Hannibal: Mizumono   Rewatch 
May 28, 2015 10:27 AM - Season 2, Episode 13 - Subscribe

Jack devises a plan to apprehend Hannibal, while Hannibal prepares for his departure. Will makes his decision, and it results in devastating consequences.

EVERYTHING'S FINE. EVERYTHING'S FINE. I'M NOT CRYING. YOU'RE CRYING. SHUT UP.

No seriously. I don't even know where to start with this one. Just reading the script this morning was devastating. The episode itself... Just. God damn. It's been a year now and I've watched it enough times that it's lost some of its punch... But not that much.

Even if the show stumbles and falls apart after this... Or, worse, if this'd been the end... This episode would stand as one of the all time great hours of television, especially in its genre. I won't in this initial post and might not later, but part of me wants to go through and just write something about each scene one at a time because it's so good and there's so much there that it stands up to that kind of hyperfocus.

EVERYTHING'S FINE (why is it not June 4th yet).
posted by sparkletone (101 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
The double commentary tracks for this episode are a bit repetitive but interesting, they cut out soooo much dialogue to obtain the "doomed" feeling and work visually rather than plot and dialogue.

Plus you can freaking hear the quotation marks about "brotherly" embrace.

Apparently they cut a few lines of Alana being the investigator for Jack being taken off the case cause they felt it made her more villainous then they intended. Which, you know, means it's not not there.

Apparently The Kade/Jack scene was stitched together from two separate scenes, digital background erasure works!
posted by The Whelk at 12:08 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also apparently it was going to be this huge complex plot trap that gets Hannibal caught but they decided Jack Vs. The a house of Horrors was more intimate and relationship focused then springing a bunch of SWAT team members.
posted by The Whelk at 12:09 PM on May 28, 2015


Apparently they cut a few lines of Alana being the investigator for Jack being taken off the case cause they felt it made her more villainous then they intended. Which, you know, means it's not not there.

Yeah, after seeing that commentary I checked out the script for those scenes. It really didn't make her look great, but it does make sense in the context of everyone basically saying to her "well we might actually be getting played and it's possible we will all die, but what can you do?" Not surprising she'd seek outside help from someone not caught up in the web of fuckery. But the plan with the snipers was actually a good plan, so if the show had made her the reason it failed, yeah it would have been bad.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:20 PM on May 28, 2015


Ok so, the logic behind her decision in the script:

KADE PRURNELL
Hannibal Lecter is being induced to commit murder by an undercover FBI informant. This is outrageous government conduct. Do you realize who will be held responsible?

JACK CRAWFORD
Hannibal will be held responsible.

KADE PRURNELL
You would never get a conviction.

ALANA BLOOM
If Hannibal is who we believe him to be, you would've just handed him his Get Out of Jail Free card.

And then, later on:

ALANA BLOOM
It's Alana. Is Jack with you?

WILL GRAHAM
No. Why?

ALANA BLOOM
I... I wanted to find some middle ground between believing the world is perfectly safe and terribly dangerous. I was trying to...

[Her voice trails off, overwhelmed with emotion.]

WILL GRAHAM
What did you do?

ALANA BLOOM
They've issued a warrant for your arrest, Will.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:26 PM on May 28, 2015


So basically, she got on board with the "Hannibal is evil" train just a bit too late to realize that he is also basically superhuman, and that complicated and possibly deadly septuple-bluffs make more sense than actually following the law where he is concerned.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:27 PM on May 28, 2015


On another note, a second review of the screeners (first was the EW one) .

(I am fascinated by how poor much of the grammar in this review is. I mean, it has some nice and interesting things to say about the show as well, but)
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:36 PM on May 28, 2015


Hey, so, question that somehow never occurred to me until now -

If the FBI knows that two of their agents have gone rogue and intend to extrajudicially take a guy down, why on earth are they not constantly surveilling the guy in question
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:46 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


ALSO ALSO I've been wondering if we will get flashbacks to how Hannibal planned everything behind the scenes, and it now occurs to me... what if instead of doing straight flashbacks they have Will empath it? Better yet, what if they have him empath THIS EPISODE?
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:56 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


"So basically, she got on board with the "Hannibal is evil" train just a bit too late to realize that he is also basically superhuman"

Of course he's superhuman - he managed to fool her for six straight years, didn't he? "He's superhuman" should have been the FIRST thought that entered her head.
posted by tel3path at 1:35 PM on May 28, 2015


If the FBI knows that two of their agents have gone rogue and intend to extrajudicially take a guy down, why on earth are they not constantly surveilling the guy in question
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:46 PM on May 28 [+] [!]


It's almost like they knew the non-questionable legal means of taking the suspect down had been completely FUBARed so they were tacitly hoping it'd all get sorted out extrajudicially.
posted by tel3path at 1:37 PM on May 28, 2015


Okay, so in the cut lines, they had her arguing on Kade Purnell's side and in the final script, they had her arguing against Kade Purnell.

I always did think it was a foot-in-mouth moment when Alana warned Kade "but they'll just go rogue!" Because Kade was probably counting on that, and by being a third party who warned her about it ahead of time, Kade then had to actually follow through on the arrest warrants, which she hadn't quite got round to at that point.

But if that was the worst mistake they had Alana make, well, that's good because if they'd gone with the previous script I would have been so ultimately fed up with her that I would have found a way of flinging her out a window myself, regardless of the fact that she's fictional and has no physical form. As it was, the worst thing I thought was, "Gee whiz, I can see Alana's appeal to reason having more disastrous results than she anticipated. I think she has a bit too much faith in the system right now!"

Meanwhile, Hannibal's house was not under any surveillance, no officers intercepted Jack on his way there, and the EMTs trundled up at their usual leisurely pace as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening.
posted by tel3path at 1:48 PM on May 28, 2015


My favorite Hannibal "fuck you" moment... when Hannibal kneels down at Alana's side and comes back up with the stylish overcoat that had been keeping her from going into shock. I had a tumblr-style "oh mY GOD IM SRCEAMIGN" reaction.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:50 PM on May 28, 2015


he doesn't kneel down, though? that was an offline retcon. the most anyone can actually prove is that he stepped over her.
posted by tel3path at 1:53 PM on May 28, 2015


It's almost like they knew the non-questionable legal means of taking the suspect down had been completely FUBARed so they were tacitly hoping it'd all get sorted out extrajudicially.

You know, I don't know that I totally buy this in-universe, but as fanwank it's actually pretty perfect.

Good enough for me!

Okay, so in the cut lines, they had her arguing on Kade Purnell's side and in the final script, they had her arguing against Kade Purnell.

The cut lines and her in-show argument with Kade were both in the script - I guess she thought Kade had a better backup plan than "do nothing, arrest Jack and Will."
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:00 PM on May 28, 2015


No, really. if you want the Gunfight at the OK Corral to not take place, one way to achieve that is to have officers stationed near the OK Corral so as to arrest the gunfighters before they get there.

If you don't do this, then your commitment to stopping the Gunfight at the OK Corral is questionable.
posted by tel3path at 2:03 PM on May 28, 2015


i thought that this line

If Hannibal is who we believe him to be, you would've just handed him his Get Out of Jail Free card.

was to Jack, to affirm Kade's line "you would never get a conviction".
posted by tel3path at 2:05 PM on May 28, 2015


Oh man if it was all deliberate I hope they bring that up this season, because it would totally help justify her possible future Krendlerization
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:07 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


NOW do you see?????

NOW do you see why I want Alana to sprout magnificent death's head moth wings and eat Kade Purnell's brains?!?

because it would be, as they say - fully earned.
posted by tel3path at 2:08 PM on May 28, 2015


Heck, I've eaten people's brains for less than that
posted by tel3path at 2:09 PM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Raul Esparza is doing Shakespeare in the Park! Oh man this means I gotta wait in that damn line
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:33 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


what Shakespeare character does Chilton map to?
posted by tel3path at 3:38 PM on May 28, 2015


On another note, a second review of the screeners (first was the EW one) .

There's another super positive one Bryan linked on Twitter that I refuse to link because it constantly misspells Mads' last name but at the same time I'm just like...

IT'S FUCKIN REAL. OUR SHOW IS BACK AND IT RULES AND GOES CRAZIER AND OH GOD I'M NOT READY. EXCEPT I AM. BUT OH GOD.
posted by sparkletone at 5:02 PM on May 28, 2015


One thing I didn't put in the main post: The fancrack that's stuck with me the most is the "finally I'm pretty" GIF from season one. Number two is a toss up. It's either the concerned sink from earlier this season or the fancrack vid that does the MMM WHATCHA SAYYYY thing to Will's stabbing. Part of why the scene has lost a little of its punch is I can't unhear that. Ever. GOOD JOB, TUMBLR.
posted by sparkletone at 5:06 PM on May 28, 2015


Better yet, what if they have him empath THIS EPISODE?

I don't know that they'll go there but the thought of him saying, "This is my design," at the end of explaining Abigail's presumed-death and his gutting makes me want to gross sob forever.

So they totally should do this.
posted by sparkletone at 5:10 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


sparkletone is it this one

"a DARKER TONE"? how even
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:36 PM on May 28, 2015


Yes and 1) FUCK YOU (not you liz) and 2) WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT FIRST PICTURE. FUCK OFF. (Don't answer that.)

June 4th: everything happens both so much and in fact TOO much.
posted by sparkletone at 7:28 PM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


That photo reminds me, from on of the commentaries on this ep - apparently when standards and practices OKd the final scene of this episode, they said "it's fine that there's so much blood because it's so dark. It's the bright red blood that freaks people out - if you use dark reddish-black blood you can get away with using a lot more." And Fuller essentially said his takeaway from that was "sweet, another limit to push to the absolute breaking point"
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:40 PM on May 28, 2015


I vaguely remember that (I didn't commentary for this rewatch at all)... But yeah. That sounds exactly like NBC Standards "Yeah, their ribs are right there but that's too much butt, more blood is fine" & "Sure, yes, the Wendigo can watch the threeway" Practices ...
posted by sparkletone at 8:06 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


If the show goes off the rails this season, Mizumono was an absolutely perfect episode of television and would have been a great series finale, and I'm prepared to consider it one, just in case.
posted by jeather at 8:07 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Early indications are for that at least a few, everything's fine. I have (well-earned) faith.
posted by sparkletone at 8:18 PM on May 28, 2015


The fancrack that's stuck with me the most is the "finally I'm pretty" GIF from season one. Number two is a toss up. It's either the concerned sink from earlier this season or the fancrack vid that does the MMM WHATCHA SAYYYY thing to Will's stabbing.

This one is a pretty perfect summary of the show imo
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:46 PM on May 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


I LIED. I LIED. I LIED A BUNCH. I AM AWFUL. I don't even know how this happened. That is the actual number one fancrack. It's the first thing I show people once they've seen enough. I literally at random stop in my day from time to time and start cackling because of it. I don't know what I was thinking earlier. I've literally used that video to help when everything was terrible and I needed to laugh.

Yes. It's beyond everything. Maybe I didn't think of it because THAT SHIT IS CANON.
posted by sparkletone at 9:01 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I AM ACTUALLY SHEPARDING SOMEONE THROUGH THE SHOW RIGHT NOW. They are only just past Coquilles. So it'll be a bit but I've already been gleeful because of that video (they LOVED the "finally I'm pretty" joke).

HOW DID I FORGET. DELETE THIS THREAD. SOMEONE ELSE TAKE UP THE BATON.

(not serious. I will take care of posting 3x01 as soon as Fanfare allows.)
posted by sparkletone at 9:07 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is there an option (aside from just watching it on broadcast NBC) for legally watching this show as it airs? I know Hulu last season had it up the next day, but I am an impatient woman.

I would just watch it on NBC but my roommate's TV is pre- digital transition. I guess I could get a converter box but I literally watch no other broadcast TV. Plus, if I'm gonna spend money, I may as well spend it on a digital version of Hannibal without commercials, rather than on a converter box.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:23 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I AM ACTUALLY SHEPARDING SOMEONE THROUGH THE SHOW RIGHT NOW.

I invited someone over regularly to watch two-episode chunks of the first season while I made them dainty oddly-meat based snacks.

Not even kidding a little.
posted by The Whelk at 10:42 PM on May 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


STOP THIS AT ONCE. YOU'RE ALL ADULTS.

HOW CAN YOU GET SO EMOTIONAL OVER A TV SHOW.

Sober focus on reality and duty is what you people need.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get my snake-print wrap dress collection off the washline and iron my red-and-white curtains so I can get dressed in my cobalt blue bedroom. Then I'll be ready to go downtown to take my houndstooth pants suit to the cleaners and get my red gel manicure redone. Can you believe it chipped after only 5 days? I took the manicurist's business card. RUDE. I'll definitely have red nails one way or another after this.
posted by tel3path at 1:38 AM on May 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


The problem with the scenario in the original script wasn't that they had Alana seeking help from a third party, but that they had her deciding Jack and Will were wrong - again - and going behind their back to report to the big boss that they needed to be stopped, and then being surprised - again - (as when her charge of misconduct against Jack resulted in Jack getting charged with misconduct) that it could backfire.

That would have had the effect of making Alana look either tremendously stupid, like really unequivocally tremendously and colossally, "danger to herself and others" tremendously and permanently stupid; or else an active antagonist who is excellent at playing dumb. I think that would have been so unfair to her character - and this is me saying this - that it's a good thing they changed their minds.

There's an alternative way they could have done it, which is that Alana expresses to Jack and Will that she's afraid they're going to play right into Hannibal's hands - not only sabotage any legal case against him, but get themselves killed in the process. She could remind them that this is not something they should just fatalistically accept; and that, since Hannibal is expecting a showdown at dinner, they should figure out something he won't be expecting and do that instead.

Going to Kade was a bad idea because Kade has already announced to Alana, in so many words, that she cares only about the reputation of the Bureau, and not at all about what's really going on. So far, Hannibal has not embarrassed the Bureau whatsoever - there are no records of him having done anything wrong. Whereas Jack, Will and Alana have all publicly humiliated the bureau. So going to Kade should not have been any part of any plan Alana came up with to dissuade Jack and Will from disaster. At most, she would have broached "do you think it would be a good idea to go to Kade and see if she has any resources to offer for an alternative plan" to which the answer would have been a resounding NO!!!

As originally written, the scene is one where Alana finally takes meaningful action, for once, and it's like Attack of the 50ft Schlemiel.

As finally filmed, it's Kade who steps in on her own initiative to take Jack off the case, and her sense of timing is noteworthy, having allowed things to get to this point and choosing the moment before the showdown to intervene. She also announces to Jack that she's issuing a warrant for Will's arrest. Now the idea is shown to be coming from Kade, not Alana.

Alana intercedes with Kade, and her one mistake is in warning her that Jack and Will are just going to go rogue. This is the trigger factor in provoking Kade to go through with issuing the warrant, and instead of being the cause of the damage, Alana manages some damage limitation by warning Will just in time that he's about to be arrested. It also has no major effect on how things subsequently unfold: Jack and Will would have arrived at Hannibal's house separately anyway, because Jack had already decided to go there ahead of schedule. The arrest delays Will so that he arrives at Hannibal's house after Alana, and it is also the cause of Alana's decision to go to Hannibal's house herself, which is why Will only arrives in time to find her on the front porch. Which is to say, Alana's misstep with Kade only results in harm to herself onscreen.

Alana also makes some self-sacrificing moves for the first time during the showdown, choosing to draw Hannibal's fire rather than slip away (even for the purposes of deception) and leave him to finish killing Jack in the pantry. She comes close to succeeding in taking Hannibal down.

If those self-sacrificing moves had come after she'd tipped off Kade as per the original version, they wouldn't have been enough to stop me blowing raspberries in her direction because she would just have been beyond a joke by then. Much better to have Kade be the villain.

So her brains can get et later on.
posted by tel3path at 7:17 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is there an option (aside from just watching it on broadcast NBC) for legally watching this show as it airs?

Not that I'm aware of sadly. I know Amazon paid good money for being the exclusive streamer of past stuff but they'd be no better than Hulu/iTunes about getting new eps as they air.

Hannibal can't be caught by sticking with the rules so maybe it's fitting that WELP if you want to watch him.
posted by sparkletone at 8:01 AM on May 29, 2015


Also, yesterday my perfect Chilton blazer in the color palette of the show came back from the reweavers (I found a hole) looking like new
posted by The Whelk at 8:58 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


(I support Kade having her brains et only cause it means we'll be seeing her wearing her bright orange CAUTION outfits which are always a delight to look at. Who else would dress like a literal traffic cone?)
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Whelk how much does something like that cost? I have a favorite sweater with fraying sleeves and for the first time in my life I am considering being an adult and getting it fixed, rather than continuing to wear it as it slowly unravels off my body
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:54 AM on May 29, 2015


what Shakespeare character does Chilton map to?

I'd go with Roderigo, Iago's hapless stooge from Othello. They're both dandies who try to play with real evil and end up gutted for it. Him, or maybe Malvolio from Twelfth Night, a sort of pompous hypocrite.

I'm curious to see what they do with Dolarhyde in Season 3, since Dolarhyde arguably has to be both sympathetic (after a fashion) and terrifying on the order of Hannibal himself. In this respect, he's profoundly unlike Mason Verger, who was conceived as little more than a vulgar foil for Hannibal. Dolarhyde is a much more fully realized character, one whose relationships and actions reflect a personal theology as disquieting and distinctive as Hannibal's own. He's also got to reflect duality where Will and Hannibal are singular in their own ways, and project a kind of aesthetic power that is as intense as but different from Hannibal's.

And, of course, in the books and films he tries to be Hannibal's rebound, so he needs to come across as someone Hannibal would take a special interest in. He's not a mere stalking horse like Randall Tier, a hapless pawn like Abel Gideon, or the instrument of an initial probe into Will's psyche as was Garret Jacob Hobbs. My concern is that the show's focus on Hannigram in season 2 tended to treat the other killers who popped up into frame as little more than the sum of their monomania.

Hannibal uses others as the materials for his "art" and sees himself and those he selects as detached, godlike creators; Dolarhyde is his own canvas, and his dream is metamorphosis, which is why his limited discovery that there are people and feelings and life outside his self-referential ball of trauma and narcissistic fantasy throws him off so badly, at least for awhile. But he also has no relationship with Will Graham and not much of one with Hannibal; to Dolarhyde, they're more like celebrities he's obsessively read everything about than like either the people who affect his everyday life or the raw materials consumed in his initial dreams of transformation.

Dolarhyde's story is about someone whose fantasy of mystical murder-transformation is disrupted by his experience of something very like, but not quite, emotional attachment and investment. In these respects, he might work well if they play things as Hannibal seeing a parallel to his own recent emotional vulnerability in this Blake enthusiast. Not that this would be empathy on Hannibal's part, of course, but seeing something of himself paralleled in others and cultivating it is Hannibal's idea of love. Francis and Reba as a funhosue mirror version of Hannigram, perhaps?
posted by kewb at 10:08 AM on May 29, 2015


I've only seen Manhunter and Silence, and never read any of the books. I'm thinking maybe I should watch/read the Red Dragons before that arc starts...

Dolarhyde's story is about someone whose fantasy of mystical murder-transformation is disrupted by his experience of something very like, but not quite, emotional attachment and investment. In these respects, he might work well if they play things as Hannibal seeing a parallel to his own recent emotional vulnerability in this Blake enthusiast. Not that this would be empathy on Hannibal's part, of course, but seeing something of himself paralleled in others and cultivating it is Hannibal's idea of love.

Hmm, but reading this this did make me think of the "Did you think you could change me as I've changed you?" / "I already have" exchange from Mizumono.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:14 AM on May 29, 2015


I feel like Hannibal ended up in the Malvolio role this time, which must rrrrRRREEAALLLLLYYY make him MAADDDDDDD. Like "I'd kill 'em again if I got the chance - oh look, I have!"

Dolarhyde, now... when he has this moment of repentance after falling in love with Reba... you could just CRY because he has all this POTENTIAL and he seems to be on the brink of realizing it, but it turns out it's too late for him. And yet he is doing the best he can, poor soul.

The thing about Reba is... the version of Francis she sees is REAL. It's not complete, but it is real. It's because she's more insightful than most people around him. Unfortunately for her, there's simply more to the story.
posted by tel3path at 10:17 AM on May 29, 2015


I remember reading recently that the only way people with certain personality disorders can communicate what they're feeling is to evoke that feeling in you. So the revenge that Will set up - I'm going to make Hannibal feel as bad as he made me feel - was inevitably going to loop around back to him. And Hannibal is better at making people feel bad than Will is.

I just read a snippet from HD about how, when Will is happy, he's inevitably going to be conflicted about it. And you can see why, now, whereas in the books he was just kind of inherently self-loathing and suffering from intrusive thoughts for which he blamed himself.

And he does start off that way on TV, and he is justly worried that others will think just as badly of him for the thoughts he has. Then Hannibal makes all his worst fears come true and he does feel better for it. He started off with no boundaries, when he started hallucinating he was all like "well, this is the way I am" and only gradually realized that no, he's not supposed to be hallucinating, he knows what kind of crazy he is (the kind that's not). But up until then, he was prepared to burn himself out saving lives because he was assuming "save lives -> stress -> hallucination -> crazy -> institution" was a given for him, but then he was waking up to that and trying to take care of himself. And then he had essentially everyone telling him he was a killer, and I feel like Bedelia's "I believe you" crumbs were what he badly needed because it was taking such Herculean strength to believe in himself at that point.

At the end of S2 he still doesn't like people very much, but as Alana says, he's not afraid of them any more. But he still wants to save them.

And then by the end of S3 presumably he's skipping through cornfields in slow motion with Molly, which we are all so relieved about, and she gets four episodes? Of which one is Will being happy and having a nice day?

And then fucking Jack shows up and says "why are you not saving lives Will" and back he goes for more self-flagellation. But if it wasn't Jack you can see, now, how it would have been someone else.

Thing is... Will is an awful lot like Callan. Callan also hates his work, but he's also irresistibly drawn to it because it is his vocation. And from the beginning, it was evident that Will WANTED to be in the field, despite the fact that he hated it. He asked to be excused because he was hallucinating, not because he was unhappy.

The only resolution or refuge is in an alt!fanfic universe where Hannibal is not a cannibal and they live just-unhappily-enough ever after, where Will goes out and saves people and... well I'm sure Hannibal does more than stay home saying "yes dear, no dear" and stirring a pot, but the point is, he doesn't eat people, and behind every great man stands a great cook.
posted by tel3path at 10:29 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay folks, we have a week, if we all pool our resources we can make it through. Everyone put what food they have in the middle of the circle.

I have half a bag of basic-brand tortilla chips, a jug of water, and some cottage cheese. I can ration us to 1 chip each per day, just don't eat it last thing at night or you'll wake up all puffy.
posted by tel3path at 10:38 AM on May 29, 2015


If all else fails we can eat these Italian oxfords...or maybe the painting.
posted by The Whelk at 10:45 AM on May 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hmmm, just read a ding-dong about queerbaiting on, you guessed it, Tumblr.

First of all with the Alana and Margot thing... a lot of people were very mad about having Margot bang Will last season, and it's got to be maddening when you finally get a canonically queer character and then stick her in a het sex scene. At least they made it clear she didn't enjoy it (though Will was, of course, good enough that she theoretically could have if she batted for that team; gracious of her to leave him a 5-star review).

Meanwhile, CD had already volunteered to do a scene with Margot next season, and you can certainly see how that could be made to fit with Margot suffering from an abusive brother; all we know about Alana is that she had brothers, and she may or may not be looking at them in a new light now but if she saw Hannibal as an older brother at all... "almost sibling" dynamic in the kitchen, you say? Hmmm.... And of course, Margot has resources Alana can use to exact her REVENGE. And also, Alana may be suffering professionally after Mizumono, and the Vergers are known to employ defrocked medics. And most of all, it's not out of Bryan's way to do a lesbian sex scene and it would redress the balance from last season, so I can see many reasons to do this scene and effectively no reasons not to. I just read complaints about "blah blah two pretty women blah blah caters to men" but I can't imagine I, as a woman, am gonna like it LESS than the horrible het scenes we had in S2. They were just gruesome, I was hiding behind the sofa every time. I mean, I'm not particularly excited about that scene, but I see no reason why it won't belong there.

And... as for Hannigram... okay, we all know it's not sexual for Will. Hannibal is drawing smutty fanart so the question of what he wants is settled, as far as I'm concerned. I honestly question whether it was ever sexual for Alana - "adept but clinical" I believe echolalia67 called it - so that would be even more support for the scene with Margot in S3. But anyway... in one of his early lectures, Will warned us not to reduce it to a "male penetrative control issue" and I think the most important message is that it can't be reduced to that. We're being encouraged to think about what that kind of romantic relationship would mean. And also... rue72 said she thought they actually did do it, because their demeanour changed. And now that I've seen that I can't unsee it. And I think that Margot forcing herself to sleep with Will probably gave Will the idea to force himself to do it with Hannibal. And I can see why they wouldn't ever confirm that for us, because they're already romanticizing an abusive relationship and there's such a thing as a step too far. I didn't come here to watch Twilight, basically.
posted by tel3path at 11:17 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


tl;dr last season they complain about an absence of lesbian sex scenes (erasure!), this season they complain about the presence of a lesbian sex scene (exploitation!), you can't win.
posted by tel3path at 11:22 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am here for queer sex scenes.

I also just bought two giant bags of popcorn. One sriracha flavored and one chocolate caramel. Finishing the S2 rewatch tonight. You should all come share the popcorn and the emotional trauma.
posted by Stacey at 11:25 AM on May 29, 2015


You know the rules, Stacey, put them in the middle of the circle.

And shame on you for being complicit in your own exploitation. NO FUN ALLOWED
posted by tel3path at 11:29 AM on May 29, 2015


Oh, apparently bastard Hanni has been feeding Bedelia oysters because it will make her taste better, and there is unfortunately no sexual connotation to that phrasing.

Ooooohhhh I hope she cleans his clock.
posted by tel3path at 3:04 PM on May 29, 2015


Liz, by the way, read Red Dragon if you want? It's a fantastic book. Generally as good as the book version of silence. But the Brett Ratner adaptation is hyper-skippable. Manhunter and Silence matter, the rest nah as movies go.

The book is good though.
posted by sparkletone at 8:45 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


All the books pre-Hannibal, Red Dragon and Silence Of The Lambs, are really great. They're gripping high gothic dramas at doorstop lengths with enough richness and texture to support extreme fan-AUs like the show is. Hannibal the book was written under duress, literally taking the characters hostage so Harris tried to write the most unflimable story ever and it shoooows.

Manhunter is an interesting, intense, oddly really personal adaptation of Red Dragon and I'd suggest it more fully if it wasn't for that insane synth soundtrack - but Cox's Lecter is great and it's so not bad, just very idiosyncratic.

Silence Of The Lambs, is, of course, a classic. It won Oscars. It's why Hannibal Lecter is a Thing. It's why we have the X-files. It was a labor of love by Demme who wanted to film every line of dialogue as written. I always liked how it doggedly pushed realism EXCEPT for the Lecter bits, so it would stand out.

Hannibal the movie is more like this baroque object no one wanted. It's better than the book - Foster refused to return because of how the book ended- and it's pretty but it's just not ...any good? Totally watchable, and the show borrowed a lot of visuals from it, but it's just a weirdly unlikable mess.

Red Dragon the movie was a soulless hollow cash-in directed by someone who never does second takes. It's just empty air, aside from Francis as the Red Dragon and Reba who seem more likable..or at least sympathetic then in Manhunter. But the whole thing is a watse of space and talent. Total blank space.

Hannibal Rising, book and movie, aren't wroth talking about and the show runners have said they're not using it as backstory or anything.
posted by The Whelk at 11:10 PM on May 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Manhunter is an interesting, intense, oddly really personal adaptation of Red Dragon and I'd suggest it more fully if it wasn't for that insane synth soundtrack

HEART BEAT! HEART BEAT! LISTEN TO MY HEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAART BEAT!

I really hope they manage to reference that somehow. Even if it's just a copy of the album on someone's shelf in the background.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:15 AM on May 31, 2015


He's a gigantic recluse but someone get Thomas Harris a Metafilter account. Just stop forcing him to write books. We're way nicer.
posted by sparkletone at 1:26 AM on May 31, 2015


you know, Manhunter is one of my favourite films. the objection I have to it is that they made it a relatively simple and conformist redemptive violence narrative, whereas the novel came to the much bleaker and more complex conclusion that there is no redemption, and that it's nature red in tooth and claw. by this measure, Graham is a failure, having failed to protect his young, and Molly did what she had to do in removing her genetic offspring from his failed step-parent influence.

I do still agree that you don't fail much harder in the ol' failure stakes than failing to protect your family. Sad but true.

I also tend to prefer a version of the story that offers some redemption, over a version that offers no redemption. even redemptive violence is better than nothing.

I think if any rendition brings hope for redemption, it's Fuller's one. he's clearly a religious man whether he acknowledges this or not.
posted by tel3path at 4:19 AM on May 31, 2015


then again I was a teenager in the 80s so I find the whole thing overall beautiful, rather than lol 80s.
posted by tel3path at 4:19 AM on May 31, 2015


AND. cox's Lecter does not get NEARLY enough credit.

there is no one best rendition of Lecter, they're all the best.
posted by tel3path at 4:20 AM on May 31, 2015


cox's Lecter does not get NEARLY enough credit.

At a press thing back before S2, Bryan and a bunch of cast got asked what heir first encounter with the material was. Laurence's was Manhunter and he does the most adorable impression of Cox saying he hasn't the use of his arms.

I think Manhunter matters to this show a lot, just in an indirect sort of way. They hyper focus on the visuals is a thing it has in common with it. They're just different visuals.
posted by sparkletone at 12:18 PM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


And the strong association of certain colours with certain meanings. The many brightly coloured objects in Lecter's cell, especially the purple and green; and the green grass that Graham stared at after running out of the asylum, are all meant to suggest insanity.

This seems to come from Mann's experience of stacking supermarket shelves from the age of 12. He thought the supermarket scene would be a calming thing between father-and-son. Evidently Mann likes things to be stacked in neat rows.

I found it more compulsive than communicative, but.
posted by tel3path at 1:32 PM on May 31, 2015


That's an interesting contrast but I think you're very right. Mann's visuals as much/more so in Manhunter compared to some of his other things, he just... had to.

This show is much, much more deliberate. What we can read into it might be ambiguous, but nothing is tossed off. Like there might not be a reason but someone thought about whatever and made a choice and put all together makes it part of why I (and think many of us) can pick this apart endlessly.
posted by sparkletone at 1:56 PM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


After the news about Hola I'm contemplating waiting until June 10th for the show to come out in the UK.

Trouble is, that would mean a week-long social media blackout for me, pulling the shades, and basically going around with a galvanized metal bucket over my head for a week. My world would be formless and void and without light.

What to do.

Anybody know any other workarounds for watching NBC from abroad?
posted by tel3path at 2:32 PM on May 31, 2015


Teh Evile Torrentz - EZTV or showRSS, which uses the EZTV trackers. I use a VPN with them, but it's how I watch difficult-to-catch things like Hannibal or Äkta Människor. Apparently I'm dragging Western Civilisation down around my ears.
posted by Grangousier at 3:18 PM on May 31, 2015


Incidentally, America, sort out the nonsense of those really distracting idents for other programmes playing along the bottom of the screen while the current show is going on. There's literally no defence for that.
posted by Grangousier at 3:19 PM on May 31, 2015


Eztv is no more -- the site was taken over by scammers recently. There are extra tv torrent trackers.
posted by jeather at 3:27 PM on May 31, 2015


Hmmm, in the way of promo "spoilers" that aren't:

Fangoria interview with Caroline Dhavernas

Seems like Alana is going to go bizarro in S3, since everything she thought was moral blew up in her face. Makes sense.

And that it'll be like "Les Diaboliques" for her and Margot.

Basically nothing we didn't already know.
posted by tel3path at 9:54 AM on June 2, 2015


I am so excited for that, because I did get a little frustrated with her sidelining in the last season, even though it made total narrative sense.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:57 AM on June 2, 2015


I can't stand the wait. I'm wasting away here.
posted by tel3path at 11:22 AM on June 2, 2015


Okay, I'm switching to ZenMate. I'm behind on my rewatch so I'm just going to have to... watch faster I guess.
posted by tel3path at 12:05 PM on June 2, 2015


One of the av club writers was wondering where the show could possibly go after this season seeing as sotL is still not legally available and they've ...cannibalized so much of the remaining book material already.

To which I say : It's a Wildly divergent AU fanfic, it can do what it wants
posted by The Whelk at 12:07 PM on June 2, 2015


As Cleolinda's reviews point out, the very fact that they have done things like make Dr. Gideon a pseudo-Hannibal and given Miriam Lass aspects of both Will Graham's and Clarice Starling's stories is an indicator that they never intended to follow the books slavishly. They constantly use book plot points and dialogue out of order and with different characters, partly in order to establish that this is not a straightforward retelling.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:12 PM on June 2, 2015


Oh yeah, I mean they're very upfront about that , I just wonder how they'll wedge Will into it.
posted by The Whelk at 12:19 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, I like that whoever ran off with Hannibal did so out of genuine lucid choice, or so we're told. Not like the book where Clarice chose it and didn't choose it and Hannibal drugged and hypnotized her into choosing what she really wanted deep down... FFS. Don't get me started.

Murder Family European Holiday would have just been delaying the inevitable. It was a bozotic idea of Hannibal's and he knew it.

Apparently Bedelia survives at least seven episodes, so there's that.
posted by tel3path at 12:21 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Murder Family European Holiday would have just been delaying the inevitable. It was a bozotic idea of Hannibal's and he knew it.

I wonder if he did know it, really. Over the last season, to a certain extent Hannibal turned into a starry-eyed teenager inside...

He's a very smart man but, as Bedelia pointed out, he is self-congratulatory and prone to flights of whimsy. I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that Hannibal really did think he had a solid and stable murderfamily on lock. Poor guy!
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:26 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well everyone was going 'how could Hannibal fall for such a transparent ploy' as if this kind of conspiracy happens every day.

But yeah he really did think he could turn Will because Will understood him, just did not get how that couldn't work because of the nature of empathy.

All Hannibal's mind control amounted to erasing Will's memory coincident with the murders so he was temporarily fooled into thinking he could have done them, but it was only temporary. Will caught on in the penultimate episode that someone was targeting him with these murders, so it's not like he pulled the 'someone's being a copycat' story out of his pocket *after* he was arrested.

And for him to have previously brought up the stuff for which he was arrested, he would have to have either a) been unknowingly referring to murders he himself committed while unconscious or b) doing a really really really unsuccessful attempt at framing someone else, given that he wound up turning himself in and that all evidence seemed to incriminate Will himself. Or c) been totally right about the existence of a copycat, in which frame Hannibal helping him turn himself in... ah, fuck it. All the other characters have room-temperature IQs, that's the real problem.

Actually, on rewatch, it really really does seem like the basic problem is that Hannibal and Will are the only intelligent people in the Greater Baltimore Area and Will works with a bunch of malicious dullards. Sorry, but there's no other way to say it.

Even Beverly, FFS. Saying stuff like certainty comes from the evidence... no, probability comes from the evidence. It's improbable that there's any other reason for throwing up an ear than that you ingested it yourself, and improbable that you ingested it yourself for any other reason than that you killed the person it belonged to. UNTIL you realize that Will was talking about a copycat a week ago, and that the person he's accusing is a surgeon, and that once that's taken into account none of the evidence is incompatible with his having been framed. Then swallowing an ear, and having an ear forced down your throat, look at least equally likely.

And then, finally, Beverly realizes that she's finding no more evidence on Will, hasn't since he was arrested, but since she processed Hannibal already she's convinced enough that he didn't do it that she brings him in to "consult". But then why ostentatiously interrogate him and give him the side-eye? Why, Beverly? If Hannibal's capable of all this shit then what do you think, that you'll intimidate him by letting him know you're on to him?

It wasn't her going into the basement that I thought was dumb. I thought it was the smartest move possible in the circumstances. Heck, knowing that Hannibal was baiting a hook, it was reasonable to keep looking because for all she knew, he had decoy kidneys in his freezer waiting for her to get a warrant and make a fool of her! And he definitely was not expecting her to just break in. It nearly worked.

No, it was everything that came before that that made Beverly seem dumb. Why why why do they ALL go to Hannibal and disclose in detail their plans to incriminate him? Why? Even Will does it (though you can see why at that point). Then Beverly does it. Then Chilton does it. Then Jack does it. Then Freddie does it via Alana (the more I think about it the more I think that was Freddie doing a reverse "smoke her out" on Alana the same way they got Freddie to publish a proactive article in S1). Then Alana does it.

"Hey, Hannibal, just announcing that I'm using this method to catch you, just to make sure it won't work." Talk about defeating the finest minds in law enforcement. Headdesk.

"Highly Intelligent And Dumber" could be the strapline for this show. OMG they are ALL. SO. PAINFULLY. STUPID.

No wonder Will was instantly drawn to Hannibal. At least this was someone with more than just tumbleweeds blowing through his head.
posted by tel3path at 12:55 PM on June 2, 2015


she's convinced enough that he didn't do it that she brings him in to "consult". But then why ostentatiously interrogate him and give him the side-eye? Why, Beverly? If Hannibal's capable of all this shit then what do you think, that you'll intimidate him by letting him know you're on to him?

I always thought that the reason Beverly asked Hannibal for help - and later, the reason Jack asked him for help with Miriam - was because they weren't sure if he was really guilty, but they thought they could figure it out if they poked him a little. That was the mistake - not failing to suspect him, or trying to intimidate him, but just not realizing how poke-proof he is.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:15 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I actually think it makes sense Jack asking for help with Miriam. It gave Jack a front-row seat to how Hannibal really operates. And I do actually think that Hannibal was quite far gone in the overconfidence zone by then - he probably will have thought he pretty much adequately fooled Jack WHILE giving a demo of "this is how I do it".

I really really really can't think of any reason Jack would take Miriam to Hannibal UNLESS he wanted to see how Hannibal did the trick.

Because I could see a description of that standing up in court, maybe? Miriam was so traumatized and her memories so screwed with - even just by listening to Alana saying to Hannibal "I wish I knew why this was being done to you" - that her testimony probably was never going to amount to much and Jack had most likely figured as much.

But if Jack described in court that he took Miriam to Hannibal and Hannibal did this, this and this thing with a light and a metronome, all of which can tamper with memory in combination with this/that drug, then I do actually think he could argue that Hannibal did in fact tamper with not only Miriam's but Will's memories in that way. Will's testimony alone wasn't enough because he was so discredited by then, same for Miriam... but Jack was still a credible witness.

That interpretation relies on Hannibal being so overconfident that he believed he could wipe Miriam's memory right in front of Jack and Jack would either be oblivious or unable to prove it.

It comes together when you realize Hannibal was planning to be out of town before the trial anyway. But I think overconfidence in Jack's obliviousness has a lot to do with it.
posted by tel3path at 2:10 PM on June 2, 2015


Thing is, Beverly DID get answers from the way Hannibal was talking to her. In her mind, the evidence had already excluded him.

But interpersonally, the way he was talking to her, the way he was having SUCH fun with the crime scenes and declaiming about craquelure and similar pretentious bullshit (cra-que-lure, it's French, my dear hick who obviously doesn't speak French, it couldn't be my Lithuanian accent you didn't understand).

And then he literally pointed out James Grey's kidneys to her.

I continue to insist that it was the smartest possible move to do the unexpected and just break right on in. Overconfident, but it very nearly worked. And I don't think we can overestimate how appalled she was at her mistake and at inadvertently helping Hannibal to screw over someone she'd worked next to every day. In that moment of decision she accurately assessed just what extraordinary efforts it would take to undo Hannibal, and she did it.
posted by tel3path at 2:25 PM on June 2, 2015


Also thankfully: no chance of Willana on the horizon.

According to CD Alana has learned not to get up in his business because historically this has not turned out well. So that's a relief.

I mean, Will's element is water... she turned into an oily RavenFigureheadMedusaWoman and splashed madness all over him like an oil spill (the Wendigo also has skin like tar)... the first outfit we see her in has a fire print...

Like, generally, she was right that they are just not compatible. No. They're not.
posted by tel3path at 3:39 PM on June 2, 2015


Yeah, you know, it was still really subpar of Beverly to think that Hannibal could be the kind of guy who could orchestrate a complex frameup of Will while consulting with the FBI right under their noses, that could come into the lab and casually sniff super-gross corpses, and yet be intimidated by her giving him the hairy eyeball. You do all the stuff Graham is accused of, AND you successfully pin it on someone else, you are NOT easily intimidated.

Beverly does trace evidence, she does not do the people/motive stuff, and it shows. Twice already she's come out with profiling insights and it stuck out like a sore thumb, because it's not what she does. They knew it wasn't really coming from her.

So why, then, Beverly, why try to play headgames when your superpower is being straightforward to the point of social unacceptability?

I mean, it doesn't take any kind of genius profiler to figure out that if Hannibal is *really* that deceptive he probably has strong psychopathic tendencies and just doesn't scare easily. Come on.

And then Jack, later... Jack, do you remember that Hannibal has been cavorting freely around your lab for many months now? He heard the words "stool sample" in episode 3. Again if he is who they suspect he is, he'll have cut down on the people really drastically. Though actually, maybe not. I actually could see Hannibal taking that much risk. Yeah, not AS foreseeable.

Sigh, if they'd just taken a stool sample from him and Alana Bloom the day they were making heart kebabs in his kitchen together after Sheldon Isley was discovered. That would have turned something up because why name a crime scene after a girl, and take the heart as a trophy, if you're going to be stingy with it?
posted by tel3path at 4:48 PM on June 2, 2015


I need it to be two days from now ok
posted by tel3path at 4:48 PM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


TunnelBear! It's TunnelBear.
posted by tel3path at 3:04 PM on June 3, 2015


Sorry, I'm coming into this show very late. I'm curious which episodes from season one I should watch to get caught up on the Gillian Anderson sub-plot? I watched the pilot but didn't continue after that.
posted by bluecore at 5:59 PM on June 3, 2015


Hmm... so, she's actually a VERY minor character in season 1, and still minor but important in season 2, with her plotty episodes being the second and second-to-last episodes of the second season. If you're asking because you plan to jump in on season 3 (when she will be a regular), you could probably get away with watching just those two - Sakizuke and Tome-wan. And then the finale, even though she's barely in it, because it's amazing and because it sets up the next season.

(Now that I'm looking at the synopses for those two eps, they contain two of the most gruesome scenes in the entire show, and that's saying something. So, uh, be aware.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:34 PM on June 3, 2015


I keep thinking I need to read the next script and rewatch the next episode so I can post tomorrow morning. But I can't and it's fucking me up. AAAHHEHEHDIDOFKTNENW.
posted by sparkletone at 8:55 PM on June 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I haven't even planned out a menu I'm a terrible person
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 PM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


i have to wait until the weekend. the weekend


Sob sob sob sob sob sob sob
posted by tel3path at 6:23 AM on June 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


And I also just read from CD that part of Alana's motivation in S3 will be to look out for Will Graham, but she's learned not to get directly involved in cases any more. Seems like a contradiction in terms.

Meanwhile I read from HD that Will does not trust any of his former allies. Finally he's caught on.

EVERYONE PLEASE STOP HELPING WILL GRAHAM.

Meanwhile, CD still regards Alana as always having been the "healthiest" character of the lot. Of course Alana would think that, but.

I really feel like I've had my hopes for her character dashed.

oh god alana please do not spend s3 going around being healthy at people please just take up death metal as your new aesthetic and, like, every time someone does something you disapprove of, you could bite the head off a bat in front of them, and thereby teach them to respect you.
posted by tel3path at 10:16 AM on June 4, 2015


Thank you, showbiz_liz! A lot happened in those last two episodes!
posted by bluecore at 10:40 AM on June 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


You ain't kiddin.

My favorite "a lot happening in two episodes" is the consecutive Futamono and Yakimono, which dramatically altered the fortunes and trajectories of almost the entire cast, for both good and ill, midway through season 2.

(Of course we obsessives in this thread would all recommend watching the whole series, but whatever, I'm always glad when people hop on the bandwagon no matter how they do it!)
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:53 AM on June 4, 2015


...read Red Dragon if you want? It's a fantastic book.

Okay, clearly milage varies here, but I read Red Dragon after Season 2 in preparation for this season, and I really really wish I didn't. It moves along nicely and is a gripping read and everything, but it is EXTREMELY misogynistic and I wish I could unread it.

Will Graham's relationship with Molly is horrible (and also gross, he calls her things like hotlips, which, I guess is supposed to represent that they have a healthy sexual relationship even though he treats her really badly the entire time?), as his relationship with his step-son; and his discussion of Mrs. Leeds is also gross (he comments among other things that she is good-looking and that he would want to touch her in an intimate situation). The whole book seemed to assume that the reader would find Graham sympathetic as a super macho hero figure, but I ended up feeling just really disgusted by him, and somewhat more sympathetic to Dolarhyde. Here's a really long post talking more about this.

Here's hoping (I think, reasonably), that the Will Graham from Hannibal The Show comes off somewhat better. And honestly if I could go back and just rely on the show version of this world, I would.
posted by likeatoaster at 1:02 PM on June 4, 2015


All of that being said, I am so excited for tonight! For our watch party, we made figs with blue cheese wrapped in bacon (because, pigs), and homemade sausage canapés. I'll try to remember to post a pic in the new thread.
posted by likeatoaster at 1:05 PM on June 4, 2015


I've got some good prosciutto in, i could make roses with figs...
posted by The Whelk at 1:11 PM on June 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, well, I've read the Anna Mardoll piece and I don't believe it has a leg to stand on. A refutation is here.
posted by tel3path at 1:18 PM on June 4, 2015


I mean, okay, but I read the book and found it misogynist, before googling to see if anyone had written anything about that and finding Anna Mardoll's piece. And as far as I can tell from that refutation you linked, the argument is essentially that the books are feminist in a similar way as some folks consider The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo to be feminist -- i.e. it includes sexualized violence as a critique of the patriarchy in general.

Which like, okay, but the book still felt like it had a gross tone that reveled in graphically describing sexualized violence, even while criticizing it. And at best, that argument strikes me as feminism light, and at worst, it's just one more piece of media featuring gratuitous sexualized violence. And that still doesn't explain why the book's protagonist --Will Graham -- is creepy and patronizing towards Molly.

But, like I said, clearly this is a subject with some nuance.
posted by likeatoaster at 1:33 PM on June 4, 2015


Hmm, well in the examples you cited: not everyone agrees that calling your sexual partner "hotlips" is offensive; it still comes across as playful to some of us, even now. I may be a product of my generation.

Making observations about Mrs Leeds and wanting to touch her in an intimate situation is an example of his doing his job, which is to mentalize the actions of violent criminals. The interlocutor in the book also responds to Graham's statement with instinctive distaste: "Intimate?" the other guy replies, showing overt disgust and suspicion of Graham because of it. This kind of response from others shows where a lot of Graham's pervasive self-loathing is coming from, and also shows how he can't win: he is hired for his ability to think certain thoughts, but when he demonstrates that ability, it comes across as repellent to others as well as to himself. Graham definitively judges himself as evil for identifying with the evil thoughts of others. Giving voice to the unmentionable. And yet in the same social milieu, at the same time, it's completely socially acceptable for a bunch of guys in the elevator to express violent intent towards a female colleague, as long as they're BEING the aggressors rather than exposing the aggressors' point of view.

The everyday, non-fiction representation of this would be someone expressing their dismay at some wrongdoing by going "I don't understand [x], I don't understand [y]" about it, they don't mean they're intellectually incapable of understanding it; they're announcing themselves as someone who wouldn't be emotionally capable of doing anything at all like [x] or any act on the continuum to [x]. The Gift Of Fear actually talks about this phenomenon and what a trap it is. You probably can understand almost anyone else's motivations if you put your mind to it, but you have to be willing to put aside the idea that it's indecent to do so.

In season 1 of the show this theme is drawn out and externalized with the concrete denouement of Will getting put in jail because thinking like a criminal is equated with being a criminal. The very people who hire him to think like murderers eventually become the thought police who disdain him and, eventually, lock him up for doing just that.

Graham acts, both in the book and at the beginning of the TV series, like someone who is traumatized. He's snappish, hostile, and emotionally reactive. This probably stems from the incident in which he "couldn't pull the trigger" and is probably the basis of Alana's insistence that he should not return to the field. Book!Graham is exactly the same, and the process of his traumatization that led him to this point is described in detail. Combined with his (probably inherent) self-loathing, this leads him to actively contribute to the destruction of his own marriage, because he does not believe he deserves Molly's "largely inexplicable" attraction to him. From the beginning he saw their relationship as being on borrowed time: "this is too good to live for long", which is a typical thought pattern for someone who is traumatized.

So I guess I would describe him as difficult and disagreeable, rather than creepy or patronizing. In neither case would I suggest that this means Molly's relationship with him is sustainable - on the contrary, the book clearly shows that she's gone above and beyond in what she can be expected to put up with. In the context of the book, where Graham's prior exposure to Hannibal was limited, it is unfair to suggest that Dolarhyde's attack on his family was foreseeable. In the TV series, I don't know how they're going to avoid giving the impression that tv!Graham is flat-out reckless with his family's safety, given what tv!Graham knows all too well by now.

I guess you could say the book is just another gratuitous piece of sexualized violence, but at the time it actually a) portrayed that as a bad thing and b) as the logical conclusion of pervasive societal misogyny. Nearly all other treatments of the same subject matter in popular literature tended to either normalize or revel in the phenomenon, rather than calling it out. That's why I found the book so compelling at the age of 20 - I'd never read anything like it.

All the media that descended from the original sources of Red Dragon and SoTL tended to pervert the subject matter back to a state of overt exploitativeness. All the same, both of those books are the taproot of the majority of crime fiction and media over the last 20-odd years; but at the time they definitely did not feel like "just another" anything.

Anyway, it's late and I've waited too long for it to be S3.
posted by tel3path at 2:18 PM on June 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Uh and I forgot to add

"And as far as I can tell from that refutation you linked, the argument is essentially that the books are feminist in a similar way as some folks consider The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo to be feminist"

That's leaving out the other major argument in the refutation, which is that the actual content of the text doesn't support Mardoll's interpretation of it.
posted by tel3path at 2:27 PM on June 4, 2015


...and, looking at the books in the context of what I was reading at less than half my current age - I was reading a lot of radical feminist literature and in particular Susan Brownmiller, who wrote the book on sexualized violence as the fundamental terrorism of patriarchy.

I had many a nightmare and many a sleepless night reviewing my own life experience in the light of that; connecting the dots and seeing every aggression as part of a system.

So when I read Red Dragon and SoTL I was reading them - with no prior expectation, I might add, I just thought of them as thrillers - as works written from the same worldview as the radical feminist literature I was also reading at the time; feminist literature that was considered SO radical as to be outrageous and socially unacceptable to even admit to having on my shelf, let alone enjoying.

So I'm really taken aback when someone comes along nearly a quarter century later and sees this book as misogynistic. That wasn't my experience of it then, and still isn't.
posted by tel3path at 3:11 PM on June 4, 2015


I have nowhere to watch :( Gonna have to wait for it to show up on Hulu Plus. Or, um, other, more unsavory places, whichever happens first.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:24 PM on June 4, 2015


So Hannibal, while gutting Will and slicing Abigail's throat, tells Will "You can make it all go away. Put your head back, close your eyes. Wade into the quiet of the stream."

It turns out that this line is borrowed from the book Hannibal, describing a scene where Hannibal is flying coach and is really annoyed at the hoi-polloi for, basically, existing:

Dr Lecter could overcome his surroundings. He could make it all go away. The beeping of the computer game, the snores and farts, were nothing compared to the hellish screaming he'd known in the violent wards. The seat was no tighter than restraints. As he had done in his cell so many times, Dr Lecter put his head back, closed his eyes and retired for relief into the quiet of his memory palace, a place that is quite beautiful for the most part.

Fucking unbelievable.

Is there a place where someone has collected all of the book lines used in the show? Because if not, I sort of want to do it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:43 AM on June 22, 2015


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