You know when it seems like all your friends are getting married and having kids and you’re just like not there yet 'emotionally' because you’re... locked up in a hospital for the criminally insane for the rest of your natural born life? This week on Hannibal, people try to act like they got this (they don't), Francis Dolarhyde grows a tail and makes two new friends and Will adopts another dog. (And we all know what that means.)
Came to get the old scent again. Why don't you just smell yourself?
The look on Will’s face when Hannibal sinks this one is dripping with heartbreak -- in fact, the only other time that look has appeared is right after Hannibal gutted him with a linoleum knife. Can we please just say it all together: Poor Will. (Shite. I KNOW. I, too, have dressed him up in moral dignity pants!) Within a reasonably short time together, Hannibal's tactic for connecting with Will involves things like sandwiching jibes in between fairly interesting observations about the tooth fairy and reminding him of their interdependence. Sometimes all within the same sentence. It's this whole other aspect of Hannibal that's surfaced, so far reserved for Will, when he's not exactly in control. But he's not exactly not in control either. It's fascinating watching Hannibal have to mine another more subversive arsenal within his grand skill set. For instance, he mirrors his movement precisely when the two walk to the drawer in the glass so Will can hand over the file folder as if to say, remember how in sync we are? The whole racket both works utterly and completely and not even at all because this show is nothing if not about simultaneity. You really do get the sense that, despite Will's expressed admission that Hannibal is in his head again, he's quasi-holding his own. Atta boy. Their combined memory palace though -- swoon. There's a lot of 'takes one to know one', 'takes two to catch one' bandied about but in truth, the more pressing issue for the empath to the horribly fucked up is not Hannibal, it's Dolarhyde.
|I'm okay alone but you got something I need.|
You accepted your father would it be so difficult to accept me?
Wow, Abigail was really treated to the works when it comes to capture bonding! You bond with your capture, you survive. You don’t? You’re breakfast. In a way, seeing these scenes made me wonder how many future seasons could be filled with these kinds of flashbacks with Hannibal and his favorite playthings and just how deeply satisfying that would be to watch. But a very sad cloud hangs over the Abigail and Hannibal adventure because we know her awful fate. I do like seeing that she wasn't just complicit in her 'death' and 'rebirth' but also participated in it with something like gusto. I know, I know, it's dark as hell that underneath her certainty that she was active in all this was a manipulation orchestrated to mirror her dad's because that's all she knew. Long live, Abigail Hobbs.
|The family that sprays together, stays together.|
There are only five doors between Hannibal and the outside and I have the keys to all of them.
The difference between Chilton tormenting Hannibal and Alana tormenting Hannibal is Grand Canyon-level huge. Doing bad things to bad people makes us feel good. Alana's straight-up commitment to keep herself (and others) 'safe' from Hannibal is loaded with the sheer lack of reconciliation for what the fuck even happened to her when she was with him. A fuel that's made of nothing therefore made of everything. And it's that toxin that's maddeningly internal, featuring of the worst kind of self-loathing molded from regret. When Will told Freddie that Alana and Hannibal's arrangement was 'complicated', I laughed so loudly my cat jumped vertically in the air. Chilton is always amazing to have around and I look forward to his shenanigans while he's a part of the psychiatric staff at the BSH but taunting Hannibal with playground insults to his serial killer vanity cannot possibly measure up to the shit Alana has in mind. For as long as she and her sidebun are with us.
Trust me I'm smiling.
I don't think I could contain all of my thoughts and feelings about Reba and Francis, together or separately, in ten reviews much less one but here are a few of the details I'm very into. Rutina Wesley's line delivery as Reba is on-point great. It’s like Wait Until Dark meets Carousel. In the first few second of their meeting, she talks him through the darkness he's surrounded by. The character was written as self-possessed and strong, and Fuller hasn't deviated from that, but what he (and Rutina) have added is a matter of fact-ness that in a normal situation would be quite stabilizing. Except here, its effect is just more barely tolerable tension. (How that's even possible I don't even know. These scenes are already saturated with gouts of danger, uncertainty and fear.) I keep biting my nails: how will Francis take this kind of direct confrontation? You guys, I'm really sorry. I couldn't even process Richard Armitage until this week because he's operating on so many levels. He's another ace in the casting department. At this point, he is earning multiple awards across myriad platforms. (Best Dragon Tail, Most Horrifying Unspecific Childhood Memory of a Family Dinner, Scariest Tree Carving) Seriously, though, that moment when he stares bewildered, ecstatic yet paralyzed in front of Reba's front door, not at all sure what's happening because he's allowed to go through this time, I melted into a puddle of sad weird onto my floor. She has invited him in. (A thundering round of applause for director John Dahl because his touch was draped all over these like velvet, I tell ya, velvet!) A part of my soul died during the scene in her kitchen. What in god's name is next for this show? Deep sigh -- whatever it is, I plan to savor the hell out of it.
|You had me at 'Mr. D'.|
Odds and Ends:
*Jack walks right through Hannibal's reflection during his visit. Beautiful.
*Will gets pleasure from seeing the family alive in video whereas Francis gets off watching them dead.
*Hannibal's acid tongue -- it's so much worse in captivity.
*Wait a sec -- my cat is an early warning system? That's so funny because it looks like she's only ever sleeping!
*I'm haunted by how adorable this is. (It's a bloodhound, right?)
|Hi, my name is Will and I'm an addict.|
*Sweet lord. Caroline Dhavernas.
|Part Paul Smith, part circus barker.|
Hannibal: “I smell dogs and pine and oil beneath that shaving lotion. It's something a child would select, isn't it? Is there a child in your life, Will? I gave you a child if you recall.”
Hannibal: “We don't get wiser as we get older, Abigail, but we do learn to avoid or raise a certain amount of hell, depending on which we prefer.”
Hannibal: “Blood leaves the body at a gallop and then a stumble.”
Hannibal: “Are you ready to die, Abigail?”
Abigail: “Yes. Can I push the button?”
Alana: “Your cogs are turning, Hannibal. I can hear them clicking.”
Hannibal: “Click, click, boom.”
Freddie: “We're co-conspirators, Will. I died for you and your cause.”
Will: “You didn't die enough.”
Will: “You called us murder husbands.”
Freddie: “You did run off to Europe together.”
Francis: “Ride with me for my pleasure.”
Molly: “I'm feeling Randy.”
Will: “Me too.”
Molly: “Randy's our new dog.”
Will: “Oh, hell.”
Will: “We have a new new dog.”
Hannibal: “It would be more honest if you ate his brain right out of his skull.”
Jack: “And you're nothing if not honest.”
Hannibal: "Tell me. What are you becoming?"
Francis: "The Great Red Dragon."