Review: TWIN PEAKS: THE MISSING PIECES
By Eric Diaz on July 19, 2014
When David Lynch filmed Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, the controversial prequel to his groundbreaking television series, it involved a reunion of almost all the main cast of the series (neither actors Richard Beymer or Sherilyn Fenn returned to film scenes as Benjamin and Audrey Horne, and neither did Piper Laurie as Catherine Martell, but just about everyone else did) Many, many of these scenes ended up on the cutting room floor, to keep the movie at a two hour and fifteen minute running time. For years, fans of Twin Peaks have been desperate to see these missing scenes, the last ever shot in the world of Twin Peaks, but director David Lynch refused to release them without cutting them, scoring them and finishing them properly. An expensive prospect for what are essentially DVD extras. And so for years, it seemed as if the “Holy Grail” of Peaks fandom would never see the light of day.
But finally, as part of CBS Home Video’s release of Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery on Blu-ray, fan’s long wait is finally over, as all the deleted scenes- edited together as “The Missing Pieces” are released as part of the set making it a truly complete Twin Peaks set for the first time ever. Premiering this week in Hollywood’s Vista theater, with cast and crew reunited, including director David Lynch, the world got to see the Missing Pieces for the very first time.
So how do the long awaited scenes actually play out? The content of most of these scenes are long known, as the shooting script has long been available online. But how something plays on the page and how it plays when filmed is often two entirely different animals, especially in the works of David Lynch. So Instead of grading the entire experience, I’m going to grade each scene individually
NOTE: If you’ve never seen Twin Peaks before, much less seen the prequel film, then don’t read this article. It won’t make much sense to you for starters, and will spoil the mystery for you entirely. Better yet, watch the series (either via Netflix or the upcoming Blu-ray box set) and then come back and read this article.
Scene #1: The first scene we get involves Agent Sam Stanley (Kiefer Sutherland) and Agent Chet Desmond (Chris Isaak) late at night after performing the autopsy on the body of Teresa Banks. It’s a very minor scene between the two of them, where they discuss how much time had passed since they went inside the morgue, and how it seemed to now suddenly be the middle of the night. It’s pretty easy to see why this scene got cut, as it really doesn’t add anything to the story. C-
Scene #2: The next scene involves Agents Stanley and Desmond arriving at Hap’s Diner,where the late Teresa Banks worked the night shift as a waitress. This is an extended scene where they question the owner of Hap’s, a crotchety old man named Jack, about Teresa. In the finished film we get the end of this conversation, and here it’s just slightly longer than in the final product. Really not much more than a curiosity. Like the previous scene, I give this one a C-.
Scene #3: In this scene, Sheriff Cable of Deer Meadow chooses to “take it outside” with FBI Special Agent Desmond, and fight him over taking the body of Teresa Banks with him back to Portland and therefore, taking the murder investigation away from the local (and obviously corrupt) Police Department. This is a pretty hilarious scene overall, as blowhard Sheriff Cable tries to show off by bending iron bars, only to have Agent Desmond totally whoop his ass. I understand this scene probably got cut for time, but it’s a pretty great scene by itself. This is the first truly great scene that was cut out. B+
Scene #4: The scene that introduces Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) to the movie. It’s maybe only a minute long, but it involves Coop in a doorway in the Philadelphia headquarters of the FBI talking to his famous secretary Diane…who is, conveniently, off screen, so we never see or hear her. This scene is totally fan service, but any hardcore Twin Peaks fan will love it. It is also a better intro to Cooper into the events of Fire Walk With Me than the one we had. This is Agent Cooper at his most charming. A-
Scene #5: The next scene involves Agent Cooper meeting Sam Stanley for the first time, after Agent Desmond has mysteriously vanished. Kiefer Sutherland is aproppriatley dorky and overeager in this scene, and since the two characters never meet face to face in the finished film, this moment between the two lends a little more weight when Agent Cooper says “don’t go to Sam” when investigating Laura Palmer’s murder in the pilot episode of the series. B
Scene #6: OK, in this scene is where shit gets real. It’s our new introduction to the character of “the long lost Phillip Jeffries” as played by the legendary David Bowie. In the original cut, we see him appear out of an elevator door wearing a white suit and a festive shirt. Well, now that scene has context, as we see a scene before that, which Phillip Jeffries checking into a fancy hotel in Argentina. We see Tango dancers dancing and see a band playing, and Agent Jeffries vanishing…only to emerge out of a different elevator years later on the other side of the world (that last part is in the final cut of the movie) He then goes into detail about the things he saw in between worlds, and although this scene is mostly in the final cut, it is overlayed with images and sounds and is hard to make out. In this version, you hear everything Bowie says and it all makes a little more sense. Well, as much sense as anything Lynchian can get. A.
Scene #7: The first 100% amazing, truly Lynchian scene is an extended version of the meeting of the Black Lodge spirits above the convenience store, including The Little Man from Another Place (Mike Anderson) and BOB (Frank Silva) We see a much shorter version of this in the final movie, but this version is way scarier and way more nightmarish, and that’s all I can really say about it. You’ll just have to wait for the Blu-ray for the rest. A+
Scene #8: Our first scene in the town of Twin Peaks itself, where we see a longer introduction to Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) and his best friend and fellow drug dealer Mike Nelson (Gary Hershberger) Considering that Mike is mentioned more than once later throughout the final film, a longer introduction to his character makes sense. As a scene though, there’s not a lot to it, so I just give it a C.
Scene #9: This was the original first scene between Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) and her mother Sarah (Grace Zabriskie) and should have totally been kept in the movie. In this scene, we see Laura racing down the stairs (after she has discovered that someone has ripped out pages from her diary) and bumps into her mother who is coming into the house with a handful of groceries and lit cigarette in her mouth. The two have a very flustered and awkward exchange that is very Peaksy. B+
Scene #10: If there is one scene from the entire 90 minutes of deleted footage I would have found a way to somehow work back into the finished film, it’s definitely this one. In the actual final cut of Fire Walk With Me, the first Palmer family dinner scene together is a terrifying one, where a malevolent BOB-infected Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) inspects his daughter’s fingernail. In the footage shown here, our first introduction to the Palmer family is via a much different dinner scene that takes place before, where Leland Palmer, goofily pretending to be a giant looking for his ax, and embarrassing his family the way that really only dads can. He tries to teach his family how to introduce themselves and say their names in Norwegian, as “Mr. Benjamin Horne is having a delegation of Norwegians arriving next week” (which happens in the pilot episode of the series) and Leland want his family to be able to say hello to them properly, only to have the whole family dissolve into fits of laughter. The entire sequence is the only time we see the Palmers as a loving, albeit weird and sort of dysfunctional, family unit, and makes the following scenes far more terrifying and painful. A+
Scene #11. This scene is basically superfluous- Laura sneaks out of her house at night and meets a trucker in his truck, and exchanges sex for drugs. It’s about a minute long, and doesn’t add anything to Laura’s character we don’t already know. Her use of prostitution as means to get drugs is illustrated much better in the final film, and this scene is just not needed. Luckily, it’s like a minute or two long. D
Scene #12: This is an extended scene of Laura at the Double R Diner helping load the Meals on Wheels station wagon. The one major difference in this scene as opposed to the version in the final film is that Big Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) and his one-eyed wife Nadine (Wendy Robie) are in this scene briefly, which alone makes this scene worth having. It is Nadine’s only appearance in the deleted footage. B-
Scene #13: This is another priceless scene for fans of the series, which features Doc Hayward (Warren Frost) and Eileen Hayward (Mary Jo Deschaenel) who don’t appear in the final cut of the movie. In this scene, Laura has just discovered evidence that BOB is really her father, and runs crying to her best friend Donna Hayward’s house. In the final cut of the movie, the scene ends at the door of the Hayward home, but here we follow Laura and Donna inside and we get a nice scene of the Haywards in their all-American domestic bliss, a stark contrast to the Palmer family. The best part of this scene is the knowing look that Will Hayward gives his wife Eileen after Laura is called home by Leland…as if they know something is very “off” about that familial relationship, but can’t bring themselves to say it out loud. A-
Scene #14: This scene is an extended version of one already in the movie-Dale Cooper, trapped in the Black Lodge/Red Room at the end of the series, is watching the events unfold in the past. There is a slightly longer exchange between himself and the Little Man from Another Place, but nothing Earth-shatteringly different from what is in the final product. C
Scene #15. Dell Mibler, an extremely old man who only appears once in the final episode of the series, hassles Packard Saw Mill owner Josie Packard (Joan Chen) and Pete Martell (Jack Nance) about the ethics of selling pieces of lumber that aren’t the right size. I can’t explain why this is a funny scene, it just is, and if you’ve ever seen moments in Lynch movies featuring extremely old men, you’ll know why. It’s also the only appearance of Jack Nance and Joan Chen in the deleted footage, so I’m grading a bit higher because of it. B+
Scene #16. Another scene that would be impossible to describe as anything but absurd… unless you were a hardcore Twin Peaks fan, and then it’s terrifying; Laura Palmer goes up the stairs and begins to hear the voice of BOB, as if coming from the ceiling fan. She then slowly begins to become possessed by BOB, only to have her mother Sarah interrupt her thrall and have a mini nervous breakdown (but nothing compared to the kind she’d have in the series.) Overall a great and extremely creepy scene. A.
Scene #17: A totally unscripted scene, which feature Norma (Peggy Lipton) and her “secret” lover Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) Laying in the back of his pick up trick listening to Angelo Badalementi’s music score and discussing their relationship. Brief and beautiful. A-
Scene #18. A somewhat longer version of abusive husband (and future #1 murder suspect) Leo Johnson (Eric Da Re) showing his poor wife Shelly (Madchen Amick) how to really clean a house properly. Only longer by a minute or so from the version in the final product. C
Scene #19: Laura takes Donna with her with two Johns she met at the Roadhouse, as they recklessly drive drunk and high on cocaine across the Canadian border to a seedy night club. The cut in the final movie is kind of confusing-it makes it seem like Partyland is some room in the back of the more innocent Roadhouse in Twin Peaks, but this version clarifies things, and emphasizes how Laura was so lost at this point in her life she was ready to take her far more innocent best friend down with her, before finally coming to her senses. B
Scene #20. This is really a combination of extended sequences, more a curioisity than anything else. In it, we see prostitute Teresa Banks (Pamela Gidley) put two and two together about her nervous John who “chickened out” earlier, and realizes it was Leland Palmer-her friend Laura’s father. She calls him in an attempt to presumably blackmail him (which of course begs the question,who killed Teresa Banks? BOB…or Leland?) This is all seen in a more truncated form in the final movie, and these scenes don’t add much we didn’t already know. Still, they are interesting enough to see and I’m glad they were included here. B-
Scene #21: As a part of the overall storyline of Fire Walk With Me, this scene is totally meaningless, as Sheriff Harry S. Truman (Michael Ontkean) and his deputies, Andy (Harry Goaz) and Hawk (Michael Horse) meet to discuss setting a trap for a local drug dealer. It’s just an excuse to shoehorn this characters into the movie, which is exactly why it is a deleted scene, but as fan of the television series, it’s a chance to see the crew of the Sheriffs Station- Sheriff Truman, Deputy Hawk and Deputy Andy-one more time. I’m grading this one emotionally, I admit it. B+
Scene #22: After a midnight drug deal gone horribly wrong, resulting in Bobby Briggs killing a crooked cop who was about to murder him and Laura, Bobby meets Laura at her locker at school and asks her to hide $10,000 in her safety deposit box. Laura is unfazed by the events of the night before and antagonizes Bobby, making him furious. A brief scene, but one that demonstrates how callous Laura is towards death at this point, and how much Bobby feels remorse . These events are directly mentioned in the pilot episode of the series, both the money in the safety deposit box and Bobby’s feelings about killing someone. B+
Scene #23: Bobby goes into the woods and finds out the drugs he almost got killed over (and killed someone else over) were nothing but baby laxative and he loses.his.shit. Kind of a hilarious scene; actor Dana Ashbrook really brings it. A
Scene #24: This next scene is very brief…maybe a smidge over a minute in length? But addresses one of the major continuity issues between the movie and the show-namely, where was Dr. Lawrence Jacoby (Russ Tambyln) Laura’s psychiatrist from the television series, during her final days? In this entirely deleted sequence, Jacoby calls Laura after she does some coke before bed…he chastizes her about not having called him or come to see him recently, and it’s clear from how he talks to her that Jacoby’s feelings have crossed over from professional to, well…not professional. And very creepy. And Laura’s reaction to him, one seemingly of indifference or maybe even downright disgust, shows in her face. She also mentions making some audio tapes for him, referring to cassettes that play a major role in the first season of the show. For this reason alone, I give this scene an A-
Scene #25: We see Laura having dinner with her mother on the night of her death. She knows her father is BOB now for sure, and feels nothing but disgust for him and, seemingly, for herself. She mentions how much she hate asparagus to her mother (a fact that plays in the TV show pilot when her diary is discovered) And asks if she can go to Bobby’s house. The rest of the sequence is a much extended version of Laura and Bobby’s last night together, and we see the Briggs family, Major Briggs (Don Davis) and his wife Betty, as the Major reads aloud from the Book of Revelation to her like it was a kid’s bedtime story. That little extension alone makes this scene deserve an A.
Scene #26: Basically, this is a comedy scene, set in the Sheriff’s Station between Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) the secretary, Andy and Truman. This would have fit in extremely awkwardly at the point in the movie where it was to be included (Laura’s last night alive) but as a stand alone scene, it’s pretty much classic Twin Peaks screwball comedy.
Scene #27: As Laura climbs out her bedroom window to meet her secret lover James Hurley (James Marshall) one last time, she hides in the bushes outside her house as her father approaches the door…she can’t tell if he sees her or not, and the moment is filled with tension until Leland finally goes inside. Of course, we know Leland does in fact see her, as he follows her that night to her untimely fate. A+
Scene #28: In episode five of the series, we learn how the Log Lady heard the screams of Laura’s brutal murder nearby in her cabin…and in this brief scene, we see it, as we see Margaret Lanterman clutches her beloved log as she hears the screams in the night. B+
Scene #29: “Some Months Later”- This is the first of two brief scenes which take place immediately after the events of the end of the television series. We see Annie Blackburn (Heather Graham) being wheeled into the hospital after her harrowing experience with Dale Cooper in the Black Lodge. She now has the ring Laura Palmer and Teresa Banks wore before their deaths…is Annie next on BOB’s list? A nurse steals the ring off of Annie’s finger, suggesting SHE s the next victim of BOB. Speaking of BOB… B+
Scene #30: The final image of the television series is that of Special Agent Dale Cooper, now possessed by BOB, and smashing his head into the mirror, mockingly asking after the safety of his girlfriend, making “How’s Annie??” the final words uttered in the series. We get a scene that picks up immediately after this moment, therefore leaving the movie and the television series ending on the same damn cliffhanger….still unresolved nearly twenty-five years later. For those fans hoping for some kind of closure…well, you’ll get none here. Nevertheless, it’s fascinating to see more of evil Dale, no matter how little we get. Oh, so many places they could have gone. B+
So there you have it- my thoughts on all thirty scenes restored by Lynch for this special presentation. You’ll be able to see them all for yourself on the 29th of July when Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery hits store shelves.
All photos are from the world premiere of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me- The Missing Pieces at the Vista Theater in Hollywood.