We all like to laugh. Sometimes we like to laugh at intentionally hilarious things like puns or Victorian bon mots. Other times we like to laugh at things that make us uncomfortable, like people falling down in public or The Big Bang Theory. But the main idea is that often the only way we cope with a complicated, absurd world is to laugh at it. And as far as complicated, absurd worlds go, Twin Peaks is among the most hilarious.
Even at its darkest (which can involve incest-rape, skull crushing, and atomic bombs) Twin Peaks is about as serious as a Tom & Jerry cartoon. Drug addiction is not inherently funny, but when a drug addict speeds through a trailer park with her mother clinging to the hood of her car, that is funny. A man being murdered is not inherently funny, but when it's murder by skull-crushing at the hands of a bearded hobo ghost, well, then, pardon me, Sir, but I am laughing at that. The death of Laura Palmer was absolutely tragic, but the sight of her head floating in a golden orb... You get the picture. Horror and evil exist in even the safest of places--this is something of a thesis statement for Twin Peaks--but that doesn't mean we're not cackling about it even harder than BOB might. Hey let's talk about "Part 11"!
We began with a bucolic scene of three small boys playing catch in the driveway. Because small boys running into streets don't have a great survival rate on this show, it was slightly terrifying to see one of them chase a baseball into the road. That's when he and his brothers encountered a very worse-for-wear woman crawling out of the brush!
It was the nice pie lady who was beaten and left for dead by Richard Horne! As we guessed last week, his attempt to explode her trailer with a gas leak was undermined by his decision to leave all the windows and doors open, which worked out in this lady's favor for sure. I am honestly so relieved that she's still with us, I liked her. Now if somebody could just give her a moist towelette or two!
Meanwhile, it turns out that Amanda Seyfried's character is not mentally well. Perhaps it's drugs, perhaps it's just a poor upbringing (Shelly's had to work a lot of double shifts), but she seems very prone to going on rampages. In this case, she was screaming and waving a gun around, and then summoned her mom to come bring her the family car, at which point she sped off with Shelly (Mädchen Amick) still on the hood!
Oh man, I am sorry, but nothing cracks me up more than when somebody takes a tumble and his or her shoes come flying off. So when this happened I simply hit pause on the episode and smiled for like twelve minutes. Poor Shelly!
After Amanda Seyfried left her mother Shelly on the lawn at that trailer park, she showed up at her boyfriend Caleb Landry Jones' mom's apartment and fired bullets into the doorway! But they weren't inside, though they could hear the ruckus from the hallway. Also, guess who Caleb Landry Jones' mom is? She's Donna Hayward's little sister (Alicia Witt)! Still no sign of Donna, but this was still a fun reveal. This small town is such a small world sometimes.
This sequence in which Agents Gordon (David Lynch) and Albert (Miguel Ferrer) checked out Matthew Lillard's wild tale about meeting up with Major Briggs in a spectral realm was truly something else. Especially when Gordon went into the yard and waved at a vortex for about ten minutes.
Like most sky vortexes, this one contained a vision of three bearded hobo ghosts standing on a stairwell, like they were taking group photos before bearded hobo ghost prom. And while THAT was happening, guess what happened behind them all?
THIS guy snuck out and murdered Matthew Lillard!
Now, obviously this is a dark show and murder happens a lot, but I objected to the fact that they murdered Matthew Lillard for real, on camera. Couldn't they have used a stunt double, or faked it somehow? Anyway, Matthew Lillard lived a long and fruitful life and will be missed. Rest in peace, sweet angel.
This lady seemed neither shocked nor impressed by a bearded ghost crushing Matthew Lillard's skull. But I think we can agree that Diane (Laura Dern) most likely did not ride back to the station in this car. She seems more like an Uber kind of gal.
Oh, this was a fun reveal: Amanda Seyfried's father is... Bobby (Dana Ashbrook)! That's right, Bobby and Shelly had, once upon a time, made a baby. Take THAT, Leo. Unfortunately they don't seem to be together anymore, though it seems amicable. Mädchen Amickable. Now let's just hope Amanda Seyfried doesn't freak out on the townsfolk anymore.
Um, this entire scene was truly special. After random gunshots were fired, Bobby ran out of the diner to find a woman berating her husband for letting their son play with a gun inside their minivan. And did you SEE the boy's body language? Bobby did NOT appreciate getting non-verbal shaded this way. Meanwhile the lady behind them couldn't stop honking her horn, and when Bobby went over to get her to knock it off, she shouted the out-loud equivalent of an all-caps internet comment at him.
Something about needing to get home, and uncles, and who even knows. But the longer she ranted the harder I was laughing. And if that wasn't unsettling enough, THIS popped up next to her:
What ON EARTH? Bobby was even more confused than we were, which is saying something considering he lives in Twin Peaks and probably sees stuff like this every few hours. But yes, this entire sequence was amazing, and David Lynch's transcendental meditations were surely caffeinated the day he came up with it all.
Back at the station, Sheriff Truman's brother Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster) and Hawk (Michael Horse) examined a map of the nearby area drawn by First Peoples, and it spelled out foreboding things when compared to the coordinates Major Briggs had left behind for Bobby. Oh, things like black fire and that demon-head shape that Hawk warned Truman that he shouldn't even know about. As if things weren't foreboding enough, they then received a call from the Log Lady (Catherine Coulson).
So yeah... Hawk and Truman were most likely on a very dangerous path. Be careful, fellas!
We ended the episode with this fairly insane interlude into Doug-E's life. First his boss summoned him to let him know that it was actually totally cool and chill that their mob boss clients had been awarded $30 Million, as it triggered an insurance policy that made his company even richer. And even though WE knew these mob bosses were after Doug-E, believing he'd stiffed them on that payout, Doug-E's boss still set up a meeting for them all in the Nevada desert. Because only good things happen out there. But before Doug-E boarded that fateful white stretch limo, the One-Armed Man from the Black Lodge summoned him into a pie shop!
When Doug-E arrived, the one mob boss informed the other that he'd had a dream about Doug-E, and in that dream Doug-E brought pie. And wouldn't you know it, Doug-E's cardboard box did NOT contain the head of Gwyneth Paltrow, it contained a cherry pie! Also, Doug-E had a check for $30 Million on him, which helped.
Long story short, the mob bosses who'd wanted Doug-E dead only minutes earlier, were now his instant best friends. And do you know something? The whole scene was borderline heartwarming. What an unexpectedly pleasant twist! Casino this is not.
And if things couldn't get any cuter, at some celebratory drinks, Doug-E was approached by the old slot-machine crone whose life Doug-E had changed forever when he pointed her to a winning machine. She cleaned up real good!
Rather than a performance by an indie band or whatever, this episode closed out with a piano performance by none other than series composer Angelo Badalamenti! After an hour of darkness and straight-up comedy, it was nice to go out in such a soothing manner.
"Part 11" was one of the strongest episodes of the season, mostly owing to its outright hilarity. I will personally never forget Shelly flying off the hood of a car, or that woman ranting at Bobby. It's unclear what we'll remember most about this series when it concludes, but as a collection of truly memorable (and absurd) moments it will always live and thrive in the darkest corners of my heart. How about you?
Twin Peaks airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime.
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