Twin Peaks
Episode Nine

Episode Report Card
Major Problems

Back in his room at the Great Northern, the undiscovered note Audrey left for Cooper lies untouched underneath the bed while Cooper summarizes the whole of the newest yeah-get-on-with-it-already subplots for a doubtlessly sleeping Diane. Windom Earl has (yawn) escaped! Audrey is (still) missing! A knock on the door reveals Major Briggs to the now-wary agent (at least this time he remembered to ask who it was), who enters the room with "a message" for Cooper. From whom? Well, that's classified, the major responds in four billion words or more, "but I may reveal this much. Among my many tasks is the maintenance of deep space monitors aimed at galaxies beyond our own. We routinely receive various communications -- 'space garbage' -- to decode and examine. They look something like this." What they look like is millions of sets of alternating letters and numbers separated by slashes and printed out landscape on many, many sheets of paper. Ever try and open an attachment file on an iMac? From anywhere, of anything? Next time you do, while you're screaming the words, "Well then what the fuck is MIME format anyway?" take a closer look of said forward translated into plain text. 'Cause it looks a hell of a lot like that. The major would very much like for us to know more: "Radio waves and gibberish, Agent Cooper. Until Thursday night. Friday morning, to be exact." Cooper muses that this was at the very time he was shot. And so Briggs shows Cooper the readout. And right there, in the middle of it all, from God or the dead or the aliens still trying to collect their downed kin and haul ass back to Roswell, "THE/OWLS/ARE/NOT/WHAT/THEY/SEEM." Just like My Giant told him. Cooper wants to know why Major Briggs would have brought this classified information to him. The answer comes farther down the Mac attachment readout page: "COOPER/COOPER/COOPER/COOPER/COOPER." Hey, thanks a bunch, governmentally sanctioned space program. Was this expense the exact reason that the state had to cut funding to the music program in my junior high school? And, most importantly, have my inherent karaoke skills suffered as a result of not being fostered properly in an academic setting?

Weirdest. Scene. Ever. And bad, too! But when the opening shot of said scene features a really sincere looking Slater Fetus clutching a guitar, well, is nothing self-evident anymore? Okay, picture this: inside of the Hayward house, James sits on the floor across from Donna and Maddy, holding a guitar; the girls sit before a 1950s-esque microphone. Oh, Lord, he's on one knee, isn't he? James: "That was really good. Let's try again." And then he begins to play an equally 1950s-esque love song riff reminiscent of every group that was already so over by the time they appeared on Ed Sullivan for having so egregiously ripped off Buddy Holly to begin with. And then he begins to sing. And though I don't think he travels too far above an E-flat (actually, they didn't cut the music program at my junior high school at all. Karaoke skills like mine can't be TAUGHT, per se, but proper training is really of the essence, such as the mentoring only available in secondary public school music programs. There are, of course, specialized karaoke finishing schools around the country -- "Puttin' on the Hitz" is one that jumps to mind -- but my parents were simple country folk who lacked the funds to send me away to one. I do what I can with what I have, though. Anyway) at any point on this rendition of his song "Just You," but his falsetto sound evokes a truly shrill vocal timbre I haven't heard since the Bee-Gees were big. But Slater Fetus isn't real cool like the Bee-Gees. He's, like, their retarded cousin. He's Gomer Gibb. The Vienna Boys Fetuses. "Unsmokey Robinson," if you will.

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Twin Peaks




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