Twin Peaks
Episode Twenty-One

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Djb: C+ | Grade It Now!
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James Marshall is a really bad actor

Aw, crap. We're back at The Marshlands, where an always unflattering shot of James "Suckling Prig" Hurley still working on the Jaguar is interrupted by the arrival of a middle-aged bald man in a red and black jumpsuit who introduces himself as "Jeffrey Marsh." He's heard good things about James and fillercakes, and Evelyn sidles herself into the frame all uninvited, eyes hidden behind her Hell's Grannies glasses, looking more and more generally embarrassed to be there at all. Jeffrey hauls his lumpy old self into the Jaguar and tells James, "Maybe, after I take her for a spin, we'll talk shop. Sounds like we have a mutual love. Cars." Thanks. I thought he meant "window treatments." James, cognizant of the fact that he's sanded out the scratches and replaced all the fluids -- even up to and including the amniotic fluid, perhaps -- seeks to make his escape: "Yeah, well, I'm kind of overdue as it is." No kidding, folks. That's really what he says. "Overdue." I'm just going to sign my recapping check right over to the writer of this episode, if it's all the same to everyone (and it looks, quite frankly, like he can use it…is this some kind Frost Family Event Spectacular, I wonder? Strange. I always thought nepotism was a good thing. Until this scene, that is). Evelyn insists that James will be sticking around, adding, "There are plenty of things I could find for him to do." James, overdue (sorry, but I'll never be over it) for other unfinished tasks, excuses himself and walks off. Jeffrey calls James a "nice kid" (he might be one day, but he's not quite at "kid" status yet, friend) starts the car and peels off. Close-up on Evelyn as the far-off sound of a car crashing at a very fast speed Jeffrey could have in no way achieved without James having installed a 0-60 in the amount of seconds it took me to stop caring about anything going on with these people. Evelyn looks down mournfully. "Overdue." This episode rules, people.

Double R. Ed shares a booth with Doc Hayward, fretting, "Nadine wants to start dating boys. And I don't know what to say." Damn. Three cheers for the first-season, deader-than-deadpan delivery of that line. Doc even ups the ante, taking a sip of coffee and wondering, "Is she sexually active?" Ed tells the good doctor that he wakes up every morning "feeling like [he's] been hit by a timber truck," and Doc again explains away something about "the extra adrenaline," which is so not the direct result of what even happened to Nadine in the first place and was only sufficiently explained in detail once, to be found in Wendy Robie's classic 70s self-helf tome, When Bad Things Happen To Contractually Obligated Actresses. Ed worries that her sexual acumen could "kill" a younger man. Thanks for that mental burn. Hayward suggests that Ed tell Nadine to "be home by nine o'clock on school nights." Thankfully, Norma sashays over to the table just in time to expunge from my mind not only the mental image of having sex with Cap'n Nadine, but actually having the kind of sex that causes you to die. She delivers her one line, "extra potatoes," in a way that makes me feel like I'm maybe over-recapping a little today. You really care that she said "extra potatoes," do you? Unless, of course, "extra potatoes" means sex. Which I think it does. Either way, it shifts the focus of conversation to Doc Hayward's concern about SlaterFetusGate '91, and he confides in Ed, "Donna took the van this morning, said something about looking for James. Is there anything I need to be worried about?" Ed replies that James is "out west a couple of hours," and that Donna is bringing him money. Doc says some harmless old man thing about how difficult it is to be a parent and leaves. Norma swoops in and sits down. Hello. Hello. Norma recaps that Hank is in the hospital, apparently having claimed that "a tree fell on him" (a bus? A tree? How…ambiguous), and Ed tells Norma that the tree was "a redwood called Nadine." Norma smiles at the folly of it all, and as the Badalamenti composition "Putting The Dumb Back In Dombrowski," which we haven't heard since the ten-minute flashback of the young Horne Brothers in their childhood bedroom way back in Episode God Knows What, Norma tells Ed that Hank is going back to prison. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Ed suggests that they "rent a cabin," and doesn't care who finds out. Hands are held. Awwww. Their tender lovemaking would not have the power to kill. I can't believe I just wrote that.

My short-shrift treatment of every scene that unfolds at The Marshlands (you're, um, welcome) continues as we cut back to the long noir night of the soul that is this subplot. Evelyn enters James's room to find him listening to some kind of sporting match (football? Basketball?") on an unseen radio. He walks out of the bathroom, finishing putting on his shirt. Augh! Take care of it off-camera, Pasty Cline. He tells her that he's leaving. She kisses him all passionately, and he pushes her away with the worst line in this history of the televised medium, "It's wrong," only to have that distinction trumped by Evelyn's next line, "Love isn't wrong, James!" Oh, Corpus Christi, this is suicide-inducing. She's afraid of James leaving her alone with Jeffrey. Damn. This sporting match on the radio is deafening. What a strange directorial decision on the part of this Uli Edel, who has almost never missed a step while helming such award-lavished projects as Body of Evidence and the Jonathan Lipnicki starrer The Little Vampire, about a wacky vampire and his little friend with the eight pound head (which, curiously, features an actor who goes by the name Jake D'Arcy, who may or may not share familial ties with Jan D'Arcy, the once and future Sylvia Horne…coincidence?). Anyway. If these were the old, high-energy, Glatter-skewing days, I would probably have nicknamed this whole episode "Uli's Gold." Just so you know.

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