Welcome back to Twin Peaks: Las Vegas, my “reviews” of the imaginary Twin Peaks spin-off sitcom!
This week in Twin Peaks: Las Vegas, the Joneses get a new dog, and Janey-E isn’t having it!
If the opening scene with that giant hairy dog just sitting there at the feet of the lawman statue didn’t melt your heart there’s something wrong with your heart. I loved that dog immediately. And when Dougie walks up next to him and checks for a collar, I didn’t want that dog to be with anyone but the Joneses. Needless to say, I was thrilled to see the dog bound into the house and immediately be taken with Sonny Jim.
You can tell Sonny Jim loves him immediately. And you can also tell the dog loves him immediately. Sonny Jim and Dougie’s excited chatter about their new friend was really endearing too, but then Janey-E comes home. The dog stands on her shoulders he looks like he’s in love. And the five seconds of “What is going on” that was all over Janey-E’s face was solid comedy leading up to the neighbors-definitely-heard-that “Dooouuuuuggggggiiiiiieeeee!”
Next thing we see is the dog is at the vet with the family. Because, as Janey-E was telling us, he “at least needs his shots before the mongrel finds another home. It’s the responsible thing to do.” There wasn’t much comedy here since it was furthering the dilemma of the episode, but there was the glaring fact no one was saying anything about: the vet is the same actor who plays Dougie’s doctor, and I swear he was even wearing the same uniform. And after that doctor declares the dog in good health as well as microchip-free, we see everyone look at Janey-E.
Hard cut to the next morning. Sonny Jim goes to school. Dougie goes to work. And Janey stays at home, with the dog. Who wags his tail whenever he sees her. She takes him all over in the car looking for a new home. He thinks it’s a grand adventure, but it’s only so Janey-E can pawn him off on somebody which she cheerfully tells him is because her house needs to stay free of dog hair.
She takes the dog to the Pink Girls first, and it was great how they exploded like young girls meeting a teen idol in person. Mandie’s “goo-goo ga-ga” baby talk was especially endearing, as was Candie running in with a cereal bowl (ready to be turned into a water bowl) in her outstretched hand like it was an Olympic torch. I think the girls were going to give the dog a hairstyle if not for the arrival of the Mitchums and their kyboshing of the whole situation. Rod being allergic to dogs is a cop out as far as I’m concerned but I’ll allow it since Janey-E had to go through a number of dead-end options for the episode’s drama.
She calls Phil on the phone (and we get his first lines!) “Sorry Mrs. Jones, but I can’t have dogs in my apartment or I’d be thrown out on the spot.” It’s not much of Phil, but it was so good for the heart hearing him today. It’s pretty fitting we get more of his presence in the episode that introduces the dog too. They’re kindred spirits if anyone in this extended cast could be.
Janey-E also calls two friends, one she calls Beth and someone else who goes unnamed. It’s good to see she has friends even If they’re only voices on the other end of the line so far.
Everyone has their excuses for why the dog has to stay with Janey-E, so she drives up to the pound with her happy co-pilot who frolicked through the parking lot on their way in. This dog was tugging on my heartstrings the entire length of the show. I’m a big softy and I didn’t want him to go in there at all, but it was all worth it when we saw that floating dream bone image over the crate’s lock. The crate’s door opened up when the dog tried to get the imaginary bone and then the dog hopped right out. This is the strangest show but how can you not love it?
It’s great to see the dog’s head from the car’s back window as he’s running behind the car and Janey-E tries out random stories she could tell her menfolk about what happened to their “lost” dog. And it was a dramatic moment of genius to not show the dog’s head again when she turns the car onto a new street, as if maybe she lost him for real. By they time she’s home, Janey-E’s acting slightly conflicted. She opens the back door of the house and practices her speech. “Good heavens! The dog must’ve gotten out! I drove everywhere to look for him but couldn’t find him anywhere!” And like clockwork the dog walks right past her and flops on the living room carpet.
She lets the dog stay because Sonny Jim arrived then, and asks her “Can we keep him?”
She says in absolute terms “This dog will fit into SOMEONE’s family well, but not ours.”
But then it’s later on, nearing the end of dinner. The guys head over to the couch for dessert and the dog flops down with them, making a pile. By the time she’s done setting up the trays, she looks back in while making her menfolk plates, and she looks like she realizes something.
She serves sonny Jim his ice cream and cake. She serves Dougie his ice cream and cake. She skritches the dog on the head. Goofball credits music.
The dog is adorable. The soulful eyes and the giant tongue and the shaggy everything is almost too much. An animal can’t fake that kind of happiness, either. I’m surprised his butt waggle hasn’t been turned into a gif yet like Corgis, but it’s only a matter of time.
I’m glad Janey got to appreciating her menfolk together like that and realizing that the dog was part of the loveable oddball family already. Her hijinks were massively entertaining, and despite her actions I don’t think she’s a mean-spirited lady. She just has trouble adjusting when something comes up she’s not expecting. She gets focused on her own stuff fairly easily, same as it ever was, and concern over a clean house made her tunnel-vision until she couldn’t help but notice the love in the room. She’s still majorly entertaining if myopic. And she worked with the dog really well. A big shaggy thing like that standing on her shoulders, it’s amazing it didn’t drop her. Janey-E is physically a powerhouse too.
I don’t know who Beth and Janey’s other friend is but I’m glad to know she has a larger life than whatever she does at the house (which the show is strangely vague about, now that I think about it). It’s also telling that Janey called Phil…he’s definitely a friend of the family. Which makes me really happy.
This was definitely a Janey-E-centric episode, and an origin story for the dog, but the best standout moments were with Sonny Jim and the dog. A Boy and His Dog is a major thing with these two, you can tell already. Or at least I sure hope it is.