Twin Peaks
Episode Eight (2)

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But What I Really Want To Do Is Overdirect

The exterior of the Great Northern Hotel is ensconced in the self-consciously moody fog of second season pathos. We join Dale Cooper, our downed and intrepid hero, lying motionless on the floor of Room 315, much in the same position he has maintained for the entire summer of 1990, while we callous viewers were mindlessly off watching endless reruns of Parker Lewis Can't Lose and squeezing the last drops of unhumor from that oxymoronically named comedic genre known as "Gulf War Humor" (well then, why do they call it friendly fire? BWAH HA HA HA HA...ha?) and generally lazing around on the couch picking potato chip crumbs off of our Ocean Pacific shorts. Inside the room, the phone lies off the hook on the desk, and on the other end, Andy repeats numerous variations on the central theme of "Agent Cooper, it's Andy, can you here me?" The phone receiver lies on top of the note Audrey slid under Cooper's door what seems like so many weeks before, which we view from any number of different artsy angles (yes, thank you, David Lynch. We know you directed this episode. Your name appears sixty times in the opening credits, not the least memorable of which is after the words "Directed By." We already know. You can stop showboating now. Love, Fans of directorial subtlety, and Earth) while Cooper lies helpless with blood collecting in the rightward region of his abdomen.

Into a shot of the open room door eventually walks an extremely tall, extremely slower, extremely oldest hotel employee bedecked in a white tuxedo shirt and a bow tie, carrying a tray containing a glass of milk. He offers up new meaning to the verb infinitive "to amble like the walking dead" as he ambles in like the walking dead and announces proudly, "Room service!" The Elderly Room Service Waiter (this, according to the IMDb, is his character's actual name) notices an inanimate, plasma-drenched Cooper with no amount of alarm at all and leans down toward him with the query, "How're ya doin' down there?" Andy's private "Agent Cooper" monologue wails almost inaudibly in the background. TERSW announces the contents of the tray: "Warm milk." Cooper, somehow mustering the ability to speak coherently despite the aforementioned entire summer of internal bleeding, requests, "Would you put it on the table, please. And would you call a doctor?" TERSW assents, proceeding to the table which holds the phone, puts down the tray, and stares blankly at the phone receiver for the length of several cycles of the moon. A lengthy extreme close-up of the listening end of the black phone receiver (yes, Mr. Lynch. We know. You're a very wonderful director. Clap clap clap) reveals Andy's continuing, increasingly fearful yelps, and TERSW picks up the receiver and very. Slowly. Hangs. It. Up. He turns back to Cooper: "I hung it up for you." Cooper wants to know if he called a doctor, and the confused ERSW repeats that the phone is hung up. And it's not until this moment at which Cooper and TERSW really begin to interact that I wonder, in reality, which one of these variously infirmed individuals is, in fact, closer to death's door and more immediate requiring of medical attention. 'Cause I can't say I'm not just a little worried about them both.

No, really, this sequence is still going on. The only reason I even began a new paragraph is because I have a really small computer monitor and, quite frankly, my eyes were starting to hurt a bit. Cooper again asks if TERSW has called a doctor, and the old man becomes exasperated in didactically enunciating, "It's HUNG UP. THE PHONE." Because Cooper's the idiot, see. Cooper gives up and thanks him. TERSW tells him it's no problem, before turning to the desk to retrieve the bill for the room service delivery and leaning down for Cooper to sign it. Cooper takes a glance at it and inquires breathily, "Does this include a gratuity?" Heh. A little first season quirk coming right up, thanks. And for those of you eager to start tying up some loose plot ends that have been left dangling over the course of the show so far, fear not. Closure cometh: the bill does, in fact, include a gratuity. Cooper signs. The end.

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Twin Peaks

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