diane at the end of the film involves forcing her onto her bed, the grandfather is the most likely one who would have been close to the father, and who would have become the father figure after the mother and father's death. If the grandfather was the abuser, we can assume that he was the biological father of her father because of what is implied here. Yet, calling on the father's memory was a risky move for Diane because the grandfather could claim anything he wanted to about his son. He says to her, "What about you? What will your dad think about you?" If he is implying that her dad would think of her as a slut, he could be arguing that her biological father would have engaged in the same sexual assault on her as the grandfather, thus destroying her connection to him even in death. To her the abuse rose to the level of being the "end of everything." So she threatens to kill her abuser, which we know actually happened in Beatrice Cenci's story where the abuser was the father. But Diane goes further, and threatens even to kill herself.

With this as the backdrop to Diane's life, we can argue that Bob's, "it was forced maybe," could be seen as a comment on the sexual abuse and not on Betty's acting. But we do know from what Diane says in the reality portion of the film, that Bob was not impressed with her acting. And we know that she did not get the chance to play the lead in The Sylvia North Story, which I believe so closely mirrored her own life story. This was devastating to her, and now she seems to be rewriting that portion of her life by using Rita/Camilla's sensual performance instead of her own performance that we saw in Aunt Ruth's kitchen. Linney, the stand-in for Aunt Ruth, is so impressed she immediately recruits Betty for her latest casting project. But before she takes Betty to this new project, she takes a few digs at Wally's production, saying, "God, that was awful." Betty is stunned, thinking that she was referring to her audition. But Linney explains that she was talking about Wally's production of The Sylvia North Story. Linney says that Wally is past his prime and the film will never get made. And Nicki adds, "And the cast I hear so far is terrible." Which Linney agrees with by saying, "Oh, God, terrible!" And she even goes so far as to say, "That poor old fool Wally." In the reality portion of Lynch's film we learn that the film was indeed made, so we know that these digs most likely represent what Diane would like to believe rather than the truth. In Diane's mind, the movie would have been done better had Adam been the director, and, of course, if she had been the star. And so, as they leave one audition that represented Bob Brooker's incompetent casting of The Sylvia North Story in a little office, Linney takes Betty to Adam's casting of The Sylvia North Story. Adam's audition happens on a glamorous movie set in a wonderful sound stage, the way it should have been done, as far as Diane is concerned.

As Linney walks Betty over to Adam's audition, she says, "Now we want to take you across and introduce you to a director who's a head above the rest. He's got a project that you will kill!" Since The Sylvia North Story is all about Diane's life, this is a premonition that Diane will kill herself, and we will see a premonition like this again. But Betty is a little startled by the use of the word "kill" and so Linney rephrases her statement by saying, "Knock it right out of the park."

Scene 20

This scene starts off on the set of Adam's version of The Sylvia North Story. Clearly, he's making Diane's life story a musical, with the lead actress in a sparkling pink sequined top in this scene. Perfect for the pink clad innocence of Betty with her musical Jitterbug claim to fame. The actress auditioning now is someone who we were told earlier is one of the six top actresses. Her name is Carol, and she's lip-synching to the song "Sixteen Reasons" by Connie Stevens.

This is all much more impressive than what we saw in Wally's office, and I think it is important to state once more that this has very little to do with how The Sylvia North Story movie was really made. In the reality portion of Lynch's film, we are explicitly told that Bob Brooker was the director of The Sylvia North Story, and we are told this while Adam is sitting across the table and he doesn't complain. He had nothing to do with The Sylvia North Story. But after Camilla starred in The Sylvia North Story, we are told that she apparently got a number of other leading roles, and in some of them she helped Diane get small parts. It is in one of the last of those later films in which Camilla stars, that Adam directs. We find this out in one of Diane's reality flashbacks. And in that flashback we see the same props and background scenery that we see in Diane's fantasy of how Adam would have made The Sylvia North Story. Some reviewers have mistakenly suggested that this means Adam really did direct The Sylvia North Story, or that Diane's reality flashback was mistaken. But on the contrary, Diane's flashback was accurate, but her fantasy's depiction of The Sylvia North Story is not. She brings into her imagination things that come from the more current events in her life, and that includes some of the props from the show Adam is currently making. Clearly she is impressed with Adam, having used him so prominently in her fantasy, and so she wants all of his impressive sets to be in her fantasy's recreation of her own life story.

In Diane's fantasy, as Carol continues to pretend to sing "Sixteen Reasons," Betty walks into the set with Linney and Nicki. As she walks in, Adam turns and looks at her from his director's chair. As their eyes meet, there is clearly a strong connection between them. The music in the background goes through the following verses as the connection lasts:

(Thirteen) The way you thrill my heart
(Fourteen) Your voice so neat
(Fifteen) You say we'll never part
(Sixteen) Our love's complete
Those are all of the sixteen reasons why I (why I) love you

It is as though Adam immediately recognizes that she is the one who is right for this part, and possibly for his life as well. Yet since he represents the persona that is directing Diane’s fantasy version of her life story, we can say that this important part of Diane’s psyche really loves the Betty part of herself and wishes she could bring that aspect of herself into the limelight. But for terrible reasons this cannot happen, and the show must go on, so Adam does not do anything about this reaction. As the singing stops he goes and talks to Carol, who loves the role and really wants the part. He compliments her nicely but is noncommittal and then he goes back to his chair. While lighting a cigarette, he asks who's next, and is told, "Camilla Rhodes." He is briefly shaken, remembering what the Cowboy told him from the night before. He asks them to bring her in, and then blows a circular ring of smoke as the following announcement is made over the sound system, "Sylvia North Story, Camilla Rhodes, Take One."

As the fake Camilla takes the stage, this time the song being lip-synched is "I've Told Every Little Star" by Linda Scott. Adam tells someone to get Jason, an official involved in the casting who had told Adam to go see the Cowboy. After making Jason wait a little while, Adam tells Jason, "This is the girl." Ray, the one who reports to Mr. Roque, is listening as he stands behind Jason somewhat in the shadows and very close to Jason's shoulder. After Adam says the required line, Ray comes out of the shadows and out from behind Jason as he says, "Excellent choice, Adam." Adam looks somewhat saddened, and right at that moment Betty begins to look worried. She looks disappointed, and as she looks at her watch she says, "Oh my goodness." At this point Adam turns around and they look into each other's eyes again. This time there is sadness in both of their eyes as the following lyrics play in the background:

Maybe, you may love me too
Oh my darling, if you do
Why haven't you told me?

This is a question for Diane in her Adam persona, and the question is why hasn’t she been true to her Betty persona if it is so important to her? After this, Diane says to Linney and Nicki, "I have to be somewhere. I… I promised a friend. I'm sorry, I must go now." And then she turns and literally runs out of the studio with Adam's eyes still on her. His expression is especially regretful now.

This scene is a momentous one for the Betty persona. She had been intending to be the new one to play the lead in Adam's production, and clearly Adam wanted her to do so as well. But Adam, who seemed to be her ally at the beginning when he resisted the corrupt personas, has been intimidated and no longer can fight the dark forces in Diane's life. Diane's mind is still conflicted, but it does ultimately choose a substitute for Camilla Rhodes to play the part instead of Betty. In a sense, the part of her that is angry at Camilla and that had her eliminated is still obsessed with Camilla Rhodes, but now the obsession just involves replacing her with another version of Camilla Rhodes. And since Diane's mind is ruled by her obsessions, Betty is also obsessed with Camilla in a defensive way that is focused on the persona of Rita. The "This is the girl" personas want to remove and replace Camilla with someone who looks more like Diane, but who is not a sweet innocent persona like Betty. On the other side stands the innocence of Betty, which portrays her obsession as true love for Camilla. Yet, at the audition, Betty clearly loses, although the director feels terrible about it. Diane has essentially chosen the corrupt path over the path of innocence. The path that leads to murder over the path that was supposed to lead to love. However, both paths also included a desire to incorporate Camilla's sensual power into Diane's life, so in the end, neither path was completely innocent.

Scene 21 -25