(Warning: Spoilery Goodness™. This really couldn't have been written up with no spoilers at all.)

BOB (the capitalization is a convention derived from Jennifer Lynch's book The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer) is a character in David Lynch's TV series, "Twin Peaks", played by Frank Silva. BOB has long, dirty grey hair and a feral grin, and his signature apparel is a denim vest (which should make him look goofy but is in fact very very sinister because he is BOB). He is pure malign spirit, possessing weak-willed humans who become tools for his gruesome activities. As a Black Lodge spirit, BOB feeds on garmonbozia (pain and suffering) -- the fear and the dying agonies of his victims nourish him.

"He is BOB, eager for fun... he wears a smile... everybody run."

BOB and his fellow Black Lodge spirit Mike, the One-Armed Man, once "lived among the people" and killed together. However, Mike reports that he "saw the face of God," was stricken by conscience, and removed the tattoo that bound him to the Black Lodge. BOB now stalks the earth alone, with no purpose but slaughter.

Though he uses Leland Palmer's body as a tool for his deeds, it is really BOB who murders Laura Palmer. He seems to have been grooming her for possession since her childhood, with sexual abuse and threats, but when he tried to take her over she refused him. This angered BOB enough that he forced Leland to kill her (though Leland has no memory of the event until the last few minutes of his life). Without Laura to inhabit, it's unclear where BOB goes immediately after he leaves Leland -- it's not impossible that he finds another host, but he may simply return to the Black Lodge to regroup. In any case, solving of the murder does not by any means get rid of him, though he does not show up again physically until Josie Packard's death. At the very end of season two BOB inhabits Special Agent Dale Cooper; the consequences of this are unclear, since the third season was never made.

There is so very much more that could be said about BOB, but the show's obscurity makes it difficult to state anything firmly. For instance, if I said, "BOB feeds on Josie Packard's fear before she dies," well... that's probably not too far off. Fire Walk With Me did imply that Black Lodge spirits feed on fear, and it would explain why Josie's body was so light when they found her, but that scene is bloody confusing, and I'm not comfortable stating anything about it quite so categorically. It's not even totally clear whether BOB is the direct cause of Josie's death. And if I say, "BOB was able to possess Cooper because Coop faced the Black Lodge with imperfect courage," that gels with Deputy Hawk's assertions about the Lodge, but there's dissent over where the flaw in Cooper's courage lay... plus, repeat the assertion about "bloody confusing," times ten. I have my theories about it all... lots of people have theories about BOB, of varying degrees of consistency. But there's little more that I can say without taking this outside the realm of factual writeup... the "Twin Peaks" mythos is just too uncertain.

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