I think there is something quite damaging in this story about damage. A damaged Lynch would be a mutilated one; one with fewer limbs and whose expressive language suffers from it. He is aware of this, so Spacek here has a speech impediment.
It is still a wonderful journey. The problem is that it is an extremely simplified one. It is the story of a man who travels to meet a long-lost brother. He is a war-veteran so his soul is damaged. This fact makes him hallucinate a specific kind of Lynchian visions, the kind involving duplicity (the twins, the pregnant runaway, his equally damaged daughter, even his so-called ‘brother’). Since the movie relies on encounters, it is told through the simple device of the road-trip. These encounters are of course, various encounters with himself. In that sense, it is a typical Lynchian dream.
I think he wanted to relax this time. Indulge in the joys of simple filmmaking. That is fine I guess. Not all bright men always utter genial things. Our most excitings moments are often punctuated with ordinariness. But it’s a sweet implication of an artistic life: a film as a paraphrase of itself.