Twin Peaks
Episode Two

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Hello, Dalai

In a Lynch-directed scene with Lynch-driven dialogue beginning a Lynch-inspired episode (in a show created by, and I had to look this one up, none other than feature film director and television visionary David Lynch), we fade up on complete (can silence be stylized? If it can, or if it couldn't, then it can, and is, right now) silence in the Horne's private dining room inside of The Great Northern. Ben, Audrey, Headdress Johnny, and Poor, Poor, Disappearing Sylvia cut their food and sip their beverages, actions so icy and emotionless they are practically drowned out by the clamor of the opening credits. Which, incidentally, are also silent. Silence and brooding, silence and brooding. Pretty much the only other sound to be heard is the deafening buzz of WASPs that comprise this unbelievably detached lot, and so it goes for an unprecedented minute of screen time. No, sir, you'd just better believe I don't give any credence to those rumors propagated by unreliable Internet sources that this episode was the love child of an uncredited Joe Eszterhas screenplay and the directorial flair of a young Paul Verhoeven. This is Lynch tone and style all the way, and I will not sit around and listen to specious arguments to the contrary.

So right on out of nowhere, the closed swinging door to the dining room bursts open in a contrast so heart-stoppingly severe it sounds suddenly like a jumbo jet has flown into the building and come to rest mere feet from the jarred and unsuspecting family (maybe we'll need Verhoeven on this after all) whose dining tranquility, stilted as it may have been, has been unceremoniously compromised. Through the door walks a silly, silly looking short man wearing sunglasses and a button-down shirt accessorized with suspenders and a bow tie that do nothing to offset the previously established silliness of said man's every silly gesture. Ben character-develops, "Jerry, back from Paris." Silly Man is yelling at several uniformed porters that "I've got a sandwich in there, I want all those bags open, we're looking 'til we find it." He prances over to Audrey and excitedly reports, "Uncle Jerry's back!" She barely turns her head. No one's more excited to see Uncle Jerry than Uncle Jerry is, it soon becomes clear. He turns a few degrees toward the other woman in the room and attempts an unctuously sincere, "Sylvia," a salutation met with a disgusted, "Benjamin!" Ben (yes, in fact, their names are Ben and Jerry. You got a problem with that?) barely raises an eyebrow and takes a sip of wine, a pretty apt protective method for a husband who would define his own best attribute in this marriage as, "Well, I may not have spoken out in your defense against this freak, but at least I'm not out sleeping with dozens of other women. At the moment." Jerry soon finds what he is looking for, and he unwraps a bread-based food product from its protective wax paper and informs Ben, "This is the best damned sandwich I ever ate." It's a French concoction featuring tons of cheese and butter, and Ben forgoes his entire dinner to take several large bites and scream his enthusiasm for its manifold yumminess. Through his gorged mouth, Ben enthusiastically chokes out what the sandwich reminds him of: "Ginny and Jenny down by the river," some unexplained and doubtlessly prurient memory inappropriate for further reference in front of his put-upon mother and two silent children. So Ben suggests that the two retire outside, and as he stands up to go, he shoots his wife that patented "see you in twenty-seven episodes, sucka" glance and bids the rest of his family the brilliant nugget, "Always a pleasure." Sylvia Horne puts her head in her hand woefully in a gesture that communicates "I can't believe this man is my husband" just as much as it does "Oh, please God, don't make me go back to temping," as the scene ends and her character is retired to that great and holy One Hour Drama in the Sky known as late-night infomercials and part-time secretarial work. Poor, poor Sylvia Horne.

Out in the rustic hallway, Ben and the genetically recessive and diminutive version of Ben discuss developments in Twin Peaks since the latter has been in Paris: "Leland's daughter was murdered and the Norwegians left." Jerry wants to know if "they signed," and Ben tells him that the deal is off:

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Twin Peaks

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