Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

Hannibal 1x03: "Potage"

I knew someone would eventually go back to King Arthur and find something hilariously relevant to Hannibal, but I didn't know it'd be amazing.

PREVIOUSLY ON: EMPATH AND CANNIBAL: Will managed not to shoot the fuck out of the Mushroom Whisperer. Miss Freddie Lounds was not just "terribly rude" but downright "naughty," and we all started flailing. Field Kabuki broke up and my new band is called Broken Pony; I'm going to try and see if we can get Outrageous Flavor to open for us on the Bone Arena of Your Skull tour.

@particle_p: Also "you are naughty, Miss Lounds" sounds like some kind of 50 Shades Of...wait.

@cleolinda: Yeah, that was another "just gonna leave that right there" line.

@cleolinda: Also, I would go to Bad Joke Hell if I said something about Fifty Shades of Gravy, wouldn't I?

We start off in a foresty flashback: Garrett Jacob "Sensitive Shrike" Hobbs is out hunting deer with his beloved daughter Abigail. (To review: Faced with empty nest syndrome, Hobbs decided to cope by abducting college girls and eating their livers, as you do.) It seems to be Abigail's first time hunting, actually; looking somewhat anxious (queasy?), she misses the first, easy shot--but manages to get the deer after it's run deeper into the woods. When they bring it back to the Cabin of Horrors, Hobbs starts teaching her how to use a knife and cut the deer up. There's a lot to be said about hunting for sport, hunting for food, and the reality of where meat comes from, and Abigail's hesitation seems rooted in those issues. Hunting is something her father does and wants to do with her, and he seems to be a responsible, ethical hunter... but. "She was so pretty," Abigail says softly. "Aren't deer supposed to be complex, emotional creatures? I read they're like the equivalent of a four-year-old human being. And they care about each other. They care about their environment. They tread lightly through the underbrush because they don't want to hurt the plants."

Hobbs nods: "They're a lot like us. And we're gonna honor every part of her." You know, which is a very respectful way to approach hunting, except that Will previously empathed for us that this is exactly his approach to killing people. "Her hide is gonna make a beautiful rug. Her leg bones we can carve into knives. None of her is gonna go to waste." So all of Hobbs' instructions have this oogy subtext, particularly since we know that Crawford suspects that Abigail may have helped her father lure, kill, and/or dispose of his victims. Not to mention Hobbs' last helpful hint: "Damage the organs, you ruin the meat."

"I don't know how I'm going to feel about eating her after all this," says Abigail, tense. Hobbs is a little, uh, vehement when he pulls her back to look Abigail (who is now a smidge freaked out) in the eye: "Eating her is honoring her. Otherwise, it's... it's just... MURDER." And then Abigail starts caressing the deer's fur as she guts it and Hobbs is whispering "Good" and then Abigail's running her fingers through a girl's hair and OH IT'S HER OWN DEAD FACE THAT'S NICE and she wakes up in the hospital--where she's been in a coma since her father tried to kill her--choking on her ventilator and ripping out tubes as fast as she can go.

Red wine scaryface credits.

The Nobark Home for Wayward Strays. Early in the morning, Will lets out All the Dogs and o hai! There's Alana in the front yard. Allow me to mention that Alana has an amazing wardrobe.

THAT COAT. Also, Will is in his undawears. "Didn't hear you drive up," he says. Well, that's because Alana's hybrid is "a great car for stalking," she explains. "Um," says Will. "I'm compelled to go cover myself." "I have brothers," Alana says brightly, so she is definitely used to hanging out with conspicuous coworker junk? Girl. Will invites her in for coffee and bathrobing and "more immediately, why are you here?" "Abigail Hobbs woke up." Will: "WELL, YOU KNOW HOW TO BURY THE LEDE."

Inside: coffee, and every phone Will owns going off. INCOMING CALL: JACK CRAWFORD. Don't you know Will can't engage with humanity before... ever, Jack? "Is he going to keep calling?" Well, says Alana, "Jack wants you to go see her." As previously mentioned, Crawford's convinced that Abigail had to have helped her father in some way, but Will won't--or can't--believe it. "I don't want to get in the middle of you and Jack," says Alana, "but if I can be helpful to you as a buffer--" "I like you as a buffer," says Will (ooh). "I also like the fact that you rattle Jack. He respects you far too much to yell at you, no matter how much he wants to." (I will also note that Laurence Fishburne does not, in fact, yell at all in this episode, which is a grievous loss for the audience.) "And I take advantage of that," says Alana.

"Abigail Hobbs doesn't have anyone," says Will, a great deal of pain and tension in his voice. To review: Lecter previously busted Will on fixating on Abigail as a kind of surrogate daughter. You know, out of guilt for shooting the fuck out of her father. "You can't be her everyone," says Alana, adding, "When I said what I was going to say in my head, it sounded really insulting, so I'm going to find another way to say it--" "Say it the insulting way," says Will. Alana: "Dogs keep a promise a person can't." That's a great line that... I don't entirely get? I'd be more worried about Will's fixation not being good for Abigail, rather than Abigail not being the Emotionally Available Stray he needs. Will, carefully: "I'm not collecting another stray." Alana then makes the very good point that "the first person Abigail talks to about what happened can't be anyone who was there when it happened. So that means no Dr. Lecter either." "Yeah, much less the guy who killed Dad," says Will dismally. Alana says she'll reach out to Abigail in her own way.

In Baltimore, Abigail's been moved to a more residential psychiatric hospital. Enter Alana with shopping bags full of clothes, introducing herself as a psychiatrist who specializes in, among other things, Family Trauma and Eyeing Teenage Girls Suspiciously. Abigail says that she asked about her parents, but the nurses said she had to wait for Alana to tell her, which is pretty much an answer in itself. "I know they're dead," she says, with a laugh that's a little like a sob. She's startled to hear that her mother's already been cremated per her living will, and Hobbs hasn't been buried at all. "Your father is... more complicated," Alana says delicately. Abigail: "Because he was crazy?" But the nurses told Alana that she didn't remember anything? "I remember, I just didn't want to talk to them about it." (Fair enough.) "I want to sell the house," she says briskly. "I can use the money for college, get an apartment." Alana eyes her suspiciously, as is her specialty. She's brought Abigail clothes and music ("YOUR music?" says Abigail, with exquisite teenage skepticism), and gift cards: "I--I've got a stack of gift cards. I don't... do well, redeeming gift cards." "Probably says something about you," says Abigail, verging on sassy. "Probably does," says Alana, eyeing her suspiciously.

Crawford's office (The Crawffice, if you will). "I got seven families waiting--no, let me rephrase: demanding that we find whatever's left of their daughters. Abigail may be the only one who knows the truth." Crawford's so worn down that he can't muster any capslock at all. "You can't ask her right now, Jack!" Alana and her fantastic boots insist (this show's wardrobe department needs to be billed as the third lead). "I respect your sympathy for her, Dr. Bloom," says Crawford, the very soul of not giving a fuck. "I hope one day you'll appreciate my lack of it." Meanwhile, Lecter's been musing to himself the whole time. "How was she, when you saw her?" "Surprisingly practical," says Alana. Crawford: "Suspiciously practical?" Lecter: "I would suggest you can be practical without being a murderer." Okay, thank you, sensible cannibal.

"I think she's hiding something," Alana argues. "It could also be more [than just trauma]. She has a penchant for manipulation--she withheld information to gain information. She demonstrated only enough emotions to prove she had them." (Really? That's what you got out of that conversation? Maybe I am just way too practical myself and kind of nervous now that I'm going straight to Death Row if anything bad ever happens and I don't weep and wail loud enough.) I will say, on a second viewing? It seems like Lecter is actively considering these qualities. Although he also points out that Alana thinks there's more than trauma going on but she also doesn't suspect Abigail in the murders, so... what? "What I'm questioning is her state of mind," she clarifies. Crawford's solution is to bring in Will (Crawford's solution is always "bring in Will"). "Jack! Not yet!" But you are not the psychiatric boss of Will Graham, Alana! "Dr. Lecter is." Oh, good.

Academy lecture hall, Quantico. Will is continuing his lecture series on the Sensitive Shrike, complete with family photos of Hobbs and Abigail together in their hunting gear so that Will can point out how all the missing girls looked like her, because you can do that? Can you lecture on an open case like this? And then Will gets to the ninth victim... the murder that conveniently happened right when Will was stumped and needed "a negative so I could see the positive." (*cough.*) "The [copycat] killer wanted us to know he wasn't the Minnesota Shrike. He was better than that."

Cut to: Crawford and Lecter waiting in the doorway, because of course. So we watch Lecter listen as Will intones, "He is an intelligent psychopath. He is a sadist. He will never kill like this again." And then poor Will asserts that the copycat knows all these details from Freddie Lounds' articles, not realizing that all of it came directly from him. "He had intimate knowledge of Garrett Jacob Hobbs' murders, motives, patterns--enough to recreate them and, arguably, elevate them to art." (Cut to Lecter looking very pleased with himself. Who has two thumbs, plaid suits, and murder flair?)


"How intimately did he know Garrett Jacob Hobbs?" Will asks rhetorically. "Did he appreciate him from afar, or did he engage him? Did he ingratiate himself into Hobbs' life? Did Hobbs know his copycat? Before Garrett Jacob Hobbs murdered his wife and attempted to do the same to his daughter, he received an untraceable call. I believe the as-yet unidentified caller was our copycat killer." And now, a closeup of Lecter standing there in the back, eyes glittering. No, they do. No, they do. Is that someone's job, "eye lighting for sociopaths"?

Back at the hospital, Abigail is skeptical: "So you're not a doctor, a nurse, or a psychiatrist." No, she's Freddie Lounds and she is awful. And fabulous. (I finally realized who she reminds me of, with her velvet mini-cape and leopard-print skirt and matching gloves, are you kidding me: Rita Skeeter in the Harry Potter movies.) "I'm a journalist," Freddie says solemnly. "I want to tell the truth. Your truth. I would never lie to you." "Sounds like something a liar would say," Abigail says shrewdly.

How 'bout you tell me everything you know so I can put it all on my website, Abigail? "How about you tell me what you know," she replies. "Your dad was the Minnesota Shrike," says Freddie, maybe a little more pointedly than necessary. "Your mother wasn't the first person your father killed. He killed eight girls. Eight girls that looked--" "--just like me," says Abigail, stricken. Also, WTF is a shrike? Well, Abigail, it's a mouse-impaling, organ-ripping bird who carries off its prey to a little birdie pantry. "He was... very sick," Freddie concludes. "Does that mean I'm sick too?" worries Abigail (this is a thought that's going to haunt her for the whole episode). "You'll be fighting that perception," Freddie says, coming in for the kill. So to speak. "Perception is the most important thing in your life right now." Well, it is a tool pointed on both ends. "I don't care what anybody thinks," says Abigail. Uh, you might should? "You'd better start caring, Abigail. What you remember, what you tell everyone, is going to define the rest of your life. Let me help you," urges Freddie.

Abigail pauses, looks away, and changes the subject: "How did they catch him?" And now Freddie gets out her metaphorical axe and a grindstone and goes to town: "A man named Will Graham. Works for the FBI, but isn't FBI." (HEY! Lecter totally rubberstamped him back in, read it for yourself!) "He captures insane men because he can think like them --" The door opens, because of course it's Will, and Freddie looks back at him before she delivers the coup de grâce: "BECAUSE HE IS INSANE."

"Would you excuse us, please?" says Will with admirable patience, instead of, you know, bursting into flame. "I'm dying of the incredible awkwardness Special Agent Will Graham--" "By Special Agent he means not really an agent, he didn't get past the screening process. Too unstable," she butts in, turning back to look Will in the eye. And there's Lecter coming in behind him: "I really must insist you leave the room." Freddie, you best watch yourself. "If you wanna talk--" she starts saying to Abigail, but Will snatches the business card out of her hand so fast I didn't even see that she was holding one. EXIT PAIN IN EVERYONE'S ASS.

So, Abigail, we're Empath and Cannibal, and we fight crime. Do you remember us? "I remember you," she tells Will. "You killed my dad."

Will blinks, painfully.

"You've been in bed for days, Abigail," Lecter says, deftly ignoring the fact that this has been the most awkward five minutes in the history of ever. (Interestingly, the closed captioning says she's been in bed "for three weeks.") "Why don't we have a walk?"

Psychiatric Greenhouse. I'm not sure why you have a greenhouse at a hospital, precisely, but it's somehow both relaxing and dreary at the same time.

Will says that they tried to save her mother, "but she was already gone." "I know," says Abigail. She's sort of constantly trembly-pale and fragile, despite her kicky scarves. I mean, as you would be. They help her to a bench. "I saw him kill her. He was loving... right up until the second he wasn't. He kept telling me he was sorry, to just... hold still. He was gonna make it all go away." Well, "just hold still" is my personal vote for "creepiest line of the episode," I don't know about you.

"There was plenty wrong with your father, Abigail, but there's nothing wrong with you." Is Will empathing her anxieties? "You say he was loving. I believe it. That's what you brought out in him." Abigail, distressed: "It's not all I brought out in him." Uh. Touché. "I'm gonna be messed up, aren't I?" Well... knowing is half the battle? "I'm worried about nightmares," she says. (I do not have entire confidence in Lecter's offer to help her with those.) "There's no such thing as getting used to what you experienced," says Will, sitting down next to her. "It bothers me a lot. I worry about nightmares too." They blink and tremble at each other. (I mean this in a "very good acting" way.) Abigail finally asks, "So killing somebody... even if you have to do it... it feels that bad?" (Cut to a strange, almost smug expression from Lecter. Amateurs.) "It's the ugliest thing in the world," whispers Will.

"I wanna go home," says Abigail.

Oh, look, there's Freddie waiting outside the hospital for Our Heroes. "Special Agent Graham," she awfuls smarmily, extending her hand. "I never formally introduced myself--" Will puts on his glasses, so he must really mean business: "Are you trying to salvage this joke from the mouth of madness?" (Not sure if in-joke...?) "Please. Let me apologize for my behavior in there. It was... sloppy" (SLOPPY?) "and... misguided... and hurtful." "Miss Lounds," interjects Lecter, "now is not the time." She gives him an uneasy look, which reminds me that we never did find out the answer to "What's to be done about that?" I still want to know how that ended, since it did not, in fact, end in pork.

"Look, you and I may have our own reasons for being here, but I also think we genuinely care about what happens to Abigail Hobbs," she says. You know what? I can't tell if Freddie's lying or not. Also, it should be noted that I was so busy watching her and Will face off that it took me a moment to notice that Lecter just STANDS THERE, NO EXPRESSION, the whole time. Like, to the point where I had to check if he was blinking or not. He is wearing a really excellent tie, by the way. "You told her I was insane," says Will. "I can undo that," Freddie says, in what I can only describe as a soothing customer-service tone. I kind of love that Freddie is always calm and smooth even when she's totally up against a wall. Will, however, is not having it: "You help Abigail see me as more than her father's killer, and... I help you with... online ad sales?" BURNT. "I can undo what I said," Freddie smarms. "I can also make it a lot worse." "Miss Lounds," he says quietly, stepping in closer, because this is so totally a good idea, "it isn't... very smart... to piss off a guy... who thinks about killing people for a living."

A statement which Crawford then has the pleasure of reading aloud, word for word, from her website. ANOTHER SHRIKE IN THE NEST? is the headline. And that's why you don't ever sass a woman with a Quick-Quotes Quill. "You know what else isn't very smart?" Here's the hilarious part: Crawford's not talking to Will. He's talking to Lecter: "You were there with him. And you let those words come out of his mouth."

We see now that Will has been called up to the Crawffice with his parents Alana and Lecter for a talking-to. "I trust Will to speak for himself," replies Lecter, because it's really great to have someone else do the trolling sometimes. "Evidently you shouldn't," Crawford retorts--gently? CALMLY? How did he not bellow that at top volume? Wow. Alana's powers are mighty. Speaking of whom, "I'm just happy the story wasn't about Abigail Hobbs," she says. "Well then, it's a victory," Crawford says with this sarcastic little nod that is a pretty good consolation prize for the lack of capslock. On the other hand, Abigail does want to go home, which is right up Crawford's alley. But that would be reckless, cries Alana! "You take her home, she may experience intense emotions, respond aggressively, or re-enact some aspect of the traumatic event without even realizing it!"

Lecter is sitting over to the side literally stroking his chin considering this, because he doesn't actually have a white lapcat to pet instead. Like, he's not even looking at Alana anymore, he's just sort of daydreaming over to the side like, yes, re-enacting trauma aggressively, that would be awesome. What he says out loud is that Alana's right... but maybe we could take Abigail back to the house where her father went on a bloody rampage and "actually prevent denial." Crawford comes down in favor of "the opinion that best serves my agenda." Heh. Alana: *shaking her head.* "We have no idea what's waiting for her when she goes home," she foreshadows.

Meanwhile, Freddie's meeting a guy in his 20s and a leather jacket for coffee, and it turns it's Cassie Boyle's brother--Cassie being the victim of the copycat Lecterer murderer. "Hobbs is dead. He deserved a lot worse. Him and his whole family," the brother bitters ominously. "There must be some small comfort knowing that justice was served," says Freddie, but the brother indignantly reminds us that "my sister was impaled on a severed stag head" (okay, to be precise, it was a stolen taxidermy stag head) "and cut down the middle. He pulled out her lungs while she was still breathing. There's no comfort in that. What do you want from me?" "I just thought you should know" [*WOOP WOOP WOOP* CONCERN TROLL DETECTED] "that Abigail Hobbs came out of her coma," says Freddie. Congratulations! You are once again our WORST AT HELPING.

Meanwhile, back at the Hobbs residence: CANNIBALS.

(I told you Alana's coat was amazing.)


@DAVID_A_SLADE: I remember turning up on set and being convinced for a second that it said "CANNONBALLS"

Abigail looks down at bloodstains on the porch, much the way Lecter did when he just STOOD THERE BEING THE WORST AT HELPING back in the first episode. "Is this where my mom died? I was sort of expecting a body outline in chalk or tape." "They only do that if you're still alive and taken to the hospital before they finish the crime scene," explains Will. Oh. "Goodbye, Mom," she murmurs, and goes into the house.

Inside, there's not a whole lot left except taxidermy deer heads and boxes marked EVIDENCE; the crime-scene cleaners have turned the photos on the fridge around, I guess because their job is hard enough as it is without having to wonder who in the pictures killed or was killed. "They did a really good job," says Abigail in a strangely casual tone, looking around: "Is that where all my blood was?" Yeah, the detachment is a bit creepy. "Yes," says poor Will ("and that's where I shot the fuck out of your father, and that's where I had a nervous breakdown, and..."). "You do this a lot?" says Abigail companionably. "Go places and think about killing?" Will, tense: "Too often." Man, in distinct contrast to Abigail, he is not dealing well with this. "So you pretended to be my dad? What did it feel like, to be him?" (I wonder if she wants to know so that she can say, okay, I don't feel like that, so I'm not going to turn out like him?) (Also, cut to Lecter watching this a bit too avidly. I'm pretty sure that if he could figure out how to make popcorn out of people, he'd be eating it right now.) "It feels... like... I'm talking to his shadow suspended on dust," says Will. Abigail, unaffected by this poetic turn of phrase: "No wonder you have nightmares." Back to Lecter, who looks oddly pleased--by Will's agony, or by Abigail's indifference?

Will then explains that Hobbs' final burst of violence was different from his usual MO: "Your dad knew he was out of time. Somebody told him we were coming." "The man on the phone?" Because, remember, it was Abigail who answered first, so she actually spoke to Lecter that day. "It was a blocked call," says Will, "did you recognize his voice?" (Interestingly, Lecter still has that pleased sort of gleam.) No, says Abigail; she'd never heard it before. "Was there anybody new in your father's life?" asks Alana. "Someone you met or someone he talked about?" Nope! That was a cannibal cold call right there. ""He may have been contacted by another killer," Will says. "A copycat." Stunned, Abigail stares at him. "Someone who's still out there?" Well, does "in the room with you" count as "out there"?

In the living room, the four of them start going through evidence boxes. "Can you catch somebody's crazy?" she asks (oh, look, a new tagline for the show). "Folie à deux," says Alana, a phenomenon I am well aware of because reasons. :D "It's a French psychiatric term. Madness shared by two." (Will flashes back to Hobbs whispering, "See?" as he dies.) Lecter adds, "One cannot be delusional if the belief in question is accepted as ordinary by others in that person's culture or subculture. Or family." So... he's giving Abigail an out?

"My dad didn't seem delusional. He was a perfectionist." So is that why he left hardly any evidence? "Is that why you let me come home? To find evidence?" I thought Abigail was going to sound all betrayed by this--you used me!--but instead, she sounds jazzed. "Are we gonna re-enact the crime?" Excitedly pointing to Will: "You be my dad"--to Alana: "you be my mom" --to Lecter: "and you be the man on the phone!" Okay: 1) Letting Mads Mikkelsen run with a fairly thick accent now has plot implications; well done. 2) LOL, ABIGAIL. When Alana harshes her buzz, Abigail grumbles, "You're not gonna find any of those girls, you know. He would honor every part of them. He used to make plumbing putty out of elk's bones. Whatever bones are left of those girls are probably holding pipes together." Well, don't cry too hard for them or anything, Abigail. Even Lecter's like, what the... how do you... where do you even make elk putty? Well, at the Cabin of Horrors, obvs.

Just as they decide they'll trek out there tomorrow, Abigail's only remaining friend arrives. So she and Marissa--another brunette who fits the victim profile--go for a walk-and-talk out in the backwoods. Marissa denounces the neighbors and classmates who were all on TV talking about the Hobbses ("such whores"). She herself, however, did not: "My mom doesn't want me talking to you, much less the news." (I am now imagining the Minnesota Shrike case going down in the 24/7 journalisn't world of Twitter and Reddit and Fox News. brb, having aneurysm.) "Everybody thinks you did it, you know?" she adds helpfully. But, "I don't think you're the type. Then again, I didn't think your father was the murder-suicide type. Although I guess the hunting could have been a clue..." (*FACEPALM*) "Mine or his?" asks Abigail. "Both, now that you mention it... I don't think you did it."

"I DO," says Cassie's brother, coming the fuck out of nowhere. "You were the bait, right? That's how it worked? You lure them back to daddy for dinner? How'd you trap my sister? Did you chat her up?" "HEY! PISS OFF!" shouts Marissa, lobbing a rock at him. Cassie's brother is undeterred: "Did you help your old man cut out my sister's lungs while she was still using--" Okay, technically, Abigail's dad wasn't the--POW! ROCK TO THE SKULL! WHAT NOW, GRIEVING RELATIVE?!

Finally, Abigail's psychiatric posse comes running, but the brother has already fled. Yet another thing I didn't realize until a second viewing: as Marissa's mother also appears and tries to drag her away, an embarrassed Marissa yells, "Can you stop being SUCH A BITCH?"... and Lecter gives her this appraising side-eye. Aw, now you done gone and been rude. This girl is done for, you guys. I should have known it right here.

While Abigail's telling Will what the guy said and how she's never seen him before, Lecter finds the rock Marissa pegged him with. There's a smear of blood. He pushes leaves over it with his foot. Dun dun dunnn?

That night, Will dreams that he's in the woods, struggling with Abigail as Hobbs did in the kitchen, telling her he's sorry and he's going to make it all go away as the Dire Ravenstag looks on. S'up, Dire Ravenstag.


But when he does cut her throat... the Dire Ravenstag collapses? I thought it would be pleased by blood sacrifice; clearly I need to read up on the care and feeding of nightmare hellbeasts.

Cabin of Horrors. Police take down the yellow tape and escort the gang inside; Abigail flashes back to her nightmare of cleaning the deer and seeing her own face. Will asks if anyone else ever came to the cabin with her dad (other than Abigail, of course), but she shakes her head: "He made everything by himself. Glue... butter..." Butter? Butter? Deer butter? What? What? Fucking butter, how does it work. "He sold the pelts on eBay or in town, he'd make pillows... no parts went to waste. Otherwise it was murder." And then she realizes: "He was feeding them to us, wasn't he?" (PEOPLE BUTTER?) Lecter's like, yeah, that's pretty much the way of it. Good times. He's also giving Abigail the look he gives people when he watches them eat his cooking, for the record.

As if involuntary cannibalism wasn't bad enough, Abigail's now hit with survivor's guilt: "Before he cut my throat--he told me he killed those girls so he wouldn't have to kill me. If he would've just killed me--none of those other girls would be dead--" And then a big dark drop of blood hits her forehead. It's dripping from a big syrupy patch in the ceiling, despite the house already having been combed over and cleaned out by investigators. So Will goes up to the Antler Room, where he finds... Marissa, impaled on antlers in her underwear. So, again: that was a thing I saw on network TV. And of course, that's when Abigail runs upstairs, sees everything, and starts screaming.

So, after the break, there's Alana and her fabulous coat trying to comfort Abigail, who is somehow even paler and tremblier than usual, and here's Crawford arriving on the scene, still not shouting at anyone somehow. Upstairs, Will points out that That Guy wasn't just anybody's brother: "Abigail said he asked if she helped her dad take his sister's lungs while she was still alive." "The young woman on the stag head who I totally killed?" asks Lecter. That'd be the one. Will's aware that Cassie had a brother, Nicholas--but also that Hobbs isn't the one who killed Cassie, so something about this isn't adding up.

Meanwhile, Crawford is Not Happy. "You brought Abigail Hobbs back to Minnesota to find out if she was involved in her father's murders, and another girl dies." OH MY GOD THIS WAS YOUR IDEA!! Will and Lecter are totally ignoring him and peering around with a tiny flashlight ("Yep. Scraped a knuckle on her teeth. There's foreign tissue and what could be trace amounts of blood...") while Crawford's fussing that Will said the copycat was an intelligent psychopath, that he had no traceable motive, that he would not kill this way again. "YOU SAID IT." Which is the closest he gets to yelling at anyone. So Crawford's arguing with Will about whether Abigail did or did not know the Boyles and whether she is or is not manipulating Will and whether Will is or is not wrong, and I'm sitting here thinking, man, Lecter, you are getting uncharacteristically sloppy here, I'm sure they're playing a slip-up like this for suspense the way they're playing The Man on the Phone, but I really thought you were better at murderation than this, you better hope the Investigators Three back at the lab don't figure out a way to match that blood and tissue to you, because--







(He should send Freddie a fruit basket; she just handed him this guy.)

"Garrett Jacob Hobbs never struck one of this victims, why would [the copycat] do that?" asks Crawford, zeroing in on how the tissue must have gotten on Marissa's teeth. "I think he was provoked," says Lecter, adding with professional authority, "Nicholas Boyle killed this girl and his own sister." ~*Ta-da!*~

(So, while Will was dreaming about the Dire Ravenstag, Lecter sneaked back out to the Hobbs' backwoods and retrieved the bloody rock, then abducted Marissa somehow, murdered her somewhere, and ventured out in the middle of the night to the cabin he'd never been to before. Hannibal Lecter does not sleep. HE KILLS.)

But Will and Crawford are still bickering about what else Will might be wrong about. "I'm right about this," declares Will: both Cassie and Marissa were killed by the copycat. "The same design, the same... humiliation." Yeah... let's not kid ourselves here. I enjoy the narrative twists and turns that result from Lecter being the absolute worst as a character, but, seriously: he is the absolute worst.

"Abigail Hobbs is not a killer," agrees Lecter. "But she could be the target of one." O rly, sir. Well, Crawford is Even Less Happy about this. "Doctor, would you be good enough to collect Abigail"--absolutely!--"and all of her belongings"--oh--"and escort her out of Minnesota, please?" Well... that right there is a lot of escorting. ("Not you, Will, I want you here.")

Meanwhile, back at the Residence, there's a crowd of angry neighbors and jostling reporters on the street when Lecter and Alana return with Abigail that night. Marissa's mother breaks the DO NOT CROSS line to wail, "You killed my daughter! Why did you come back here! Why come back here!" but Lecter manages to keep her from Abigail (such displays are so terribly vulgar, Mrs. Girl I Just Killed's Mother). And then there's Freddie coming around from the back of the house, immediately intercepted by the police and hustled away as she insists, "I want to help you tell your story, you need me now more than ever!"

BUT! As the cop walks her back to the street, she says, "I'm not the only one lurking about the Hobbs house peeking in windows. You really should monitor those police lines more carefully," in this really smug, airy tone that (second viewing hindsight!) suggests that SHE KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT'S ABOUT TO HAPPEN. Which means she must really just be stirring shit to have something new and awful to blog about. "Genuinely care what happens" MY ASS. Lecter, who's following, shrewdly asks if she's seen "a young man, mid-20s, ginger hair, unwashed" (and completely untailored, the ruffian). Freddie says she'll tell him if he'll tell her why it's important. He smiles.

Alone in the house, Abigail sobs into one of her father's homemade deerskin pillows. Remembering that he said none of her is gonna go to waste, she digs a hunting knife out of one of the EVIDENCE boxes, rips the stitching open, aaaaaand pulls out giant wads of brunette hair. So her father was a graduate of the Ed Gein School of Domestic Arts; that's nice. And then there's Nicholas Boyle right behind her, because we are now entering the IT GETS WORSE portion of the episode. "I'm not gonna hurt you," he says shakily, "I just want you to listen to me," while Abigail is having a frozen open-mouthed freakout. "I didn't kill that girl, okay? I didn't kill that girl--" And then Abigail runs for the door, and Nicholas grabs her and throws her against a wall as... proof of his good intentions? And then he runs into her hunting knife heart first and falls over dead, because he is literally too dumb to live. And then Alana and Lecter come in, and he sees Abigail coming up the stairs with blood on her hands, and THEN we reach the point where Lecter wrests the Absolute Worst at Helping trophy back from Freddie by SLAMMING ALANA'S HEAD AGAINST A STONE WALL, WHAT THE FUCK.

"She'll be all right," he says pleasantly. "Abigail? Show me what happened."

(This may have been particularly startling because this is the first time we've actually seen Lecter do anything violent. Given that we neither saw nor can explain how he accomplished any of his previous shenanigans, you could have told me he'd been killing people with the magical powers of his mind and I would have been like, "Sure, that makes as much sense as anything.")

Yeah, there's Nicholas on the floor. He's really most sincerely dead. "He was gonna kill me," Abigail says faintly, still holding out her bloody hands. Lecter kneels down and examines the scene: "This wasn't self-defense, Abigail. You butchered him." Oh my God. He just ran into her knife, okay! He didn't even run into it more than once! "They'll see what you did, and they'll see you as an accessory to the crimes of your father," he says, intentionally leveraging what he just heard Freddie say to her. Never mind that he's already pinned Marissa and Cassie's murders on Nicholas, which means that Nicholas would be a plausible attacker and Abigail's sincere self-defense would sound credible. Nope. So here's this poor traumatized teenage girl--her PTSD has PTSD at this point--clearly in shock, and this seemingly rational, professional authority figure says, "I can help you... if you ask me to. At great risk to my career and my life. You have a choice. You can tell them you were defending yourself, when you gutted this man... or we can hide the body."

Okay. I'm going to take a moment from flailing with indignation here, because I have questions. WHERE? Where are they going to hide a body, in a house surrounded by cops and reporters and angry neighbors, with Alana passed out there on the floor for an uncertain amount of time? What about the giant mess? "No, you guys, don't come in, we're fine. Just stay out there. No reason. Dr. Bloom? She's--she's somewhere. She's just sleeping. On the floor. It's totally fine. The pool of blood is from... Abigail. She... tripped? She tripped and fell. On her nose." "I totally fell on my nose." "Nosebleed. Yeah. You know how those are." OH OKAY YOU GUYS ARE FREE TO GO I GUESS.

(And even though there's that "surrogate daughter" thing going on here with both Will and Lecter, this is a kind of seduction--a word with a sexual connotation, sure, but also "to lead astray usually by persuasion or false promises." Because Lecter doesn't rush in and go omg Abigail I have to take charge and save you! He gives her two false options and persuades her to choose between them, all while loan-sharking her into his debt. Come to the Dark Side, Abigail; you're all alone, and it's tasty over here.)

Later that night, Alana's sitting in an ambulance with a bandage on her forehead, unable to explain what happened. "I don't remember anything," she tells Will and Crawford. "Maybe a blur out of the corner of my eye" (was it a particularly dapper, checkered blur, maybe?) "... and then a big fat cut to black." "Well," expositions Crawford, "Nicholas Boyle attacked Abigail... you... [and] struck Dr. Lecter in the back of the head" (OH DID HE) "and she scratched Nicholas Boyle on his way out the back door." And the blood on Abigail's hands (uh, that must have been a mighty big "scratch") matches the tissue from Marissa's mouth, because apparently that's a thing you can run tests on in the five minutes since all this happened. So! Nicholas Boyle conveniently "got away" but the Cassie and Marissa murders are squarely pinned on him and he'll never come back to tell anyone otherwise. Somebody's been quite the busy cannibal this evening.

(Will, wearily: "I wanna go home." That said, I'm not sure, but I don't know that he looks like he's entirely buying this whole story.)

The Best Office Ever. Lecter's working at his desk, quietly minding his own tasty business, and then he says, "Hello, Abigail." A voice above says, "How did you know it was me?" "The hospital called," he says. "You climbed over the wall [and Google Mapped my office with your mind, made it over here on foot, and somehow broke in]." You can tell they're cannibals of a feather because she seems to have the same teleportation powers he does. "Where else were you to go? Home is no longer an option. Come down from there."

Down on the main floor, "I don't want to go to sleep," she says, tremble-paling. Can't she just stay here and hang out at Cannibal Library Paradise? "I didn't honor any part of him, so it's just murder, isn't it?" Okay, for a hot minute I genuinely thought Lecter was going to be like, "Well, we can fix that; good thing I stashed the body in the trunk," take her home for dinner, and then, like, read her a story and tuck her into bed. But no, he says, it's not necessarily murder: "Most would argue self-defense." "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME Then why not tell the truth?!" sputters Abigail. "Most would argue," he amends. "There would still be those who would say you were taking after your father."

Now, I am not entirely sure how Abigail draws these conclusions, but: "You're--glad I killed him!" "What would be the alternative?" he deflects. "That he killed you?" Abigail: "I didn't know if he was going to--" Lecter: "No, you don't." Somehow, this makes her realize: "You're the one who called the house. You talked to my dad before--what did you say to him?" Lecter claims it was "a simple conversation, ascertaining if he was home for an interview." Abigail gives him this look of disbelief that is, again, verging on sassy. "Then why not tell the truth?" he answers. I feel like I need a translator to explain the logical flow of this whole scene--what, "if you don't believe me, then go tell the police you killed Nicholas Boyle in self-defense"? Maybe what Abigail says next is preceded by an unspoken, well, if it was such an innocent phone call, why don't YOU tell the truth about THAT? "I think you called the house as a serial killer. Just like my dad." Lecter: "I'm nothing like your dad." Well, unless you use antlers in all of your decorating, I guess not. "I made a mistake. Something easily misconstrued. Not unlike yourself." Nevertheless, "I'll keep your secret." "And I'll keep yours," she says. He gives her a sort of--roguish paternal look? "No more climbing walls, Abigail."

(So... what? She's going back to the hospital? She's going to sleep on The Big Blue Sofa? Seriously, it's an amazing sofa.)

The camera lingers on Abigail's uncertain face while she considers all of this--has he convinced her that he just doesn't want anyone to know he made an innocent phone call that inadvertently set her father off? Or is she putting two and two together and actually coming up with four this time?

NEXT WEEK: Someone is killing people to make angels with meat wings. What?

@cleolinda: Yeaaaah. RT @TheAVClub: Bryan Fuller asked NBC to pull next week’s Hannibal because real life is terrifying enough

According to Variety, Fuller asked his bosses at NBC to pull the fourth episode of Hannibal in light of “the cultural climate right now in the U.S.,” a nightmarescape of explosions, mass casualties, and fear that doesn’t necessarily need Hannibal Lecter to reinforce the notion that mankind’s refined, high-cheekboned façade is a poor mask for cannibalistic tendencies. [It seems to involve kids killing each other.] “With this episode, it wasn’t about the graphic imagery or violence,” Fuller told Variety, which failed to note whether or not the Hannibal showrunner was curled up in the fetal position, soothingly rocking himself back and forth. “It was the associations that came with the subject matter that I felt would inhibit the enjoyment of the overall episode. It was my own sensitivity.”

@cleolinda: The preview for that was... yow. I'm not the least bit surprised. Says they'll skip straight to episode 5 next week.

@cafecliche: Except it sort of seems like the preview last night was for episode 5? I can't tell.

@cleolinda: Oh God, you're right. Last night's preview IS the replacement episode. Good God almighty. This show, I swear.

Yeah. So apparently they're going to put a few clips (with commentary?) online to catch us up on the overarching relationship developments, while skipping the potentially sensitive Killer of the Week elements. Except that, if I'm understanding this correctly, the entire rest of the world gets episode 4, and the U.S. doesn't, not even discreetly online, so this Thursday we skip straight to "Coquilles," and no one has any idea what's going on or who's seen what, because someone somewhere said, "You know what's less disturbing? Meat wings." I just... we'll work it out, I guess.

(Continue: 1x04: "Ceuf" webisodes)

(OR continue: the rest of 1x04: "Ceuf")

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Tags: hannibal, king arthur, om nom nom, recaps, tv

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