Tonight’s viewing – The Missing Pieces

Hey everyone,

Passing another milestone tonight: my 300th post on this site.  I suppose its fitting that it should be about the same thing I usually waffle on about: Twin Peaks.

I didn’t have a blu-ray player when this came out so I never saw The Missing Pieces in its entirety until now; those deleted scenes from Fire Walk With Me which were only available on The Entire Mystery Blu-ray set.

Thanks to my wonderful wife buying me an Xbox One for Christmas last year, I was finally able to get hold of it. It’s sat on my shelf for some time and I decided to have a proper sit down appreciation of it all in one go. Obviously I’ve seen some of these scenes already on YouTube or when it was screened in the bar at the 2014 Twin Peaks UK Festival but some of them were a complete surprise to me.  It was like having some new Twin Peaks. I think it’s great to watch this again now and put it in the greater context of having seen Season 3 and had time to digest that, too.

So, I thought I’d do a little scene by scene look with my thoughts. Don’t expect any great insight; just my own initial thoughts about five years late.

Desmond’s MO

After the autopsy Desmond comes off quite authoritarian and Stanley comes off as a bit of a whiner. Kiefer Sutherland is a little wooden in this scene as well in his delivery. Surely he knows how long its been. Don’t they mark the time in some way when they do autopsy notes? It’s well lit, though.

Say Hello to Jack

Hap’s diner. I love the clown face outside. The conversation with the old guy Jack gives a bit more insight into who Teresa Banks was. There’s some interesting work going on with electricity in the background and it almost seems as if Jerry Horne has time travelled (or run)  into the place to have a little rest in the doorway.

Good Morning Irene

Morning outside Hap’s and the two weary agents exit. The sun is up and let’s say they got there at 4am, that means they were in there for maybe two hours! – what did they talk about? I love the brief exchange with Irene in this scene, especially Stanley who doesn’t know what to say. Sandra Kinder is great in this role.

This one’s coming from J Edgar

Oh my God, this so needed to be in the film. This shows Desmond as a complete badass. He knocks Sheriff Cable silly which is exactly what he deserves. Made even better by the arrogance of the man and the way Chet bends a bar himself at the end, tosses it on the ground dismissively and then says “who’s next?” to the deputy and the receptionist. He means it too –  quality scene. Well done to Chris Isaak and Gary Bullock for making it work so well.

Cooper and Diane

This one gives a lot to ponder given the events of season 3. Is it me or does Coop come across vaguely creepy in this scene? The dashing Agent Cooper. I much prefer the way he interacts with Annie in the original series. “Now you have to make the coffee.” No, I definitely could have done without seeing this. Think I prefer Mr C’s pick up lines.

Stanley’s Apartment

This is much better in terms of Cooper. There’s a great look at what he’s whisking and I love the way he shuts him down on the whole blue rose thing too. This is the first time Coop sees one of the letters. This makes a nice bridge to his examination of Laura’s fingers in the pilot.

Buenos Aires/Above the Convenience Store

Harpist in the hotel –  enter Philip Jeffries. He asks after a Miss Judy. The whole ‘Judy’ thing bothers me a little in terms of continuity. It’s clear from FWWM that Judy was, in everyone’s minds, just a normal lady at this point. Josie Packard’s sister, I believe.  Still, it’s great to see David Bowie walking around, and the dancers in the lobby remind me of the various incongruous groups of people who walk the lobby of the Great Northern

We cut to the telegraph pole and then the close up of a mouth – time for the twisted convenience store scene – Jurgen Prochnow appears as a very clean looking woodsman with a machine. Is this the same machine as the one in Part 17 of season 3? The one that grants access to the Dutchman’s?

This is where the Jumping man appears for the first time. I do find him to be one of the scariest characters in the whole Twin Peaks universe I wonder what “From pure air we have descended,” means. Maybe it means they’ve come down from space and are hiding from Dougie Milford… Levity aside, there is the ‘intercourse between two worlds’ line which calls up the bit in Secret History where Milford says he believes that some of the beings they are pursuing may be extra-dimensional.

There are so many things to look at and explore in this extended cut of the scene. And how great to see Frank Silva as Bob – how much we missed him in season 3 – the pure elemental presence he has is inimitable.

We get the whole red room scene here with Laura’s face as if she’s dreaming it, and then this fades on to trees. Great scene!

Back at FBI headquarters, according to Jeffries, “Judy is positive about this.” Bowie comes over very well in this version of the scene, especially with the context of everything we see in season 3 and there’s so much more to explore. He references finding something in Seattle at Judy’s – another marker stating that Judy is in fact just a person at this stage. He also says that we live inside a dream. He’s been gone for two years. He says February 1989 and then disappears back to the hotel. I wonder if it’s to the date of Laura’s death. Maybe that is a nexus in time that is more easily accessible than others.

Mike is the Man / Sharing a Cigarette

Mike looks really old in this scene. “You’re tough to handle. That’s way you need a real man like me.” Oh my God, did he really say that? I just cringed so hard.

Sarah coming home with groceries and meeting laura with a fag on – brilliant! After season 3, it’s weird to see them together.

School Books

“Where were you Laura? You don’t have to lie to me ever.” Interesting little dialogue between mother and daughter, especially with what we know from season 3.

The Palmers

Enter Leland looking for his axe and talking in Norwegian – Oh my God, Ray Wise is fantastic here – completely unhinged.  He actually HAS an axe too. He’s learning Norwegian and wants hem to as well. With them all holding hands, it’s actually a really nice family moment that makes me feel really sad about what is going on behind the facade.

Laura’s Party

Lights of a truck – Laura earning her coke. Enough said.

2×4

twinpeaks_themissingpieces_pic5

I can see why they cut this out of the film, but it’s lovely to see Josie, Pete and Del Mibbler. It’s a far more light hearted scene than any that come around it and it’s the sort of comic interlude that would have fitted the show very well indeed. Josie is wearing her hair very differently to how she does in the series. Having never seen this, it’s like I just got to see Jack Nance in something completely new, which is a great pleasure.

Kind of Quiet

First scene in the Double R. Norma is also wearing her hair differently. It grows out a hell of a lot in the next few days before we see her in the pilot. that’s all I’ll say. Ed and Nadine come in and I have to wonder why Nadine is so surprised to find Norma there, given the fact that she owns the place. I’ve never seen Norma so deflated as in this scene. Even Ed can’t turn it round, though he only stops for ten seconds to reassure her before bolting back out the door.

Best Friends

I actually have great difficulty deciding who I like better as Donna – Lara Flynn Boyle or Moira Kelly.

I’m the Muffin / The Ring

Like Jack Nance before, it’s great to see Warren Frost appear in this scene. His shirt and braces combination makes him look like an optical illusion. Laura is so sad in this scene and so obviously troubled. The looks that the Haywards exchange also let on that they can see this for themselves, so why didn’t they do anything about it? It’s like they’re just resigned to it.

We then get a nice scene in The Black Lodge between the Man from Another Place and Cooper. This is the beginning of the “Is it Future or Is it past?” theme, even though it has been alluded to by Jeffries already. It’s funny the way it is lit. It all seems a bit crisper and fresher than the end of season 2, which was the last time we spent any time in the lodge as an audience at this point. It makes it feel like it’s ‘the next morning’ or something, like Coop’s been wandering around the lodge all night since he was trapped and this is the first time he’s run into the dwarf again.

Bob Speaks Through Laura / Blue Sweater

Under the ceiling fan,. Bob speaks to Laura. For a time, it feels more like it is the fan that is speaking, but then Sheryl Lee makes the scariest, most demented face I think I’ve ever seen, a rictus grin spreading so far that you feel it will spill over the sides of her face.

We then get an interesting look at Sarah’s mental state when she realises that she is wearing the sweater that she has been looking for. One of my friends once queued up for half an hour in a nightclub to get his coat from the cloakroom, only to realise that he was already wearing it.

Sunday at the Johnson’s

After seeing a bunch of people file out of a church, we then cut to Leo cleaning his floor while Shelly looks on. Leo comes across as a bit of a fool in this scene, talking about scrubbing beneath the surface. it’s almost as if we’re encouraged to treat him as sklightly comic in our view, then that wall is broken down by his violence and we remember what he is.

Smash Up

This is a nice scene between Ed and Norma. I’ve never seen this one before. The portable breathalyser is a nice touch and makes it feel very natural between them.

The Power and the Glory

We’re riding along with laura and Donna and the boys on the way to The Pink Room. There’s a very Lost Highway vide to the road shots that we’ll see again in Season 3 with a much more sedate Mr C. This guy has no respect for his tyres.

Fire Walk With Me

Wow, I’d never even heard of this scene, let alone watched it. Al Strobel unlighting candles backwards while saying Fire Walk With Me. I would definitely have done a What the Haiku about this if I’d known about it. It appears to be a hotel room he’s in, but not a nice one as there’s no carpet.

Party Girl

This is very welcome extra footage not just of Teresa Banks, who we don’t really see enough of in the film, but also of the nasty, predatory side of Leland. He really comes over as a potential abuser in this brief telephone conversation.

I have a problem sometimes when characters are forced together in some way that feels unnatural, and that’s what I feel about Laura and Ronette being with Teresa. It just seems highly unlikely that they would know each other and it would be fine if they didn’t so why bother. I feel the same way about a couple of things in Mark Frost’s Secret History, like the High School football team that pretty much all the principal characters were involved in, right down to Jerry Horne being the mascot or some such nonsense. It just doesn’t fit and it’s not required.

Don’t Forget / Laura’s Secret Stash

Back at the Palmer house we find out where the missing key was for the diary that Cooper broke open in the pilot episode and we get to see what happened to the little bag inside. Nice little Easter egg.

Bernie The Mule

Yay, Harry. I’ve seen this one. I did a haiku about it. There’s not much here except for a chance to see Harry, Hawk and Andy together again. I can see why it was cut. It’s pretty much just a big pause. It lets us know how Bernie was picked up before we meet him in the series but that’s hardly one of the questions that was keeping me up at night after the series finished.

I Killed Someone

Bobby and Laura at her locker. We hear about the ten thousand that got put in her safety deposit box, there to sit until Cooper and Truman find it. Then she asks him if he killed Mike and he gets really angry while she laughs about it. I nearly snorted my drink watching this as I didn’t see that coming. I love how wound up he gets by her, although he goes a bit too far by the end of the scene.

Baby Laxative

Bobby in the woods, discovers he’s been conned and loses it, spraying the stuff he’s bought all over himself, his car and the road. Funny. Dana Ashbrook sells the emotion really well in this scene.

Send Me a Kiss

Jacoby gets an appearance here, talking to Laura on the phone from his apartment, Hawaiian beach scene behind him as seen in season 1 when James and Donna break in. He seems genuinely concerned, if a little needy, for her, which tracks with the way he’s written later on in the series and in Frost’s book. I guess once they were done trying to make us think he could be the killer they eased right up.

Asparagus

I’m not a big fan of asparagus so I totally get Laura’s facial expression looking at that plate. What I really want to know from this scene, though,  is why there is a random lemon on the cabinet behind Sarah. Since season 3, there’s the whole debate about how long Judy has been around Sarah. There is an odd look to her after Laura leaves, as if she can sense what’s coming.

Bobby and Laura in the Basement

Ah, domestic bliss at the Briggs household. Garland reads from Revelations while Betty pretends to be interested, carrying on with her needlework regardless, I want to check what’s in The Secret History from the Archivist for the night Laura dies. I’m fairly sure there’s no mention, but it would be interesting to see if there were any reason why Garland might be reading John’s words aloud at this particular time.

It’s a brilliantly acted scene between Laura and Bobby; very intense. Shame it didn’t make the final cut.

Goodnight Lucy

Back at the Sherriff’s station we get to see Lucy, Andy and Truman again. Also, there’s the interrogation room with the weird wall tiles that have lots of holes in them; the same ones that were used in that memorable shot during Leland’s incarceration in season 2. We also get a mention of Catherine Martell and a prowler at her house. The end of the scene, where Harry surprises Lucy at her window, is a good precursor for her mobile phone troubles in season 3. She thinks she’s talking to him over the intercom but then he’s right in front of her.

Waiting for James

Nicely framed shot of the street at night with lots of shadow to add mystery. Laura watches Leland prowl around and he seems to see her in the bushes where she is concealed. Ray Wise is magnificently disturbing here; a great job by him as usual.

Distant Screams

The Log Lady sits crying, listening to the sounds of screaming from far away.

Lonesome Foghorn Blows

Laura’s body, wrapped in plastic, laps against the log on the beach where it will be washed up.

Epilogue

miss pieces

SOME MONTHS LATER – Now I must admit, I was one of the disappointed ones the first time I saw Fire Walk With Me, way back when it was released in the cinema. I was expecting the series and I got something very different and it didn’t work for me. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate it so much more to the point where it’s probably one of my favourite pieces of the puzzle. I think, though, that if this scene had been put in there, I would have loved it the first time. All I wanted was a glimpse past what I had been left with when Cooper head-butted the mirror. This was that glimpse.

The good Dale is trapped in the lodge with nowhere to go, Annie is in hospital with the ring on until it is taken from her by a nurse. We then get the aftermath of Cooper hitting his head, and probably the first look at Mr C. the ‘struck me as funny’ line doesn’t really do anything for me. I don’t know if I’m meant to take anything from it that I’m just missing. I would have loved to have seen this in the film when it was first released. Just a few seconds of this epilogue would have rounded it off perfectly. I’m so glad that I got to see it eventually.

So, I’ve finally seen all of The Missing Pieces. I should really have a look at those special features on the season 3 blu-ray sometime too.

Thanks for reading. Let me know what you thought of the Missing Pieces in the comments below. Please also subscribe to this website to keep up with my thoughts on all kinds of different things.

Cheers

Richard

If you want to read more, here are some links to things you might be interested in…

Tonight’s viewing – The Adjustment Bureau

Tonight’s Viewing – The Predator (spoiler-free)

Tonight’s Viewing – Mystery Men

Tonight’s viewing – The Medusa Touch

My Top 25 Twin Peaks scenes

Two Coopers – Two Sonnets

Lady of the Blue Rose – a poem

Twin Peaks: The Return – I love it and here’s why!

Halloween Special – In the Mouth of Madness

A Place Both Wonderful and Strange

 

 

 

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