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Hannibal 3x01: "Antipasto" part two
dire ravenstag gunmettle, dire ravenstag, dire ravenstag 04

PREVIOUSLY ON: QUEEN AND CANNIBAL: Leather Biker Hannibal zoomed around Paris and ate a guy before the opening credits even ran; Flashback Gideon was served his own leg (again) (no, the other one); Flawless Bedelia can't take her "husband" anywhere, because he always ends up in freestyle Dante battles with Florentines; Hannibal would love to have an inconvenient poet for dinner, so this guy's about five minutes from dead.

Speaking of whom! After another beautiful time-lapse shot of Florence, we are treated to sassy music at the Palazzo Du Maurier-Lecter--


--and sensuous closeups of oysters, which have a lot more juice liquor than I expected. (Food sketch!) I'll be honest, my first association there is not what Hannibal's purpose for them turns out to be. To wit: "Casanova, the 18th century lover who used to breakfast on 50 oysters, has been vindicated by a study that proves they really are aphrodisiacs." For years, the article says, it was thought the "powers of oysters" lay in their high zinc content, but it turns out that they're "rich in rare amino acids that trigger increased levels of sex hormones." An oyster enthusiast/university lecturer is quoted as saying that he's not eating them for their ~powers per se: "It is a sensual experience though--the fresh taste of the sea, the slippery, silky texture. Perhaps that's why it works as an aphrodisiac for some people. If you find something sensual, it heightens your senses and perhaps one thing leads to another." (Said article includes Casanova's own personal "serving suggestion," which involves kissing.) A Houston Press article puts a finer point on it: "There's always the slurping and sucking and vague resemblance of oysters to female anatomy."

I'm telling you this for several reasons, not the least of which is Dimmond raising an eyebrow at Bedelia eating hers. Of course, her fork is also visibly trembling; this whole dinner is a struggle for Bedelia on multiple fronts. At first I thought she'd be freaked out that Dimmond could blow their cover, but no--she's got to know that Hannibal would never let that happen, so she's expecting him to kill Dimmond any actual minute, right there at the table. "How well do you know the Fells?" she manages to croak out. Dimmond smugs on about how no one knows them very well, and there is "mutual detestation" and "disapproval of disapproval" between him and Mrs. Fell: "Lydia isn't quite bright enough to see I'm just intimidated [by Roman]. Roman does, of course. How he loves to strike fear." "Dante wrote that fear is almost as bitter as death," says Hannibal, setting another plate before Bedelia; "Dante wasn't dead when he wrote it," Bedelia retorts faintly, looking like she's halfway to dead already.

So, Anthony, are you traveling alone? "The only way I travel."


I'm telling you, this guy has zero sense of self-preservation. And then Hannibal volunteers that "Roman" will be "speaking to the Studiolo Friday, on Dante. You should come." (Bedelia's expression: WHAT NO.) "Sounds appropriately hellish," quips Dimmond, who then feels compelled to ask Bedelia, "Are you avoiding meats?" (Okay, don't comment on what other people are eating. Rude.) Bedelia: "I'm... trying not to eat anything with a central nervous system." That is how broadly you have to generalize when it comes to Hannibal's cooking. What all has he passed people off as--beef, veal, lamb, sheep, pork, sausages, pâté, tongue, omelette--? One time sushi was people. And then he's turned people into beer and gelatin and probably even suet for the bread pudding that one time and I'm just saying I'm not sure I'd bother trying, Bedelia.

"Oysters, acorns, and Marsala," observes Dimmond, noticing exactly all of that on the table. "That's what ancient Romans would feed animals to improve their flavor."

Aaaaaand there it is:

@cleolindajones: #NOTFOREATING

Look at this motherfucker. Bedelia now knows that he's feeding up her flavor, and he knows that she knows, and he doesn't CARE that she knows, and she knows it. The sang froid on this man, I swear to God.

But because Bedelia is a badass, she recovers with a sly retort: "My husband has a very sophisticated palate. He's very particular about how I taste."


Usually in dinner scenes like this, Hannibal drops some outrageously obvious cannibal pun, no one pays any attention, and everyone moves on. This time? Not a chance. "Is it that kind of party?"

And Dimmond looks at Hannibal, and Hannibal looks at him, and Dimmond looks at Bedelia, and Bedelia looks at him, and Bedelia looks at Hannibal, and

Hannibal is here for it, and Bedelia is like ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

(I think Hannibal is delighted that she landed a pun that good, and Dimmond is pretty cute. But he's also enjoying calling her bluff, as well as wanting to see how far she would let this go. He's perennially curious, as you may recall.)

(IMO, Bedelia looks terrified that Dimmond's impending death just found a way to get even messier.)

Hannibal, smiling: "It's not that kind of party."

"No, says Bedelia, "it really isn't."

"Shame," says Dimmond, smooving through the awkwardness. "You were both suddenly so fascinating."

(A really nifty point sungl0ry also makes with that gifset: this scene is blocked the same way as Alana having dinner with Hannibal, Will, and their weird sexual tension. So that's our second call back to "Naka-choko.")

(Weird factoid: A threesome with one woman and two men is called a "devil's threesome." Just throwing that out there.)


@lorettaramos: Careful, @ScottThompson_ may get jealous. #preller

@manatee73: Most of the crew yelled "PLEASE BE THAT KIND OF PARTY!!!!!"


(How any of this made it onto NBC, I don't know.)

To Bedelia's surprise, though, the evening ends with a simple "Buonasera" at the door--not bonsoir. "You let him go." "What would you have me do?" asks Hannibal, but it sounds a little bit like a challenge.

That said, Bedelia clearly does not believe that Dimmond will get away unscathed, judging by what she does next. You know, when we saw Gillian Anderson in her Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego outfit in the Italy set pictures... like... look, those are gorgeous shades of blue and green, but... that hat, y'all.

@angelinaburnett: Hat game so strong. Yall ain't ready.

Then I realized why the outfit's so showy. Bedelia wants to be noticed; she even looks a passing policeman straight in the face.

And then I flipped out over the carousel because that's a big thing in the Hannibal movie.

Once again at Vera Dal: "Due bottiglie di Bâtard-Montrachet e gli tartufi bianchi, per favore."

@LJmysticowl: How much wine do you think Bedelia consumes on a weekly basis? Let's estimate in Euros and gallons.

@redheadedgirl: @LJmysticowl That bag contains $1200 of wine each time.

@cleolindajones: That's just today's wine. That's just breakfast wine.

But this time, she notices a rabbit hanging up at the meat counter... dripping slo-mo closeup blood.

@cleolindajones: Should've hopped faster.

And then she ends up at a train station, playing her own game of Where in the World with the security cameras.


I still have questions, possibly unanswerable, as to what Bedelia's deal is. Hostage? Enabler? Partner? All of the above? We get another piece of the puzzle now: a flashback to what, exactly, happened with the Attacker Patient ("Neal Frank"?). Kind of. Maybe. Because, unfortunately, he is already dead. Hella, hella dead. Here's the sequence of shots, which I'll make you click through for, because it is not a good time. Bedelia is lying on the floor, head to head with Neal; she sits up, stares at her bloodied-to-the-elbow arm, starts shaking, and then we switch to a flashback-within-flashback of her PULLING HER ENTIRE FUCKING FOREARM OUT OF NEAL'S THROAT, collapsing, and hitting the floor where she originally woke up.

@cleolindajones: fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

@nickantosca: Why did Bedelia throatfist Spock?




Ah, yes, the glory hole.

And conveniently, here's this fucker.

"He attacked me," she whispers, still shaking. "Is that your blood?" Hannibal asks, but it already sounds rhetorical: "You were defending yourself?" She says she was reckless (NO KIDDING), but he's examining Neal's hand, which is completely clean and unmarked: "This wasn't reckless violence. It was a controlled use of force." "I know what happened," she whispers, but doesn't sound so sure. Hannibal lets that sit there a moment: "... Do you?" "He was your patient before he was mine," she counters--does she mean so you know he was already violent, or so I can tell you were involved in this?

"He died under your care," says Hannibal. "You were not defending yourself." And Bedelia looks increasingly upset.

@thetuxedos: "hannibal i know ur a shit u made him do this" "YEAH WELL HE'S YOUR PROBLEM NOW IDC"

@cleolindajones: okay Dr. Murder Satan

So Bedelia's trying to clean up in the bathroom, and of course Hannibal is all up in her business while she's still vulnerable. Sometimes he's all handsome and floppy-haired, and other times he is just an absolute doom creeper. "I can help you tell the version of events you want to be told," he says, giving her cheek the Tender Murder Caress with a washcloth. (Which Gillian Anderson actually refers to as a "baptism.") "I can help you... if you ask me to." Because Hannibal Lecter is (sing it with me if you know the words) THE BEST AT HELPING. And, like the way you have to invite the vampire in, he makes her say it: "Will you help me?"


@cleolindajones: oh God he's Abigailing her

1x03 Potage: "This wasn't self-defense, Abigail. You butchered him. They'll see what you did, and they'll see you as an accessory to the crimes of your father. I can help you... if you ask me to. At great risk to my career and my life. You have a choice."

But the difference is, Bedelia's a psychiatrist, not a frightened teenage girl. She knows exactly what he's doing right now--building the foundation for future blackmail, emotional or otherwise. But I wonder if she realizes the full extent of his influence here. So untangle What The Hell Their Deal Is with me, y'all. And pardon how long the timeline discussion here is; you can jump past it if you'd rather.

3x01 Antipasto: Zachary Quinto is dead on the floor with Bedelia's arm down his throat. We don't know for absolute sure what, if anything, he did to her first. IMMEDIATELY she calls Hannibal out on some kind of involvement. He then offers to help her cover the whole thing up--we can infer that he'll confirm for the authorities Neal attacked her and "the only thing that saved her" was Neal swallowing his own tongue (due to a supposed seizure, maybe?), rather than Bedelia cramming it down his throat. Presumably, no one does an autopsy or notices that the tongue-swallowing thing, which isn't a thing, is... not what happened.

1x07 Sorbet: "I have conversations with a...version of you... and hope that the actual you... gets what he needs. [...] Naturally... I respect its meticulous construction... but you are wearing a very well-tailored person suit. [...] I see enough of you to see the truth of you. And I like you."

1x08 Fromage: Bedelia retired after the attack, but is still Hannibal's therapist: "Referrals can be complicated. I referred you to another psychiatrist. You refused." Hannibal: "I feel protective of you. You support me as a colleague and psychiatrist, and as a human being. I want to be supportive of you... after what happened."

Later: "It's nice when someone sees us, Hannibal. Or has the ability to see us." On the subject of friendship: "It requires trust. Trust is difficult for you." "You've helped me to better understand what I want in a friendship... and what I don't." "Someone worthy of your friendship. You spend a lot of time building walls, Hannibal. It's natural to want to see if someone is... clever enough to climb over them."

After the scrum with Tobias: "Every person has an intrinsic responsibility for their own life, Hannibal. No one else can take on that responsibility. Not even you." "Did you take responsibility when you were attacked by your patient?" "Yes. But I don't take responsibility for his death."

1x12 Relevés: Jack shows up at Bedelia's house: "You were attacked by a patient not too long ago. [...] I know that there was a statement given by Dr. Lecter." Bedelia admits that the patient was a referral from Hannibal: "He swallowed his tongue while he was attacking me. That's the only thing that saved my life." Later, she tells Hannibal about that conversation, and that she told Jack "half-truths. That... a violent patient swallowed his tongue while he was attacking me. I didn't tell him how or... why... or who was responsible."

1x13 Savoureux: Janice Poon wrote of the dinner scene, where Hannibal shows up at Bedelia's house with "veal" (... whoever that was), "I think Hannibal and Bedelia have this kind of pissing match about who's cooler and who's scarier." "And since you refuse invitations to my dinner table, this is the only way I could cook for you," Hannibal says--why? As part of her determination to maintain boundaries with him? Or because she already has some inkling that he eats people? Because we have her saying very pointedly, "Controversial dish... veal," putting off eating it as long as she can, and finally badassing it down Gideon-style. And yet I want to say some interview or other told us that she didn't know that he was the Chesapeake Ripper and/or a cannibal? (Closest I can find: "She doesn’t know any more than the other characters. She’s starting to suspect.") And Will doesn't figure out that He's Eating Them until 2x04. In which case... what's the reluctance about?

Then: "You have to be careful, Hannibal. They're starting to see your pattern. You develop relationships with patients who are prone to violence. Under scrutiny, Jack Crawford's beliefs about you might start to unravel." "Tell me, Dr. Du Maurier--have your beliefs about me begun to unravel?" (A phrasing that's picked up this episode with "my beliefs about your intentions.") And she doesn't answer--just an inscrutable smile.

2x01 Kaiseki: "I imagine there's an honesty in [Will Graham] that you can relate to. What can't you repress, Hannibal?" [TERRIFYING SMILE]

Later, she is alarmed when he wants to give her permission to talk to Jack Crawford: "You maintain an air of transparency... while putting me in the position to lie for you. Again." ("Again" meaning the "half-truths" conversation.) Hannibal: "You're not just lying for me. [...] It would seem Jack Crawford is less suspicious of me than you are." "Jack Crawford doesn't know what you're capable of." "Neither do you." [TERRIFYING SMILE] [*GULP*]

2x02 Sakizuke: "I am no longer your therapist. [...] I have reached the limit of my efficacy. I don't believe I can help you. [...] I... am grateful for your persistence in engaging me after my attack. However, in light of everything that has happened with Will Graham... I have begun to question your actions. Particularly, your past actions with regards to me and my attack." She promises not to run to Jack: "I would look just as guilty as you. But perhaps that is what you intended." "What exactly am I guilty of?" "Exactly, I cannot say. I've had to draw a conclusion based on what I glimpsed through... the stitching of the person suit that you wear. And the conclusion that I've drawn... is that you are... dangerous."

Then she tells Jack she can't talk about Hannibal anymore, Hannibal is no longer her patient, and she is recusing herself the fuck out of this. "Hannibal and I were both traumatized by dangerous patients. Hannibal had his Will Graham... and I had mine."

Before she nopes the hell off the show, she visits Will in jail: "I understand you better than I thought. [...] It may be small comfort, but I am convinced Hannibal has done what he honestly believes is best for you." And then she tells Will that she understands this is something that has happened to him: "I believe you."

By the time Hannibal shows up at her house in the Murder Suit, she has peaced the entire fuck out, leaving nothing but ghost furniture and a bottle of perfume. We can only speculate as to the significance or spirit of that "gift."

2x12 Tome-wan: Jack drags Bedelia back, immunity, etc. She tells Will that she thought she was Hannibal's psychiatrist, not the other way around, "but I was under Hannibal's influence. And what he did to you made that abundantly clear." Will mentions that the Attacker Patient swallowed his tongue. Bedelia: "It wasn't attached at the time. […] I killed him. I believed it was self-defense. And to a point, it was. But beyond that point, it was murder. Hannibal influenced me to murder my patient, our patient." "You weren't coerced?" "What Hannibal does is not coercion. It is persuasion. Has he ever tried to persuade you to kill anybody? He will." (Hannibal already has: Will presumably now makes the connection that Hannibal must have sent Randall Tier, a former patient, to attack him back in 2x09, at which point Will beat Randall to death. And kept going, and going, and going, while imagining that Randall was Hannibal. One wonders if Bedelia was imagining something similar.) "And it will be somebody you love. And you will think it's the only choice you have." (Hold up, what? Did she love Neal? This might foreshadow the way Hannibal has Abigail push Alana out a window in 2x13 or something that hasn't happened yet, I don't know.)

(Side note: "Hannibal can get lost in self-congratulation at his own exquisite taste and cunning. Whimsy. That will be how he will get caught.")

This is so frustrating to me because so much of this is either cryptic (Someone you love? How far does the "Will Graham" parallel go? How DID she end up throat-fisting a guy to death?) or psychologically contradictory (She immediately thinks Hannibal influenced the attack? But "I like you"? But scary veal? But "I have BEGUN to question your actions"?). And yet... I feel like I can glimpse a plausible outline of what's going on here. It doesn't entirely line up for me yet, but I keep thinking there's something they could tell us that would somehow make it all snap into place--how much did she know, when did she know it, and how did she feel about it? Or perhaps the real question is, what kind of person is she that she could understand what he's doing to her and still say "I know, and I like you"? That's the crux of Bedelia's inscrutability, I think--that she does have some strange liking for (attraction to?) Hannibal, and she knows it's both indefensible and indescribable. And to acknowledge to Hannibal himself would be to admit responsibility, liability, and a weak point in that "wall" he's been trying to climb over.


Well, there you go.

And now, another scene that made me really happy: a "remixed" version of Hannibal's lecture to the Studiolo.


@cleolindajones: That... that didn't end well for him.

So we go from the shot of Bedelia's tears in the mirror after her "baptism" (again, I apologize for that novella of a tangent) to the sweat on her forehead as she sits in the audience. I will give you what we hear of Hannibal's lecture in its entirety, because the whole thing is a game of cat-and-mouse:

"In accord with my own taste for the pre-Renaissance, I present the case of Pietro della Vigna, whose treachery earned him a place in Dante's Hell."

In case anyone was unsure what was going on here or anything.


(Satan with a bowtie. I love that Hannibal seems to think that if he trades in his flashy neckties, no one will recognize him.)

"He was disgraced and blinded for betraying his emperor's trust." (Cut to Bedelia's anxious face again.) "Dante's pilgrim finds him in the seventh level of the Inferno, reserved for suicides," continues Hannibal, strolling through the room in a professorial way. "Like Judas Iscariot, he died by hanging. Judas and Pietro della Vigna are linked in Dante's Inferno. Betrayal..."

Yeah, he knows. Somehow he knows that she was out there trying to get her face on camera. It's a nice touch (literally) from the movie as well.

@LJmysticowl: Oh, Hannibal. Only you would give an unsubtle lecture about how you're Jesus.

"... hanging... then, linked since antiquity, the image appearing again and again in art. This is the earliest known depiction of the Crucifixion, carved on an ivory box in Gaul about A.D. four hundred. It includes the death by hanging of Judas"--there's something almost pitifully intimidated about Bedelia's face--"his face upturned to the branch that suspends him. On the doors of the Benevento Cathedral, we see Judas hanging with his bowels falling out." And right there, right at Future Episode Foreshadowing, is Anthony Dimmond in the doorway. And he sees Bedelia. And she sees him. "And here, from a fifteenth-century edition of The Inferno, is Pietro della Vigna's body hanging from a bleeding tree. I won't belabor the parallels with Judas Iscariot. Betrayal, hanging, self-destruction. Io fei gibetto a me de le mie case." Hannibal looks straight at his domestic partner:

"I make my own home be my gallows."

And just when you think things can't get any worse: "Mr. Dimmond, welcome--please join us. We were just about to discuss the matter of chewing in Dante."

Which is A Thing, by the way. Specifically, with Dante's portrayal of... Satan. A fallen angel, "a once splendid being (indeed the most perfect of God’s creatures)" who eternally gnaws on three traitors, no less.

In the book/movie, the subject of the presentation was actually one of Inspector Pazzi's ancestors--it's Hannibal basically trolling this one detective with an entire personalized lecture (as Fio put it, "a thirty-minute slideshow on how I'm about to kill you"), with the final slide revealed right before Hannibal grabs him. The Bedelia version, on the other hand, seems like more of a warning than a death sentence. And WARNING RECEIVED, because the next time Hannibal looks over to Bedelia--


Nonetheless, the presentation goes over well (*golf clap*). So, does Hannibal have the job? "The Studiolo seem... satisfied," Sogliato sniffs. But here's a beaming Dimmond to the rescue: "Satisfied? I thought the applause was downright enthusiastic, in its soft and dusty way." "Dottore Fell is a friend of yours?" "I was his TA at Cambridge. The tales I could tell," says Dimmond, but he declines to elaborate: "What kind of friend would I be?" "What kind of friend, indeed," Sogliato mutters darkly. Oh, what the hell--was that supposed to be implied homophobia? This guy is also dead. Deaaaaaad.

But now Dimmond, grinning like the cat looking forward to eating the canary (... so to speak), is left alone with Hannibal in his clutches. Good luck with that.

@lorettaramos: BTS Palazzo Capponi set (1, 2)


@cleolindajones: I'm just so happy the torture exhibit made it in from the book and I don't know how to feel about myself now.

"An exposition of Atrocious Torture Instruments appeals to connoisseurs of the very worst in mankind," says Dimmond as they stroll through the now-empty library. Hannibal muses, "Now that ceaseless exposure has calloused us into the lewd and the vulgar, it is instructive to see what still seems wicked to us." "What still slaps the clammy flab of our submissive consciousness hard enough to get our attention?" Oh, is that what you're into? "What wickedness has your attention, Mr. Dimmond?" "Yours... Dr. Fell. I have no delusions about morality; if I did, I would've gone to la polizia. I'm curious as to what fate befell Dr. Fell to see you here in his stead." Hannibal says pleasantly, "You may have to strap me to the breaking wheel to loosen my tongue." Oh, is that what you're into? Dimmond: "You overestimate my affection for the genuine Dr. Fell. Clearly, you found him as distasteful as I did." "On the contrary," says Hannibal, because of course he does. Dimmond pauses to look confused for a moment (heh), then delves deeper into Sexy Blackmail: "We can twist ourselves into all manner of uncomfortable positions just to maintain appearances, with or without a breaking wheel." "Are you here to twist me into an uncomfortable position?" WELL THEN.

@DireRavenstag: Now, now, fleshmeats. The comfort of positions is important. Wouldn't want to strain something.

In reply, Dimmond smooves, "I'm here to help you untwist... to our mutual benefit."

@ColliderNews: This dude literally saw Hannibal's face become Lucifer's, has guessed his crime, and he's playing with him? Son...

@queenofthedorks: ....So is he going to sleep with him, eat him or both? Is Hannibal playing a game of MKF with Anthony?

What was that exchange from Hannibal? "So what do you think, Cordell? Does Lecter want to fuck her or kill her or eat her alive?" "Probably all three, though I wouldn't want to predict in what order."

@DireRavenstag: Scarf fleshmeat is adorable, but then I have a thing for brunettes with grazable hair.

Right down to the scarf, y'all.

Back at the Palazzo Du Maurier-Lecter, LEAVE THE LUGGAGE! JUST GO!!


But no, Bedelia's still there when Hannibal arrives with Dimmond. Hannibal gives her and the luggage a somewhat startled look, but lets it go for the moment. And then he shuts the door.

After the commercial break, there's slo-mo blood drops flying and Dimmond hitting the floor and Hannibal standing over him with a bust of Aristotle.

Which is, of course, a specific homage to The Talented Mr. Ripley, but you just know it's gotta be Aristotle for a reason. Metaphysics? Psychology? Ethics? This is why we have Twitter.

@cleolinda: Aristotle? (Don't ask why I already had a screencap of this...)

@Wolven: My best guess is that it's ironic: Tom Wisdom taken out by one of the West's wisest philosophers…

@Wolven: Also, Dr Fell would have known of Aristotle's influence on the Renaissance.

@weirdymcweirder: Aristotle viewed aesthetics as independent of ethics. Like a certain cannibal.

@weirdymcweirder: 12 years of Greek education and that's as far as I go. :) More here.

"Observe or participate?"

Bedelia, who is staring at the felled Dimmond, finally realizes Hannibal's speaking to her: "...what?" "ARE YOU, IN THIS VERY MOMENT" (oh shit, Loud Cannibal) "OBSERVING? OR PARTICIPATING?" "Observing," she whispers. "You say you're observing, but this..." (Dimmond is currently slithering between them towards the door) "...this is participation, Bedelia. Did you know what he would do? I would prefer you answer honestly." "I was curious," she says quietly. You know, maybe you crazy kids have something in common after all. Hannibal: "You were curious what would happen. You were curious what Mr. Dimmond would do. What I would do. Did you anticipate our thoughts? Counter-thoughts? Rationalizations? Is this what you expected?" And her answer, through tears, is Yes.

@cleolindajones: "Look, I was just curious if it really WAS that kind of party"

@beamish_girl: "I don't know what I expected, really. Oh, that. That was pretty much what I expected."

"That's participation."

Poor Dimmond has crawled all the way to the front door and is just, juuuuust about to reach the doorknob, so Hannibal walks over and breaks his neck with an awful crunch.

"What have you gotten yourself into, Bedelia?" says a guy who would prefer Bedelia not think about how happy the FBI would be to hear from her. Because that's the real point of all this--to follow up his scholarly "snitches get stitches... IN THE MORGUE" lecture with the idea that she's somehow culpable and therefore can't run for help. He's gaslighting her, but maybe also providing a convenient excuse for her to continue indulging her curiosity, Almost Entirely Professional or otherwise.

"Shall I hang up your coat?"

@Vincenzo_Natali: From #Hannibal #Antipasto: storyboards for Dimmond's demise.

(Adorable even in death.)

One last flash back to Gideon:


Quoth Wikipedia, "Pavane for a Dead Princess" (apparently Ravel just liked the sound of those words; the title's actually not meant to be deep) "is hardly representative of the composer, with whom elusive harmonies woven in rapid figuration are the usual medium of expression. In the Pavane we get normal, almost archaic harmonies, subdued expression, and a somewhat remote beauty of melody." Kulzick adds that the steady rhythm lends "an inevitability to both the scene and Gideon’s certainty of Hannibal’s eventual defeat."

So we see snail shells tumbling into the pan, a burst of flame (told you fire was Hannibal's element), and a plate of lovingly arm-fed escargot served to Gideon in a nautilus shell.

@nickantosca: You'll see the snails again this season, by the way.

I will also note that there is a whole "snails or oysters" thing in the movie Spartacus that you may find interesting.

Meanwhile, Gideon starts tapping his fork. LOUDLY. You can tell, in his own subtle way, that it's driving Hannibal nuts. "Would you rather I extended you the same kindness as the escargot?"

"Eating me without my knowledge? Well... I find knowing to be far more powerful," says Gideon. "Why do you think I'm allowing this?"

"Why do you think I'M allowing this?" asks Hannibal, in very much the same tone I was thinking it.

@cleolindajones: "because you're Satan"

" 'Cause snails aren't the only creatures who prefer eating with company," says Gideon. "If only that company could be Will Graham."


(Oh man, what has Will been telling Gideon in the dungeons? "Oh, dude, and then this fucker got ON THE WITNESS STAND and swore ON A BIBLE that we would always be friends." I almost feel sorry for Hannibal now.)

Gideon stabs crudely at his snails (to be fair: only one arm left), then drops the fork again, making as much noise as he possibly can. Hannibal just stares at him dolefully.

Let me do a quick Gideon timeline for you, since so much of this isn't recapped:

2x05 Mukozuke: Gideon talks to Will, convinces him to put out a hit on Hannibal, then takes it back by warning Alana.

2x06 Futamono: Gideon and Will are still hanging out together in the dungeons, but Gideon finally realizes that he is not safe, not even behind bars, that Hannibal will get him. So he provokes the guards into beating him up badly enough to get sent to the hospital--except that now his back is broken. Hannibal kidnaps him, takes him home, and feeds Gideon his own leg.

3x01 Antipasto: Hannibal feeds Gideon his other leg and one arm, as we see here.

????: Hannibal feeds Gideon his one remaining limb?

2x07 Yakimono: Gideon dies in Chilton's house. Hannibal sets up an "orgy of evidence" to exonerate Will, frames Chilton as the Chesapeake Ripper, and gets Will out of jail. An unforgiving Will initially shoves a gun in Hannibal's face, but by the end of the episode, once Chilton's taken the fall, Will realizes that he's going to have to be more subtle to bring Hannibal down, and shows up at The Best Office Ever with a suave new haircut to resume his "therapy." The weird quasi-romance of "seducing" Hannibal into trusting Will begins, and Will accidentally kind of seduces himself into the murder husband lifestyle, leading to his conflicted loyalties by the time we hit "Mizumono."

2x10 Naka-choko: Hannibal looks POSITIVELY GIDDY when Will brings him filet of "Freddie" to cook, and together, they eat "long pig," admitting the whole cannibalism thing to each other in a "greater intimacy." As far as Hannibal can tell, Will is down to eat.

2x13 Mizumono: Everything is terrible.
It's easy to forget that these flashback conversations, floating around out of context, are taking place before Hannibal guts Will. In the present day, Hannibal's both questioning and grieving for what he and Will had together; in the flashbacks, he's pining for what they don't have yet. So I feel like the Gideon flashbacks retroactively illustrate Hannibal's vulnerability to that seduction. Company--honest, "seeing," accepting company--is apparently what he wants most, and that's exactly the experience that Will hooks him with. He has a certain openness with Bedelia in Florence, but it's not the same; there's one thing he'll always be missing.

"I'm just fascinated to know how you will feel," Gideon says bitterly, "when all of this... happens to you."

@BryanFuller: @eddieizzard HAS ONE LIMB LEFT TO EAT

So I guess we'll see him again?

And then we see Hannibal on a train to Palermo with a giant $11,000 trunk of, uh, "art supplies," musing to himself as the Italian countryside flashes past. I mean, yes, Mason subsequently tried to feed Hannibal to giant pigs in 2x12, but let's take "won't be long until someone's taking a bite out of you" figuratively for a moment. I feel like the Gideon flashbacks have also set up this juxtaposition of "Will's company is what you want most" with "you can't get away with all this forever." Having fully considered that, Hannibal's decided that leaving a new tableau to catch Will's attention would be worth it; he's about to set a new game in motion.

So he looks down at a (PROBABLY PRICELESS) manuscript page he took from the library--an illustration of the Vitruvian Man, which Martha De Laurentiis last mentioned in the context of Hannibal being martyred--and folds it into an anatomical origami heart. And this is cut back and forth with the tableau he's going to set up in Palermo: a... different... kind of origami heart.

(A better look at the tableau, if you so desire. Essentially, it's Anthony Dimmond's flayed body twisted into, yes, a heart, mounted on a tripod of three swords in a church.)

@mutzko: Writer Jeff Vlaming demonstrates how to turn a man into a heart in three simple steps.

@lorettaramos: Writer/Producer #JeffVlaming's original concept sketch of the origami heart.

As fullofwoe points out, "The 'heart sculpture' in the chapel could also be seen as a depiction of the Three of Swords in the Rider Waite Tarot. The traditional meanings for the Three of Swords: heartbreak, sorrow, betrayal. Also invokes Hannibal's desire for a 'threesome,' or Trinity, like the thwarted Hannibal/Abigail/Will one. (Not a physical one, more a psychical one, I think.)"

Specifically: "This card depicts a pure piercing sorrow of the mind. The sorrow must be felt and experienced for closure and relief to come." In fact, the tarot similarity is intentional:

@DeLaurentiisCo: He left you his heart. #ThreeOfSwords [screencap/card comparison]

Oh my God, this emo sausage.

("So, Hannibal is actually really sad." "AWWWWWW." "But he's also an asshole, so hey!")

@MrAaronAbrams: And here's a skinned poet folded neatly into an origami heart left as a valentine to the guy he stabbed hey have a great evening.

And all of this aired on NBC. What a time to be alive.


@neoprod: The heart is a lonely hunter. He left us his broken heart. STAY TUNED

@DeLaurentiisCo: So great spending some time with Hannibal & Bedelia in the #HannibalPremiere. Our beloved Will returns in next week's episode.

@angelinaburnett: ARE YALL SO FUCKING HYPE!!!!????

Buckle up, y'all.

Fuller said on What The Flick that he chose the name Roman as an homage to Rosemary's Baby (which has a character named Roman Castevet).

I'll note it in an ETA.

I may or may not have watched this episode solely because they used Pavane for a Dead Princess in it.

The fact that Hannibal tries to make ALL OF HIS FRIENDSHIPS by gaslighting people after self-defense murders is amazing, particularly since half the time IT WORKS to some extent. But it also seems like there were a handful of times he tried and failed.

The three times it played out to his advantage are:

-Abigail with Nick Boyle
-Bedelia with Zachary Quinto
-Will with Randall Tier

And it seems that he was actually trying to do the same thing to Margot -- pushing her to kill Mason out of self-defense, after which he would presumably cozy up to her and be all "No one else needs to know about this HORRIBLY RECKLESS violence I certainly didn't encourage you to do." But she wised up to him pretty quick, and he went from seeming to like her straight over to "Welp, maybe she can get pregnant and lose a uterus to make Will feel bad."

(Spoilers for most recent episode) And it seems like maybe that was the set-up with Chiyoh as well? It's hard to tell since we're getting this all from Chiyoh herself ages after the fact, but it seemed like there were elements of this in his making her Grutas' keeper. Especially since Fuller noted that she was Hannibal's first Mischa substitute, and he's pulled this trick on all his other Mischa replacements (and I'm just not realizing that Will is the only male character he's pulled this on).

The irony of it all being that WILL is the one who actually gets her to kill him out of self-defense. I don't *think* Will was trying to pull a Hannibal-style manipulation there, but it's eerie how he's pulling off Hannibal's tricks without realizing.

The fact that Hannibal tries to make ALL OF HIS FRIENDSHIPS by gaslighting people after self-defense murders is amazing, particularly since half the time IT WORKS to some extent

He tries to friendship, he really does.

Perhaps his success rate has convinced him that's just how friendship is done.

From S1, I’ve been avidly speculating about What Is Up With Bedelia, lol. And it seems like the more we get, the mystery still remains. The veal scene in S1 is interesting, because at the time it was clearly shot to make it look like she knew or suspected, but it doesn’t seem like she really got there until S2. So the most I can guess about her reluctance to eat is that maybe she was just being contrary in delaying eating, since he impolitely showed up at her house with dinner without being invited, I assume, since she refused his invitations.

I confess, I was a tiny bit disappointed to see that all of the physical murder of the patient was on Bedelia’s part, especially after the “or who was responsible” comment in 1x12. Oh well. Though the fact that she was visibly traumatized both with the patient and with Dimmock’s death rules out theories that she’s in some way like Hannibal herself (unless he’s an excellent actress). Which just raises more questions at the “I like you” comment, because how much of the truth of him was she actually seeing. But after Neal is dead Hannibal just appears. We know he was curious what would happen, but what reason did he give her? His appointment was scheduled right after? Loved Hannibal helping Bedelia clean up in her bathroom; it was creepy and intimate. Was the “I can help you, if you ask me to,” the first time Bedelia suspected something was up with Hannibal? And what encouraged her from there?

I found the conversation where Bedelia interrupts him after his shower to be confusing, because there was an unspoken leap there. I kind of have no idea why she went with him? Let me rephrase that. In the context of 3x01, I have no idea why she went with him, given that she spends most of the episode completely on edge, and was trying to actively leave. In 2x13 she knows for sure that the crimes Will supposedly committed, Hannibal did, even if she doesn’t totally realize his full body count. But she goes anyway, mostly likely out of morbid and intellectual curiosity. If she had been actually in fear for her life in that scene, she could have shot him dead, and given what just happened in his kitchen, she could have claimed self-defense and no one would have questioned her. So she doesn’t seem to be that scared here; it hardly seemed a case of him saying ‘come with me or else.’ For that matter she could have left her house the second she heard the shower upstairs if she were that scared. She’s scared but not scared enough to overcome her curiosity. Yet she’s very scared in 3x01. Why? Did 8 months of mind games finally make her snap? Did she think she had her mental well-being covered and compartmentalized until Hannibal actually brought home one of his victims? Or has she been this petrified for the last 8 months? IDK, contrasted to her behaviour in 3x03 (no spoilers), 3x03 seems much more what I would have expected to see from them. She was distant and wary at times, and weirdly intimate in others, but never petrified. Parts of 3x01 just didn’t seem to gel with the fact that she saw the truth of him in S2 and still made the conscious choice to get on the plane.

Hannibal’s comment “I never found you to be lacking” made me think that initially, even though she was no Will Graham, he was willing to take anyone who saw the real him at that point. I’m sure she also provided good cover since they could travel as a couple. She seems like something of a hostage, but she was also there of her own volition, IMO, at least initially. And while she was definitely trying to attract attention in this episode, I sort of thought: why? No one knows she’s gone, I bet. As far as the FBI is concerned, she left after she talked to Jack. And if she’s trying to attract attention to get Hannibal caught (which I think Bryan Fuller said in an interview somewhere?): why? I kind of come back to, if she was that worried about stopping him, she would have called the police from her house. What changed since that night?

It doesn't entirely line up for me yet, but I keep thinking there's something they could tell us that would somehow make it all snap into place--how much did she know, when did she know it, and how did she feel about it?

Basically this.

The whole Bedelia characterisation thing seems to be made up as it goes along, unfortunately. I'm hoping something will glue it all together, too. The veal fake-out, however, works ok if you take the perspective that she has this unruly, controlling, boundary-crossing patient with dirt on her and she's just trying to wrestle *some* control back, but still be polite about it.

Recaps return! Hail triumphant Cleo!

Very disappointed to hear about the ratings, though. Must make a point to leave my computer watching on NBC. Does anyone know if it matters if I watch multiple times? Or will that only count as one "hit" since it's from the same IP address?

I think Hannibal is delighted that she landed a pun that good

That whole scene was hilarious. Particularly the way he looked back and forth between Bedelia and Dimmond, and his face (his eyes at least) were very similar to his ‘I’m feeding people people’ look. Just very amused.

Bedelia won’t eat anything with a central nervous system. I guess that means Hannibal doesn’t try to force Bedelia into situations where she eats meat? We don’t see him pointedly set a plate down in front of her or anything, at any rate. I’m sort of surprised, really. Seems like he would have a ‘live with me, eat my cooking’ mentality. But at the same time, he’s feeding her things to make her taste better. Now, I know better than to think that ANYONE is permanently off the menu, but I wonder if Hannibal is actively at this point planning on eating her and that’s why he’s feeding her these things, or if he has no intention at this point of eating her and is feeding her these thing so that when she finds out it will screw with her, and if he eats her, bonus.

“Observe or participate.” This could be the first time that Bedelia has actually seen Hannibal kill, that it’s happened in front of her. And it’s just SO creepy that they have this philosophical conversation while he’s still crawling towards the door. But as ever, polite. “What have you gotten yourself into, Bedelia? Shall I hang up your coat?” I just murdered someone, but that’s no for decorum to slip.

Other things:

Hannibal must either have a murder basement elevator, or he must carry Gideon up and down the stairs from when he needs to hide him from company to when he has dinner with him at the table.

Since Mads was a dancer, THANK YOU for letting us see Hannibal do some proper ballroom moves. I would have been deeply disappointed if this didn’t happen in the show at least once at some point.

You know Hannibal would have been totally down with That Kind of Party if Bedelia had been willing.

this season is very dreamlike. more emotion than logic and liner storyline? it happens in bits and peices that flow in and out without interruption. ug, I can't think. glad to see the recaps back, the best part of watching tv is getting to dissect it with other lovely people.

if there's one thing that hannibal's soundtrack has done beautifully right is I can listen to it with my eyes closed and know the exact scene that it goes with. it just matches so perfectly...

final thought, this really is the best sequel to twin peaks there ever has been. the magical realism, hannibal's feeding off the pain and fear of bedalia just as much as murder. is hannibal human or something set in his soul like a creature from the black lodge?

That is such a great point about Twin Peaks - it feels like enough of a spiritual cousin that I once searched to see if it was mentioned as an influence by Fuller, but I haven't been able to find anything specific.

I also think of it as the best Vampire Chronicles TV adaptation we'll never get - there's a lot of the same preoccupations in terms of intimacy-occasioned-by-shared-violence, heightened aesthetics, people dropping cultural references and having deep philosophical conversations everywhere while still having to dispose of bodies, MURDER HUSBANDS, etc. etc...

Hooray for recap! Congratulations on Finishing A Thing.

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?)

I actually took this the exact opposite way, that Bedelia was asserting control by not trying to get him into bed despite the fact that she's probably at least very curious as to how that would go. He's interested, but she'd have to be the one to extend the invitation and they both know it. She was being deliberately enticing with the unspoken understanding between them that this was Not Going To Go There in order to remind Hannibal (and herself) that there's still at least one aspect in which she retains control of herself.

God, Dimmond's such an ass. Within 30 seconds of meeting Hannibal, he's immediately trashing a fellow academic's work, reputation, and abilities, and then shit-talks the man's wife over dinner. In addition to being everything I despise about academia, he's such a goddamn smug, bratty white dude, eager to show off his own intellectual superiority by trashing everyone else (and really, his negging is in a league of its own, well done buttface), dismissing anyone who doesn't like him as both inferior and intimidated. Also, he actually thought he could handle a threesome with Bedelia and Hannibal, and you sweet summer child, you are in no way prepared for that.

So I think Bedelia's refusal of the murder-veal, if we accept that she didn't know precisely what was going on, still indicates that she had her suspicions. Not necessarily that the food was people, but she's figured out that Hannibal is a bit too invested in feeding people. Maybe she thinks the food's poisoned, whatever, but she senses something is up. Kind of how Clarice, even before spotting the moth and realizing that Jame Gumb was Buffalo Bill, could tell that this man was dangerous, that he was specifically dangerous towards women, and that going into his house was not a good idea.

Sidenote: oh god. So the Sunday after this episode aired, the choir's downstairs vesting before we running through the anthem and service music again. A friend who actually started watching Hannibal on my recommendation (despite being fairly squeamish), tells me he has a question about the episode. His actual question, asked in front of normal, God-fearing folk, was, "I'm having trouble keeping track; how many of Abel Gideon's limbs have been eaten at this point?" And then the conversation just kept going, as I'm desperately trying to maintain my cool and keep my macabre TV preferences and sense of humor on the down-low in front of the normal folks (kind of like Bedelia, maybe-sorta?)

Then I tried to at least make the conversation less gruesome by talking about the amazing scoring for the episodes, which turned into a whole thing about how beautiful the Sad Cannibal Aria in the Hannibal movie was (I'm not sure how the alto who's a tender-hearted vegetarian with a fear of rodents knows this, but ok).

Edited at 2015-06-21 02:35 am (UTC)

Not necessarily that the food was people, but she's figured out that Hannibal is a bit too invested in feeding people.

A bit too invested, yeah. Like, eerily focused on feeding people. Like it's his mission in life. Like it's his calling from Satan.

I can see, though, where persistent invitations, and talking about cooking perhaps, would ring some bells for Bedelia if she already thought something was up with him. Like, dude no, I'm not going to your house, oh crap, you've brought dinner here and I can't exactly slam the door in your face.

Commence rambling:

- God I loved this entire episode. And that they've blatantly gone with the fairytale thing.

- I assumed 'Fell' came from the meaning dread, evil etc. in the books.

- Prowling at the party--less reptile, more big cat this time. And he does that thing I like--that animalistic sort of head up, considering, where he senses someone's looking at him, twice this episode--with Dimmond and with Bedelia. Dimmond was dick but a charming one, yes. Six months to write one line--wanker. Also he's kind of a combination of Franklyn (the fawning, the fascination, the neck snap), Tobias (I'm as bad as you! Let's be friends! and the statue bash) and Will (shallowly).

- "Certainly seem to enjoy it. You have a click in your hoof."
I love that line too--like twinkle toes? A Satanic spring in your step? Apt, considering that's the point in the timeline where everything's going well for Hannibal.

- Mads is naughty :)

- That whole business with Sogliato at the ball was weirdly high school. Like, attacking this guy in front of everyone and everyone standing around in a circle and watching? What?

- Hannibal seems to be at his most happy duckling here but it's just covering up his enormous saaaaadd.

- Bless Scandinavians and their blase attitude to nudity and bless Mads's 'lil white behind. Also I've never been angry at a glass of scotch before.

- The thing with Bedelia looking sad... it seemed to me she felt bad not just about the massacre (that she's inferred happened) but also for him, specifically? Like she still cared about him as a patient despite herself and felt some guilt over leaving him in the lurch? And he's genuinely hurt by her doing that? Layers.

- Also GROSS don't put clothes on when you're still wet Hannibal! Dry off properly. Take your time. Air dry maybe.

- oh god did not realise that about the murder basement oh god

- Snails are cannibals that's GENIUS. Also they stab their mates with a love dart, I'm just saying.

- The food on this show has never made me feel ill but for some reason the closeups of the oysters dripping did, and I love oysters. Don't ruin them for me, show.

- Hannibal's faaaaacce at that glorious triple entendre I can't stop laughing. And he and Bedelia going for the wine in sync cracked me up, I don't know why.

- Of course Hannibal abigailed Bedelia first. how many people has he tried that on now? 4? 5?

- Hannibal kind of throwing Bedelia's hypocrisy in her face, there... she's already had someone killed *for her* (Fell's wife--Hannibal had to kill a couple to bring her along, so she's already participating whether she likes it or not). (And she is totally the audience analogue--we participate, not just observe--us wanting to observe makes the show happen. Hella meta.)

Edited at 2015-06-21 03:57 am (UTC)

Re: yaaaayyy it's back

And the snail room has older, more worn stonework (and looks as it might have been a wine cellar? Maybe?). The abattoir has new, tighter brickwork, and an overall cleaner look, as if it was added on to the already-existing cellars. Does Hannibal just add new rooms to the murder basement as he needs? So many questions, so many answers I don't really want.

Yay for the Return Of Recaps!

I hope you feel better currently.

There was a time in my life when I let somebody else's obsession/fascination with Florence, Pazzi-and-Medici and *the fucking Eaten Heart Motive* to rub off on me - I guess I kind of imprinted on some of this stuff. So this arc goes into weirdly personal territory for me, and I intend to enjoy it as much as I can.

P.S. I have no "Texts From Cleolinda" for this episode yet, but I enjoy the possibility of *finally* using at least some quotes from Hannibal-the-movie's M15M for the screencaps of *actually corresponding scenes*.)

A FABULOUS AND WORTHY RETURN. *_________* I have to sleep so I have nothing useful to say, just that it's really good to see you back and this recap is amazing!

I'll probably regret this but could someone explain the 'glory hole' to me and what it has to do with ripping out someone's tongue? This show is my first experience with the 'Hannibal Mythos' and I'm flying blind.

It is nice to see Zachary Quinto again. I miss 'Heroes'. Or the first season of 'Heroes' at any rate.

Oh, God, I can't believe I'm about to admit to knowing this but DO NOT GOOGLE IT.

'Glory hole' isn't a Hannibal thing, it's a seedy public toilet thing. As in, you go into the men's room, and somebody's chipped a small hole in the wall at roughly waist-height. And being in the men's room, you are likely to have a certain anatomical feature that...might strike you as logically suited to the situation, to put it delicately.

What anyone on the other side is supposed to do about encountering your logic is where my knowledge runs out and to be honest I'm not interested in further research. Tongues might conceivably be involved, but probably not the tearing thereof. It feels a bit like the sort of thing that might develop in a sexually repressed society - especially a homophobic one maybe? - to facilitate an anonymous secretive encounter or encounters. The risks are obvious, I hope.

I'm trying to avoid being too explicit without leaving imaginative gaps and I don't know how well I did, but I...hope this was informative? If anyone's more informed or less prudish with their search topics, feel free to add historical context.

...I did miss Zachary Quinto. He was so good in S1 Heroes. It wasn't his fault the show didn't know to quit with the character while it was ahead. But hey, speaking of serial killers and puns, you think there'll be any dialogue about clocks? Or something Trek-related from the other role he's so good in.

WOOOOOOOOOO congrats on finishing! I hope your own flesh sack gives you less trouble in the future, bodies are the worst. (no hannibal that is not an invitation to free us from them)

That. That heart. That is. WELP. Wow. I. HUH.

Also it must be unicorn tears, holy shit, Gillian Anderson.

Many thoughts on "Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune"

I'm sorry for the multi-part info-dump but I need to nerd out.

In addition to everything in your post, there's even MORE layers to this piece of music due to two VERY significant ballets:

In the original Ballet Russes (a super groundbreaking ballet company that blew doors off & hugely effected pop culture of the time) Vaslav Nijinsky was the big star male dancer. He was kind of a dopey kid who was dancing in Russia with his sister when he hooked up with his sugar daddy, Sergei Diaghilev, who hired them both to dance with the Ballet Russes. Big D took him to museums and taught him about art and brought him into a whole new world (~A whole newwww worrrrrllld~) and was the one who encouraged him to start choreographing. When Nijinski choreographed "L'apres-midi d'un faune", he was already a big name dancer, known for being super sexy & androgynous. "L'apres" was his first piece and not only was the dancing style completely different from normal ballet, but it included him dry-humping a scarf while wearing a skin-tight faun costume. In 1912! Nijinsky only ever choreographed a couple of other pieces, but one of them was "Le Sacre du printemps" which (as seen in Mads' film "Coco Chanel & igor Stravinsky") was HUGELY controversial and caused rioting. Nijinsky eventually began to be bothered by the fact that Big D didn't treat him like a normal employee, but controlled his finances, etc. When Diaghilev sent the company on tour on their own - D was afraid of boats - Nijinsky freaked over being solo for the first time in ages (his sister had stayed behind, too) and married a groupie who didn't even speak the same language as him. Diaghilev fired him out of jealousy (this was an era where the "cool kids" in Paris flaunted their homosexuality & didn't marry beards) and a few years later Nijinksy's schizophrenia, which had begun to show signs by now, kicked into high gear and Nijinsky spent the rest of his life depressed, schizo, & hopping between sanatoriums and family care.

Re: Many thoughts on "Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune"

Flash-forward to 1953. Jerome Robbins is the ballet master at the New York City Ballet. George Balanchine - a former Ballet Russes member - is newly married to his latest muse, Tanaquil LeClerq (so much of modern ballet is based on Balanchine's dick, I swear). Robbins decides to create a new "Afternoon of a Faun" featuring the slim, sultry, white LeClerq and Dominican-American dancer Francisco Moncion. In Robbins' version (as seen on Youtube or in the excellent doc "Afternoon of a Faun"), Moncion is a dancer in a studio lounging on the floor when a female dancer comes in and starts dancing as though the audience is the studio mirror. The two dance together, taking on various intimate and intense poses, and then he kisses her on the cheek. She departs and he returns to his original position. LeClerq was Balanchine's fifth (ballerina) wife and he divorced her to woo Suzanne Farrell - the one dancer who actually rejected him. LeClerq first danced for Balanchine at age 15 in a piece about polio. LeClerq then contracted polio in 1956 and it was Balanchine & a man named Joseph Pilates that developed "Pilates" training as a way to help her manage her health. Post-divorce, LeClerq & Balanchine had a tumultuous relationship and it was years before Arthur Mitchell would take her on as a teacher at the Dance Theatre of Harlem where she would develop of method of teaching by describing steps with her hands.