Welcome back to Twin Peaks: Las Vegas, my “reviews” of the imaginary Twin Peaks spin-off sitcom!
This week on Twin Peaks: Las Vegas, Dougie needs to help the Mitchums when Ex-Supervisor Burns returns with court papers, and Sonny Jim thinks maybe his family is too weird
This episode starts with the establishing shot for the Silver Mustang before cutting inside, where Ex-Supervisor Burns storms through the rows of slot machines. It’s all very dramatic and comical as Floor Attendant Jackie ushers him as best she can over to Supervisor Warrick. We then see a cut to Warrick handing these papers to the Mitchums.
“Now we gotta kill him!?”
“Bradley, I think we can get through this.”
“Yeah! We have to kill him!”
“No, Bradley, I have a different idea.”
And then it cuts to Sonny Jim and his friend playing video games in the living room while Dougie sits near them in an absurdly still way. After half a minute Dougie gets up and walks towards the kitchen. Sonny Jim’s friend glances at Dougie, acts disgusted and says “Is there anybody IN there?” Then, “Dude, Jimmy, I think we’ll just play over skype next time, okay?” And then “I feel bad for you. This house creeps me the hell out.”
The camera stays with Sonny Jim and his friend while in the other room we hear a knock at the door, then female voices (one of them Janey-E) excitedly and loudly chatter. Dougie, who is walking back down the hall and about to take a bite out of a sandwich, gets enveloped by the Pink Girls and they pull him out of frame. Sonny Jim’s unnamed friend, who didn’t look at any of those interactions says “weird as hell, man. You gotta get out of here.” Sonny Jim doesn’t respond with words then either, but you can tell he’s thinking about it. The camera follows him as he goes to grab sodas from the fridge, and on the way he meets Phillip Gerard (projected through curtains over the sink window) who asks him “si ruoy rehtaf emoh?” with the best comic timing of the episode.
Before we figure out this is a Sonny Jim-centric episode, we move over to Dougie in the Mitchum’s office. Supervisor Burns is seen on the floor monitor, arms crossed and pouting.
The Mitchum dialogue is great:
“Dougie, we have a problem.”
“We need your particular set of skills.”
“We need this guy to mellow the fuck out, Dougie.”
“Candie, take Dougie down there to Burns.”
Their dialogue is rapid-fire and soon to be classic, and as Dougie is taken to Burns we get their faces, implying they’re wordlessly asking each other if they think this is going to work or not at varying levels of nervous confidence. We then cut to the monitor, where Burns is gesturing wildly and pointing at Dougie who is now walking towards him. Because of course he remembers Mr. Jackpots. This is good stuff.
We get the establishing shot of the Silver Mustang next, with the sun going down. Then it goes back into the Mitchums’ office where they’re positively nervous nellies. Candie brings Dougie back in and there’s more fun interaction:
Dougie: “HE’s high strung.”
Brad: “What did he say before he left.”
Dougie: “He’s clearly upset.”
Rod: “Is he going to drop it?”
Dougie: “He’s a really mad guy.”
Brad: “What’d he say before he left??”
Candie (unable to contain excitement anymore): “They have a coffee date!” And then, with love oozing out of her delivery, “Cappuccinos!”
We get another hard cut, this time to Janey-E and Dougie, in bed a la 80s sitcom staging, and some overdramatic line reading: “I’m going to have to go away for a while, Janey-E. Bradley and Rodney need me. They’ve let Mr. Mullins know, and I’m not sure how long it’ll take, but I’ve got to put out a fire.” They discuss a little more but once Janey-E gets over the news, she ends the scene with “As long as you’re my fireman first,” and a growl. They’re a cute couple for sure.
Sonny Jim acts his age
The next day, we see Sonny Jim at school, talking to his friend about maybe doing something else after school at the friend’s house. You could tell Sonny Jim was uncomfortable doing it but he was probably rattled enough by the afternoon before that maybe his friend was right. To be fair, getting a surprise visit from Phillip would probably freak anybody out, even a son of Dougie Jones. Sonny Jim’s friend was happy to hear the news and the next thing we see is them playing video games together in a room with superhero movie posters all over the walls. They really look like they’re having fun, and before the scene’s over a song kicks in like in a Wes Anderson movie for the third montage in as many episodes.
The montage scene breakdown goes like this:
- Sonny Jim’s outside with his friend. A Frisbee lands at his feet, then he grabs it and runs towards other kids their age.
- Sonny Jim’s at what looks like a school lunch table, with four other kids and they’re all talking to each other happily.
- Sonny Jim’s at a Dave and Busters-style arcade place with the same kids.
- They’re at a coffee shop, where Sonny Jim notices Dougie and Burns at a table. Dougie and Sonny Jim see each other, but Sonny Jim looks away like he doesn’t want to be noticed. Dougie looks a little stunned.
- The montage song ends as it comes out into a bowling alley, which almost has to be a Big Lubowski reference but I can’t prove it.
In the bowling alley, we see the Mitchums shaking hands with Burns, and they’re all wearing the same bowling shirts as Phil, Bushnell, Dougie and Green Tea Latte Frank. While Bradley picks up a ball and heads down the lane, we see Janey-E and Sonny Jim come in to celebrate getting their father back from his mission. Burns comes over and tells them “Dougie Jones is a good man and you’re lucky to have him.” Janey-E beams, grabs her man by the arm, and Sonny Jim acts embarrassed. Then it cuts to the Joneses at an ice cream parlor. They’re halfway through their cups of ice cream when Sonny Jim notices his new friends come in the door. Janey-E says “They’re your friends? You should say hi to them!” and Dougie says “It’s all right, Sonny Jim.” And he smiles. I get the impression Janey-E didn’t know anything about the awkward exchange her menfolk had, but Dougie seemed genuinely happy about Sonny Jim having friends.
After some hesitation we see Sonny Jim walk over to his friends while the camera stayed back where the Joneses were sitting. Sonny Jim does fist bumps and other greeting moves with some of the kids, and they all seem happy to see him. But then he waves bye to everyone and comes back to his family’s table. And he gives Dougie a hug right there in public. Janey-E gushes and says “I wish I could take that picture!” and Sonny Jim says “Moooom” and we slowly cut to credits. A sweet damn moment.
I was not expecting to see a Sonny Jim story like this, especially with Burns starting the episode. The Joneses have been so insular it was hard to imagine what Sonny Jim was like outside of his role as son. He seems like a good kid, and right where he should be for that 12-years-old range. It was good to see him making friends and being a kid in another way that playing on the jungle gym by himself.
It was also nice to see a Dougie plot happen behind the scenes too. We’ve seen him be a good influence on people since we met him so we didn’t need to see the same thing happen yet again with Burns in order to believe something like the bowling outcome was anything but inevitable.
Sonny Jim meeting Phillip Gerard was played in such a slapstick way was great for the laughs but that’s pretty interesting on a few fronts. First of all, it’s not just Dougie who can see Gerard, and secondly that means Gerard isn’t done with Dougie after Season 3. No idea where this could go, but the choice to keep Gerard in the series is a choice I wasn’t expecting at all. It’s a sitcom though, so maybe it’ll just be a subversion of the wacky neighbor trope. It’s tough to say with the sense of humor of this show. All I know is I love it and I want to see more of this guy.
And more of Green Tea Latte Frank too! It was great to see that happy guy. I’m getting kind of frustrated that Phil Bisby keeps being underused but when has trying the viewer’s patience not been a thing with Twin Peaks? And really, if that’s my worst nitpick, that’s not a bad viewing experience. As for the new character, I can’t tell if Sonny Jim’s friend is a good character or not but his reactions to the Joneses were pretty funny. If they keep him around hopefully he’ll get to accept them all, otherwise he’ll start coming off insufferable. Either way, until he gets an official name I’m calling him Chad.
“Cappuccinos!” was the best line of the episode, and Burns really stole the show with his goofy reactions, but the Mitchums prove their strength with their back and forth dialogue. I hope they’re around quite a bit in the episodes to come. And even though it was pure silliness, my favorite image from this show was everyone bowling in their shirts. It gave me a nostalgic Flintstones vibe, and if they had an entire episode in the bowling alley one day you would never hear me complain. and maybe they could get Gerard on the team. Can’t you just imagine that guy in bowling shoes?
Until next time, let’s meet down the street for cappuccinos.