Twin Peaks
Episode Twenty-Four

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Her Boogie Knight In Shining Armor

A wailing saxophone and moody-as-Seattle-in-January-four-seconds-before-the-cancellation-of-your-moody-show-about-Seattle-in-January-and-surrounding-environs snare drum kick up on the soundtrack. The ditty is a Badalamenti-penned so-called "jazz" so-called "riff," which I'm sure even Kenny G dismissed as being "a bit on the generic side," drop-kicking it right back to the dreary television ghetto that is a late-series episode of Twin Peaks. An extreme close-up of a scruffy and despondent-looking Harry "The No-Joy No-Luck Club" Truman is intercut with flashback shots of his current interior monologue: gauzy shots of Harry with his lost (or is she?) lady (or IS SHE?) love, Josie "Hooker With A Heart Of Bad Acting" Packard. In his memory, she smiles at him. She winks at him. She appears shy and submissive and young, a coquettish lover like the Greeks used to fancy. Because of the part where she's a little boy. That's right, folks. Pedophile humor. Drink it up, America. Drink it up like Harry drinks up yet another shot (extraneous segue alert!) of some hard-core beverage dispensed out of a glass bottle which might as well be a jug with three x's tattooed across the side. Wow. That's some strong poison, cowboy. Who even mass-markets moonshine anymore? Oh, Lord, look what he's done. The poor man has depressed himself right into Prohibition times.

The Massapequa High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Deafly McSmoothJazz, concludes its scorchingly watered down "selections from Broadway's City of Angels" medley just as Truman glances up to spot a concerned Hawk staring down at him. Speak, oh stock character wise native man. But speak slowly. And gravelly. And with the deep meaning of nature and of Earth and of birds punctuating every pearl of ill-constructed dialogue. And so Hawk speaks: "One of Norma's breakfasts. Made special." Hawk places the plate he'd been carrying in front of Harry. The Sheriff Of Krazy Kounty glances at the breakfast ephemera of eggs, toast, and bacon -- all greased in copious amounts of high-fat pity -- and laughs a loud, hearty laugh which, in that niche genre known as Breakfast Food Humor, is most often reserved for times when the food is configured into a human smiley face, with the two fried eggs as the eyes and the bacon as the grinning mouth. That's when it cracks me up, anyway. Though that's not what's happening at the moment. But the Sheriff Of Krazy Kounty wants to laugh at life's folly right now, and so he shall. He squares off with the food, which I believe multi-tasked by also writing all of the dialogue for this scene. And here's some of it now: "God bless Norma! Maybe later. Maybe later." Crazy men say everything twice. Crazy men say everything twice. Truman, sitting deep in the shadows because ABC has pulled the plug on this lot's power supply in an apparent attempt to force the cast and crew to give themselves up voluntarily rather than taking the time to cancel the show outright, points things plotwards: "How's things [sic] at the station?" Hawk offers Truman a deep-tissue backstory massage, filling him and us and the hiatus-plagued audience in: "Earl's chess game is the big concern. The man has a poor sense of recreation." Truman tells Hawk that he and Cooper can handle everything. And why? "It's a pretty simple town." Except for all of those times that we've learned that this was never a simple town, even before Laura's (who? Exactly.) murder. But it sets up the following pathos, which is why this line was written by those homefries to begin with: "Well, it used to be. I guess the world's just caught up to us." It caught up to you, passed you at ninety on the Entertainment Highway, and is now across the street watching Women in Prison on that newfangled FOX network. Move. It. Along. Hawk salutes Truman with one finger of his right hand, the Native American international symbol for "Shave it off, Bar Mitzvah boy. Even Buffalo Bill took time off from his craziness to track down a Mach 3." Hawk leaves, and Harry pours himself another one. God. The jazz. It is the most never-ending. Wait. Is this the theme song to Designing Women?

Augh! I didn't see "Utter Lack of Talent" on the menu at the Double R. Oh, wait. Actually, there it is. Right next to Hank's name. But they'll need to add another one to the list of specials, because here comes the most utter lack of acting talent this show could ever have hoped to display. Through the front door of the Double R walks an eighteen-year-old Heather "Say It Isn't So" Graham, her Crystal Gale-length hair so blonde and so teased that a late-eighties junior prom threatens to break out of nowhere by virtue of that hair's very existence. Carrying a suitcase and indicating by official order of the prop department's Foreshadowing Specialist that she might just be staying a while, she makes her way around the counter and stops when she sees Norma walk out of the kitchen and not too pleasantly exclaim, "Annie." They hug. Norma introduces Shelley, who smiles and welcomes her, adding, "Norma's told me all about you." She walks away, and Heather Graham (I’m still settling on a nickname. And while "Rollergirl" has a certain ring, that's also the only time she's put in a good performance ever, so I wouldn't want to sully her one moment of artistic success by referring it back to this I'm-reading-my-lines-off-my-palm monotone performance) looks back at Norma: "All about me?" Norma brushes it off: "Shelley's like family." And it's just an expression. Used in every hackneyed script ever written to hastily develop hastily invented characters. But Heather Graham wants to explore this notion further: "Withourfamilythat'snotexactlyacharacterreference." Hoo ha wha? I think that might have been some simulation of the sentence, "With our family, that's not exactly a character reference," but Heather Graham apparently forgot to pack her Stella Adler manual and her ability to breathe or deliver her lines to any other character besides that which most evokes her own acting style. By which I mean "the floor.” They sit down on two barstools, and Norma tells Annie she's happy she's there. Annie looks around all wide-eyed and remarks, "Feels a little strange. The real world. Little things like I'd almost forgotten how to use money. The closest we came in the convent was Bingo chips." Convent. Check. Backstory made easy. It's almost like her character has been around since the beginning of time, stealing roles from good actresses who can't smoke those last five pounds off and land a job on a network show. Heather Graham: living, breathing, organic proof that only the hot turn heads in Hollywood. Well. If you can call this living. If only someone would explain just what the hell "littlethingslikeI'dalmostforgottenhowtousemoney" means. Anyway, Heather Graham changes tone from "dead asleep" to "other strains of catatonic" in suddenly going all serious: "No charity, Norma. Promise." Norma promises she's going to work Heather Graham "until [she] drop[s]." Please take it easy on her for a while. Can't you see she's straining already?

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Twin Peaks




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