Hannibal: Primavera
June 11, 2015 8:03 PM - Season 3, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Will Graham awakes from his coma and begins to piece together the events that took place after the bloodbath at Lecters home.

I THOUGHT I'D GOTTEN MOSTLY IMMUNE TO THAT SCENE. OH GOD.

I felt smart for not buying Abigail living... But also that was perfect. She was his guilt.

Pazzi was great. Weeeeeee Grahhhhhmmmm.

The broken heart unfolding itself was horrible, beautiful, weird, and I was really, truly horrified. And yet as it started walking, even though the animation looked wonderfully inhuman.. I started laughing because I couldn't get this out of my head. But that was definitely a very much to me our first major, "WELL. THAT GOT ON NETWORK TV... somehow" moment.

Hannibal finally got to be a vampire in the crypts... I find it interesting that he chose to collect his forgiveness and leave. I think he doesn't trust it yet? Or does he have some further plan?

And everything was, like, heart-stoppingly beautiful (and then that heart got up, unfolded itself, and capered about for a while).

This. Show.
posted by sparkletone (198 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yo that heartdigo tho
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:05 PM on June 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


BUT ALSO, I will have to watch it again but I felt like this ep was a liiitle slow. Not BAD, but slow.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:06 PM on June 11, 2015


Is she living? What does it mean to be living? How is it actually defined? I think my hold on reality in the context of this show is as off as Will's.

Meanwhile, McDonald's airs an ad midway through on the virtues of its value menu. Complete with pictures of hamburgers... and origami hearts made out of one-dollar bills? I can't even. Is that intentional? How can it be intentional? How can it not be intentional? Why on earth would you want to do that tie in, but ORIGAMI HEARTS. Wtf, wtf, wtf.
posted by Sequence at 8:08 PM on June 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


I called Abigal from the second she appeared. she's Willl's guilt and desire to be with Hannibal or desire to make things right. If going with him meant less people killed, ....maybe?

I guess we can add a new song to the Taylor Swift heavy Hannigram canon

Nice butt blurring on that 600 year old cultural masterpiece NBC

Also that's not the room the Primavera is in but whatever.

I'll shirt out all of my FEELING ( so so many) later and just say

This is so Vampire, it's crazy, right down to the crypts and how he just appears.

Also there's a gay bar in Florence that's basically in a crypt like that.
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 PM on June 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


...cause I do think there's a part of Will that thinks if Hannibal is content ...he may stop killing, or at least stop killing relative innocents.

And that ...might ...be ...enough. Since he can't seem to be caught.
posted by The Whelk at 8:23 PM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Forgot to include in the post: Sepinwall seems to have loved it (and was deeply messed with by the heartenstein).
posted by sparkletone at 8:25 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


The part where I start to feel a little crazy is that I think that it'd work. I mean, not because Hannibal really cares about whether he kills innocents, but because if Will was along for the hunt, hunting those who deserve it could very easily consume enough time and energy to prevent too many extracurriculars.
posted by Sequence at 8:30 PM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


BUT ALSO, I will have to watch it again but I felt like this ep was a liiitle slow. Not BAD, but slow.

It definitely had a slower pace than most other episodes. I didn't mind it. It felt... languorous. It wanted us to wallow in it a bit like Will is wallowing in his guilt over the teacup being truly shattered for good.
posted by sparkletone at 8:31 PM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


My roomie recently watched the final season of The Following, and I caught a few eps while he was doing so.

The Following is a kid holding his arms akimbo, going "VRRRRRRR VRRRR, ZOOOM, POW POW POW" and running around his front yard. Hannibal is the 25 million dollar fighter jet that the kid is imitating.

That corpse transforming into the wendigo was... amazing.
posted by codacorolla at 8:34 PM on June 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


I also figured Abigail's return was a hallucination. It just...made more sense. But it didn't make the side-by-side scenes of her body and Will's body any less heartbreaking.

I can't believe Will's been driven to make Peanut's metaphors about all this.

Oh, and this was definitely slower, and at moments I did get distracted and look away from the screen. Too bad one of those moments wasn't when that capering meat thing that looks like those robots they make jump over hurdles was charging Will in the chapel.
posted by PussKillian at 8:36 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't believe Will's been driven to make Peanut's metaphors about all this.

Oh, god, that was the other one. Planter's Peanuts, which are apparently good for you, if you have a heart!

I'm sorry, I'm not used to watching TV with commercials, but especially not this.
posted by Sequence at 8:38 PM on June 11, 2015


I generally ignore the commercials. I think of them more as Twitter breaks. I only notice when Twitter people mention them being ironic.
posted by sparkletone at 8:46 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


A really funny thing that happened on my broadcast, and I'm not sure if this was intentional, was when the police had put up a screen to cover the corpse-heart, the network put GRAPHIC CONTENT: VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED in approximately the same part of the shot as the screen.

Anyway, this was a great episode. Like four or five simultaneous hallucinations in a single scene, that all overlapped with each other. It's one thing to say your protagonist is unhinged and crazy, and it's another to show it to your audience.
posted by codacorolla at 8:55 PM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Do you think Hannibal runs home and tells Bedelia "Will forgives me!"
posted by Windigo at 8:59 PM on June 11, 2015 [14 favorites]


I checked and it turns out we don't get a good look at what Hannibal's wearing when he's on the train and folding the Da Vinci drawing into origami. Through the chapel ... whatever you call that in this episode, it looks like he's wearing a leather jacket of some kind? I was curious about what he was wearing on his little Elton and Kiki excursion.
posted by sparkletone at 9:04 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Am I the only person who thinks that Hannibal in the crypt was Will's imagination? There isn't a lot to support that, but it feels right.
posted by codacorolla at 9:11 PM on June 11, 2015


No. I don't think it was at all. Hannibal was watching Will from that place above in the chapel... Listened in in the crypt. Heard what he heard, and left.

I'm willing to be proven wrong by future events, but I think the only hallucinations in this episode were related to: blood, Abigail, heartigo, blood and more blood.
posted by sparkletone at 9:17 PM on June 11, 2015


That heartdigo tho. I kept thinking how another word for a deer is a Hart and how that one image ties together Abigal the deer hunter and Will and Hannibal and the lady on antlers and and
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 PM on June 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


This was basically 45 minutes inside Will Graham's head

Just as the previous episode was 45 minutes in Hannibal Lecter land.
posted by The Whelk at 9:28 PM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Forgot to include in the post: Sepinwall seems to have loved it (and was deeply messed with by the heartenstein).

"Broken Hart." Perfection. Using it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:31 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I watch the show live it's with other people, so the commercials are a chance for them to go "what the FUCK" and for me to go "well ACtually back in the first half of season 2, they" because I am a nerd
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:34 PM on June 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


But hey really I cannot stress enough - although I was a bit impatient with this ep because I just knew Abigail was dead and so the fakeout was just extended frustration for me - I cannot stress enough how much THAT HEARTDIGO THO
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:35 PM on June 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


AUGH
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:35 PM on June 11, 2015


While I don't expect the show to return to any kind of regular structure anytime soon, I do think the pace will ramp up as more characters get brought back into it. Thinking about it more and after a rewatch, I think wallowing in all the blood Will's feeeelings was the right move.

We have our leads, now to point them on a collision course and sweep everyone back into their wake along the way.
posted by sparkletone at 9:37 PM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah. That happened. Someone buy Mr. Fuller all of the drinks, because he deserves them. And so do we.
posted by rewil at 9:38 PM on June 11, 2015


I'm going to be so happy when I can watch this in three hour chunks like it was clearly designed to be watched in.
posted by The Whelk at 9:39 PM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


remember back in Season 1 when Hannigram was a strange fancy and not the driving force of the narrative?
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 PM on June 11, 2015 [13 favorites]


I choose not to remember

But no really I started watching this show after season 1 because of elizardbits' tumblr and I thought all that shit about Hannibal being desperately in love with Will was as much wishful thinking as all the Teen Wolf Sterek nonsense

HOW WRONG I WAS
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:51 PM on June 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


I like Jacob Clifton calling it the most epic romance of our time, in that it moved on the Mythic plane, all gods and monsters.
posted by The Whelk at 9:55 PM on June 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


Now I want to read all the fics where WIll ran off with Hannibal and convinced/coerced Hannibal into only killing people who Really Deserve It, make a special event, while Hannibal keeps teaching Abigail how to be a better killer much to Will's consternation cause it was supposed to stop with them and Abigail is supposed to have a normal life so Hannibal hides his Murder Teachings within lessons on music and woodworking and cooking while still trying to be good to Will and only kill the Deserving.
posted by The Whelk at 10:04 PM on June 11, 2015 [9 favorites]


said fic would have some kill of Someone Who Totally Deserved It and Hannibal being like "Isn't this great!? Working together! Helping the world?!" and WIll biting his lip and saying how you're not SUPPOSED to enjoy it and that's why you're not an actual human being
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 PM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm imaging basically "A Kiss With Teeth" but they married a serial killer cannibal and not a ampire on this show it's confused.
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 PM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hannibal would just let Will flail and bitch himself to sleep. It's just adorable how he still pretends he's not a monster! What a lil cutie!
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:21 PM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


I honestly believe Hannibal would change for Will if only for the selfish reason that Hannibal has never met anyone he considers an equal and is so....lonely.

Of course if you think he deserves being lonely because he's a horrible monster vampire who kills and eats people for fun, is another thing.

Hey making friends would be easier if you didn't eat them.
posted by The Whelk at 10:26 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Like, Will can theoretically find love anywhere, and does find a loving supporting partner in the books, but Hannibal's choices are basically Will or nothing, he's been around long enough to know that, and he's stuck with it .It's very Opera.
posted by The Whelk at 10:35 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


And he never really thought he needed it in the first place until Will came along and showed him he did

oh no. television feelings.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:51 PM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


TEAR UP THE PLANKS HERE, HERE! IT IS THE CLOPPING OF HIS SPINDLY HOOVES!
posted by poffin boffin at 11:50 PM on June 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


Oh my God that was horrifically disturbing; stuff-of-nightmares disturbing; still tense and anxious disturbing. The transformation scene reminded me strongly of The Thing: all mutation and emergence and glistening crackling flesh.

Will's head is a terrifying place; more so than Hannibal's, maybe, because at least Hannibal's a reliable narrator.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:00 AM on June 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


The dialogue was esoteric and philosophical, particularly the intimate conversations between Will and Abigail. The whole thing was steeped in mood and dark intensity. The stag Thing tops all the other grotesques they've come up with on this show. *shudder*

Hannibal really raises the bar on what can be achieved in a one-hour format on network TV. That's two strong episodes - looking forward to next week.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:01 AM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also OH GOD the surgery vs. funerary montage.

And OH GOD the sound design throughout really adds to the walking-nightmare dread of the whole thing.

(And also in unreliable-narrator imagery: the slow-motion river-rushes of blood are very much riffing on the elevator scene in The Shining.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:07 AM on June 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Il Mostro
posted by homunculus at 12:12 AM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fuller has clearly completely given up caring about petty things like RATINGS. And it lets him make something incredible.
posted by Justinian at 12:30 AM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


That train left the station, I dunno. You could pick half a dozen points in S2. No fucks given makes for a better show though.
posted by sparkletone at 1:59 AM on June 12, 2015


I crashed early last night so I got up and watched Hannibal first thing this morning instead, over breakfast. And I think I am destroyed for the rest of the day. Oh my god what the fuck heart stag thing.
posted by Stacey at 3:36 AM on June 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Before this episode I occasionally was like, "hahaha, yeah, Murder Family," but honestly seeing Abigail (even if she was Will's Doubts About All This!Abigail) telling Will that he sucked for not being faithful to the cannibal serial killer and so what if he cut her throat, she belongs to him, we both do, so let's go find him already...that was deeply creepifying.
posted by PussKillian at 4:34 AM on June 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Will's head is a terrifying place; more so than Hannibal's

That could be the tagline for the show.

They're going to have to pick up the pace though. We still don't know what happened to Alana and Jack, and if the second half of the season is to be Red Dragon they only have about four more episodes to get Hannibal in jail and Will to Florida or some similar place so removed that Jack will have to use a crowbar to pry him back into the game.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:08 AM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just like Will, I was in total denial about Abigail from the start. I took her at her word that Hannibal "knew exactly where to cut". I didn't question the likelihood of her even being allowed to accompany Will to Palermo, considering she probably would have been in FBI custody to spill the beans about her lengthy, secret Murder Internship. I didn't even notice that she didn't interact with anyone but Will. I saw the trap door and stood over it anyway. Devastating.

Lucy : Charlie Brown : football :: Hannibal : Will : Abigail

As a side note, it would be interesting to compare and contrast Hannibal's usage of the Dead All Along trope in this episode to what Dexter tried and utterly failed to pull off in its sixth season with Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos. It looks like the trick only works inside of a single episode, instead of giving the audience several weeks of pointless, predictable buildup before doing the reveal.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:43 AM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


There's also a sneaky bit that Fuller is doing - the priest in Palermo stared at Abigail.
posted by PussKillian at 7:02 AM on June 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


I found the whole thing sort of hilarious because I had just listened to the "Antipasto" episode of the Matter of Taste podcast yesterday. It involved a lengthy speculation that a different character would turn out to be a "surprise twist actually-dead-all-along-and-just-an-imaginary-advisor" character at some point during the season. And then discussion of whether Fuller would ever do anything that standard-trope-y.

So close, and yet so far, Ian and Fio...
posted by Stacey at 7:28 AM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


When Abigail first appeared on-screen I was like "No, that's ridiculous, Hannibal cut her throat" but whatever, I rolled with it. Later, when Will looks at her as he's coming down the stairs and then Pazzi interrupts him and the camera never goes back to Abigail I thought in the back of my mind, "This is borderline irresponsible directing, in that they showed her there but then let her disappear for the rest of the scene. Whatever, maybe she went outside or something."

I ain't good at picking up on things quick, is what I'm saying.
posted by komara at 8:09 AM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


"the priest in Palermo stared at Abigail"

At the time I thought that was signifying 'Hannibal has spies to let him know when Will finally arrives here' but the, uh ... reality ... of the scene is much more gratifying.
posted by komara at 8:11 AM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The A Matter of Taste podcast is entertaining is how badly they predict things, it's almost useful as a guide to what won't happen.

Oh hey the photograph of Young! Hannibal is a composite of a under photo of Mads with some new hair and touching up
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM on June 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


PussKillian: Before this episode I occasionally was like, "hahaha, yeah, Murder Family," but honestly seeing Abigail (even if she was Will's Doubts About All This!Abigail) telling Will that he sucked for not being faithful to the cannibal serial killer and so what if he cut her throat, she belongs to him, we both do, so let's go find him already...that was deeply creepifying.

I watched with dismay thinking that all that time with Hannibal had warped her for good. She was no longer the hapless girl who survived her father's lethal madness; she was a cold-blooded, budding serial killer ready to follow Hannibal's lead. The flat affect, the calculating, predatory gaze ... it was chilling. Great bit of acting on the part of Kasey Rohl.
posted by echolalia67 at 8:25 AM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I haven't seen it yet, but from what I gather Abigail reappears as a genuine revenant and whispers poison in Will's ear, yes?

Biblically - look up Samuel - ghosts are demons impersonating the souls of the dead. We're not to contact them, and if they appear to us we must block them on Facebook and not respond.

It sounds like "Abigail's" return is consistent with this concept of ghosts.

Anyway, that is a... er, killer... leather jacket she's wearing.
posted by tel3path at 8:34 AM on June 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Something that somehow didn't occur to me until now: Did Head-Ghost Abigail have both ears? For that matter, did she have them in last year's finale?
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:44 AM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


She's apparently missing an ear in the finale but it's so dark/ hair covered you don't really see it
posted by The Whelk at 8:50 AM on June 12, 2015


I take her at her word that Hannibal knew where to cut. Will knows it. He was meant to live. Abigail wasn't. If it had been a mistake on either count, there would be nothing to forgive Hannibal for. Either he would have been deliberately trying to kill Will, which would have meant there was no reason to forgive him, or he would have not deliberately killed Abigail, however weird that might sound. So: He did something that he knows was wrong in the sense that it has made Will unhappy. He could have spared Abigail, but in another sense it was impossible. Will with a living Abigail might have decided not to go after Hannibal. In a way, the obvious tell that something's Wrong is that I don't think he ever would have run off to Europe with her in tow to put her in danger again.
posted by Sequence at 8:57 AM on June 12, 2015


Abigail, like Gideon, was 'dead' from the moment Hannibal took her. Will's reward for loyalty would have been her resurrection - and since he wasn't loyal, Abigail didn't get to 'come back to life.'
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:02 AM on June 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Nuh uh. You don't gut someone and leave them in a pool of their own blood because you want them to live. At best, Hannibal was reckless as to whether Will died or not.

There is plenty to forgive Hannibal for because Hannibal has done plenty wrong. Excusing isn't forgiving.

showbiz_liz has it. Abigail was a pawn in Hannibal's game, expendable. Hannibal never saw Abigail as a person in her own right. Of course Tumblr is all indignant about her being written this way, but it's supposed to make us indignant - it's an outrage.
posted by tel3path at 9:38 AM on June 12, 2015


I really want to poll my surgeon friends about "So, if you wanted to, given your anatomical knowledge, would you be able to gut me with a linoleum knife and leave me in a pool of my own blood but do it PRECISELY in such a way that I would not actually die if found in a reasonable amount of time by the EMTs?"

But I have a feeling that might be a weird thing to ask people on Facebook. Totally normal on Twitter, but none of my medical friends are there.
posted by Stacey at 9:41 AM on June 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


What about the risk of infection, FFS? There are too many unknowns. What about the woman dying on the porch, is she even going to be able to tell them about the three people still inside the house? How could he have known they'd bring enough blood for four people?

Way way too many variables. Hannibal just does not have that much control. He really doesn't.
posted by tel3path at 9:48 AM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hannibal just does not have that much control. He really doesn't.

He is, however, very good at convincing people that he does.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:52 AM on June 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah and unless the reappearance of Abigail is an indication that Hannibal genuinely is Satan, or at least upheld by diabolical forces, a hell of a lot of the perception that he's invincible is Hannibal-generated hype.

He really is basically a common or garden abuser using common or garden abusive patterns. Isolate people, drive wedges between them, convince them they're on their own and he'll always win.

If they're going to say Hannibal really is the Devil, I won't be too pleased because that's bullshit and cheating.

On the other hand, if Will is under spiritual attack, and it seems he is - then there must correspondingly be divine protection available to him, which he hasn't tapped into because (he says) he isn't looking for it?
posted by tel3path at 10:00 AM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


If they're going to say Hannibal really is the Devil, I won't be too pleased because that's bullshit and cheating.

They're not going to say ever that he's literally Satan. I mean there's ~heightened reality~ and then... Yeah. No. You're spot on that by and large his patterns are not that uncommon when it comes to abusive people. It's just that he's incredibly smart, resourceful, talented, whatever. So he (generally) manages to stay one step ahead when whimsy (or Will-sy) don't get the better of him.
posted by sparkletone at 10:48 AM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


But they are saying that something *literally* supernatural has just happened. They've stuck a toe in those waters.
posted by tel3path at 10:55 AM on June 12, 2015


By saying he's the devil, they're establishing the idea that it won't be a simple error, a slip-up like leaving evidence, that brings him down, because he Does Not Make Mistakes. Like, to an almost superhuman extent. Instead, he will be caught because of some choice or series of choices he makes as a result of his emotional attachment to Will. (You know, like staging an elaborate valentine out of a flayed and broken corpse in a place you know Will might look for you, for example.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:55 AM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


But they are saying that something *literally* supernatural has just happened. They've stuck a toe in those waters.

Uh. What supernatural thing just happened? Will hallucinated a lot and is having some feelings. Hannibal being a sneaky fucker in the crypt isn't supernatural.

Also, what liz said.
posted by sparkletone at 10:59 AM on June 12, 2015


The priest saw Abigail, indicating that she was an actual revenant, not a hallucination.
posted by tel3path at 11:01 AM on June 12, 2015


Ah, yeah. I'd forgotten. Fuller mentioned that they do something ~literally supernatural~ this season in an interview, and that he was curious about how it'd go over, presumably he means that. I don't think the show's going to follow up on it or go down that path.

Hannibal's not actual Satan, he's just a smart enough manipulative piece of trash to warrant the comparison.
posted by sparkletone at 11:08 AM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The priest saw Abigail, indicating that she was an actual revenant, not a hallucination.

or that she's something that will's mind has given life to
posted by poffin boffin at 11:24 AM on June 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yes, that's how I took it. This Abigail is, like her dad GJH, and like the stag and wendigo, a 'person' who lives in Will's mind. He sees them and interacts with them as if they are real, but he knows they aren't (or if they are, it's only to the extent that he has replicated them within his own mind), and they serve to deliver information from specific parts of his psyche.

If anything, then, the priest is psychic, seeing someone Will imagines is there. Not seeing a 'real' ghost.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:48 AM on June 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Couldn't the priest have simply paused a moment to observe the scruffy American earnestly talking to thin air?
posted by wabbittwax at 11:51 AM on June 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yeah - or, well, I don't think he was really talking to her, only 'talking to her' in his head, but he still might be displaying weird body language and stuff.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:53 AM on June 12, 2015


Two things:

1. More Hannibal in leather! Do you suppose he made that outfit himself?
2. Which saint was depicted in the fresco that Hannibal was standing in front of when he was listening to Will in the church?
posted by infinitewindow at 11:58 AM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really want to poll my surgeon friends about "So, if you wanted to, given your anatomical knowledge, would you be able to gut me with a linoleum knife and leave me in a pool of my own blood but do it PRECISELY in such a way that I would not actually die if found in a reasonable amount of time by the EMTs?"

I found this thread where someone is asking how her character would survive after a similar gutting, and it actually seems like IF you don't cut a major artery and IF the person gets medical treatment including antibiotics soon-ish, such a wound would be pretty survivable.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:02 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, Will "uncutting" Abigail's throat mentally and then "re-cutting" it was, both thematically and visually, more or less the same as his typical crime scene flights of reconstructive fancy, so she's obviously in his head. And who knows what exactly the priest saw? I have to rewatch, but I thought at a couple of spots, people saw Will look off in X direction as if he were looking at someone/something and just followed with their eyes, as you naturally do.

I had mixed feelings about seeing Abigail again, even as an imaginary friend. Her absence in Season 2 was so very very pleasant, but now that everyone knows she was alive and is verifiably dead, I suppose she'll be making periodic reappearances , dang it. But at the same time, much as the character (or maybe just the actor) annoys me, the side-by-side ER treatment vs. corpse prep scene was super-sad.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:02 PM on June 12, 2015


Couldn't the priest have simply paused a moment to observe the scruffy American earnestly talking to thin air?

I think that's the clear implication. The camera was essentially Will's point of view this episode, and the cutting is on Abigail, on the priest, and then on the priest tracking "Abigail". That's Will's mind connecting some dots that aren't there, not a psychic priest or anything else supernatural.
posted by codacorolla at 12:11 PM on June 12, 2015


Maybe Hannibal got that motorcycling outfit tailored by a new sole proprietor out of Calumet City, Illinois. I hear he's making a name for himself, this Mr. Hide.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:12 PM on June 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


And who knows what exactly the priest saw?

right now we're all operating off of bryan fuller's tweet that confirms the priest saw abigail, so we do technically "know" what the priest saw. but HE HAS CRUELLY MISLED US BEFORE so who even knows.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:13 PM on June 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ooo, and this! "We performed a prospective study of patients with abdominal trauma in one surgical ward at King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban over a period of 7 years. [...] One hundred and thirty-two patients developed complications (28%), and 52 (11%) died. Shock, acidosis, increased transfusion requirements, number of organs injured, and injury severity were all associated with higher mortality. Delay before surgery had no influence on outcome." Hannibal wouldn't be able to control whether Will went into shock, but all the rest of that stuff, he could conceivably manipulate to be PRETTY sure Will wouldn't die.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:13 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


My only quibble with this ep. is: seriously, you re-show the entire Will-Abigail-Hannibal finale scene at the start? Very inefficient use of limited screen time. I get that we need to pick up from that point with Will, but you can do that by starting from "I let you know me" at the earliest, or even from Abigail getting slashed, or W and A lying on the floor.

The only real reason to replay the whole scene would be if you're trying to make this episode new-viewer-friendly since the entire core audience has seen it and probably rewatched it recently. But as y'all have noted above, Fuller = zero fucks given about ratings, and if you were going to try to draw in new viewers, you'd do that in Ep 01 -- not provide a totally new-viewer-alienating episode like last week's and then pander to newbies in Ep 02? That makes no sense.

It almost plays as if this episode was 5 minutes short -- and since it ends at a natural stopping point, you couldn't really tack a few extra minutes onto the end because Will probably goes off to Florence or Lithuania right quick after Hannibal eludes him in Palermo. So maybe the replay was tacked on as filler? I dunno.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:15 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Or maybe starting with re-seeing Abigail is where the memory begins in Will's head -- maybe that's it.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:19 PM on June 12, 2015


i mean really it could mean that the priest recognized will as one of hannibal lecter's victims and remembered reading/seeing news reports of the girl who died with him and is now hearing will talk aloud to someone named abigail but no one's actually there and so he's like "oh poor will graham's talking to the dead girl in his mind". CURSE YOU FULLER
posted by poffin boffin at 12:19 PM on June 12, 2015


i just made myself so angry
posted by poffin boffin at 12:21 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm going to be so happy when I can watch this in three hour chunks like it was clearly designed to be watched in.

I watched Season 1 in a day. That was . . . interesting.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:40 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nuh uh. You don't gut someone and leave them in a pool of their own blood because you want them to live.

Aside from the whole medical bit, in the context of this show? I mean, not in the real world, of course not. In context, stabbing someone in the stomach and leaving them there to bleed is very possibly something you might do because you were in love but not good at commitment. It is, at this point, that sort of show.
posted by Sequence at 12:41 PM on June 12, 2015


And I mean, this IS the same guy who secretly induced repeated seizures on a man with an inflamed brain as therapy.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:54 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


The whole "Hannibal doesn't make ordinary mistakes, just ones out of pride or vanity" - it's interesting how far the show will go to support him in that. I mean, Hannibal attended a party full of people who know this apparently famous author and his wife, somebody who probably has a Wikipedia page or, at the very least, a book jacket photo, in an academic circle that is not all that huge. That's who he picks to replace? It would be a really terrible choice in the real world. But the show isn't interested in that sort of logistical planning by its serial killers, and it all gets chalked up to murder wizard powers.
posted by PussKillian at 12:58 PM on June 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


As for the priest seeing Abigail and Fuller backing that up, we have no way of knowing if the priest is real. All of Will's Cappella scenes feel very dreamily Mind Palace-y, or if he is actually on the premises, some or all of the people could be his imagined extras or window dressing. Or not.

Not knowing for certain what's objective reality and what's fantasy in this episode is a very cool way for us to walk a mile in Will's fucked-up shoes.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:01 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


He may have picked someone who DOESN'T have that kind of a social media footprint, though. Not everybody uses author and/or profile pics, either.

Furthermore, the academic circle was demonstrably hostile to that post being taken up by non-Italians. It would take some planning to pull off, but with relocation you could make it work if you picked the right guy.
posted by tel3path at 1:01 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Even if the post wasn't given to a non-Italian, the researchers in that field would have likely done extensive tours of study in the city. I mean, if you're going to be a scholar of medieval Italian specializing in Florence, you're going to show up in Florence and work in the libraries and have letters of introduction and meet other scholars. Plus, the way Faux-Littlefinger described him, Fell was an egotist who cranked out books by the cartload. He probably wasn't known to the general public but he was a big enough deal to be a prominent member of that Parisian party (the party may even have been in his honor) so he's not a dude who hides his light under a bushel. It's just another bit of murder wizardry that his choice works out at all, like being able to teleport across America when needed.
posted by PussKillian at 1:14 PM on June 12, 2015


The funny thing about Roman Fell, Wikipedia, etc. is that I actually know some academics so stuffy or out-of-the-loop that it would never occur to them to, like, Google someone to verify they are who they say they are, so that seemed totally plausible. Some of my coworkers don't own or ever use a computer except in their campus offices. In some cases, yeah, they're just older or "analog culture" people, but in other cases, it's definitely a snooty classist thing. Can you imagine Hannibal having a 76" TV on his wall? Eating a Whopper? Pissing away time on MeFi? Soitanly not -- it would be beneath someone of his taste and refinement! And Professor Pissypants probably thinks the same way.

I'm 94% certain I'm the only person in my department who has a TV, computers, and stereo in my living room, right out where God and the neighbors can see them.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:18 PM on June 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


He may have picked someone who DOESN'T have that kind of a social media footprint, though. Not everybody uses author and/or profile pics, either.

Ha! This reminded me of something. I was working on the program for a big international conference, and had to help chase down photos of all our speakers (almost 100 people from dozens of countries). In the end, I finally got a photo of every single speaker except for one - a guy who steadfastly refused to allow any photo of himself whatsoever to be distributed or put online, because, he said, he was worried about "identity theft." We had a good laugh about it and used a grey square for his headshot.

Now I'm imagining that guy was Dr. Fell and his weird desire to avoid identity theft led directly to his murder and the theft of his identity
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:19 PM on June 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


Plus, the way Faux-Littlefinger described him, Fell was an egotist who cranked out books by the cartload. He probably wasn't known to the general public but he was a big enough deal to be a prominent member of that Parisian party (the party may even have been in his honor) so he's not a dude who hides his light under a bushel.

Good point -- the Euro academic Italian lit community is a pretty small pool to hide in.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:20 PM on June 12, 2015


It had to have taken some doing, sure. It's not like Hannibal went to some random party, killed whoever, then read his victim's emails to find out what appointments to go to the next day.

He carefully picked someone whose lifestyle he wished to emulate, whose achievements could plausibly be merged with his own, who couldn't have had a huge social media presence, and who wasn't already known to his target audience in Florence. Then, he relocated.
posted by tel3path at 1:22 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


It is pretty hard to believe. But I'm willing to write a certain amount of it off because of the whole "you seem more concerned with making appearances than maintaining them" thing. Despite what Hannibal says about wanting to preserve the peace, he's not truly planning to settle down and be an Italian academic forever. He's pretty much just high-level fucking around at this point.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:24 PM on June 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Once again showbiz_liz has it.

It is possible to change specialities or threads of a speciality, too. Dr Fell could have made fleeting mention of being a Dante fan or whatever, then one day gotten a wild hair and decided that Florence was the happening city and he was going to dedicate himself full-time to the Dante fandom.
posted by tel3path at 1:25 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was working on the program for a big international conference, and had to help chase down photos of all our speakers (almost 100 people from dozens of countries). In the end, I finally got a photo of every single speaker except for one - a guy who steadfastly refused to allow any photo of himself whatsoever to be distributed or put online, because, he said, he was worried about "identity theft."

Oh shit, I'm doomed to be replaced and eaten! I never allow photos to be put online or even shown on slides at conferences, or posted on campus, etc., not because of identity theft, just more general hatred of being photographed, love of invisibility, plus the potential "harassing and demeaning women online for sport" yata yata misuses.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:26 PM on June 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've known people who've known people who've passed themselves off in $REALLY HARD SCIENCES with literally no knowledge of or qualifications in that field.

Fraudsters and con artists tend to be good liars, and in Hannibal's case, he backs it up with actually knowing what the fuck he's talking about.

If the guy demonstrably had as much Dante knowledge as he did, and he introduced himself by making such a big splash about it, then it's not likely to occur to anyone that he is impersonating someone else. It would be unlikely to occur to them in any case, but especially not if he shows outstanding talent in the thing they care about.

It is the ordinary world, after all, where people tend to take you at face value unless you give them reason not to.
posted by tel3path at 1:28 PM on June 12, 2015


I actually feel kind of bad now, because I googled the guy again and, indeed, it's ALMOST impossible to find any photos of him online... except for the fact that we uploaded videos of every speaker, including him. And google image search now returns exactly one accurate result for his name - the youtube preview image from that video.

...well, he hasn't complained
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:29 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Let's see, if I were Hannibal, how would I do it? For one thing, I'd seed the social media world with multiple fake profiles under the name "Roman Fell", all with a different photo, so that if anyone Googled him they'd come up with images of multiple people.

And as I said, people in the real world aren't detectives. They may even explicitly not care if they realize you're impersonating someone else, if you're as good a Dante scholar as they want you to be.

People are inexperienced, and often just don't realize that certain kinds of deception amount to smoke which indicates fire. They might go "hey, so what if he's not really Roman Fell, the guy obviously knows Dante better than all of us, he's obviously sincere and the fact he's using someone else's name is just a detail."
posted by tel3path at 1:34 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Despite what Hannibal says about wanting to preserve the peace, he's not truly planning to settle down and be an Italian academic forever. He's pretty much just high-level fucking around at this point.

True dat. Also, to the extent that Hannibal's Italian sojourn is implausible, that's less because of some murder-wizardry on his part and mostly because, as he told us right to our faces in Ep 1, this is a fairytale. People regularly disguise and transform themselves. Hell, Red Riding Hood bought that a wolf was her grandma just because it was wearing her nightie.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:35 PM on June 12, 2015


In many ways, this is Lecter's gap year as he figures out what he wants to do.
posted by The Whelk at 1:36 PM on June 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


Say, is this the first time anyone on the show has stated that Hannibal is Lithuanian? Just curious.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:42 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


In many ways, this is Lecter's gap year as he figures out what he wants to do.

It sure beats working at Penney's or going to community college.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:44 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


a guy who steadfastly refused to allow any photo of himself whatsoever to be distributed or put online

I sympathize because I have this same neurosis. Mine's not out of silly fear of ID theft. I just... react to pictures of me the same way most people react to hearing their voice recorded (weirdly, I'm fine with my voice?).

That said, I agree that Fell is a hilariously bad choice to replace in practical terms, but it's not like Hannibal's gonna start living as some low-society shmuck now is he?
posted by sparkletone at 1:50 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Say, is this the first time anyone on the show has stated that Hannibal is Lithuanian? Just curious.

As far as I can recall yes. Hopefully it'll help people who don't know realize what's going on with Mads' accent.
posted by sparkletone at 1:51 PM on June 12, 2015


Man the ratings are not good

I'm so annoyed they got an exclusive deal with Amazon. If this shit was on Netflix... grr
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:54 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Despite what Hannibal says about wanting to preserve the peace, he's not truly planning to settle down and be an Italian academic forever. He's pretty much just high-level fucking around at this point.

He's curious to see what will happen. It's pretty much the only reason he does anything, and the show rightly makes a big deal whenever he does something out of curiosity, like calling Garret Hobbs or reviving Bella.

I don't think Hannibal trying to raise a murder family was a creative, productive impulse on his part at all, but addressing that aspect would turn my comment into an article, so I'll leave off there.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:55 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Man the ratings are not good

Yeesh. The premiere was in line with ratings of average episodes last season. I didn't expect such a big drop off.
posted by sparkletone at 2:07 PM on June 12, 2015


Well, do bear in mind that the most recent episode ratings will get a bump after DVR numbers and some other stuff get added in. That's why there's an asterisk on the chart.

Still bad though.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:20 PM on June 12, 2015


It's hard to see how the premiere wouldn't have discouraged the casual audience, so it's not a surprise that this episode suffered for it. The show might recover, but my sense is that it will hover around 2.

Abigail felt off to me immediately -- I felt that it was most likely the show was signaling that she was in Will's imagination or that the show had decided to go with a very affected and stylized portrayal (which annoyed me, assuming it was true). But the off-notes combined with how they filmed some of the last scene from last season, I think it was pretty clear that she had to be dead, unlike the other three. So I was 90% certain she was his imagination right from the beginning.

As I understand it, even with lots of IV antibiotics, gut wounds that cut the intestines or colon and cause infections of the peritoneum are pretty dangerous -- there's no guarantee of survival, though with prompt care it's much more likely than not. But, otherwise, if something like the abdominal aorta or related aren't cut, then blood loss is relatively slow and gut wounds like that are not at all immediately or necessarily fatal. They look really bad. And they are likely to have complications. But pretty survivable in relative terms. And, yeah, Hannibal would know how to cut in a way that avoided most of these problems.

I'm not sure that it would have incapacitated Will as much as it did, though. Except, well, I had an abdominal abscess eight years ago that was more painful than the numerous kidney stones I've experienced, more painful than surgery or the worst of the pain I live with daily. It was unbelievably painful. And even the drain tube I had in place for several weeks made me feel terrible for no good reason that I could understand -- except that the day it was removed I felt immediately better. So maybe gut wounds are just very debilitating by their nature, even if there's no immediately life-threatening injury.

Finally, the heartigo was just about the most gloriously and baroquely grotesque thing I've ever seen on television, or almost anywhere for that matter.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:09 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Prevously.tv has a good write up on some of the motifs and imagry being used (considering against the medicis! Transformation!)
posted by The Whelk at 4:41 PM on June 12, 2015


I had fish before watching this ep... think you're pretty safe with that.

It had been a day or so since I had roast pork before watching the previous ep... but even so.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:44 PM on June 12, 2015


Apropos of nothing, I fell asleep watching this episode last night. Someone upthread mentioned "nightmare fuel" jokingly but you know what? I woke up screaming from a nightmare in which our hero, (Hannibal natch) was very persistently trying to murder me. Which is odd because I don't think I've had a nightmare based on anything I've ever watched on TV or Movies or rotten.com or anything since I was about 7 years old... so about 30 years ago.

I guess what I'm saying is that, for me anyhow, it literally WAS nightmare fuel.

Great episode tho, watched it again tonight.

(For those that were curious, it was the G.I. JOE episode where some kid has telekenetic powers and they're testing him with those silly PSI test cards they used to use.. u know the ones with the circle or the square or the wavy lines or the triangle on them? )
posted by some loser at 6:38 PM on June 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


This one didn't do it but towards the end of Season 2 I was having multiple Hannibal-influenced dreams. Most of them weren't actually nightmares but there was one involving him sewing someone else's finger onto my hand to replace one he had taken.
posted by PussKillian at 6:55 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wish I'd had Hannibal nightmares last night instead of horrific Outlander finale nightmares [shudder].
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:58 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


you know, at this point i would watch this show if every episode showed different beautiful architecture and it was Will chasing Hannibal around to yell nice things at him, a la:

By the way, great hair today and your lips are more sensuous than usual.

or

Hands down you are the smartest sexiest thing alive and hey maybe everybody who knows you fears and dreads you, but you know what --- that's okay!
posted by angrycat at 6:59 PM on June 12, 2015 [5 favorites]




I had weird dreams after this, too. Movies (and certainly TV shows) usually don't affect me that way. I think maybe I just over-related to some of the Will and Abigail stuff.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:36 PM on June 12, 2015


It doesn't help thAt the show uses a lot of dream imagry and dream like logic -- things emerging from the dark and suddenly there and all. I've had like, more then one Hannibal tinged dream after a marathon.
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm watching Manhunter for the fifth or sixth time right now (RIP Michael Mann's talent) and it's making me wonder what they're going to do without Will Graham being HAPPILY HETEROSEXUALLY MARRIED WITH A CHILD as the background stakes.
posted by codacorolla at 9:08 PM on June 12, 2015


(RIP Michael Mann's talent)

Sorry, when did his talent die? Because he's still making great movies - he just doesn't do it that often.
posted by crossoverman at 10:29 PM on June 12, 2015


I thought Blackhat, Miami Vice and Public Enemies were all stinkers.
posted by codacorolla at 10:34 PM on June 12, 2015


Ah, see I liked Miami Vice and Public Enemies. Haven't seen Blackhat yet.
posted by crossoverman at 10:38 PM on June 12, 2015


I've only seen them both once, at release, years ago... maybe I should watch them again. Blackhat was really not very good though, IMO.

Anyway, there's no Manhunter Fanfare thread, and it's streaming now. So...
posted by codacorolla at 10:43 PM on June 12, 2015


I'm just glad this Will Graham probably won't call anyone "daddy-o"
posted by The Whelk at 11:40 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh but just imagine if he did
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:03 AM on June 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just hope we get the pastel purple short shorts
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:03 AM on June 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


I hope Dollarhyde's house is just as tacky. Hell. I hope that fuller pulled the original set out of storage.
posted by codacorolla at 12:23 AM on June 13, 2015


[A few comments deleted. Let's try to be careful about spoiler-y stuff, even if you feel like it's minor or you're trying to be helpful. A good rule of thumb is that if it's info that hasn't been conveyed in the current episode or previous episodes, probably better to skip it.]
posted by taz at 1:17 AM on June 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


So ...

I'm a bit reluctant to bring this up because I feel like the response here has been overwhelmingly positive, but I'm seriously distressed about not liking something about the direction of the show and I'm hoping someone can convince me I'm wrong.

I'm having *real* problems with Will's apparent character turn to "sympathetic to Hannibal". Replace "sympathetic" with whatever term you find appropriate, but I'm feeling like he's gone in a direction that totally violates the very clear picture of him I had. This started in the last episode of s2 with Will phoning Hannibal with the warning, "They know." In my head I tried to justify this as being primarily about the callback to GJH (not satisfying because it's an out-of-universe explanation but whatever), and maybe something about Will realizing from the call from Alana that everything is about to head south for Will and Jack's operation and that if he can get Hannibal to flee, he can forestall more disastrous consequences (either Jack getting killed, or legal consequences for the both of them). That is, I really want the explanation for that call to not be "concern for Hannibal".

But s3e2 is making it harder to pretend that's the case. Between "you don't know whose side I'm on" and "I forgive you", I'm finding it very hard to believe that we're supposed to interpret things as anything other than Hannibal having gotten so far inside Will's head that Will is legitimately conflicted.

And I'm having a really hard time with that. Because that means that Will is forgiving what was done to Beverly, and forgiving Hannibal killing Abigail a second time, effectively, just as punishment for Will's betrayal. And that is so completely at odds with the Will from s2e5, full of very unconflicted fury over Beverly's vivisection, and completely at odds with the Will who assured Freddy Lounds that he would not forget what happened to Abigail, that I can't feel this is anything but a violation of the character. (I know "violation" is a strong term - I'm trying to denote that I can't reconcile this with strong writing and in-universe characterization; it feels too much like "out-of-character" to me. His character was one of the most wonderfully realized on television, for me, and this feels like the unravelling of that - that's what I mean by "violation".)

And I feel like I'm supposed to accept this as Hannibal having muddled Will's sense of clarity. But I feel like we went as far down that road as we were supposed to go, and that this new iteration of that idea is a genuine misstep. We saw Will delusional, hallucinating, completely under Hannibal's control, half-convinced he may, in fact, have killed Abigail. We saw Hannibal's control of Will at its most perverse and successful. And then, from s1e13 through most of s2, we got Will's return to clarity. (Sure, there's an argument that setting up Hannibal's murder was not supposed to be "clarity", but I think we can call it clarity in terms of Will's beliefs about Hannibal's right to freedom). He fucking sliced Beverly up and put her on display, the only person who was in even remotely in Will's corner, and we're to accept now that Will's like, "He's just misunderstood, he's kinda cool,"?

I feel like this is fan service to Hannigram or something and has lost the plot from the thing I adored.

I'd love to hear how you reconcile these two sides of Will - I am seriously looking to be convinced so that I can get back on the "this show is the greatest thing of all time" train I was wholeheartedly onboard instead of this sinking feeling I have now.

(of course i also know that it's early in the season and something could happen at any moment that will make me embarrassed to have expressed any doubt - let's just take for granted that I accept that and actually hope that's exactly what happens)
posted by neuromodulator at 2:04 PM on June 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


neuromodulator, I like the points you raise. And remember, when Will was so angry last year, everyone was like oooOOOOO WRATH!!!1!!! he's gone DARK!1!!

That's all I have right now... more later...
posted by tel3path at 2:08 PM on June 13, 2015


On a related note, someone travelled to Florence in Lecter's footsteps a couple years ago, and went looking for Vera dal 1926.
posted by tel3path at 2:25 PM on June 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't have anything profound to add, but how many songs were in this episode? I got Via con me and God Only Knows. Any others?
posted by Grangousier at 2:30 PM on June 13, 2015


Neuromodulator, while Thomas Harris didn't write much about the time period Hannibal is covering, he did make it clear that Will's greatest fear was of being eaten alive by his own darkness, the very darkness that made him good at his job. The original tagline for the Red Dragon book and the first movie Manhunter was "Enter the mind of a serial killer... you may never come back. "

Most of us probably pictured a more mundane version of that but that's what the show is serving up, a Will Graham who is teetering on the knife-edge of outright seduction. Remember, Hannibal doesn't love Will because Will is pretty; it's because he senses Will is the only person capable of being his equal he has ever met. And Will is only capable of being Hannibal's equal because Will contains a darkness equal to Hannibal's. Will is fighting his darkness while Hannibal embraces his, but each man respects the other because each knows the other is more like him than anyone else alive.

It is hinted but not overtly stated in the novel that Will didn't run to Florida just because Hannibal almost killed him, but even more because Hannibal almost turned him into the thing he hunts. The show is taking that theme and running with it, showing us what that really might mean.

This also has implications for Jack, who knows all this and yet applies all his wiles to get Will back in the game when the Tooth Fairy case comes up, which will happen later in the season apparently. Jack isn't just scouting the best talent; he knows the danger he is creating by luring Will back into the game. The danger isn't just that Will will crack, it's that what morphs out of the cracked Will will be another Hannibal.
posted by Bringer Tom at 2:40 PM on June 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh but just imagine if he did

I haven't looked at AO3, but just from what occasionally washes ashore on my tumblr dash: A lot of people have put a lot of thought into who Will calls daddy(-o) and why.
posted by sparkletone at 3:02 PM on June 13, 2015


I thought Will was just lying about forgiveness to try to get Hannibal to expose himself (presumably so that he could eventually punch his murder husband in the nose.) He chased him all the way to Europe based on one sentence with Abigail as the devil on his shoulder the whole time; knowing what we know about how things are in his head, it doesn't seem like a demonstration of forgiveness to me, more like he's obsessed and knows that playing sympathetic meant he could take on Hannibal and survive. Did most people read that as genuine?
posted by tautological at 3:37 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I certainly tossed around the idea that it was an intended manipulation of Hannibal, but I feel like given the climax of season 2, the idea of continuing to pretend to be on Hannibal's side seems like a non-starter. To quote Arrested Development, the previous attempt at that "ended about as badly as any game of catch can end." And to presume that Hannibal saw through it the first time but might fall for it now just seems kind of loopy.

Having re-watched s3e2 between my previous post and this one, I'm now inclined to read it as something more like, "I accept that you're acting in accordance with your nature," which is different than the more sympathetic interpretation I had placed on it. But I still feel like Will's borderline antagonism with Pazzi (again, the "you don't know whose side I'm on") rings false, to me. I suppose you could put that under the same umbrella - he knew Hannibal might be listening. But still, how could he possibly try to fool Hannibal knowing how that played out last time?
posted by neuromodulator at 3:52 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's probably a good idea to remember that Will has already committed an actual Art Murder of his own, creating the Saber Toothed Randall Tier. Yeah he had a good excuse because Tier went after him (and his doggies!) but I in Real Life (as opposed to Hannibal Baltimore where serial art murder is so popular you can probably get your supplies at Hobby Lobby) I suspect he'd have some serious explaining to do for his FBI buddies.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:24 PM on June 13, 2015


neuromodulator, I'm surprised you say "I'm finding it very hard to believe that we're supposed to interpret things as anything other than Hannibal having gotten so far inside Will's head that Will is legitimately conflicted." Because to me, that very fact was the entire point of the second half of season two - that Will was genuinely letting Hannibal into his head in order to catch him. Will knew that, since Hannibal would never believe an outright lie, he had to do more than just pretend he was turning into a killer and was enjoying himself in the process.

He called Hannibal to warn him because he was genuinely torn between Hannibal and Jack, and (as he said later) he hoped the phone call would make Hannibal leave. Because then Hannibal and Jack would both survive and be free.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:09 PM on June 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm now inclined to read it as something more like, "I accept that you're acting in accordance with your nature," which is different than the more sympathetic interpretation I had placed on it

This is exactly the intended meaning, and even if it weren't, I think it's the only way the scene makes sense. There's no going back from what Hannibal did in Mizumono. They've both truly "seen" one another now, and I don't seen Hannibal letting himself be vulnerable in the same way he was in S2 just as Will knows that if he chums the waters and isn't extremely careful, he is going to get bitten by the shark as it were.
posted by sparkletone at 5:38 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


showbiz_liz: I dunno, I thought that the idea was that Will could possibly outplay Hannibal, because he understood what attracted Hannibal to Will, and could bait his hook appropriately. I get what you're saying about "Hannibal would never believe an outright lie" - we have the line from s2 about "if you invited him there with an agenda, he'll know it" - but after all even if Will's flirtation with Hannibal was genuine there were still several outright lies (e.g. Freddy's death) that had to land for the plan to work, and they did land right up until Hannibal smelled Freddy on Will. They had tricked Hannibal.

I feel like my version, if you will let me call it that, (i.e. that they played Hannibal with Will knowingly in control of his own moral compass) is consistent with everything we see right up until when Will phones Hannibal to warn him. Your interpretation has the benefit of being consistent with that phone call and what we see in s3e2, and so I agree that it's likely "correct", but the problem is I feel like that's totally inconsistent with the person we saw react to Beverly's death. I'm just having a really hard time with the idea that he saw the one person who believed him at his lowest sliced up and displayed, and has somehow got over that, and thinks Hannibal should be free. I liked my version of Will a lot more and I really want to find a way to still believe in him, or find a way to like your Will, and I'm finding both pretty hard. I guess I don't "like" Hannibal in that sense, and still love the show, but ... I guess I'm trying to cling to an invalid interpretation and that's all there is to it.

*sigh*
posted by neuromodulator at 5:59 PM on June 13, 2015


Huh, see, I don't think he really does want Hannibal to be free, at least not anymore. And i don't think that he's 'over' any of the deaths he's caused. I think if he finds him he will try to arrest him or kill him. But he also has feelings for the guy, which he knows are irrational but are still very powerful.

And I think forgiving him doesn't mean "it's ok that you did this." I think it's an empathy thing - Will understands the feelings that led Hannibal, within his fucked-up mentality, to do what he did, and forgiving him is like saying "I know that you, being who you are, could never have done any of this differently."
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:16 PM on June 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


Hey, can you please stop talking about things that may (or may not, or are supposed to, or whatever) happen later in this season? These discussions are supposed to be about the current episode and anything leading up to it, not anything you know or have heard is supposed to happen later.

I watch this show one episode at a time, and I don't want to hear about what's supposed to go down further on in this season.

Thank you.
posted by komara at 6:20 PM on June 13, 2015


This is all speculation. I don't know what's going to happen.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:27 PM on June 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


So how do you interpret, "You don't know whose side I'm on?", s_l? Was it just for Hannibal's benefit, or a vestige of that sympathy?

(I assume komara is talking about Bringer Tom's comment, which is fair enough)
posted by neuromodulator at 6:29 PM on June 13, 2015


"This is all speculation. I don't know what's going to happen."

I'm referring to an already-deleted comment by ... Sequence, I think? ... and the current comment by Bringer Tom which I'm not going to quote in case it disappears. Obviously wild speculation and blather is what we're here for.
posted by komara at 6:38 PM on June 13, 2015


It's well known that this series is a prequel to the Thomas Harris Hannibalverse. It was created with the expectation that you know that and are familiar with what that means. It's not like Game of Thrones where some people have read the books and looked ahead; before S1e01 was filmed it was assumed that you know who Lecter is and a lot of what he did and have probably seen a few movies about him.

But I think we are now safely in S5 GoT territory with regard to "welp it didn't go QUITE like that in the books." So what we have is a collection of characters doing certain things, but sometimes doing those things earlier or to different people than in the books, sometimes different gender than they were in the books. I think Will is a little more intense than he was in Red Dragon but not so much so as to make him unconnectably different.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:39 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


"It's well known that this series is a prequel to the Thomas Harris Hannibalverse"

Yeah, great, fine, I read the books years ago. Turns out in the books that Freddie Lounds is a guy and he's dead and in the show she's a woman and she's not, and like you said, everything is different.

Which is exactly why I don't want to hear, "Later in the season when [character name] does whatever" because as of right now I don't know who is what and where, and when you say that kind of thing you're making me think about your comment the entire time I watch the next episode wondering if this is where it happens.

So please, if you've read somewhere or know for sure that something is happening, don't mention it here.
posted by komara at 7:00 PM on June 13, 2015


komara, Bryan Fuller has said publicly that the second half of this season will be Red Dragon, and there are publicity stills out supporting this. If the showrunner doesn't think he's spoiling the show I don't think I am by repeating what he's said in public.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:19 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


From what I've seen the creative staff on Hannibal do a pretty good job of keeping a lid on specific plot details. Not much leaks out except for casting news on actors and very general information about which books Fuller & Co. are drawing from for the coming seasons. I'm reasonably confident that anything pertaining to future events on Hannibal you may read about on here is purely speculation based on the prior art featuring the characters and settings, and not a "spoiler" per se.

I'm actually reading Red Dragon for the first time right now, and it's like an intriguing alternate universe to the show, with a mix of things that have already happened, things yet to come, and things that may never be. It's perfectly fine to watch the show as its own thing, but it's really made to be viewed as an intertextual conversation among Bryan Fuller, Thomas Harris, and the home audience, with everything (except for specific bits of Silence of the Lambs) on the table for discussion.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:29 PM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


"komara, Bryan Fuller has said publicly that the second half of this season will be Red Dragon, and there are publicity stills out supporting this. If the showrunner doesn't think he's spoiling the show I don't think I am by repeating what he's said in public."

That's not the standard, else it would be okay to discuss the previews for the forthcoming episode. And it's not.

That said, I think we had this discussion in some form when the show premiered and the consensus seemed to be that Hannibal isn't like a normal show and it's not like GoT, either. The vast majority of people who're watching GoT haven't read the books. But I think a majority of the people watching Hannibal have either read the books or seen the movies, or both, and it's never been the show's intention to keep the audience in suspense in a way that presumes a lack of knowledge about these prior works. On the other hand, specific information such as "x-part of the season is going to be about y-story" is comparable, I think, to talking about the previews.

So, personally -- and in keeping with what I think was discussed when the show began -- my feeling is that talking about how the show is going to follow Red Dragon at some point is copacetic, but talking about any specifics of when and how the show will do this isn't.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:30 PM on June 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Good point, Ivan. Will heed in the future.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:35 PM on June 13, 2015


On the other hand, specific information such as "x-part of the season is going to be about y-story" is comparable, I think, to talking about the previews.

We were freer back when there was no Fanfare and we were doing big threads on the Blue, but here this should definitely be the standard. But as to the part before the quote, it's not even that the majority of us have read at least one of the books/seen a movie or two. The show is explicitly, pointedly playing with the past iterations of Harris' work. Fuller frequently calls what they're doing being "Thomas Harris mashup DJs." Avoiding discussing that is doing the show a great disservice. Additionally, knowing things about what's in the books/movies isn't spoilery to the show. They're keeping to the spirit of the books, not the letter as has been clear for a long time now. So talking about the allusions they're making is kosher.

But, yeah, specific show-future stuff... Take it to memail/twitter/where ever is a good idea. Taz already deleted some comments from the thread earlier, and I'm sure I've screwed up on this count myself once or twice, but still.
posted by sparkletone at 9:01 PM on June 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, yeah.

This seems to be the Survivor Guilt episode, all right.

Even though his preoccupation is Abigail, he also feels terrible about insisting that Jack continue to hunt Hannibal, and urges Pazzi to let it go.

Because everything is Will's fault, of course.

When Pazzi asks him if he's praying, he replies "Hannibal doesn't pray", indicating that he's overidentifying himself with Hannibal. Even though Will says he doesn't think Hannibal has any interest in being God, he gives himself away a couple of times: when "Abigail" says Hannibal "hasn't given" them an ending yet - as if their stories are solely Hannibal's to write - and then again, when she challenges him as to whether he's talking about God or Hannibal.

Thinking that by doing things differently, he could have prevented disaster - that's Will attributing some Godlike powers to himself, there, albeit in the form of survivor guilt.

It does seem like most of the fandom has been blaming Will for everything that went wrong, and really did think all along that Will had enough power to make things go differently, and the fandom seems to be, accordingly, not particularly surprised by any of this.

It's not surprising that "Abigail" turned out to be largely a projection of Will's mind. What is surprising is that she exists in a consensus reality - we know for certain the priest saw her, and it's possible the doctor saw her (in fact, I think he did).

Will was not at all surprised when "Abigail" disappeared - he fully believed he was talking to a figment of his own imagination. This suggests to me that he was not hallucinating, simply visualizing, the way he does.

All this talk of multiverses... I can't help but think BF must have been reading some of the same fanfics I've read, the best - and most thematically valid - of which was a multiverse story in which canon!Will gets temporarily swapped into the nice!Verse where Hannibal is a nice man and he and Will are dating in a nice way, and nice!Hannibal can't figure out why canon!Will is all skinny and paranoid and won't eat his dinner and seems to have gone off sex entirely.

So... there are two possible interpretations, I guess, of "Abigail's" return: one is that she is a revenant with the same kind of spiritual explanation as I gave above - Will's mind is trying to attack him, and demonic forces are helping it. Or, the priest is psychic and is able to read Will's mind. If "Abigail" were an unequivocally demonic force, though, you'd think she wouldn't be able to set foot in a church... though the priest is none too comfortable with her being there, so IDK, and it *is* in the church that she finally disappears. If she were an angelic force, she wouldn't be telling as many lies as she does. I also think that if she were solely a projection of Will's mind the doctor wouldn't have introduced her as a visitor, unless Will hallucinated that too, in which case he really was hallucinating instead of visualizing.

I think BF hasn't really decided what it means either; maybe he's crowdsourcing the answer!

Hilarious that some people have already drawn fanart of My Little Stagenstein and one person has already sewed a little felt plushie.
posted by tel3path at 11:07 AM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


We just saw it, and I'm going to jot down a couple of things before reading this whole thread.

First of all, wow, what an episode. I LOVE that Fuller et al are using this season to go full on with the bloody, fantastical, operatic, abstract thing that they do.

Abigail's red jacket being soaked with rain and looking like it was drenched in blood -- nice.

Will she show up more in the series, as a flashback or hallucination or imaginary advisor? I was pretty sure she was dead from the beginning of the episode, but I let myself hope -- and I felt quite excited to see Kacey Rohl get the opportunity to show a greater acting range than she has so far.

Will and Abigail going into the cathedral in Palermo gave me a rather incongruous da Vinci Code vibe. I kind of liked it, actually. (What didn't I like in this episode? Nothing. It was all great. I definitely agree with sparkletone that it was both langourous and wallowing.)

I recommend the book The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston to those who have a strong enough stomach for it (seriously). It has true crime, drama, suspense and mystery; plus, it has background information about Thomas Harris's time in Italy writing Hannibal, and furthermore there are connections to the completely botched investigation into Meredith Kercher's murder.
posted by daisyk at 11:08 AM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, I was reminding myself of the real Mostro case, which was never solved. Il Mostro was a straightforward, apparently nonsexual murderer of couples getting it on in cars, not a Hannibalesque art murderer.

They invited the FBI over to profile him, and the FBI OH HEY I'M CROSSPOSTING THIS WITH DAISYK RIGHT NOW! said Il Mostro was a working-class guy of average intelligence, a misogynist, ho hum. And nobody liked that profile because they'd built him up into some kind of upper-class vampiric invincible monster... like Hannibal. So they ignored the profile.

Basically the exact reverse of the profiling story so far on the show.

I am gonna get that book, daisyk!

(p.s. of course fucking Hannibal left fucking evidence... he tucked pig jowl into his cheek for the cheek swab in S2, so he knows he has or could have left evidence, otherwise he wouldn't have needed to fake his DNA profile. I bet his whole basement is lousy with evidence. You can't ever truly scrub a bloodstain away, luminol will always reveal it. At a time in his life when he didn't have a basement and/or such a permanent and secure housing situation, and the state of forensic art was less than it is today, I could believe that he genuinely didn't leave any evidence that was usable at the time.)
posted by tel3path at 11:15 AM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


And may I just add that it took well over an hour and a half to view this episode because, not only did it hang constantly, but there were no fewer than six commercial breaks. Which also hung.
posted by tel3path at 12:27 PM on June 14, 2015


I don't know what they did to Kacey Rohl this episode, but they did a really good job of making her look subtly different. I don't know if it was wardrobe or makeup or Rohl herself (who has always done a fabulous job), but there's a very clear visual switch between the way she looks in Hannibal's kitchen and the way she looks as Will's guardian angel of guilt. She goes from looking like a child to looking like an adult.
posted by WidgetAlley at 12:33 PM on June 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


They were saying they used pig jowl for the shot, not that Hannibal had tucked a piece of pig inside his mouth to trick them!
posted by neuromodulator at 12:40 PM on June 14, 2015


WHY NOT BOTH?!?
posted by tel3path at 12:43 PM on June 14, 2015


She goes from looking like a child to looking like an adult.

I don't think they did anything. I think she's just grown up a bit since S1 was filmed. She's only 22 or 23 now, I think, so dial that back a few years, and there we go.
posted by sparkletone at 1:02 PM on June 14, 2015


They groomed her brows, for one thing.
posted by tel3path at 1:09 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait. Will Graham's internal vision of Abigail includes eyebrow grooming? Where did he learn about that?
posted by daisyk at 1:14 PM on June 14, 2015


When he got his "I finally find you interesting" makeover, of course.
posted by tel3path at 1:15 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm actually reading Red Dragon for the first time right now

Me too!

I knew they lifted dialogue straight from the books, but I didn't realize just how much of it they lifted. And a lot of it is given very different contexts - notably, several lines so far referring to Lecter in the books were used to refer to Will in the show.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:20 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


On a similar/totally different note, I'm watching the second season of Pushing Daisies, and it's an interesting comparison in that there's this complete lack of inhibition in both shows. Not in the sense that nothing is restrained, but that nothing is automatically off the table if it can be made to fit with the tone of the show, even if it's a break from the show's normal version of reality and/or is completely fucking crazy.

For example, [spoiler from S2E2 of Pushing Daisies]
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:38 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was suspicious about Abigail being real from the outset, but bought into it enough that when it was not real, it really hurt.

It makes sense that Abigail as a part of Will would want to go back to Lecter. A combination of Will missing Hannibal plus his WTF Abigail you hung out with Hannibal after he cut off your EAR and so he endows spirit Abigail with this tie to Hannibal that didn't feel that real -- in the last scene from last year, Abigail was so tormented, even as she pushed Bloom out the window. This Abigail isn't tormented at all, which makes it seem less real/more a dream, although there's enough to make it seem real.

I also loved this bit of dialogue from Abigail after finding the heart:

"He misses us" (with a hint of delight)
(will pontificates)
"He's playing with us" (with sad acceptance)

It's like Abigail represents the part of Will that loves Hannibal -- it makes a kind of sense that Will would externalize that part of himself, unless until he is able to say he forgives Hannibal -- loving somebody -- appreciating somebody's "elegance" -- after the other person has been so profoundly destructive -- yeah, I imagine those thoughts being pushed down, or in Will's case, into dream Abigail.
posted by angrycat at 6:26 AM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's also kind of a logical reverse-engineering of Will's survivor guilt. He says "the wrong thing being the right thing to do was too ugly a thought" or words to that effect.

In other words, it would have been wrong to go with Hannibal, but it would have saved lives... whose? Only Abigail's.

But Will has to be wrong, because he tried everything, and still wound up in a bloodbath with Hannibal escaped.

Therefore, if he'd only gone with Hannibal, everything would have been fine. Naturally. Of course. So the version of "Abigail" that torments him is the version of Abigail that would have been able to stand an actual canon Murder Family scenario. That is, not Abigail.
posted by tel3path at 6:38 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I assume all the other characters also blame Will for all this? It is traditional.
posted by tel3path at 6:40 AM on June 15, 2015


Man now I really wish we had FanFare for books because I just finished Red Dragon and I want to engage in wild speculation
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:00 AM on June 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


I read it just before S2 started up and maybe should again but feel free to word vomit in my memail...
posted by sparkletone at 1:37 PM on June 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


moi aussi
posted by tel3path at 2:01 PM on June 16, 2015


Fuller's American Gods has officially been greenlit by Starz!

...this better not lead to a Buffy/Firefly situation where the new baby gets all the love and attention
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:53 PM on June 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


American Gods the novel is... whatever, but I'll watch anything Fuller does at this point. Starz is also getting the Twin Peaks reboot, so it looks like I'll be subscribing to it.
posted by codacorolla at 6:01 PM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


i got it solely for spartacus and it's been totally worth it so far. even their cancelled Camelot series was pretty fantastic.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:12 PM on June 16, 2015


Not to nitpick, but Twin Peaks is going to be on Showtime, not Starz, and thank goodness because it means I might actually get a chance to work on it in some form.

Showtime really needs some stuff like Vikings or Black Sails or Outlander or something along those lines, because their current lineup of Emotionally Troubled Rich White People® just isn't cutting it.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:29 AM on June 17, 2015


Ah, damn. I just conflated the two channels in my mind.
posted by codacorolla at 11:36 AM on June 17, 2015


"Not to nitpick, but Twin Peaks is going to be on Showtime, not Starz, and thank goodness because it means I might actually get a chance to work on it in some form."

No, it's Starz.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:45 PM on June 17, 2015


>Am I the only person who thinks that Hannibal in the crypt was Will's imagination? There isn't a lot to support that, but it feels right.

I got the same feeling. At the end of this episode, my main question was, "wait, is Will actually dead?" Even though he can't be, that doesn't make logical sense. But it felt like he was dead or in some dreamscape or something, it didn't feel like he was in the real world. He was like a ghost.

>This was basically 45 minutes inside Will Graham's head

Just as the previous episode was 45 minutes in Hannibal Lecter land.


Will's head is so much darker than Hannibal's. I mean literally darker, it was SO DIMLY LIT. And it was hard to make sense of anything in any sense, really. Characters would talk to Will sometimes (SOMEtimes -- not very often?) but meanwhile Abigail would be trying to have a conversation with him, too, or bleeding everywhere and being distracting that way, and bodies were coming to life and stuff, so it was hard to concentrate on what was happening in the actual world as opposed to in Will's internal world.

>Like, Will can theoretically find love anywhere, and does find a loving supporting partner in the books, but Hannibal's choices are basically Will or nothing, he's been around long enough to know that, and he's stuck with it .It's very Opera.

I like that, because I’m a sucker for anything that has ANY resemblance to Phantom of the Opera (and the idea of a man being so desperate to make this ONE tiny, miserable shot at love work because it's all he's got, and destroying himself in the process, doesn't just sound like opera to me, it sounds specifically like Phantom of the Opera). Imagining Hannibal as the Phantom and Will as Christine kind of makes my day.

But on the other hand, it could maybe just as easily be the opposite, with Will as the Phantom and Hannibal as Christine? I mean, Hannibal is the only person who Will can reliably communicate with, and who he has an actual connection with (for whatever value of “connection”). It’s not like Will is very good at fitting in, in the world at large. Everywhere he was in this episode looked literally subterranean, whereas in the previous episode, Hannibal was constantly bathed in light and lauded. Will has this one skill/talent (profiling) that has become his entire life, and Hannibal meanwhile is a star performer who could be the crown jewel of Will’s life’s work.

>What about the risk of infection, FFS? There are too many unknowns. What about the woman dying on the porch, is she even going to be able to tell them about the three people still inside the house? How could he have known they'd bring enough blood for four people?

But fun of it is in the risk! It's not a game if you can't lose.

I think that Hannibal was just gambling/playing with their lives (and his own) because he likes playing God. I think he probably didn't *aim* for any internal organs when he stabbed Will in the gut, but I don't think he was all that careful to stay away from them, either. I think his attitude was mostly that his fingers were crossed, but in the end, que sera sera.

I think Hannibal *likes* taking risks. I think that it's a power trip for him.

>Hannibal attended a party full of people who know this apparently famous author and his wife, somebody who probably has a Wikipedia page or, at the very least, a book jacket photo, in an academic circle that is not all that huge. That's who he picks to replace? It would be a really terrible choice in the real world.

See, that's the part of Hannibal (as a character) that I find charming/infuriating. He's always daring people to break the (obvious) ~illusion~ and FOR ONCE say the Emperor has no clothes, but they never do. He just bullshits and bullshits and tries to top himself with how ridiculous and stupid and obvious his stories can be, and people just keep eating up those stories with a spoon. I mean OF COURSE he's not this famous academic. But OF COURSE nobody is actually going to call him out on that.

I mean, it IS kind of hilarious. But imo Hannibal isn't a Murder Wizard in the sense that he's actually magic, he's a Murder Wizard in the sense that he's a magician who practices illusions (and people love to see him perform). He's just practicing slight of hand (everyone's looking at the professor, nobody's looking at the escaped murderer, etc).

Even Bedelia is eating her acorns and not saying anything. She obviously is calling out his bullshit in her own head, and Hannibal seems to know that, and imo that's why he likes her -- but even she won't actually call him out in the real world. It's all half call-outs and snarkiness with her. Idk, I kind of like that, but I'm kind of like....Bedelia, shit or get off the pot. Eh, I guess she's got a plan, though. Well anyway.

Last season, and imo again now in Italy, Hannibal is the Emperor prancing around naked as a jaybird, laughing his ass off (and sometimes getting lethally frustrated or bored) while everyone tells him how beautiful his clothes are. I guess Will is the one who can/will actually say, "but the Emperor has no clothes," *without* wanting to smarmily prance around with no clothes on, too, like some knock-off Lector, and that's what makes Will so special.

>I'm having *real* problems with Will's apparent character turn to "sympathetic to Hannibal". Replace "sympathetic" with whatever term you find appropriate, but I'm feeling like he's gone in a direction that totally violates the very clear picture of him I had.

I think Will’s just got it bad. Idk, Will being so torn and tormented toward Hannibal actually makes me empathize with him more. I think that even in real life, it’s very difficult not to get sucked into an INCREDIBLY intense love/hate thing when you’re dealing with someone who both wants you and hurts you. You have to be so focused on that person ALL THE TIME and you can be so obsessed with making sure everything's OK with them that you sort of cease to exist as your own separate person. I think that's what happened to Will, and why it's such a big deal to him if Hannibal is caught or killed. Because if Hannibal is imprisoned or killed, then will it feel like Will is imprisoned or dead, too? I mean, at this point, what is Will without Hannibal?

> And i don't think that he's 'over' any of the deaths he's caused. I think if he finds him he will try to arrest him or kill him. But he also has feelings for the guy, which he knows are irrational but are still very powerful.

And I think forgiving him doesn't mean "it's ok that you did this." I think it's an empathy thing


Yes, I agree. Irrational but powerful feelings. And I think Will's still identifying with Hannibal pretty strongly, and that complicates things. I think Will's survival instinct is telling him that Hannibal is very dangerous (because he is!) and needs to be caught, but his survival instinct is *also* telling him to protect Hannibal (because he's conflating himself with Hannibal, because he's identifying with him so strongly). I think that the impulse to kill Hannibal and the impulse to protect him are both coming from Will's impulse to protect himself, but it's all screwy because he and Hannibal are too conflated in Will's head for it to be straightforward anymore. I think that's why he on the one hand could set Hannibal up and on the other hand telephone him to tell him to leave.

Maybe when Will told Hannibal he forgave him, it meant that Will was forgiving himself. If the episode really was about survivor's guilt, maybe that was him letting that guilt go.

>It makes sense that Abigail as a part of Will would want to go back to Lecter. A combination of Will missing Hannibal plus his WTF Abigail you hung out with Hannibal after he cut off your EAR and so he endows spirit Abigail with this tie to Hannibal that didn't feel that real

I'm curious how Will feels about Abigail having been with Hannibal that whole time. Any jealousy or anger at his supposed ~murder family~ galavanting around without him for so long? I mean, it's a terrible family, but it's supposed to be his! How could they just make their own private version of the ~murder family~ and leave him out of it? Hurrumph!
posted by rue72 at 1:49 AM on June 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


oh HO ho
Just started reading the Monster of Florence book. I read a book about serial killers in 1992 (which really burns it into you that they're stupid mean guys whose answer to every problem is "kill someone") and the Mostro case was mentioned in there - it was thought that he might have died.

Now this book says there was yet more kerfuffle later than that, in 2000? The first murder was in 1951. You can't even get to the end of the foreword without thinking this is a witch hunt and Il Mostro is being treated as a folk devil while actual murders get glossed over as too boring!
posted by tel3path at 5:27 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Suppose Hannibal ISN'T il Mostro? Pazzi's evidence is that he went every day to look at the painting, but so did Pazzi. Why? Because he wanted to understand the killer. What if that's what Hannibal was doing?
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:15 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well this version of Il Mostro seems very Hannibaly to me, but maybe that's where Hannibal got his inspiration.

But yeah, and looking at how the real investigation went, and how things go in the Hanniverse, I'm surprised Pazzi didn't get arrested on grounds of looking at Primavera every day. As far as I can tell everyone remotely involved in the real case got arrested and/or was arresting everybody else.

Reminds me of the bit in Kō No Mono where Alana is skulking in the background at Freddie's funeral and Will shows up and Alana goes I SEE YOU THERE, SKULKING IN THE BACKGROUND AT A FUNERAL, IN A MANNER CHARACTERISTIC OF THE PERSON WHAT DUNNIT.

Also, feast your eyes on the career of Robert Hanssen, as well as the guy who got accused in his place.
posted by tel3path at 7:08 AM on June 18, 2015


It's not a Game if you can't lose

This has been a long arc for Hannibal since season one, where he starts out bored and dealing with boring patients but very circumspect, to taking more risks and chances until he's basically daring the world to catch him.

It's not enough to win, you have to rub it in the other side's face.
posted by The Whelk at 10:26 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, he really stopped being circumspect after S1. Since then he's practically been installing big neon signs "H. L. feci" above his crimes and booty dancing while gesturing towards them and posing the not rhetorical at all question "WHO could possibly have DONE such a thing?"

My guess is that the vast majority are taking "Dr Fell" at face value and just not particularly realizing there's anything to question. Those that do think about it probably have the usual array of their own reasons for not saying anything, all of which have been thoroughly rehearsed in the first two seasons and which we can take as read by now.
posted by tel3path at 11:04 AM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


>This has been a long arc for Hannibal since season one, where he starts out bored and dealing with boring patients but very circumspect, to taking more risks and chances until he's basically daring the world to catch him.

It reminds me of that thing that kids do, where they'll start out misbehaving in some tiny way, but when nobody stops or corrects them, they keep escalating and escalating their misbehavior and trying to get someone to say something, until eventually they're acting just absurd and they're like, dancing around in the front of the room singing a song that's only cuss words and insults or something, and the adult has to FINALLY say, "Ok, enough," and tell them to sit down and do what they're supposed to be doing.

What I mean is, Hannibal is basically acting like a spoiled brat who needs some structure/limits/rules. Somebody needs to call his damn mother.

OK, now I'm imagining the ridiculous idea of Hannibal's mother coming into the murder basement and him getting in so much trouble. Will would come by and Hannibal would open the screen-door looking all shame-faced and have to say: "Sorry, Will, I can't come play today. I'm on punishment."

Or, you guys know those horrible "I'm going to shame my child for his misdeeds" videos? Or even those "shame my dog" pictures people post, that show someone's dog laying down next to a sign describing what terrible thing the dog did while his owner was out? I'm now imagining Hannibal as the subject of one of those "shame my dog" pictures.

Hannibal, standing around in a party in Florence, with a sign around his neck that says, "I killed and ate your colleague, and then told everybody it wasn't even cannibalism because I'm SO much better than him." LOL sorry that's just cracking me up.

> My guess is that the vast majority are taking "Dr Fell" at face value and just not particularly realizing there's anything to question. Those that do think about it probably have the usual array of their own reasons for not saying anything, all of which have been thoroughly rehearsed in the first two seasons and which we can take as read by now.

I think they enjoy the game, too. And they'd rather be included in the game than ruin it for everyone by being a spoilsport and calling Hannibal out.

Nobody wants to be the spoilsport anyway, it's embarrassing.

And they're in Italy of all places. Hannibal went to Sicily to do his worst deeds. Who wants to act like an uncool putz in Florence or like a stickler with a big mouth in Palermo? That's embarrassing *and* counterproductive.
posted by rue72 at 1:02 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just read a bunch of meta about how S2 consists of Will leading one person after another into danger, and that Will is responsible for the deaths of everyone from Beverly to Gideon through the harm that comes to Chilton through putatively Jack and Alana. That Will knows that everyone who gets close, gets got, and yet he knowingly and repeatedly lets people get close.

I guess that could be where the reasoning about "the right thing being the wrong thing to do" comes from, but I'm just never going to agree to it.

Why should Will, the only person who is taking any responsibility at all for incapacitating this monster, also be the only one who takes the blame for failing at it?

I just keep reading stuff about how Will's efforts to bring Hannibal down prove he's bad, bad, bad; but nobody else's efforts to do whatever the fuck they wanted at any expense are bad.

Chilton wanted to collude with Hannibal till he couldn't any more, then he wanted to hang on to his social position, and Will told him the way to achieve that: confess. But he didn't listen to Will's advice. What about Chilton and his responsibility for intentionally getting involved with all this shit for his own venal reasons?

And etc. etc. per character. Besides Bev, the one character I feel most sorry for is Gideon, actually. Will warns him, in what would have been just in time, that "everyone who gets close, gets got". I think he was hoping to work his ticket for a transfer to a different institution when he provoked the guards on the stairs... unfortunately that didn't go too well. I wouldn't really characterize that as Will's fault, though. He didn't ask for Gideon to be transferred there, he only asked for Chilton to talk to Gideon and see if their stories matched.

I just. Is Will not allowed to do ANYTHING around here? GAWD.

Will has always been about standing up for the wronged party, and now everyone thinks he's bad because he wronged party he stands up for is himself?

And now it's like he's come around to seeing himself as the world sees/saw him? Everyone kept telling him Hannibal was wonderful, that Hannibal was what he needed, that he was crazy for thinking anything else. If you're going to take the position that, if it weren't for Will and his shit-stirring, the only person who had to get seriously damaged was Will, then... fuck that, is my opinion, and fuck that worldly opinion for contributing to Will's broken/dead/self-victim-blaming mindset now.

On a lighter note, I'm still remembering that fanfic I read where Will is in the process of trying to pick an anniversary gift for Hannibal and realizes that it rhymes. Panicked, he tells everyone, and they all go "No! You can't break up with him! He's a great catch!" and Bev says "I really don't care, as long as he doesn't eat me."

Which really isn't too far from what happened in canon.

But, like, it's not actually GOOD ENOUGH. Sheesh.
posted by tel3path at 1:48 PM on June 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wasn't Bedelia supposed to be originally played by Angela Lansbury? I think he basically did call his damn mother... just... in a more Oedipal sense than originally planned.
posted by tel3path at 1:52 PM on June 18, 2015


Yes. Lansbury was busy doing a play or something when they were filming S1, so they aged the character down when they got Gillian.
posted by sparkletone at 2:56 PM on June 18, 2015


This is from way up the thread, but:

But I still feel like Will's borderline antagonism with Pazzi (again, the "you don't know whose side I'm on") rings false, to me.

I think you're misreading the scene. As stated elsewhere in this thread, Will knows that everyone who gets close gets got. The more Pazzi reveals his obsession with "il Mostro" to Will, the more Will tries to get him to go away. Right now, he's not trying to catch Hannibal, just trying to find him, and he'd rather not have Pazzi become yet more collateral damage. By the time they're in the crypt, Will knows Hannibal is around, and he knows that if Pazzi sees Hannibal, Pazzi is dead. But if Will just straight up tells Pazzi to go, Pazzi won't, so he says what he needs to to get the dogged investigator to leave.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:45 AM on June 19, 2015


That's much how I read it too. We haven't seen Will be that kind of antagonistic since early in season 1, really, but it's coming from a different place here. I'm pretty sure he looks at Pazzi and just thinks, "You poor man. You couldn't handle babby Hannibal, much less Height Of His Fanciness Hannibal. Just go away, you can't help."
posted by sparkletone at 11:33 AM on June 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, uh, rather than CG it seems like the Broken Hart was (mostly) an in-camera practical effect.
posted by figurant at 4:57 PM on June 22, 2015


Hoofnibal!
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:13 PM on June 22, 2015


There's a commenter on /r/horror who's saying that Hannibal is really poorly written because of how "illogical" it is, his case in point being that Abigail just hung around at Hannibal's pad and never ran away. The idea of judging a work by how logically a character behaves is just baffling to me, and I imagine this episode would have made the dude's head explode.
posted by brundlefly at 12:41 AM on June 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


“What if we had that Boston Dynamics BigDog robot, except made of human flesh and heartbreak." - someone in the Hannibal writers room
posted by brundlefly at 12:44 AM on June 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cleolinda has just posted her recap for this episode. Part 1 and part 2.
posted by sparkletone at 8:08 PM on July 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was watching the commentaries, and I noticed something I hadn't noticed before: when Will and Ghost Abigail arrive at the church for the first time, before the heart is placed there, the scene transition is someone's arm lighting a candle by the door into the church. And I never noticed this before, but it's Hannibal's arm. You can see the scar Matthew Brown gave him.

AUGH he was just STANDING RIGHT THERE
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:53 AM on December 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


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