Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

Hannibal 3x01: "Antipasto"

Welp, I don't have episodes 2x06-2x13 recapped, which puts both me and anyone who was depending on them for plot at a huge disadvantage. (That said, tons of sites recap this show now; I guess I go more into the behind-the-scenes and background material.) I'm nearly done with "Futamono," though, and I'd like to try to work through the backlog. More importantly, the ratings this year are unpleasing, which is a hellacious fucking shame because this episode was so good, so I feel like it's more important to focus on the new season now. And this recap itself took me two extra weeks due to health issues. WE MUST PERSEVERE.

PREVIOUSLY ON A SEASON OF EMPATH AND CANNIBAL THAT I'VE ONLY RECAPPED THROUGH EPISODE 5: Suffice it to say, Will got out of jail, spent the second half of the season trying to "seduce" Hannibal into doing something Jack could charge him with, broke Hannibal's paisley heart, and ended up gutted on the kitchen floor. Meanwhile, Jack was bleeding out in the pantry; Alana was lying on Hannibal's doorstep, conscious but presumably with a broken back, after being PUSHED OUT A WINDOW BY SURPRISE NOT-DEAD ABIGAIL HOBBS; and Hannibal revealed the somehow-still-living, one-eared Abigail to Will and promptly cut her throat for pure spite while Will wept and begged and bled out and everything was terrible. Like, exceptionally so. And then:

So THAT happened. So now we get to find out how Hannibal convinced Bedelia to run off with him to Europe. Kind of. Maybe.

To set the scene: several episodes in season two repurposed elements or visuals from Silence of the Lambs in different contexts, plus some of the Mason Verger material and back story from Hannibal, ending with Will's back story of being gutted by Hannibal from Red Dragon. My understanding is that the first half of this season is a mash-up of the Florence and Mason Verger storylines from the book/movie Hannibal (for that matter, Bedelia's presence is reminiscent of Hannibal and Clarice running off to Argentina at the end of that book) (yes, really), plus characters from the prequel Hannibal Rising and an altered/updated back story for Hannibal and his sister. The second half is a full-on retelling of Red Dragon, starting with episode 3x08; that's when Richard Armitage will show up as Francis Dolarhyde. These first seven episodes, however, are obviously a much looser adaptation, because we've spent two seasons expanding on a plot point that was simply "Will Graham has never met Hannibal Lecter before, has no idea he's the Chesapeake Ripper, and gets gutted within five minutes." So of course all the reimagined/invented characters and remixed plots ripple forward into the story, changing it profoundly. We both know and don't know what's about to happen. We're also at a point where the show isn't just extracting singular visuals or lines of dialogue and synthesizing them into different contexts (my favorite example of this is the "I believe you" scene); we're walking some of the same ground as the book/movie Hannibal, seeing scenes partially verbatim from it, yet those scenes still arise from different circumstances.

More personally, I have some, uh, issues with the Hannibal ending(s), but the fact is, helping out on a fansite in the year leading up to the movie's release was a really happy time in my life--right before a really, really terrible one. So I have a deep, nostalgic fondness for the movie and the Florence storyline in general, and those scenes are pretty much going to be one big swoon for me.


@mattzollerseitz: HANNIBAL S3 premiere features nice long looks at Gillian Anderson's naked back and Mads Mikkelsen's bare torso. Not a spoiler, a promise.

@MissBrittHayes: stop sexting the internet, Matt.

Livetweeting with us "tonight," we have @NBCHannibal, @DeLaurentiisCo, showrunner Bryan Fuller, executive producer Martha De Laurentiis (@neoprd), producer Loretta Ramos, beloved food stylist Janice Poon (@FeedingHannibal), writers Steve Lightfoot, Angelina Burnett, Helen Shang, and Nick Antosca (guys, you gotta follow the writers and the collective @HannibalRoom, I love them), actors Aaron Abrams (Brian Zeller) and Lara Jean Chorostecki (Freddie), boom operator Sean Armstrong (@manatee73, the best manatee) and, of course, the Dire Ravenstag. Director Vincenzo Natali wasn't around to livetweet, but he did start posting tons of storyboards the next day. Though she's a bit more reserved, Gillian Anderson also has a Twitter, as does Richard Armitage, who very well may livetweet his episodes a few weeks from now. Mads Mikkelsen has a team running a Twitter for him (@theofficialmads) with links to interviews and reviews, but doesn't tweet on it himself. That I know of. Probably. I mean, one time they set him loose on the NBC Hannibal tumblr, so who knows. Also, he reads fanfic. He could be ANYWHERE.

(Uh. Hi?)

Anyway, I collected the livetweeting in a massive Storify; only a very, very small percentage ends up in the recaps. Yes, the deer could be more teal than this.

Speaking of deer:

@DireRavenstag: Bonsoir mes petits aliments carnés. Je ne peux attendre de vous voir sous les lumières de Paris!

@Vincenzo_Natali: My storyboard for the #HannibalSeason3 #Antipasto opening. Originally was to include Rodin's Gates of Hell sculpture.

By the way, Libby Hill wrote a great piece on Brian Reitzell and the show's music at the NY Times: "The new season opens with a stylized sequence in which Hannibal rides a motorcycle through the streets of Paris at night. The scene is an example of the way Mr. Reitzell mixes instrumentation with manipulated and exaggerated sounds. As the motorcycle starts up, the soundtrack narrows in on the click of the key in the ignition, the roar of the engine’s fire"--

--"[and] the hiss of exhaust. Underneath it all is a turbulent percussive score."

So we start off with Leather Biker Hannibal zooming through the streets of Paris. And I mean actual Paris, filmed last November. I know the motorcycle must sound weirdly out of character, but Young Hannibal has one (actually, his aunt Murasaki does) in Hannibal Rising, and Paris is a major setting in that story. (There's also a funny bit from the book Hannibal that's on the movie DVD as a deleted scene: Hannibal slipping away from a crime scene by hitching a ride with a random motorcyclist, telling him, "If I'm late, my wife will kill me.")

Also, I'm going to stuff this recap full of pictures, to hell with the length, I'm not even sorry.

(x click to embiggen x)

*happy cannibal vrooms*

@DeLaurentiisCo: And, yes, Mads is as bad ass as those leather biker photos suggested.

@lorettaramos: BTS Sexy Motorcycle

@manatee73: Fun fact, there was a prolonged battle over who would get that leather jacket.

@NBCHannibal: *does donuts around you on our murdercycle*

Inside a--hotel bar? a party, at any rate--Hannibal spies the guest of honor, one Dr. Roman Fell. (*rimshot*) This is expanding on the fact that, in the book Hannibal, he (Hannibal) quietly bumps off the curator of the Capponi Museum in Florence and applies for the newly-vacated job, using the alias Dr. Fell. No particular reason for that choice of name is given--maybe just Hannibal's sense of humor or love of wordplay:

I do not like thee, Doctor Fell,
The reason why - I cannot tell;
But this I know, and know full well,
I do not like thee, Doctor Fell.

@MrNickCharles: Also, Fell is possibly from William Fell, who has landmarks named for him in Baltimore.

@Tattle_Crime: Fell also means "Cruel" or "To Kill", which I headcanon as the reason he took it :)

So the show is throwing in a Talented Mr. Ripley-esque back story where Hannibal finds an actual Dr. Fell who already has the job and steals his identity. The episode starts in medias res, really; I don't know how Hannibal found him or how he knows about this party, but "how" is not really the point. The point is that this guy is gonna get et. But for the moment, Hannibal's just on the prowl, taking it all in.

@aMoTPodcast: Mads's cheekbones are still stellar, glad we had that extreme closeup to check in


@MrAaronAbrams: #Hannibal walking around this party of assholes reminds me of my mom looking at a menu and going "oh gosh I don't know it all looks so good"

And while Hannibal is browsing the meat market, someone notices him--one Anthony Dimmond, poet and opportunist, and I swear to God you can see "LEATHER" light up in his eyes.


@cleolindajones: well this guy is dead

@redheadedgirl: He’s a fucking poet. I’m sure he deserved it.

It was really only in subsequent viewings that I came to appreciate how charming Tom Wisdom is, because the character himself is kind of a dumbass? I mean, not Chilton levels of dumbass, but... maybe "no sense of self-preservation" is a better way to put it.


Dimmond, who is holding two (2) glasses of champagne, gulps down one and approaches Hannibal, whose current alias we now discover: Boris Jakov. (Dirty joke? I'm putting nothing past this show.) "I'd offer a hand," says Dimmond with his two glasses, "but..." "It's a double-fisted kind of bash," replies Hannibal (SIR). And then Dimmond just starts spilling his guts, pardon the expression, to a TOTAL LEATHER-CLAD STRANGER: "Do you know Roman well? You were staring with the thinly-veiled disdain of a man who does. I was his TA at Cambridge. He was insufferable even then. Have you read his books? [Dimmond produces a well-worn paperback from his jacket.] They're terrible. You know they're terrible, you're just too polite to say. Blink if you agree." (Hannibal blinks and smiles. Hee.) "See? That doesn't stop him squatting over his keyboard and depositing a fresh one every six to eight months. It takes me six to eight months to write one line." Hannibal finally gets one (1) word in edgewise: "Why?" "Poetry is hard. [lol, okay.] Too hard for Roman. It's easier for him to slide into academia and dissect the work of others than it is to stand by his own words."

"One can appreciate another's words without dissecting them," replies Hannibal. "Though, on occasion, dissection is the only thing that will do." Remember that time Bedelia asked Hannibal what he can't repress? Turns out it's puns.

They turn then at the pop and froth of champagne bottles, which are being ceremonially beheaded with sabers. That seems... ominous.

@Vincenzo_Natali: Some boards of #Hannibal at Dr. Fell's Parisian party

But by the time Dr. Fell leaves the party... Hannibal's already back outside, waiting. Quite cheerfully, in fact.

"Bonsoir," he says ("good evening"), but Fell just waves Hannibal off with a brusque "bonsoir" in return. I mean, this guy was gonna get hella et anyway, but you know a soupçon of rudeness just added to the flavor. And I like how Hannibal wanted to make sure Fell knew what he looked like, so that when he and the murdercycle are also parked outside the guy's apartment waiting for him, Fell is properly alarmed. Because this is very much an episode where Hannibal plays with his food.

Y'all, I just. I can't. Hannibal goes straight upstairs and starts cooking Fell's liver. With lots of butter and wine. And he just barely sears it, too--it's still visibly raw inside when we get a closeup of of the knife slicing into it, blood-juice running onto the plate and everything.


Because yes, Hannibal sits down at Fell's table and starts eating him right there, and is placidly chewing away when Mrs. Fell walks in.

"Bonsoir," he says pleasantly, looking straight into the camera.


@Vincenzo_Natali: #Hannibal #Antipasto storyboards greeting and eating Dr. Fell PART 1 PART 2

@SteveLightfoot5: He gave serious thought - and then he ate his wife... #Bonsoir

So Lydia also fell, apparently.

@foresthouse: And thus we return to the season of Me Wanting To Give Up Meat.

@cleolindajones: I still can't eat pork roast after the Gideon thing.

You know, speak of the devil: we flash back to a scene that's taking place somewhere in the neighborhood of 2x06, "Futamono," in which Hannibal cooked and served Gideon's own leg to him. While I was drafting the "Futamono" recap last month (still to be finished), I finally realized that Hannibal said, "Your legs are no good to you anymore. You've got a T-4 fracture of the vertebra. This is a far more practical use for those limbs," plural. YEAHHHHH.

And Gideon is Not Happy about it.


@mytvhannibal: Very nice to have these thoughts on music in #Hannibal 3:01 by @TheTeleverse

Oh, thank God, because I was stumbling around Wikipedia, straining to come up with meaning. Although Wikipedia did tell me that "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun" is inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé's poem L'après-midi d'un faune, and is "considered a turning point in the history of music... the beginning of modern music." The subject is "a faun playing his pan-pipes alone in the woods becomes aroused by passing nymphs and naiads, pursues them unsuccessfully, then wearily abandons himself to a sleep filled with visions." Kate Kulzick notes, however, that there's both a dreaminess and uncertainty involved--did the nymphs even exist? Did these flashbacks even really happen, "or are they a figment of Hannibal’s imagination, a conversation invented by Hannibal in his memory palace to distract him from the loss of Will?" Or could it even represent the relationship with Will itself, which Hannibal must be reconsidering after his betrayal: "How much of their friendship was real, and how much the fantasy of a lonely creature?" (Go read the post, it's super interesting.)

You'll notice also that this scene is not only in a bluish black and white, but in a--what would you call it, "wider" aspect ratio? "Longer"?



How we got here is a long, unrecapped story, but suffice it to say that Hannibal kidnapped Gideon (already paralyzed from a beating courtesy of the Baltimore State Dungeon guards) from the hospital. Next thing we know, he had Gideon at the dinner table on an IV, staring down Thigh Baked in Clay. There was much discussion of a "last supper," and then we discovered that Gideon is METAL AS FUCK, because he took a big heroic bite with a gracious "My compliments to the chef."

And I was like, aw, good for Gideon, going out with some dignity. And then in the next episode, he showed up mostly dead at Chilton's house with no remaining limbs, flatlining right as Chilton walked in, and there was no dignity. So Hannibal had created this ghastly crime scene where it looked like Chilton was, in fact, the Chesapeake Ripper; you figure, okay, Hannibal probably did stash the remaining arms and leg in his freezer to eat at his leisure, but really, all the butchery was just to set the scene.

Nope. We're now going to watch him feed all of them to Gideon, one by one.

@BryanFuller: LAST WE SAW @eddieizzard'S GIDEON ALIVE HE HAD 3 LIMBS LEFT. NOW WE'RE DOWN TO 2. @FeedingHannibal [food sketch]

So Hannibal wheels in a big covered dish, and when he opens it, he's surrounded by a cloud of steam: He is the devil. He is smoke. And the main course?

@cleolindajones: what... what is...

@angelinaburnett: Flesh lollipops!! Ive been looking forward to these!

Janice Poon writes that Bryan Fuller's initial concept was, "Like Gideon has stumbled into a strange fairy tale and Hannibal is the Wicked Witch. How about Candied Thigh?" Which then became "pork braised with gingersnap spices," which then became "braised pork belly, a yummy rich northern Chinese dish, and so I email a photo of Candied Pork Belly with Sugar Cane to Bryan and [consulting chef José Andrés.]" Later, "I’ve made candied apples and sugared fruit and garnished them with leaves made out of ground up gingerbread boys (myah ha ha) to create the Hansel-and-Gretel scent of a candy-cane gingerbread house."

Over at Paste, she adds, "We talked about candying it somehow, and I thought about Hellraiser. If we cross-hatch it like a ham and put sugarcane skewers in it so it’ll be freaky like Hellraiser but delicious like those little beef medallion popsicles they give you at smart parties." THUS: flesh lollipops.

(Speaking of Hansel and Gretel, writer Steve Lightfoot told Fangoria, "We talked a lot about fairy tales this year because we were in Europe and that is sort of European storytelling tradition. Actually the hero, or rather heroine, of most fairy tales is the female character. So we talk a lot about how Bedelia is Bluebeard’s wife, and Chiyo, when we meet her, is Rapunzel, essentially.")

"You really... are... the Devil," mutters Gideon. "Certainly seem to enjoy it. You have a click in your hoof." I absolutely love that line, for some reason. Maybe because SATAN.

@DireRavenstag: He complimented some hooves! Awww, Gideon fleshmeat. You are the most delicious.

"The Devil has been a yoke on the neck of humanity since we first began to think and dream. I for a much shorter time," replies Hannibal, spooning sauce over the Pinham.

(Here is the Hannibal Experience in a nutshell: "OMG, this man is the worst person currently walking this earth. I wish he would cook for me.")

"You admit the yoke," says Gideon. "Smells of candy apples and... thyme. You smoked me in thyme." "Smoked, glazed, served on a sugar cane quill. You will be falling off the bone." Jesus Christ, Hannibal. Gideon proceeds to ask if "we all... taste different?" Ah, yes: "Everyone has their flavor." And it occurs to me, as Gideon discourses on the subject of prehistoric cannibalism ("The missing link was only missing because we ate him"), that it's really unusual for cannibalism to be honestly discussed at one of Hannibal's dinners; as it turns out, it's something he wishes he could do more often, I think. Right now, Hannibal tells him, "This isn't cannibalism, Abel. It's only cannibalism if we're equals," because oh my God, have you not already done enough to this man. If you're wondering why Hannibal is being SUCH AN INCREDIBLE DICK, it's worth remembering that his beef (I'm sorry) here is that Gideon "stole" his identity and his glory as the Chesapeake Ripper back in "Entrée" and "Rôti," and he was maaaaad. So, to touch on the Generic Off-Brand Hannibal Lecter origin of the Gideon character again, Hannibal very much has a need to say NO, I AM BETTER THAN YOU, YOU ARE NOBODY.

"This is only cannibalism if you eat me," says Gideon. "But you just feel this is the natural order of things. Everybody gets et." (Wait, did he just say the recap thing?) "Be he fat or be he lean," says Hannibal, quoting "Hansel and Gretel." Gideon notes that he ought to be feeling a fight-or-flight instinct, to which Hannibal replies, "It's called terminal restlessness. The body fills with adrenaline and feels compelled to go-go-go." "Go-go-go? I've already gone up and gone. This is posthumous." "You're not dead yet, Abel. You still have to eat," Hannibal says, a touch more insistently. And then Gideon says what I was thinking: "No, I don't. At this point, there is absolutely nothing I have to do. But I shouldn't spoil the fairy tale, should I? You and your little gingerbread house."

"Let it be a fairy tale, then," says Hannibal, looking into the camera: "Once upon a time..."

And here, as an example of the change from one ratio to the other, is what I think of as the Wizard of Oz moment:


In magical Florence, Mr. and Mrs. Fancy Cannibal are dancing (in the conservatory at Casa Loma?) at a society ball of some kind:


("The 'sublime' second movement, one of Schubert's rare adagios... The outer sections, in E major, are of an otherworldly tranquility, while the central section is intensely turbulent: it breaks suddenly into the tranquility in the distant key of F minor.")

@angelinaburnett: Not gonna lie, totally day dreamed about waltzing with Mads when we broke this eps.

@angelinaburnett: How many of yall knew Mads was once a ballet dancer? Cause he was. #swoon

Tumblr. Tumblr definitely knew. And he and Gillian Anderson seem to be having tons of fun, too.

@neoprod: BEHAVE, MADS

I don't know why Mads Mikkelsen flipping people off always gives me life, but it does.

But Hannibal is on his best, smoovest behavior right now: "Bellissima," he tells her (most/very beautiful, and she better be, considering that she's wearing a $10,000 Marchesa gown). "Grazie," she replies (thank you). But now, here's a very sulky Professor Sogliato (in the book, he had wanted his nephew to get the curator job): "Dr. Fell--I hope you translate as well as you waltz." A colleague reminds him that "Dr. Fell" was confirmed after "close questioning" in medieval Italian. Indeed, Sogliato "will not deny his language is... admirable... ... ... for a straniero."

oh no

I'll go further into Douglas Preston's true-crime book The Monster of Florence as the season progresses, but he sums up Florentine society pretty neatly: "Florentines are a famously closed people, considered by other Italians to be stiff, haughty, class-conscious, excessively formal, backward-looking, and fossilized by tradition.... Deep inside, Florentines know they are more civilized than other Italians. They gave the world all that is fine and beautiful and they have done enough. Now they can shut their doors and turn inward, answerable to nobody."

So some random-ass straniero--"foreigner," and now you know how weighted that word is--has been put in charge of their priceless Dante manuscripts? Sogliato basically just slapped Hannibal in the face at a public gathering. I look forward to seeing exactly what he gets cooked into.

"Are you familiar with the personalities of pre-Renaissance Florence? I think not." A Salty Douche uses Condescension! It's super effective! "Dr. Fell might hold in his hand--in his non-Italian hand--a note from Dante Alighieri himself." (Hannibal starts murder-sniffing at his glass of champagne. Oh man, this guy is gonna be delicious.) "Would he recognize it? ... ... I think not."

Bedelia attempts an intervention--

@cleolindajones: "would you do me the honor of a dance before my husband eats you right here"

--but before she can save Sogliato from himself, Hannibal drops some science on the room: "Allegro mi sembrava Amor tenendo meo core in mano" (Bedelia and Sogliato turn around; everyone's staring at Hannibal now), "e ne le braccia avea madonna involta in un drappo dormendo. Poi la svegliava, e d'esto core ardendo lei paventosa umilmente pascea; appreso gir lo ne vedea piangendo." (A translation: "Joyous, Love seemed to me, holding my heart within his hand, and in his arms he had my lady, loosely wrapped in folds, asleep. He woke her then, and gently fed to her the burning heart; she ate it, terrified. And then I saw him disappear in tears.") "Dante's first sonnet. It fascinated Cavalcanti. The eating of the heart is a powerful image."

(Friendly reminder of that time Hannibal said "Remarkable boy. I do admire your courage. I think I'll eat your heart" to Will in the Red Dragon movie. Also, the very same poem is used for the Cannibal Love Aria "Vide cor meum" in the Hannibal movie, which in turn is used... at the end of "Savoureux." Expect to see this idea again, is what I'm saying.)

Sogliato can't stop, won't stop: "If he's such an expert on Dante" (DUDE HE'S RIGHT THERE) "let him lecture on Dante, to the Studiolo. Let him face them. Extempore."

Chapter 19 of the Hannibal book tells us what the Studiolo is:

"If he is such an expert on Dante, let him lecture on Dante, to the Studiolo." Sogliato hissed the name as though it were the Inquisition. “Let him face them extempore, next Friday if he can." The Studiolo, named for an ornate private study, was a small, fierce group of scholars who had ruined a number of academic reputations and met often in the Palazzo Vecchio. Preparing for them was regarded as a considerable chore, appearing before them a peril. Sogliato's uncle seconded his motion and Sogliato's brother-in-law called for a vote, which his sister recorded in the minutes. It passed. The [curator position] appointment stood, but Dr. Fell must satisfy the Studiolo to keep it.
"I'm happy to sing for my supper," says Hannibal, because of course he does.

And now we get to see Real Actual Florence, filmed last December, and the Palazzo Du Maurier-Lecter. Here's another thing about the book/movie Hannibal: after the relatively grounded procedurals of Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs, it's a phantasmagorical departure in tone. The two previous books have the personalities of Will and Clarice, respectively; Hannibal is... Hannibal. "Antipasto" is itself a bit of a departure from the rest of the series in terms of narrative and visual, but it feels right to me--Florence has always seemed like like a darkly, baroquely magical place for Hannibal. In fact, if the entire book had taken place there, I might have even been able to buy the ending.


Meanwhile, speaking of fairy tales: holy shit, their "apartment." Here's set pictures of the interiors, plus inspiration boards and drawings that Bryan Fuller tweeted for the dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and living room. "We are among the palaces built six hundred years ago by the merchant princes, the kingmakers and the connivers of Renaissance Florence," says Hannibal, gazing out their windows. Bedelia brings him a drink: "As connivers of modern Florence."


(Kate Kulzick explains that the piece was "composed by Chopin while on vacation with Georges Sand and her children," where he told her about a dream he had about drowning: "Heavy drops of icy water fell in a regular rhythm on his breast," which you hear in the composition itself. She adds that the music underlines a dripping faucet we'll get to in a minute, but also a parallel between the Chopin-Sand romance and Hannibal and Bedelia's European shenanigans. There's also a discussion of how this compares to the way Brian Reitzell used the same piece during what you might call the "threesome dinner" in "Naka-choko" last season--and it's not the only parallel we'll see to that scene, either.)

"I've found a peace here that I would preserve," says Hannibal. "I've killed hardly anybody during our residence."

@cleolindajones: hardly anybody. gold star. you tried.


"You created a vacancy at the Palazzo Capponi by removing the former curator," Bedelia reminds him. Hannibal claims all that took was "a modest outlay for two bags of cement." (So Hannibal has also, as in the book, killed the original curator, thus opening up the job for Roman, so he could kill him. Also, that "cement" is some bullshit, don't act like you didn't at least nibble on that guy first.) Bedelia: "You no longer have ethical concerns, Hannibal. You have aesthetical ones." "Ethics become aesthetics." But Bedelia keeps at him: "You seem more interested in making appearances than maintaining them." Indeed, Janice Poon noted that "Hannibal’s on the run, but Hannibal doesn’t run, he strolls."

And then she asks him to unzip her dress. The Hannibal-Bedelia storyline has always seemed to take place in the actors' eyes; I feel like the sly "oh, so we're doing this now" look he shoots her says a lot.

Meanwhile, Hannibal's insisting that once he was actually examined for the curator position, "I won the job fairly. On my merits." "Yes, even the most contentious Florentines can't resist the verse of Dante ringing off of frescoed walls," Bedelia says dryly. (Which is another line from the book--there are so many book lines in this episode that I despair of pointing them all out.) And he's begun to unzip her dress, and... is he... smelling her?

"One contentious Florentine can," glowers Hannibal, turning away. (Dr. Sulk is so dead. So very dead.) Bedelia asks if he's giving Serious Thought to eating Sogliato (and it kind of shocked me to hear her say that OUT LOUD to him), but Hannibal admits that killing Sogliato now "would not preserve the peace." "Your peace is without morality," she chides him, like... you know this guy, right? We just touched on the whole cannibal thing? "Morality doesn't exist," he retorts, "only morale." Which says to me is that it doesn't matter that Will (half-heartedly) wanted to bring Hannibal to justice; what matters is that Will betrayed him, and that gave him the sad cannibal feels. In other words, do what makes you feel good, and wreak vengeance on what makes you feel bad. Which is... not an ethos much interested in stability.

I like how Bedelia's next line implies that she, as his therapist, has been monitoring how depressed he's been over his Murder Husband breakup: "How do you feel today?" "How do you feel today?" Hannibal asks, dodging the question, and that's close enough to "How does that make you feel?" for the drinking game, IMO. "I still believe I am in conscious control of my actions," she says with "a soft, polite smile." "Given your history... that's a good day."

How do you say "burn" in Italian?

Now she actually starts taking off her dress--her back in extreme closeup--and shoots him a look over her shoulder. (I wonder if she really is trying to get him into bed, and if so, because she thinks she'd have more power that way?) But whatever she's trying to sell tonight, he's not buying:

Exit Fancy Husband. What's interesting is that we're about to see that he gave her an eyeful back in the day, so there seems to be a subtext of, "Heh, you tried it."

@Vincenzo_Natali: Pages from my script for #Hannibal #Antipasto.

‏@Vincenzo_Natali: The same scene from #Hannibal #Antipasto in storyboard form.

Finally alone, Bedelia slips into her nightly bath of unicorn tears.

@redheadedgirl: I see we are adding to the "alarmed bathroom fixtures" quotient.

Remember our friend the Concerned Sink? Here's Chopin's Ominous Faucet.

@FeedingHannibal: Bedelia..."slowly sinking sliding into the Stygian dark" beautifully described stage directions in script @HannibalRoom


@Vincenzo_Natali: From #Hannibal #Antipasto: Bedelia in the bathtub in storyboards; Bedelia in the bathtub in still frames

My first thought was that Bedelia was considering suicide--drowning herself and just ending it all--and either couldn't go through with it or just wanted to see what it might feel like to try. Of course it also connects to the way both Will and Alana have felt "drowned" by Hannibal., but also, as Bryan Fuller says in the Post-Mortem interview with Gillian Anderson, the way she's "falling into his world." There may be more of a sense of delving into something than trying to escape something, is what I'm saying.


I honestly don't know how they got that first shot on network TV. Apparently nipples were something of a battle with Standards and Practices this whole season. Come on, guys, just throw some blood on it.

We flash back now to a scene in "Tome-wan" (2x12); Bedelia fled in "Sakizuke" (2x02) but ten episodes later, Jack has dragged her back to town and offered her legal immunity if she'll tell them what really happened between her and Hannibal re: the patient who died while attacking her. Specifically, we revisit the moment in the interrogation room when she's telling Jack, "If you think you're about to catch Hannibal, it's because he wants you to think that. Don't fool yourself into thinking he's not in control of what's happening." So at the end of the finale, while everyone else is dying on the floor chez Lecter, we see Hannibal and Bedelia on a plane, and we have NO IDEA how he managed that. Here's (probably) the closest we're going to get to an explanation:

BEDELIA. BEDELIA, WHY HAVE YOU GONE BACK TO YOUR HOUSE. DID JACK NOT PUT YOU UP IN A SAFE HOUSE. WHY ARE YOU HERE. She's just idly walking around the sheet-covered furniture; the bottle of perfume is still where she left it for Hannibal. Apparently she also left the liquor, which is how you know she was in a hurry. So she's drinking at the window when she realizes... she's not alone. In fact, she's got a cannibal washing off half the cast's blood in her shower: slow-motion closeups of falling water mingle with blood like tears, rain, drowning, cleansing, all that good symbolic stuff, but remember, water seems to be Will's element, and you can't wash off water, as it were. So Hannibal can try to rid himself of Will, but Will is still there with him no matter what he does. And let's also just say that the shower doors are translucent glass, and that you can be a really athletic, outdoorsy guy, but that doesn't mean that all parts of the Scandinavian get sun.

@cleolindajones: well this took a turn

@angelinaburnett: Overheard in the live tweeting room: @BryanFuller Hashtag, tan line.

And I was like, after the massive frenzy over the Pool Drool last year and everyone practically throwing dollar bills, is Mads Mikkelsen okay with the whole #fanservice thing...?


... oh my.

@DireRavenstag: @BryanFuller Bless that fleshmeat.

@NBCHannibal: @BryanFuller BLESS HIM

Meanwhile, Gillian Anderson:

@angelinaburnett: I mean, just look at this fucking queen. Double fisting scotch and a pistol.

I'm gonna go ahead and tell you that there's an alarming amount of "fisting" in this episode. Also, there is some Austin Powers business with Bedelia's glass, while Hannibal coolly continues to stand there. "May I get dressed?" A hilariously long, appreciative pause: "You may."

@LJmysticowl: No, no you may not, what the fuck, Bedelia! I thought you were one of us!

So he continues standing there, not getting dressed, folding his fucking towel like he's got nothing better to do.

Yeah, so Bedelia taking off her dress was not the first shot fired in this whole "psychological nudity warfare" thing. Get dressed in what, though?


Murder wizard; fair enough.

"What have you done, Hannibal?" "I've taken off my person suit," he says, pulling on trousers (below the frame, of course). Also, congratulations on bringing that phrase back around in the creepiest way possible. Bedelia: "You let them see you." "... I let them see enough." "How does it feel... being seen?" "Well, you're in no position to ask, Dr. Du Maurier. You ended our patient-psychiatrist relationship." Oh man, he is still so bitter about that. Which makes me wonder if he's hitting the "sad cannibal :( :( :(" chord in order to guilt Bedelia into keeping him company on the lam, or if he was genuinely that hurt. Both, probably. Of course, he also just gutted Friend Will an hour ago, so he's got a lot of feels going on right now.

"I lacked the appropriate skills to continue your therapy," she says carefully. "I never found you to be lacking," he says, not looking at her, and Bedelia honestly seems a little upset, in her own repressed way: "I'm sorry I didn't provide you with a suitable substitute for therapy." She may be thinking that people wouldn't be mostly dead in his kitchen right now if she'd kept seeing him, in fact. [Long pause.] "Is Will Graham still alive?"

"...Will Graham was not a suitable substitute for therapy," says Hannibal (so bitter. So very, very bitter). Which is not a yes or no. Bedelia asks [long pause] what Will was, then, and Hannibal does not seem to appreciate her therapeutic tone: "Is this professional curiosity?" "Almost entirely," she says, smiling.

Oh girl, he did not like that. And then he asks her, "Do you trust me?"

With a completely straight face.

are you absolutely shitting me

@cleolindajones: NO, I DON'T

Bedelia, somehow: "... ... Not entirely." "Are you taking into consideration my beliefs about your intentions? "My intentions?" HER INTENTIONS? The thing is, some kind of logical jump, some kind of unspoken agreement, has happened between "What was he?" and "Do you trust me?" Hannibal hasn't said "You're coming with me," but this exchange seems to rest on the assumption that she will, and he's already questioning why she would agree to do so. "Human motivation can be little more than lucid greed," Hannibal bitters. "Greed," replies Bedelia, "... and blind optimism." "You're optimistic I won't kill you."

She uncocks the gun and sets it down. But after he walks away, she takes a long, shaky drink of that scotch. What is she greedy for?

(I mean, there are a few suggestions, but the question hangs over the entire storyline.)

Back in the present day, Bedelia's on her way to the corner store:


@lorettaramos: The lovely @neoprod finding the good stuff at #VeraDal

The man holding the bottle of wine in the picture with Martha De Laurentiis, she says, is actually Count Niccolò Capponi, who also allowed the De Laurentiises and Ridley Scott to film scenes for the Hannibal movie back in 2000, as noted in publicity materials: "Thomas Harris enlisted Niccolò's help in researching his book and subsequently set some of the novel in the Palazzo Capponi. Niccolò provided reference materials and historical information and Harris paid tribute by using the real family name--in a fictional context, of course." So it looks like he stopped by to check out the new production, which kind of warms my heart.

@neoprod: In case you wondered, we did drink it that night @GillianA

Wait, is that bottle labeled 1613? My God.

@neoprod: VERA DAL. Doesn’t exist on the streets of Florence. But DOES exist in Hannibal land

And also in Hannibal book: "Here were Dr Lecter’s personal papers from the Palazzo Capponi. A few notes on Dante in his familiar handwriting, a note to the cleaning lady, a receipt from the Florentine fine grocer Vera dal 1926 for two bottles of Bâtard-Montrachet and some tartufi bianchi." Which is what Bedelia asks for--in Italian, no less--at the counter.

why she so pretty

I don't know what Bedelia's doing with fancy Italian white truffles per se, but it looks like she has settled on fine wine as her compensation for life in hiding: "[The Bâtard-Montrachet] vineyards produce some of the most expensive and rare wines in the world, often regarded as the ultimate expression of the Chardonnay grape variety." Furthermore, "Many critics might describe Bâtard-Montrachet wines as 'perfect.' And indeed, several of them do approach the perfect balance between fruit and minerals, as well as between power and elegance... most wines emphasize the minerally end of things more on Bâtard-Montrachet, giving the wines an incredible earthy, stony core."

Meanwhile, here's the show's version of the Capponi Library--which I'm guessing is so different from the real location, which was also in the movie, to continue setting the show's visual world apart. There's a lot more light and color, for one--much more sunlight and open space.

(Douglas Preston actually visits the Capponi Library in The Monster of Florence, in no small part because he's apparently a big Thomas Harris fan himself; the overall Hannibal series comes up a number of times in the book. He also gets the Count to talk a little about the movie production, which cracks me up. "Ridley seems to be obsessed with smoke. And busts. He was always needing marble busts.")

@cleolindajones: I'm just so ridiculously happy that we're doing the Florence stuff

@LJmysticowl: Look at this happy-go-lucky motherfucker

Hannibal (not me), that is; he's researching his presentation (while surrounded by... instruments of torture! Whee!), poring over slides and centuries-old manuscripts, eventually leaving for the day through a beautiful shadowed atrium into a fresh green courtyard where--


oh no

"Hello! Bonjour! Mr. Jakov, isn't it?" Uh. About that. Dimmond reminds Hannibal that they met in Paris: "Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you, it's just... here I was and then, there you were... I never forget a face." Well, congrats on signing your own death warrant there! "What are you doing in Florence? Are you working with Roman? I heard he took an appointment at the Capponi Library." Hannibal, unfazed: "Yes, he's the new curator and translator at the Palazzo Capponi." "Evidently, the last one eloped with a woman or someone's money or both," Dimmond says cheerfully. (Again, it's murders all the way down.) "That's the commonly held belief," says Hannibal--adding that Dimmond totally juuuust missed Fell. "Did I? Was hoping to take the piss." (So... this guy comes all the way to Florence to tease a guy he hates? And keeps a book he hates on his person? I'm just saying that he might have a thing for scholarly, slightly older guys, y'all.)

Hannibal considers for a moment. "Spare the piss for the time being--if you're free, my wife and I would love to have you for dinner."

And the show just goes straight to commercials, with the timing of a rimshot.

Returning from the break, we get to see more of Hannibal's culinary kingdom... with poor Gideon rolling after him, still on his IV.

When I saw that stone wall over there, I realized that all this is in the Murder Basement, which is not just one big horror of plastic curtains and rusty chains--the room Beverly stumbled across was a literal abattoir, only one room in a chef's underground palace. I think... that might actually make it worse, somehow?

Hannibal lovingly harvesting snails from Gideon's severed arm is not making it better, certainly.

@cleolindajones: I'm just making wild gestures at the TV now, HOW LONG DOES HE SPEND EATING THIS POOR GUY

How many days elapse between "Futamono" and "Yakimono," when Gideon is found? Because... he's still alive at that point, so... all through "Yakimono," Hannibal must be entertaining a half-eaten house guest. Where is Abigail through all this--hidden in the cellar next door? Does Alana sleep over during any of this? I'm curious as to exactly how many rings Fancy Cannibal had going at one time in this circus.

Right now, the main attraction: SNAIL FACES. Which are so interesting in extreme closeup that I forgot to be icked out, even. "Listen," Hannibal says, carefully harvesting the snails from FROM GIDEON'S SEVERED ARM. "They prefer eating [YOUR ARM] in company. I've kept cochlear gardens since I was a young man, fattening snails on herbs and vine leaves," Hannibal tells Gideon, who I cannot imagine gives one single solitary fuck right now. "Like all of us, what they eat greatly influences and enhances their flavor."

As it turns out, this was Janice's idea: "Then I remembered a detail about I heard about snails when I was loitering in an aquarium shop: some snails are meat-eaters. Eureka! [...] The food chain that eats itself like an Escher drawing! I’m scaring myself, that idea is so dastardly. I mention the ancient cochlear gardens where, since Roman times, various snail species have been raised in gardens with fruits and herbs that enhance their particular flavour."

A word on escargot from Wikipedia: "In French culture, the snails are typically purged, killed, removed from their shells, and cooked (usually with garlic butter, chicken stock or wine), and then placed back into the shells with the butter and sauce for serving. [...] The snails are first prepared by purging them of the likely undesirable contents of their digestive systems. The process... generally involves a combination of fasting and purging or simply feeding them on a wholesome replacement." Ah, yes. "Wholesome."

Everything you could possibly want to know about farming snails is in the Heliciculture article, but I did learn one important thing: hatchling snails eat their siblings. That's right: snails are cannibals.

"When I'm not busy eating myself, you wish me to be eating oysters, drinking sweet wines and snacking on acorns. All to make me tastier?" asks Gideon, somewhere between snark and incredulity. "Oh yes," says Hannibal, beaming, "and you are making them tastier." He's just so happy, y'all. Like kind of a Bob Ross quality. Happy little snails! "And I you," says Gideon--"Imagine what you must taste like." Well, after all the delicacies we've seen Hannibal eat, that is one hell of a point you got there, Gideon. Who then adds, "Won't be long until someone's taking a bite out of you. The snails are certainly having a lovely experience, fattened on me in a red-wine marinade," which Hannibal is brushing on. This is just. Y'all. "They have no idea they're going to be eaten. We do."


@angelinaburnett: I had no greater moment of accomplishment and joy on this show than when my research revealed snails fave food is firefly larvae.

But hold that thought for a couple of episodes. Onward.

Tags: hannibal, om nom nom, recaps, tv

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