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|“||Through the dark of futures past, the magician longs to see. One chants out between two worlds, Fire walk with me! I'll catch you with my death bag. You may think I've gone insane, but I promise I will kill again!||„|
|~ Bob speaking as Leland Palmer.|
Killer BOB is the primary antagonist of Twin Peaks, as well as the main antagonist in the prequel film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. He is a demonic entity who feeds on fear and pleasure. He possesses human beings and then commits acts of rape and murder in order to feast upon his victims.
He was portrayed by the late Frank Silva.
Conception of Character
The impetus for the series Twin Peaks was the mystery of who killed Laura Palmer. When production began on the pilot episode, "Northwest Passage", series creators David Lynch and Mark Frost had decided that the murderer would be revealed as Leland Palmer, Laura's father. During the filming of a scene in the pilot taking place in Laura's room, Frank Silva, a set dresser during the shootings but also an actor, accidentally trapped himself in the room prior to filming by inadvertently moving a dresser in front of the door. Lynch had an image of Silva stuck in the room and thought that it could fit into the series somewhere, and told Silva that he would like for him to be in the series. Lynch had Silva crouch at the foot of Laura's bed and look through the bars of the foot-board, as if he were "trapped" behind them, and filmed it, then had Silva leave the room and filmed the empty room; after reviewing the footage, Lynch liked the presence that Silva brought to the scene and decided that he would put him somewhere in the series.
Later that day, a scene was being filmed in which Palmer's mother experiences a vision which frightens her; at the time, the script did not indicate what Mrs Palmer had seen to frighten her. Lynch was pleased with how the scene turned out, but a crew member informed him that it would have to be re-shot, because a mirror in the scene had inadvertently picked up someone's reflection. When Lynch asked who it was, the crew member replied that it had been Silva. Lynch considered this a "happy accident," and decided at that point that the unnamed character to be played by Silva would be revealed as Palmer's true killer.
Killer BOB is a demonic entity from the Black Lodge, a realm of pure evil which exists on an alternate plane of reality. According to legend, he is a dark spirit who existed long before humanity. However, later flashbacks show that he was either born or released into the physical world following a 1945 nuclear test in White Sands, New Mexico, when the image of BOB was seemingly regurgitated from a white figure.
For the next several decades, he spent most of his time on Earth possessing human beings, although he also travels in the form of an owl. While possessing humans, he commits horrible crimes to elicit pain, fear, and suffering from those around him; these feelings, which Black Lodge residents refer to collectively as "garmonbozia" act as a form of nourishment. Physically, garmonbozia takes the shape of creamed corn. Creamed corn is referenced in the series when Laura Palmer’s best friend Donna takes over Laura’s “meals on wheels” route and accidentally serves the Tremonds (the little boy with the white mask and the old lady) creamed corn. In the film Fire Walk With Me, MIKE accuses Leland of stealing the corn he had canned “above the store.” Secondly, garmonbozia refers to “pain and suffering.” BOB, and possibly MIKE or other inhabitants of the Lodge, feed on garmonbozia as it is mentioned by name and/or description throughout the series and movie by Mike, Bob, the Tremonds, and The Man from Another Place.
BOB spent several years with MIKE, feeding off of fear and pain until MIKE "saw the face of God" and cut off his own arm. BOB then lurked around the Great Northern Hotel for 40 years. When Leland Palmer was a boy, Robertson lived in a white house near his grandfather's summer house at Pearl Lakes. He taunted Leland, asking "do you wanna play with fire, little boy?" BOB told Leland that he wanted to play, and then "opened" Leland and went inside him.
Twin Peaks (1990-1991)Dale Cooper first learns of Killer BOB's existence in a vision, in which he encounters another entity named MIKE. In this vision, Cooper learns that BOB was in life a serial killer who raped and murdered young women with MIKE as his accomplice; MIKE eventually repented, removing his left arm in order to be rid of the tattoo that he shared with BOB. At the beginning of the second season, one of BOB's intended victims, Ronnette Pulaski, awakens from a coma induced by her torture at BOB's hands, at which time she identifies BOB as Laura's killer. Cooper and the Twin Peaks Sheriff department canvass the town with wanted posters of BOB, using Andy's sketch; Leland Palmer, Laura's father, identifies the man in the poster as "Robertson", and says that he lived near his grandfather and used to taunt Leland when he was a child.It is later revealed that BOB is, in fact, possessing Leland, and has been possessing him ever since Leland first met him as a child at his grandfather's house. Under BOB's influence, Leland molested, raped, and finally murdered his own daughter. Cooper later determines that BOB is possessing Leland, and tricked him into a trap, in which BOB responds with taunting Cooper before forcing Leland to commit suicide. In his dying breaths, Leland states when he was a child he saw BOB in a dream and invited him inside, before stating that
he never knew when BOB was in control of his body. After Leland dies, Cooper engages in a philosophical debate with Sheriff Truman and Albert Rosenfield over how real BOB was, and whether or not BOB was in fact a physical incarnation of Leland's repressed personal demons. Although the men cannot agree on a unifying idea, they do come to the conclusion that BOB is a manifestation of "the evil that men do".
Following Leland's death, BOB takes the form of an owl in the woods outside Twin Peaks, and isn't seen again for a while. In the final episode, Cooper ventures into the Black Lodge to apprehend his former partner, rogue FBI Agent Windom Earle, who is attempting to harness the power of the Lodge for himself. When Earle tries to strike a bargain with Cooper in which Cooper will sell his soul to Earle in exchange for Earle not murdering Cooper's lover, Annie, BOB appears, causing time in the Lodge to reverse to the moment before Cooper agreed to sell his soul. BOB informs Cooper that the Black Lodge is his domain, and thus Earle has trespassed by coming into it and demanding Cooper's soul for himself. As a punishment, BOB kills Earle, taking Earle's soul for himself. Cooper attempts to flee, but BOB traps Cooper in the Lodge, exiting in the form of a doppelganger of Cooper. The series ends with a maniacally laughing BOB examining his new body in a mirror.
Twin Peaks: The Return (2017)
25 years later, BOB is still inside of Cooper's doppelganger, who at this point is operating as a career criminal. Over the years, he's changed from a completely maniacal psychopath to a calmer and more disciplined mastermind capable of enacting complex long-term schemes, due to Cooper's intelligence and self-control. This has enabled him to become a powerful crime boss with a far-reaching network of assassins and operatives under his command. However, he still revels in causing pain and suffering, needlessly tormenting and killing people, including his own underlings. He also raped Cooper's secretary Diane after taking advantage of her trust to get information out of her, then trapped her in the Black Lodge too and created a doppelganger of her under his control to infiltrate the FBI. It's implied that he raped Audrey Horne as well, or at least took advantage of her sexually, since he got her pregnant with a child who grew up to be a psychopathic criminal in his own right.
Cooper's doppelganger is destined to return to the Black Lodge with BOB at a specific time, but avoids doing so through the use of another doppelganger of Dale Cooper known as Dougie Jones, who is sent to the lodge in his place whilst the real Cooper himself is returned back to reality. After the doppelganger is imprisoned having crashed his car and been found in possession of a machine gun and a dogs leg, he observes himself in the mirror and his face briefly appears as BOB's once again, confirming that the demon is still inhabiting the body of Cooper's doppelganger.
BOB manages to escape from the prison with an associate named Ray, who betrays the doppelganger and shoots him dead. Woodsmen (mysterious entities from the Black Lodge) surround the doppelganger's body and remove an orb containing BOB's head. After the doppelganger is revived, BOB is returned to his body. He kills Ray and meets up with his son Richard, following a series of coordinates that Ray gave him to a location in the wilderness. Suspecting another trap, he has Richard go there first, where Richard is electrocuted and disintegrated.
BOB then gets the real coordinates from Diane's doppelganger, leading him back to Twin Peaks. However, this turns out to be a trap too; instead of being taken to the destination he was seeking, he is instead teleported to the Twin Peaks police station by the Fireman, an entity from the White Lodge (a realm of pure goodness and love, diametrically opposed to the Black Lodge). While he waits in Sheriff Frank Truman's office, the real Cooper calls in, and secretary Lucy Brennan realizes the doppleganger is a fake. She shoots him dead, and BOB escapes the body in a glowing orb. Just then, prisoner Freddy Sykes engages BOB in a fight, attacking the orb with a supernatural glove given to him by the Fireman. Freddy pummels BOB through the ground into a supernatural pit of flames, then knocks the orb into the stratosphere, shattering it into pieces and thus destroying BOB once and for all.
In the Black Lodge, BOB/Cooper's doppelganger is shown trapped in a chair and covered in flames, unable to return to the physical world and condemned to burn for eternity.
|“||You wanna play with fire, little boy?||„|
|~ BOB to a young Leland.|
|“||Head's up, tails up, run you scallywags. Night falls, morning calls, I'll catch you with my death bag. You may think I've gone insane, but I promise, I will kill again!||„|
|~ Bob's first lines.|
|“||Did you kill Laura Palmer?||„|
|~ Agent Cooper to Bob/Leland.|
|“||(Leland, as Bob, hoots and yells like a wolf) That's a "yes".||„|
|~ BOB confessing to the murder of Laura Palmer as Leland.|
|“||Leland, Leland, you've been a good vehicle and I've enjoyed the ride. But now he's weak and full of holes. It's almost time to shuffle off to Buffalo! (...) Leland's a babe in the woods, with a large hole where his conscious used to be. When I go children, I will pull that ripcord and you watch Leland remember. Watch him!||„|
|~ Bob before leaving Leland's body.|
- In Traces to Nowhere, Sarah Palmer sees a vision of BOB while hugging Donna. The vision consists of BOB crouching at the foot of Laura's bed. In the script, the vision featured a long, empty hospital corridor, with BOB running down it towards the camera at full speed. The scene, as scripted, was indeed filmed, but deemed too "freaky" by Lynch and never used, except for a brief clip of it during Ronette's dream of Bob during the second season opener.
- In real life, BOB's actor Frank Silva passed away on September 13, 1995. For the 2017 revival series, the use of CGI and archive footage is used to implement BOB into several scenes, with one being when Dale Cooper's doppelganger looks into the mirror and his face slowly changes to resemble BOB's. The second episode of the revival is dedicated to Frank Silva.