Twin Peaks
Episode Seven (1)

Episode Report Card
Out With The Good

Fade in on complete silence accompanying a jarringly disparate introductory shot of a tropical backdrop, replete with palm trees, some high clouds, and a golden sun setting over a placid body of water for once not featured in the opening theme song. I briefly muse on the possibility that I have erased the horror of a wacky Twin Peaks theme episode called Special Agent's Twin Peaks Spring Break Party to Go '90 featuring special musical hosts Julee Cruise and Don Ho, bedecked in the latest in brightly-hued cabana wear of the Pacific Northwest, but then I remember that these are still the waning days of the show's first season, and that such a blatant creatively spiraling direction couldn't be imagined until at least Episode 14 or so. And so the beach scene continues. The serene tropical silence pervades. Yeesh. Nice to see that at least the ever-expanding opening credits all made the flight. I'm sure when the scary music starts to underscore any and all plot development that might come our way, and some of those "characters" we've been hearing so much about finally hit their mark and arrive at this new and experimental set, the action will pick up and riveting doings will ensue. Of this I am sure. My certitude only increases when we pan away from the backdrop in Jacoby's office to the door, and Donna and James...oh, damn. I was wrong. Because I did propose that "riveting" would be the dominant emotional response of the day, did I not? Quite wrong, indeed.

On the hunt for a cassette-tape clue to Laura's murder, the two have arrived at Jacoby's office-cum-love den, a place that puts the "psycho" back in pretty much every word it prefaces. A spoken exchange which screenplay auteurs of the future will doubtless use as a definitive template of how to write meaningful dialogue is practically drowned out by the deafening Babel of said words being translated manically into hundreds of other languages so that peoples and cultures different than our own should also have these pearls to enjoy:

Donna: Where do we look?
James: I don't know. Everywhere.
Donna: Where should we start?
James: [indicating the first drawer to, by happenstance, collide with his eyeline] Maybe this is something.

Opening a drawer mysteriously NOT filled with the dozens of Emmys one would anticipate Mark Frost would have garnered for independently penning the above words which, in their way, defined a generation, Slater Fetus and Donna "A Shake for Dinner, A Shake for Lunch, And a Sensible Meal on My Birthday" Heyward crack a drawer and pull out a box filled with decorative paper parasols from any variety of frosty alcoholic beverages I wish I were in the process of drinking at this very moment. Finding nothing germane to their case in this box, Donna continues her tour around the room, happening on a button on the wall and pressing it to kick into gear some really loud hula-hula type music. She panics. James tells her to press the button again. Different hula music. She panics further. Yeah. We know. The dude likes Hawaii. Thank you, set designers of the South Pacific. While James locates the volume switch and sets the assault of at least one of my senses temporarily back to zero, Donna locates the telltale coconut on the wall and pulls it down. She opens it to reveal the very cassette tape they came for and, as an extra special parting gift in this round of "Pilfer the Loony Doctor Man's Office," the heart necklace from so many episodes ago. Cut to outside, where the two hop on the hog and depart in the general direction of their own abiding interests. When the motorcycle leaves the shot, it is filled by the far less hoggish Bobby, who forms his two hands into the shape of a gun and makes an "I have just shot you with my gun I just made with my hands" sound effect. Hi, Bobby.

Back at the gazebo, Jacoby needn't bother whispering into the darkness, as his outfit pretty much screams his arrival even under the darkest cover of Twin Peaks night. It's a tropical floral print with its own ecosystem, from frolicsome trees and flowers to its own sparking blue waters. I'm aware that this probably didn't require a specific mention, as Jacoby has a history with eccentric wardrobe choices, but you see a shirt that actually requires photosynthesis to survive, you're gonna stop and make the easy joke. It's basic human nature. Anyway, Jacoby spots the blonde hair through the trees and whispers, "Okay, Laura, this is where you shot that video." For those of us used to watching this show on the radio, I guess. But just as Maddy turns around and Jacoby sees that the girl he is looking at is identical to the girl he believes her to be, a black-clad man in a mask attacks the bad doctor from behind and beats him to within an inch of his life with what appears to be the squiggly white lines of ten-year-old tape interference. Ooooh. Smart choice of weapon. They should introduce that mortal killing tool into the rotation as an instrument of death on the board game Clue. The black-clad man runs off as Jacoby looks up to see "Laura" disappearing into Donna's departing station wagon. Jacoby rolls over on his back, and the camera advances on his face until only Jacoby's left eye remains in the shot, and I want to laugh and mock Mark Frost for taking the easy way out with Hitchcock and using the one reference no one who's ever heard of the verb phrase "to go to a movie" could possibly miss. But my cross-referencing superiority has been kind of shaken by the whole Hester Prynne glossing-over, so I don't feel at liberty to decide who should be catching what and when this week. And as long as shots like these stay in the obvious realm of the homage and don't threaten to cross that thin line into cheesy rip-off, a close-up on an eye from the shower scene from Psycho is still better than the four interminable hours I spent watching What Lies Beneath. Hey, Harrison Ford? Could you, um, put your shirt on now? Just 'cause you're a thousand. Thanks ever so much.

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Twin Peaks




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