Hannibal: Potage   Rewatch 
September 11, 2014 5:15 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

The Murder Family visit the Hobbs house. Hilarity ensues.
posted by tel3path (63 comments total)
 
Sorry guys. I forgot to label this as REWATCH.

Also, autocorrect has corrected the episode title. So helpful. The title is actually POTAGE.
posted by tel3path at 5:36 PM on September 11, 2014


ARE THERE HIJINKS?
posted by rmd1023 at 6:15 AM on September 12, 2014


(of course there are hijinks)
posted by rmd1023 at 6:16 AM on September 12, 2014


There are always, always hijinks. I have a lot of feelings about Abigail in the kitchen of that house. I will mostly save them for Tumblr because that seems to be where the feelings go, but I will just say that I think this episode is where I really fell in love with this show.
posted by Stacey at 12:04 PM on September 12, 2014


Please, Stacey, let rip with the feels.
posted by tel3path at 1:01 PM on September 12, 2014


The scene in the house pretty much cemented the idea that I was going to be OBSESSED WITH THIS SHOW.
posted by The Whelk at 1:32 PM on September 12, 2014


Cause I was mumbling to myself "she's gotta open the pillow, it has a leather deer on it, she's gonna open it and find -AAAAHHH but not in a "oh well here is this trope" way but in a "oh no it's coming right at me!" kinda way.
posted by The Whelk at 1:34 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


What people often don't notice about this episode is that there are a gun and a knife on the table, pulled from evidence boxes.

This is incredibly important. Abigail didn't go looking for a knife. It was lying there and she picked it up, too absorbed in her horrified curiosity to think twice about how it got there.

When people do notice it, they seem to notice it the wrong way, e.g. the Eat The Rudecast said "yeah, that wouldn't happen".

WELL IT WOULDN'T HAPPEN ON ITS OWN, NO. IT'S ALMOST AS IF A MANIPULATIVE MURDER WIZARD HAD GOTTEN ACCESS TO THOSE THINGS AND PUT THEM THERE SO ABIGAIL WOULD USE THEM.

duh
posted by tel3path at 2:10 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Rewatching now and it is so revealing from the get-go. Abigail looks so unhappy and sick when shooting the deer. She also sentimentalises the reasons why deer don't step on plants (really it's because they don't want to release the scent and tip off predators) but it's a typical kind of teenage girl thinking.

And then when her father kisses her forehead you can see how terrified she is of him. It just tells you so much about their relationship.

This is all about the acceptability of predation to humans who would rather be civilised.

The horrification that Abigail went through, and worst of all, the love mixed with abuse. Another major theme of this show.

And having rewatched the opening scene in that light, twice, I see Will going outside in his underwear to let the dogs out, and finding Alana there, waiting for him. She was waiting for him to come out. And she says how good her car is for stalking. She has on an amazing plaid coat and boots. Will says he's embarrassed at being caught in a state of undress and Alana tells her all the reasons why she's perfectly comfortable with this (and therefore there is no problem).

I just. I know it's really light-hearted and fluffy and all that, now reverse the genders.

Now reverse the genders back and remember that women can and do stalk men. Civilised predation, with a hybrid car that cares about the environment.

Anyway, yes, I can take a joke. I get that this scene is supposed to be light hearted but Will's discomfort is palpable. It isn't that Alana poses a bodily threat to Will (that will come later, through Alana's steadfast upholding of civilisation and those who best represent it) but that it puts Will in a one-down position and pokes at his vulnerabilities. Which is traditional, of course, but the thing we have been set up to like about Alana is that she isn't having these harsh, needling interactions with him, she's all soft and lovely and kind and has nice hair and talks about raising peacocks. And then the next time she's in his company, she has driven to his house in the middle of nowhere very early in the morning and silently lain in wait for him to come out. Instead of, like, calling ahead like a normal person.

Also note that she's chosen to be alone in a room with him, in a mostly uninhabited area to boot. This is something Will is going to take as a step forward in their interpersonal status, though most likely she's here for professional reasons.

But anyway, my point is, this scene isn't any less intrusive than Jack taking off Will's glasses. In isolation, I guess I would have thought it was cute, but given the way things pan out between the two of them it makes me disproportionately uncomfortable.
posted by tel3path at 12:52 PM on September 14, 2014


So I thought I would flirt with you for a while and ogle you in your underwear, and let you invite me in for coffee, and by the way Abigail came out of her coma.

God Alana, why are you so dissonant? This is just so off and inappropriate.
posted by tel3path at 12:54 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


"I don't want to get in the middle of you and Jack, but I'm going to get in the middle of you and Jack."

Triangulation is introduced as a theme this early. And it goes on and on constantly and continuously.

Jack doesn't yell at her, and she takes advantage of that. respect? Like Hannibal respects her enough not to kill her. Actually, Jack does not exert appropriate authority over Alana and this gets worse and worse towards the end.

God Abigail, I could just cry. Waking up to that.

And she then says she wants to get out of this and start having a life. This is probably what she has been wanting for a very very long time, probably looking forward to "college and out". Oh Abigail, you won't get this for a very very very long time.

FUCK YOU JACK IF YOU HAD JUST LET ABIGAIL CONTINUE WITH HER PLANS MAYBE THE RESULTING CARNAGE WOULDN'T HAVE RESULTED. I HATE YOU JACK YOU MERCILESS FUCKER.

"We have to create a safe place for her first or you won't get any answers" Jack. I am so so so uncomfortable about this too. Later on Alana will talk about helping Abigail and about her needing to be ready, but it's never clear what the criteria are for Abigail being ready. I guess it's when Jack gets answers. And when Jack gets answers, Abigail goes straight from hospital to jail. In the meantime, they hold her in a locked ward without charge or trial. But you see, it's all done in such a nice and caring way.

The menace underlying what appear to be acts of caregiving is another theme of this show.

And the fact that ABUSE IS INSIDIOUS.

I thought Alana made surprisingly good choices about Abigail's clothes and she put herself in Abigail's shoes (literally) really well. "Trouble redeeming gift cards" you're right Abigail, it does say something about Alana. Will and Hannibal are the gift cards. Moreover, Alana's characteristic strategy is to do nothing and to maintain the status quo, to make no choice until her options have expired.

A lot of people think that Freddie stirred up the families to file wrongful death suits so that Abigail would be left penniless and think she had to cooperate with Freddie as a matter of survival. I agree that this is possible, just as I think Freddie conspired with Hannibal to find an excitable relative and stir him up to attack Abigail. I... Freddie is evil, if either of these things turns out to be true. Since we saw Freddie stirring up Nick Boyle I see no reason to doubt the rest of it, frankly.

"I respect your sympathy for her, Dr Bloom. I hope one day you'll appreciate my lack of it." OH GOD THE FORESHADOWING.

okay I am getting ahead of myself here but you know next week when they ask "what kind of victim forgives the killer while they're being killed" or words to that effect and the answer is "a mother" - did Alana forgive Abigail, as Abigail (potentially) killed her?

Also thinking ahead. When Alana telegraphs to Will that she's about to insult him. This is when Will is thinking of nothing more than VISITING Abigail. Alana says she can't think of a non-insulting way to put what she's going to say. And Will says go ahead and insult him, because of course he does. Later on, when Hannibal comes out with the idea of actually TAKING CUSTODY of Abigail, she has no trouble thinking of a non-insulting way to tell him that's out of line. And then she says "dogs keep a promise a person can't" implying that Will can't tell the difference between a human being and a stray dog. Calling forward to Yakimono, Alana introduces Applesauce, tells him the dogs are the only good thing about him, and declares that he's out of his life because he behaved in a way that contradicted her established opinion of him. I wonder if Applesauce actually hates applesauce and only eats it because that's all Alana gives him.

Anyway, back in the principal's office and now Jack is triangulating Hannibal against Alana. Real respectful there Jack. Good thing you didn't yell at her because of course absence of yelling is the thing that defines respect, not pitting two professionals against one another.
posted by tel3path at 1:14 PM on September 14, 2014


Hannibal is the only one here who is addressing the question they SHOULD be addressing. Not whether Abigail, an abused child, is innocent or guilty. Whether she is dangerous. Unfortunately he's doing it for all the wrong motives, but it sure is an example of how Lecter actually is a good psychiatrist. In the utilitarian rather than moral sense.

"you're not will Graham's psychiatrist, Dr Bloom. Dr Lecter is." lost control of the situation there, didn't you Alana? At least you made it apparent that you had the hots for him earlier this morning, so that particular option is still open to you.

Abigail isn't playing the perfect victim, so obviously we should think badly of her. Alana seems to be on both sides of the fence at once here, and it's only Hannibal who's making a sensible interpretation here.

Notice that Alana thinks that the amount of emotion you display is some kind of indication of moral character. Why would a teenage girl who just woke up from a coma after an attack in which her whole family was killed, even HAVE much emotion left in her body to display it to someone else's satisfaction? And why would she trust a stranger who walks into her room with that emotion, regardless off what she actually felt?

She pushes Will away at first just like Will pushes people away and then Will is able to connect with her in ways others couldn't. Hannibal stands there and watches, just like he did at the house.

Alana gives a negative injunction here: don't take Abigail home.

Hannibal gets his way by saying "Dr Bloom is right" and then proceeding with what he intended to do.

GJH, Abigail, and Will are representatives of Nature here and Alana and Hannibal represent Civilization. This is a Freudian dichotomy which I think is at the root of Alana's internal conflicts, more later. Anyway, Freddie seems to represent some form of pseudo-civilised savage, glib and superficial civility as not even much of a veneer over baser impulses. She makes a living by feeding off the worse aspects of human nature, however, she is in mammal prints as I said previously, so maybe we like her because we see her as our predator, not like that reptile Hannibal?

Btw the Eat the Rudecast said last week that they were processing the crime scene according to correct protocol.

What are those evidence boxes doing just out there, in an unguarded house, is that normal?
posted by tel3path at 1:27 PM on September 14, 2014


The stag heads everywhere. It shows how absolutely pervasive the murderousness and predation and abuse was in Abigail's home. WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO ARREST THIS GIRL, JACK. WHY ARE YOU PLAYING BOTH SIDES, ALANA.

Abigail recognises THE MAN ON THE PHONE cause he has a pretty distinctive voice, right?

You see it's so awful about Abigail because she is not like the others at all. The dramatic irony doesn't apply to her. She knows everything. Except what she needs to know, which is how to escape the abuse instead of walking from one hellhome into another.

ABIGAIL JUST SOLVED THE CASE RIGHT THERE, ALANA. She says "you be the man on the phone". And immediately, Alana steps in and changes the subject by saying Abigail, we brought you here to help you leave home behind.

(But what's ahead of her, if home is behind and you're not offering her anything else?)

Alana instinctively and (at this point totally unconsciously, it's true) moves to protect Hannibal - check one.

It's just, is this therapeutic or is it an investigation - Alana is in a double bind because these two goals are incompatible, she can't protect her patient and jail her at the same time.

Abigail starts probing into what really happened the day her family was killed, and Alana tells her to stop asking these questions. ABSOLUTELY CHARACTERISTIC OF HER. No wonder alana is Hannibal's star pupil. She is so smooth about it you can't even see it until you know it's there.

"If he'd just killed me none of those other girls would be dead" "we don't know that" AND ALANA SAYS SOMETHING SENSIBLE, ALONG WITH "you're not responsible for anything your father did" ain't that the truth. Good for you Alana. And yes, Abigail feels responsible, as though she could have sacrificed herself and then her father wouldn't have killed anyone ever? Imagine how Abigail must have felt living in fear that GJH would have killed her mother if Abigail didn't try to comply and control the situation as much as she could? OH GOD POOR ABIGAIL.

And in typical Abusive Bastard fashion, Hannibal murders Marissa because she is a source of support for Abigail that's outside his control.
posted by tel3path at 1:38 PM on September 14, 2014


Freddie was INSIDE the house?

That exchange between Hannibal and Freddie - totally conspiratorial. They sound like they're revisiting a subject they've talked about before.

Abigail opening the pillow - this was the scene I saw when I turned the TV on randomly and decided to rubbish the idea of the new Hannibal. It was my fellow mefites that convinced me, and, I think it's because of this scene that I was drawn back to it.

So for the first time we see how fast Hannibal can think and move, when he bashes Alana's head against the wall. The idea that this was the Moral Event Horizon for some people really boggles my mind. Hannibal eats people, is noted in popular culture for being an utter irredeemable bastard, and yet you thought up until that point that he could possibly earn even a small bit of approval from you? Wat?

Nicholas Boyle's death was essentially an accident. I mean the law would see it differently but that is basically what it was. Really neither he nor Abigail were in control of themselves and neither of them even bore any real malice against each other, they were just both really scared and distressed.

Look how incredibly easy it is for Hannibal to manipulate Abigail. And now he has her over a barrel, she must see through him to an extent but she also knows there's nothing she can do about it so she needs to try not to see things like, the cushions are probably stuffed with girl hair.

And Hannibal addresses the other thing that Abigail desperately needs. Now she has a new home, just like the old one, just like it used to be, where she will try not to think about how likely it is that the pillows are stuffed with human hair.

SOMEBODY HELP ABIGAIL HOBBS.
posted by tel3path at 1:47 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


And that's another thing Abigail's would-be caregivers should be asking themselves: if Abigail is guilty, how can they think that this girl who is only 18 and was brought up by a deranged serial killer, could be as morally culpable as he is? Is this like that "bad child, worse father" line from the Tempest, where the child is nonetheless held responsible for her own victimisation?

And if she was her father's accomplice what about the possibility that she was unwilling, in which case, what went wrong in the outside support systems to make her think she had no way out?

Yes I know Abigail was an unwilling accomplice, I'm just saying.

Anyway, Hannibal's therapeutic choices seem to be working out A-OK all round! Let's see, first episode, Hannibal goes on an investigation, and we wind up tripping over two extra bodies and one live casualty. Third episode, Hannibal goes on another investigation, and all hell breaks loose, Abigail is retraumatized, and (as far as they know) they're tripping over one more extra body.

I mean this just seems to happen quite a lot when Hannibal's around, doesn't it?

As for how they spirited that body out of there without being seen, I wonder if Freddie was complicit whether with explicit awareness of what she was hiding or not.

Nick Boyle's body was conveniently on a rug, and it seems he didn't die of exsanguination?

There seems to have been an unrealistically small amount of blood on the floor in Abigail's spot, though? And not much elsewhere in the room?

Anyway just before Hannibal says let's hide the body and I think you should be suitably grateful young lady, we cut to the ambulance, Jack says Hannibal says he's taking Abigail back to the hotel, we can safely say that a successful diversion was created, but getting that body out of there is still a liiiiiiiiiitttle bit of a reach, no?

I wonder... I guess Hannibal has a hide-o-body kit conveniently set up in the back of his car at all times? Still.

Do we ever find out who actually dug up Nicholas Boyle? We did confirm it was Abigail and not Freddie or Hannibal, right?

Hannibal has... Stubble? He's human?

How far is port haven from Baltimore?

Security at that hospital can't be much cop, anyway. Or even likelier that Abigail has had some occasion to learn a few breaking and exiting tricks, or maybe the most likely explanation is that it's just a measure of her DESPERATION to get out of this limbo. And when she gets out where does she go? Straight home, to the man who is nothing like her dad.

Revictimization, ladies and gentlemen.
posted by tel3path at 2:02 PM on September 14, 2014


Yes, turns out the Port Haven hospital is in Baltimore.
posted by tel3path at 2:04 PM on September 14, 2014


I just wrote and lost a bunch of stuff about Abigail's lips being really red in the final scene. I think they're red because they're speaking the truth with no illusion. It's an extremely unusual choice since I believe most of the women in the cast except Freddie have neutral or no-makeup makeup at all times. I don't think I've ever seen an outright, bright red before. Nor do I think Alana bought her that - Alana would choose tasteful neutrals, give her a Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier starter kit.

There's also the implications of Abigail being a scarlet woman or feeling like one. She may have thought she might need to be seductive for Hannibal in order to get through this so was possibly preparing for the worst.

I can imagine her getting back to the hospital after all that, sitting in her room bursting with secrets, and then girding her lions to go out and confront Hannibal.

I don't know if Abigail is just a great jail breaker or if security at that hospital is really bad, but I think it's just a measure of her DESPERATION to get out of this limbo. And when she breaks out, where does she go - home, to the man who is nothing like her father.

REVICTIMIZATION, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

Will doesn't want to see Abigail as guilty. I think that's appropriate. But the trouble is, now Abigail is really compromised in a way he can't push under the rug without compromising himself too. This is Hannibal totally undermining the connection she made with Will earlier, taking her out of reach of Will's help.

Abigail does want to confess, she just doesn't want to go back to jail. Will has already shut down the possibility of enabling her to confess to him because he wants to see her as a pure victim and a good thing that came out of the violence. He is right to protect her, but wrong to be distorting reality in favour of his own emotional needs. This is why it's totally inappropriate for him to have any more involvement with Abigail than he has had in this episode (yes I agree that Alana was right about that issue). Alana is playing both sides of the fence, is in a double bind, and anyway Abigail overtly mistrusts her. Only Hannibal seems to be offering her what she needs.

"no more climbing walls, Abigail" - I.e. There's no escape for you now. Note that she climbed the ladder down into the office in order to have this conversation with Hannibal in the first place. It will be making her think, momentarily, that she has no way out of that office. (The office apparently symbolises hell.)
posted by tel3path at 2:29 PM on September 14, 2014


Hannibal was claiming that nick Boyle struck him on the back of the head? Really? Hannibal doesn't need to be examined? Eh
posted by tel3path at 2:31 PM on September 14, 2014


I just watched that again and Abigail's lipstick wasn't nearly as saturated a red as I thought. It was much more a flesh-toned coral, possibly meant to pass as her natural lip colour.

Weird. I wonder why I thought I was seeing that the first time around. I take back what I said about it.
posted by tel3path at 2:34 PM on September 14, 2014


Rewatching the first few episodes with the idea that Alana might not actually be a decent human being and doesn't consider Will to be a "real" adult and is hiding her complicity and aggression in "niceness" makes this episode So Much Creepier for all the reasons mentioned above.
posted by The Whelk at 2:38 PM on September 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


The menace underlying what appear to be acts of caregiving is another theme of this show.

And the fact that ABUSE IS INSIDIOUS.



Yeeeep, the show gets stronger and stronger the more it explores these themes.
posted by The Whelk at 2:44 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


There were a lot of complaints about writers "forgetting" to give her things to do, but that little dialogue about gift cards is one indication among many that Alana's passivity/nonaction is intentionally written into her character. If it's frustrating to us, it should be, since that is the opposite of what we want from our female characters nowadays. It's the thing that marks her as being not a positive character.

Contrasting her with Bedelia though... Who until the very end, we were considering to be an ambiguously positive character (I still do, for reasons already stated, and have faith in her for s3) SHE doesn't take action either, but her ways of not taking action are so much more decisive.

Mind you it's really Jack's fault, all this. He respects Alana so he triangulates her with Hannibal right in front of her, jumps on board when Hannibal tells him what he wants to hear and overrides the decisions of ABIGAIL'S ACTUAL DOCTOR for his own purposes?

See this is what "respect for a lady" looks like and Alana is the perfect lady. Ooh don't we all wish we could be just like her? Not if we have the faintest idea of what's good for us, or anyone.
posted by tel3path at 2:48 PM on September 14, 2014


Not to pull too much from future episodes of when I ask myself "what does Alana Bloom want?" I keep thinking of everything being steady and maybe complimented from time to time and everything is easy and people either love her or are disposable or "not really people."

I mean, she's not exactly "inward" as she uh might be some novel flavor of narcissist.
posted by The Whelk at 2:52 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think people who don't understand that the entire show is an abuse narrative are not going to understand the show at all.

This is why I get so wound up and frustrated when people don't see that certain characters are actively being abused as the narrative unfolds. I feel like there's so much at stake and the fate of humanity depends on people understanding this show! gnaaa!
posted by tel3path at 2:53 PM on September 14, 2014


Considering what a HUGE theme "abuse by caregivers disguised as help." is on this show I'd be surprised with Alana, a caregiver, wasn't meant to be tied up in it.
posted by The Whelk at 2:55 PM on September 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, it's increasingly apparent that she's not able to see herself in a mirror. will shoving a gun in her hands later on was kind of like him shoving a mirror into her face and forcing her to look at herself.

She comes across as narcissistic, but actually, considering how much emphasis she puts on Will's instability I wonder if the real problem is that her own stability is incredibly fragile. This would explain why her habitual advice is "don't do it", her characteristic answer is "no", her actions inexorably aim towards maintaining the status quo even as they appear to be progressive, and she continues to stick to old scripts long past the point where they're even superficially appropriate to the reality of the situation.

When Alana actually does make a significant life choice, it's the worst decision she could have made and every single thing about her life goes to shit. No wonder she doesn't want to make choices.

Whereas, at this point when we've just met her, she does pretty much have her life together and she achieves and maintains that by making sure no gusts of wind get near her house of cards.
posted by tel3path at 2:58 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


The not seeing oneself in a mirror being a vampire metaphor, I forgot to say.

The vampire metaphor in turn implying that it's all Hannibal's influence that is making her this way.

And the usual rationale for Alana's total belief in Hannibal is that she was his student and he was her mentor.

But then it is set in deliberate contrast, this experience that Alana had as an adult over a timespan of six years (from her first association with Hannibal to the middle of season 2) which began when she was in her late twenties, against the experience that Abigail had being brought up by a predator to be a predator from the earliest age, knowing that he made plumbing putty from the bones of victims but experiencing yet another new level of shock and horrification as she realizes what the cushions are stuffed with... Abigail is totally lucid and totally self-aware, and also because of her upbringing isn't able to make use of her self-awareness because her vulnerability is blood in the water for successive predators like Hannibal.

And Abigail's self-awareness *is what makes a lot of viewers think she's 'manipulative' and/or some flavour of morally culpable*, and certainly it makes her particularly unsafe in the hands of Alana, whose characteristic defense is *unconsciousness*, automatism, not knowing what one is doing.

Rue72 once opened a conversation about the higher status characters being privileged to show more emotion and Will showing less and less emotion as his social status gets lower and lower, while because of his low status relative to the other characters he starts off getting himself into trouble by being overtly emotional and not quite able to control it.

Abigail also displays a strategic lack of emotion and Alana immediately interprets it as something that incriminates her. While Alana does show a substantial amount of empathy for Abigail at the beginning, this kind of thing suggests Alana has no experience, herself, of being low enough status that she has to show a game face. (I read in a thread on the blue that the entire concept of "cool" as we know it arose from African American slaves having to put up a false front to get through a day, and I apologise if I'm misrepresenting the idea I'm on my tablet right now.)
posted by tel3path at 3:17 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


(naw that's an accepted origin if "coolness" also something developed by courtiers, being unmoved and unconcerned cause your position is so tenuous and you gave no real power.)
posted by The Whelk at 3:24 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's like this when you realize you were being fooled by an abusive person, you know, the realizations coming piecemeal because they were too horrifying to deal with at the time.

The plumbing putty is people? yes, everything is people.

The pork lion is people? Yes, pork lion DAMN AUTOCORRECT is people, because everything is people.

The knives are people too, remember? Yes I know, because he told me that, I've made peace with the knives being people. Everything is people, I am gradually accep-

WAIT WHAT THE CUSHIONS ARE PEOPLE?? OHMYGODOHMYGOD THE CUSHIONS

IT'S HUMAN HAIR

[screaming from the astral plane]

I think a lot of us were expecting characters like Jack and Alana to have each a moment like Abigail has with the cushion. Okay Jack's happened offscreen because he had to maintain a game face for us too, but I don't think Alana's moment was quite like that and when she had hers, she was actually in action at the time, not being contemplative, but: "where's Jack?" I mean, Hannibal was covered in blood and throwing himself at the pantry door, but Alana couldn't make the inference that this meant Jack was behind that door, because she couldn't see him. The "in the pantry" moment was Alana's equivalent of the hair cushions and I guess she was too busy running around and firing her gun to sit down and process it emotionally lol
posted by tel3path at 3:25 PM on September 14, 2014


"I guess now that I'm laying on the wet concrete I can consider what the hell just happened ...oh my god ...it rhymes!"
posted by The Whelk at 3:27 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


OMG FACEPALM

"are we going to reenact the crime? You be my dad, you be my mom, and you be the man on the phone"

They did reenact the crime, over 2 seasons.
posted by tel3path at 2:20 AM on September 15, 2014


You know, the way Hannibal gains his super duper ultra manipulation mastery is by watching and listening.

He watches Will connecting with Abigail, and listens to the thing that makes the connection: Abigail asking "so killing someone, even if you have to, feels that bad?" Now Hannibal knows Abigail was coerced to help her father.

This episode, like all the episodes, is full of exchanges that look like one thing but start to look like something else if you pay attention to every word. This is something that's very true-to-life, I think.
posted by tel3path at 7:12 AM on September 15, 2014


You know, for all that happened in last week's episode, it seemed positively tidy compared to what happened this week.

Heck, you send Will on an investigation and you find an extra person *alive* (albeit not for long). So okay, a cop got shot last week, but that was distinctly outside Will's sphere of influence. And yes okay, Abigail got kidnapped and the mushroom expert shot in the shoulder, but Will was aiming for his chest, so, again - yet ANOTHER extra live body. Not to mention he saved Abigail from being killed AGAIN (as a direct result of his unhealthy attachment to her, I might add). That's THREE not-dead people. All when Will's around.

Will makes people alive, even when he doesn't want to! Hannibal? He might as well be dressed in black and carrying a scythe. Both damn times they've taken Hannibal along, you just can't move for extra bodies, it's traumatic events a go go, half your investigative team wind up in an ambulance going "where am I?"

I just. What does Alana think about all this? She's been working with Hannibal for years by now, is this kind of mayhem normal to her? No wonder she's slow to pick up on the urgency of various situations if that's the case.
posted by tel3path at 3:07 PM on September 15, 2014


I was having trouble figuring out where tan might fit into the symbolic colour scheme they've got going on.

I notice Abigail was wearing a tan corduroy jacket coming down the ladder in Hannibal's office. Of course another word for "tan" is "fawn".

I wonder if a person wearing tan is prey at that point in the narrative? Gonna keep an eye on this to see if it generalizes.

Hannibal is wearing beige in episode 1, but not tan. Hmmm.

And and and!!!!! I just now realized! Those black sheepskin ankle boots she's wearing - they look like little hooves!!!!

I lurve that multichrome sweater she has on, too. It is gorgeous.

What I'm pondering is the significance of Alana having bought that stuff for her. In relating to young girls, the lurking temptation for adult women is always to dress them up and groom them like dolls (or maybe that's just me). But it's not like Alana wheeled in an entire rack of intensely patterned Von Furstenberg wrap dresses. The outfits Abigail is wearing now are not like the ones she was wearing when GJH picked her up from school, and they're not like the one she was wearing when she got her throat cut, but they are a lot like the ones she was wearing in the woods with her father. Did Alana go through her wardrobe before buying that stuff for her? And if she did, why did she have to guess at Abigail's size? Also, if it's a good idea to wear "something new", why would it be a refreshing change to wear more of what looks like hunting clothes? Kinda says something about how Alana sees her, I guess?

The Eat The Rudecast pointed out that in the final scene, Abigail looks like Will, and this is because Hannibal now has the upper hand over her. If Alana picked out clothes that would put Abigail in the same class as Will, is that categorizing Abigail as part of the "primitive/nature" caste that Alana has Will in, over against the "civilized" cast that she has herself and Hannibal in? Such that Alana wants to protect Abigail and doesn't want her imprisoned by the merciless system, but she can't let her out either.

eeeeEEEEE. I just thought of a brilliant project. I might try a loose sort of cosplay for every outfit worn by every character in the show in sequence, tweaked for everyday wearability where needed. It'll be perfect for fall. Anybody know a good place for women to get good quality plaid trouser suits for cheep? Also, silk ties.
posted by tel3path at 7:15 AM on September 17, 2014


I'm finally rewatching this episode. God these are good.

How can the BAU possibly miss the significance of Hannibal's call to GJH? It's all blocked-call this and blocked-call that. But they know when it was made, and that's all they need to put Hannibal (and Will and a construction company employee) under suspicion if they were even remotely good at their jobs.

The call, the FBI can easily infer, warned GJH that the authorities were coming. There's no other reason for him to immediately attempt to kill his wife and daughter other than some hideous coincidence. But the call was made mere minutes after he was identified as a person of interest. There were only three people who were in the room when his name entered the investigation, and the information wasn't reported to anyone else that we see on screen. The caller knew something only three people in the world knew. How do you miss that, you incompetent idiots?
posted by figurant at 5:41 PM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Actually, I suppose they did need to call in his phone number to get an address, since he didn't leave one in his resignation letter. But that still would leave a pretty narrow list of people who knew what the mystery caller knew.
posted by figurant at 6:03 PM on September 18, 2014


I know!!! But here's the thing - out of the three people in that office, the FBI were predisposed to discount two of them as suspects because the FBI sent them. That leaves the secretary, who we can assume was ruled out offline.

So if that leaves two suspects, at this point which of those two looks more suspicious? Hannibal! But he has social proof via Alana, I guess? Whereas Will is clearly stigmatised on this show no matter what he does.

But the whole, WHO DO YOU THINK MADE THE PHONE CALL YOU IDIOTS issue, is what made me hit the roof on rewatch: when I saw that as soon as Abigail said "and you be the man on the phone" Alana steps in with a perfect feminine-socialization save, smoothing over conflict, calming down upset, telling her that they brought her here so she can put all that behind her.

In another show, that would probably have been the OMG IT'S HIM!!!! moment. On this show?

This is just such a brilliantly nuanced piece of work, I can't even.

On one of the recaps it even says that Hannibal changes the subject at that point, but he doesn't - it's Alana who changes the subject for him.
posted by tel3path at 1:55 AM on September 19, 2014


I can't tell if Abagail's "and you be the man on the phone" is her challenging Hannibal because she recognizes his voice/accent, or if that's just the editing fucking with me.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:38 AM on September 19, 2014


I always thought it was meant to be ambiguous, at least plant the seed in Hannibal's head that she might know and thus has to be recruited into the MURDER CONSPIRACY or killed.
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


So I thought I would flirt with you for a while and ogle you in your underwear, and let you invite me in for coffee, and by the way Abigail came out of her coma.

God Alana, why are you so dissonant? This is just so off and inappropriate.


I thought that Alana was being weirdly intrusive in that scene (like, did she text him but his phone was on vibrate and still in his pants' pocket while his pants were laying in a heap on the bedroom floor so he just didn't get it? had she been trying to get in touch but he was MIA so she just decided to wait out in the yard until he happened to come out? something like that has got to be the case, because who just stands out in someone's yard waiting for him to let his dogs out for their morning pee?! why wouldn't she at least text once she *arrived* there?), but Will was being weird, too. I couldn't tell if they were friends or what at this point.

Like, on the one hand, he's obviously not being rude/cold to her because he asks her if she wants to come in for a cup of coffee as he gets dressed, but in literally the same breath he also says flat out "why are you here?" which makes it seem like he *is* fine being rude to her and doesn't want her there? But that's also while he's already walking back into the house, so *at the same time,* I guess he's assuming she's going to follow, and he's OK with her just hanging around in his house for twenty minutes doing whatever she wants (which I suspect would be to look at all his things and make infinite ~psychiatric~ judgments -- I wouldn't be OK with that, if I were him!) while he gets dressed? And then when she answers his question about why she's there *right away,* he's like, "you know how to bury the lede." In her shoes, I'd be aggravated with him at that point, because it's like OK FINE I CAN DO NOTHING RIGHT, I GET IT, I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE JUST SENT AN EMAIL -- I mean, he shows up with no clothes on and she's like, it's OK, and tries to gloss over it but he's having none of that, and then he wants to know why she's there before she's even in the door and when she tells him it still wasn't fast enough, etc. Like what's he going to be difficult/pissy about next, that she hasn't preemptively "cured" Abigail and set her up in a nice freshman dorm already (answer: kinda)? But Alana obviously doesn't take any of it personally and just figures he's freaking out about Abigail or something. I dunno, it's a really minor scene, it just is so confusing. Like, how do these characters see each other at this point?

She actually handled the whole thing with a lot of composure, in a sense. If I had been trying to drop someone a line and ended up just going to their house to talk to them in person, and they wondered out half-naked while I was just standing weirdly in their yard, I would be much more awkward and fumble-y than she was! I def wouldn't be like, "oh yeah, you didn't hear me because I have a stalker car." LOL. But then, if I were Alana, I probably would have just emailed Will in the first place, and left it at that. Which is why I'm not a character on a TV show.

I also think that Will just has a really weird view of Alana and how other people relate to her. I guess he just has a huge crush on her, and that skews his perception? It's so strange to me that he'd say that she "rattles" Jack. She doesn't "rattle" him at all, I think? He seems to think she's completely harmless/irrelevant and disregards what she says all the time. And yeah, he doesn't *yell* at her, but he frankly doesn't yell at lots of people, he just happens to yell at Will a lot. And I don't think he yells at Will out of disrespect (though I think that yelling is generally disrespectful), I think he does it because he knows that it'll get Will to do what he wants Will to do. Being domineering in that way doesn't/wouldn't work on Alana, appeasing her by letting her have her say, does. So that's how he interacts with her. I think that Jack shows more respect toward Will than toward Alana, because he actually does follow Will's advice and act like his thoughts are insightful/useful, whereas he runs roughshod over Alana. Anyway, Will's line about how Alana "rattles" Jack reminds me of how he said she was being "smart" in how she handled Clark (the social worker in S2 in the episode with the horses), even though imo her interrogation "skills" were ludicrously bad/useless.

But I guess that's another thing where the characters are divided between those that personalize things and those that don't. Jack, Alana, and Chilton all seem like they have "professional" personae that they wall off from their personal "selves." Whereas other characters don't seem to have strict boundaries like that (cough Will cough). Hannibal is an odd duck in that he does have a persona that is different/separate from his "self," but that persona/self line isn't a divide between the professional/personal in the way that the other characters' are.
posted by rue72 at 12:05 PM on September 19, 2014


What I think happened was this:

Will went outside not expecting to see anyone at all, because he never gets visitors, especially at that hour of the morning.

He goes outside still half-asleep and in his underwear, to let his dogs out, and sees his crush waiting for him in the yard.

She indicates that she's been waiting there for a while, and that she intended to sneak up on him. To all appearances she DIDN'T call ahead or give him any warning of her arrival.

In the circumstances, I think "why are you here, by the way" is a reasonable question.

Alana probably justified her approach by telling herself it was more considerate not to wake him up with a phone call or doorbell ring so she'd wait outside for him to come out instead. At the same time, she clearly enjoys having him on the back foot.

Also, if she told him in person and only in person, he wouldn't have a chance to rush ahead to the hospital and visit Abigail without adult supervision. Knowing that, as a dog person, he would probably let the dogs out first thing in the morning, she had more control over the interaction if she waited outside and didn't announce her presence first.
posted by tel3path at 12:18 PM on September 19, 2014


Rewatching the first few episodes with the idea that Alana might not actually be a decent human being and doesn't consider Will to be a "real" adult and is hiding her complicity and aggression in "niceness" makes this episode So Much Creepier for all the reasons mentioned above.

Hmmm I think that the So Much Creepier feeling requires that you view everything through Will's POV, and have high expectations for Alana in the beginning and only view her failures through the prism of how they effect Will. I mean, Alana's life falls apart over these two seasons, too, and she's not just unable to stop it, she's unable to even acknowledge it as it's happening, which is its own tragedy. It's even more ridiculously horrible, in a sense, because Alana is apparently incapable of learning anything. At least by the end of Hannibal's "I'm going to break this teacup -- and put it back together!" game, Will learns something and is able to get some emotional release from it (his ravenstag dies, etc). Alana can't learn, so she can't get that release. She's even more paralyzed by the end of S2 than she was before.

I think that Will's storyline is much more suspenseful than Alana's -- because he's conscious of a lot more of what's happening, which allows for suspense, in that he/the audience are constantly waiting for the next shoe to drop -- but I don't think it's *creepier* than Alana's.

For Alana, I think that the story starts with her already a bit ossified and constrained and trapped, and she just becomes more and more ossified and unable to move/act/learn as the story goes on. By the end of S2, she *literally* can't affect anything, can't act, can't move. I don't know how much more paralyzed she can become, but knowing this show, they'll find a way.

Alana probably justified her approach by telling herself it was more considerate not to wake him up with a phone call or doorbell ring so she'd wait outside for him to come out instead. At the same time, she clearly enjoys having him on the back foot.

Yeah, it was definitely some sort of control game. If information is power, than I guess in that scene, Will is trying to wrestle some power from Alana. And she gives him some, but she doles it out very slowly.

That would work with her being fully dressed and well-turned-out and him being in his underwear, too (lol).

I think they're actually fairly evenly matched in terms of information/power at this point, though. However, Alana tends to assume that she knows a much higher percentage of all there is to know than she actually does, and Will tends to assume that he knows a much lower percentage of all there is to know than he actually does. So I think their perspectives on how much information/power each of them have, respectively, are skewed in that way.
posted by rue72 at 12:25 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Rue72 once opened a conversation about the higher status characters being privileged to show more emotion and Will showing less and less emotion as his social status gets lower and lower, while because of his low status relative to the other characters he starts off getting himself into trouble by being overtly emotional and not quite able to control it.

I definitely think this is true, and find it interesting that Will is "allowed" to feel annoyed and embarrassed in front of Alana in this episode. He can't afford to be so open about his emotions later on. Right now he's still pretty empowered.

But Alana is already putting a professional ~gloss~ over her own emotions. She doesn't reveal anything. I think she's actually so alienated from her own emotions that she can't, to some extent. I mean, it's weird how little she actually takes personally at this point, imo. If I showed up at someone's house and he was like WHY ARE YOU HERE as he turned his back on me, I would be pretty embarrassed and feel bad, but she honestly just doesn't even seem to feel that it has anything to do with her and she feels nothing.

But as she gains power/status later in the series she starts becoming more likely to blow up at people and express herself more obviously/fully.

I think that Gideon is a good example of how weirdly status can come into play when expressing emotion on this show. He doesn't just have a game face, he has is a whole made up identity -- he doesn't even actually *have* a self otherwise anymore. And he can't show any emotions, not even when he's forced to choke down his own leg. BLECH.

Ugh that's very inarticulate, I'll think more about this and come back to it later, lol.
posted by rue72 at 12:30 PM on September 19, 2014


I think the word you're looking for is "repressed". She doesn't know what she knows, and it comes out in other ways.
posted by tel3path at 12:32 PM on September 19, 2014


OH JUST REALIZED, so I guess Will was being kind of rude and cold to Alana when she showed up because he was trying to enforce a boundary. But he's bad at enforcing boundaries and she's bad at respecting them, so it doesn't actually work. LOL.
posted by rue72 at 12:34 PM on September 19, 2014


No, I think he was just barely awake, startled, and embarrassed.

How would we expect Alana to react if she had gone skipping out of her house (in the middle of nowhere) in her underwear first thing in the morning and seen Will standing there in a coat and boots, grinning at her, and told her that his car was great for stalking and he doesn't mind her being in her underwear because he has sisters?

Probably with a right hook and a phoned-in police report, I should think. Saying "why are you here" is pretty civilized in comparison.

And don't forget that Alana has a history of sprinting out of the room so as not to be alone with him.
posted by tel3path at 12:38 PM on September 19, 2014


I'm not saying that he was uncivilized, I think he was confusing. Like, is he pissed/embarrassed and wants her to leave or does he want her to come in for coffee? I think probably both, which is fine. But he's throwing out mixed signals: On the one hand being like "do you want coffee?" and on the other hand being like "why are you here?!" On the one hand seeming to welcome her into the house while he puts on a robe and on the other hand seeming to tell her she's not coming in while he grabs his coat.

So yeah, I think he was trying to throw up a boundary, because he feels exposed and like she's being invasive, but on the other hand he was kind of inviting her to cross that boundary, too, because he likes her.

Meanwhile, Alana is just *terrible* at respecting boundaries in general (this is the person who already said she wasn't going to treat Will as a patient and then in like the next scene starts giving Jack her opinion as a psychiatrist on whether he should be allowed to see Abigail, this is the person who is ostensibly her own psychiatrist, this is the person who starts sleeping with her colleague/mentor and then stumbles out of his bedroom nearly naked to defend him to their mutual boss/employer, this is the person who apparently was only able to respect boundaries toward Will by literally never even giving herself the chance to cross them by never being alone with him). So when Will puts up his boundaries in confusing fits and starts, of course she doesn't respect them.

I think that what Will reads as other people's respect for Alana is actually other people not crossing her personal boundaries in the way that they're pretty explicitly fine crossing his. But imo they're not crossing Alana's boundaries in that way because they have relationships with her *public persona* and so her personal boundaries aren't really even relevant to them. Will doesn't really have a public persona that's separate from his "self," so his personal boundaries *are* relevant to others, and so they're under attack a lot more than Alana's are.

I think that Alana also has her personal "self" imprisoned very tightly, which on the one hand keeps it safe from other people, but on the other hand means that she's very alienated from the world around her, and other people, and even from herself (and I think that's basically what blinds her to the trap she's already catching herself in).
posted by rue72 at 12:56 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


What I guess I'm trying to say is that Will *isn't* empathetic toward Alana. I don't mean that he's callous toward her (imo he isn't), I mean that his attempts to communicate with her are constantly falling flat and he's constantly misreading her and he's constantly misreading the context of how other people treat her/her life. I think that he fundamentally doesn't "get" her. Which is kind of hilarious because his entire job is "getting" hard-to-get people, and Alana isn't even especially hard to get.

Why can't he "get" her? Why can't he successful empathize with her? Because he has a crush on her?
posted by rue72 at 1:04 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


" and then in like the next scene starts giving Jack her opinion as a psychiatrist on whether he should be allowed to see Abigail,"

Abigail is her patient though, so it makes sense she'd voice an opinion about who ought to see her.
posted by tel3path at 1:05 PM on September 19, 2014


Yeah, but then Jack straight up says that Will isn't her patient. She was crossing the line from giving her professional opinion about Abigail (which was appropriate) and giving her professional opinion about Will (which wasn't). And to Alana's credit, she knew she wouldn't be able to resist doing that if she were even literally, physically near enough to Will to put on her psychiatrist hat around him, so she'd apparently avoided him for years -- and lo and behold, she couldn't.
posted by rue72 at 1:09 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think he doesn't get her because she's confusing and constantly sends out mixed signals, but she isn't doing it intentionally the way Hannibal is doing. I mean Alana really is second only to Hannibal as a Not As She Appears-type person.

He also doesn't know her very well, having never spent any significant amount of time with her.

To be clear, when I'm so stunned at the way Alana redirects the conversation just at the moment which in another show would be the Big Reveal - That's not a criticism, just an observation. It does however show what a perfect human shield she is for Hannibal, simply by her nature as a perfectly socialised woman. It's not just that she looks perfect, it's just that the feminine behaviour she comes out with (in this case, keeping the peace) is ideal for covering up what Hannibal is really doing.
posted by tel3path at 1:12 PM on September 19, 2014


Wait, which conversation? The conversation between her, Hannibal, and Jack, about what's going on with Abigail?

How is Alana a not-as-she-appears person?

Alana frustrates and creeps me out because she's always doing things that are kind of obviously inappropriate or strange while literally saying that she's being completely appropriate and normal. It's like NO BUT ALANA I CAN SEE YOU THOUGH. (Except Will also doesn't seem to see her?! Which is especially unsettling, imo, since he can "see" basically everyone/everything else. And because so much of the show is in his POV).

At this point in the show, the inappropriate stuff that she's doing is not really that bad (or even "bad" at all), but it's unsettling how she just won't acknowledge reality.

The only person who calls her on it is Jack, like when she starts acting like Will's her patient and Jack just stops her and tells her straight up that she's not Will's psychiatrist and so she has no say in what he can or can't do. Since Jack is so willing/able to call her bluffs, I find it especially bizarre that Will thinks that Jack "respects" her and that she "rattles" Jack, though that's in line with Will constantly interpreting everything having to do with Alana or that's Alana-adjacent in a way that allows him to put/keep her on some kind of pedestal in his mind. I mean, even wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy later when he's giving her that gun, he's still overestimating her by leaps and bounds! It's like he has some kind of Alana-shaped blindspot when it comes to his perception.

I guess that's realistic? I mean god knows I've been blinded by love before, too. But it's so frustrating/sad/weird to watch.
posted by rue72 at 1:24 PM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


No, I mean when Abigail says "you be the man on the phone" and Alana basically tells her to calm down and redirects her attention elsewhere.

I think Will might have an Alana-shaped blind spot because Alana herself is not really there.

He also has an Abigail-shaped blind spot, don't forget, and that's because he has an emotional need for her to be a certain way. At the same time, he's also not blind because the conversation they have about how killing someone feels that bad, is the first of the nonincriminating doublespeak conversations in this show, of the kind Will and Hannibal will later have in prison. Except that this first one is very undisguised and guileless compared to the rest.

Basically he's seeing Abigail as she desperately wants to be seen, and since she wants to be understood and not blamed, that's what he does. He is also seeing Alana as she wants to be seen, which is why he puts her on a pedestal and has an Alana-shaped blind spot.
posted by tel3path at 1:46 PM on September 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Grar "I don't want to get in the middle of you and Jack, but if I can be helpful to you as a buffer" ie "I don't want to triangulate, but how about I triangulate"

[several hallucination-filled episodes later]

Alana: [does nothing]

"I want you to know that I'm not saying the thing I'm currently saying, but I promise to back up my words with sweet Fanny Adams in the future, yet somehow through the magic of comic timing make my inaction as damaging to you as possible" This is just, like, something irritating under my fingernails. Give me Murder Thatcher Alana over this any day.

and the reason Alana had no backstory (apart from the fact that nobody had any backstory) was that S1 and S2 are her backstory.
posted by tel3path at 11:01 AM on January 3, 2016


Also... coming into Abigail's room with a bunch of shopping bags stuffed with tissue paper... it makes it like it's her birthday. And her present is a pile of person suits.

It's all Abigail's same style, I think it was genufa? again who said that a makeover is often psychologically helpful so maybe she should have plied Abigail with red lipstick instead.

a lot of people thought Alana had bought "more expensive" versions of Abigail's usual wardrobe but no, I don't think so? The shirt in the kitchen scene is Kimchi Blue, the cardigan is Coincidence & Chance, the sweater later on (I think Abigail maybe collected that during her visit home) is Topshop - not expensive but not shitty fast fashion quality by a wide mile. That's about as expensive as it's reasonable to get for a teen who may grow/gain weight/change tastes fairly soon. I dunno about Will's remark about "Mall of America" but it's not like Abigail's pre-death wardrobe was downmarket.
posted by tel3path at 11:09 AM on January 3, 2016


And here in her very first conversation with Will, Abigail is really connecting with him. There's an awful lot of "OMG Will's relationship with Abigail was all FAKE and self-serving and Abigail never liked him" - but this conversation they're having seems to be of way more therapeutic value than the conversation she had with Alana (who is being paid to interrogate, even though she presents herself as a caregiver and seems to want to be the latter).

And while all this is happening, Hannibal is watching and the next thing you know, he'll ram a big fat wedge in between Abigail and everyone but himself, and cultivate her view of herself as killer. But at this point, it still hangs in the balance. And see how already she's broaching the subject of how it feels to BE a killer and what a burden that is. They were on the brink of developing a very close bond so no wonder Hannibal puts a stop to that.

likewise, Hannibal didn't kill Marissa Schuur because she was "rude" but because she was a friend to Abigail. Obviously he would put a stop to that.
posted by tel3path at 11:33 AM on January 3, 2016


The artwork on the wall in Abigail's kitchen - red leaves, like the golden leaves on the picture on the wall in the Nichols hallway. Two of those round metal plates. Three deer heads as you come in. And the long picture on the wall in the entrance hall is an old black and white group photo, of a team or a class seems like.
posted by tel3path at 12:12 PM on January 3, 2016


Next to the fireplace, cross stitch sunflowers. like the leaves look like the almond blossoms. Another allusion to van Gogh but rustic, proletarian, craft, deprecated. There's another cross stitch of a house, and on the mantelpiece "Home Sweet Home". There is a Chinese calligraphy, a decoy duck, what looks like a woodburning drawing of a landscape, and a figurine of a bear.

It is all very proletarian and close to nature - markers of low status in this show whose inhabitants are very class-oriented and status-seeking.

Even though it's very decorated, the Hobbs house is not very aesthetically pleasing and Louise Hobbs in particular was a style-free zone. However, the earth tones are very close to the aesthetic of Will's house (which is aesthetically pleasing).

I guess Abigail's element is earth. Just as Hannibal and Alana are fire and Will is water.
posted by tel3path at 12:19 PM on January 3, 2016


"Do you think I did it?"

"I don't think you're the type" says Marissa - nodding yes as she says it.

That's the best Abigail can get - someone who thinks she did it but is willing to pretend otherwise. No space inbetween for mercy or any of that.
posted by tel3path at 12:21 PM on January 3, 2016


Plus it's weird that anyone could think Freddie cared about Abigail after the disaster she deliberately set up for her in this episode. Abigail goes through all this trauma, gets blamed for it, and Freddie is on the scene seeing nothing but dollar signs.
posted by tel3path at 12:32 PM on January 3, 2016


An oil painting of a forest on the wall by the stairs. Guessing it's the kind of thing a local artist would paint, maybe GJH bought it at the same market where he sold the pelts.
posted by tel3path at 12:36 PM on January 3, 2016


Like... Abigail responds warily to Alana, before announcing her plans to put it all behind her. She gives Alana about half a Freddie's worth of wariness.

Partly, I feel like Abigail reflects cold, maybe sociopathic? pragmatism back at Alana because she senses Alana wants this and she isn't physically pulled together enough to think about what might be the most advantageous way to present herself. It would be safer for Abigail if she could be tearful, victim-y, the saddest little girl in the world, sobbing into Alana's nice wool coat. But she makes the mistake of acting tough instead, and then announcing what it is she really wants (get rid of the family home, pay for college and get an apartment), which only means that what she really wants gets withheld from her.

Then later on Freddie comes along and she dials the "I'm a tough girl" act up to 11. Freddie loses no time in making sure wrongful death suits get filed so that Abigail's personal fortune gets stripped from her, of course.

Hilarious, but also typical that Jack is rattling sabres against Freddie but it doesn't occur to her that Freddie could have anything to do with the shenanigans and extra bodies going on around the Hobbs house even though Freddie is caught INSIDE the Hobbs house. No, it must be that Abigail knew Cassie and Nicholas Boyle before and was conspiring with them, because Abigail is the most vulnerable person around so she makes the easiest target. Fuck you, Jack.

How do we know Abigail isn't just manipulating Will when she comes over all vulnerable with him in the greenhouse? Because in the Hobbs kitchen, when Will gives an ill-advised completely honest answer to "how did it feel to get into my dad's mindset" ("like I'm talking to a shadow suspended on dust") Abigail just really doesn't know how to respond to that so she retreats into sarcasm, especially in front of the others. She can't handle his vulnerability as well as her own.

I like Abigail's honesty when confronting Hannibal too. Even though we see the attack from her point of view as Nicholas Boyle rushing her up against a wall in a clearly violent way, that wasn't necessarily true to how it happened and Abigail herself says as much. She didn't know for sure he was going to kill or even hurt her. But in a situation where the whole world was accusing and victimizing her and where her one friend shows up gored on antlers in her father's cabin, no wonder she was so desperately defensive.

Both she and Will have now killed in part to take their power back in a relentlessly terrifying world, but it only makes them more vulnerable to Hannibal. It's obvious to me, at the end of this episode, that Abigail knows Hannibal has her stitched up like a kipper, but at that point it also seems to her like the safest thing because he's strong and in charge of matters of life and death; she isn't going to seek comfort from Will when he's quivering like Jello, because he reminds her of her own greatest discomfort with herself.

(And is also, at that point, still an upholder of the law who might arrest her. The whole experience with Abigail is part of what turns Will into an outlaw.)
posted by tel3path at 6:06 AM on January 4, 2016


I mean she may sense that Alana wants to see her as suspicious/sociopathic and, being weakened, and also defensive, can't help but show her that face even though it would be better to be overtly vulnerable.

I think that everything we see from Abigail is the true Abigail, tbh. She just has the sense to be careful what face she shows to whom.
posted by tel3path at 6:07 AM on January 4, 2016


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