Hannibal: Oeuf   Rewatch 
September 18, 2014 2:34 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

The one that's not called "Ceuf".
posted by tel3path (46 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Molly Shannon is one of those actors who I'm always like hey... it's that lady... but I never know what I recognize her for.

Gina Torres is only on screen for a few moments, and she just devastates.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:33 PM on September 18, 2014

I had no idea Molly Shannon could play creepy so well.

That being said, this is the weakest episode in the first season by far. If it wasn't for Bella's introduction and some really good Will/Hannibal interaction I'd almost tell people to skip it.

(although it does introduce the concept of capture bonding and siblings, which you know FORSHADOWING)
posted by The Whelk at 8:03 AM on September 19, 2014

Wait! This episode also has the crazy drug trip for abigal - it was only shown as a web episode at first and many people where totally confused when future episodes would call back to this stuff.

Okay I take it back, it's an important episode but the Killer Of The Week is less than engaging ( mushroom man had a kind of barquoe weirdness about him. Murder Mom is a bit prosaic for this show.)
posted by The Whelk at 8:11 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Why do they let Jack sit alone in the car with that poor kid.

"I know you're traumatized and all, but you'll never see your mom again because you're such a horrible person."
posted by sparklemotion at 8:42 AM on September 19, 2014 [4 favorites]

For every issue raised, there's always a contrasting example.

Is Abigail a victim or an accomplice? The answer being - if you ask me - duh yes, she was an abused child and she didn't suddenly snap from innocent to guilty overnight when she turned 18.

Are these young children, who were coerced into doing something like what Abigail did except worse because they did the killing with their own hands, are they victims or accomplices? THEY'RE VICTIMS WHY ARE YOU EVEN ASKING.

Did Abigail know (Alana: "I thought you didn't remember anything") or did she not know? Yes, I think is the answer to that? Does knowing make you guilty, and not knowing make you innocent?
posted by tel3path at 9:31 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Anyway, Jack sitting in the car with that kid - that tells you all you need to know about why Abigail didn't try to escape her home situation by telling an adult about it.

If, in fact, she didn't.
posted by tel3path at 9:41 AM on September 19, 2014

Interesting (since we're all also getting deep into the season 2 commentaries) how EARLY and THICK the themes of "knowledge = guilt" pops up. It really is all about punishing the victim and how that keeps the cycle going.

Like in the Nightmare world of Hannibal, people are looking for any excuse to blame the victims, if they had knowledge but didn't act then that's just as bad as doing it themselves, and people are written off the instant they move even slightly out of a purely sainthood sphere.

Or you know, a lot like how the real world works then.
posted by The Whelk at 9:51 AM on September 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I can imagine plenty of adults in Abigail's world having knowledge and not acting. Some of whom probably were guilty, others of whom probably didn't understand what they were seeing.

Anyone seen the movie "Oculus"?
posted by tel3path at 9:54 AM on September 19, 2014

Wait, this was the one that never aired, right? Were the individual webisode pieces the entirety of the episode or was stuff left out?
posted by poffin boffin at 10:46 AM on September 19, 2014

Yeah this never aired, they put the Hannibal/Will/Abigal stuff in webisodes, but you didn't see the full thing until the DVD release.
posted by The Whelk at 4:00 PM on September 19, 2014

Also if I remember correctly this is the episode they started to re-jigger the show and do huge rewrites on set cause it wasn't working as a proceedural and ...yeah they where right.
posted by The Whelk at 6:47 PM on September 19, 2014

Man, this episode still feels so weird to me. Obviously, I first experienced it as a set of "webisodes" because it didn't air unedited in the US initially (for good reason to my mind, at the time). I still feel like I had a better experience of it that way. The good chunks of the episodes minus the particularly weak procedural bit. But maybe I'm selling that short. I feel sort of bad about that. Molly Shanon is clearly fucking amazing and is done a disservice by being stuck with such a bad killer of the week.

At the very least Brian Reitzell goes COMPLETELY APE SHIT in this episode in the best way possible. But I'd still rather watch the webisodes all strung together than the full episode.
posted by sparkletone at 2:55 AM on September 20, 2014

Molly Shannon carried the procedural plot for me. I always love when comedians play serious -- they're always too intense and creep me the hell out, and she's no exception in this episode. Even though the kids' terror and all the stuff about them being the New Family and needing to kill the Old Families, etc, is heavy-handed, I think that it works pretty well with Abigail's dilemma, especially since her story in the episode kind of ends with her giving up her Old Family and giving in to the delusion that she's got a real New Family now.

I also think it intersects with the S2 storyline in a cool way, because it kind of shows how Hannibal goes about "collecting" a family -- which he continues to do full-throttle all through S2. The most interesting thing about Hannibal, imo, is how hard he works to seduce people and how successful he is at it. And also how good he is at adapting and adjusting, in terms of how he deals with people.

That's also interesting to me, because I'm noticing a lot more, this go-around, how some characters adapt their personae completely to whoever they're with, in order to manipulate them/their feelings, and how some characters are just always consistent and much more internally-focused. I would say that Jack and Hannibal are the former, and Will and Alana are the latter. Abigail...I'm not sure? I think that she can see the adaptations other people make, but she retains a sense of self separate from any adaptions she makes, and that gives her this Greek Chorus vibe. Like, she's participating but with a self-awareness that by joining in, she's dooming herself.

Something that I find interesting about Abigail is that she's essentially an observer, even *as* she participates, and I think that Hannibal sees himself the same way.

I also wonder about the characters' strange, late predictions, which I'm starting to notice are sprinkled all throughout the show. It pissed me off initially when Alana came into Will's classroom to "warn" him that Jack was going to ambush him literally as Jack walked in to ambush him, but Will also has all these "visions" (aka reenactments) of horrible things that he not only is unable to stop but which *are already happening* or *already happened.* That kind of thing makes time feel circular rather than linear on this show. And Abigail's story is constantly like that, too, circling back to the same Murder!Assistant plot. It also reminds me of that "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result" saying. Which I don't actually think is true, but I do think that kind of futile repetition and doomed hope and late prediction/warning is essential to the show, and it's in full force in this episode.

Anyway, I think that this would have worked better if it were an even more Abigail-centric episode, because that's what it was kind of crying out to be. But it came close enough that I was OK with that. And the ending always makes me cry. I mean, a LOOK AT EVERYONE'S FAMILIES! montage has never been sadder than *that.* Everyone seems so isolated and alone. Even Abigail, in her drug-induced delusion, and Hannibal in his manipulation, and Alana in her ignorance.
posted by rue72 at 9:12 AM on September 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

The disconnectedness of everyone and the longing for love and not being able to get it are such huge themes as well.

I think that Will is the one character who is completely open about seeking out love and doesn't hold back from reaching out to others.

Second only to Hannibal. He gives the appearance that he's self-sufficient and cool, just, like, Joe Cool and the Big Man On Campus. He gives the appearance that he's offering love, even though he's really offering sadism. He doesn't tend to overtly ask for love from others. There are obvious reasons why Hannibal is always cast in the caretaker role in fanfic, even though Will is probably more effective as a caretaker than any of the others, which is not saying much in a world that is relentless in *blocking* people from effective giving or receiving of care.

Is that it? Is it that Hannibal seems to be the one who offers love but doesn't need any himself, doesn't exude vulnerability at all; whereas Will is just completely open about it, and that's why he's stigmatized?

Look at Franklyn, who is totally needy and totally doesn't hold back from expressing it - he's a shlabotnik and even his therapists don't want him.
posted by tel3path at 5:03 PM on September 20, 2014

One of the things that's making Hannibal relatable is that he isn't doing anything unusual, he's just taking very normal human desires and resorting to extreme inhumane means to fulfil them. Everything he is doing, someone else is doing, and that includes the killers of the week, who in turn are taking the rest of the characters' normal human desires to extremes. Seeing his desires represented by so many others makes us... Empathise with him.

I feel sorrier and sorrier for Alana. She seems to be the victim of a belief, absorbed too strongly, that connecting with others is unhealthy or inappropriate. I mean she stays away from someone she's attracted to because she knows she'd relate to him in an unhealthy way if she connected with him just a little. And the sad thing is she was right about that.

Alana thinks it's wrong to do anything, when she does try to do something even in the form of nonaction she gets her authority overridden by two men, and when she has a desire to do something or connect with someone it either turns out horrifically or she has to work hard to police her thoughts and stamp out her wishes. The whole world really is a minefield that she can't possibly cross without blowing herself or somebody else up.
posted by tel3path at 12:30 PM on September 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

My first reaction to the first season was that it was a show about boundaries, professional, personal, moral, etc and the ways those boundaries get bent or broken and my first reaction to Alana was that she was someone who took boundaries Very Seriously, almost to an absurd degree in keeping everything separate from everything else.... which is why she can't step back see what is obviously happening right under the nose.

Weather or not that's something malicious or like, a side-effect of her defense mechanisms, I waffle on. Maybe both.

(also in season two she has a whole dinner speech about boundaries, pretty much the only time it's actually pinging to her hat the hell is going on. She opens the door a bit and then slams it shut. Way too uncomfortable.)
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 PM on September 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

Well I think partly it's the seeds scattered among thorns - starting off with good intentions, which get choked off by the things of this world. I think more than anything else, that's what Alana is supposed to represent.

On the one hand, we have Alana's efforts to protect her patient (Abigail) and to stand up for Will who is not her patient but about whom her professional opinion has been sought.

On the other hand, we have the reality that her methods of protecting others are of questionable effectiveness and are mostly based on prohibition, but that's another story. Let's focus on the fact that her intentions are good at this stage.

She's trying to give her professional advice and advocate for what she thinks is best for her patient, and she is getting quashed not only by Jack - over whom she does have some professional authority as a doctor - but by Hannibal, a fellow doctor who is in practice much more difficult for her to challenge.

It won't be long before the learned helplessness sets in. Too soon? Hmmm.

But then we have the complicating factor that by challenging Hannibal any harder, she is at risk of alienating what is probably her most famous and illustrious professional contact. She seems to have a very high profile career in her own right at this point, but being associated with Hannibal won't exactly hurt her social capital.

Which goes back to episode 2, where she recommends against herself evaluating Will because she has the hots for him and if he becomes her patient, she invalidates her Will gift card. This despite the fact that by making Will someone else's patient she loses control over whether or not he goes out in the field, which supposedly, to her, is the most important thing for Will's well-being. HOWEVER she is still right, since the fact that her panties catch fire every time Will hoves into view genuinely does make her the wrong choice for any kind of professional relationship other than peers, so, no faulting Alana there.

BUT she recommends Hannibal in her place, using a transparently nonsensical rationale, and the only motivation I can think of for that is a desire to turn up the butane under her professional association with the famous Hannibal. And maybe rid herself of her crush on Will by cashing in her Hannibal gift card, maybe, sometime down the line when she feels ready for that. On their own, those things are fine, but the fact that she recommends Hannibal in an obviously unsuitable situation, when she should have recommended a disinterested third party - THIS is where Alana's good intentions first begin to get choked by thorns.

That is, assuming good faith on her part so far, and assuming that she genuinely didn't know what she was seeing when Hannibal's patients kept meeting disastrous ends. Which in the absence of further information I can believe, especially since echolalia67 explained it all in one of our earlier mega-threads on the blue. A doctor works with a notoriously difficult patient population, any "unfortunate outcomes" get chalked up to the patient's pathology while the doctor is viewed as even more saintly for working with those crazies and sticking by them.

But it's interesting to rewatch and see that the problem began as early as two episodes ago, because Alana's motives in recommending Hannibal were mixed with pride.

In the "Snakes in Suits" book it explains that the people most likely to be holdouts when a psychopath is in their midst, are those who are the surest of their own ability to see through people and who have the greatest conviction that they can't be fooled. Peacocks are really stupid birds/pride makes you stupid. This is pretty much the reason why Jack doesn't see what is in front of him either; he and Alana are birds of a feather in this, it's more a matter of degree than kind.

As for malice... I agree that Alana does eventually become overtly malicious but that doesn't come out until Futamono.
posted by tel3path at 5:48 AM on September 22, 2014

But, I mean, the key scene here is the one where Alana yells at Hannibal for taking Abigail out of the hospital. On the first watch, we were all like "wow Alana is badass! So fiercely protective! Look how Hannibal respects her - she's the only one that can call him rude and live!"

But then Hannibal tells Alana she's right, and she quickly calms down and sits at the dinner table with Abigail, who says "I see family".

What does Alana make of that scene? What does she think is happening? Does she notice that Abigail is high as a kite and must have been given something a lot stronger than half a Valium? Does she notice that Abigail is reimagining her and Hannibal as her mother and father? What does she think that implies about how Hannibal sees his role in Abigail's life going forward? Does she connect the dots that a third place is set at the table which strongly implies that Hannibal was expecting her and therefore manipulated her into being there? And never mind all those details, what does Alana think of the overall context of Hannibal taking her patient out of the hospital for his own purposes - why is saying "you were right" enough for her, given what it implies about Hannibal's intentions? Abigail picked up on the Humbert Humbert implications of that right away, is there a reason why Alana doesn't?

Is saying "you were right" enough for Alana because Alana thinks that that is the real issue here, and once Hannibal acknowledges her rightness the problem is settled as far as she's concerned?

This is the second time Hannibal has thrown her the "you were right" bone in order to get his own way, the first time being last week when the two of them were in Jack's office arguing over whether to take Abigail back to the Hobbs house.
posted by tel3path at 5:57 AM on September 22, 2014

There is a connection between the (so far implied) insistence that Will is not a full adult, and therefore should continue to stultify in the classroom and stay away from connection with Abigail, and

the insistence that Abigail must stultify in the hospital until she becomes "ready" to live an adult life; and

the fact that in both cases, the thing Will and Abigail must be protected from is truth-telling, either in the form of investigation (Will) or confession (Abigail) or, as in the scene last week of "you be the man on the phone," both.

I think Alana is projecting her own fear of adulthood onto these two characters, of which more later.
posted by tel3path at 7:21 AM on September 22, 2014

But then we have the complicating factor that by challenging Hannibal any harder, she is at risk of alienating what is probably her most famous and illustrious professional contact. She seems to have a very high profile career in her own right at this point, but being associated with Hannibal won't exactly hurt her social capital.

I think Alana has genuine awe/respect for Hannibal, it's not just that she thinks he's useful to her. She does seem to get a lot of validation out of basically any respect that he shows her.

This weird woman I met at a party once went on and on about how you have to choose what you want out of a relationship -- to be respected, or to be cherished.

I think that Alana really, really wants respect. So when Hannibal or Jack give her a hearing and *act* fairly deferential to her, even though they don't actually then listen to or go by her advice at all, she gets a lot out of it. That's why she cares when Hannibal says she's right. And that's also why she flips out when Hannibal seems *disrespectful* to her, ie, "rude," by usurping her place as Abigail's psychiatrist.

Meanwhile, I think that Jack actually really, really wants to be cherished. Hannibal is wonderful about giving him that -- he's always feeding into Jack's hedonistic impulses, always stroking his ego, always "caring" for him.

I don't think that that schematic applies to other characters so well -- like, I can't really fit Hannibal or Will or Abigail or Bedelia into either of those respect/cherish categories. But I do think that for Alana, her association with Hannibal isn't just about social capital, I think it's also about building up her *self-respect,* which I think is very important to her.

That's also a reason she doesn't want to "degrade" herself by showing any passion, imo. I agree that Alana is *obsessed* with boundaries, but I think she's obsessed with them because of how they shore up respect (self-respect and respect from others). I think that in her mind, intimacy degrades respect, and boundaries encourage it.

There is a connection between the (so far implied) insistence that Will is not a full adult, and therefore should continue to stultify in the classroom

I don't really see the "child" thing in general, but I kind of see Will's killing of GJH as the show's version of him losing his virginity, and in that sense "becoming an adult." Not just because sex = death on this show, but also because of how everyone reacts to it, including Will. They're all slapping his back (and literally applauding!) and telling him they didn't think he had it in him ("to pull the trigger") and finding him much ~cooler~ now that he's killed someone. And he's meanwhile telling everyone who asks that it was "good" and oooooh yeah he totally enjoyed it, it felt great, he feels like a big man now, while looking really shaky and like it was the worst and scariest experience of his life. I also think that matches up with the way that GJH haunts him and how he comes out of the shooting with this weird "I have a daughter now" feeling. Also, the scene of him trying to hold onto Abigail as she bleeds all over the floor after GJH's shooting kind of reminds me of a birth.

LOL just putting that out there.
posted by rue72 at 10:22 AM on September 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

"familiarity breeds contempt" so yes.

I mean that is the biggest challenge of an intimate relationship, isn't it?

Freud put a lot of emphasis on sexual maturity, and the horror of sexual maturity. I think Alana's a Freudian, so she can rationalize that when she eventually chooses a "mature" relationship with Hannibal she is finally becoming a grown woman and putting childish things (like Will) behind her. But actually, she and Hannibal are not in an intimate relationship at all, they're just having the saddest sex ever. And the movement of the sheets emphasizes that even naked, they're still just a person-suit interfacing with another person-suit.
posted by tel3path at 10:33 AM on September 22, 2014

(and I guess there is a nuance there about the pressure to have sex for sex's sake, and who it's with should be of secondary importance, such that something is "broken" or "off" if you don't date, like Alana is really embarrassed that she doesn't date, but also just naturally assumes that Will doesn't date because he's broken, er I mean no of course not broken, and Alana certainly isn't broken)

(if your entire world consisted of the Hannibal cast would you date? well yes I would, I would date Will, maybe Beverly or Bedelia if they showed an interest, but anybody else, nein danke)
posted by tel3path at 10:37 AM on September 22, 2014

I wouldn't be surprised if the entire "sex maps to death on this show" is a result of BF's frustration with Standards and Practices and how you can't show sex but you can show violence on TV.

Once he gets an idea in his head he takes it as far as it will go.
posted by tel3path at 10:38 AM on September 22, 2014

I think Alana's a Freudian, so she can rationalize that when she eventually chooses a "mature" relationship with Hannibal she is finally becoming a grown woman and putting childish things (like Will) behind her. But actually, she and Hannibal are not in an intimate relationship at all, they're just having the saddest sex ever. And the movement of the sheets emphasizes that even naked, they're still just a person-suit interfacing with another person-suit.

I think that Alana wanted to be with Hannibal *specifically because* it wouldn't be an emotionally intimate relationship. I think she was seeing that as a bug, not a feature. She specifically doesn't want to be with Will because she thinks it would be too intimate, imo -- that's why she enforced kind of arbitrary and external boundaries/limits with him, like not being in the same room alone with him, refusing to sleep with him, etc.

I think that she thinks she "gets" him too well for the relationship to not already be breaching her "intimacy" boundaries as-is, so she's sure not going to make it even more intimate by hanging out alone with him, sleeping with him, etc. Not that I think she does "get" him or anyone else (including herself) particularly well, but she's probably right that she's got a stronger/more intimate connection with him than with anyone else she's around.

Even though their connection is still kind of screwy because he has her on a pedestal and they're terrible at communicating with each other (I think about that scene in S2 when she is asking him about his plan to confront Hannibal and how he knows it'll work, and he starts panicking and she starts crying, and they not only don't look at each other or seem to actually communicate the entire time, but it also comes to nothing at all), I think they're still the best/closest friend that either of them have.

It's funny, because Alana is actually the most emotive/expressive character on the show, imo. But she seems like she's doing it in a kind of...performative way? Not in that she's lying, I mean I think she actually does have the feelings/thoughts that she claims to have.

Her use of emotional expressiveness kind of reminds me of politicians' use of rhetoric. Like, it's symbolic language, and what matters is the action of doing it and being seen to do it. It's not about communicating information per se. Maybe, since the show has such a religious bent, it's not like rhetoric in that way, it's like prayer? (as in, prayer as symbolic language/speech acts?)
posted by rue72 at 11:10 AM on September 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Prayer is supposed to have an actual effect on the world, so I doubt it's like prayer. It's more like Alana's playing herself on TV a lot of the time. I do think she is least like that when she's with Will.
posted by tel3path at 11:21 AM on September 22, 2014

Whenever I think of prayer within the world of the show, I think of Hannibal's collection of clippings about church collapses and parishioner deaths. I think that it does make things happen, but not necessarily good things. More like, it gets you in God's sights. Just like Alana's talent for and dedication to symbolic speech did catch Hannibal's eye.

I think it's very "monkey's paw" how people's hopes come true on this show. They *do* usually come true. I mean, Will got to go back into the field! Abigail did escape her old life and her father! Etc.
posted by rue72 at 11:53 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Okay, rewatch ing at last, Hannibal is not at all being ironic when he asks Alana "do you have an appointment?" He changes faces when she asks for a beer because he's letting her take the lead socially.

Alana is wearing a green skirt and a Murder Tie patterned sweater, so what does that tell you? However, as I said I think green is representative of connection to one's own real feelings and intuitions. We very rarely see Alana wearing it. However she is being pretty authentic with Hannibal, and I think because she's not taking the upper hand in the interaction like she did with Will, seems to have much more intimacy and closeness with Hannibal than with anyone we've seen before.

See, this is where I agree and disagree with people who argue passionately that Hannibal is probably Alana's "best friend" - yeah, but still it is mostly by default. He doesn't really greet her like a friend, and she does have to have a work-related excuse to reconnect with him. I never see any evidence of Alana's deep and profound and lasting friendship with Hannibal that a lot of people insist she had - I agree that there's the appearance of a friendship there, but they definitely don't come across as BFFs. I think if I were crushing pretty hard on someone and really wanted them to have a high opinion of me, the signs we see are signs I'd use as evidence that we really were like *that*, but whenever I've done that there's always been less to it than met the eye.

But anyway. Abigail desperate to get out, Alana saying no she can't leave because she has nowhere to go, says to Abigail "you have to find someone to relate to in this experience" but she means someone in the hospital, not someone outside it, so again, more likely to maintain the status quo. Of course Hannibal is eager to take custody of her - victims can sometimes broadcast their victim hood involuntarily, remember that Alana? - so are you in any way curious as to why Hannibal is taking this particular personal interest in her? And Alana says no, she'll learn more life skills in the hospital. Ooohkay. So Abigail is left to stultify indefinitely. And Abigail even asked "where am I going to go" and Alana said "I'll help you find somewhere" but, actually, as her conversation with Hannibal reveals, she's not going to do that any time soon. Because she's not thinking about *any* other place or person for Abigail to go to. And the reason being that Abigail was very close to her parents so finding a foster parent would be a crutch? Eh? She's 18 and not even out of school? So, like, isn't it reasonable for her to have a parental figure to lean on as a crutch? Alana's right about one thing, though, it shouldn't be Hannibal.

Yet, once again, Alana enforces no: no personal relationships, no freedom from imprisonment.
posted by tel3path at 2:40 PM on September 22, 2014

I presume Will's mother abandoned him, if she'd died he would have said so.
posted by tel3path at 2:40 PM on September 22, 2014

Oh Jack. Just oh Jack. Oh dear me Jack.

Yes, rue72 is right, Hannibal catches Jack at the exact moment when he most needs to be cherished.

Go right ahead and blab to Jack about the content of Will's therapy sessions, still I suppose he signed a release.

I adore Will's cute little house I just love it.

The piano some say he doesn't play, but he does - the lid is open and there is sheet music on the stand. It's out of tune because he probably hasn't gotten around to getting a tuner to come out that far for a while.

The bit where Hannibal pricks his finger - he is probably expecting Will to stick himself on that same hook at some point in the future, and then their blood will be mixed or whatever.

I like that there's a rotary telephone in the house too.

It's so neat and tidy. Ranks of the same undershirts all in a row.

Talking about appearances versus reality in the family. Smiling faces vs decay, living as if they had money versus admitting that you're poor.
posted by tel3path at 2:46 PM on September 22, 2014

The death penalty for refusing to kill, the strict policing of thoughts and feelings in the fake family. Boy could the theme introduction be any more heavy handed.
posted by tel3path at 2:47 PM on September 22, 2014

Treating the teenage boy as if he were the ringleader, instead of starting by looking for an adult female ringleader like Will suggested.

posted by tel3path at 2:51 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

The gift isn't for you, Hannibal you flaming narcissist.

That gift is really beautifully wrapped. Will is a really aesthetic person, I think it's weird how many viewers think he's not.

Will is checking his own inappropriately paternal moving in on Abigail, but Hannibal is fanning the flames of it because Hannibal is a good psychiatrist in that he's an evil, yet very effective psychiatrist.

You know, if Hannibal weren't completely evil and predatory, he would be doing exactly what is right for Abigail. Letting her confess, getting her out into the world to live instead of stultify and form new attachments instead of withering in isolation.

That hospital is really kinda nice. I like Abigail's room.
posted by tel3path at 2:55 PM on September 22, 2014

But Hannibal you already have someone in the FBI protecting your interests. Still, you obviously need backup in case something were to


To the other one, so obviously you need to start cultivating them now.


Well I guess not cause she has a record for murder I suppose.
posted by tel3path at 2:57 PM on September 22, 2014

Will is looking all frail and fey and just like the tragic tortured poet, I can see why Zeller doesn't like him. It would just be everything I didn't want to be in the face of all this tragedy, I'd wonder why he didn't get a hold of himself and stop being so precious.

Shattered teacup, oh yeah.

Is that a persimmon or a canister eggplant?

Making breakfast for dinner is part of how they confuse timelines in this show because we can't tell if they arrived at the Hobbs house first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening.

Alana is the one who comes up with the idea that a mother figure is the ringleader - saying "take her presents take her motherhood" was actually not an expression of that thought, Alana thought of it first. Another evidence point that Alana actually is insightful and talented.

Will is obviously identified with the kidnapped child, is Alana identified with the mother? Seems more like Hannibal is the mother. Actually Hannibal is more of a mother than a father figure, I think.

He would notice what the family was going to eat for dinner at the Hobbs house, because of course he would. Everybody looks at their own thing and that was Hannibal's.

Molly Shannon is wearing orange for imprisonment when she is shot, and fawn pants for being the hunted.




and don't even think about having children with Bella.

We see Alana and Beverly working together, so they did know each other.

"I'm sorry I overstepped my bounds" - glib and superficial I think they call it. Still, it works.
posted by tel3path at 3:09 PM on September 22, 2014

What about the Molly Shannon/mother figure being paralleled by Jack (rather than/in addition to Hannibal)?

What about "capture bonding" w/r/t the BAU (rather than/in addition to Hannibal's Murder!Family)?
posted by rue72 at 3:15 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

That hospital is really kinda nice. I like Abigail's room

I know right? It's like she's in a Victorian orphanage for wayward Princesess.
posted by The Whelk at 3:40 PM on September 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

I just long for my nice!Hannibal AU where Hannibal and Will truly are the best thing that ever happened to each other and they spend many a happy Sunday morning throwing sticks for the dogs and making each other flower crowns.
posted by tel3path at 3:47 PM on September 22, 2014

I was just listening to the Eat the Rudecast and they interpreted Beverly's conversation about focus and Willard Whatsisname, to be her flirting heavily with Will.

...really? Because that sounded just like making conversation, to me.

I am someone who doesn't interpret friendly banter as flirting until it clearly crosses the line into being that, as in Hannibal's conversation with Alana in this same episode.

It was a guy saying that, and I do think guys often interpret "pass the salt" as flirtation, which can certainly make for a long long day of hilarious misunderstandings.

I think BF is telling the truth when he says Beverly is not "necessarily" romantically interested in Will. She's also not necessarily uninterested.

Partly the circumstances are ruling it out, but part of it I think is also that Alana is heavily seductive whether she means to be or not, by sending mixed messages and playing hard to get. And she is also, as I've mentioned before, predominantly giving out signals of rejection which Will picks up because he regards himself as a reject. To the extent that Bev's conversation with Will could be taken as "flirting", he doesn't take it in because there's nothing about it that's intense enough to draw his focus away from the case files.

Bev doesn't make *enough* emotional demands on Will for him to be attracted to her, I think.
posted by tel3path at 12:09 PM on September 23, 2014

I didn't take that as flirting at all, it seemed like a very brother/sister interaction to me. Beverly seemed like she found Will-being-Will (and being completely zoned out into the case) endearing, but I thought that was because they were becoming friends, and because it went with the theme of the episode of siblings/family, not because she had some secret crush on him.

Her friendliness also didn't seem weird to me, because Beverly has been friendly and welcoming toward Will from the beginning, when she complimented his bug paper (LOL). I figured she thinks it's cool that they've got a smart profiler/scientist on their team, and wants to be friends with him. And I think she's just a caring, assertive person generally, which is why it made sense when she said she grew up as the oldest child in her family. Then she also saved the day at the end, which also seemed very oldest-responsible/caring-sibling to me. And she saved the day by (apparently) murdering someone who was also threatening a child-hostage, like Will did with GJH, but also (apparently) without the angst that's been undoing him.

That was actually what I disliked about this episode, the apparent killing/murder of Molly Shannon at the end. I mean, they just glossed over it like it was nbd, but how often is Beverly just shooting people through the neck or whatever? It *seems* like a big deal! But I guess that might have also been part of the "procedural" tone/structure that Bryan Fuller wanted to veer away from. IIrc, he said that this episode was really difficult to re-break to fit the new tone/structure that they wanted to go with. That seems surprising to me, in that it seems like it plays with themes that are really important all throughout the show, and there's a lot of character development/exploration in it. But I guess the structure/plot were off, and that *is* going to be really difficult to edit or tweak substantially after shooting.

Speaking Beverly's kill-shot at the end of this episode -- I've been watching Criminal Minds, and they're always just shooting the killer to death in the last few scenes of the episode, similar to how the shooting/"capture" of Molly Shannon['s character] et al happens here, and it's always kind of jarring and horrible imo. They sort of try to soften it by "calling for paramedics" a lot, but like every episode ends in some violent shoot-out and it's creepy/horrible. I'm glad that "Hannibal" went in a different direction and didn't continue down the path of violent-death-as-no-big-deal, which is the path that it seems like even relatively ~humane~ procedurals like CM go down now. (CAN'T THEY JUST HANDCUFF THE ACCUSED AND HAVE THEM STAND TRIAL ANYMORE THERE IS SUCH A THING AS DUE PROCESS).
posted by rue72 at 12:32 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, and re: Aesthetics

I don't like Abigail's hospital or room because it actually looks way too homey. She's being kept prisoner in that hospital and keeps begging Alana to let her leave and says that the other people there are creeping her out, and is even willing to turn to horrifically-spooky Dr. Lector to get a chance at freedom. The pretty gardens and soft bedspreads and how the place looks/seems is so antithetical to what it really is -- it looks like a home, but it's really a prison.
posted by rue72 at 12:42 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it bothers me that they'd have Beverly shoot someone and be entirely unaffected by it as far as we can tell, because that is not how it would work in the actual world. Maybe she wouldn't be lastingly distressed by it but she would have to have some kind of debriefing. Leaving it like that implies that Beverly is unperturbed because of how well adjusted she is and Will is a basket case by contrast.

But anyway.

I keep mulling over the Peter Pan thing, how CJ is on the verge of growing up and no longer being qualified to be part of the family, and how strictly he polices the others maybe in hope of retaining his own place in the family. And how GJH was ready to murder Abigail rather than let her leave home and take up her own life. And then Hannibal calls out Alana's diagnosis of "low-grade depression" in Abigail and says she's projecting, and she doesn't deny it (she is wearing green at the time). And this is really the only acknowledgement we get from Alana so far that she doesn't necessarily have it all together and she doesn't necessarily have all the answers to healthy living. And maybe she doesn't really know how to do these things herself in a fulfilling way, because when Hannibal suggests giving Abigail her freedom she's like "no! Where's she going to live" as if that were a purely rhetorical question and not a realistic concern at all, as if Abigail herself hadn't urgently put that question to her during their session. Given the increasing immaturity of Alana's behaviour over the course of two seasons I have to think that Alana maps to CJ here as the Peter Pan figure.

And I was listening to the Eat the Rudecast on the way home and they point out that Will, with his family of dogs, is the least sad and twisted of all the family scenarios we're shown at the end. Because Hannibal's table is literally the most diseased situation possible, it's a fake family tableau that looks sick to two of the participants, and it's sicker than it looks even to them. As for Jack and our introduction to Bella, WHOOSH FREEZY SOUND. Given the choice, would you choose the intimate relationships by which the self-appointed well-adjusted characters prove their worth, or would you choose a less satisfying but still positive and authentic relationship with a bunch of dogs even if you'd really prefer humans?
posted by tel3path at 2:06 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, it bothers me that they'd have Beverly shoot someone and be entirely unaffected by it as far as we can tell, because that is not how it would work in the actual world. Maybe she wouldn't be lastingly distressed by it but she would have to have some kind of debriefing. Leaving it like that implies that Beverly is unperturbed because of how well adjusted she is and Will is a basket case by contrast.

Maybe she just seems unperturbed because nobody's asked how she actually feels? She said that obviously Will wouldn't be able to tell how she was feeling just by looking/by observing her, but that if he asked she would tell him the truth. But then he never (and as far as we know, nobody ever) actually asks. I mean, it's hard to know what's going on with her, because she's very straightforward and cheerful as a rule, and the other characters take that as face value, and so it's like, what is actually going on beneath that facade, who is she outside of her relationships with the others in the cast? Like they say later on, identity is defined by social relationships -- since her relationships with others are cheerful and professional and straightforward, it's like that's her entire identity. But in reality, it can't be, because she exists even when she's not in their view (and feelings/thoughts/etc exist within her even though they're not in view).

And actually, when he *does* ask her how she's feeling, way later when she visits him in the hospital, she *doesn't* answer, she just says she's "compartmentalizing." I think that she's obviously compartmentalizing all throughout the show, and it's never easy to see what she's feeling because she never really expresses any negative emotion.

This sort of reminds me of when she came up to Will and was talking and he didn't hear her. When I see that scene, I think it's sweet, because she reacts by kind of laughing to herself and going on. But in a way, it's sort of sad, because she's playing to an empty theater. And after Will killed a dude he got applause and after she killed a woman she got no reaction whatsoever. I dunno, just strange.

Will, with his family of dogs, is the least sad and twisted of all the family scenarios we're shown at the end

I dunno. I mean, Will literally owns those dogs. It's kind of weird to construct a family by finding strays on the street and becoming their owner. That's sort of how Hannibal tries to construct a family, too, though he does it with people (who he sees as animals, so I guess for him it's same diff). That's not really how family works, though. Albeit, that's maybe how an orphan who needs/wants a family and is an extremely good ~consumer~ *wishes* it would work.

I think the capture bonding idea isn't just applicable to one family, I think that all the different groups/families could be construed as a version of the Procedural!SL's family. Like, the BAU could be one "capture bonded" family, all the families at the end could be, too, Hannibal's eventual Murder!Family could, too. Etc.
posted by rue72 at 3:10 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yeah, my point is the family of dogs may be weird but it's not as bad as the families others have constructed for themselves. And it's not like Will is pretending to himself that it's enough for him. He knows he wants more.

The others are all to varying degrees trying to content themselves with role-playing as if they were families.

And yes I agree about Beverly, and the end result of Beverly's situation was that she died trying to help someone else but nobody helped her because they either didn't understand or didn't acknowledge that she needed help.
posted by tel3path at 3:28 PM on September 23, 2014

Previously I'd only seen the edited webisode version, so half of this is new for me.

Man, Will at the dinner table is CREEPY.

"You bond with your captors, you survive. You don't, you're breakfast." Aaaaand immediate cut to Abigail and Hannibal. Cheeky, show.

Wow, the "I see family" line from Tripping Abigail is so so much creepier in the context of the entire episode.

Also, uncomfortably hilarious that the events of this episode made Jack want kids.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:27 PM on October 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Okay, you know how Dolarhyde was going to do to Hannibal what he did to the mothers of the families he killed?

This fits in two ways.

1. It was Hannibal whose admiration and acceptance he specifically craved. He was Hannibal's fan. Positioning the mirrors in the mother's eyes was Dolarhyde's way of getting that acceptance and love reflected back to him.

2. In this episode, the "adult with some formative sway" over the Lost Boys was a mother, to the "brothers in search of a mother".
posted by tel3path at 9:38 AM on January 10, 2016

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