Twin Peaks
Episode Seventeen

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What About BOB?

Fade up on a lingering, stationary, and wholly unexplained shot of a woodsy open road, a road lacking the necessary yellow warning sign reading "Runaway Plot Ramp" and containing a drawing of a wayward black arrow, which zigzags madly but ultimately points directly toward the Lynch/Frost production offices somewhere deep within ABC Studios. We cut over to The Palmer House Of Rapidly Declining Population, where a pan across the Memorial Mantel displays that a framed photograph of Leland has been added next to Laura's ballyhooed prom queen picture. Man. Tough gig when the only way to get a picture of yourself shown in your own house is to actually go and die. Sarah had better steer clear of sharp knives and fatty foods for a while, or that house is going to need a second fireplace. She should probably also be wary of the Glamour Shots place down at Twin Peaks Mall, lest there be a photo representation of her lying around somewhere with which to tempt the fates.

Panning, panning, panning. As our tour de mantel draws to a slowly-panned conclusion, the green opening-credits font fades up on the screen and we learn that it is now "Three Days Later." Ow. That popping sound you just heard was the time-space continuum exploding, seeing as we've never jumped ahead more than, say, four seconds from the end of the previous episode, have we? Over on the couch sit Doc Hayward and Sarah "And White Horses Couldn't Drag Me Away" Palmer, each dressed in their gender's best representation of dour, funereal black. The good doctor pulls Sarah's sleeve back and holds up a hypodermic needle, telling her, "Sarah, I'd like you to take this." But Sarah, usually so attuned to the latest advances in better living through chemistry, pulls the sleeve back down and tells Hayward, "I don't want it. I want to be there. Every part of me needs to be there, for both of them." Cooper, who I didn't even know was there, sits in a chair looking entirely spliced into the scene, Jar Jar-style, with CGI technology barely in the early stages of research and development. Sarah continues with the speechy pathos: "Today I bury my husband next to my only child. Her grave is still so new. There's only a little bit of grass on it." Cut back to Stock Footage Cooper, who has still not appeared in a shot with the other two actors in this scene and who responds via satellite, "There are things dark and heinous in this world, things too horrible to tell our children. Your husband fell victim to one of these long ago, when he was innocent and trusting. Leland did not do these things, not the Leland that you knew." Sarah stares nervously into space -- where is that voice coming from? -- and takes Hayward's hand as she confirms that Leland was not "that man I saw…long, dirty, disgusting hair." Hank killed her? Cooper responds that this man "is gone forever," and a close-up on Sarah's face accentuates her chronic Afro-Mullet hair insanity (which, I just noticed, is a pretty good indicator of Sarah's comparative levels of crazy at any given time…mood hair, as it were) as she lapses back into a Sally Field-directed Lifetime movie with her musing, "So is everything I loved." Teary sadness. Orchestral swell. Demons of the Soul, starring Judith Light as Sarah Palmer and Tom Berenger as Dale Cooper, will be back in a moment. And then stay tuned for Ellen.

Cooper continues his re-shoots from afar: "I think it might help to tell you what happened just before Leland died. It's hard to realize here" -- a non-Cooper hand reaches into the frame and touches Sarah's forehead -- "and here" -- a non-Cooper hand reaches into the frame and touches her heart area -- "what has transpired. Your husband went so far as to drug you to keep his actions secret." Cop-out! Way to rationalize all the mystery out of Lynch's equine imagery, people. I'm just sayin', put the script for that episode in this director's hands (or maybe not…I'm sorry, did she, like, die or something?) and see how well those five minutes of skipping phonograph work out. More: "Before he died, Leland confronted the horror of what he had done to Laura, and agonized over the pain he had caused you. Leland died at peace." Cooper continues on that Dead BOB Walking saw Laura in his final moments, and that she welcomed him and forgave him. This intense visual impact of Cooper's entire speech cannot be adequately quantified in mere words, but I'll do my best to render it for you nice folks at home: it's a still close-up on Sarah's face. Because Cooper isn't really there, is why. Cut to Cooper, who stands up and tells Sarah, "It's time. Mrs. Palmer, I would be honored to drive you." That's gonna be a pretty tough task, considering he's not even…oh, never mind. Sarah smoothes her hair (well, it's just an expression) and looks up at Cooper's stand-in. She notices her earring is missing, and begins to cry: "Leland always found the other earring." Sarah looks up past un-Cooper and into the spinning ceiling fan at the top of the staircase, for no apparent reason. Cooper never appeared in the frame with either of the other actors in this scene. Seriously, what was he so busy with when they first shot this scene anyway, the extensive press junket for Don't Tell Her it's Me? Cancel. This. Show. Before I do something drastic and MY picture ends up on that mantel. Kidding. Kinda.

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Twin Peaks




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