Hannibal: Tome-wan   Rewatch 
May 21, 2015 7:12 AM - Season 2, Episode 12 - Subscribe

During a therapy session, Will shares a vision of how he would kill Hannibal. Meanwhile, an increasingly impatient Jack brings in a surprise witness to help Will catch Hannibal.

So before I get to the episode: I'm a dingus who either can't read a calendar, do math, or both. No need to flip to Tuesdays. I thought there was one less week than there is before the third season premiere (can't blame me for wanting that to be true, I suppose). Anyway.

This is such a striking and ominous episode. Will tells Hannibal at the end that Hannibal should let Jack see him "with clear eyes," which is echoed later when Jack refers to the moment before the fight as the clearest moment of their friendship.

The script has quite a few things in it that didn't end up in the show. Everything from a line or two dropped here and there to whole exchanges that aren't in the final episode. The script is much more... blunt, where I find the episode weird and lyrical so I think overall the changes were for the better. Hallucinatory might be a better word for the episode even before you get to one of the show's most "how the fuck did they get this on the air" scenes with Mason.

Next week everyone's going to be looking back on all this and laughing about it right? Everyone will start laughing and the show will freeze frame and credits will roll! RIGHT?
posted by sparkletone (57 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I, too, am enchanted and terrified.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:59 AM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

And bummed that Michael Pitt will not be returning as Mason Verger.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:00 AM on May 21, 2015

NBC 'sneak peek' - WITH DRAGON! Plus a brief brief look at new!Mason.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:46 AM on May 21, 2015

The script has quite a few things in it that didn't end up in the show. Everything from a line or two dropped here and there to whole exchanges that aren't in the final episode. The script is much more... blunt, where I find the episode weird and lyrical so I think overall the changes were for the better. Hallucinatory might be a better word for the episode even before you get to one of the show's most "how the fuck did they get this on the air" scenes with Mason.

I just finished listening to the DVD commentaries, and Fuller mentioned that they will sometimes completely move dialogue around in post-production in order to reflect an emotional arc to the conversation on screen.

So maybe in one take, the actors will play it angry, and in one they'll play it sad, and then when looking at the recordings they'll say "wait, if we take the end of the sad scene and then the beginning of the angry scene and paste them together in that order, it actually feels more in line with what we were going for."

He also said that they often wind up cropping out dialogue that seemed necessary in the script because the actors manage to convey the same idea wordlessly.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:49 AM on May 21, 2015

Ooo ooo this Twitter person just posted a bunch of interview questions with Fuller and I like what I'm hearing! Especially THIS [spoilery] one
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:23 AM on May 21, 2015

I'm simultaneously uncomfortable that Will just watched Hannibal do all this without intervening, and unclear what he could have done to avoid escalation.

I can't imagine he was at all comfortable with it, if only for his dogs' sake.

I also can't imagine any realistic alternative way of incapacitating a guy like Mason, with mob connections and a demonstrable track record of being above the law.

I'm trying, and failing, to think of a script for handling the kind of emergency where you've just been kidnapped by zips and taken to a crazed tycoon's farm to find your serial-killing psychiatrist faux-boyfriend strung up above a pit of man-eating pigs so you cut him loose and then get knocked unconscious and regain consciousness a few minutes later with no discernible lasting brain damage to find one of the zips who kidnapped you half-eaten in the pigpen and no sign of anyone else, so you take a cab home and find your Chief Dog outside on the porch and the dog warns you "I wouldn't go in there, dude" but you go in and you find the psychiatrist in your living room with the tycoon and the tycoon is cheerfully slicing off his own face and feeding the pieces to your six other dogs while keeping up an MST3K-style running commentary on his own antics.

Can I really say I would have responded any better? I think that's the key question, here, for all of us.
posted by tel3path at 11:28 AM on May 21, 2015

As I said in the other thread about this episode - it's very telling that Will didn't tell Jack WHY Hannibal wanted to kill Mason. He just said "he considers him rude." And I think the reason for that is, he really didn't know if he wanted to stop Hannibal from killing him. He hadn't made up his mind. And if he told Jack why Mason 'deserved' to be killed and then he WAS killed, it would have looked way more suspicious.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:33 AM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also I'm not familiar with the term zips but it sounds kinda... slur-y
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:33 AM on May 21, 2015

Short gif of the new Mason, if you want to see it but are avoiding previews in general
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:35 AM on May 21, 2015

He also said that they often wind up cropping out dialogue that seemed necessary in the script because the actors manage to convey the same idea wordlessly.

Yeah, and I think most of what's altered from the script in this episode is the latter. It works so much better as this weird fever dream. All of the notions in the dialogue are conveyed as far as I can recall, they just didn't need to explicitly state them.

I think I've not... under-rated this episode in my head in the past, exactly, but it was so overshadowed by the finale it leads into that I forget how good it is. Gillian Anderson is so fucking subtle in her scenes her. She's been breathy/whispery with Hannibal many times, and yet there's a fresh tone there for her as she's saying, "YOU THINK YOU GOT THIS BUT YOU ARE EFFED KIDS. SORRY." Like she and Hugh basically just whisper at each other not unlike her and Mads whispering at each other and yet it plays completely differently even if you ignore the dialogue.


Plus a brief brief look at new!Mason.

new!Mason has been posting pics of himself in makeup on Instagram for a bit. I think they did a great job of homaging what they buried Gary Oldman in in the movie while doing their own thing. More intriguing was finally getting to see Richard Amritage in motion (there's been abstract pictures of him). LOOKED FREAKY. Way on board.

Also, ALANA WITH A CANE (hanging out with Margot). Presumably she duels Chilton on the runway if nothing else. Many other things as well. Tumblr is zaprudering it into GIFs as we speak.

All that said, as energizing as the EW thing is, my favorite of the promos so far is still the less revealing one before the EW thing. BONSIOR, INDEED.
posted by sparkletone at 11:41 AM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

There is a fraction of a second shot in that preview, which I didn't notice the first time, that hints at a possible new romantic partnership for Alana. Again, spoilers kinda
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:46 AM on May 21, 2015

which I didn't notice the first time

For what it's worth, I didn't either until Cleolinda/The Whelk pointed it out on twitter (I got so distracted by OMG SHE'S WEARING THE PROMO PHOTO SUIT). Everything happens so much when you're not looking at GIF sets. I'm totally fine with all of this if that wasn't already clear.
posted by sparkletone at 11:52 AM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also I'm not familiar with the term zips but it sounds kinda... slur-y

I first read the term "zips" in Donnie Brasco, to refer to hired Mafia footsoldiers brought to the USA from Naples.
posted by tel3path at 11:57 AM on May 21, 2015

She's using a cane, so I was right that if she turned out disabled (difficult to avoid) it would be in a "beauty is never tarnished" kinda way.

i wonder if she went to visit Chilton to "apologize" and nicked his cane and now he can't get out of bed
posted by tel3path at 12:13 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

And I think the reason for that is, he really didn't know if he wanted to stop Hannibal from killing him. He hadn't made up his mind.

This never occurred to me when this episode first aired that I can recall. The true ambiguity here didn't really hit me until the finale hammered it home with not just the "two scrambled faces saying the same thing" bit but also Will calling Hannibal to warn him. And not that it took long for me to get on board with the notion, but this far out from the initial reaction to everything both in this episode and next week... That ambiguity makes things so, so, so much more interesting than they might've been.

Though admittedly, without that ambiguity/confusion on Will's part, it's incredibly likely that the literally gutting finale wouldn't have been so... Rough on the viewer the first time (or half a dozen times) through it.
posted by sparkletone at 12:30 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

So that ambiguity kind of justifies Mason's presence in the story, though I still find him an annoying plot device. If there were a man worse than *Hannibal*, would *the audience* support/gloss over killing him?

And the thing is, why should we support it? Because he's an imminent danger to Margot and all those kiddies in the Fresh Air Fund-alike that he runs, he clearly molests those kids too even though this is only implied, what we do see is bad enough, he breeds man-eating pigs, etc etc. Because he has these Mafia connections, and runs a corporation, trying to indict him isn't just as hard as indicting Hannibal, it would be as hard as indicting the FBI itself because he has a nationwide and even worldwide network of enduring institutional power behind him, both legit and nonlegit.

The important thing is to incapacitate Mason, clearly, and it's equally clear that they won't achieve that in the foreseeable future.

So that makes this okay, then?

But then Mason refuses to grass Hannibal up, so, whattayagonnado. Clearly Will told Jack something.
posted by tel3path at 12:45 PM on May 21, 2015

You know.... with the cane, Alana looks more like Chilton, but the thing is, Chilton always paired plaid blazers with plain trousers in a different colour.

Feels to me like she's morphing into a mixture of Hannibal and Chilton.

She seems stagier than ever in what we saw of that clip - like the evil genius surveying her domain.

TBH, the more I think about it the more I feel like she *believed* Hannibal to be her equal but she *was* always more similar to Chilton. And it looks like she's possibly going to continue like that, believing she and she alone is equipped to match wits with the evil genius Hannibal Lecter. (Though she would likely know enough to be right about that at this point, which would make her unlike Chilton, so... that's where the comparison breaks down, I guess?) probably on a quest for revenge, like MUAHAHA I am every woman who's ever been scorned, and I shall FIND HIM and make him SUFFER. Igor! Bring... THE SPAGHETTI-OS!!!!! [muffled cannibal screaming]

Like if she had a hand free, she'd probably be petting a white Persian cat. (and the cat would have a monocle)
posted by tel3path at 12:53 PM on May 21, 2015

...if I were Will, and walked in on that scene, would I have faith in my own ability to manage that scene?

To get Mason to do what he's doing, Hannibal would have to have given him PCP (which in fact he did) and seemingly Mason is responding to Hannibal's every suggestion. What if Hannibal told Mason to attack? See, already this is getting so far into the realm of hypotheticals.

And supposing you do stop Hannibal, say "enough is enough" and successfully incapacitate Hannibal and call in the emergency services to attend to Mason before he goes any further.

Now what's going to happen? He just goes home and keeps on doing exactly what he's been doing, and Margot, Will and even Hannibal are right back where they started without even the protection of the law.

Welp, I guess the important thing is to be prepared for this kind of emergency. If I ever get home to find a cannibal psychiatrist has administered PCP to a criminal tycoon who is in the process of feeding his own face to my cats in my living room, I'll just have to accept that there are no right answers.

tl;dr you can't make a legal move when the system is in an illegal state.
posted by tel3path at 1:01 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

...I wonder if Alana will get accused of multiple murders by the middle of S3? It makes perfect logical sense - after all, she does walk with a cane now!

Bonus points if she actually COMMITS multiple murders by the middle of S3. But, she's barely had time to get out of the hospital so... baby steps.

Who thinks Abigail is real and who thinks she is a revenant? If she's a revenant, she might have been let out with God's special permission in order to complete His work, since she apparently is allowed to be inside a church. Maybe she can't go *outside* a church?

Or, y'know, she might be real and alive. But we seem to have been led to believe otherwise.
posted by tel3path at 1:09 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Murder!Alana for President

or at least for the new chilton

But what is Chilton going to do? If he's supposed to be "the monster"



"Il Mostro"

...I give up. I can't make sense of any of this at all!
posted by tel3path at 1:15 PM on May 21, 2015

I'd love it if Abigail was the new ravenstag/wendigo
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:16 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Okay, showbiz_liz for President.

Imagine how Will is going to feel, knowing Abigail was there all along and he never picked up on it. It's totally understandable WHY he never considered the possibility because the false? hope would have put him COMPLETELY at Hannibal's mercy.

But nobody ever seemed to question the absence of a body for any reason, instead just assuming Will must have "honored every part of her" - as if it's even possible to consume a whole human body in that short length of time, and as if, having done so, you would bother trying to ingest an ear?!? wat?!?

After Miriam Lass, he logically should have questioned that only an ear was found, but emotionally/tactically there was just no way he could afford to. And he was essentially the only person besides Freddie(?) who gave one single shit about Abigail at that point.
posted by tel3path at 1:24 PM on May 21, 2015

They also found all that blood, which I assume Hannibal used Murder Wizardry to like... dialysis it all out of her and replace it with donor blood, or some shit? Because it was meant to look like an unsurvivable amount of blood loss and there's no way they didn't test it and determine it to be hers.

Fucking Hannibal probably keeps stacks of O- around for this exact type of eventuality
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:27 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

I thought about that too! And yeah, you know that as soon as Hannibal got that call he probably rolled up to the Hobbs house in his murdermobile (HOW?!? IT'S LIKE A 60 HOUR DRIVE!!!) all ready to do what must be done.


I give up. How TF he could have gotten on a flight with a blood transfusion kit I cannot imagine.

The only other explanation is he imprisoned her at that point and had a spare victim in situ, ready to actually murder for their blood to transfuse directly into Abigail? But then how would he know they were O-?


He could have let Abigail's blood in stages, one pint at a time, giving her time to regenerate in between bloodlettings? How long does that even take? Did he give her a glass of orange squash and a sandwich in between each slashing?
posted by tel3path at 1:33 PM on May 21, 2015

I suppose... the blood could have come from whoever played the "veal" that Hannibal subsequently served to Bedelia.
posted by tel3path at 1:40 PM on May 21, 2015

I don't see Alana being that Chilton-y. It makes a lot of sense that she'd figure very heavily into the Hannibal's European vacation chunk of things. And even as a VERY QUESTIONABLE sounding board for Will when he gets back into things post-Hannibal capture... But she's just not the kind of unctuous asshole that even our way more charming Chilton is.

I really do look forward to Chilton in that later section though. That book of his that Bryan posted the cover of is sure to be a best seller...
posted by sparkletone at 1:40 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

I suppose... the blood could have come from whoever played the "veal" that Hannibal subsequently served to Bedelia.

It would crack me up if that was just actual veal and Hannibal was double fucking with her
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:41 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

HANNIBAL "DOIN IT FOR THE LULZ" LECTER is such canon in terms of the show by now that... Yeah. Sure. Of course he would. Or maybe just let her think that.

The unrepentant trash heap.
posted by sparkletone at 1:44 PM on May 21, 2015

If I were Will, I would have stopped seeking Alana's advice entirely, and I say this with all due respect.

When I saw Chiyoh shooting at Will, it crossed my mind that maybe Will thought he was there on a Verger-funded manhunt, but that Alana then hired Chiyoh to shoot Will.

Because Will ruined her life too, don't forget! If Alana's looking for revenge on those who ruined her life, why stop at Hannibal? In all seriousness, everything was going great until Jack had to put Will back into the field AGAINST HER ADVICE. Nobody fucking listens to Alana Bloom, that's what's wrong with this show, and now she's going to make her voice HEARD.

I do speculate about how much better it all might have been for Alana if Will hadn't insisted on his reckoning. He probably anticipated that she would be killed, but then, she might have died believing she was loved, a respected psychiatrist on top of the world that Hannibal made. By moving in on her boyfriend, he forced her to ask the questions and he's responsible for taking it all away from her - and worst of all, he took something away from her that he didn't even want! That's like, the equivalent of Hannibal cooking someone and then leaving them on the side of his plate.
posted by tel3path at 1:54 PM on May 21, 2015

There's no way to my mind that Alana and Chiyoh are at all connected. At least certainly not that way. Alana playing into certain other plots impinging on Hannibal's European vacation... Sure. But Alana via that connection to Hannibal's deep past? Nah. No way. From what we have right now it's very clear what angle(s) she's involved in (don't think it's worth spelling out explicitly here) and Chiyoh is separate.
posted by sparkletone at 2:07 PM on May 21, 2015

When I talk about Alana being Chilton-y - the pretext for accusing him of being the Ripper was because drugs were found in Miriam's bloodstream that were the same as Chilton used to do the narcoanalytic interview on Will.

Therefore, she reasoned, Chilton must have deliberately distorted Will's memories to make him think it was Hannibal who had abused him.

And yet, Alana was completely eager to use memory-recovery hypnosis and light therapy - of a similar kind that Hannibal used - to recover Will's memory of committing the five Copycat murders. She even stated outright that that was what she intended him to remember from that session.

Neither method would have stood up in court, because neither method is actually reliable. If anyone was trying to instil false memories, it was Alana. Chilton didn't have any specific agenda for what he wanted Will to remember - it's all the same to him, so long as it's juicy! That's why, in that particular moment, Will trusted Chilton more than he trusted Alana, and that's why I talk about Alana having more in common with Chilton than she realizes.

And now Alana appears to think she's dressing up as Hannibal when in fact she reminds of Chilton just as much.

(He probably spends the majority of S3 crawling towards Verger Castle to steal his cane back.)
posted by tel3path at 2:08 PM on May 21, 2015

It sure would be fun, though. If Alana is getting information about Will's European visit from Margot, she might not be above using some of that information to her own ends.

But I don't think it's actually what's happening. BUT GOLLY IT WOULD BE FUN.

Overall, I don't rule out Alana's vengeance extending beyond just Hannibal. Why should it? Half the fandom seems to think that Will abused Alana horribly: slut-shamed her, victim-blamed her, didn't warn her about the undercover plot against Hannibal, and finally lured her to Hannibal's House of Death for the showdown. If Tumblr can think this, Alana can think it.

Of course Alana might turn out to be a dazzlingly impressive superheroine, wowing us all with the fulfilment of the wonderful promise of integrity that she showed at the start. If they did that with her character, I'd be thrilled. I just find it a lot harder to imagine playing out in an entertainingly dramatic way than having her turn into a vengeance demon.
posted by tel3path at 2:12 PM on May 21, 2015

Hey, Will did explicitly tell her about a thousand times that Hannibal was a serial killer, she just didn't believe him. I think she actually has more cause to be angry with Jack for not letting her in on the double bluff, but then again, telling her earlier might have just put her in more danger.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:17 PM on May 21, 2015

Although I do wonder if any weird part of her will be like "why didn't he try to seduce ME over to the dark side??"
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:19 PM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Hey, Will did explicitly tell her about a thousand times that Hannibal was a serial killer, she just didn't believe him

"But you did not convince me! You did not convince me!"

In all seriousness, plenty of the fandom is truly angry that Will didn't warn her, and also considers that if Alana couldn't believe him, it was because he was a hot mess of instability who TRIED TO KILL HANNIBAL FFS. If Alana didn't believe Will, then Will had only himself to blame, according to this way of thinking.

Well, Freddie at least had the courtesy to tell Alana what she was doing. Worked out great for her! So well, that I can totally see why Jack didn't do the same. On the whole, I think undercover missions are less undercover if you tell the suspect's girlfriend about them.

And about the dark side... I think... Alana might want to prove to Hannibal that SHE was his star pupil all along. In all things. That he underestimated her at his peril.

Cuz that would be an interesting arc for her in S3.
posted by tel3path at 2:25 PM on May 21, 2015

...now my imagination is running away with me and I'm dreaming of Alana as the Killer Of The Season for S4.
posted by tel3path at 2:35 PM on May 21, 2015

If you don't write fanfic you ought to
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:40 PM on May 21, 2015

"...the only clues were a loudly patterned red wrap dress left at the scene, and a dartboard with Chilton's face pasted over the bull's eye."
posted by tel3path at 2:42 PM on May 21, 2015

posted by tel3path at 2:46 PM on May 21, 2015

In the commentary for the episode where Chilton gets got, Caroline and Bryan actually joked about Alana not really buying that Chilton was the Ripper and just going along with it all because she finds him so obnoxious
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:48 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't actually believe that was a joke!

Alana even scolds Jack in episode 11 for talking about the "evidence for" something so flat-out silly and unbelievable!

(She also sneers at him in episode 6 for being gullible enough to entertain the idea that Will Graham is anything but a psychopath.)
posted by tel3path at 2:55 PM on May 21, 2015

Wait, I know how Hannibal smuggles blood onto the plane! It's in bottles in his checked baggage, disguised as... vine
posted by tel3path at 3:50 PM on May 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

It would crack me up if that was just actual veal and Hannibal was double fucking with her

This is totally how I see it and it makes perfect sense.
posted by The Whelk at 8:39 AM on May 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

That actually is what I assumed, after I became convinced that Abigail was alive.

Ohhhhhh Bedeeelliaaaaaaaa what are you going to do to us in s3.

You realize that by saying that observing is tantamount to participating, Hannibal is telling the audience we're no better than murderers ourselves.

(If Bedelia is kidding herself that she won't be a murderer herself if all she does is watch, though, I'll be pretty disappointed in her because I thought she was smarter than that.)
posted by tel3path at 10:56 AM on May 22, 2015

(I mean she's going to study him and then, what, publish a paper? Good luck getting that one past the ethics review board.)
posted by tel3path at 10:57 AM on May 22, 2015

(I mean she's going to study him and then, what, publish a paper? Good luck getting that one past the ethics review board.)

She can submit it to the same journal Dr. Sutcliffe was going to write about Will for, The New England Journal Of Evil Studies.
posted by The Whelk at 12:38 PM on May 22, 2015

I guess with Mason, there was no "reckoning" to be had because Mason was doing what he was doing right out in the open.

His family taught him all he knew, his business is rather openly connected to organized crime, and consider what that implies about his kids' camps and the organizations connected to it. Mason's not hiding what he does, he's only hiding the details that would get him indicted for what he does.

I still can't get past the thought that watching Hannibal do a number on Mason had to be the worst thing Will ever did; and yet, there are no good answers.

The sticking point is that of course Will would dismiss any legal case against Mason out of hand. Short of taking it on himself, and he was a bit busy at the time.

On the other hand, Mason WAS an imminent danger, so how can you say it was wrong to not intervene when you walk in on a scene where most of the damage is already done anyway?

But if the legal case against Mason is dismissible out of hand, and taking him out by any means necessary is justified, then Will might as well have shot Hannibal in cold blood in his kitchen and in hindsight was wrong not to have done that. And yet here he is fannying around for weeks on end trying to get something on Hannibal, with this much collateral damage piling up around him and Hanni smug as ever?

And then I get back to the point that it's unfair to talk about Will as if he's a superhero with the ability to take control of any situation that ever happens to him. He was in his own living room with six vulnerable dogs plus two men as dangerous as any others on the planet. And he'd had a head injury only hours ago. What's he supposed to do now, kung fu?

How am I sitting here seeing this as something Will did, and not as an outright if secondary assault on him, his home, and his dogs?

And then I remember that the sin is not his own. It's not Will's fault that Jack bollocksed up the legal path to catching Hannibal, it's not his fault that he now has to work with what he's got and it's not his fault that he can't control everything.
posted by tel3path at 1:20 PM on May 22, 2015

But if the legal case against Mason is dismissible out of hand, and taking him out by any means necessary is justified, then Will might as well have shot Hannibal in cold blood in his kitchen and in hindsight was wrong not to have done that.

This strikes me as the central problem of the show, more and more. Once you establish that Hannibal is some kind of superhuman polymath whom the universe itself bends to protect, it becomes harder and harder to work out just what "law and order" could possibly mean.

If Will had shot Hannibal in Season 1 and gone to jail for it, it's quite likely that Hannibal's basement would have been found, that Abigail Hobbs would be alive, that Beverly would be alive, and that loads of nameless characters Hannibal murdered to do things like frame Chilton would be alive. And without Hannibal to obsess over, it's unlikely Will would have tolerated, say, Matthew Brown for long. Of course, I suppose Miriam Lass might have starved to death.

I'm wary of the trailer implying any continuation of the Hannigram "love story," because for Will to tolerate Hannibal at this point suggests that he really doesn't care very much what happens to anyone other than the two of them. And while we can parse the conduct of Alana, or Jack, or Chilton, the show has given us plenty of undeserving Hannibal victims. Even before Abigail, Georgia Madchen's horrible death sure didn't bother Will for very long, did it? Maybe the world really would be a safer place with Will in that asylum after all. Maybe angels and devils hurt human beings simply by being among them, distorting the world into a place where human suffering is the norm.

The show posits that there may be a sort of truth in beauty, but it's an inhuman sort of truth, ultimately an unlivable one.
posted by kewb at 4:54 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Well, yeah. Now as far as I know, Thomas Harris promoted Hannibal as the literal devil, Mads is playing Hannibal as Lucifer, but Bryan Fuller is much less committed to the idea. Not that he's against it, but I don't see yet that BF has signed up to promoting Hannibal to supernatural grade.

I really hope he never does. Because it makes sense for Mads to envision Hannibal as Lucifer - he's in his character's mindset, and the grandiosity is a perfect fit.

But Hannibal is much more interesting as a man. If you just hand him supernatural powers, that's a) bullshit and cheating and b) turns the problem into something much more like kewb describes. Which would be a kind of nihilism, really, because there'd be nothing good to fight for and you might as well throw in your Murder Family lot with good ol' Hanni. And that is exactly how the novel ended up, and why I'm so contemptuous of the novel.

I think BF has better things in store for us, kewb, I really do. We've had a hint of that with the theme of forgiveness being revealed. I think S2 was probably the Old Testament and S3 will be the New Testament. The New Testament was necessary BECAUSE HUMANS JUST CAN'T MANAGE TO LIVE BY LAW.
posted by tel3path at 9:33 AM on May 24, 2015

Even before Abigail, Georgia Madchen's horrible death sure didn't bother Will for very long, did it?

I don't know how fair that is. He wasn't too bothered by the deaths of either Cassie Boyle or Marissa Schuur, nor Dr Sutcliffe. Those were part of his work. Georgia Madchen established a personal connection to him, going so far as to hide under his bed.

Not only did Will express more dismay over Georgia Madchen's death than anyone else did, he was the one pushing for her death to be properly investigated and fully understood.

Contrast this with Alana's reaction to Abigail's - her patient's - death, which was to make one dramatic remark "Abigail's blood is on all our hands!" and then NEVER mention her again.

Will then spent an entire season trying to bring Hannibal down for all this. If his feelings towards Hannibal were ambiguous, that's hardly surprising. Even in "ordinary" undercover missions, identifying with the people you're supposed to investigate is the norm, and a hazard. Anyone who's been through serious abuse is going to have complex feelings about, and be magnetically drawn to, their abuser. Will has been in BOTH situations, combined, and his empathy gives him the continuous burden of identifying with essentially everyone he meets.

If Will ultimately went a little mad from all this pressure, it's because he is only human, which suggests that Hannibal has to be only human as well. To the extent the remaining characters believe otherwise, I think a big part of the problem is believing in Hannibal's hype. He's been doing a lot of stage magic to create the impression that he can't be caught, and yet he very nearly was - by Beverly, who also nearly freed Abigail and possibly Miriam in the process (clue: "he's eating them" means breaking and entering could have been justifiable under "imminent destruction of evidence" and Beverly did find the kidneys; also, finding one or more prisoners would bolster that justification but good). And the only reason he didn't get caught by Beverly was because his smarmy charm, for once, failed him with Bella, who slapped his smug cannibal face. Eventually, they ARE going to catch Hannibal and they ARE going to put him behind bars, which, however temporary, is not what he wants.
posted by tel3path at 10:11 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Now everyone's all upset that Hannigram isn't canonically sexual (at least not for Will)?

If you ever run out of things to get upset about, the tumblr section of the fandom can always think of something. Sheesh.
posted by tel3path at 3:43 PM on May 25, 2015

My recollection is that this is the fourth or fifth time Fuller or the cast have said that it always causes some bickering. They'll get over it. Until it gets said again.
posted by sparkletone at 9:09 PM on May 25, 2015

Hahaha. Fangoria posted an interview with Fishburne and in his first answer he literally says no one knew Hannibal's true nature not even Will. And it's like... ARE YOU ACTUAL CRAWFORD? Yeah, no, no one did for a little. But Will was only yelling it for a season's worth of episodes and only stopped saying Hannibal specifically because your character REFUSED to listen.

I know what he meant by what he said, and I'm being literal/nitpicky as heck but DAMN, SON.
posted by sparkletone at 8:05 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

(He also later says that older actors that were a bit avuncular towards him were big influences on how he plays Jack and that I think is a very interesting thing that makes sense.)
posted by sparkletone at 8:09 AM on May 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ehehehe. These actors are always in their characters' mindsets and always standing up for them, so that's how you've gotta look at it.

It completely fits, with the way Mads goes on about how Hannibal <3 Will, and Hugh saying "well I don't think it's sexual" and the audience erupts with laughter because he's clearly on a river in Egypt, and Caroline saying that Alana never gave up on Will and that she saw Hannibal as someone who was her equal and and and...

Even Hugh talking about Will being all unstable and such, says as much about how Will sees himself as it does about the way Will actually is.
posted by tel3path at 9:48 AM on May 26, 2015

The piece that I'm missing, I think, is that one reason Will wasn't going to try to handle Mason according to the law was because, by that time, Will genuinely and from the bottom of his heart could not have any faith in legal justice at all.

Will was pretty transparently only using "legality" as a figleaf for what he really wanted, which was a "reckoning" - an accounting in public for everything Hannibal had done. I don't think the legal system is irrelevant to this, because if it were he would have just given Jack the cold shoulder. He wanted to force the FBI to reckon with their failings, too. It's just that Jack was on board with trying to take responsibility for his failings even since last season; he's not that good at it, but he is trying. In the trial scene he sacrificed himself instead of someone else, and then again in the final scene he also sacrificed himself instead of someone else. Same for Alana, whose running upstairs was calculated to draw Hannibal's fire away from Jack, even at Alana's own expense. (This is possibly the first self-sacrificing move Alana has made.)

And Will does eventually convince Hannibal to show Jack his real self, which suggests that there will be tons of evidence for the Science Bros to frolic through in the aftermath; I think the "officer who retires on seeing Hannibal's basement" is actually gonna come to pass. Considering all the spin in Hannibal's favour so far, I think he could possibly spin even this as being an unfair attack on him if he'd truly wanted to - imagine if Jack goes into his kitchen and pulls a gun, Alana comes round and sees poor Hanni defending himself and also pulls a gun, Will shows up and pulls a gun, and then THERE'S NO EVIDENCE ANYWHERE IN THE HOUSE!!! But I think there has to be trace evidence in the basement that Hanni would not have been able to clean away, and also that he probably wouldn't have bothered trying to clean away. Ultimately, he wants credit just as much as Jack and Will want to give him that credit.

So, yeah, IDK what to make of the whole "legality" angle by the latter half of S2 since Jack has already bollocksed it up anyway... But there is no way that Will could have been on board with anything like a genuine plan to "legally" incriminate Hannibal except as a side effect of his "reckoning".
posted by tel3path at 4:58 AM on May 27, 2015

Just rewatched... that remark about how Hannibal's personality approach to the world is inspiring, in moderation.

I had an embarrassing thing happen to me today and, like I always do, I let it make me feel so small, the traitor in me agreeing with every accusation. Never mind that parts of it were demonstrably other people's fault, that felt like just an excuse.

Hannibal wouldn't ever feel that way, not for a millisecond. That's why we all took to him in the first place. We all want that feeling of perfect self-assurance, the ability to push others' challenges back to them and come out on top every time.

Will had already learned that the law wasn't there to protect him or anyone.

I get why he didn't tell all to Jack about Margot, about Mason's man-eating pigs (that Jack found out about soon enough anyway, and I suppose it's not illegal to keep man-eating pigs). The only thing he probably knew firsthand was Margot's experience, and Margot sure as shit doesn't want to bear witness. Never mind how Will himself might be feeling about such an intense personal experience getting poured into the FBI's meat grinder.

Bedelia says "you couldn't protect Will Graham. You still can't." Jack might personally care for Will, wants to right the wrongs, but he's just one person and he's made too many mistakes to recover them now.

It puts Mason's remark - about putting two dogs together in a cage - into sharp relief.

So what did Will have to protect him? Hannibal's mindset. You can see him enclosing himself within it like a pod or cocoon. It's the only place of safety available to him.

Talk about "bond with your captor, you survive". Holy shit.
posted by tel3path at 2:32 PM on June 10, 2015

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