Did you know that “tarp” was short for “tarpaulin”? I didn’t, but I feel like the older generation was better educated on this, because on this page Gipe has Doc see Lorraine standing outside and throw a heavy tarpaulin over the DeLorean. I’m not sure if this is old man itis or me just not knowing words? It feels a little like calling a factory “a manufactory” (i.e.: TECHNICALLY CORRECT BUT INSANELY OLD-FASHIONED) but maybe it’s just me.
OLD MAN ITIS STATUS: maybe??
In the book we don’t get Doc’s awesome MARTY WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING look pictured above, unfortunately, but we do get Doc and Marty agreeing that Lorraine must’ve tracked Marty down… SOMEHOW.
Marty opens the door for her (reasonably concluding that if she followed him there, she’d know he was inside) and calls her “Mom - I mean, Lorraine" which is awful AND dumb. In a different non-book scene in the movie Marty says "You’re not gonna be picking a fight, dad… dad, dad, daddy-o" which has a reasonably smooth recovery that George can reasonably ignore, but here in the book Marty calls a girl who likes him "Mom" and she just straight-out ignores it. Go ahead, call that special non-mom lady in your life "mom" tonight and see if she lets it pass without comment! If so - I don’t know, keep it up I guess?
So at this point Marty now has to introduce Doc to Lorraine. You can do this the cute way or the charmless way! Movie went for cute:
MARTY: Oh, uh, this is my, uh, Doc — uh, my uncle! …Doc — Brown.
It’s cute because we get that “Marty is bad at keeping his cross-temporal identities straight” thing without being “Mom I mean Lorraine” clunky.
Contrast with the book, which went for oddly charmless:
MARTY: Oh. Uh, this is my Uncle Brown.
LORRAINE: Uncle Brown?
That’s their entire exchange. It adds nothing and I’m not entirely sure Lorraine, who is supposed to be nervous about even being here, would think to care about Uncle Brown’s first name. But it does teach us a WRITING TIP: if you’ve got a necessary but lifeless scene, it doesn’t hurt to add some character humour to it!
At this point Lorraine takes a deep breath and launches into her prepared “Will you ask me to the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance, Marty?” speech and UT OH. Was Marty ready for this?
Marty should have been prepared for the proposal but somehow was not.
Book Marty: not what you would call “competent”