Twin Peaks
Episode Nineteen

Episode Report Card
Djb: D+ | Grade It Now!
"Well, that's the nice thing about things."

Mad, mad props (not angry. Just, y'know, mad) to Strega, for looking after the place during my non-summer non-vacation. Three months between recaps isn't that long, is it? If by "time between recaps," I mean "gestating an elephant." Well then, no. No, it sure ain't that long at all.

The shark this show jumped somewhere around Episode 12 has already packed up its dorsal fin and moved on to dismantle the later seasons of Moonlighting and the entire cursed run of Major Dad, leaving us to join the inaction already in progress with Bobby "I'm Over Him" Briggs entering Ben Horne's office while Sassy Shuffle pesters us on the soundtrack with its persistently sassy shuffle. Disarray looms. Ben's desk has been pushed into the center of the office, and in the space it once occupied now sits a shrine to Put-Upon Set Designers With Recently Thrown Out Backs Everywhere, as all of the furniture has been piled atop each other reaching practically to the ceiling. On top of the two leather couches lie several tables, Ben's desk lamp, and the wooden nameplate indicating that the desk -- and now this new Totem Pole Of The Criminally Freaking Insane -- belongs, in fact, to "Ben." Acting as the star or the angel atop this tree, this centerpiece for the Very Special Twin Peaks Bipolar Christmas Spectacular, is the taxidermed white fox that Leland once used to try and frame Ben for the murder of Laura Palmer. Oh, I know. I can't believe this is the same show either.

Bobby surveys the situation and calls Ben's name. He circles the Shrine Of Insanity and discovers the same ol' natty Ben from last week, crouched in the corner. Young Briggs introduces himself (though I have a sneaking suspicion Ben would already know who Bobby is) and indicates that Ben's secretary told Bobby he could go right in. Very discreet secretary. Stupid temps. It's probably the actress playing Sylvia Horne, out for revenge. Ben wastes no time overenunciating his way to high drama, speaking from the crouching position, "Bobby, you know what you have to have in this life? Hmmm? Balance. Distance. Symmetry." He stands and climbs onto his office shrine, moving the "Ben" nameplate onto the top shelf. Meanwhile, Bobby attempts to act the swarthy manipulative businessman he showed up to play, asking, "Did you listen to that tape that I sent you?" Ben, from on high, gives linear conversational exchange its due, responding, "Yes, I listened to your tape, Bobby. Frankly, I am surprised that Leo could master the technology." They both laugh because the stage directions indicate that Ben's retort was, in fact, a hilarious quip (it wasn't bad, really), and Ben asks Bobby why he has come. Bobby says that he has "great admiration" for Ben, prompting Ben's response, "admiration is for poets and dairy cows." Bobby doesn't know what he means. Neither do I, at all, but I have a feeling that if I had graduated from high school in 1991, that would have been my yearbook quote all the same. Because it kicks ass of anything from Dead Poets Society, and the Billy Joel song "This is the Time" had yet to be invented for exactly that purpose. So really, what was the world left with? Either way, Ben leaps down from the shrine and stands next to Bobby. The two regard the office furnishings monolith, and Ben smokes his cigar and informs his ingenue, "You're standing in front of a mammoth skyscraper. A leviathan that rips a hole in the clouds. Now, what's the first question that comes to your mind?" Mine is, "Has the Fox Network been invented yet, and if so, what's on it right now and can we watch that instead, please?" so it's probably a good thing Ben didn't decide to ask me. Bobby's eyes glaze over because he's not savvy to Ben's wily business tactics. Ben tells him that the first question he must ask is, "What's on the top floor? Who's in the penthouse and why?" Bobby confirms that that's just exactly what he was thinking, and Ben smiles and hugs him. He then walks three steps and picks up a gigantic camera, telling Bobby to "follow Hank Jennings. I want you to chronicle his existence. Show me something I don't already know." Oh, yawn. That is entry-level stuff, isn't it? Besides, there's already a place we can go to be bored into a coma watching the constant and perhaps evil actions of a ploddingly unengaging Hank Jennings for more marathon hours than we could ever hope to sanely stand. And that place, dear readers, is a little show called Twin Peaks.

As Bobby exits Ben's office, he is nearly thrown back against the door by the sound of a woman screaming and the sudden appearance of the Mayor's brother's new wife rounding the corner in some lacy lingerie and screaming, screaming, screaming. Bobby regards her briefly, makes that "you don't have to be crazy to work here but it sure helps" face (tm Daniel), and turns to leave. He walks right into the closed door to Ben's office, and the leather man-bag which should contain Ben's camera (which is on Bobby's other shoulder) slides off and hits the floor with a thud. Because this show = rich and unparalleled slapstick heritage. As history has adequately proven.

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Twin Peaks




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