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Hannibal 3x03: "Secondo"
dire ravenstag gunmettle, dire ravenstag, dire ravenstag 04
cleolinda
This recap is entirely ridiculous with the pictures and the book quotes and the movie references and the background research and I'm not even sorry because this third season is all we have left, you guys. The show's throwing in everything plus the kitchen sink, so I might as well follow suit.

(the suit is plaid)

CAVEAT: I'm probably imagining most of the symbolism! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

(Cleolinda Industries: Putting the "eat" back in "caveat" since 2013.)

PREVIOUSLY ON: EMPATH AND CANNIBAL: Let's lie down on the floor together and relive "Mizumono" again; A Brief History of Hannigram; Reverse Teacup Entropy; everything you may or may not have ever wanted to know about Il Mostro; Stagenstein is coming for you anyway; Will grahampires through the catacombs of Palermo; Hannibal continues to sulk; RIP Cannibaby, for real, probably.

"Secondo" is Italian for second, but this is actually the third episode. (We'll discuss the way the first four episodes have a strangely atemporal quality when we get to "Aperitivo" next time.) In terms of the formal Italian meal structure, it's the second course, which actually does make a kind of narrative sense: this is the second appearance of "Mr. and Mrs. Fell." Also, the secondo course is often heavier than the primo, and can involve various kinds of fish and/or meat, such as... lamb. It ain't the Mischa episode for nothin'.

@cleolindajones: Well, after all this time, I guess we get The Back Story. I have been waiting for this.

Pack a lunch, because we're going to take a magical mystery tour up front through the Hannibal Rising background; the show has always interacted in fascinating ways with book/movie fans' memories and expectations. (See in particular: "Entrée.") So I feel like you need to know why many of us would groan out "OH GOD, MISCHA" every time Hannibal's little sister was referenced in the previous seasons.

I ended up having to parcel a lot of background into footnotes due to LJ post length restrictions, and because I did evolve to feel shame, I feel really embarrassed about that. But not enough to cut them entirely. ONWARD.

Okay. So. In the Silence of the Lambs text, Hannibal says, "Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. I happened." And then we get to the third book, Hannibal, and out of nowhere

His eyes open and he is suddenly, completely awake, his dream of his sister Mischa

well this is new

long dead

of course she is

and digested

wait what


Beneath the memory palace, the traps fly up, the oubliettes yawn their ghastly stench…

A few animals had managed to survive the artillery and machine-gun fire in the fighting that left Hannibal Lecter’s parents dead and the vast forest on their estate scarred and blasted. The mixed bag of deserters who used the remote hunting lodge ate what they could find. [...] There was not much meat on the runty deer and in two days, perhaps three, in their long overcoats, their breaths stinking and steaming, the deserters came through the snow from the hunting lodge to unlock the barn and choose again from among the children huddled in the straw. None had frozen, so they took a live one. They felt Hannibal Lecter’s thigh and his upper arm and chest, and instead of him, they chose his sister, Mischa, and led her away. To play, they said. No one who was led away to play ever returned.

Hannibal held on to Mischa so hard, held to Mischa with his wiry grip until they slammed the heavy barn door on him, stunning him and cracking the bone in his upper arm.

They led her away through snow still stained bloody from the deer. He prayed so hard that he would see Mischa again, the prayer consumed his six-year-old mind, but it did not drown out the sound of the axe. His prayer to see her again did not go entirely unanswered—he did see a few of Mischa’s milk teeth in the reeking stool pit his captors used between the lodge where they slept and the barn where they kept the captive children who were their sustenance in 1944 after the Eastern Front collapsed.

Since this partial answer to his prayer, Hannibal Lecter had not been bothered by any considerations of deity, other than to recognize how his own modest predations paled beside those of God, who is in irony matchless, and in wanton malice beyond measure.

SHORT VERSION: Nazis ate his sister.

LONG VERSION: Deserter Nazi collaborators ate his sister, and in Hannibal Rising Young Medical Student Hannibal goes on a vengeance quest after learning martial arts from his Japanese aunt-by-marriage who he nearly has an affair with but he's like "no I can't promise you not to murder people" because he still has Nazi deserters to kill, and then Grutas the exceptionally vile ex-Nazi kidnaps Murasaki and reveals that Hannibal suppressed memories of also eating soup made from his sister, and there is a Big Cannibal NOOOOOO and Hannibal [M]urderizes the shit out of him and Murasaki is like "What is left in you to love?" which is a pleasingly ambiguous turn of phrase actually (is he unworthy of love or incapable of loving?), and he detaches himself from everything after that ("He dined alone and he was not lonely. Hannibal had entered his heart’s long winter") and peaces out to a Johns Hopkins residency; circle back around to Red Dragon and begin again.

The book and screenplay, both written by Thomas Harris, were written for perhaps different reasons than the first three books. Somehow it just reads differently as well; there are still some characteristically baroque passages, but...?

@cleolinda: @aMoTPodcast Okay, I'm relistening to the Hannibal Rising episode where this is discussed, but I can't quite think how to explain how different it feels from the previous three books/movies.

@aMoTPodcast: Yeah, it doesn't quite fit the pattern of each movie taking on the personality of a character, i. e., Will, Clarice, Hannibal.

@cleolinda: That, but like... the tone. Plottier? Pulpier? I can't quite put my finger on that... fanfic quality?

Sometimes I like to pretend--not seriously argue, just pretend--that Hannibal Rising is self-fanfic Hannibal wrote in the Baltimore State Dungeons to entertain himself. The interest in Japanese culture we never see mentioned in any of the previous books, the doomed not-quite-incestuous first love, the martial arts, the motorcycle--there's almost a self-romanticizing Mary Sue quality to it?

@aMoTPodcast: omg--you could always go the route of, "So what is Hannibal Rising?" "There's not a word for it yet."

(Alternately, I sometimes imagine that the movie Hannibal is a dream Clarice had. "Oh my God, Ardelia, I had the weirdest dream, some guy was after Lecter with sixteen giant killer pigs, and he was running around in Florence, and I was Julianne Moore, and then he KISSED ME--" "Girl, I don't want to know.")

The tonal shift to coming-of-age revenge adventure aside, the real problem is that we go from "I happened" to "I was traumatized in ways that ensured that I was never going to turn out all right." Baby Hannibal's affect is extremely detached, but he's very gentle and protective of Mischa; "he loved her in a way he could not help." And yes, Hannibal is intellectually precocious (literacy by age two! Euclid by age six!), but if he has any violent or truly disturbing tendences before Nazis Ate His Sister and Soviets Seized His Ancestral Home to Run an Orphanage That Treated Him Like Shit, they're not indicated. So thank you, but no. He should be "this grand wonder that defies categorization," as Bryan Fuller said of the show's incarnation; he also said in an IGN interview,

Fuller: We are definitely reworking a lot of it. It's perhaps the book that we reimagine the most for the television series. We see ourselves... as the Thomas Harris mashup DJs, where we're spinning tracks of Silence of the Lambs and using lyrics from Hannibal Rising. So we're taking everything almost as though you mixed it in a big, delicious cookie bowl, and now we're plucking out the chocolate chips.

[...]

IGN: Do you think there's a part of us that doesn't even want an origin for a character like Hannibal? Do we not just want him to remain birthed of the abyss?

Fuller: Absolutely, and I think what we're doing regarding that in this season, for me--you'll have to tell me when you see it--the attempt is to do both of those things, to actually give a little bit of the past without demythologizing the character.
That said, the show has resolved a certain sense of discontinuity ("Wait what, Paris? Japanese culture? Martial arts?"), by working a number of "chocolate chips" from Hannibal Rising into their remix of the first three books:

>> Jack notices a sketch of a Parisian boarding school in 1x01;
>> Hannibal is sketching the Eiffel Tower in 1x09;
>> Hannibal mentions in 1x04 that he was an orphan;
>> Will and the Ravenstag dream-kill a tied-up Hannibal in 2x09;
>> Will and Hannibal eat ortolans in 2x11;
>> The second season titles are Japanese, starting with "Kaiseki";
>> Hannibal mentions in that episode that the Japanese seafood course he's serving Jack is what he made for his aunt Murasaki "under similarly unfortunate circumstances" (possibly his uncle's death?);
>> We see Japanese prints in his bedroom, and samurai armor outside it in 2x06;
>> I don't know about Japanese martial arts per se, but Show Hannibal will fucking leg sweep you;
>> Hannibal vrooms around Paris on a motorcycle in 3x01, which was Murasaki's in the original.

Nonetheless, that passage in Hannibal--which sets up both the show's teacup motif and Book Hannibal's desire to turn back time and turn Clarice into Mischa somehow, as we discussed in the "Primavera" recap--is when things first got weird in the books. It's strange, because the series feels divided down the middle: the two procedurals (Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs) on one side, and on the other... the Hannibals. (True fact: The original title of Hannibal was going to be The Morbidity of the Soul, but we couldn't have that because that would have made discussing everything easy.) Until that third book, we had no idea he was Lithuanian aristocracy (Count Hannibal Lecter, Eighth of His Name, descended from Hannibal the Grim, known for "the quality of his provender"). He's not even mentioned as having so much as an accent. I have no idea how much of this background Thomas Harris had in his head at any given point, but he doesn't seem to have told anyone in advance; thus, it was perfectly reasonable to cast Anthony Hopkins based on the first two books, just as it's perfectly reasonable to cast Mads Mikkelsen in light of the last two. And so, as jarring as it was to hit that "wait what" point in the third book, I kind of like that the sudden appearance of back story allowed for two completely but understandably different interpretations.

AND NOW, ETYMOLOGICAL CONJECTURE FOOTNOTES:


The short version: Hannibal's childhood trauma is very close to a real-life serial killer's, and the Lecter children's names seem to be related to the demon Baal and the archangel Michael, respectively. Thus, you have a sister who's a prince among angels and a brother who's a prince among demons--one who protects "the children of your people," and one who consumes them.

By the way, Hannibal is half-Italian on his mother Simonetta's side; she herself is half Visconti and half Sforza, both ancient families active in Renaissance Italy, and man, remind me to tell you a story about Caterina "The Tiger" Sforza, who was from nowhere even near the region of fucking around. So Hannibal comes by a love of Italy honestly, I guess. Meanwhile, I was searching Wikipedia for any famous Simonettas, and--

@cleolinda: Lorenzo de' Medici "the Magnificent," ruler of Florence, patron of Botticelli, nearly killed by the Pazzis, married to... Clarice Orsini.

@cleolinda: THOMAS HARRIS. I SEE YOU.

@cleolinda: Also Hannibal's mother is named Simonetta presumably after Simonetta Vespucci whose likeness Botticelli used in Primavera I SEEEEEE YOUUUUU




@cleolinda: I FEEL LIKE I JUST CRACKED THE DA VINCI CODE OR SOMETHING

And yes, it's true that Simonetta doesn't exist until the fourth book. However, the very first time Hannibal meets Clarice in Silence of the Lambs, she asks about the drawings on his cell wall. "Ah. That is the Duomo seen from the Belvedere. Do you know Florence?"



[x]


Will has clearly assumed her emotional importance (dare I say Clarice's place in the universe was given to him?). Sometimes I find that disappointing; mostly I love the show on its own terms. From the very beginning, I've talked about how important she always was to me; I have felt some fannish distress as it became increasingly obvious over the last two years that there's just no room for her on this show, not even as a rights-dodging "Shmarice." Honestly, the writing was on the wall the moment the "chrysalis" passage was recontextualized for Will (the writing was a Hannigram fanfic). But somehow, the show has sold me on it; I adapted, I contain multitudes, I'm here for it. Clarice is still incredibly important to me, though; in that light, Will and Abigail's discussion of the multiverse was poignant in a metafictional kind of way.

And yet, it was the show that led me to the theoretical Clarice Orsini connection, coincidental or not, by making Botticelli personally important to Hannibal. Previously, it had only been something Pazzi was fixated on; once the show made Primavera an important image in Hannibal's life, all this theoretical background snapped into place. And in a way, by not having the rights to use Clarice, the show has been forced to create a mutually exclusive continuity that doesn't overwrite Clarice the way it could have with a new take on the character. I kind of like that, actually. So I've come to enjoy that the show's "remixing" means that it largely avoids direct adaptation comparisons, while still interacting with the original material and our expectations of what might happen next. At the same time, you can mentally mix in various bits of the show à la carte when you go back to the originals; Anthony Hopkins' incredulous line reading of "Jack Crawford sent a trainee... TO ME?" actually works better, I think, if you choose to keep Miriam in mind. So I enjoy the way that the various versions can enrich each other while remaining separate.

Meanwhile, back in the Hannigram continuity: Hannibal the Magnificent, brooding broodsomely in Florence.




@BryanFuller: SAD #HANNIBAL IS SAD - THERAPY IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR WILL GRAHAM

@lorettaramos: Mads in profile.

@lorettaramos: #FemmeFatale @GillianA

She seems a little agitated, to be honest.

(Gillian Anderson: "The energy between [Will and Bedelia] is almost like mistress and wife.")




"Was it nice to see him?" asks Bedelia, seeking comfort in the true love of her life: wine. "It was nice," Hannibal says gloomily. "Among other things."

@cleolindajones: "It was nice. Friend Will remains quality."

"He knew where to look for me." "You knew where he would look for you," says Bedelia. I think Hannibal may have tears in his eyes: "He said he forgave me."

"Forgiveness is too great and difficult for one person," says Bedelia, sitting down closer to him. "It requires two: the betrayer... and the betrayed. Which one are you?" (Please assume a long pause after every single sentence, and sometimes in the middle of them.) "I'm vague on those details," says Hannibal, who gutted a man for trying to apprehend him for cannibal murder, how dare. Bedelia: "Betrayal and forgiveness are..." [pauuuuuse] ".. best seen as something akin to falling in love." [*DRINK*]

@NBCHannibal: *sips wine like tea* But that’s none of our business.




Well, that perked him right up. "You cannot control with respect to whom you fall in love," he muses. Real talk from Bedelia, though: "You are going to be caught. It has already been set into motion." And she sounds none too happy about it.




"Is that concern for your patient... or concern for yourself?" "I'm not concerned about me. I know exactly how I will navigate my way out of whatever it is I've gotten myself into," says Bedelia (note from the future: does she ever). "Do you?"

"I did," says Hannibal.

Here's a deep cut for you: the control/connection theme from the "Coquilles" recap. What I said back then was that connection requires vulnerability, and so it is, in a way, in opposition to maintaining control. Hannibal tried to make Will alienated from everyone else while also dependent on him, wanting both to connect and to control, and that, since you can't do both, that might be his downfall. As it turned out in season two, he made himself vulnerable in order to connect with Will, got burned, and everything was terrible; he lashed out to regain control. And then he set up his perfect life in Italy as "Dr. Fell," everything arranged the way he wants it... except for one thing. And now he's reconnected with Will in Palermo, and I think he realizes that it's happening all over again: that vulnerability creeping in, the "whimsy" he indulged in (just as Bedelia predicted) to send Will a "valentine," the urge to reach out that caught Pazzi's attention.

"Where will Will Graham be looking for you next?" she asks. "Someplace I can never go," he says, tears in his eyes for sure, as his face dissolves into Will's. "Home."




We've actually seen a side-by-side blend of the two before--at the end of "Naka-choko," during Will's first voluntary cannibal dinner:




But this time, it's Hannibal blending into Will, not the other way around. Will, meanwhile is, walking backwards through the darkening Norman Chapel, then forward again across a sea of blood, as you do.

@cleolindajones: walking on blood-water, is this another Jesus thing

@princess_starr: @cleolindajones Everyone is Jesus and Satan on this show. It's Schrodinger's Savior.

@bkbuglet: Ok, did Hugh say he wouldn't do this season if he didn't get to be surrounded or soaked in blood each episode or something?

@BryanFuller: Yes. Yes, he did.

Heh.

So Will steps out of the blood-puddle into the overcast autumnal countryside, walking up to a locked iron gate, rattling it fruitlessly.



[x]


@cleolindajones: Yeah, they have a huge iron gate so they can leave it unlocked, Will, that's what gates are for





[rorycheyne.com, art director]


SHIT, THERE'S A THING ON THE GATE, WHAT'S THE THING ON THE GATE







It seems to be a variation on the Milanese Visconti coat of arms that's on the Hannibal book cover: a viper consuming a man. (I have seen other assertions that it is a man being born, not eaten.) So there's Simonetta represented, and the Lecter Dvaras coat of arms is on the two medallions further down.

@angelinaburnett [episode writer]: CONFESSION: Lecter Castle in Lithuanian (according to google translate) is actually Lecter Pilis.

@angelinaburnett: Dvaras means manor. A lovelier word both visually and aurally, don't you think? (PS I don't think I ever admitted that to Bryan and Steve.)

shhhhhh, nobody tell them


Undeterred, Will climbs the gate and heads for a castle on the hill:




@BryanFuller: WELCOME TO AUKSTAITIJA, LITHUANIA, HOME TO CASTLE LECTER

@Vincenzo_Natali: Storyboards for Will's arrival on the Lecter Estate from #Hannibal #Secondo.

So Will presses on through the misty grounds; the first building he investigates is also locked, but we're done with breaking-and-entering for the day, so he wanders through the ancient family cemetery, past a stone angel child,



[x]


not noticing a headstone inscribed MISCHA LECTER, MYLIMA ("beloved"). DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN.

(What plant is that on her grave? Strelitzia, or bird of paradise?)

IT'S MISCHA TIME

She's first introduced by name in 2x11, "Kō No Mono." Since I haven't recapped that yet, here's the first half of the "teacup" conversation that I mentioned last time:

In The Best Office Ever, Hannibal tells Will, "When men become fathers, they undergo biochemical changes that affect the way they think." "You said the same thing happens when men become killers." "Fathers can be killers," Hannibal says, which was ominous as fuck for those of us aware of Mischa. (Will and Hannibal then discuss the Margot subplot, which involves Margot's ill-fated pregnancy and Will facing fatherhood. I do not want to get into that today.) "We have a deep-seated need to interact with our children," he adds. "It helps us discover who we are." "Have you ever been a father?" asks Will, and what was that baby shower like?



[x]

"I was to my sister. She was not my child, but she was my charge. She taught me so much about myself. Her name was Mischa." "Was?" "She's dead. Abigail reminded me so much of her."

Back when "Kō No Mono" aired:

@BryanFuller: MISCHA IS TO HANNIBAL WHAT ABIGAIL IS TO WILL

Bear in mind that, at this point, Will believes that Abigail is dead and Hannibal killed her; only Hannibal knows that Abigail is hiding in his house. Because he is the worst.


[*theme music*]




@helenshang: Now @RealDonMancini and @MrAaronAbrams are singing the Hannibal theme song with their own improvised lyrics.

@RealDonMancini: Mads's and Hugh's staggered credits inspired by Paul Newman and Steve McQueen from #ToweringInferno

Short version: Newman and McQueen's names were staggered side-by-side to avoid the question of who got first billing--one "first" on the left, but the other higher. In fact, the names in the Hannibal credits actually switch sides from episode to episode. Bless.


After the credits, Will's looking through his binoculars at the fantastically ominous castle:

@angelinaburnett: We talked about a couple films as inspiration for this eps. Various versions of Dracula...

IT'S A MASSIVE DRACULA TANGENT AND YOU CAN ONLY HOPE TO CONTAIN ME

Dracula has been one of my Major Fixations ever since my sixth-grade English class used the Mina-finding-Lucy-in-the-cemetery scene (!) as a speed-reading test, and I proceeded to become obsessed with the Greg Hildebrandt-illustrated edition at the local library. I am obsessively familiar with the 1979 and 1992 movies, having only seen the 1931 for the first time last year; Christopher Lee, IMO, gets the closest to the mix of Vaguely European Gentleman and Feral Beast in the book. I also started recapping NBC's Dracula, got pissed off during the third episode, and then summarized the rest of the season in a series finale Storify; basically that show can go [REDACTED]. All that said, I feel like no one has ever filmed the actual spirit or best parts of the book. Hollywood, call me.

AS RELATING TO HANNIBAL:

1) It's sort of a hilarious coincidence that Original Flavor Hannibal and Mason are also at war in the 1992 Dracula.

2) DID YOU KNOW: On the Silence of the Lambs Criterion commentary, Anthony Hopkins says that the--Chianti tongue whatever--was inspired by his memory of a sound he thought he remembered Bela Lugosi doing in Dracula.

3) In the very first Hannibal recap, I mentioned the People in Dracula Don't Know They're In Dracula issue, where you as a reader/viewer have to cut the characters slack for not recognizing the name of An Icon of Evil the way we do. On this show, it manifests itself as the audience shouting "IT FUCKING RHYMES!!!" for a season and a half.

4) The scene in "Apéritif" where Hannibal seems to insist that Will invite him into the motel room immediately struck me as vampiric, and the blocking of the "Did you just smell me?" scene in "Coquilles" is very reminiscent of the shaving mirror scene with Dracula and Jonathan. I firmly believe that a certain vampiric subtext has been in the show's blood (I'm sorry) from the beginning.

So then in "Primavera," we have Will lurking around the catacombs with his Classic Vampire Collar, and now, Special Agent Jonathan Harker has hunted down the monster's lair. So which versions of Dracula were the writers inspired by? Based on the muted color palette, my first guess is the Gorey-designed theatrical revival of the Hamilton-Deane play and 1979 John Badham film adaptation thereof, which starred Frank Langella on both stage and screen. Compare the shot of the castle from the show, the 1979 movie, and the 1931 Tod Browning film that inspired Badham's take:



(x)

The Lithuania scenes (filmed in Toronto) have a much murkier, chillier palette than the richly saturated golds of the Florence storyline, you'll notice. Coincidentally, while I was going back over the 1979 Dracula material, I discovered that the film was not originally the same desaturated palette of greys used in the Gorey stage sets; for the 1991 Laserdisc, Badham--unable to let go of his original black-and-white 1931-homage idea--went back and desaturated it from its original "warm, golden colors." The original version is out of print; the 1991 version, I realized, is the one I've always watched on TV and DVD. As much as I love that version, I have never seen what the movie originally looked like.



[x]

(Keep the All the Candles, All the Time
aesthetic in mind for later)


@redheadedgirl: WHAAAAAAAAAAT

@cleolinda: I CAN'T EXPRESS HOW BLOWN MY MIND IS RIGHT NOW

@cleolinda: I WANT TO SEE IT. IT'S OUT OF PRINT. I'M GETTING CHILLS JUST LOOKING AT IT

@redheadedgirl: is frank on Twitter? He should be. Who can we harass.

@cleolinda: DID YOU KNOW he did the voice of the Red Dragon that they didn't use for the movie

@redheadedgirl: you're just blowing my mind right left and center

Another service provided by Cleolinda Industries.

(Coincidentally, that movie has a spectacularly psychedelic love/bite scene, which is interesting in light of the events of 3x06, "Dolce.")


@angelinaburnett: Hitchcock's Rebecca was another. Based on the book by none other than Daphne DuMaurier.



Look, there are many, many inspirations on this show that blow right past me--I am just aware enough of the giallo films of Dario Argento to know that I am missing a hundred million visual homages--but Rebecca, that one I know. My guess is that the connections in this episode are 1) a faithful female servant left in thrall to the deceased, remaining to tell some version of their history; 2) that history revealed as false; 3) the murder of a female character not being what it seems; 4) an imposing ancestral home; and 5) a smaller, secondary building (a beach house there, a hunting lodge here). That's all I got, though.

(No one mentioned this, but I'm wondering if a major twist in El secreto de sus ojos was an inspiration as well; I haven't seen it, but stumbled across the summary after wondering what the upcoming English-language remake, The Secret in Their Eyes, was about.)


So. One moment Will's looking at the castle; when he lowers the binoculars, he's sitting in the therapy chair of old, right there in the Lithuanian woods, facing Hannibal.




That's one of my favorite images from this episode, by the way. "It's not healing to see your childhood home," says Hannibal, "but it helps you measure whether you are broken, how and why. Assuming you want to know." "I want to know," says Will, glancing back to the castle. "Is this where construction began?" "On my memory palace?"

Yes indeed. Much of this conversation is adapted from the prologue of Hannibal Rising:

The door to Dr. Hannibal Lecter's memory palace is in the darkness at the center of his mind and it has a latch that can be found by touch alone.... Everywhere there are exhibits, well-spaced and lighted, each keyed to memories that lead to other memories in geometric progression.

Spaces devoted to Hannibal Lecter’s earliest years differ from the other archives in being incomplete. Some are static scenes, fragmentary, like painted Attic shards held together by blank plaster. Other rooms hold sound and motion, great snakes wrestling and heaving in the dark and lit in flashes. Pleas and screaming fill some places on the grounds where Hannibal himself cannot go.

But the corridors do not echo screaming, and there is music if you like.

[...]

Here in the hot darkness of his mind, let us feel together for the latch. Finding it, let us elect for music in the corridors and, looking neither left nor right, go to the Hall of the Beginning where the displays are most fragmentary.

There are many, many lines taken from the books that I have not had time or space to point out (the bit about Hannibal's trains of thought was one; the "irony matchless" line is used in "Kō No Mono"), but I want to highlight the prologue for the way it speaks directly to the reader, then gets recontextualized for Will in a very tactile way:

"Its door at the center of my mind," says Hannibal. "And here you are, feeling for the latch." The prologue's breaking-the-fourth-wall intimacy is redirected to Will--but also, it's no longer an invitation; it's Will attempt to intrude, observed by a Hannibal existing only (?) in Will's mind. Also, they're smiling at each other really weird. "The spaces in your mind devoted to your earliest years," asks Will, "are they different than the other rooms?" Now they're in The Best Office Ever again, seen through faceted glass (which Hannibal even looks up to observe). And @tamaro606 was right: Hannibal is in the patient's chair for once, with Will as therapist: "Are they different than this room?"




@lorettaramos: BTS #Hannibal inside the kaleidoscope. #PrismSlate (1) (2)

@lorettaramos: BTS director @Vincenzo_Natali and Mads on set.




"This room holds sound and motion," says Hannibal, as the prism itself shifts. "Great snakes wrestling and heaving in the dark." (Which brings to mind the Visconti snake.) "Other rooms are static scenes, fragmentary... like painted shards of glass."

"Everything keyed to memories leading to... other memories. Rooms you... can't bring yourself to go," realizes Will. "Nothing escapes from them that causes you any comfort." I know Will's the Empath Supreme, but are these really things he could just infer about Hannibal? He's had moments verging on "psychic power" before; are we supposed to read this as a mental exchange with Actual Hannibal? Or is Hannibal himself the "psychic," simply "infecting" Will with his murder-wizard powers early on? DREAM LOGIC LOL IDK.

"Screams fill some of those places," says Hannibal, "but the corridors do not echo screaming... because I hear music."

Kate Kulzick on that music: "There is a lot of very evocative scoring in this episode, referencing the repeated imagery of broken glass and distorted reflections. A tinkling, percussive sound is particularly prominent in the scoring for Will's mind palace therapy session with Hannibal," as well as later scenes involving fireflies, more broken glass, and water (aurally represented by a rainstick) (she says. I can't identify musical instruments to save my life).

Then gunshots break the prism, and the glass shatters away,



[x]


leaving Will alone in the Actual Woods. (It reminds me a little of the way the ball scene in Labyrinth ends.) Who's shooting? A young Japanese woman in a spectacular hunting jacket who looks for a moment like she's going to blow his head off:



[x]


@BryanFuller: PLEASE WELCOME TAO OKAMOTO TO THE DINNER TABLE

@neoprod: Introducing CHIYOH "Secondo" [costume] handmade of Lady M

(I'll go into the Lady Murasaki background when she's mentioned in "Contorno.")

@BryanFuller: CHIYOH’S FIRST INTRODUCTION IN "HANNIBAL RISING" [book text]

@BryanFuller: TAO OKAMOTO IS SCHOOLED ON RIFLERY

@BryanFuller: THE BUTT OF CHIYOH’S RIFLE FEATURES THE LECTOR FAMILY CREST

Yup, there's the Visconti snake.

@BryanFuller: AS TAO OKAMOTO PRACTICES HER RIFLERY, I TWEET THE FIRST DAY OF PRODUCTION ON #HANNIBAL SEASON 3




[x][x]


@BryanFuller: CHIYOH IS THE FIRST IN A LONG LINE OF MISCHA SURROGATES FOR #HANNIBAL



SUMMARY: If there is any reason Hannibal might view you as a Damsel in Distress, I advise you to run like hell.

@MrAaronAbrams: Am I one?

@BryanFuller: YOU'RE THE MISHA HE MISSES MOST OF ALL, SCARECROW


Turns out that Chiyoh's actually hunting pheasant, not Will (so far):

@BryanFuller: DIRECTOR @Vincenzo_Natali AND PROPS MASTER STEPHEN LEVITT DEBATE THE PHEASANTS

Writes food stylist Janice Poon, "There is much ado with getting the plucked feathers to float through the air and drift downward aesthetically. The prospect of rigging fake birds to soar like eagles is sobering, hilarious and tragic all at once. Tossing pheasants for a shoot seems like a scene from Monty Python."

@angelinaburnett: I became rather obsessed with varieties of pheasant while researching this eps. Just look at this fucker.

It looks for a moment like Chiyoh may have spotted Will, but eventually she turns away, retrieves her game, and heads back to the castle. While Will spies on her plucking the pheasants--great pillowy handfuls of feathers flying around in slo-mo--she runs her fingers through their feathers very like the way fellow Mischa surrogate Abigail ran her fingers through the fur of her first deer in "Potage." Again, a young hunter contemplates her kill in an almost sensuous way--suggesting a potential for "murder inspiration" that has not been reached yet?




What I'd like to show you next is how a really cool shot transitions from Chiyoh to Hannibal by showing their reflections in their respective butcher knives. What I don't want to show you is how the knife goes up to chop up a pheasant and comes down to chop off Anthony Dimmond's hand.




@NBCHannibal: Are you properly horrified yet? [gif]

@BryanFuller: #HANNIBAL IS PLAYING BEETHOVEN’S PIANO CONCERTO NO.2 IN B FLAT MAJOR - ADAGIO AS HE PREPARES DIMMOND’S ARM FOR SOGLIATO

@lorettaramos: BTS Smooth Moves




Janice: "I wanted to allude to the pheasant/feather motif in the script and suggest that he cure Dimmond's arm into a ham that would then be carved into feathers that could be reassembed into a wing and presented on a big silver tray." And this one "arm" is $1500 worth of jamón ibérico, omg. BEHOLD.

@BryanFuller: A HELPFUL HAND IN #HANNIBAL’s KITCHEN IS OFTEN ATTACHED TO THE REST OF THE ARM [sketch]

At the Palazzo Du Maurier-Lecter, Bedelia brings out Dimmond's feathered arm,




while Hannibal stabs away industriously at a block of ice.

@cleolindajones: also this guy is dead. he is hella, hella dead.

@beamish_girl: @cleolindajones #Hannibal really likes his Last Suppers, doesn't he?

@lorettaramos: BTS crew prep for Sogliato’s last supper.

@cleolindajones: So is Hannibal's theory here that as long as he wears bowties instead of neckties, no one could POSSIBLY recognize him?




As long as he peacocks around in stripes, he's totally safe.

"The Studiolo is a small, fierce group," says Hannibal. "They have ruined a number of academic reputations." "Appearing before them is a peril," agrees Sogliato. Indeed, "You were very eager to see me discredited, Professor Sogliato," says Hannibal, who is not gonna let the Dante battle go. "Hm! You sang for your supper before the dragons at the Studiolo," exposits Sogliato. The coolly supportive "Mrs. Fell": "And you sang very well." "Hm! First, applause, and then by wet-eyed acclamation. Hm! the memberships affirmed you as... master of Palazzo Capponi." Yeah, Sogliato is not gonna let the straniero thing go, either.

"Punch Romaine: a cocktail created by Escoffier," announces Hannibal. (Please refer to my third Dracula recap for a discussion of Escoffier.)

@DeLaurentiisCo: Anyone in the mood for some Punch Romaine? Can't get it out of our head.

Oh, YOUUUUU. Punch Romaine, as it turns out, is a frosty concoction of champagne, white wine, orange and lemon juice, simple syrup, a drizzle of white rum and a garnish of orange peel, and I want it.

"Served to first-class guests on the Titanic during their last dinner," adds Hannibal.



Of course it fucking was.

"Hm! The committees have a new curator--they do not miss the old one," says Sogliato. (Bedelia raises both her cup and her eyebrow.) Hannibal: "If my victory pleased the professore, I could not tell." "Then you weren't paying attention," retorts Sogliato, who has been stuffing his face the whole time. He is so dead. "I pay lots of attention," says Hannibal, bringing his plate back to the head of the table. "But not in a wide-eyed, indiscriminate way--"




@cleolindajones: well

‏@aMoTPodcast: OH. THAT'S HOW SHIT GETS DONE IN #HANNIBAL SEASON 3. OK. FUCK.

@cleolindajones: Like, I thought they'd at least get through a course, course and a half

And Sogliato just sits here, icepick in brain, fully conscious, struggling to speak.





"That may have been impulsive," Hannibal admits.

"Been mulling that impulse ever since you decided to serve Punch Romaine," says Bedelia, who totally has his number.

"I... I can't see," says Sogliato, who is STILL OVER THERE, twitching and giggling. Hannibal just sits at the head of the table, placidly eating, while Sogliato coughs and chokes and babbles in Italian and giggles a little more, until finally Bedelia just can't take it anymore and yanks the icepick out herself; a few blinks, and Sogliato thumps ingloriously onto his plate, blood pooling out onto the dinner table.

@cleolindajones: #Hannibal, this was a really nice table. This was mahogany

Hannibal leans over. "Technically," he says, "you killed him."




JUST TAKE HIM OUT, BEDELIA

NOT A JURY IN THE WORLD, BEDELIA

I know several people were wondering why Bedelia was so panicky back in "Antipasto," considering what a cool customer she usually is. We did see that she was really traumatized by, uh, throat-fisting her patient, almost as if she stood outside herself and witnessed violence as well as committed it. I think she basically had a panic attack when Dimmond showed up at the Studiolo lecture and she realized that Hannibal was inevitably going to murderize him. She did not want to witness violence again and thus packed up her shit and attempted to flee; when she was forced to stay and watch a man crawl away from his own death and wait for Hannibal to finish him off, it touched a nerve. All of this involved advance realization, a dread of violence; Hannibal takes Sogliato out with so little warning that she doesn't have time to panic. You can see from her reaction that she's still shocked, but she copes with it, has started to get a little used to it, and has the opportunity to end the victim's suffering this time.

"No longer interested in preserving the peace you found here?" she asks, shaken. "You cannot preserve entropy. It gradually descends into disorder," says Hannibal, who would know. "Two men from the Capponi are dead," she insists. (I am honestly surprised that Hannibal does not say, okay, technically Scarf Guy was from Paris.) "I can only claim one," he says. "Technically."

("technically, that should be 14093752")

"You're drawing them to you, aren't you?" she says. "All of them."

(In reply, Hannibal drinks his punch. He may or may not be murder-sniffing it, which never bodes well for anyone.)

And that's another vampiric turn of phrase: the sire draws those he has infected.



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I'll count Jack in that category, considering what happens a couple of episodes from now. Except that Hannibal's "creations" are also his opponents--another aspect of his downfall.

@BryanFuller: WONDERFUL TO HAVE LAURENCE FISHBURNE FINALLY JOIN US FOR #HANNIBAL SEASON 3 #JACKISBACK

@DhalgrenHogg87: @BryanFuller this is so awesome and I'm absolutely giddy for a Jack vs. Hannibal round 2 showdown.

@BryanFuller: Then you’re going to love episode 5.

I'm gonna go ahead and tell you: it's the best thing that has ever happened.

Jack's sitting in a pew going over the Broken Heart crime scene pictures--I would argue that the chapel itself has become a "heart" that the characters enter, an intimate emotional interior where Hannibal is Will's "God," and Jack's here to try to rescue Will from it, to understand why Will's so drawn to it. Inspector Pazzi sits down next to him; it seems like he's already debriefed Jack on the crime itself: "As with the crimes in Florence, Il Mostro collected anatomical trophies, but left no evidence." "Dr. Lecter is careful. He will strike, but his needs don't force him to strike often," says Jack, who may not have realized that Hannibal apparently kills instead of buying groceries. "There were long periods when il Mostro didn't strike at all. This is the first in twenty years," says Pazzi. (Uh, that's because he was cutting a swath through the Eastern Seaboard as the Chesapeake Ripper, I thought you did the reading?) "You have new evidence," says Jack (yes, you're looking at it). "You know," says Pazzi, "the window of the Questura laboratory is garlanded with garlic to keep out the evil spirits."

@cleolindajones: Apparently everyone in Dracula knows they're in Dracula this time

"These are not people open to new ideas," he says. "My city mocks me. My hunt for Il Mostro let the crows peck at my heart." This sounded like a quote from something, but all I could find was Shakespeare's "But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws [crows] to peck at" in Othello. A play about a man with a beautiful young wife, as Pazzi has. Also, Laurence Fishburne starred in the Kenneth Branagh film adaptation. (help, someone throw a rope down this rabbit hole, I can't get out) "How is your heart?"

@aMoTPodcast: "How is your heart?" "It's falling for yours, Signore." *makeout session ensues*

"Well-pecked," Jack says grimly. A long pause: "If he hasn't already, Il Mostro will return to Florence." "Come back with me," Pazzi urges, "we have a chance to regain our reputations, and enjoy the honors of our trade by capturing the Monster." Ah, but "I'm not here for the Monster. Non la mia casa," says Jack. "Not my house, not my fire."

@cleolindajones: What's the Polish expression--not my circus, not my monkeys?

"I'm here for Will Graham."

@cleolindajones: Can you imagine being Jack right now. "SON, ARE WE DOING THIS AGAIN. COME HOME DAMMIT"

Well, you're strong enough to throw Will over your shoulder and haul him bodily away from Hannibal, so Godspeed.


CONTINUE: PART TWO.

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FOOTNOTE: Name background: Hannibal Lecter

I tend to believe that European Aristocracy wasn't a background Harris had in mind when he wrote Red Dragon; the name "Hannibal Lecter" does not sound Lithuanian in the least. (Real talk: We all know he chose it because it rhymes with "cannibal.") I've yet to hear of "Lecter" being a real-life surname, but you can surmise that it derives from words like lector, lectern, lecture--and not just in the Hannibal Lecture sense; they're all words that ultimately derive from from the Latin leggere, "to read," and Hannibal is nothing if not ridiculously erudite.

"Hannibal" is a bit more complicated etymologically--there are many very nice people, I'm sure, named "Hannibal," but I think its initial positive connotation comes from Hannibal Barca, "one of the greatest military commanders in history," famous for marching his army, complete with elephants, over the Alps to attack Italy during the Roman Republic. Because if you really looked at its meaning--who would name their kid "grace of Baal, a demon who likes child sacrifice"? Well, Phoenicians, for one. Turns out that "Ba'al" was an honorific used for a number of weather/fertility gods or even mere mortals; the name didn't really crystallize into Prince of Hell (see also: Ba'al Zebub, Beelzebub) until the goetic writings of the 17th century. So back in the day, Carthage was a Phoenician colony, and Baal-hamon was its supreme deity--the Lord of Two Horns.



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So Hannibal Barca would have been named in honor of his city's primary deity, a perfectly reasonable and positive choice. Although, yes, the Carthaginians were sacrificing children--burnt offerings, no less (I need to go lie down now). But then, remember that on this show, Hannibal seems to be associated with fire, particularly with his cooking. So I find the idea of child sacrifice--well, I mean, I want to burn sage all through my house right now, but on a purely theoretical level, I find it "interesting" in the context of his sister dying at a young age.
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FOOTNOTE: Name background: Mischa, and likely back story inspiration

And then there's "Mischa." Y'all, I don't know. Misha is the diminutive nickname for the male Russian Mikhail--Michael. Mischa Barton aside, it is rarely used for girls, and apparently people get angry about this. Would you realistically name a Lithuanian-Italian girl "Mischa" in the 1930s-40s? Why would Thomas Harris choose to? If he wanted it for the Michael meaning ("Who is like God," the archangel who protects "the children of your people"), why not go with the Italian "Michela" or its diminutive, "Michelina," or... whatever the Lithuanian feminine of Michael is (I'm having a hard time nailing that down)? My only explanation as to why Harris chose a Russian name would be as a sort of homage to the childhood of Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo (hat tip to Wikipedia for mentioning this:

Chikatilo was born in the Ukrainian village of Yablochnoye in 1936. His childhood was quite traumatic, particularly as the USSR was soon at war with Germany which also caused a devastating famine. At age 5, his mother told him she suspected that his older brother had been kidnapped and eaten by neighbors seven years earlier. In fact, no record exists of Stepan Chikatilo’s birth or death, no proof at all that he existed, but Chikatilo’s mother told the story so convincingly, in near-hysterics, that her children were convinced of its veracity. This established a cannibalistic curiosity inside of him at a very young age.
(I can't even remember what I was looking for at the time, but hat tip to Wikipedia for pointing that out.)

We have no way of knowing if Show Hannibal heard cannibalism stories from a young age--but fairy tales are a theme this season, and there's a lot of cannibalism in, say, the Grimms' stories ("Hansel and Gretel," which Gideon referenced ["you and your little gingerbread cottage," identifying Hannibal with the child-eating witch] in "Antipasto," and "The Juniper Tree" come to mind. Yes, I have a favorite cannibalism fairy tale) Who knows why it occurred to him to eat Mischa? WHO KNOWS.
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FOOTNOTE: Caterina Sforza

As mentioned in the recap, the book Hannibal Rising states that Hannibal's mother Simonetta is descended from both the House of Visconti and the House of Sforza, two major Italian Renaissance families. A tangent too egregious to even think of including up top: you gotta hear about Caterina "The Tiger" Sforza, a lady who was 100% not fucking around. She became Regent of Forlì and Imola after her first husband's death, and immediately wiped out everyone who even knew anyone who had conspired to kill her second husband. My favorite story, however, takes place after the first husband's death:

The fortress of Ravaldino, a central part of the defensive system of the city, refused to surrender to the Orsis. Caterina offered to attempt to persuade the castellan, Tommaso Feo, to submit. The Orsis believed Caterina because she left her children as hostages, but once inside she let loose a barrage of vulgar threats and promises of vengeance against her former captors. According to a legend, when they threatened to kill her children, Caterina, standing in the walls of the fortress exposed her genitals and said: "Fatelo, se volete: impiccateli pure davanti a me... qui ho quanto basta per farne altri!" ("Do it, if you want to: hang them even in front of me... here I have what's needed to make others!").
One assumes such nonchalance towards losing one's offspring was not something Hannibal inherited from Simonetta's Sforza side. The "kill them all" vindictiveness: perhaps.
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FOOTNOTE: Death and the Maiden

Supposedly, the film Death and the Maiden was going to be another inspiration for the episode, based on the movies Bryan Fuller listed last summer; I don't know to what degree that actually panned out. Which is fine with me, because the play/film Death and the Maiden is not a fun time. It involves the victim of a fascist regime interrogating a man she believes to have been her captor-rapist--at her house after a chance encounter, while her husband flails in horror--posing the question of whether she's terrorizing an innocent man, or putting someone who genuinely wronged her "on trial." I must have seen the movie at least fifteen years ago, and since it's a Polanski film, I won't be seeing it again, so I can't say whether there are visual homages in "Secondo." It may be that the idea that Death and the Maiden film and this episode have in common, albeit in the vaguest way, is the general idea of a woman confronting a man about a crime he may have committed. Really, though, this episode resonates more with the medieval theme of Death and the Maiden: "It developed from the Dance of Death, with an added erotic subtext." (I would venture that The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun painting picks up on that subtext. *cough*) Notably, Schubert's lied "Der Tod und das Mädchen" is a German take on the motif. The danse macabre itself is "an artistic genre of late-medieval allegory on the universality of death: no matter one's station in life, the Dance of Death unites all." The memento mori skull, as Hannibal explicitly terms it, in "Primavera" touches on that idea, but the emphasis in "Secondo" is on the Maiden, I think.

(Tangentially recommended reading: A good modern example of the motif is Joyce Carol Oates' short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" Which was inspired, in part, by a serial killer dubbed the Pied Piper of Tucson.)
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FOOTNOTE: Mischa surrogates

Hannibal seems to have Mischa issues that are activated by women, often younger women, in distress. (See the medieval Death and the Maiden theme footnote.) In fact, in 3x05, Will says, "He comes in the guise of a mentor, but it's distress that excites him," a line that originally had a Clarice context, and I've gone into the whole "give my sister your place in the universe" thing before. He may 1) save the Mischa figure from violence/distress; 2) influence her to commit violence, often self-defense gone awry, convince her that she "has to" do it or that it was actually "murder," then offer to help cover it up; AND/OR 3) violently, yet tenderly, attack, kill, and/or eat her. The pattern, while variable, is definitely there:

1) Chiyoh: First Mischa surrogate, as stated in "Secondo" livetweets. Early murder experiment to see if she will kill a prisoner; not as involved (evolved?) as future experiments.

2) Bedelia: Situation with Neal Frank revealed in 3x10 (SPOILER): set up a situation in which she would initially try to help Neal, then lose control and kill him, much the way Abigail initially tried to defend herself against Nick Boyle, then "defended herself" a little too hard. In 3x01, Hannibal then makes Bedelia ask him to cover it up. Mentioned in 3x10 that he threateningly sends her recipes; strongly hinted that he may eat her if given the chance.

3) Miriam Lass (note girl/maiden surname): Strangles her unconscious on a chance meeting, then kisses her hair (regret at having to hurt a "Mischa"?); in 3x07, holds her captive for years, then psychic drives her to shoot Chilton. "He treated me very well," except for the part where he cut off her arm to send to Jack. May have used the arm to brew beer for Alana first.

4) Alana: A semi-exception explaining the rule. Alana functions as an outspoken colleague, fellow medical authority, and a mother figure to Abigail; thus, she did not have the sort of vulnerability that activates the Mischa issues. However, "You had me examining PhD candidates" implies that he kept her busy to avoid having to do what he did to Miriam; if she had discovered he was the Chesapeake Ripper, he might have held her captive and psychic-driven her as well, who knows. On the other hand, when he knocks her out in 1x03--i.e., causes her distress--he does regretfully caress her face; he convinces her in and he promises multiple times in S3 to kill her. Interestingly, Will, having been influenced himself by Hannibal, convinces her that she has to "spill blood" in 3x07.

5) Abigail: Hannibal saves her life after father cuts her throat; sets her up to kill Nicholas Boyle because he (Hannibal) was "curious" to see if she would; makes her ask him to cover it up; shots of hug in 1x09 mirror the way he strangled Miriam; reenacts/fakes her "death"; cuts off her ear to frame Will; keeps her in hiding for months; convinces her she has to push Alana out a window; finally kills her by reenacting the throat-cutting a second time. We were led to believe that he served her to Bedelia as "veal," but apparently that was a fake-out.

6) Georgia Madchen (note girl/maiden surname): An exception testing the rule. Hannibal frames her for murder and kills her fairly cruelly; possibly he's not interested in her because she's already a killer.

7) Margot: He seems immediately sympathetic to Mason's abused younger sister and says that she should kill Mason if given the chance. I won't spoil the rest, but she fits, IMO.

Interestingly, Beverly (fighting for her life), Bella (the slap), and Alana (scolding, shooting) are all women willing to strike at him. Abigail, the epitome of the Mischa surrogate, went to her death rather than defend herself.
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