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Stephanie Watches Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Part 1)

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Fun fact, the first time I watched Fire Walk With Me, I accidentally started watching The Missing Pieces (the 1.5 hours of deleted scenes) first. I was like, “Damn, I know David Lynch is weird but I really have no idea what’s happening.” About 20 minutes in, I realized my fun error.

I’m including the important/fun Missing Pieces (MP) since many people don’t have access to the Blu-ray that includes those. If you haven’t seen the Twin Peaks TV series, turn around and go watch that first. Yup, all 29 episodes. I’ll wait. Fire Walk With Me is intended to be viewed after the series, even though it is technically a prequel. But Laura’s killer is revealed in this film, as well as scenes from the season 2 finale. Time is fluid in the Twin Peaks world. I’m breaking this up into at least two parts because it’s almost 4 hours long with the MPs included. And here we go!

Part 1: Teresa Banks

Special Agent Chester “Chet” Desmond (Chris Isaak) is called by Gordon Cole to investigate the murder of Teresa Banks.

“CALLING YOU FROM PORTLAND, OREGON.”
“OK, Gordon.”
“OREGON.”

I almost started transcribing every quote because I love pretty much every ridiculous line in this film. But I’ll refrain and save it for the ones that really stand out.

Chet meets his partner, Sam Stanley (bb Kiefer Sutherland). Gordon introduces them to Lil. Some bonkers chick in a red wig and red dress with a blue rose pinned to her dress. “THIS IS LIL. SHE’S MY MOTHER’S SISTER’S GIRL,” Gordon tells them. And then Gordon proceeds to share a bunch of other cryptic clues about what Lil’s presence means. But Chet won’t tell Sam what the blue rose means.

At the local sheriff’s office, Chet can’t get any information about Teresa Banks since they’re not into FBI dealings. He has to hurt the deputy to get through to the sheriff. “Your behavior is not funny. It’s wasting the time of the federal government.” The sheriff grants Chet and Sam access to Teresa’s items and her body. She has a crushed skull and repeated blows to the back of the head. “I wonder where her ring is.” She has a blank spot on her left ring finger but there’s no ring included in her personal effects. Sam notices a contusion under that same finger. Sound familiar? They look closer and find the letter “T.”

Chet and Sam venture to Hap’s Diner, where Teresa worked, for food and information. They talk to Irene, who seems to be in a managerial position or a least on a long-termer. Teresa only worked there for a month, but Irene suspected she did cocaine. She says Teresa’s death was a freak accident. But she did want to mention that Teresa’s left arm went completely numb for three days, and she couldn’t use it.

Are you talking about that little girl that got murdered?”

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Next, they go to Fat Trout Trailer Park, where Teresa lived. Harry Dean Stanton plays the trailer park owner, Carl Rodd, and lets them into her trailer. They see a photo of her with a green ring and a curious symbol on it… And there’s an oddly familiar, yet creepy noise coming from the power line.

MP: Chet and Sam return to the police station to retrieve Teresa’s body. Sheriff Cable has a very big problem with this. So, they go outside to duke it out. Cable bends a piece of steel to show how strong and amazing he is. Chet looks unimpressed, as he should be. “The only way you’re gonna get that body out of here is over mine,” Cable tells him as his deputy and secretary laugh and laugh. They strip down to undershirts and remove their badges (extremely slowly) and fight it out. Chet easily bests him and even bends the steel. But this fight goes on FOR A WHILE. Which is why, I assume, it was cut from the final version. But it still has some comedic value. And, well, Chris Isaak in an undershirt. ‘Nuff said.

Chet decides to take one last look at the trailer park once Sam is on his way back to Philadelphia with the body. The strange noise emits from the power lines again. Chet goes to look around the outside of a trailer he is strangely drawn to. He spots Teresa’s ring underneath it. He reaches for it but then…

Fade to black.

We’re now in Philadelphia with Agent Cooper and Gordon Cole. “Gordon, it’s 10:10 AM on February 16. I was worried about today because of the dream I told you about.” Cooper starts acting strange (what a shock!). He stands in the hallway, then goes into the security room to looking at the footage and back out again, over and over again.

MP: Buenos Aires. Agent Philip Jeffries (DAVID BOWIE!) is on assignment. “Do you have a Miss Judy stayin’ here by chance?” Jeffries heads to his hotel room…

And then Jeffries is suddenly coming out of the elevator at the FBI office. He comes up behind Cooper in the hallway. As Cooper looks at the footage, he sees himself remain in the hallway as Jeffries comes up behind him. Cooper runs to Gordon, following Jeffries. Jeffries has been gone two years.

Well now, I’m not gonna talk about Judy. In fact. We’re not gonna talk about Judy at all.” He points at Cooper: “Who do you think that is there?”

This is more evidence that time is fluid. Is Cooper already stuck in the Black Lodge from Jeffries’ point of view? Maybe he thinks Cooper is already inhabited by BOB.

The following is a combination of missing pieces and actual footage from the film:

Judy is positive about this… I’ve been to one of their meetings. Above a convenience store… It was dream. We lived inside a dream. I found something in Seattle at Judy’s. And then there they were. They sat quietly for hours.”

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The Man from Another Place (MFAP) says: “The chrome reflects our image.” We cut to the Black Lodge spirits meeting above a convenience store as Jeffries explains. Everyone we know is there plus a few unfamiliar faces: BOB, a few lumberjacks (or 2017 Wicker Park hipsters), Jumping Man, MFAP, Mrs. Tremond, her grandson and more.

MFAP: “From pure air. We have descended.. from pure air. Going up and down. Intercourse between the two worlds. Garmonbozia. This is a Formica table. Green is its color.”
BOB: “I have fury of my own momentum.”
Grandson: “Fell a victim.”
MFAP: “With this ring, I thee wed.” All the spirits laugh together. “Fire walk with me.”

The familiar red curtains make their appearance. BOB and the MFAP crawl around the Black Lodge, giggling. The ring is on a display in the lodge. We cut to Laura’s dazed face, superimposed with the spirits in the convenience store and the forests of Twin Peaks that we’ve come to know so well.

Jeffries is distressed talking about the ring. The lights start flashing in the office. Jeffries says February 1989. And then he suddenly disappears from his chair.

“He’s gone! Albert call the front desk!”
“I’ve got the front desk. He was never here. And Agent Chester Desmond has disappeared.”
“Gordon, what’s going on?”

MP: Jeffries screaming in the hallway of the Buenos Aires hotel. The wall is singed behind him. He’s reaching for the hotel attendant for help. And then he just starts screaming in distress.

MP: Cooper meets with Sam and gets the story about Chet. Cooper looks at the letter found under Teresa’s nail. But even he won’t tell Sam what the blue rose means. Poor Sam.

Cooper then goes to see Carl at the trailer park, following Chet’s trail to an empty spot in the park. Carl explains that an old woman and her grandson lived in the trailer. But this is clearly the same spot from where we saw Chet disappear. Cooper sees Chet’s car with the words “Let’s Rock” written across the windshield.

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Diane, it’s 4:20 PM (nice). I’m standing here at the Wind River near the location where the body of Teresa Banks was found. Diane, this case gives me a strange feeling. Not only has Special Agent Chester Desmond disappeared without a trace, but this is one of Cole’s blue rose cases. The clues that were found by Special Agent Desmond and Agent Stanley have led to dead ends. The letter that was extracted from beneath the fingernail of Teresa Banks gives me the feeling that the killer will strike again. But like the song goes, ‘who knows where or when?'”

Part 2 | Part 3

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