Commentary on Excerpt E
In Excerpt E, Frank mockingly invokes images of a police investigation ("I want to warn you..."; "Please be advised..."; "That anything you say will..."; "recorded and your remarks may be consumed in public..."). In a reversal of the stance he takes unmockingly as regards Tape 1, his posture here is that of the inquisitor giving fair warning of the possible dire consequences of their being taped. Laura picks up on the offered analogy but laughingly turns it back on Frank ("I know, I'm being taped"; "As long as I know..."). The entire episode, with its short bursts of simultaneous but intelligible banter, is a conversational accomplishment of no small magnitude. Its parodic and ostensibly lighthearted evocation of the "fair warning" ritual provides Frank an opportunity to vent his anxieties about discussing the Tape 1 affair on tape, and also to receive emotional support from his friends. In the guise of a lighthearted exchange, Frank and Laura are also able to make some serious points.