If we read things that way, does it explain who John’s father is? I don’t think Milch is breaking the fourth wall to say that he is the ‘Father’ who gives John words. That would reduce John’s mission to something that’s only relevant in their fictional world. I think the ‘Father’ is God, or at least some pure essence of goodness from which all things flow. John is his messenger, speaking for him without knowing exactly what words to use. The idea of his father having a father is a question you could ask about God, and is not something that’s easy to answer. If you read the scene as John being a messenger from God, then his inability to answer questions makes sense. That’s not something that our words are capable of doing, it’s an idea that’s bigger than any of us.
The greatest ambiguity of the episode for me is the nature of the car dealer. He speaks in the same way as John, using a lot of the same language. The implication is certainly made that this man could be John’s father, which would explain why John took them there to buy the car. The other explanation, and the one that I’d argue makes more sense is the notion that John’s message is spreading. Last week we heard other characters making reference to “big” and “huge” events. This could be symptomatic of a larger change, even people not directly connected to the family are speaking the way John does. During the parade sequence, the groundwork is certainly laid for an expansion of John’s message, and that seems like the most fertile ground for a potential second season.
One of the things I like about the episode is the way that it brings everyone together. Earlier, I assumed that Linc and Tina would pose a threat to Shaun, but it turns out that they, and Jake Ferris, are working in his best interest, just in a different way than the others. Linc’s exploitation of Butchie was the catalyst for all the Yosts’ problems at the start of the show. This is something he makes explicit in his speech. I was wondering why that speech was going on so long, and it wasn’t until after that I realized why. He had not faced up to being the source of so many problems; here he does, and he also hands over the company to John and the Yosts, letting them take control of their own destinies. We finally get that happy family tableau that was first glimpsed during the speech — things aren’t perfect, but they’re okay.
Tracking back a bit, the entire parade sequence was a bit out of nowhere, but fits with the oddness of the show. The best part is Bill’s outrage after he’s arrested while trying to coordinate traffic. The parade serves as a celebration of John’s message, and something of a coming out party for his agenda and the family in general. The critical thing here is the fact that Stinkweed has been turned into an engine for spreading John’s message. His symbol, the line and circle man, seems to be part of something larger. It is his sigil, and through it, he can spread his agenda.