Episode 8 of Twin Peaks reveals the origin of Bob
Twin Peaks episode 8 has no literal answers about what’s going on, so a lot of people are probably pretty disappointed right now because the whole thing is a string of strange metaphors and analogies. Personally, I thought it was a really creepy episode, albeit a little slow. The other thing people have to get over is that Twin Peaks is only going to show you a metaphor and let you interpret it. It has a bunch of conceptual crap like that. David Lynch has a concept called garmonbozia that represents human “pain”, and you probably have to have prior knowledge about that to begin to unravel this strange episode. In Twin Peaks, garmonbozia often looks like vomit or other such sludge.
Episode 8 picks up where the last one left off, and we follow Ray and Bad Cooper as they drive down the road. I’m not sure if this scene is literal or not, but it is probably representative of just what happens: Ray betrays Bad Cooper and shoots him, but he doesn’t die. He doesn’t bite the big one (too bad) thanks to the intervention of the burned spirits, which we’ve seen glimpses of throughout the series wherever pain and death are concerned. You can’t kill Pain itself, I guess. In this episode, we are reminded that Bob represents pain. Not the biggest revelation but it’s a reminder, I guess.
After that short scene, we get a flashback to 1945 and the origin of Bob. Yep, it all comes back to The Bomb (capitalized), which is probably a metaphor for man’s entry into the superpowered modern age and the advancement of his unique ability to cause pain and death on a more massive scale. This revelation gives birth to Bob, who is the representation of that pain. You can see his likeness emerge from the garmonbozia, which sorta hints in that direction. The black, burned spirits are representative of the victims of man’s destructive abilities, and ultimately become the embodiment of humanity’s evil. They’re not from the Lodge and they’re not from an external place. Not really. They’re us. They’re our sins. The first time we see the burned spirits, they are wandering around a gas station, a setting representative of humanity.
Next we get a series of explosions that reminded me of something out of Stanley Kubrick film. This period in history could also metaphorically represent the birth of evil, where black spirits like Bob have broken away and become more destructive. We can see this in the next scene too, which is still in black and white.
The next scene shows The Giant walk through The Room we saw earlier in The Return, to check on something. The event sets off an alarm of some kind and he looks concerned. There’s a lady in 30s garb seated behind him, while he checks a strange machine and turns off the alarm, which probably represents The Giant’s acknowledgement of the event. To further emphasize this point, he walks to a screen and The Giant watches what the audience already saw, the birth of Bob, the growth of pain and death on Earth. The Giant becomes sad and his own “spiritual” garmonbozia (pain) gives birth to an avatar which travels through the screen to Earth, probably to fight the evil. The avatar is represented by a gold sphere with the face of the smiling Laura in it. This could be an Innocence metaphor, because we already know that the “real” Laura isn’t innocent at all but the “idea” of a smiling Laura Palmer out of her school’s yearbook is. Maybe the spirits were fooled by Laura too. That’d be kinda funny, wouldn’t it?
The Lady stands there as witness to all this, and she’s probably representative of another part of The Lodge, possibly the Old Guard who do nothing or are not interested in doing anything in the face of Bob’s birth. Based on her period clothes, that’s a good bet. The Giant is more than willing to help humanity though. She seems to acknowledge this and looks happy somebody is doing something about Bob (pain). Maybe she doesn’t know how to help humanity and The Giant does. Who knows. She gives the Laura Sphere a little kiss and releases it, giving The Giant permission to fight Evil and protect Innocence.
The next scene is the first appearance of the burned spirits on Earth, as they invade humanity, which could be a metaphor for the evolution of modern humanity and its sins. This is probably represented best by two things. First, two young lovers walk along a road, and they look like a new couple, oogling each other. Corruption of youth metaphor anybody? The young man reveals his recent relationship breakup in order to gain the girl’s interest. Lying or not, the girl is taken with the young man. The second representation of modern humanity is radio. A burned spirit is more than happy to spew violence through the airwaves, which is possibly the most obvious metaphor ever done in the history of TV. As a result of the evil spewing, people die, which is even more obviousness.
I don’t even want to comment on what the final part of the episode means, as the “evil” literally invades a young girl. This could represent the corruption of youth again, but I really would rather not contemplate a morality lesson from a show like Twin Peaks. I guess if that’s what David Lynch wants to hint at, that’s his prerogative.
Overall, this episode is going to be hated and trashed by the critics. Really, there are many ways to read it and David Lynch probably wouldn’t have it any other way. I thought it was interesting. As a whole, the episode could be an editorial on human development. However, I will say that this episode’s “atmosphere” and “music” was inspired by Stanley Kubrick, and I loved that. I guess if you don’t get anything else out of it, most people will probably agree that the episode shows The Giant becoming interested in Earth, possibly because of Bob was released to Earth. Everything else is metaphorical, however obvious it may be.