Oh yes, this will be an ongoing series. Oh yes, rest assured.
It begins on an eater and a reader.
Mooney: "You can pick up her effects at my office."
(Mooney, the besuited detective, again speaks:)
"I notified your ex-wife."
Dupree, played by William Devane, clad in the blue hunting vest and bandana, coughs, death-like, in response.
The Dark is a film involved with the constant bringing up of past history (those of its characters). It is also about "personal effects" - those things held close to our breast but that inevitably influence whatever our contributions to a "public fabric," the systems of our society. In this scene, we have an ex-convict (also celebrity author) and a cop. As a depiction of a tangled web of professional/personal players acting out erratically their own agendas (the dreary emanations of those long, sordid histories), these separate livings also somehow effect and play on each other constantly.
William Devane is the father of the recently murdered and mutilated girl -- she whose "personal effects" the father can pick up at the cop Mooney (played by Richard Jaeckel)'s office. Mooney is responsible for the three years of jail time Dupree recently spent convicted of manslaughter for having (details not forthcoming) led to the death of his ex-wife's lover after finding them in bed together. This undoubtedly estranged ex-wife is the one notified by Mooney, acting (per his job) where Dupree cannot.
(Mooney, failing at professionalism, mostly contemptuous:)
"She wasn't raped."
"She had a lot of money still in her purse."
"No needle marks on her, so she was okay there. You have any idea who she was shackin' up with?"
He grabs Mooney away from the impudent cue stick and pulls him toward him. The camera moves with a force matching of the dramatic gesture.
Notice the reader and the eater take note.
"I loved her. She didn't deserve to have her face torn to pieces just because she was alone at night on one of your streets."
A professional slight.
"My streets? My fault, huh? Nevermind about her old man who wasn't around when she needed him."
A personal slight. Again Dupree coughs, an undisclosed illness.
The reader: "You're Steve Dupree, aren't you?"
The reader butts in. He's reading a Steve Dupree book and wants to flatter the author. Dupree is not lying, as "Steve Dupree" is actually only an alias, which he uses in lieu of his real name, Roy Warner.
Mooney: "Hey buddy, come on! We're talking business!"
Reader: (with some snark) "He's so articulate!"
The reader and the eater settle back in their rightful, background place as triflers in this L.A. story.
"One of my two or three million faithful readers."
"So you're Steve Dupree, eh?"
Mooney: "You do have court's permission to use an alias, don't you?"
(What bright, shining, newly-minted-penny displays of pettiness.) (The slimy Dupree certainly is almost totally deserving of it.)
Dupree: "I don't need anybody's permission."
Mooney: "You must have learned how in jail! See, I did you a favor!"
Dupree: "The only favor I want you to do me is find the murderer of my daughter."
Mooney: "Maybe we'll get lucky."
Dupree: "Lucky? Uh-uh, not good enough, you're going to work your ass off.
"If I see you're not doing it, I'm gonna write letters to the newspapers and sign it: 'Irate tax payer.'"
The complicated diametric between police and public, noble demands and reality, justice and "just more department business," between grieving father and grieving asshole father.
"If I even see you, Warner... I'm gonna nail you for interfering with an officer in the performance of his duties, you got that?"
The Dark: the public and private innerworking of the civic system. A gorgeous "civil horror-thriller."
Dupree: "I'm not going to interfere, I'm just gonna be there."
Mooney: "You've been warned officially, Mister!"
(The barkeep in the background hoists the bar telephone into the air: "Mooney, telephone!")
Mooney: "That's an order! Disappear!"
With Dupree coughing in the background - a simultaneously insouciant and frail figure - Mooney takes his call notifying him of another murder, now bathed in the neon light of the Miller High Life sign. Rich is the idea of personal spheres (far divided), and the incessant textures of the superficial (readers, eaters, and beerers; a cop and a crook being wise guys) that are juxtaposed with the richer things happening deeply and subcutaneously in the text and the personal lives of our characters.