Review: Twin Peaks – The Missing Pieces

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Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces
Dir: David Lynch
15, 89 mins

*Potential Twin Peaks spoilers follow* 

We are in the midst of Twin Peaks mania. Whilst the the new season has certainly divided people, we can’t deny its return has not be a huge victory. Even with small viewing figures by American TV standards – the pilot back in 1990 acquired over 32 millions viewers stateside – the loyal fanbase are fanatic in their quest to knowing just what will happen next.

Whilst the Blu-Ray release of the show’s original run and Fire Walk With Me has been out for a few years, it is now incorrectly billed the Entire Mystery. The collection was made at a time in 2014 when perhaps we could not grasp the idea of a third season and what is the conclusion to the remarkable show.

With all episodes and the film in Blu-Ray being a huge selling point, the deleted scenes from Fire Walk With Me are of interest to loyal fans and those curious to take the plunge. Dubbed The Missing Pieces, this is a whopping 90 minutes of deleted footage from the film and it’s an exciting prospect to watch at your viewing pleasure.

Fire Walk With Me is undoubtedly an outstanding horror film and certainly up their in Lynch’s output. By 1992 Twin Peaks mania had died down before Fire Walk With Me was released, and the film is considered by many as a flop (it was a huge success in Japan though). Cult cinema fans and Peakers of all ages would regard it as vital to the lore of the show and still holds up as utterly terrifying encounter. To see how Laura Palmer, this iconic character, dies, is a gripping and often upsetting vision.

A scene with Isaak having fisticuffs with a local goes on forever

Like in the film itself, footage of Chris Issak as Agent Desmond, with Kiefer Sunderland as his sidekick, is boring and of little interest. You could cut the first thirty odd minutes of the film, since no one really cares about who killed Teresa Banks. It may play a part in the prequel’s story arc, yet is does little else. A scene with Isaak having fisticuffs with a local goes on forever and easy to see why it was cut. Saying this, most of the clips are easy filed under not needed and are laughable in their oddness, even for Lynch. Where some bits would have worked better in the show (the final clip is from the series), others have no place in either outing and gladly remain in this “film” of forgotten footage.

Highlights included more of the late, great David Bowie…

Highlights included more of the late, great David Bowie as Phillip Jeffries (do we ever find out who is Julie?), on duty in Argentina (and whose Southern drawl is quite special). This carries into the third season, though who will now play Bowie’s role is uncertain. The usual bizarreness occurs here, as a painted blob appears to linger behind him as he screams by a staircase, as another character declares he has soiled himself. It’s all Lynchian bedlam and this is personified in the horrendous, extended footage of the Black Lodge, which Jeffries apparently frequented and in doing so disappeared for two years. We see more of Bob, The Man from the Other Place (or the original Arm), the boy in a suit and other curiosities. The longer footage is a hard watch as the sound work booms, characters speak the famous backwards talk and that all round uneasiness pangs in your head. It goes places…

If anything, this footage is tantamount to the continued brilliance of the performance by Sheryl Lee. We saw little of her in the series as Laura Palmer (she also played Laura’s cousin Maddie in the show) as she only appeared in the infamous photo and occasional flutters in the Red Room. Here and in Fire Walk With Me, you she her at her most outstanding. Her acting here should not be underestimated, as her unflinching portrayal as the haunted teenager stays with you for a long time. Her trembling, her fury, her quivering eyes… all this and more makes you marvel at how Lee brought so much to the role. She was completely robbed of an Oscar. No doubts here!

“No Donna, I’m the muffin!”

Her declaration of “No Donna, I’m the muffin!” as her friend closes the door to her house might be the saddest thing I’ve seen all year. A scene with Leland Palmer, her dad walking up the drive as she hides in bushes, mirrors another scene kept in the film, one where she hides in a neighbour’s garden so he doesn’t see her as he leaves. I guess it was a case of one or the other, yet both are nail-bitingly scary. Annie is seen in hospital and in an outrageous moment, we see a nurse try on the ring, which has subtly played a huge role in the story (I wonder if the ring is a McGuffin?), dating back to the time of Lewis and Clarke in the North West Passage. Mark Frost’s new book appears to explain a lot of holes in the lore, so it’s something else to look out for.

A potential message from Donna is also moving. Donna’s dad Dr Hayward, reads to Laura on a prescription note:

“The angels will return and when you see the one to help you, you will weep with joy”

This beautiful sentiment echoes the girls asking about how fast you would go in space and Laura remarks: “The angels wouldn’t come… because they’ve all gone away” and also the sublime ending of the film featuring said angel. Laura’s Theme is heard again, this time more twinkly on the keys and the mood is soupy and a crying fit is expected. Bob taking over a ceiling fan and talking to Laura is bad enough, but his claims of, “I want to taste through your mouth” would leave many disturbed. Here, Laura who appears to be taken over by Bob, grimaces which an awful cheesy grin that is more creepy than anything else. Another brief occurrence happens as the all-knowing Log Lady is seen reacting to the distant scream of Laura, as she is being killed.

Comic relief is brought by a Mr. Mibbler who exclaims his 2 by 4 plank of wood is not the stated measurement, at an appearance at the mill. Brief moments of humour are always welcome, even if they are jarring to the deeply troubling themes and events that occur. In other scenes Dr Jacobi begs Laura for another one of her recordings, that play a role in the TV show and in another stupid scene, Leo lectures his wife about cleanliness. The One Armed Man appears to put out candles in reverse as he utters the film’s poetic title for reasons never known… perhaps he wanted to talk with Bob? At times these scenes are infuriating and at others, pointlessly passive endeavours.

A futile snippet of the season 2 finale, the famous “How’s Annie?!?!” scene, sees Dale Cooper now possessed by Bob (huge plot point in the new season) explain why he broke the mirror as he was about to brush his teeth. “It struck me as funny,” he remarks, as these pieces come to an end.

These scenes are an added treat for Twin Peaks fans

The Blu Ray quality is at times so clear and precise it looks like it was made yesterday. Whilst someone with too much time on their hands has cobbled together The Missing Pieces into Fire Walk With Me, it is in no way necessary, as it would last almost four hours in length. These scenes are an added treat for Twin Peaks fans, but would mean little to those don’t regard the show as a religious experience. I’ve yet to see more deleted scenes from the show and I just know the bloopers shall be a riot.

A must for Peaker diehards.

Rating: 4 stars

The Missing Pieces are available on Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery (the pilot, Seasons 1 & 2 and Fire Walk With Me with special features) on Blu-Ray now.

Twin Peaks continues on Sky Atlantic, Monday mornings at 2am & Tuesday nights at 9pm, also on Now TV.

Mark Frost’s The Secret History of Twin Peaks is out now in all good book shops.

Related Articles and Info:

Archive: In Dreams: David Lynch Revisited @ Colston Hall

Review: Twin Peaks – Season 3, Episodes 1 – 4 on Sky Atlantic/Now TV

Review: Wrapped in Plastic – A Twin Peaks Happening @ The Big Top

Film Review: Mirror Mirror Series – Blue Velvet @ Chapter 

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