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Hannibal 3x04: "Aperitivo" part 2
dire ravenstag gunmettle, dire ravenstag, dire ravenstag 04
cleolinda
PREVIOUSLY ON: EVERYBODY HATES CHILTON: "Mizumono" and the Infinite Sadness; Will wanted to elope with Hannibal and now there's just a parade of side-eye coming at him; Alana and Margot met cute, swoon; Mason Verger's okay with the Riz and Alana's okay with Old Testament vengeance and I'm okay with him falling over dead, see if you can get on that.

And now: Jack's turn. What I love about Jack's slice of "Mizumono" (I'm sorry) is that it's always kind of hilarious to watch Hannibal take those flying leaps into the pantry door over and over, but it's also terrifying somehow? I'm not entirely sure how Jack manages to hold the door (mostly) shut--with his foot?--considering that, as the Manatee said, "the six [crew] guys behind it propping it up had the shit kicked out of them."

(Given how heavily "Secondo" leaned on kaleidoscope, prism, and glass imagery, it's interesting that the three victim flashbacks shown have all involved broken glass: Chilton's bullet shattering the one-way mirror, Alana crashing through the window, Jack struggling with a shard in his neck.)

In the pantry, Jack leaves the shard in (a frequent lesson from this show: NEVER PULL A STABBING THING OUT) and tries to staunch the bleeding with his tie; we get a nice shot of arterial blood gushing out in slo-mo. As before, he fumbles with his phone, calling his wife, but can't speak. As we hear his heartbeat slow, he watches drops of blood rise from his fingertips, floating up through the pantry into a dark imagined sky. In "Mizumono," the falling raindrops become an apocalyptic rain of blood...




and now in "Aperitivo," the blood drops float into the sky like stars. I'm guessing this is meant to symbolize Jack's soul leaving his body as he loses consciousness--as he "dies."

Jack? Are you there? is the last thing, or perhaps the first thing, that he hears.

When he opens his eyes, he's lying in a hospital bed next to Bella, who is slowly dying of lung cancer in a bed of her own; they're holding hands. "Did I die?" he asks weakly.

"You did a lot of things," she says, even weaker. "Dying may have been among them. For once..." (there are long, breathless pauses breaking up most of her lines) "...I'm glad you're stubborn." "What's good for the goose," he says, chuckling. "You're not going into the ground with me, Jack," she says. "So stop trying."

"I was dead," he tells her, echoing what he will say to Pazzi in "Secondo": Io ero morto. "I knew I was dead. All that was left for me to do was die. I thought if I could hear your voice, we both wouldn't have to die alone."





"I'm not afraid of dying," says Bella, in a constant struggle to breathe. "I'm not afraid... of what it will be like... to be dead. I'm more... curious... of any what-ifs... than I am of any absolutes."

@cleolindajones: oh God "curious"

"You can do something that I can't," she says. "You can cut out... what's killing you."

@lorettaramos: BTS Bella Bella Bella

And Jack takes that to heart. Sometime after his recovery, at the Crawffice,

@cleolindajones: CHILTON




"Every useful hoop our mind can jump through begins with a certain degree of attention," says Chilton, and initially we see him blurred, faceted, through--the glass he's holding? "Focus is the most important thing any of us can do. You... you are losing focus, Jack."

"I have refocused," Jack says, and he'll drink to that. "Forced retirement at the FBI?" says Chilton, drawing from Book Jack's internal monologue: "You fall in love with the Bureau, but it does not fall in love with you." "Behavioral Sciences doesn't have the resources. Homeland Security is the priority now. Terrorists are more frightening than psychopaths." (Weird side note: Osama Bin Laden is on the Most Wanted list that appears in the movie Hannibal... released in February 2001.) Chilton, who so far has survived two of them: "Not. To me." "Really?" says Jack. "The first thing you did, after getting shot in the face, was copyright 'Hannibal the Cannibal.'" Okay, now, technically he didn't copyr-- "A catchphrase is a trademark and protected as a form of property," smarms Chilton (well, I'll be damned, Mail Order M.D. got something right). "You are alive because you did not pull that glass from your neck," he adds. "Will Graham is alive because Hannibal Lecter likes him that way."

@LeavittAlone: "Because Hannibal likes him that way" thiiiis isn't subtext it's text

Supertext, even.

"Maybe it's one of those friendships that ends after the disemboweling," says Jack, packing his files.

@NBCHannibal: Yes. We all have friendships like that. V relatable.

"I would argue, with these two, that's tantamount to flirtation" (well, this a show where murders are considered "flowers and chocolate before a first date") Chilton says, insisting that Will would lead Jack straight to Hannibal-- "Oh no he's not, not to me. I've let them both go. I've let it all go." "You dangle Will Graham and now you cut bait?" says Chilton, unwittingly (in every sense of the word) harkening back to the "You hook 'em, I'll land 'em" conversation in 2x08. "You're letting Hannibal have him hook, line and sinker."

"You'll excuse me, Dr. Chilton," says Jack, smiling. "I like to be home in the evenings when my wife wakes up."

She hasn't woken up in a while, though:

Jack Crawford, fifty-three, reads in a wing chair by a low lamp in the bedroom of his home. He faces two double beds, both raised on blocks to hospital height. One is his own; in the other lies his wife, Bella. Crawford can hear her breathing through her mouth. It has been two days since she last could stir or speak to him.
Except for the height of the beds and the minimal plumbing necessary for Bella's comfort, Crawford has managed to keep this from looking like a sickroom. There are flowers, but not too many.



She misses a breath. Crawford looks up from his book, over his halfglasses. He puts the book down. Bella breathes again, a flutter and then a full breath. He rises to put his hand on her, to take her blood pressure and her pulse. Over the months he has become expert with the blood pressure cuff.

Because he will not leave her at night, he has installed a bed for himself beside her. Because he reaches out to her in the dark, his bed is high, like hers.



@cleolindajones: oh no. is this the scene.

@idoherty451: Oh no.

@cleolindajones: nooooooooooo

(If you would like to skip through this for emotional reasons, you can jump to the funeral.)

You may recognize some of this from the excerpt I quoted in the "Takiawase" recap (also the fourth episode of its season, now that I think about it), but even I was amazed to see how closely the scene tracks with text remixed from two different scenes:

He put his ear to her chest. He heard a soft beat, a flutter, and then her heart stopped. There was nothing to hear, there was only a curious cool rushing. He didn't know if the sound was in her chest or only in his ears.



Except that on the show, Bella's heart doesn't stop. Instead, Jack takes her hand.

It was a square, clever hand, marked with a lifetime of gardening, marked by IV needles now.

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




He wanted to get something for her, anything, but he did not want her to feel him let go of her hand.
Jack kisses her hand twice, then--

He pads to the closet and turns on the light. Two clipboards hang on the inside of the door. On one he notes Bella's pulse and blood pressure. His figures and those of the day nurse alternate in a column that stretches over many yellow pages, many days and nights. On the other clipboard, the dayshift nurse has signed off Bella's medication.


[x]


Here--you can see the moment he decides--he selects a bottle of morphine and takes it to her IV, giving her a quiet, implied overdose.





He gathered her to him on the bed, sitting against the headboard, held her to his chest while her brain died. His chin pushed back the scarf from the remnants of her hair. He did not cry. He had done all that.
He was waiting for her body to become a ceremonial object apart from him, separate from the person he had held upon the bed and separate from the life's companion he held now in his mind. So he could call them to come for her.

@aMoTPodcast: I'm so conflicted right now, halfway between "This scene is heartbreaking" and "This is shot so damn beautifully"

@manatee73: Gina Torres made us all cry.

After a cut to black and a break, Jack stares at Bella's empty bed, then turns to find her holding up a white dress. "God, I love you in white," he says.




"Jack?" He looks up; it's Alana who's holding the dress. "She'll look beautiful," he says, with some difficulty. If this isn't the dress Bella wore in her first appearance--the "ethical butcher" dinner in "Coquilles"--then it is very similar.

@LJmysticowl: #Hannibal, the show on which the dead are more alive than the living

"Bella's dead," he says. "That should change the view from these windows. It's not right if the view stays the same. It's not right."

And now, a montage of Bella being prepared for burial, eyeshadow and lip color and dress buttons, while Jack buttons his shirt and knots his tie and contemplates his wedding ring, dissolving to a flashback of their wedding.

@BryanFuller: THE RETURN OF THE LOVELY AND AMAZING GINA TORRES

@lorettaramos: How much do you love them?!?

@BryanFuller: LAURENCE FISHBURNE AND WIFE GINA TORRES ELOPE IN THE MIDDLE OF SHOOTING #HANNIBAL



x / x


NBCHannibal: HAHAH ALL OF OUR FEELINGS ARE BROKEN.

@manatee73: @BryanFuller best out takes ever.

As a side note, Bella appears in Red Dragon, then dies in Silence of the Lambs; in the Hannibal book, a heartbroken Jack gradually declines until he finally has one heart attack, then another. (Clarice, having already run off with Hannibal, only finds out much later that he's died, but sees him in her memory palace sometimes. I would find this more touching if she hadn't learned of his death "during one of Dr. Lecter’s regular visits to the FBI public Web site to admire his likeness among the Ten Most Wanted.") But because we're getting to the first book last, Jack's spirit is going to have to survive this.

Instead of a kiss at the wedding, the camera rotates around a forehead kiss at Bella's casket.



[x]


And then he sees.




@NBCHannibal: First of all, #Hannibal, how dare you.

@LJmysticowl: Tell me he didn't... The. Actual. Worst. I hope Bella haunts you and bitchslaps you forever in your dreams

@DireRavenstag: Fancy fleshmeat was just trying to express his grief! And, you know, how much of a total shit he is.

@cleolindajones: GET OUT


BUT THEN I REMEMBERED


@cleolindajones: IS IT THE JOHN DONNE THING

@HannibalSerieTV: La nota de Hannibal contiene también un fragmento de este poema de John Donne

Here's the thing about the "condolence" note in Silence of the Lambs: Hannibal and Jack do not have a personal relationship. They met after Will realized Hannibal was the Chesapeake Ripper and immediately got gutted, interacting only (as far as I recall) in a "professional" capacity as head profiler and arrested cannibal. In fact, I don't think they ever meet in person once the books begin--although Book Hannibal has an unnerving habit of seeming to know everything about everyone. Book Hannibal shouldn't know that Jack is married, much less that his wife is dying--so it is eerie, intrusive, and possibly suggestive of a godlike omniscience, when this happens:

Crawford made a small, successful effort not to look after [Clarice] as she left. From his wastebasket he lifted in the fork of his fingers a wad of heavy mauve notepaper. He spread it on his desk. It was about his wife and it said, in an engaging hand:

O wrangling schools, that search what fire
Shall burn this world, had none the wit
Unto this knowledge to aspire
That this her fever might be it?

I'm so sorry about Bella, Jack.

Hannibal Lecter





(x)


@cleolindajones: HE WROTE THE THING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GET OUT

I'm honestly not sure which "condolence" is crueler--the near-stranger who likes to reach out and poke you in the pain, or the former friend and colleague who revived your suffering wife when she came to him for help dying with dignity (before you nearly died in his pantry). At least the show's context of the note offers a possibility that Hannibal feels genuine sympathy among his many trains of thought, I guess. It's still cruel, though, because here's what's going on in the poem: the stanza Hannibal sent basically says, rephrased, that no one realized that her (the beloved woman's) mortal illness might be the fire that would apocalyptically consume the world, leaving it (according to the previous stanza) an empty carcass. WHAT A NICE THING TO SEND TO A GRIEVING HUSBAND.

There are a few "happy" coincidences in the choice of poem, though--and mind you, this was in the book thirty years ago. The narrator also "conveys his deep admiration of her, both physical and spiritual"; Bryan Fuller tweeted back during "Takiawase" that "Hannibal is in love with his Lady Death." In the poem (says the commentary), "she can't waste away because she would have to contain corruption in her soul to fuel a fever. It is implied that she is ethical and virtuous." And the word "ethical" turns up Bella's very first scene, when she Bella refuses eat foie gras. I don't know how, but there are some lovely confluences here. And, coincidentally or not, Jack is flanked by candles (fire: Hannibal); he even looks around the church like Hannibal might somehow be there.




Murder wizardry: when you care to send the very worst.

The empty church is another example of dreamlike imagery, if only because I cannot believe Will would be the first person at Bella's funeral--not even any family? As with so many scenes on this show, this conversation happens because it needs to happen, in a dream world where nothing exists beyond your peripheral vision.






@idoherty451: Will for the love of God if you act creepy in this scene I will reach through the screen and smack you silly.

"I opened my eyes this morning and at that moment, before the weight of the day came for me, I didn't even think about Bella dying," says Jack. This is his idea of a greeting. "I still think she was hoping to die while I was out of the room... but... I was there when her heart stopped. And I held onto her until her brain died."

"I hope she's somewhere today, Jack. And that she's comfortable," says Will, doing the best he can. Again, most of this is adapted from book narrative--but "I hope she's somewhere and she's comfortable" changes tonally when you move it from Jack's private thoughts to Will's awkward mouth. Like, my gut reaction was, "SOMEWHERE? That's the best you can do?!" But recall, in "Primavera"--the future relative to now--Will is going to say, "What I believe is closer to science fiction than anything in the Bible." And "Abigail" will reply, "We all know it, but nobody ever says that G-dash-D won't do a G-dash-D-damned thing to answer anybody's prayers." This may, in fact, be the best Will can do.

"I hope she can see it in my heart," says Jack. But then he blurts out, "She had to die on me. I knew it was coming. But it still smarts." And then, his parting words, as he hands a surprised Will the letter: "I know what's coming for you, Will. You don't have to die on me, too." That just--amazes me, that Jack can even think of Broken Mongoose at probably the lowest moment of his life. And now I'm sitting here doing final revisions on this recap and thinking about "The Wrath of the Lamb" two days ago and I want to lie down on the floor again.

Mason Verger: Unfortunately, not what I want to hear about right now. Honestly, you could just say "Mason Verger: Unfortunately" and be covered for most situations.

@BryanFuller: PLEASE GIVE A WARM #FannibalFamily WELCOME TO GLENN FLESHLER AS MASON’S MAJOR DOMO CORDELL

"Fleshler" sounds like an actual position one might hold in Mason's household.

@manatee73: ALL HAIL THE YELLOW KING!!!!

@nickantosca: "congrats, Glenn, you've found the one show that's more disturbing than True Detective" #Hannibal #Cordell!

@helenshang: Even now, it's impossible to see the name "Cordell" and not say it out loud a couple times a la Gary Oldman.

@cleolindajones: CORDELLLLLLLLL

@manatee73: Glenn is a lovely guy. Also, absolutely terrifying on a dime.

If you only see one scene of Glenn Fleshler's from True Detective, make it the one where his character starts imitating a Cary Grant movie on the TV for no particular reason; the sheer random absurdity of it is unnerving. Fair warning: the clip is disturbing as all hell for multiple reasons.

As for Cordell, here's his book and movie background. In the book, "the only matter holy to him, money" is his driving interest, but he's also no longer allowed to have "close contact with children." On the show, he only has one stated motivation: "Pain is a good thing," he tells a yelping Mason ("OW! OW! I'M SAYING OW!") during a facial massage.

"This is why you can never legally work in the health industry, Cordell," exposits Mason. "They were going to throw you away. You would have been wasted." "Scar tissue is an awesome demonstration of self-preservation," muses Cordell in his nurse whites. "The flesh's fight to exist, down to the most basic cell, is a wonder." Mason has other things on his mind, though--a Christmastime epiphany from the book: "At Communions around the earth, the devout believe that through the miracle of transubstantiation, they eat the flesh and blood of Christ." Mason slowly rises as his motorized wheelchair sits him up. "It is an impressive ceremony. I need to prepare an even more impressive ceremony with no transubstantiation necessary. Cordell" (who is massaging his leg now), "I have known you to be absolutely reliable and capable of almost anything. Is that true?" "It is not untrue," Cordell says placidly. Mason continues, "I pay you a large salary to be responsible for my care and feeding." "And all that that entails," says Cordell--almost as if quoting a contract. "And all that that entails," repeats Mason. "I would like you to begin arrangements for Dr. Hannibal Lecter to be eaten alive."

Cordell hesitates.



I kind of think it's because he doesn't want to betray how totally down for that he is.

"Do you have a preference for how you would like him prepared?" I told you he was gonna be the fleshler.

"Oh, Cordell... If I had lips, I would smile."

And now, a flashback to how Mason got his brand-new turtle nose: a Dead Ringers homage.




Not the first Dead Ringers homage, mind you, but I haven't recapped the Red Surgeons' first appearance: Margot's forced hysterectomy in "Ko No Mono" (another thing I don't really want to talk about right now). The red surgical smocks are just so unnerving to me--how much blood are you guys planning to be covered in, anyway? In that movie, the Jeremy Irons characters (twin brothers; he's amazing) are disturbed gynecologists, so this is probably the least upsetting comparison picture I can offer you:




This is a David "Master of Body Horror, Oh God What Did I Just See, UNCLEAN" Cronenberg movie that features the phrase "Gynecological Tools for Operating on Mutant Women," so it was really ominous when Margot woke up surrounded by Red Surgeons. However, look past that for a moment--here's selected points from from Horror DVDs' review:

The film begins with a montage of medieval paintings of birth and torture.... Beside the words Dead Ringers is a shot of two twins facing different directions yet connected in the same womb. Two twins who share the same mind, both united and paradoxically completely different.... The movie starts off at their apex of success, and takes the viewer on a vicious downward spiral.... After all the heartbreak, Bev begins to detest the way Elliot controls and dominates his existence. He sets off for independence, but Elliot won’t allow it. The two are a unit, and without the ying there is no yang. The further the two split, the weaker they become, until they tragically end up how they started: two souls sleeping together as one.
It's a kind of folie à deux, really. Throw in the poster where faces merge together, and I think you see where I'm going with this: thematically, it's very Will and Hannibal.

But back to Mason's facial reconstruction surgery, which is... sort of jauntily groovy, what?

@idoherty451: Aaaaaand the soundtrack is insanely 60s/70s psychedelia omg.

@aMoTPodcast: Mason's musical motifs are... fitting.

(In the book, Mason plays "Moroccan music," "soft light and music. North African music, an oud and drums.")

@BryanFuller: WHAT’S LEFT AFTER ONE EATS ONE’S NOSE [NO]

@cleolindajones: WHAT NO

@cleolindajones: WARN ME ABOUT THIS SHIT!

Was I supposed to already know I had a nasal cavity squick?

(I suppose a gory surgery shot is relatively mundane in Hannibal Land, but my God, this one was up there on my personal Things This Show Did That I Absolutely Could Not Handle list. And I'm the one who wanted a My Little Stagenstein.)




Mason examines his new face: "Good as new."

Back in the relative present, Alana has returned as Mason's profiler in residence. "All this time he eludes us... he got away clean!" he fusses. "It's as though Hannibal Lecter has dropped off the earth."

"Hannibal obviously has good papers and money," Alana tells him. "Europe is where a man of his tastes would settle." This is where Alana becomes, as Fio put it, "a dark reflection of Clarice," who spends a good bit of the Hannibal book researching Hannibal's past-and-likely-present spending habits in hopes of locating him--a busywork job she's been demoted to after a drug bust gone bad.

Some anonymous office neighbor printed a sign in Gothic letters that read HANNIBAL’S HOUSE and pinned it on her curtained entrance. Fearful of losing the room, Starling moved the sign inside.

And this is ten years after Hannibal's escape, no less. So Clarice is still working for the FBI, not Mason, who is pretending to cooperate with law enforcement at that point, and she's having this conversation with Noted Jackass Paul Krendler from the Justice Department in an official capacity, going through dusty archives and internet searches and piles of receipts:

"We know Dr. Lecter has very good ID," she began. "He must have at least one extra solid identity, maybe more. He’s careful that way. He won’t make a dumb mistake. [...] He’s a man of very cultivated tastes, some of them exotic tastes, in food, in wine, music. If he comes here, he’ll want those things. He’ll have to get them. He won’t deny himself. [...] You can see here: In the month that Dr. Lecter served the flautist Benjamin Raspail’s sweetbreads to other members of the Baltimore Philharmonic Orchestra board, he bought two cases of Château Pétrus bordeaux at thirty-six hundred dollars a case. He bought five cases of Bâtard-Montrachet at eleven hundred dollars a case, and a variety of lesser wines.

"He ordered the same wine from room service in St. Louis after he escaped, and he ordered it from Vera dal 1926 in Florence. This stuff is pretty rarefied. We’re checking importers and dealers for case sales."
So Clarice is having to slowly work her way into Hannibal's head, having never had a relationship "in private life" with him--whereas Alana can go to Hannibal's Actual House and get dishes out of the china cabinet ("Yeah, he used these for this great dinner party he had. We probably ate six, maybe seven people"). And Alana's making herself valuable by offering this ready-made insight as a way to insinuate herself into the efforts to capture Hannibal, rather than Mason getting information through back channels.

"Well, his tastes are very specific," Mason murmurs, once again looking Alana up and down. "And that's how you'll find him," Alana says pointedly. "The wine, the truffles..."




Little bit on the nose there, guys.

(I super enjoy the whole Murder Wives AU idea, though.)

"Taste in all things will be a constant between Dr. Lecter's lives. His name will change, but his taste will not," she concludes. And then Mason just has to: "Of course you know what he would favor. Tell me, Dr. Bloom, does he favor you?"

@cleolindajones: hit him with the cane

Ughhhhh, he's like an obscene phone call in human form. This part of the conversation is actually adapted from a different one with Jack Crawford: after Hannibal sends Clarice a letter regarding her disgrace, Jack asks why Hannibal would write to her. You will see 1) several elements that have appeared in previous episodes as well as 2) strong differences between Clarice's and Alana's relationships with their respective Hannibals:

"He thought what happened to me would … destroy, would disillusion me about the Bureau, and he enjoys seeing the destruction of faith, it's his favorite thing. It's like the church collapses he used to collect. The pile of rubble in Italy when the church collapsed on all the grandmothers at that special Mass and somebody stuck a Christmas tree in the top of the pile, he loved that. I amuse him, he toys with me. When I was interviewing him he liked to point out holes in my education, he thinks I’m pretty naive."

Crawford spoke from his own age and isolation when he said, "Have you ever thought that he might like you, Starling?"

"I think I amuse him. Things either amuse him or they don’t. If they don’t …" [....] "On really short acquaintance he told me some things about myself that were true. I think it’s easy to mistake understanding for empathy--we want empathy so badly. Maybe learning to make that distinction is part of growing up. It's hard and ugly to know somebody can understand you without even liking you. When you see understanding just used as a predator’s tool, that’s the worst. I... I have no idea how Dr. Lecter feels about me."

"I think I amused him," says Alana. "Things either amuse him or they don't. And if they don't... Well, you didn't." No, you insulted his artwork and stabbed the therapy chair. Mason asks, "Do you feel he ever... genuinely cared for you?" "I have no idea how Dr. Lecter genuinely feels about me," she says. We have an idea, though. In the Art and Making of Hannibal book: "'You can always discuss whether Hannibal takes advantage of the situation or if it just happens,' Mads Mikkelsen says. 'It's very hard to know when it comes to Hannibal... but again, there's an honesty. He likes her, he wants her, he desires her for the situation. And tomorrow he might not. But it's always honest.'" Caroline Dhavernas says, "I think he might have [had real feelings]. I think he might have been there with her when they were together. It’s just that he will always look after his own interests. He’s a narcissist. He doesn’t really care about anyone else." I can't source the video (convention?) interview with one or both of the two actors that I'm pretty sure I remember seeing, but the impression I got was that Hannibal had an honest, genuine liking for Alana, as evidenced in their flirtatious season one interactions and how highly he spoke of her to Jack, certainly. Those feelings are real, but limited--a liking you have to take at face value in the moment (respect, attraction, affection, comfort), rather than the way Hannibal is willing to move heaven and earth for Will, then burn them both down.

Oh, also: "Last time we spoke, he promised he'd kill me," Alana says flatly. This promise will come up over and over again as the season goes on, and--seriously? SERIOUSLY? You had her thrown out a window and left her for dead, don't you think you're even now?

"Huh. So tell me, how does it feel to use understanding as a predator's tool?" asks Mason (I am genuinely surprised that he doesn't make a big creepy deal out of the word "tool"). "I'm using it as I've always used it," says Alana, and it's interesting how it's been flipped, the female character using the tool rather than having it used upon her: "A psychiatric tool."

Mason cranks himself closer (WHIRRRRRR): "Why not take this to Jack Crawford?" "Jack's done at the FBI, a footnote in his own Evil Minds Museum," Alana says dismissively. And Mason seems to perceive that Alana may have something deeper going on: "I'm curious, Dr. Bloom" (WHIRRRRRR) "how I have found you in my pocket. Do tell. I'm all ears, they've just been... redistributed."

"You're preparing the theatre of Hannibal's death," says Alana. "I'm just doing my part to get him to the stage."

@cleolindajones: like... I can't even blame her, you know?

But, again, this isn't her true agenda; I had a feeling the whole time it wouldn't be, because she's been slotted into (some of) Clarice's role, and Clarice's whole thing in the book was that she's like, dammit, I know you're a cannibal serial killer, but it is my sworn duty to bring your ass in, it's not justice to let you be tortured to death. So that's a bit of a clue, perhaps, as to what may really be going on here.

I also want to point out here that, in the book, Mason continues the tradition of "curiosity": he tells Clarice in passing that he had locked up two shelter dogs together without food, because "I was curious about what would eventually happen."

Speaking of dogs:

@lorettaramos: WINSTON!!! APPLESAUCE!!!

I'm not sure why Jack's come to the Nobark Home for Dogs Who Don't Know Where Daddy Went, but Alana meets him at the door. "Where's Will?" he asks. "He's already gone, Jack," she says, sounding more like her old self. "Will knows what he has to do. Do you?"



(x)


@cleolindajones: is he going to sail to Italy

@idoherty451: wait did will SAIL HIMSELF to Europe? omg

@aMoTPodcast: So was that scene Will just straight sailing to Europe? Was that supposed to be our takeaway?

Yes.

@BryanFuller: COME SAIL AWAY WITH ME, LAD

So Will returns to his element, where he feels safe.




@NBCHannibal: NEXT SEASON ON THE O.C.

@Humanitarian66: Did anyone notice what the name of Will's boat was?

@behnnie: @Humanitarian66 Studying every gif I can find & can't see a name. The only safe assumptions are "Hannigram" and "Snailboat"...

@TheDoL3: @NBCHannibal COME SNAIL AWAY. COME SNAIL AWAY COME SNAIL AWAY WITH MEEEE. #Snailedit.

@DeLaurentiisCo: The boat is named Nola.

As seen on @thetuxedos' episode art (she was told the name, I'm guessing):

@DeLaurentiisCo: Just curious. Did you all catch this?



(x)


@DeLaurentiisCo: The original painting is Blake's The Ancient of Days. When we meet The Red Dragon, it will make more sense. :)

As it turns out, a William Blake painting is hanging in Mason's bedroom (pictured, right). The figure in the original painting (left), to which Will's boat has been added (episode art, middle), is Urizen: "In the complex mythology of William Blake, Urizen is the embodiment of conventional reason and law. He is usually depicted as a bearded old man; he sometimes bears architect's tools, to create and constrain the universe; or nets, with which he ensnares people in webs of law and conventional society. Originally, Urizen represented one half of a two-part system, with him representing reason and Los, his opposition, representing imagination." And I would argue that those are the two aspects Will is torn between--what Jack and Hannibal each represent. What it means in the episode art that the boat is sailing through the compass, not held back by the "webs" of law or society--well, Jack probably needs to start planning his Italian vacation pronto.

(Speaking of Hannibal himself, the painting was also used on the cover of... a Stephen Hawking book.)

BACK TO THE GOOD SHIP NOLA: New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) was where Will used to work Homicide. But as forestardenne points out (links added), "Nola is a genus name for moths (HA!), and a town in Italy Hannibal (the famous conqueror one) tried to conquer three times, unsuccessfully. Interpret that how you will."

(Laurence Fishburne's Post Mortem interview with Scott Thompson: "What do you think Will’s motive is for going after Hannibal?" "Gotta kill him." "You think that’s it?!" "Noooo, gotta get together with him and go off into the sunset.")

("Dumbass.")

So now, if you would like, double back and rewatch (or reread) "Primavera," where Will arrives in Palermo with "I wanted to run away with him" as the subtext of "I forgive you" in the catacombs, and keep going through "Secondo," where Jack lights a candle for Bella, "not here for Il Mostro, here for Will Graham," with Alana's challenge to do "what you have to do" to get him back.


@NBCHannibal: OK, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE DOGS.




Meanwhile, there was not as much official episode livetweeting because everyone was at the Saturn Awards; I have the full livetweeting for that in the Storify as well.

@lorettaramos: Team #Hannibal Table 1! @SaturnAwards1 #FannibalFamily

@lorettaramos: #HannibalOnSaturn with @BryanFuller and @RCArmitage

@angelinaburnett: I wish you guys could hear how excited @helenshang gets for each of these categories. She cares y'all. Deeply.

@helenshang: Someone mentioned "avant garde serial killers". I think that's us.

@angelinaburnett: LAWRENCE WINS! @MrAaronAbrams accepts!

@helenshang: LAWERENCE FISHBOURNE WON! AARON ABRAMS ACCEPTING AWARD WITH PANACHE!

@angelinaburnett: .@MrAaronAbrams just made a cancellation joke and it played. I promise.

@helenshang: "AND THE AWARD FOR BEST NETWORK TV SERIES GOES TO THE HAPPIEST TABLE, HANNIBAL!"

@angelinaburnett: WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!!! (Literally!)

@nickantosca: "OH THE IRONY" @BryanFuller as #Hannibal wins Best Network Show #saturnawards

@angelinaburnett: Fancy Dancy just lost to the Walking Dead dude. I'd be ok with this if Rick had given me wine and WAIT HES BRITISH!?

@angelinaburnett: WAIT IT WAS A TIE FUCK YES!! #dreamiest

@helenshang: HUGH DANCY WON BEST ACTOR! IM SO SORRY FOR CRAPPY PIC!

@angelinaburnett: PS? I hooped so loud when Hugh won the lady in front of me Gave me a veiled dirty look. WHATEVER LADY YOU WISH YOU WERE HAVING THIS MUCH FUN

@DeLaurentiisCo: You waited patiently. @SaturnAwards1 Winner (and #Fannibal) @RCArmitage in a flower crown at last!

@DeLaurentiisCo: And, then there's this. @RCArmitage is a gem!




x / x



Next time!

@Devilligan: Just caught up with @nickantosca's brilliant ep. of Hannibal. I'm up next with a tale of searing ultra violence and Italian antiquity!

@cleolindajones: well, it was nice knowing Pazzi I guess

@idoherty451: Holy--ANOTHER Jack smackdown? Wow.


AND IT'S THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED.

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Another great recap (and I keep sounding like a broken record saying it again and again). Someone should offer you to publish all your recaps as a book. I think critical analysis would count as fair use, but my brain is tired right now, so I might be wrong.


>>>So this was the week that the hammer dropped.

Appropriate "text from":



And two recap-relevant ones:







I remember Fuller talking about how some people initially wanted Margot to be straight and with Will, but I can't provide links. Obviously, I'm *very* glad that she finally got a female love interest. Despite my pro-Alana stance, I never could ship her with anyone (well, there was a brief period when I shipped her with Crawford, just a bit), but when the rumours about Alana's new romance started, I was all for it. It's unfortunate that the press described her eventual relationship status in S3 as "eyebrow-raising" (I remember some fans decided it means Chilton)... Okay, I'm going to stop myself from rambling on and on about Alana, and her new look, and people's reactions to the changes in her.

"Because Hannibal Lecter likes him that way." Yep. When I saw those words written, it didn't really affect the state of my shipping glasses, because I took it as "likes him alive". Then I watched the episode and heard it being said. "Um... he totally means "that way" as in "*that way*", doesn't he?!"

Now I'm going back to reread the recap.

Thank you, as always.


I think the stress of "LIKES HIM that way" means "likes him alive," as opposed to a more euphemistic "likes him THAT WAY," but no lies would be detected either way.

I remember a critic's review of this episode bemoaned that they wished Alana had DIED rather than lose her sweetness and softness. It was a male critic. I nearly punched my monitor.

This was one of my favorite episodes. My Chilton analogy was Nick Fury talking to everybody about the Avengers initiative, and it cracked me up.

I appreciated the overview of the Verger portrayals. I'd never seen the Gary Oldman Mason. I'd thought the show makeup was already very hard to look at, and that was even worse (but I looked at both links because I don't know what's good for me).

I'm glad that you're still doing the recaps. I'm not ready to be done talking about the show, and it's nice to have your thoughtful recaps to read and talk about and inspire me to rewatch the episodes with new things in mind.

Aw, yay. I can't wait to get to "Contorno," because I'm dying to get to the big fight scene, but that definitely won't go up until after Dragon Con (which is this weekend).

I just *live* for these recaps. Thank you!

Love the recaps. And that Blake painting - in a cross-show confluence, Richard Armitage played a tortured spy in Spooks/MI-5 who had both the Ancient of Days and the Great Red Dragon in his apartment (see https://armitageagonistes.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/blake1.jpg ), but only the former tattooed on his skin ( http://s28.photobucket.com/user/Kirsteena/media/128705061085761435.jpg.html ). Considering Lucas North often lost his shirt and/or trousers, favoured black vaguely military clothes and was scarily competent with guns, you can see why the RA fandom dissolved into a delighted flashback...

I just felt like I HAD to let you know how wonderfully done this is and how thoroughly I enjoyed it. These recaps are an amazing blend of insight and analysis, humour, and background information all while remaining incredibly cohesive.

On an annoying note, it looks like the tumblr url for the (perfect) Wonderfalls dumbass post has been changed so your link no longer takes you to it. I don't even know if keeping on top of that is even worth it, seeing how frequently some people change their blog names, but I thought I'd mention it.

Speaking of Wonderfalls, I've realized that I have no idea if you've seen Fuller's other shows or what your thoughts are if you have. Do you have any posts talking about them?

Thank you! I reblogged that on my own tumblr so I can fix that pretty quickly, I think.

I haven't seen any of his other shows, actually--I was thinking about watching Wonderfalls because it's short and I like Caroline so much.

Your recaps are always extraordinary, and this is no exception.

Now I'm going to go and TRY to deal with my feelings about the finale.

Amazing job as always. I nth the calls for a book. The Hannibal Companion has a nice ring.

I just wanted to point out that the Aromaleigh "This is My Design" colors for Alana and Margot are a sort of teal/peacock green and red-orange, respectively. And here they are, with Alana in orange-red and Margot in a deep green. It seemed like a nice little non-obvious connection between the characters.

"After a long, wounded pause, Chilton replies, "The optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist... fears this is true." He leans in: "This is your best possible world, Will. Not getting a better one.""

What I find really, really interesting about the 'alternate universes' theories being tossed around early in the season is this: if, because of cancellation, we assume that Wrath of the Lamb is the end of the Hannibal Lecter mythos, then this whole series has been an alternate universe to the original Thomas Harris canon. And this version is the 'better' ending for Will Graham.

Think about it: if we erase the meta knowledge that there was supposed to be a fourth season, then we have to take the ending as 'Will and Hannibal die in the ocean' (an ending I admit I'm kind of partial to).

In that version, Will Graham actually wins, in his own way. In the books, he's a failure -- he doesn't realize Dolarhyde's still alive (and that he's gonna attack his family), he doesn't stop the Dragon (Molly does), and he doesn't prevent Hannibal from wreaking more havoc (and ultimately escaping and corrupting Clarice). Will Graham fails at everything he set out to do, and winds up a divorced, unemployed alcoholic with a face that's hard to look at. And Hannibal fucks off to Argentina with a new love interest.

In a way, you can see this version of Will Graham who learns from his own mistakes, both in this world and in the other world, and decides he can take a better path. And this path lets him embrace his own nature for one final moment before he ends the Dragon, ends Hannibal, and ends his own failures. There is no further corruption, because this time, Will Graham did what he was supposed to do.

I realize this probably wasn't what Fuller & Co. intended, but if this is the ending we get, I kind of like that sort of resonance it has as the finale to the series.

I think it's quite likely that Fuller & Co intended that to at least be a possible implication of the end (?) of the series.

Wonderful recap as always, Cleo.

So psyched to hear that you're planning on going back to finish season 2 after you've wrapped up this one (assuming all is relatively good health-wise, of course, I know stuff happens). I'm actually really pleased that you're doing these recaps now because we get to look at episodes with the knowledge of what's going to happen instead of having to speculate.

Also, and this is selfish of me, I just miss the show so much already! But these recaps feel like it's not done and gone completely?? It's almost like getting new content because you discuss so many things I hadn't noticed the first time. We probably won't get any more original episodes, but your recaps are the next best thing, imho. So, you know...thanks!

The shot from inside the wound is the most horrifying yet. I think it's the thin layer of fat. I can cope with blood, and I can cope with tissue, but bone and subcutaneous fat upset me on a completely different level. I'm not sure why this is, but there you go, that was the version of Will's stomach wound that upset me the most.

And it takes me forever to read anything involving Verger backstory, because I get upset and have to get up and wander around while muttering to myself and the universe at large about how horrible the entire existence of such a character is. Which is why I've stayed up late reading this, rather than going to bed a bit early, as was my original intent.

I also love that the bullet sort of gently nudges Chilton's brain out of the way as it journeys through his skull.

I really appreciate these recaps, since for various reasons I wasn't able to watch the season as it aired and have yet to see it.

Jack and Bella broke my heart into a million tiny pieces.

(The way the "Red Dinner," as it's been called, functions reminds me a little of David Lynch movies like Lost Highway or Mulholland Drive where something happens in the middle, some unnameable thing that alters the very nature of reality, and the narrative then twists at that point like a mobius strip--everything goes back to one moment that unbalances time and space. Here, it's not so much a narrative twist as a narrative wound--a scar the story can't stop touching.)

Ok, THANK YOU for that. It both put words to a feeling of familiarity which I hadn't fully put my finger on AND instantly put me to peace with the unreality of the first half of this season. It's Lynchian, as a result of Mizumono....100% makes sense to me now.

We had just found out that Twitter ratings throw out tweets with curse words, can you tell?

No WONDER Hannibal didn't do better. I think there was one episode where I just tweeted versions of FUCK over and over.

I suppose a gory surgery shot is relatively mundane in Hannibal Land, but my God, this one was up there on my personal Things This Show Did That I Absolutely Could Not Handle list.

For real I was trying to remember this scene and utterly failing, wondering why I didn't remember something that disturbing. And then I realized that I was totally hiding my eyes the ENTIRE SCENE while my husband sat next to me groaning "Don't look. No, really, don't look. Still don't look." I have a medical horror squick. This time I managed to hide enough that I totally forgot it happened.

Everything with Jack and Bella made me cry. OH NOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Your recap is glorious as always and I love it. ♥ LOOKING FORWARD SO MUCH TO JACK WRECKING HANNIBAL IN THE NEXT ONE. That was the kind of satisfying money can't buy.

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