Twin Peaks
Episode Fourteen

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Unless General Smarminess Is A Crime

The whole of the TPPD shows up at Harold Smith's house, where the former shut-in just kinda hangs around enjoying a big brimming cup o' dead. It probably don't taste great, but at least it's new. Cooper finds a note on his person and carries it back out into the living room: "J'ai un homme solitaire. I am a lonely soul." Oh, of course Fruitsy McScaredyCat had to write the note in French so he could be both tragic AND continental at the same time. Hawk fishes through the debris on the floor and calls Cooper and Truman over: "Hey, look at this." They look at "this," a red book with the Borders price tag barely pealed off the back reading "This is the diary of Laura Palmer" in the font MT Shameless Self Promotion Bold. Cooper takes the book. "Pay dirt." A police photographer flashes a bulb and we fade to white. White, instead of black. I'm sorry, is this Get Real?

Commercials: Now, y'all know I love the early 90s commercials and rejoice in my mom's occasional wont to rest the itchy remote trigger finger, but I've got nothing to work with this week. Sprint? Still around. Comtrex? Yeah, cold medicine = comedy gold. Buick? Well, at least this was shot way back in the day before we had flying cars. Oh, wait, we still don't have those. Stupid millennial predictions. Anyway, where are the fun, kitschy commercials of TV yesteryear? What of the "Where's the Beef?" lady? What of Mikey and the Life's Cereal he so likes? What of elaborate "Just for the taste of it" Diet Coke ads that look like the opening credits from Fame? Sigh. It's a lost cause. Help me, Alex from Stroh's. You're my only hope.

The sky is dark with poverty over Chez Johnson this morning as Shelley "Bride of Frankenstein" Johnson and Bobby "Son of God" Briggs sit at the kitchen table reconciling some finances. Leo sits in his wheelchair, head down and eyes closed. Shelley, perpetually wearing her Double R uniform because it gives her the look of struggling blue collardom (the collar! It's actually blue!) announces, "Well, we have bills here that total $1,014." Bobby, reigning deity of the sovereign nation of Flannelonia, sits grungily (and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Even nicer than that, in fact) beside her, cigarette dangling, calculating, "Including insurance money, that leaves you with…" Shelley reads the written figure for him: "Forty-two dollars." Bobby optimistically volleys that "it's a good start," and Shelley wants to know how she's supposed to make it on forty-two dollars for the month. Bobby becomes incredulous, acting briefly like the seventeen year-old he was cast to play back in the pilot when he was already, I am sure, angling toward his late twenties: "We? Shelley, I can't keep telling my mom and dad that I'm spending the night at Mike's. What time is it? I'm missing Economics as it is." Shelley narrows her eyes ever so and spits back, "'We' meant me and Leo." Uh-oh. Trouble in Hotty Paradise? I must say I find this development quite disheartening. For if the truly beautiful can't see through to work out their problems, how can that give hope to the rest of us, the average, the ugly, and the otherwise plain? Regardless, Shelley points out that Bobby promised to take care of her, and she unearths a necklace he gave her and insists he take it back, so badly do they need the dough. Standing and leaning against the kitchen counter, Shelley hazards another futile flip through the Twin Peaks Monopoly "Chance" deck, as Bobby asks, "What about his truck?" What about second prize in a beauty contest? But it's no go, you see, because, " The police impounded it. They said if it was [sic] used in the commission of a crime, it becomes property of the state." Bobby responds that Leo was never actually charged with anything, and Shelley divests Bobby of his inherent ability to hot the place up with but a glance, seeing how cleanly she effortlessly bites his whole head right off: "I didn't make the rules!" Further quarrel ensues. Bobby, a former business partner of the entire vegetable crop sitting next to them at the table, offers, "Leo was into a lot of different stuff with a lot of different people. He was in it for the money." Which is unique, considering the number of drug dealers and inveterate arsonists who pursue such lines of work for the deep spiritual satisfaction that is part and parcel of such employment. But perhaps that really was Leo's impetus, as Shelley asks Bobby to use a little logic: "Look around you. You really think that Leo had money?" Bobby thinks he did and does, and that it must be hidden somewhere. And, as if trying to join in on the conversation with his signature line, "Leo needs a new pair of thieving con artists. Intelligent ones," suddenly Leo produces a high-pitched screaming sound without moving an inch. Then he spits, and the saliva continues dripping from his mouth for the rest of the scene. He spits again and whispers in a high-pitched voice, "New shoes." Shelley practically jumps out the window Bugs-Bunny-style, leaving an exact silhouette of her figure in the glass she's just leapt through. Bobby leaps up and away from the table, and the two cower by the sink as Shelley repeatedly (well, twice) yells, "He's alive!" Bobby approaches Leo slowly and gathers the courage to, for reasons I remain at a loss to fully comprehend, pinch Leo's temple really, really hard where his brain (and the beginning of his hairline) used to be. He saunters back to Shelley: "He ain't alive, Shelley." Shelly points out that he talked, and Bobby decides it was gas. Leo: "New shoes." And so Junior Perry Mason turns the topic to shoes, asking Shelley if Leo had bought any -- wait for it -- new shoes in the past few weeks. He hadn't, but "He did have me take in a pair of boots for repair." Last week. Bobby sends her to get the receipt, then turns to Leo and confides, "New shoes. Want some new shoes, Leo? Give us what we want, I'll buy you the whole damn shoe store." Leo moans extensively and spits all over the table once more. "New shoes." If by "shoes" you mean, "active brain tissue." Poor Leo. All dumb and stuff.

Ben's office. I'm guessing Doc Hayward has invented some kind of "Heroin Patch CQ" (The power to calm, the power to comfort, the power to never have to act out that scene in Trainspotting with the baby on the ceiling), as I have never seen a heroin withdrawal end in such impressively record time. Audrey looks a little haggard, but more in an "I had three recaps due in two days" kind of way more than an "I am experiencing a chemical deprivation which modern medical science has proven can make the human heart actually explode" kind of way. Really, she doesn't even look that bad at all. Here's a tip to all you would-be directors with designs on making a non-glamorizing movie about the destructive nature of addiction: "straightened hair" does not constitute a tenable withdrawal symptom. Ben sits at his desk and Audrey hovers above him, ready for the confrontation. "Daddy, I know about One-Eyed Jacks." Ben initially attempts ignorance, but Audrey comes at him with brothel fun facts ahoy: "I know about Blackie, I know about Emory Battis, I know about Ronette, and I know about Laura." Ben tosses out a slightly more committal, "Oooookay." Audrey goes in for the kill: "I was there. I saw you. You remember Prudence? I wore a little white mask?" And so "Bad Ben Bad" Ben "Whatcha gonna do when they come for you" Horne looks down, snagged. Audrey asks how long Ben has owned One-Eyed Jacks. Five years. Did he know Laura worked there? "She was only there a brief time," but yes, he knew. But he never encouraged it: "She asked if she could work in the department store. Battis sent her without my knowing." Audrey asked if Ben slept with her, and even the glacial pause that transpires wouldn't have been enough time elapsed for Laura to have turned eighteen, even if she'd still been alive, before he nods in assent and whispers "Yes." He looks at a black and white photo of her on his desk, in his office, a pretty strange place for it considering her role of part-time concubine and not-at-all friend of his daughter. I keep a photograph of every prostitute I've ever…um, forget I said that. This happened to a friend of mine. Anyway, Audrey asks if her killed her. Ben slumps down in his chair and pauses for the duration of six episodes of this show and the entire run of Mulholland Drive before miserably whispering, "I loved her." Awwwww.

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