Hannibal Season Two Finale: Mizumono

And so we end with a perfect cap on this season. We began in episode one, with a forecast of how the season would end, with a massive knockdown fight, between Jack Crawford and Hannibal. How did we get from them being friends to that point? The rest of the season is really just a flashback, to how we reach that moment, and its aftermath.

All season long ,we’ve watched Will Graham, thoroughly unburdened by the illness he was suffering  in that first season, at the top of his game. Most of this season chronicles Will’s  fall from grace. In his efforts to capture the Chesapeake Ripper, he finds himself in spiritual, and emotional, alignment with Hannibal. After failing to get any traction on his accusation that Hannibal is the Ripper, Will, in collusion with a newly believing Jack, after  Beverly’s death, embarked on a campaign to take down Hannibal, by cozying up to him, winning his trust, and gathering  evidence of wrongdoing. Hannibal being too canny for that plan to work, didn’t enter into their equations, and Will found himself being drawn  further down the rabbit hole of Hannibal’s machinations. Hannibal’s goal is  to make Will realize that he is just as much a killer as Hannibal, and make him his partner in death.This culminates in the death of Randall Tier at Will’s hands, in self-defense, and the seeming death of Freddie Lounds.

In this episode everything comes to a head. Jack’s predicament in allowing Will’s plan, Will’s predicament in lying to Hannibal, and the actual fate of Abigail Hobbes is revealed.

Hannibal sends Jack a letter, inviting him to dine with him and Will, and he accepts. Will and Jack discuss this Last Supper, while finalizing their plan to catch The Chesapeake Ripper. Alana is filled with doom and gloom and nightmares, as she begins to realize exactly what’s been happening, and what Hannibal is. She hasn’t been sleeping and is filled with dread that Hannibal has laid a trap for all of them.

Jack is finally successful in finding Hannibal’s therapist Bedelia Du’Maurier, who had gone into hiding, after she felt threatened by Hannibal. In his interview with her, Bedelia warns Will that Hannibal will find a way to prevail. She explains what hold Hannibal has over her. Will and Jack offer her immunity from prosecution for her testimony against Hannibal. An astute observer, she can somehow tell that Will’s loyalties have been severely compromised, and that it is Will’s weakness that will hand Hannibal his victory over their plans.

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Bella Crawford is dying in the hospital of lung cancer. Hannibal visits her and they discuss forgiveness. She says she forgives him for saving her life, and letting her die in this manner, but in return, Hannibal has to save Jack, the way Hannibal saved her. She has no idea that Hannibal didn’t save her out of caring or friendship, but as an exercise to see  what would happen, and to distract Jack from his hunt for The Ripper. She never discovers that Hannibal not only doesn’t keep his promise to save Jack but makes plans with Will Graham to kill him.

Nevertheless, Bella’s words about forgiveness come back to haunt Hannibal in season three. Unbeknownst to her she (and everyone he has met) does have an effect on him. In fact, even though Hannibal later claims that Will and the others had effected no change in him, that is a lie. Since becoming involved with the FBI, and knowing Will, Hannibal has developed close relationships with many people he would otherwise have never met. Remember  season one, when  Hannibal was a profoundly lonely man, who didn’t realize just how alone he was. After involving himself with Will, he became surrounded by people who cared about and trusted him, and although that did not prevent him from killing any of them, it has affected his attitudes and behaviors in small ways that will  play out in season three.

Will is clearly conflicted about Hannibal. As he makes plans with Jack, he also helps Hannibal destroy evidence in his office. While the two of them burn Hannibal’s files,  they make plans to run away together. Will is cagey about the commitment but it all becomes moot anyway, when Hannibal, with his keen sense of smell, scents Freddie Lound’s hair shampoo on Will’s clothes. Will had just had a meeting with her to ask her not to write any more stories involving Abigail, and to let her rest in peace, as he makes plans for Hannibal’s imminent capture.

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Will and Hannibal discuss what would happen to Hannibal if he were ever captured and Hannibal says he would live inside his Memory Palace, (something peripherally mentioned in the Silence of the Lambs), which is a place deep inside his mind, which resembles the foyer of the Norman Chapel in Palermo. Foreshadowing: This is information that Will uses to find Hannibal in season three.

Just as Hannibal has his Memory Palace, Will also has one. Fishing in the river.We saw Will visiting this place when he was in prison. At the time, Hannibal as the RavenStag, or the ManStag, was often shown infiltrating Will’s private mental space, illustrating that Hannibal (and Abigail) were never far from Will’s thoughts. Later, in season three, Will easily visits Hannibal’s Memory Palace. As an example of how intertwined their thoughts are, by that point, its not immediately clear to the viewer, whose mind we’re visiting, Will’s or Hannibal’s.

While having dinner, Hannibal asks Will to just leave with him, and not inform Jack, but Will lies to Hannibal, saying that Jack deserves to know, and puts forth the idea that Jack be killed. Hannibal doesn’t require that Jack die but he allows Will to keep lying to him. He was hoping that Will would come clean but he didn’t. Hannibal makes other plans at this point.

Kade Prunell, the Special Investigator, has caught wind of Jack’s plan. She aims to put a stop to it because its a complete violation of the law, and a private citizen’s rights. Claiming that the imminent death of his wife has compromised his logic, she suspends Jack from his position as Director. Jack, now free of any legal obligations to capture Hannibal alive, surrenders his gun and badge. Alana comes to his defense, arguing that the only way that Hannibal can be captured is in the act, , but Kade won’t hear of it. She tells Alana that Jack and Will are to be arrested for what happened to Randall Tier. Alana calls Will, to warn him about the warrants put out for his and Jack’s arrests, while Jack visits Bella in the hospital one last time.

Will calls Hannibal. Just as this whole thing began, that first season, with Hannibal’s phone call to Garrett Jacob Hobbes, (just because he was curious what would happen), Will’s phone call to Hannibal sets in motion a series of events that will end in tragedy for everyone in Hannibal’s orbit, and have repercussions far into their futures, as it sets off what fans  know as The Diner Rouge, The Red Dinner, where everyone’s  paths cross.

Jack arrives early for dinner at Hannibal’s home. They exchange pleasantries, but they both understand each other very well, in this instance. They begin to fight.

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Hannibal bests Jack and Jack locks himself in the walk-in cupboard, with a near mortal wound to the throat. Alana arrives to find Hannibal trying to batter his way in to finish off Jack. When she attracts his attention, he tells her that he tried, very hard, to keep her ignorant of what he is, expresses regret that he has to say goodbye to her, and as a courtesy, tells her she should flee. She fires at Hannibal but Hannibal had earlier removed the bullets from her gun.

Now she flees. She runs upstairs with Hannibal in pursuit, although he leaves the  kitchen knives behind. Alana is shocked to encounter Abigail Hobbes in an upstairs bedroom. Abigail pushes her out the window, and heads downstairs.

Will is just arriving. He finds Alana broken on the front steps, but alive. She warns him about Jack, while he calls for Emergency Services, then he goes inside where he finally sees that Abigail is actually alive. Shocked by this turn of events he doesn’t try to defend himself as Hannibal approaches. Hannibal says it was meant to be a surprise, the three of them going away together, as one big happy family. But that will never happen now. Just as Hannibal had his moment of complete understanding with Jack, Hannibal and Will have their moment. Hannibal is full of righteous fury about Will’s betrayal and deception.Will knows Hannibal is going to kill him and he accepts that he deserves it. What he didn’t count on was Hannibal taking Abigail away from him, again.

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To show Will his power, and to punish Will for his betrayal, (even if Will did renege at the last minute and warn him) Hannibal stabs Will in the stomach, but doesn’t kill him, although he easily could have, and as Will lays dying, Hannibal cuts Abigail’s throat in front of him. We end as we began, in season one, with Will clutching Abigail’s throat trying to save her life. Killing Abigail is also a moment of defiance because Will said he  affected Hannibal’s life for the good. Killing Abigail is Hannibal’s way of showing Will how little he changed him. After all, if he had changed him, would he be able to do this? But Will, in complete understanding, knows that the very act of killing Abigail, in defiance of Will’s assertions, is in itself, evidence of how much Hannibal has changed.

It’s also Hannibal just being petty and angry. He claims Will didn’t affect who he is, but he allowed Will to get close to him, and trusted him. Will did to Hannibal what Hannibal was doing to Alana, and that betrayal hurts. Its one of the reasons Hannibal kept himself aloof from other people all those years. Not just to protect his secret life, but the understanding that emotional connections would compromise his survival instincts. This is him showing Will that he is not compromised.

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But of course Will affected him, or he wouldn’t feel so much pain.

And this is not something out of character for Hannibal. The entire time that we’ve known Hannibal, he has tried to maintain a facade of equanimity, and dispassion, most of the time (I imagine for most of his life). He’s not emotionless. He has a deep well of emotion, but he maintains a rather impassive veneer. When he does get caught up in his emotions, and allow them to take rein, usually people die, and the Diner Rouge is no different event.

Most of the time we see Hannibal killing others from a place of clinical detachment. Killing is just something he thinks needs doing. This season we’ve seen him kill from emotion, at least once , when he killed the Judge who threw out his testimony during Will’s trial. He was insulted and outraged at his treatment, feeling lonely because of Will’s absence, and killing the Judge fell in line with removing an obstacle to his happiness. (Remember, before he decides to kill the Judge, there’s a scene of him sitting alone in his office, realizing exactly how much he played himself, when he had Will arrested, and how much he misses Will.)

At the end of season one Hannibal frames Will for survival reasons. At the end of season two, he is still in a mental  place, where he thinks more of himself, than he does the people in his orbit. He is still very much a selfish creature at the end of season one. But all during season two he has allowed himself to  care about Will, the only person he has ever allowed himself to have emotions for, since the death of his sister Misha, and he gets betrayed for his trouble. He’s not just mad at Will. He’s angry that he got suckered. Not ever having built up any kind of immunity against even the most the casual pains that human beings can inflict on each other, Hannibal is like a dangerous child, lashing out at anyone who hurts him.

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Having officially burned all his bridges, he steps out into the cleansing rain, believing that this part of his life is over, and that he can begin anew, casually stepping over Alana’s prone body, without even checking to see if she’s still alive. She meant nothing to him except as a means to control Will. He only made overtures to her when it looked like she might fall for Will, and only kept up a relationship with her so that Will couldn’t.

The final coda to this episode is Hannibal on a plane bound for Europe in the company of his psychiatrist, Bedelia Du’Maurier.

 

I started writing these reviews because I couldn’t find any good meta for this show that had been written after season two. I just decided, rather than scouring the internet for it, I should just write something myself.

Next up: The entirety of season three in my Hannibal re-watch.

 

 

 

 

 

On Tumblr: Hannibal Meta

*Yes, I’m still fascinated by this show, its characters, and its meanings. I hope some of you guys are just as interested, so here’s some Hannibal meta, that showed up on my dashboard, from when the show was at its peak. This might  spur some of you to re- watch certain episodes with a fresh perspective.
Remember Bedelia’s statement, later in the first season, about Hannibal’s careful facade and that she could catch glimpses of the real man through his human suit. This is important because Hannibal has been wearing this “person suit” from the moment Will first met him.
From: hannibalsbattlebot

On the surface, Will telling Hannibal “I don’t find you that interesting” seems unbelievably rude. Ah, we think, Hannibal must find Will special if he puts up with that. But, this early on Hannibal has only shown Will his mask, his human suit. To most people, the facade is interesting enough. That’s the point. All the trappings were put there by Hannibal to distract everyone from his real self. When Will is not impressed by this smoke screen, he has passed an important test.

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*This is an essay about Hannibal’s ability to feel. I would say that yes, he does have emotions, but I would argue they are somewhat truncated, not as fully developed as they should be in a grown man, as he rarely, if ever expends emotion on anyone other than Will or himself.

It’s not that Hannibal’s emotions are fake, (although I believe in some cases they are), but when we do see him showing emotions towards others, I think that he’s simply going through the motions,  pretending to care about Jack, or Alana, for example, and when he does have genuine emotions for others, like Abigail and Will, it’s only in relation to how close/useful that person is to himself.He certainly has emotions when it comes to something directly affecting him, but something that directly affects others, not so much.

In other words, Hannibal lacks empathy.

From: slayerangels

”Will loves Hannibal because he doesn’t have emotions and so Will can be himself around him because he can’t pick up feelings from Hannibal with his empathy disorder.”

I’ve seen this idea a few times and it’s baffling. Here’s a list of reasons why that’s wrong:

1. Hannibal has emotions. Many emotions. His emotions are not fake. He shows emotions when people aren’t even observing him or in the same room. He was upset at what happened to Margot after Will left the room. He was upset that Bella died and was crying over it by himself in Italy. He moped around about Will in Italy the entire time. He missed Will so much in Sorbet he was fidgeting around and clearly upset about it. He was mad that Gideon was calling himself the Ripper. He gets super annoyed at rude people. These are all emotions.

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2. Will can “read” the Ripper enough to know which crimes scenes are his and which aren’t and also give a history about his childhood to Jack. Will can also “read” the copycat. Hannibal is the Ripper and the copycat. So, Will can read Hannibal. Which is why Hannibal got super defensive about Will in Season 1 and framed him and put him in prison. Because he knew Will would find him out eventually.

3. Will can “seduce” and “deceive” Hannibal in S2 because he can empathize with him or “understand” him. Hannibal says this directly and Will agrees.

4. Hannibal and Will share a memory palace. Will goes to places he has been to “read” him, just like he does at crime scenes. Will knows Hannibal “intimately” as he says himself. If he likes being around him because he doesn’t “pick up” things from his empathy, then that makes no sense.

5. Will doesn’t automatically know who a killer is, even if he’s investigating their crimes. Tobias is a prime example. Hannibal realized Tobias was a killer immediately, Will didn’t. Another example would be Abigail. Hannibal knew she was a killer before Will did. If anything Hannibal has more insight into people than Will does. That doesn’t mean he has less empathy than Will, it means he has the same amount or more. “I can’t turn it off anymore than you can” Hannibal says to Will in Aperitif. When Hannibal was doing Will’s job in S2 for Jack he got the job done, he figured out who the killer was and why he was killing and exactly where he was, he just didn’t tell all that info to Jack because he wanted to go kill him first. Hannibal can in fact do Will’s job and he helps Will do his job better, “Will has never been more effective than he is with you inside his head”. Hannibal knows all about the Shrike enough to help Will figure out who the Shrike really is, right from the beginning of the show. “He had to show me a negative so that I could see the positive, that crime scene was practically gift wrapped.” My point being that just because Will doesn’t know Hannibal is the Ripper for a while (about 3 months) doesn’t mean that he can’t “read” Hannibal’s emotions. His empathy disorder doesn’t make him psychic and it isn’t supernatural.

I get it’s hard to understand why Will didn’t realize Hannibal was in love with him, but this is no explanation. It negates the entire show. Other explanations should be entertained. Will knows that Hannibal is very sad over him, “He sent us his broken heart” and he knows that the key to understand him is love, “No one can be fully aware of another human being unless we love them” and he knows he can take advantage of Hannibal’s feelings for him, “You’d only do that if I’d rejected you.” So, taking all that into account, the explanation that he just didn’t want to fully believe it, he was lying to himself, or wanted it confirmed by Bedelia (because he was afraid Hannibal loved her or because he believed she would know more than anyone else), or some combination of those is the most likely.

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*I loved this particular meta. I have yet to start reviewing season 3, so  haven’t discussed Will’s mind pendulum  yet.

From: silkysimpona

Will’s Mind Pendulum

Has anyone else noticed the difference between Will analyzing Hannibal’s crime scene and Will analyzing someone else’s crime scene?

When he investigates the Leeds murder in The Great Red Dragon, his mind pendulum makes an appearance for the first time in season 3.

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The pendulum is a way for Will to get into the murder empathy mindset, but it also represents a physical barrier between him and the subject he wants to analyze. In essence, it establishes a defensive barrier between his sense of self and his sense of the killer’s self, keeping them completely separate from each other. The stronger the pendulum, the stronger his sense of self.

Compare this to his analysis of the Hannibal’s crime scene in Primavera. Here, Will doesn’t use a pendulum. There is just a brief blur in and blur out to signify his entrance into Hannibal’s state of mind.

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At this point, his mind is so intertwined with Hannibal’s that he doesn’t need the physical act of the pendulum to get him into the correct mindset. His sense of self is already almost entirely wrapped up and muddled up with Hannibal’s. Not only does he not need to use his pendulum in this moment, he probably can’t use his pendulum to put up a mental barrier between them. They’re already conjoined after all.

In Dolce, Will says to Hannibal, “You and I have begun to blur.” I think it’s pretty neat that they were able to illustrate that with the simple absence of a pendulum effect.

 

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*This essay is about something I touched on in an earlier essay, regarding how Alana changed after her relationship with Hannibal, how she became, in the third season, harder and colder, in reaction to having known him. It also points out some interesting details about Margot.
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You know what I really fucking love about Marlana? (everything)

No but really, aside from everything, one specific thing that I love about them is that they had equally interesting but “opposite” wardrobe changes as their characters developed.

Alana started out with the wrap dresses, which were usually not layered with anything, and then by season 3 she was wearing three piece suits. She armored up. Did she abandon femininity? Hell no. But she still, finally, after implicitly trusting Jack, Hannibal, and Will and being betrayed in that trust by literally all of them, learned to protect herself. She withdrew her trust and the physical armor of the suits reflected that change nicely. (One could also argue that she consciously or unconsciously was imitating Hannibal.)

Margot, on the other hand, started out with these incredibly stiff and layered outfits. Her hair buns were sleek and severe, and her lipstick reflected that. Need I say anything about the shoulder pads–designed to make her appear larger, more intimidating? Yes, Margot was protecting herself with these layers of clothing, I don’t think anyone failed to pick up on that. And then she meets Alana. And she makes this switch to softer clothing choices, and hairstyles, and makeup. But only with her.

I find this to be really awesome because both of these wardrobe choices were incredibly well-thought-through. Both of them accurately reflected the development each of them was going through. And that’s really cool because a lot of the time in media you see more masculine girls lauded for becoming more feminine in coming-of-age stories, or by contrast, feminine girls who become more masculine to redeem themselves (e.g. Regina George in Mean Girls). And what I love about Marlana is that there’s none of that, because both of their transformations were intensely personal and reflected what they personally were going through.

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*This one is about the loneliness of both Will and Hannibal.

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Do you ache for him?For me, these two scenes effectively sum up just how alone Hannibal and Will are without each other. We see Will desperately attempting to focus all his attention on fixing a boat motor, a problem we heard Hannibal refer to as ‘easy’ to solve in season one. The simplicity of this creates a stark contrast in relation to Will’s current state of mind regarding his feelings for Hannibal, confirmed through the series of flashbacks we see. Will is not entirely haunted by the fact that Hannibal gutted him; he is haunted by the fact that Hannibal left him. We see flashbacks of Hannibal holding Will, followed by Will falling to the ground and Hannibal bending over him. These are not the typical flashbacks generally associated with people suffering from post-traumatic stress; these flashbacks are rooted in Will’s heartbreak over the fact that Hannibal left him.

In relation to Hannibal, we see him sat in a chair, pensive as he stares ahead. This in itself is unusual as we usually see Hannibal busying himself with something or other. Again this serves to elucidate just how barren his existence is without Will. This also confirms how much Will has changed him, given that the Hannibal we met in season one was entirely self-reliant and self-serving. I believe there was a void in Hannibal’s life, an ache he couldn’t quite identify or pinpoint. Will filled that void. Independence and the isolation associated with it was something Hannibal was used to and previously drew comfort from. Now there is no comfort in his isolation. He and Will quickly realise and accept just how empty, how devoid of purpose their lives are without each other, testament of the vicious mutual co-dependency they each fostered.

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Ooh, I really enjoyed this one, which outlines the various ways that people respond to threatening behavior, and specifically to how Hannibal responds to Will.

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I just noticed a dynamic between these guys that I’d never quite put together before: in precise contrast to what Will thinks he wants, he will always fail to follow through on a lethal confrontation with Hannibal if (and only if) Hannibal makes a show of rolling over for him.
Bear with me for a sec because this is kind of fascinating: a while ago, I read a book called On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. The author Dave Grossman proposed a theory which jives with a lot of stuff I learned in anthropology classes, but he has a particularly pithy way of describing it. Between animals of the same species, he says, the choices of behavior in a confrontation aren’t as simple as the “fight or flight” choice we usually talk about.

Grossman calls his model “fight, flight, posture, or submit.” This model takes into account a common trait among most animals (including humans): members of the same species almost never jump immediately to the ‘fight’ option in a confrontation. Doing so would result in needless deaths, particularly among younger individuals who haven’t yet learned to defend themselves, and then to eventual depopulation and extinction.

Instead, animals tend to begin confrontations by posturing – by making a show of their superiority in an attempt to make the other party back down. If, during the posturing phase, it becomes clear that the individuals are fairly evenly matched, they are likely to start a physical fight in order to establish dominance, while still avoiding lethal attacks if possible.

However, if it becomes clear during the posturing phase that one of the individuals is definitely strong enough to defeat the other one, the weaker opponent will do one of two things: flee or submit. I’ll just quote the book here:

“Submission is a surprisingly common response, usually taking the form of fawning and exposing some vulnerable portion of the anatomy to the victor, in the instinctive knowledge that the opponent will not kill or further harm one of its own kind once it has surrendered.”

So, now that we’ve got all that context out of the way, let’s talk about Will and Hannibal!

Keep reading
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*Here’s a more scholarly approach to why the show, Hannibal, is the way it is, and what that means to the larger culture.

White Collar Cannibal: the Gentrified Grotesque in NBC’s Hannibal

Hannibal Season 2: Tome-Wan

Tome-Wan would at first appear to be one of these interstitial episodes between momentous events, but a number of important events happen in this episode , so its not filler.

There are a number of confrontations, in the aftermath of Will snitching to Mason about how the whole situation between Mason, Margot, and Will was orchestrated by Hannibal.

Will tells Hannibal what he said to Mason, and when Hannibal asks why, he tells him he wanted to see what would happen, throwing back at Hannibal his excuse for why Hannibal warned Garrett Jacob-Hobbes, long ago in that first episode. There are a number of callbacks by Will to that first season.

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Hannibal asks Will to close his eyes and imagine what he’d like Mason to do to Hannibal. Will imagines Hannibal hanging from the rafters in Mason’s pigpen, wearing a straitjacket. In his mind he is the one who slits Hannibal’s throat. Will is suffering from a severe case of “lovehate”. Hannibal has been the architect of so much misery that he can’t wait to see him dead (or captured). At the same time, there’s a part of him that finds all of this exciting, and revels in Hannibal’s antics. Will gets to use his hidden  savage self in service to the state, and loves letting that part of himself of its leash. You can see it in the last episode where he confronted Mason.

Mason confronts Hannibal during his next therapy session. He’s being especially hard on Hannibal’s nerves, as he critiques his drawings, declaring them to be crap, throwing his feet onto Hannibal’s desk, and stabbing at them with a penknife, like a bratty ten year old, which is exactly where Mason is, mentally. He hasn’t evolved beyond the spoiled child stage, and doesn’t seem to realize that he is dealing with a wholly different type of animal than anything he’s ever encountered. Mason is a small fish that, because of his narcissism, thinks he’s pretty big, in a big pond. He doesn’t even conceive that he’s dealing with  Hannibal the  Great White.

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Mason tells Hannibal that he should have stayed out of Verger family business, and threatens to slit his throat. Hannibal, who never gives anything of himself away, acts completely unperturbed, so you know that Mason is  a walking dead man, and that Hannibal have to do this himself, since Will isn’t cooperating with his masterplan of having Will kill Mason. Watch Hannibal’s face during this scene. You can see he is barely holding himself back from snapping the shit outta that little fucker. (Not in the office, Hannibal! Not in the office! – In the voice of Last Week’s John Oliver.)

In Margot’s therapy session with Hannibal, she is broken and restrained. After her forced hysterectomy, (which his quite possibly one of the most heinous things ever done on this show, and that’s saying something, when you consider this is a a show about serial killers.), she has learned her lesson about trying to oppose her brother, and all her hope is lost.In fact all seems lost for everyone, as there are a number of setbacks for all the characters, in this episode.

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Jack Crawford, who is frustrated at how long its taking Will to ensnare Hannibal, has a surprise for Will. He has found and detained Bedelia Du’Maurier, Hannibal’s former psychiatrist. She tried to run away because she knew Hannibal was dangerous for her, but the FBI has done her the favor of putting her back on his radar, as he was too busy with his machinations with Will, to search for her himself.

Will questions Bedelia about Hannibal’s weaknesses. She tells him of her fear of him, how he manipulates others into doing his dirty work for him, something which Will is experiencing first hand, and confesses about the patient Hannibal set her up to kill.She says Hannibal will persuade Will to kill someone he loves, but the only person Will has left to love is Alana. Hannibal has carefully removed everyone else from Will’s life, including the idea of his unborn child.

Hannibal may  be aware of how much Will hates him, during their next therapy session, but he completely disregards the depths to which Will will sink in pursuit of him. Will accuses Hannibal of fostering co-dependency. Hannibal doesn’t want anyone in Will’s life but himself. Which, when you think about it, is one of Hannibal’s creepier aspects.

While Hannibal is drawing one evening, Mason’s henchman, Carlo, bursts in and kidnaps Hannibal, but not without a fight in which Mateo, a friend of Carlo, loses his life, after Hannibal stabs him in the femoral artery with a scalpel.. Carlo stuns Hannibal,  takes him to Muskrat Farm, and trusses him over Mason’s pigpen. This is directly from the book and movie, Hannibal, where Mason Verger has Hannibal in this same position.

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Just as in his imagining, Will is prodded by Mason to slit Hannibal’s throat. We’re not sure exactly whats going on in Will’s mind. He certainly hates Hannibal, but when given an opportunity to kill him he balks, and later when given the opportunity to capture Hannibal, he warns him instead. Does Will even know what he wants, or why? Instead of cutting his throat, Will frees Hannibal but gets knocked out by Carlo for his troubles. Hannibal just leaves Will there unconscious and spirits Mason away for some,  more private, torture.

When Will wakes up he finds blood streaked everywhere, no sign of mason and Carlo’s body, which was eaten by the pigs. He goes back to his home to find Hannibal there with Mason. Hannibal has drugged Mason and induced him to cut off pieces of his flesh, using his father’s knife, and feed it to Will’s dogs. I’m not sure how lost Will is in this scene. He seems  amused at what Hannibal is doing. Is he happy because he finally has evidence of Hannibal doing something actionable in front of him, or is he simply amused at Hannibal’s antics? In a  nastily gruesome scene, Hannibal also orders Mason to cut off his lips and nose, and eat them. What makes this scene especially grotesque is Mason’s mental state. As he happily mutilates his face, he still crack plenty of jokes, about it.

Finally disturbed , Will urges Hannibal to finish Mason, but canny predator that he is, Hannibal doesn’t kill Mason. Instead he carefully paralyzes Mason with a precise break of his neck.

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Weeks later, Jack Crawford questions Mason about what happened to him, but Mason says he fell into his own pigpen, and  sings nothing but praises for Hannibal Lecter’s care. But we know better. This shit ain’t over as far as Mason is concerned. Or maybe it is. As Jack leaves, Mason is confronted by Margot, who tells him that she will take very good care of him. She’s the one in power now. I really love this scene, for the look of deep gratification on Margot’s face, as she says this.

Later, Will and Hannibal are debating whether  to confess their sins to Jack, or not. Hannibal weighs the idea that Jack should be told, and then killed, after which he and Will will run off together.

Hannibal Season Two: Ko No Mono

(Yes! I’m still writing these, even if no one is reading them. They’re kinda fun to write, and good practice for my other essays.)

In the last episode we saw Will Graham murdering Freddie Lounds at his house, and we assume that he, and Hannibal, ate parts of her body. Alana is growing increasingly perturbed by Will and Hannibal’s relationship, as Will appears to be becoming more and more like Hannibal, in his and Jack’s scheme to capture him.

As the episode begins, we are with the Wendigo and the Ravenstag, in the forest, as the Stag falls over, and squirts blood. While we watch, a new creature, based on a combination of the Wendigo and Will Graham, claws it’s way out of the Stag’s limp body. Will is once again, as he was earlier in the season, being haunted by thoughts of Lecter. The Stag began as a kind of precursor to Lecter’s presence, always appearing to Will in moments when he was subconsciously thinking of Hannibal, and sometimes, just before Hannibal’s actual appearance. As the series progressed, Hannibal’s icon has morphed into the Wendigo, while Will has taken on the Ravenstag as a subconscious token of himself. This happens especially as he’s gotten closer and closer to Hannibal. And now, as his relationship with Hannibal nears a crescendo, he secretly fears he’s become Hannibal’s iconic twin.


This becomes obvious in Hannibal and Will’s discussion at table, as Hannibal tells him that killing Freddie Lounds has changed Will’s thinking, remarking that Will’s imperturbability is a sign of true sociopathy. During this romantic dinner, Will and Hannibal swallow  some whole, tiny, naked birds, that look not unlike little babies, but what this is symbolic of, is not made clear, unless it’s a reference to all the fighting over Margot’s unborn baby, that happens later in the show.

Bryan Fuller:  Master of Symbolism.

That evening, a figure strapped into a burning wheelchair is pushed into a parking garage. The body lands in Freddie’s parking space, so we are meant to believe this is her, which is confirmed by Team Price and Zeller, when they examine the body. Naturally, Jack calls in Will and Hannibal to examine the body as well, and they do that thing where they stand around making assertions about the killer.  I’m still confused about how these personality assumptions, based solely on looking at the burned body,  would ever help the authorities capture any kind of criminal, but this is TV, where you’re not supposed to think too deeply about stuff like that, especially when it looks cool. In the movie, Red Dragon,  it’s slightly more realistically depicted, with a team of people sitting around brainstorming about a particular crime. Watch that scene where Chilton’s burned body has been discovered, with the team guessing where the killer might have done it, and how, so as to narrow down vectors of investigation.  That’s probably a little more like real-life profiling. In the show, Will and Hannibal look like they’re just riffing.

Later, Margot admits to Will that she slept with him just to get pregnant. And it works because she’s now carrying the Verger heir, and her brother can’t threaten to boot her out of the family anymore, making her homeless and destitute. Will is understandably upset about being so callously used, but isn’t this what he’s essentially doing with Hannibal? Pretending to be Hannibal’s friend, to accomplish some personal goal. So when Will feels a sense of betrayal at what Margot did, he should understand how exactly Hannibal felt, when he learns Will has been lying to him the entire time.

Margot says she wants nothing from him (being wealthy, she’d need for nothing anyway) but says she wouldn’t mind if he wants to be a part of the child’s life. She certainly doesn’t want Mason to be an influence because look how he turned out. He’s vile, petty, arrogant, abusive, entitled and whiny. In the movies the character is slightly more nuanced, but I think that’s more due to Gary Oldman’s acting, rather then the writing. Also in the books, and movies, we never met the version of Mason that hadn’t met up with Lecter, a much bigger shark.  In fact TV Mason has few, if any, redeeming qualities. I don’t even like Mason and I’ve  only seen him onscreen for a few minutes. At that moment, he’s psychologically tormenting a small child at Muskrat Farm, making him cry, so he can collect the little boy’s tears. In the books it’s stated that Mason is a child molester, and that he, did indeed, molest Margot. In the show it’s only heavily implied and never illustrated, in keeping with Fuller’s general idea of showing characters being vile, while not actually showing their victims being victimized. There’s a minimum of running, screaming, and terrorizing, on this show, which is very thoughtful of him. Most writers and directors seem to think that the screaming and terror of victims is what creates horrific moments, and I think that’s just lazy writing. (Plus, who wants to listen to 90 minutes of constant screaming? That shit is annoying.)

Afterwards, Alana visits Will at his home, (he’s still dreaming about the Wendigo), and spurred by Freddie’s insinuations, she expresses her misgivings about Will and Hannibal’s relationship. Will is more than a little salty that she’d question his relationship with Hannibal, while she is sleeping  with him.  This is the second time he’s mentioned that to her. He’s also more than a little salty about how no one believed him, when he said Hannibal was a killer. He says no one will believe Alana now, if she says Will is a killer. But he still cares about her and shows her the only way he knows how. He warns her about Hannibal and gives her a gun. Alana looks pretty flummoxed. I guessed she really wasn’t expecting that as a response. I did get the sense that  Will isn’t just worried about Hannibal coming after her, but expects her to use the gun on him, if he gets too lost in his roleplay.

Mason Verger has taken Hannibal up on his offer of therapy, and he is as whining and and thoughtless as you’d expect. Hannibal can’t stand him. Watch his face when Mason visits his office. He’s probably wishing he could kill him right then. Even I winced at Mason’s actions, and I’m not nearly as fastidious in my behavior as Hannibal. If you’re looking to find some excuse for why Mason is so vile, such as he was horribly abused as a child, or sexually assaulted, or something, Fuller refuses to give you that out. There’s no particular reason Mason is the way he is. He was spoiled and overindulged by his father, and has simply never grown past being a rotten ten year old.  He gleefully tells Hannibal about the arrangement his father made that would cut his sister out of the will, if anything happens to him. Hannibal is the one who puts the thought in Mason’s head that his sister could always upend his plans by  getting pregnant.


A funeral is held for Lounds, while Will and Alana watch it from afar, exchanging terse words again, their friendship is totally broken at this point, even though they still care deeply for each other, but it’s something that won’t play out until the third season. That night someone digs up Freddie’s body and mutilates it to look like the Hindu Goddess Kali, posed with extra arms. This body sculpture is a pun on how Hannibal sees himself, as a godlike figure, who is both creator and destroyer, giving and taking life. This time Alana is called in to profile the person who desecrated the body and she sees a connection between Randall Tier and Lounds. She insists to Jack that it might be Will. She goes to Hannibal  and expresses the same fears about Will. Hannibal is distracted by the scent of gunpowder on her hands and she tells him she’s been paranoid.

Although Hannibal is a master manipulator, it’s been shown that he often sets things in motion, and moves people around, with no idea of the eventual outcome. He sets disastrous events in motion, on nothing more than spite, or whim, with no idea of the end results, how many people will be drawn into play, or even if he’ll walk away from them intact, just as happened between Will and Abigail’s  father. Ironically, its this inability  to keep himself from intervening, that first sets Will on his scent, beginning their narrative together.

Mason confronts Margot at the estate, hinting that he knows she’s pregnant, having been given he idea that she might be by Hannibal. Margot has no safe place on the estate. Mason can invade her spaces anytime, and knows it. I always wondered why Margot didn’t just walk out on the entire thing, but  then Ithink  that she likes the perks of being rich, too much, to leave it, and likely has no marketable skills,with which to live in the world, and make her own way. Her father would’ve seen to that, expecting her to get married, and be taken care of by a husband, and most certainly had not counted on his daughter being a lesbian.

I’m still not entirely certain Mason knows Margot is pregnant or if he is just guessing. Even if she isn’t, she could easily become so and he  makes plans to prevent that from ever happening. Margot knows he plans to harm her, possibly kill her, and while this isn’t the first time he’s ever threatened her, this time her unborn child is at stake. She attempts to flee, but Mason’s henchman, Carlos,  crashes into her car, stopping her. She wakes up in an operating room, and in one of the more horrifying moments, in a show full of them, she realizes that Mason has violated her once again, by removing her baby and her entire uterus. She will never have a Verger heir.That loophole she found in their father’s will, has just been closed. Mason’s money can pay for all manner of corrupt behavior, such as the henchman who injured her, and the doctor who mutilates her.


Alana confronts Jack about how everyone is lying to her and she can’t rust anyone, including Hannibal. That whatever they’re all up to, Jack is going to be the clear loser in their agenda. Jack, exasperated but sympathetic takes her into the other room where Freddie Lounds is very much still alive, having faked her death to capture Hannibal. I don’t know what Alana is thinking in this scene, but she looks devastated.
Will enraged is an intense sight to see. He really is like a force of nature when he’s got his blood  up. He goes to Muskrat Farm, to confront Mason, who is attending to his flock of prized pigs. He threatens to shoot him and feed him to his pigs, while dangling him over the pen. He explains to Mason that they’re all being manipulated by the grandmaster of manipulation, Hannibal Lecter, who put a bug in Margot’s ear, and Mason’s, and then encouraged Will to take revenge on Mason, for hurting another child, like Abigail, that Will is  never going to know.

He informs Mason their true enemy is Hannibal. Once again  he throws Hannibal’s plans, by doing the something he couldn’t predict.

Tumblr Discussion – Fandom

And the discussions about racism in the various fandoms and how it manifests continues. A lot of people want to be insulted by these criticisms, but I look on it as an attempt to make a person’s writing better. These are valid criticisms. That they’re being given by individuals who are completely exhausted at having to explain, “Yet Again”, why its not right to make slave AUs of Finn and Black Panther, or write the deaths of Black characters,so as to remove them so you can ship two White characters, is beside the point.

But first, a bit of humor. This is only something you’ll get if you’ve watched Hannibal the Series mutliple times, though.

hannibalsbattlebot abigailhobbssghost

avegetariancannibal:

Imagine everything that sheep in Su-Zukana saw, from the guy in the horse to Hannibal and Will’s near-murder cuddles in the stables.

Imagine if she wrote a tell-all book about that night.

Pshaw. This book was a self serving work of FICTION. Beulah Jean totally glosses over the fact that she RECEIVED HEAD SCRITCHES from HANNIBAL LECTER ON THR NIGHT IN QUESTION! Wake up, sheeple. This is far from the unbiased account we deserve! Don’t let her pull the wool over your eyes!

Source: avegetariancannibal

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I have nothing to add to some of these critiques. Some things just are wrong.

theprettyfeminist adorablecresta

adorablecresta:

cyber-rich:

adorablecresta:

The interesting thing about discussing unpopular black female characters with certain fans is that many of them will openly acknowledge that fandom racism and racism in the media is a real thing, but will then go on to argue why a certain black female character should be written off the show, or sidelined, or killed off or be kept away from the white male lead. These fans know that fandom racism is a problem, but in their minds, their hatred for the character is completely justified. They know the trends. They know the pattern of black female characters repeatedly being abused by the fandom, but will still go on to list dozens of relatively benign reasons why a black female character should be written off the show. They like to argue that this time it’s different. This time it isn’t racial bias that’s driving their hatred of the character. This time it’s completely justified! So, next time when we’re listing all the black female characters that have been completely destroyed by the fandom, be sure to put a little asterisk next to so-and-so’s name, because that time was totally different.

Well, guess what? That whole list would be full of asterisks because to you, there’s always a perfectly valid reason for wanting the death of a black female character. There’s always a perfectly reasonable explanation for why the black female lead of a show should be sidelined and stripped of her status as leading lady. Whether it be Martha Jones, Iris West, Bonnie Bennett, Tulip O’Hare, Michonne, Gwen, Annie Sawyer, Braeden or any other intensely disliked black female character, the response is always the same. You may think you have perfectly valid reasons for disliking these women, but the fact is that they create a pattern. And whether you like it or not, your hatred is feeding into that pattern.

This is why no-one wants to break from the norm of creating white characters because no-one will say ‘racism’ or ‘sexism’.

However when creating a character who is not a male or a white person, people tend to complain like this and call racism or sexism if something bad happens to that character.

At the end of the day it’s the writer’s call what happens to character or not. If you want a black female character that doesn’t die, write a story yourself.

Um, did you even read my original post? I wasn’t talking about the lack of representation, I was talking about the racist response from audience members during the rare moments when we actually do get representation. I literally gave you a list of black female characters that this has happened to. And while I agree that we should have more prominent writers of color, you have to realize that there are already legions of poc writers out there, but they either can’t get their stuff published (because of racism) or their material isn’t given the proper amount of publicity it deserves (also because of racism).

Also, one more thing. When people of color complain about the lack of representation in the media, please do not tell them to simply “do it yourself.” First of all, as I listed above, people are already doing it themselves, but aren’t being recognized for it. And second, telling people to simply do it themselves is a not-so-veiled attempt at letting white writers who promote racist material off the hook. White writers should be held to a certain standard. It shouldn’t always be up to us to tell them to stop being racist. They should know this themselves.

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People are still arguing about Finn with people who absolutely refuse to see him as a viable candidate for being shipped with Rey, and craft any and all manner of bullshit as to why they won’t ship the two main characters in the movie. Finn has the most screen time of any male character in the entire movie. He is, unquestionably, one of the leading good guys, but some people would rather craft elaborate fantasies about how wrong he is for Rey, rather than acknowledge that they just don’t want to ship a Black man with a White woman.

This writer brings up another point not often made by critics. Black men do not get “woobified” in fandom. There’s not a single man of color, anywhere in fandom that gets the “woobie” treatment. This is something reserved exclusively for white male characters (many of them are often villains). When you consider that most of the people who are writing fandom consists of White women, from middle class backgrounds, most of them under thirty, then you need to ask  why that is.

diversehighfantasy onelonecandle

onelonecandle:

receiptsyall:

This post is the terrible gift that keeps on giving.

@onelonecandle“Finn is an emotionally relatable character, but not in the same ways that Kylo Ren is. Even when Finn is displaying fear and stress in the film, it is frequently made out to be funny (and that’s a great example of differences in character representation between black and white actors based on racial stereotyping).”

Even the opening shot, before we ever seen FN-2187′s face, the camera work is giving us a sympathetic POV on him. The dizzying whirl is meant to evoke a panic attack. Just because Finn gets to smile more in his giddy (and terrifying) new life doesn’t mean he’s not written or portrayed sympathetically.

I think you’re overlooking how carefully we’re taught to give sympathy to white men in fiction. Even when that white man is acting reprehensibly.

(Quick example with misogyny rather than racism: how many fans of Breaking Bad thought that Skyler White was an absolute bitch for protecting her family from her drug-dealing husband, and that Walter was being held back by her terrible bitchiness? Answer: far too many.)

Fandom has the same racial empathy gap that exists in the rest of our culture(s). Add in the echo chamber effect of fandom (enough people say that Driver made Kylo sympathetic and Boyega/the writers didn’t do the same for Finn), and suddenly a nuanced performance by Boyega is viewed as anything but.

In my opinion, Adam Driver, with less than 20 minutes of screen time, did not manage to portray Kylo Ren with more sympathy than Boyega with his 40+ minutes of screen time. That’s mostly on the audience.

@contains-the-force“…Imagine John with golden/yellow eyes and that cocky/cute grin of his!”

Or let him keep his natural dark eyes, which are lovely?

In context, this was related to sad, brooding male characters with certain feminine emotive traits made popular by anime.

In fairness, almost every one of those sympathetic prettyboy anime characters that my generation swooned over in high school was represented as white or asian.

You make good points and my argument was a little scattered there.

I’m sorry but that… wasn’t the context. It wasn’t about anime at all. The context was that the quote above followed a comparison between Black villians and white villains – that Black villains are “hard” and “self-contained,” while white villains are “soft, emotionally raw, feminine white boys.” And because of internalized racism on the part of the writers and directors, Kylo Ren was a more well-written, well-acted character, while Finn was a stereotype because he had funny moments. If John had been given the superior Kylo role and pulled it off as well as Adam, everyone would love him.

But this follow-up confirms what I’d already gleaned from the conversation – that it was more about liking brooding white guys than villains, since sympathetic Black villains like The Operative are not seen as sympathetic. Which is exactly what @receiptsyall is talking about. The empathy gap is real, and while media certainly contributes to that, when a Black character is sympathetic but the audience can’t see it, there is a problem with the audience as well.

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You really need to go to the Tumblr page and read the entire post. Its very enlightening.

eazzy–pink

Fandom culture posts that overwhelmingly describe how the state of fandom is worse now than it was before always put me to sleep because one of the most prevalent differences between what we have now to what we had then is that people started becoming more vocal about the kinds of negative and problematic things going on in fiction and fandom culture as a whole.

Like. I just saw a post talking about how if a person grew up in today’s fandom culture, they would be terrified and unable to enjoy things. Simultaneously, this person used two caps to emphasize this point: “EW GROSS YOU’RE A PEDOPHILE” for liking one ship or “OMG THAT SHIP IS ABUSIVE” to describe another.

I remember growing up in fandom and the kinds of things that I liked. For example: I fucked heavy with Twilight back when it came out. I passed the threshold for caring about Harry Potter and didn’t really have a vested interest in the series, but Twilight was the shit to me. It had a darker element to it than the books I was reading and the characters were compelling, blah blah blah, that whole shebang. I had been writing some stories prior to this, but Twilight was the one thing that saw me actually put work into grooming my writing abilities. I got involved in a writer’s club at my school, my friends and I geeked out about the characters and would come up with our own terrible knock-offstories that were centered around the supernatural, vampires and werewolves because it was really cool.

Fast forward to me discovering this blue hellsite called “Tumblr.”

Keep reading

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An analysis of how Blade sits within the MCU, and the superhero genre in general. (Another film I think deserves analysis within the superhero genre is Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan.)

 I also want to point out the whitewashing of the Blade franchise. As the films became more popular, and the budgets got slightly larger, the cast became whiter and whiter, until you have the complete WTF*ery going on in that last film. You went from a movie that was set in a black neighborhood, with a WoC as the co-lead, and its full representation of both humans and vampires, to token representation in the second film, with an Asian man,  Hispanic woman, and a Black guy, to no representation at all in the third film, (although the third film did wonders for White feminists, though.) 

Whitewashing doesn’t just mean exchanging characters of color with White people, in movies. Whitewashing is also about increasing the number of White characters in a show, or movie franchise, to the detriment of characters of color. This even extends to whole networks. Remember when Fox began as a network? Networks usually get a foot in the door by appealing to minorities. As the network strives to become more mainstream, shows that appealed to minorities are expunged, in favor of whiter casts and series, until PoC are all but absent from that network. Fox is a perfect example of whitewashing, and so is Teen Wolf.

fandomshatepeopleofcolor madmaudlingoes

And that’s the real difference between Blade and the superhero franchises that have followed. Blade was never a big-name character in the first place. So there wasn’t a whole lot of retro-geek enthusiasm associated with the character. But more than that, Blade, the film, simply isn’t backwards-looking.

There’s none of the Greatest Generation boosterism that clings to the Captain America franchise, for example. Nor do we get from Blade the home front 50s stay-at-home mom-with-kids meme that pops up incongruously in Age of Ultron when we get to meet Hawkeye’s secret, perfect family.

Instead, Blade is deliberately, defiantly hip. Motherhood isn’t idealized; on the contrary, one of the queasier moments of the film involves Blade ruthlessly offing his feral, incestuously sexual, evil vampire mom. If there is nostalgia, it’s for blaxploitation’s up-to-the-minute cool.

The movie’s first grinding, sweaty, sex-and-blood drenched night club scene hasn’t dated at all. Nor has the Afrocentric incense store where Blade buys his formula fix, nor the black, brotherhood embrace between that store’s owner and the hero. There’s a notable lack of cell phones, of course, and the computer graphics prophesying the coming of the blood god look rather dated. But there’s little question that, as much as it’s able, the film is looking forward not back.

And part of the reason it’s looking forward, I think, is race. Blade—unlike most superhero films—is set in a meaningfully integrated world. That Afrocentric shop suggests, quietly but definitely, that Blade is part of a black community and that that community matters to him. One of his two crime-fighting companions Dr. Karen Jenson (N’Bushe Wright), is also black.

The diverse cast, and the acknowledgement of diverse communities, is part of why the film still feels and looks relevant. Here, after all, is a narrative that was fulfilling the call for more diverse superhero movies before superhero movies were even a thing.

But beyond that, Blade makes clear the extent to which nostalgia and whiteness are inextricably bound together in so much of the superhero genre. Retooling old, old pop-culture heroes[1] means, inevitably, dreaming about white saviors and about a time when white people were the only ones who were allowed to be heroes.

THE WHITE SUPERHERO FAD STARTED, CRAZY ENOUGH, WITH BLADE

[1]

A lot of us have talked a lot about how Blade started the current superhero domination in Hollywood and how current films forget that; and though it’s important to ask what kinds of behind-the-scenes decisions have caused that, I like this analysis about how Blade is fundamentally different from what we’re getting today and how that film is, in many ways, incompatible with today’s Ant-Men and Men of Steel.

(via dakotacityukuleleorchestra)

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More on how White villains get “woobified” in fandom narratives, and PoC, who are sometimes not even the villains, don’t get sympathy or empathy. Really, check out the whole article. Its  all well stated.

diversehighfantasy

The Sympathetic Black Villain (Or How Loving the Bad Guy is Racially Conditional)

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(Something Rukmini Pande said in the @fansplaining Race and Fandom podcast reminded me of this old meta I never got around to posting, so here it is, updated for 2016. Contains spoilers for In the Flesh series 2 (you can watch the whole series on Hulu). Thanks to @psmith73 for input and feedback!)

The Bad Guy of Color

In movies and on TV, we’re used to seeing people of color – especially men of color – as bad guys. You’ve got your drug lords, your terrorists, and your gang leaders (but not the “cool” white-friendly kind like mafia kingpins or bikers), all in a variety of shades of brown and black. As a rule, Bad Guys of Color have a few things in common: They’re scary (like, white folks’ worst nightmare scary), they’re The Other against white protagonists, and they’re not sympathetic characters.

Most of the time, there is no attempt to make us sympathize with the BGOC, because it might make it hard for us to watch them die, sometimes by the dozen. Usually, they don’t even give us a reason to hate them (exceptions, like Victor Sweet in John Singleton’s Four Brothers, who is shown as fully unsympathetic when he treats another Black man like a dog, are usually Black-written characters).

These are not the captivating villains. They’re not the Negan, The Governor, the Walter White, let alone the Loki, Joker, or Kylo Ren. They’re undeveloped, nondimensional, and more than a little racist.

When a person of color is written as a sympathetic villain, a developed character, they should be sympathized with, right? Especially if the character isn’t, as they say, defined by race?

Well… no.

Meet Maxine Martin, played by Wunmi Mosaku.

Keep reading

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Okay, that’s it! I’m going to start watching The Flash in support of Candice Patton, cause seriously, people! What kind of fu***ry is this?

White feminism is a hell of a drug…

theprettyfeminist darlingwestallen

braveheartannie:

You know what I don’t understand? Certain fans who are intent on proving that Candice and Danielle hate each other. I’ve come across 2 or 3 blogs this week that have been spreading nasty rumors about Candice bullying Danielle and doing things behind her back in order to decrease her screentime on the show. Like…what is this, the Twilight fandom? Grow the fuck up. These assholes like to pretend to be supportive of women, but when one of those women is black, all of a sudden, that support is thrown right out the window. There is zero evidence that Candice or Danielle have any ill will towards each other. Each and every time they’ve been out together in public, they’ve been nothing but gracious and kind. The reason certain fans want to stir up trouble is because they need a reason to hate Candice. They know they’ve lost the battle of trying to sideline Iris West as a character, so they’ve resorted to making up racist and sexist rumors accusing her of bullying her co-starts and even sleeping with the producers. Yes, you heard me right. There are blogs here on Tumblr accusing Candice of sleeping with the producers. Instead of believing that a gorgeous talented black actress used her charm, talent and intellect to get the job, these assholes are spreading rumors that the only reason why she was cast as Iris West is because she slept with Grant Gustin and the producers. Like, could you be any more transparent? You’re not racist, but you spend all day spreading rumors about how the only black girl on set is fucking everyone in sight and bullying her co-stars?

Donald Trump’s candidacy got ya’ll feeling braver than a motherfucker, I swear…

@reverseracism

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Honestly, I just wanted to put this here for posterity. I loved this answer. Now this is professional level snark.

fandomshatepeopleofcolor localpsychoticplant

Anonymous asked:

Why do you hate whites so much like wtf

taint3edcakes answered:

I don’t hate ya’ll. I think ya’ll are cute, honestly. It’s like I’m your mentor and you are all my mentees. And so you all look up to me and think I’m an amazing role model so you want to dress just like me, talk like me, have what I have. You want my boyfriend, you want my family, my culture, you want to say what I say. And at first it’s like aw haha that’s so cute they want to be just like me but then you’re ALWAYS there and you’re ALWAYS talking like me and it starts to get annoying and I’m like HEY BE YOURSELF PLEASE I don’t want to teach you to be a copycat, or a follower. BE A LEADER BE YOU. DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE? And I mean you love me so much that you’ll go under the knife of SURGERY to be like me. You love me so much that you’ll get beat up just so you can say the N word. It’s flattering, but annoying. That’s how it feels to be black. It feels like mentoring a little ass kid that goes too far and starts looking cool doing what I’m doing, that steals my ideas and profits off them to the point where I dislike them and I’m like

I

MADE

YOU.

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CAN

END

WHAT

I

MADE

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I think I mentioned something on this issue before, about how the only thing White fans have to work with when it comes to PoC, are decades of stereotypes. Writers who are less talented, less aware, unwilling to examine, or just plain lazy, will only reproduce the stereotypes they’ve been given about PoC all their lives. (Yeah, okay sometimes they’re just straight out racists.)

Real writers, people who care about, and want to hone, their craft, will pay attention to these types of critiques. These critiques are not an indictment against the writer. They are made to suggest improvements. If your’e not willing to use these critiques to  learn or improve your craft, and make bullshit excuses for  writing these stereotypes, than either your talents simply aren’t up to snuff, or you’re just a bigot.

Also there’s more on  the Strong Black Woman stereotype,  where it came from, how damaging it is, and why its okay not to be one. This is details how the stereotypes for White women are different from the stereotypes for Black women. White feminism doesn’t take into account how there are stereotypes for different groups of women. Asian, Muslim, Latinas, all have different stereotypes from each other, and Black women, all of which are designed to shut all women up and keep them subservient. Mikki Kendall also addresses this in her tweets about Strong Black Women.

Examples of the SBW are: Queenie, from season 5 of American Horror Story, taken to extremes in her case, and Gina Torres character from Suits. Actually Gina has made a career out of the Black character who feels no pain. Don’t believe me? Remember how she reacted all through all of the show Firefly and in Serenity after her husband dies? And how her character Bella planned to go through stage four lung cancer without any help from her husband, Jack? All of Gina’s characters are always tough as nails.

theprettyfeminist

thejollyswangirl asked:

In regards to you post about progressive white fangirls and the representation of black women, I think it’s important to remember that we are dealing with socially ingrained racism that stretches back to the days of slavery. Back then, slave owners routinely raped their black slave women. Their wives didn’t have the power to stop this behavior so they ignored it, often shifting the blame for their husband’s actions to the slave women. They created two categories for black women. (Part 1)

(Part 2) 1) Evil/seductress out to steal your man or 2) the much less threatening motherly (often overweight and/or ignorant) maime. This has carried over from centuries worth of literature into movies and tv shows. Progressivism is no antidote for racism. Neither, is liberalism or conservatism. Racism is a heart condition not simply a worldview. If you don’t believe that, study the writings of Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger (a progressive white woman) and “The Negro Project”.

^All very good points! The relationship between black women and white women has been poisonous from the the very start.

nerdsagainstfandomracism diversehighfantasy

legendofcerberus-deactivated201 asked:

The only thing I don’t agree with you in your disney-is-racist explanation in Tiana. I prefer black women (including myself) to be seen as strong, someone who can do it without help. Its a better imagine to us and younger black women than someone soft, sub servant and helpless. I think that trope needs to be applied to every woman of color since we seem to be struggling with that in the media. IDK, that is how I feel as a black woman.

disneyforprincesses answered:

and that’s totally your right!! I’m not here to tell anybody how they should feel about how their own people are represented. All I can tell you is that a lot of black women have written about how the strong, independent black woman trope is damaging and I take them at their word!

blogs like lookatthewords and jhenne-bean are both blogs ran by black women who have talked about Tiana in length before if you feel like talking about it with someone who has a foot in the door, so to speak 🙂

-Lauren

jhenne-bean:

lookatthewords:

Well it’s pretty damn damaging trope considering the “strong, independent black woman” who don’t need no man, nor help, apparently is so imbedded in society that white people literally believe black people feel less pain and therefore are administered less pain medicine in need and are given less sympathy when experiencing pain because it’s assumed we’ve been hardened by this life and can “just take it.”

There’s a reason these tropes like “angry black woman” and “strong independent black women” exist, and it isn’t in our favor. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with being independent and I think it is a result of the life we’ve for the most part been forced to lead, but ya gotta realize if we’re subjected to just an independent black woman trope, always tough and always in control, then we’re the joke. We have no femininity. In fact, we’re interchangeable with Black men.

Plus I don’t see why being soft, which shouldn’t even be synonym to sub servant and helpless, is a regressive trait. Needing and relying on help does not make you weak; it makes you human. The fact that society likes to push us into this singular story of the strong and independent black woman with few other facades should make you wary as it perpetuates this idea that we’re in no need of sympathy. Empathy,

Therefore you can be a 19-year old teenage girl in need of help after a car accident, but i’m going to shot you in the back of the head because the idea of a Black woman actually needing help as opposed to being the Help is such a bizarre concept that my life feels threatened, right?

More resources:

Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.

And I’d like to add this link, as it specifically regards young Black children and fantastical stories. The focus is on sci-fi, but the moral works here too, primarily the takeaway of:

Realism has become a trap for black children and they realize it.

Clutch.com had a thinkpiece on the phrase (+ the internalization of “strong” being the superior and only way for us to operate) stripping away our humanity. BuzzFeed (bear with me) has onethat dissects a few current Black women on television, which might help. Mikki Kendall (Karnythia) also has a Storify page housing some great tweets on the subject.

Lookatthewords already hit on the dangers of perpetuating the strong don’t-need-no-help Black woman as a trope, and it certainly helps no one to insist that it is the only portrayal of Black women illustrated in the media.

There is nothing wrong with being soft, or being the princess, or needing help: you can be all those things and still recognized as a Black woman— as a person. Still be a good example.

Imo, it is better to imagine (and write, and portray) black women of all ages in multifaceted and rounded ways.

Source: disneyforprincesses black women representation Media RepresentationWOC Representation Disney Princesses Princess Tiana Intersectional FeminismIntersectionality Meta Reblog Mod P.
Now, go read Mikki Kendall’s beautiful Twittter takedown of Strong Black Woman syndrome.
I, too, have suffered from Strong Black Woman, but I’ve since learned, in the past few years, to recognize when I’m suffering from a bout of this, and take myself off somewhere for some  self care.
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karnythia annlarimer

sourcedumal:

kyssthis16:

countessnoir:

daji-ruhu:

hellanahmean:

miss-jailbait:

dendritic-trees:

laterinthecaveoflesbians:

daji-ruhu:

The reason I label white women who are feminists as ‘white feminists’ is because womanhood has a very distinctive definition for Black women than it does for white women.

That whole edgy, dye-your-armpit-hair, shave your head, be aggressively non-feminine shit works for white/white-passing women because for centuries white women have been regulated to overtly feminine roles, stereotypes, tropes, etc.

Black women have always been made into mammy tropes/stereotypes, masculine and desexualized figures, or super strong she-beasts who can’t be hurt and therefore can never be associated with terms like ‘feminine’ or ‘delicate’ or ‘dainty’ or deigned worthy of protection.

So when I see posts railing against these ultra-feminine tropes I roll my eyes because it’s usually a white feminist behind them.

I really need white women to understand that being dainty and feminine and soft is just as radical for me as your punk, head shaving stuff.

Thank you so much.  This is such a great explanation.

I looooove this

This post is so…. Terrible? Like mammy figures are extremely feminine. And Black women have been regulated to these feminine roles just as much.

I don’t get how being feminine can remotely be radical.

Shut the fuck up, blockhead.

ROFL, how fucking dense do you have to be to let yourself even type mammy figures are extremely feminine and it be completely serious?

Mammy figures may be feminine but they are never delicate and that’s a bit of nuance that gets lost when ppl only rely on a thesaurus and no real-life application.

Mammy was a maid, fam. She did the “woman’s work” but womanhood was never ascribed to her in a way that would let her be a part of the protected class. And that’s the point. Even the ideas of femininity are different for Black women. To ignore that is to ignore history. That’s not at all cute. Get it together.

LMFAOOOOO Mammy was absolutely NOT a fucking feminine figure AT ALL

I will direct you to the Jim Crow Museum where they break down the bullshit:

AND I FUCKING QUOTE:

Abolitionists claimed that one of the many brutal aspects of slavery was that slave owners sexually exploited their female slaves, especially light-skinned ones who approximated  the mainstream definition of female sexual attractiveness. The mammy caricature was  deliberately constructed to suggest ugliness. Mammy was portrayed as dark-skinned, often pitch black, in a society that regarded black skin as ugly, tainted. She was obese, sometimes morbidly overweight. Moreover, she was often portrayed as old, or at least middle-aged. The attempt was to desexualize mammy. The implicit assumption  was this: No reasonable white man would choose a fat, elderly black woman instead of the idealized white woman. The black mammy was portrayed as lacking all sexual and sensual qualities. The de-eroticism of mammy meant that the white wife – and by extension, the white family, was safe.

The sexual exploitation of black women by white men was unfortunately common during  the antebellum period, and this was true irrespective of the economic relationship  involved; in other words, black women were sexually exploited by rich whites, middle  class whites, and poor whites. Sexual relations between blacks and whites – whether   consensual or rapes – were taboo; yet they occurred often. All black women and girls,      regardless of their physical appearances, were vulnerable to being sexually assaulted   by white men. The mammy caricature tells many lies; in this case, the lie is that    white men did not find black women sexually desirable.  The mammy caricature implied that black women were only fit to be domestic workers;    thus, the stereotype became a rationalization for economic discrimination. During   the Jim Crow period, approximately 1877 to 1966, America’s race-based, race-segregated   job economy limited most blacks to menial, low paying, low status jobs. Black women  found themselves forced into one job category, house servant.

Read that seven or eight fucking times until you get the goddamn message.

Mammy was NOT A WOMAN. Mammy was a PACK MULE FOR WORK that was deemed fundamentally ASEXUAL so white men could excuse raping them. Because it wasn’t REAL, since she wasn’t really a woman, you see?

Dark skinned Black women shown as feminine, fragile and dainty is revolutionary in a society that explicitly puts us in the position of MONSTROUS, UGLY AND UNLOVED.

Black women as damsels in distress is RADICAL in a society that purports Black women as only WORK MULES

Daji said what she mothafuckin SAID in the damn OP.

*”I am a human being. I am not a robot. I am not a punching bag. I am not a doormat. I am not an animal. I am not a Slinky that immediately bounces back into original shape no matter how many times it is thrown down some stairs. I am flesh and blood. I am a living organism. I am alive. I weep, mourn, ache, rage, chill, giggle, smile, radiate and plenty of other emotions. People, both White and Black, have internalized the message that Black women are simultaneously deified as superheros and disrespected as never needing love and care (and both deification and disrespect are dehumanization). I will always reject this.”

 

 

 

 

Hannibal Season Two: Naka-Choko

In Naka-Choko (an acidic soup served as a palette cleanser during a Japanese meal) the title is appropriate for this episode, as things begin to reach a high point in Will’s “game of wills” with Hannibal. Will he be able to hold onto his civilized self or will he succumb to Hannibal’s blandishments to give in to the beast within? There has been, after all, a lot of blandishment, in the past couple of episodes, culminating in the  death of Randall Tier, by Will’s hands.

hannibal_-2x10_naka-choko_preview

 

Hannibal continues in his quest to get will to release the beast within himself, and this appears to be succeeding as Will, in a flashback, imagines he is actually choking Hannibal Lecter. Like Jesse Cooper, from  Preacher, Will Graham has a deep well of violence inside him, that he likes. But unlike Jesse, he’s deeply ashamed of it. He is loathe to acknowledge its existence, except to Hannibal. When he’s acknowledged it in the past, he tried to use it for good. Like a Dexter, he used his love of violence to kill other killers. It’s part of the reason he’s so dead set on killing Hannibal. Maybe he feels if he kills Hannibal he can destroy that shameful part of himself. It’s the reason we keep seeing the conflation between the Wendigo  and the RavenStag. Both creatures are two sides of the same coin. One benign and the other malevolent.

 

It’s interesting. He has a deep need to experience  violence. To kill. So he goes into a profession that requires that he commit acts of violence. (Will was a cop before becoming a profiler.) In an effort to control it or tame it  he goes into a job that gives it power, and then he meets Hannibal, who, recognizing a wolf in sheep’s clothing,   manages in just one episode,  to completely undo any progress Will might have made towards that goal. Hannibal continues , throughout the following 25 episodes, to keep putting Will in situations that require him to express that violent need. He believes he’s seen Will’s true face. Hannibal already thinks of Will as an intellectual equal, now if he can share murder with him, Will would be the perfect companion.

 

After Will kills Randall, he takes the body to Hannibal, who is once again impressed by Will’s talent for survival. He’s like a proud father whose happy his kid beat up a bully on the playground. He lovingly washes the blood from Will’s hands, while speaking to him in encouraging tones, to help Will remain in the moment. He knows Will wants to withdraw into himself and tells him not to. Fuller stages this as a love scene, but there are also mytho-religious implications, as Hannibal washing  off the blood, and carefully wrapping the wounds, looks like Christ washing the feet of his Apostles.

(My mind also wants to interpret these scenes as a big brother, little brother dynamic, but Fuller has specifically stated that this is a love story and I accept that assertion, while also thinking I’m not wrong either.)

hannibal-episode-2-10-naka-choko-hannibal-tv-series-37021652-3000-1997

Will confesses that he imagined killing Hannibal instead of Randall. Hannibal asks Will how  he’ll repay Randall for the gift of his death. Hannibal believes the artistic display of the victim’s body after death is a compliment to the victim. He thinks  artistic displays of the body elevates them to more than the status of just being meat. Will and Hannibal fuse Randall with the body of the beast he believed himself to be, thereby reaching what Hannibal would think is his ultimate potential. After which we watch a grand display of acting as Will and Hannibal act out their  roles as profilers. Its hilarious, as they both go on and on, pretentiously nattering about the killer’s motives, while Jack gives both of them the side eye. He knows not only that Will killed Randall, but that both of them mutilated the body. Later, though, he does take Will to task for this. He’s in this to get Hannibal but he is beginning to doubt Will’s motivations.

Everyone is questioning Will in this episode. He’s questioning himself as he imagines Randall Tier chastising him for killing him, saying that killing him was Will’s “becoming”. So Will certainly feels he’s that much closer to being what Hannibal wants him to be, even if he did kill Tier in self-defense.

nakachoko17

Freddie, Alana, and Jack are all questioning Will’s validity. In the case of Alana and Freddie, Will is outright lying, but these women are not stupid. Freddie  knows he’s not telling her anything useful, when he goes to her to finish his series of interviews that he promised her, insisting that Chilton was, in fact, the Chesapeake Ripper. Freddie wonders why he’s back in therapy with the man he accused of being the Ripper, and goes to Alana with this same question, which awakens Alana’s fears that something strange is going on between Will and Hannibal.

Margot, in therapy with Hannibal, is once again being encouraged to kill her brother. Hannibal believes her sentimental feelings are getting in the way of fratricide. He plants the idea in Margot’s mind that she should have a baby to get around the restrictions their father placed on the family estate. In the event that he or Mason died without a male heir, the entire fortune would go  to the Southern Baptist Church, and not Margot. Yeah, their father was as much of a piece of shit as Mason. When Mason indirectly threatens to kill her by feeding her to his prize pigs, she makes up her mind to go to see Will Graham. This show reaches high camp when Mason shows her a dummy made of meat, and dressed in her clothes, being lowered into a pigpen.

nup1622620034jpg-a29e48_765w

Hannibal and Alana are shown practicing the theremin, an instrument that is played by stroking the air next to it. (This is the instrument that makes that haunting wooo-wooo noise from the original Star Trek Theme song.) Naturally, Hannibal would choose the theremin, as, just like the harpsichord,  its just twee enough to catch his fancy. Hannibal would never be so gauche as to strum a guitar, or play the piano.

Afterwards, we get the fivesome. Margot has decided she wants Will to be the father of her Verger baby, and Alana and Hannibal decide this is the evening they want to snork like rabbits. The implication  is that these are simultaneous but separate events. Unbeknownst to all of the players they have been joined by Hannibal’s alter ego, the ManStag, which makes things kinda kinky. I think this is Will just hallucinating again but this also means I have to ask myself why he’s envisioning Hannibal with Alana.

Actually, the Manstag is there as in indication to us that Hannibal is the orchestrator of these events. He’s the one who planted the idea in Margot’s head that a pregnancy would solve her problems with Mason. The ManStag is with Alana and Hannibal to indicate to us also that he is manipulating both  Alana and Will. He’s not with her because he loves her, or even likes her, but because he doesn’t want Will to have her, because now that there’s no longer the specter of mental instability hanging over Will, their relationship becomes an actual possibility, and Hannibal can’t have Will distracted by attachments to other people.

 

The next day, Freddie encounters Alana and presses her to question why Will is back in therapy with Hannibal. I think her conversation with Freddie frightens her, becausegalvanizes Alana to start asking herself some tough questions. Freddie mentions the deaths of Hannibal’s former patients and that she believes Will and Hannibal are killing people together.

Mason invites Hannibal out to Muskrat Farm to view his pigs. He wants to talk about Margot, but Hannibal convinces Mason that he should come to therapy instead. Mason gifts Hannibal with one of his prize pigs. On the surface Mason and Hannibal appear to be similar sociopaths, but Mason is far out of his league when it comes to manipulating events. Hannibal is always several steps ahead of Mason, although Mason does step up his game in season three, after his mutilation.

Hannibal, Will and Alana have dinner together and Alana can see their behavior  up close. You can see she finds their behavior disquieting, but still confronts them about Freddie’s accusations. Hannibal  called her brave in Mizunomo. Yes she is. Its an awkward conversation. She can tell they are keeping some kind of secret from her.

hannibal3

Freddie tries to confirm her theories about Will by visiting his home where she finds parts of Randall Tier’s body in Will’s workshed. Will encounters her and chases her down. This is the closest the show has gotten to your typical serial killer chase scene and it looks frightening, but is mostly staged by Will.Unknown to Will, this is a re-enactment of the same scene, between Hannibal and Beverly, earlier in the season and I’m pretty sure its what Fuller meant to do. In the first season, Fuller made a point of not showing female victims in terror, as he said it was cliche, but he does make some exceptions in season two, with Beverly, Alana ,and Freddie.

During her attack, Freddie tries to send a call to Jack, but all it does is record her screams. Jack and Will put on a dog and pony show for Hannibal, leading him to believe that Will killed Freddie. Later, Will shows up for dinner with Hannibal and brings some “long pig”, which is a euphemism for human flesh. He claims its Freddie without actually saying so, and Hannibal invites Will to prepare the meal with him. (They are actually eating parts of Randall, that Will had set aside.) Hannibal is proud of him but chastises him because the victim “tastes” frightened. He says Freddie’s murder was an act of God. Its not that Hannibal doesn’t believe in God, but that he considers himself God’s equal.This scene is also shot as a love scene, as Will and Hannibal discuss religious philosophy, while dining on Will’s victim.

960-1

Murder husbands indeed!

 

 

 

Funny Stuff & Link Roundup

 

Humor:

*Pick an Olympic event at which you would most certainly excel. Mine isn’t on here, but I chose Advanced Napping, with a minor in Lollygaggin’ and/or Procrastinatin’. I am very competitive on those. I also happen to enjoy Competitive Falling Over, and Professional Lunging, but only as an observer.

natblida: “ hedaclexa: “ Tag yourself I’m competitive falling ” I’m stabbing people for points ” I’m Water Panic! I could win the gold on that one. Do they have Advanced Napping ? I’m good at that, too.plain-flavoured-english Source: heyhaughtshot

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*I love this little TV Tropes fight. Big Sky Dreaming has many such odd communications on their blog.

bigskydreaming poseyslegtattoo

poseyslegtattoo:

bigskydreaming:

poseyslegtattoo:

bigskydreaming:

sunwukxng:

poseyslegtattoo:

@sunwukxng is dropping trope names like he read the entirety of TVTropes.org yesterday and he needs to stop before I smack him

Don’t Angry Fist Shake at me. What are you saying? Is That A Threat?

Okay but Ced you have to know TVTropes.org well enough to recognize all those trope names so Who Is The True Villain here hmm?

It’s Hypocritical Humor, Because I Said So

Oh look, He’s Back. What next, you going to Destroy the Evidence like you didn’t just Dramatic Drop this Drama Bomb on our Friendly Conversation? We’ve Seen This Episode Before. Rewind, Replay, Repeat.

We Used to Be Friends, Cedric. Where Did We Go Wrong?

As You Know, This Troper is New Meat compared to The Old Master Kalen and the Memetic Badass Adam so Let’s You And Him Fight.

A classic Pick On Someone Your Own Size. *Sarcastic Clapping* Fine. Throw The Fight.

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*Its like the Hotel California. I’ve been in this place before.

hannibalsbattlebot crave-that-mineral

Fanfiction gothic

crave-that-mineral:

  • You wait for an update on your favorite fic. You wait a week, a month, a year. You wait forever. The author never updates.
  • You tell your friend about a fic you loved. A few days later they tell you they couldn’t find it. You look it up yourself. You can’t find it. You can’t find the author. “They must have deleted their account,” you tell yourself. You can’t remember.
  • You have already left kudos here. 🙂” You have no recollection of having read this fic before.
  • Your favorite writer starts a new fic. It gets progressively darker with every update. The last chapter is just a string of random letters and numbers. You want to ask if the writer is okay. You don’t dare to.
  • AO3 doesn’t work again. It didn’t work yesterday. It didn’t work last week. Has it ever worked?
  • Your friend starts writing a fanfic about you. “It’s just a joke,” they tell you. You go check it out. It’s a complete work with a major character death warning. “It’s just a joke,” you remind yourself. You refuse to read the last chapter.

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*This had me crying’, I was laughing so hard. For reasons unknown, I just love weather related humor.

karnythia nethilia

robotmango:

awed-frog:

robotmango:

it’s ninety-nine degrees outside, four fuck-thousand percent humidity, and my husband was like, “i’m gonna go for a bike ride.” and i was like “why. no. why. don’t put us on the news like that. local fool collapses on unnecessary journey. don’t do it.” so he says he doesn’t want to “hide in the house” because the sun is shining. bruh. honeybruh. “the sun is shining” does not cover it. its hot outside. its motherfucking hot as fuck outside. our outdoor plants have been crying into their hands all week. whole cars are melting into the sewer. our fucking patio umbrella developed sentience to ask me for lemonade this morning

@robotmango, you need to work for the weather forecast – this was both hilarious and sovivid it made me stand up and get some iced tea.

this is a great idea, thank you. here goes. my audition tape for the weather channel. dearly beloved. we are gathered here today to have a fucking funeral for the outdoors. it had a good run, with all its creeks and clouds and shit. pretty great. now it’s ten-thirty at night but still ninety-two asshole-sweating degrees and humid as fuck. everything is hot and slimy, like being a “borrower” that got trapped inside a bottle of shampoo and then accidentally microwaved. you can see on my doppler radar that nothing is moving around out there because everything is probably dead.  the only alive thing is the mosquito currently trying to drill a hole in my leg. no surprise that all the shitbag mosquitos are fine, since the thermostat of hell is always at the devil’s preferred temperature. this forecast has gotten away from me a little, but in conclusion fuck the sun.-Source: robotmango

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Bad Puns
rhube: “ So, this may be the best gardening joke I have ever seen. ”

Source: laddermatchthis made my day
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Culture:
Just some general cultural artifacts sitting on my dashboard that made my ears perk up.
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I thought this critique of JK Rowling was interesting. It sparked an unexpected world-building discussion of what magic in America would actually be like.

mylovelylittleobsessions:

standbyyourmantis:

cepheid-variable-star:

patroklov:

jkr doesnt understand anything about america if she thinks the northern and southern states will share the same wizarding school lollll. like the south would have formed its own school anyways after, if not before or during the civil war?

hell east coast and west coast magic has got to be different (european settlers on the east, mexican/hispanic in the whole new mexico, arizona, cali area).

not to mention historically black wizarding schools would have absolutely been a thing bc african magic survived thru slavery hello??? not to mention under slavery and jim crow laws i highly doubt black children would have been allowed to study with white students. you could even make the assumption that white slavers forbade them for using their magic at all (african magic = dark magic and all that Fun Racism)

underdeveloped and struggling to thrive native american reservation schools of magic in the dakotas?

texas has to have its own school on its own school. like its just a given fact. TEXAS WIZARDING SCHOOL QUDDITCH (like texas high school football #texasforever)

and obviously you have the elitist new england schools which everyone assumes is the pinnacle of american magic education lol

The U.S. would have tons of day schools in every region and zero live-in boarding schools.

The U.S. simply doesn’t have the same history of live-in “public schools” that England has and they make no sense at all in an American context.

PLUS all the stuff listed in this post.

J. K. Rowing has zero understanding of American culture or history.

The thing is, America is so heavily colonized that there’s no way the magic here would look similar at all to a European or British wizard. First off, you’re telling me Aztecs, Hopi, Seminole, and Lakota peoples (to name a few) would all have the same wizarding traditions as each other? No, I do not buy it. There would have been a substantial diversity between larger tribes.

Now we have first contact and you’d have Spanish and Mesoamerican magical traditions interbreeding heavily into probably a pretty solid fusion. The French tended to trade openly in the Northeast, and likely wouldn’t have assimilated as thoroughly as the Spanish but more so than the British who tended to just go “ours now, you leave.”

Then come waves of immigration, including the African Diaspora/the slave trade and focusing heavily in the south and northeast. Alongside that, you have French Canadians (Acadians) moving down the Mississippi into Louisiana and giving it a heavy French and Caribbean influence. You have Scotch and Irish immigrants moving into the Appalachians where (in some places) they’re in close contact with Cherokee and similar tribes, and in others with slaves. We can assume those groups would trade magic thoroughly amongst themselves in the few hundred years of living in close contact. You have Latin American immigration coming up through the south west and bringing their Mesoamerican/Spanish hybrid magic where it would be informed by Creole traditions formed by hybridizing French, African, and Native techniques along with the dominant British traditions. The Midwest tends to be Scandinavian, but again their magic is influenced by people they would have had trade with such as plains Indians and French trappers in the north.

Then, of course, Chinese and Japanese schools of magic coming into California where it blends with traditional Mexican schools. You have Puerto Rican, Italian, and Jewish immigrant communities living in close contact with each other as well as whatever hybrid Dutch-British-African hybrid is going on in NYC. That’s not even getting into more recent waves from Vietnam, Laos, and the Middle East, for example.

What I’m saying here is that not only would American magic look like an unholy hodgepodge to a European wizard, but there would be regional variations within the country that would be almost impossible to even work around.

I mean, say what you will about the French and British, but they’ve spent most of the last thousand years in close contact with each other and you can assume that French and British wizards and witches would probably at least know what their magic looked like. We’re talking now about cultures spread across the entire globe taking up residence in one area where they’re now surrounded by people with entirely different traditions. After a few generations, there’s going to be a lot of adaptation and adoption of techniques to the point that your grandparents wouldn’t recognize your wandwork because you’re now using something adapted from a Hmong style with a distinctly Norwegian flare and youre casting it with Incan words.

I mean Jesus, just look at the variations in American food from region to region if you don’t believe me.

I keep reblogging different versions of this post because it just gets better every time I see it

*Let’s not even get into the various regional environmental differences that require different types of magic. The wetter swamplands of Louisiana (with its French-Creole underpinnings) and moist  Delta river land of Mississippi (with its high concentration of rural Black people) is going to require a very different kind of magical ability than what’s required in drier, hotter, conditions like the Nevadas, Arizona and other desert places. 

I’ll also mention that magic practiced above the snowline would probably be very different than magic practiced in warmer climates. One would have to make allowances for the fact that, for about 4 to 6 months of the year, certain vegetation and wildlife wouldn’t be available. The air above the snowline gets cold and dry, rather than hot and dry, and maybe magic would have to be practiced differently in Chicago, vs. Las Vegas.

I like to think that a lot of the magic practiced in the north would also involve the energy of specific cities. NY for example would have its own unique flavor of magic on account of its age, location and history, and be wholly unlike anything practiced in say, Dallas Texas.

Colorado, due to its higher elevation, would probably require one to perform magic very differently from rural Maine. The Appallachians style of magic (forested, temperate environment) is going to look very different from Northwest Pacific magical styles (cool, with lots of rain in winter)  and a lot of these magical styles would be based on how to practice magic in an area with a lot of rainfalls vs. an area that receives almost none.

Certain things in the Midwest, that no one worries about, like earthquakes and hurricanes, wouldn’t even be addressed in magical systems developed there, not like in California and Florida, for example, where such events would have to be taken into consideration, and probably magical systems might spring up to prevent such events from happening, altogether.

Jkr definitely neglected to take geographical locations and environments into consideration.

 

finnnorgana Source: patroklov
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*Oprah and Ava – I think Oprah is going to play (one of the)  Ms. Witch or somesuch. That would be cool. I read the hell out of A Wrinkle in Time when I was a kid. I always imagined myself as Meg. I can’t wait for this. Ava has already called for a mixed race, interracial cast.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/oprah-winfrey-ava-duvernay-black-920196
*I thought this and the accompanying photos was awesome. I’m against the pipeline. We don’t need another Flint Michigan.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/katebubacz/lakota-standoff?utm_term=.fyGRXNoLk#.xd8BvgML0

*This is Allan G. Johnson. I love his website. He’s so insightful.He mostly writes about the intersection of Toxic Masculinity, and Racism.

https://agjohnson.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/and-now-orlando-manhood-guns-and-violence/

 Movies & TV:

This is just some meta and analysis about some of my favorite movies and TV shows. Some of these are a little academic,while  some are just posts on people’s blogs.

 

Women and Superheroes:

http://www.btchflcks.com/2016/05/superheroines-week-the-roundup.html#.V7YaWvkrIeE

Mad Max Fury Road:

https://theawl.com/the-startling-humanism-of-mad-max-fury-road-84294de4d64#.umqk7hkt9

Intervention – “Finding Hope Without Salvation in Mad Max: Fury Road”

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/05/emmad_maxem_and_the_dreamwork_of_homosexuality.html

The Faith of Fury Road

Who Killed the World? – The Complicated Feminism of Mad Max: Fury Road

Geek Culture:

Exclusionary Geek Culture Misunderstands Diversity on a Fundamental Level

Hannibal the Series: https://www.overthinkingit.com/2014/02/03/hannibal-economics/

 Original Star Trek:

https://timeline.com/star-trek-interracial-kiss-ba0948687788#.s02fznr5i

Oz the Series:

“Oz”: Ten Years Later

Alien:

Essay: Women in the Horror Film – Ripley, the Alien & the Monstrous Feminine

Fanfiction:

Fetishizing Homosexuality

Hannibal Season : Su-Zakana

Will Graham’s plan to trap Hannibal into revealing himself to be the Chesapeake Ripper continues.

So far the only thing Will has seemed to accomplish is to fall deeper down the rabbit hole of Hannibal’s desires for him. Even Jack is starting to question just how far Will is willing to go to accomplish a goal, which seems nebulous at best. Its not been fully fleshed out exactly how Will plans to trap Hannibal. Hannibal, so far, has been too canny to admit anything during their therapy sessions, while goading Will into being his worst self. The question is, is Will being truthful, or just telling Hannibal what he wants to hear.

 

In this episode we get a glimpse of one of Hannibal’s end games in the culmination of Randall Tier, into a deranged killer, who thinks he’s an animal. When Randall was a child, he was sent to Hannibal becasue he believed he suffered from a form of animal dysmorphia, that makes him believe he is in the wrong body. Hannibal, who often functions as a kind of anti- psychologist, who does the exact opposite of his actual job description, encouraged Randall to  give in to his true self, much as he encourages Margot to kill her brother, and Will to kill anybody in his orbit, (except him, of course).

This episode still has many of the tropes of the  Police Procedural, except here, its well blended with the show’s  mythology. As the season progresses, the Police Procedural is jettisoned entirely to focus on the relationships of the characters.

The episode begins with Will dreaming aobut killing Hannibal. His desire for this is so strong that he often fantasizes and dreams about harming Hannibal. Yet at the same time he’s reluctant to kill him because he’s so drawn to him. Hannibal is extremely good at telling Will the kinds of things he wants/needs to hear. Will is a man who is starved for affirmation, even if that affirmation is bad.

You basically have these two incredibly unique, and profoundly lonely, souls who have latched onto one another, but neither of them is the most desirable type of companion for the other. Hannibal eats people, which is a thoroughly repugnant concept to Will. That Will refuses to let loose his inner demons is a source of great frustration to Hannibal.

What I’m trying to articulate is best said at the beginning of the episode by Will’s dream version of Hannibal (which is an homage from a scene from Hannibal Rising, where Hannibal kills a man tied to a tree.)  This is what Will thinks Hannibal wants for him, but also applies to his own feelings:

Dr. Hannibal Lecter: No one can be fully aware of another human being unless we love them. By that love, we see potential in our beloved. Through that love, we allow our beloved to see their potential. Expressing that love, our beloved’s potential comes true.’

For Hannibal’s part, he is  just giddy at the idea of encountering an intellectual equal, who has the same capacity for chaotic violence that’s as deep as his own. It’s frustrating for him that Will often only uses his capacity for violence to help others, instead of simply pleasing himself, or Hannibal. Will’s murderous tendencies are too sporadic for him, I guess.

We do get to hear, from Hannibal’s lips, an echo of the above quote, in his therapy session with Will, and again, when Jack visits to thank Hannibal for saving Bella’s life, although with Jack he says all of the above without actually saying it in a way that Jack could catch on.

Randall Tier has decided that now is the time for him to realize his true nature, and has begun killing random people, while dressed as an animal, using hydraulic teeth he built himself. Hannibal figures out almost immediately that its him.

And can we talk about what a Bizarro world they all live in, where there’s  a serial killer, with a gimmick,  around every corner,  or everyone on screen has killed at least one person?

After one of their therapy sessions, Will encounters Margot outside Hannibal’s office. She makes no secret of her interest in him. Later, she visits his home and the two of them share a drink, and compare Hannibal’s therapeutic methods. Margot wonders exactly what kind of Doctor is Hannibal. Will already knows. Will reveals that Hannibal’s therapist, Bedelia, came to visit him when he was incarcerated. Needless to say, Hannibal does not like any of it. The last thing he wants is for his patients to start talking to each other about his methods.

After another one of Randall’s massacres, Hannibal tries to make Will understand Randall’s motivations for killing in relation to Will. Randall Tier (whose last name means “beast” in German) is giving in to his instincts and feeling his power, much as Will should. Before the BAU can interview Randall,  Hannibal visits Randall to express pride in his development, and tell him how to avoid the scrutiny of the BAU. This works and Randall remains free. In return Hannibal encourages Randall to pay Will a visit.

This is another test for Will, to see if he’ll give in to his instincts.If Randall wins then Will was never worthy, but Hannibal has bet his money on Will. He is certain that his “Clever Boy” can out-smart Randall and prevail (and Hannibal probably gets the vicarious thrill of killing through Will.)

Randall attacks one of Will’s dogs, (in an echo of the Red Dragon arc of next season, he attacks the pet and then the family.) Randall’s first attempt to kill Will is unsuccessful, and he breaks through Will’s front window, only to be shot down by Will, who was lying in wait for him. In Will’s mind the attack was clearly Hannibal’s doing hence the image of the RavenStag breaking  into the house.Like wise, when Will is killing Randall he sees the ManStag is his mind’s eye. He knows Hannibal was behind the attack and wishes it was Hannibal he was killing.

Hannibal arrives at his office to find the body of his success story laid out on his desk. Will announces that they are even with trying to kill each other as Hannibal’s “Clever Boy”, has impressed him, once again.

The Red Dragon (2002) vs. Hannibal

The Red Dragon vs Hannibal

Bryan Fuller has managed to take A tiny snippet, from a three decades old book, and spin magic from it. The result is one of the most visually, emotionally, and intellectually stunning achievements ever seen  on television.

I enjoy  the movies and the book, but given a choice between a thirty-nine hour version, and a version that has to wrap up its entire plotline in two hours, I’m going to choose Hannibal the series, over the movie, The Red Dragon. Despite its all star cast, and the efficiency of its plot, the movie suffers a severe deficiency in the two areas in which television excels: depth of plot, and character progression.

This  is largely about season three of Hannibal, as that is when Fuller begins the Red Dragon arc, along with some elements of the book, Hannibal.  I’m going to focus on the major characters from the third season. But I’m also including the two other seasons as well, because the Red Dragon arc couldn’t be told without the  previous character development.

 

Anthony Hopkins vs. Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter:

Anthony Hopkins is an exemplary actor and I have absolutely no problems with his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter, across the three films in which he stars, although as the movies progressed, he became  more comedic. However, because he has more time in which to do it, and the writing is much better overall, its  Mads Mikkelsen who steals this category for me. The movie definitely uses lines from the book, but the show is capable of taking Hannibal’s lines and using them to better effect.

Yes, Hopkin’s version is still arrogant, malicious, and slippery, but his performance, because of the time limitations of movies, lacks the depth of Mikkelsen’s, whose character is much more nuanced. Mads gives us a portrait of a deeply lonely man, who doesn’t realize this until he meets his match in Will Graham, a meeting that profoundly changes him. Mikkelsen’s Hannibal is given tastes and skills that are only hinted about in the films. We know that Lecter is a food connoisseur, but don’t see much evidence of that in the movies, and it is only passingly mentioned in the books. Since we don’t meet Lecter, in the movies, until after his incarceration, we’re not privy to much of  his tastes in clothing or music. We don’t have much idea what his life was on the outside, so Fuller had to spin Hannibal’s lifestyle from whole cloth. In the series he has hobbies and opinions outside of killing, while still maintaining a surprising amount of mystery.

Just as in the books, (except for Hannibal Rising) we are not given a clear reason for why Hannibal is the way he is. In the series, when he is asked what happened to him, he responds by saying nothing happened to him. He happened on his own.

Bryan Fuller has the unusual skill of taking a wholly unsympathetic character, and humanizing him to where you are actually rooting for Hannibal’s happiness, while still having that character be pantshittingly scary.

And then there is his relationship with Will Graham. From the books, we know from time to time, Hannibal will take an inexplicable  interest in certain people. In Silence of the Lambs it was Clarice Starling, but Will Graham came before her. In the Red Dragon movie, Hannibal is mostly fascinated by Graham’s capture of him. His attitude towards Graham isn’t much different from Chilton who only wishes to study  Graham.  In the movie Hannibal says the things he says out of resentment towards Will, but in the series there’s a much deeper motivation. In the series, Hannibal’s fascination is very deliberately coded by Fuller as a romance. So yeah, all of that homoerotic “subtext” you kept seeing… Fuller meant to do that.

 

 

Edward Norton  vs. Hugh Dancy as Will Graham:

I have a couple of  problems with Edward Norton’s version of Will Graham. Norton is an incredible actor, saddled with a lackluster character, where all the personality has been removed. Norton plays him as serious, earnest, and determined. He will forge ahead and get his man no matter what. One could make the argument that that is a deliberate choice on the part of the writers, and actors, to pare down Will Graham’s character, as much as possible, to highlight how traumatized he is, and to illustrate how he does his job, or just to streamline the movie, but its not a very successful attempt, as Will just comes across as rather dull and plodding.

Hugh Dancy manages to imbue Will Graham with a voracious, prodigious intelligence, and an  acute vulnerability, that is entirely lacking in Norton’s workmanlike character, although this has the unintended side effect of making the series version look a little superhuman, as the viewer isn’t always certain how Graham is reaching his conclusions. One of the unintended side effects of Norton’s Graham being so lackluster, though, is that he comes across as kind of slow. It takes over half the movie for him to figure out how the Red Dragon is choosing his victims. It doesn’t help that he is  saddled with some truly horrible dialogue, as the director didn’t feel confident enough in the audience’s ability to understand what Graham’s job entails, and has the character explain, out loud, his rather slow thought processes. All of his discoveries are played as  huge “Eureka” moments , when they really shouldn’t be. I can’t help but believe that the dialogue was written by a person who isn’t very smart, trying to write how smart people think, and failing.

In  the series, we are shown how Graham’s process works, how fast it is, and that its mostly not magic. Admittedly, it is much more difficult, to convey such a character’s very different mindset, in the space of two hours. The movie version isn’t helped by Graham’s spouting of the cliched “The killer isn’t going to quit on his own. He’s got a taste for it.” dialogue.Will Graham’s signature phrase from the series is, “This is my design.” And is much more eloquent, deepening the character considerably, as the phrase becomes conflated , not only with Will Graham’s mental state, but that of the killers he investigates.

On the other hand, Norton’s rude discomfort with Hannibal’s interest in his character is well captured, especially in their initial meeting. Throughout the movie, Norton looks distinctly uncomfortable with Hannibal’s assertions about him. He never becomes completely comfortable with Hannibal’s fascination, which makes for an interesting dynamic between the two.

In the series, Will first rebuffs Hannibal’s overture but then comes to accept what Hannibal thinks of him. We know that Hannibal’s signature motto is “Eat the rude!”, so its a lot of fun watching Will Graham be very rude to him, while Hannibal smiles indulgently. (Its highly amusing for Fannibals to think of Will as Hannibal’s precious cinnamon bun.)

And yeah, Hugh Dancy is just waaay cuter.

 

Mary Louise Parker vs. Nina Arianda as Molly:  

   I think this one is a no-brainer. Parker’s version of Molly mostly comes across as a sexy, whiny, floor lamp, despite her action lady street-cred at the end of the film. Bryan Fuller stated he made a deliberate effort to NOT write his version to be like the movie version. The movie version fulfills the cliche of the selfish wife who prioritizes her feelings over the deaths of other human beings, deaths that her husband has the ability to stop, but she would rather he stayed home with her.

Now, to be fair, when you really listen to the dialogue in the film, what Molly is worried about is the same thing that Alana Bloom, much more successfully, conveys within the series, that Will Graham is too fragile to be allowed in the field as an agent. In Red Dragon, some combination of Parker’s acting, and the writing, just makes her whiny, and unlikable.

Molly doesn’t want Jack putting Will in the field because of the  danger, and Arianda makes this clear in one of  the season three opening episodes, just without the whining. Arianda’s version is specifically written to buck this trope, by having her be as supportive of Will as she can, under the circumstances. At no point does she nag Will for not being home, and when Dollarhyde comes for her and her child, she saves herself. In the movie, killing Dollarhyde is a whole family affair, but I still hated the writing for those scenes, which felt trite.

Arianda doesn’t have a huge role in the series, but what she manages to do with Molly, is still wonderfully played, and much less annoying than Parker.

 

Harvey Keitel vs. Lawrence Fishburne as Jack Crawford:

Okay, television has a leg up on the characterization, nevertheless,  though I am desperately in love with Lawrence Fishburne, I still prefer  Keitel’s Crawford. Jack Crawford isn’t very fleshed out in the movie at all,  although, Keitel’s performance is, at all times, excellent. He manages to brings a no-nonsense, world weary, and humorous quality to the character, that I just enjoy. I’m overjoyed Fuller got Fishburne for the role in Hannibal, but I’m still curious how Keitel would’ve approached the series.

Television is capable of giving whole new lives to characters who are merely sidekicks in the source narrative. I haven’t read the books in some time but I’m pretty sure that Jack’s wife is barely mentioned in them, (Fishburne’s real world wife, Gina Torres, was a wonderful addition to the show.) It is mentioned in one of the books about how Jack sat at his wife’s bedside while she lay dying, though.(Jack gets most of his mentions in Silence of the Lambs, which Fuller doesn’t have the rights to, so a lot of Jack was made up out of whole cloth.) Fishburne himself stated that he was delighted to step into the role, as it was played by one of his  “actor-father’s”, who mentored him at the beginning of his career,  Scott Glenn. (Glenn played Jack Crawford in the 1991  Silence of the Lambs.)

At one point in the series first season, Jack declares, in no uncertain terms, that he is a rock. That he is immovable. He is correct, as he is the series unfailing moral center. Even when he’s operating outside the law,  Lawrence’s Crawford acts from a centered and righteous resolve, that makes Jack one of my favorite characters. He is, in every instance, the opposite of Hannibal’s , and sometimes Will’s, moral liquidity.

Ralph Fiennes vs. Richard Armitage as Francis Dollarhyde:

I don’t even know which one of these to choose. I loved both performances. Armitage’s performance really deepens this character but its hard to find any fault with Fiennes’s pathetic, and tragic, Dollarhyde. Both performances cover the same ground, and this is a testament to the high level of acting we’re  dealing with,  their performances are both markedly different, but in a very subtle manner.

Armitage has an opportunity to flesh his version out more, but its not just that. He imbues Dollarhyde with a level of competence, strength, and intelligence, that is much more subtly engaged by Fiennes, who adds just a touch of resentment, and shame, at a world that’s treated him so badly. Armitage’s version also manages to be deeply, disturbingly, sexy, and frightening, as well. Armitage says he made a point of not watching any of the films, so as not to pick up any mannerisms of the other two actors who played Dollarhyde, in both Red Dragon and Manhunter.

Yeah okay, Armitage has a better butt, too.

Philip Seymour Hoffman vs. Lara Jean Chorostecki as Freddie Lounds:

It is difficult to top Hoffman as Freddie Lounds, and Chorostecki, for the most part doesn’t try. I actually really love the film version of this character, although I do not object to Fuller’s  genderswapping, at all.  I think the series version makes Freddie too sympathetic a character, and Chorostecki’s version has a tendency  to be too  calculating, and sharply intelligent, although her performance is excellent.

Hoffman’s version of Lounds is dirty, messy, disgusting, and horribly rude. He is an opportunistic vulture, who isn’t too bright. You love to hate him, and almost applaud his horrific death, at Dollarhyde’s hands.

In all fairness though, only Chorostecki’s version would ever refer to Will and Hannibal as “Murder Husbands”, so we love her just for that. Sorry, but  I can’t choose either one of  these, as my absolute favorite.

 

Anthony Heald vs Raul Esparza as Frederick Chilton:

Of the two, I prefer the movie version. Anthony Heald manages to capture just the right amount of sleaze for this character. The movie version of Chilton is cheesy and not too bright, but not sleazy. Movie Chilton tries, unsuccessfully, to put the make on Starling, and when she politely turns him down, he acts subtly pissy afterwards, which I found hilarious, as if he thinks she wouldn’t notice.

Heald’s Chilton had a quality of obliviousness about him, whereas Esparza’s version seems just a bit too aware. In The Red Dragon, he  showed an interest in interviewing Will Graham, but only as regards Will’s capture and insight into Hannibal.When Raul’s version shows an interest in studying Will Graham, it comes across as extremely distasteful. I like that Heald’s Chilton thinks of Hannibal as his intellectual equal and rival, when we all know he is anything but. In the series he was just a little too cozy with Hannibal’s company, as if he were trying to impress Hannibal.

I love Raul as an actor but I didn’t really like him as Chilton. Chilton was just a little too intentionally comedic, whereas the movie version was more gruesomely funny, with little effort from Heald. Raul’s Chilton is really just too smart for his own good, and had a pathological inability to keep his mouth shut around Hannibal, which made him deeply annoying. This is not the fault of Raul, whose acting is top notch, but the writers.

But really, at this level of acting, whichever one you like, is  really just a matter of personal taste. Both the movie and the series deeply mined the source material, and Raul Esparza said he made a point of copying some of Heald’s mannerisms from the films.

 

Emily Watson  vs. Rutina Wesley as Reba McClane:

This is where Fuller really did a wonderful job in his choice of actors. In changing Reba’s race, he really deepened this character, who is operating under multiple axis of oppression, as a black woman with a disability, who is in an interracial relationship. When Dollarhyde imagines her as The Woman Clothed In the Sun, its a very powerful image of a black woman as  being worshiped by this severely damaged man.

Fuller did state that part of the reason he chose Rutina is for the scene where  Dollarhyde takes her to visit a sedated tiger at the local zoo. Its a gorgeously shot scene. The brilliance of the tiger’s skin, Reba’s behavior, and Dollarhyde’s reaction make it an emotionally intense, and deeply erotic moment. Fuller takes full advantage of the contrast in skin tones between Reba and Dollarhyde. I’ve never seen an interracial love scene look so beautiful.

There’s nothing wrong with Emily Watson’s performance, and I really like that actress, just not as Reba. Watson’s Reba comes across as innocent, fragile, and delicate. She hits all the correct acting points, but its Rutina who really stands out, and not just because she has more screen time. Rutina simply has more force of personality and is  more memorable. Rutina gets several opportunities to about her character’s disability, how people treat her, and how she prefers to be treated.

Emily Watson’s performance relies too heavily on her looks. The blonde hair and the wide blue eyes, that stare fixedly into space, give her an ethereal, and angelic quality, but Rutina’s physical approach to the role, is a warm, graceful earthiness. She is so very human next to Dollarhyde’s godlike behavior. This is exactly the type of princess who could capture a dragon’s attention.

Fuller uses his platform to have his character speak on what its like to be disabled and  make us understand that that’s not all she is. Rutina’s Reba is strong minded, knows what she wants, (Dollarhyde) and pursues it. She stands up to Dollarhyde when he angers her and makes an effort to save herself when he kidnaps her. At no time does she ever passively accept victimhood. She is a beautiful representation for disability, and I don’t like that so many of the fans ignore that she was a part of the show, in  their celebrations of the women of Hannibal.

 

Margot and Mason Verger:

There is so much to be said about these two characters and their depictions between the film, the books, and the shows. Mason and Margot are first introduced in the book Hannibal, and in the movie of the same name, but Fuller decided to introduce both characters late in season two, before his rendition of the Red Dragon storyline.

In Hannibal, the events at Muskrat Farm occur after The Silence of the Lambs, after Hannibal has escaped prison and traveled to Europe. In the series, he hasn’t yet escaped because he hasn’t been captured yet. In the series, he won’t be kidnapped by Mason until after his sojourn in Europe. Neither the movies, nor the books, show exactly what happened when Margot, Mason and Hannibal first met, but Fuller shows us how and why Hannibal did  to Mason what was mentioned, only in passing, in the book.

 

Fullers’s approach to Margot is interesting. I prefer the series version because the book version is rather problematic and has a very trans-phobic understanding of Margot. I also love Isabelle’s portrayal of Margot. She’s smart, sexy and more than a little conniving. She’s certainly smarter than the book version, who seemed to rely more on brute strength rather than brains,  and unapologetic about her Bi-sexuality. In the books, her father disowned her when she came out as a Lesbian, but in the series, her father leaves her out of his will because she is a she.(The depiction of Margot leads me to believe that in many ways Fuller is a lot smarter than Harris. He writes smarter characters.)

I also love , and love to hate, the TV version of Mason. Joe Anderson and Michael Pitt are absolutely outstanding in the role of pre- incident, and aftermath, Mason. Their performance really will make you forget about Oldman, and is so seamless, that at first I couldn’t tell that two different actors were playing this role. In the movies, and books ,we are only told about Mason’s depravity, but in the show,we get the full monty, as it were. We, unfortunately, get to see Mason emotionally abusing children and Margot, and listen to the entirely self-serving drivel he spouts in his sessions with Hannibal. Just as in the books, his predilection for children lands him on Hannibal’s couch.

Most of these characters stories hew as close to the events in the books as possible. There is no Margot Verger in the movies at all. Although in sidestepping the transphobia in the books, Fuller had Margot sleep with Will Graham to have a baby, and angered LGBTQIA fans by suggesting that Lesbians can turn their sexuality on and off just  to  get pregnant, and the stereotype that Lesbians are deceitful by tricking men into getting them pregnant.

 

Alana Bloom:

image

In the books and movies, Alana gets only a passing mention from the other characters, is and largely an entirely made up, and gender-swapped character, as a result, there’s nothing to compare between the two.

In the season one, Alana is Will’s protectoress, and a mother figure for Abigail. She goes to bat for Will, against the manipulations of Jack Crawford. She’s the one person who recognizes, in season two, that Will is sick with encephalitis, and the only friend he has left, adopting his dogs, and filing a formal complaint against Crawford, for putting Will in the field.

When Alana begins a relationship with Hannibal, she comes to his defense against Will, which damages herrelationship with Will until season three, although Will still cares deeply for her. Alana’s loyalty to a person completely blinds her to that person’s negative aspects, which is how she was able to miss what Hannibal was, despite Will’s accusations.

Having been nearly  paralyzed in the season two finale, Mizunomo, she comes back with a literal vengeance, with a new haircut and wardrobe, in season three, going so far as to help Mason Verger capture Hannibal, so he can torture him. She begins a relationship with Margot Verger, and eventually helps Margot milk her brother for his sperm before killing him, after which she  gives birth to the next Verger heir.

After Hannibal’s escape from custody, she pretty much gets to ride off into the sunset with her wife, Margot, and their child. This is really  the only successful relationship in the show.

 

 

Hannibal Season Two : Su-Zakana

 

Parallel:

(1) :  similar, analogous, or interdependent in tendency or development (2) :  exhibitingparallelism in form, function, or development <parallel evolution>b :  readily compared :  companionc :  having identical syntactical elements in corresponding positions; also :  being such an element.

Wow, this one has parallels running all over the place. Somebody better stop them before we get hurt.

Su-Zakana is one of my all time favorite episodes because it stars the weird, and lovely, Jeremy Davies from Saving Private Ryan, Ravenous and Justified. Here, he plays Peter Bernardone, a character who is a close parallel to Will Graham. Bryan Fuller has stated that Bernardone is a stand-in for Giovanni Di Petro Di Bernardone (the Italian) otherwise known as St. Francis, the patron Saint of animals.

In this episode, Will and Jack, while ice fishing, blatantly lay out their  plan to use Will as bait, to get Hannibal to incriminate himself as The Chesapeake Ripper. This is a very delicate game. Will, essentially, has to go undercover and  sidle up to the beast by convincing him that he is just another beast like him, all while not actually becoming the  beast he’s pretending to be.

Will has to look into the abyss and hope he isn’t destroyed by it looking back at him.

hannibal-s2-ep8-1

Its interesting watching Will and Jack’s  smooth, and easy camaraderie, after all they’ve been through together. Their venture is not only going to require Will to do some serious acting, but Jack as well. I’m still not sure Jack entirely believes Hannibal is The Ripper, or if he’s just going along with Will’s plan as a means of atonement for believing Will was The Ripper. Has Will convinced him? I know that later Jack is convinced but I’m not certain when this moment occurred.

We next see Jack and Will at Lecter’s house, eating the fish Will caught earlier. Will has cannibal jokes, for which he is rewarded the side-eye from Hannibal and Jack, and Hannibal counters with the term, “Nietzschean Fish”, (words  that can only be dreamed up in the mind of Bryan Fuller). They’re both shameless flirts. Hannibal seems especially jovial. Will is back in therapy with him, Alana is in his bed, Chilton is out of the way, and Jack suspects nothing. Hannibal is in a happy place right now.

The theme of this episode, from the title (su-zakana is  a small dish used to clean/refresh the palate), to the discovery of a murdered woman sewn into the body of a dead horse, is renewal and rebirth. The renewal of Jack’s and Will’s collaboration in capturing the Ripper, and solving serial murders, and  the renewal/rebirth of Will and Hannibal’s therapeutic  relationship. There’s lots of mentions of cocoons and chrysalises.

This episode also introduces the Mason/Margot Verger portion of the Thomas Harris’ book, Hannibal. Margot has been sent to therapy with Hannibal for trying to kill her abusive brother Mason, after he broke her arm during a sexual assault. Hannibal  always wants people to fully and completely experience their darkest self, so encouraging her to wait until a better moment to kill him, or getting someone else to do it for her, would naturally be his advice.

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Note Margo’s high collars, the high broad shoulders of the suit, her severe makeup  and dark clothing. (Its almost samurai in appearance.)  This has the effect of giving  her a prim, hard look, in keeping with her dour facial expressions, subdued manner of speaking and her mental state, after her brother’s violation. Her clothing is like armor.  This is a woman who is utterly drained of emotion, and resigned to her fate with Mason, or she has just gotten so good at hiding what she’s  feeling, that it has become a habit with everyone. (Or she could simply be resentful of having to be in therapy.) Contrast her attitude towards Hannibal, after he advises her she should kill Mason, with before he offers that advice. And contrast her facial expressions in therapy with the expressions she wears when talking to Mason, or Will Graham.

In the book,  Margo Verger is a grotesque stereotype of a transgender man. Actually, in the book she’s not transgender, at all. She wants to be a man because then can she inherit the Verger Fortune. I think Bryan Fuller took offense at this character too, changing her significantly for the show, jettisoning all the insulting stereotypes, and just making her a lesbian, (or bi-sexual. She does sleep with Will later in the season.)

Later that evening, after Hannibal and Alana have sex, Alana expresses bafflement at Will resuming his therapy with Hannibal. She’s concerned that Will has ulterior motives and will try to hurt Hannibal again, (entirely in keeping with Alana’s fiercely protective nature.) Hannibal tells her that Will tried to hurt him because he thought he was protecting Alana from Hannibal, which we know is a load of horse pucky, as Will didn’t know the two of them were sleeping together, at the time he tried to have Hannibal killed.

Jack calls Hannibal to a crime scene involving a murdered woman whose body had been stuffed into a dead horse, and Hannibal says that this is a situation that calls for Will Graham’s expertise. Will’s assessment is that whoever killed Sarah Craber is not the same person who stuffed her into the horse and that his motive  for her was rebirth.

An examination of Sarah Craber, by Jack’s forensic team, releases a bird that was entombed in the woman’s chest. This bird, which looks like a small crow or raven, could signify the release of her soul. Such birds have a mythology of being “psychopomps”, creatures that carry souls from the land of the living to the land of the dead. (Think the movie The Crow.)

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After examining the crime scene, Will and Jack interview Peter Bernardone, a disabled man who works with animals, in a kind of personal mini-zoo. Bernardone is a mirror to Will Graham. Like Will, he also has an unusual brain disorder, that because of a previous brain injury, does not allow him to look at an object and touch it at the same time.  There is also a real world version of this condition called agnosia (the inability to process sensory information),  usually caused by a brain injury. The syndrome gets worse when Peter is under stress. In a sense, he and Will have impaired vision. Unlike Will, he is a genuinely gentle soul that has never actually harmed anyone. (Will has shot one man, and attempted to arrange the death of another.)

Will  starts that whole bonding thing with Peter. Like Hannibal, he really cannot seem to help  stop himself and I suppose he can’t. In the book, Red Dragon, Jack makes an observation about Will’s behavior with other people, how he would mirror their  body language, or adopt their accents or speech patterns. Jack, initially, thought Will was mocking these people, but soon came to realize that Will was entirely unaware of what he was doing and I will assume that’s the case here, as Will  immediately tailors his voice and body language, to adjust to Peter’s condition. He speaks in a warm and compassionate manner, not just because Peter is emotionally fragile, but because  I’m sure he sees himself in Peter, as well. He believes Peter when he says he’s innocent, understanding the importance of affirmation because he didn’t receive any from his “friends”when he declared his own innocence.

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Hannibal’s  mantra to both Margo and Will is, “Doing bad things to bad people makes us feel good.” Will, in his conversations with Hannibal, confirms this. Its not exactly untrue as this is the very thing that fuels people’s need for revenge, or rooting for the villain to get his comeuppance, in movies. Basically, it feels good when the bad guy gets it, especially when you do it yourself.

In Will’s next session with Hannibal, they discuss Will’s new outlook on the world. His rebirth, as it were. Hannibal does wish Will would move past what he thinks Hannibal did to him, and focus on the bigger picture of accessing, and freeing, his murderous tendencies, focusing instead on what he’d like to do to Hannibal.

Contrast Will’s authoritative, “Don’t lie to me,” to his pleading with Hannibal in season one, not to lie to him. Here, Will is calm, assertive, and in firm control. This is a command, not a request.

Both Hannibal and Alana are suspicious of Will’s return to therapy with Hannibal, although he doesn’t bring up this subject with Will until after Alana mentions it.Will’s excuse is that he can’t talk to anyone else about what’s happened to him, that he  still fantasizes about killing Hannibal, and it is only now that he finds Hannibal interesting. (This statement is a callback to the season one episode, Apertif, when Will said the two of them would never  be friends because Hannibal was uninteresting.)

The forensic team determines that Sarah Craber’s body was not the only one, and find a field of 15 bodies, from which hers had been taken, and stuffed into the horse’s corpse. At the scene, Zeller offers Will an apology for not believing him about being the Chesapeake Ripper. He feels guilty because he thinks if he had supported Beverly in trying to re-determine Will’s innocence, she would have confided in her team and would still be alive. He is probably not wrong. This makes me like Zeller a little more because he’s kind of a dick.

There is also a sub-theme in this episode of people bullying and manipulating those under their authority. In a later session with Hannibal, Margo discusses how she reached the point of trying to murder her bother. So we have Margo being bullied and degraded by her brother, who was their father’s favorite and  heir, so Mason controls all the money. Hannibal advises her to wait for a better time to do it or find someone to do it for her.Then there’s Peter Bernardone being manipulated by his social worker, Clark Ingram, to take the fall for his serial killings, and Will Graham who has also been abused and manipulated by Hannibal, his psychiatrist.

Will manages to gently coax the information from Peter about how he found Sarah’s body, and that it was his social worker who  was her killer. He hasn’t told anyone because he doesn’t think he would be believed. Will makes a point of letting Peter know he believes him, and calls Clark in for an interview.

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Clark Ingram is interviewed by Alana. This is a scene that showcases what Alana does and how good she is at it. Basically, her job is what Hannibal was called to do when he first met Will, assessing people’s mental capacity to go to court, hold certain jobs within the organization, or assess types of mental illnesses, as she did in season one, with Abel Gideon.

During the interview, Alana appears to be a lot less obtuse than she’s usually shown. She was mostly clueless during season one when it came to assessing Will’s mental state, and I think the entire audience for this show agrees with me, when I say I winced every time she and Hannibal were shown having sex. Its  telling that she and Hannibal never seem to show any other forms of affection outside of bumping uglies. I had the impression that the two of them are not in love. They definitely like each other but its more like friends with benefits, or each other’s side piece.

I think Alana’s problem is that once she’s close to a person she completely loses any ability to be objective, which I can fully understand. Its just that in practice, on the show, its something that makes her appear kind of dense. Here, she masterfully manipulates Clark to get him to show his psychotic side. Clark blames Peter for the deaths and is let go. There’s a interesting, antagonistic exchange between Jack and Will about the interview. Will expresses some bitterness to Jack during the interview, recognizing his situation in Bernardone’s, of not being believed, when he pointed his finger at an authority figure. Jack tells him he pointed in the wrong direction. Both of them are putting on an act for Hannibal.

Clark immediately goes to Bernardone’s mini-zoo and sets free or kills all of his animals as retribution for Peter’s accusations. There is a marked difference in tactics between Hannibal and Clark. These two psychopaths are very different. Clark, like Chilton, isn’t nearly as smart, or subtle, as Hannibal. Hannibal actually does care about Will, (although he doesn’t seem to know the extent of his feelings for him), and sees Will, mostly, as an equal. Clark doesn’t see Peter as an equal or a partner. He isn’t trying to elevate Peter to a higher self. Clark views Peter much the way Hannibal views the people he eats.(They mean nothing beyond their use to him.)

Hannibal too, lacks empathy but is attempting to transcend that  by understanding Will. He seems to realize that his lack of empathy hampers his relationship with Will. Clark isn’t doing any such thing. He isn’t trying to understand Peter and doesn’t care about him, and isn’t trying to be friends, nevertheless, Will can’t seem to get past the parallels in these two relationships.

Peter returns to find all his animals gone, and is confronted by Clark.

Will, understanding that Clark is guilty, and perhaps sensing that he will retaliate against Peter, heads out with Hannibal to make sure Peter is okay. In the car, Hannibal points out the similarities between their situation and Peter’s, and Will’s need to save him. He tries to assure Will that he’s got his back and Will is not alone.

It’s interesting that we almost never see Will driving anywhere. We know he can drive and owns a car but I bet none of you can tell me what the make and model of that car is, either. He almost always seems to be falling asleep in someone else’s car. Hell, I don’t even know what make of car Hannibal drives, although we can be sure its a high-end European model because that just seems like his taste.

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They arrive to find Peter alone in the barn, with the body of another horse, and suspect Peter has stuffed Clark’s body inside, since that’s the kind of thing he does. However, unlike Sarah Craber, Clark isn’t dead, and in one of Hannibal’s more disgusting pieces of imagery, in a series filled with such things, we watch a grown man crawl out of a horse’s  corpse.

Filled with righteous fury, on Peter’s behalf, Will threatens to shoot Clark but he is stopped by Hannibal, who convinces him that Clark is not a worthy substitute for Hannibal. This is not an act on Will’s part as he actually does pull the trigger. It is only  Hannibal’s thumb, coming between the hammer and firing pin, that saves Clark’s life. Hannibal is naturally proud of Will’s willingness to kill but doesn’t want him wasting all that murderous energy on Clark, as its not so much rage at Peter’s situation that has him in such a state, as rage against Hannibal’s behavior towards him, Hannibal says Will should save all his anger for him.

And yes, we can talk about  another image of Hannibal cradling Will’s head, the seat of Will’s intellect and emotions, and the part of him that Hannibal considers the most important, and most often does so when attempting to manipulate Will to some goal of his. Over the course of the series we get  several shots of Hannibal touching Will’s face or head, whereas Will rarely touches Hannibal, and never initiates touch, even when circumstances would make it excusable. Whenever Hannibal touches Will, Will often passively allows it, neither pulling away, nor protesting the treatment.Though many fans view Hannibal’s physical behavior towards Will as that of lovers, and Fuller himself states that it is a love story, I often viewed their dynamic much like   that of Mason’s and Margo’s relationship. You have an older, paternalistic,  authoritative, and abusive sibling, who  dominates a younger, rebellious one, and touch is just one more item in their arsenal of manipulation.

In therapy, Margo has much in common with Will. She often states what Will’s actual feelings are towards Hannibal. When  Hannibal asks if she loves her brother, she emphatically states that she does, which is why she can’t bring herself to kill him, even though he is abusive to her,   nevertheless she still plans to kill Mason someday, this parallels Will’s feelings and plans for Hannibal.

Notice how the scenery and plot spirals down into the story of Will and Hannibal as the season progresses. When the series began, the story and settings seemed more open and expansive but as the plot begins to focus more and more on their relationship, the settings become darker, more intense, with less humor. Everything begins to feel  more claustrophobic as  there is nothing that seems to  happen outside of the handful of people in the series, Jack, Alana, Will, and Hannibal, and there are fewer and fewer daytime and outdoor scenes. Even though Will is no longer actually confined, as he was in the beginning of the season, the viewer  starts to feel confined by the tightening closeness of the plot, lighting, and set.

Also as the season progresses notice the change in Will’s attire from the first season. The closer he gets to Hannibal in his bid to capture him, we see less of the StagMan, but Will does start to emulate Hannibal in other ways, much like Franklyn, Hannibal’s first patient from season one. Will’s clothes have become darker and he wears lots of blue, as a callback to his confinement in the blue jumpsuit at he hospital. Like Margo he wears protective high collars, or scarves, and not just because it seems to be winter forever on this show. Notice that characters who feel especially vulnerable, in this series, often wear dark, armor-like clothing, high collars and neckwear, (Abigail, Will, Margo). Characters that don’t feel that way, and are more open about their feelings, wear more open clothing, in lighter colors, like Alana, Mason, and  Hannibal.

For more on Hannibal’s style of dress:

Stylishly Executed – The Clothes of Hannibal & How To Dress Like Lecter

 

 

Hannibal Season Two :Yakimono

The second half of season two often begins with one or more characters thoughtfully engaging in some personal activity. Since they’re often alone we can’t hear what they’re thinking and are left to makeup any story that we prefer.

I like to think the characters are pondering the events of the last episode. This time its Jack’s turn, as he sits, listening to Miriam Lass’ calls to his cellphone, interspersed with scenes of Jack’s forensic team, processing the evidence from Miriam’s body. We watch as she is being fitted with her new prosthetic arm, to replace the one Lecter gave to Jack. We’re left to speculate on Jack’s feelings during this interval, as surely he must be feeling a tremendous weight of guilt and shame, for having believed Miriam to be dead, and hence, never searching for her. (Outside of HannibalLand,  we know a trainee would never have been sent to questions suspects or witnesses in such a case.)

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Miriam tells Jack she was actually treated well by the Ripper (calling back to Lecter’s statement to Bella that he employs an ethical butcher and does not believe in unnecessary suffering of animals), when he kept her and even when he took her arm. (Remember, Cassie Boyle’s lungs were removed while she was still alive, which sounds  horrific, except after hearing Lecter’s statement,  we realize she probably never felt anything, if he drugged her before cutting them out.)

All of this must take place over the course of several weeks perhaps,  as it takes time to be fitted with a prosthetic anything.

*Bedelia must have at some point heard, or read, Miriam’s testimony, or got the information from Lecter, because she uses this same claim that she was mentally manipulated, and heavily drugged, to avoid being arrested by the Italian Police, in season three.

Miriam claims not to remember the killer’s voice but she does remember his voice. So Jack, covering all his bases, (because I still don’t think he actually truly believes Lecter is the Chesapeake Ripper), calls Lecter in for an interview with Alana. This is also something that wouldn’t happen in real life, as she and Lecter have a personal relationship, and this would be seen as a serious conflict of interest, on Alana’s  part. It matters not as Miriam points the finger away from Lecter during the interview. She doesn’t recognize his voice.

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Will is quietly released from the hospital. Chilton confronts Will as he leaves and Will warns him that he is now on Lecter’s shitlist. Gideon has disappeared, so now he and Chilton are the only two people who suspect anything might ever have been done to Will, and Will is not in any particular danger anymore, because Lecter wants to be his friend. Will urges Chilton to confess all his sins to Jack, shine a light on his relationship to Lecter, and try to convince Jack that Lecter is guilty of being The Ripper.

The thing that most humanizes Lecter is his love and admiration for the very worthy Will Graham. The thing that dehumanizes Will Graham is his warm regard for Lecter or certainly that’s what Will thinks. He believes his regard for Hannibal lessens him and that is also one of the primary reasons Hannibal must be destroyed. In destroying Hannibal Will believes he can save himself. But he also understands that in destroying Hannibal he would also destroy himself, because as horrible as it sounds, Hannibal is also the source of Will’s greatest happiness. Hannibal fully accepts him. Contrast that with Jack, for whom his special skills are merely tools, Alana, who would rather analyze him, and Chilton, who’d like nothing more than to dissect him. Everyone in the show, except for Hannibal, treats Will as if he were a two headed bug.

Hannibal wants nothing more from Will than understanding and acceptance. He is very happy to let Will point his high powered perception at him. And, he wants Will to be at peace with the darkness inside him, instead of constantly fighting against it. Is this not the purpose of a good friend?  To want whats best for you? That what’s best for Will is also what’s best for Hannibal is really beside the point.

Fuller has done such a tremendous job of humanizing Hannibal, that like Will, we often forget that Hannibal is a monster. It’s a testament to Fuller’s  skills that he can put us fully in Will Graham’s shoes regarding his feelings for Hannibal. He can show us Hannibal committing his crimes and we’re  still capable of forgetting what he is during the span of an episode.

On his way out of the hospital Will also encounters Jack, and Will is understandably bitter that Jack wouldn’t listen to him about Lecter, when Jack tries to apologize. But Jack seems willing to listen now, after he tells Will of the finding of Miriam Lass. Will explains that the finding of Miriam is not definitive, that any evidence found with her will point away from Hannibal. Jack tells him that Miriam has already stated that her kidnapper was not Lecter.

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Jack takes Will to the place where Miriam was found and Will analyzes the scene. He tells Jack that he can’t simply accept Miriam’s word for what happened to her. His point is that he had Hannibal in his head for less than a year, and look what happened to him, so imagine having Hannibal in one’s head for two years. Will fires up his superpower and with almost no evidence, except his knowledge of how Hannibal thinks, discerns that The Ripper wanted Miriam to be found and that Jack can’t trust any of this to be what it seems.

Will goes home to find Alana and the dogs waiting for him. He has a few sassy words for her too. He knows she’s in a relationship with Hannibal. She seems worried that he’s going to try to have Hannibal killed again. Once again, Will impotently warns his “friends” that Hannibal is not to be trusted, and once again, they don’t listen.

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Instead of doing what Will told him to do, which is confess his sins and throw himself on Jack’s mercy, Chilton chooses instead to offer his pro bono services to bring Hannibal to heel. He offers to help Miriam recover her memory, which is exactly what Hannibal wants. This is a design that is months in the making. Keeping Miriam alive, making her believe that Chilton is her kidnapper, and finally, contriving that all of the final pieces come together to put the two of them in each other’s orbit.

Will goes to visit Miriam . As the only surviving victims of The Chesapeake Ripper, they have much to commiserate on. Will suspects she has been as much mentally manipulated as he was.

Later that evening, Hannibal has an encounter with an intense Will, in his kitchen. (Once again he has to get in a dig at Will’s aftershave. He does this once per season, as a running personal joke.) This is the prefect opportunity to kill Hannibal, but Will abides within the law, and doesn’t murder him in front of the open door of his refrigerator. He says he’s there to finish their last kitchen confidential,  interrupted by Jack’s bullet.

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Will warns Hannibal that his memories have all returned, he’s no longer sick and Hannibal should watch his back. In other words, Will is letting him know,  “Shit is on, bro’. Put on your game face!!” Will pulls the trigger but the chamber is empty.

Jack, as part of Miriam’s therapy, takes her to Hannibal so he can recover her memories. The evidence from Miriam, that the last thing she remembers is a picture of “Wound Man”, points to Hannibal because he fits the profile. But Alana throws Chilton under the bus (not the first time she will do this) by suggesting that Chilton also fits the profile. She states reasons why Chilton might want Hannibal to take the blame. (Yeah, thanks Alana. That’s not biased by your dislike of Chilton, at all.) In attempting to implicate Hannibal as The Ripper, Chilton only drew attention to himself.

Hannibal puts the final touches on his grand design. Chilton arrives home to find the legless, armless, body of Abel Gideon, breathing its last, in his basement office. He tries to escape but encounters Hannibal wearing his plastic suit. Hannibal drugs Chilton and kills the Federal agents who were sent to take him into custody. Chilton wakes to find himself coated in blood and  a massacre.

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Chilton runs to Will Graham for aid, while the forensic team finds evidence of “Wound Man” in his office. Instead of helpingChilton, Will calls Jack.He’s trying to tell Chilton, in a roundabout way, that he has a plan for taking down Hannibal and proving once and for all that he is The Chesapaeake Ripper. He just needs Chilton to be patient. Chilton still manages to be pretty funny, though. When Will says running would make him look guilty, Chilton has enough sass to reply that Will didn’t run and he still looked plenty guilty.

Chilton ain’t having any of that, though. When he finds that Will called Jack ,he holds Will at gunpoint, before running away. Will tries to tell Jack what’s really happening but Jack is seriously pissed that he’s lost two more agents and won’t listen to him. He chases Chilton down and apprehends him in the woods behind Will’s house.

We have conflict of interest again, as the same team that processed Beverly’s body, is the same team that gets to process evidence from the man they believed killed her. This is a serious breech of ethics in real life. This is how I know that Hannibal takes place in some alternate world, where crazed serial killers lurk around every corner, nobody owns a television, its always winter, and there’s only one forensic team for the entire nation. I’d also like to point out, once again, that psychological profilers do not participate in arrests and nether do forensic teams, as a general rule.

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It is Alana who gets to interrogate Chilton. Once again a serious breech of ethics as she is  known to have an antipathy towards him. As these are his colleagues, neither she, Will, or Hannibal would be called in to consult on his case. Miriam, finally put within orbit of Chilton, executes the final part of Hannibal’s plan. She is triggered by Chilton’s voice into grabbing Jacks gun and shooting Chilton.

Hannibal is delighted to find that Will has shown up for his former evening appointment, although he is wary that Will might try to shoot him again. He is unaware that this is part of Will’s new, more subtle, design to capture The Chesapeake Ripper, by cozying up to Hannibal, and getting him to incriminate himself. (Its interesting that Hannibal has Will’s old appointment slot still open.)

 

Music featured in the episode:

 

 

 

Clothing:

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Hannibal’s KGB Look
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Hannibal’s Serial Killer Dad Look

 

 

Note the change in Will’s wardrobe after his release from the hospital. Previously seen only in rumpled beiges, denims and brown (earth tones), he is now seen dressing in much cooler colors, grays , blacks and very deep blues. Is this meant to indicate the greater darkness in his nature now?  Is this supposed to match Hannibal’s darker wardrobe? Since it’s always winter, he wears a lot of high necked garments, and I wonder if this is in tribute to Abigail’s scarves from season one.

Also, note the change in his silhouette. It’s straighter, slimmer, more rectangular, with sharper angles in the shoulders and at the waist. It has the effect of making Will look noticeably taller and more refined and elegant, which is not a way he could’ve been described in the first season. This new style of dress is a reflection of the clarity and sharpness of  his mind and purpose. This is man without fear, who is wholly confident in what he’s doing. We’ll see more of this confidence in the next episode.

 

 

 

 

 

Hannibal Season Two: Futamono

 

Hannibal Lecter is in a contemplative mood, as he finishes his composition on the harpsichord, after his near death at the hands of Will’s admirer. He is probably ordering his thoughts about Will, trying not to seem so giddy at the idea of  Will orchestrating (i.e. composing) his death, as he finishes one of his own major orchestrations, the takedown of Frederick Chilton and Abel Gideon, the two major threats to his autonomy.  I often wonder what we’re supposed to think Lecter is thinking about in these scenes. The fans have written a lot of words about this character but he is still mysterious enough that we have no idea what he could possibly be thinking  during quiet moments like this. Lecter doesn’t often say what he is actually  thinking. In fact, most of the time what he says is the exact opposite, when we do know what thoughts he’s having, so him saying something is not necessarily an indication of his thoughts.

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Okay, how twee is it that Lecter owns a harpsichord? He would never be so gauche as to own a piano, I guess, choosing only the most obscure musical instruments on which to write his compositions, like the harpsichord, a kind of mini-piano with a tinier sound, and the theremin, a musical instrument you play by waving your hands at it. (The theremin is that woo-woo sound in the original Star Trek theme song.)

Jack confronts Will Graham about  subletting  Lecter’s death.Will just, straight up, lies to Jack’s face when he asks, which I find hilarious, for reasons known only to the Devil  and Bob. Not only should you listen closely to Will’s speech patterns, during this scene, but be sure to pay close attention to his body language too, which strongly reminded me of Anthony Hopkins’ version of Hannibal from the movies. His posture is straight and still. He sounds confident, almost arrogant. This is a man who is completely at peace with any decisions he’s made and has zero fucks to give about Jack’s judgement of him. Contrast that with his behavior in the first season, when he seemed desperate to have Jack’s approval.

He tells Jack, with certainty that The Chesapeake Ripper is eating his victims and that soon Lecter will have a dinner party. Jack is still reluctant to believe any of this, until Lecter invites Jack to a dinner party that he says is his way of trying to get back to normal. At the same time, he tells Alana that he is going to emotionally distance himself from Will, he tells Jack that he can no longer consult with him on his cases. So his attempts at reformation appears to be sincere.

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This time the case the forensic team is working on has almost nothing to do with the themes of this episode but has much bearing on its plot. Price’s and Zeller’s investigation of the “Tree-Man”, as I’ve taken to calling him, leads Jack to a momentous discovery. For him. Which, of course, is all part of Lecter’s design. The victim in this case has had all of his organs removed and replaced with poisonous but beautiful flowers. Lecter places his body in the middle of a parking lot, entwined with a tree.The forensic evidence from this body leads Jack to a very alive Miriam Lass, at the end of the episode.

We can see the creators of the show start to play around in the mythology of the series a little more with Will’s callback to Lecter’s behavior in the movies, Lecter joking about Census Takers, and getting his appetite back. Lecter says he’s trying to put Will in his past and that he’s given up consulting but it turns out to be a rather short lived retirement, as a couple of episodes later, we see him consulting with Jack on a case and resuming Will’s therapy, which understandably has Alana confused.

I’m not sure if Jack is beginning to be suspicious or not. He acts as if he is, or he could just be being thorough and checking off all his boxes, for both Lecter and Chilton, who both fit the profile of a serial killer.

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Will warns Gideon that now that the two of them have met, and can compare notes,  (because Lecter didn’t think Will would remember that he’d  met Gideon at his home), his life is in danger from Lecter. And he’s right. Since Will didn’t kill Gideon like he was supposed to, the only witness Will has, about what was done to him, is Gideon, and Lecter  didn’t think the two of them would ever meet. Lecter can’t see everything, it seems. Chilton overhears all of this and realizes that he too is in danger of being killed, if Lecter is the Ripper, so goes to Jack and offers to work with him to catch Lecter, saying that Will and Gideon are his witnesses.

Chilton gets some of the funniest lines,  as he desperately tries not to get on Lecter’s radar, when he begins to believe Lecter is  The Ripper.But its already too late for him. Lecter has something very different than killing in mind for Chilton.

Jack tries to talk to Gideon about the night Will tried to kill him, but Gideon isn’t being cooperative because he still resents Chilton for mentally manipulating him into believing he was The Chesapeake Ripper, and upending his sense of self, which still hasn’t completely returned, I think. He also inadvertently, (or Hell, maybe very advertantly), gives Will an alibi, as he insinuates that Chilton was behind the murder attempt on Lecter.

Jack and Alana discuss Will. She has noticed a distinct change in Will’s behavior since his attempt on Lecter’s life.

Will begins hallucinating antlers growing out of him again, as he takes on more and more of Lecter’s tactics. This isn’t just about putting out a hit on Lecter, its also about knowingly putting Abel Gideon’s and Chilton’s lives in danger by talking about his memories of Lecter. Later, as Will becomes more and more enmeshed in Lecter’s life, these hallucinations start to fade, but the ManStag hasn’t gone away. Will is getting desperate to catch Lecter somehow, someway, and is willing to go against all his morals to do  it,  playing directly into Lecter’s hands, of bringing out his true self.

Lecter goes to see Will. He’s not happy that Will tried to have him killed and subtly suggests that he might want to cut back on that kind of shit or put Alana’s life in danger. He wants Will to realize his murderous tendencies, he just just doesn’t want Will exercising those tendencies on him. Its annoying to have to keep slapping down his protege, even though he’s secretly proud of Will’s more assertive stance against him. Lecter has little patience with Passive-Will. He very much prefers Bossy-Will.

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Later that evening, during Lecter’s dinner party, Gideon’s guards beat him up and he’s taken to the hospital.  Lecter thought far enough  ahead to know that he would need an alibi, for when Gideon disappears, which is why he puts the make on Alana that evening, and drugs her wine. After a while, its fairly obvious that Lecter  doesn’t love Alana, although he seems to like her well enough. He lies to her as often as he lies to Jack. Certainly she’s useful at making him appear more normal to people. (Its not unheard of for serial killers to have wives and girlfriends, so their inability to attract women, is not the reason they kill.)

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Lecter spirits Gideon out of the hospital, and uses Alana as his alibi, when Jack comes calling. Jack had come to  the party but only to collect samples of Lecter’s food, which is not a very subtle way of letting someone know you think they might be a cannibal. (Yeah, that’s real low-key, Jack! He will never suspect that you suspect him of eating people!)

There follows for Gideon an especially hellish fate, not just being slowly eaten alive, limb by limb by, but being forced to participate in his own cannibalism, and knowing in advance he won’t be saved because no one knows where he is. Yet, he still manages to pour on the snark. Gideon’s not going out without some kind of fight.

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This is Lecter’s grand composition. Lecter crowing to Alana that he has finished his composition is just the writers playing with us about Lecter’s plans all coming out as they should. Gideon is out of the way, Chilton will fall soon, Will’s finally getting his butt in line. Its been a long time in the making, and its almost done.

Seeing how vastly intelligent Lecter is, how can Will even hope to go up against such a creature and win? (He does win but not by being smarter than Lecter.) What Lecter has failed to master are his emotions, having had so little practice with them. The way for Will to prevail against him is not by being smarter, but by taking advantage of Lecter’s  feelings and appealing tohisneed and desire for friendship. Now that he understands what it is that Lecter wants from him, he can use that to his advantage. This  begins Will’s grand composition in the last part of the season.

Not only does Jack discover that Lecter’s dinner party food is not  people, but an investigation of the Tree-Man, sends Jack to the abandoned farmhouse where Miriam Lass had been held hostage for the past two years.

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Coming Next Week

 

 

Reviews of:

Season Finale of The Walking Dead (I’m gonna need a minute for that one, while I catch my breath, so maybe more than a week.)

The last two episodes of Sleepy Hollow (possibly more than a week.)

The next episode of Supernatural

The Pilot for the Rush Hour series

The last five episodes of season two of  Daredevil

“Futamono” from season two of Hannibal

 

What’s in my draft queue for April and May?

The Redemption of  Mad Max on the Fury Road

The rest of season two of Hannibal

Fright Night vs. Fright Night

The Blob (1958) vs The Blob (1988)

Reviews of :

The Nutty Professor (1963)

Rock and Rule (1983)

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Eight Legged Freaks

Jeepers Creepers

The Hidden (1987)

I was going to do a review of Ash vs. The Evil Dead but all of the episodes were inexplicably erased from my DVR before I could watch them, (Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you Tay). So now I have to find  some time to stream them online.

And at some point in the future:

It Follows

The Signal

 

 

 

 

Hannibal Season Two : Mukozuke

This episode dispenses with the case of the week entirely, in favor of advancing the plot its truly interested in, Will Graham’s plan to out Lecter as the Chesapeake Ripper. We’re also dealing with the aftermath of Bella Crawford’s attempted suicide and Beverly’s fridging by Hannibal Lecter. By the end of the third season, the show has almost entirely  jettisoned the police procedural elements of the show, to focus  on the battle between Will and Lecter.

In the course of the series, we’ve known that Lecter has done horrible things, but most of these things have happened off screen. This time his killing of Beverly is coded as the worst thing he’s done. Its merely the most blatant implication of his villainy. In Bryan Fuller’s favor, it is a testament to his writing abilities, that he can make us sympathize with such a hideous being, getting us to recognize his humanity. Against Bryan Fuller is, in his attempts to avoid the cliche of serial killers sexually victimizing women onscreen, he has still managed to fall into the cliche of non-sexual victimization of women, though, especially in the second season.

Bella, Beverly, and later Freddie Lounds and Abigail Hobbes, are not killed in a sexual fashion, and with the exception of Bella and Abigail, they don’t die on screen, but their deaths are portrayed for their shock value, if not to us, than to the characters on the show,  which is what Fuller claims he was trying to avoid. Some people claim that Lecter kills plenty of men too and so do the serial killers on the show, but most (if not all) of the men’s deaths occur off-screen.

At any rate,this particular episode doesn’t even seem to have an overriding theme, as many of the previous episodes do. It is mostly about advancing Will’s plot. Although we open with a shot of Lecter encouraging Jack to take care of himself, after his wife’s suicide attempt, we don’t actually spend a whole lot of  time with Jack in this episode.

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Freddie is called to the same telescope Location where Jack found Miriam Lass’ arm. This is why Lecter is NOT Jack’s friend, despite the questions I proffered in my last post, because this, displaying Beverly’s body in this place, is a direct slap in the face to Jack Crawford, especially on top of nearly losing his wife the previous day.

 

Jack is losing the women he feels responsible for, and Lecter is directly responsible for the loss of two of them, and had a hand in prolonging the death of the third. So, when we re-watch the fight between Lecter and Jack, at the beginning of the season, you can understand Jack’s volcanic, violent response to learning who has orchestrated so much of his  misery  in the last couple of years. In Jack’s mind, Lecter most certainly  had it coming. Jack trusted him completely and found that Lecter was never worthy.

It’s a testament to Lecter’s utter narcissism, that he can rail against Will’s betrayal of him, and never notice that Jack is far more justified in his sense of betrayal than Lecter is. In fact, most fans of the show don’t seem to notice it either, so caught up are they in humanizing Lecter and Will’s  relationship. If anyone has a firm right to feel betrayed, it would be Jack Crawford. Lecter mentally destroyed Miriam Lass, and then Will Graham. He has duped Jack again and again. He killed Beverly and neatly sidestepped killing Jack’s wife, while the whole time, he’s been feeding Jack  his victims,  and leading Jack to believe they were the best of friends.

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As with all of Lecter’s victims, there is a massive amount of “field kabuki” involved in Beverly’s death and display. She has been sliced open lengthwise and displayed between panes of glass, like a biological specimen. I think Bryan Fuller must have see The Cell, because this is a direct callback to a scene in that movie, where a horse gets dissected alive, in the same manner. In fact this series has much the same aesthetic as that film, so if you haven’t seen it, you should check it out. (Only be warned, it does involve the victimization and terrorizing of women, and  stars Jenifer Lopez.)

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Jack reports the news to the rest of his Forensic team and the FBI community, and the news eventually gets back to Will Graham, who asks to see Beverly’s  body.We get to watch Will suit up for this field trip and, for the first time, see Hannibal Lecter’s mask from the movies, or rather a version of it, as  this one is transparent. Its heartbreaking, to see Will wearing it, as everything we know about the movies has been reversed. Will mentally re-imagines the crime scene, spurred on by Beverly’s specter, which urges him to “interpret the evidence”, but he refuses to give Jack Lecter’s name, telling Jack he’ll have to reach his own conclusions, his own way. (Jack is too far under Lecter’s enchantment, right now, for Will to convince him of anything.)

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Will confronts Chilton about talking to Lecter about him, which is against his express wishes, but Chilton says it nothing important and complies with Will’s request to bring Abel Gideon to the facility. I think after his conversation with Lecter in the last episode ,Chilton has grown increasingly suspicious that Lecter is The Chesapeake Ripper. Will convinces Chilton  that Gideon is a witness, and can help jog his memories about what happened to the two of them, the night Will tried to kill Gideon.

Zeller and Price prepare to process Beverly’s body. I don’t think it need be said that in real life these two would never be allowed access to her body, in order to preserve the chain of evidence and keep contamination of the evidence to a minimum, just in case either of them held biases as to who her killer was. At any rate, them processing her body, is a clear conflict of interest, and I would think it would be fairly traumatic for them, as they were her friends.

Gideon is brought to the Hospital and he and Will discuss what happened the night they met. Their entire conversation is recorded by Chilton, who believes it.  Chilton, unable to keep his mouth shut around Lecter, informs Lecter that Gideon is at the hospital at Will’s request. Lecter doesn’t like this and asks to see Gideon, who pretends the two of them have never met.

Lecter encounters Freddie Lounds after his conversation with Gideon and she informs him that Will asked her to interview him. I’m sure Lecter is worried about all these people coming to talk to Will, and wonders what Will is planning, with all these requests to speak to certain influential people. First the request for Chilton to become his primary physician, then the request to have Gideon transferred to talk to him,  and now an interview with Freddie Lounds. Whatever Will is planning, Lecter needs to nip that shit in the bud.

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Will tells Freddie he wants to use Tattlecrimes to open a dialogue with the admirer who sent him the ear at his trial. Will’s activities and adventures closely parallel Lecter’s activities in season three, when Dollarhyde, who greatly admired Lecter, opened a dialogue with Lecter and sent him Chilton’s lips. (The  only show on TV, where that sentence even begins  to make any kind of sense, without it being totally ridiculous.)

Aided by Freddie’s interview in Tattlecrimes, Will’s  orderly confesses to him that he is his admirer. Like Lecter in season three, manipulating Dollarhyde into going after Will and Molly, Will enlists his admirer to kill Lecter. This is overheard by Gideon.

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After this request, Will hallucinates that he is becoming the ManStag, and he should, after adopting  just the kind of underhanded tactics that Lecter uses against his enemies. This is not the first time that Will tries to kill Lecter, but one can argue that he certainly becomes more comfortable with that activity as the series progresses. He’s never tried to kill Lecter under the aegis of the law anyway, but at least he had righteousness on his side, and didn’t try to manipulate others into doing it.

Alana visits and tries to talk Will out of his vengeful mood but can see she’s not making much headway. She goes on to question Chilton about why Gideon has been brought to the hospital, and then confronts Gideon about his presence, as well. Alana is on a real tear in this episode. She is always extremely protective of all those who come under her wing, and now she’s trying to protect both Will and Lecter, simultaneously. Gideon warns Alana about what Will has done and she calls on Jack for aid.

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Will’s orderly, Matthew Brown, kidnaps Lecter at the public pool. He ties Lecter up and places him atop a bucket with a rope around his neck. He also  slits Lecter’s wrists, so that when he finally goes weak from blood loss, he’ll choke to death. He interrogates Lecter, asking if he killed Will’s Judge at his trial, and if he is The Chesapeake Ripper. Lecter doesn’t seem at all phased by any of his, and is still as snarky as usual.

Jack and Alana track Lecter, and for the second time, in the series,  Jack saves Lecter’s life. The first time was in Savoreux, when Will tried to shoot Lecter, in Abigail’s house.

Will, unaware that his plan has been foiled, hallucinates a flood of blood in his cell that night.So, its not Will trying to kill Lecter in Abigail’s kitchen that begins Will’s fall into the abyss. It starts when Will attempts to, as Nietzsche put it, “out-monster the monster”.

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Hannibal Season Two : Takiawase

Will is dream-fishing with Abigail again. He often has these idealized dreams of what their life might have been like if she were still alive. I’ve figured out that these dreams are not about their actual relationship, but the relationship Will wished they had. Its not that he didn’t care about her when she was alive. He did love her and was desperate to save her because he was the one who changed her life by killing her father, but her behavior in Will’s  dreams,  doesn’t  match up to how she actually behaved towards him, when she was alive.

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Abigail was a severely traumatized, lying, manipulative , and intelligent young woman, and Will’s dreams are his idealization of her. In his dreams, Abigail can do no wrong and understands everything, including him, whereas in the real world the two of them butted heads more often than not and I never got the feeling  that she cared very deeply about Will. (This may be the reason I dislike her.) Her most important scenes happened in the presence of Lecter, and when she finally confided her big secret, it was to Lecter. Later, she questioned Lecter about whether or not Will knew her secret, and Lecter had to reassure her that Will would keep her it. To me this points to a certain lack of trust on Abigail’s part.

Lecter knew about Will’s idealization of her and his need to save her, because of Will’s reaction to the kidnapped boys in the episode “Oeuf”, in season one. In a sense, Will handed Lecter the keys to manipulate him  through his idealization of Abigail. It was easy for Lecter to pretend that Abigail was dead all through the second season because, in a sense, Will wasn’t actually  mourning Abigail. He was mourning a potential Abigail, that had never been real. Notice how he and Abigail are almost never seen engaging in any other activity beyond fishing and they are always happy, calm, and content. In the real world, Abigail was rarely happy, or content. Fishing is Will’s perfect escape, and in his dream, he shares his perfect escape with his perfect daughter-who-might-have-been.

The discussions Will has with Abigail,  throughout all of season two and three, are discussions that Will is having with himself. Even in his dreams, Will just can’t seem to keep that big brain of his from working his cases (or rather the enigma of Hannibal Lecter.)

After the circus of Will’s trial, Beverly discusses with Will how she can determine Lecter’s guilt. Will says not to look for Lecter’s guilt, just revisit all the evidence for signs that not everything is what it seems. After Beverly’s statements in the last episode, about the manner of evidence found against Will,  she is somewhat primed to do this.

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HANNIBAL — “Takiawase” Episode 204 — Pictured: (l-r) Scott Thompson as Jimmy Price, Aaron Abrams as Brian Zeller, Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford — (Photo by: Brooke Palmer/NBC)

Next we’re introduced to the case and theme for this episode. In the forest a man’s body is found who has been turned into what Jimmy Price called a “Human Apiary”, a bee’s nest. The case of who did it and why isn’t much of a case, as the mystery is   dispensed with rather quickly,  and is kind of secondary to the episodes theme of euthanasia.

Euthanasia: is the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. This episode is about people trying to relieve themselves of pain and indignity. On the one hand you have the killer, played wonderfully by Amanda Plummer, an acupuncturist who is trying to relieve the pain of her patients by giving them lobotomies. Not that the lobotomies don’t work, its just what she’s  doing is overkill.

Then you have Bella Crawford, who wishes to take her own life rather than go through the pain and indignity of dying, screaming, in a hospital bed. And there’s Lecter who, with a flip of a coin,  decides for reasons known only to God, the Devil and small children, to resuscitate her when she  overdoses on morphine in his office.

I initially thought it was because he didn’t want Jack to think he hadn’t done everything in his power to save her. After all, he still needs Jack in his position of power. He needs  Jack to think of them as friends, also with Bella dead, Jack might decide to retire and that would be unacceptable to Lecter. My second thought was that he didn’t want anyone else dying in his office after Tobias Budge (Fromage), because he can’t afford any more scrutiny. People will ask a lot of questions about the wife of an FBI supervisor dying in his office.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that its, more  likely, sheer whimsy on his part. Lecter often chooses a course of behavior based on curiosity and that may well be the case here.

In the meantime, Will, embarking on the rest of his plan to out Lecter, tells Chilton not to discuss anything he says or does with Lecter, and that he is now exclusively under Chilton’s care. I think the purpose of this part of the plan is to make Lecter suspicious of Chilton for taking away access to his patient. This backfires because Chilton simply can’t keep his mouth shut around Lecter, and informs him that Will made the request. Will is attempting to play these two doctors off each other but this ploy is undermined by Chilton always wanting to impress and/or gloat, when he’s around Lecter, a dynamic Will hadn’t seen, and didn’t know about. However, Will does succeed in getting Chilton to take his side, (by appealing to his ego), and be suspicious of Lecter. How much of Chilton’s suspicion is believing in Will’s innocence vs. wanting to think the worst of Lecter, is anyone’s guess.

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Chilton hypnotizes Will and discovers that Lecter used  unethical tactics, the same tactics he was accused of using with Abel Gideon, on Will. He confronts Lecter about this, in an effort to form some kind of comradery with Lecter, not understanding that Lecter neither needs, nor  wants,  any comradery but that of Will Graham. I think,  Lecter, for his part, begins  eyeing Chilton as a possible recipient of future scandal involving The Chesapeake Ripper, just after this conversation.  He does not like his professional decisions to be questioned, as he considers that to be rude, and also he doesn’t need Chilton insinuating to people that something might be wrong.

Bella meets with Lecter and they discuss suicide as an alternative to her coming death by lung cancer. He leads her to believe that he is a proponent of euthanasia, which is why she chooses his office for her death scene. Earlier, there’s a charming scene of Bella and Jack, in support of his wife, smoking weed (Purple Kush, she calls it) in their bedroom. It’s  a beautifully touching scene, between two PoC, showing a deep love for each other. Jack wants her to be with him as long as possible because he loves her,  but Bella is afraid of her imminent death and doesn’t want Jack to experience what she did, when her mother was dying of of the same disease.

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She makes Lecter promise to make Jack take care of himself after she’s gone and he agrees to this.

A lot of people saw her not telling Jack about her disease as disrespectful to him but I was more positive about her deception. She withholds this knowledge because as soon as she tells him, he will have to directly  deal with the idea of her dying, and she wants to put that off as long as possible. She says it’s because Jack has enough to worry about and she doesn’t need him worrying about her, too but I think that’s just marriage-speak,  the shorthand that two people develop when they have lived with each other’s feelings for so many years. She loves Jack and doesn’t want t o cause him pain. She knows, that sooner or later her death will cause him pain. If she can die easily, causing as little pain to Jack as possible, she will do that.

Notice how, as Bella comes to accept her imminent death, the colors she wears switches to all white. She was already wearing a mix of off-whites, blacks, grays, and pastels, but now that she has accepted that she is going to die, her wardrobe consists entirely of white, the two times she comes to visit Lecter in his office.

Zeller and Price’s investigation of the Bee Killer’s patients, gives Beverly an idea about her own investigation of the evidence in Will’s case, about looking beneath the surface of things. How the evidence on top can often mask greater evidence underneath.She discovers that the Eye of God killer had his kidneys removed. She takes this information to Will, who chastises her for consulting with Lecter about it, and warns her away from him, saying she has found what he wanted her to find.

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Zeller, Price and Jack confront the Bee Killer, an acupuncturist named Katherine Pimms, who immediately confesses to her crimes. (Once again, Fuller presents us with a serial killer who is not sexually oriented, in keeping with his mandate not to show the sexual victimization of women, as so many movies about serial killers, regularly engage.) Katherine, like the Mushroom Killer from season one, believes she was helping her victims. She’s very gleeful about this actually. She asks if any of them tried to eat the honey made by the bees who took up residence in the man’s head. (Ewww!) She says she was quieting their minds to relieve their pain. The entire time I’m watching this, I’m wondering if Jack is connecting what Pimms is saying, to his wife Bella. If he isn’t, then he should, because what Pimms is saying, is about to have a direct effect on his life.

Will’s mind, stimulated by Chilton’s activities, pulls up the memory of Will and Abel Gideon in Lecter’s home, the night he tried to kill Gideon. He asks Chilton to transfer Gideon to the hospital with him, as Gideon is a witness to Lecter’s unethical activities with him. Later, he warns Beverly that she should take whatever evidence she found to Jack. But what she tells him spurs Will to recognize that The Chesapeake Ripper committed that particular crime and that he is eating his victims.

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Jack is called away to Bella’s side in the hospital after Lecter revives her after she dies in his office. She is not grateful for this and pulls up enough strength to  give him a good, sharp slap, for going against her express wishes, especially after he agreed with her about how ,”Death is not a defeat.”  But I enjoyed that slap because Lecter lies to Jack about his reason for saving her, saying that all life is precious, when we know what he is. Beverly takes Lecter’s absence as an opportunity to gather more evidence against him. Instead of taking her evidence to Jack, who is at the hospital,  she goes to Lecters home. Lecter leaves early, though, and catches Beverly in his home. She fires her gun several times but it is not enough to save her.

I was going to write on the reasons why Beverly’s death is, or is not, fridging and how women of color are treated on the show. (There are two women of color on the show and one is killed and the other is dying.) But there are people who are much more eloquent about these views online. I feel that the situation is complicated by the needs of the story, so this is about more  than Bryan Fuller being a  misogynist or a racist. For the record, I don’t believe he is, at least not consciously, but people are capable of perpetuating racist concepts, when they don’t think deeply enough about what they’re doing. A lot of arguments can be made both for, and against, Bryan Fuller for making these story decisions, and though I’m a WoC, I still don’t know how to feel about them.

Since Beverly is an unorthodox character, who is Asian, there are things about the killing of Beverly that I, as a black woman, just didn’t see, until it was pointed out to me by Asian writers. So what I will do is let Hetienne Park , (whom I absolutely love, btw,) speak about this in her own words:

Hetienne Park:

https://yellowbird66.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/racism-sexism-and-hannibal-eat-the-rude/

And the  Counterpoint, which I completely understand:

Racism, Sexism, and Hannibal: Why Hetienne Park’s Response Still Left Me Unsatisfied

 And this article here, which falls somewhere in the middle:

 

What do you think about Beverly Katz’s death in the show? Please, keep in mind that Asian women may have a very different point of view  and that their opinion of her death is just as valid, as they are the ones who get to speak on those issues that most  directly affect their lives.

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