Fire Talk With Me – Deleted Scenes and Addenda

ICYMI, I’m this week’s guest on Jeremy Smith and Allie Goertz‘s Fire Talk With Me podcast, where we discuss episode 16 of Twin Peaks, “Drive With A Dead Girl.”

Unfortunately, there was a mishap with the recording and the whole intro section was lost.  Mostly, it was Allie still reeling from the revelation of the identity of Laura’s killer, and the intro questions for me about my experiences with David Lynch.  I’ll try to remember the highlights:

There was a shoutout to the awesome Gillian Smith, who originally introduced me to Jeremy before we all went to a screening of Dune. There is a special brotherhood of Dune nerds, and we are both proud members.

In answer to the question about how I first came to David Lynch, I talked about my love for Dune, even though I acknowledge how bad parts of it are. Then I told a story about my first encounter with Twin Peaks, which I was recently reminded of.

See, I was a senior in high school when Twin Peaks first aired. And I remember looking forward to the premiere with great anticipation. However, right as it was beginning, I received a phone call from a girl who I would shortly begin dating. This being the pre-Tivo era, I was in a quandary. So instead of telling her I would call her back later, I took the call. But before I did I grabbed my 13 year old sister and ordered her to watch the show and tell me everything that I missed. About half an hour later, I got off the phone and eagerly asked her to catch me up on what I missed. Which was difficult because her mind had been blown.   

Early exposure to Twin Peaks might explain much of how her personality turned out – awesome!

I confessed my continued dislike of Fire Walk With Me, which was only confirmed on my recent re-watch, although to preserve Allie’s spoiler-free state, we didn’t go into details. 

I also talked a bit about my favorite Lynch film, the much-maligned Lost Highway.  LH, for me, was my signal Lynch experience. I hated the movie when I first saw it in the theaters, and I remember saying that I’d never seen a movie so incomprehensible and yet so predictable at the same time. But as much as I said I didn’t like, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And when I saw it again on video a year later, I discovered that my feelings about it had changed completely.  From this, I developed my Main Guideline For Watching David Lynch, which is to treat it like you’re at a modern dance concert. Let the images wash over you and don’t spend too much time looking for concrete narrative links. 

One other thing I remember – I took a moment to object to the much-repeated idea that diminished quality of the back half of season 2 is due to David Lynch and Mark Frost having both left the show, and it being in the hands of “lesser talents.”  I find this to be at best, and oversimplification and and worst an insult to the people who were making the show, like Harley Payton and Bob Engels. I think it’s less accurate to say that the “genius” was gone and so everything sucked afterwards (see again, my dislike for Fire Walk With Me) and probably more to the fact that the people who were in charge of the show were not left with enough power, influence of juice to keep afloat such an idiosyncratic vision without having to incorporate notes and suggestions from many different stakeholders (network execs, long-tenured actors, etc.) Things that Lynch and Frost would have been able to ignore or reject, but that they were not empowered enough to do similarly.

There was more, I’m sure, that I’m forgetting. But this was the main stuff.

If you listen to the pod, please let me know what you think.