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Hannibal 2x04: "Takiawase" part two
onoz
cleolinda
PREVIOUSLY ON: COVERED IN BEES!!: The memory of Abigail came back to punch us in the heart one more time; Bella Crawford's storyline kicked us while we were down; Beverly got ever closer to getting et; the show finally came up with something I couldn't watch; Will discovered that season one was MADE OF LIES. Chilton was pretty entertaining, though.


And now, we get to something completely amazing. Will's lying on his sad narrow dungeon bed again, dreaming--his mind replaying a slightly different version of the seizure scene from "Rôti":

"I feel like I'm losing my mind. Tell me if he's real." "I don't see anyone." "No, he's right there." "There's no one there." "You're lying." "We're alone. There's no one there." "You're lying." "We're alone. You came here alone. Do you remember coming alone?"

And then Will looks up from his bed, through his cell bars, just in time to see himself sobbing, "NO, PLEASE DON'T LIE TO ME!"




"Garrett Jacob Hobbs is dead. You killed him. You watched him die." "What's happening to me?!" "Will. Will, you're having an episode. I want you to hand me over the gun. Will, I want you to hand me your... Will..."

Now Will's just standing there twitching; when Lecter pulls his eyelids open, his eyes are completely rolled back... And then he puts his hands on Will's forehead and around his unresponsive face in a very doctorly way...

"He's had a mild seizure," Lecter announces. "That... doesn't seem to bother you," observes Gideon. "I said it was mild," says Lecter, looking offended that Gideon would imply that he doesn't care about his BFF. By the way, Will remains standing there for the entire conversation--






@cleolindajones: "oh my God I'm in a show called Hannibal, I literally just walked right into it"

The original "Rôti" footage is really smoothly integrated, too. So much so that you may not remember that a very feverish Will thought he marched Garrett Jacob Hobbs into Hannibal's house--and then Hannibal made him believe there was no one there at all. Will had no idea, until right now, that it was Abel Gideon sitting there the whole time.

"Are you the man who claimed to be the Chesapeake Ripper?" And poor Will just wanders around the table while his half-conscious memory self has that seizure over to the side; he looks lost and stunned by the conversation he's watching unfold. "Why do you say 'claimed'?" "Because you're not. You know you're not and you don't know much more about who you are beyond that." "Are you the Ripper?" And once again, Hannibal says, "A terrible thing...






...to have your identity taken from you."

After a good long stare from Mindfuck Hannibal Lecter, Will wakes up in a sweat. And now he knows: Hannibal's not just the Copycat Killer. He's the Chesapeake Ripper.

The next day, Will somehow manages to not blurt this out the red hot second Beverly walks into the visitation room. "Whoever killed James Gray didn't just take his leg," she tells Will, showing him pictures: "Sutures hidden beneath the stitching that wove him into the mural. One crime made to look like another." "Like the Copycat," says Will. "And..." (HERE WE GO) "...the Chesapeake Ripper." "Now you're saying Hannibal Lecter is the Chesapeake Ripper?" YESSSSSSSSSSSS "I'm saying also the Chesapeake Ripper," says Will, with a light dry laugh because what else can you do at this point? "Were the kidneys surgically removed?" he guesses. And when Beverly confirms it, he points out, "Dr. Lecter was a surgeon." "I know he was," says Beverly (not the least because she personally watched him clean up the Organ Harvester's mess), "I asked him to consult on James Gray's autopsy."

Will: "YOU WHAT? If you invited him with an actual agenda, Hannibal would know it!" (This is essentially what Crawford says to Clarice in Silence of the Lambs--that he didn't tell her why she was initially sent to talk to Lecter, because he would sense it and refuse to give her information.) "He pointed me to the evidence," protests Beverly-- "He pointed you to an absence of evidence. He's baiting a hook, Beverly--he's toying with you. Go to Jack. Tell him everything." "I can't bring this to Jack until I can back it up." "STAY. AWAY. FROM HANNIBAL LECTER," says Will, condemned to watch everyone ignore his warnings, no matter how much he shouts or flails or begs. Just like we are.

And then Beverly asks... THE QUESTION.

"The Chesapeake Ripper kept surgical trophies. If Hannibal's the Ripper, what's he doing with his trophies?" And the answer is straight out of the very first episode:


@IDFYTI: he's eating them

@NBCHannibal: HE'S EATING THEM!

@DeLaurentiisCo: "HE'S EATING THEM."





stag head

crows

body

breakfast

sausage

sausage

SAUSAGE



(hxcfairy.tumblr.com)


@cleolindajones: YESSSS YESSSSSSS YESSSSSSSSSSS YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

I... kinda had a cannigasm there, sorry.

Speaking of cannibalism (when are we not speaking of cannibalism?), here's Kitty Pimms extracting honey, and I would like to point out that there is a metric shit-ton (shit-tonne?) of it bottled up in her kitchen. In retrospect... yeah, there... there might be more than just those two "patients" out there. Also, the honey looks gorgeous.

And because Beverly's off consulting with Will, Jimmy and Brian are the ones who get to accompany Jack to Kitty Pimms' Holistic Lobotomy Spa: "We'd like to speak with you about two of your former patients." I'm pretty sure they've already figured out it was her by the acupuncture evidence, but this still doesn't go anything like they expected. While Jack's wandering around the lovely sunlit house looking at the MASSIVE NUMBER OF HONEY JARS, Jimmy asks, "When was the last time you saw Duncan Halloran or Lloyd Roat?" Kitty's a little jumpy, but generally it's all very gentle and polite and friendly: "Whenever our last appointments were. I can check in my calendar, if you want. Have you found them?" "Mr. Halloran is deceased, and... Mr. Roat might as well be," Brian says, very Brianly. "Whew! Poor Mr. Halloran..." she says in a totally casual way, and Jack just gives her this look: "What were you treating him for?" "That man trudged from disease to disease. He had severe combined immunodeficiency. Life didn't seem to be going his way," she says, gesturing for everyone to sit down on her homey sofas. "I find that... people don't get their own way... because, uh... they often don't know themselves where... that way leads. Mr. Halloran, he couldn't envision a dignified end of life. So, it's much nicer to die--well, for him--to die in a meadow, a head full of bees." Oh... so we're... oh. We're just gonna.... oh. (Y'all, the guys' reactions are amazing.) "Have you tried the honey?" "No," Jack says calmly. "I couldn't bring myself to either," she admits. "It seemed too morbid." OH WELL OKAY. (So... wait, who does eat all that honey?) Jack: "So you left him in the field... to die." "I brought him to the field to die. I didn't kill him. I quieted his mind so that he could die in peace." (So she gouged out his eyes and half his brain and left him there for the bees, alive? Oh my God, I have so many questions I don't want answers to.) "And Mr. Roat... you quieted his mind, too?" "Ohhhhh, him. He suffered crippling arthritis. After he was quieted... I saw him walk pain-free for the very first time in his life. I can't make pain go away, but I can make it so that it doesn't matter. I--I protected them. I protected these people... from hopelessness. And that's beautiful."

@DeLaurentiisCo: Oh, well, good, she's protecting them.

@lashieldmaiden: POUR ONE OUT FOR Jack'S EPIC SIDE EYE.




Just in case you think Kitty Pimms was caught before she really got going, apparently we will also get a deleted scene on the DVDs where Jack goes out back and discovers Kitty's "zombie greenhouse" with other lobotomized "patients". So we've got that to look forward to. I'm not even being sarcastic there.

@BryanFuller: AMANDA PLUMMER SHOWS HER #FANNIBAL APPRECIATION #DIDYOUTRYTHEHONEY [Amanda Plummer in flower crown! Laurence Fishburne being adorable!]

@manatee73: Amanda Plummer is a force of nature and a lovely person to have on set. She scared the hell out of the crew.

While Jack's out there dealing with Honey Bunny and her tender mercies, Bella's come to visit Hannibal at The Best Office Ever; Hannibal has to help her to her chair. "It's a little unnerving, not being able to walk across the floor," she says shakily. "Nothing can be so unnerving for someone strong as being weak," he replies. Bella, breathless but cheerful: "I was so weak after chemotherapy... Jack had to physically pick me up. It was the second time he carried me across the threshold."

Turns out that not only this line, but Jack's conversation with Hannibal last week, are from the Silence of the Lambs book:

Except for the height of the beds and the minimal plumbing necessary for Bella's comfort, Crawford has managed to keep this from looking like a sickroom. There are flowers, but not too many. No pills are in sight--- Crawford emptied a linen closet in the hall and filled it with her medicines and apparatus before he brought her from the hospital. (It was the second time he had carried her across the threshold of that house and the thought nearly unmanned him.)
"I brought you something," she says, handing him a small gift bag. "Paying my debt."

@BryanFuller: PAY THE FERRY MAN [set pic]

He's familiar with the concept, yes. "Coq gaulois," he says, smiling as he recognizes the coin--of course it's metaphorical as all hell, but the immediate symbolism is that the name translates to "Gallic [i.e., French] rooster," a national French symbol--and Bella's equivalent of Socrates' rooster. "For helping me understand that death is not a defeat, but a cure," she says, beaming. And that's when he knows: "What have you taken, Bella?" "My morphine. Every bit of it. I didn't want to die at home... I didn't want Jack to find me," she says, her elation fading. "I didn't want him to make that call... to be in the room with my body... waiting... for it to become some... ceremonial... object... apart from him... separate... from who I was, someone he can only... hold in his mind." It's taking more effort to breathe; she's slowing down. And that monologue is adapted from her actual death in Silence of the Lambs, which happens suddenly and unaided, and what Jack does next:

Crawford changed her into her favorite, her best bed gown and sat for a while beside the high bed, holding her hand against his cheek. It was a square, clever hand, marked with a lifetime of gardening, marked by IV needles now.

When she came in from the garden, her hands smelled like thyme.

Crawford tried going into the next room--- he still could turn when he wanted to and see her through the open door, composed in the warm light of the bedside lamp. He was waiting for her body to become a ceremonial object apart from him, separate from the person he had held upon the bed and separate from the life's companion he held now in his mind. So he could call them to come for her.
In other words, she wants to spare him from what does happen in the book.

"You denied him his goodbye," says Hannibal, more thoughtfully than anything. "I denied him... a painful goodbye... and allowed myself a peaceful one. Tell Jack... I love him very much." "Yes," he says softly. "Goodbye... Dr. Lecter." Tears fall from her eyes as he fades from her vision; her feet slide across the floor and her hand goes limp in the chair as he watches. "Goodbye, Bella."

@BryanFuller: HANNIBAL IS IN LOVE WITH HIS LADY DEATH

But I guess it's Hannibal's idea of "love," and WE ALL KNOW HOW THAT TURNS OUT. Because the scene cuts to black--but after the break, we're right back where we left off; we're not done here yet. Hannibal sits back in his chair and watches Bella sitting unconscious in that chair for a long (really long) moment. And then he picks up the coin. And he LITERALLY DECIDES WHETHER TO LET HER DIE OR MAKE HER LIVE BASED ON A COIN TOSS. A COIN TOSS. We don't see whether it's heads or tails, but whatever the result, he gets a first-aid kit (of course it's in a fancy leather valise) out of one of his mysterious cabinets and prepares a syringe full of Naloxone, against Bella's own express wishes and what he persuaded her to do in the first place. And somehow--like, it's awful that he would betray her this way. It would be terrible if the whole point of this had been to convince her to do it so he could bring her back just so he could feel powerful, like God, etc. But he wasn't even planning on it. He just went, "Eh, should I let her die, though? Flip a coin, no big deal." And that, to me, just really takes it from the realm of Hardworking Puppet Master Evil to So Evil I Don't Even Give A Fuck. I Was Just Curious Evil. And this after he was comforting Jack in "Hassun." ("The magic door is always attractive. Step through and leave all your burdens behind." "You're telling me not to commit professional suicide?" *THROWS SHOES*) And when Hannibal brings her back with a Tender Un-Murder Caress, she whimpers, "no... no...," and he is the worst. He is just the absolute worst.

At the Crawffice, Beverly peers through the glass door, but no one's there--"Hey, have you seen Jack?" she asks Brian in the hall. All he knows is that "there was some emergency with his wife--Dr. Lecter called from the hospital, asked him to come down." "So Hannibal's at the hospital, too.."

@cleolindajones: NO BEVERLY NO HE'S NOT NO NO NO NO NOOOOO #NOTFOREATING #HANNIBAL #AREYOULISTENINGTOME

Poor Jack is slumped over with his head on Bella's hospital bed; when she wakes and lays a hand on his hair, he kisses it, then her forehead, and his eyes are red. "I'm here... I'm here." Guess who's also here, lurking in the dark corner? "What are you doing here?" she rasps. "I want to apologize. I couldn't honor what you asked of me," says Hannibal, laying the coin down by her pillow. "I'm sorry."




I don't know that she slapped the plaid off him per se, but

@cleolindajones: I'VE BEEN WAITING A THOUSAND YEARS FOR SOMEONE TO SLAP HIM UPSIDE THE HEAD YESSSSS

@BryanFuller: DAVID SEMEL DIRECTS THE CRAWFORDS [set pic]

@BryanFuller: Director #DavidSemel: You slap him *just* so. #Hannibal [set pic]

@BryanFuller: THERE WERE AT LEAST 15 SLAP TAKES ON THE DAY AND SHE CONNECTED EVERY ONE

@manatee73: and she hits HARD!!!


THE SOUND OF THAT SLAP IS EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER WANTED

like I grasp that the actor is not the character and I do not actually wish physical pain on Mads Mikkelsen or anything but

I WANT EVERY SINGLE TAKE TO BE ON THE DVD


"GET OUT," gasps Bella, with what strength she's got left. Because she spent the rest of it on SMACKING HIM SO HARD HIS HAIR KNOCKED OUT OF PLACE.


@ioanacorrigan: Hey, at least he gave Bella her money back


And now: Chez Lecter. Prepare yourself. Beverly's ransacking his fridge with a flashlight--and then gets the bright idea to pick the lock of Hannibal's pantry door, ending up at the freezer we saw in "Sorbet." (You can also tell that this is where Jack ends up hiding from Hannibal during the big future fight--there's the "wine wall." Also, I would like to stop and reiterate that Hannibal has a locked cannibal pantry.) She recognizes the vacuum-sealed package she picks up as the Muralist's kidney:




And then Beverly knocks over a carafe of wine... and the wine pours straight down between the floorboards. There's a trap door, because of course there is. And also a dark Murder Basement with secret stairs and weird electric danger music and heavy breathing and unusual amounts of plastic sheeting hanging from the ceiling and BEVERLY OH GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

@neoprod: Bev is in the L A I R #KatzAndMouse #Hannibal

@cleolindajones: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

@aMoTPodcast: GODDAMMIT BEVERLY WHY HAVEN'T YOU MOVED TO NEW ZEALAND WITH BEDELIA AND STARTED A PUNK BAND? WHY!?









See, there's the persnickety fancypants who painstakingly vacuum-seals his kills... and there's the cannibal with a basement full of rusty chains.















He's here right now.






guys

guys, the look on her face is carved into my heart

"Will was right. He's the one. I want to kill him. I'm going to die. I'm gonna make him choke on it."

A murderous blur--Hannibal tags the light switch, the lights take a moment to go off, the darkness is illuminated by Beverly SHOOTING ALL THE BULLETS AT HIM--and then, upstairs, as the camera pans down to his dining room floor--one final bullet bursts through. Beverly's not going to shoot upwards... unless someone's tackled her.





fuck

EVERYTHING








Okay, stay with me now, because we've got a few things to discuss:

Three major follow-ups

1) Bryan Fuller explains the thought process behind doing this, and doing it now (it turns out that Beverly was the Ear Candidate last season). Although I think he does make a misstep by pointing out how it'll affect Will and Hannibal's relationship, because that's precisely what people didn't want this to be about. I mean, it is about that, because that's what the show is about, but maybe right now is not the time to mention it. (NOTE: Spoiler warnings may or may not be moot for you because the next episode has already aired in the U.S., but the beginning of that article dives right into exactly what happens to Beverly, and I mean exactly.)

2) bonearenaofmyskull does a great job discussing the various sides of the "fridging" controversy. (Explanation of the "Women in Refrigerators" trope.)

3) Hettienne Park's essay response to that controversy is essentially: "Hi, I'm Hettienne Park, and I'm here to tell you about racism and sexism that I have personally experienced in the industry. Beverly was an amazing character, and I asked to go out kicking Hannibal Lecter in the balls. #YOLO, and good night." I cannot do it justice, y'all.

(Speaking of which--yes, she actually says, "I suggested... having Katz get a good solid shot at him before dying, maybe a kick in the balls or wounding him somehow." I think the show figured out a very nice solution to the weird "showing a woman fighting back against Violence Against Women is also Violence Against Women" paradox with that Hitchcockian shot of the floorboards. Beverly obviously went down fighting, and we can imagine the specifics any way we want, without being told how to see it.)


Was this out of character for Beverly?

I tend to ask, "What could it say about this character that they would do this?" For example, a number of people protested that Hannibal was--lovesick? friendsick?--to the point of being out of character in "Hassun," but I tend to interpret that as, "That's how upset and threatened he felt when someone apparently one-upped him in the 'love for Will' department." There was a context for it, in other words. And sometimes you just can't reconcile the action with the character; it just really does not compute from top to bottom. But I think you can put forth a fairly good justification for Beverly sneaking into Hannibal's house. Just in terms of the people around her: Jack's told her to go off and do "her job" on her own and leave him out of it for plausible deniability; she tells Will that she can't take his new-and-improved accusations to Jack without evidence. And if Will's right, they now know exactly who killed Miriam and tormented Jack, and she knows that Jack gets very emotional about Miriam although not so upset he won't play the whole thing out with Beverly all over again. And now, Bella's in the hospital; this is not the moment to tangle with him. Realizing that the kidney was taken may have convinced her just enough to make her feel guilty that she didn't believe Will sooner, or even just empowered now to help him in a way she didn't feel before. More importantly, Hannibal has already planted the idea in her head that Will's fate either way rests on her contribution to the case: "The beauty of what you do, Ms. Katz, is in its certainty. It'll be your evidence that convicts Will." She, Beverly Katz, specifically--what if Will's executed because the evidence she found on the fishing lures convicts him, and she does believe he's innocent now, but she can't find anything to exonerate him? So Hannibal's planted the horrible but flattering idea that this is all on her head and within her power, for better or worse. And of course, the longer it takes them to stop the Ripper, the more people will die.

In the end, though, I think it comes down to more than just "I feel bad for Will and Jack." Not to make it weird, but I have been in the position where someone close to you turned out to be living a double life. It fucks with your head so, so bad when you find out. Depending on how close you were to that person and how long the situation lasted before they were found out, it can feel like a complete break with reality, with everything you thought you knew. Beverly's already had to deal with a break like that once: when her friend and coworker was charged with committing the very crimes he had been helping them investigate. She must have questioned every single day of her life between the night she met Will and the morning he was arrested. And now, Will's telling her that not only is he innocent, he can prove--she can prove--that reality breaks in an entirely different place. The killer actually is and continues to be someone who has stood in her lab and watched her work, someone who has ridden along on investigations and saved a life right in front of her face, someone who is close friends with her boss, someone who seemingly cared for the girl he killed and the man he set up--someone who, unlike Will, seems pleasant and friendly and stable. And yet, she's looking at evidence on that body suggesting that Hannibal did it. It's not just Will's feverish accusations anymore. How do you even cope with a realization like that? Well, if Beverly is a fish that Hannibal is luring in--forensic science is her water. This double break in reality has thrown her out of that water; she's desperately trying to get back into her element. And now she has this sudden window of opportunity, while Hannibal is at the hospital with the Crawfords, to break in, hopefully grab James Gray's kidney before Hannibal has a chance to eat it (welp, that's a sentence I just wrote), and find evidence that, while inadmissible, will at least convince Jack to steer the investigation back towards reality. It's partly about saving Will, and it's partly about catching the Ripper, but I can believe that it could be, on some level, about Beverly's need to make sense of what the hell is happening to her.

Of course it's a terrible decision. I think if the opportunity hadn't fallen onto her so suddenly, she would have had time to think of a less dangerous way to do it--find a more certain window of time, for starters. But if Hannibal's doing what Will says he's doing, that evidence may not be around much longer. Someone else may have to die before she gets another chance. And Will's basically told her that Hannibal's on to her, that he's baiting her--how many more awkward, suspicious conversations can she get through? Bear in mind, also, that no one on this show, not even Will, has seen Hannibal go into full Inhuman Death Monster mode and lived to tell the tale (so far). No one at the BAU has any idea what he's physically capable of (yet); even Alana didn't see who attacked her in "Potage." They're all used to confused, disturbed, often hapless killers (case in point: Kitty Pimms), not Murder Wizards. So Beverly takes the risk because she has no idea what a huge risk it really is--not until the moment she finds the basement. It's terrible, and reckless, and awful, but I can see the train of logic that would lead to Beverly thinking that she should do it and she could do it. Sometimes our drive to understand the world as a reasonable place undermines our actual sense of reason.


What did Beverly see?

There is definitely a Murder Basement mentioned in Red Dragon, but it's left entirely to our collective imagination:

Lecter stood until Graham was seated in the hall. "And how is Officer Stewart?" he asked.

"Stewart's fine." Officer Stewart left law enforcement after he saw Dr. Lecter's basement. He managed a motel now.
(I remember us discussing this in the comments of one of the recaps last year, and we talked about how much we wanted to see the show's idea of the basement. I'M SO SORRY, BEVERLY! I didn't want it to be this way!)

First of all: the chains freak me out. They freak me out so bad. Every time I try to imagine what the hell they could even be there for, my mind runs away screaming. We discussed this a little on the podcast, and I think it's because the Murder Dungeon aesthetic does seem out of character--that idea again--for artsy elegant Hannibal. Because I then have to read this as, "No, this is just part of his character we haven't seen before. OH GOD WHAT IS HE DOING DOWN THERE." Between the way Beverly gasps "Oh... my God" when she turns on the light and the production designer having name-checked the painter Francis Bacon, that was where my mind first jumped--some kind of hideous butcher dungeon. But based on the reflections in the plastic, I kind of think there's... a gurney? Which raises SO MANY QUESTIONS (one of which I already know the answer to, but shhhhh). Of course, this doesn't rule out additional horrors, either.

Now, let's all go back and watch the season opener where Jack beats Hannibal into a fine paste.


@DeLaurentiisCo: See you next week. LOL. So ... how are you all feeling?

@pevzaz: @DeLaurentiisCo I'm feeling katz thanks for asking

@bunchofpsychos: @DeLaurentiisCo I THINK I NEED MY MOM

@ppyajunebug: @BryanFuller DO YOU FEED OFF OUR PAIN AND TEARS????

@BryanFuller: @ppyajunebug I'm FULL OF MY OWN TEARS

@tenebris: There is not enough T____T reaction right now, it is all the ;___; and Q__Q and :( :( :(

@aMoTPodcast: I can't, you guys. I can't, I can't. I can't. #Hannibal I can't.

@cleolinda: I need cake.


@aMoTPodcast: My vote is that we go full-on supernatural and Bev just haunts the fucking pants off of Hanni

@cleolinda: I want her to haunt the fuck out of him, yes. And the AVC article says... she'll still be around a lot?

@KerriMaryBerry: Will's mind palace?

@cleolinda: That's my guess, yeah.

@aMoTPodcast: She and Abigail can play Scattergories and eat Sushi and watch Buffy and everything will be wonderful forever

@cleolinda: #toogoodforthisworld

@aMoTPodcast: Miriam can hang out too #nofranklynsallowed

@lurkeriatipsos: Miriam, Bev, and Abigail. They could be like a ghostly Charlie's Angels!

@aMoTPodcast: I want a spinoff where they spend all day wrinkling Hannibal's suits and making his souffles collapse.

@cleolinda: Moving all his furniture one inch to the left. Leda and the Swan is always hanging crooked

@aMoTPodcast: He always wakes up with a cowlick, all the sugar in his bowl gets clumpy, all of his wineglasses have streaks

@cleolinda: "HOW DID THE GOOD CHINA GET INTO THE DISHWASHER?!?!?!!"

@aMoTPodcast: "I JUST BOUGHT A NEW BOTTLE OF BONNEAU DU MARTRAY" *smashcut to Bev, Abi, and Miriam drunk picnicking*

@cleolinda: "MY BEST CHEESE!!!!!"



@cleolindajones: You know what, this show is so good that it didn't even occur to me until just now that "harshing my buzz" is a bee pun.

@aMoTPodcast: ...oh my stars and garters.




NEXT WEEK: Shit gets real. Also, a little bird (wearing very nice eyeshadow) told me that this week's Aromaleigh colors are called "Folie à deux" and... "Gotcha."

(Continue: 2x05 "Mukōzuke")

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STILL NOT OKAY

NOTHING ABOUT THIS IS OKAY

NOT ONE. DAMN. THING.

I was 99% sure this was happening about two weeks in advance, so I had time to come to terms with it, I guess? Like, I'm unhappy that it happened, but it feels like it makes sense.

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Not a basement -- an abattoir.

Well, I'm referring to the book's wording there. It's a whole lot of things.

The thing that kills me with Hannibal and the coin toss is that they managed to make him the most ridiculously awful human being in a situation where real human beings could make either choice and still be considered sympathetic. A person could say "You have the right to choose how you die so I won't stop you" or "I can't watch you do this, I can't sit by while you kill yourself in front of me" and regardless of which choice you think is necessarily right, either option can be presented sympathetically, or, at least, humanly. Neither choice is easy, but they are both real options that empathetic people make in real life.

And naturally, Hannibal chooses the most cold-hearted of ways to go and pulls a Two-Face to decide.

That said, God, the entire Bella Crawford storyline destroyed me. I have a mother with lung cancer and recently lost an aunt, who had died after deciding she'd had enough of a battle with chronic illness and asked to be taken off her feeding tube. The storyline is handled very well and I don't take any issue with it, but God, is it a punch to the gut to see the same issues played out on screen in a realistic, believable way. I both blame and credit the actors and writers with making it so powerful.

Edited at 2014-04-01 03:53 am (UTC)

the most ridiculously awful human being in a situation where real human beings could make either choice and still be considered sympathetic
This is a really good point. And I liked the way he seemed so put out by having to do either one: god, all the paperwork, the hassle, the comforting Jack... Whyyyy can't I just go home, drink some wine, and hang out in my nice relaxing murder basement?

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Both Bev and Chilton need to go on a course about not telling Hannibal straight-up what they're trying to do. Although I half-think Chilton is actually trying to help/protect Hannibal by doing so? Because they are literally the world's worst therapists.

If Will weren't the Worst at Murder, I'd swear that he's actively trying to get Chilton killed. But more likely, Will realized quicker than Bedelia did that breaking up with Hannibal Lecter in person is a terrible, terrible idea.

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One you stalk, the other you lure.

Oh, BEV. This is what happens when you don't pay attention to the opening metaphor.

This was a hell of an episode already - Bella's plotline, journey to the center of Will's mind, that gorgeously heartbreaking little Will-Abigail coda where they could talk more openly with each other than they ever did when she was alive. And then unfortunately my prediction came true. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO UPSET TO BE RIGHT ABOUT A TV SHOW.

I was introducing a friend to the show over the weekend, and watching her in those early episodes almost killed me. It's one thing to talk about fatal flaws, but it was Beverly's best qualities that set her on that path to investigate Hannibal, the ones that made her my favorite character in the first place. And now I can't rewatch any scenes with her without wanting to lie on my face for a while.

Gahhh. It's so upsetting that that character is gone and that one of my favorite relationships on the show ended so tragically, and I totally understand why people would be turned off. I'm still sorting through my own feelings, but I loved the posts you linked (especially Hettienne Park's) and I love your analysis of why Beverly might have gone into the murder basement. It makes me feel like she was better served than I originally thought. I'M GOING TO GO WITH THAT.

SHE WASN'T FOR EATING, HANNIBAL. GODDAMNIT.

Edited at 2014-04-01 03:54 am (UTC)

This is why I groaned so hard when Bryan Fuller just had to bring up how it would affect Will and Hannibal's relationship, because I think that isn't even doing justice to what actually happens. These two characters were just on a collision course, and I actually feel like Will blaming himself--while a natural reaction--is kind of selling Beverly and her own agency short.

And yes, while the kidney she found would be inadmissible, she'd have her proof and would be able to create a parallel construction of meticulously, scrupulously legal evidence with which to convict him. No one could ever know about that stolen kidney- any defense attorney worth her salt would go "Fruit of the motherfucking poisonous tree!" and work damn hard to keep everything out- but it would be enough to convince her that there is another trail somewhere and it can be found.

All it takes is one fuck up and Hannibal's world comes down.

In other news, Chilton, you swine. You're gonna make such beautiful pot roast.


Hee, Chilton.

It's inadmissible, but yeah--she just really needed something irrefutable if only to show to Jack and FINALLY get him to consider Hannibal as a suspect. Even in his doubts about Will's guilt, he's never seemed to take that possibility seriously.

says Will, condemned to watch everyone ignore his warnings, no matter how much he shouts or flails or begs

This didn't occur to me while watching, but while reading this line all I can think of is Cassandra, cursed by Apollo (an inhuman/superhuman being who loved/desired her) to see the future accurately and be forever unbelieved.

Not sure what it means, if anything, but it struck in my mind so strongly I had to come out of lurkdom.

He's totally Cassandra, and a few other miserable classical figures as well, the poor bastard.

She invited him iiiiiiiiiiiin

Ok, that moment when Bev leans toward the light switch, and we see Hannibal's silhouette in the darkness, that was the most terrifying thing I've seen on the show so far. We don't experience Hannibal-the-predator very often, at least not physically. His terrifying reactions are usually confined to facial expressions, like his smile with Bella. But this is just...we see it, and we want to get away, and we want Bev to get away, and it's too late. It's like the moment in Jurassic Park when the velociraptors learn to open doors, and then you realize that their vision isn't dependent on movement. You can hold as still as you'd like, but they can see you. Which recap was it where somebody quoted the bit about being alive when the raptors start to eat you? Because this was our "stalked through the kitchen by velociraptors" moment. He's not human, and by the time you realize that, it's too late.

(I'm pretty sure we're going to find out that Miriam's been alive in the Murder Basement this entire time, and she's on that gurney. Jack has eaten dinner above that gurney. OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD.)

I'm trying to make a connection between honey and Hannibal Lecter. "An old liar, with honey on his forked tongue" is, of course, an element. Hannibal offers honeyed words, delightful foods, elegant manners, the appearance of all that is best in life. He seduces everyone around him with an almost overwhelming sweetness (sort of). But then he sticks to you. You guys talked in the podcast about everybody actually becoming worse by being around him, like he has a genuine aura of corruption. I think that actually fits quite well with the human apiaries this week. Hannibal Lecter attacks people with dozens of small stings that they don't even feel, and once they're numb, he leads them where he wants them to go. And once you're in his sphere of influence, you can't get away. Hannibal's evil just coats everyone and everything he touches, leaving a sticky residue of corruption.

...now if you'll excuse me, I have to wash the honey off this piercing I'm trying to keep from getting infected again. Honey and...oh god, thyme. GODDAMNIT, SHOW.

Edited at 2014-04-01 04:22 am (UTC)

Jack has eaten dinner above that gurney. OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD.)

I have been tormenting various friends and acquaintances with that exact thought for a week now. Mine is an evil laugh.

And once you're in his sphere of influence, you can't get away. Hannibal's evil just coats everyone and everything he touches, leaving a sticky residue of corruption.

Oooh, I like that.

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Man so, as much as I saw the death of Beverly Katz coming, this was still incredibly upsetting. In fact, I'm still upset about it in intermittent flashes of feels and crying into my wine.

Now that I've calmed down (relatively speaking) about the twists and turns the plotline is taking, this recap probably comes at a right time where I can chat about this without gibbering in feels or just crying?

On a textual level, I think the death of Katz...works? This is a show about Hannibal Lecter and shit is going down, etc. However, the metatextual levels of Beverly Katz in particular being the one on the chopping block makes me sigh and go, really, again. Fine.

Mostly, I think I've come around to being disappointed that we aren't going to get multiple episodes of the very tense game of half-truths between Hannibal and Beverly.

...and then episode 5 happened and that destroyed any higher thought processes. It is a little bit like Bryan Fuller headtilted at the outfits, and went, how can we make this horrifying, yes, yes let's do it. Ohgodshow.

However, the metatextual levels of Beverly Katz in particular being the one on the chopping block makes me sigh and go, really, again. Fine.

Yeah, I think that's the problem most people are having with it--within the show itself, it may not count as a fridging because Hannibal doesn't go after Bev to get at Will specifically, rather to protect himself from her--but the showmakers offed her (in a large part) for mainpain reasons. And we can talk about whether it's justified or good storytelling but it doesn't change the fact that it's another example in a huge pattern across various media of dead-woman-for-male-angst (which, yes, is due in part to male-leads to female secondary character ratios and therefore due to a deeper level of sexism within the industry). I've seen a lot of reactions along the lines of 'but she wasn't killed because she was a woman/woc!' which seems to me to be missing the point--I doubt many writers say 'let's kill a chick to make a dude unhappy!' (Some morons might.) More likely they say, 'what's the worst thing that can happen to our lead? Gruesome death of loved one! Better be her!' without thinking about the implications of that.

Then the second element of fridging is the display of the body to cause angst--a display which is dehumanises or objectifies the character--and this is the part that might qualify Bev as a fridging in-universe as well as metatextually. (Paradoxically the manner of Bev's display didn't quite seem like this to me but maybe that discussion should be left 'til the next recap 'cos spoilers?)

The scene where Hannibal flips the coin reminded me very strongly of another psychopath, the character from Battle Royale who flipped a coin to decide whether to play the "game" or not.

I'm not mad about Beverly being fridged, I have a much more yeah-that-happened feeling about it especially after reading Park's blog post. But I wish the trail of brilliant women who found the thread way before the dudes and were destroyed/had to bail the fuck OUT had more effect on the investigation. Like, if I'm sending in units to suicide on the boss, I want them to do noticeable damage, if that makes any sense?

Anyway. This show. This show.

I immediately thought of Two-Face when I saw Hannibal flipping the gold coin (ever since it first appeared in the season-promo at the end credits of Kaisaki) to make a decision, but then I'm a hopeless fan of Batman: The Animated Series.

I love the murder basement. I know it's cliche'd and a bit tacky, but it's also sort of brilliant. It's Hannibal's sanctum. The part no one ever sees. Everything in his house and office are an elegant facade. The basement is the hideous truth lurking beneath his carefully constructed facade. Thematically it only makes sense that he would have something like that.

The basement is Hannibal's id, if one wants to give it a psychoanalytic reading. The basement is where the monster runs free and the rest of the house functions as a cover for it.

BEVERLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY. on another note, goddamn i want that pantry. without the human body parts. it's so BIG.

my idea of Hannibal's thought process for the coin flip: I actually like her. And she's given me this great gift, watching her die. I'd really like to just let her die... but if she doesn't die now, she'll linger on weakly in the hospital for ages, which will keep Jack distracted, tired, and miserable. Hmm--let her have what she wants, or save her for expediency's sake? Well, I have this coin... I think his original intention of trolling Bella to suicide was at least semi-sincere; he's always liked her, and I think he really liked the idea of giving her this gift of death, sharing a secret and keeping it from Jack (even if it's only for those few minutes), blah blah psychology philosophy mythology overthinking blah. but he also realizes how much more useful she'll be as a handicap for Jack, and it really is just that simple of a choice for him--personal satisfaction in the moment, or a longer-term tactical advantage? heads, he wins--tails, you lose. ASSHOLE. I have to admit I'm really, really glad he didn't do what I was seriously afraid he was going to do, which was bring her back and then rip bits out of her and eat them and feed them to Jack and use her body parts to torment him. UUUGGGGHHHHH.

having seen the next episode... yeah, I think mostly Bryan Fuller made a tactical error himself, when he talked about Beverly's death as a prod for Will, and even how he talked about her postmortem display, because that gave a much different image and interpretation than the impression that was given in the actual episode. but I should probably not burble about that here now, because there may be people who haven't seen it and spoilers. basically, I wanted to trust Bryan (and the writers and directors and such), but we've all been burned so many times, it's really hard to willingly suspend disbelief and put faith in people not to be assholes. :\

I look forward to these like burning. now looking forward avidly to the next one. *hearts* (I need a Ravenstag userpic)

I have to admit I'm really, really glad he didn't do what I was seriously afraid he was going to do, which was bring her back and then rip bits out of her and eat them and feed them to Jack and use her body parts to torment him. UUUGGGGHHHHH.
...Somehow this show has conditioned us to always be cringing in expectation of the absolute worst.

basically, I wanted to trust Bryan (and the writers and directors and such), but we've all been burned so many times, it's really hard to willingly suspend disbelief and put faith in people not to be assholes. :\

Yeah, it feels worse when you have higher standards for the show/showrunners and they let you down--which isn't quite fair, but there you have it.

I think the show figured out a very nice solution to the weird "showing a woman fighting back against Violence Against Women is also Violence Against Women" paradox with that Hitchcockian shot of the floorboards.

Thank you so much for mentioning this -- it's been on my mind since Hettienne's post. There is a paradox within this show that, because they don't want to show violence against women, they also can't show the true brutality of the murders Hannibal is committing against his female victims and also can't show those women fighting him because Hannibal might have to hit them and that's somehow worse than murdering them. Other fans were challenging me about this paradox even existing and here you are mentioning it like it's been around forever, no shit, and did I mention that I love you?

I'm really interested in possible solutions to this issue because, as you stated in the write-up, no one on the show has seen Hannibal in Full Murder Mode and lived to tell the tale. We saw a little bit of it in the flash-forward with Jack, but I'm wondering how far the show is going to or is willing to go with Hannibal. He is pretty much the most horrible person in this series, which is filled with horrible people (Mason Verger tried to wrestle the crown from him, but failed IMO) and I don't put much past him, but I also think it's important to acknowledge that the Hannibal in the show kills a lot of women very brutally, but so far, it's all occurred off-camera. With the exception of Georgia Madchen's brutal death, which we never see him actually committing, we only see the end result: the corpses of Cassie Boyle and Marissa Schurr (and the cut on her lip from where Hannibal hit her), Abigail Hobbs's blood all over the kitchen floor, Beverly's bullet (and SPOILER FOR NEXT WEEK).

I'm curious -- are there more ways, like Beverly's bullet, that the show can acknowledge that violence against women is taking place without showing it directly? Should it be shown directly? What would happen if it was? We get to see Will empathing the crimes, which are often violent -- is the difference because we know Will is playacting as the killer and he often shows open emotion at the end of the reconstruction? Why is it okay to show Will committing these violent acts and not Hannibal? I have a million questions and I don't expect anyone to answer them all (or none of them, really), but this is something I'd love to discuss.

Edited at 2014-04-01 04:59 am (UTC)

Hannibal might have to hit them and that's somehow worse than murdering them
He did bash Alana's head into a wall. Which, yeah, winds up seeming worse than his murders because you're actually like "ow!"

And the only male murders we've seen of his are Franklin and Budge, right? Franklin was over in a second, and Budge was in circumstances where it didn't seem so murdery. (My morals have been corrupted by this show.) I'm not sure we've seen him kill at all in a situation where it's been purely evil/horrifying.

Oh, wait: we saw him doing nasty things to that poor neurologist, didn't we? I may have been very much NOT LOOKING at that point.

?

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