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Hannibal 2x02: "Sakizuke"
dire ravenstag gunmettle, dire ravenstag, dire ravenstag 04






PREVIOUSLY ON: EMPATH AND CANNIBAL: Shit went down in the first two seconds and we have to wait until the finale to find out why; the hills were alive with references to Silence of the Lambs and cannibal puns; the New Will Graham is high on life and people-sushi, hanging out with the BAU gang and trying to solve crimes just like his estranged BFF; the Old Will Graham is about to chew through the bars of his cell because he is COMING FOR YOU, FANCY CANNIBAL; we actually found out what happened with the ear!!; and Bedelia realized that she is so incredibly screwed. And yet, less screwed than the guy who woke up sewed to a few dozen people preserved in resin. Yeah.

@aMoTPodcast: Previously, on #Hannibal EVERYTHING HURT. EVERYTHING.

At least Winston looked happy?

Roland, meanwhile, wakes up in the bottom of a dark, distant silo to find his hand sewn to his cheek and his knees resined together. Also, he is naked, and he is lying in the center of an arrangement of dozens of preserved dead people, and EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE. And that's right where we pick up: Roland Umber waking up in about five different horror movies all at once.

@DAVID_A_SLADE: #Hannibal mild spoiler alert @BryanFuller & Tim Hunter bring most hardcore scene in Hannibal & thus on Network tv to date -Ep 2 opening seq.

@DAVID_A_SLADE: So be warned, and note that I say - most hardcore SO FAR

@MrAaronAbrams: TRUE STORY. When we first saw the opening scene of tonight's episode, I made a bunch of involuntary noises and Mads laughed at me.

Well, everyone else watching this is making the same noises, because Roland--sobbing and screaming the whole time--proceeds to pull himself free from the resin coating and coarse black stitching while large patches of flesh rip off from his face and side and thighs (gnarly makeup pictures!) and I really cannot recommend that anyone inflict this on their eyeballs, ever, much less TWICE, the way I did. It is just DO NOT WANT: THE MOVIE.


@cleolindajones: WHY

@lorettaramos: Watching #Hannibal with a friend who is seeing for first time: "OHMYGOD WHAT THE F***???" Heh heh heh

@BryanFuller: THE INSPIRATION FOR THE HUMAN MURAL: BUSBY BERKELEY pic.twitter.com/vgjc05Gkn4

(More at the AV Club: Hannibal’s Bryan Fuller on blending Busby Berkeley with murder.)

@manatee73: BTS, these are all actors, no rubber dummies.

@Tattle_Crime: Is there an official name for this killer, Mr. Fuller? Tattlers want to know!

@BryanFuller: THE MURALIST


SKIPPING TO 1:35, here's Roland just straight-up barrelling through the padlocked silo door, possibly running on sheer terror adrenaline at this point. I have to hand it to him: I am not entirely sure that I would not just lie there and wait to finish dying quietly. Like, there is a point where you might just look around, find yourself sewed to a room full of dead people, and just go, "It's really not going to get any better than this." Unfortunately, this is also true of Roland's current situation; he's just going to try to survive it anyway. Because of course the Muralist happens to drive up just then, and of course Roland's only path of escape, in the pitch-black middle of the night, is through a maze of abandoned cars (ah, that's where the victims' vehicles went) and INTO A FUCKING CORNFIELD while the Muralist hunts him with a shotgun and a flashlight.

@DireRavenstag: Ah yes, the creepy cornfield. I've woven many a nightmare and delusion from your dried husks. Also horrifying children.

@cleolinda: So what TV is teaching me [between this and True Detective] is that any vegetation taller than a mowed lawn is a bad scene.

@litomnivore: Funny, Pokemon taught me that.

The next level in this Choose Your Own Adventure in Hell is a nice foresty cliff overlooking a rocky river while the Muralist advances on him.

@BryanFuller: DON'T JUMP @RyanFieldMusic

He does, and promptly smashes into the rocks on his way down.

@BryanFuller: TOLD YOU

@cleolindajones: You know what? BETTER THAN GETTING CAUGHT BY THAT GUY

And the Muralist is totally chagrined as Roland's body floats away. GOOD.

Meanwhile, over at the Baltimore State Dungeon, Will's in his cage, with Alana and Hannibal standing before him like concerned parents (again). And he's ready to recant all of his previous protests. Whatever Alana and Hannibal tried to argue, he's ready to agree with them. From I know who I am, we're now at "I've lost the plot. I am the... unreliable narrator of my own story." "You have an incomplete self. There are pieces of you... you can't see," Alana says gently (whereas the scales had previously fallen from his eyes). "I'm afraid to see," says Will (unknowingly (?) echoing Alana insisting to Jack that Will is "scared of the truth"). "I don't know who I am anymore." And it costs him a good bit of effort to say it again: "And I'm afraid."

"Without remembering, you're seized by something imagined," says Hannibal (TOTALLY IMAGINED). "I don't know which is worse," says Will. "Believing I did it... or... believing that you did it, and... did this to me," corresponding to I imagine it's easier to believe I am responsible for those murders than it is to accept that you are. Alana insists, "Hannibal isn't responsible, Will. And neither are you. We have to get to the truth of what happened. It's the only way you can move forward." But Will isn't really engaging with Alana at all: "I felt so betrayed by you," he tells Hannibal--shakily, but directly. "Betrayal was the only thing that felt real to me. I... I trusted you. And I needed to trust you." (Welp, there's my thing about Will's need to trust him.) "And you can trust me," Hannibal replies. Will stammers, "I am very... I'm v--I'm very confused." "Will. Let us help you. Let me help you," says Hannibal, because HE'S SO GOOD AT THAT. Will crumples into tears: "I--I need your help."

Then he's escorted back to his cell, still crying, aaaaand drops the whole act once he's alone.

(Man, I was hoping someone would do a gifset comparison of his and Hannibal's crocodile tears.)

And you know, I don't know to what extent Hannibal fully bought that whole performance. Either he's so eager to get Will back that he did fall for it hook, line, and sinker (well, Will is a fisherman...), or he did see through it, but was so intrigued that Will was reaching out to him for whatever reason that he's willing to seize any opportunity he can get. Either way, I ended up comparing his one-sided eagerness to the Shakespearean trope of an older man's love for a younger one, like the Fair Youth, or Antonio and Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice, for what it's worth. I mean, look at that reaction shot gif up there--you tell me.

(Hugh Dancy's take on it: "[Will's] partially looking for weakness. ... Hannibal is looking for signs of friendship from Will, and in turn that's something that Will thinks maybe he can exploit. ... But Hannibal is always the smartest guy in the room, so he has to be very cautious. ... When [Will] returns to Hannibal's circle, he is at least 50 percent at risk of being drawn back in, because it's a place as comfortable to him--that darkness--as the other life he forged himself. Just like Hannibal, [Will] is drawn to that connection that they have." I won't quote the whole thing, but it's really interesting.)

@DireRavenstag: So smart, my Will. So clever. Fancy fleshmeat better not step.

After the credits (here, have the title music slowed down by 80%): Bedelia at the Best Office Ever. As Ian pointed out on A Matter of Taste--when Hannibal handed her that Please, Lie Your Face Off to Jack Crawford for Me release form last episode, the look on her face was like she'd gotten her death warrant. And that was before he threatened her (smiling). Apparently somebody finally realized they're in a show called Hannibal, and, like a proper therapist, she's here to Use Her Words, be honest and direct, then get the fuck out.


@AshParso: BEDELIA is Not for EATING, HANNIBAL! !! #Hannibal #NotForEating


Hannibal is delighted to see her; I'm not sure we've ever seen her outside her own house before. "What couldn't wait until our next session?" URGENT FRIENDSHIP? Well... about that. "We don't have a next session," she says. "I am no longer your therapist." (Yeahhhhh, Bedelia is a lot braver than I am. "So... I need to come by and tell you something... you know what, can you just come down to the parking lot? Won't take long, I'll just leave the car running... I'll just stay here in the car... no, you can hear me just fine with the window rolled up... WE ARE NEVER EVER HAVING THERAPY TOGETHER k bye" *TIRE SCREECH*) Hannibal is Not Happy: "May I ask why?" "I have reached the limit of my efficacy. I don't believe I can help you." "Are you giving me a referral?" "No." (Dude, even Franklyn got a referral. Burnt.) "I am simply ending our patient-psychiatrist relationship." "You tried to end it before," he says, prowling around the desk towards her nooooo Bedelia run--

"I... am grateful for your persistence in engaging me after my attack," she says uneasily (bless your tact), "however, in light of everything that has happened with Will Graham... I have begun to question your actions. Particularly, your past actions with regards to me and my attack." (INTERESTING. Whatever did happen--is she starting to suspect that he set her up to fail and/or get attacked in some way, by referring the dangerous patient to her?)

"Did you share these questions with Jack Crawford?"



"But perhaps that is what you intended," she adds. (SUBTLE ARE THE WAYS OF THE FANCY CANNIBAL, AND DEEP ARE HIS DESIGNS.)

"What exactly am I guilty of?" Where would you like me to start? Because I would definitely not like you to start with advancing on Bedelia, please and thank you. "Exactly, I cannot say," she says, backing away from him. And there is a really great shot of their feet as he approaches and she retreats:

Even her feet look both feminine and vulnerable in those shoes, in a way that, say, Beverly's boots might not. It's just great thriller-suspense imagery that encapsulates a really primal threat in a single moment.

"I've had to draw a conclusion based on what I glimpsed through... the stitching of the person suit that you wear," she continues (omg what are you doing he hates that), "and the conclusion that I've drawn... is that you are... dangerous." WOW, I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU SAID THAT TO HIS FACE. The polite pretense that he's not creepy as hell that y'all so strenuously kept up all last season--there's no going back to that now. "I'm sorry that you feel that way," says Hannibal. And he's just standing there without much expression but displeasure is RADIATING OFF HIM IN WAVES.

Shoulda stayed in the car, Bedelia. Maybe sent a carrier pigeon.

@HettiennePark: Just kiss her. Or bite her. Do something. #youaredangerous #Hannibal

@lorettaramos: maybe both!

"Please don't come to my home again," she says, carefully edging around him. "I will see myself out." And you know what? He lets her go. This, however, is his parting shot: "I'm resuming Will Graham's therapy." (I like the slight expression of HE DOES SO LIKE ME, SO THERE on his face.) "To what end," she asks, "besides your own?" "He asked for my help." One final truth bomb for the road: "Then maybe you deserve each other."

Yeah. I don't think that's what he wanted to hear. Not the way she said it, at any rate.

Cheer up, emo cannibal--it's time to go consulting!


"His name is Roland Umber," says Jimmy at the lab, where the gang is examining the body. "Same profile as the other victims: lived alone, disappeared from home, had a large dose of heroin in his system." Jack notes that "this victim wasn't unstrung; he was ripped from his moorings." "Whatever his imperfection, it was enough to aggravate the killer into tearing him down," says Hannibal, who is delightfully wrong (well... more on that later). Beverly adds that Roland was "discarded in a tributary over 400 miles away from anything that feeds into the dam" from the previous episode--"Like dandelion seeds, casting bodies in every direction but his own," adds Hannibal. ("Very poetic," Jimmy says pleasantly.) And, while Brian tries to move in to talk about how the body getting knocked around on the river rocks means they can't tell which injuries happened before/after death, Hannibal ends up bouncing in polite circles from Brian to Beverly like the lab's a pinball machine, until Jack finally corrals him into a corner ("Doctor, join me over here").

@MrAaronAbrams: Oh man yknow when u try to get past someone & both go the same way & its like you're dancing & then he tries to smell you? Oh man.

@cleolindajones: God bless, he is just not a very good Will Graham.

And you know, my first thought was that they were showing us how he'll just never fit in--until someone pointed out that the "cheerfully hapless" act might be just that. At which point, my guess is that he'd want them to think:

1) Hannibal Lecter isn't that interested in all the grimdark stuff, you guys! He's just here to help.

2) Wow! The new guy is so clumsy! Don't you totally miss Will now? Wouldn't it totally be great to have him back in the lab after we sort out this whole "cannibal serial killer capital murder charges" thing?

3) "I'm just a bumbling sweetheart, really. Totally not a white-hot murder-rage kinda guy. I mean, in case you were wondering."

4) All of the above?

"There may be trace evidence preserved in the craquelure," he tells Jack, to general confusion.

@BryanFuller: CRAQUELURE IS A THING http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craquelure

"Craquelure. It's French for the cracks that appear on an oil painting as it dries and it becomes rigid with age," explains Hannibal. "Cracks are not always weaknesses. A life lived accrues in the cracks." "Could be something in there--fiber, debris. Might help track where the bodies were before they got dumped," says Beverly (Hannibal gives her a keen look). But what do the victims have in common? Beverly points out, "What if it isn't what they have in common? What if it's what makes them different? Each of these people has a slightly different flesh tone," borrowing Will's insights from last episode (another look from Hannibal. HE'S ON TO YOUUUUU): "It could be like a color palette." "The color of our skin is so often politicized," he agrees: "It would almost be refreshing to see someone revel in the aesthetic for aesthetics' sake" (wait what) "if it weren't so horrific" (nice save). "We're supposed to see color, Jack. That may be all this killer has ever seen in his fellow man, which is why it is so easy for him to do what he does to his victims." "Which is why there'll be a lot more bodies on his color palette," Beverly concludes.

And then Hannibal totally busts her: "A fascinating insight, Ms. Katz. As if Will Graham himself were here in the room."

"Yes, it is," Crawford says, eyeing Beverly.

Over in the Crawffice, "How's Will Graham? SHUT. YOUR MOUTH. Is there a reason you didn't come to me before you decided to go talk to him?"

@DireRavenstag: So very rude, Jack. I like rude. For many reasons.

Well, Beverly figured he'd say no ("You figured correctly"), "but I knew you'd want to say yes. You put me in an awkward position, Jack--if you had gone like you wanted, I wouldn't have had to. Why didn't you?" "Because Will Graham is either delusional or a psychopath, neither of which I can trust!" "Fine, so don't trust him," says Beverly, shrugging. "Just listen to him." "I'm listening. This is what I'm hearing: if he's delusional, it's because I made him that way; if he's a psychopath, it's because everything in my gut is wrong."

And she realizes: "You think he's innocent."

"I don't know what I think." "I think he still wants to save lives, that's what I think." Well, that's nice, Beverly, but "I have bent the rules here in the name of saving lives. Now there is an internal investigation. I'M UNDER THE MICROSCOPE. The Office of the Inspector General has ordered A PSYCH EVAL TO DETERMINE MY COMPETENCY TO SIT IN THIS CHAIR." Well, so do you want her to go back or not? "We ...didn't have this conversation. And... since we didn't have this conversation, I want you to go and do whatever it is you believe it is your job to do. Do you know what your job is?" "Yes, I do," she says. "Then do it," he replies.

Fucking hell, Jack Crawford!

"It's one thing for a trainee to go poking around in private medical records without a warrant; very different if the guru did it." Miriam steps closer and lowers her voice: "Better for a trainee to ask for forgiveness than an FBI agent to ask for permission?" "In my experience."




Meanwhile, back in the lab--

@HettiennePark: Zeller! He's sniffing the corpse! Turn around! God damn it!

@MrAaronAbrams: I was busy looking up craquelure in the dictionary.

He may not have mind metronomes, but apparently Hannibal has nose empathy, because one sniff, and he finds himself in the Muralist's cornfield. (If you're just joining us, bear in mind that he was previously able to name Bella Crawford's perfume and diagnose Will's encephalitis, each from a single whiff; the ridiculously heightened sense of smell is A Thing in the books.) Is it symbolic that he turns on an overhead lamp as he leans in to examine, and turns the ~light of knowledge~ off when he ought to be telling the others--but doesn't? Knowing this show: probably.

Next, a jaunt over to the Baltimore State Dungeons, where he pulls up a chair several yards away from Will's visiting cage. "I've been advised to stay on this side of the line." "Select patients have taken to urinating on the therapists," Will explains dryly. Hannibal replies, "I would argue drawing a line might encourage a pissing contest."

dot dot dot


@cleolindajones: Okay, the article I pulled for the "Kaiseki" recap, it MENTIONS that. [As well as, "It's bizarre, it has a Hannibal Lecter quality to it..."] Also, I can't believe he SAID THAT.

You know, I'd said that I couldn't imagine some of Book Lecter's cruder lines coming out of Mads Mikkelsen's mouth, but maybe I was wrong about that.

"I'm not interested in a pissing contest with you, Dr. Lecter," Will says wearily.

@HettiennePark: I am.

"Please, pull up your chair."

Ah, just like old times.

(It's interesting, though: it took some doing to grab a wide shot, because the scene's mostly in closeups--obscuring the distance between them.)

"You said the light from friendship won't reach us for a million years--that's how far away we are," says Hannibal, clearly stung to his sensitive cannibal core by that whole exchange. "I hope our friendship feels closer today." (What would you call this--not "lovesick" but "friendsick"?) "Friends have a symmetrical relationship," replies Will, pointing out, "Psychiatrist and patient, that's unbalanced." (I'm saying.) "There is a power differential between psychiatrist and patient," Hannibal admits, "one that I'm well aware of, particularly with my own therapist who doesn't want to be friends either." "But we're just having conversations," Will says--suggesting they could hit a friend balance after all? Well, but: "You threatened me with a reckoning," Hannibal reminds him. "I did," says Will, and it was AWESOME. "I can't claim unconsciousness on that one."

@HettiennePark: I am totally engrossed. But at the same time picturing Will dancing in the cage and Hannibal tipping him with 20s.

@lorettaramos: I would totally pay to see that.

"You were searching for something in your head to incriminate me," says Hannibal. "I can only assume you didn't find it." "There's not much in there I recognize," Will says vaguely. Hugh Dancy does a great job of suggesting--well, occlumency, for lack of a better word; Will's trying not to lie outright because Hannibal might be able to perceive that, but notice he doesn't actually answer the question. But just in case, Hannibal tells him, "Whatever you remember, if you do remember, will be a distortion of reality, not the truth of events." Have you remembered yet that I crammed Abigail's ear down your throat while petting your face? THAT DEFINITELY DID NOT HAPPEN. And then he notes, "Beverly Katz has come to see you."


"Wouldn't want Alana Bloom to worry about you dwelling on anything morbid in what's to be a time of recovery," he finishes. But that's "the only thing that feels normal," says Will. Hannibal: "The violence?" (OH, STOP SOUNDING SO HOPEFUL.) "The structure of understanding the violence," Will corrects him. (I swear Jack once told him he needed profiling to structure his life, but I can't find that conversation now.) And of course, right after warning Will to be careful what he replaces the missing pieces of himself with, Hannibal asks, "What did you see in the pictures?"

"He's not stringing the victims up," Will tells him. "He's stitching them together. Each body is a brushstroke. He's making a human mural." Hannibal looks totally fascinated: "Why does he do it?" "He's missing pieces too."

Later, when Beverly visits his cell, Will throws that conversation in her face in his best Imprisoned Sociopath tones: "Dr. Lecter has advised me against dwelling on anything morbid." "I know you want to stop these murders as much as I do," she says. Well, "Reasons for stopping multiple murders do readily occur to me" (LINE FROM THE BOOKS, DRINK!) "but... I'm going to need something in return."

@cleolindajones: HE'S DOING THE THING RT @Tattle_Crime: QUID PRO QUO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Poor Will looks like it costs him an effort to be so heartless, though. (He also reveals that he totally knows that Chilton is recording everything always, including right now. "He's, uh... gossipy that way.") "What do you want, Will?" Cleverly Beverly demands. "I'm wondering if you can get me the thing I really want," he says darkly. Beverly: "TRY ME." In his normal voice: "I want you to ignore all the evidence against me." Bless his heart. "You're right," she says. "I can't get that." "How many colors will this killer add to his box of crayons?" he creepyvoices (oh, we were doing so well), then switches back: "Strike [the evidence] from your mental record. Start over. If I'm guilty, you'll find more evidence; if I'm not guilty, you'll maybe find that too." Well, that at least makes sense to Beverly, Fiber Analyst Extraordinaire, so: "All right. I'll keep looking."

"Good. Give me the file. I'll tell you what I think." (And then there's some movie-ish hesitation on her part at the bars. COME ON, BEVERLY, HE HASN'T EVEN BIT ANYONE YET.) "Do you mind if I do this privately?" Which is what Lecter asks of Will Graham in Red Dragon, to have some time alone with the file. This time around? "Yes," she says flatly. lol Beverly.

So she pulls up a chair, and he turns his back to look over a packet of photos of Roland Umber's resin-crackled body and his sad face (which is an interesting inversion of the "dead woman's photograph" trope), then empaths himself to the BAU lab, standing over the mortuary table, with Beverly still sitting behind him. He points out that Roland's skin isn't as discolored: "Looks fairly well preserved, all things considered. Why would I throw you away?" Yeah, this is why Jack used to boot people out when empathing was in progress. Will runs his thumb over the torn edge of the envelope: "Did Roland Umber have priors with substance abuse?" Yup: "He was in an outpatient treatment program for drug addiction." "He had a high tolerance for opiates," Will deduces. "The overdose didn't kill him. He survived what was done to him... he tore himself free. He ran." And in case you were worried that the Brilliant Imprisoned Sociopath act might start to stick, Will looks completely horrified.

"How did he end up in the water?" "Killer didn't put him there," says Will--didn't discard Roland at all: "He'd have put him back in the mural if he caught him. He needs someplace private to do what he does--a warehouse, a farm, someplace abandoned, upstream from where the body was found, it'll be close to the water." One more thing: "What'd Hannibal Lecter have to say about Mr. Umber?" "He thinks the killer tore him down, dumped his body like the others," says Beverly. "That may be what he said," says Will. "It's not necessarily what he thinks."

Meanwhile... I, uh, had to split the recap into two posts again.


You'll see.


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