Hannibal: Entrée   Rewatch 
October 2, 2014 4:45 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

The Chesapeake Ripper is revealed! Not.
posted by tel3path (46 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This was when the show finally went full bore into its Hannibal mythos and bloomed into the show we all now know and love. Everything after this feels different from everything before it. Thomas Garris canon in a blender.
posted by The Whelk at 9:11 PM on October 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

I know Gideon is a nutter, but whenever he's interacting with our main characters he, to me, seems to take on a bit of the character of sane person in a hurricane of our main cast's shared crazy. I think that gets stronger in later episodes. Maybe not all the time, but those singular moments of "come on you guys, seriously?!"
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 6:24 AM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

My favorite thing thing about Gideon in these early episodes is how much he's a knock-off Lecter. The show loves to present reflections and constrasting characters so we have a lot of versions of Hannibal running around but only one that has ALL the characteristics and does them ALL well.

Like having Gideon be this off-brand 99 cent store version of the ripper who is basically doing an Anthony Hopkins impression at first, be the creation of slimy, smug, artless Chilton is kind of awesome. He's such a second rate shaper of minds.
posted by The Whelk at 6:52 AM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yes, I agree.

We've been promised Gideon flashbacks in S3. I think that Abel is a strange name to give to a murderer. I'm wondering if we'll find out he didn't kill his family at all.
posted by tel3path at 6:52 AM on October 3, 2014

It's exactly the kind of twist this show loves.

Bad to the episode, upon retch, it's not until Season two that Gideon gets any real motivation ..not like it hey forgot to give him any, but more like he's been stripped of his humanity and turned into this tool that does the Spooky Serial skilled thing when you wind him up.

It's very effectively unnerving.
posted by The Whelk at 7:02 AM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I approve of anything that gives us more Eddie Izzard.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:32 AM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

I hope he gets to say "chocolate biscuit" at some point.
posted by The Whelk at 8:34 AM on October 3, 2014

This episode gets better every time I watch it. If last week was that moment a rocket's thruster fires and it starts eeking up off the ground, this is where it really starts to fly. So much one could pick through with this one!

I was incredibly surprise, even confused, by this episode on first watch. I didn't know quite how to feel about it. I enjoyed the hell out of watching, but I didn't understand how they could get to where I thought they were heading at the time after doing an episode like this one.

I'd glommed on to the fact that they were using bits and pieces here and there from the books and stuff to make references... But to have them just burn up a TON of Silence of the Lambs, except with a cheap-seeming knock off of Hannibal and a Not Clarice was just shocking to me. And to top it all off, they do the bait thing from Red Dragon. I didn't really quite come around on it until I read Cleolinda's fantastic recap.

Once past my initial feelings of confusion though, I've really found a lot to love here. Gideon's not given a lot of motivation, as The Whelk notes, but Eddie Izzard is great. Chlumsky does very well. Esparza will become better every time he pops up on the show but this is a great introduction to (and initial maiming of) Chilton.

Nearly all the little touches in this episode are great too. The look of utter heartbreak and horror on Will's face when he's done empathing the nurse murder, the way they intercut Will and Alana asking questions instead of having two wholly separate scenes, the music that plays when Freddie strides into the prison block, Hannibal's total Grinch Face when he's reading the article about Gideon. All great.

As far as the plot overall goes... Man does placing something like Miriam Lass in Jack's past make it clear that his awful recklessness with Will is a pattern for Jack Crawford. And as Will points out, he's incredibly reckless here too with Freddie. It's one thing to bait an unknown criminal that's actively killing and will kill again soon... It's another in my opinion to bait someone that you don't think has killed in years to kill again just to prove some other murder was just some random asshole killing a nurse.

It seems somewhat... odd to me that Hannibal would take the conversation he has with Jack in his office as a reason to start doing things like prank calls from Miriam. Obviously once the bait article is up, that's clearly going to provoke a response. Hannibal is too proud to let that slide at all and... Man, does Hannibal ever give a middle finger and then some (literally) to Jack and everyone else for letting Freddie write that article.

Great episode.
posted by sparkletone at 3:42 PM on October 4, 2014 [4 favorites]

My only complaint about this episode is that it means Chumley can't literally play Clarice cause she's so damn perfect as Clairicealike Miram Lass.

Hannibal's downfall will always be his whimsy and hubris, it's kept it in tight control before but he gets increasing sloppy and full of himself as the series goes on.
posted by The Whelk at 4:27 PM on October 4, 2014

I think Gideon doesn't have a lot of motivation because there's not a lot of motivation for him to have. His whole family is dead - admittedly because he apparently killed them (hmm, watching this space in season 3) so there's nothing and nobody on the outside for him to escape to, his medical license will have been suspended (quelle surprise) and his last motivation, to cooperate with all treatment and be the model prisoner and become a better human being, has been completely subverted by the sheer evilness of Chilton's antics.

Identities are defined by social ties, and it doesn't seem like there's a worthwhile person to connect to nor as though there are any social ties worth having. I reckon Gideon, in his lucid moments, will be aware of this, and that's what accounts for him being the one to call people out on the collective madness they're succumbing to.

He's kind of the unholy fool character in all this.
posted by tel3path at 6:39 PM on October 4, 2014

Speaking of Jack's recklessness being revealed as a pattern, I sincerely hope that when whoever it is comes barging down to Florida to interrupt Will's hard-won well-being, his response is "just fuck off just fuck fuck fuck fuck off" and he slams back into the house with Molly and they spend a delightful evening with Molly's kid playing a wholesome board game or something.

posted by tel3path at 6:43 PM on October 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

And I hope that if Will gets divorced he ends up dating Miriam and they become the Anti-Murder Couple and abolish Hannibal and all his works.
posted by tel3path at 6:44 PM on October 4, 2014

Finally rewatching and unf. How can Esparza play irritating and be sexy at the same time. I like him with that beard, too.

Dejected because the chambray shirt I got this weekend is indigo, not teal, and I will never live up to Will's sartorial standards.

Interesting that Alana wears a chain-print cardigan to the BSHCI.

Is that Chilton's red roadster parked out front? Tee hee.

Chilton talking about Gideon getting love letters and Alana pointing out that he butchered his entire family on Thanksgiving and Chilton saying there's no accounting for taste or intelligence.

Am I a psychopath? No, but you may be attracted to them. But of course she is - have you seen 'em? She just has her pick of hotter ones than Gideon (sorry Eddie, of course we love you).

I think next season we're going to be looking into the couple of sessions she had with Gideon when he was first hospitalized. How else will we get the promised reappearance?
posted by tel3path at 12:45 PM on October 28, 2014

He remarks immediately on seeing Dr Bloom that there's no mystery as to whether he did it - is that what she was there to establish the last time she saw him?
posted by tel3path at 12:46 PM on October 28, 2014

Hannibal's office being next to a church - kinda like a castle, kinda like confession, etc.
posted by tel3path at 12:48 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Chilton is kinda... there's enough energy to get the speech out and it flops at the very end? as if his gestures are limp wristed in the literal sense?

A good way to create an infuriating character is to drain them of energy, and Esparza is doing this just enough.

Hannibal is totally rubbing it in in the guise of helping. It's obviously time for him to bring Miriam out to play, but he's responding to Jack's cues, not vice versa.


Miriam hero-worships him so much, she just wants a dad. Poor little kid.
posted by tel3path at 12:52 PM on October 28, 2014

Jack has plaid bedsheets? Really? That's commitment.

As we now know, that call from Miriam could very well have been live. I don't know why people dismissed that out of...


but yeah it would have to have been someone calling from the junction box outside Jack's house, which means it would have to be someone who knew him.

Jack does not welcome having his grasp of reality questioned by Zeller, but Zeller is quite right to do so.


I see Alana needs to wear a panel under the wrap dresses so her cleavage doesn't escape. They're supposed to be no-brainer workwear, but there's always something. In contrast, I think Freddie is letting her underwear show through her top!

Surgeons are more psychopathic than law enforcement, lol. So funny. And Will experiences actual personal shame when Freddie turns the question back on him!!! But nobody else thinks that list of professions has anything to do with reality!!!

Hannibal totally looks like he's peering at that article through a monocle. An evil genius monocle.
posted by tel3path at 1:00 PM on October 28, 2014

And Anna Chlumsky is great in this - so fresh and engaging, She could have become overeager and smarmy, but I just really feel for her.
posted by tel3path at 1:01 PM on October 28, 2014

The interior of the BSHCI stairs reminds me a bit of Casa Loma? What I remember of it.
posted by tel3path at 1:02 PM on October 28, 2014

This whole theme of the dead coming back... it starts this early, and it's all about mistakes coming back to haunt us. It's not about cheap, shallow jump shocks in any way, and I don't know how anyone can think it is.

Good faith warrant exceptions, hmmm

AND YES. i always thought that Graham's brilliant insight wasn't spotting the medical books and thinking of Wound Man - which he could have thought of on sight of the victim and not realized it - but to think of canvassing surgeons at all. Which is just what Miriam thinks to do. This is the second time surgeons have come up in conversation this episode.
posted by tel3path at 1:06 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wait one fuckin second... Alana is putting it into Gideon's head that someone put it into his head that he was the Ripper? That it's not his fault, it's someone else's fault?

The first time she discusses the idea is with the patient himself, and in the most loaded way possible?

And... Hannibal is making it clear that Gideon can't be the Chesapeake Ripper because he wants the credit - but, yet again, Alana is upholding his reputation!!! Fucking again!!! Whatever click-training Hannibal has been using on her, it must be out of this world because I S2G every! single! thing! Alana does! equates to Hannibal's bidding! It's like she's his MiniMe and he's operating her remotely at all times!

Which I'm not suggesting is really happening, because you can't actually do that, and as much as we go on about him having magic powers he can only exert influence within the realm of the possible and if you ask me, that's what's brilliant about him - I don't need him to be a supernatural monster, he is most interesting as an extremely talented human who is limited, like we all are, by what's possible.
posted by tel3path at 1:15 PM on October 28, 2014

Wait, what's that on the wall - is it a stamp collection? Chilton, you spod.

Are we not supposed to like Chilton's choice of decor? I think he has kind of good taste, if you ask me.
posted by tel3path at 1:17 PM on October 28, 2014

No but this is VERY interesting.

Chilton puts Alana down, and then Alana encourages Gideon to accuse Chilton. Correctly, as it turns out, but I also feel like the worst thing you can do to Alana is ding her reputation, because Alana's attitude, in her later conversation with Gideon, is overtly "stick it to him" - whatever else is going on there, it's not without a hefty side order of rivalry.
posted by tel3path at 1:23 PM on October 28, 2014

Oh good heavens. Hannibal always has Alana sitting on his left, he even has CHILTON on his right!!! Sic him, Alana! (Actually, sic both of them.)

There's that Helmut Lang top again. I hate it, I think a lot of Alana's outfits look like Hannibal's stylist threw up, but I still want each and every one of them.

Chilton already kinda looks like he has an eyepatch and a parrot on his shoulder, the awkward way he's moving around and gesturing.
posted by tel3path at 1:26 PM on October 28, 2014

is Alana genuinely shocked at Hannibal's remark that psychic driving is sometimes justified? She probably thinks it's part of a clever entrapment thing.

i don't get that joke about Norton grapes.

Hey, is that wood veneer in Hannibal's kitchen? If he can have it, I can have it.

The fourth time Miriam calls Jack, he just looks fed up.
posted by tel3path at 1:28 PM on October 28, 2014

Observatory: pay fucking attention, Jack.

If every surgeon on Miriam's list is under observation, is Hannibal? Hannibal has them under observation, for sure.
posted by tel3path at 1:30 PM on October 28, 2014

Miriam's suit looks uncomfortably polyester, and I can feel it chafing under her armpits. Her shoes don't look comfy either. I think they convey this via the pony tail. She is utilitarian, not resplendent like everyone else.
posted by tel3path at 1:33 PM on October 28, 2014

Jack, you absolute fucker, just send her in with no backup and nobody knowing where she is because you want to cover your own ass. Talk about using a trainee's ambition against her.

Is Alana Miriam's counterpart, the one who got rewarded and petted for doing her master's bidding while Miriam had the weaker protection of a lesser mentor? While Miriam was out catching the real Ripper, was Alana out interviewing who would eventually become an ersatz Ripper?

If he's a murderer, why is his name Abel?

Miriam Lass had to have happened before Gideon because Alana was working for Hannibal when Miriam Lass went down, and to be suspected of Chesapeake Ripping, Gideon had to have been out and about at that time. But he must have been hospitalized reasonably soon after that because both Miriam and Gideon were "two years" ago.

EACH time Alana visits the BSHCI this episode she has on the chain-print cardigan.
posted by tel3path at 1:39 PM on October 28, 2014

i don't get that joke about Norton grapes.

I thought it was a slightly awkward reference to the other guy who played Will once, Ed Norton.
posted by The Whelk at 1:46 PM on October 28, 2014

What were they saying, that his performance lacked nuance or something?

Anyway, Hannibal and Alana have a great good cop/bad cop thing going there.

Thing is... I wonder... is it possible that Chilton was really mostly trying to look cool in front of Hannibal, more than he's actually guilty of any coercive persuasion? Actually, no, I don't think so, because he effectively admits it before Hannibal eggs him on, and I doubt he'd incriminate himself over something he didn't do.

I'm just wondering what Alana thought she was doing, TELLING Gideon he was psychic driven instead of ASKING him? And BEFORE she has any corroboration or evidence for it? Like why would you go right to a patient and as a first line of inquiry, tell them that the crime they just committed wasn't their fault because someone else incited them to do it... didn't they? I mean... that doesn't seem right to me, unless there's more to the story that we still haven't seen. At that point, all
she would seem to know about Chilton is that he sassed her, that Alana wrote a journal paper about this patient two years ago and now Chilton is muscling in with something higher profile. Which is sleazy, but how does she get from there to inferring coercive persuasion? Or, maybe Alana's making a leap she can't explain?
posted by tel3path at 3:10 PM on October 28, 2014

Checking again:

ALANA: If someone were using manipulative methods to subvert your sense of control, you may not realize it until those methods are pointed out to you.

GIDEON: Which may be a manipulative method in itself.

Dude's not an idiot. Just, what was Alana hoping to achieve by being this manipulative with a patient?
posted by tel3path at 3:16 PM on October 28, 2014

Figured it out: better to have Gideon thinking he was a model prisoner whose head was turned by coercive persuasion, than to have him thinking he's the Ripper who struts around killing people cuz it's cool. if he thinks his real identity is the model prisoner, he would go back to being that.
posted by tel3path at 3:59 PM on October 28, 2014

Or simply, by making him aware of the influence, he would become resistant to it.

He would also find appeal in doing something naughty/conspiratorial against authority, which is why Alana took that tone with him, presumably.

The "do you trust me" thing is a parallel to Hannibal's earlier "do you trust me" when he got Abigail to consent to drinking psilocybin tea.
posted by tel3path at 4:54 PM on October 28, 2014

How did I not realize the hilarious Matrix reference when they do a closeup zoom to Jack's face while he says "I know when I'm awake."
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:11 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

later in the series there's a great Event Horizon reference.
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh lord, just realized that Lector only cut off Miriam's arm because Jack ran that story provoking him :(
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:17 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

God, just imagine you're the research institution that telescope belongs to. At what point do you say "you know what? Let's tear down this artfully-mutilated-corpse collector of a building."
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:34 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

I always thought Lecter owned the telescope via shell organizations and the people who actually work there are all "yeah this kind of thing just happens here a lot."
posted by The Whelk at 9:37 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Also, I hate that Jack is continually drawn back to Lecter's office *because* he thinks Hannibal has answers about Bella that he can't get from Bella herself. And Hannibal answering "I can tell you she doesn't think she married the wrong guy" - handing out fortune-cookie enigmas to a seriously distressed relative of one of his patients that he took on for the purpose of increasing his own power.

And of course, the occasional severed arm in a conservatory.

Jack and Bella are now completely triangulated with Hannibal and on rewatch it becomes that much clearer why Jack is so grossly emotionally dependent on Hannibal - he thinks he's his way to Bella and literally bringing her back from the dead will become Hannibal's crowning achievement (which fortunately Jack will see through a short time later). And of course Jack doesn't know that he and Miriam are also triangulated with Hannibal.
posted by tel3path at 4:12 AM on October 29, 2014

And Will, don't voice your fear of being locked up in the BSHCI. It's like Hannibal making cannibal jokes.
posted by tel3path at 5:10 AM on October 29, 2014

Wait, a few episodes ago Hannibal suggested provoking a killer to "hurt himself".

Now Alana is the one coming out and saying they should use a proactive interview to enrage the real Chesapeake Ripper, and it's Will who is protesting that that means baiting the Ripper to kill again.

This is interesting because in the book, Alan Bloom is presented with the idea of provoking the Tooth Fairy possibly to suicide, and he refuses to have anything to do with it on ethical grounds.
posted by tel3path at 5:18 AM on October 29, 2014


whoever made the phone call knows where Jack lives, knows he was close to Miriam and knows Jack felt responsible for her death

if only Jack knew someone with that exact knowledge state
posted by tel3path at 5:25 AM on October 29, 2014

Alana really gives Hannibal a hero-worshipping look at the dinner table.

But then the way she looks at him when he says to Chilton "your tongue is very feisty"?
posted by tel3path at 5:53 AM on October 29, 2014

Also - what Jack says to Miriam about these investigations turning into a sort of "hurricane" where people go over the same ground over and over again and wind up moving in ever decreasing circles - that tells me that in working with such a small cast, we were nevertheless NOT to attribute the increasing insularity/incestuousness simply to Small Cast Syndrome.
posted by tel3path at 7:37 AM on October 31, 2014

I was confused earlier as to why Alana would go straight to Gideon and say "this murder won't be your fault if Chilton influenced you into thinking you were the Ripper, wink wink" FIRST, before doing anything else to verify that suspicion. At best, it looks like "leaps you can't explain", at worst, it looks like leading the witness or whatever.

I read the shooting script and she does have a conversation with Chilton before that, in which Chilton incriminates himself. In the screened version the only conversation they have with Chilton is the one after she visits Gideon.

But since the screened version is the final version and there are no deleted scenes, it does seem like Alana figures out, in what to us the audience is essentially an "unexplained leap", that Gideon is being victimized by his psychiatrist.

Now I've thought about it, I like it, because it's another scene that demonstrates how Alana is a genius in her own way. Will isn't the only super genius in the team, they are a team because they're all brilliant. In this case, Alana is very swift and shrewd in detecting abuse and taking action to try to shut it down. Furthermore, in trying to stop Chilton's abuse, it's the first time we see Alana taking positive action rather than telling people not to do things or trying to maintain the status quo. By standing out like this, the scene tells us what lights a fire under Alana and what motivates her to action.

I still feel uneasy about her just straight up saying "here is your incentive to incriminate Chilton" because I don't think she's thought more than one step ahead and it seems like she could really be kicking the hornet's nest. I also see some rivalry and desire to get back at Chilton for what he said - clearly Alana is someone you don't want to cross professionally, which is admirable, considering Chilton, but on the other hand she's triangulating a vulnerable patient against him - but this is overridden by the undeniable fact that she's right.

I don't know if urging a violent patient to sue their abusive caregiver is all that great for anyone's safety especially WHILE THEY'RE STILL UNDER THAT ABUSIVE PERSON'S CARE, but OTOH you have to do something. Alana couldn't even make a complaint to the board about Chilton without involving Gideon at all, could she? Because she needed Gideon's input to even have a basis for making a complaint. Though AFAIK Alana never does make a complaint and the action against Chilton begins and ends with urging Gideon to sue, which means there is no paper trail to incriminate Chilton when he needs to be incriminated, it's just the word of a madman against his.
posted by tel3path at 8:01 AM on October 31, 2014

Mind you, Alana telling rather than asking the patient what he's thinking is the exact same way that Hannibal does therapy. So maybe she does it that way because that's how she was taught to do it.
posted by tel3path at 9:34 AM on October 31, 2014

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