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Hannibal 1x01: "Apéritif"
msauvage purple
cleolinda
Oh, why not.

So I've come out of recapper retirement for this because Silence of the Lambs is my favorite movie. Yeah, I used to not admit that because, obviously, people give you the side-eye. (My mother still squawks about "THAT MOVIE?! BUT THE PART WHERE SHE GOES INTO THE BASEMENT!!" every time it comes up, like I should have put the DVD in the freezer or something by now.) But my adolescence spanned one end of the '90s to the other, and my two role models for life were Clarice Starling and Dana Scully. My initial reaction to "let's make a Hannibal Lecter TV show in the year 2013" was "WHAT? WHY? NO!!" So I figure, if I of all people liked this show, it might be worth a recap or two.

I, uh. I laughed a lot. But it was a good laugh! It was a giggle of enjoyment-type laugh! The OH, SHOW, OF COURSE YOU JUST DID THAT laugh! I was not laughing during the scarysad parts!

@TheAVClub: Hannibal restores the terror and the sorrow to the serial killer genre.

At once beautiful and languorous, Hannibal unfolds with the logic of a terrifying dream. Not a nightmare, per se, because the dream never grows to a place where the dreamer is physically threatened. But definitely one of those dreams where something is off, where the world has taken a turn for the worse, and everything looks to be at the wrong angle, and the dreamer simply cannot will himself awake. It’s going to have a healthy cult of detractors who will lob insults at it that it may very well deserve, insults like pretentious and slow-paced and poorly plotted. Those who are so inclined will find plot holes by the dozen in every single episode and mercilessly tear it apart on those grounds, ignoring the project’s dream logic ethos.

Yes. Yes, they will. I enjoyed the entire episode at straightforward dreamlike face value, but... also kept asking inconvenient questions like, "But where do you steal a taxidermied deer head FROM? How do you love someone so much that you just decide to start eating other people's livers? Who feeds all those dogs while Will's empathing across Duluth? Is lung sausage even a thing?" However, given that I have always wanted the movie Hannibal to end with Jodie Foster waking up and gasping, "I just had the weirdest dream, I was Julianne Moore and what the actual fuck," I am willing to go with it. But only if I can ask those questions and then cheerfully ignore them.

So.

Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is a sad, squirrelly, sensitive empath with a love of plaid shirts who sees things backwards. Specifically, crimes. You put him at a crime scene, and he puts himself in the head of the killer and mentally reenacts etc., but is haunted by etc. It's a trope now, but--I'm not sure, but (I am confident you'll correct me if I'm wrong) I think Thomas Harris might have been the originator of the FBI Profiler Haunted By His Work. And there's two really awesome things going on here: 1) the visuals, which are (yes) like dreams bleeding in and out of reality (if you've ever wanted to see arterial blood spurt in slow motion, this is your chance) and 2) Hugh Dancy's face, which single... facedly... explains why our sensitive hero, at this moment, is kind of terrifying.

We see Will--in his imagination--kick in the door of some suburban dream house and immediately murderize a man coming down the stairs: "I shoot Mr. Marlowe twice, severing jugulars and carotids with near-surgical precision. He will die watching me take what is his away from him. This is my design." And he says it like he means it, which is... unnerving, to say the least. The wife fumbles hysterically with the alarm system: "I shoot Mrs. Marlowe expertly through the neck. This is not a fatal wound. The bullet misses every artery. She is paralyzed before it leaves her body." And this is the point where Dancy's voice begins to falter. "Which doesn't mean... she can't feel pain. It just means... she can't do anything about it. This is my design." And it's like Will can hear this Awful Arrogant Killer voice coming out of his mouth even while he's reeling in horror from it, like there are two people in his face at the same time, and it's really well done. "The amazing detective who can reconstruct crime scenes" has been done so many times that this particular moment is how the show sets out what it has to offer. Here's a guy who's really good at channeling not just what happened but how it felt when it happened, and how it felt scares the shit out of him.

Then there's a bit that's kind of weird, wherein Will realizes that the killer had to deal with the alarm somehow: "I need the incident report from the home security company?" And then some cop pulls a thick folder out of thin air or hammerspace or his ass or something, because the police just got to the crime scene but there's already a printed report? What? Ah, but look: the incident was reported as a false alarm! There was another false alarm last week! The killer must have tapped the phone and recorded Mrs. Marlowe's responses to the home security company and played them back that night! UTILITY DUDE ON A CRANE: "Yeah, it's been tapped." Oh. Thanks, Utility Dude. And "this is where it gets really horrifying for Mrs. Marlowe," Mental Will intones, but we never find out how because it turns out this is actually a lecture Will is giving. Oh, okay--so that scene happened in a strangely convenient way because he's condensed the story for time, basically. But who was the killer and what did he want? How did he have near-surgical arterial precision? What was Mr. Marlowe's that he died watching being taken from him? How was it about to get even worse for Mrs. Marlowe, who was already on the floor the way she was found? Why do I have so many questions?

"EVERYONE HAS THOUGHT ABOUT KILLING SOMEONE." Right now, about half the Academy is debating whether they should drop the cute but terrifying professor's class. "Now, THINK about killing Mrs. Marlowe. Why did she deserve to die? What is your design?" 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? I have to stop asking questions.

Enter Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), Head of Behavioral Sciences at the FBI. I would just like to say that I really, really appreciate that they've cast everyone very differently from the movie(s) and are clearly going in their own direction. If the show just had a third-rate lookalike ensemble, I would not have been able to handle this. At all. Will and Crawford met once before, so Crawford dives right in: "Where are you on the spectrum?" Dude, you're supposed to save the awkward questions for the third date. Will's response is basically, "ASPERGER'S--MAYBE--SHUT UP--I MEAN--MY IMAGINATION JUST FEELS TOO MUCH, OKAY." Also he doesn't like "socializing." I get you, Will. Permit me to hug you in the Jedi fashion.

So here's the walk-and-talk: Crawford wants to "borrow his imagination." The FBI is investigating the abductions of young women taken from Minnesota campuses, and while none of them have turned up yet (Crawford, clearly at his wits' end: "No bodies, no parts of bodies, nothing that comes out of bodies, NOTHING"), nobody's expecting this to turn out all that well. Particularly since they're now, as of three minutes ago, up to eight girls missing. Looking at pictures of the girls, Will immediately points out that they all have similar age, height, weight, coloring, etc. (I'll give him "They all look very... Mall of America," but "wind-chafed"? What?) and theorizes that the kidnapper (real talk: killer) is really after one girl, going through all the candy bars looking for his "golden ticket." It's either someone he hasn't gotten to yet, or someone he's already killed but carefully covered up: "He would hide how special she was. I WOULD. WOULDN'T YOU?" Simmer down, Captain Plaid.

(Dammit, now I just really want chocolate.)

The Nichols home, Minnesota: Like the AV Club points out, the show does not look away from grief and suffering; Elise Nichols' mother is white with anxiety, and her father is visibly torn up over her disappearance. Unfortunately, Will's aversion to "socializing" includes "any kind of rapport with grieving parents": "How's your cat? Was the cat weird when you came home?" What I like about this scene is that it's an example of both the "inexplicable leaps" Will makes while seeming incredibly logical, even obvious, in hindsight. Because Elise was supposed to feed the cat while her parents were gone for the weekend, right? And yet the cat seems totes okay. So (Will explains to Crawford), she must have come home, fed the cat, and then been kidnapped. Her father's so nervous about allowing Will to see her room that I kind of thought we were going somewhere with that, particularly since he keeps insisting that the police have already been in and out of it all day, why do you need to go in there again, and, uh, Totes Okay Cat is now trying to claw the door open, and...




"I need you to leave the room," says Will, turning right back around.

I'm not even going to ask how the killer got back into the room with her body while police were "in and out all day." Forget it, Jake. It's Hannibal.

So, another mental reenactment. I really can't overstate how good Hugh Dancy is on this show, because he goes from saddened and shaken to strangling Imaginary Elise on a dime. Unfortunately, we are now introduced to the first of the Investigators Three when Twenty Questions the fiber analyst (Hettienne Park) bops in and starts getting up in Will's business: "Oh hi! You're Will Graham! I found antler velvet in two of the wounds! Are you not real FBI? Did they screen you out? Are you unstable?" Lady, the neon sign says EMPATHING IN PROGRESS and you need to get the fuck out. "Now, you know you're not supposed to be in here," murmurs Crawford, gently steering her away from his high-strung thoroughbred profiler. I ended up liking the Beverly Katz character a lot, but--seriously, do they not teach any of you tact at the Academy?

Anyway. Will's initial theory is that the killer put antler velvet into the wounds to... heal Elise? He brought her back as "an apology"? "Whatever he did to the others, he couldn't do to her," says Will.

Will's House of Dogs (motto: All the Dogs, All the Time): I would say "House of Bark," but one of the dogs thinks about barking and Will immediately TSH-TSHes it, and the dogs are all SIR, YES SIR. "Everybody, this is Winston, the stray I painstakingly befriended on my way home because the only way I can cope with the horrors that I see and my inability to connect with people is to rescue dogs. Winston, this is everybody."




Hiiiiiiii, Winstonnnnn.

Unfortunately, a houseful of dogs on big soft pillows does not help Will's nightmares. And I like the way they do this: when Will turns over in bed and sees Elise's body lying next to him, you expect her to turn and look at him, everybody jumps, etc. But instead, she just floats away up into the darkness, out of his reach.

The next day, in the bathroom of the Overlook Hotel, Angry Pinboard-Punching Crawford wants Will to empath moar faster: "WHAT KIND OF CRAZY IS HE?!" The kind who loves women and wants to honor and respect them! Wait, what? THAT IS NOT HOW SERIAL KILLERS WORK, LIKE, EVER. "Sensitive psychopath," Crawford says wonderingly, and I started laughing because I was sure they were setting up Lecter's eventual appearance with that line, considering what his fandom (yes, he has one) is like. However, given that Will is not empathing the psychopath sensitivity fast enough for his taste (I'm the only person here who will apologize for a pun like that, by the way), Crawford decides to go get a second opinion.

In the forensics lab, Beverly endears herself to me with the way she says "I got you!" when she finds a tiny shred of metal in Elise's nightgown. We're then shown a flashsideways of an Elise-looking girl (I like her cowboy boots and socks combo. No, I'm serious) getting out of a car at a construction site where someone is shaving tiny shreds of metal off pipes. So: countdown to something terrible happening to this girl.

Meanwhile: walking and talking at the Academy. THINGS WE LEARN ABOUT ALANA BLOOM:

1) I know there was a Dr. Alan Bloom in the books, but I honestly cannot remember anything more than that; if he ever turned up in the movies, it's not coming to me. Thus, in recasting the character as female (Caroline Dhavernas), we pretty obviously now have a love interest on our hands.

2) Alana, who's guest-lecturing at the Academy, is very protective of Will. But very professional. So professional that she won't be in a room alone with him. I think she would like to hug him in a fashion other than the Jedi.

3) Jack Crawford, FBI Matchmaker, is clearly aware of this, because he's all "He liiiii~iiiiikes you."

4) In Alana's opinion, Will's strongest drive is fear, "the price of imagination."

5) If Crawford lets Will "get too close," Alana will cut him. Too close to what? Do not even let him get close enough to find out, or ALANA BLOOM WILL CUT YOU.

Over at Elise's autopsy with the Investigators Three: no prints, no fingernail imprints, nothin' but metal. "We should be looking at plumbers, steamfitters, tool workers," says Will... who suddenly imagines Elise gored on antlers in the dream-darkness. Meanwhile, Beverly and Brian (Aaron Abrams) argue over how, exactly, one gets murderized by a deer. "She was mounted on them. Like hooks," intones Will. Well, that's a conversation-killer right there. But why, wonders Jimmy (Scott Thompson [!]), would the Sensitive Killer take out Elise's liver just to sew it back in?

"There was something wrong with the meat."

This line, or maybe just Dancy's queasy reading of it, is maybe creepier than any single visual in the show. "She has liver cancer," says Brian, astonished. Will nods: "He's, um... he's eating them."

[Cut to: CANNIBAL FAMOUS FOR EATING LIVERS, CURRENTLY EATING LIVER]

Oh, show.





(+1 for attention to detail, guys.)

This is the great tension of the series, I think, that we totally know that this guy is a murderous manipulative cannibal. We even know (or you do if you're familiar with Red Dragon) how this working relationship is going to end (spoiler: not well). Generally, Mads Mikkelsen kind of plays it like Lecter knows, too. He's been getting away with God knows what all these years, so if he decides to fuck with somebody, I'm guessing that he assumes, in his arrogance, that it's going to end exactly the way he wants. And that arrogance is precisely his downfall. Right now, though--how long does he want to play with the mouse before he eats it? So the show can be like, "LIVER!! DUN DUN DUNNNNN," and we all know. We know. And meanwhile, Will doesn't, so he has no idea that... well. We'll get to that.

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. So brilliant, so renowned, we had no idea he was eating people, etc. So I've always wondered what his professional manner was actually like. The answer: kind of terrible? Okay, look. My therapist is pretty poker-faced. She generally lets me talk and asks a few questions now and then; her expression is bland verging on indifferent, and her tone is pleasantly deadpan. I get that a certain amount of non-response may be standard operating procedure. But the look Lecter is giving this guy is just cold impatient hatred. I'm pretty sure he begrudges this guy--"Franklyn"--every single tissue he snorfles on. And, you know, I don't see a wastebasket anywhere, so I'm not sure why you're giving sad neurotic Franklyn the stink-eye for just wadding up his Kleenex on a side table.

Which is something I find kind of fascinating, now that I think about it: how incredibly cold and unlikable Mads Mikkelsen allows his Lecter to be. Anthony Hopkins always played him with this constant gleam of mischief--I am serious, he always seemed to have an actual glow of evil--and I think that's exactly the aspect that would come off like a cheap imitation if anyone else tried to do it. Life and death are just one long delightful game, the way he played it, and I actually think the reason Lecter's relationship with Clarice was different was that he was playing a game with her rather than against her. He wanted her to win. Mikkelsen's Lecter is here to amuse himself, but (so far) in a much more detached way. And Lecter is not--never has been--on Will's team. (Holy shit, is he not on Will's team. You have no idea.) There are a number of audience-wink !FORESHADOWING! lines, but Mikkelsen underplays them pretty skillfully. Because we know. And the show knows we know. Right now, it's enough for Lecter to just seem vaguely incompatible with the rest of the human race, somehow.

So, back to hating our patients. "[Anxiety makes] you feel as though a lion were on the verge of devouring you. You need to convince yourself the lion is not in the room." You know, that's actually pretty good advice for any-- "When it is, I assure you... you will know." Oh my God, we are all going to die.

By the way, we also have the cheerfully informative livetweets of show-runner Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies) to shed light on the proceedings:

@BryanFuller: I've been a fan of Dan Fogler since seeing him in #SpellingBee! He plays our Benjamin Raspail character! pic.twitter.com/yBukDQOyp8

Franklyn gonna get et, y'all.

Oh, look, here's Crawford pushing in through the private exit to accost Lecter before Franklyn's even out the door, and if there's anything Lecter hates more than Franklyn's sad ass, it's bad manners. Crawford, you're being rude! ABORT! ABORT!

"Dr. Hannibal Lecter?" he presses, which is the first time we hear the title character's name spoken, and somehow it's not followed by an ominous thunderclap or something. This is what I tend to think of as the People in Dracula Don't Know They're in Dracula problem. You and I are sitting here going, "Dude, are you hearing yourself? Hannibal Lecter. What kind of name even IS that? It RHYMES with how he's EVIL. Everyone knows who he is, that's why he's got four movies and a TV show." "No, I think there's five, actually." "SO THEY OUGHT TO FIGURE OUT WHO HE IS PRETTY QUICK." But in a story, the characters don't know. "Why would you go to the dark scary castle of a guy named Dracula?!" Well, because "Dracula" doesn't mean anything to those fictional people--not the way it does to us. So, as a reader/viewer, you sometimes have to fight this impatient disbelief that the characters do not realize they are talking to a household name of horror. Rather, they're living in a world where "This guy is actually a terrifying killer who wants to feast on you" is the least obvious conclusion.

(Sorry, I just find that reality-fantasy disconnect fascinating.)

By the way, I highly suggest turning on closed captioning if you've got it (the Hulu player does) because I couldn't understand a lot of the dialogue the first time I watched the show. (I think headphones helped the second time.) And so I missed the part where Lecter tells Crawford that he no longer has a secretary because she conveniently followed her "romantic whims" to the UK, never to be heard from again. Yeah. I'll take People I Have Et and Loved for $500, Alex.

(I should add that Lecter's officewear is a sky-blue three-piece suit with a hint of swag windowpane check, because why not.)

"Wow! Are these your amazing masterpiece sketches of the Department of Back Story?" Why, yes, Jack Crawford, yes they are. Lecter is immediately like, "So, are you investigating me? Because I'm not secretly a cannibal serial killer. I mean, in case you were wondering." Ah, but no, Alana Bloom recommended Lecter, her former mentor, to Crawford! "I learned as much from her as she did from me," he says ominously graciously. Could you please eat her last? I really like her, thanks.

King Arthur reunion, Quantico. So, let's all sit down and get to know each other, shall we? Crawford reveals that the inevitable flood of false confessions only got details after tattlecrime.com (wait, nobody's grabbed that URL yet?) leaked a photo of Elise's body. (Interestingly, the Freddie Lounds character is also female now, as well as being a blogger instead of a tabloid reporter. She doesn't actually appear in this episode, though.) Will is disgusted: "Tasteless." Lecter replies, "Do you have trouble with taste?" because what does that even mean? "My thoughts are often not tasty," Will retorts, because apparently we're doing this now. Lecter decides to never shut up about Will's lack of barriers and eye contact and coping mechanisms and starts speculating about Will's dreams and "the things you love" and "the bone arena of your skull" and people, what did I just tell you about awkward questions and third dates? And then Will snaps, my hand to God, "You won't like me when I'm psychoanalyzed." WILL GRAHAM NOT LIKE PSYCHOANALYSIS! WILL SMASH PUNY CANNIBAL!

("Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go give a lecture. On psychoanalyzing." *FLOUNCE*)

("Maybe we shouldn't poke him like that," offers Crawford.)

Now that Will's out of earshot, Lecter diagnoses his "uncomfortable gift" as "pure empathy": "Perception's a tool that's pointed on both ends. This cannibal you have him getting to know... I think I can help good Will see his face." DUNNNNNN.

With dreamlike immediacy, we're now in the middle of a field with some poor butchered girl impaled on deer antlers (the pecking crows are a bit much), and they pretty much show you everything (from the side, at least.) So... naked impalement on a deer head. That's a thing I saw on network TV. Crawford informs the gang that "the stag head was stolen"--from where? Where do you steal a taxidermy stag head on short notice? (The Elks Lodge?) Will sounds not just upset, but offended: "He wanted her to be found. It's--petulant. I almost feel like he's mocking her. Or... he's mocking us." Examining the body, Investigator Brian--looking about as queasy as I feel--says, "He took her lungs. I'm--pretty sure she was alive when he cut 'em out." I don't think I want that chocolate anymore. "Our cannibal loves women," argues Will, worked up to quite a lather of pissosity now. "He doesn't want to destroy them, he wants to consume them. This girl's killer thought that she was a pig." YOU DON'T EVEN GO HERE, COPYCAT GUY! YOU DON'T EVEN GO HERE.

Meanwhile--oh, guess. I... this is just... is that what raw lungs look like? They look meatier than I would have expected? What is Lecter doing to them with his back turned to us? Like, kneading them? Do you have to tenderize lung? I have so many questions I don't want answered, you guys.

(Wait. So Lecter is kneading lungs at... his house in Baltimore? But the girl's body was found in Minnesota? So he stole a taxidermy stag head, kidnapped an exact match for the victim profile, and... drove? flew? teleported? some poor random girl, or possibly just her lungs, and probably had the most entertaining conversation ever with the TSA about them, got his gourmet on, and then he goes back to Minnesota, in--what, 24 hours? Less? He is even more dangerous than we knew.)

Inspired by the utter ur-doin-it-wrongness of the crime scene, Will insists that their cannibal must have a place to ~honor~ these girls more discreetly, a house or cabin with an antler room instead of this "field kabuki" (wha--?). Spoiler: We never find out what the hell place the ~Sensitive Killer~ has for his nightmare meat-hook deer-antler setup. Until further notice, I'm going to assume it was Skyfall.

(ETA: Oh, look, it's further notice.)

(Actually, he's been named "The Minnesota Shrike." See, this is why newspapers are going out of business: they're not coming up with creative, informed killer names like this anymore. I mean, you probably wouldn't get any better than "The Deer Hunter" from Fox News.)

(WTF is a shrike? Well, Jimmy explains that they're mouse-impaling, organ-ripping birds who carry off their prey to "a little birdie pantry," which is so on point that I refused to believe it was a real thing until I looked it up.)

"He has a daughter!" Will empaths suddenly. She's the one all the victims look like! She's an only child! Leaving home! She's the one in this flashsideways that only we get to see! "He can't stand the thought of losing her. She's his golden ticket." So, obviously, the only way to cope with your daughter going to college is to eat stranger-girls' livers. People are weird.

"What about the copycat?" Crawford calls after the departing Will, who's all like, whatever, I don't have time for your intelligent hard-to-catch sadists, if you like Lecter and his opinions ~so much~ you can just GO ASK HIM.

*facepalm*

P.S. "Field Kabuki" is the name of my next band.

And then there's a forest with a stag in Will's shower. I nominate David Lynch for guest director in Season 2.

Oh, hey, Lecter's up bright and early at Will's motel room, because I guess some of us can't teleport home for the night. (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.) Lecter explains that he is very careful about what he puts into his body (...I'm just gonna leave that there), and so he generally eats only his own cooking. Oh, look, Will! He made you breakfast! Isn't that nice! Scrambled eggs and sausage! OH GOD WAIT NO

NO DON'T

WILL, IT'S A--

HE'S A--

@BryanFuller: #SPOILER Sausage Is People

OH GOD NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

"It's delicious, thank you." "My pleasure." I just started laughing helplessly, I don't know. Shit, I'm laughing right now. And he just keeps eating it. At this point, I'm pretty sure we've seen more cannibalism in one hour than was shown in all the movies combined.

"I would apologize for my analytical ambush," Lecter begins, but basically he means to continue never shutting up about Will's psyche, "so I have to consider using apologies sparingly."

"Just keep it professional."

"Or we could socialize, like adults." DANGER, WILL GRAHAM! "God forbid we become friendly."

"I don't find you that interesting."

"You will."

You see what I mean about the foreshadowing.

(STILL! EATING! THE SAUSAGE!)

So, let's get down to tasty business. Will doesn't think the Sensitive Shrike killed the girl in the field. "What gave it away?" asks Lecter (always open to constructive criticism, this one). "Everything. It's like he had to show me a negative so that I could see the positive. That crime scene was practically gift-wrapped." Okay, I know that you don't know that you're in Hannibal, Will, but there are some questions here that you need to start asking. Oh, fuck it, we'll think about conveniently telltale murders later. Lecter wants to poke around and see if Will has any "problems" (although Will denies it): "You and I are alike: problem-free. Nothing about us to feel horrible about" (SAUSAAAAAGE). Also, he thinks that "Uncle Jack sees you as a fragile little teacup," whereas Lecter himself sees Will as "the mongoose I want under the house when the snakes slither by." What, so you can throw more snakes at him? "Finish your breakfast." OH STOP.

Unfortunately, Crawford's off somewhere being deposed, so it's just two guys who are not actually FBI agents doing the investimagating today; Lecter can barely hide how deeply relevant to his interests Take Your Cannibal to Work Day is. "You're lucky we're not doing house-to-house interviews," says Will, which I can only imagine is his idea of hell. Although I'm pretty sure it would be hilarious if they did. EMPATH AND CANNIBAL: THEY FIGHT CRIME. Awkwardly. As it is, they're just visiting to the office/trailer of a construction company that uses the same kind of pipe-threading metal that Beverly found, so as to paw through the employment records. The receptionist is somehow suspicious of these two charming and sociable gentlemen: "What did you say your names were?" Honey, you wouldn't believe me if I told you.

Will decides that the one guy who didn't leave an address at this, the first construction company they went to, is their suspect, because, sure, I don't really want to sit through an hour of Trufax Unglamorous Legwork any more than they do: Garrett Jacob Hobbs is their man. ("Does Mr. Hobbs have a daughter? Eighteen or nineteen, wind-chafed?" REALLY, WILL?) Outside, Lecter basically dumps a box of files on this woman's head so he can stroll back into the trailer and make a quick phone call. To review: so far, Lecter has eaten the lungs he ripped out of some girl while she was still alive, just to give Will a ~helpful hint~ on a case. Also: sausage. But this, this is the point where I started shouting at the TV:

LECTER: Mr. Garrett Jacob Hobbs? You don't know me, and I suspect we will never meet. This is a courtesy call. Listen very carefully... Are you listening? ...They know.

HOBBS [on the phone in a kitchen with a wind-chafed young Mall of America brunette]: O_O

!!!!!

Hannibal Lecter, you are the worst at helping.

When we come back from the break, Will's already reversing into a mental reenactment while semi-catatonic and spattered with blood, so obviously this is going to end well. The whole thing starts when he and Lecter arrive at the Hobbs house, and then Mrs. Hobbs staggers out onto the porch, throat cut and spurting blood. Will tries to help her but it's too late. It's a good thing he was issued a Special Professor Investigator gun to go point-and-shouting around the house with, because otherwise everyone would be shit up a creek right now. Meanwhile, Lecter's just standing around on the porch looking down at Mrs. Hobbs' body, like, "Huh. Bonus," because HE IS THE ABSOLUTE WORST.

And there's Garrett Jacob Hobbs struggling in the kitchen with his brunette Mall-of-America wind-chafed daughter, and you think, okay, this is the part where Will's going to try to talk him down, and it'll be tense for a few minutes, and he'll probably say something relevant to his own tormented psyche, and Lecter will probably stand in the shadows and listen, aaaaand wrong. Hobbs just cuts her throat, done. "Sensitive psychopath" my ass. So Will shoots the fuck out of him, and then he shoots him again, and then he shoots him again some more. But only half her throat got cut, so Will has a chance of saving her, if he can just stop freaking out long enough to hold his hands tight around the wound. Like, I'm kind of freaking out, so it's not like you can blame him. 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?"




What the hell.

So eventually Lecter strolls on in to see how this whole throat-cutting thing is going because OH MY GOD, WHY ARE YOU SUCH A TERRIBLE PERSON (oh... right). His expression is so calmly inscrutable when he comes over to Will that I can't tell if he's like, "There, there, son, I'll take care of this" or "No, you amateur, this is how you keep them from bleeding out when you don't want them to die right away." Nevertheless, he holds on and keeps Hobbs' daughter alive until paramedics can get there while Will sits there, covered in blood, shaking. I guess Lecter calls 911 with his mind? He can probably do that, yeah.

Meanwhile, back at the Academy, Alana Bloom is Not Happy with Crawford. In fact, I daresay She Mad. She doesn't actually say, "I'm covering Will's classes because YOU ARE BAD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD," but that's kind of how it comes out: "You said he wouldn't get too close." Okay, look, to be fair, how was Crawford supposed to know that Will's new partner was going to start outright trolling him, cannibal recommender?

Meanwhile-meanwhile, back at the hospital in Minnesota, Lecter is sitting at Hobbs' daughter's bedside, "asleep" in a chair, like, holding this girl's hand. Yeah, okay. My side-eye here is fierce and true, y'all. He is either guarding this girl so that he can do moar terribler things to her later, or he's waiting for Will to show up like a sad traumatized puppy and--oh, look, success. So Will sits down by the other side of the bed and they just chill there unto the credits, like an angel on one side and a demon on the other, I guess. But Will doesn't know that. But we know.





@BryanFuller: #RedDragon will be our Season 4, if we are so fortunate! #AskHannibal

This gon' be good.


@BryanFuller: There is absolutely a role for #LeePace that we've discussed with him. All depends on his availability for Season 2! #AskHannibal

Is he gonna get et?


Also: LATER THIS SEASON:





YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!

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(Continue: 1x02: "Amuse-Bouche.")



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No, for real, I thought Will was imagining Elise in the bed at first too. I even thought he wanted the father to get out because he needed alone time to empath, until they held the shot long enough that I realized it was supposed to be real. I tend to think it's intentional, the ambiguity as to whether something's real or a dream/vision, based on what the people making the show have said about it. Kind of a Twin Peaks thing.

And yeah, I was discussing what happened with someone just a couple of hours ago, you're not the only one who got lost. I could be wrong, bear in mind, but my understanding of what happened is:

Jack Crawford is trying to find someone [Garrett Jacob Hobbs] who is abducting and probably murdering girls [who look like his daughter].

Crawford brings in Will Graham to look at the evidence and figure out what the hell is going on. Will makes the kind of logical leap that is his specialty and realizes that [Hobbs] must be eating the girls' livers.

(I genuinely cannot explain how Hobbs got past everyone to put Elise back into the bed. But apparently he did, because she had liver cancer, and since he couldn't "honor" her by eating her liver, he put her, and the liver, back as an "apology.")

They cut to Lecter, liver, music that was used in Silence of the Lambs playing, etc., because that's something associated with the character, and that's how they're signifying to the audience that OMG THIS IS HIM! As far as I can tell, it's actually something of a red herring; we don't know where the liver came from or if it's even human. It's kind of misdirection on the show's part, both to keep up the suspense and just use a pop-cultural shorthand to reveal the character. Because I do think they genuinely wanted you to wonder which killer was which for a while.

So. Will is stumped. Crawford brings Lecter in as a second consultant. Lecter then (somehow, magically, I don't know) goes and kills a girl "wrong" as a logical exercise for Will: "It's like he had to show me a negative so I could see the positive." Because Lecter is a terrible, terrible person who can't just, like, tell him these ideas in conversation. And we know he did it, because he's the one who has the lungs.

(I assumed it was lung sausage, but there's no reason it wasn't something he'd made previously out of something else. We just definitely know Sausage Is People because Bryan Fuller said so.)

So then, Will and Lecter go investigating. I genuinely think now that Lecter called Hobbs because he expected him to run: "We will probably never meet." I think he realized that if they catch the guy, everyone goes home and he no longer has anyone (Will) to play with. So I think he wanted the guy to run so that he and Will could continue "investigating." Instead, Hobbs had a psychotic break and started killing everyone; if he goes to prison/death row, he "loses" his daughter anyway, so he might as well kill her. And that's why Lecter was on the porch like, "Huh. Didn't see that coming."

Based on some pictures I just saw from the next episode or so, I think what happened is going to become more clear as they deal with the aftermath.

THANK. YOU. I am still bug-eyed over how the hell Hobbs got the girl back into the "we've been in and out of this room all day" bed, but you spelled out a few logical leaps for me in very plain language and I am SO GRATEFUL.

(Damn, I keep misspelling "Lecter." Keep seeing that "h" in there.)

I thought perhaps Lecter called Hobbs to make him do something obvious that would give himself away! Your explanation makes more sense, though, I think.

Honestly, that makes sense too. I didn't even think of the "if we catch him it's not fun anymore" idea until after I'd posted the recap.

Seriously, though, I legitimately cannot explain the bed thing. I don't think the show could if it wanted to. This is where the "dream logic ethos" comes in, I guess.

I sort of wonder if the "police have been in and out all day" line was a lie, and the parents knew she was there? The way the mother delivered it seemed hesitant to me, like maybe they weren't ready to give their daughter's body up yet, and wanted to keep Will out of the room (which is also why the dad was following so close when Will opens the door and tries to keep him out - the dad wants to keep Will out for a little bit longer).

That's making a pretty huge leap in logic, I know...but does it make MORE or LESS sense than Hobbs spider-monkeying back into the bedroom with a body that's been surgically operated on? THAT'S the question.

I had to wonder about how chilly Mikklesen is playing Lecter, especially in the therapy scene - like, it works for me, because it's so creepy but compelling, but then I think about how Lecter was supposed to be so incredibly charming and persuasive as a therapist that he could talk someone into doing literally anything, and I didn't see that here. Maybe it'll develop as the series goes on.

Maybe chilly is just one of his personae, and he adopts different ones with different patients, depending on what that person needs in order to do what Lecter wants.

the parents pretty definitely know she's dead, so probably that the body is there--the father talks about her in the past tense for the whole beginning of their conversation, then catches himself and switches to present, which is exactly the opposite of what we've been trained to expect (present, present, oh no shes dead, past) from people who are actually grieving. plus she's only been missing a couple days, as far as i can figure out--isn't she the one who was reported as missing right when crawford was recruiting will?--which is not long enough for the parents to have resigned themselves yet. conclusion: them knowing about the body isn't that huge a leap.

(also i noticed that lecter's patient stopped crying? without any apparent threat/negative stimulus. which indicated that even though he was being cold as hell, for this guy that works.)

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