Hannibal: Buffet Froid   Rewatch 
October 30, 2014 6:07 PM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

And tonight in Single Entendre of the Week, we sample jamón Ibérico cured from "long pig". Know what long pig is? Go on, guess.
posted by tel3path (32 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why did Georgia have two bizarrely unrelated illnesses at the same time? It just seems like a weird choice for the writers to have made.

God damn, are there a lot of unethical medical professionals in Baltimore.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:15 PM on October 30, 2014

I'm watching this episode for like the 4th time and just now comprehending that Abigail was the one who dug up Nick's body. All this time I thought it was Hannibal, sending something crazy and uncontrollable through the door that she's opening.

Anyone get a good look at what Hannibal's sketching when Will barges in unexpectedly? The decision not to kill Will when confronted about his involvement in Nick's murder and aftermath is a fantastic little twinge towards the precision razor.

God, the reasoning and argumentation used to convince the neurologist to go along with studying Will rather than treating him is so well-timed. Hannibal sniffs out the best possible way to plant the idea in the doctor's head so that when the results come through he barely needs to do anything to flip him into lying outright to Will.

Speaking of that, if Will is such an empath why doesn't he pick up on the bald-faced lies from the neurologist? Does he have some sort of blind spot when it comes to his own plight?

And those clocks, ugh. So damning, so creepy!
posted by carsonb at 8:44 PM on October 30, 2014

Aaaaand I'm conflating episodes.
posted by carsonb at 9:08 PM on October 30, 2014

I had some jamon Iberico recently. It was pretty good. Not, I think, as good as Hannibal's would have been despite the unfortunate provenance of the ingredients. But still pretty damn good!
posted by Justinian at 10:06 PM on October 30, 2014

As much as I give this show the benefit of the doubt for taking place in a operatic horror universe, I do not understand Dr. Suttcliff's motivation here - he could study him? And what write up a report in the new England journal of widely unethical and illegal medicine?
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 AM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Isn't that why he had to die? Hannibal had to get the neurological diagnosis confirmed then dispose of the neurologist no matter what. Because after the initial sheen of "What do you smell on me?" / "Opportunity" wears off you're left with a lot of questions. You know, like, "Wait, did you induce an encephalopathy?" So when Sutcliff made those concerns known it signaled to Hannibal that he was ripe to die.
posted by carsonb at 10:00 AM on October 31, 2014

So when Sutcliff made those concerns known it signaled to Hannibal that he was ripe to die.

When I watched this last night, I actually thought Hannibal might have decided to kill him when he referred to Will as a pig (during their dinner conversation). You see Hannibal shoot him this glare.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:11 AM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Plus he thinks there's a "Mr. Jamon" ugh.
posted by The Whelk at 10:15 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm just thinking back to when I watched the first season after seeing all the Tumblr memes, and being very very surprised that "Hannibal wants to be Will's bestest murder friend" was not just ridiculous made-up fanon.

And then season 2 happened...
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:17 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Considering that the show is literally Thomas Harris fanfic I'm not surmised it follows ...fanon-y logic.
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 AM on October 31, 2014

Hannibal might have decided to kill him when he referred to Will as a pig (during their dinner conversation). You see Hannibal shoot him this glare.

Misunderstanding the distinction between Hannibal's murders and Hannibal's murderers is clearly fatal. The creation borne of such a refined sustenance is not to be denigrated as pig. Will is his friend. Also it is mortifying and disappointing that such disregard for an ethic is presented so casually and un-thoughtfully, as though that rejection isn't it's own ethic, or a basis for another ethic. An ethic that, if Hannibal is to be believed, adheres to a higher standard.
posted by carsonb at 10:27 AM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

"God damn, are there a lot of unethical medical professionals in Baltimore."

That makes three, so far? Hannibal, Chilton, and Sutcliffe.
posted by tel3path at 12:57 PM on October 31, 2014

"I do not understand Dr. Suttcliff's motivation here - he could study him? And what write up a report in the new England journal of widely unethical and illegal medicine?"

I guess? It's a rare disease, with its own built-in excuse for not spotting it sooner. Superficially they could sit back and watch interesting symptoms develop as the disease worsened, and then publish a paper like OMG! A case of anti-NDMA receptor encephalitis in a male with no teratoma (which we like totally mistook for psychosis or something... honest).

What I think is really happening is that Sutcliffe has a long history of running up to kick the football that Hannibal pulls away at the last second. It's been pointed out that Hannibal touches Sutcliffe numerous times during this episode, so maybe Sutcliffe was Hannibal's fuckpuppet in more ways than one when they were students.

So when Hannibal calls him up yet again and proposes some wacky scheme under the pretext of giving Sutcliffe an opportunity, Sutcliffe thinks he's rekindling things with an old flame, only to find out that Hannibal isn't even pretending to be into Sutcliffe any more, hence the jealous disparagement of Hannibal's new love interest as a "pig".

Obviously Sutcliffe is pretty fed up with being in this position by now and might well have been fed up enough to blow the whistle, which is why he's outlived his usefulness as soon as he completes the scan. He was never going to survive the episode, if you ask me.
posted by tel3path at 1:18 PM on October 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

Why did Georgia have two bizarrely unrelated illnesses at the same time? It just seems like a weird choice for the writers to have made.

You can at least explain the Cotard's syndrome by the fact that Georgia Madchen is played by Ellen Muth. It's definitely a nod to Dead Like Me, another series Fuller worked on.
posted by Gymnopedist at 7:46 PM on October 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

No, I know - but there almost seemed to be some implication that the character's mental illness and physical illness were the same thing, or caused by the same thing, when in fact they're unrelated and both super rare.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:41 AM on November 2, 2014

I am enjoying this idea that Sutcliff and Lecter where ....close friends in school cause it does explain a bit of Sutcliff's behavior and manner toward him.

Wait now I want a fanfic where Lecter and Sutclifee did scary things as interns ...not exactly MURDER but not ethical.
posted by The Whelk at 4:19 PM on November 2, 2014

I wonder if Hannibal pinned an absolute fuckton of murders on Sutcliffe which nobody ever noticed. Except Sutcliffe, who was mildly pissed off each time.
posted by tel3path at 4:38 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wait now I want a fanfic where Lecter and Sutclifee did scary things as interns ...not exactly MURDER but not ethical.

Hannibal Lecter: Reanimator
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:08 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's the throwaway comment with Sutcliffe -- "First you're commenting on the nurse's perfume and now you're smelling encephalitis?" Did Hannibal key in on Sutcliffe having an affair?

I also missed the importance of Hannibal deciding to be friends with Will the first time through -- Hannibal is already engaging in machinations to set Will up as the ripper. Hannibal is sharing himself by putting Will into his shoes (something he was greatly offended by Gideon doing), and is ensuring that he's exposing himself to Will in a controlled environment to keep himself safe.

posted by bfranklin at 2:01 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

He said "calling out a nurse's perfume," like, telling a nurse what perfume she's wearing. I assume this was a standard pickup line Hannibal used when they were both in med school. Nothing to do with Sutcliffe per se.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:04 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah I think the line about the nurse's perfume was supposed to tell us that Hannibal quite the successful ladies' man in med school.

Or, you know, made himself look like one.
posted by tel3path at 8:15 AM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

This episode is bookended by two events: the rejection of Will by Abigail (you're not my father) and Will's reaching out and connecting with Georgia (a new daughter figure). It's an interesting set-up that is referred to in season 2. Will finds people to create a family with and Hannibal takes them away. Hannibal really is like a homicidally jealous killer - I want you, I don't want to share you with others and if I can't have you neither can anyone else.
posted by echolalia67 at 10:20 AM on November 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

Homicidally jealous lover, I mean. Hell of a Freudian slip I made there.
posted by echolalia67 at 10:36 AM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I wonder is it possible that part of the reason Will didn't show similar mercy to Randall Tier was because Randall was a guy, and Will wants a daughter rather than a son?

Or perhaps Abigail entered the story *as* a daughter and Georgia was also presented to the FBI *as* a daughter (her mother recounting the struggle to get a diagnosis)? Randall seems to be out there on his own, we never meet his parents at all.

In any case, Hannibal is the classic abusive boyfriend (who you don't know you're dating because he's having a secret affair with you without your knowledge). And he will take it to the ultimate extremes.

It's really starting to rub me up the wrong way, hearing over and over again in the blogosphere how Hannibal respects or cares for this or that character and how he really cares in his own way and how devoted he is to his friendship with Will and blah blah blah blah blah. At least if Hannibal just thinks you're a pig he only tortures you for a short time before you die. Hannibal's esteem is not worth a plugged nickel, and the only reason for anyone to call it "respect" or "affection" is because he doesn't know the meaning of the word and there are no words for whatever it is he feels instead of those things.

Fucking Hannibal, worst friend ever. Which I believe was also underlined in this episode, not that we needed it.
posted by tel3path at 10:37 AM on November 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

Well, my dad lost his mother at a very young age (8 years old). He and I had a pretty tight bond in part, I believe, because I was female and "his" in a way only a mother, sister or daughter can be. Will reminds me of him in that way.

Will is in many ways stereotypically male (fishing, tinkering, fixing) but a longing for close connection with women just radiates off him in waves. Look at the way he trusts Beverly and Alana - he doesn't connect with the other male characters nearly as well and the relationship he does have with Jack & Hannibal are fraught with friction and wariness (well deserved at that). Even when the women in his life misunderstand him, his first emotion is pain, not rage. Not so much with the men in his life - there's some intense anger there.
posted by echolalia67 at 11:02 AM on November 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

Hannibal is Satanic in the old testament sense - the adversary, God's prosecuting attorney. He offers temptation but then wreaks God's vengeance on you for taking it. Only by being sincerely ethical are you spared.

He lays out an unbelievably unethical but extraordinarily alluring opportunity for Sutcliff - study the progression of a rare disease by misinforming and misleading the patient. It's a one man Tuskeegee experiment. And when Sutcliff does the unethical and oh-so-predictable thing, Hannibal disposes of him as soon as he gets what he needs from him. It's diabolical.
posted by echolalia67 at 11:10 AM on November 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

Wasn't the jamon iberico actually pork this time, though? I mean, the pig leg had a hoof.

I assumed the cannibalism in this episode was the bone slices for bone marrow to accompany the jamon.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:50 AM on May 4, 2015

Yeah, I think if it looks like an animal you can count on its actually being that animal. Otherwise...
posted by tel3path at 1:46 PM on May 4, 2015

Rewatch rolling along. I am having a lot of feelings about this episode because:

A) I miss Dead Like Me
B) I miss Beverly, she's so great in this episode
C) This is probably the part of the show where I hate Hannibal the most because apparently I can forgive cannibalism, killing fucktons of people, and trying to eat Will's brain but my unforgiveable thing is lying to someone about their mental health.
D) All of that said I died a little at Dr. Sutcliffe's dinner table line about "Still love your rare treats, don't you, Hannibal? The more difficult and expensive to obtain the better" Because, fuck, Will is going to be so rare and difficult to obtain but apparently worth it.
E) This episode made me hungry and I don't have jamón ibérico handy but I do have prosciutto and melon and apparently that's what I'm having for breakfast. now.
posted by Stacey at 5:23 AM on November 21, 2015

Last time I rewatched this I got some answers about what motivates Jack. It is so true that the characters will usually tell you what they're about if you bother to pay attention. Not that Jack is all that hard to understand - he wants to solve cases at any cost - but WHY does he? Why does he want to save innocent lives no matter how many people get killed in the process? To the point where the total body count would be reduced 90% if you took Jack out of the equation?

Well, when he's saying to Hannibal that Will can survive whatever Jack throws at him and Will will always find his way back to himself - I actually agree with that, but so much damage is done along the way that it's not relevant. I do think Jack is saying that Jack can survive whatever is thrown at him and Jack will always find his way back to himself - that is true. Jack is remarkably tough and resilient, whatever his virtues are or not. People tend to project their own selves onto Will, especially out of wishful thinking, so I think that's what's happening there. Will may also be benefiting from Jack's reflected resilience, at least in the short term. He goes from quivering in front of the Nichols family to taking compassionate control with the Angel Maker's wife, all in the span of five episodes.

And then Jack goes from saying "oh it's awful, I'm killing people to solve cases, I killed Miriam Lass" to "this work gives you stability doesn't it? I'm your bedrock, you don't have to doubt me" - what he of course means is "the work gives ME stability". It's canon that Bella and the Bureau are the foundation stones of Jack's life, but he's so undone here, it drives home that those aren't just empty words, he needs both in order to feel okay.

It kind of explains why he was so stable after Bella died and he was officially at least semi retired? but was in Italy looking to repair his relationship with Will. Jack is evidently a very relational person, even though he's not warm and fuzzy. And looking for Will was *like* being on a manhunt for Hannibal even if the goal was different. So take Bella and the FBI away from Jack and it remains true that relationships and police work are still what he's all about.
posted by tel3path at 3:04 AM on February 29, 2016

Also, did anyone notice the painting on Sutcliffe's wall of the white horse covered in blood?

Beth LeBeau was like Will's twin, just in Delaware instead of Virginia, and with horses instead of dogs. She even has the pale green pyjamas. And Will ends up empathizing with and siding with her killer.

Randall Tier was much closer to being Hannibal's double and all Will cared about was beating the shit out of him. Of course, Tier wanted to be the way he was, identified with it. Georgia did not want to be the way she was.

This whole thing about cutting off a mask to get to the face of a friend - that's a motif that's repeated several times in several ways, including with Digestivo and with Dolarhyde cutting Will's face. Maybe even with Jack taking off Will's mask in Mukozuke.

And this thing with people thinking they're dead: both Will and Alana think they're dead in the first half of S3 and Alana's Beetlejuice outfit later in S3 suggests she maybe hasn't changed her mind about that.
posted by tel3path at 3:11 AM on February 29, 2016

I feel there is something I am missing in Fuller bringing back Ellen Muth to play Georgia Madchen (Mädchen is German for “girl”), after she played Georgia Lass (another synonym for “girl”) in Dead Like Me. Here she is in another Fuller show, where the distant prototype of Clarice Starling was Miriam Lass.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:12 AM on July 16, 2020

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