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Hannibal: ...and the Woman Clothed with the Sun

“I had the absurd feeling that he walked out with me. Had to stop outside the doors, look around, make sure I was alone.”

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."


  1. How much longer will our lovely Ms. Bloom/Vergerbaby mom last on this show?

    1. Bella, my money is on the man who keeps his promises so -- not long?

  2. Because it has been telegraphed so loudly, I wonder if something else will happen to Dr. Bloom. Hannibal may keep his promise in another way. Of course, what that way may be, I have no idea. Now, even though it appears we will never get the Fuller version of Silence of the Lambs, we know that there was no Alana Bloom during that time... only Dr. Chilton. So something has to happen to her. Wait a minute, I hate to say it... but maybe Hannibal kills someone else (Margot... baby?), prompting Alana to kill herself out of guilt. Alana is already so broken already. She also knows that she's playing a game she can't really win. Her assertion that she's working at the institute as a jailor more than anything else reveals her mental defeat. But just by being there, she's playing, something she has said Hannibal is always doing. I hope Hannibal doesn't do anything to the baby. That simply can't be delicious and I'd like to think it feels tonally wrong for this show. And it's merely my speculation in any event that this would be a possibility to get to Alana. OK... I see that I'm going in circles a little bit. On another note, if there were a possibility of doing Silence... how fantastic would that dynamic be? Who would be a good Clarice in this new Hannibal universe? Who could play Buffalo Bill? I'm thinking... Karen Gillan (Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy) and is Crispin Glover too old for Buffalo Bill?

  3. Heather1,
    Eek! I hope the Vergerbaby makes it out of this. I'm pretty curious, too, about Alana to see what will happen. Re: Crispin Glover -- be still my heart. He would kill as Buffalo Bill. He doesn't appear to be aging so, I think it would work. Did you ever see the article where Fuller dreamed of Ellen Page as Clarice? I remember seeing that somewhere.

  4. I love how you all write "Vergerbaby" as one word. Too funny. I also loved Alana in that striped power suit with the sidebun. That look was Bedelia-level striking. Great screen capture, Heather!

    Bitter, spurned Hannibal is almost as delightful as bemused, so-above-you-all Hannibal. That initial confrontation between Will and Hannibal was wonderful to behold. I must have Will dressed up in the moral dignity pants, too, because I'm feeling sympathy for him again, even knowing he did some world class horrific things when trying to catch Hannibal. He's certainly not as bad as Hannibal --- poor, manipulated Abigail --- but he should probably be locked up, too. And yet, I just want him to get back to his wife, stepson, and his dogs, and be freed from what Jack and Hannibal's world does to him. His nightmare vision of having "Red Dragon"-ed his wife was heartbreaking.

    Richard Armitage is scaring the crap out of me as Francis Dolarhyde. Hannibal has once again reclaimed the mantle of "show I can't watch too close to bedtime" --- yea! --- which makes it kind of hard to catch up when I fall behind --- erg.

  5. Heather... I had not seen the article about Ellen Page. I do and read it after I saw your comment. She would be very good, perhaps a bit more "old soul" than Jodie Foster. A slightly different take. Would have been interesting.

  6. Argggh... I did go and read it...

    I really prefer to work with a mouse, not the track pad!

  7. Jess,
    Ha yes the Vergerbaby one word seems a funny internet byproduct of 'Digestivo' since Mason said it about 15 times throughout the episode! I agree the Red Dragon stuff is among the scariest we've seen yet, imo. We fans probably have a liftime of possible disturbing images to look forward to in dreamland when it's over! Wouldn't that be such a coup if Will ended up next to Hannibal in a matching cell (but more woodsy and rustic)? Lol.

  8. Heather1,
    Everyone and I mean everyone has lamented over the lack of edit function on comments -- you're in good company!
    I love how you characterized Ellen Page as a more old soul Clarice (than JF), should she ever get to play her (hope, hope.). That's a very concise way to describe her qualities as an actress. Can you imagine if David Slade jumped back on too? It'd be a Hard Candy reunion for the ages.

  9. Heather, I am glad I stuck with this. We have been enjoying the last two episodes. Yay for flashbacks! I get Hammibal back in his kitchen.

  10. Docnaz,
    I'm always happy to hear when people are enjoying their beloved shows and I am in agreement that this arc is so good -- flashbacks and all.

  11. I was a little sad, as happy as I was to see Price and Zeller again, about the return to familiar territory, but this episode really really worked for me. At some point (well within the first quarter) literally every scene was clicking with me, it was really great. Just... the lines... and the transitional stuff fully kept my interest, instead of flitting in and out, and I was also weirdly comforted (that can't last).
    Perfect timing for the Abigail flashbacks, back when she was alive my little gripe was that I couldn't really see the bond Will had or wanted to forge with her. I guess I still feel that way, but the way she leaned into Hannibal's (the character's) plot really made me see how she could work well with Will too. Now that I'm only seeing this after she died I feel emotions behind her screen time again besides reservation. I'd love to see more of her... and I generally loathe flashbacks.
    Freddie was, dare I say it, CUTE to me with her Will-haranguing. "If you're smart you'd use me.."
    I was really into Reba and Francis, just completely immersed. And honestly him calling Hannibal was way more exciting to me than Will seeing Hannibal again after the timeskip, despite that evocative music.


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