PREVIOUSLY ON: EMPATH AND CANNIBAL: Lecter took Will to a shady neurologist, faked his brain scans, hid a diagnosis of encephalitis from him, then sawed Dr. Shady's face open and framed the poor suffering zombie girl who lives under the bed for it, because he is THE WORST AT HELPING FOREVER.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THIS EPISODE ENDED:
@cleolinda: I like how so many of y'all are in my mentions like "WELL SHE SAID HE WAS THE WORST AT HELPING BUT DAMN" #cryptic
@princess_starr: Hannibal gets your award and goes "Challenge accepted."
@cleolinda: You won, okay? YOU WON. WE RETIRED THE JERSEY
A few points of interest:
I'm guessing the episode's called "Rôti" ("roast"), because... Will's got a constant fever? The actual cooking method is called rotisserie, which ought to ring a bell; as such, I am surprised that no one ends up on a literal spit. (I would also like to note that an attempt to search for "rôti" on Wikipedia took me straight to the turducken article. Please, nobody give Bryan Fuller any ideas.)
"I'm a cannibal. So are you. I've been feeding you people." "I'm sure we can get past that." 100% accurate.
Pajiba explains how "The Abyss Stares Back":
I imagine that to Hannibal, the emotional response of those around him to something like a totem pole built of human bodies is as inexplicable as someone looking upon Michelangelo’s David and only bemoaning that a marble block was so savagely mutilated. [...] “Hannibal” [in contrast to a show like Criminal Minds] doesn’t allow you the comfort of the moral high ground; it tries to force you not to just think like a killer, but feel what he feels, to see the beauty in his works. Will Graham’s empathy is the gateway into this, and it’s designed to make you uncomfortable, to force you to look on evil in its own terms instead of from the safe distance of judgement.
By the way, if you found the "evil conspiring doctors" thing upsetting in a real-world way last week (and a number of people did)--this episode is about the inevitable consequence of those events, and it may get upsetting in that sense near the end. You'll know when you're there because I start yelling.
To begin: Chez Lecter, where Chilton is in need of
@BryanFuller: FOOD STYLIST JANICE POON ILLUSTRATES @CHEFJOSEANDRES' RECIPE FOR KUDAL, A SOUTH INDIAN CURRY #HANNIBAL pic.twitter.com/3cOk1V8Xj7 [food sketch 1]
@BryanFuller: #HANNIBAL WAS ORIGINALLY GOING TO SERVE CHILTON GALLINEJAS (sheep's intestines, or chitlins for Chilton) pic.twitter.com/rgVlAWcFSm [food sketch 2]
"Someone who already doubts their own identity can be more susceptible to manipulation," Lecter's telling him as he brings the food in. "Dr. Gideon is a psychopath. Psychopaths are narcissists--they rarely doubt who they are." (The "lol, dumbass" is silent.) Also: GUYS. GUYS, LOOK. According to a new article on the set design, all those random-looking plants in the dining room are Lecter's HERB GARDEN.
"I tried to appeal to his narcissism..." (oh, his narcissism, I see). "By convincing him he was the Chesapeake Ripper," finishes Lecter. "If only I had been more curious about the common mind," whines Chilton, gazing forlornly out the window into the falling snow. Let's see, do I have any slap in my hand left for you... any slap left...? Left hand... right hand... WHY YES, I THINK I DO. "I have no interest in understanding sheep... only eating them," says Lecter (which may also say a lot about who he chooses to eat). Speaking of which, tonight's special is: "Kudal. A South Indian curry... made from sheep, of course. In a coconut-coriander-chili sauce." (Kudal is sheeple.) "It feels like a last supper," sighs Chilton, more prophetically than he knows. "You're not the only psychiatrist accused by a patient of making them kill. Poke around a psychopath's mind, bound to get poked back," says Lecter, because this conversation is not so much symbolic as thinly-veiled. Chilton: "What would you do in my position?" Hate myself forever? "Deny everything," Lecter says in a pleasantly "duh" sort of tone. "I thought psychic driving would have been more effective in breaking down his personality," Chilton admits, referring back to the conversation in "Entrée" where Alana gave him a severe side-eye on the subject and Lecter rather threateningly peeled a grape with a very sharp knife in his general direction. "Psychic driving fails because its methods are too obvious," says the Peeler of Grapes. "You were trying too hard, Frederick. If force is used, the subject will only surrender temporarily. Once a patient is exposed to the method of manipulation, it becomes much less effective." Oh God, PLEASE tell me this is some kind of foreshadowing as to how Will gets out of this man's thrall. Chilton gets the point: "When Dr. Gideon began to suspect he was being pushed--" "He pushed back. The subject mustn't be aware of any influence." Yeah, like that time Will busted you on trying to alienate him from Crawford? I'm just saying.
@BryanFuller: #HANNIBAL IS PLAYING DEBUSSY "Les Sons Et Les Parfums Tournent Dans L'air Du Soir" FOR HIS DINNER WITH DR. CHILTON
"The sounds and fragrances swirl through the evening air": turns out, this is "inspired by the poem 'Harmonie du Soir' from Fleurs du Mal ["Flowers of Evil"] by Charles Baudelaire," in which "Debussy creates a rich harmonic realm and a haunting melody which evokes thoughts of the perfumes of the night." So then we go down the Google rabbit hole to translations of the poem (let's go with the William Aggeler). Allow me to draw your attention to the line, "The violin quivers like a tormented heart," and the final stanza,
A tender heart that hates the vast, black void
Gathers up every shred of the luminous past!
The sun has drowned in his blood which congeals...
Your memory in me glitters like a monstrance!
Do you want me to go into the way the word monstrance ("the vessel used to display the consecrated Eucharistic host") coincidentally resembles "monstrous," and the metaphorical connections you could draw, if you were so inclined, between communion and cannibalism? I went to grad school, y'all, I can cook up imaginary significance all day.
(You know, this recap's going long, but I gotta show you this anyway. Patti Podesta also points out Boucher's Leda and the Swan painting [not the least bit safe for work] in the dining room: "It leapt to mind when I first imagined the perverse nature of Lecter. I found that it is in the public domain and its whereabouts unknown, so a little narrative developed: Hannibal secretly owns the painting and stares at it during supper." Of course he does.)
Meanwhile, at the Nobark Home for Emotionally Available Nightmares, Will's dreaming of massive ice cliffs melting and crumbling while he watches from the icy beach, staring up at the Murder Pole as a tsunami looms over it--a nightmare apparently inspired by Peter Weir's The Last Wave. (Lecter would be more likely to dream of Picnic at Hanging Rock, I guess.) Oh, good, Will's waking up--and then HIS CLOCK MELTS.
(Hannibal: The only show that supplies its own gifs.)
And then the bed starts to fill with water, until finally Will doesn't so much drown in it as collapse into water himself.
@BryanFuller: Hugh's Writhing Wasn't All Acting. H2O Went Cold to Scalding. He Waited Until CUT Before Leaping Out of Bed pic.twitter.com/9pTgpF2sm0
It's true, you can see the steam. Also: OW. And then he wakes up for real and freaks out All the Dogs. The big white dog who woke Will up on the roof is apparently on night watch again; it's probably beyond even his skill to make cold compresses.
Bright and stupid the next morning at the Baltimore State Hospital for Bad Ideas, Dr. Generic Off-Brand Sociopath is being led to a prison van. "So, you get to dress up and I don't? This might affect how well my testimony goes over with the judge," says Gideon, and at first you're sitting here thinking, oh, so I guess he is going to face charges for murderizing that nurse. NOPE: "Frederick, don't look so worried. I forgive you your trespasses." Uh, we're talking about Chilton here; gonna need you to be more specific. "You made me kill the nurse. I take responsibility for killing my wife and her family--the nurse is your fault." "I cannot accept responsibility for your actions, Abel," Chilton says in this ridiculous little tsk-tsk tone, because: Chilton. Gideon, in his I Watch Brilliant Imprisoned Sociopath Movies purr: "Au contraire, it's why I'm suing you." Yes, we're going to court today because GIDEON IS SUING CHILTON. (Although, in retrospect, I'm not sure Gizzard ever intended to get to that courtroom in the first place.) "You made me think I was somebody else... and now... who knows what I'm thinking?" "Dr. Gideon, you told me you were the Chesapeake Ripper." "Dr. Chilton, you told me I was the Chesapeake Ripper, and that's what I'm going to tell everyone." "See you in court," says Chilton, with a nasty--uneasy?--smile.
In the van, the chained and handcuffed Gideon starts working the crowd--a guard and an orderly, at any rate. "You married?" (SILENCE.) "You married?" (SILENCE.) "You're married. How long you married?" (SILENCE.) "That long? Regarding divorce... not that you're getting one; just, I can see the clock in your eyes... word of advice. It's easier just to kill 'em. Kill 'em, kill everyone at the table. Less paperwork." Well, less paperwork for you. "Worked for me. I'm doing okay. Your wife is probably fantastic. My wife? Horrible! Maybe I'm not supposed to be in a relationship. There's people like that." Turning to the orderly: "How do you keep those whites so clean? That's... always amazes me."
And then there's abstract closeups of blood welling through white fabric. Looks like someone didn't choose cake.
After the scaryface credits, here's the abandoned prison van on the side of the road and Will to empath how well that ended (meaning that once again, Hugh Dancy gets to do all the fun stuff):
@BryanFuller: HUGH DANCY PREPARES TO KILL OUR WONDERFUL STUNT TEAM #JAZZHANDS pic.twitter.com/TB1ACupIui
"All I need is one hand free," Will purrs at the guards, with a creepy, creepy smile, and then AUGH jerks his hand through the cuff and everything that happens next happens pretty fast (and let it be noted that the other two guys put up a really good fight), but he seems to kill the guard with his feet and/or the chain between them and then cuts the orderly's throat by pinching it with the open handcuff and then, when the van pulls over so that the driver can find out what the fuck kind of Ultimate Fighting Cage Match is going on back there, Will leaps out with our favorite combat move, the flying squirrel tackle, which is, 1) to be fair, probably the only option Gideon had at the time and 2) a little bit hilarious.
This time, Will looks more confused than anything when he comes out of his trance ("Seriously? Like a squirrel?"). "So, does Abel Gideon still believe that he's the Chesapeake Ripper?" Crawford asks, walking up. Will: "Abel Gideon is having a difference of opinion about who he is. The man who escaped from that van was not in the same state of mind when he did this." Wait... when he did what? Oh. When he did THIS. Nota bene: You might not want to click through to the next couple of pictures, because what Gizzard the Ripper's done is hang up various organs--most prominently, the guards' hearts--in the trees by the side of the road. For rope, he used veins, and (as Jimmy points out), "he even tied little bows with some of them." (It's true, he did.) "Yeah, it's pretty impressive," Brian says, grinning in complete sincerity. "He took a uniform, police radio, two 9mm handguns, pepper spray, Taser, and handcuffs," reports Beverly. "Well, it's what he didn't take... The Chesapeake Ripper would not have left the organs behind," Will mutters to Crawford, who replies, "Well, if Gideon isn't the Chesapeake Ripper, he's certainly trying to get his attention." And then Beverly says that the local police have found footprints leading out of the woods... headed back to Baltimore. Crawford: SIGH.
Back at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Dumbass,
@MrAaronAbrams [Brian]: Amazing choice by @RaulEEsparza to read with a magnifying glass like it's a regular thing and not a jerk move at all.
"I suppose this is my fault, too?" huffs Chilton. Will: "You did dodge a bullet. Gideon's escape foregoes a trial and a very public humiliation for you." (He is accompanied by Alana, who is wearing a typically super-cute coat, and also, she mad.) "And now you are hosting a private one. Next you'll be accusing me of arranging his escape," he drawls, grinning (GRINNING!). "If we're tossing around the blame, Dr. Bloom, you are due your fair share. You planted the idea that I was unethically manipulating Gideon." Alana: "Well, according to Gideon, YOU WERE." Son, she gonna get youuuu. "After you told him I was," counters Chilton. "You thought I was manipulating him? He was manipulating you." Alana: "YOU WERE PUSHING HIM." "He gave me informed consent to treat him. Said that he was... grateful... for my help in understanding who he is." (Alana responds with a masterful hand-on-hip side-eye.) Will wants some specifics here: "What did you help him understand?" "He was not insane when he killed his wife. Killing her drove him insane," Chilton smarms dramatically. "I did not convince him that he was a serial killer. I just reminded him of the fact." Aw, now you done it, the empath mad too: "GIDEON IS NOT THE CHESAPEAKE RIPPER, ALTHOUGH HE MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT HE WAS UNDER YOUR CARE, DOCTOR." More to the point, says Alana, "Whether he is or he isn't doesn't really matter right now--if he thinks he is, or even if he's confused on that issue, HE WILL KILL AGAIN." "I hope he does not--for your sake," says Chilton. "I cannot imagine how you would sleep with that on your shoulders." Get the entire fuck out. Will, meanwhile, takes a moment to deal with his brain exploding while Chilton's voice echoes in the mental distance--cannot imagine how you would sleep with that on your shoulders--until Alana thunders, "HOW DID YOU SLEEP WHEN GIDEON KILLED YOUR NURSE?" GET HIIIIIIIM--aw, Will, don't hold her back!
@mork_and: @cleolinda Did you see the deer statues in Dr Chilton's office? Fake stag = Fake Ripper?
Oh, you mean right at that moment?
(Interestingly, the captions read, "During those three minutes, Gideon did horrible things" for the "echo" part.)
Look, what does Gideon want? "The last thing Abel Gideon said to me is that he intends to tell everyone that he is the Chesapeake Ripper," replies Chilton. Dun dun dunnnn.
In the FBI war room (this is apparently what it's called), Crawford is giving a room full of agents their marching orders: "Our fugitive is Abel Gideon. Transplant surgeon. Convicted in the first degree in the murders of his wife and her family. Institutionalized at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where he killed a nurse and claimed to be the Chesapeake Ripper. Dr. Gideon escaped this morning after killing three people. He is armed and dangerous." Meanwhile, Will is huddled against the back wall, not doing real well at this particular moment in time--going into a literal meltdown of pouring sweat and pounding heart and hazy closeups. And now, everyone else has vanished. INSTITUTIONALIZED, Crawford booms distantly, at the Baltimore State Hospital for the CRIMINALLY INSANE. Also, the room is now a forest of antlers like the Cabin of Horrors, which close in on Will--
--amid, as the captions phrase it, "the cacophony of Jack's voice": Insane... escaped this morning. He is armed, he is dangerous... You escaped this morning. Escaped this morning. You are armed and you are extremely dangerous. You escaped this morning. INSTITUTIONALIZED AT THE BALTIMORE STATE HOSPITAL FOR THE CRIMINALLY INSANE, and then Crawford is shouting in his face: WHAT KIND OF CRAZY ARE YOU?! YOU KILL! YOU WILL KILL AGAIN!
And then Will looks up and the meeting's broken up and Crawford's just talking with a couple of FBI guys in a corner. Actual Crawford gives Will, who looks like he's going to vomit or pass out or seize up or all of the above, a glance from across the room. Then he turns away. Oh my God, somebody take this man to the hospital.
Instead, Will goes to The Best Office Ever, where ethical treatment goes to die. "What did you see?" asks Lecter. "A thicket of antlers. All I heard was my heart. Dim, but... but... fast. Like... footsteps fleeing into silence. I don't know how to gauge who I am anymore. I don't feel like myself," says Will, with a sharp draw of breath. "I feel like... I have been gradually becoming different for a while. I just feel like somebody else." He sounds incredibly fragile, like one more word and he'll just shatter. It's interesting, also, how they shoot Mads Mikkelsen from a lower angle while he listens to this, giving him this clammy, ghoulish look. Using various angles, lighting, and hair/makeup, they can make him look very different from scene to scene, and this is one of the ones where... well, if you still think Hannibal Lecter is your dashing misunderstood antihero, I don't think we're watching the same show. "What do you feel like?" he whispers. Oh my God, stop enjoying this. After a long pause: "I feel crazy," Will gasps. Lecter: "And that is what you fear most." STOP DRINKING HIS FEAR RIGHT NOW, SIR. Will shakes his head: "I fear not knowing who I am." Then he pulls himself together, tears notwithstanding, to say, "That's what Abel Gideon's afraid of, isn't it?" (Bless his fevered heart for trying to fight crime even now.) "He's like a blind man. Somebody got inside his head and... moved all the furniture around." "I imagine Abel Gideon would want to find the Chesapeake Ripper to gauge who he is... and who he isn't," says Lecter, but Will isn't paying attention. "Will--? You have me as your gauge." Just--stop talking. Just stop. Stop.
(Oh, hey, look! You can watch that scene!)
At the lab, "Gideon didn't leave a manifesto," Beverly's telling Crawford. Will's slumped over looking like he just came from swimming laps, he's so generally damp these days. "We confiscated all correspondence from his outside admirers. We're going through everything now." Jimmy adds, "Any secret communiqués or coded messages written in bodily fluids--or anything else--we'll find them." "You won't find anything," mutters Will. "Whatever's going on with Gideon, it's in his head." "Well," says Brian, "there's not much left in these heads. All organ removal was done postmortem, including the transorbital lobotomies." That means, by the way, that Gideon "poked them back" in the brain--through their eye sockets, because my eye squick hadn't gotten a workout in a while. Well, but "it wasn't technically a lobotomy," Beverly points out: "He didn't remove any of the brain; he just scrambled them." Meanwhile, water's pouring out of the mortuary drawers; Will can hear ice breaking in the distance. "Why remove all of the other organs from the bodies and leave them intact and just scramble the brains?" asks Crawford. "That's what they did to him," answers Will, sweaty and pale. Oh my God, the corpses look better than he does, SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING. "Dr. Chilton, every psychiatrist and PhD candidate who attempted any kind of therapy, pushed and prodded, gave him tests, told him who he was, who he wasn't." "All right," says Crawford, "I want a list of every therapist, every doctor, any kind of psychiatric professional that worked with or talked to Dr. Gideon." Oh... about that: "Alana Bloom will be on that list," says Will.
TO REVIEW: Gideon had something of a crush on the "sublime" Alana, and in the last conversation they had, she said she could help him discover if Chilton had been manipulating him, to which Gideon pointed out that telling someone they've been manipulated may itself be a form of manipulation. And that idea seems to have stuck with her, as Will finds her in his lecture hall (I guess she's picking up his classes while everyone's flailing around trying to find Gideon?). Also: THAT DRESS.
"Are you my protective custody?" she says. "I heard I get an armed escort until Gideon's apprehended." "You'll have a real FBI agent, not a teacher with a temporary badge," Will says dryly. Alana: "Too bad. Would have been fun to cozy up with your dogs in front of a space heater." Ladies and gentlemen: Dr. Alana Bloom, Queen of Mixed Messages. "You don't need protective custody to cozy up with my dogs. Or me, for that matter. Just need a little more, um... stability on my part," says Will, referring to the fact that she told him she had kissing feelings for him but was going to pack them away because, and I quote, "I think you're unstable." Now she puts her hand to his face, possibly as a tender and/or friendly gesture that ends with a rather anticlimactic, "You're really warm." "Yeah, I tend to run hot," he snarks. "They say stress raises body temperature." "Maybe you should take an aspirin." Will waves his ever-present bottle at her (what, does he have a matching holster for his ibuprofen?): "Waaaay ahead of you." OH MY GOD PUT HIM IN AN AMBULANCE. And then Alana asks softly, "They're gonna kill Gideon, aren't they?" Wait, THAT'S your concern right now? KILL HIM DEAD. "Whatever happens to him? Has nothing to do with you," Will insists. But she claims that "Gideon can't be completely responsible for his actions if he was subjected to an outside influence. Like me... telling him he's not in a state of mind to know who he is." "Well, he's gonna want somebody to tell him who he is," says Will, "and I think he'll be looking for the Ripper to do that." "What do you think will happen if Gideon finds the Chesapeake Ripper?" Well, the Ripper is going to murderize him, obvs: "[Gideon] took credit for his work. The Ripper would consider that... rude." WILL WILL OMG WILL you're so close you're so close you're so close. (Does Alana make any connection? I don't think so?)
Meanwhile: Miss Freddie, yaaay! INCOMING CALL: "My name is Paul Carruthers. I'm a psychiatrist. I read your article on Abel Gideon," Eddie Izzard's voice very plainly says. Turns out Freddie's familiar with Actual Carruthers' work: "I found your paper on narcissistic personality disorder insightful. Especially as it pertains to your opinions of Abel Gideon. You're calling about his escape?" Actually, Gizzard Carruthers would like her to "collaborate on an article I'm writing for the Journal of Abnormal Psychology." "You want a writing partner?" says Freddie, looking shrewd (she's always on the lookout for professional validation). "Could we meet?" he asks.
And then, more artistic closeups, this time of blood flowing through tubes and filling up donation bags.
A gothic building after dark, nobody in the office, Freddie creeping in by herself: seems legit. "Ms. Lounds!" drawls Gideon. "Come on in. Now, you wrote in your Tattler archive that" AUGH WHAT AM I EVEN LOOKING AT FFFFFFF "the Chesapeake Ripper once removed a man's tongue and used it as a bookmark for his Bible. They call this a Colombian Necktie."
@BryanFuller: COLOMBIAN NECKTIE IS A THING http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombian_necktie
@DAVID_A_SLADE: It is a thing, its also a song by late 80s noise band Big Black but I digress....
Short version: it's when you slit someone's throat and pull their tongue out through the opening, like a... you know. (Don't look.) The necktie is wiggling, by the way. Which means the guy is still alive. Gideon straightens it out (it fights him a little) and pats it down. "What do you think?"
I think this show really does have a tongue fetish? Also, if you think Freddie's outfit isn't going to be fabulous, you don't know this show very well.
@DireRavenstag: Deer have very long, dexterous tongues. Better for tasting fear and making people uncomfortable in interesting ways.
Let's all sit back for a moment and imagine the receptionist arriving at work the next morning, shall we? While the Investigators Three work the scene, Crawford tells Will that they're looking at "Dr. Paul Carruthers, who wrote an article for the Journal of Criminal Psychology in which he described Dr. Gideon as being a pathological narcissist who suffers from psychotic episodes." "Let's hope he got some satisfaction from being proved right," Will says dryly. Crawford now believes that Gideon's antics go beyond waving organs around to get the Ripper's attention--Will elaborates: "Gideon's mind was dissected by psychiatrists and, as a surgeon, he is applying his own skill set." Then, a dark mutter of, "He gave you something better to do with your tongue than wag it." Nobody even blinks at Will slipping into his killer voice anymore. Even Crawford just cuts him an unimpressed look. WHY DO ALL OF YOU FAIL.
Actually, necktying isn't how Carruthers died at all, says Brian: "Drained him till his heart stopped." "Got a little on his collar," says Beverly. "Other than that, didn't spill a drop." Well, that's because Gideon saved it all, observes Jimmy: "Four and a half liters, all packed in ice." And with a note that reads, Please deliver to the Red Cross. (Beverly: "That's considerate.") "He's peacocking for the Ripper," says Crawford, and Will agrees: "This is like flowers and chocolate before a first date." Man, Lecter's murderation brings all the boys to the yard. Then Will notices something beneath Carruthers' hand--what is it, a computer mouse? Push it, and his laptop comes on, tattlecrime.com on the browser: THE CHESAPEAK [SIC] RIPPER RIPS AGAIN. (To be fair, Freddie was under a bit of duress when she posted this. For that matter--maybe it's a secret code for help. "I would never misspell a word like that through an entire article! CALL THE POLICE.") Crawford is Not Happy: "How is this news already?" Brian suggests that maybe someone from the Baltimore PD sold a camera-phone picture to tattlecrime.com, but Crawford notices that the blood's still on the IV stands are in the picture: "The photo was taken before the blood was put on ice. Dr. Gideon was still here." "He has Freddie Lounds," Will says quietly.
Remember the abandoned observatory from "Entrée"? Here's Freddie sitting in lamplight at a makeshift desk with her laptop. "Now, this relationship between you and me," Gideon says, crouching down at eye level, "this can do us both some good." "I could write a big story on you. Anything you want to say," she smooves, utterly unruffled. (Freddie is awful, but God grant me that kind of poise.) "I did enjoy the article you wrote about that poor nurse who I killed," he says, "but it didn't really seem like genuine Freddie Lounds." Crawford had her write that, she admits: "To flush out the Chesapeake Ripper." "And flushed out he was. Why, he waved Jack Crawford's dead trainee's arm around his head right here like a flag in this very room," Gideon enthuses, with an interpretive dance thereof.
"Aren't you the Chesapeake Ripper?" (Shhhhhh, Freddie.) "Miss Lounds, I might be slightly fuzzy in this area, but there's no need to patronize me," Gideon says quietly. Freddie quickly apologizes, but he drifts off into that inescapable paradox: "It's like remembering something from your childhood, and you're not sure... if it's your memory or a friend's memory... and then you realize sadly it's just some photo in an old book." "You're waiting for the Chesapeake Ripper to come back here," Freddie realizes. "Let's hope he gets the invitation," says Gideon. "There's one thing we know about your writing: he is an avid fan."
Yes. Yes, he is. At The Best Desk Ever with his iPad: IN THE RIPPER'S SHADOW. And you know what? I'm not sure he mad this time. It's really more of a... challenge accepted face. Don't challenge this guy, is the lesson we learn tonight.
Over at Forensics: a fresh necktie. "Dr. Carson Nahn," says Alana, who I guess is here to ID the body. "He's the psychiatric attending at Western General. He interviewed Dr. Gideon for the same psychopathy survey I participated in, two years ago." Regarding the body, Brian explains, "Total frenectomy--webbing under the tongue, even the connective tissue all the way into the throat is cut free and pulled through for the, uh... desired effect."
@MrAaronAbrams: BAM. Contact initiated. Zeller Seduction Sequence Activated. #AlanaBloom #HANNIBAL
Crawford, with a sigh: "Still no word from Dr. Chilton?" "He hasn't answered his phone since yesterday, didn't show up to work today," says Alana, glancing over at Will. "Gideon wants to lure the Ripper," he says. "He's going to offer up the man who disrespected both their identities." Crawford points out, "Every detail of Dr. Carruthers' murder as described meticulously in Freddie Lounds' article has been faithfully reproduced except... for one." Yeah... Dr. Nahn's right arm is missing above the elbow. But why? An epiphany: "Abel Gideon didn't kill this man--the Chesapeake Ripper did," says Will. "Gideon isn't alone anymore, and the Ripper isn't going to risk exposure, so he's... he's, um... he's telling us where to catch him." And then Will looks down for a moment, because this is kind of awkward: "Actually... he's telling you." "Me?" says Crawford. Will: "Where's the last place you saw a severed arm, Jack?" 1) Bravo, Will! 2) Does nobody pick up the phone anymore? Lecter could have even dropped another creepy "What do you see?" note somewhere to get the GO TO: OBSERVATORY message across--although, to be fair, I can understand him not wanting to waste good stationery on Chilton.
Meanwhile, Gideon's turned the observatory into an operating room. (I am suppressing inconvenient questions like "How do you furnish an impromptu OR on short notice?" and "So are he and Freddie just living there for a couple of days?" and "How many bricks did Chilton shit, exactly, when Gideon grabbed him?") "With experience, I have found surgeries are best performed on a local anesthetic or epidural... with the patient awake," Gideon explains. "Reminds me there's a real person here entrusting me with their life, rather than a lump of meat that I'm about to reorganize." Noooooo, Gizzard, don't kill Chilton! WE NEED HIM FOR A FAR GREATER COMEUPPANCE. Otherwise, I'd say kill his ass dead five times over, have at it. "And in this instance, I would like to see the look on your face." "Please..." Chilton mumbles--drugged, but nowhere near enough. "You're not the Chesapeake Ripper..." "You got inside my mind, Frederick. It's only fair I get inside your belly." Freddie will be assisting him today, he adds, "or assisting you, by manually pumping the ventilator should you stop breathing." "Oh my God," moans Chilton, and even then I was thinking the show was dragging its feet long enough for Beverly to show up in her knee boots and snipe Gideon or something, right before the scalpel could go in, but NOPE, NOBODY SAVES CHILTON. We get to watch Gideon slice him open in full view and start opening him up, Jesus take the wheel. (OH GOD SOMEHOW YOU CAN ALSO WATCH THIS.) "The real Chesapeake Ripper is a collector of surgical trophies. I'm gonna leave him a little gift," says Gideon while Chilton whimpers. "In fact, I'm gonna leave him a gift basket." OH GOD PULSING LIVE ORGANS WHY IS THIS HAPPENING WAIT WHAT WAS THAT LONG THING YOU JUST PULLED OUT I THINK HE KINDA NEEDS THAT "You know," says Gideon, turning a kidney (?) over in his hands, "it is truly amazing how many organs the body can offer up before it really begins to suffer." And then he holds it up to Chilton's face to make sure he gets a good look at his own--whatever it is. Plop! into the surgical pan with the--intestine--thing.
"All right, stay awake now!" Gideon shouts, slapping Chilton's face with a bloody hand, because for some reason this is my life now, writing sentences like this. "Come on, Frederick. I'm gonna ask you to hold a few things. Hmm... what next?"
By the way, props to Nurse Freddie for only looking vaguely horrified the whole time.
@Tattle_Crime: Exceedingly hard to tweet with blood on your hands, guys.
@BryanFuller: CHILTON WAS ORIGINALLY TO BE PARTIALLY DISEMBOWELED WHEN THE TELESCOPE DOME OPENED, PULLING A CHAIN HOOKED ONTO HIS INTESTINES
But what, then the viscera budget ran out? WHAT IS EVEN WRONG WITH Y'ALL
(I do kind of want to see their version of the "Operation" game, though.)
On the drive to the observatory, Crawford tells Will that he should wait outside once shit starts to go down. Also, "You look like hell, Will." THANK YOU FOR NOTICING, I GUESS. "I feel like hell... Actually, no, I feel... uh, fluid... like I'm... spilling. Must have come down with something. I hope it's not contagious," says Will, rubbing his eyes. To which Crawford says, "Look, this work that we do... it will compromise your immune system, if you allow it." If he means this metaphorically, then it's just his usual WALK IT OFF pep talk. If he means it literally, that Will should just not "allow" himself to come down with a fever, then he deserves a thermometer rammed up-- "You've got to keep yourself in perspective." "Well, myself is a little hazy at the moment," says Will. Crawford: "You've gotta start taking better care of yourself [but definitely don't stop doing the thing I'm assuming makes you sick]." "Build my resistance?" Will mutters, because yes, this is totally Will's fault here--you gotta feel the meat wings and the throat cellos and the field kabuki but not feel them, you know? "You just can't take it all in. You've got to let go of as much of it as you can. You just gotta let go." MEAT WINGS, JACK!! "It's hard... to shake off something that's already under your skin," mumbles Will, looking only half-conscious as it is.
A little bit of SWAT team! Yay! So Will sits blankly in the FBI SUV OMG, watching through water pouring down the windshield (it's not raining) as Crawford's fedora orders everyone into position--OH MY GOD WHY ARE YOU GETTING OUT OF THE CAR?!?!? He's following Crawford up the sidewalk to the observatory looking like wet death when he hears a snort from his far left--
@DireRavenstag: OH HAI, WILL.
AN HOUR EARLIER:
@DireRavenstag: I am hoping to hit 1000 follower fleshmeats tonight! I love each and every one of you. I stalk because I care.
@cleolinda: Come on, y'all, follow @DireRavenstag--he's already following you.
As of this writing, he has 1220 followers. I'm just glad that I could make one of his dreams come true. }:D
You know, I find it interesting that the Dire Ravenstag leads Will to Gideon. We can't quite figure out what he might specifically symbolize--Lecter himself was the main theory--but I'm starting to wonder if we ought to go back to the idea that the Ravenstag represents the darkness inside Will, the destructive impulses that he's afraid that empathing has woken up. Because Will seems to intuit exactly where to go--what Gideon would do--even before Crawford finds out that Gideon's not in the observatory anymore. Granted, Gideon himself is darkened, as it were, by Lecter's thought/murder processes via psychic driving, so who knows.
But I get ahead of myself. So Will's off stumbling through the snow into the woods while Crawford gives the SWAT team the go-ahead at the observatory. Inside, there's Nurse Freddie dutifully squeezing the ventilator, while Chilton lies there holding a large and varied number of organs piled up any which way. "Gideon's gone," she says, but "[Chilton's] still alive." "I NEED MEDICAL IN HERE NOW!!" bellows Crawford, because NO KIDDING. Aaaaand let's have a closeup of the gift basket for the road. Crawford: SIGH.
("SIGH"? THAT'S ALL YOU GOT?)
Gideon's already outside, watching the bustle die down. The interesting thing about this next part, as Gideon gets into his getaway car, is that it turns into this whole ALWAYS CHECK THE BACK SEAT urban legend-type thing... except that it's Will who's the killer lurking in the darkness. (Speaking of creepy things in cars, I think I solved a supposed plot hole from last week's episode.) "I was expecting the Chesapeake Ripper," says Gideon, turning around in the driver's seat. "Or are you he?" "Turn around, don't look at me," mumbles Will, who sees Gideon as Dead Milky-Eyed Garrett Jacob Hobbs. Also, he's got a gun pointed (shakily, feverishly) at Gideon, because Will Graham is gonna bring this guy in or literally die trying. Gideon replies, "You are looking a little peaky... Mr. Graham... if you don't mind my saying. I may be crazy, but you look ill." "DRIVE," snaps Will (WHERE?). Gideon: "Who is your doctor?"
OHHHHHH MY GOOOOOD
CHEZ LECTER. THIS IS HAPPENING.
"I'm having a hard time thinking," says Will, breathing hard and trembling, while Gideon sits at the head of the dining room table quietly watching this with furrowed (but calculating) brow. "I feel like I'm losing my mind. I--I don't know what's real." Lecter attempts to do the Where Am I in Spacetime exercise with him: "It's 7:27 PM. You're in Baltimore, Maryland, and your name is Will Graham--" "I DON'T CARE WHO I AM!" he snarls. "Just tell me... if he's real," he says, pointing the gun sideways at Gideon, who appears to be Dead Hobbs, although in reality he must be a Deeply Concerned Gideon, considering how violently Will's hand is shaking. Lecter: "Who do you see, Will?" "Garrett Jacob Hobbs," he whispers. "Who do you see?"
Lecter looks at Will. Then he looks at Gideon.
Gideon looks at Lecter.
Lecter looks at Will.
"I don't see anyone."
"No, he's right there," whimpers Will, but now he sees an empty chair. "There's no one there, Will." "--no, no, you're lying--" "We're alone. You came here alone. Do you remember coming here?" "NO, PLEASE DON'T LIE TO ME!" sobs Will. "Garrett Jacob Hobbs is dead," Lecter presses. "You killed him. You watched him die." "What's happening to me?" cries Will, hand over his face, COMPLETELY BREAKING DOWN. This is it, guys. The actual moment we have been fearing, it is HERE. "Will. Will. Will, you're having an episode. I want you to hand me the gun," Lecter insists, but HORRIBLE THINGS ARE HAPPENING TO WILL'S FACE, he is shaking and his eyes are rolling back in his head and IT IS NOT HAPPY. Fortunately, Lecter manages to pry the gun away before anything exceptionally bad can happen. Now Will's just standing there twitching; when Lecter pulls his eyelids open, his eyes are completely rolled back, EYE SQUICK ACTIVATE gahhhhh. And then he puts his hands on Will's forehead and around his unresponsive face in a very doctorly way, because stop. JUST STOP.
"He's had a mild seizure," Lecter announces. "That... doesn't seem to bother you," observes Gideon (God knows what he thinks of all this). "I said it was mild," says Lecter, looking offended that Gideon would imply that he doesn't care about his BFF (look, Gizzard, this is a longer story than you want to get into right now). By the way, Will remains standing there for the entire conversation:
"Are you the man who claimed to be the Chesapeake Ripper?" says Lecter, sitting down at the foot of the table to face Gideon (it's kind of like a business meeting for serial killers). Who, in turn, says, "Why do you say 'claimed'?" "BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT," says Lecter. "You know you're not, and you don't know much more about who you are beyond that." "Are you the Ripper?" asks Gideon. Lecter's answer: "A terrible thing... to have your identity taken from you." "Well, I'm taking it back," says Gideon with childlike defiance (GOOD LUCK WITH THAT), "one piece at a time. You should see the pieces I got out of my psychiatrist." "Alana Bloom was one of your psychiatrists too," says Lecter. "I can tell you where to find her." I give up, y'all. I have no more rage for this man right now. My rage gasket is completely blown. Even the brain raccoons are speechless.
@BryanFuller: LOVED HAVING THESE THREE GENTLEMEN IN THE SAME SCENE pic.twitter.com/jdcA0qKUpH
I'll take a moment here while Gideon gets away to touch on discussions we've had: I don't think caring about Will (and Alana, for that matter) and putting them at enormous risk are mutually exclusive concepts for Lecter. I think it is, once again, a matter of 1) control, 2) overconfidence (the kind that will get him caught, for that matter), and 3) a clinical lack of empathy. I mean, we all sit here watching a fictional character on TV suffer and we're like GET THAT POOR BOY TO A HOSPITAL. We have empathy. (Maybe sometimes--given how some people apparently respond to this character--we even have misplaced empathy.) But think back to the whole thing about mirror neurons last week, the idea that you imagine what the other person must be feeling, as if you were feeling it--Lecter looks at Will about to keel over and doesn't feel it. I think Lecter does have emotions--but they're all centered on himself. At which point we're talking about a particularly dire form of solipsism: "the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist," in which "practically all standards for moral behavior would seem to be meaningless." (See also The Ballad of the Sad Cannibal, in which he goes on a culinary murder rampage to... feel better about himself.) He feels concern that he would miss Will if Will were gone ("I was worried you were dead"), but no emotional, vicarious perception that Will is suffering now. And of course nothing really bad's going to happen to Will! Hannibal Lecter, M.D., GQMF, is totally on top of everything and so of course it'll all turn out exactly the way he wants--Will can just stand there a moment, he'll be fine eventually, so why not sit here and play games with Gizzard the Ripper for a little while?
Also P.S. you are the worst at helping forever until the heat death of the universe, all the trophies are yours, please take Will to a hospital.
(He doesn't take Will to a hospital.)
"Will? Can you hear me?" asks Lecter, when he damn well feels like getting around to it. "Repeat after me: my name is Will Graham," which Will finally manages (guys, I think he is still standing there in that exact same spot). "Raise both of your arms... more... good." (This is a real thing, apparently.) "Although you may not feel like it, I need you to smile."
Ah, yes. The look of a man who's happy his favorite toy can be fixed. One of the creepiest things in the entire series: drink it in, guys.
But I'm sure we can get past this, right?
@MrAaronAbrams: Oh man that moment where Will and Hannibal smile at each other is totally getting an erotic remix in a youtube vid.
Brian knows what's up, y'all.
"Good. It wasn't a stroke. You may have had a seizure," says Lecter, finally helping Will to a chair. "Tell me the last thing you remember." But all Will remembers is Garrett Jacob Hobbs; Lecter puts his hand on Will's forehead again. "You have
And then Lecter leaves Will alone in the dining room with a loaded gun and a set of car keys on the table. And then, once he hears the front door close, he strolls back in, takes off his coat, and sets down the phone he's not calling Crawford with. Because he is the worst. What's worse than absolute worst? Hannibal Lecter is KELVIN WORST.
So here's Gideon standing in the snow outside Alana's house, watching her bid Protective Custody good night, when Will arrives. (So I guess he took Lecter's fancy fancy car? God, I hope he dented the fuck out of it.) And Will's pulling his gun out of his holster and pointing it in a very law-enforceful fashion while staggering feverishly through the snow and you just kind of want to give him a gold star for trying. AT THE HOSPITAL. But after all that, Will can't bring himself to just shoot the fuck out of Gideon after all, so they just stand there and stare at Alana together.
"I don't know if I will ever be myself again," Gideon says pensively. "I don't know if I've got any 'self' left over. I spent so long thinking I was him, it's gotten really hard to remember who I was when I wasn't him." And it's at this point where the idea that Gideon is--intentionally--a Generic Off-Brand Hannibal Lecter becomes interestingly metafictional. Here's a character whose very existence refers, in fact, to the alternate name they had to slap on the Silence of the Lambs script before MGM technically had the rights to the character. Here, Gideon was created to be an imitation, and it's almost like he senses this in-story. "Who are you now?" mutters Will, barely hanging in there. "Now I'm you," says Gideon, appearing to be Dead Hobbs again. "We're both here looking at her. Just those kind of people that shouldn't be in a relationship. You and I are already committed." (So to speak.) "It's hard to be with another person when you... can't get out of your own head." "I want to get out," Will says desperately, but Gideon retorts, "Yeah, well, we all want things that we can't have. But if I kill her... like he would kill her... maybe I could understand him better." Yeah... your way would probably involve a kicky meat scarf, so maybe we can just not and pretend we did? "I wonder if then you would finally understand what you've become," says Gizzard the Hobbs. And then Will stands there shaking until finally he just SHOOTS HIM, and Alana runs to the window just in time to see Will fall on his face into the snow.
@manatee73: Fun BTS [behind the scenes] fact, the second after Hugh's face hit the snow bank, he said "F@$k it's cold!"
@MrAaronAbrams: Dead Escaped Killer is a nice gesture. But Zeller woulda been outside her window with Peter Gabriel on a boombox.
Why not both, really?
Over at the Crawffice, Crawford is reciprocating many evenings of Miriam brandy with a bottle of Jack (aptly enough). "They will be sewing up Dr. Chilton until the morning," he tells Lecter-- "that is, if he makes it through the night." (Martha De Laurentiis also tweeted that Gideon might not be really most sincerely dead? God, I hope he lives, because I want him to die spectacularly.) "At least Will remains in one piece," says Lecter, "for now. His temperature is 105. White blood cell count is twice normal, and they still can't identify the source of his infection." Oh, man, wouldn't it be nice if they had an MRI scan that revealed the right side of Will's brain is completely inflamed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis? (*THROWS SHOES*) But Crawford is confident that they'll fix Will right up (apparently cavalier overconfidence is something he and Lecter have in common): "Even with a temperature of 105 degrees, Will was able to bring Gideon down. I told you, he'll be fine." (Oh... so they think of this as a good thing, not Will having a psychotic break and shooting his hallucinations? I guess no one knows any better... for the moment.) But Lecter says, "Jack... I would recommend you suspend his license to carry firearms." You know what? I'll give you that one, fancy cannibal. Even if you were partly trying to engineer this whole thing so that Will would both take Gideon out and get himself ungunned so that he can't shoot you--he could also shoot someone else we'd rather not get shot. (*GLARE*) But please, with your taking away deadly weapons from ailing empaths: "You and I are just gonna have to have a difference of opinion about who Will is," retorts Crawford. To which Lecter replies, "I know who Will is. Will knows who he is. But our experiences shape us, Jack. How is this experience going to shape Will?" Exactly the way you wanted it to, you unparalleled shit.
And now we are at A HOSPITAL, YAAAAAAAY, with a worried Alana holding Will's hand. I HOPE THAT EVERYBODY FEELS TERRIBLE NOW. Also, that Beverly sends him flowers.
Maison Du Maurier. "Will Graham is troubled," Lecter tells Bedelia (you want to talk about being tested by the Lord--this man, I swear to God). "And that troubles you?" she asks. "Beyond a professional concern for a patient?" Lecter: "I see his madness and I want to contain it, like an oil spill." "Oil is valuable," she observes. "What value does Will Graham's madness have for you?" "You're suggesting I'm more fascinated with the madness than the man?" Well... are you? "No," he says, and then there's a long pause before he continues: "He realized early on that he saw things differently than other people, felt things differently." "So did you," says Bedelia (how much does she know about him?) "I see myself in Will," he says (hooooow do you figure that). She asks if Lecter sees himself specifically in Will's madness, to which he replies, "Madness can be a medicine for the modern world. You take it in moderation, it's beneficial." (Shpwhaaa...?) "You overdose and it can have unfortunate side effects," Bedelia points out, but he brushes that aside: "Side effects can be temporary. They can be a boost to our psychological immune systems to help fight the existential crises of normal life." What are you even talking about. I mean, I understand all the words, I just don't see how they add up to anything except "killing and eating people makes me feel better about my worldly ennui." "Will Graham does not present you with problems from normal life," Bedelia counters. "What does he present you with?" Another long pause from Lecter: "The opportunity for friendship." Y'all... I know what I just said up there about certain concepts not being mutually exclusive, but I cannot even.
@NBCHannibal: Friendship? How do you friendship, Dr. Lecter?
Is it quality? Bedelia: "He is still your patient, Hannibal." WELL HE'S NOT VERY GOOD AT TREATING HIM, SO MAYBE IT EVENS OUT. "Where Will Graham is concerned," she tells him, "if you feel the impulse to step forward, you must force yourself to take a step back." "And just watch him lose his mind?" "Sometimes all we can do is watch," she says.
I get the feeling this signifies, somehow, that Bedelia (or even Lecter?) stood by at some point and allowed something to happen (she let that patient go into a downward spiral she could have prevented? she didn't defend herself from him?). In which case... this is kind of out there, but--that whole thing about solipsism, "the idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist"? Well... Noel has a theory that Bedelia may not be real. Or rather... not alive. We know a patient attacked her, and that he subsequently died of... reasons. And on previous comment threads, we've discussed whether she might have killed him in self-defense, Lecter might have killed him in front of her, or he might have killed him at some later vengeful point; it may be (goes the theory) that she didn't actually survive that attack. I later threw in "maybe she was also the patient he couldn't save in the ER, as a result of the attack (and then he killed the guy extra hard)," just to cover all our bases. And if she's not currently alive... Lecter's been having "therapy" with her in his own head. (Which suddenly makes me sad, that even his Imaginary Therapist would tell him he wears a person suit.) Honestly, as sure as I put all of this on record, it won't turn out to be the case, and maybe that's for the best, because omg Gillian Anderson please be real.
NEXT WEEK: I believe I promised to choke someone with his own fictional necktie?
@Tattle_Crime: Now where did I leave my cellphone. *Glances at @DrFrederickChil* D:
(Continue: 1x12: "Relevés")