Twin Peaks
Episode Eleven

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Mr. Holland's Opus

I'm not exactly sure how one defines the expression "ominous beeping," but nevertheless that is the soundtrack accompanying screams, repeated childlike cries of "Daddy," and a slowly spinning camera which we join in progress inside of what appears to be a dark tunnel. How relieved I am by the show's crystal-clear decision not to abandon its now entrenched faux-artsy, decidedly "Glatter-esque" visual principles this week, so successful they have been in maintaining the overall aesthetic of the series thus far. Spinning, spinning, spinning. The camera spins out of the tunnel, and we can now see that the hole is just one of many, many holes on a whitish-gray surface which join together to form what appears to be the centerpiece in the Smithsonian's much-heralded exhibit of The World's Most Vintage Slices Of Swiss Cheese I've been hearing so much about. Spinning, spinning, spinning. Metaphor for "spiraling creative direction," anyone? Truman's voice begins to repeat "Leland," as the camera abandons its faux-artsy flourishes (temporarily, so don't get used to it) and the dots are revealed to be small holes in the ceiling tiles, which seem to captivate a similarly spinning Leland. Leland ain't looking so good, neither. He is sitting in a conference room of some kind deep, deep within the architectural curiosity that is the rapidly expanding sheriff's station. His tie is loosened and the top button on his shirt is open and askew. His white hair is so mussed that it has fallen into an inadvertent pompadour kind of thing, so that he looks like an old guy trying desperately to recapture those lost 1950s glory years in a way that totally screams, "I'm on my way to play an extra in the courtroom sequence of Billy Joel's 'Keeping the Faith' video. But first I have to answer for this whole murder thing, I guess."

Leland finally snaps to, and Truman makes with the interrogation. Did you go to the hospital? Why did you go to the hospital? Who were you looking for at the hospital? Leland responds glassily that he did go to the hospital, and he was there because he was "looking for someone." Who? "The man who killed my daughter." Hmmmmmm. Truman wants to know why Leland thought Jacques was the murderer, and Leland responds, "You arrested him." Truman looks down with a sorrowful look that begs, "Thanks for the back-up, Casey McCracken, but perhaps you haven't noticed that the people in this department have no collective idea what we're doing." And with that, Truman has nowhere to go but deadpan as he asks, "Leland, did you kill Jacques Renault?" And as Badalamenti's Sad Strings theme is reimagined on a delicate combination of -- actually, it just sounds exactly the same as it always freakin' does -- Leland confesses to the murder of Jacques Renault and begins to cry. Truman looks sad. Cooper looks sad. Doc Hayward looks…hey, it's Doc Hayward! Where in the holy living hell did he come from? Nice work with the spinning tunnelly cheese holes, This Week's Director (that's the good and great phenom "Todd Holland," who eventually rose to post-Peaks fame as the esteemed director of the shockingly Oscar-shunned Krippendorf's Tribe. Holland will be heard from again, I am sure, this time doubtlessly tearing up the celluloid on an upcoming episode of the Judith Light hosted skin-care infomercial Thank You, Doctor Zizmor, coming soon to your local UPN affiliate at a time so late at night I'm not actually sure it exists), but it might benefit us all to actually see some of the actual characters every once in a while if we're supposed to keep caring about just what it is those characters are doing. Or you could just point the camera at the ceiling and spin it around. Y'know, whatever's easiest for you. Incidentally, typing in "Todd Holland" on IMDb (as I did to uncover this particular "Krippendorfian" directorial skeleton) results in a list of other screen personalities with similar names, and asks me if perhaps "Todd Solondz" was the person I was looking for. And allow me to take this opportunity to say: If. Only.

Cooper and Hayward walk down the hallway out of Ambiguous Conference Room #?, Cooper commenting that Leland "will plead temporary insanity." Er, "temporary"? The good doctor sympathizes that "parents should not bury their children, and anyone who has been through what Leland has --" but a testy Cooper cuts him off with, "Do you approve of murder, Doctor Hayward?" Then he storms off without another word. My, someone woke up on the wrong side of the quirk bed this morning, eh? I guess quickly unraveling third-season contract negotiations can take its toll on even the most even-keeled person's constitution. Hayward stands by himself in the hallway for just a moment, but just then Andy notices him and calls him over to talk about something "kind of personal." It's his sperm test. He wants to take it over again. Hayward reaches into his black medical bag and pulls out a vial, telling Andy, "I'll need to take a sample with me." He too walks away sullenly without another word. Why is this The Hallway Of Never-Ending Ennui all of a sudden?

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