Welcome back to Twin Peaks: Las Vegas, my “reviews” of the imaginary Twin Peaks spin-off sitcom!
This week in the Twin Peaks: Las Vegas Valentine’s Day Special, Dougie buys into a timeshare unbeknownst to Janey-E, and Sonny Jim has a heart-to-heart with his special someone.
The Joneses start the episode on vacation. You can tell with all the picturesque plant life that the location is a resort town, and its unrecognizable appearance gives the impression it’s tucked away like The Prisoner’s Portmeirion. The theme song credits opened over new images of this new place (along with a classy harp-based rendition of the Jones theme), and instead of ending on the Jones house per usual, the final shot is the main hotel building jutting from the ground like a gigantic Hobbit house. I need to know where this resort is!
When the music settles down so does the camera, into Dougie and Janey-E’s room, which is all decked out in red heart-shaped pillows and flower vases. Through a door in the back of the shot, we can see Sonny Jim happily bouncing on his bed in the adjoined room. Janey-E is visibly impressed.
Janey-E: Dougie! This is wonderful! How did you manage this?
Dougie: We just have to go in for a meeting, Janey-E, and this whole stay is paid for.
Her happiness momentarily skips when she realizes she’s there for a likely timeshare sales pitch, but her smile snaps right back on and she says “Well, what can that hurt! Where’s the spa?”
The next scene is either later that afternoon or the next morning. Sonny Jim is texting on his phone and he wanders down the hall as Dougie and Janey-E wish him well before they go into a meeting.
The woman on the other side of a desk greets them. Everything is cordial. The salesperson begins, and two separate audio fade/builds with slight camera shifts imply a rather boring sales pitch and time passing. Janey-E isn’t at all interested—she keeps trying to look out the window at the scenery—until she hears the saleswoman say “…which your package already has but you can still upgrade.”
Janey-E: What do you mean by “your package”?
Salesperson: The package that included all of those lovely pillows and flowers…that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
J: I’m sorry?
S: You’re already a part of our exclusive resort family!
J: Am I now.
And Janey-E’s eyes go into full “I bet she did” mode right as the scene cuts. Classic! I wish they showed us exactly what kind of reaming she gave that salesperson, but I do appreciate the immediate shift to the wide shot of blue sky and clouds, right before we see a shot from above looking straight down on Sonny Jim. He’s lying on his back in his puffy winter coat on the lushest green grass you could ask for.
I adore that Sonny Jim and Winnie are cloud-watching and that they’re sharing their skies with each other by their phone cameras.
Sonny Jim: What about this one?
[his phone’s image turns from Winnie’s face, which is adorable and earmuffed, to a cloud.]
Winnie: Definitely a bear.
SJ: photo realistic or cartoon?
W: Cartoon. Her ear’s on the top right and her other ear is in the middle under that gray part.
SJ: I definitely see that!
Even though they’re states apart, they’re finding a way to pretend/experience it like they had the same exact sky above their heads. It’s really sweet. The whole conversation is endearing like this and works better seen than typed, but trust me, it’ll make you smile.
The scene ends with Winnie wishing Sonny Jim was across the street like he always is.
Winnie: After all, it’s Valentine’s Day.
Sonny Jim: Yeah, that’s for sure. But I’m definitely getting you something.
W: Really??!! [her face explodes into a giddy smile.]
The kids say goodbye in that really cute way when it’s way too early to say “I love you”, and when Sonny Jim hangs up his mouth forms a stressed rectangle and you can tell he’s trying to figure out what in the world he could possibly get Winnie. Endearing.
The show goes into a Wes Anderson-style song montage with Janey-E racing around from office to office giving people all the What For she could, while Sonny Jim looks around gift shop after gift shop ruling out kitsch and t-shirts. And one time we see Dougie walking past a pie stand, being tempted even as he forces himself to keep going. You can tell he feels bad, but it doesn’t seem to matter at all to mission-mode Janey-E.
The song montage ends and all the Joneses ended up in a store that sells curio items.
Dougie: Janey-E, I’m sorry about this whole mess. I thought it’d be a nice way to give you the world one piece at a time but I wasn’t expecting it to buy itself quite so easily.
Janey-E: Oh Dougie… If I wanted the world, I’d take the world. [She playfully tiger-swipes her hand.] It’s all taken care of anyway. The nice man I just talked to says we’ll be staying, on the house, for a week. [Said with a sparkle in her eyes:] They were very sorry things began the way it did here.
The two continue to talk and Janey-E explains how alive that quest for “commerce justice” made her feel, and the camera shifts to the other side of the room from them. While Janey-E accepts Dougie’s apology, Sonny Jim is frantically looking around the shop until he starts to slowly walk towards the camera. And he starts looking relieved. He gets right in front of us and is lifting up something below the camera sight line. He smiles, then audibly says “phew!”
In the background, Janey-E says “Let’s all get some pie.” Cut to credits.
I wish someone somewhere would admit where they filmed this episode, but based on how quiet everyone’s being, the non-disclosure agreements probably apply to filming locations too. Which is bizarre for tourism purposes, but what can you do? I expect one of these days someone who’s been to the location will reveal the name on social media, but so far mum’s the word.
As far as the story goes, I don’t think Sonny Jim needed to worry about Winnie’s reaction but he’s young enough that it’s completely believable he’d think the gift is a make-it-or-break-it moment. Also, his stress gives us the gift of the Aardman Animations-style mouth shape that I never knew I wanted to see on a real person until I saw it on Sonny Jim.
I’m also glad that Janey-E took the “already bought a timeshare” plot as a personal challenge rather than focusing on the “Dougie screwed up” aspect. It helped that Dougie obviously didn’t know what he’d done, but in other shows that would’ve been a rift-maker rather than an obstacle. And we could all tell Janey-E loved having a mission. It’s nice to see that things can go to hell in the middle and everyone still comes together at the end.
Take care, Joneses. Good luck with Winnie, Sonny Jim. Love all around to all of you. And may all you readers have an equally loving and much less stressful Valentine’s Day, with a full sky of clouds to talk about.