Meredith Bronwen Mallory (garnettrees) wrote,
Meredith Bronwen Mallory

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Hannibal 1x06.2: Mad dogs and psychiatrists

Pretty sure we're still doing this tonight-- and, even if I'm jumping the gun a little, it won't be the first time. ^_^

So, grab your gear and mount up your nightmare stags, ladies and gentlemen. G-d is willing, and the creek* (while possessed of a very swift current) hasn't risen yet. It's time for The Will and Hannibal Show Abigail Has Two Daddies** Hannibal. ^_^

Incidentally, this episode (and all those hereafter) is brought to you by Amber aka minttown1. Her birthday was the 21st, she is awesome on a scale that defies scientific measurement, and she is the Offical Icon and Screen Cap Queen of this rewatch. Bow, BOW I SAY! ;-)

(WARNING: Some discussion of religion in this post-- I'm discussing it (briefly) from a literary stand-point. No offense, trauma, proselytizing, preaching, or disrespect is intended. ^_^ Also, this post was not beta'd.)

[+] We open at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where a nondescript middle-aged man lies on the floor, seemingly unconscious. This is Abel Gideon, and his handlers are carefully following procedure despite his lack of response. Couple of things:

-creepy locale. How much you wanna bet Baltimore State has an residency and exchange program with Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane? Hell, half the guards probably requested a transfer to Baltimore after spending too much time around the Joker. Sorry boys, looks like Gotham doesn't have the market cornered on crazy. ^_~

-as Leigh has pointed out previously, anthroponymy can be a dangerous game in fiction. _However_, I find Abel Gideon's name very interesting:
Abel- the second son of Adam, the shepherd. Killed, as we all know, by his jealous brother Cain. But Cain was jealous of the Lord's favor, because his sacrifices (wheat and grain) were not as pleasing as Abel's (the slaughter of goats and calves). After the murder, G-d tells Cain that Abel's blood "cries out from the ground" to accuse him. A lot of Rabbinic commentary suggests that at least some of this story is a criticism/discouragement of human sacrifice, yet it's explicitly stated that G-d _is_ more pleased with the animal sacrifice. It's almost a Catch-22; as the one who "tills the soil", Cain doesn't have any blood to sacrifice-- he kinda helps himself to Abel's. But that same blood calls out an accusation later, and G-d categorically rejects it as a sacrifice. So, Cain's screwed (and really, he should be, 'cause fratricide is Not Nice At All***), and the Torah discourages human sacrifice while at the same time reinforcing the atavistic notion that blood is the oldest form of currency.
-Gideon- is one of Israel's proto-kings in the Book of Judges. He's actually summoned a massive army against Israel's enemies. It's huge. But hold on! G-d thinks the army is too big-- he doesn't want the people of Israel to ascribe the victory to their numbers and prowess alone, but rather to the glory of the Almighty. (Oh, I'm going to Hell, but why is G-d concerned with what any puny human or group of humans thinks?****) So he makes Gideon send about half the army home. It's still too much, so G-d tells Gideon to send even more home, still. No one is going to take false credit for this victory.

… so, what we have here is a spurned sacrifice and accusation of plagiarism. It is possible Fuller and the writers intended this. It is also entirely possible that Meredith has _way_ too much time on her hands.

[+] 'Kay, back to the fun stuff, by which I mean the gore and murder. This is Hannibal, after all. I feel really, really sorry for the poor nameless prison-nurse. There she is, putting in her eight hours, probably with a family of some kind to support and who knows how many ridiculous student loans to pay off, and then this asshat decides he's going to torture and maim her to make a point.

Also, I am terrified of someone manually destroying my eyeballs is a HUGE fear of mine. Obviously, it would be really painful, and the image of eyes as organs being popped just goes right through me. *shivers*

[+] At any rate, as soon as there's a horrific crime scene, you _know_ Jack's gonna make Will take a little field trip. This is an especially unwilling field-trip, because Will is afraid that if he goes into a Mental Hospital, they won't let him leave. You are not the only one, Will.
JACK: {pat, distracted) "Don't worry, I won't leave you here."
WILL: "This time".

How much you want to bed that horrid, pretentious little red sports car parked out front (in the fire lane!) belongs to Dr Chilton?

[+] Speaking of Chilton… it's ADA Rafael Barba! Hi, BARBA! Oh, wait, that's Raul Esparza's Law & Order: SVU character, whom I actually like. You're giving me a lot of cognitive dissonance here, Rafe, 'cause I can't stand Chilton. Not that I'm supposed to. Chilton wants Will to know three things: a) Chilton has a shit-ton of degrees and licenses b)he knows Will isn't officially FBI, and c)one of the previously mentioned degrees is a Masters in being A TOTAL ASSHOLE. Thank you.

[+] Oh, look-- Chilton has a pair of creepy iron stags' heads in his office. THIS SHOW. He also has a chair with entirely too much leather and padding, a library full of books that match hideously, and a Chia Pet stubble. Nice try, doc, but Will's utterly effortless, savoir faire perma-stubble. So there. *sticks out tongue*

[+] Chilton pretends as though he's startled to realize Will intends to look at the crime scene. "Oh yes," he says, "that thing that you do." He goes on to mention that Will is quite the topic in psychiatric circles. Gee, thanks.

It kind of reminds me of the scene in Avengers, when Tony tells Bruce that he is a big fan of his work on radiation emissions, and the way he "turns into a big green rage monster". Except, for once, Tony Stark (who can be the King of Insensitive Jerkwads) looks absolutely soft and gooey next to Chilton. Mind you, Chilton and Stark have _very_ different reasons for saying what they do (Stark doesn't have a great brain-mouth filter) but, if you weren't looking closely enough, it could be interpreted badly.
… in Chilton's case, you'd be right.

[+] Poor Will. He does not like this game. He has that look of relaxation that in no way implies comfort-- it's simply that his body has been flooded with adrenaline, fear and panic for a long enough period that he is physically exhausted. He may, in fact, be having a very quiet panic attack-- especially when you think about his short answers and lack of affect in Chilton's office. He's functioning through it (glasses firmly on, hair combed, a shirt with actual starched _creases_ in it), but it sure as hell ain't fun.

[+] There's no pendulum this time, when we come back from the title credits. Just Will, having seamlessly stepped into Gideon's shoes. I don't think our hero is in a very good headspace, right now. When he comes back to himself, Will looks even more exhausted and despondent-- like a child that's been wandering, lost, out in the rain.

[+] Now we get to see the first of Jack's many flashbacks, which weren't color-corrected when they came back from the lab. ^_~ Aw, bless-- look at the ambitious, over-eager trainee! Jack's looking for a "warm body" (won't be warm for long), and she's thinking this could _make_ her career. I don't actually have anything against Miriam Lass-- I feel sorry for her, but we don't really get a chance to know her. I _do_ think it's interesting that, while he makes eye contact, her gaze seems to flicker away a lot as she answers Jack. Her 'sir's are an afterthought, and she seems to be looking for approval… until she starts analyzing something. At which point, her entire demeanor changes, becomes focused.

[+] Meanwhile, Will and Alana discuss the distressing amount of clinical fan-mail and dozen-or-so Lonely Hearts letters Gideon has received. Seems there are a few ladies (and gentlemen?) who want the good surgeon's hand in marriage, even if said hand is on the other side of the bars. Alana looks appalled, and Chilton tells her that there's no accounting for taste.

Believe you me, Doc-- by the time the Chesapeake Ripper is done with you, you will know _way_ more than you ever wanted to about 'taste'.

Chilton also makes a dig at Alana's work, calling it more-or-less helpful. The man is passive aggressive, but he's worlds away from actually being talented at it. For once, I cheer when Alana demurs and gracefully dodges the jab:
"I'm glad I could be… [pause of amiable distaste] helpful."
WILL: [drier than a martini poured from the Swamp's still] 'More or less'.

This is one of the rare scenes in which Alana isn't wearing something chic-but-colorful. Don't know if it's deliberate, but it's interesting to see "all black and white" in this context.

[+] Alana and Will take turns interviewing Gideon-- I should really pay more attention, especially since Will's questions are erudite, clever, and on-point. But I'm kind of distracted by that one thick curl falling ever-so-slightly against his forehead. Gideon may be, as well.

Oh, Will-- your milkshakes***** prettiness and empathy bring _all_ the serial killers to the yard.

[+] Back at the ranch-- I mean, Hannibal's office-- Jack's broad shoulders seem to be bracing some pretty heavy thoughts. So, who goes he go see? Why, our dear Dr Lecter, who would love nothing more that to stir Jack's already conflicted brains with a big ol' psychological two-by-four.

More tomorrow, as this review is getting long, and my own brains are starting to ache. It's actually trying to snow, here in Ohio. Granted, it's just spitting, but it's still G-DDAMNED OCTOBER. My brain, which monitors barometric pressure and temperature changes better than the National Weather Service, is feeling one hum-dinger of a migraine moving in.

I hope everyone else got to see/write about/enjoy the episode at some point, too! ^_^
<3 Meredith

*Yes, I know this quote originally applies to the Creek Indians. *handwave*
** Most traumatizing children's book ever.
***Really, Cain? We've all thought about throttling our brothers out in some field at one point or another, but most of us have managed to restrain ourselves. At this point, there's about four people on the planet-- did you not think someone was gonna notice?
****Erm, this would be why I like looking at the Tanakh as a historical document; a human (and therefore unavoidably flawed) reflection on faith. Personal faith requires labor and honesty, and cannot be taken verbatim from a document that is thousands of years old and has been translated multiple times by hundreds of people with varying political agendas. *coughs* Sorry, I'm done. ^_^
*****That was bad. BAD. It was wrong of me, and I apologize. ;-)

Tags: fandom, hannibal, hannibal/will, horror, marvel-verse, mash, religion, rewatch '13, slash, very-jewish-thanks

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