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

PREVIOUSLY ON: I CAN'T BELIEVE TWO-POST RECAPS ARE A THING NOW: Roland Umber woke up in about five different horror movies and they all ended badly; WILL IS THE PUPPET MASTER NOW; "He's sniffing the corpse! Turn around! God damn it!"

Speaking of which, Hannibal has apparently followed his nose all the way to the Muralist's murder farm.

@MrAaronAbrams: Just a regular dude wondering a corn field in a clear plastic suit. Sup.

(Would you like a paper doll?)


(Well, that answers my question, at least.)

@neoprod: Stepping into the kill suit #Hannibal @theofficialmads #YouAreDangerous [set picture]

@manatee73: BTS #Hannibal Mads plastic murder suit get incredibly hot very quickly. Between takes he has to open it as it fogs up.



Man, I feel a little bit queasy just thinking about climbing up on top of a silo. Or a ladder. Or anything, really. Throw in plastic booties and I'm just done. And then I innocently remarked,

@cleolindajones: No wonder he's imagining it, I was wondering how awkward it was going to be when he brought his own to the investigation...

... because how would you just magically find this farm, of all farms, merely by the scent of cornstalks? Surely he's just taking a stroll through his mind palace, in his... murder... wow, this is some really specific imagining, with a full view of the mural to the strains of "Agnus Dei" and then the mural reflected in his eye and... oh, hey, the Muralist actually stopping by to spray on a fresh coat of res...

"Hello," Hannibal calls down to him, because this is REAL. "I love your work."

@cleolindajones: oh my Goooooooooooooooood

@HettiennePark: "Hello. I love your work." Fucking hilarious. #Hannibal #everyoneshouldrocksomeplasticovertheirwoolsuits


@Tattle_Crime: Look who was at the Muralist's scene investigation today: [gore] [spoilers] Crawford's new favorite pony.

The next time we see the cornfield, it's full of police and coroners and FBI agents, such as this one right here escorting Hannibal to the crime scene. "How ever did you find this place?" he asks. "You and Will Graham are a good team," Beverly tells him cheerfully. "You gave us the what we were looking for; he gave us the where. Corn dust on craquelure." "Yes, Will and I do make a good team," he says (Beverly is totally his favorite now). She adds that Will suggested that Roland had escaped, so "we just went upstream from where the body was found until we hit corn." So I guess this is also how Hannibal found the farm, although I choose to imagine that he was also hanging his head out the window of the Bentley, sniffing the whole way.

"You might want to prepare yourself," Jack tells him ("Dr. Lecter" again) at the silo, handing him a pair of gloves. "You've never seen anything like this." And Hannibal says, with a completely straight face, "I'm sure I haven't." OHHHHH YOUUUUU.

(The camera lingers on a shot of Beverly looking at two arms sewn together, the stitches pulled out--I'm not sure why, but apparently something seems off to her.)

Here's why the title of the episode is so great: in the kaiseki menu, this is where the hors d'oeuvres course ought to come anyway; as Janice Poon puts it, sakizuke is "a sampling of small appetizers whose ingredients, garnishes and dishware sets the tone for the season and invites the gods to partake of the meal." But (as you will see) this episode explicitly calls back to the final scene of "Amuse-Bouche," named for the French equivalent. And then I remembered that someone compared the human mural to "a shrimp platter" last week and started laaaaughinnnnng. Show, I would not put it past you.

"How could a human being go so bad," muses Jack. "When it comes to nature versus nurture," replies Hannibal. "I choose neither. We are built from a DNA blueprint and born into a world of scenario and circumstance we don't control." "Praise the mutilated world, huh?" "What did it look like from above?" Hannibal murmurs, HONESTLY NOW, and Jack hands him an iPad with a picture taken from the roof. And now... the Muralist is curled up in the center. ("Fascinating.") And on the floor, we see that... the lower half of one Muralist leg has been cut off.

Hannibal disagrees that all this is "ritual human sacrifice," AND I GUESS HE WOULD KNOW: "I'm not sure if it's an offering, but it's certainly a gesture... The eye looks beyond this world into the next and sees the reflection of man himself. Is the killer looking at God?" "Maybe it's some sick existential crisis," a rather disgusted Jack suggests, but Hannibal thinks if that were so, "I would argue there wouldn't be any reflection in the eye at all." (I take it that James Gray in the center there is meant to represent that reflection?) Well, is the Muralist going to keep doing this kind of thing? "This could be his beginning," says Hannibal, "and/or his end. He may never kill again." I mean, having you having killed him first will make that kind of difficult, yeah.

"You said he doesn't see people, that he sees material," says Crawford. (As Steven Lloyd Wilson wrote in that Pajiba article I loved, "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.") "Those in the world around him are a means to an end," Hannibal tells him. "He uses them to do what he's driven to do."

"Will Graham was a means to an end," Jack's now telling Martin Donovan--this must be the psych eval. "I used him to do what I was driven to do, to save lives at the expense of his. I thought whatever I could put him through, he would be strong enough to fight his way back to himself, and I was wrong."

"Maybe he's still fighting," says Martin Donovan (he does not seem to have a name).

"Maybe he's not," counters Jack. (As much as I wanted to punch him at the time for being like, "Sure, I can run Will into the ground if I want, he'll walk it off," I do think he's essentially correct that Will's a fighter. It's just that, back in the days of encephalitis gaslighting, Will didn't know that he was fighting, and he didn't know that his opponent fights dirty.)

"Point is," says Martin Donovan, "you don't know. It's okay not to know. You can't know everything, you can't be certain of it all." You know, I don't think that line of thought's gonna work too well with the detective type, to be honest. Also, wow, Martin Donovan is really nailing a particular "chummy therapist" type right here. Like, I know this guy; my psych is married to this guy. Also, he is strangely friendly for a guy doing a psych eval. But Jack Crawford is not here to be friends: "Knowing that Will descended into such savage behavior has changed the way that I see him, the way that I see other people. The world feels much darker." (You know, this is really saying something, coming from the founder of the Evil Minds Museum. Also, Martin Donovan is giving Jack a shrewd look that I don't like.) "It's not just the guilt of what I did to Will Graham," says Jack, "it's the guilt of watching all these other lives fall apart based on what I did." Which was? "I pushed him. When I was warned to back off, I kept pushing him." YEAH YOU DID. "You miscalculated." YEAH HE DID. "I FAILED. I failed." HELL YES YOU DID.

(That said, I keep having to remind myself that the real cause of all this is a certain stealth cannibal, and that he was gaslighting Jack almost as much as he was Will.)

(Oh my God, is Martin Donovan baiting Jack into shit-talking himself? I AM SUSPICIOUS OF YOU.)

(Meanwhile, Fio makes a great point in the AMOT podcast for this episode: "So does [Jack] think, of course this happened, I put Will under too much stress and I broke him, or does he think that he was fooled by Will? At which point anybody else becomes fair game. Because he trusted Will. So who else does he trust? And that might make Hannibal actually easier to see.")

(Okay, certain sources are telling me that the character's name is Dr. Dey. I still have all the side-eye for him.)

"We all fail, Jack," Terrible Shady Therapist Martin Donovan smarms. "I look at my friend and I see a killer," Jack says quietly. "I'm failing to reconcile those two things."

Back at the lab: "Forty-seven bodies," announces Beverly. (Damn, son.) "We've identified nineteen of them, but not this one": the Muralist himself. Surprisingly, there's "no record of fingerprints," Jimmy tells them, and "he was never arrested or in any kind of a job that required any type of security clearance or background check." "Hopefully he's been to a dentist," says Brian. Jack cuts to the chase: "Why am I looking at this man?" Well, turns out that his stitch patterns match Roland Umber's: whoever he is--and remember, we know who he is, but they don't--he was put into the mural as a replacement. One more question from Jimmy: "What happened to his leg?" And Brian says, "Maybe the killer had to cut off his leg just so he'd fit," because WHO COULD POSSIBLY IMAGINE THIS:

@cleolindajones: OH MY SWEET LORD JESUS

@HettiennePark: O GAWD #breakaleg #Hannibal

(It's okay! It's not real! Probably!)


@MrAaronAbrams: Hannibal has defeated this weeks killer. Or. Defooted.

@aMoTPodcast: I think that's like the serial killer version of getting dunked on, yeah?

Here's the really hilarious thing--turns out there was only one leg (fake), one take, and one chance to get it right, and hopefully without Mads Mikkelsen losing a finger in the process, says Janice Poon: "Of course, there was nothing to worry about. Mads works the butcher’s saw like it's his day job. The crew breaks out in laughter and applause after he breezily saws the leg into sections then tosses the foot in the air with a celebratory flourish." Oh my God, this is the most Hannibal Lecter thing we've seen on the show so far. Even more so than "Sorbet," because all the organs and offal were just there--this is AN ACTUAL HUMAN FUCKING LEG GOING THROUGH A BAND SAW, he's just so cheerfully chopping up his vegetables and taking out his happy Le Creuset casserole dish with OVEN MITTS, because of course, but OVEN MITTS, oh my God, this fucking show, I can't stop laughing. Blessings upon you and your recipe cards.

"On the plate: osso buco with saffron-scented risotto and zucchini eyeballs. Plus a couple tiny cobs of baby corn to stand for the corn fields in the chase scene." The medallions themselves have the bone (osso) marrow in the middle--with a hole (buco) like the pupil of an eye? And of course the whole sequence mirrors the lung-cooking in "Apéritif." This show, I don't know how to handle it. And God help us all, it looks delicious.

Wait, it gets worse (better?):

@neoprod: Ossobuco along with Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 in D minor MOLTO VIVACE

@LoneStarKahlua: Great post about why that music in the osso bucco scene was so disturbing (Kubrick reference ahoy!)


Meanwhile, in the middle of this, we cut back and forth to/from the lab: "He changed colors mid-brushstroke," Beverly realizes. [RRRRRRRR] "What did Dr. Lecter say?" Jack muses. [*FOOT*] "The eye looks beyond this world, into the next, and sees a reflection of man himself." [RRRRRRRRRRRRRR] "There was never supposed to be a reflection. The killer's having an existential crisis after all--the question is... how did he find his faith?" Well, was having; he's currently being nommed in front of Leda and the swan.

(Is it weird that I suddenly felt kind of sorry for Fancy Cannibal, sitting all alone at his dining room table, eating his osso umano? Like, how do you get to a point where this is your life? Is it worth it? Do you eat people because you can't connect with them? To have power over them, but you still can't make friends no matter how hard you try? Maybe this whole sequence feels like a parallel to The Ballad of the Sad Cannibal for a reason.)

The next day, Bedelia shows up at the Crawffice--



Turns out that she's here for "Closure. I think perhaps this should, or may have to be, our last conversation. At least on the subject of Hannibal Lecter." "Are you pleading the Fifth?" No yes NO, "I simply can't offer you any more insight than I already have." "Not accounting for future insight?" asks Jack, smiling. NOPE, NO INSIGHT HERE, FRESH OUT OF INSIGHT, INSIGHT IS OUT OF STOCK: "I feel it would be irresponsible if I continue to see Dr. Lecter." "Irresponsible," he repeats, perplexed now. "For who?" "For me. I can only help Hannibal if I'm feeling secure... emotionally. I'm not feeling secure right now. So I am... recusing myself... from the situation. I hope you understand." "I'm not sure I do." "Hannibal and I were both traumatized by dangerous patients," she says carefully. "Hannibal had his Will Graham... and I had mine." (Crawford nods to himself; they touched on this previously.) (I keep trying to do the math on this--again, is the idea here that she did something unethical with the Attacker Patient, something she knew she shouldn't have done--but Hannibal perhaps influenced her or talked her into doing, so that she feels like she was partly responsible for the way it ended, the way she now realizes Hannibal is "responsible" for what happened to Will? Show, I'm begging you, give me something here.) "It has been a necessary albeit unpleasant reminder that I have unresolved issues."

"Maybe Hannibal can help you resolve these issues?" Jack says pleasantly. "He is very good."

Bedelia's reply:


"I am doing my best to avoid working through my issues with Hannibal Lecter," she says. I want this embroidered on a pillow. "Obviously, I cannot control whether or not the FBI contacts me--I can only tell you what I told Hannibal: I prefer that you don't."

And based on the pensive look Jack gives her as she leaves, I HOPE HE'S STARTING TO PUT HANNIBAL AND CANNIBAL TOGETHER.

Over at the Baltimore State Dungeons, it's now Beverly's turn to accompany Hannibal to Will's cage. "Oh, now you're just taking advantage," says Will, back in Creepy Hardball mode. "You're going to burn me out before my trial, and then where will I be? What would Jack say?" "Jack's... excellent administrative instincts are not often tempered by mercy," replies Hannibal (touché). "I'm devoting a lot of time to this mural, Will," says Beverly, which means "it's hard for me to focus on anything else I've been tasked to do LIKE PROVING YOUR INNOCENCE." (A glance from Hannibal, who caught that too?) "Could use your help."

As Will takes the new crime-scene photo, Hannibal prompts, "In the 19th century, it was wrongly believed that the last image seen by the eyes of a dying person would be fixed on the retina. What would be the last image fixed on this dying eye?"

@BryanFuller: OPTOGRAPHY IS A THING http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optography

@arrakisfilm: #EmbraceTheCulture one of the joys of editing #HANNIBAL is getting inside Will's mind


"I made you pliable," Will intones in his killer voice, imagining himself standing near the center of the mural. "Molded you... set and sealed you where you lay. This is my design." (Oh, man, I've missed that. Drink!) "A dead eye of... vision..." (he looks up at the "eye" opening of the silo roof, shining like a pupil of light) "and consciousness. I am fixed... and unseeing..." And now he slips back into his own voice, realizing: "Unless someone else sees me." (Hannibal's watching intently. You know, I don't think he's ever gotten to see ~EMPATHING IN PROGRESS~ before.) "One of these things... is not like the others," says Will, stepping over the bodies to James Gray in the middle. "One of these things just doesn't belong." (I DID THE THING AGAIN.) "Who are you?" The Muralist is reflected in Will's eye now: "Why are you so different from everyone else? I didn't put you here. You... are not my design."

The sound of hooves and the tornado whir of the bullroarer: Will looks up, sees the Wendigo looking in, then finds himself lying in the Muralist's place. And now, a nice gnarly closeup of Hannibal sewing Will's legs (?) together. "Killing must feel good to God too. He does it all the time, and are we not created in his image?" says Imaginary Hannibal--Will's memory is borrowing from their conversation at the end of "Amuse-Bouche" (which itself comes from Red Dragon.) And right after that--he comes out of his trance: "The killer is in the mural." Wait, literally? "I mean, the man you're looking for is sewn into his own mural," he says, pointing to the photo: "This man." "What happened to his leg?" asks Beverly, while Hannibal staaaares at him. "Whoever sewed him in took a piece of him," says Will, "as a trophy." Which is a word very much associated with "the copycat whose murders I am accused of," so I can't tell if he's trying to signal something to Beverly or not.





omg wiiiiiiill

"He must have had a friend," says Hannibal, managing to look both shifty and triumphant at the same time. AND THEN HE AND WILL STARE AT EACH OTHER, since the answer to "What would be the image fixed on his dying eye?" is "YOUR FACE."

@cleolindajones: I wonder if this is some kind of message from Hannibal to Will--there's nothing you can do that I can't get in the middle of.

@aMoTPodcast: Either that or some kind of test for Will, to see if he broke his toy by putting him in the asylum.

@tamaro606: I think it's a sort of invitation to keep playing the best game Hannibal ever played with his favorite playmate, Will.

And then we hear Hannibal saying "You're not alone, you know?" while he cooks up a nice spoonful of heroin. "In The Resurrection, Piero della Francesca placed himself in the fresco," he says--we flash back to him talking to the Muralist, who's curled up in Roland Umber's place. And Hannibal's in his plastic murder suit, so apparently they had one hell of a conversation between "Hello" and right now. "Nothing flattering--he depicted himself as a simple guard asleep at his post." A nice shot of Hannibal's face in Gray's eye as his pupil contracts: "Your placement should be much more meaningful." "It's not finished," rasps the Muralist. "I'm finishing it for you. We'll finish it together," Hannibal says comfortingly. "When your great eye looked to the heavens, what did it see?" "Nothing." "Not anymore." "There is no God," James Gray insists. Hannibal: "Certainly not with that attitude." (There's Pascal's wager, and then there's this.) "God gave you purpose, not only to create art, but to become it."

"Why are you helping me?" the Muralist asks. Because Hannibal Lecter is the best at helping (today). (Seriously, though, this guy must have shit kittens when "I LOVE YOUR WORK" rang down from the heavens.) And he leans down close to Gray, then looks back over his shoulder, up at the sky: "Your eye will now see God reflected back. It will see you," he says, smiling and stroking Gray's cheek. Guys, Hannibal Lecter's tender murder caress is about to do me in. He keeps doing it to people! If he does it to SOMEONE WHO IS NOT FOR EATING, I don't know what I'll do. "If God is looking down at you, don't you want to be looking back at Him?"

And the camera pulls back as he begins to sew.

@neoprod: In closeup - a master surgeon's stitches #Hannibal [face] [side]

I keep wondering what Hannibal's really done here. On one hand, he's saved the lives of this guy's future potential victims while possibly ruining his design, since Gray's pale skin is out of place in the mural, like a mote in the "eye"; Will sounds a little angry when he's empathing the "you are not my design" part. On the other hand, Hannibal seems to be saying that Gray represents the reflection of God in the eye, a welcome presence finally acknowledging the Muralist; he's actually taken this guy's pathology and given him peace--dona nobis pacem--by turning it on him. Like, the Muralist seems happy now (to be fair, he is also on a shit-ton of heroin). So I can't tell if Hannibal's conquered a rival serial killer, brought one to his idea of justice as The New Will Graham, or acted as this guy's murder therapist to sincerely help him. Honestly, given that it's Hannibal Lecter, it could be D) all of the above.

@beamish_girl: That was so...weirdly tender and sad. I DON'T KNOW WHAT MY FEELINGS ARE DOING.

This is not even getting into the idea that Hannibal's implying that, if he and other killers are made in God's image, then God is the Great Serial Killer; the pervasive eye imagery suggests that he's now presuming to act as as God's earthly stand-in (angel?), or believes that he is God, to help James Gray become an eye that can look God in the face. (Y'all, there are grad school papers that could be written about this. Throw in the extra dimension of the viewer's eye taking all this in and you've probably got a dissertation.) So that's some shit I saw on network TV. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to curl up under my desk and hope I don't get struck by lightning.

Back at the dungeons, here's another visitor to Will's cage: "Kade Prurnell, Office of the Inspector General, FBI Oversight." "Am I still an FBI employee," Will asks dryly, "or is that pending the outcome of my trial?" (I was going to be like, are you shitting me, and then I realized he's doing almost as much consultation work behind bars as he was before.) Replies Prurnell, "The point of the trial isn't so much whether or not you did it; it's whether or not you knew what you were doing when you did it." "Sounds like I'm unemployed," he says dismally.

"Dr. Bloom is hard at work on your unconsciousness defense--" "Ah, yes yes," says Will, "the FBI made me do it." "The FBI made you a murderer, yes, that is Dr. Bloom's position. As you can imagine, she's not popular." (Heh, I enjoy Cynthia Nixon's line reading there.) "Our point of view is that you were already a murderer. The prosecution will paint a picture of you as an intelligent psychopath. You conspired with your neurologist to cultivate an illness that would ultimately be your alibi--" "--and then I killed my neurologist to broom the footprints behind me?" Will breaks in, with kind of a FUCK ME, THAT'S WHY HE REALLY DID IT look. "That's what everyone in the courtroom will hear when you take the stand, regardless of what you say," says Prurnell. Will: "Well, what's to be done about that?" (I DON'T KNOOOOW!)

"Let's discuss it," says Prurnell, in a surprisingly pleasant tone. "If you plead guilty, you'll spare us all a trial. And I personally will see to it that you're comfortable here in your dungeon with Chilton up in your business 24/7." But Will insists, "I'm pleading innocent." "You very publicly lost your mind--some would argue theatrically. The prosecution certainly will." "All part of the performance," says Will--"It's just not my performance you're watching." (Actually, let me get back to the idea of performance in a minute.) "You'll be found guilty and given the federal death penalty," Prurnell counters. "I'm trying to save your life."

His voice is quiet and shaky, but: "I guess I'll have to save my own life."


And then he turns away and goes back to his Fishing Palace, where the Muralist's victims stream past him beneath the water.

His next visitor, however, comes directly to his cell. This is a scene that made me really, really happy, despite the fact that it involves Gillian Anderson fleeing the show--the way it's staged, it's visually referencing not one but two scenes from Silence of the Lambs. "I don't know you," Will says in surprise. "My name," she tells him, "is Bedelia Du Maurier."

"You're Hannibal Lecter's therapist? What's that like?"

(I barked out a laugh like a seal.)

"I've heard so much about you, I feel I almost know you--" "YOU DON'T," Will says quickly. "No, I don't. But I understand you better than I thought. I... wanted to meet you before I withdraw." From...? "Social ties." "Well, you're a psychiatrist. Isn't our sense of self a consequence of social ties?" "They certainly are in your case," she says wryly--and that's when he starts to realize she may have an... unexpected view of Hannibal. "It may be small comfort," she says, "but I am convinced Hannibal has done what he honestly believes is best for you." "No, that isn't small comfort--that would be no comfort." Yeah, that's basically fucking terrifying, that this is what Hannibal does to people he likes.

"The traumatized are unpredictable because we know we can survive," she tells him. Bryan Fuller says that this line was inspired by one in the Juliette Binoche movie Damage, explaining, "You may feel you are alone in your damage, because it is such an interior experience to be damaged in that way, and then to have somebody come along who you know can know you in that way, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s a glimmer of hope." What it reminded me of--and I'm not the only one--was something I'd seen on Tumblr: kintsugi. It's the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, on the understanding that it is more beautiful for having been broken: "One can say that the true life of the bowl began the moment it was dropped."

"You can survive this happening to you," she says.

"Happening to me?" he whispers.

She steps over the safety line and has to whisper almost nose-to-nose, so that Chilton's surveillance won't pick it up, even as the buzzers go off and the guards come running: "I believe you."

And half the asylum staff hustles her away with violins on the soundtrack and tears in her eyes, and there's poor Will standing there shaking, like, omg validation of my reality! OMG NO COME BACK!!

That first shot from Silence of the Lambs, by the way, is one I talk about a lot, because I will go to the mat arguing that Anthony Hopkins is actually doing something pretty subtle: playing Hannibal Lecter as someone who is himself playing a part, because that intimidating, outsize personality is the only way he can have any kind of power now that he's behind bars. He can't go out and track someone down the way Mads Mikkelsen's Hannibal can. And notice how he's much more like the show's Hannibal at the beginning of the Red Dragon movie--the pleasant, low-key host and therapist--and a lot more mellow once he's at large in Hannibal. His Hannibal doesn't need to perform at those points. And the moment he shows us what he's actually doing in SOTL is in his first scene, where Lecter drops the whole act, shouts for Clarice to come back, and apologizes to her for an unpleasant incident--that weird "chivalry" of his has been struck, and he's got to humble himself a little if he wants her to ever come back. Granted, he gives Clarice a coded message, but after the way he initially dismissed her, it's a sign of favor that he gives her one at all.

I could go on (and have), but suffice it to say that it's super, super interesting that the show slots the mysterious Bedelia into Lecter's place here. It's very much the emotional reverse--she's "coding" her message out of fear and vulnerability rather than from a position of power, in a whisper instead of a shout, and she's offering it as a goodbye instead of a reason to meet again. But there's still a sense that both these characters--Hannibal and Bedelia--have deeper knowledge that we only rarely glimpse. And then, throw in the second SOTL scene pictured up there--Lecter gives the case file back to Clarice but basically doesn't reveal anything. But he gives her a clue ("desperately random") that enables Clarice and Ardelia to figure out the answer themselves. And, the way Show Hannibal gives Will tests to pass--it's the same thing, he wants her to have to figure it out. Whereas Bedelia doesn't want to play games--far from being in any kind of powerful position, she's reaching out from a place of vulnerability on her way the hell out of there to safety. So it's not that she needs Will to prove something to her--she wants to prove something to him, that he's not alone or out of his mind. And they've even shot it so that Will is on the same side of the frame as Clarice in that first shot--because he's the one who needs answers. In all three cases, they're game-changing messages, and it's fantastic how the show's brought those two moments from the film together, but inverted, into this one.

Of course, as Fio put it, "Believing Will Graham is the action of a future pot roast," so, later that night at Bedelia's house--

@cleolindajones: NOOOOOOOOOOO

@Uldihaa: As soon as I saw enter her house in the murder suit, I thought, "Cleo's screaming at the screen, 'NOT FOR EATING'."

Nor is she, because AHAHAHAHAHA BEDELIA PEACED OUT 110% AND THERE'S NOTHING LEFT BUT SHEETS OVER THE FURNITURE, YOUR MURDER BOOTIES ARE IN VAIN, FANCY CANNIBAL. And as a final grace note, she's left a bottle of perfume on her chair where they used to have therapy sessions. And as he sniffs at the stopper and smiles to himself, he hears a wispy memory of her saying, "And the conclusion that I've drawn... is that you are... dangerous." And the episode ends with eerie wistful music and Hannibal standing in her ghost-draped living room, mulling that over.

@MrAaronAbrams: Awwwww that so sweet to leave a nice gift for the cannibalistc nightmareman before she runs for her life. - FOR REAL THOUGHT I HAD


buildmorewalls: bedelia quietly sips merlot as she listens to the sweet sweet purring of airplane engines. cant touch this, she whispers

meganmachine: And today will be the day that you will always remember as the day that you almost - nope, didn't even come close to - murdering Bedelia Du fucking Maurier-- Bedelia, sitting on a beach somewhere, drinking wine straight from the bottle because she deserves it

Damn straight.

There was also a good bit of discussion/controversy on Tumblr as to whether the perfume was meant as a gracious gesture or a gigantic fuck-you. I tend to think it's the former--an elegant way to tell him 1) goodbye but also 2) I knew you would come, EVEN THOUGH I TOLD YOU NOT TO, PROBABLY TO MURDER ME. And leaving perfume is a graceful, generous, even intimate gesture. (Maybe I'm imagining that. I don't know, I'd consider it intimate to leave my ten-years-aged bottle of Tamora with someone so they could always remember what my wrists and the back of my neck smelled like.) And surely she'd found out over the years that he was particularly sensitive about smell. Plus, I can't help but think back to the "person suit" conversation that she still somehow ended with, "And I like you," which still baffles me in the context of Whatever the Hell Was Going on With Them. (I don't know that you'd say something as basic as "I like you" to someone you'd already had an affair with, though, so I can't quite convince myself that she was The Previous Affair-Haver.) (WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH THEM?)

@aMoTPodcast Dangerous, by Calvin Klein. Didn't they say they were going to market perfume? This was a really weird 45-minute commercial.

I don't know that this is any kind of intentional reference, but perfume is A Thing in the books as well. Basically the first thing Lecter does on meeting Clarice is tell her what perfume she wears ("but not today"). Even here on the show already, we have Hannibal guessing Bella's perfume, and Sutcliffe's remark about "calling out a nurse's perfume." (I know it's weird that I seem to be assigning the first name to one version and the last name to the other, but "Dr. Lecter" is how the narration always refers to him, I don't know.) So yeah, the ridiculously sensitive olfactory powers do come from the original series. And then the movie Hannibal takes it to another level: once Lecter's on the run, he sends Clarice a letter that he's written while wearing a custom-made hand cream. What are the notes? Among other things, lanolin (for lambs), Tennessee lavender (he had last seen her in Memphis)--and a rare kind of ambergris that gives away that he's in Florence. So now, over in this continuity, Bedelia's left perfume for him. So I'm kind of dying to know what it was--or, if it's a fictional perfume, what notes it would have. And given that perfume was significant in the Hannibal/Clarice relationship, I find it interesting and wistful and bittersweet that Bedelia leaves her own perfume for him, particularly because what the hell is even going on with these two.

(Oddly, I have a very clear sense of what I think Bedelia's perfume would smell like, but I can't pick out the individual notes. Gardenia with a cold edge? I don't know.)

Meanwhile! Bryan Fuller has already discussed how he hopes he can get Gillian Anderson back to further explore Bedelia's connection with Will and possibly her back story? And then, this past Monday, he posted THIS. Nothing ever ends.

(And then, on Gillian Anderson's Reddit AMA: "My question is assuming your character is made into a gourmet meal by Hannibal what type of food would you want to be made into?" "Something so rich that he’d choke on it and die.")

("Recently somebody showed me a little clip that somebody had put together of us just staring, clips of us staring at each other back and forth for like a minute and a half.")

I'll stop now.


@MrAaronAbrams: Thanks for tweeting and watching along everybody. We all made our involuntary noises together. XO.

@DireRavenstag: And the halls of justice shall ring with the sound of silvered hooves, darling fleshmeats. Good night.

(Continue: 2x03 "Hassun")

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I did like the idea that Grey is less a mote in the eye, but rather the reflection of light. So really, he kind of is improving the art.

I'm so, so glad Bedelia is away. My favorite is not for eating (until further notice)!

Speaking of barking like a seal, the Sesame Street moment was when I did. He said the first line and I started singing the rest, and then they DID THE THING. Amazing. My mom (who doesn't watch the show) didn't believe me when I told her.

THIS. EPISODE. Jesus christ, this episode. I thought Kaiseki was bad but AHAHAHAHAHA NOPE TWAS MERELY A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME. Leave me here to die. At least there's lots of stuff to discuss!

Roland Umber is a badass to end all badasses and we should be humbled by his sheer badassery.
yaaaaay i get an excuse to share my useless knowledge of japanese food, yaaaaaaay. You already said what I wanted to say about sakizuke, so how about some hassun? Hassun is the second course of a kaiseki meal and is usually comprised of a single kind of sushi with some side dishes. Hassun is used to show what seasonal products will be used in the rest of the meal and serves as the second course of the meal, following the sakizuke appetizer. Looking at the episode list, they're not going in the classic kaiseki order, which makes me sadface.

Hannibal saying 'pissing contest' was like a physical blow of shock to me like holy SHIT he said a BAD WORD!!! I do find it interesting though that Hannibal was the one to introduce the profanity and not Will. hhhuhhhh.

WILL IS DOING THE THING HE'S BECOMING THE FANCY CANNIBAL OH MY GOD. also lmao laying the sick burns on chilton.

Something I really liked in this episode was that if you listen, just before Will does his empath thing, there's a resonant sort of buzzing noise. I was really confused at first but then I realized -- it's a sped up version of the mind metronone noise! Such a nice touch.

"Hello. I love your work." BAHAHAHAHAHAH


Will empathing the mural and then SUDDENLY BEING SEWN INTO IT HIMSELF is basically the creepiest thing in the show so far.

Hannibal and the Muralist I just. christ. That scene is just so strange -- it's so sad and tender and sweet but also OH MY GOD HE'S BEING SEWN INTO A FUCKING HUMAN MURAL WHAT THE FUCK WHAT IS GOING ON WITH MY EMOTIONS


sorry for how rambly and disjointed this ended up being but these were actually my notes that I made when I was watching the show ahahaha. SUPER PUMPED FOR TONIGHT!!


This is what I'm saying.

Two-part recaps are okay as long as you're okay with doing two-part recaps.

Guess I'm skipping the beginning of the episode, then. (Yes, still didn't watch. Waited for the recap.)

Ceiling Lecter is watching you!

There *is* a fanart of "kintsugified" Will, by the way.

Oh no! I hate that you had to wait so long. It kind of feels like this might be the pattern for the season, though--I know this week it'll take a while because I have to work on something else entirely for the next few days. I'd like to get the recaps done a few days sooner, but I was also pushing myself so hard last year that I was exhausted about 10 episodes in, so I do want to take it a little more slowly this year.

(Definitely skip the beginning of the episode. I mostly watched it through my fingers the first time around.)

God, that first scene. I made through the entire first season without flinching, but this time I kept covering my eyes.

"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.

Heh, I'd forgotten about that in Red Dragon (even though I watched it recently). What I went back to is the first time Will and Beverly met, back in 'Aperitif'. She wouldn't leave him alone to do his empathing then, either.

She wouldn't leave him alone to do his empathing then, either.

i just said OH SHOW aloud to myself. what a neat callback. <3

I still think that Bedelia's going to end up replacing the Chilton old friend for dinner bit from the end of Silence of the Lambs.

What would you call this--not "lovesick" but "friendsick"?
Friendship in the way that C.S. Lewis puts it: philia, as opposed to storge (yes I hear the Pillar of Storge jokes), which is the most common and what I would say is the foundation of most of Will's relationships -- fondness through familiarity. Philia is "the least natural of loves," and something deeper than what's considered normal friendship.

believes that he is God.
At the very least, A god; it's the next level up from a person. He doesn't see humans as being on the same level of himself, ergo: they are not people and he is the only person; or they ARE people and he is god. Hannibal is acting out his own theophania; specifically in this situation, it's a reflection of Zeus appearing to Semele -- the image of the god burns the human up, killing them. To see Hannibal Lecter as he is kills people.

Actually, I might change that to hierophany, because it's less restrictive, especially given the definition in Cosmos and History: The Myth of the Eternal Return, where all things need to conform to the sacred model to have true reality, that identity exists only in relation to the transcendental. Which Hannibal, in his Serial Killer God world, seems to embody in all of its gory glory. He appears and everything else orients itself around him. (Euripides The Bacchae is my big thing right now, with the appearance of Dionysos leading Pentheus to be torn apart both through his own actions and by others; Hannibal leading Will around in the dark, allowing him to tear his own mind to pieces while simultaneously encouraging Jack & co to finish him off.)

Oh no I did start an essay. Hannibal Lecter as The God Who Appears. *facepalm*

"All part of the performance," says Will
*throws self onto the ground, mumbling about how identity is a performance*

I am not over that Bedelia/Will lean-in scene. I never will be. Ariadne giving Theseus the clew -- clue literally here -- to help with the minotaur and his labyrinth. (That and Will as Kassandra, who nobody believes, and Bedelia as Helenus, who also had the same gift as Kassandra and was believed.)

>>>Oh no I did start an essay. Hannibal Lecter as The God Who Appears. *facepalm*

Continue, please. At length. (Not necessarily here, of course.)

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I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe at Bryan Fuller posting an actual fucking Sesame Street video. THIS SHOW.

That just killed me, that he actually CONFIRMED they did that on purpose. ahahahaha.

The scene between Bedelia and Will was really one of my favorites. Two fantastic actors in a scene with a handful of dialogue, but so many layers! As much as I appreciated the artistic choice behind the symbolism of having Will step out of focus to focus on the bars of his cell at the end of the scene, I _really_ wanted to finish watching Will's reaction to her telling him she believes him. So validating and yet so hopeless since she is basically like, "yep I believe you, but BYE!" We got to see some of Hugh Dancy's incorporation of both those emotions (and probably more), but I wanted more!

Also, when she whispered, "I believe you," all I could picture was Fox Mulder sitting alone in a dark room with his fish tank saying, "Oh, so HIM you believe?!"

"Well, he didn't try to convince me he was framed by *aliens*!"

I almost didn't make it past the opening this time. That was, without a doubt, the worst thing I've ever seen.

(And yet, as we've discussed here before, the violence and gore never seem exploitative like they do in other shows, and I really do think that it's mainly because they're not sexualized. In a way, it's such a relief to be able to watch a crime show without having to worry about that aspect, even though "relief" is obviously the wrong word to use when STITCHES AND SCREAMING AND RIPPING FLESH AUUUGHH.)

I'm so glad Gillian's coming back for more. The scenes with her and Mads always have such a wonderful "Two world-weary vampires amuse themselves by discussing humans" quality to them.

Also, over on Tumblr a friend and I were discussing what Hannibal does with his leftovers--there were at least four servings of osso leggo, so he definitely has a fridge full of Tupperware. I like to imagine that sometimes he comes home tired and decides "Eh, I'll just reheat some John tonight."

Edited at 2014-03-14 10:46 pm (UTC)

I have to admit I was looking forward to the return of your recaps as much as the return of the series :)

I'm kind of concerned by the Beverly/Clarice/Miriam parallels. Beverly is not for killing, or eating or brainwashing or anything bad.

I was so scared for Bedelia this episode, was really convinced she'd bought it. But she won! (In a manner of speaking) Yesssss.

I'm really intrigued by the Hannibal being in Science Team's way scene.It reminded me of S1 where Hannibal smells Will - at first it seemed like just a bizarre hilarious moment but actually was very meaningful and plot relevant. I can't work out what his aim is though. Make the science team see him as an endearing bumbling eccentric? Copping a smell of Zeller? Planting murder evidence on Beverly in case the time comes when he needs to frame someone else? I saw someone say maybe he's testing them for rudeness too.

I loved the moment where Hannibal posits that the killer had 'a friend' and Will just looks at him. Like, oh, you fucker.

No Freddie Lounds yet! I miss her.

I have a pretty high tolerance for non-sexual gore/violence, but oh my god this episode. The Hannibal/Bedelia scene had me on the edge of my seat.

That wobble of Bedelia's feet... I can't believe how much came across with just two pairs of feet taking steps. And that wobble. ~awe~

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since apparently there are different kinds

So many different types. ASK ME HOW (quiet down, anthropology degree). Philosophically, I'd argue he's not even a cannibal because to be one, a person is in the act of eating their own species/humans on their level and we've seen Hannibal seeing people more as pets rather than creatures who can exist on his level. An anthropophagus, yes, because he is eating humans, but not a cannibal because of his separate existence.


I want to rewatch this episode really badly, but I keep thinking about the opening scenes again and - nope. I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU, ROLAND UMBER. I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU SO HARD AND YOU GOT SO FAR. D: I think if I do rewatch it I will have to use the time-honored strategy of going to get a snack or something during those minutes.

... well, maybe not a snack, considering.

EVERYTHING ELSE WAS AMAZING. The science lab awkward dance! I definitely thought he did that on purpose to look like a harmless interloper who doesn't "belong," because I mean - dude is graceful as fuck, he does not accidentally bump into anything or anyone. I almost screamed at the scene with Bedelia at Hannibal's office, because that was FUCKING TERRIFYING.

Um. I am sad that I do not have a longer comment worthy of the excellent recap, but definitely an amazing recap!


But in the eeeeeend, it didn't even maaaatter.

I think I muttered "Dick move, show!" under my breath.

Wrgh, the beginning scene. This is not the first time I couldn't watch something in this show, but oh god I didn't want to hear it either but I didn't have any hands left to cover my ears! You know what, Hannibal has already given me a really specific mushroom-infection squick (I was eating when that scene started) I don't need a ripping-your-sewn-up-flesh-from-its-moorings squick too shit it might be too late.

It's almost sort of cute now, how shocked I was last year by the fact that Abigail's sliced throat was being shown on network TV. I kind of love how this show just keeps getting away gradually making it worrrrrse, and I bet it has a lot to do with beautiful it all is. I could be wrong about that, I don't watch a lot of network TV and I definitely don't watch anything else like Hannibal (is there anything else like Hannibal?), but I bet that if it were less artistic, that would be holding them more in check.


"The color of our skin is so often politicized"

Yes, Hannibal, I'm sure the black man and the woman of East Asian descent working in a white-male-dominated field are fascinated by your thoughts on the politicization of skin color. I was so amazed by that and I still don't know what to do with it. I mean, I trust the show to know how inappropriate that was, which leaves me with trying to figure out if Hannibal realized/cared/did it on purpose (in line with the idea that he was deliberately bumbling around)/I don't even know.

Bedelia is my new favorite. I loved her in this episode, how she showed courage, strength, and intelligence every step of the way, how she handled Hannibal, how she handled Jack, how she knew she could give Will a much-needed morale boost and did it, and how she did all that before getting the fuck out. I mean, a lot of people with that awareness that they needed to run would just RUN, but she did it the smart way and it was so glorious to watch.

Hannibal and Will both saying "pissing contest" is a thing I didn't know I wanted until now. Will's faux-freakout, however, was a thing I was quite certain I didn't want and got anyway. Way too real, way too much a thing where yep, I have made those horrible involuntary sounds recently. (And a protip to any managers out there: If an employee is sitting in your office and making those sounds because you have just told them "quit now or I'm going to fire you" and you then respond by telling them "You need to pull yourself together," you can go straight to hell.)

Slightly embarrassing: I didn't immediately twig that John Doe 21 was the muralist, so my first reaction to seeing Hannibal unwrap the leg was disgust that he was eating someone else's (resin-coated, heroin-infused) murder leavings. You are so much better than carrion, Fancy Cannibal!

(And yes, I was right there with you in feeling sad about his osso dudeo for one.)

I hadn't even considered that the leg would be heroin infused. Did Hannibal get a buzz at dinner or would cooking break it all down or _what_??!

I'm amazed that this show does such a nice job balancing the most awful things I've ever witnessed (Roland ripping himself from the mural) to the most ridiculous things (Hannibal's pleasant "Hello"; Hannibal butchering that leg) that in the span of 30 seconds I'm clutching my face in horror to gasping for air because I'm laughing too hard. Bravo, Bryan Fuller.

Is it weird that I suddenly felt kind of sorry for Fancy Cannibal, sitting all alone at his dining room table, eating his osso umano?

I had the same thought/feeling, too. But it was more in a "why did he make four portions if he's eating all by himself?" IDK, I can't see Hannibal heating up leftovers in a microwave the following evening.

I am so glad Bedelia PEACED THE FUCK OUTTA THERE. Initially when she told Will that she was cutting "social ties" I thought she was going to kill herself--in a way beating Hannibal to the punch--and Hannibal was going to find her body when he came to murder her. So I'm glad she's still alive and there's the possibility that she can come back when Hannibal's on the run and/or in prison.

I had the same thought/feeling, too. But it was more in a "why did he make four portions if he's eating all by himself?" IDK, I can't see Hannibal heating up leftovers in a microwave the following evening.

I really hope he doesn't donate leftovers to soup kitchens, or whatever. (Can you even do that? When I worked in a bakery, we donated leftover bread, but nothing containing meat or dairy.)

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