If you asked most fans when BOB, the horrifying sex demon big bad of Twin Peaks, first makes his appearance, they’d probably say in the second episode, when Mrs. Palmer has the vision of him crouching behind Laura’s bed all evilly and sex demon-like. He actually appears before, and I’d never realized until I re-watched the pilot today. The episode ends with Mrs. Palmer having a different vision — of someone in the forest uncovering the buried half of Laura’s locket — and immediately after, she sits upright and screams. (Not unusual: Laura’s mom often sits upright and then screams.) But in the mirror to the right of Mrs. Palmer’s head, you can see BOB lurking.
My eyes bugged out just a bit when I noticed this — not Grace Zabriskie-level eye-bugging, because that takes years of training, but in the ballpark.
I wanted to make sure I wasn’t seeing things, so I double checked online: Yes, in is in fact Frank Silva, the man who played BOB, though his appearance was accidental. From Wikipedia:
When Lynch shot the scene of Sarah Palmer’s frightening vision at the end of the pilot, Silva’s reflection was accidentally caught in the footage. When Sarah Palmer sees her vision of a hand uncovering Laura’s heart necklace from the ground, Silva can be seen in the mirror behind her head. Lynch was made aware of this accident, but decided to keep Silva in the scene.Wikipedia does not cite the source of this information. However, accidental or not, this being BOB’s first appearance on the show makes for a fitting bookend well within the spirit of Twin Peaks, for so many reasons but most of all because the last time we see him is also in a mirror.
And it’s also a nice metaphor for BOB’s presence in the Palmer household: always there, always watching, even if Mrs. Palmer refuses to notice. Hell, he’s even appearing in a frame of sorts, in the same shot at the framed photo of Laura, with Mrs. Palmer situated in the middle.
This, to a superfan like me, is a minor mindhole-blower along the lines of realizing that Nibbler’s shadow appears in the Futurama pilot, long before Nibble was a character on the show, long before the overarching plot provided a reason for Nibbler to meddle with time.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to think about what the interstitial shots of changing traffic lights could symbolize.
Twin Peaks, previously: