Posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery, the upcoming remastered blu-ray release of the two seasons of Twin Peaks and the feature film Fire Walk With Me, contains a huge treat for fans. One disc in the set features ‘The Missing Pieces,’ a feature-length compilation of deleted and extended scenes. Most are from Fire Walk With Me, but there are a few from the series itself. It’s an incredible collection of footage that for decades has been known to exist, but which has never been seen.
‘The Missing Pieces’ premiered in Los Angeles last night, and I’ve compiled a list of what I’d consider the ten most essential scenes. They are mostly character moments that give us something never seen elsewhere in the series or the film. With three exceptions all these picks are standalone scenes rather than extended edits. But two of the extended scenes are among the most-desired bits of film in the set, and the last one, which comes from the series itself, will be seen as an absolute treasure by some.
Note: There are no big Twin Peaks spoilers below but obviously there are some spoilers for the content of the new ‘Missing Pieces’ feature on the Blu-ray set.
As you should surmise, what follows is not an exhaustive list of the scenes you’ll find in the blu-ray release. There are many more extended and standalone scenes. Some will be of great interest to people who are more interested in plot than anything else. On disc, for example, you’ll find a lot of material that explicitly shows story points that were previously implied or mentioned. Most of that sets up the timeline for the murder of Teresa Banks, and connects the end of Fire Walk With Me to the TV pilot.
My choices, however, run as follows, presented in loose narrative order.
Desmond Fights Cable
Of all the deleted scenes, this might be the most famous amongst fans, because it’s one from which a couple photos have floated around for years. Special Agent Desmond brawls with the aggressive Sheriff Cable (Gary Bullock) outside the Deer Meadow Sheriff Station. Their fight is set up in the existing version of Fire Walk With Me, and takes place when Desmond attempts to move the body of Teresa Banks to Portland for forensic tests. The bout between Desmond and Cable is extended to an almost comic degree — it’s not as long as the alleyway fight in They Live, but the effect is similar. This is the moment where several character beats come to a head, and so it acts as a previously unseen resolution to a dramatic setup early in the movie.
Cooper Talks to Diane
This is probably the weirdest scene, and among the most unique in the set. Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) leans in the doorway of an office, speaking to his secretary, Diane. We can’t see the office, and we certainly can’t see Diane. We do see Cooper talking to and flirting with her, and engaging in what seems like it could be a regular contest between them. The oddity comes from the tone — there’s no other moment in Fire Walk With Me where we se Cooper as “up” as he is here. And because we only see Cooper, the scene is a bit like that Garfield Minus Garfield project. It’s easy to wonder if Diane is messing with the agent, or if he’s crazy and talking to someone who doesn’t exist at all.
The Palmer Family Takes a Language Lesson
Leland Palmer (Ray Wise) makes a dramatic entrance at dinner before teaching a useful Norwegian phrase to his family, the better to interact with potential investors when they arrive in town. (As seen early in the first season of Twin Peaks.) Now, as it played in theaters, Fire Walk With Me is bleak. There are very few moments where people feel anything lighter than uncertainty or anxiety. And that serves a purpose; it’s a film that strips away veneers of fantasy left and right. This scene, where the Palmer family laughs together, is still fairly odd, but it gives them a bit of sympathetic unity. It’s easy to see why it was cut from the film, but it’s a neat piece to see on its own.
The Long Lost Phillip Jeffries
For a David Bowie fan this alone is worth the price of admission. Bowie’s character, Agent Phillip Jeffries, is seen very briefly in Fire Walk With Me in an intense quick-cut sequence that leaves many viewers wondering what the hell just happened. Here, we see a lot more of Jeffries, starting in a hotel in Buenos Aires, bouncing to the FBI office in Philadelphia, and then teleporting (literally) back to Argentina. Don’t expect all your questions to be answered — you still won’t know too much more about Judy, for example — but just seeing Bowie is great fun. And we get more Cooper, more of David Lynch as Gordon Cole, and one of the goofiest jokes in the whole batch as well.
The Black Lodge
This is a big “holy grail” sequence. In Fire Walk With Me we see a bit of that darkly fabled meeting place of evil spirits, in the guise of an apartment above a convenience store. The theatrical cut of FWWM chops up this sequence with the Phillip Jeffries footage mentioned above, and adds some strobing effects and an overwhelming sound mix. Here, we see a lot more of what goes on at a meeting at the Black Lodge. Again, don’t expect answers — you’ll probably have more questions than ever after seeing this footage — but you’ll have a lot more to think about. Those who love the mythology of the show will really dig into this sequence. Sadly, however, there is virtually nothing new of Jurgen Prochnow (pictured above) beyond what appears in the original film.
Argument at the Lumber Mill
Pete Martell (Jack Nance) and Josie Packard (Joan Chen) have an interaction with aged bank president Dell Mibbler (Ed Wright, also seen in the Peaks TV finale) who is angry that the two-by-fours he bought don’t actually measure two inches by four inches. Story-wise, this scene has nothing to do with anything in Fire Walk With Me. It’s difficult to understand why it was even filmed, because even if everything else in this deleted scenes package was still in the movie, this would be an out-of-nowhere interlude. But Lynch and Nance go back years, and Pete Martell was often the heart of the TV series. (Nance starred in Eraserhead and had significant roles in most of Lynch’s films until Nance’s strange death in 1996.) It’s a real treat to see him again, and a good look at his working relationship with Josie.
Learning to Smoke
Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) is leaving her house as her mom Sarah (Grace Zabriskie) arrives home with an armful of groceries. Their interaction is dominated by everyday logistics, and punctuated by some physical comedy. Both actors are great at balancing the character and comedy bits. This extra bit of time devoted purely to interaction between Laura and Sarah is great, and there’s nothing about this scene that separates it from experiences we could all have. In that respect, it’s a bit unusual for Twin Peaks. (Image above from a different deleted moment.)
Ed and Norma in the Truck
After an awkward run-in at the diner earlier in the day (connected to the Fire Walk With Me scene where Laura is prepping the Meals on Wheels delivery) Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) and Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton) hang out drinking in Ed’s truck. This is a sweet and sad romantic interlude. Like some of the other deleted material from the film it catches the characters at an intimate moment where their guard is down. And for those who can’t get enough of the film’s music, this scene has an alternate “radio mix” of the main Fire Walk With Me theme. (The theme is played on the radio where the characters can hear it — there aren’t many films and/or TV shows that blend the worlds of character and audience like that, and it’s always fun to see moments where the characters in Twin Peaks enjoy the series’ music as much as we do.)
Hanging Out in the Hayward Home
Like the other half of a matched pair with the “Norwegian” scene mentioned above, here Laura Palmer and Donna Hayward (Moira Kelly) hang out in Donna’s house while her kind and involved parents (Warren Frost and Mary Jo Deschanel) hover. It’s a pleasant scene that underlines the differences between the two girls, and which turns grimly dramatic when a phone call comes in for Laura at the end. This one feels more rough, rambling, and even unfinished than many other sequences in the deleted scenes collection, but the diversion is pleasant.
Cooper Still Has to Brush His Teeth
I promised no spoilers, and here I’ll say as little as possible. But for those who wanted more out of the end of the final television episode of Twin Peaks, this is it. ‘The Missing Pieces’ features the scene that takes place after the show’s final moment. There are no answers or deeper resolution, but there is… more. (Image above from a different deleted scene featuring Cooper.)
The Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery set will be available on July 29.
Here’s the trailer for the deleted scenes package, which contains glimpses of many of the scenes mentioned above, and quite a few more.