Twin Peaks Usenet Archive

Subject: Re: TP - A possible explanation of BOB (long)
From: (Fiona Oceanstar)
Date: 1990-11-15, 19:24

Pardon me a moment while I rave over a recent posting that I found
very entertaining...

First off, there is this provocative question by Mike Miller:
>> >>I really think it's past time for them to get rid of the BOB plotline.
>> >>There seem to be plenty of other plots going, so why do they keep
>> >>dragging this out?

Hey--let's forget all about voting for Ben vs. Leland as the human host
who killed Laura Palmer, and argue about *this* one instead.  Seriously!

I was surprised that Mike could ask this question, since from my narrow
point of view I was really celebrating the ascendancy of the BOB
plotline, since it adds a whole new layer of complexity to the show--a
layer that has been hinted, before, in moments like Cooper's famous
dwarf dream, but never developed to this extent.  I see "Twin Peaks" as
breaking free of the restraints of its chosen genre focus--soap
opera/mystery--and moving into a larger, more ambitious territory.

But is this just my own twisted view?  Are there people out there in the
newsgroup who agree with Mike, who think the BOB plotline is a wash-out
of some kind?  I'm curious about this--I really am.

                    *    *    *    *    *

In defense of the BOB plotline, then, Michael J. Carlin writes:
> >I believe you have misunderstood the writers' intentions.
> >We all have a dark side that we usually keep in control.
> >Anyone who has seen the classic science fiction film Forbidden Planet
> >should recognize BOB.  The relation between the alien mind machine and
> >Dr. Morpheus is similar to that between BOB and his host.  Both the
> >alien device and BOB amplify the emotions and remove the emotional
> >controls of the user or the host, allowing the monsters in the id to
> >come to the surface.  In Forbidden Planet, the invisible energy
> >creature brought to life by the alien device carried out Morpheus'
> >dark, suppressed urges, whereas in Twin Peaks, the host carries out the
> >vile acts himself.
> >
> >The question of who or what is BOB, while interesting, is unimportant
> >to understanding Twin Peaks.  What is important is understanding BOB's
> >effect on his host.

Great stuff about "The Forbidden Planet," which is not a bad analogy.
Too bad that the psychoanalytic theory sounds so rusted and creaky to
the modern ear.  It's still largely valid, after all.

I don't agree with Michael, though, about who-or-what-is-BOB? being
uninteresting.  Why can't we be fascinated by BOB's effect on his host--
on the psychological issues that you have so eloquently described--and
ALSO, at the same time, be raising questions on what BOB is all about.
We can analyze Leland *and* analyze BOB!  Is he really *evil,* for
example?  I've haven't been convinced, in his previous films, that David
Lynch is expecting us to see his villains as *evil*.  So many of his
supposedly "bad" characters--like Frank in "Blue Velvet" or Billy Peru
in "Wild at Heart"--combine both fearful and pitiful qualities.  That's
why I think it's so important that we try to figure whether or not Bob
has anything resembling a human psyche.

By the way, on the issue of whether BOB has a heart: one of the
interesting tidbits about the UFO community's joint description of the
"visitors" they have encountered is that they are always felt to be
*utterly* without compassion.

                    *    *    *    *    *

A last, more light-hearted thought:

You know how they're saying that BOB *feeds* on fear and the pleasures.

I don't know about y'all, but I'm getting tired of these beings that
feed on fear.  They're just vampires in another guise.  But unlike the
vampire/blood connection, we never get a good explanation for how *fear*
provides nutrition.  You'd think if these creatures were so advanced and
all, they'd have figured out something a little more subtle to munch on.
I mean, why can't BOB feed on mild anxiety? or boredom? or silliness?

If *I* were a disembodied spirit forced to thrive on emotions in the
"Twin Peaks" universe, I think I'd try to thrive on bewilderment.
There's always plenty of it around in the sheriff's department. :-)

                                             --Fiona Oceanstar