Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

Hannibal 1x07: "Sorbet"

So basically I'm dying of a sinus infection that's settled into my chest over here, which adds an extra layer of grossness to the proceedings in my head. My head, which is full of blarg.

@cleolinda: Recap gifs! Bless. RT @yesiac: came across this on sounded familiar. and then I saw the caption.

@cleolinda: On a day when I am dying of blarg, that is truly heartwarming. And blargwarming.

@eruvadhril: "It's probably people." RT @NBCHannibal: Give us three words to describe #Hannibal thus far...

@NoelCT: Even all of his fruits and vegetables are probably fertilized with people. Likely took a few extra notes from mushroom man.

@cleolinda: I'm pretty sure he's got a whole Cannibal Martha Stewart thing going in the backyard, yeah.

@Ceilidhann: I would watch the Lecter version of Martha Stewart. Pretty table decorations & how to use up all your victims.

@NoelCT: Suddenly imagining Hannibal being a Martha Stewart fan and getting personal revenge when her show was cancelled last year.

@cleolinda: Not to mention the prison correspondence.

PREVIOUSLY ON: EMPATH AND CANNIBAL: Eddie Izzard guest-starred in an unholy mashup of Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs; there were black and white flashbacks and I started screaming about socks; this show kicked my ass and made me love it. Also, "Chesapeake" doesn't look like a word anymore.

There is no actual sorbet in this episode (unless you can make it out of meat, I guess?), so presumably we're talking about it in the sense of a mid-meal palate cleanser. A palate cleanser of feels: this is the Ballad of the Sad Cannibal.

Academy lecture hall, Quantico. "The Chesapeake Ripper kills in sounders of three," expositions Will, over slides of the Ripper's previous crime scenes. (I just noticed that the very first slide is one that we hear about later. For that reason, I screencapped them for future reference, and... kind of wish I hadn't. What am I looking at here--eyeballs on a pair of scales? Lips on a cutting board?) "He did his first victims in nine days... Annapolis, Essex, Baltimore. He didn't kill again for eighteen months. Then there was another sounder of three in as many days... all of them in Baltimore." And you're going, wtf, Will, Sounder was a dog, and God knows Will knows dogs. But! "I use the term sounders because it refers to a small group of pigs. That's how he sees his victims; not as people; not as prey... pigs." (Does Will remember that he himself insisted that the Copycat Shrike "thought [Cassie Boyle] was a pig"?) "Eleven months after the sixth victim, there was a seventh. Two days later, the eighth is killed in his workshop. Every tool on the pegboard where they hung was used against him, and, as with previous murders, organs were removed." And there's the Wound Man illustration. "The removal of organs and abdominal mutilations means someone with anatomical--or surgical--know-how. There... is a distinctive brutality." And Will sees Crawford standing in the doorway right as he gets to a slide of a certain ID card: "An FBI trainee named Miriam Lass" (YEAH, ONE OF Y'ALL, SO LISTEN UP) "was investigating private medical records of all the known victims when she disappeared." And Crawford thinks back to Eager Greytone Flashback Miriam and broods. Because, as you'll recall from last week, the "Will sees the illustration and realizes who the killer is" epiphany was given to Miriam instead, the show went totally off-book, and it was awesome. "She's believed to be the Ripper's ninth, but no trace of her was found--until recently, two years later, when her severed arm was discovered." I suspect a number of students dropped this class and peaced the entire fuck out of the training program later that afternoon. "Only because he wanted it to be," adds Will, almost confidentially. Crawford's dismay is not lessened by a slide of the aforesaid arm, holding the phone Miriam's Dying Words called him with. "True to his established pattern, the Chesapeake Ripper has remained consistently theatrical."

Cut to: a sustained closeup of an opera singer's vocal cords, currently singing opera, the camera running up through her throat and out her mouth, because I am starting to think this show maybe has a tongue fetish of some kind. I mean, I get it--all this art and emotion and beauty are coming from, essentially, meat. But also blarrrgh.

(Dig the swags of fabric, like slashes of blood. Also, notice what the banners say.)

@BryanFuller: The Diva @Emily_Klassen Sings Handel's “Piangero" #HANNIBAL

I will note here that the movie Hannibal (which was based off the book of the same name at the far end of the series, rather than over here in Prequeltown) has a Deeply Subtextual Scene all about an aria that Hans Zimmer composed for the film. So I was primed for this to be ~significant.~ This selection--unless my Google-fu has failed me--is Cleopatra's aria "Piangerò la sorte mia" ("I will lament my fate") from Giulio Cesare. ("Saddened by the turn of events, Cleopatra contemplates what fate has given her and how, when she is dead, she could come back and haunt her brother.") I'm guessing the relevant lines here would be "There is no hope left to my fortune and future life. / I shall lament my fate, / So cruel and so pitiless, / As long as I have breath in my breast," because ain't no party like a cannibal pity party, y'all. (Two commenter ideas, also.) Lecter (and a revolving closeup of his ear) are entranced, and when he opens his eyes again, they're full of tears.

And there in the very back, there's Franklyn, who we met back in the first episode as a patient that Lecter was, uh, not fond of. I fully expected him to start coughing and unwrapping lozenges and generally sign his own death warrant at this point, but instead, Franklyn just plays it extremely uncool by staring at him. Lecter, who is trying to feel some feelings here, do you mind, deigns to bestow the slightest degree of peripheral vision on Franklyn, all but leaping out of his seat to start a standing ovation for the soprano. Afterwards, a rather fussy socialite who reminds me of nothing so much as a living tube of lipstick frets, "It's been too long since you've properly cooked for us, Hannibal. I said properly. Means dinner and the show--have you seen him cook? It's an entire performance. He used to throw such exquisite dinner parties. You heard me," she says plaintively. "Used to." Madam, such grumping is not entirely courteous on your part. But Lecter can make no promises: "And I will again, once inspiration strikes. I cannot force a feast. A feast must present itself." HANNIBAL LECTER CANNOT ART UNDER THESE CONDITIONS, OKAY. To which the socialite retorts, "It's a dinner party, not a unicorn," which was another Hit Pause Until I Stop Laughing line. "Oh, but the feast is life," says Lecter, a bit vampirishly. "You put the life in your belly and you live." And then the socialite, who I kind of hope Lecter decides to fricassee, ruins all attempts to ignore Franklyn by pointing out, "I believe this young man is trying to get your attention." Franklyn beams and introduces his friend, the icy Tobias. Lecter admirably pretends that he does not want to throttle this man and bestows smiles upon all. Ah, but "how do you two know each other?" asks the socialite, who is an upstart frontrunner for this episode's Worst at Helping. Franklyn gives Lecter this hopeful look, wanting to be claimed and acknowledged, but "there should remain some mystery to my life outside the opera," Lecter says diplomatically." "I'm one of his patients," says Franklyn (OH NOOOOO). Real talk from Tobias: "His eyes kept wandering--more interested in you than what was happening on stage." "Oh, don't say too much," Lecter says cheerfully, in just the most magnificent impression of someone who does not want to kill everyone involved right now. "You must leave something for us to discuss next week. Franklyn, good to see you." And then he and Tobias exchange looks that are a small conversation in themselves: He's mine-- Believe me, you can have him. Turning to the socialite: "Who's hungry?" Yeah.

And then, I swear to God, the credits went straight into the most hilariously inappropriate commercial ever: "OH, AND A SIDE OF BACK FAT." The joke is that some dude orders the body fat his fast food will eventually metabolize into rather than the food itself. "WITH GREASY FAST FOOD, WHAT ARE YOU REALLY GETTING? INSTEAD, TRY THE TEMPTING Subway Smokehouse Barbecue Chicken. Subway. EAT FRESH." Either Subway has an amazing sense of humor, or they need to ask for their ad money back now.

Forensics lab, empty and echoey and gleaming with stainless steel as Crawford strides through at the end of the day. And then a phone starts ringing. And then he realizes the ringing is coming from inside a morgue drawer. And that inside that morgue drawer is Miriam's arm. Wait, the lab techs aren't going to leave evidence in the drawer--and Crawford wakes up in his bed (presumably it's not a crime scene anymore). It's an actual phone call, and he's got somewhere to be.

"The victim was found in a hotel room bathtub," he tells Will on the drive over. "There were abdominal mutilations and organ removal on the scene." "Sounds more like an urban legend than the Chesapeake Ripper, no?" asks Will, who nonetheless will get the room sealed and fresh ("Fresh as a daisy?"). Look, just go empath this one grisly murderation and you can go right back to teaching on no sleep, okay? "Oh, you don't want me in a classroom. You want me to wrap my head so tight around the Ripper I won't go back to class until he's caught." "Your bad luck that you're the best, pal," says Crawford, who wants to know if it's the Ripper--and if he should expect the rest of the sounder. Will warns him to simmer down: "Don't let the Ripper stir you up. The reason he left you Miriam Lass's arm is so he could poke you with it." Which is unlike the Ripper's other victims, who "he wanted to humiliate in death, like... like a public dissection. She was different." "He was probably impressed that she was able to find him," Crawford says. "He may be starting another cycle, Will. If this is the Ripper, there'll be at least two more bodies and then nothing for months, maybe a year. We'll have a window of opportunity to catch him and that window will close. The last time the window closed, I lost the Ripper and I lost Miriam Lass. I don't intend to do that again."

At the scene, the Investigators Three have already descended. Crawford, who wants the room to be in optimal empathing condition, demands to know if anyone's touched the body. (Jimmy: "It's fairly evident the man's dead just by looking at him.") The intrepid Beverly admits she did: "A lot going on with that body. Surgery was performed and then un-performed." With bare hands, no less, notes Brian, "and sutures clawed open." (A look from Crawford.) "I, uh... I also... did a little bit of touching." (Bryan Fuller then tweeted a number of pictures showing that the hotel bathroom is specifically an homage to Kubrick's The Shining.) Jimmy goes on to explain that "pieces of him were torn off from the bed to the bathroom, like breadcrumbs," which is where the body is now: sitting in the bathtub in a huge splash of gore.

"Surgery wasn't performed here," says Will, sitting on the (clean) side of the tub. "There would be a lot more blood," which is really saying something. Beverly, who basically ends up solving the case on this line of thought, suggests that "if he's moving his victims, he could be performing the mutilations in the same transport." "He tore open his own sutures," says Will, but the kidney is currently MIA. Brian thinks the Ripper was interrupted before he could snaffle the heart: "It's intact. Traumatized, but it's intact." Which seems to give Will an idea; he crouches closer, giving us a nice view of the incision hanging open, yay, and the EMPATHING IN PROGRESS sign flickers on. Once Crawford's shooed everyone out, Will closes his eyes, and his mind metronome closes the incision; blood oozes upwards and in; sprays of blood disappear from the carpet. He walks backwards, past the police gathered outside, then forward into the now-darkened room. And... there's the Dire Ravenstag clopping into the bathroom ahead of him? I thought we'd decided that the Ravenstag most likely represented Lecter in some way, but--that will not turn out to be the case here. Huh.

@DireRavenstag: This hotel room is so tacky, Will. You never take me anywhere nice. #Hannibal

Y'all, I don't know who that is--I don't have any side accounts on Twitter. Apparently something from the recaps came to life and started tweeting.

"He's suffering from a severe, violent emergence from deep sedation," empaths Will as the victim stumbles towards him, fumbling at his bloody sutures. Whenever he talks a crime scene out like this, it's like whichever killer he's empathing is sharing his face--you can tell which expressions are Will's and which are the murderer's, which is why Hugh Dancy is so good on this show. But let me tell you, they both look pretty alarmed when Involuntary Donor Guy lunges at him with a surprising amount of fight; it's all Will can do to throw him into the bathtub. "His heart seizes up," gasps Will, tearing off the guy's undershirt in a panic and pulling out a scalpel. "I open his chest wall--I spread the ribs--I take his heart in my hand... internal cardiac massage..." he realizes, then comes out of his trance, shaking. "This wasn't brutal," he tells Crawford. (Well, not intentionally, I guess.) "The killer wasn't killing--he was trying to save his life. Did the Ripper ever do that?"

"It's the Chesapeake Ripper," Brian says flatly. GO MEASURE SOMEONE'S PAIN, BRIAN. Will: "It's not the Ripper." "There are too many similarities." "There aren't enough." Brian rattles them off for our edification: "Knife wounds are cuts, not stabs; anatomical knowledge, dissection skills, mutilation, organs removed, victim clothed, on display. We got twenty-two signature components all attributable to the same killer--" "Twenty-two possible signature components." "IT'S THE RIPPER," says Brian. In reply, Will shuts the door in his face.

"Are you sure?" Crawford asks quietly. "More or less," says Will, and here's why: "The Ripper left his last victim in a church pew using his tongue as a page marker in the Bible he was holding." Yeah... that was the first slide in his lecture. "This isn't that," he says, with delightful understatement. "This is a medical student or a trainee or someone trying to make an extra buck in a back-alley surgery, and it went bad. Actively bad. You'll catch the Ripper," he adds. "...Eventually." Thanks, Will. "Yeah, well, I want to catch him now," says Crawford, "and when I do, you're not gonna get a chance to shoot him, 'cause I'm gonna do that." "You can't just jack up the law and get underneath it--" "Can't I?" Hence the name, Will. Hence the name. But tell us more about how you see the Ripper. "I see him as... one of those... pitiful things sometimes born in hospitals," says Will (this is directly from Red Dragon). "They feed it, keep it warm... but they don't put it on the machines. They let it die. But he doesn't die. He looks... normal. And nobody can tell what he is." Cut to:

"Good morning," says Lecter, over at The Best Office Ever. Oh, look, it's his favorite patient.

@BryanFuller: @mrdanfogler plays Franklyn Froideveaux. Ben Franklin. Froideveaux is a street running parallel to Raspail in Paris.

Franklyn gonna get et, y'all.

(Well, maybe. I think he has different fates in the book and the movie. And, as we know, as far as the show goes, ALL BETS ARE OFF.)

"Would you like to discuss our chance encounter?" says Lecter, sitting way way back in his chair, with Franklyn perched right on the edge of his own, which is basically their dynamic in a nutshell. "It wasn't altogether by chance," Franklyn confesses. "I kind of... kinda thought you'd be there--which isn't why I was there, I--I was there because I like that sort of thing. Uh, it just occurred to me that--that you might like it too." Oh, honey, are you stalking Hannibal Lecter? "I tried to get your attention," he says, laughing nervously. Yeah. He was aware of that. "I knew that you were aware, even though you were pretending that you weren't," Franklyn says eagerly, but Lecter points out that it would be unethical (OH, NOW, NOW WE ARE CONCERNED WITH ETHICS) to acknowledge his totally embarrassing overeager patient in ANY WAY until that patient gives consent, an excuse that was kind of blown by Franklyn bouncing up all like O HAI, HOW U DO, DOCTOR IS MINE! "But I really don't know who you are outside this room," complains Franklyn, which is the point that you are missing. "I'm your psychiatrist," says Lecter, not quite able to say so sit the hell down because this whole "having boundaries" thing is not usually how he rolls. "But I want you to be my friend!" cries Franklyn. OH, HONEY, NO. "We like the same things, I think that we would make good friends, it makes me sad that I have to pay to see you." Lecter just lets the awkwardness haaaang therrrre, until Franklyn sits back with a sigh. At last: "I am a source of stability and clarity, Franklyn. I'm not your friend." "I'm a great friend," retorts his patient. FRANKLYN, HE IS JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU. "I was listening to Michael Jackson last night, and I burst into tears, and... my eyes are burning right now just thinking about it... You know what I think is the saddest thing about him dying, is that I will never get to meet him" (yes, Franklyn, that is the saddest thing about a reclusive, drug-addicted pop star's untimely death), "and I feel like if I was his friend that--I would have been able to help save him from himself." "In this Michael Jackson fantasy, what are you even talking about how is your friendship returned?" Lecter asks. Franklyn replies, "I just get to touch greatness."

This is interesting to me on two different levels--one, the basic subtext where Franklyn seems to view both Michael Jackson and Hannibal Lecter as wish-fulfillment friends whose greatness he wants to touch, which is a sentence I never expected to find myself writing, but there you are. Two, the general yearning to touch celebrity--we talked about this on Made of Fail a few years (!) ago, and how you hear this from so many fans of anyone, over and over: "I just wish we could be friends." A certain understandable longing for an object of admiration--but also a need for validation. I actually think that need for validation is at the root of most, if not all, fantasies, particularly romantic ones--it's more about the dreamer's ego, more about a celebrity-faced paper doll, a sock puppet to bestow validation on yourself. And, you know, everyone needs those fantasies now and then; the problem is when you forget it's just you talking to yourself. In fact, I am willing to bet that this is 99% of Hannibal Lecter's allure to fandom, because the entire media series sets him up as superior in all things--brilliant, intellectual, refined, epicurean, silver-tongued, aloof. Aristocratic, even, according to later books--a literal Prince Charming, from a certain point of view. And then, your Mary Sue fantasy comes in and says, "What if I was the one he found worthy?" You know, while conveniently ignoring the whole Most Likely to Eat Your Face issue. We talked about something like this way, way back in 2008--I actually specifically name-checked this character as an extreme example of the "I alone have the power to reform the Bad Boy archetype" fantasy, even though y'all probably gave me such a side-eye at the time. Or, in terms of our pet control/connection theme--"What if I was the only one who could connect with him? What if I was the only one who could control him?" Which is every "the villain falls in love with me" daydream ever. So Franklyn is basically trying to live his own Mary Sue fanfic--romantic or platonic, doesn't matter--with his sophisticated, ~mysterious~ therapist, and while it's sort of hilarious that he has no idea what he's getting into--I'm not sure that fantasy would diminish if he knew.

Even better: the next scene has Lecter visiting his own psychiatrist (which, as far as I know, is fairly standard), who is played by Gillian Anderson (YAAAAAAAAY). And said therapist is a Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, a fabulous name I would like us all to soak in for a moment. Particularly since I'm sure we children of the '70s and '80s went straight to Amelia Bedelia, but apparently there is a Bedelia (1945) that is highly relevant to the proceedings: The initially blissfully happy husband finds out during the first months of their marriage that his wife may have a criminal past. His growing suspicion and seemingly corroborating evidence lead him to think that she might even be a serial killer, and that he could be her next victim. I don't even know where to start with the works of Daphne Du Maurier, although you could maybe pin down some basic themes of deception and secret identities. So basically, Lecter's psychiatrist is foreshadowing on legs.

That said, Gillian Anderson plays her with an interesting fragility--I read somewhere that Bedelia was originally written as an older woman, but they cast Anderson in a sudden burst of inspiration instead? And yet she does play Bedelia with a sort of frailty, emotionally aged, almost like she's recovering from illness? And to have "retired" at an early age suggests that something unfortunate may have happened? They've packed a lot of potential into this character's one appearance so far, I don't know.

"This always goes better if I'm perfectly honest with you," Bedelia says quietly (she says everything quietly). Lecter: "What would be the point otherwise?" Look, you're the serial killer hiding a double life from your own therapist; you tell me. He insists that he's honest, "as honest as anyone," bold-faced liarrrrr, and Bedelia calls him out on it (quietly): "Not really. I have conversations with a...version of you... and hope that the actual you... gets what he needs." "A version of me?" repeats Lecter, actually looking kind of stung by this. Bedelia: "Naturally... I respect its meticulous construction... but you are wearing a very well-tailored person suit." AH JESUS GOD WHAT THE HELL. I mean, well-played with the gigantic Silence of the Lambs reference there, and the metaphor is even weirdly fitting (I'm sorry), but it also reminds me of "Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?" in Donnie Darko, and you know, I really wanted to sleep tonight. Lecter expresses concern that all of the other psychiatric reindeer laugh and call him "Person Suit," but Bedelia assures him, "I don't discuss patients with my psychiatrist friends... especially since I only have one patient who chose to ignore my retirement." Then she backpedals, "Maybe it's less of a person suit and more of a human veil." (He likes this much better.) "That must be lonely." "I do so have friends," says Lecter, "and the opportunities for friends. You and I are friendly." (Ohhhh noooo, there he goes walking right into it--) "You are my patient... and my colleague. Not my friend," Bedelia says firmly. (So, how does it feel to realize both you and Franklyn are chasing a paid therapist's friendship? Not so haughty now, are we?) "At the end of your hour, I will pour you a glass of wine," she says. "Nevertheless, you will be drinking it on the other side of the veil." (Well, that has an interesting life-and-death "beyond the veil" phrasing to it.) "Why do you bother?" he asks. "I see enough of you to see the truth of you," she says (o rly?). "And I like you. Red or white?" Lecter: "I think something pink, don't you?" I'm all out of symbolism for that one; y'all have at it.

Later that night, Will arrives at The Best Office Ever and promptly remarks, "Oh, you've been drinking." "I had a glass of wine with my last appointment, yes," says Lecter, even though he was clearly at Bedelia's for that and now he's over here drinking even more rosé. Lecter handwaves this as the standard operating procedure of his own "unconventional psychiatrist." "Well, we have that in common," deadpans Will. "Am I your psychiatrist, or are we simply having conversations?" asks Lecter, who has all the loneliness, you guys. I'm kind of surprised he wasn't also drowning his sorrows in a pint of ice cream, or maybe whatever was left of that grape jello (it was people). Will: "Yes, I think, is the answer to that." Well, wine for EVERYBODY, then! (The office has a liquor cabinet. This really is the best office ever.) And Will probably needs it, because Lecter notes that Miss Freddie has a new article up: "The Chesapeake Ripper has struck again." "No no no, it's not the same guy," Will says quickly--"Maybe it's never been the same guy," says Lecter (it's absolutely not the same guy sitting right here, nope). "Oh, what, now HE has a friend?" No, Will, the Chesapeake Ripper is ~forever alone.~ Lecter points out that any variations in the murders might suggest more than one killer; on the other hand, since "the victims were all brutalized, what was the brutalization hiding?" "The careful... surgical removal and preservation of vital organs," Will suggests. Lecter: "Valuable organs." Wait--organ harvesting? "Jack's looking for a serial killer he can't seem to catch. It's a brilliant diversion." "That's an interesting theory," Will says dryly. "I will keep it in mind if another body drops." "Please do." Wait, did Lecter just lick his lips?

In another greytone flashback, Some Maybe A Doctor Guy asks him, "Any other infections?" as he draws blood. "You seem convinced I'm diseased," says Lecter, who is just really beset on all sides this episode. "A disease is an infection; an infection isn't always a disease," says the doctor. (Wait--other infections? I'm pretty sure they don't actually tell us what's going on here, but there are some possibilities. particle_person reminded me that, in the first episode, Will said he doesn't like to look people in the eye because he starts analyzing the whites for health problems--specifically mentioning hepatitis. Which is... an inflammation of the liver. I don't know if you can get hepatitis from eating liver, but you can get vitamin A poisoning. And then there's Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which you may remember from the cannibalism episode of The X-Files, because let's just throw that in while we're here. Other than that, I got nothin'.) "You should just tell me now, because I'm going to find out, and it will affect your insurance if you lie." The fuck is your problem, Dr. Guy? "May I ask for your business card, please, for my records?" says Lecter. And then, in the present, we see him take the card out of his personal Rolodex and go STRAIGHT TO HIS BOX OF RECIPES, I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP:

He... he keeps a... I just... that is magical.

Night, rain, lonely woodsy road, "coincidental" car trouble; Andrew Caldwell, Independent Medical Examiner, discovers that his gas tank is leaking. Oh, look, here's someone "conveniently" in the neighborhood: "Do you need a hand?" Caldwell starts trying to explain that he "must have hit a rock or something," and then trails off, noticing that Lecter is slowly, coldly striding towards him: "Have we met before?" Oh, yes. Yes, you have. You were rude, and he is the worst at helping.

Here's how well that ended: Caldwell is now lying on a slab in the forensics lab, chalk white, in two pieces--bisected through the torso, nice disconnected intestines everywhere. "Found him in a school bus, sitting across the aisle from himself," explains Brian. "Not only did the Ripper take his kidney" (over in his kitchen, Lecter taps the kidney with his butcher knife before slicing in. Settle in for the ride, kids; this episode is just a carnival of offal) "but he also took his heart, which if you recall is what he tried to do in the hotel" (oh God please stop with the heart and the de-veining and the closeup and the augh) "but was interrupted before he could paint his picture." "The Ripper wasn't painting a picture in the hotel," argues Will, "someone else was." Brian is distinctly skeptical that the hotel killer "was ripping out a heart to save a life," but Beverly notes that "the Ripper painted this picture, for sure. In big, broad strokes." Oh, there's a nice crime scene photo, yay. (AUGH GOD PLEASE WITH THE HEART ALREADY) Will asks if both victims' organs could have been harvested for transplant--as Beverly puts it, "Subtle variation on waking up in a tub of ice missing a kidney?" Jimmy: "I love a good urban legend!" Okay, this takes a bit of following, but: "At the hotel, the victim's abdominal aorta and inferior vena cava-- that's like the kidney's in-and-out for blood-- were entirely removed," explains Brian (Beverly adds, "They're like USB cables--you keep them intact for an easy reconnect"). And then we find out that Caldwell's cables, so to speak, were taken, but we've just been watching Lecter decable Caldwell's organs (auuuugh), so this must refer back to Lecter's realization that making a murderation look like an organ harvest would be super-genius. I'm with you there. But Bathtub Guy, who was not a Ripper/Lecter victim, but was presumably an organ "donor," did not have his cables taken. And neither did the other actual Ripper victims, presumably because Lecter hadn't thought to make them look like organ harvests yet. So... why didn't the Harvester take the Easy Reconnect Cables? Doesn't he need those? "Is the organ harvester disguising his work as the crimes of a serial killer, or is the serial killer disguising his crimes as the work of an organ harvester?" THAT'S WHAT I'M ASKING, JIMMY. (What the hell is Lecter wrapping that heart in, prosciutto? Don't even tell me what it's stuffed with, I don't want to know.) "The Chesapeake Ripper wants to perform," says Will. "Every brutal choice has elegance... grace. His mutilations hide the true nature of his crimes." I cannot wait for the day Will ends up trying to actually empath one of Lecter's murder scenes, is all I'm saying.

So who's the heart for?

@BryanFuller: #HANNIBAL and Alana Bloom are listening to #CHOPIN's Prelude No. 13 in F Sharp Major

I think those are supposed to be tomato roses he's making now? "I've been unspeakably rude--I haven't offered you a drink." Alana, who is on the other side of the kitchen in a cute apron (naturally) dealing with the celery, says that she appreciates beer more than wine (as we know); Lecter replies, "It's not what you appreciate; it's that you appreciate." His compromise: "Beer brewed in a wine barrel. Two years. I bottled it myself."

@cafecliche: [SPOILER] YOU WERE RIGHT.

@cleolinda: Often am. Have to be more specific. :)

@theseventhl: Oh god, @cleolinda was right. RT @BryanFuller BEER IS PEOPLE #HANNIBAL

I told y'all: Lecter watches people that same particular way every single time he tricks them into consuming something made of people. And by something I mean everything. Everything is people.

"A Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrel," says Alana, giving it a taste. Yeah, this is a rather far cry from my college friend who brewed underbed beer in the dorm. "I love your palate," says Lecter. "I love your beer," she replies. "I taste oak... what else do I taste in there?"

@Celendra: CLEO! Bryan Fuller favorited my tweet where I guessed that the beer was Miriam! HANNIBAL SAID 2 YEARS!! Caught between :D and :0

OF COURSE IT IS. (And HOW.) Jesus take the wheel.

( wait, who's the brandy?)

This is a private reserve just for Alana, by the way. A private reserve of beer that he's been working on for... two years in advance? Subtle are the ways of the fancy cannibal, and deep are his designs. We actually ended up talking about this in the comments of the previous recap--as winterlive pointed out, "He's a lover of fine food, fine music, fine clothes, we have that line about his epicurean nature, and he's a psychiatrist so he actually makes a study of what people want. Would he not be fucking DON JUAN? If you date Hannibal Lecter, I would think you would be swept off your feet in SECONDS." For real, the man ought to have game that game hasn't even thought of yet. (Of course, I also replied that I just would never be able to think that way, because I know in my heart that the encounter would inevitably be like, "Oh, how nice to meet you. It seems like you have very nice marbling." "...what?" "I said, it seems like you're quite charming.") And yet... he can't (won't?) quite get there with Alana. "I'm curious about something," he says. "Are you purposefully avoiding the subject of Will Graham?" (Noooo, noooo! Never bring up the other dude!) "Absolutely," she says. Heh. "Not on my account, I hope," says Lecter. "I'm happy to get your perspective." Yeah, everybody wants to get into Alana's perspective. But no, she says--it's on Crawford's account: "I don't want any information about Will that I shouldn't have as his friend." It turns out that Miriam consulted her on the Ripper case right before she disappeared ("Very sad," Lecter murmurs). "You had me examining PhD candidates that week," says Alana, and thus she was (fortunately, and not coincidentally) unable to help Miriam any further. "You realize those candidates thought we were having an affair," he replies. "Why didn't we?" A bold move, sir! Never let it be said that Hannibal Lecter is a Nice Guy. "You were already having an affair," she retorts. (Okay, I fully expected that to end "...WITH YOUR WORK," but it didn't, and now I'm wondering if a previous-affair-haver is going to show up.) "Will does that too, you know," she says. Lecter: "What, have affairs?" "Flirtatiously change the subject," she replies. Which is itself a way of changing the subject, because GIRL. He made you a heart with roses for dinner. He made you special beer out of the trainee who nearly captured him. And then he just straight-up ASKED, "So, the sex, why didn't we do it?" I know you know where he's going with this; you just don't want to go there. (Which: FAIR ENOUGH.) "You have that pathology in common," she adds. Lecter: "Or we just have you in common." (I am hands-up walking away from that one.) What Alana really wants, though, is for everyone to LEAVE WILL ALONE. "It's not even about Will. Jack's obsessed with the Chesapeake Ripper and he's grooming Will to catch him." (Grooming. Interesting that you should use that word.) "And I sincerely hope he does," says Lecter. Given that viewers actually spotted his Wound Man sketch still lying around his office two years after Miriam saw it and nearly busted him, I wonder if maybe he actually means that.

Back at the empty gleaming forensics lab, Crawford's walking through the morgue again, for real this time; nothing's ringing, and he even checks the drawer from his dream to be sure. Except that then Dead Milky-Eyed Will sits up on a gurney behind him, with one arm missing and an autopsy Y-incision already sewn up. Time of death: Whenever he'll be pushed close enough to the Ripper to get Miriam'd. Cause of death: YOU. Crawford: *BLINK.*

And now, Lecter goes on a CULINARY RAMPAGE. A recipe card for chicken liver pâté! A card in the Rolodex for "Michelle Vocalson," customer service rep at a tailor! LOTS OF BUTCHERING TO THE STRAINS OF FAUST. Braised Beef Lungs! Darrell Ledgerwood, rare book dealer! More lung kneading. Parmesan Crumbled Lambs' Brains! Christopher Word, IT consultant! Bowl of meats! Pepper grinder! I also enjoy the shots of Lecter rummaging in his freezer and stacking up his haul from the point of view of the freezer. And then somebody asked Bryan Fuller who was actually doing the butchering in closeup shots--a stand-in or something? And he was like, nope, that's actual Mads Mikkelsen. Oh. So he really is that proficient with all those big sharp knives. That's... good to know, yeah.

"They're all missing different organs," Jimmy's telling Will in the lab, over a montage of exactly where those organs went. "Before, we were looking at waiting lists for a heart or a kidney. Now we're looking at hearts [PERICARDIUM RIPPING!], kidneys [SLICING!], livers [CUTTING BOARD!], stomachs [AUGH WHAT AM I EVEN LOOKING AT], pancreases [MOAR SLICING!], lungs [HUGE WET FLOP]. This guy, he's missing a spleen. A SPLEEN! Who the hell gets a spleen transplant?" [RRRRR BLENDERRRRR] "Intestines were the only organ missing from this body?" asks Will, at the far end of the row. "Yes, right," says Brian, "so we're either looking for someone with short bowels or... Ripper's making sausage." FUNNY YOU SHOULD MENTION THAT [grind grind grind]. I just--I can't stop laughing, you guys. "He's selling these organs to someone," murmurs Crawford, and then Brian and Jimmy start arguing over Chinese cultural taboos regarding voluntary organ donation and then arguing over whether they're arguing and BOYS! we need you to focus. Crawford wants the bottom line: "How many killers?" "Two," says Will. "You confident one of them is the Chesapeake Ripper?" "At least one of them, yeah," he says.

Back at The Best Office Ever, Lecter's temperament is greatly improved; he even looks glad to see Franklyn. "I discovered," announces Mr. Froideveaux, "that we are cheese folk." And there it goes: Lecter's good mood, right down the drain. "José's has the best selection of artisanal cheeses in Baltimore, city or county," says Franklyn, pleased that he deduced that this is exactly where Lecter would go--he saw him there (wait, how long did he have to just lurk there?), but "I didn't say hello, because you were so uncomfortable the last time that I did." Oh my God, Franklyn, here is a coupon, buy an artisanal clue. "Cheese is my passion." (Okay, don't you DARE ruin cheese for me, show. Cheese just wants to love you.) "You ever heard of tyromancy?" "Divination by cheese," says Lecter, in this wonderful Who hasn't? tone. At this point, either I'm wonked out on cold medicine or Franklyn is still. talking. about. cheese: "It was my gateway to cheeses. It was like a Magic 8 Ball that you can eat. Tobias... he doesn't eat dairy." "Do you desire Tobias sexually?" asks Lecter, because unless cheese is people, he's got better things to do than listen to this. "No! God, no! Uh... no. Not to be--defensive, I just, um... I mean, don't get me wrong. I was in a [finger quotes] 'fraternity,' I--I tried things, you know? Uh... it's just not my brand." Wait, what's with the so-called alleged "fraternity" here, bro? You gotta be who you really are and stop stalking some snobby cannibal for your validation, okay? "You care deeply about Tobias," Lecter observes all the same. "Despite differences, he's your best friend, but you're not his." "Well, it's sad when you say it like that," says Franklyn, laughing awkwardly. Lecter, who may or may not be projecting: "You often worry about being alone?" "I worry about hurting," says Franklyn. "Being alone comes with... a dull ache. Doesn't it?"

"It can," says Lecter.

Next appointment! Oh. No one is in the dark waiting room. Lecter goes back inside, in the dark, closes the office door, in the dark, and sits down at his desk in a pool of lamplight. In the dark.

@BryanFuller: #HANNIBAL is listening to #MOZART's Requiem, K. 626 VII. Lacrymosa.

so alone. so many feels. nothing to do. no one to see. lining up his appointment book parallel to his phone. in the dark. Will is scheduled next for a "conversation," but even Will has forsaken him now. Even the Unwelcome Cheesemancer has more friends than he does. This is the Ballad of the Sad Cannibal. But no! He rises from his desk! Control must be taken!

And now here's Abigail and Will facing each other, seated the same length apart as Lecter's therapy chairs, with Cassie Boyle's stag-impaled body between them like some kind of gruesome campfire as night falls. "It's better that it's just the two of us," says Abigail, smiling. Will? calls Lecter's voice in the distance. "Dad," says Abigail--but I can't tell whether she's identifying Lecter's voice as "Dad" or addressing Will, because after episode 4, I don't even know whose daddy issues are whose anymore. "Yes?" says Will, assuming the latter. "There's someone else here," she says.

"Will? Will?" He's actually sitting beside his desk in the lecture hall, dreaming with his eyes open, and Lecter's come looking for him: "I have a 24-hour cancellation policy." "Oh, God, I'm so sorry," says Will, realizing that he's slept through his 7:30 appointment. "Was I sleepwalking?" Well, by definition, I suppose you were sleepsitting? "Your eyes were open, but you were not present," says Lecter. Will mutters that he needs to stop sleeping entirely: "Best way to avoid bad dreams." (Yeah, sleep-deprivation psychosis would be a much better life choice.) "Well, I can see why you have bad dreams," says the man who may or may not guest-star as a ravenstag in them. To be fair, he's also looking at a table covered with Chesapeake Ripper crime scene photos featuring the same horrors as the lecture slides. Will: "What do you see, doctor?" "Sum up the Ripper in so many words?" Will, dryly: "Choose them wisely." "Oh, I always do," says Lecter (no kidding). "Words are living things. They have personality, point of view... agenda." "They're pack hunters," says Will (I love this idea). "Displaying one's enemy after death has its appeal in many cultures," says Lecter, but Will counters, "These aren't the Ripper's enemies, these are pests he's swatted." "Their reward for their cruelty," the Sad Cannibal says coldly. "Oh, he doesn't have a problem with cruelty," retorts Will. "Their reward is for undignified behavior. These dissections are to disgrace them. It's a public shaming." Oh, Will, you're so close. Like, "he is literally standing next to you" close. Lecter agrees: "He takes their organs away because, in his mind, they don't deserve them." Listen up, he's giving you that one for free. And then he finds a picture of Miriam's severed arm. "It's Jack Crawford's trainee," explains Will. "She's not like the other victims--the Ripper had no reason to humiliate Miriam Lass." "Seems to me he was humiliating someone," says Lecter, WHO I GUESS WOULD KNOW. Will: "Yeah, he was humiliating Jack." "Did it work?" Why are you so terrible. "I'd say it worked really well," says Will.

In the Crawffice, Beverly's identified a possible "kill truck" from hotel security footage--a private ambulance, she says, pointing out, "A first responder driving away from the emergency?" Now you've got Crawford's attention. "An ambulance would be a smart place to perform surgery," she continues. "If the cops show up--blend in and drive away." So Beverly and Crawford march over to Will's empty lecture hall, because... I guess that's where you'd expect to find him at nine o'clock at night? These two guys may be made for each other in their sad lonely sadness, y'all. Crawford is surprised to find them both on hand (Emo Cannibal looks downright pleased: Crawford and That Investigator Lady totally count as friends, right?) and asks, "Would you care to help us catch the Ripper?" And so Lecter says the only thing he can say, other than "I think I left the oven on": "How could I refuse?"

(As @strangeasangels put it, "It's basically Sherlock Holmes if Watson were also Moriarty.")

So Lecter gamely follows the three of them through the MediNow garage (Take Your Cannibal to Work Day is a quarterly event, I guess). The manager insists that the ambulance Beverly spotted on the security video "isn't in rotation. It hasn't even been out of the shed. My road sheet's got her down for repairs." In fact, "she's" right... not in this giant empty spot right here. Oh. Well, who claimed she needed repairs? One Devon Silvestri, part-time driver and... med student. Oh dear. The garage manager says that the company does use GPS, but it's only consumer grade--however, says Beverly, "if the ambulance radio is on, I can use a DF sweep to find it." "This is very educational," Lecter says to Will, and you know, even aside from the general hilarity, it occurs to me that he's going to need to know how to make off with an ambulance a few years from now. I'm just saying.

It's a SWAT team! You guys, SWAT teams are the best. And we've upgraded from jaunty beats to Verdi's "Patria Oppressa" from Macbeth. Will and Lecter hang back (maybe Will has learned not to go charging ahead of the dudes who actually have body armor) while the team descends upon the stolen ambulance, catching a very unhappy Silvestri right in the middle of his next harvest. Crawford orders him to put his hands up, but--"I can't." Crawford (*SHOTGUN*): "SHOW ME YOUR HANDS." "He'll die," says the Organ Harvester, who 1) knows that he is even more deeply screwed if that happens (again) and 2) is wrist-deep in his victim's torso. Ew. "DR. LECTER!" bellows Crawford, because man, you are in a bad situation when you're like, "I need this guy to die less, go get me Hannibal Lecter." Assess the situation, sir! "He was removing his kidney. Poorly." (The Organ Harvester gives him this great little "HEY!" look in the background. Yeah, you amateur, you are just not going to be able to eat any of this now.) And then, Lecter very capably stops the bleeding and stabilizes the guy, because today, for one shining moment, Hannibal is the best at helping.

While Crawford and his shotgun take charge of the Deeply Chagrined Organ Harvester, Will hangs back in the darkness and watches Lecter at work, catching his eye for a moment. He seems to have some kind of realization--"We are looking for a killer with surgical skill! He's pretty good at... wait... " But the big picture doesn't seem to come together for him yet. (Or is it a different realization entirely?)

Chez Lecter: Vivaldi and flouring and herbing and frying and slicing and wine-drinking. Lecter's hired help for his dinner party, but he's personally centrifuging plasma to make tomato blood soup ("everybody will love the sweet taste," he explains). Also, the blood plasma came from a sow. It totally, totally came from a sow. Captain Plaid has stopped by with a bottle of wine, but doesn't want to stay: "Uh, I don't think I would be good company." He does add, however, that Lecter saved the "donor's" life. "Been a long time since I used a scalpel on anything but a pencil," says Lecter (his preferred method of sharpening, as mentioned in the first episode). "Why'd you stop being a surgeon?" asks Will. Lecter: "I killed someone." Oh. You... you know you said that out loud, right? "Or, more accurately, I couldn't save someone. But it felt like killing them." "You were an emergency room surgeon. It has to happen from time to time," says Will, but he nods like he understands. Lecter: "It happened one time too many." (Okay, now I want to know the story behind this.) "I transferred my passion for anatomy into the culinary arts. I fix minds instead of bodies, and no one's died as a result of my therapy." Strong emphasis on therapy, obviously.

Will excuses himself: "I have a date with the Chesapeake Ripper." But not Devon Silvestri--so I guess he just has a date staring at crime scene photos with Crawford? "Devon Silvestri was harvesting organs, but not with the Ripper. There's no connection between them." "Jack must be devastated." "I imagine he is," says Will, leaving on the slightly awkward note of "Enjoy the wine." "Thank you," says Lecter, who I suspect is thanking him for more than that; there are scenes in the movies where he seems to have a vampirish taste for people's emotional pain as well as physical. Because, seriously, he is the absolute worst.

Ain't no party like a cannibal dinner party. Mozart is playing, both Alana and the soprano are in attendance, everyone's applauding his work, and laid out on the table, according to the food stylist's blog, are brain and heart canapés, heart tartare in vol-au-vents, liver en gelée, blood sausages, galantine, carpaccio, sopressata, wild boar pâté and mushrooms, and "a headcheese the size of a volleyball wearing a cucumber tiara studded with radishes." Look, I know I'm a culinary philistine, but I'm just amazed these people are all like BRAIN TARTS, YAY! regardless of provenance. Nevertheless, the evening is clearly a triumph. "Before we begin, you must all be warned: nothing here is vegetarian," Lecter tells his guests. Everyone laughs, because they have no idea. "Bon appétit," he says, looking very pleased with both himself and his glass of wine.

@stringertheory: "Nothing here is vegetarian." THE WINE IS PEOPLE.


@DireRavenstag: @BryanFuller Great episode, but it needed like 912% more me. #Hannibal

@BryanFuller: @DireRavenstag I agree we could always use more Stag!

@DireRavenstag: @BryanFuller You honor me with your agreement. *majestic stag bow* *goes back to grazing on Will's hair*

NEXT WEEK: Prayer circle for show renewal.

(Continue: 1x08: "Fromage")

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Tags: cheese just wants to love you, hannibal, om nom nom, philosophical ramblings, recaps, tv, twitter

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