Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

Love the recap!

I thought the episode was a bit disjointed--the mystery with Garrett Hobbs could have been spread over two episodes for a more even build-up.

It is kinda weird watching a show knowing what will eventually happen. Not sure if I love Mads Mikkelsen's Hannibal--you're quite right, he's missing the glee that Anthony Hopkins gave the character. But then again, by that time Lector is revealed for what he truly is and figures he may as well enjoy it?

It's been so long since Red Dragon was first published that one tends to forget what a landmark book it was in the genre.

I did have nightmares about the girl impaled on the deer. Knew that had to be Lector's work as it had his artistic touch on it.

I will say, yeah, I think the movies could get away with a gleeful Lecter because they were always approaching the story from a point where everyone knew what his deal was. In a pre-Red Dragon storyline, he's got to at least try to hide it. It's a lot more subtle, but I think it's there?

"Good understanding of utterly creepy shit, I think you have a future in being haunted by crime scenes,"

As a person currently grading undergrad Criminal Justice major essays, I would really like to use that on someone's paper. Sadly, not appropriate for the class I'm working with.

Well, if it ever is appropriate, feel free. And then maybe take a picture of it.

What is even this show, oh my god.

This show.

What really got me was the use of music and silence in this thing... I was so tense in some places that I had to get up and walk around because OMG WHAT.

I hope it gets renewed because it is pretty damn well done and frankly, Bryan Fuller needs a win. Also, Hugh Dancy is pretty, and I am shallow.

I am really impressed that he is somehow the most interesting character on the show, despite being surrounded by a bunch of potential scene-stealers. Really, really good.

i ... have got to start watching this


waaaatch iiiiiit

Bloom was mentioned in Red Dragon, and I swear it's exactly how she was first mentioned on the show (Graham listing off other people Crawford has to profile besides him). The stuff about him/her not being alone in the same room as Will, and will liking/trusting... them is in the book, too. It's just as subtextually romantic, but I'm inclined to view *everything* like that, so...

And now: Lecter's office. I would just like to note here that it is super strange to actually see Hannibal Lecter being a psychiatrist, because the books and movies usually just talk about this in the past tense.

When we got to this scene at the screen at Wonder Con, the woman sitting next to me said, "Is he a therapist or something?"

And then, something I didn't catch until I watched it with the captions: Will looks over at her dying father, and he whispers, "See... see?"

This also comes directly from the book. But... I'm not sure what it signifies.

This whole thing gets dragged out for a least one more episode, probably more. They showed the first two at WonderCon (and I heartily approve of female Freddie Loudes because her hair is fantastic). Even through Hobbs is caught, they're still investigating everything else (like where the bodies are).

I have two basic assumptions with this show: 1) Everything Hannibal does is to mindfuck will, and, 2) It's all people. Every meat is people.

"Is he a therapist or something?"

I have no idea why that made me laugh out loud, for real.

Wait, was this whole "See?" business in the book? It's been forever since I've read them.

(Shhhhhh, dun tell me what happens! Although, yeah, the previews indicated that they'll keep going with the Hobbs aftermath, which I like, rather than there just magically being another unusually creative serial killer to chase after every week.)

I have two basic assumptions with this show: 1) Everything Hannibal does is to mindfuck will, and, 2) It's all people. Every meat is people.

I'm basically operating on this theory as well, yeah.

OMG sausage.

FBI chasing serial killers or other freaky shit really was one of the narrative threads of the 90s, wasn't it? Were we tired of light and fluffy stories? I can't complain, as I read all of Tom Harris and Patricia Cornwell and watched X-Files and all. Reading this recap makes me want to reread it, but I'm afraid it won't hold up. Only one way to find out, I guess.

This series sounds fun. Thank you for the recap! I hope you write more of them.

You know, I think we were all into really dark gnarly shit because the economy was actually doing pretty well in the Clinton years. Like, we could afford to scare ourselves. Maybe all the horror coming back the last year or so means that things are getting better...?

Cleo recap!! You've made my night! I cannot stop giggling over Lecter's entertaining conversation with the TSA. (I don't want to know what that says about me.)

I don't know what it says about ME that I giggled with delight through much of the show.

Most excellent recappage, Cleo.

I knew I was gonna be devouring (heh) this show since I've been on a MAJOR Hannibal Lecter kick lately. I read both Red Dragon and The Silence Of The Lambs books in the span of two weeks, watched Manhunter and the SOTL movie, listened to the Now Playing Podcast review of the Lecter films as well as the sister podcast Books and Nachos covering the books. Like I said, MAJOR Lecter kick.

Anyhoo, I did like how the show had elements that we know from the books in the series, like Hobbs being the first person Graham kills. And after reading Red Dragon and knowing exactly how it all ends, I found it very interesting to see how the relationship starts and progresses before the events of the book.

And I did a little squee of delight when I saw that Julianne Moore was doing a cameo in a future episode.

Dr. Bloom does make an appearance in Manhunter, albeit briefly. And knowing that Freddie is a woman makes the events in Red Dragon all the more... interesting?

Thank you for this recap. My dog was crying in the other room, and I missed half the episode. (I really need to learn the Will Graham Method to Silence Your Whining Dog.)

I couldn't agree more that knowing what we know about Lecter just adds another layer and ramps up the tension. I don't think I've clawed my face as much in an hour as did here. And...I liked how Mikkelsen played Lecter; much cooler and detached than Hopkins. (I don't think it'd be wise, anyway, for Mikkelsen to attempt to play Lecter the same way Hopkins did.) I wonder--if we make it to Season 4--the more "gleeful" Lecter will come out to play; since by then he won't be concerned with hiding his extra-curricular activities and can openly mindfuck Will.

Not knowing it was a prequel, I was seriously annoyed with the whole "profiler who can think like a serial killer" trope until I realized that it was started with Red Dragon. Then I just felt like the guys who think that Shakespeare is full of cliches.

I had relevant commentary on your commentary, honest, but then LEE PACE and HUGH DANCY on the same screen became an idea in my life, and I had to take a quiet moment.

And what I'm getting here is that Will Graham is Spencer Reid, Jason Gideon, and Deanna Troi all wrapped up in one.

Also, I convinced my dad to take me and a friend to see Hannibal. Then he made stew for dinner. With beef hearts. Took years before I could eat beef hearts again.

Apparently this means... class dismissed? Wait, was that an assignment? Does this mean a hundred people are going to turn in papers about why they would kill this poor woman and then Will has to grade them with "Good understanding of utterly creepy shit, I think you have a future in being haunted by crime scenes," or "YOU'RE EMPATHING IT WRONG" all over in red ink?

This made me imagine what would happen if, terribly late for class, Will dropped these papers and some helpful soul stopped to aid him in getting them back together.

"Oh, let me help you Professor! *starts gathering papers* What class do you teach? *glances at titles of papers like "Why I would kill the Marlows" and "I love making them suffer as they die"* WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!?"

Yeahhhh. "What is YOUR design?" sounds like the creepiest college recruitment ad ever.

The last time I saw Hugh Dancy he was just barely avoiding being completely trampled by Nina Arianda in Venus in Fur, so I was seriously impressed by the work he did here. I really don't care for serial killers or horror or most cop shows, and yet here I am, THANKS FULLER, and man, this pilot was good. "Dream logic" is the perfect way to describe it.

Yeah, and you know, the dream logic actually worked for me when I first watched it. It was when I had to sit down and write down what happened that I was like, "Wait, so this guy climbed back into the girl's bedroom with her body while police were in and out and... what?" Like, Lecter's kitchen being a magical place in his own head almost makes more sense logistically than trying to figure out how he kept going back and forth. FINE BY ME, honestly.

I have no real interest in watching this series, like, ever, but your recap made me laugh hysterically at several points, so thanks for that.

Hee, yay. I know some of y'all read things here whether you watch the shows or movies or not (I read tons of recaps on TWOP for shows I never watched), but I was afraid people would just go, "Nope, not this one."



Which is exactly the kind of thing I find easiest to write about. Worth watching, but still enough room to have fun.

(The way he very specifically asks, "May I come in?," not once but twice, reminds me of legends about having to invite vampires in. But then, everything reminds me of vampires, so.)

Dammit, why don't we have teleportation yet so we can hang out, drink tea, and talk about vampires? WHYYYYYYY?

I was waffling about watching Hannibal, but your recap has convinced me. It sounds like my sort of ridiculous fun.

I don't knoooow!! And, in my defense, there actually is a line in Silence of the Lambs, some random deputy type: "Is he some kind of a vampire?" And Clarice says, "They don't have a name for what he is." I'm not just totally pulling this out of thin air, in other words.

Honestly, I can't really do justice to the visuals; the whole show is really well done. It's just that when you sit down and try to describe what happened--much like a dream--you find yourself unable to explain exactly how it must have happened. Well, and I can't help it, I end up having fun with everything I like, no matter how serious it started out being.

CLEO! I love your reviews. I also feel that you would love Stoker. Have you managed to see it yet? /shameless begging

OH MY GOD DON'T EVEN SPEAK OF THAT MOVIE TO ME, I have been shaking my fist at the sky for a month solid now because NO ONE WILL BRING IT TO ME. Oh my Gooooood, I want to see it so bad. I SPENT MONTHS WAITING FOR IT TO COME OUT. Every weekend I check Flixster to see if it's anywhere near. ALWAYS WINTER BUT NEVER STOKER.

I should really take a look at this, but I don't know. Right now, courtesy of the Chiller Channel, I've been catching all those episodes of Pushing Daisies I missed, 'cause when it was originally on I didn't know what to think other than it seemed kinda cutesy, but watching it now I'm thinking "Cutesy is WHAT I NEED RIGHT NOW."

Somehow I can't wrap my head around the notion that Lecter would have female victims, but maybe that's just me.

And of course, my curiosity is about what Mads Mikkelsen does as Hannibal... not necessarily in speech pattern, but body language and facial expression. Hopkins in the films did have a sort of poker face in his scenes with Clarice... the smile, the glint in the eyes that just said "I'M CRAZY ANTHONY HOPKINS!" And whenever he'd turn his back on her, his face would change... up until their final scene in Tennessee where it's all intense, intense, intense...
The other thing about Hopkins as Lecter was his stillness. Like how a praying mantis can just stand there for what seems like hours before it suddenly lashes out and grabs its prey...

Somehow I can't wrap my head around the notion that Lecter would have female victims, but maybe that's just me.

Yeah, I know what you mean--oddly, it seems "rude"? His whole thing about manners kind of looks like chivalry if you squint. I mean, the first time we "meet" him in SOTL, he talks a guy into killing himself for harassing Clarice. But then, I don't know if that "chivalry" is something that really comes out in that particular story and not any of the others or what.

Mikkelsen's pretty subtle, but still creepy. That whole thing with the sausage--the really interesting thing, the second time I saw it, was to watch him watching Will eat. That's the kind of thing I'm interested in, the mind games.

Huh. This is the first thing I've heard that actually makes me want to watch the show. It seems like a tough premise to sustain, though.

Apparently they've gone ahead and planned out all five seasons (and are trying to get the Silence of the Lambs rights from MGM, presumably for that fifth season if Red Dragon would be the fourth?). So they seem to have an end in sight and a decent sense of how to pace themselves, I hope.

(Also, I think the seasons are only meant to be 13 episodes long.)

Edited at 2013-04-08 06:17 am (UTC)

It seemed everyone I talked to about Hannibal wrote it off before it premiered, and now it's GIFs and fangirling and recaps galore! I couldn't be more pleased, as it's felt like a while since a show came out of nowhere and got everyone excited.

The thing I took away from my first watch was how the Lector/Graham team-up seemed like an inversion of the Holmes/Watson dynamic: Will is all heart - full of confusion, action, and good intentions, while Lector is calm, calculating, and trying to teach Will by example. But for evil.

Man, I can't even imagine what Tumblr looks like right now. I'm afraid to even look.


Will snaps, my hand to God, "You won't like me when I'm psychoanalyzed."

That was the funniest moment of the whole show. I had to pause the player because I kept chortling. SOMEONE follows a hulk or two on Twitter.

" (The way he very specifically asks, "May I come in?," not once but twice, reminds me of legends about having to invite vampires in."

No, that occurred to me too. I think it was on purpose.

I don't follow Hannibal the Cannibal, but when you said David Lynch I was In Like Flynn. Dreamlogic FTW! Maybe the deer antlers came from the sheriff's dept on Twin Peaks? (Not making it up, the deer head was on the table when they came in.) Truely you have never said WTFBBQ to a TV screen until you have seen Twin Peaks.

I have to agree with you on Twin Peaks. I was so into the "Okay, so confuse the hell out of me THIS week!" challenge with that program...I just recently rewatched it all!

Greyson :)

I love you sooOOOoooo much! So much.

I am so glad to have a recap from you! And such an excellent one.

I REALLY liked the show, to a degree that surprised me. Will as embodied here is an amazing character; Dancy was so good at portraying the agony of unfettered empathy that I felt HIS emotion. (I also said something on Twitter about how if he was working on this while Claire Danes was doing Homeland, the end of a working day at their house must be brutal.) I was incredibly tense for the entire episode, less from the horror stuff than because of how overpowering his emotion was. The bit with the dogs...aaaaahhh, what a way to show how someone copes with this kind of constant horror. And that fragility, which is something that so rarely gets shown in a male character, and the way it inspires protectiveness, that's kind of a remarkable thing to put in a setting like this.

I'm loving Mikkelsen as Lecter. I'm not all that great an admirer of Hopkins' Lecter (though I think some of that is poisoning from Hannibal the movie, which is too Grand Guignol even for me, and has had an essay sitting in me for years on what we have to do to make "evil" emotionally palatable to ourselves), and I appreciate that Mikkelsen isn't trying to re-create that. I like that he's just sort of vaguely creepy; it would be too distracting if he was trying to be Hopkins, so he's going for that generally-unsettling thing and letting the context fill in the rest. I totally agree that a lot of this premise is based on the existing cultural background; the show doesn't have to show us much to make Lecter ominous and upsetting because we come into it already knowing what he becomes, so we can fill in the gaps all on our own. It's a really interesting way to structure things, and I'm pretty intrigued at this notion of using common cultural consciousness to drive a story arc, effectively making the audience partly responsible for how the story works itself out. Bates Motel is doing the same thing, and it works in a similar way.

The biggest thing I got from the show--and it's probably going to sound weird, but I think some people will understand--was that it reminded me of why I became interested in serial killers and criminal psychology in the first place, and that is because this stuff is effing terrifying and trying to grasp and live with that terror is a huge challenge. (For context, I'm old enough to remember Ted Bundy's first period of activity in the Seattle area--long before anybody actually identified him--and that my mother was deeply afraid because she fit his prey template. This is something that was born very early for me.) SotL did indeed lead to a surge of cultural "respectability," as it were, for serial-killer stories, and over the past couple of decades they've become so commonplace that now they can even be heroes. This show stripped a lot of that away and reminded me that it's not merely about the puzzles and the spectacle and the strangeness of these killers, but about how terrifying it is to know that some of our own kind regard us as prey and trying to grasp how they can be like that and how we might fall victim to them. There's certainly a lot of spectacle in this show, but the heart of it is that sense of helpless terror. And having that underlying all the "entertainment" aspects makes this more compelling to me, not necessarily because I "enjoy" it in the sense of getting off on the violence and terror, but because there's something compelling about wrestling with the terror in a "safe" setting.

(The one thing that is really bothering me is that I've heard numerous complaints about how heavily this series presents women as victims, and while some of that is reflecting the reality of what we know about serial killers, this is a circumstance where I'd prefer some unreality for the sake of not continuing the trend of violence against women as entertainment. As absurd as so many of the details about Hobbs' killings were, I was weirdly grateful about the "purity" aspect, because I'm at a point where sexualized violence in entertainment is beyond my capacity to handle. And as others have noted, it's incongruent with what we already know about Lecter. Maybe this will change as it goes on. I kind of have to hope that it will.)

You know, the interesting thing about the "cultural consciousness" aspect driving the suspense (and I think you're right), is that I still think the tension works if you're coming in cold. Because once they show him cutting up and cooking the lungs, you already know something 1) major and 2) horrific about this guy. What this guy's really like isn't a reveal they held until midway through the season; they just straight-up show you that Will's trying to find a cannibal who's emotionally invested in his murders and is theoretically acting out some kind of deep angst, and over here, we have this guy who is SO MUCH WORSE, and Will doesn't even know. And with the sausage, they show you very, very quickly that Lecter's in this to play (awful, awful) games with people. So even if you didn't bring that cultural consciousness to the show--they've given you a remedial course in it ASAP.

As far as the incongruent killing goes--I think what was so chilling about it to me was that it looked like your stereotypical sexual violence crime (well, in terms of "absurdly creative serial killers in fiction"), but we know that Lecter actually did it as sort of a dispassionate exercise in logic for Will. Like, something that people who are not severely, violently disturbed are incapable of doing--he just did it to make a point, just to prompt a conversation. And he so very easily could have just told Will the things he was trying to "explain" with that crime scene. And I think that says a lot about him.

The next episode looks like it's about Will coping with the Hobbs aftermath, and if we're going to have violence against women in the first place, I'd rather them focus on how awful and upsetting the crimes they've already shown were, instead of marching a parade of new victims though every week, yeah.

Edited at 2013-04-08 03:45 pm (UTC)

Shrikes are real, and awesome. Their larders are confronting...

Love SotL. The film and book both. Fave part of the book remains this bit:

" Starling, scrubbed shiny and wearing her FBI Academy nightgown, was working on the second draft of her report when her dormitory roommate, Ardelia Mapp, came in from the library. Mapp's broad, brown, eminently sane countenance was one of the more welcome sights of her day.
Ardelia Mapp saw the fatigue in her face.
"What did you do today, girl?" Mapp always asked questions as if the answers could make no possible difference.
"-Wheedled a crazy man with come all over me."
"...I wish I had time for a social life; I don't know how you manage it, and school too."
Starling found that she was laughing. Ardelia Mapp laughed with her, as much as the small joke was worth. Starling did not stop, and she heard herself from far away, laughing and laughing. Through Starling's tears, Mapp's face looks strangely old and her smile has sadness in it."

God bless, I love Ardelia.


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