Killer BOB (or simply BOB) is a fictional character in the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) television series Twin Peaks, a supernatural crime series about an investigation of the death of popular teenager, Laura Palmer. He is a spirit in Twin Peaks who feeds on human pain and suffering and is considered evil. BOB can appear in numerous manifestations through the hosts he possesses. He seeks to possess a single human host to be able to commit acts of rape and murder in order to feast upon the fear and suffering of his victims. He also holds owls as hosts in Twin Peaks that he can use. The spirit of the Giant warns Special Agent Dale Cooper about this, by saying "the owls are not what they seem" in which Cooper sees a vision of an owl's face superimposed over BOB's face that has also has the significance of giving a clue to Cooper that BOB is in disguise. Major Garland Briggs discovers BOB's spirit in the forests of Twin Peaks upon encountering an owl there, in which he is left with a symbol on his neck.
Killer BOB made his first appearance in the pilot episode, "Northwest Passage", where he makes a brief cameo in a vision by Sarah Palmer. He is one of the spirits in Twin Peaks; few, if not none, know of his existence. The character eventually grew into the series primary antagonist in the second season. Frank Silva received the role of Killer BOB after a filming error by series creator, David Lynch in the pilot. Lynch liked the scene with Silva in the pilot, and decided to make him into a recurring character.
Character arcEditKiller BOB is a demonic entity from the Black Lodge, a realm of pure evil which exists on an alternate plane of reality. He spends 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 acts 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.
Dale Cooper first learned of Killer BOB's existence in a vision of his. It is learned that Killer BOB's crime accomplice is MIKE, who later repented and killed his old partner. 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 makes obscure references to the man at the lake molesting him as a child ("He came inside me") 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 BOB examining his new face in a mirror.
Conceptual history Edit
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 footboard, 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.
- 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 another vision.