Xryztofer wrote:Doesn't the fact that the letter "T" was placed under her fingernail have to make it a Bob killing? That's his signature. If it were just Leland stopping her from blackmailing him, he wouldn't have bothered with that, and I doubt it would have even occured to him in a non-possessed state of mind.
Good point. I used to think that perhaps this was Leland's solo kill but I think this misses the point almost as much as saying Bob did it alone, simply using Leland as helpless vessel. As StealThisCorn says above, the two are very much hand-in-glove and their relationship seems to be a two-way street. Here's a thought: Leland "let Bob in" but does that really mean Bob ran the show from then on? Yes, he claims Bob "made" him do terrible things but FWWM leads us to believe that's Leland's own (self-) evasive maneuvers. He's still spinning in Between Two Worlds as well ("I didn't do those things") even though we've seen him tell Laura he's conscious of her abuse and witnessed how intertwined his motivations are with Bob.
I think Bob is more like the Christian concept of Satan than a horror-movie possessive demon: he tempts people and preys on their weakness but they retain their agency. It's about whether they submit to him rather than make a one-time mistake. Think about it: Leland claims he was helpless once Bob was inside but Laura has had him inside of her (at Harold's, under the fan, and while writing the diary) and yet she retains the capacity to resist him. Like any parasite, Bob feeds off his host but I don't believe he truly controls them.
StealThisCorn wrote:Well, actually, the viewpoint me and LostInTheMovies have kind of come to talking about this is that the film very much blurs the lines between Leland and Bob and their various responsibilities and motivations. I very much think this was a conscious decision by Lynch to make a strong narrative against domestic child abuse and rape, without literally letting "the devil" get blamed for it, which could stop real world victims from being able to relate.
And I think there is a spiritual ethos at play, too. In Lynch's work the spirit world, which corresponds to the subconscious/collective unconscious, is a much greater reality than the everyday physical, material world. Bob, and indeed all of Lynch's images, are brilliant ways to visualize these forces ("an abstraction given human form" as he says to Chris Rodley). Because the later part of the show goes so far in externalizing and isolating these spiritual forces, what's most striking about FWWM is how culpable Lynch makes Leland, and how human and psychological Laura's trauma becomes. But he is still retaining a foot in the spirit world and depicting Laura's crisis as part of a larger spiritual struggle. This really bugged me the first time I saw the movie - it seemed inappropriate somehow. But as I get a better sense of what Lynch is going for, I can appreciate it more.