Hannibal: Apéritif   Rewatch 
August 28, 2014 6:23 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

FBI instructor Will Graham now lives out his days in the classroom, despite his legendary skills as a forensic profiler. But Jack Crawford, head of the BAU, has other ideas and wants to tempt Will back into the field. When stubbornness ensues, Jack seeks help from the renowned psychiatrist, Doctor Hannibal Lecter.
posted by tel3path (139 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm enchanted and terrified of this rewatch!
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 6:45 PM on August 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nope. Still too traumatized from the Season 2 finale.

(So emotionally invested. Too emotionally invested. This show ate my heart.)
posted by dogheart at 7:15 PM on August 28, 2014


Sad to hear that doghheart, I hope you'll be ready for Season 3 when it comes round.

Is there any comfort knowing that your heart was probably first prepared as gorgeous ceviche , and washed down with a refreshing pilzner?
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 7:52 PM on August 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have seen this episode like five times.

Seriously listen to the commentary -- they talk so much about blocking and in-fill and lighting and how they pulled back on the vampire tropes with Hannibal and hiw they where totally aware of it when he ...asks to be invited into Will's Motel room.
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 PM on August 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also the entire show is set in motion cause Hannibal has a whim, cause otherwise his life is all ...Franklyn and his ilk.

And he sets this in motion by being a dick to a receptionist.


Drop a box of files ...and then endless oceans of blood and misery. It's like the butterfly thing but with more screaming.
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 PM on August 28, 2014 [10 favorites]


Also interesting, how police procedural this episode is compared to how all the police procedural tropes would start to melt away until about the forth episode where it stopped being a police procedural with strange, impressionistic elements and became a strange impressionistic show with a light police procedural framing.

Also, aw, Beverly.
posted by The Whelk at 7:07 AM on August 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think that's kind of good, even though it wasn't planned. The whole group gradually fade into a folie a plusieurs and it's only at the very end that Kade Purnell barges back in and says she's getting evidence and a warrant.

In "real life" Hannibal should have been put under Federal Grand Jury indictment and surveillance from the moment a profiler with a 100% clearance rate started accusing him, even if they thought that profiler was guilty, considering Hannibal was the only other possible suspect. But everyone was nuts by then, so hey.
posted by tel3path at 7:40 AM on August 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yeah I did enjoy Kade going basically " WHAT THEHELL HAVE YOU PEOPLE BEEN DOING WHERE IS YOUR ADULT SUPERVISION?" later on.

Also interesting to track on the rewatch - Will As Problem Child. Even from the get go people don't treat him like a adult despite the fact that he's a full grown man with a job, house, too many dogs and a budding drinking problem.
posted by The Whelk at 8:11 AM on August 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Cor, yes. What do we do with a man who is so unstable that he earns over $100K a year, has a publication record that any postdoc would envy, is the recognized leading expert in his field, lives in a 3/4 million dollar, super neat and tidy historic farmhouse in a desirable rural area surrounded by absolutely loads of land that he owns, a steady diet of locally caught fish that he catches himself, a wardrobe sourced entirely from Land's End, a side business fixing boat motors and a large family of adoring and well-cared-for pet dogs?!?

Can I be unstable in this fashion, please? Yowza.

Will, just because your prissy coworker rejects you, it doesn't mean you're damaged goods and undateable. Really.

Also, I don't think he's even started to develop a drinking problem at this point in the narrative. I don't think we'll really see any sign of that until Season 3.
posted by tel3path at 8:22 AM on August 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


But he failed the psych eval!
posted by sparklemotion at 8:28 AM on August 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lol. I love that Beverly comes bounding up to him and goes 'ZOMG YOU ARE THE UNSTABLE GUY WHO FAILED THE PSYCH EVAL' which is, like, does this follow him around wherever he goes? Do people whisper in the hallways "there goes that unstable guy"?

Imagine being so unstable that you ACTUALLY FAIL THE PSYCH EVAL TO BECOME AN FBI AGENT, it's amazing that he's allowed out on his own at all!

But yeah, it is incredible that this single measure of occupational suitability gets turned into a giant label that 100% defines his social identity from then on. Like, let alone the cast, the ENTIRE AUDIENCE seems to just go along with the assumption that Will Graham Is Unstable and nobody ever questions it!

Isn't one of the major themes of the show the fact that reputation and reality are two different things? Lol.

I think pretty much all the main characters who get introduced in this episode will turn out to have reputations that don't match the reality of who they are. And I often see this talked about in the form of complaints about 'bad writing", like "X is supposed to have Y quality, but repeatedly behaves in Z ways! It's so badly written!" Uh, really?

You mean, like, Hannibal is supposed to be civilized, but he eats people, for example? Yeah, rubbish writing. When you put it that way I'm turning this show off!
posted by tel3path at 9:17 AM on August 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lol. I love that Beverly comes bounding up to him and goes 'ZOMG YOU ARE THE UNSTABLE GUY WHO FAILED THE PSYCH EVAL' which is, like, does this follow him around wherever he goes? Do people whisper in the hallways "there goes that unstable guy"?

The more times I rewatch this episode, the more ham-fisted that scene feels. And the first scene with Jack and Will, and maybe that scene in Jack's office where the deliberately freaks Will out with the analyzing ("Who are you profiling here Dr? WHO is HE profiling?". I actually really like that scene).

Also, no wonder he's so avoidant of eye contact, all the eyes are JUDGING!

Its a pilot, so we grant it its due grace.
Its really interesting to seen the character grow this inward sense of depth and complexity. His arc across season one and two, the waters of Will Graham becoming more frothing and turbulent, then deeper and seemingly still.
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 9:31 AM on August 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't think that it's so unreasonable that "failing the FBI psych eval" is a mark that follows you as you deal constantly in your life with FBI people (who, all, themselves passed the psych eval).

I mean, it's like a guy who failed the bar exam continuing to hang around law firms. People will know, and judge.

So, the very fact that he continues to be an FBI guy, and doesn't seem to have any friends/contacts outside of FBI circles (that are not of the canine variety), seems to be yet another piece of evidence that poor Will has got a case of the cray.

But, of course, we are talking about the opinions of some of the worst judges of character in TV history.

What's the schedule for these threads, btw?
posted by sparklemotion at 9:50 AM on August 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


One episode a week, unless the premiere date means we have to do twice-weekly episodes later on.

Friday Night Death Slot-ish, or equivalent per time zone. I put this thread up in the early hours of Friday morning BST, not wishing to deprive my fellow Fannibals.
posted by tel3path at 9:53 AM on August 29, 2014


Right, but the psych eval is for field work. Having not passed it, Will is still fit for the work he is doing at the beginning of the series, which is lecturing. AND he was a homicide cop previously.

I mean, I probably wouldn't pass the psych eval for becoming an astronaut, but I can still be a space scientist without getting the side-eye.
posted by tel3path at 9:56 AM on August 29, 2014


Yes I agree that Beverly's first appearance is either OOC or just Bev making a bad first impression. I mean, how galumphing and hurtful.

It's not at all in line with her behaviour throughout the rest of the show, in which she proves herself to be sensitive without being precious. But in this scene BEVERLY KATZ WHAT ARE YOU DOING.
posted by tel3path at 10:00 AM on August 29, 2014


Will, just because your prissy coworker rejects you, it doesn't mean you're damaged goods and undateable. Really.

He could have been a victim of rumour and Chinese Whispers - "the unstable guy who failed the psych eval" by a process of muttered repetition becomes the unstable guy who failed the psychic Val. No one knows who this Val was, what he did to her that was so mean, but it must have been terrible that people still talk about it. Strange that she didn't guess, being a psychic and all.
posted by Grangousier at 10:54 AM on August 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Nothing particularly ornate or oparatic about this, just a run-of-the-mill strangulation"
Rewatching with commentary (and bourbon) tonight.
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 8:44 PM on August 29, 2014


I confess that I've hated Jack from his very first scene in the pilot and have continued to hate him since. He shows up to Will's class without warning, nearly the first thing he says to Will afterward is "I understand this must be hard for you" (even if you didn't like the lecture, at least try not to insult it first thing!), puts his hands right on Will's face and starts adjusting his glasses (hands to yourself!), and when Will is bizarrely laid back enough to just go along with this, asks if Will's "on the spectrum" (that's so inappropriately personal it's actually illegal according to the ADA!) (though I kind wish that asking people about random health issues was Jack's ~thing~. Like, he if he were just going around asking everyone he meets if they have lupus or mild hearing loss or whatever). Anyway, Will is *ridiculously* patient with him. I guess because he's willing to put up with pretty much anything to start working with the BAU? (and it's true that even when that gets tested *spectacularly* (by Hannibal et al), he still wants to work with them. For some reason?!).

Anyway, back to Jack's rudeness: then later, when they're at the recent murder victim's house talking to her parents, Will at least has enough sense to pull Jack aside to say he thinks the house is a crime scene, but then Jack just flips open his phone and starts going on about how it's a crime scene and they'll need techs there ASAP loudly as possible right in front of the poor girl's mom and dad. I mean, Will is no great shakes either, considering how callously he treats the dad when they go up the girl's room, but UGH Jack is just so thoughtlessly insensitive, I can't take it.

(Oh, speaking of Will being rude, too: I found it pretty harsh when Will said all the murder victims looked "very mall of America." I guess that was sort of his Mr. Darcy moment and Abigail was about to become his Murder!daughter!Elizabeth).

And how do other people feel about that scene in the red bathroom? Because I find it really panic-inducing every time. It's the same feeling as when you're watching a horror movie and the heroine is in the haunted house or the monster's liar or something and she knows she's got to get out but she's trying to creep out very slowly so that the monster won't hear and you're screaming at the TV to JUST GO GET OUT GO GO GO (and then the monster always hears her, of course, or has been hiding behind a door right in the same room with her the whole time, or something horrible like that). The whole time they're in that bathroom, I'm like WILL GO TO THE DOOR WHY ARE YOU NOT GOING TO THE DOOR GET OUT THE DOOR GET OUT and it's even worse that he's continually pacing so it constantly feels like MAYBE HE'LL ESCAPE! but then he just paces back over to the sink and doesn't leave. AAAAACK. And the monster (aka, Hannibal, isn't even on the show yet at that point in the episode! But I guess Will is trying to creep into the murder investigation and creep back into the field, and the monster/Hannibal is going to hear a creak from all that creeping that The Last Girl/Will is doing, and the monster/Hannibal's going to smell the blood in the air and decide to set a trap. And I guess that the trap, in this case, was Cassie Boyle?).

Anyway, to get back to Jack's rudeness again...it'll be interesting during the re-watch to track the evolution of Jack getting more manners and becoming more sensitive, because he really does grow in that way. Maybe I'll make a graph. Though he's much ruder to some than others so I guess it'll have to be a...OK I'll have to get back to you guys about this, I already know how I want to plot it out.

On the other hand, I didn't think Beverly was that bad? I thought she sounded happy to meet Will because of that bug paper (she recognized him within seconds based on an ancient paper he wrote about bugs?!), but then when he just kind of stared at her when she started talking about the antler velvet and didn't seem like he had a job to do or was used to being in a crime scene, she figured out that he couldn't be "real FBI." And then when he gave his strangled "strict screening procedures" as an explanation why he wasn't (and OMG just say you love to teach or some other bullshit, idiot! I mean, that "strict screening procedures" explanation was doing nobody any favors), she just started teasing him about being "unstable," but she'd hit the nail on the head so he got all awkward and didn't know what to say in response. I didn't think she was for real accusing him of being unstable, I think he was acting WEIRD and it piqued her curiosity about him, and her way of getting to know him/making smalltalk was to talk shop and to tease. I mean, if he hadn't responded in the most uptight way possible to everything she said, I don't think it would have been an uncomfortable conversation at all -- he just kept acting so ridiculously uncomfortable that it made the whole interaction seem weird.

I think the main person who was worried about Will being mentally unstable was actually Will, and I get why, considering he was having nightmares and sleeping covered in sweat-soaked towels before he even ever met Hannibal. Like, watching this again, I don't think anyone else necessarily even thought he was unstable/crazy. When Alana and Jack talked about it explicitly, they both framed the problem as Will being too fearful, unable to protect himself. I think that according the the FBI, the problem is that Will is a coward or soft or doesn't have the stomach for the work or doesn't "have heart" (in the macho/sports sense). I think that they're scared of him "pussying out" (ugh, and usage of disgusting macho language is on purpose) or not being able to pull his weight. I think it's mostly just Will who's actually afraid he'll lose himself in the work, or maybe lose it altogether.

Oh, clarifying question: at the beginning, Will isn't actually at the house with the murder victims, is he? He's re-enacting that whole thing as he's lecturing about it to the students? Or was he actually *on* that case? I always thought he was actually there, but this time around it felt like he was actually just retelling it and imagining being there?

OK and I'll leave it at that because I only got through the first half hour of the pilot before it got too exhausting. I feel ya, dogheart (though I hope you change your mind about this rewatch!). This show is intense.
posted by rue72 at 8:55 PM on August 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


OK fine. Rewatching the regular episode AGAIN, this time no commentary, and an Islay-style single malt from France(?!).

@Rue72 whatever the bathroom scene triggers for you, I can't echo. I'm just so bloody taken by the visual Kubrick-ness of it. One empathizes though.

As to the secene at the beginning. The Francis Dolarhyde crime: its really not clear to me whether he's actually there, or just experiencing the forensic evidence. Did he make the link with the phone tap while standing in the room, or from his desk while reviewing the evidence on paper.Or was he was even the one who made the link? He could just be or reviewing the case to his class and experiencing it as he does so.
But I believe Jack is coercing him out into the field, where he had previously only been operating from an office. I think whatever case contributions they were made looking at folders of evidence. Its supposed to be a big deal that we see him out in the field.
He was a cop, he's been there before, but not for the bureau.
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 9:35 PM on August 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh, speaking of which. I wanted to comment on that scene. I'm seeing it in a whole new way now, what with the Red Dragon reading. Thank you all so much for that book club of encouragement.

You can see the book so much in that scene of him lurking outside the house , the glow of the windows. I hope this is consistent with how they do the rest of Dolarhyde. I think we're seeing a Red Drago with less mutilation but another sort of horror as he keeps the women alive longer to whiteness the becoming, before succumbing.
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 9:40 PM on August 29, 2014


Thinking about that Bathroom!Kubric scene, it's very similar blocking to the scene when Jack picks up Will from the hospital and they're standing in the therapy room with all the cages. The two locations are pretty similar, too - both empty and tiled, the bathroom nearly all red with some white and the therapy room nearly all blue with some black. The dynamic in the two scenes is almost a mirror image, though, with Jack apologizing and quiet in the therapy room, rather than demanding and loud like he was in the bathroom, and Will was sure and in tune with himself in the therapy room, rather than meek and scattered as he was in this pilot scene.
posted by rue72 at 11:03 PM on August 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I just happened to rewatch this episode a few days ago when I needed something to exercise in front of, and am happy to have the excuse to keep watching now.

The show's engagement with reality, particularly concerning Will's standing with the FBI (and maybe even moreso with -- oh, wait, this is a rewatch thread? cool, all right -- the media), reminds me a lot of Luther. Another show I love where every fifth person is a serial killer so flamboyant and spectacularly violent that they would have their own shelf of true crime books in our universe. In the show? Eh, you know. There's one a week, so. In a scenario that would surely win the sympathy of Will Graham, John Luther -- the only cop who reliably deals with this wave of Batman villains -- is constantly about to be suspended or fired or imprisoned for something or other. In real life, his department would probably be terrified that Luther would be hired away to run a talk show on Fox News, and they'd have to solve a crime themselves for once.

That isn't a criticism of either series, though. These are definitely not works of documentary realism. And that's okay! Hannibal in particular just gets better the farther it moves away from anything like conventional procedural drama.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:23 AM on August 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think in terms of Will's actual or perceived instability and his standing with the FBI, it's like Legit Republic said: any profiling he does is done from the office, he doesn't go out in the field.

Also, he is an instructor, not an agent, just like Alana is an instructor and not an agent. Similarly, "profiler" is not a job title at the FBI, not even in-universe.

I think this is how it works: he's a profiler with a 100% clearance rate, so why doesn't he go out in the field? Well, because he's not a field agent, cause he couldn't pass the evaluation, cause he's [woo theremin noise] unstable. Oooo!

I have been intermittently reading "Mindhunter" by John Douglas who Will Graham was ostensibly based on. He would be working a hell of a lot of cases at any given time, IIRC he mentions over 100. So the idea that Will might have cases coming out of his ears is apparently not that far from reality either.

In general, yeah, this is not the show to watch for procedural reality, but then neither are any or all of the other cop shows that fill our screens nowadays. It's just that Hannibal is actively refusing any pretense at procedural reality, and foregrounding that refusal by the use of Art Murder as the leading cause of death in the greater Baltimore area, the greatest systematic threat to society in general, and the number one clandestine activity your innocuous neighbour is likely to be engaging in. Whereas normally it would be something run-of-the-mill like rape/child abuse/spousal abuse.

Anyway, I still haven't had time to do my rewatch of this episode (grar!) and am going to be getting to it later this evening.
posted by tel3path at 10:38 AM on August 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Guys. GUYS.

:D

I AM SO PLEASED.
posted by dogheart at 1:14 PM on August 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


"...there’s a cookbook in development..."

Its everything I ever wanted for Christmas!!!
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 2:29 PM on August 30, 2014


Finally I can have everyone for dinner
posted by The Whelk at 3:31 PM on August 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


Has there ever been a better reason for a meetup than a dinner party?
posted by bfranklin at 3:35 PM on August 30, 2014


Lector's first meal has a callback to Silence of the Lambs: it's accompanied by the Goldberg Variations.

New to the show. For fellow skeptics after four or five episodes, it certainly gets better once they stop hanging each episode on the weird-killer-of-the-week/solved-in-five-minutes approach. (But I'm only up to 8 or 9, so...)
posted by sylvanshine at 4:38 PM on August 31, 2014


Okay, finally rewatched.

I was a total skeptic of the show until I started seeing threads on the blue about it. I turned on the TV, saw a few scenes with Abigail in episode 3, sneered "just as bad as I thought it would be" and turned it off.

Then I saw a Hannibal comic on tumblr and I totally fell about. It was Hannibal desperately escalating his cannibal puns until he was telling people straight up "I am serving you people" and he was totally unable to get a rise out of anyone and wound up utterly defeated and frustrated. Many a true word...

ANYWAY. So I read some stuff on the blue, felt a burning desire to watch the show immediately. The opening scene from Apéritif hooked me right in

I mean the fast pace, the tension, the ineffable quality of it was reminiscent of the early, great, movies to me. Same quality of entrancement.

I so wanted to play Will Graham as soon as I saw that scene. I could do that. I really could. And it raises the point that almost all the characters could be gender bent at almost no cost to the narrative, except for Alana who turns out to be overtly feminine. But I think a gender bent Will would in some ways immediately give the game away (in an abuse narrative) and be glossed over by familiarity in other ways: fan renditions of gender bent Will reduce his "instability" to a general lack of self worth and self confidence which society so intentionally cultivates in young women that gender bent Will becomes... Uh... An ordinary young woman. In universe, it seems like Will's feminine qualities (sensitivity, fear) get exaggerated and pathologized and pedestalized, whereas his masculine qualities (toughness, homicide cop-ness) get discounted, and the effect is as if someone's keeping a balance sheet in which Will's additions column never gets reckoned.

Oh that opening scene. SO GRIPPING.

And the thrumming soundtrack, that would be the sound of fear in Will's head.

The Marlowes' house looks like Will's house, just bigger. In fact their house looks like it swallowed Will's house.

That red door. The door into discovering the truth, I guess.

The fact that Mr Marlowe falls down the stairs, sprays blood, visibly suffers. The fact that Mrs Marlowe is making a repetitive gibbering noise as she tries to reset the alarm - it's just a noise, it's presented simultaneously the way a psychopath would hear it (noise) and the way we would hear it (distress).

"he will die watching me take what is his away from him" - I often had this thought about Hannibal's pathological envy so evident in the way he incorporates other people's mannerisms and in the way he takes over Will's life and his job. Hannibal is not superior, he can only survive by taking the lives of others, he can't do or be anything in his own right. Yet he's so dazzling we constantly forget this even as we know it. I think overall the show strikes a great balance between emphasising Hannibal's fabulosity and also making it clear that he's an inadequate person. Imagine being all that Hannibal is and still being completely useless.

I have to admit that even on rewatch Will doesn't across as enough of an asshole, simply because the assholishness of everyone around him shouts so much louder. Yes, he was awkward with Élyse Nichols' family, but that's kind of why he doesn't want to do anything that requires him to be social.

We meet Alana when she was still smart. Gotta say, I think Caroline Dhavernas was moving her face around way too much in this scene. In screen caps I'm often enchanted by the perfection of her facial expressions, and how huge they are. But it works best in a longer shot, not a closer two-shot like her scene with Jack. She's every bit as expressive as Hugh Dancy. MM gets a lot of credit for his micro expressions but that is the epitome of how you're supposed to act for camera. Going large like CD and HD are doing actually is a lot harder to do well, I think.

"I want to be his friend, and I am!" Yeah Alana, that didn't sound stilted at all.

"Professional interest" lol. Any time anyone in this show claims to have a professional anything for anyone else in any situation, what they really mean is prurient or pervy. Word substitution drinking game: hear the word "professional", substitute the word "pervy", take a drink.

Just like the mother in "A Good Man Is Hard To Find", Abigail's mother resembles a cabbage and is silent. Her head is round, her hair looks like sauerkraut, her body is bottom-heavy and rounded, and her shirt is green with a print of cabbage roses.

Abigail's costuming consistently evokes outdoorsiness. She is wearing cowboy boots the first time we see her. In the kitchen her shirt has a leaf print. And the office manager's "I don't mix with these people" reminds that the Hobbs family is working class, and in turn the outdoorsiness that they share with Will (who grew up poor) is the first indication of Town being socially exalted in a way that Country can't be. Of all the characters, Abigail is the only one who ever has to worry about lack of money; the others seem to have money coming out of every orifice, so class distinctions are played out in other ways amongst this otherwise universally upper middle class characters. This is important later and I'll have more to say the next time it comes up.

The dilemma here... Will has a "stable" life, whoop de do, but is painfully lonely and stagnant. No wonder he goes out in the field despite himself. It reminds me of Callan, who hates being a hit man but at the same time is continually either forced or drawn back to it because on some level he also loves it, and because it's his vocation and the one thing he's really outstanding at.

Alana trying to keep him out of the field turns out to be symptomatic of how she is - struggling against life itself, and trying to keep people away from it.

Franklyn's so hated by fans because he represents ourselves. Yet BF wrote Franklyn to represent himself, so. Hannibal dresses so plainly to meet Jack because he thinks he's put on an Ordinary Man costume. It's so cute.

Will is unfriendly to Hannibal and we literally see him spear a piece of meat with his fork and eat it and instantaneously start chuckling and warm up to him. Of course the first time we see Hannibal eating, there are pomegranates on the table, but mercifully nobody quite had the gall to include pomegranates in the breakfast that Hannibal brings to Will.

That scene in the bathroom - I didn't have the emotional reaction to it that rue72 did, but it does strongly remind of the bathroom scene in the Shining where the bartender shows up to convince Torrance that he belongs in the world of the dead, not the world of the living.

The dialogue makes it sound like the visit to the plumbing office is the first visit of the day, but we have already seen GJH picking up Abigail from school and we learn later that he was cooking breakfast for dinner. It seems they deliberately obfuscate what time of day it is to disorient the viewer about timelines.

A caption "FBI academy, Quantico, Virginia" and two girls in sweatshirts running by. Lol, what does that remind you of.

Elyse Nichols' bed frame made her look like an angel. And her nightgown of innocence, of course.

will's insistence that it's not sexual, that's not how he's loving them. This means Hannigram, of course. And I will eat my considerable collection of hats with some fava beans and a big amarone if Hannigram was honestly not sexual (albeit one-sidedly... Mostly... Till the very end). But they put so much emphasis on how not sexual it was partly to get past the censors, but also to make sure we don't reduce it to that.

And the "golden ticket" thing... Reminds me of "how many have there been?" in s2. And as for "he would hide how special she was" in that she wouldn't be the first or the last... Kinda like Hannibal ran off with Bedelia to hide how special Will was, hmmmm?

Already showing symptoms of encephalitis. I guess we're supposed to think that Jack's aggressiveness stressed him into catching it, but I can't help thinking that maybe it's Will absorbing other people's mental pain. He's the one that's visibly distressed by all this, which has to evoke discomfort in the rest of the team who are trying to be jockish and unemotional to get by. So he kind of ends up being the sin eater on behalf of the whole group, and eventually it gets so bad they have to lock him away where they won't have to look at him.
posted by tel3path at 5:36 PM on August 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


I have little to add to the excellent commentary above. I'll note that I found Mikkelsen's accent nearly impenetrable in this episode. After S01E02 I assumed that there had been some space between filming the pilot and subsequent episodes, and that he'd had some language coaching in the interim that made him easier to understand. It took until the second season until I realized that it's definitely not his natural Danish accent, and he'd simply toned down his take on Lithuanian.
posted by figurant at 10:37 PM on August 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Few things I forgot to mention yesterday:

Will's situation is just like Sookie's in the pilot of True Blood.

Alana is the only character who doesn't come across as an asshole.

Having Will shaking and adrenalised was a welcome touch. We're so used to seeing cop shows where the cop shoots the bad guy and it has no real emotional resonance for him or anyone.

Also, rue72 was puzzled as to why Will used such lethal force on GJH - it's because with the first shot he could only hit GJH's shoulder and then only after he'd cut Abigail's throat, because apart from that Abigail was a complete human shield for GJH. Having hit his shoulder, he then had someone at close range who wasn't going to fall or be incapacitated for another minute or so at best, and who now had all the more reason to attack Will. When Abigail fell away Will could finally shoot GJH in the center of mass, and he keeps shooting presumably because he wants to make sure GJH goes down. Sure it's overkill, I counted 5 or 6 shots? I think. But he'd be just as dead either way, so. Notice that GJH lives long enough to say "See? See?" after that.
posted by tel3path at 2:30 AM on September 1, 2014


And as for the sin eater... If nobody wants to be reminded that the meebling distressed person at a crime scene is themselves, how much less are they going to want to be reminded that the killer is also one of them. Poor guys had no choice but to lock Will up!
posted by tel3path at 2:34 AM on September 1, 2014


Plus

In case it wasn't clear, the pomegranates are being offered to the audience, not to Will

And

Will is leading a "stable" life but he's not really living. If his choices are to remain among the living dead, or just go for broke and join the living dead, well who can blame him.

BF said this is "a world without mothers" and Abigail's silent mother is consistent with that. The God of the Dead is the only god who seems to be revealing himself in this world, but then, nobody seems to even be aware that seeking out the God of the Living is an option (and He did tell us straight out that He is hidden but that everyone seeking finds).
posted by tel3path at 3:26 AM on September 1, 2014


go for broke and join the DEAD, I meant
posted by tel3path at 5:56 AM on September 1, 2014


AND

Alana talks about Will dealing with a tremendous amount of fear: "the price of imagination".

I think Alana is Will's opposite in a number of ways, of which this is the most basic. I think Alana has much less imagination than the average person, and is also much less fearful than the average person. Not to discount her bravery in Mizumono, by which time she had woken up to the fact that there was something to be afraid of; until that point one of her most urgent problems is her unusual insensitivity to danger.

So: Will - uncontrollably imaginative, driven by fear
Alana - not imaginative, and not driven by fear

Alana is unlike the other characters in that Hannibal doesn't (much) use her fears to control her. Instead, he controls her via rewards and pleasure. Examples to follow as the plot unfolds.
posted by tel3path at 6:25 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Will's situation is just like Sookie's in the pilot of True Blood

I had to take a moment to have a mental image of Will running in a gossamer white dress and oh how I laughed.
posted by The Whelk at 7:31 AM on September 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


AND!!!

another!!!

thing!!!

Why is Will's new dog called Winston? Because 1984.

Will senses the nature of the situation he's about to be put in, I guess. He is going to be facing a lot of double binds working for Jack.

Then when Will is in jail, Alana (and Jack, but Alana is the one who specifically says so) takes Will's continued accusations of Hannibal as a remaining delusion, a sign that he is waxing and waning in lucidity. Remember that Alana's defense of Will is that he committed the murders, but was unconscious when he did so. She thinks she is going to get him out on the basis that it was the encephalitis combining with his "empathy disorder" combining with the stress of working in the field that made Will commit the murders. If Will continues to show signs of "delusion" resulting from the encephalitis, any hope of being released - not that he ever had much hope in the first place, only of not getting the chair - is quashed. So by the early episodes of S2 he will have learned to stop accusing Hannibal. This is another theme in common with 1984.

And the fact that Hannibal will see through any deception that Will levels at him, such that Will has to truly love Hannibal in order to take him down, just as Winston has to truly love Big Brother.

And Winston's betrayal of Julia is the inspiration, I think, for Will's betrayal of people he would have shown care for in previous seasons: contrast Randall Tier with Georgia Madchen, for example; and while he was never going to think highly of Mason Verger, I simply cannot imagine S1 Will standing by and watching that scene (that scene) like S2 Will did:

"Sometimes," she said, "they threaten you with something – something you can't stand up to, can't even think about. And then you say, 'Don't do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to so-and-so.' And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn't really mean it. But that isn't true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there's no other way of saving yourself and you're quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself."
"All you care about is yourself," he echoed.
"And after that, you don't feel the same toward the other person any longer."
"No," he said, "you don't feel the same."


Of course it's not exactly the same because I think Will doesn't have much care for himself at all in his mission. But he still is focused on his own personal goal, which is to stomp on Hannibal's heart. Not that Will has, or should have, any faith in the judicial system at that point, so IDEK, maybe stomping on what we laughingly call Hannibal's heart was the only way to get him.
posted by tel3path at 7:34 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I had to take a moment to have a mental image of Will running in a gossamer white dress and oh how I laughed.

Yeah, those crossdressing fanfics have the exact same effect on me.
posted by tel3path at 7:35 AM on September 1, 2014


Aaaaah Winston /1984 I don't care if that was intentional I am now thinking it was.

Abigail's costuming consistently evokes outdoorsiness. She is wearing cowboy boots the first time we see her. In the kitchen her shirt has a leaf print.

Yep, both Will and Abigal are surrounded by nature imagery, hunting and fishing* but also flowers, wheat, and home-made crafts. It's all so wholesome. Hannibal is also surrounded with nature imagery but it's all decaying, dead, rotting nature. Corrupted nature.

As for Pomograntes being served, we'll have to wait another season for that but yeah..even the first time I saw the Breakfast scene it pinged on me that OH HE'S A FUCKING VAMPIRE.

My favorite thing about Franklyn's awkward, embarrassingly naked *Need* is how he dresses. He's obviously trying to copy Lecter but it's not right, it's a blazer not a full suit, the materials are cheaper looking, and he's screwing up the pattern/soild pairing. Poor Franklyn, he wants to be loved so much it's repellant.
posted by The Whelk at 7:45 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


AND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

anotherthing

Will saying that the copycat had to show him a negative so he could see the positive

For every character in the show there is a character with a countervailing characterization. For every character that demonstrates P, there will eventually be another character who shows up to demonstrate not-P. I'll point these things out as they come up, too.

The big joke, to me, is that Hannibal IS Franklyn - just Bedelia is the only one who knows it. And Will, for a while. But then Will succumbs to the entrancement and forgets what a useless zeeb Hannibal really is underneath, because he hasn't really got a lot of choice. And then in the end, Bedelia does the same, if what we're told about "embracing her awe" of Hannibal is true. Though you notice that when she says if they think they're about to catch Hannibal it's because he wants them to think that. But at the point when she said that, they really WERE about to catch Hannibal!

See, Hannibal is powerful in lots of ways, he sure is physically and intellectually powerful, but during the first two seasons his power is mainly social, he has as much power as the people around him agree to give him. That has got to change post-incarceration. Can't wait.

Also, take a look at the cover art of Snakes in Suits: remind you of anything?

Also noted, Alana is wearing red in this episode, Jack is wearing blue. Will is in his emblematic green plaid. His dress sense is not terrible, though it's not great either.

Alana is wearing black and white when she tells Jack off for letting Will "get too close". Black and white thinking? Or, I wonder if black and white are part of a chess metaphor, whereas I used to think that black was the colour of a character who was about to expose Hannibal. But Alana has black patterns on her red outfit. Hannibal's Ordinary Man suit is beige, with white notes, which makes it an appropriate colour for White making the first move. Possibly Alana hasn't chosen up sides at this point in the narrative. But if black and white are colours representing a chess metaphor then the fact that Alana is scolding Jack for letting Will "get too close" fits in with that. As does the fact that Will is wearing a dark grey tweed blazer the first time we see him.
posted by tel3path at 7:59 AM on September 1, 2014


Oh god I know Hannibal's suits are supposed to get darker as the season progresses but that powder blue Easter parade outfit he has on to greet Jack is hilarious inappropriate for his coloration, and the season, and human decency.
posted by The Whelk at 8:08 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


...that powder blue Easter parade outfit...

I so very badly want that suit! I mean I want all his suits, but that one and the red and black windowpane affair complete for most likely to make me do terrible things at the chance of acquiring.
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 10:25 AM on September 1, 2014


Meeting Dr. Lecter at the Neiman Markus

( there was a silk suit jacket there in subtle pink and blue and light green windowpane, it was over five thousand dollars. Sigh, felt like cool water in your hands tho.)
posted by The Whelk at 10:30 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Already showing symptoms of encephalitis. I guess we're supposed to think that Jack's aggressiveness stressed him into catching it

Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis is an autoimmune disease. Most often caused by an NMDA producing teratoma or ideopathic. So its not something that's usually so much with the catching. Treatment will be some kind if immune suppression, chemotherapy if applicable , and in Will's case, a referral to a different medical team...and more dogs.
The disease appears to cause down-regulation of the NMDA receptor population and not much in the way of actual cell death, so recovery outcomes are really good.

I wonder if we're supposed to suspect that Will empathed himself into this condition somehow, or that its just a useful plot device.
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 10:39 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


...felt like cool water in your hands tho.
*twitterpated sigh*
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 10:42 AM on September 1, 2014


or that its just a useful plot device.

Both? His condition is based on the book Brain On Fire and the fact that John Douglas, the FBI guy who helped catch the Green River Killer and whom Will Graham is partly based on, also had an attack of viral encephalitis while on the job.

Interestedly, his first attack was a seizure while he was going over evidence and the people who found Douglas said their first response wasn't "oh no he's sick" it was "oh no we broke him."
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 AM on September 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


(er in the books Douglas is the basis for Crawford, while Fuller said they took some of that and the illness and gave it to Will instead)
posted by The Whelk at 10:51 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Both? The given circumstances are that he caught a disease, but what's going on psychologically and thematically is that he is bearing the brunt of the whole group's escalating collective madness.

Also, fire is Hannibal's element whereas Will's element is water.
posted by tel3path at 11:02 AM on September 1, 2014


...also the Wendigo, as well as the lesser-spotted AlanaRavenFigureheadMadnessLikeAnOilSpill apparition - they are both made of oil, which is flammable and does not mix with water. (I agree that Will and Alana are incompatible.)

"I see his madness like an oil spill and I want to contain it"

Note that Alana's nightmare is of drowning in oil, not in water.
posted by tel3path at 11:04 AM on September 1, 2014


Jack, I forgot to mention Jack's way of relating to people as shown in this episode.

He acts like he's investigating Hannibal the first time he meets him. Just as with Will the whole thing was one big domination game. And it turns out he's not investigating Hannibal, doesn't suspect him whatsoever, has just come to try to persuade him to be Will's babysitter in the field.

Jack's technique of persuading people to do things for him by alienating and pissing them off seems to be strangely effective.

The one person he doesn't play domination games with is Alana, in fact, it's quite clear that Alana is the one in control of that conversation. The only time he pokes at Alana is when he questions her "professional" interest in Will, and that's it. This, the insightful and decisive way Alana talks to Jack about Will, and her emphatic protectiveness of him, combine to make Alana a very impressive person on first acquaintance.

I would also note that when Alana, at the end, turns to scold Jack "you said he wouldn't get too close!" she is scolding him in front of a lecture hall full of students!

I would also note that despite appearing to defer to Alana in the immediate conversation, Jack disregards the advice she gives "don't put him out there" and finds someone else who will do what he wants.

I am going to keep on the watch to see if Jack turns out to be someone who defers to women generally, or only to certain women, or gives the appearance of deference.

I also remembered that when we see Hannibal for the first time we think he is the one who killed Elyse Nichols, but in fact the Minnesota Shrike is someone completely else. This goes some way toward explaining why Will didn't pick up on Hannibal's cannibalistic tendencies from the get-go: Hannibal appeared at the exact same time they were looking for a cannibalistic serial killer, and GJH created the perfect diversion; once GJH was taken out, they would have assumed that that about wraps it up for cannibals for the foreseeable future.
posted by tel3path at 9:21 AM on September 3, 2014


(Psst, it's Elise Nichols, which I only paid attention to because my name is Elise. No worries, it just threw me, because I never come across my name in popular fiction.)

Okay. So here's my thing, because after Hannibal I was desperately flailing for some media property to latch onto and fixate on. I settled on The Wire. And that show is like the diametric opposite of Hannibal, in hyperrealism to dream logic. But they're both about predation, and privilege, in completely different ways. And, tel3path, goddamn, I'd love if you'd watch this thing, if only to compare notes.

Because it's y'all, I feel okay about spitballing here. But like. Okay. Hannibal Lecter is the absolute end product of privilege, and systems that create privilege, and these institutions that eat people up and spit people out and Jesus Christ I am really sorry folks I have like. Not slept in three days because work is destroying me but. The Wire makes me think than Hannibal Lecter is the end stage nightmare product of systematic oppression. If Will is oppressed by these institutions that privilege neurotypicality, Hannibal is the ultimate benefactor of performing-- idk, y'all, ultimate normality.

I shouldn't post this, because I am goddamned delirious with sleep deprivation and exhaustion. But I probably will anyway.

tel3path! I need you to watch The Wire! I want Hannibal Lecter as the end-stage fever-dream of a beat down Baltimore, the only creature more terrifying than the people-eating impersonal systems, because Hannibal is so intensely personal. Baltimore the city punishes you because you're insignificant. Hannibal the monster punishes you because you have slightly offended him.

(Ugh ugh ugh I am sorry you guys. I just had to get this out of my system.)
posted by dogheart at 7:21 PM on September 3, 2014 [7 favorites]


Dogheart, a response is pending, just let me gather my wits.

In the meantime: YES The Wire as social commentary vs Hannibal as a psychodrama among individuals. However it's not quite enough to call Hannibal a psychodrama because it is critiquing society via its characters, just in a more abstract and philosophical way. In my opinion, Hannibal is a parable. So it would be damned interesting to compare the two.

As for neurotypicality being privileged, but, Hannibal is the most powerful and privileged, and he is not in fact neurotypical. I know they say Hannibal is not a psychopath cause he has teh deep feels and all that, but let's face it, he'll do till a psychopath comes along. If the show is insisting he's not, then that's probably because they don't want to reduce him to a psychopath, which makes sense. However I reiterate that the DVD cover of Hannibal S1 is very reminiscent of the cover of Snakes In Suits, a popular psychology book about how white-collar psychopaths operate.

Similarly HD says Will is not autistic, he has the opposite of autism because Aspies supposedly cannot empathise or mentalize BY DEFINITION. But that's the leading and popularly-perceived theory of autism and one which I have been criticising since before it was cool. I know HD starred in "Adam" which is on this very topic and which I haven't seen, but it wouldn't surprise me if he had learned that "fact" as part of his research, and if that's the currently accepted model of autism who is he to argue otherwise, right? Meanwhile, if the show doesn't want to take on the contentiousness of overtly playing an autistic character, they are probably right, and they're also right not to reduce Will to that.

However, Will introducing himself by saying he's closer to Asperger's and autistics than narcissists and psychopaths immediately sets him up as Hannibal's opposite number. Will feels intensely and the mentalization is an exceptional skill that he has as a result of an imagination he can't suppress. Hannibal is supposed to be a still waters run deep kind of guy but he certainly can't be accused of being blessed with an over abundance of sympathy or pity. He is however extremely good at mentalizing, a skill he uses for the purpose of manipulation and torture.

What the Hanniworld does privilege, I think, is the ability to follow social scripts. Will cannot follow social scripts, just like an Aspie can't (well you can coach yourself to at times, but). Hannibal is superb at following social scripts. Jack strategically subverts social scripts to maintain dominance, and we see how great Hannibal is at shadow dancing with Jack while staying on top of the social script at all times, so successfully that Jack does not notice the signs of menace that are all around him while he's talking to Hannibal: Hannibal sharpening the pencil with the scalpel in case he needs to get stabby, the Wound Man drawing intentionally placed right on the table to test Jack.

As we shall see but have not seen yet, Alana is a very interesting character in that she is The Normal One. Like most Normal people, Alana follows social scripts which she believes actually ARE reality, and which it never occurs to her to question. She is torn between two men one of whom, as stated, can't follow social scripts in part because his mind is focused on deciphering what is really going on; the other of whom uses social scripts as a mask AND IS IMITATING HER.

The conversation Jack has with Alana is the most "normal" one he has with anyone in that Jack isn't playing anything like the same amount of domination game he plays with the others, in fact, he's nearly straightforward with her. Which means that Hannibal isn't the only character who changes his way of interacting when he's interacting with Alana. If all Alana knew of Jack's interaction style was the conversation he had with her, she would have a completely different impression of him than everyone else does.

It's interesting that Alana tells Jack off in front of a lecture hall full of students because that would seem to be a chucking out of the social script in favour of taking a stand for what's right. This is another thing that makes Alana seem to be a character with a lot of integrity and high moral standards right off the bat since Jack is actually her employer - although as a guest lecturer she has plenty of options elsewhere and as a doctor she outranks him in a number of ways regardless of the org chart positions - but you know what I mean.

BTW I strongly recommend the Eat The Rudecast for those of you that are not listening to it. It's very worthwhile.
posted by tel3path at 4:35 AM on September 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


oh boy

i keep having to do this

[sigh] and another thing...

Obvious question: given that Hannibal put the Wound Man on the table to test whether Jack would spot it - why doesn't Jack notice it? Or anything else suspicious?

Obvious answer: Jack is dumb.

Well not exactly. That answer leaves out a lot of nuance. How about this:

Jack doesn't notice the Wound Man, or anything else suspicious, because:

1. He's not actually investigating Hannibal. That's just a pose. He goes in there expecting to see nothing suspicious, ergo he sees what he expects to see.

2. Jack thinks that he is in charge of this interaction. He is even, I think, getting a bit lost in self-congratulation over being in charge of someone as impressive as Hannibal. It's the characters who are most assured that they are above it all that are the most susceptible to being fooled.

3. Jack is hella impressed by Hannibal. Captain Obvious, I know, but it worked on the audience, and we know he's a cannibal!
posted by tel3path at 6:44 AM on September 4, 2014


Alana is unlike the other characters in that Hannibal doesn't (much) use her fears to control her. Instead, he controls her via rewards and pleasure. Examples to follow as the plot unfolds.

Hannibal also uses pleasure to lull Jack -- lovely dinners (and breakfasts!), soothing words, drinks by the fire, etc. Actually, typing that out, it sounds like Jack is Hannibal's lover. Obviously that's not true but I guess that's one version of Hannibal's game -- gentle seduction and lots of pleasure. I think Hannibal treats Jack and Alana similarly, actually.

And Winston's betrayal of Julia is the inspiration, I think, for Will's betrayal of people he would have shown care for in previous seasons: contrast Randall Tier with Georgia Madchen, for example; and while he was never going to think highly of Mason Verger, I simply cannot imagine S1 Will standing by and watching that scene (that scene) like S2 Will did:

Very cool! The 1984 idea is fascinating. Especially because of the role TV played in 1984 (very meta).

And yeah, I had ENORMOUS problems with...basically every interaction Will had with Randall Tier. I thought he was straight up wrong, and that his murder of Tier was sociopathic. And dragging him to Hannibal's house and later on EATING him at dinner with Hannibal....ugh, I seriously could wretch. And Tier was in direct contrast with Georgia Madchen -- Hannibal even had tried to set up Georgia as a killer and Will was the one who saw she needed help (instead of punishment) and who *saved* her (well, at first) and therefore was able to get some help himself (that was his first hospital stay and the diagnosis of the "fever" anyway). But eh I'll go on and on later on in the season, I'm sure.

One thing that I do think is important about Tier in relation to the pilot, though, is that I think that when Will kills GJH, he actually conceptualizes it as having *murdered* him. I think that from the pilot on, he sees himself not just as a killer, but as a *murderer.* Which lulls him into *actually* becoming a murderer when he murders Randall Tier, thinking "in for a penny, in for a pound," I guess. SMH.

Of course it's not exactly the same because I think Will doesn't have much care for himself at all in his mission. But he still is focused on his own personal goal, which is to stomp on Hannibal's heart. Not that Will has, or should have, any faith in the judicial system at that point, so IDEK, maybe stomping on what we laughingly call Hannibal's heart was the only way to get him.

I think that he cares very much about himself by that point? I dunno, it's hard to tell, because Will's version of protecting himself is so weird. It's like...IMPOSSIBLE to get him to act aggressively until he explodes into a murderous whirlwind of aggression. It seems really difficult to get him to act aggressively just on the day to day -- either he's shooting someone a million times or breaking their face even after they're dead, OR he's just sort of wilting and shrinking back and taking what he can get in terms of civility.

I really don't get it. When Jack is an asshole to him, why does he put up with it? Just to be on the BAU? Obviously Jack isn't going to fire him or not let him on the BAU, he came to buttonhole him after his class, he's not going to let a little jerkiness get in his way.

It drives me nuts while watching, because I'm sitting there with my blood pressure going through the roof but Will never gives me any goddamn catharsis by fighting back. Except when he horrifically kills people, which is...uh not an improvement?!

The big joke, to me, is that Hannibal IS Franklyn - just Bedelia is the only one who knows it. And Will, for a while. But then Will succumbs to the entrancement and forgets what a useless zeeb Hannibal really is underneath, because he hasn't really got a lot of choice. And then in the end, Bedelia does the same, if what we're told about "embracing her awe" of Hannibal is true.

LOL yup, I think you're right and Hannibal is Franklyn with better taste and more vanity. Though Hannibal is also way more brood-y than Franklyn.

I have to say that I get why Hannibal would be on the market for an SO and start dating around, because he apparently spends all his time talking to crazy people at work and then has this lonely and bizarre hobby of artisanal cannibalism to fill his evenings.

Also, fire is Hannibal's element whereas Will's element is water.

And Abigail's is earth (which is why she was in the basement?!) and Bedelia's is air (which is why she was on the plane).

"I see his madness like an oil spill and I want to contain it"

Note that Alana's nightmare is of drowning in oil, not in water.


So Alana feels like she's covered in oil and Hannibal's the match? Dayyyyyum, Alana. That's probably the sexiest thing she's ever said.

The one person he doesn't play domination games with is Alana, in fact, it's quite clear that Alana is the one in control of that conversation. The only time he pokes at Alana is when he questions her "professional" interest in Will, and that's it. This, the insightful and decisive way Alana talks to Jack about Will, and her emphatic protectiveness of him, combine to make Alana a very impressive person on first acquaintance.

Why do you think that Alana is in control of that conversation?

I don't really understand the thing of "Jack doesn't yell at you because he respects you" w/r/t Alana, because why would choosing to just let Alana wind herself up and then do whatever the hell you want be a sign of respect? He doesn't get in Alana's face, because he's already won. He's in charge, she's beneath him, he's got the final say. There's no dominance game to play because she poses no threat to his dominance.

I am going to keep on the watch to see if Jack turns out to be someone who defers to women generally, or only to certain women, or gives the appearance of deference.

I don't think he defers to Alana. I do think he defers to Bella *somewhat* but only if she actively demands it and only because he knows if he pushes her, she'll just withdraw, and he loves her enough to not want to lose her/for her to totally withdraw (and I think her impending/threatened death is also a threat of complete withdrawal, which is both why she tries to cover it up as though it's impolite and why he is so deferential when it comes up). I think he does basically what he does to Alana to Kade -- he lets her say whatever she wants, but he ultimately does what he wants, like in his testimony at the trial (and she even said he'd get fired if he testified in a way unfavorable to the FBI, but of course he's not fired. And then later, he's also placed on compassionate leave rather than fired. I mean really, Jack has amazing job security).

As we shall see but have not seen yet, Alana is a very interesting character in that she is The Normal One. Like most Normal people, Alana follows social scripts which she believes actually ARE reality, and which it never occurs to her to question. She is torn between two men one of whom, as stated, can't follow social scripts in part because his mind is focused on deciphering what is really going on; the other of whom uses social scripts as a mask AND IS IMITATING HER.

I agree with you about Alana always sticking to the script, but I'm not actually sure about Will or Hannibal.

Ironically, I might be taking this too literally, but I don't think the "spectrum" thing refers to autism-in-real-life, because there *isn't* a spectrum from Asperger's to psychopaths. You can tell because someone could theoretically BOTH have Asperger's AND be a psychopath (well really, I guess nobody can actually have/be either because both are no longer considered medical diagnoses, but...?) or just one or just the other. They're on completely different axis, aren't they? Actually, thinking about it now, another important connection I can think of between those two thing is that both of them used to be very well-known diagnoses and now neither of them are considered professionally valid but everyone still refers to them and talks about them colloquially anyway.

Though yeah, they also popularly both are thought of as "empathy disorders," if you use the show's/Alana's turn of phrase. Also maybe "perception disorders"? Just thinking of that also because if, in the world of the show, there *is* a spectrum that runs Asperger's---------Psychopaths, then I guess Will would be on one end of that spectrum and Hannibal on the other, but the spectrum maybe meets at the extremes (like the political spectrum with extreme communism and extreme fascism becoming so similar as to be indecipherable from each other to the observer), so that Will's perception and Hannibal's perception, being as they are at the spectrum's extremes, start to become indecipherable from each other, and bleed into each other?

I guess the extreme-communism/extreme-fascism also works as an analogy on its own, too -- Hannibal (and his cannibalism) is the fascism, and Will and his seven (million) dogs are the communism? I'm not sure if that really works, but it works in my head because one of the scenes I remember best of Will is that part of the "people with their families" montage at the end of Oeuf when they showed Will with his dogs...and yeah, I guess that's a family but...a pretty lonely one. I mean, they're the pack, you're the owner.
posted by rue72 at 10:20 PM on September 5, 2014


To clarify what I mean about "perspective disorders," isn't it also a stereotype that autistic people care more about objects than people (so, paying attention to or focusing on or prioritizing the "wrong" things), and that psychopaths *treat* people as though they're objects?

Also, wrt Will's change over time - I had to read Cicero last week, and one of the points he emphasized was that words/argument are for men and force is for beasts. So it's degrading to yourself to push revenge to far, you have to stop -- even if the person really harmed you and deserves all the punishment he can get -- before you degrade yourself until you're no more than an animal yourself. I think that the beast/man, civilized/uncivilized theme is really important in this show, and I guess what Hannibal did over the past couple seasons was to turn Will into an animal. Though how close Will was to that already, I don't know, because he was already living out in the wilderness with a family of dogs, and he sure didn't hesitate to use a lot of force on GJH.
posted by rue72 at 1:04 AM on September 6, 2014


Btw, when Jack went to recruit Hannibal, I think this is what won Hannibal over: Jack said he was a layman, so Hannibal graciously him an opening for self-aggrandizement, and Jack still deferred to Hannibal. MM gives him this look like he's saying, "nice!"

That scene also made me wonder about how intuitive Jack is in choosing his approach to people. He does seem to change up his demeanor *a lot* depending on who he's talking to, right? Like, he was vague but businesslike with Alana, and modest and courteous with Hannibal, and domineering with Will, and he seemed to know exactly how he would go into each interaction before he even meets with the person. In how he deals with Hannibal/Will in particular, isn't it kind of good cop/bad cop? He's "good cop" with Hannibal and then "bad cop" with Will?

I think that something that makes him difficult to peg down in terms of how much he knows or even who he is, is that he's all about manipulating the other person to get work or information or some other impersonal thing. He's not manipulating the other person in order to portray *himself* a certain way, the way that Hannibal, Will and Alana do, he's manipulating the other person to get them to *do* a specific thing that likely has nothing personal to do with him and is just work.

And I think he chooses his approach/technique purely pragmatically. I don't think he's all that tied to one way or another, it's more about doing whatever works. He even says this to Hannibal when Hannibal first meets Will and pisses him off -- he's like, maybe don't poke at him like that, maybe go in softer. And Hannibal does, and it ultimately does work.

What also makes me think that he's choosing his manipulation techniques in a really impersonal (as in, he's not personally invested or trying to get a personal reward from his manipulations), pragmatic way is that, when he's not actively trying to get the other person to do something/say something, he's sort of "powered down." He just sits there taking things in with a blank look and not really doing or saying anything.

He's not like Beverly, who actively searches for an investigation at all times, and doesn't change her approach so much as find the correct direction to pursue and then pursue it the same specific way she always does. He waits until he's got a specific goal in mind, and then he chooses the kind of approach that will work best for getting that goal in that context.

*Strategic! That's the word! I think Jack is extremely strategic, more so than any of the other characters, actually, and very good at strategy, too.
posted by rue72 at 10:37 AM on September 6, 2014


One more thing and then I swear I'll stop. Right before the GJH massacre, in the establishment shots, they have shots of Will standing out in the yard covered in blood in front of emergency personnel, and a close up of Will's face covered in blood as he's obviously in shock, and THEN the blood disappears and they go into the scene of him going toward the Hobbes house as GJH shoves Mrs. Hobbes out the door onto the steps. What is with that weird use of time? Why is that scene *framed* by shots of Will covered in blood, even though it doesn't make chronological sense?

I thought the scene of Hannibal's massacre in the S2 finale was a reenactment of the scene at the Hobbes house, and that it was therapeutic in that, by reenacting the scene but with Will as the victim rather than the killer, it allowed Will to let his murder!stag die...but the way this pilot scene was framed, it was almost as though *it* was a dream or *it* was the "alternative version" of what could have happened?

The strange use of time reminds me of the "shattered teacup" idea that Hannibal talks about later, of a kind of Schroedinger's teacup, in which the teacup is both smashed and !smashed, both things things have existed and can exist, and the only thing keeping you from having the !smashed teacup in your hand right now instead of the smashed teacup at your feet on the floor is the linearity of time.

In this show, time *isn't* necessarily linear, because a lot of it exists in the mind/perception, and time doesn't work the same way within the mind, because memory doesn't work in a linear way. So, within the show, I think that Hannibal's hope of somehow having the !smashed teacup again isn't necessarily insane or hopeless. Or at least having the !smashed teacup that still exists in his mind become manifest in the physical world again isn't hopeless. Or not ENTIRELY hopeless.

Also, from Hannibal's POV:

Hannibal says later that Abigail reminded himself of Mischa, and when GJH slashes her throat, it is Hannibal who rides with her to the hospital in the ambulance and he falls asleep holding her hand. I think that he does genuinely see her as a second chance of having Mischa/a family and does love her, in his strange way.

When he walks into the Hobbes house, after Will has already shot GJH to death and is trying to stop Abigail from bleeding to death on the floor -- was that sort of a reenactment *for Hannibal* of Mischa's death? Like, in this version, instead of someone killing/harming Mischa, he (played by Will in this version) kills her attacker and saves her?

I wonder if that's when/why he feels a strong connection to Will -- because in his mind, when he saw Will kill GJH and save Abigail, he was seeing a version of his own life in which he killed Mischa's attacker and saved Mischa?

And that's also why he tries to blur the line between himself and Will -- not so much because he wants to be Will-the-person, but because he wants to have the GJH scene be the actual reality of what happened in his life, and so he wants to "be" Will-the-person-who-killed-GJH-and-saved-Abigail?
posted by rue72 at 11:01 AM on September 6, 2014


I'm seriously wondering if Hannibal WAS GJH and the way Mischa died wasn't via Nazis or whatever, but via Hannibal not wanting Mischa to grow up and go away from him so he killed and ate her instead.

Which would mean the entire show opened with Will killing Hannibal's simulacrum and ended with Will trying, and failing, to kill GJH's simulacrum.

In other words, I wonder if the ending wasn't only Hannibal undoing the saving of Abigail's life, but also Hannibal retroactively saving his own life by undoing the death of GJH.

We assume that Will is playing GJH in that scene, which fits with him being slumped against the kitchen cabinets and being the dad who failed to protect his family and etc, but he also is dying the death that GJH would have inflicted on him had he gone into the house alone and without Hannibal (disembowelment, as demoed by Abigail on Nicholas Boyle).
posted by tel3path at 4:37 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Or else, Hannibal's dad was GJH and he was the one tricked Hannibal into cannibalizing Mischa.
posted by tel3path at 4:38 PM on September 6, 2014


I'm seriously wondering if Hannibal WAS GJH and the way Mischa died wasn't via Nazis or whatever, but via Hannibal not wanting Mischa to grow up and go away from him so he killed and ate her instead.

I think that Hannibal very likely was the one to kill Mischa, but I wonder about a few things in this scenario:

-- Would he eat her? I thought that he saw people as animals (and therefore something that, at best/most civilized, could be made into food), but himself as something more than that? Wouldn't he have seen Mischa as a person, too, and not an animal to be butchered for food? If he did eat her, I think it would have had to have been because he had to?

-- If Hannibal was the one to kill Mischa, would he admit that to himself? Would he see himself in the GJH role, or would he see himself in the "observer" role that he actually took on the GJH scene? It's not as though Hannibal is one to readily admit his own mistakes, I think he could remake the scene in his own mind and convince himself pretty well that his story is the truth or the truth-as-it-should-have-been or more "real" than the truth (etc).

I also think that it's possible that Hannibal and Will *both* imagined themselves in GJH's role -- in fact, I think that they both *did* and they were *both* "being" GJH in the S2 finale confrontation...while Will was also being Will-as-victim-not-killer-of-GJH and Hannibal also being Hannibal-as-victor-not-victim-of-himself*/Mischa's killer.

I think that Hannibal is also a sort of victim of himself-as-killer, in that I think that he really did want the Murder!Family, but he wasn't capable of being a part of it for the same reason that he wants/needs to kill people. I think that he thinks he's above humanity and that means on the one hand that he can happily pray on people but on the other hand it also means that he can't be part of humanity enough to have a human family.
posted by rue72 at 10:48 AM on September 7, 2014


Right, Hanni has no friends

'cos he et 'em all.

When will he ever learn?
posted by tel3path at 12:45 PM on September 7, 2014


You know how Will started disassociating a lot when he was in the hospital? Like when he was having those dreams about him electrocuting himself, or when he was hallucinating/imagining strange things happening to his own body, like the antlers coming out of his head? And how Hannibal said he thought that Will was in more control than himself than ever, referring to while Will was in the hospital?

Hannibal stays in very strong control of himself. I wonder if he's also very disassociated from himself, and imagines himself as an observer rather than a participant a lot of the time. That would maybe also match with his constant comparisons between himself and God, especially since how he refers to God also seems to be as an observer who has an outsized impact on what he's observing (like collapsing a church and killing all the religious people inside).

That would also match with the way that Hannibal likes to stage himself, his home, his life. It's like he's playing dolls in a dollhouse, but with himself/his body as one of the dolls.

Makes me think of how Will started fixing up his own home as though it were a stage -- the Murder!Barn for Freddie to find, the blown-out fourth wall in his living room after Randall's attack...
posted by rue72 at 1:19 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Few more notes: Cassie Boyle is of course the first of the murders that are pinned on Will.

She apparently is a local in Minnesota. We see Hannibal cooking 'er up at home in his own kitchen, then appearing at Will's motel room early the next morning.

Therefore he would have had to rip Cassie Boyle's lungs out, grab himself a stag head to impale her on (which he possibly got from GJH's cabin) and toss her on, fly home with a nice bagful of lung in his carry-on or checked bag, get to his house, do the cooking, and fly back.

Flight time from Baltimore to anywhere in Minnesota is 2 hours plus 30 minutes' check-in time. So that's five hours' travel time right there, but it is humanly possible. If Cassie Boyle didn't live too far from the airport.

I now have to think back but Hannibal supposedly wasn't with the group when Cassie Boyle was found. Will's frustration with the copycat murder is what prompted him to say "Ask Dr Lecter, you seem very interested in his opinion!" - making an unconscious association well before his conscious mind could catch up. And it's after that that Hannibal pops up at the motel to serve Will breakfast in bed.

Since we know Hannibal travels under false identities, it's probable that he used a false identity to travel to Minnesota, do a quick murder, and then travel home, after which he repeated the outward journey under his real identity. Presumably his photo has to look like him, though, and the guy doesn't exactly blend into the crowd. Or, do people not need passports for domestic US flights? What about other photo ID?

So... Will was the one known to be in the area when Cassie Boyle was killed. But then, so were all the others, so as far as I'm concerned they're all suspects the whole lot of 'em at this point.

Of course this killer has a great intuitive sense of how serial killers' minds work, but then he would wouldn't he. I mean for the purpose of this exercise we can assume that very few of the art murderers are clueless as to how serial killers' minds work. Therefore, there are no grounds at this point for suspecting Will of Cassie Boyle's murder, though interestingly there are also no grounds for not suspecting him.

And - there are two occasions this episode where Hannibal eats (what we can assume to be people).

One occasion where Hannibal feeds people food to one other person.

Co-cannibals in this episode: Will. Will's running people-eating score is 1.

Number of times Alana tells someone not to do something (don't put Will out in the field): 1 this episode, for a running total of 1 so far.

Number of times Alana scolds someone for doing the thing she told them not to do (you said he wouldn't get too close!): 1 this episode, for a running total of 1 so far.

Number of things Alana forbids herself to do: 2. Writing about Will, and being alone in a room with him.

Number of times Jack tromps someone's personal boundaries to get them to do his bidding: 3, as described above. Grabbing Will's glasses in the lecture hall, showing up at Hannibal's patient exit, introducing Will to the guy who is going to psychoanalyze him (Hannibal) in the field.
posted by tel3path at 9:09 AM on September 9, 2014


And: number of things Alana tells other people to do - 1; she tells Will's class to investigate the bite marks.
posted by tel3path at 9:15 AM on September 9, 2014


One more curious thing I noticed:

Will solved the case, caught the Minnesota Shrike and saved a girl's life.

Isn't this good news, on the face of it?

Whereas, Jack goes to find Alana in the classroom, it's as if he's going to tell her Will died at the scene. And the way Alana reacts, it's as if Will died at the scene.
posted by tel3path at 11:24 AM on September 9, 2014


Have started catching up to where you guys are. Hopefully this won’t end up repeating things I’ve said in other threads too much. First, to an older comment:

Oh, clarifying question: at the beginning, Will isn't actually at the house with the murder victims, is he? He's re-enacting that whole thing as he's lecturing about it to the students? Or was he actually *on* that case? I always thought he was actually there, but this time around it felt like he was actually just retelling it and imagining being there?

This is the show’s very first bit of dream logic and it’s right there in the cold open. I think it’s quite a clever piece of visual storytelling and while maybe the rest of the episode doesn’t necessarily hook you for the show… That is a hell of a cold open. It’s just disorienting enough to be intriguing without being incomprehensible. The shift at the end to the classroom tells you what the narration’s been. The rest is a great combo of things both real and imagined by Will.

We are simultaneously seeing literal!Will walking around the crime scene with a police report, seeing what Will is putting together in his head with that info via the swinging light and the violence, and the narration is what he’s saying to a class about it later. The “Will walking around with papers and talking about phone tapping” literally happened, and the “Will said these things to a classroom full of people” literally happened. Will did not literally shoot the Marlows, of course.

I don’t have much to say about the spectrum line. I’ve seen Adam (it’s not bad) and I’ve seen the Temple Grandin movie with Claire Danes (it’s better). I think there’s been a bit of trying to have their cake and eat it to as far as things go, and later interview comments muddied the waters a fair amount. I’m willing to give them a pass because honestly the rest of the show is fascinating and good enough that while it’s fine to be upset over this, I’d feel a bit of baby-with-the-bath-water getting stuck on one throw-away line in the pilot that they’ve been careful to not make A Thing™ of since. (Obviously, more good representation would be great, if they’d decided to stick with it and were careful.)

I will say that Will’s body language in general in many scenes in the pilot and this first season in general feel like he’s doing a toned down version of what he did in Adam. Will doesn’t make a whole lot of eye contact during conversation though he never entirely looks away from someone for long either. It feels very familiar to me. His later rant on eye contact really hits home for me. Not to get too spoilery, but the body language thing becomes a big part of things that happen in season 2 and I’ll try to remember to bring it up again then as it starts to shift.

I didn’t find Beverly’s initial interaction with Will to be out of character. She has a… older sister vibe with him from here on (and kinda with Price and Zeller too). I read it as her shoving him a little to see how he’d react. Once it’s clear she freaked him out, she’s much gentler (if I remember) going forward.

Also, goddam, that initial reveal of Hannibal himself is just perfect. The show LOUDLY IMPLIES cannibalism while Golberg Variations plays and it’s just about as perfect a reveal as when President Bartlet finally comes storming into the pilot of West Wing. This isn’t as loud but it’s every bit as fitting.

Jesus, I’d forgotten the extent of Jack’s assholery right out of the gate. He’s a bully to Will as y’all have already covered quite well, and then he also shows up sitting in a private exit of Hannibal’s office and I refuse to believe that’s an accident. Hannibal’s maybe about to stab him when he name drops and then flatters him.

I think the final thing I’d to touch on is a general thing about TV pilots. Yes, standard Pulp Fiction speech about “they make one, and if they like it they make more.” But in terms of the function they serve a show artistically more than on the business side… I think there’s kind of a spectrum based on what kind of and quality of seed is being planted.

At one end you have pilots that are kind of a mess, and while they might do character introduction and have kind of the basic framework right… Well. Let’s just say I’m thinking specifically of Buffy’s pilot (or even worse, it’s unaired one) and well… In cases like that, the best you can hope for is rapid growth. The Buffy commentaries/extras make clear that they made all of S1 before any of it had aired and in retrospect kind of view the first season as “us learning on the fly how to make a TV show” and you can tell right out of the gate in S2. It’s a marked change.

At the other end, I’d probably use House’s pilot as an example. That literally is a House episode. It’s all there. The whole template. The lighting’s a little funny, the music and sets/locations are more low budget than they’d get to use later. But all the character dynamics are there, the house directing style is there in terms of how the camera is used (lighting notwithstanding). They nailed the shit out of that one. That was clearly a pilot that is saying “NAILED IT. Now let’s make 200 more of these and all get rich as fuck.” House is more formulaic than most modern dramas, but that pilot once it was done had to have been a super easy sell. Unlike a lot of pilots, I think this kind tends to hold up better against later episodes.

My favorite ones though are kind of a little backed off from that. They don’t fuck up the way Buffy’s and some others did. But they’re not “THAT’S IT. THAT’S THE SHOW.” quite so hard either. I’d put the Breaking Bad and X-Files pilots both in that category[1]. You have the basic character dynamics established. They’re pretty good episodes (though not ever going to be the peak if things go well). They’re “solid foundation” pieces. Hannibal has a pretty fantastic “solid foundation” pilot.

I’ll try to do the next episode tomorrow.

[1] - I’d put the Lost pilot in this category as well, but that one’s an exception because it is or at least was for a long while the most expensive TV pilot ever made. It does a lot of the “solid foundation” stuff, but it also got to do a bunch of insane bullshit you’d never normally get to do because pilot budgets aren’t small. That show had a super crazy development history and part of the reason it was insanely expensive is because it was made in a great big hurry. Even though it was an incredible hit, the guy who green-lit it got fired for doing so because of how expensive it was.
posted by sparkletone at 1:51 AM on September 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


We are simultaneously seeing literal!Will walking around the crime scene with a police report, seeing what Will is putting together in his head with that info via the swinging light and the violence, and the narration is what he’s saying to a class about it later. The “Will walking around with papers and talking about phone tapping” literally happened, and the “Will said these things to a classroom full of people” literally happened. Will did not literally shoot the Marlows, of course.

Was Will *ever* literally at the Jacobi crime scene, though? That's what I'm thinking maybe didn't happen. I think that maybe he studied the case and could have even worked on it from his office, but I don't think he was in the field *at all* while working for the FBI. Since then when he goes to see the Shrike's victim's family with Jack, it seems like at the very least, he hasn't dealt directly with the public for a loooong time. He's clearly really uncomfortable and doesn't quite know what to do. Then when Beverly says that he's not "real FBI" and he starts getting wound up, it makes it seem like he actually hasn't ever been in the field for the FBI -- otherwise, wouldn't he have already had that same sort of interaction with bunches of techs? He also seems really shocked when she interrupts him and like he's just not used to the hustle and bustle of being on the scene at all. Plus, it makes sense that he would never have been in the field for the FBI, because don't they say that constantly, w/r/t to the "failed" psych eval? So unless the Jacobi case was one he worked on while he was a cop, I don't think that he was actually physically present for any of the field work he was recounting? I think that the cold open was the first "reenactment" that we see, and we're "in his head" for the parts where he's imagining being at the house and analyzing what happened to the Jacobis.

Which didn't occur to me before, I had just figured the quick edits during the "investigation" at the Jacobi house were for storytelling/audience's sake. Now I think that the edits were quick because they were following Will's thoughts, not following the physical logistics of the investigation. His mind can leap from one thing to another without getting bogged down in logistics, and we're seeing what he's thinking, not the logistics of what's happening outside of his head, so what we see leaps from one thing to the next without getting bogged down in logistics, too.

I don't think it's *that* important in terms of the pilot in particular, but I do think that the show is definitely from Will's perspective to a really, really great extent, and I sort of am...suspicious that a lot of what we're seeing (and the tone it's presented in) is Will's take on what's happening and not necessarily what one of the other characters thinks is happening. Even when we see Will himself, I think that's how he conceptualizes himself or how he sees himself as behaving, I don't think it's necessarily what an outside observer would think is he's like or what he's doing.

I think that a lot of the show is in Hannibal's perspective, too. Like, when we're at Hannibal's house or watching a scene that's just between Hannibal and someone else (besides Will), we're seeing it through Hannibal's eyes. I don't think that, from an "objective" observer's POV, his home is really THAT lush and his food really THAT impressive, etc, but in Hannibal's eyes it is, so that's how it's "shown" on the show.

When I say "in so-and-so's perspective," I mean that entirely literally, as though we're actually inside their mind, looking at what's happening through their eyes. I think that *everything* we see on the show is from a sort of distorted-by-individual-perspective POV and virtually *nothing* is in an "objective" or even purely-physical-reality POV.

I think that observation is a really important theme on the show, and how who is doing the observing colors what is being observed and what it's meaning is perceived to be is a question that virtually every episode/the entire series plays with.

I’ve seen Adam (it’s not bad) and I’ve seen the Temple Grandin movie with Claire Danes (it’s better).

My uhhhh first-cousin-one-removed, in-law (?!) was unloading her "For Your Consideration" DVDs on me for a while there, so I've seen virtually every TV movie for 2009-2011 or so, including that Temple Grandin one. Despite loving Claire Danes as an actress, I hated that Temple Grandin movie and really don't know why it got so much acclaim (?). But now that you bring that up in the context of this show, I'm imagining Claire Danes reprising her role and coming onto "Hannibal" to play a thinly-veiled version of Temple Grandin hired as a slaughterhouse design consultant for Mason Verger. LOL. I would actually love that. PLEASE HANNIBAL MAKE THAT HAPPEN?!
posted by rue72 at 10:31 AM on September 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


You know, I'm fine without explicit representation and actually kind of prefer it. My tribe are pretty good at recognizing one of our own when we see one, and the better characterizations of ASD characters are often the ones that aren't explicitly labelled as such.

Gil Grissom from CSI (played by William Petersen, who played Will Graham in Manhunter, notice that it fucking rhymes but that's obviously a coincidence, just like it's a total coincidence that he's a forensic entomologist) is one of these. I feel funny even mentioning that show in the same breath as Hannibal, but it had a lot of good things about it, and the characterization of Head CSI Who Is Totally Not Will Graham was one of these.

I actively avoid watching movies like Adam because I think I'm supposed to be grateful for them or something, and uuurrrghhhhh. Not to impugn anyone's work, just, you know.

Interesting that two television portrayals of Will Graham (or Not Will Graham) have given him an ASD characterization whereas I don't get that vibe from the book character at all. Of course ASD wasn't a topic of conversation when the book was written, but it still existed and was available for characterization by observant writers. I think the book Will Graham is just excessively self-loathing.
posted by tel3path at 10:42 AM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


As for shifting points of view, I'm not sure. I think that Will is the character whose actions need the least amount of explanation, but I think the show is told from a viewpoint sympathetic to him because he's the hero so, by definition, the show is going to support his worldview.

I don't think the show is in Will's viewpoint to the extent that we see through his eyes even when he's not present. I think the fiveway was from his viewpoint for example, but I don't think the first time we see Hannibal is from Will's viewpoint. I think it's actually from Hannibal's viewpoint, given that Hannibal is looking out at us.

But then, it would probably work to imagine the show as one of Will's reenactments from start to finish. God knows he'd have plenty of time to think of it while lying in the hospital recovering from his romantic encounter with the linoleum knife.

I do also think that the other characters see Hannibal as being as sumptuous as he is presented to us. If it's from Wills POV it's complicated by the fact that Hannibal would be recounting Hannibal's reputation and the other characters pretty much see him that way as well.

But the Will POV throughout would account for the hyperreality of it all. I like it!
posted by tel3path at 10:51 AM on September 16, 2014


You know, I'm fine without explicit representation and actually kind of prefer it. My tribe are pretty good at recognizing one of our own when we see one, and the better characterizations of ASD characters are often the ones that aren't explicitly labelled as such.

I have an issue with the idea of explicit representation on this show generally, because within the world of this particular show, I think that assigning anyone a specific/actual-real-world diagnosis would be reductionist. Not just in terms of Will, but in terms of any of the characters.

I think that part of the point of the show is that slotting human beings into specific, discrete categories is -- while technically/logistically *possible* -- unavoidably reductionist. And how arbitrary those categories are, too.

Like the thing of how Chilton just slaps random labels on people depending on what's convenient for him. Or how those labels might or might not stick to people depending on whether it's convenient within the larger world of the show/society that they do.

This also comes up a lot on the show w/r/t gender and sexuality, I think. I think it's notable that the only person who was explicit about how the slots she'd been placed in w/r/t gender and sexuality was Margot, who presented those categories as pretty arbitrary and imprisoning, and even she didn't actually "abide" by those categories in terms of her actual behavior.

Anyway, so when I take issue with the "spectrum" line, it's *not* because I think "no way could Will have ASD" or something. The issue I have is that I think that point of that line specifically is to highlight how *arbitrary,* *limited,* and *context/culture-specific* labels are. They also are used to define social relations/relationships and are applied to people for social reasons (meaning, they're applied and are used for subjective ends, not because they necessarily are in accordance with some kind of objective truth). And I think that the show hits on that same point often, and often very explicitly.

I mean, think about how unbelievably precise these characters are when they're talking about feelings, and how unbelievably vague and *not at all evidence-based* they are when talking about anything else, including the ostensibly specialty/life's-work for many of them, medicine. I think that's on purpose, on the part of the show.

So yeah, it's not that when I hear the "spectrum" line, I think "oh no, Will doesn't have ASD," it's that I think "oh no, Jack shouldn't jump to assumptions. He shouldn't think he knows what's going on or that he's got Will pegged." I think that the first season especially just hammers really hard at the ideas that the "truth" of who someone is or what they're capable of can't be neatly labeled like that, and that you can't rely on your own assumptions, and that you maybe can't ever even actually KNOW anyone else anyway.

I think *that's* where perspective really comes into play in this show -- regardless of whether a specific scene is in Will's perspective or Hannibal's perspective or whoever else's perspective, I think that it's important that it's always in a LIMITED and therefore ISOLATED perspective. And Will is really good at getting into other people's perspectives, but that's considered pathological and he's STILL isolated regardless of that -- maybe even MORE isolated than the others who, even though they're worse than he is at entering into other *individuals'* perspectives, are much better at buying into the social/communal/group perspective, which Will doesn't seem to have access to.

Well, except for Beverly, who even knows what's up with her. LOL. She's got her own thing going on and is entirely evidence-based. I love that character so much.
posted by rue72 at 11:57 AM on September 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Was Will *ever* literally at the Jacobi crime scene, though? That's what I'm thinking maybe didn't happen. I think that maybe he studied the case and could have even worked on it from his office, but I don't think he was in the field *at all* while working for the FBI.

It's possible that Will is putting himself in the place of the killer AND the walking through the scene in his mind. In real life, Will would work in an office and all that sort of thing. But this is TV, and things work differently. There's no way Jack Crawford would spend so much time at actual murder scenes in real life either. My understanding is that when they were talking about putting him back in the field, they meant carrying a gun and going to potentially dangerous places. This was clearly a crime scene that was secure and well-processed. I might be misreading things. It doesn't really change a whole lot for me about the episode, but it's interesting to think about some.

My read is that the entire thing until the shift to the is kind of a double-jointed hallucination so that we're being shown visually what he's lecturing. The cops and everyone (and that goofy "YEP IT'S TAPPED" guy) were all really around Will at one point. He's lecturing on something he did a while back as an example, and then gives an actually kind of creepy writing assignment. Tell me your design!

Just my read of it.

As for the general question of perspective ... That's an interesting question with this show given the way it can be hallucinatory so often. In literary terms I guess I think of it as a sort of filmic equivalent of tight third person, which happens to be what Harris writes in.
posted by sparkletone at 12:04 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


And I hadn't considered till now that maybe the whole show is a retelling of Will: My Hannigram Story in the same format as the cold open.
posted by tel3path at 12:36 PM on September 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


If we go with that reading, tel3path, the logical end of the show is Will waking up in bed next to Hannibal and telling him, "You won't believe the crazy nightmares I just had."
posted by sparkletone at 1:39 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I would embrace that ending wholeheartedly as the only effective form of relief.
posted by tel3path at 1:40 PM on September 16, 2014


And I hadn't considered till now that maybe the whole show is a retelling of Will: My Hannigram Story in the same format as the cold open.

Ooooooh, and so the new season is maybe Hannibal: My Hannigram story?

I do get the sense that it's going to be very much in Hannibal's POV (which will be so much fun! Just imagine the elaborate staging and use of props).

Speaking of staging/props/costumes/color scheme, actually -- I was watching The Bridge earlier in the summer, and got hung up on one of the lead's costuming, which were all these hideous black or white outfits. At the time I constructed a wild theory about how she was always dressed like someone in the service industry and whether it was a commentary on affective labor and the character's decision to opt out of it etc etc etc, but the theory didn't actually pan out. What actually panned out was that the costuming ultimately seemed to be meant to reflect her state of mind, in the very boring and imo ridiculous sense that she supposedly thought in black and white and therefore dressed in black and white.

I wonder if the use of symbolism in the past two seasons of Hannibal was symbolism that would be meaningful to *Will* specifically -- and that's why there's all this stuff with animals/beasts v. humans, and earth tones v. very artificial-seeming and vibrant colors/patterns, etc. And even things like the black-and-white costuming maybe being part of an elaborate chess metaphor, as he's "playing chess" against Hannibal in the second season. I wonder whether the show's symbolism/symbolic "language" might change if the centralized POV in the coming seasons is Hannibal's (instead of Will's).

If that happens, there will probably be a much greater emphasis on teacups. Hannibal has a ~thing~ about them, it's weird.
posted by rue72 at 3:11 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can just see Hannibal dragging Bedelia around all kinds of Parisian junk shops and not being able to stop himself buying those twee candles that are made in overpriced vintage teacups. You know the kind of junk shop, the sort that has wooden floors and makes you really nervous that your entire humanity has been reduced to a loud crash waiting to happen? [1]

Bedelia would be bristling the entire time, especially with her penchant for stiletto heels and the loud clack they make on the floorboards. The tension in her shoulder blades would be palpable. And Hannibal would just be totally in his element. "I'll take your entire inventory."

But whatever happens, I think those gorgeous three piece suits are gonna be a thing of the past (or maybe that's how they catch him).



[1] I get the same visceral reaction to those endless shitty cakestands that people keep making to display incongruous stuff like makeup or sunglasses on.
posted by tel3path at 3:17 PM on September 16, 2014


Hannibal: My Hannigram Story, or How My Faithless Ungrateful Boyfriend Turned On Me And Turned Everyone Else Against Me And I Gave Up Everything For Him And Now I Have To Wear This Suit, Well Guess What He's Wearing Now, A Colostomy Bag And Shoes Without Laces Cause The Hospital Considers Him A Suicide Risk, So There, I'm Totally Over Him. Check Out My Hot GF She Once Killed A Man With His Own Tongue.
posted by tel3path at 3:21 PM on September 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


You know... the Eat The Rudecast were pointing out how everybody else is going around resplendent in highly saturated colours, and then Will turns up looking very DEsaturated, and when we first see Hannibal he's also totally desaturated - to the point where The Whelk noticed that the light blue suit made him look washed out.

Maybe that is how Will sees the rest of the world at that point - from the POV of the nerd that other nerds reject, everybody else going around shining and spectacular and living in a world he's never going to inhabit. Then across a crowded room he spots another person like himself, not because of the way he stands out but because of the way he doesn't stand out.

You know, you never do get a sense that Will values Hannibal for his social status the way the others implicitly do. If anything, it's Hannibal who is flattered beyond belief that somebody loves him for himself and not for his sparkle.
posted by tel3path at 3:28 PM on September 16, 2014


And if they do put us in Hannibal's POV, I think that will be a first. There was a brilliant meta I read a long time ago and can no longer find, about how we never really are in Hannibal's POV, we look at him and he looks at us, but his mindset is just soooooo fabulous we can never enter into it.
posted by tel3path at 3:33 PM on September 16, 2014


I dunno I like midway season 2 we're getting into his mind more, everything is just a bit more fabulous and abstract and stylized...

Although that could be Will's Empathing with what he considers Hannibal's POV to be.
posted by The Whelk at 5:12 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, I didn't think Beverly was that bad? I thought she sounded happy to meet Will because of that bug paper (she recognized him within seconds based on an ancient paper he wrote about bugs?!), but then when he just kind of stared at her when she started talking about the antler velvet and didn't seem like he had a job to do or was used to being in a crime scene, she figured out that he couldn't be "real FBI."

I think that it was done to establish who she is and the importance of her relationship with will. In many ways Beverly is like a photo negative of will. She shares his tendency towards being abrupt & tactless, but by virtue of different environments and formative experiences she has an easier time integrating socially into new work places.
posted by echolalia67 at 10:29 PM on October 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


I want to address something that came up in previous threads. I think there was a long
debate about whether certain characters had disenfranchised Will by saying that he was mentally ill and fragile. I noticed in this episode it seemed like Will himself was doing a lot of the defining of himself as delicate, socially awkward & easily categorizable with a thumb through the nearest DSM V ... right out of the gate, in fact. He is his own worst enemy.

As a nod to the first-time viewers, all I will say is that this self defining (and refining) get put the crucible in this season and the next.
posted by echolalia67 at 10:03 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, you're right. In Red Dragon, Will's own self-loathing is well established as one of his most dangerous flaws.

I would suggest that he didn't get that way without a lifetime of experience of being treated that way; it has a flavour of "puts self down before others get the chance" about it. But still it is just about the worst thing he could be doing in terms of self-advocacy.

"Victims can sometimes broadcast victim hood unintentionally" - or, in some cases, intentionally.
posted by tel3path at 4:32 AM on October 8, 2014


I'll go further and suggest that the entire first and second seasons consist of Will giving his own self-loathing a workout. He goes through Season One practically advertising that he sees himself as a killer. Oooh no, I don't want to go into the BSHCI in case they never let me out. Worst of all "I killed Abigail Hobbs", not "if I interpret the evidence it looks like I killed Abigail Hobbs". DUDE HAVE YOU NO IDEA WHEN TO KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT?!? He's putting Hanni's cannibal puns to shame!!!

He is drawn to Alana because he knows she's going to reject him and wouldn't be good for him in any case, thereby confirming his deep inner conviction that he's broken and undateable.

I think on a gut level (ahem) he senses that Hannibal is The Worst as soon as he meets him, even though that doesn't take shape in his conscious awareness until much later. He continues to experiment with the mirrors in his mind to see if they're showing him the best of himself or the worst of someone else, until Abigail's reappearance and immediate death(?) brings it home to him that it was all just destruction for nothing.

This is why he allows himself to be gutted - he just wants it out of him. The conclusion of his experiment is: nope, still not just like Hannibal, and they're both kinda wishing they'd never gotten into it in the first place.
posted by tel3path at 6:49 AM on October 8, 2014


Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis is an autoimmune disease. Most often caused by an NMDA producing teratoma or ideopathic.

The NDMA producing teratoma is Hannibal
posted by tel3path at 2:47 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Rewatching this now, and I had forgotten what a HUGE weirdo Will is at the beginning of the show. In some ways he almost seems more well-adjusted now that he's been Hannibalized.
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:55 PM on October 26, 2014


Well he's also sick, as seen in the first episode, but doesn't know it yet.


Now that he's not experiencing inflammation and hallucinations and therapist-incepted lost time, yeah he's a lot less weird.
posted by The Whelk at 5:04 PM on October 26, 2014


Wow, knowing what we know now, clearly Hannibal set out a drawing of the Wound Man as a test for Jack. Which Jack failed.

He calls Will a fragile little teacup oh my GOD
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:09 PM on October 26, 2014


I also forgot about that cut right from the "they know" scene to Will covered in blood, which then vanishes before the scene at the Hobbes' place. That was cool.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:18 PM on October 26, 2014


He really does kind of look ineffably like Charlie Brown at this point.
posted by tel3path at 5:30 PM on October 26, 2014


Upon rewatch post-S3-finale:

- Wow, a lot of the music in the pilot sounds like actual TV show music. Which isn't a complaint, it's pretty enough, but I guess they hadn't really turned Brian Reitzell loose with his "go make us a soundtrack with whatever random stuff you have in the basement" ethos yet.

- The Hannibal-eating scenes are hilarious upon rewatch because they're so NORMAL now that I'm used to his big prissy banquets full of skulls and feathers. It's just, like, a salad. And some meat. A very pretty salad! Very pretty sauce! But I feel like this is the Hannibal equivalent of just slapping a Lean Cuisine in the microwave. Very lazy.

- Will is much jumpier than I remember him being from the very beginning of the show. I thought that all came later but apparently he was a super-weirdo from the beginning and actually got better.
posted by Stacey at 8:39 AM on September 13, 2015


apparently he was a super-weirdo from the beginning and actually got better.

Ask your unethical psychiatrist if Murder Therapy (tm) is right for YOU!
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:07 AM on September 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just rewatched this as well, and man, some of it is just brutal in retrospect. Like Hannibal telling Will "I would apologize for being so intrusive, but I know I would soon be apologizing again." YOU AIN'T KIDDIN, PAL. Also, the entire introductory Alana/Jack walk-and-talk, contrasted with their last conversation... oof.

Also, uh... "A sensitive psychopath? Risked getting caught so he could tuck Elise Nichols Will Graham back into bed?"
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:53 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


"I don't find you that interesting" to "I will fling us both over a cliff rather than live with or without you" is a hell of a relationship arc.
posted by Stacey at 5:58 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


"I don't find you that interesting" to "I will fling us both over a cliff rather than live with or without you" is a hell of a relationship arc.

Hannibal's "o rly" expression in response is, well, everything.
posted by sparkletone at 10:21 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hello friends, I will be joining you in the post-S3 rewatch, incorporating book discussion, script comparison, and discussion of secondary material such as DVD commentary, as soon as I get through Hannibal Rising. There seems to be some kind of time distortion at work because I'm still only half an hour into the movie, but I assume God is punishing me for something.
posted by tel3path at 1:28 AM on November 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


I just watched that godawful movie so you don't have to. Please say stuff about Apéritif while I lie in a dark room.
posted by tel3path at 9:56 AM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is there a planned schedule for this?
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:59 PM on November 8, 2015


Well I was hoping to do the HR movie yesterday and start on Apéritif today as a palate cleanser, but you'll have to start without me because I'm still feeling unwell from my traumatic experience.

One a week. Because script comparison, etc. I can pencil in Amuse-Bouche for next Saturday, or maybe the HR movie will require more recovery time for more of us than just me?
posted by tel3path at 2:12 PM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rescheduled to Saturday 14th. That movie was quite the energy drain.
posted by tel3path at 9:34 AM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Damn I was gonna watch the movie but now I'm scared
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:54 AM on November 9, 2015


I will provide a list of voluntary organizations that can help you to rehabilitate afterwards
posted by tel3path at 11:54 AM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Damn I was gonna watch the movie but now I'm scared

Get some REALLY cheap booze to get through it and some really nice booze as a reward for making it.

You're gonna want a drink (or eight) regardless.
posted by sparkletone at 5:01 PM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


As a semi-teetotaler I'm considering ice cream. Or cookies. Or an ice cream cookie sundae.
posted by Stacey at 6:10 PM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Remember once the true horror is over we can get on with the good stuff.
posted by tel3path at 2:51 AM on November 11, 2015


Okay so I'm watching the first pass with no annotations of artwork, music etc. and no DVD commentary.

I'd forgotten how captivating the opening scene is. I remember watching it over and over and over and over the first time I started watching the show. And wishing from the bottom of my heart that I could have played Will Graham.

That's what the early stuff - SoTL the film and the book, Manhunter, and Red Dragon the book - had in common, each in their own different way. Every time I read or viewed them I went to another place and my attention never wavered. It's the same with this scene.

In my mind, anything that has that same enthralling quality is in the same league as the original. That's why I feel like BF's adaptation is far far far closer to the spirit of the source material than any of the shit that's been produced since, including the two latter Harris novels.

I REALLY wish I could have played Will Graham. There is really no reason why his character couldn't be a woman. Though I rarely like the fanfic attempts at this - they just seem to make him an average self-loathing young woman and forget that he's actually good at anything besides being insecure.
posted by tel3path at 11:28 AM on November 14, 2015


Also: can't help remembering that in A Good Man Is Hard To Find, the mother of the family is largely silent and is said to resemble a cabbage.

Mrs. Nichols' hair looks like sauerkraut (I'm hardly the first to notice this)

And Mrs. Hobbs is very bottom-heavy and wears a green, densely leaf-patterned shirt.
posted by tel3path at 11:35 AM on November 14, 2015


The scene outside the Nichols house, with the huge numbers of emergency personnel and flashing lights outside - and the earlier scene up the telephone pole outside the Marlow house - seems really strongly influenced by Manhunter. Details of HD's performance - like his stoic intensity when asking about false alarms at the Marlow house - remind me of William Petersen's as well.
posted by tel3path at 11:53 AM on November 14, 2015


And he's suffering headaches from the moment he returns to the field, getting night sweats the same night he goes out in the field.

People talk about his night sweats like they're some kind of permanent fixture, but they're a symptom of his encephalitis. They don't persist beyond the end of S1.
posted by tel3path at 11:59 AM on November 14, 2015


Also, looking at book canon it's so much that Jack is a recreation of Hannibal's relationship with Popil, the inspector who was always a day late and 100 francs short.

I still think Alana is Mischa who never grew old enough to find out, and Will is Mischa as she would have been after she found out, and Abigail is the bridge between the two.
posted by tel3path at 3:31 PM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I REALLY wish I could have played Will Graham. There is really no reason why his character couldn't be a woman.

My series of thoughts after reading this: "Yeah, there really isn't... Wait, but what about ~the gay~... Well just make Hannibal a woman too. Okay, but who plays her? OH YM GOD, jUST HAVE GILLIAN AND MADS SWITCH PLACES."
posted by sparkletone at 8:48 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


There is a framed picture of three amphorae? On the wall behind the gurney in the Marlow house. TinEye turns up nothing.
posted by tel3path at 8:49 AM on November 15, 2015


On the left of the arch into the dining room, a black and white photo of a house. Again unidentifiable.
posted by tel3path at 8:52 AM on November 15, 2015


On the right side, also in black and white, what seems to be an engraving. Too small to identify.
posted by tel3path at 8:54 AM on November 15, 2015


Over the mantelpiece, a painting of a horse, also unidentified.

To the left of the arch into the living room, a print, blocked by someone standing in front of it.
posted by tel3path at 8:58 AM on November 15, 2015


The painting towards the right of the front door is Afternoon Calm II by Mark St. John.

There are a couple of small framed landscapes I haven't been able to identify. Along the mantelpiece are some black and white, presumably family, photos, and white what-I-think-are candlesticks.
posted by tel3path at 9:07 AM on November 15, 2015


Can't find that brightly coloured houseboat in harbour that's above the console.
posted by tel3path at 9:09 AM on November 15, 2015


The two landscape B&W photo or engravings on the wall behind Will as he shoots, are definitively too small to identify.

Same with that military looking guy on the wall behind Mrs Marlow at the burglar alarm. On the round table is what looks like a family photo. On the wall next to the burglar alarm is that same larger print, still unidentifiable.
posted by tel3path at 9:14 AM on November 15, 2015


That's the only painting identified in the Master List so I'm guessing nobody can tell us what the others are.
posted by tel3path at 9:28 AM on November 15, 2015


Okay, in the Nichols house there is a landscape painting on the wall by the entrance to the dining room; couldn't ID that.

On the sideboard, there is a plate with a picture of a rooster, and on each side a plate with a picture of a branch with fruit. No luck IDing that either.

In the hallway on the way to Elise's room is Bums on Seats by Sam Toft. After that comes a bigger picture with a lot of golden leaves, which I can't ID.

Inside Elise's room is a poster captioned "Strange" with the rest of the word cut off. To the bottom right is a figure with a punk hairdo, so I guess it's a band poster. To the right of the bed, nearest the far wall, are two framed pictures, one mostly red, one mostly yellow. The rest of the pictures in her room are photo collages on white backgrounds cut into funny shapes that make me wonder if they're states she has friends in, or something.
posted by tel3path at 11:13 AM on November 15, 2015


Elk by Pierre-Jules Mene

The first piece of artwork we see in Hannibal's space.
posted by tel3path at 11:29 AM on November 15, 2015


I can't identify the black and white images to the left and right of Hannibal's windows.
posted by tel3path at 11:46 AM on November 15, 2015


In Hannibal's patient exit hallway are two moths/butterflies in a frame, and below that is another black and white image.
posted by tel3path at 11:48 AM on November 15, 2015


The elk is by the door, above the elk is a painting I can't make out. On top of the book cabinet are some big amphora things, inside it is the same type of white carved thingy I saw in Lady M's shelves in the Hannibal Rising movie.
posted by tel3path at 11:51 AM on November 15, 2015


To the left of the door, two black and white images I can't ID.

A statuette of a horse facing to the left.

To the right of the bookcase, a black and white image of a nude human figure that looks a lot like Alana drowning in insidious darkness, can't ID this one either.

To the right of that, another black and white image.
posted by tel3path at 11:57 AM on November 15, 2015


Jack has a crystal ball on his desk.
posted by tel3path at 12:02 PM on November 15, 2015


Abigail drives herself to pick up her dad. For a full licence, she would have to be at least 17 in Minnesota, but I think she can drive with no passengers other than a parent with a provisional licence.
posted by tel3path at 12:12 PM on November 15, 2015


Here we are in Hannibal's dining room: Oskar Grosch, Woods Reflected In A Pond.
posted by tel3path at 12:16 PM on November 15, 2015


And one of the pictures in the area behind Hannibal's desk is a lithograph of Smirke's Seven Ages of Man: First Age: the infant
posted by tel3path at 12:18 PM on November 15, 2015


Inside the front hallway of the Hobbs house, a long picture with a gold background.
posted by tel3path at 12:27 PM on November 15, 2015


Hey, just wanted to drop this here, since I know a few others are fans of Weird Deer's recaps. She has started a rewatch, with screencaps and delightful flailing. Here is Season 1, Episode 1: Apéritif.
posted by fancyoats at 2:05 PM on November 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I remember bonearenaofmyskull speculating, before S3, that the romantic partner that would raise eyebrows for Alana was Jack.

But I mean, look at that first conversation they have - she's continually making gigantic expressions of contempt. Eyerolls all the way to the back of her head. Moues and smirks. Heavy shoulder sighs. That's not just situational annoyance, it's contempt.

Maybe their relationship improved in S3, but you don't recover from having that low an opinion of someone to the point where you actually get smoochy and lovey-dovey.
posted by tel3path at 2:28 PM on November 15, 2015


Oh and: MM said that the reason Hannibal doesn't mind Will's rudeness is because "it's a power struggle", and that is something that Hannibal respects.

And OMG, how much of everything IS a power struggle for Will.

Something else bonearenaofmyskull said, is that pretty much everyone sees themselves in Will. So I guess you could say that every interaction that everyone has with Will is like the Me^2 episode of Red Dwarf, where he clones himself, and he and his clone do not get along at all.
posted by tel3path at 2:31 PM on November 15, 2015


Which is also why no-one minds trampling over his boundaries - if he's me, then, like, what boundaries?
posted by tel3path at 2:32 PM on November 15, 2015


Plus, a lot of people are like "oh the procedural stuff oh yeah that was sooo lame but they had to do it to Trojan Horse it past NBC execs and the public" but hang on, guys, the procedural stuff is HEIMLICH (at Harvard) because it's what we're used to and we need to start there in order to be able to segue into the UNHEIMLICH (wtf is it with this season it's like sooooooo slow/fast/some other thing and what even is the point of this character and why didn't they explain blahdeblah).
posted by tel3path at 2:36 PM on November 15, 2015


My point being, the show takes us from the canny into the uncanny over the span of a few episodes and it never returns. It had to start off as a procedural in order to achieve that, otherwise you can't get there from here.
posted by tel3path at 4:16 PM on November 15, 2015


Okay, so I've been terrible about keeping up with this, so first of all, so much thanks to tel3path for continuing to manage everything.

Anyway...Here's the weird deer rewatch recap for this episode. The weird deer 3-13 episode recap was linked in the Wrath of the Lamb fanfare thread, and it was awesome, so I was pretty excited to see that she's doing a re-watch recap of the show.
posted by litera scripta manet at 10:04 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay, so I've talked in other threads about how I came to this show knowing almost nothing about the Hannibal universe. When I saw this first episode, I thought Will Graham may have been a character they invented just for this series. (Yeah, I know, I've been living under a rock.) I mean, I loved this show from the moment our beautiful, tortured, murder puppy Will Graham uttered, "This is my design." But I also had no idea what to expect.

On that note, in the scene right after Will finds Winston, he has Winston in the crate, and he's like, "Winston, this is everybody." The first time I was watching this, I had this brief moment of panic where I was like, "Oh god, what if it turns out that Will is introducing Winston to his collection of taxidermied dogs." Of course, now that seems completely crazy, but the show does have a very dark vibe. Also, I hate seeing bad things happen to animals on TV shows, so that fear is always in the back of my mind.

I also sort of blame this scene from Scrubs for putting that idea into my head.
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:53 AM on November 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


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