Twin Peaks
Episode Fifteen

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On A Permanent Vacation To Leland

Fade up on a nighttime shot of The Palmer House of Non-Ambiguous Daughter Murdering (um, spoiler?), accompanied by a soundtrack featuring a sustained, dissonant orchestral chord and prerecorded screams providing a similar amount of realistic terror to those pumped through the speakers behind your slowly moving tram car on "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride." Dissolve to the following morning, where a shot of moodily, non-blowing (oops. Could someone get around to plugging in the machine that makes the…yeah, thanks) trees pans down to a slightly tighter shot of the house. And then we're inside, panning past the oft-filmed Laura shrine of framed photographs: Laura as a pig-tailed youth, Laura as a beaming prom queen, Laura smiling through the obvious humiliation of forgetting that the Twin Peaks Middle School annual "Dress as Your Favorite Cheryl Ladd Circa 1978 Haircut" theme day fell on the very afternoon as her family's Glamour Shots appointment (that shot is harder to find. It's there, but it takes some searching), Laura snorting blow with a fat Frenchman behind an abandoned train car while a scraggly long-haired demon man takes a club to the back of her head and tweezers to her fourth finger. Oh, wait, that last one actually never made it to the mantel now, did it? But if it had, buh-bye series, eh?

Continuing the pan over the Laura Ashley Couch of Once Domestic Bliss and the Smartly Placed Throw Rugs of Their Forgotten Sensical Past, into the frame enters a mess of golf balls and accompanying tees, littering said couch and floor while the sound of a sinister chuckle punctuates the fact that some eerie, eerie shit is going down in this house. Panning, panning, panning, over to a patch of green on the floor with a pile of golf balls next to it. A club raises on high and we cut back to see Leland "Too Happy Gilmore" Palmer, standing in the living room, hitting ball after ball. After ball. Leland is still wearing the suit he was wearing at the end of the last episode, which I believe is supposed to indicate that he's been actively and consistently vying for the golf legend title of "The Tiger Woods…of DOOM" for the greater part of the past twelve hours. Even though it's 1990, and Tiger Woods is, like, four. He's the only golfer I can name, so handle the hackneyed reference as best you can and we'll just move on, okay? Wait, here's another one: Arnold Palmer. I think he's a golfer. Either that or he wrote "Simply Irresistible." But I digress. For a freakin' change.

Leland stops his swinging to answer a knock at the front door, and is more than hospitable when he lets Donna "For Whom Good Nicknames Are Growing, Ahem, Thin" Hayward and James "Rosemary's Baby" Hurley in with a broad smile. They have come, it seems, to say goodbye to Maddy, but, according to Leland, "I dropped her off at the bus station not twenty minutes ago." I'm sorry, did he say "dropkicked her through the Gates of Hell [though to this jaded New Yorker, the difference between that place and Missoula, Montana remain a mystery], as my all-powerful self has the wont to do"? Because if he didn't, I'm not sure I think Leland is being the most truthful about Maddy's current whereabouts. I'm starting to think that maybe Leland isn't such a docile, good-natured golfing type after all. Leland continues, "She thought you were coming over last night." James asks if Maddy said anything, and Leland cocks an eyebrow and tut-tuts, "Well, I would have to say that she was a little bit disappointed." Hee hee. I so dig Leland the Murderer embarking on a passive-aggressive guilt trip at this particular moment in the plot progression. You've got to respect the acting ability of a character who can go from channeling "the rawest form of demonic possession of all mankind" to channeling "my Jewish mother" and then back again with such seamless precision. Sarah calls for Leland from the top of the staircase, and Leland excuses himself upstairs to go act the human bodily host for "Even-Keel Non-Demonic Killer Husband Guy" in another room of the house. This guy is like Cybill with a snappy designer suit and a killer handicap. Golf handicap, that is. He doesn't, like, have a hump suddenly or anything. Or is it "golf learning disability"?

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