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Hannibal: Secondo

Hello, forest, my old friend.
“How did your sister taste?”

...And other provocative questions posed this week in 'Secondo'! There are also lots of metaphors. Lots and lots of metaphors. And this is a show where, already, the metaphors have metaphors. As is par for the Hannibal course (I know, but trust me when I say it could be so much worse, people, because the puns are real), once again, we're watching layers and layers of psychological trickery.

You are going to be caught. It has already been set into motion.

After my first watch, I had only written down one thing: 'conversations between Bedelia and Hannibal'. There's a new cut-to-the-quick quality between these two... colleagues. (Not to mention the aesthetic value placed on the composition of each shot they're in together is off the goddamn charts.) Either because Bedelia could not care less about her fate (there's no escaping here) or she's the smartest (and it might just be both because Gillian Anderson) but girl is letting it fly, early and often, with someone who's life is, in his own words, in entropy or disorder on any given day. Good god, I really really love her. And also her hair.

Her hair's silhouette has a silhouette. Can you imagine how
fucking psyched her hair person was when they saw this?
You cannot preserve entropy. It gradually descends into disorder.

I just need to know something: Has Hannibal killed so many people in every way possible that he knows exactly what will happen when he shoots an ice pick through that precise spot on Sogliato's temple, at that angle? No wonder he wants to wind everyone else up and see how they go -- he's bored as shit. It actually makes sense to me that with that level of mastery must come a tedium unimaginable! (I keep thinking about Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours theory -- if that's true, what Hannibal demonstrated in 'Secondo' took like 50k.) Between that and his knack for following several trains of thought without distraction from any one, well, suffice it to say, he's never had an ordinary day in his life. His mind can't afford it. And yet, he's got a lot of range. He's like a tortured goth teen every time he talks about Will -- who's now, unquestionably, his latest substitute for love. (Is it fair to say that this is the strangest love ever portrayed on TV?)

We construct fairy tales and we accept them. Our minds concoct all sorts of fantasies when we don't want to believe something.

That is like le subtitle for the show this season. The current shared fantasy? Everyone is desperately telling themselves they will survive Hannibal. (Despite the reality that this unparalleled level of corruption gets transformed aurally, at the genius level, every week in the credits -- that theme song, it just gets better -- and to hell with the fact that the show is called Hannibal.) You guys, there are so many people who are on board this train. It just gets bigger. This train, the same one where there no there there and there's also definitely NO ESCAPING HERE. It's building, too, to something full force crazy, and crazy fragmented, you can feel it. With the addition of Chiyoh (Tao Okamoto) and her insane story (as in not sure her sorrows can be borne just because you put them in a story), I really don't suspect a good outcome for, well, anyone. (Ha.) And no one is willing to admit that when it comes to Hannibal, they're all tiny painted shards of glass -- fragmentary -- static scenes that never change, all of them. They'd rather remember that being around him is undeniably[one hell of a complicated kind of]life-affirming.

Nonetheless, it was good to see this one again.

Remember me? I'm bedrock.

Nothing happened to me. I happened.

Yes, you did, my dear. Yes, you did. The mirrors in your mind can reflect the best of yourself. And your mind palace now, by necessity, has to be grand even by medieval standards, we get it. Or at least we're starting to. Will says that Mischa doesn't account for the severity of misalignment at this stage in Hannibal's life -- but doesn't it? I know the words that Will uses were different -- she doesn't quantify what he does but when you hear it, heartbreakingly, in Hannibal's own combination of child-like feelings given adult words, the shattered teacup that can't ever come together again glints. We all know that Bryan Fuller is an insane lunatic but giving us these moments here where Hannibal is human, well, I forget -- am I the betrayer or the betrayed?

Odds and Ends:

*Previously on Hannibal that was most decidedly NOT previously on Hannibal... Will: "There are places within himself he can't safely go."


*The bone trinket dolls the prisoner created.

*If you haven't yet, google up Tao Okamoto. You can thank me later.


Bedelia: “Was it nice to see him?”
Hannibal: “It was nice... among other things…”

Bedelia: “Forgiveness is too great and difficult for one person. It requires two: the betrayer and the betrayed. Which one are you?”
Hannibal: “I'm vague on those details.”

Hannibal: “On my memory palace? Its door at the center of my mind. And here you are, feeling for the latch.”

Hannibal (to Bedelia after stabbing Sogliato in the temple): “That may have been impulsive.”

Bedelia: “Two men from the Capponi are dead.”
Hannibal: “I can only claim one... technically.”

Jack: “I'm not here for the Monster. ‘Not my house, not my fire.’ I'm here for Will Graham.”

Will: “You're keeping him like an animal.”
Chiyoh: “I wouldn't do this to an animal.”

Chiyoh: “All sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story. Tell me a story.”

Will: “I've never known myself as well as I... know myself when I'm with him.”

Pazzi: “What does Will Graham imagine now?”
Jack: “I borrowed his imagination... and I broke it. I don't know how he managed to piece it back together again.”

Jack: “...Will Graham understands Hannibal. He accepts him. Now, who among us doesn't want understanding and acceptance?”

Hannibal: "Mischa didn't betray me. She influenced me to betray myself, but I forgave her that influence."
Bedelia: "If past behavior is an indicator of future behavior, there is only one way you will forgive Will Graham."
Hannibal: "I have to eat him."


  1. Oh, Hannibal knew exactly what would happen when he stabbed the professor through the head. He knew the angle. He knew everything. Just how he taunted Bedelia by saying that technically she killed him.

  2. Kathy,
    It was quite extraordinary! Bedelia was, naturally, on to him, as well.

  3. Will's...um...art project was very interesting. I thought at first it was a butterfly (shades of Red Dragon), but the internet seems to suggest it was a firefly, which fits more with the setting (and the fireflies Will saw).

    Whedonista that I am, I also see it as an allusion to Firefly.

    But what is the point? Is it Will's way of communicating with Hannibal? If so, how certain is he that Hannibal will return to the ancestral pile?

    And if it is a communication, what sort? Hannibal's last "message" to Will was a "broken heart." Is Will saying "I am a light in the darkness?" "I am Captain Tight Pants?"

    It was so nice to see Lawrence Fishburne.

    Report from the books: some of the lines of dialogue were straight from the books. That was cool.

  4. Josie,
    I think Will was _definitely_ saying I am Captain Tight Pants... I need to go find the link to it but apparently, according to Fuller, fireflies use snail, er, residue to complete their transformation so it's like a lot of symbolism and stuff. I think Will knows word will get out about the prisoner, even if Hannibal doesn't see the 'art project' with his own eyes.

  5. Josie (and anyone interested),
    Here's the link to an article about the relationship between the firefly and the snail.


  6. I really enjoyed the dreamy, surreal quality of the season premiere, and both Mads and Gillian were absolutely compelling in that episode. But since then, the overall experience of the show has been steadily declining for me. Will's emo attempts to catch/deal with his bad breakup with Hannibal aren't quite working for me. Nearly all his stuff this week was really tedious. And it wasn't quite balanced by the Hannibal and Bedelia material, which I did enjoy. I'm hoping next week backs off on the slow, languorous quality a good bit. Because if we get "treated" to too many more "Will envisions himself in a slowly encroaching/receding ocean of blood" moments, I may reach my limit.

    I'm really glad they brought Jack back. After the guy Will killed last year as part of his attempt to catch Hannibal and the horrific firefly man this week, I'm going to need Jack's care and concern for Will to remind me of the guy I also used to care about. He's feeling more and more like a lost cause these days.

  7. Anybody who wants to institutionalize Will has a good point. He's not playing with anything remotely close to a full deck.

  8. TheShadowKnows, that's an excellent point.

    Did Jack Crawford tell Pazzi that he was "coming for Will Graham" or "coming to save him"? (I should have paid more attention.) I wonder if Crawford is coming to save Will or coming to capture him.

  9. Jess,
    I am not irritated by Will's angsty story dreariness yet but I get what your saying about there being a lack of tension there (so far). I mean, iirc, in Red Dragon, his pursuit of Hannibal destroys him on pretty much every level so there's that to look forward to. This show is very dreadful and I (and all of us, I'm sure) get the more subtle reasons of why it was cancelled by NBC this week. It's unconventional in every single way and most people can't get with it. (Great article by Emily Nussbaum, also this week, in the New Yorker, describing her experience as a viewer of this show.)

    I agree that Will lost his shit awhile back.

    Josie (et al):
    I am just guessing here but I sensed Jack is there to help out (it's cryptic but he tells Pazzi, "I'm here for Will"), rather than retrieve or apprehend Will. When he tells Pazzi he doesn't know what construct of Will's imagination was put back together or how, I think that speaks volumes of his guilt and concern.

    As an aside, so far, I love the side-by-side conversations everyone has had with Pazzi. He can turn a phrase with the best of 'em.

  10. Jess Lynde, I'm... almost... with you. Will's musings are straying a little too close to high school crush/obsession (I know, I know; no high school any of us went to, but that's what it reminds me of). So, I was also glad to see Jack back. He's a dose of gentle/methodical reality and perspective. Plus, I'm always happy to see--and listen to--Laurence Fishburne (he has a fantastic voice). I agree with the welcome change to Alana but while I enjoyed the esthetics of the scene where she was "pinned" in the hospital bed, the feminist in me couldn't help but wonder if it was really necessary for her to wear the hospital equivalent of a bikini while in that position. And finally, Will's tableau. The first thing I thought of when I saw it was... moth. And perhaps it's because the debate over a Hannibal Season 4 rages on, but this immediately put "Silence of the Lambs" and our beloved Clarice Starling into my mind.

  11. Heather1: I just watched this episode, and I don't recall Alana in it at all. Are you sure she appears in it?

  12. "Remember me? I'm bedrock."

    I actually really like the plot-less meandering and the post break-up stuff. Mainly because I'm physically incapable of retaining any of it I think, so this portion of the story always feels like a new experience to revisit. Kind of like the post-Chilton segment of the previous season, even on this third or fourth rewatch.


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