Welcome back to Twin Peaks: Las Vegas, my “reviews” of the imaginary Twin Peaks spin-off sitcom!
This week on Twin Peaks: Las Vegas, Janey-E and the Pink Girls have a spa day while the boys try to function at home without them.
The first shot is of Hairy, sitting on the floor, and the camera at the height of a cameraman looking down at him. Then we see Phillip Gerard, half apparated into the house, recoiling from Hairy like a vampire. He darts his head around looking for anyone remotely corporeal to take care of this dog, and eventually (in a classic exasperated line delivery) says “I nac ton pleh uoy.” Gerard’s awkwardness is amazing comedy and I love how Hairy does not break eye contact with him. The scene holds on just long enough that I belly laughed when the TPLV title sequence kicked in. Best cold open of the season, hands down.
Next we have a more expected Jones living room scene, with Dougie and Janey-E present as well as the three Pink Girls. Janey-E kisses Dougie on the way out, giving him instructions on when she’ll be back (3PM) so everything should be fine, she’ll miss Dougie, and her little man (which she shouts to an out-of-room Sonny Jim). A hurried but loving goodbye. She continues to chatter, this time with Candie on the way out the door. The ladies are definitely talking about a TV competition and I’m pretty sure they’re recounting scenes from The Bachelor because they mention the word “journey” and say “He is DEFINITELY not there for the right reasons.” This episode has just been gleeful, and it even continues the Hairy gag when he tries to catch Janey-E’s attention on her way out the door. His sigh after the door closes and the house was immediately quiet was fantastic.
Dougie looks around, gets up, then methodically goes over to look in the fridge. There’s a subbed-in tummy grumble sound for him. Dougie doesn’t take anything out of the fridge, and he really looks flummoxed. Hairy comes over, looks at Dougie, then looks at his food bowl. There’s a dramatic shot of his empty food dish. Back to Hairy looking at Dougie again. A sound effect of two tummy grumble. So good.
Then we see Sonny Jim coming down the hall. He says “snacks?” Dougie shrugs. Harry drops his bowl at SJ’s feet. There is such great physical comedy timing this episode and I’m eating it up. More of this, please!
We then see Janey and the girls at the spa. They hear what kind of pampering they’re going to get. Pink robes are handed out, except for Janey’s yellow. All four ladies look excited, and Candie says something ENTIRELY bawdy. Did she mean it? Who knows!
Back to the Jones house, the camera is from inside the refrigerator’s point of view as Dougie and Sonny Jim are looking into it like it was empty. An excellent touch is the sound of Hairy chowing down on his food in the background. “Not much you can eat without preparing it,” Sonny Jim says, and Dougie mouths (but does not audibly say) “call for help.” In the back of the shot, Sonny Jim’s unnamed friend (who I’m still calling Chad) walks in and says “snacks?” This episode is relentless with its dry running jokes!
We’re back at the spa. We see the women’s heads (I should say hairstyles), with three visible pink neck towels and one yellow, as they lay on massage tables in front of us. They talk while we watch masseuses place hot stones and drizzle oil on their backs. Mandie talks about her happy place, thinking about horses running through fields, and then of her riding with them. “Have you ever tried it?” Sandie says no but talks about being outside, how when she’s at work she sometimes just stands around and watches the birds out the window pretending to be up there with them. She could watch them for hours, just imagining how the wind carries their wings, flying like they’re…..but then Sandie does a Madeline-Kahn-in-Young-Frankenstein impression when her masseuse leans in to a particularly receptive place on her back. Candie says she’s always at peace, which I believe. And Janey-E says “You know what? I know it’s corny but I really love my family. I can do what I want when I want to do it, like today. I can be my own woman. And I never have to worry about my men. Everything’s good. Our son still wants to spend time with us. And my husband, he’s had his issues before, but he’s in a good place now. WE’RE in a good place. I trust my Dougie with everything.”
So of course we get an immediate scene with Dougie and the boys in the living room talking snack options. Chad’s on his phone consulting the internet, and they’re all ruling things out by level of complication. I’m not sure but I think Dougie’s eyes crossed when Chad was describing how to prepare a salsa before the step when it got chopped up. The doorbell rings and it’s back to the old school comedic timing gags. Someone’s here to save them, right? It’s the Mitchums! They always have the answers! What do they say? “You got anything to eat? The girls left before lunch and we’re out of cereal!”
We’re back at the spa. It’s a peaceful music interlude with a shot from above of the women laying on their backs and slowly floating. Very Coen Brothers down to the choreography. The women drift towards each other then pass each other while wearing towels that cover their torsos. Red lights from below the water change to purple, then blue, then to yellow. I initially thought the ladies were wearing sunglasses but it’s those green pouch things that you can wear on your eyes for rejuvination purposes. Silence from them. Classical music in the score for us. Peace.
And then a drastic cut into loud frantic multi-voiced planning session at the Jones house. The frustrated Mitchums are talking about how you “bake a fucking cake!”
Bradley, after glancing at the boys: “Sorry, a FREAKING cake! Or a goddamned steak with that honey rub. Was it honey?”
Rodney: “Yeah, that’s what Candie said it was.”
Bradley: “A honey rub for a steak!”
Fast back and forth interplay with so many little details of how they could better live their lives that I’m sure I missed a ton of nuance because I was too busy smiling. The scene kept going, even with Chad playing a video game on the couch while contributing comments. Sonny Jim was the only quiet one, pining out the window through the chaos. It was genuinely hard to hear everyone’s words until the doorbell. And it was Phil Bisby! At the door! All sense of reality leaves and a yellow spotlight swings to shine directly on him, because he has groceries! Hairy puts his paws on his shoulders immediately. Things are looking up!
Back to the spa and more ladies pampering time. More conversation too. This time an entire row of multicolored toenails and feet up to ankles soaking in tubs. The camera only has one woman’s feet in frame at a time and it moves to the feet of the woman who’s talking as quick as it can, but the camera is pretty slow. It can’t keep up and after a while it just stops, stopping on Sandie’s feet. Shoulder/neck rubs are being suggested by a masseuse and the scene ends with her feet happily swaying as she makes a quieter and more adorable version of the Madeline Kahn singing voice from earlier.
The scene fades, and then comes back to the Jones house. The ladies all walk in through the front door. Janey-E says “Oh my goodness! WHAT is that wonderful smell?” The guys are all hanging out in that front area of the house. Bradley and Rodney are watching Chad play his game, trying to understand. Sonny Jim is trying to teach them what’s going on. Dougie is sitting royally nearby in his big chair, “Steaks!” he says to Janey-E. “And pie!”.
Plates are near everyone. They obviously ate well. Phil is in the shot back in the kitchen, cleaning dishes like a madman, happily. Phil Bisby in action puts all the Food Network hosts to shame, based on the empty plates and the amount of dishes lined up to dry.
Janey E: “Did you serve asparagus?”
Phil: “Yes I did.”
Janey: How did you get my guys to eat that?!”
Phil: “I spread olive oil on it, sprinkled some salt, and baked it for 7 minutes.”
There’s a number of quick recipe tricks like that, all in quick succession. I’m going to have to see if they work. It sounded amazing. Before he was packed up, though, The oven dings. “The pie is ready!” Phil says. He looks at Hairy and says “Come on, helper, get everybody over here and let’s have a look.”
Hairy happily barks like Lassie and does it, herding everyone over. The last shot is from the Pie’s point of view in the oven, mirroring the fridge shot from earlier. The oven opens, and Phil is there in the center with the Joneses around him, with Chad, Mitchums and Girls around the endges. Even Hairy is in one of the corners. Every single one of them is looking upon it with pure joy and longing. We never see the pie, but we can tell it’s glowing. You can tell it’s one hell of a pie.
“Heavenly!” says Janey-E. Hairy audibly licks his chops. Hard cut to credits and the goofy music.
This entire episode was a delight! I stopped looking for big themes almost right away when I knew there was going to be a running gag with Hairy looking for someone to feed him, and it kept rewarding me with the timing of the comedy throughout. I guess if I had to call out anything as a theme, it’s taking care of yourself and being taken care of.
It’s a creature comforts kind of episode. But the farce is exactly the kind of enjoyment that made me stop worrying about big picture stuff. It was fun the whole way through, and kind of felt like the show was pampering us too between the fun enjoyment of watching the boys go full-on farce and the vicarious spa treatment in the ladies’ scenes. It perfectly rotated between calm and laughter. This was just plain nice.
I’m glad the Pink Girls got their voices out this episode, and that we got to hear some inner Janey-E rather than just the strong person that serves as the glue that holds the Joneses together.
The Mitchums owned their scenes per usual, and Sonny Jim’s unnamed friend brought out their inner Uncle Buck vibes. It was really endearing to watch them try to understand “kids these days.” Their outrage of being hungry coupled with trying to be gentlemanly around the kids was a great push and pull.
So much kinetic action happened at the Jones house but I cannot let myself forget Phillip Gerard. The Mitchums stole their scenes but nobody deadpans better than the one armer.
It’s been a few hours since I watched this episode but the need for apple pie is undeniable. This episode makes me want a slice of pie more than any Twin Peaks from the past couple of years. I feel positively refreshed. And, optimistic! Let’s go bake a pie!