In the middle of her lecture she is giving about her 'Harrowing of Hell' experience as Lydia Fell under the control of Hannibal Lecter (complete with the elaborate artwork of the same name as her wallpaper to back up her victimization with that theatrical flare she's so fond of), Bedelia puts her hand right on Will's shoulder to accent these words. She wants him to know that healing from Dr. Lecter is going to take a new outlook on an old flame and some serious mental gymnastics.
So, while Will seeks the company of Dr. Du Maurier in an attempt to fill in a few blanks, the Red Dragon begins therapy with Dr. Lecter (great idea!) and Francis gets a lot closer to Reba McClane because the girl can handle herself in the face of danger. Plus, Guillermo Navarro is back to shock and amaze with his special brand of
Orange and black stripes. The orange is so bright, it's almost bleeding into the air around him.
Good god this whole scene bled into the air around it, if you will. It's such a weird cool moment in all of the Red Dragon incarnations, and remarkably it truly works each time it's done. I marvel at how the concept itself manages to easily transmit the metaphor without being hokey or off-putting. Hannibal took it a step further with the synchronization of Reba touching the tiger's mouth and Francis grabbing his own, in response. (This Red Dragon is a lot more specifically conscious of his facial disability -- real and imagined. But more on him down review.) Adding that edit made the scene like nothing I've ever seen before, it actually gave me goosebumps.
How is one murderer worthy of compassion and not another?
I've always perceived Hannibal as pushing the boundaries of what we can accept as morality, corruption, the search to fulfill our desires and the psychology behind our hidden (or overt) motivations but this arc is taking that to a new level. Maybe it's the sheer screen time afforded Francis Dolarhyde here but the painstaking unique details that make up his psyche are at once shattering, eye-opening and very challenging to dismiss outright as crazy, broken and evil. Not at all unlike the broken mirror imagery so well-placed throughout this mythology. Watching Francis climb his stairs to the attic of schizophrenia, fearing that the Dragon has now taken Reba, is so deeply upsetting because he honestly doesn't know. His shyness runs so thoroughly in him that he has to recede into the shadows of his living room when this woman who cannot see gives him a compliment. It's also a very interesting creative choice that we are now many miles (and minutes) past the last crime scene. The one that even when we last visited it, in Will's nightmare, that trick of psychic distance (vis a vis Will Graham) from the killer to us was being performed.
He stuck me in front of a light and I woke up somewhere else.
(RIP, Neal Frank, we hardly knew ye.) Hannibal's playbook is on display not once but twice this episode! Now because Bedelia is the self-declared mistress of obfuscation, we don't actually know if her repeating Miriam Lass' memory of living with Hannibal was really happening to her but the man's been known to wield a needle and some fresh-cut flowers when necessary. Seeing that wounded little bird (Zachary Quinto) in Bedelia's office try to communicate the misdeeds done to him, all likely at the hands of a bored and languorous cannibal whose entropy always descends into disorder has a different taste to it than the retelling from those who've come before but I still couldn't help but think of Will ('Roti' and the like) and the unmitigated fuckery done to him at Hannibal's hands. One thing unexpected though, the conversation between Neal and Bedelia reveals something much more truthful under the surface that Neal just can't get at. (Spectacular then that he crashes through a glass table shortly after!) She expresses that he lacks insight because it is not in his best interest to report Hannibal to the authorities. And she's right.
One thing I learned from Hannibal is the alchemy of lies and truths.
My new favorite subtitle for this show. At first glance, this looks like Bedelia's 'trust no one -- especially me', except what she's telling Will is incredibly valuable. This is her armour and in her estimation, the only defense to move forward in a world that intersects with Hannibal. Her suggestion to, in essence, crush his own empathy is equally as valuable (though impossible). I think she refers to the true pathology of a sadist here, which of course Will is not but he is, however, identically different. That makes him the other side of that troubling coin, which she casually points out when she asks him if he's been to see Hannibal and of course he says yes. A quick word about obfuscation, Will, the truth is in there, you just have to know where to look.
How did you manage to walk away unscarred? I'm covered in scars.
I wasn't myself. You were. Even when you weren't, you were. Will is bracing himself, you guys. He's gathering up his armour. The only person on the planet who could advise him on this is Bedelia. She, and only she, knows experientially how harrowing his hell is. I can only assume based on what this show is capable of that Will is in for the fight of his life yet. If Francis has his way, Hannibal is going to meld with the strength of the Dragon. God help us all.
Odds and Ends:
*That teaser -- be still my heart. That break-in -- such a commendable level of commitment there. I.E. faux uniform, a very long drive, change of license plate, speech exercises, breaking and entering and fiddling with the wireless? Did you catch the company he was infiltrating with that uniform? SureTalk Telecom, of course. Sure!
*Was Bedelia lecturing to the psychiatric staff at... The Knick?
*Does Francis live in a castle? WTH. So. Many. Details. To. Exploit. But here's my favorite.
|THE TEETH MOLDING!@#$%|
*When Francis listens to Reba's heartbeat. Because she has one.
*As if there aren't already several dozen of visual and audible cues to dramatize his terrifying mental illness, Francis' face has now begun to take on light and darkness (where you can't even make out his face) with the changing personas he is slipping in and out of.
*Did Alana miss Hannibal's copy of Notes on Nationwide Dialing circa 1955 on a recent room sweep?
|Give me MurrayHill 5-9975 and make it snappy!|
*And finally, a short pictorial:
(Be very afraid, by the way, if I ever figure out how to make a GIF!)
|I really try to hold it together while watching this show --|
|But this kind of shit makes it very hard.|
|So this is often me after a large number of this show's transitions.|
Hannibal: “What particular body you currently occupy is trivial.” (Hannibal really knows how to whisper sweet-nothings in peoples’ ears.)
Hannibal: “See how magnificent you are? Did he who made the Lamb make thee?"
Will: “You hitched your star to a man commonly known as a monster. You're the Bride of Frankenstein.”
Bedelia: “We've both been his bride.”
Reba: “How do I know he's sound asleep?”
Francis: “Tickle him.”
Will: “You lied, Bedelia. You do that a lot. Why do you do that a lot? “
Bedelia: “I'm under no illusion how morally consistent my compassion has been.”
Bedelia: “Your experience of Hannibal's attention is so profoundly harmful, yet so irresistible, it undermines your ability to think rationally.”
Neal: "You know, whatever this is, whatever this is, this is why Scientologists hate psychiatry."
Neal: “No! No. This is culty and weird—“
Hannibal: “Blake's Dragon stands over a pleading woman caught in the coil of its tail. Few images in Western art radiate such a unique and nightmarish charge of demonic sexuality.”
Hannibal: “I like this Dragon, Will. I don't think he's crazy at all. I think he may be quite sane. A magnificent thing, to watch the world through his red haze.”