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

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Hannibal 1x02: "Amuse-Bouche"
msauvage purple
cleolinda
PREVIOUSLY ON: EMPATH AND CANNIBAL: THEY FIGHT CRIME: Will Graham is the original FBI profiler haunted by his work, an empath with a tool that points two ways, a collector of dogs, a fragile little teacup, and a mongoose; Hannibal Lecter is the best at wearing suits but the worst at helping ever; SAUSAGE.

(I keep running into people who had no idea Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen are in this and/or that it's a Bryan Fuller show and then joyfully bounded off to watch it when they found out. So... go forth! Bound! Be joyous! Don't eat first!)

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Oh man Will did walk into the traps, didn't he? I bet Hugh Dancy's audition consisted entirely of making pained angsty puppy faces. Although, I find it humorous that his empath skillz on the body in the kabuki field stop short of "He's toying with me! It's almost like he knows me! Like he's exploiting my every weakness with psychological precision! *looks over at Hannibal* waaaait a second..."

OMG I was FUH-REA-KING OUT at the couch bit. I was pretty sure Freddie Lounds is here to stay (as repugnant as she is), but it still gave me the heebs.

HAHAHAHHAAHA My Wi'll Pony! I did find that conversation highly amusing. I would have found it more amusing if Hannibal wasn't in the process of making everyone around him cannibals, but whatever.

O HAI Hobbit!Stag!

omg Mushroom Whisperer. I died.

Alana and Will are so adorable! ...I hope she doesn't get murdered and/or eaten.

I really like how you describe Will's expressions. I picked up on all the things you mentioned, but wouldn't have been able to articulate them. Agree: Hugh Dancy is so, so good. Unfortunately, we are also in for the long haul of him being the butt monkey that we want to huggle forever. The thing that kills me the most about Will, though, is that he's always sort of snarking about himself, but he always looks on the verge of tears about it. That, and the fact that he and Hannibal have too many things in common with the unexpected sniggering and jokes, and oh my heavens Will is going to break when he discovers Hannibal is the monster, isn't he? *cries*

Although, I find it humorous that his empath skillz on the body in the kabuki field stop short of "He's toying with me! It's almost like he knows me! Like he's exploiting my every weakness with psychological precision! *looks over at Hannibal* waaaait a second..."

Yeah, that scene ("It was practically gift-wrapped") was maybe a little too on point. To the point where you're like, okay, listen to yourself here--you need to start asking some questions about the magical convenientness of this. Which is why People In "Hannibal" Don't Know They're In "Hannibal" is something I'm going to have to, like, cross-stitch on a pillow or something.

I really like how you describe Will's expressions.

Thanks! I've written here before that I have some empath issues (I SWEAR TO GOD) --I soak up everyone else's negative feelings, and it's draining and stressful and very mundane. (I would argue that it's just the Myers-Briggs INFP personality type, nothing magical.) I don't, like, fight crime or anything; I read people from the outside, I don't feel like I'm inside people's heads. But I can read faces and voices pretty closely. Which makes it a little hard to socialize (OH MY GOD) because you know you're going to see exactly what someone thinks of you running across their face. (It also makes it easier in other ways, because you end up seeing a lot of really useful cues.) But... that's it. I sleep very well at night, you know? It's just a super useful thing to be able to do when you're a writer. So I *love* actors who can project thought onto their faces, because I catch a lot of that.

Man, I love Laurence Fishburne.

I do not understand why he and Gina Torres are not the most famous power couple in the world. They are clearly the most awesome.

(I'm going to have to watch this, aren't I?)

Yesssss. Waaaatch iiiiit. Gillian Anderson and Eddie Izzard will be on laaaaterrrrr.

When I saw this post, I was all, "WAIT! I DVRed that!" Then I went and watched it before reading.

First, I have to admit that I'm well and truly interested in this series. There's something about it that just draws me into the story. I really liked the "empathing" scene (not the 'shroom garden part) where he mentally backs up to when the latest victim was buried. The use of that bar of light to illustrate him attempting to "dial in" on the murderer's point of view was rather neat, especially when Will succeeds and the bar of light is revealed to be a path into the killer's mind, so to speak.

I also have to confess that I find Lecter oddly charming, in a dry and understated way. I can easily see why the characters aren't all "OMG! MONSTER". Even knowing who he is doesn't eliminate it. Though I did cringe with the 'pork loin' scene*.

I love the Freddie/Hannibal scene though. When he says "Come. Sit beside me," you can tell that he deliberately let's slip a hint of what he is to her. Not enough for her to know or understand what's going on, but there's definitely a subtle hint of menace. She acts like she caught the barest hint of the presence of a hungry lion out of the corner of her eye. She couldn't say what it was, only that her hindbrain said, "Oh, shit."

Hugh Dancy has that whole "Please help me, I hurt" look down perfectly. When Lecter starts playing the games, you can see the hooks hitting home and sinking in.

That "ex-cop" scene was superb. It did exactly what it was supposed to do: shock the crap out of the audience. I'm pretty numb to screen violence and even I blurted out, "Holy shit!" A certain cynical part of me wonders how long it'll take the rest of Hollywood to run this particular type of scene into the ground. For now though, I can candidly state that it really did shock me. I'm deeply impressed.

Those final scenes in the Best Office Ever (oh god I want that office) were excellently done. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the next episode.



*Read the link to the 'pork' recipe and my foody side started nit-picking it. Thigh's work too hard to have the same texture as loin. Loin is tender because it doesn't do much work, but thighs/legs do a lot of work. Thigh meat would be tougher than loin. I'd say it would be similar to pork/beef shoulder than loin.

But then I realized that Crawford probably doesn't know that since they make a point that both his mother and his wife are terrible cooks. He's probably never had properly cooked loin unless he ate it in a restaurant. I also loved the way they play Lecter watching them eat just beyond the "Is it good/Do you like it" level. It's just enough to be slightly unsettling.


Hugh Dancy has that whole "Please help me, I hurt" look down perfectly. When Lecter starts playing the games, you can see the hooks hitting home and sinking in.

He's so good, right? This kind of thing is why I like the overall series and the show in particular.

I love the Freddie/Hannibal scene though. When he says "Come. Sit beside me," you can tell that he deliberately let's slip a hint of what he is to her. Not enough for her to know or understand what's going on, but there's definitely a subtle hint of menace.

What I love is that it's the most anti-climactic scene on paper, but every time I think about it, I want to scream. When he was like, "I'd rather not take the bag from you" I started FREAKING OUT. We haven't even seen Lecter DO ANYTHING to anyone yet, and it's still just like, oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit GIVE HIM THE BAG.

One thing that impresses me about the show is how they're trying to bring something new to the table.

I mean they could've just aped the movies and had Not!Anthony Hopkins and Not!Jodie Foster running and pulled it off but they didn't. They're going for a new take and while it may not always I give them major props for trying.

I just wish the show wasn't competing with Elementary.

[I thought that Lecter's theory on the farmer was showing that cannibalism aside he's a smart guy who knows how people's minds work and that's part of what makes so dangerous.]

Yeah, I think his theory was definitely trying to show us that, that him being able to figure out these things is why he's both so brilliant and so dangerous. Just, from a writer point of view, it seemed like an unlikely leap to make. Then again, I am clearly underschooled on the subject of mycelium, and it may have been a way more obvious conclusion than it seemed to me.

I mean they could've just aped the movies and had Not!Anthony Hopkins and Not!Jodie Foster running and pulled it off but they didn't.

See, I don't know that they could have pulled it off. Maybe. I feel like people are already resisting the show because they assume it's going to be pretty been-there done-that; if it really were that derivative, I think people would have rejected it entirely. As it is, I keep seeing people (here, Twitter, Tumblr) who are really surprised and excited after they give the show a chance and find out it's not what they expected at all.

People on AV Club are speculating that the student who kind of tries to approach Will after his lecture was Clarice Starling. Just throwing that out there.

You know, I wondered if one of the students raising her hand was supposed to be Ardelia.

Freddie lies her face off

I see what you did there.

What's the cutie mark of an FBI Profiler Haunted by His Work, do you think?

I gotta tell you, on more than one occasion I have thought "I should ask if Cleolinda would like a pony custom, either for The Littlest Edward's herd or for her own non-sparkle-related amusement," and then worried that the offer might come off as a little bit nuts. And then a line like that comes up, and I think, "Really, what am I worried about." So, yeah. Not sure if I could pull off My Little Woobie Profiler, but if you would like me to try, or to ply my odd talents on another subject, drop me a line.

(And because I know you have expressed discomfort in the past with people making Gestures for you, let me state that A) I have so many original-generation ponies and customizing supplies and I would love to have a simple custom to work on (currently taking a break from some very labor-intense ones) so it is Not A Big Deal, and B) a refusal will absolutely not offend.)

And then a line like that comes up, and I think, "Really, what am I worried about."

Heeeeeeeeee. You know what? That actually sounds really cool. Let's give it a bit and see if a really good idea comes up.

(... My Little Galadriel?)

Your recaps are amazing and so is this show. Goddamnit, why do I have to wait a week between episodes! I want to just mainline it directly into my eyeballs.

Hee! I'm actually okay with a week of downtime, but then, I also spent hours pause-unpausing my way through the show to recap it. I almost need that much time just to recover from show overload. (Thank you!)

Your recaps are making me want to watch this show because it's exactly the kind of psychological thriller that I like and the only kind of genre that actually scares me. But I have SO MANY shows that I'm currently watching that I'm reluctant to add another one.

On a tangential note, your recaps are interesting to me because I've only ever seen Silence of the Lambs - and the last time I watched that was a very long time ago - so I don't know who any of these characters are besides Lecter. Do you think it significantly changes the dynamic of watching the show if you only know Hannibal Lecter?

I really don't think it changes that much, because what we're watching now is basically a page of back story in Red Dragon. Alana is almost entirely invented from a male character with a similar name, and Girl Freddie, while still awful, has a lot more to do and also a different way of doing it, since she's now a self-employed blogger. Even Will is a lot more emotionally troubled from square one than he was in the books. It might help a little bit to know more about Crawford, but--well, I think there's a reason I slipped into only calling him and Lecter by their last names, because they're basically the kings on the chessboard. The idea that Crawford has FBI agent protégés, that he's sort of paternal, is important, but you know that. Knowing Hannibal Lecter really is the only thing you need to know, because that's what creates all the tension. I think you'll be good.

I am waaaay too wimpy to actually watch this show (horror is not my genre at ALL) but I am enjoying the recaps tremendously.

Yay! I like that people can enjoy reading the recaps even if they don't watch the show. I used to read tons of recaps at Television Without Pity for shows I had zero intention of ever watching, so I get how it's a thing unto itself.

Is someone keeping a running tally of Foods We Can Never Eat Again? First sausage, now mushrooms. Our pizza options are getting severely limited here.

(If that was REALLY Fuller's mom's recipe, no wonder he grew up to make horror shows about weird food issues. Who wouldn't?)

I don't watch the show either (because I would never sleep again if I did) -- what in the name of goodness is all over Freddie's legs? Where does one even find a pair of hose that looks like dried blood??

. . . Never mind, I don't want to know.

Hee! Just please let them not do anything with cheese. Cheese just wants to love you.

It looked like she was wearing lace tights, I don't know.

What am I now to do with the can of mushrooms I was going to use for some tomato sauce?? When I look at it, it seems to whisper, "People...PEOPLE...!"

I love Lecter's office. Particularly the fact that he has a separate entrance and exit for his patients. The whole circular structure of it kind of disorients me every time I see it which may be the point.

I'm so pleased you're doing recaps of these episodes!

Yay! For some reason, I was afraid people would be kind of--irritated? Like, out of everything I could have chosen to recap, I went with this? I think the show is having to get past this assumption that it couldn't possibly be anything but a lazy rehash. I mean, God knows that's what I was afraid of when they started shooting it last year.

I also didn't expect to find so many people--longtime readers, even--who were already fans of the overall series. People getting really excited about the show has been a nice surprise.

I also wondered what was Lecter's purpose in calling Hobbs. My initial thought was the Lecter just likes to be an agent of chaos; what popped into my head was Clarice mentioning in SotL that he'd "altered or destroyed" most of his patient files before he was arrested. But I also thought that he did expect Hobbs to run, so your theory could be correct. Or maybe they both are. Layers!

I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time during this show fretting over who is minding Graham's House of Dogs while he's jetsetting around the country and empathing.

I think Fuller tweeted that we would find out why he did it later on in the season, so I'm fully prepared to be wrong.

And yeah, I worry about those dogs.

OMG YES, YOU ARE RECAPPING THIS SHOW. ♥ I can't believe this came out of nowhere to become my favorite new show in the longest time. It is utterly ridic, but in an amazing way.

I hope we visit Hannibal's Awkward Metaphor Corner every week. Will is now a fragile teacup mongoose pony at this point.

Will Graham didn't strike me in a big way when I watched Edward Norton play him in the Red Dragon movie, but as played by Hugh Dancy, he's far and away the most compelling character in the show. I just sort of want to throw him over my shoulder and get him as far away from Hannibal's mind games as possible. (And his discomfort with life in general makes me giggle helplessly at points. "How does that make YOU feel" was sort of adorably sassy.)

Also, as much as I love the Silence of the Lambs movie and Hopkins' performance therein, Mads' low-key Hannibal is super creepy. He delivers those "I'd love to have the two of you for dinner" lines without so much as a wink, which is very menacing.

The visuals are gorgeous and disgusting and gorgeous. The secondary characters are great. I love the forensic trio, I love to hate Freddie, and I love Laurence Fishburne and his all-caps line readings. I can't wait to see more.

It is utterly ridic, but in an amazing way.

The basic criteria of everything I love, probably.

as played by Hugh Dancy, he's far and away the most compelling character in the show

Which is really something of a triumph, given how often leading characters can get overshadowed by their creepy/wacky/scene-stealer supporting cast. I really do not know how he can tremble on command like that and not have it look wildly over-the-top fake. But then, I didn't go to actor school or anything.

"How does that make YOU feel?" was the best. There was something else he said that was hilarious, either this episode or the previous one, but I can't remember what.

He delivers those "I'd love to have the two of you for dinner" lines without so much as a wink, which is very menacing.

I am just no end of impressed that they throw him all these utterly ridiculous, ominous lines, and he just knocks them back out with complete sincerity. I still cannot get over "I'm very supportive of bake-offs." The whole BUT WE KNOW thing is more than enough to communicate the menace, and they seem to know that.

The interesting thing is that watching this has actually explained to me why Lecter would be written and portrayed as so over-the-top threatening in the movies. He's MAD. He's bitter and spiteful and pissed off that he got caught and is stuck in this terribly vulgar asylum, and it's not like he can hide who he is anymore, so let the cannibal flag fly, you know? But he's still pretty detached, so you get it more as intellectual malice than, like, emotional outbursts.

So, once--things happen--much later on, I could see Mikkelsen moving towards something a little more openly threatening and snarky. I'm glad he's doing it differently now, but when you think about it, these two performances are not actually incompatible. But right now, life is pretty good, and Lecter can afford to be mellow about it.

As a fan of Bryan Fuller's work, I really should start watching this. I've liked every single series he's done so far (and your recaps are really good), so Hannibal seems like a good bet. I can't wait to get started.

Well, they are trying to get Lee Pace for next season, you know. :D

"You find any shiitakes?" asks Beverly.

My favorite moment in the entire week of television.