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05 June 2015 @ 10:21 pm
Hannibal 3x01: "The lies we weave are oh so intricate..."  
It's that time of year again. The days are longer, the nights are hotter, and all the crafty little cannibals come out to play….



Last Season, on Hannibal: Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter were having a Really Excellent and Romantic adventure, before their love was derailed by general morality and the FBI. Hannibal is really upset that there won't be any more moonlit killing sprees or tender display of human organs in the kitchen, and it turns out that he's one of those people who absolutely loses their shit when you break up with them. Never woulda figured. ^_~ Will apparently concocted this plan by telling Jack he's a good fisherman-- but I _really_ don't think Crawford expected you'd be using *that* pole, darling. Alana slept with Lecter at some point, though who was substituting what for whom is up for debate at this point and, anyway, we'd need a flow chart. Abigail remained stubbornly dead, much to Meredith and Amber's dismay.

[+] Cue artsy visual retreat from the engine of a motorcycle to the vehicle itself. It speeds through the dark outskirts of Paris, while the Eiffel Tower stands like a beckoning lighthouse. (Hey, I'm entitled to all the purple prose I want-- this show practically begs for it. To say nothing of the overwrought Dante metaphors. ^_~)

In all seriousness, Hannibal is the ultimate chameleon. I very much doubt anyone from his days as Dr. Lecter could ever have imagined him riding a motorcycle in such sleek oneness with the machine, or sporting leather and danger like it's the new black. (Oh, wait, it is. -_-''*) He strides into the room with perfect confidence. Every bone in his bone says, 'I belong here'.

[+] Some jarring shots of various aspects of the party-- wine being opened, patrons dancing, etc. Since many of Hannibal's kills/con-jobs have been aided by his sophisticated sense of smell, you have to wonder if all of his other senses are like that, too. Is life for Hannibal a bit like that of any predator; a series of separate sensory images that only sparingly come together, like a zoetrope?

[+]A seemingly random pretentious poet type accosts Hannibal trying-- and failing-- to gossip with him. They agree that one can admire art without dissecting it. But, Hannibal adds, "Occasionally only dissection will do."
Especially for scary hobbyists like you, Dr. Lecter. You make frightening Anthony Perkins-esque lepidopterists** hide behind their stuffed moms.

[+] The thing about Hannibal getting his stalk on with the motorcycle? At least the black helmet reflects a face. Mikkelsen, as always, is absolutely brilliant at showing us in that moment before the murder just how empty that 'person suit' really is.

[+] Scenes of Hannibal cooking, filmed to please both the cinema lover and the gourmet. At this point, I have an almost pathological reaction to cooking shows. I wonder if there's a Hannibal fandom support group for that. Who knew you could be allergic to the Food Network.***

… seriously, is there anything scarier than Hannibal's beautiful meals? Bedelia is the only (pseudo)wife in the world who comes how and says, "Oh shit, he's prepared a beautiful three course meal."

[+] So! Let's follow that up with a distressing flashback to Abel Gideon, with a heaping helping of auto-cannibalism to chase it down. He makes a valiant effort to keep up the witty banter, "You smoked me in thyme." I actually like him a lot more than I did in the first season. Hmm. (This show, I tell you. While I love Raul Esparza, I only came to like Chilton about five minutes before they shot him.)
I must respectfully disagree with both Dr. Gideon and (possibly) Bryan Fuller. In order for Hannibal to be the devil, he'd have to acknowledge the whole good/evil dichotomy-- and the good doctor clearly doesn't. *cringe*

[+] Gideon claims we ate the missing link. Possible, since a lot of prehistoric cannibalism was probably driven by necessity and then later developed religious symbolism. This Jewish chick is manfully restraining herself from any commentary about a certain ceremony involving bread and wine. See what a good girl I am?

Or maybe we bred out the missing link. We humans are a horny lot, I'm told. ;-)

[+] Hannibal helpfully summarizes the entire show for anyone who missed the first two seasons: "It's only cannibalism if we're equals."
…. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you and goodnight. X_x

[+] Back in the land of technicolor film, Hannibal and Bedelia top of their perfect, soulless mockery of marriage with a perfectly choreographed and passionless dance. I've finally gotten my hands on Angela Carter's**** first novel, Shadow Dance, and there's a line in it which perfectly describes Bedelia-- "a ravishing automaton".

[+] Hannibal seems to have assumed his previous victim's identity. Ahaha, Dr. Fell. As in, "I do not like thee, Dr. Fell." He gently chides Bedelia for her skittishness, remarking that he's "barely killed at all in Florence." I think that may quickly be remedied by Mr. Pretentious-Wants-To-Die.

Of course, Hannibal can quote Dante in the original Italian, from memory. Fuck you, Dr. Lecter. You probably ate the person who tried to collect on your student loans.

[+] On a strictly aesthetic note, I love that Bedelia's bathroom-- the gold/brown/bronze/teal color scheme is very compelling. Not worth the creepy serial killer that goes with it, though.

[+] Gillian Anderson speaks each of Bedelia's lines as if every word and accompanying gesture is influences by four times Earth's normal gravity. She's like a fly caught in a slow-motion flow of molasses. The exhaustion makes sense to me, because I think her life is one big panic attack. ;_;

[+]From a directorial standpoint, the awkward camera views-- while jarring-- make it difficult for the audience to define themselves in relationship to the characters… well played, Fuller. Well played.

[+] And finally, we come to the giant elephant mongoose in the room. Hannibal neatly dodges her question with his own suspicions about her motives, adding that "Will Graham is not a viable substitute for therapy."
… and, since no one saw those two crazy murder husbands cuddling in the afterglow, that's gonna be Hannibal's story, and he's sticking to it. ^_~

[+] Ahahaha, Hannibal asks Bedelia if she trusts him. Her answer is vague and politic, but the correct response is, "No, no, for G-D'S SAKE NO!". She claims this is due to 'blind optimism, but I put it to you that the woman doesn't have an optimistic bone in her body. The thing about this show is, not only are the characters all lying to each other, they're also lying to themselves and all their other personalities.

[+] You know Bedelia just spent my entire week's paycheck in that damn little epiqure's boutique.

[+] Snails taste bad enough (well, it's the texture, really), but I don't think they go well with pretension. Thank you, Mr. Fuller, we've just about filled our This Is Fucked Up, Son scorecard. Who's got bingo?

The thing is, Hannibal doesn't exhibit much if any pleasure in the torture he's inflicting. He's an incredibly controlled creature of his own invention, so it makes sense that the sadist in him knows a lack of emotion will likely humiliate his victim further. All the same, he always strike me as more of a child poking at a dead cat, or a junior scientist applying electricity to a dead frog's legs to see what it will do. I honestly think obtaining these excoriating, visceral reactions from his victims is the only time there's any 'color' in his world.

[+] Meanwhile, Random Pretentious Poet Guy wants to know if it's "that" kind of kinkyparty.
BEDELIA: (absolute deadpan) "It really isn't."

[+] Hannibal sure does like braining people with statues, doesn't he? Kind of like the audience getting brained over the head with stag/Dante metaphors. ^_~ I kid because I love.

[+] (The entire fandom basically suspected Hannibal of having something to do with the attack that caused Bedelia's retirement, and here we have the proof. I respectfully disagree with Lecter-- anticipating that someone will be an absolute asshole in no way means you are participating in them being an asshole. But it does sound like something a chronic abuser would like you to believe.)

[+] Finally, in the ultimate act of condescension, Hannibal murmurs, "What have you gotten yourself into?", as though she's a naughty school girl, and tells her to hang up her coat. X_x

[+]Next time, on Hannibal: An ever diminishing flash-back Gideon goads Lecter, saying "If only that company could be Will Graham."
… Dear, 50,000 fanfics on Ao3 have already explored that scenario. At. Length.*****

Dang, for someone who wasn't in the episode at all, the specter of Will Graham has amazing scene presence.

*fade to your local news*




*I'm trying to confine my bad jokes and obvious puns to three per recap. Let's so how I do.
**No offense intended towards actual lepidopterists. ;-)
***There's number two.
****The woman is freaking brilliant. She ought to have a shrine somewhere, seriously. Shadow Dance is good but, if you read anything, read The Passion of New Eve.
*****But see, I didn't take that all the way, did I? <3




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Emotional Temperature: impressedimpressed
The Band Plays:: "This Ain't A Scene, It's a G-ddamn Arms Race"-- by Fall Out Boy