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Hannibal: Digestivo

“Welcome to Muskrat Farm.”

The circus adds another ring with an extended stay at the good and funny Verger Manor where the high camp revolves around pajama parties, plastic surgery and surrogate parenthood (and murder, cannibalism and reunions among old friends).

That last three minutes – could ‘Digestivo’ have ended any other way? It has to end well, and it has to end badly. But holy shit with those 41 minutes preceding it. All I knew going in, for sure, was that I had no idea how things at Muskrat Farm would play out. Incredible that the fate of (mostly) everyone was foretold before it ever even aired. This level of dramatic irony is so very rare in TV and it's inherent to Hannibal's very foundation but it's now regularly and smartly the architecture of each episode. Built-in tension. This show's so elite.

Scratch off your list the homage to Rosemary's Baby, Living Dead Guy Productions!

He's always playing.

Such a card, this guy! The version of Hannibal that showed up first in 'Mukozuke' then 'Tome-wan' and now here is hands down my favorite. It's like the more chaotic and life-threatening, the sharper his tongue gets. You guys, his insouciance in respect to his own life kills me. He's bemused from the word go, to hell with hanging upside down for hours followed by having his fat checked. The delightful moments are too numerous to list here but can be encapsulated in the look he shoots Will after Will bites a piece of Cordell's face off. It's like he pauses from his wisecracking and enchantment to earnestly beam like a proud papa.

Yes, sir, that's my baby.

Could I have ever understood you?

No. Doctors Lecter and Bloom have one of a handful of my favorite 'Digestivo' conversations when Alana pleads with Hannibal in a my this for your that fashion except in this case it's a lot more emotionally loaded. The shot of their faces together -- asdfghjkl. It speaks to us in multitudes. It's so pretty to look at, you guys. It's Alana's move, too, just like when she hypnotized Will. Girl knows how to lean in. And the fact that she's compelled in the midst of the crazy as fuck plan they're conspiring on to ask him if she has what it takes to really get him (like Will does), that's just -- who sits down and writes that -- I mean it's stirring to the point of surreal. How dare you, Bryan Fuller and Steve Lightfoot. I was hoping you and I wouldn’t have to say goodbye. Nothing seen nor said.

The symmetry! The asymmetry!

Between iron and silver, I think that's appropriate for you.

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold. (A lifetime of thanks, Girl Scouts of the USA.) Chiyoh and Hannibal framed by Will's gorgeous multiple-muntin window while spitting poetry each other's way (Chiyoh's dialogue and delivery was always so dreamy) was another real bright moment. The shot composition wasn't only the implication of the periodic table but it also called to mind her prisoner's set up at Castle Lecter. She says that some beasts shouldn't be caged but I think she's talking about herself. She's seen this thing through and now she's out. She is, however, in the final (lovely and artful) frame which I'd like to think was getting her the last word. She's the reason that 3/4ths of this show's characters are still alive. Remember my name.

When it comes to you and me, there can be no decisive victory.

After the worst week of his life (that says a lot, by the way), Will tells Hannibal goodbye in the best worst way possible. It's, of course, the only sane possibility and Will delivers it without hesitation or angst. Freeing yourself from me and me freeing myself from you, they are the same. I love when Will references missing his dogs because they are the single most defining example of who he is beyond or before empathy, beside all of his tedious human interactions and they are identically different than everything he must endure because of his relationship with the FBI et al. The emotional blow of Will's really real to Hannibal sits on the spaces between the scarce words in the scene like an anvil. Once we saw the insert of the contents of Hannibal's journal coupled with his surrender, this exchange between Hannibal and Will from Red Dragon screamed out to me:

Will: "I know I'm not smarter than you."
Hannibal: "Then how did you catch me?"
Will: "You had disadvantages."
Hannibal: "What disadvantages?"
Will: "You're insane."

And how.

This trumps ALL the crazy we've ever seen.

Odds and Ends:

*Love love love the teaser. Like seriously I loved it. It was like a scene from The Pink Panther… on acid.

*Jack’s Italian dialect.

*Chiyoh’s gun enters the room before her.


*Not to be outdone, Brian Reitzell’s score had that essence of pig-squeal. (And the @#$%& bullroarer.)

*Re: Mason’s good and funny times: There were moments when the look on Hannibal’s face was like… amateurs.


Jack: “They are identically different, Hannibal and Will.”

Margot: “The feces are flying again in Florence.”

Alana: “Play with your food, Mason, and you give it the opportunity to bite back.”
Mason: “Oh, I'm not playing, Dr. Bloom.”
Alana: “Hannibal is.”

(And now for some run-of-the-mill dinner party conversation…)
Mason: “I snatched Will Graham right out of your mouth. You must be famished.”

Hannibal: “You must be terribly proud that you could bring this off. It's dangerous to get exactly what you want. What will you do after you've eaten me?”
Will: “You could wreck some foster homes and torment some children?”
Mason: “No, I'll drink martinis made with tears.”

Margot: “Land the plane, Mason.”

Alana: “I helped Mason find Hannibal. We followed B√Ętard-Montrachet when we should have just followed you.”

Hannibal: “You delight in wickedness and then berate yourself for the delight.”
Will: “You delight. I tolerate. I don't have your appetite.” I can empathize with anybody.

Hannibal: “You finally caught the Chesapeake Ripper, Jack.”
Jack: “I didn't catch you, you surrendered.”
Hannibal: “I want you to know exactly where I am and where you can always find me.”

Oh shii.


  1. I was looking forward to reading your reaction to this one, Heather. :) I don't think I enjoyed it quite the same way you did, but I did enjoy it. I actually laughed through huge chunks of the episode. It just became so bat guano insane that I couldn't stop laughing. The surrogate pig!!! Gestating an incest baby, no less! The plan to steal Will's face! The branding! The phallic death by eel! Chiyoh conveniently popping up everywhere with her big ass sniper rifle (that enters the room before her, as you say)!

    Mads Mikkelsen as "bemused Hannibal" was wonderful throughout, of course. It was his devilish little grins that starting me laughing, knowing all Mason's horrible plans were going to go to shit. So, on the whole, this week was a bigger success for me than most of late. It was way more cuckoo bananas entertaining, at any rate. :) I'm certainly pleased that Mason is gone, that Will may be moving on from his emo-pining, and that we now appear to be moving into new territory. Whew.

    Plus, Hannibal turning himself in to deny Will's desire to just be rid of him --- to have him disappear into the ether, never to be heard from again --- was a rather glorious "f*** you." The bad breakup continues ...

    1. Jess,
      I was howling with laughter as well. I'm really happy to hear you enjoyed it, too. I've never seen anything like this show, it so often leaves me speechless, in one way or another!

  2. Heather, your reviews are perfection. There isn't anything else really to add. But I comment because I feel compelled to share about this show and be part of the discussion... so that a discussion is had! I hope something new comes of Hannibal after the finale, but I fear that its time will pass (like with Firefly). Of course, Hannibal had to surrender. He can't leave it like that with Will... and I believe that it's all such a game to him that whether the game continues with him locked up is almost irrelevant to him. Any other show would have a shot of him getting away... again... as he disappears into the night. Not this show. It's all been a game changer. Fantastic review, Heather... as always!

    1. Heather1,
      I'm so happy you comment! I love reading your thoughts. It's also my dream that we can all discuss things here. I'll be so sad, too, if it's going to be over at the end of this season. You're right that other shows would kowtow to a formula that is much less fearless and keep the audience on the hook in a trite contrived way because they lack the courage of telling a different kind of story.

  3. I think I've said it already, but it's worth repeating: before that show Hannibal always had Hopkins' face in my mind. Now Hopkins is gone. Hannibal is absolutely, 100% Mads.

    1. migmit,
      Mads really is so special. What a compliment to him that he has replaced such an iconic performance for so many!

  4. My friends,
    There is nothing in the 33 hours that have preceded it to prepare any if us for The Great Red Dragon. I managed to see it tonight and I'm without the words to describe what I experienced right now except to say that my goosebumps' goosebumps had goosebumps and I had those tears in my eyes that Jack did at the end of 'Dolce'. I wasn't sad, they were from terror plus shock plus disbelief. Steel yourselves.

  5. Heather... I was just about to stream it before I read your quick comment. Oh man... I'm trying to prepare myself. Don't know if you really can with this show. But here goes...

  6. I really, really loved that Hannibal gave himself up. It's a powerful but also incredibly cheeky gesture. Will can hide behind that impassive expression all he wants, it's clear he must be touched by it.
    Also what's Hannibal's freaking problem, why does he insist on this promised hit on Alana? I mean I know the incident, but it feels like such an overreaction. Get over it.
    On a sillier note I also loved Jack's deformed visage as seen through Will's eyes early in the episode, his screaming expression looked so funny with the wonky eyes (though I say this as someone who was spooked by Hannibal's picasso face seasons ago)


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