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09 March 2014 @ 03:34 pm
Hannibal: Sakizuki & Night Vale: Numbers  
I'm putting my reviews of the latest Hannibal and Night Vale into one post to save some space but also in honor of yet another fandom crossing dream I had last night (damn, I have a lot of these).

I had a dream that actor Cecil Baldwin had been cast in Hannibal to portray Francis Dolarhyde. I remember being very conflicted about it in my dream because on one hand, I was pleased a Night Vale cast member would be on one of my favorite TV shows. On the other hand, I was having trouble picturing Baldwin in the role. Although, it would certainly put Dolarhyde's connection with Reba in a whole new light. If I were blind and had that voice as my main impression, I'd probably fall in love too.

My fancast for Dolarhyde will always be Lee Pace. It's sort of like my fancasting of Mark Gatiss as Aziraphale in that now that it's in my head, I can't get it out. Even if the show actually reaches the Red Dragon era and someone else gets this role, I'll always have Lee Pace in my head. Anyway, onto the reviews...

I thought the show had reached its peak in being able to disturb me when Abel Gideon gave someone a Colombian necktie. But seeing Roland Umber try to escape the nightmare of the human bodies eye mural at the start of this episode brought disturbing to a whole new level. I think what got me the most (after all the gruesome skin tear and screaming) was that he ALMOST survived. But no, fate had to be cruel and put him through additional pain and trauma before dying.

I spent most of this episode being unusually impressed with the way Mads Mikkelsen carries himself. I mean, he's always good at acting with just his body language but the direction and frames really worked well with him in this particular episode. The side shot of him and Bedelia when he stepped right into her personal space was RIDICULOUSLY frightening. Even when I knew she wasn't going to be killed in the scene, I still found myself clutching my pillow in anxiety that something awful was going to happen. And it wasn't even that he was leaning into her or anything, but just him placing himself so squarely in front of her like a human wall really drove home the point that he had her trapped forever and always. That whole sequence was interestingly contrasted to how out of place he looked when he kept getting in the way at the crime lab. Did he do that on purpose?? Because to the unsuspecting eye (which is everyone because those cannibal puns have not made even a small dent) it makes Hannibal seem affable and a little awkward. In other words: human. Which is a role he's really committed himself into playing despite not knowing how to innately be human.

And then there's him finding the human mural serial killer. I continue to be disturbed as well as intrigued that Mikkelsen can sometimes sound so caring as Hannibal. Which is actually in line with the book's depiction of the character who despite all his murderous ways will sometimes take a time out to dispense some genuine therapy. He straight up murdered the guy but their conversation while he was doing it was oddly touching, as if he was trying extend some comfort to the killer who feels nothing but hopelessness:

"Why are you helping me?"
"Your eye will now see God reflected back. He will see you. If God is looking down on you, don’t you want to be looking back at him?"

It's Hannibal talking so I take the sentiment with a HUGE brick of salt but I rather enjoyed the evocative image of how we as humans can create art to try and be closer to something celestial and to connect to something larger than ourselves. I can believe Hannibal appreciates this with his own love of the arts which moves him in a way that a connection to a human being cannot.

Speaking of human connections, I find it so fascinating that Bedelia has flat out told Hannibal that Will Graham is trying to manipulate him. Is Hannibal so blinded by his obsession with Will that he genuinely disagrees or does he just not care because he thinks he can ultimately manipulate Will back? Unlike Will who is so on board Project: Get Out of Jail and End Hannibal, Hannibal is still pining after their friendship which is so weird and yet so entertaining to see. This actually means Hannibal might feel genuinely hurt feelings when Will finally gets his revenge. Which is insane but then again, Hannibal's view of friendship is completely insane.

Bedelia has managed to escape Hannibal for now. I liked her stylish exit of leaving behind the perfume bottle (Hannibal probably gave it to her as a gift, right?) in her abandoned house for him to find. Even he seemed kind of impressed and smiled that creepy subtle smile of his. Could this mean she might actually survive the show? Because the fact that Beverly has now agreed to help Will exonerate himself means she's moved to the top of my To Die List. Goddammit.

Meanwhile, in a small desert town community, actress Molly C. Quinn (aka Alexis Castle) came to visit.

I feel like this is one of those episodes that was neither amazing or bad. It just was. Parts of it were very quintessentially Night Vale such as what Lauren and Daniel get up to in their spare time and the fact that Cecil has to take the broadcasting equipment for routine walks. The plot of this one reminded me a lot of "A Beautiful Dream," mainly because of the sentient machines. The twist was that having an actual person voice Fey made us think that maybe she was a human trapped in a broadcasting tower, only to learn that no, she's a computer. Weirdly, though, my heart didn't quite break for her as it did for Computer even though the latter was voiced by a speech program. I felt bad for her situation but after all the shit's that gone down in Night Vale, her plight didn't make that much of an impression on me, ultimately. Perhaps because it did feel largely like a rehash of an earlier episode.

Still, within the episode itself were some gems. I'll probably never be able to use Hulu the same way ever again. And Cecil's hello to Dana that he also retracted just in case Dana wasn't out there was kind of adorable. And related to Fey's situation, Cecil's subtle-as-a-lawn-mower discussion about how AWFUL it would be to have to be a broadcaster under an IRON FIST OF DICTATORSHIP was hilarious. So basically Cecil is saying fuck you, StrexCorp on air. That's probably going to go over well for him ultimately.
X-parrotxparrot on March 14th, 2014 10:53 am (UTC)
--Just realized I never responded to this! I enjoyed the ep a lot myself, not because it was that original but because I thought they pulled it off well, just enough story to work without getting bogged down. Plus Cecil's fuck-yous to Strex are amazing...you can just tell he thinks he's being so subtle about them.

It's particularly funny to me because so far he hasn't actually mentioned much that Strex has done to earn his hatred, compared to all the shit the City Council and Mayor Winchell and the secret police get up to but still have his (seemingly genuine?) loyalty. StrexCorp is terrible and terrifying, to be sure; but Night Vale's government conspiracies and insane death-count seem equally awful! But Cecil is okay with the latter and so we are too, because we know Cecil well enough to be on his side...
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on March 15th, 2014 12:27 am (UTC)
you can just tell he thinks he's being so subtle about them.

Cecil most definitely did not earn a "Subtly Speaking" badge.