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27 May 2013 @ 04:10 pm
Hannibal: Trou Normand  
I haven't really reviewed that many episodes of Hannibal on my LJ due to time constraints and few Friends watching it. But this latest one got me thinking. Plus, I'm on a train without any work materials on me.


This was the first episode where I found myself finally liking the "right" characters and starting to dislike the "wrong" ones. By this I mean I could finally start sympathizing with Will Graham and Abigail Hobbs while wanting to stab Hannibal Lecter in the leg (Tobias-style!) for all the shit that started to go down. I get the feeling I'm completely late to the game on this as I think most people found it easier to feel sorry for Will who has been beset with internal demons since episode 1 and Abigail who learned her dad was a cannibal and was orphaned all in one day. But I'd like to think that the show specifically worked to try and get the audience to like Hannibal despite his murderous activities earlier in the season so when the bodies finally started stacking up in his fridge, we'd feel a bit conflicted over whether to demonize him or try and find some shred of humanity. Same thing in reverse for Will and especially Abigail. I'll start with the latter.

From the moment she awoke from her coma, there was something about Abigail that rubbed me the wrong way. I mean, this girl had been through hell, was still going through hell, and was more or less completely alone in the world now that her dad was revealed to be a murderous cannibal just before he killed her mom and tried to kill her. How much more do you need to get the audience's sympathy? But oddly, I always found her annoying and a little unlikeable but for the life of me I could not put my finger on it. Only Jack Crawford and I apparently felt this way. But in this episode it was finally revealed (admitted by Abigail to Hannibal in a seriously amazing scene) that she'd known all along what her father was doing. Not only that, she'd been helping him murder all those girls because she knew that it was going to be either them or her. I don't know how it was that a plot reveal could feel so obvious and yet such a shock at the same time. It completely shifted the image of Abigail from a complete victim to someone who was still a victim but a much more complex, scary one. And suddenly I felt for her. When she broke down in tears over her own sense of guilt, shame, and horror at what she realized she was capable of, I finally felt like what I was sensing about her on screen and what the show was telling me about her matched. Abigail deserves our sympathy because no one can ever understand the horror her life was with her dad (well, maybe Hannibal can). The idea of her being a clueless victim is bad enough but finding out she was more or less compelled to participate in her dad's killings makes it an all out nightmare situation. That the show so nicely balances that Abigail is both a victim and a perpetrator (she helped her dad, we can't NOT keep that in mind) finally turned her into a character I would want to watch.

On a smaller scale, Will Graham also got a bit of a character shift. Unlike the majority of the people watching this show, I kind of found Hugh Dancy's acting to be somewhat lacking. For all intents and purposes, again, I should feel sympathy for Will. He has a hellish job that he feels like he can't quit because he saves lives doing it. But in the mean time his brain is starting to implode under all the strain. In this one, he finally reaches a breaking point and flat out loses time for over 3 hours and has an all mighty meltdown when he snaps out of it. I feel like we finally got a scene where Will's ranting seemed to actually come from a place of genuine fear and having been pushed too far as opposed to him just...complaining. I know I'm not being fair when I say Will whines because dammit, he has a lot to be upset about. But the acting always made me feel vaguely annoyed rather than sympathetic. But his panic attack in Hannibal's office after he stopped disassociating was kind of heart breaking. And the horrors kept coming as not only is his own brain betraying him, but he also gets to find out that Abigail (who for awhile was a bit like an idealized daughter figure for Will) had murdered someone (not even the other stuff with her dad!) and that Hannibal, one of the few Will trusts, helped hide the body. By the time we got to the Most Awkward Dinner Ever scene, I was ready to give Will a pillow and tell him to take a long sleep, surrounded by his dogs.

On the flipside, Hannibal was on my shit list since before the opening credits in this episode. The man, at this point in the show, has been killing and eating people as well as feeding unsuspecting people MORE PEOPLE. He's the worst. And yet my rage was only ignited when he told Will a brain scan was useless. Apparently being a murderous cannibal gets a pass in my world but being a medical doctor who uses their influence to bully patients from getting needed medical tests makes me want to set him on fire. By the time we got to him convincing Will to not tell Jack about Abigail, I was almost done with him. I wanted Will to tell him, "YES, CALL YOUR FUCKING LAWYERS BECAUSE THIS SHIT IS DONE." But then I also knew if Will had gone there, Hannibal would have calmly gutted him so...yeah. Survival for now I guess. The further creepiness and hate continued when he hugged Abigail after her confession. My neverending praise to Mads Mikkelsen for somehow making a hug look warm and yet COMPLETELY CREEPY. When we got to the hair stroking, I was all ready to take a billion showers in pure alcohol even as I could see how from a clueless person's POV, the hug looks rather supportive and loving. And not, say, vampiric and (I'll reiterate) CREEPY.

So bravo to all the writers as the season starts to hurdle towards its end. The shifts have started to happen!
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The Writer They Call Tay: BB: Oh No!awanderingbard on May 27th, 2013 09:48 pm (UTC)
I haven't watched this one yet, I sort of have to watch on a sunny morning when my faith in humanity is high so it can take the beating it's about to get, so I may have more thoughts once I've seen it. But I read Cleo's recap, so I know the plot developments at least.

I feel really awful for Will. I just wish there was someone out there actually looking after him, and not just pretending to. He has Alana, but she's caught up in herself at the moment, and I just feel like he needs someone to step in and go 'no, no more creepy things until he stops being a mess, you guys!'. I can totally see how becoming the killers takes it's toll. How do you who you are anymore? What if you're just a series of serial killers and you don't have your own personality? What if you go in and can't get out? What if you go in and start to sympathize and decide what they've done is justifiable? Does the ability to empathize mean you have something broken in you? I feel like Hannibal is really playing on those last three, for reasons yet to be decided on. He wants Will to go there, either to come to the dark side or so that he can manipulate Will if ever finds out. I just can't see why he's so against a brain scan. If Will dies from something, he can't come over to play any more.

I'm sort of the opposite with you, in that I don't have much interest in Hannibal. I find him interesting to watch, and to try to figure out his game, but I feel sort of how I do about Moriarty. I can count on Hannibal to be awful, and even if he's not awful in between, he's going to be awful again at some point. I just.. I don't know. I don't like him, and I know I'm not meant to like him, but...I don't know. I do admire Mikkelsen's portrayal. He's so still and his face is so passive.

After last week's talk about the psychopath test, I sought it out and it mentioned that therapy doesn't have any effect on psychopaths because they just learn how to be more normal looking. It teaches them how they are supposed to react, but doesn't change the way they think. I do wonder if Hannibal models himself on his patients in a similar fashion. 'This is how a normal person would react to this scenario'.

(If you're interested, Sherlock is 42% a psychopath. He was the only person I 'know' who I could test it on).

I haven't seen enough of Abigail to decide how I feel about her. It's a creepy relationship, but everything Hannibal does is going to be creepy.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on May 29th, 2013 11:40 am (UTC)
'This is how a normal person would react to this scenario'.

I think much of my fascination with Hannibal has to do with not knowing when he's genuinely reacting with actual emotions versus "Smile because this is when normal people would smile." Despite seeing him do his murderous deeds when no one else in the show does, I feel like I know him about as well as other characters in terms of when he's being honest (if ever) or when he's just acting.

I want to know why he's continuing to see his own therapist. Does he feel like he needs her input in order to best blend in with the normals or does he really feel like he needs one to let off some mental steam without completely revealing what he's doing during his spare time? I just don't know.

I do admire Mikkelsen's portrayal. He's so still and his face is so passive.

I was very happy that he went in the opposite direction of Anthony Hopkins with his portrayal.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on May 29th, 2013 03:02 pm (UTC)
I want to know why he's continuing to see his own therapist. Does he feel like he needs her input in order to best blend in with the normals or does he really feel like he needs one to let off some mental steam without completely revealing what he's doing during his spare time? I just don't know.

I've seen some speculation that she's dead and he's visiting her in his mind palace, which would make her a sort of way for him to organize his thoughts. The whole 'attacked by a patient thing', some people have suggested that she was actually killed and he might be the patient. However, if that were the case, keeping up a pretense with her would be weird if she's only in his head.

Maybe it's just a case of him wanting to see how a normal therapist to would react to the situations he's posing to her. How would a normal person react to a stalkery patient? How would you deal with wanting to be Will's friend but being his therapist at the same time? Not so much genuinely concerned, but trying to see if he's doing it 'right'.

I was very happy that he went in the opposite direction of Anthony Hopkins with his portrayal.

I've never seen any of Hopkins!Lecter to compare, other than little clips here and there, but generally Mikkelsen seems to be going for quiet crazy instead of loud crazy. But maybe if we ever get to where he's openly crazy, he might stop restraining himself? He's still trying to hide at the moment. Hopkins!Lecter had nothing left to hide, if I understand correctly.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on May 30th, 2013 12:17 am (UTC)
I've seen some speculation that she's dead and he's visiting her in his mind palace, which would make her a sort of way for him to organize his thoughts. The whole 'attacked by a patient thing', some people have suggested that she was actually killed and he might be the patient.

Whoa. I hadn't even thought of that as a possibility. It would explain a little the odd set up of Hannibal drinking wine with her at her place but then later still having wine at his own office, telling Will he'd been drinking with Du Maurier.

But maybe if we ever get to where he's openly crazy, he might stop restraining himself? He's still trying to hide at the moment. Hopkins!Lecter had nothing left to hide, if I understand correctly.

Yeah, for Hopkins!Lecter there was no point in looking normal so he just let his Crazy Flag fly high and proud. I would be curious if the show actually makes it this far if Mikkelsen will end up playing Hannibal more loud crazy.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on May 30th, 2013 12:24 am (UTC)
It would explain a little the odd set up of Hannibal drinking wine with her at her place but then later still having wine at his own office, telling Will he'd been drinking with Du Maurier.

I think that was the reasoning I saw. Also that he seemed to be dressed and styled quite different with her then later with Will. Though I wouldn't put it past Hannibal to change his outfit multiple times a day depending on who he's going to see. He strikes me as someone who needs to change if he gets a drop of ink on his sleeve.

I would be curious if the show actually makes it this far if Mikkelsen will end up playing Hannibal more loud crazy.

I have this feeling that Mikkelsen could scare the shit out of me just by raising his voice a bit. Have we seen him full on yell at anyone, yet? I bet it would be scary.

Oh! I was going to ask you: have they mentioned in any episodes if this version of Will Graham used to be a cop? Because I cannot picture Dancy!Graham passing pysch evals for that. Though maybe he wasn't as damaged back then.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on May 30th, 2013 12:29 am (UTC)
Have we seen him full on yell at anyone, yet? I bet it would be scary.

I saw a movie with him once where his character yelled at his daughter. But it was more of a reprimand than a full on shout.

have they mentioned in any episodes if this version of Will Graham used to be a cop?

In the 2nd episode Crawford reveals that Will used to be a homicide cop but couldn't stay on the force because he couldn't shoot his gun (that sure as hell changed lately). Will also mentions to Beverly that he was stabbed once when he was a cop.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on May 30th, 2013 12:32 am (UTC)
I saw a movie with him once where his character yelled at his daughter. But it was more of a reprimand than a full on shout.

He's very soft-spoken in interviews, too. Especially in Danish, which is a naturally sort of shushing sound language.

In the 2nd episode Crawford reveals that Will used to be a homicide cop but couldn't stay on the force because he couldn't shoot his gun (that sure as hell changed lately). Will also mentions to Beverly that he was stabbed once when he was a cop.

Excellent! Thank you. This is Relevant To My Interests.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on May 30th, 2013 12:35 am (UTC)
Excellent! Thank you. This is Relevant To My Interests.

Dare I hope fanfic?
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on May 30th, 2013 12:36 am (UTC)
Mmmmaybe? I have to write it to get it out of my head, but I don't know if it will go anywhere.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on May 30th, 2013 12:39 am (UTC)
That sound you heard was me shrieking with glee and flapping my arms about.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on May 30th, 2013 12:42 am (UTC)
God, no pressure or anything. :p

It started out rather fluffy, and someone has taken quite a turn to the sad side, and I've just gone 'there is no fluff in this fandom. Nope. Even I cannot find fluff here.' I have failed in my life's work.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on May 30th, 2013 12:44 am (UTC)
My standards for what passes for fluff for this show is very warped and extremely low. Hannibal manipulating Will in a nice, friendly way passes for fluff for me. Like their conversation in "Fromage" about Alana is what passes for fluff in my books.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on May 30th, 2013 12:47 am (UTC)
Will driving an hour in the snow to tell Hannibal he kissed a girl is bloody adorable, I have to admit.

I also think it's sweet that Will's body took him to Lecter when he lost time. Like his subconscious went 'I feel unsafe, go somewhere safe, Lecter will keep me safe'.

We are going to be so beaten down when it all goes wrong.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on May 30th, 2013 12:50 am (UTC)
Will driving an hour in the snow to tell Hannibal he kissed a girl is bloody adorable, I have to admit.

I loved his slightly panicked, "I kissed Alana Bloom!" and Hannibal's "Well...come in..."

'I feel unsafe, go somewhere safe, Lecter will keep me safe'.

It's so sweet. Except it'll all end in a puddle of tears and betrayal.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on May 30th, 2013 12:55 am (UTC)
I loved his slightly panicked, "I kissed Alana Bloom!" and Hannibal's "Well...come in..."

I'm surprised Will didn't get put in the Rolodex for entering without permission. That's a bit rude. Are there extenuating circumstances for people in panicked states? Also, why does Hannibal keep his door unlocked? I know he can defend himself, but he does live in the Serial Killer Triangle, as far as I can tell.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on May 30th, 2013 12:58 am (UTC)
I'm surprised Will didn't get put in the Rolodex for entering without permission.

Will has been rude to Hannibal on a couple of occasions but I think he gets a pass because the latter is so interested in him and the way his mind works.

Also, why does Hannibal keep his door unlocked?

I also wonder about this. I had assumed he locks it when he's done with office hours but apparently not. Perhaps he just enjoys living with the risk.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on May 30th, 2013 01:02 am (UTC)
Will has been rude to Hannibal on a couple of occasions but I think he gets a pass because the latter is so interested in him and the way his mind works.

Will's just lucky he didn't actually walk in on the Serial Killer Dinner, or he might have gotten his neck snapped.

I also wonder about this. I had assumed he locks it when he's done with office hours but apparently not. Perhaps he just enjoys living with the risk.

Maybe he just didn't lock it after letting Tobias in. Our front door automatically locks now, but before then, we wouldn't have locked in. But we don't live in the Serial Killer Triangle.

Have we established if Hannibal's office is in his house? I'm assuming so, but have we seen how it connects, yet?
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on May 30th, 2013 01:06 am (UTC)
Have we established if Hannibal's office is in his house?

Establishing exterior shots suggest that Hannibal's office is in his house. But where exactly in his house isn't clear. I had the idea that given the rooms we have seen, his office is on the 2nd floor somewhere.

Maybe he just didn't lock it after letting Tobias in.

If so, I'm amused that Will thought to just let himself in rather than wait to be let in. Who just walks in??

Then again, I'm always amused that random people seem to keep coming to Hannibal past office hours to drop in for a quick therapy session. Does his face suggest this is okay behavior?
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on May 30th, 2013 01:14 am (UTC)
I had the idea that given the rooms we have seen, his office is on the 2nd floor somewhere.

That must be awkward to get to, unless there's stairs outside the house. Otherwise you must have go through it.

If so, I'm amused that Will thought to just let himself in rather than wait to be let in. Who just walks in??

I know!! Will Graham, that is poor manners. I can only assume he was so freaked out that when he tried the door and it was open, he just went through. He did knock first. Maybe he took the unlocked door as an invitation.


Then again, I'm always amused that random people seem to keep coming to Hannibal past office hours to drop in for a quick therapy session. Does his face suggest this is okay behavior?


Ha! Although he does seem to work late. Will was scheduled for a 7:30pm appointment, I think. The one he missed. Maybe Hannibal does after hours therapy for some people. He probably has nothing better to do, if there's no killing to be done. Other than sit around and draw and listen to music.