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Hannibal: Futamono

“Hard to have anything, Dr. Lecter. Rare to get it, hard to keep it. A damn slippery life.”

Will has huge antlers, Jack discovers something very unexpected, Hannibal has a fabulous dinner party AND composes a piece for his harpsichord to give him a sense of control in a world of chaos (A lifetime of thanks, Clueless).

I am tempted once again to just forgo the review and post a transcript of the show with maybe some analysis sprinkled in because the dialogue is so sharp, so layered and so full of SUBTEXT that it’s essentially a screenwriting clinic. (Interestingly, the ‘Futamono’ script has four credited writers because perhaps something this rich required all hands on deck.)

There’s a common emotion we all recognize and have not yet named. The happy anticipation of being able to feel contempt.

Be forewarned, Jack! Will is basically telling you he will never stop saying 'I WAS RIGHT' for the rest of your lives, until the end of time. For forever. And of course Will is not a killer, but the mirrored mechanics of his brain to that of a psychopath are the reason it’s “so rare to capture one alive” as Dr. Chilton says in Silence of the Lambs. And by “so rare,” you also mean “not a good idea," too, right? I mean Will has nothing but time. With a clear head and the creature comfort of containment, he has become so sharp, so impeccable that the BSH has been nothing but a strop for his lucidity. Seriously thought, bravo to the creatives because watching him watch the parade around him has never been mishandled, neglected or played for pity. With the way his character has been meticulously crafted, Will is the perfect vessel for the wish fulfillment to our own rather elaborate revenge fantasies. The ones everyone of us has for some wrongdoing or injustice done to us somewhere along the way. Will Graham: our top-tier proxy.

There’s a pattern taking shape. I just need to convince my eyes to see.

Sweet jesus. Hannibal is the dean of disruptive camouflage. I mean he’s the dean of all the forms of camouflage but doesn’t at all lack the nuance of understanding when the pattern is becoming perceptible one should intentionally upset it so you can no longer make out the outline. The death tableaus mirror this, with their ‘This is The Chesapeake Ripper’s Manifesto’ quality in ‘Futamono’. Both have stunning features rooted (sorry) in the investigation and forensics world of discernible theme and agenda. The congress-treeman having an extra layer of context with his insides replaced with poisonous flowers. Well... Hannibal's feelings are hurt. When Will tried to kill him, he revealed their toxic friendship at its core. And Jack, you’re so close. But, dammit, so blinded by your self-preservation. Yes, he is the next domino that falls towards Hannibal’s guilt but it’s still not enough because Hannibal will just throw in a new tactic to insure further obfuscation. When he and Jack are drinking single malt by the fire and Hannibal tells him he can no longer talk about Will or be a part of the FBI team, formally or informally because it’s too painful, he plays a card that Jack just cannot question or characteristically push.

I think you are more in control now than you ever have been.

The subtext of that line is awesome because Hannibal is basically saying, ‘WTF. You are more in control incarcerated than you ever were as a free being and I totally was not counting on that. I’m springing you already because I definitely do not like this.’ So with the events of ‘Futamono’ inevitably adding to the house of cards that is Hannibal’s life before he’s immured -- what is his master plan? Hannibal gives Miriam Lass back to Jack, frees Will, somehow supplies Jack food that isn’t made of people then gets rid of Gideon (but not before the show’s version of the Last Supper, and yeah, just go ahead and FEDEX all the acting awards to Eddie Izzard for the manner in which he eats his own leg). In the final act of the episode, juxtaposed with the sounds of Hannibal’s finished Rondo in D Minor (in a Rondo, the pattern of phrases, repeated or varied, are very specific) (Oh, Bryan Fuller.), Jack finds Miriam at the bottom of a well. A crossed T or dotted I to the end of this particular chapter of corruption. This is pure conjecture but -- is Hannibal going to attempt to behave? And more curiously, could one who’s SO TERRIBLE acquit themselves within the trappings their ill-circuited mind?

I’ll give Alana Bloom your best.

Yeah you will. If the tone of ‘Futamono’ could be contained in one line of dialogue, it’s this. The camp in this episode is off the charts. I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it on TV, network or otherwise. The closest tone of this show I can think of is a British 1960s psychological thriller starring an some actress from the French New Wave. Some of my favorite examples of the aforementioned ostentatiousness: the mouse running down the wall that separates Gideon and Will when they’re discussing Hannibal, the flagrant uses of a harpsichord, plaid and dinner parties, Hannibal’s Svengali snap over Alana’s face to make sure she’s asleep so he can slip into the night for copious amounts of fuckery, the Forensic Two casually using a chainsaw and goggles in the autopsy bay and EVERYTHING Raul Esparza is doing. It’s infinitely delightful, not to mention a major reason I love, honor and worship at the altar of this show. But maybe, it frames the horror, the unruly amounts of unsettling, in perhaps the only thinkable way.

I don’t want to be perceived as a threat.

Speaking of Chilton, oh my god, I’m so glad he’s still around to do EXACTLY whatever the hell he’s doing. He’s this fabulous terrible menace who has insinuated himself into the damndest of scenarios as of late (i.e. Hannibal’s dinner party). Just his inferences alone in his conversations with Jack or Gideon, well, let’s just say, he’s definitely aware he’s on a show called Hannibal. I don’t know at this point with whom he’s in league, if it's even anyone other than himself, but where I once thought he was deliciously lacking in self-awareness, I now see that he’s much more self-possessed than I gave him credit. He’s also got one hell of an ace in his pocket; he’s essentially the eye in the sky of an institution where more shenanigans per capita go down daily. That’s considerable on a show where the game pieces are people.

Odds and Ends

*Will is so f-ing bored by everything right now.

*That murder tree required a jack hammer. Just saying.

*How about how the congressman was wearing a bird’s nest crown. So cheeky.

*Hannibal has at least two harpsichords. Is there another show that could have prompted me to compose that sentence?

*Did Gideon want to die (by the hands of the guards)? Did he just know if he got lippy enough that they’d clock him? What happened there.

*Hannibal’s Escher floor! Holy god. What a fantastic choice, art direction/set design. Where do I even begin? Shot from above, but of course, you can make out the dimension of hexagrams and diamonds but not see all sides of them. And for all the guests, they are simultaneously on view like some kind of statue and also, thanks to the optical illusion of depth, in their own dungeon. I mean it’s foreshadowing on the micro and macro level: Miriam Lass and the very rest of Hannibal’s reign. (ONCE AGAIN, my god, what show cares this much?)

*Hannibal’s wink to Chilton at the dinner party.

*There were flowers e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. It made everything very pretty. There’s one dissolve where music notes become flowers become the forensic lab. Doesn’t get much clearer than that.

*Chopsticks. A waltz in ¾ time. In a scene with two people referring to third person.

*Can we talk about the murder snap for the next ten lifetimes? Who does that. I didn’t even know WHAT WAS HAPPENING. I seriously had NO IDEA. WTH. He’s like this old timey magician -- nay -- an illusionist who just hypnotized audience member. It's par for the course? Hold me.

*So Hannibal drugged Alana to use her for le alibi. I didn't catch the whole 'Hey, girl, I roofied your wine, okay?' the first time around but of course it just makes everything that much more horrible.

*Does Hannibal ever sleep?

*Gideon refers to Chilton as Humpty-Dumpty. Heh.

*Love the sound design when Jack’s at Hannibal’s party watching, in slo-mo, everyone eating all the food. It’s just pure cacophony.

*Since my last review, I have watched Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, which has been lovely, helpful and fun. (A lifetime of thanks, Netflix Watch Instantly.)


Will: “You and I probably sipped wine while swallowing the people to whom we were trying to give justice, Jack.”

Hannibal: “Feels as if that noose is around my neck still.”

Hannibal: “I’m metabolizing the experience by composing a new piece of music.”
(Best euphemism ever.)

Brian: “He’s got varicose vines.”

Hannibal: “We both have to transform our misfortunes into life-enhancing events.”
Jack: “Well, when you figure out how to do that, do let me know.”

Jack: “Abel Gideon is a lunatic.”
Chilton: “He’s psychotic, not psychic.”

Hannibal: “You tried to kill me, Will. It’s hard not to take that personally. However, if I were Beverly’s murderer, I applaud your effort.”

Gideon (upon laying eyes on Chilton again): “So, it seems that all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men could indeed put Humpty back together again.”

Chilton: “Hmm. Hannibal the cannibal. That’s what they’ll call him, you know.”

Jack (handing a to-go container to Brian and Jimmy): “Test this.”

Alana: “If only every problem could be solved with a simple waltz.”

Hannibal: “Last time someone rang my doorbell this early it was a census taker.”

Jack: “Will didn’t kill any of these people. There was no copycat; never was. It was always the Ripper. Finally taking credit for all of his murders.”


  1. The face Izzard made when Abel had to eat his own leg was priceless.
    And oh dear but Chilton is a great, priceless addition to the show. Raul Esparza is killing it. Heh. He's also one of the few lights on Law and order:SVU now.
    And oh Alana don't go there with Hannibal.
    Miriam is alive? Wow. Great epsiode and show. And review of course.

  2. I don't watch SVU but from what I've read he does something wonderfully different on that series. Love him!

  3. This show is just amazing. Hannibal is just pulling everyone along in his net. The only one completely aware is Will. Will is that hiccup in Hannibal's plan, the one that can upset the balance in this game he's playing.

    Oh yes, I forgot my mandatory, "Dangit Alana!" Every time I hear her "dissect" Will's psyche I just shake my head. She used to be so on point. What's on the horizon for her character I wonder.

  4. SVU not what it once was..but Esparza brings something both fierce and tender to Rafael Barba. The writing frequently lets him down, but he still shines. The show might be on its last legs, but who knows..
    And yes, Alana has been a bit off this season. What will sleeping with the cannibal mean for her? Eek. Guess we'll see.

  5. I'm still racking my brain about Alana as a character. I mean what's the end game? So hard to say . Everyone in that show is written very deliberately (case in point--Chilton goes from loathsome to sympathetic for a specific reason!) but I'm not sure what's gained from writing Alana looking so...unlike herself I guess. I like how you said "a bit off." YES. Awww Raul is in NYC! I'm gonna look out for the SVU crew!


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