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 have an accident on the road when Dougie accidentally rear-ends an old girlfriend. Look out, Jade!
The show begins as Dougie is driving the whole family (dog included) to play Frisbee at a park. Everyone’s happy, there’s pleasant guitar strumming in the soundtrack, and it feels like it was going to be a good day. But then Dougie turns to look at his son instead of the road, says “You know, Sonny Jim, back in my day I was pretty good with a Frisbee,” and immediately there is a bang because he’s rear-ended the car in front of him. Dougie was classy about making sure everyone was okay, even asking the dog, “Hairy, you’re all right?”
The yellow Jeep may not have been an immediate tip-off to everybody, but suspicions were confirmed when Jade got out of the car. Dougie smiles, says “Jade! Are you all right?” Janey-E’s eyes narrow and she says nothing. Everyone gets out of the car and moves around to shake off the accident.
While Dougie looks at the damage, Hairy puts his front paws on Jade. And Janey-E’s first verbal sound is “hmph.” Completely classic.
Her sound of course uncorks a massive explanation of “We were supposed to go to the park!” (in an episode-long refrain that reminds me so much of Dante in Clerks saying “I wasn’t even supposed to be here today!”) and she overly explains to Jade that they were going “as a family!” and that she “is Dougie’s wife!” and Sonny Jim is “our loving son!” She also makes sure to tell Hairy that the Joneses are “YOUR family too, you know!”
The next scene is that night at the Jones home and you can tell Dougie’s still in the doghouse with Janey-E over the whole Jade thing even though Jade couldn’t have been classier about the accidental crossing of paths, or that Dougie showed nothing overtly creepy towards Jade at all despite their past history. It was funny though as Dougie thought about interjecting a couple times before deciding to close his mouth and stay quiet.
The next afternoon Dougie goes around a nearby moving van and pulls up in the driveway in an unfamiliar car. He gets out of the driver’s seat and Latte Frank gets out of the passenger seat to get back behind the wheel, happily calling out to Janey-E “Your husband really likes to drive!” Which really starts her off on the wrong foot, and got me expecting an “I bet he does” or the like.
Next is that establishing shot of the Jones house with the mailbox in prominent view. Dougie and Hairy come out the front door while a song with a whistling melody begins that reminds me of The Andy Griffith Show, and I swear deep in the sound mix there’s a lady audibly catcalling. Which matches really well with the one neighbor lady practically tripping as she hauled ass outside with her watering can, or the man down the road with the hose maintaining a little too much eye contact, or the woman who “forgot something in her car” just in time to squeal “Dougieeee!” All of this was happening as we watch through the window with Janey-E, her expression fluctuating between “That’s right!” and “That’s MY show pony, back off.” Though the only thing she actually mutters out loud is “We were supposed to go to the park.”
Janey-E’s jealousy was adorable, and the concept of Obliviously Happy Dougie being a known sex symbol of the neighborhood cracked me up. It’s a lot more plausible here than his catatonic attraction powers from Season 3, and you can tell he’s not interested in the attention so the scenes become entertaining rather than making us worry about any actual temptation afoot (proven with his “They’re just being friendly” said complete with upturn that expressed his does-not-compute understanding of Janey-E’s observation). It was also pretty funny that as Dougie got back to the front door Janey-E rushed out and ushers him in saying “Get inside before the new neighbors see you!” And when she’s back inside the house she says “Sonny Jim, you’re going to walk Hairy from now on, okay, mister?”
Though after Dougie goes off to another room, Janey-E gets a view outside the window (presumably of the new neighbors), and she quietly says “Oh!” and blushes. The rest of the getting-ready-for-dinner scenes go and you can tell Janey-E is a little confounded. She barely speaks, seems way less steamed, and you can tell she was pondering something big time. Dougie comes over to her in his most straightforward lawman-style delivery yet and says “Janey-E, I only have eyes for you. Jade’s not coming back, and I’m not interested in old girlfriends. That part of my life is behind me now. I know it bothered you, but I only need you and Sonny Jim in my heart now. Oh, and this scruffy guy too.” He pets Hairy on the noggin.
You can tell Janey-E melts during this, and begins to gush quickly and verbally, talking about how she shouldn’t worry “about the neighborhood finding you rightly attractive” or “how you’ve had a downright tumultuous past” because “I KNOW you’re a family man,” et cetera and she even goes into understanding how crushes are harmless anyway and that Dougie “can only help how attractive you are as much as the new Mister Neighbor can” (which perked up Dougie) and she kept going on and on, and so on and so forth, until the doorbell rang and she says “and I’m going to get the door now! I love you, Dougie Jones.”
And Janey-E indeed opens the door to a person we aren’t shown, but the voice says “Hello! We’re your new neighbors, the Coopers! We’re just across the street and wanted to introduce ourselves.” Janey-E smiles, begins introducing the family and the camera moves to Dougie, then close-ups of Janey-E pleasantly talking (but with no sound). You can tell Dougie is admiring her and it hit me right in the feels. It’s a really sweet show.
While Janey-E is still talking at the door with the unseen Mrs. Cooper, Sonny Jim walks in, looks out the window and says “Who is THAT?” Dougie looks, says “Oh, the new neighbors must have a daughter your age. You should say hello to her if you see her at school. I bet that would make her feel really welcome.”
The last shot of the show is Sonny Jim, still looking out the window, with a slight blush on his cheeks.
Being a Twin Peaks sitcom, I can’t help but be fascinated by the last name of the new neighbors. Is this one of those Mike and Bobby/MIKE and BOB things, or how there were a ton of random Bills and Williams in Season 3? Any other show, it wouldn’t make sense to do this, but you have to wonder: IS Dale Cooper the Jones’ new neighbor? And, WHO is the wife? (I’ll put in a vote for the first name of Annie, just to ruffle all you shippers’ feathers).
However all that in-show theorizing will go, I’m glad the grown-ups in this show have harmless puppy love at worst. I love that the love in the Jones home is built like a rock. Maybe it can be toyed with for a day but then straightens itself out. I’m really glad they handled Janey-E’s jealousy the way they did. You can tell she actually trusts Dougie now, and it’s obvious to all of us that the OG Dougie tulpa’s overindulgent days of the past is 100% left there in the past. The Dougie born from Season 3 is the only Dougie left and Janey-E knows it.
That’s all excellent character work, but even better than that is Sonny Jim’s full-on crush at the end, which is beyond endearing. I hope he gets to meet the neighbor girl sooner than later but I bet that’ll get dragged out like crazy just to make our hearts need it to happen, and to keep any parent identities under cover as well.
This show’s shaping up to have a continuity to it, even if a main plot gets wrapped up in each episode in traditional sitcom fashion. And I think I like the continuity being there. Even though hard transition from Sonny Jim’s sweetness to the goofy circus-like closing credits music was jarring and didn’t work at all, it didn’t take me out of it enough to depreciate any of the happiness I got from enjoying the Joneses and their giant dog interacting together. I’m also enjoying how every week the show goes where it goes. I don’t ask much from it besides to take me along with the Joneses, but next week I really want to see Sonny Jim talking to that girl!