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Hannibal 3x02: "Primavera" part two
dire ravenstag gunmettle, dire ravenstag, dire ravenstag 04
cleolinda
PREVIOUSLY ON: EMPATH AND CANNIBAL: Let's revisit about ten minutes of "Mizumono," because I hadn't had occasion to lie down under my desk for a while; A Brief History of Hannigram; Reverse Teacup Entropy; Abigail is alive (except that she's not. She's totally, totally not); Inspector Pazzi arrives, and now you're going to get a magnificent tangent about THAT.

When Will emerges from questioning, a sweetly smiling Abighost is waiting for him.





But so is Pazzi, as they both notice.

@DireRavenstag: Inspector fleshmeat's stalking technique is most excellent.

And I wonder here if Will's already fully aware Abigail's not real, that he's brought her with him as a sort of imaginary friend to work out his thoughts with; this look passes between them like, "Okay, I need to go, you can't be talking to yourself right now." Because Pazzi's not done with Signor Graham, asking rather astutely, "Is Will Graham here because of the body at the Cappella, or is the body here because of Will Graham?" But he's a detective with the Questura in Florence; why is Pazzi here in Palermo? "I'm like you," is his answer. "I do what you do. We share the gift of imagination." Oh sweet Jesus, man, I'm so sorry. And here's a line from the book originally referring to Pazzi himself, made a bit more literal coming from Will: "I've got the scars of a man who grabbed his gift by the blade." "You grabbed the wrong end," says Pazzi; Will has the grace to chuckle at that. "Those moments when the connection is made," Pazzi says collegially, "that is my keenest pleasure." "Knowing," says Will, uh, knowingly. Pazzi agrees: "Knowing. Not feeling, not thinking... You know who murdered that man and left him in the Cappella Palatina." "Don't you know?" says Will, like, I thought you did the background reading?

"I met him 20 years ago," says Pazzi. "Il Mostro, the Monster of Florence."

OMG

@cleolindajones: IL MOSTROOOOOOOO

@cleolindajones: I'm sorry, I just really love this whole subplot. It's only discussed in the book/movie.

@cleolindajones: In fact, there's a whole 11-minute deleted-scene subplot on the #Hannibal movie DVD. It's just Hannibal trolling Pazzi, though.

@duckie7582: But really, wasn't the whole movie just Hannibal trolling everyone?

@cleolindajones: no lie detected

The gradual drift from the true story of Il Mostro through a novel and a movie to what we have here in the episode is really interesting to me if no one else. Because yes, Il Mostro ("The Monster") is a true, unresolved case. This is where I have to recommend Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi's engaging true-crime book The Monster of Florence again, and not just because I enjoy the genre. Essentially, Preston (perhaps better known for his novels with Lincoln Child, one of which became the movie The Relic) and his family are living in Italy while he's working on a different project. There, he ends up befriending Spezi, a detective who worked on the case for years. At that point, four different men had been convicted of the crimes; the whole case is a gigantic clusterfuck, and Preston and Spezi start re-investigating it. By the end of their story--not to spoil you, but--they have become the story, in that Spezi ends up in jail on trumped-up charges (which were eventually overturned) and Preston is barred from ever returning to Italy. You can read a shorter 2006 version of the saga at The Atlantic; Preston later expanded it into the full book, published in 2008, which includes more local color about Florence, its history, and its modern society--and his interest in the Hannibal series, as previously mentioned. And it just so happens that Thomas Harris had attended one of the trials in the '90s and wrote the case into the 1999 book Hannibal, which these first seven episodes are based on (are you dizzy yet?). So, let's walk through this:

The true story is sort of the Italian equivalent of the Zodiac case: couples killed in their cars, usually shot, around the same decade or so--in the Mostro case, between 1968 and 1985. What Preston explains in the Monster of Florence book is that, "in Italy, most young people live at home with their parents until they marry, and most marry late. As a result, having sex in parked cars is a national pastime. It has been said that one out of every three Florentines alive today was conceived in a car. On any given weekend night the hills surrounding Florence were filled with young couples parked in shadowy lanes and dirt turnouts, in olive groves and farmers' fields," rendering the whole region one big lovers' lane after dark. As for the killings themselves, the crime scenes were nothing on the level of the artsy Show Hannibal-style "tableau." For example, Preston describes a key crime scene in the Florentine hills: "The girl's body lay some distance away, at the foot of a little embankment, amid wildflowers. She had also been shot and lay on her back, naked except for a gold chain around her neck, which had fallen between her parted lips.... Everything was unnaturally composed, immobile, with no signs of struggle or confusion--like a museum diorama." I won't go into the mutilations, which are the sort that this show avoids (somewhat reminiscent of Jack the Ripper); in fact, we will see the fictionalized Il Mostro story evolve away from sexual overtones.

There's a number of reasons particular to Italian justice and law enforcement that the entire case was a multi-decade trainwreck, but I'll let you read the Preston-Spezi book for greater detail on that. The important thing right now is that, for a while, it was believed that Pietro Pacciani was the killer:

Inspector Perugini ordered a search of Pacciani's house and came up with what he considered further incriminating evidence. Prime among this was a reproduction of Botticelli's Primavera.... The picture reminded Perugini of the gold chain lying in the mouth of one of the Monster's first victims. This clue so captivated him that it became the cover of the book he would later publish about the case, which showed Botticelli's nymph vomiting blood instead of flowers.
I think this must be the cover in question, although it's more that the flowers have been colored over in red to suggest blood. About Perugini, though:

The Squadra Anti-Mostro was taken over by a new chief inspector of police, a man named Ruggero Perugini. A few years later, Thomas Harris would create a fictional portrait of Perugini in his novel Hannibal, giving him the thinly disguised fictional name of Rinaldo Pazzi. While researching the book, Harris had been a guest in Chief Inspector Perugini's home in Florence. (It was said that Perugini was not pleased with Harris's return on his hospitality, by having his alter ego gutted and hung from the Palazzo Vecchio.) The real chief inspector was more dignified than his sweaty and troubled counterpart in the film version, played by Giancarlo Giannini.
So yes, that's where we're going with this storyline. "Contorno" has aired by now, so if you're watching the show, you'll have already seen this unfold. (So to speak.) (Also, I'm still sort of hilariously appalled that Thomas Harris did that. To the guy he STAYED WITH! SIR.) So this is a key part of the Pazzi back story; in real life, it was a huge embarrassment when Pacciani was acquitted on appeal. I mean, the new prosecutor apparently said, "This investigation, if it weren't so tragic, would put one in mind of the Pink Panther." DAMN. So Harris then fictionalized this into total disgrace for the Pazzi version of Perugini.

(For the record, Preston and Spezi claim that the real killer was Antonio Vinci, a relative of two other suspects, and let me tell you, I saw Stone Phillips interview Vinci on Dateline back in the day and I am willing to believe it.)

So now we get to the book Hannibal:

Pazzi had left the Uffizi museum one early afternoon and was crossing the nearby Piazza Signoria, when an image jumped at him from the display of a postcard vendor.... There it was: a small, fly-specked, rain-warped poster of Botticelli’s painting "Primavera." The original painting was behind him in the Uffizi museum. "Primavera." The garlanded nymph on the right, her left breast exposed, flowers streaming from her mouth as the pale Zephyrus reached for her from the forest. There. The image of the couple dead in the bed of the pickup, garlanded with flowers, flowers in the girl’s mouth. Match. Match. Here, where his ancestor spun choking against the wall, came the idea, the master image Pazzi sought, and it was an image created five hundred years ago by Sandro Botticelli—the same artist who had for forty florins painted the hanged Francesco de' Pazzi’s image on the wall of the Bargello prison, noose and all. How could Pazzi resist this inspiration, with its origin so delicious?

Pazzi was excited for two reasons. To find the image Il Mostro used was a triumph, but much more important, Pazzi had seen a copy of "Primavera" in his rounds of the criminal suspects.... In that moment when the connection is made, in that synaptic spasm of completion when the thought drives through the red fuse, is our keenest pleasure. Rinaldo Pazzi had had the best moment of his life. In an hour and a half, Pazzi had Girolamo Tocca in custody. Tocca’s wife threw rocks after the little convoy that took her husband away.
You see how we've now gone from a rural embankment and a possibly random gold chain to a literalized tableau. But, as it turns out, Pazzi/Perugini is painfully wrong about Tocca/Pacciani. Pazzi and his beautiful younger wife live a "golden" life of fame and fortune for a few months... and then Tocca's conviction is overturned. So by the time Pazzi encounters "Dr. Fell" while investigating the previous curator's convenient disappearance, he is in abject disgrace, anxious about no longer being able to provide the luxuries his wife wants, and vulnerable to temptation of a massive bounty on Fugitive Cannibal Hannibal Lecter's head. But at first, Pazzi has no idea that Dr. Fell is Hannibal; he's just doing his job. (The epiphany actually comes to him later, at the exhibition of Atrocious Torture Instruments--a set we see in "Antipasto" and, fatefully, "Contorno.") And in the novel, the Il Mostro case is never solved, or really discussed any further than the context of Pazzi fucking it up and Hannibal trolling him about it.

So then we get to the theatrical cut of the movie, where all of this is still true. But there is also an expanded subplot that you can watch among the deleted scenes on the DVD, where it's revealed that Random Museum Janitor They Keep Showing Us For Some Reason is actually Il Mostro, and Hannibal knows it, and he's the one who helpfully points out the similarity between a crime scene and a Botticelli poster (which here is simply The Birth of Venus, not Primavera), and Pazzi dies without ever realizing that it was the janitor, and Hannibal's like, eh, what're you gonna do. BEHOLD.

(The clip is only seven minutes--as I recall, the DVD also includes subsequent appearances of the janitor and his floor polisher, a apparent homage to which appears in "Hassun." You'll recognize the "I think not" dialogue used in "Antipasto" as well.)

While we're here--I love Giancarlo Giannini in the movie. He brings a certain doomed, rumpled soulfulness to the hapless Pazzi; you feel for him more than you do in the book, or at least, I certainly did. But the show approaches the character very differently. Here, he's almost too competent for his own good. Because Show Pazzi knows exactly who Il Mostro really is.

"It was his custom to arrange his victims like a beautiful painting," he tells Will, handing him he case file, and now we're into full-on artsy-craftsy Murder Tableaux. "Il Mostro created images that stayed in my mind. Twenty years ago, I was dwelling on a couple found slain in the bed of a pickup truck in Impruneta. Bodies placed garlanded with flowers..."




(x)


@neoprod: PRIMAVERA details

@lorettaramos: Director @Vincenzo_Natali BTS with the BOTICELLI “PRIMAVERA” crime scene.

@lorettaramos: #Hannibal BTS with the BOTICELLI “PRIMAVERA” crime scene. Even the foot was blue.

And thus you have the evolution of the Il Mostro story over the course of three different media--from the personal, the tragic, and the real, to something (more respectfully?) abstract and fantastical. You'll notice, too, that this is probably the "prettiest" tableau we've seen; the victims have no visible wounds and don't even look dead, and I feel like that must be to move it even further from the real-life tragedy of the case.

"Like a Botticelli," Will realizes, looking at the crime scene photos. "Exactly like a Botticelli," says Pazzi, because seriously, EXACTLY. "His painting Primavera still hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, just as it did twenty years ago. The garlanded nymph on the right, the flowers streaming from her mouth... Match. Match."

@aMoTPodcast: So is Il Mostro still gonna be the janitor or do we think it'll be revealed that it was young #Hannibal?

Here, let Pazzi show you who they questioned all those years ago:



(x)


@cleolindajones: omg

@lorettaramos: YOUNG #HANNIBAL

@BryanFuller: THE CHEEKBONES GIVE IT ALL AWAY

And I just started laughing, because there is no room for Will to fool himself that maybe it's not a picture of Hannibal. I remember reading that they wanted Mads Mikkelsen to be the only person playing the role, to never cast additional younger actors for boyhood flashbacks or Hannibal Rising shenanigans--but what if you didn't have to?

@BryanFuller: THE PHOTO OF MADS FROM HIS DANISH TV SHOW REJSEHOLDET WITH THE HAIR FROM OUR PRODUCTION DESIGNER RORY CHEYNE FOR A YOUNGER LOOK

@MrAaronAbrams: "The Monster of Florence" seems like an odd choice for young Mads Mikkelsen I guess "The Pantydropper of Florence" was taken.

So now we have the book's wording blended with the new Il Mostro twist, and Will finds himself inside Pazzi's flashback as Pazzi recounts it: "Revelation is the development of an image, first blurred, then coming clear. To find the inspiration Il Mostro used was a triumph. I went to the Uffizi and stood before the original Primavera day after day, and most days I'd see a young Lithuanian man as transfixed by the Botticelli as I was--"



(x)


@cleolindajones: "I noticed him, because he was hella fine"

"--as transfixed as I imagined il Mostro would be." (This scene, this mix of color and monochrome with that little bit of painting reflected in Will's glasses, is one of my most favorite things they've ever done on the show.) (Side note: NBC blurred out CLOTHED NYMPHS in a Renaissance painting. I guess no one thought to paint some gore over it.) "And every day I saw him... he would recreate the Primavera in pencil, just as he did in flesh. I knew." (Will is gazing at Flashback Hannibal with a "sight for sore eyes" absorption.) "It was the best moment of my life," says Pazzi, and now we're in the chapel mid-sentence, a dreamlike jump in time and space. "A moment of epiphany that made me famous and then ruined me. In haste and the heat of ambition, the Questura nearly destroyed the young man's home trying to find evidence."

("Well," says Will, ducking under the police tape around the scene, "he doesn't leave evidence. He eats it." lol Will.)

"Another man--not an innocent man, but innocent of those crimes--was a dream suspect. He was convicted on no evidence except his character," concludes Pazzi. And I want you to notice how the Questura destroyed Hannibal's home, and the passive verbiage of was convicted--in a very subtle way, the show does not actually say "This was Pazzi's fault." To hear it told this way, Pazzi was right, and he's still right, but everyone else fucked up. And that "ruined" him, sure, but we're presented with a Cerlino Pazzi who is extremely sharp, put-together, and driven, in contrast to the Giannini version. And it's very smart to do it differently this time around, rather than try to remake the movie.

"Blame has a habit of not sticking to Hannibal Lecter," Will deadpans, making himself at home on the chapel steps, like, three feet away from where a guy's mutilated body was left as a love letter for him.




(I wonder if Will spent so much time incarcerated that he feels more comfortable behind a barrier because he got used to having "shark cages" in the Baltimore State Dungeons to hold people at bay.)

"It has a habit of sticking to you," retorts Pazzi. And then he hands Will the case file with photographs of Hannibal's handiwork and peaces out to let Will do his thing (~*EMPATIA IN CORSO*~). The pictures, by the way, are pretty gnarly.

@cleolindajones: For a moment I didn't realize Will was going to empath them and I thought he was just closing his eyes like "I swear to God, Hannibal"

So here we are back with Dimmond's body bundled up to look like an anatomical heart on a tripod of tarot swords; Will walks around it, imagining a lovely montage of muscle-ripping and meat-folding and [*hworf*].

@BryanFuller: THE FINE FOLKS AT @mindwarp_fx MOUNT THE BROKEN MAN

@BryanFuller: IT'S JUST A FLESH WOUND

Here are a few of Will's reactions to the Broken Heart:




@BryanFuller: HUGH DANCY HAS THIS MUCH LOVE FOR THE #FANNIBALS

We hear a faint heartbeat as Will intones, "I splintered every bone, fractured them dynamically. Made you malleable..." And there's a really interesting look on his face here, like he's realizing that Dimmond's not the only person in the room who's been broken and reshaped. "I skinned you, bent you, twisted you and trimmed you... head, hands, arms, and legs." A wry laugh: "A topiary." Sing it with me if you WAIT NO DON'T FUCKING TOUCH IT! "This is my design." Heartbeat, louder: "A valentine written on a broken man."

@manatee73: Ok, be ready to crap your pants

And then the giant heart literally starts "beating." Will starts backing away, yes, good, I figured it would beat, sure, okay, pretty standard day in Hannibal Land THEN IT BURSTS OPEN AND STARTS UNFOLDING

@cleolindajones: oh

The fact that the hands and feet have been cut off so we're watching flayed arm-leg stumps wave around is just a bonus, really.

Then it does a back bend, and hooves shoot out of the stumps.

@DireRavenstag: Hoof game too strong.

@beamish_girl: it's got no head it's got no head it's got no head

@cleolindajones: what in the sweet name of fuck am I watching

@DeLaurentiisCo: #Stagentine.

@angelinaburnett: STAGENSTEIN!

@nickantosca: WTF

@BryanFuller: WELCOME TO #HANNIBAL's PETTING ZOO [concept art of "Stumpman"]

@jvlamingwriter: Beautifully evocative of Rob Bottin's [visual effects] work

@MrAaronAbrams: Awwwww the cute lil skinned corpse broken bone stag baby is taking its first steps omg so adorbz.


@rasmusb43: lol I just realized--guess the tail didn't make it past the censors?

@queenofthedorks: it wasn't that kind of party.


I have whipped up a de-gorified version of this scene because you guys gotta see Stagenstein. No, you do. Let me give you the Hannibal Sketch Version. The "Take on Me" Version, if you will:


♪♫ Oh, things that you say, yeah
Is it life or just to play my worries away?
You're all the things I've got to remember
You're shying away
♫♪


(x)

I'LL BE COMING FOR YOU ANYWAY


*synth solo*


@cleolinda: CONTROVERSIAL OPINION TIME: Stagenstein was kind of cute?

@sparkletone: Heartigo would express its appreciation verbally but it has no mouth. I hope you’re okay with a dance.

@NBCHannibal: COVER GIRL / PUT THE BASS IN YOUR WALK / HEAD TO TOE / LET YOUR WHOLE BODY TALK [GIF]

And then HitFix set it to music, and @queenofthedorks drew a My Little Stagenstein, and then @_sinnamin made a tiny plush one ("It definitely needed a scarf").

@beamish_girl: it's got no heaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad


So the Ravenstag is the connection between Will and Hannibal; not only is that connection not dead (you'll see Original Flavor Stag again in "Contorno," for one), but right now, he and it are even darker and weirder and murderier than ever, to the point where Will is actually afraid of their embodied connection, falling down against the steps as Stagenstein comes to get him. And yet... we'll see him seek to renew it. Somebody help Will Graham, y'all, because he may or may not be capable of helping himself anymore.

(We'll see.)

Then Abighost wakes Will from this horrorshow, and even she looks concerned.

@aMoTPodcast: Is it just me or does Abigail's hair/costuming look a lot like Alana's normally does?




It's the loose hair and white surplice-cut blouse that's ringing a bell, I think.

"I do feel closer to Hannibal here," a shaken Will tells her, laughing. "God only knows where I'd be without him."

. . .

I would say "this boy needs Jesus," but... "Mukozuke." Actually, I'm reminded of a line from Jane Eyre: "I could not, in those days, see God for His creature, of whom I had made an idol."

Will tells Abigail, "He left us his... his broken heart." "How did he know we were here?" "He didn't. But he knew we would come." "He misses us," she says. And then Will tells her, "Hannibal follows several trains of thought at once without distraction from any--and one of the trains is always for his own amusement." "He's playing with us," Abighost realizes. "Always," Will says darkly. And then he asks, "You still want to go with him?"

She sits down next to him on the steps. "Yes," says Abiwill.

(*facepalm*)

(You may want to watch the way the picture refocuses from Will to Abigail; it's like the side of Will "thinking" at that moment is the one who's clear, or that "Yes" itself is a moment of clarity.)

"He gave you back to me then he took you away," says Will, and they both look like they're going to start crying (nooooo don't make me watch them cry again). "It's Lucy and the football. He just keeps pulling you away."

@MrAaronAbrams: Think we got a good shot at an Emmy this year for BEST DRAMA ABOUT HORRIFIC MURDERS THAT ALSO MADE A SOLID CHARLIE BROWN REFERENCE

"What if no one died?" Will wonders. "What if..."

@cleolindajones: "what if he'd just fucking told me you were alive in the first place"

"...what if we all left together? Like we were supposed to, after he served the lamb. Where would we have gone?" "In some other world?" "In some other world." "He said he made a place for us," says Abigail. But Will finally comes to terms with what's happened: "A place was made for you, Abigail, in this world. It was the only place I could make for you."

@beamish_girl: "I'm sorry I couldn't protect you in this life"/"this is the only place I could make for you in this world."

As fullofwoe pointed out on Tumblr, "Abigail telling Will Hannibal had prepared a place for them reminds me of John 14:2-3: 'In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.'"

And now, while Will's eyes fill with tears, Abigail's throat just opens up of its own volition and pours out blood, because it knows the drill by now. In the next shot, Will is sitting alone.

@mutzko: And with that, Abigail has died in each season of #Hannibal

Here is an excerpt from an interview helpfully titled "'Hannibal' Boss on Pulling Out the 'Ghost Card' With Latest Death":

Can Will move on from Abigail now?

Yes, that was the point of the story--that Will is able to move on somewhat from Abigail after he realizes how much Hannibal is still there for him. So in a sense the Abigail manifestation in his psychology was a stopgap measure for him to deal with the loss of Hannibal in his life. And once he found Hannibal again, he was able to let her go.
Is it supposed to be twisted and horrifying that Will's now able to "let go" of this poor girl whose life the two of them ruined so he can go back to the man who killed her? Because it's a little bit completely horrifying to me. I just keep thinking of Freddie telling Will in "Naka-choko" that, even if she lets the Chesapeake Ripper story go, she will never let Abigail's death go--Freddie, who wasn't either of Abigail's Murder Dads. And I think of Abigail saying, "This wasn't supposed to be my life." (Well, no, I guess no one really plans on becoming a pawn in the Murder Husband Chess Game.) Please tell me this is happening to show us how deeply, weirdly entangled Will is with Hannibal at this point; I can't bring myself to read it as a positive catharsis.

SPEAKING OF WHOM:




@cleolindajones: GET OUT

I'M SO MAD AT YOU

THE WORST

@aMoTPodcast: First half of this season is basically going to be #Hannibal bopping around Italy, pulling Will's pigtails




(x)


EVEN THE SAINTS ARE SIDE-EYEING HIM

And now, everything gets quantum terrible, because we flash back to Will lying on the kitchen floor in that pool of blood, hazily watching EMTs remove Abigail's dead body, seguing into a montage of Will being rushed to surgery while Abigail's body is DEAD. SO DEAD. Matching shots, one after the other: morgue table and operating table; cutting off clothes, cleaning off blood; EYE STUFF NOOOOO; sewing Abigail's mouth shut (AHHHHHH) and taping Will's for surgery; scalpel incision, IV insertion; sewing neck wound, sewing stab wound; closeups of blood and stitches noooooo; and Abigail's blood being drained out and bowls of blood and bloody water and bloody bloodiness, similar to previous extreme closeups of symbolic blood and/or water these past two episodes.

In keeping with my minimal-gore picture policy, here is the one image I can show you from this montage: Will teaching Abigail to fish in his sunlit memory palace.





@themoonay: @DeLaurentiisCo DID ANYONE REQUEST YOU TO MAKE MIZUMONO EVEN MORE PAINFUL? NO. NO ONE DID. JFC WHERE IS MY BOOZE.

@BryanFuller: SAD SONG MAKING SAD SCENE SADDER IS "PIE JESU" BY GABRIEL FAURE

("Pious Lord Jesus, give them everlasting rest.")

@lorettaramos: We have to lose @KaceyKadoodles AGAIN??? Sorry #Fannibals :-( We did give you that Lucy and the football reference to prepare you

@KaceyKadoodles: 👻🔪💋

@lorettaramos: Director @Vincenzo_Natali on the morgue set with poor Abigail. #Hannibal BTS

@manatee73: The entire cast & crew of #Hannibal loves @KaceyKadoodles she is our wonderful jazz-hands pixie. She is also hilarious when covered in blood

@LaraJeanC: I will forever be grateful to @BryanFuller and @NBCHannibal for introducing me to the awesome acting / stellar friendship of @KaceyKadoodles

@lorettaramos: .@KaceyKadoodles This is still how I'll always remember you! On set and very much alive and enjoying craft services!

That said, it looks like we'll find out in episode 9 ("...And the Woman Clothed in Sun") what life in hiding chez Lecter was like for Abigail. I can't wait.


The final shot of the montage is a sheet being pulled over Abigail's body, matched to Will lying on the chapel steps--matched again to Pazzi approaching: a series of parallel lines.



(x)


"Are you praying?" asks Pazzi.

@BryanFuller: HUGH DANCY AND @FCerlino REHEARSING THEIR PRAYERS

"Hannibal doesn't pray," Will creepyfaces. "But he believes in God." "I wasn't asking about Hannibal Lecter," says Pazzi, not yet having realized that that is literally all Will ever talks about. Will says that his prayers "would feel constricted by the saints and apostles and Jesus Pantocrator," who is the primary figure in the chapel ceiling mosaic--"How do your prayers feel?" "I hope my prayers escaped, flown from here to the open sky and God." "Praying you catch him? You should be praying he doesn't capture you," says Will, once again unable to convince anyone in Hannibal that they're in Hannibal. Pazzi insists that as the head of the Questura di Firenze blah blah blah so totally dead. "You couldn't catch him when he was just a kid, what makes you think you're going to catch him now?" retorts Will. "You," says Pazzi. (Dude, Will couldn't even catch Hannibal with Will.) And Will just flat-out says, "What makes you think I want to catch him?"

And Pazzi's vaguely saying words in Signor Graham's general direction... but Will's staring down a set of steps to a closed door: the chapel catacombs. And he imagines blood pooling out, like Jack's from Hannibal's pantry.

"If you could possibly be content, I would suggest you let il Mostro go," says Will, returning to the conversation, but of course, Pazzi says that he can't, that neither of them can. "He's going to kill you, you know," says Will, adding wryly, "I'm usually right about these things."

"He let you know him. He sent you his heart," says Pazzi, unknowingly echoing Hannibal's "rare gift" lines--and given what Pazzi just said about the pleasure of "knowing," I wonder if he's a little jealous that Will got so much closer to a killer Pazzi's obsessed over for twenty years. (Also, remember Will's admirer Matthew Brown? "He wants to KNOW me.") "Where has he gone now?"

"He hasn't gone anywhere," says Will. "He's still here."

oh no

So down to the catacombs it is, and there is nothing about this sequence that I do not adore:



(x)


@mork_and: nothing symbolic about Will searching for Hannibal in dark passages

Heh.

@thetuxedos: chasing your murderous ex-therapist lover in the catacombs under the palermo chapel true love 2k15

No, but seriously, there's all kind of dream-dictionary imagery involved here: "To dream of a catacomb suggests that you need to confront your fears of the subconscious." More generally, this combined imagery of darkness and the "below," if you were, can also represent intuition, fear, failure, grief, confusion, repressed feelings or memories, base needs and/or animal sexuality as opposed to the higher virtues of the mind, and the Jungian shadow self. And then you have the religious-literary imagery of the underworld, of Hell and Satan (or even Hades and Persephone, or Theseus and the minotaur, since Primavera brings Greek mythology into this). And these are specifically catacombs decorated with skeletons and skulls, so we've got death, but also the idea of two men digging up their "ancient history," as it were. There are also dozens of candles in stone niches, which gives the whole scene a very dreamlike feel, because who's actually going around keeping those candles conveniently lit 24/7? And light can represent figurative enlightenment, spiritual illumination, truth, clarity, guidance, and higher consciousness. So as simple as this set looks compared to the Cappella upstairs, the imagery is incredibly loaded. Basically, Will has descended into his own personal darkness and confusion, seeking the object of his conflicted feelings. Is Will seeking his own death? Hannibal's death? Love? Both? Or joining up with Hannibal for "enlightenment" through murder husbandry? The murder inspirations Hannibal wants him to "cultivate," are they the "best" in Will, or the worst? The very nature of the imagery is telling us that we don't know, and that Will may not yet know either.

My real question at this point, I guess: is Will Graham a good person fighting off the darkness, or a dark person struggling to be good? For about a season and a half, I was absolutely certain it was the first. I'm not so sure these days.

Also the whole scene is hella Gothic, and you know how much I love that. Pazzi follows Will into the catacombs with gun at the ready, metaphorically stumbling around in someone else's subconscious. Will travels through the maze like a man who's a bit more familiar with the dark, the camera following his back so closely that there's a sense that Murder Satan will be right around the next turn.

@aMoTPodcast: Will is looking pretty vampy with that collar up




"HANNIBAL!" he shouts. Will is exploring, but Pazzi is lost: "Signor Graham!" And there's Will right in front of him, REALLY LUCKY Pazzi doesn't just shoot his head off. Because really, Pazzi seems more like Jack than Will, and Jack was insistent that he would shoot the Chesapeake Ripper the moment he could lay hold of him.

Broodsomely, Will grahampires, "You shouldn't be down here alone." "I'm not alone. I'm with you," Pazzi says in a snarky Captain Obvious tone that made me laugh way too hard. Grinning, Will insists that Pazzi doesn't know whose side Will is actually on (I personally would have looked for a reason to arrest Will's creep ass at this point). "What are you going to do when you find him, your Il Mostro?" asks Pazzi. Will: "I'm... I'm curious about that myself." (I'm officially adding curious to the drinking game, which I should probably write down.) "You and I carry the dead with us, Signor Graham. We both need to unburden," Pazzi says rather pointedly, but Will just brushes him off: "Why don't you carry your dead back to the chapel before you count yourself among them?"

@cleolindajones: Will has, like, already started a countdown to this guy's eventual death

"You are already dead, aren't you?" says Pazzi. And then, not unlike Homer backing into that hedge,




Will vampires back into the shadows: "Buonanotte, commendatore." At this point, Pazzi just calls it a day, because what the fuck, Signor Graham?


@lorettaramos: Isn’t @FCerlino fantastic? Also, don’t look now, but there is something behind you.

@NBCHannibal: A WILD #HANNIBAL APPEARS. #SCREAMAVERA




OHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOO

So Hannibal is still prowling the catacombs in a devil-toned light with a glint in his eye--




--but he's not hunting for Will, or even Pazzi. Having gotten the glimpse of Friend Will that he wanted, Sad Cannibal is trying to keep his distance.




@DeLaurentiisCo: Hide and seek. Hard to get. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

@lorettaramos: #Hannibal BTS Mads getting made up in the catacombs


"Hannibal..." Will calls out softly. "I forgive you."


@aMoTPodcast: That forgiveness actually sounded pretty sincere.

@DireRavenstag: "Forgiveness is the final form of love." -- Reinhold Niebuhr

@cleolindajones: "Pazzi, can you get out of here so I can talk to my boyfriend"

("Hannibal? Hannibal I miss you. I can't use the stove Hannibal.")


But Hannibal just sweeps off into the darkness.


@angelinaburnett: That final rack focus is so fucking beautiful.



(x)


Will bows his head: if he has made Hannibal his God, his God is not answering.



@angelnorelation: The next episode of #Hannibal is just 44 minutes of Alana taking care of Will's dogs and watching Netflix


The preview for "Secondo" was eventful:

@cleolindajones: welp, there goes that guy. no, the other one. no, the other one

@DireRavenstag: Boss fleshmeat! I look forward to greeting you again!

@valaripradiks: MISCHA GRAVESTONE NEXT WEEK


The whole Abigail thing was pretty rough, though:

@cleolindajones: ... so how's Tumblr doing right now?

@pensive1: [Overlook Hotel elevator blood waterfall.gif]


And then the AXN España twitter said they were going to bed with their new "stuffed animal."

@DireRavenstag: Sleep well, my fleshmeats. May herds of #Heartstags see thee to thy rest.




JULY 16TH PSA: 3x07 "DIGESTIVO" WILL NOT AIR IN THE U.S. UNTIL SATURDAY 7/18. DO NOT DISCUSS IT HERE. YOUR COOPERATION IS APPRECIATED.

It's got no heaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

Actual comment to follow tomorrow, but now I have to go to bed so I don't grumble and grouse my way through work tomorrow.

That light in Hannibal's eyes is (I think, and probably deliberately) the maroon color the books said he was supposed to have. I never liked that detail, because who has maroon glints in their eyes? Now I realize who: Mads Mikkelsen by torchlight.

I genuinely thought, for her first new scene in this episode, that they'd replaced Kacey Rohls with a different actress. The hair was different, the makeup was different (seriously, her lips were a completely different shape, I'm not wrong, shut up), the pitch of her voice seemed different, I actually thought she was a different person. Well done, team, well done.

One of the things I love about this show is the same thing I loved about LotR. Fuller's amazing at slipping in a single line or image that immediately takes us to the entire scene in the book, without seeming out of place for people without that backstory (chafing dish nononononononono). In this case, it means he can show us the bomb before he ever even shows us the bomb, as it were.

And my reaction to Stagenstein remains the same as it was before (you can just replay the link from the above paragraph, if you like). I actually can never remember what it looks like until I see a picture; my brain simply refuses to hold onto that information. It's hard to even pinpoint why exactly I find it so horrifying (other than things without heads moving as if they had heads, which is not even remotely ok in a reality-based universe), because my brain slides away from it like I'm in a Lovecraft story.

Great detailed recap (well, as usual, only this time even more so). I hope you're not *very* exhausted.


>>> My real question at this point, I guess: is Will Graham a good person fighting off the darkness, or a dark person struggling to be good?

Both?


I have no "Texts From Hannibal (Words By Cleolinda)" for new episodes yet (and those with screencaps from Mizumono are better left for Mizumono - also, most of them are gory anyway).

All the best wishes, as always.

The level of detail and background information in your recaps have always added a whole other wonderful layer to my enjoyment of this show. It must take a incredible amount of energy and I know you don't have tons to spare, so thank you.

Edited at 2015-07-17 04:29 am (UTC)

I don't have much to say about this one. I loved it.

- I'm not bothered by the pacing of these episodes, unlike some people, but I do think that having so much of this episode taken up with the Mizumono recap was a bit much. Maybe some different angles? How creepy would it have been if some of it had been shot from Abigail's pov, and that would lent more weight to her ghost, maybe.

- I didn't believe that Abigail was dead, so I didn't feel cheated at the reveal; although I wasn't sure if Will knew, I too was convinced at the little smile at Abigail.

Some people are upset that Abigail isn't really Abigail, but a representation of Will's psyche instead of a representation of her actual personality (and her actual personality may been something more like 'WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING HE GUTTED YOU AND KILLED ME FFS'. (If she had S1 Abigail's personality, bc she's more of sad ghost when Will sees her again in S2.) (Then again Will projected all over her in S1 too.) Which they kind of feel is a disservice to a (female) character and kinda underlines her status as an object/pawn to be kicked about between two men (the football metaphor didn't help there.) I see their point, I just don't know what else she could be to Will at this moment, where she's literally an imago. Honestly, if the show/Will actually acknowledged that she was just a projection of his feelings it would feel less problematic, I don't know. Maybe we'll see more of the 'real' her in the upcoming episode.

-HD broke my heart (again) with the laughter there.

- The scene mirroring Will's surgery and her autopsy was so beautiful and also the most upsetting thing on the show to me, so far.

- Kinda lolled at Will moon-walking into darkness there.

- Another advantage of casting Mads Mikkelsen, doesn't take much makeup/lighting to turn his face into an actual skull HOLY SHIT THAT WAS CREEPY. I assume they based the mummy faces on his too.

I don't have much to add at the moment (beeedddddd... (stuffed animal...)), but thank you thank you thank you. I love these recaps, and I find it really fascinating to get the back-story and added info on the teacup, and Pazzi.

Also: I LOVED the surprise!Hannibal in the catacombs. That was shot so perfectly.

to the point where Will is actually afraid of their embodied connection, falling down against the steps as Stagenstein comes to get him

As he should be. That was creepy as fuck, lol. I think this is the first time one of Will’s empathy sessions actually got away from him.

‘Hannibal follows several trains of thought at once without distraction from any’

That’s a really good way of explaining how Hannibal does things that seem to contradict each other, but don’t really. His compartmentalization is outstanding.

I really liked this episode, though I don't have a lot to say about it.

I suspected that Abigail was a hallucination or part of Will's mind palace or consciousness from the beginning, simply because when Will sees something on this show, that doesn't mean it's real. Also, she seemed a bit too ethereal or placid or philosophical or something. She was also the least likely to survive the bloodbath, not only because of how quickly a person bleeds out from the neck, but because her story seemed concluded. Though, admittedly, I thought her story was concluded at the end of S1 as well. On a related note, since Abigail was not veal in 1x13, was that some unnamed person, or did Hannibal serve Bedelia actual veal?

I liked Will 'watching' his previous conversation between himself and Hannibal. It was another really ‘dreamy’ shot. The visual of the papers raining down from the ceiling was nice. But OF COURSE Hannibal name dropped that church a season ago.

Will being creepy with Pazzi was nice. I got a kick out it, at any rate. Will was kind of vamping it up, lol. I mean, if I had been the one talking to him, my ‘get away from this guy’ radar would have been going off like whoa. Also, dude, maybe it’s not a good idea to tell police “You don’t know whose side I’m on.”

And of course Hannibal lurking in the church and then in the catacombs was great. We had the "I forgive you" line, as well as Will calling Hannibal "Hannibal" for the first time. From the previews of S3, I kind of thought their face to face meeting would be in that scene, but of course it wasn’t.

Abigail was talking entirely too much like Will to be real. And man, I hadn't thought about the retroactive veal fake-out.

Re: "you don't know whose side I'm on" is right up there with him telling Freddie, who already thought he was a psycho killer, that she shouldn't piss him off, because he thinks about murder for a living. Will, sweetie, I need you to think about these things before you say them. And then stop talking.

I thought their face to face meeting would be in that scene, and that kissing would also be in that scene.

The exterior shot of that amazing police station in Palermo I'm pretty sure is the Palazzo delle Poste -- the post office. It's, um, from the fascist era.

I was listening to the A Matter of Taste podcast the night this aired and cracked up that RIGHT BEFORE this episode, they were throwing out the idea that Bedelia was dead before deciding, "No, no, this isn't the type of show to do the person-was-actually-a-ghost" thing.

That said, while I was desperate to see Abigail alive and back in the cast last year, I kind of get why she was the one who died in the bloodbath. The poor girl has had an air of inevitable tragedy around her since the premiere -- all of her fathers have betrayed her, all for their own selfish needs.

And the Will connection with her frustrates me because it *is* to some extent Will's own selfishness. He kind of decided he was going to be her father figure while she was in a coma, without her really agreeing to it. She never really seemed to want that connection with him until MAYBE the season 1 finale, and then he accused her of murder and things went to shit and then HANNIBAL NO. I think the show is aware of this, but I don't know if there'll ever be any follow-up on Will's attachment to this girl who didn't seem to really want him (and who he always imagines behaving way differently than she actually did in life).

I'll be gone in a day or twoooooooo...

I started shrieking with laughter when I hit the sketchified Heartstag scene. Brava!

Somewhat more seriously, dismayed as I was by the news of the cancellation, in retrospect it's goddamn amazing that Fuller et al. managed to keep this show on the air for three seasons, because AHHHHHHH IT HAS NO HEAD.

You have just clarified that whole setup for me :)Ta!

Amid all the "I knew all along that Abigail was dead" comments, I have to say that I knew she was dead the second we saw her, but then the show had her apparently-not-dead for so long that I went "Okay, I must have been wrong about that" and had forgotten how certain I was by the time the actual reveal rolled around. And that's my favorite kind of twist.

Fuller seems to be doing that a lot this season, the switch-on-a-switch.

I wasn't certain Abigail was a ghost/Will talking to himself until she said "G-dash-D won't do a G-dash-D-damned thing to answer anybody's prayers." The only person on the show who ever referred to God as G-d was either Jimmy Price or Zeller (talking about "angels" kneeling in supplication) and Abigail wasn't there for that conversation, only Will was.

Another gorgeous, gorgeous recap, Cleo. Thank you!

I have to admit, as a non-viewer, I'm a little irked by Abigail (ugh, that name in this context) being the only really-truly-dead of the S2 finale. It's just predictable, which is not something I want from this show-- and I do get why Will and Jack had to live, and killing off Alana so soon after Bev would've been problematic af, so it really was the only way, but still.

All this stuff with Will this season is a retcon of his character. I thought if anyone would see that it, it'd be you, but I guess you're just going along with it.
(Frozen) (Thread) (Expand)

Will's felt his sense of self merging with Hannibal since the start of S2, been conflicted about his feelings about him since mid s2, and was torn between warning, capturing, or going with him at the end of s2. He's had a lot of time to brood over his decisions and ponder the what-ifs--and given what actually happened, it's no surprise he's saddened that he didn't make a different decision. With his upcoming face-to-face to Hannibal, as with the phone call, he's coming to a point where he's going to have to make a decision, but he doesn't know what that'll be until he gets there. That's consistent. He's also dealing with intense grief and trauma. He's not going to be exactly S1 Will or even S2 Will. That's not a retcon, that's the effect of everything that's happened to him.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

Recap! Man that takes me back.

1- for whatever reason (I choose to blame the Twitter #abigailLives tag, actually), I bought that Abigail was still alive, and it made me *so* angry it really dampened my ability to watch the ep without being blinded by fuming. Not because I wanted her dead, mind you, but because she got her throat cut in S1...but didn't die, and then Will ate her ear and she died in S2....but didn't die, and I swear if she'd died-not-died at the end of S2 I would have lost my ever loving mind. When my fury abated, though, I liked the ep a lot.

2- Il Mostro is real?!? I had no idea, thank you, O Wise Cleo for teaching me a Thing! *adds Il Mostro book to my ever-expanding serial killer wish list*

3- good-bad or bad-good Will - I'm far more inclined to think Will has slipped over to the darker side and is trying to some degree to get back into the light, to varying degrees of success. I think him forgiving Hannibal in the catacombs is a highlight (sorry) of that - he lets Abigail go, the girl whose twisted life and death tortured him so much before, the girl whose father he killed and the guilt for that (and some brain raccoons) made him literally crazy, and now he's all forgivey of the man whose fault basically everything is? Though given what we've seen of Bedelia, and Chiyoh, Hannibal is definitely the Abyss that also looks back into you. So wear reflective sunglasses.

(Though I totally endorse the idea raised in another thread of Will & Hannibal scampering off on a Murder Honeymoon with Clarice after the pair of them, even though that's entirely impossible and not gonna happen.)

3- I'm inclined to agree with you somewhat on this. Will's problem has always been that he's too good at inhabiting someone else's point of view, which is why he was deliberately burying himself in his work and avoiding human contact until Jack dragged him out to see crime scenes in person (the slides and files aren't nearly as dangerous to Will's reality). Even when he's in a stable situation and has people backing him up, we see the toll it takes on him to continually view people from the point of view of a serial killer; doing that while suffering from encephalitis and being gaslit like whoa is too much. I think that when Will deliberately inhabited the "willing murder husband" persona, he forgot how hard it is for him to come back from these things, and has gotten trapped inside that character. It's not that he lacks a stable sense of self, it's just that it's easy for him to get his sense of self tangled up with somebody else's sense of self, and Hannibal knows that.


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