The two times when Laura disappears and screams 1) in the black lodge with Dale 2) in the woods with Dale, who do you think is responsible for that? Also, there's the clicking sound when Laura disappears in the woods which is also heard when the Fireman is speaking with Dale.
This actually happens three times. Once, in the second episode, then, in the woods with Dale. After that, we see a truncated version of the red-room disappearance, repeated.
Every time, the sounds of her screams are identical–it’s the same track, played over and over again. I think this shows us that it’s all part of the same experience, for Laura. This isn’t really happening more than once–it’s happening one time, to every iteration of her.
That last time we see her get sucked away from The red Room, the scream is layered. Repeated over itself again and again, in an echo. Nearly infinite screams. She’s losing herself, through every part of her timeline. Backwards and forwards, all of Laura is torn away.
It’s reinforced by the quick cut to Dale and MIKE, where MIKE asks him “Is it future? Or is it past?”. When it comes to Laura’s destruction, it’s both.
As you can probably tell, I think Dale is responsible for this. By the time he gets the young Laura to Jackrabbit’s Palace, her story has been irrevocably altered. She can no longer meet the fate that kept the timeline whole. So… it fragments. That record skipping is the sound of a broken cycle, isn’t it? The sound of something that’s supposed to move in a smooth circle, but can’t. The needle got knocked out of the groove, so to speak. Now the music can’t play.
Spitballing from there, perhaps The Fireman suggests the Richard-and-Linda, 430 contingency plan in response to that skipping record. The one Dale has caused. You lost Laura? Well, a last-ditch effort could be made to get her back. A fragment of her might be left over, in another world. Since it’s suggested Laura is the one who can defeat Judy, and that The Fireman created her with that in mind, he has a strong interest in coming up with a solution.
I’m so moved by the shot of Laura’s empty chair, in the red room. She should be there, but she’s gone. As if she’d never been there at all. And in a way, she never was.