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 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.)


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.


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.


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.


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.


Murder husbands indeed!




Hannibal Season : Shii-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.

Hannibal Season Two : Su-Zakana



(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.


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.


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.)


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.


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.


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.


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.)


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.

Hannibal - Season 2


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.

Hannibal - Season 2

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.


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.

Hannibal - Season 2

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.


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.


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:






Hannibal’s KGB Look
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.

Hannibal - Season 2

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.


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.


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.)


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.


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.


Critique : Daredevil Season 2

I think Arthur Chu is very eloquent at expressing my misgivings about how Marvel treats Asians (and all WoC) in the MCU.

Arthur Chu



04.01.16 1:08 AM ET

Not Your Asian Ninja: How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Keeps Failing Asian-Americans





Daredevil Season Two : Episodes 5-8



This episode is very  Elektra heavy, as it chronicles how the two of them met, and why she left him the first time. I tried really, really hard to like this character and finally concluded that she’s not meant to be likable. Let me be blunt here: Elektra is an asshole. She’s everything I hate in a female character and she even displayed a couple of new qualities I detested.


Anyway Matt, who evinces about as much personality as a hedgehog, in the flashback scenes, is totally smitten with her because she’s a risk taker, who loves danger. I don’t mean jaywalking, or sticking a fork in the toaster  type danger.  I’m talking about stealing cars and beating each other up as foreplay danger. The two of them have less chemistry than Matt and Karen though, no matter how much heavy breathing she and Matt  engage in. (And Elektra does that  breathless talking thing, a lot!) Don’t get me wrong, Elodi Young, as Elektra, is abso-tively gorgeous and her martial arts moves are adequate, but I hate the character. I’m not sure if its the acting, or the horrible dialogue, though. Elodi acts like she’s in a series that’s waaay sexier than the one in which she’s currently starring.

Anyway most of the episode is spent in flashback, as we see Elektra and Matt meet, fight, steal cars, make love, and then the deal-breaker for Matt, breaking into the house of the mobster, (now in hiding), who ordered the death of his father, so Matt can torture and kill him. Matt’s perfectly willing to vandalize the man’s house and beat him up, but killing is going too far, and he declines her invitation to commit murder. Elektra promptly walks out on him. No, really! She acts extremely gleeful about him killing a man, looks completely unhinged while encouraging him to do it, and when he says no to her, she just walks out of the scene.

Ah yeah, incidentally, I’m not impressed by love scenes where the characters grope each other like rabid hamsters. I think that type of acting is meant to convey how they just cant keep their hands off each other, and are in some kind of “people heat”, but I mostly find that kind of shit deeply annoying. (A better love scene would be Richonne’s first, from The Walking Dead.)

I thought, surely, there was a way they could have made Elektra look less batshit, but the writers decided not to go that route, I guess, in favor of making her seem like a version of “My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”!


(Otoh: The fight scene where Elektra and Matt meet-cute is still  a thousand times better than the movie version, between Affleck and Garner.)

Back in the present day, there’s some shady business dealings she wants to hire Matt to help her with that involve the Roxxon Oil Corporation and the Yakuza. Once again, Matt has to tell her “no”, but he is willing to spy on her to find out her true reason for coming to NY. There’s some computer hacking involved, and when her business partners discover her involvement, they hire thugs to visit her apartment, where she and Matt are waiting to kick their ass. Matt is there because Elektra has been spying on him too and knowing about his nigh-time activities as Daredevil, stole his suit.


Oh, yeah. Karen and Matt go out on one of the most awkward dates ever. Awkward and gaudy. This scene hurt my eyeballs.


Regrets Only:

This episode is mostly about some courtroom type stuff involving Frank Castle, and Matt and Elektra breaking into a building owned by the Yakuza to steal a book. Every step of the way Matt could make different choices but doesn’t. He is seemingly unable to stay away from Elektra and her exciting world of physical danger, even though he keeps saying he wants nothing to do with her.


Karen develops a rapport wit Frank Castle as his trial begins. Reyes, the DA, wants the death penalty but Murdock and Assoc. decide they will represent Frank in court, and perhaps they can unearth exactly what’s wrong with Frank, why his family was killed and what Reyes has to do with any of it. Karen visits Frank’s home. He hasn’t visited his home since his family died.

Matt interrupts his court case to run off with Elektra and  attend a party, break into a vault and steal a book. So not only is he keeping his Daredevil life a secret from Karen, he’s keeping Elektra a secret too. This is not going to end well. Foggy is mortified at having to take on Reyes, by himself, and for the second time they fight about Matt’s extracurricular activities. This appears to be a theme this season. Apparently, Foggy has had enough of this shit.


Semper Fidelis:

Things come to a head when Matt reveals his night-time activities with Elektra is what’s distracting him from his court case. Foggy and Karen let him have it about his irresponsible behavior, and their relationships  become strained. As  Matt neglects his duties in The Punisher court case,  Foggy ends up having to do all the work, including the opening statements, which he hadn’t planned.


Matt and Elektra are still running around getting into fights with the Yakuza. These fight scenes were a lot of fun and definitely reminded me of scenes from the books, where Matt fights against dozens of  ninja assailants. But for some reason I couldn’t enjoy them too much because these scenes are interspersed with scenes of Foggy, hard at work, trying to save Frank Castle from life imprisonment.  I kept thinking about all the work Matt was neglecting because he prefers  beating  people up at night. Ah yeah, Elektra is in there somewhere, and she gets wounded.

Incidentally, a lot of the fight scenes are filmed in so much darkness that I have no clue about  Elektra’s fighting style.  I’m used to watching Matt fight and Charlie Cox is always spectacular, but couldn’t get a clear picture of what Elodi Young was doing and hence don’t really remember how she fights. Sadly, the most memorable thing about her is her looks.

I have no idea exactly what Elektra and Matt are trying to accomplish in their endless fighting with the Yakuza, either, as its somewhat murky. Its hard for me to really care about the fight scenes because I’m not entirely sure what all the fighting is about beyond simply fighting. What do the two of them stand for?


I also don’t like Elektra because she  is a distraction from his day to day life, and Foggy rightfully calls him on it. I also suspect she has ulterior motives beyond the reasons she states for showing up in NY and enlisting Matt’s aid. She doesn’t need Matt’s help to do any of the things they’ve been doing, and why now?

If you pay close attention, you can see that Daredevil is a distinct personality, that is mostly separate from Matt Murdock, the lawyer, but you can also see elements of Daredevil’s personality bleeding into Matt’s everyday life. Wonderful acting on Charlie Cox’s part here.


Guilty as Sin:

So all is revealed as Matt and Elektra are attacked by ninjas, Elektra is wounded by a poisoned sword, and then saved by Stick, Matt’s teacher and mentor. It turns out that Elektra does have ulterior motives for getting Matt into all these endless fight scenes. She works for Stick and has been assessing Matt’s preparedness to join in Stick’s ongoing war against The Hand.



Matt emphatically states that she and Stick are insane and he’s not joining their little war. He  and Stick argue, and Matt kicks Stick out of his home, but not before Karen has a chance to stop by and catch Elektra recuperating in Matt’s bed. Welp! I saw that coming!

Matt does agree to take Elektra back if she leaves Stick alone. Elektra goes to Stick and tells him she’s leaving him for Matt. Before they can go through with any of their plans, they’re attacked by an assassin, who is little more than a child. Matt stops just short of killing him, but Elektra, impulsively slits the boy’s  throat, while a horrified Matt watches.  The first time they had a falling out it was because Matt wouldn’t kill. Til now, he’s been in control of their relationship, and encouraging her not to kill in their many fights. This time their falling out will be because Matt won’t accept her killing people.

He really is a stickler about that sort of thing, even though it strikes me as a bit hypocritical. Beating the crap out of people, breaking their bodies, terrorizing and torturing  them for information, is all okay, but he has to draw the line at killing, because life is precious, or something.

Yeah, okay Matt. But it would be nice if he could draw the line at committing violence. This isn’t  arguing about self defense. Going out and violently inserting himself into situations is something he chooses to do, outside the law, every night. And he thinks it’s okay to do these things  because nobody’s dead by his hand.




Murdock and Associates lose their court case when Frank takes the stand and purposely blows his own defense. Frank continues to be a puzzle to me. Every time Foggy and Karen try to mount a defense for him, he either deliberately blows it, or refuses to abide by it. Its like he wants to go to prison. I suppose I could see that. After all, he won’t have to look so hard to find the  bad guys and he can beat up as many as he wants.

Foggy blames Matt for their courtroom loss, and Karen ain’t too happy with him, either. Frank goes to jail, where he is led to a meeting with The Kingpin. (Its nice to see D’onofrio again being his usual excellent self.)

So, we’re a little over halfway through the season and things are moving apace. There are some parts of the narrative I really just don’t find very interesting. Or rather, they’re not as interesting as I thought they’d be. One of those plot lines is the one about The Hand. I liked the fight scenes well enough. They’re very exciting but I didn’t care very much about them because they just seem like fight scenes added to have action and with no particular meaning.

But maybe that is the point, to show Matt engaging in pointless action for action’s sake. Nothing gets resolved, no one’s  life is saved, he and Elektra aren’t fighting FOR any philosophy. His fight scenes with her are essentially meaningless, so maybe that means his  relationship with her is essentially meaningless, too. The fighting didn’t become interesting until Stick showed up (or maybe I was just excited to see Scott Glenn).

I’m bored with the Frank Castle/ DA Reyes intrigue, probably because much of it consists of Karen reading, and rustling  papers, or sitting and writing notes, although I like the dynamic that was created between her and Frank. She doesn’t let him bully her and stands her ground with him when he tries to push her away, and I like that. She’s determined to help him. She’s also dealing with the emotional aftermath of killing Wilson Fisk’s Majordomo last season, after he had her kidnapped, and I’m glad the show hasn’t forgotten what happened the previous season.

I’ve developed an amazing respect for Foggy, and Eldon Henson, the actor who plays him. Foggy is a much better lawyer than he thinks he is. I also  like that he’s pushing  Matt to make a decision about what he wants do with his life. Does Matt want to abide by the law, or be a vigilante, like Frank? Foggy’s argument is that Matt cannot serve two masters, or rather, serve one master, badly.

We’ll see how this all plays out in the last five episodes.



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.


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.


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.)


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.


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.


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.


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”.




Daredevil Season Two: Episodes 1-4

This recap is for episodes 1-4 of season two of Daredevil, titled, in order: Bang; Dogs to a Gunfight; New York’s Finest; and Penny and Dime.

Season Two of Daredevil is probably one of the hottest tickets in town right now. You can find reviews of it everywhere. I don’t normally review things that everyone else is reviewing. I do on occasion, because I watch these shows too, but I like to find those shows that no one is paying a whole lot of attention to, or shows that people might not have access too, like the ones on PlayStation, Netflix, or certain movie channels.

So, yes, I have been watching the new season of Daredevil. I don’t want to do a play by play recap but I will list some highlights of the first four episodes.

Mostly of the first episodes are devoted to the The Punisher storyline. I know some of the ladies who read my blog don’t necessarily read comic books, and have no idea who The Punisher is, so some background may be in order. The Punisher is a guy named Frank Castle, who has decided to kill as many criminal organizations and people as physically possible, and that’s a hell of a lot.


Its the cliche movie plot about a guy who loses his wife and daughter and  decides to take revenge on the men he thinks are responsible. As a general rule, he avoids killing innocents, but he is not above a certain amount of carelessness in killing them too. It’s your typical “fridging” of women in order  to spur one man to kill more men.

Frank, is excellently played by Jon Bernthal. I fell in love with him as Shane in The Walking Dead. Yeah, Shane was an asshole, but I loved the actor anyway. Here, he’s playing another asshole, but he’s an understandable one, kind of. The benefit of a story that takes five hours is that you can spend an entire episode just getting to know one character, as they get a chance to espouse their philosophy.

The creators of Daredevil are extremely good at fleshing out their villains. They did it with Kingpin last season, Killgrave in Jessica Jones, and they do the same thing for humanizing Frank in this show. You still don’t like the villains overmuch, but at least their motives can be understood. They’re not one-dimensional, mustache twirling, laughers, impressed by their evilness.

There’s an amount of professional lawyerly intrigue going on between Foggy, Karen and a corrupt DA named Reyes, which I didn’t follow nearly as closely as I followed the fight scenes. Foggy gets some of the best lines in the series, when he goes toe to toe with Reyes, who tries to sweat him about keeping one of their clients, who is the only man to survive one of The Punisher’s assaults.


Daredevil spends most of the first half of the season investigating who is massacreing all the local gangs, including the Irish mafia, and a local biker gang, from whom they just got their latest client, who wishes to go straight now. Daredevil has also been attacking gangs in the city but he doesn’t kill them, and he and Frank are in competition. Matt objects to the killings because, like a good Catholic boy, he believes everyone deserves a chance for redemption, including his new client.

The first couple of times he and Frank meet, it’s a draw, but Matt gets shot, which results in a brief bout of deafness later in his apartment. The show is giving us some idea of just how incredibly important Matt’s sense of hearing is for connecting him to the world. He is completely unable to do anything but sit in one spot, and hope his hearing comes back, which it eventually does. This was fascinating to watch actually. Our senses connect us to the world. If they’re lost, or become unreliable, how do we even know anything at all? He’s certainly not going to be able to fight crime while deaf and blind.

We have seen a tougher, more ruthless, Matt Murdock in these opening episodes. Again, Charlie Cox, while very pleasant as Matt, saves most of his energy for being Daredevil. He and Foggy argue about vigilantism at the top of the show,as Foggy urges him to stop. Karen still doesn’t know what’s going on, but she’s not stupid, and can see that something is happening. Matt may be blind but there’s only so many times blind people can fall down stairs, or bump into things, is her reasoning.

The survivor of Frank’s attack on the bikers is in the hospital but Frank won’t let it go. He hunts him down and tries to kill him, putting Karen’s life and the lives of the nurses, doctors and patients in jeopardy, as he shoots up the hospital. Karen manages to speed away with her client in tow. We get some brief Night Nurse action between Foggy and Claire, as he questions her about Matt’s whereabouts, after his kidnapping by Frank.  We don’t get to see nearly enough of her, but maybe there’s more in the next few episodes.

When DA Reyes crafts a plan to draw Frank into a trap, (using the survivor from his attack on the bikers),  to capture him in an effort to further her career, Foggy objects. Daredevil catches up with Frank during the trap. They both get shot by snipers during a fight on a rooftop. I loved this fight,but then I’m a sucker for rainy fight scenes. I don’t know why. I liked all the fight scenes, though. They’re not as good as the fight scenes from first season but only because some of the novelty is gone. The fights themselves are as wild and messy as they always were, especially one of the first scenes Matt has with the biker gang, in some constricting hallways, which seems to last forever.


The Punisher spirits Matt away to another rooftop and ties him up. They have a long philosophical conversation about killing people. Matt, as a lawyer, insists that criminals should be brought to justice, unaware that some people could see what he’s doing as being self serving,  because who are these criminals going to call on to help them in court. Thats right! Pro bono lawyers, like himself. Of course, since Matt has redeemed more than a few lost souls this way, he firmly believes in it. He’s had experiences with criminals that Frank hasn’t had and that’s what informs his opinion of them as just people.

Frank’s philosophy is that there is no redemption for such creatures, they are evil, and should all die. After all, killing them will absolutely insure they will never commit another crime. This is sort of the same argument that is had in the DC Graphic Novel Kingdom Come storyline. (If you haven’t read it, you should check it out for the artwork alone, as it’s gorgeous.) This is also part of the argument from Jessica Jones series when the characters discuss killing Killgrave. Maybe this will be a theme throughout Netflix’s Marvel Universe.

At one point Frank tries to get Matt to kill his one client. He gives him a loaded gun and tells Matt that if Matt doesn’t shoot him, he will. This doesn’t work for me for two reasons. Frank had to have known, after their discussion, that Matt wouldn’t shoot anyone, including him, otherwise why give him a loaded weapon. Matt shoots himself free and attacks but Frank gets away.

Frank gets captured in the park by the family members of the Irish mafia he attacked at the top of the show. He also stole their money, which is primarily what they seem to be interested in, rather than familial revenge. But stealing their money was just a ruse to draw them to him. It’s booby trapped to blow them up.

They kidnap him and take him to their, I don’t want to say lair, but that is what it looks like. He tells them where their money is, after some amount of torture, including threatening a dog he’d rescued from them earlier. There’s people dying all over this show but I’m deeply concerned about the dog. I don’t like to watch animals get killed, but people are fine, I guess.

Matt swoops in to rescue Frank after learning his whereabouts and the two of them team up to take out Frank’s kidnappers, which was a lot of fun to watch. I don’t like it when my favorite superheroes beat each other up in the comic books. (That won’t stop me from watching the new Captain America movie, though.) I much prefer it when they team up on the bad guys. Although this doesn’t change Frank’s philosophy, their team up is, for me, an indication that Frank, at least, respects Matt’s position. (Remember what I wrote before, about fights between competing philosophies, and whoever wins is the person whose philosophy is most correct.)


Matt, and a severely injured Frank, retire to a cemetery. Frank talks about his dead daughter, a lot. We feel for the guy even though he is a murderer several times over. It’s okay, Matt has enough compassion for both of them as Frank gets taken away by the police. I loved their little team up during the last scene and hope to see more of it later. Jon Bernthal  tore it up as Frank Castle. I’m not calling him Punisher yet, because he’s still kind of new at this and hasn’t become that yet.

There’s some romantic shenanigans as Karen puts the movies on Matt, letting him know she’s interested. I know their eventual storyline from the books, so I’m not worried that Elektra, who shows up in the last second of episode four, is going to be a problem for their relationship in the future.

I think the next four episode are going to be exciting for me as The Hand story line is introduced. Not that I don’t like Elektra, or didn’t enjoy these first episodes,  but I’m less interested in her and The Punisher, than The Hand.

Full disclosure, I was mostly interested in the fight scenes. I didn’t pay close attention to most of the lawyerly intrigue between Karen, Foggy and Reyes. I like to read mysteries but am uninterested in watching  detective work on TV shows, for some reason. I expect to be even more distracted by the fighting, as the series continues, and Stick, Matt’s mentor from season one, makes his entrance.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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.

Hannibal Season Two : Hassun

Will has a lot of dreams in the next few episodes. This is the result of a clear mind, that’s not being manipulated, drugged, or suffering a fever. His subconscious mind is always busy finding solutions to problems he hasn’t consciously been presented with yet, and answering  questions he hasn’t yet been asked.

This time he’s dreaming about killing himself in the electric chair. This is a basic anxiety dream about his very real life situation and has nothing to do with Lecter, really. I’m not sure of the significance of dreaming that he’s doing it to himself, beyond his last statement to Kade Prunell, about having to save himself. If he doesn’t save himself, no one will. He doesn’t yet know Lecter is just as desperate to save him and wouldn’t believe that if he knew. After all, Lecter put him where he is.

Hannibal - Season 2


The first day of the trial begins with watching Will getting dressed in his cell. This is the first time we’ve seen Will this well dressed. (He usually wears rumpled plaids.) This “dressing up” montage is paralleled with scenes of Lecter suiting up for the trial. It’s as if the two of them are going into battle, only in Will’s case, his suit really is a form of armor to emotionally distance himself from the people around him, and the events happening to him. For highly empathic people, crowds are a special form of Hell, where it’s difficult to block out other peoples emotions. Will is going to be sitting in a crowded courtroom, while people focus their attention at him, for several hours.He’s going to need the  protection. In Lecter’s case his suit is a masquerade, hiding his true nature from the people around him, a suit on top of his people suit.

There’s a certain lecherous humor involved in watching Lecter zip his pants. Why is that so funny? I think its the emphatic manner in which its done. There! That’s final!

The Prosecutor’s argument is that Will is an intelligent psychopath who is,  probably, the smartest person in the room. When she says that we glimpse Lecter’s familiar smirk. No. He’s the smartest person in the room.  After all, he caught Will Graham.

Kade Prunell counsels Jack to get over his guilt. She tells him his priority should be keeping his job. But Jack doesn’t listen, and his conscience prompts him to defend Will, when the Prosecutor says that Will enjoyed hiding behind the FBI to commit his crimes. In his testimony, he appears to take responsibility for Will’s instability, saying he kept pressuring Will to do the work, even though Will hated it. Will is his friend, after all, and every one of his instincts tells him that Will is not a killer, and if Will Graham is not a killer, then it is his fault, for making him one.

Afterwards, Will’s lawyer is confident that this is the sort of break they need to have Will exonerated. He and Will argue briefly over the lawyers methods, but they are of too different mindsets. One of them is a sensitive, ivory tower dreamer, and the other is something more grounded and pragmatic, so they’ll never see eye to eye about the issue. (A groundhog has very different priorities than a  hawk.) During this discussion, Will’s lawyer has a human ear delivered to him. The funniest line in the episode, is him saying he must have gotten Will’s mail by mistake.


The series is starting to play around with humor more. The creators, as they become more certain of the story they wish to tell, are getting frisky with the material, and the characters are funnier. Season three is, of course, one of the funniest seasons, with   Will, Bedelia, and Lecter getting in some wonderful quips and one-liners, as all three of them seem to realize the sheer craziness of the situations they find themselves in.

Jack and Lecter discuss Jack’s testimony. Lecter cautions Jack not to throw away his career for a short term goal, like assuaging his conscience. Its ironic that someone who has never had a friend in his life, in striving to make Jack believe they are friends, is quite possibly one of the best friends Jack could ever have. Lecter says and does all the correct things friends say and do. He’s the prefect friend even though he doesn’t actually know how to be friends. He knows how to go through the motions of friendship to get what he wants. Another irony is that Lecter doesn’t actually see how real his pretense looks.

How much of a difference, which makes no difference, is no difference?  Are Jack and Hannibal really friends? Certainly Jack believes it. Lecter walks the walk and talks the talk, so is he actually Jack’s friend, even though we know that he is only behaving this way because it suits his own ends?


Questions arise as to where the ear came from and why it was sent to Will. Jack and the forensic crew start to wonder if there is another killer out there and if that person could be responsible for the killings Will has been accused of. Will wonders if he has an admirer and who that might be. It turns out that Will does have an admirer, who killed the bailiff at Will’s trial, chopped off his ear, gave him a Glasgow smile, impaled him on a deer’s antlers and burned him in a booby trap, when the authorities came to investigate. Beverly makes an argument for Will’s innocence, saying that the evidence against him was presentational and that no evidence of his guilt has been found since. The Bailiff’s death is another version of “Field Kabuki”, just like the evidence they found about Will. It is Lecter who asked the most pertinent question: How will this affect the outcome of Will’s trial?

Chilton takes the stand and proceeds to describe Hannibal Lecter in great detail. The only problem is that he’s applying all these descriptions to Will Graham. Not saying that killers can’t love dogs, but the description he gives of Will Graham is no match against what we have actually  seen of Will.  Anyone who has ever seen him around his little pack of Lost Mutts, can’t possibly believe the things Chilton says about him. It’s not that Chilton is wrong. He’s just pointed  in the wrong direction.

Hannibal - Season 2


Hannibal takes the forensic evidence in the bailiff’s murder to Will, who unequivocally states that the Bailiff’s murderer, and the person who murdered the women he’s accused of killing, are not the same person. He knows Lecter already knows this, to which Lecter replies, he was reaching for a reason to believe in Will’s innocence.  He wants Will to believe he is his friend and  wants him to think the best of him. Lecter’s attitude towards Will is often puzzling and sometimes funny. In the first season he was indulgent with Will, often giving his rudeness a pass, although Lecter’s patience with him only goes so far. He often harms Will while feeling irritated with him, only to regret it later, as in the season one episode, Fromage.. It is extremely obvious to us  that Will hates him, and why, but Lecter often acts puzzled about Will’s enmity towards him.

He tells Will that the killer left him a gift and that he shouldn’t allow the killer’s love to go to waste, but even though he didn’t kill the Bailiff, you know he’s talking about himself.After all, he admires Will, too. This has parallels to Tobias Budge from season one, who left dead love letters all over Boston, as an admirer of the Chesapeake Ripper.


Freddie Lounds is called to the stand. She makes quite an entrance, and looks hella smart, in her blue and black suit. She looks like she stepped right out of a Dashell Hammet novel, and she must think she’s in one, as she twitches her way up to the witness stand and proceeds to outright lie about Will Graham’s relationship to Abigail Hobbes. Freddie Lounds is so unreliable a narrator,that all the Defense needs to do is mention the many times shes been sued for libel, and how many times she settled those suits.

Will’s lawyer, who was  grooming Alana to take the stand, abandons her, jumping at the opportunity that’s been given by the Bailiff’s death.  Alana was having some trouble being truthful about whether or not she had a romantic relationship with Will, anyway. Well, technically they didn’t, as that relationship was stillborn. The Defense calls Lecter to the stand, instead, to testify that it is the same killer, but the Judge dismisses Lecter’s testimony. Watch the look of irritation on Lecter’s face when this happens.You just know this is not going to end well for the Judge. Lecter really hates for his professionalism to be questioned..


Okay, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m not sure I understand why Lecter’s testimony was thrown out. He was called to the stand as an expert witness on profiling, but the prosecutor decided that what he’s saying is his personal opinion about the forensic evidence, and the Judge agreed to go along with this.Why would the Judge agree to that, when he gave the Defense permission to let Lecter testify in the first place?  Well, yes, it is personal opinion, but it’s Lecter’s  expert professional opinion, which is why he was called. He didn’t just pull it out of his  ass (although for the purposes of this discussion, the viewers know, and will ignore,  that he did pull that out of his ass.) At any rate, even I was pissed off at what the Judge and Prosecutor did, so I can imagine how Lecter must have felt.

Lecter, dejected by the Judge’s decision, sits quietly in his office. He ‘s come to deeply regret framing Will for his murders and  misses his friend. There’s that dull ache, that his former patient, Franklyn, talked about. While Chopin’s Prelude No. 4 in E minor plays in the background, we see all the main characters sitting alone in their places of power: Jack, Lecter ,and Will. Lecter wants Will to be free so badly,and  has no real idea how to correct it, except to kill again as the Chesapeake Ripper.So he kills the Judge, scoops out his brain and heart, and balances them on a scale. He needs to make this a definitive Ripper statement. The Judge’s death, at the hands of the real killer, results in a mistrial.


When Alana comes to see Will, she asks what he thinks the killer wants from him. I’m not sure whether he’s talking about Syke’s killer, or Lecter, when he says the killer wants to know him.

Will dreams of the Stag opening his cell door. He walks out to see Lecter standing in the hall pointing the way out. (Shit Will’s mind is working on while he’s asleep.) Will  knows Lecter killed the Judge in the hope that it would affect his trial. now he just needs to know why?













Hannibal Season Two:Sakizuke

In the second episode of season two we see Will begin his long game against Lecter. This is a character who is now fully awake and aware. He is no longer sick and now has lots of time on his hands to devote to reeling in and capturing Lecter. Will is going fishing/hunting, and  has to play this very carefully, because what he’s trying to catch is highly intelligent and often two or three moves ahead of everyone else.

In The Red Dragon, (book and film), Lecter interrogates Will about how he caught him and what his weakness was. Will says something about Lecter being intelligent and Lecter’s response: “So, by that same token, you’re smarter than me, since you were the one that caught me?” In the movie, Will demurs, saying he’s not smarter than Hannibal but Fuller refutes this  statement, in the series.  Will is going to have to be smarter than Lecter, but in doing so, does he become more like Lecter?

This episode opens in an especially disgusting manner, picking up where we left off, with one of the Eye of God victims (Roland Umber) waking up in the middle of the display. He literally tears himself away and runs out into a cornfield. He jumps over a cliff into a river rather than be taken back, hits his head, and dies. (Note that Roland’s name is a pun based on “raw umber”, a now discontinued crayon color.)


At the Baltimore State Mental Hospital, Lecter and Alana are meeting with Will, who is expressing confusion and distress about his delusions of Hannibal having framed him for murder, rather than accept responsibility for the murders himself. Having seen that his words are falling on deaf ears, Will proceeds with the next element of his plan, winning Dr. Lecter’s trust by making him believe that he harbors no ill will against him and is ready to accept his wrongdoings. He tearfully begs for Alana’s and Lecter’s help. Lecter says he wants to help him.

A moment later, we find that this is just a ruse. Will’s  only been acting the part of a traumatized and confused patient.

Note: Will’s phone booth style cage, apparently, these are real things in the prison industry designed to keep the mentally ill from attacking (or pissing on) their doctors.



Bedelia comes to Lecter and informs him that she will no longer be his psychiatrist. The Truth-Teller has seen a bit too much of the truth. Initially, I thought she was leaving him because she believed him to be a serial killer, but it turns out her issue is   that Lecter has been engaging in unethical behavior with his patients, most especially a patient that died in her care. I still say she’s  an incredibly brave woman to confront him this way. He moves towards her, slowly and methodically, in an obviously menacing manner and she doesn’t really back down. Before she leaves, he tells her he is continuing his sessions with Will Graham.Puzzled, she asks “why”. He says its because Will asked for his help. Her attitude seems to be that Will deserves whatever he gets from associating with Lecter, although later perhaps she changes her mind about this, because she goes to visit Will.

After Beverly’s visit to see Will about their current crime scene, Lecter also goes to see Will. Will’s line about having a pissing contest with him, always makes me smile. Lecter cautions Will about profiling again, saying that Alana wouldn’t want him dwelling on anything too dark. He also asks Will about his thoughts on the crime scene. Will tells him that the killer is stitching the bodies together to make  art. Beverly gets the same piece of information when she arrives with more pictures. Will lets her know that Lecter knows about her visits, that he’s been to see him about the case, and Chilton listens in on all their conversations.

Beverly tells Will she’s not looking for Lecter despite Will’s insistence that that’s what she’s looking for.


Having examined the body of Roland Umber, and scented corn with his acute senses, Lecter goes out to the actual crime scene in his plastic suit. Contrast Lecter’s manner of profiling with Will’s method. Lecter accesses his deductive capabilities through his keen senses, while Will accesses his abilities through his intellect. When Will mentally examines the crime scene, he is confronted by the Stag Man, and we all know what that means.

Having discovered an opportunity to insert himself into a crime, Lecter wastes no time doing that, and encounters the killer at the scene. He sews the killer into his own crimes scene, taking the place of Roland Umber. I’m going to posit the belief that Lecter doesn’t just consume people physically but existentially, as well. He really is the ultimate predator. He parasitises and  consumes a killer’s crime scene by inserting himself in it, killing the killer and taking a piece of him, thereby turning the Eye of God Killer, and his work, into another  extension of the Chesapeake Ripper. It is as if he were eating not just the killer, but the killer’s crimes, too.

Beverly, Jack, and the team discover the hidden corn silo and Jack asks for Lecter’s attendance. Lecter gives Jack no definitive answer when he asks if the killer will keep killing. Of course he already knows the fate of the killer, having sewn the man into his own installation

Because of Will’s arrest, Jack has to undergo a psych evaluation, too. Only his therapist seems to be on the up and up, unlike Lecter and Bedelia. Jack’s therapist actually appears to be helping him cope with his guilt for having not seen Will Graham’s murderous tendencies. He tells Beverly, flat-out, that he doesn’t know what to think about Will. His instincts are screaming at him that Will is not a  killer, although no matter the outcome, he is  still responsible for Will Graham’s behavior.

Jack is dealing with an extraordinary amount of stress, which is understandable. His wife is dying of cancer, he’s under a lot of pressure to catch the Chesapeake Ripper and now, his own employee, a man he personally vetted,   has been arrested for being a serial killer. This is of course what Lecter was hoping for in the first season, that Bella’s sickness would be too much of a distraction for Jack, who would have to divide his energy between too many things to pay close attention to anything he’s doing. It seems to be working because Jack is not at the top of his game when it comes to reasoning. He does the same thing to Beverly that he did with Miriam Lass, allowing her to begin her own investigation without official overhead.


The theme of the entire second season seems to center around transformation, rather than the senses (as was the focus of the first season). People and others becoming or trying to become something else. Even Lecter is becoming something, someone else, due to Will’s influence. Lecter doesn’t seem as concerned with protecting himself as he was in the first season, (his behavior surrounding this issue is almost like an afterthought), and he seems  more focused on transforming Will into the man he thinks Will should be, and the friend Lecter thinks he needs. This  dovetails nicely with Will’s plan to capture Lecter, as the more effort Will puts into trying to out the Chesapeake Ripper, the more he becomes the man Lecter wants him to be.

Since he’s reluctant to kill Will, every moment that Will spends in jail, means he’s eventually going to convince someone,  at some point, that Lecter is the Chesapeake Ripper. Although Lecter has assured himself that Jack is well taken care of, he’s not so certain of Will’s lack of memory.



Note: For the first time we actually see Lecter eating a person, having taken the leg of the Eye of God Killer. Til now, its only been something alluded to or suggested. We’ve seen him cooking but it wasn’t always made explicitly clear that what he was cooking was human. Like Will Graham , we feel complicit in this activity, as Lecter prepares and cooks a leg.

Jack  meets with Bedelia, who says she is retiring from psychiatric practice, and needs closure. She tells him she’s no longer Lecter’s doctor, can’t help him with any Lecter related information and is recusing herself from the situation. This is meant to be a hint to Jack, that maybe Lecter isn’t what he seems, but this message goes completely over Jack’s head, and I think Bedelia gives up at that point.

Both Beverly and Lecter visit Will at the facility. Now that Will’s head is clear, and he’s the one doing the manipulating, he’s a lot snarkier than he used to be.In fact this episode could probably be called Will’s snarkiest hits. hes got a zinger for everyone who visits him, including Lecter, who has always been proud and amused at Will’s sassiness. When Beverly says she can’t concentrate on any other tasks she has, note the look Lecter gives her. (When Will looks at the case this time he starts reciting the lyrics  from Sesame Street songs, a creepily juvenile touch to this episode.)

Will tells them the killer took a piece of the victim as a trophy. He knows the killer is eating his victims but declines to mention this in front of Lecter, naturally.  Nevertheless, Lecter continues to be impressed by Will’s ability to deduce these things with little or no evidence. Lecter says the killer must have had a friend, while looking pointedly at Will, but Will lets this blatant lie slide, of course. He knows Lecter is the perpetrator and was no friend to the man.

He is visited later by Kade Prunell, who lays  out the FBI’s case against him, arguing that he is an intelligent psychopath. (Well, at least they’re half right). Will’s got some sass for her too, since he has zero fucks to give about manners, now that he’s locked in a mental facility, which is understandable. He rejects her offer to plead guilty, telling her he’ll have to save himself.


Will is dream-fishing, while the bodies of the Eye of God Killer float all around him, and the Stag, never very far away, watches from the background, when he gets his last visitor of the day, Bedelia DuMaurier. She quietly informs him that she believes him. The only person outside of himself that has any idea that Lecter is a villain, is his therapist, which is  emotionally devastating to Will. This is the foundation for their rather contentious bond  in season three. They (and Jack Crawford) are the only survivors of The Chesapeake Ripper (and Bedelia may not be, for long.)


Lecter goes to Bedelia’s home wearing his plastic suit, seeking to wrap up what he feels is a loose end, but finds her home vacant, the furniture shrouded in white cloth. Bedelia has fled. Knowing he has boundary issues, ignoring any instruction she gave him to stay away, (just as he did when she told him she was retiring and wouldn’t be seeing any patients), and knowing how keen his senses are, she leaves a bottle of her perfume for him. It almost seems like mockery. So it’s deeply puzzling to us to see her  with him in the final episode, on a plane to Europe. What did he say to her? What did he do to get her to accompany him?


Spotlight: Bedelia DuMaurier


This show has a number of strong women characters in it. Among them is Bedelia, (although I do lament the fact that almost none of these women come in contact with one another.) I would’ve loved to have see her interactions with Alana or Freddie Lounds.

I like to call Bedelia The Truth -Teller. Like Anya from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, she sees the truth of things and bluntly states them. As Lecter’s therapist, its her job and although she very probably is a sociopath, you couldn’t find a better therapist, if you want to deal with uncomfortable truths about yourself.

She bluntly tells Lecter, during his therapy, that he  wears a person suit, but she also tells him she likes him. She is one of the few people to get a glimpse through the seams of that suit and live to tell about it. Lecter admires her, wants her to like him, and like Franklyn, his own patient, tries to emulate what he considers her better qualities. He wants to be friends with her, (at least up until she betrays him), but she rejects his attempts to upset the patient therapist balance, as she should. Bedelia understands that a therapist and patient can never be friends.

Several times, she cautions Lecter about getting too close to Will Graham, and is the first to suspect that Lecter may have been engaging in unethical behavior with him, informed as she is by her experience with a hostile  former patient of Lecter’s, that  she killed in self defense. We don’t find this out until season three, after Lecter has used this piece of  information to coerce her into joining him in fleeing the country.

Meeting Will in prison and visiting Jack Crawford is the first time we see Bedelia insert herself into the narrative. Up to this point, she has merely been an observer of Lecter’s activities, cautioning him against getting too close to Will, to no effect.  She has never tried to actively thwart him or interfere. This is something that Lecter calls her on when they’re in Italy. While killing Anthony Dimmond, he asks her if she is observing or participating. She claims she’s observing but  fails to realize she stopped observing months ago, when she went to visit Will and Jack,  willfully interfering  in Lecter’s plans. Probably stunned by her level of boldness, or rightfully fearing Lecter will harm her for what she knows about him, she flees.

Bedelia  is probably one of the smartest women in the show. Informed of Lecter’s actions towards Miriam Lass, she uses that as a strategy to escape being arrested by the police for Lecter’s crime spree in Italy. Giving herself a cocktail of psychotropic drugs, she insists that Lecter brainwashed her and that she didn’t know who she was or what she was doing, believing herself to be his wife, Lydia Fell. This results in some hilarious scenes of Bedelia, bombed out her skull, interacting with Jack and the Italian police. Three years later, she has written a book and capitalized on her adventures with him, while Lecter rots in prison, she having carefully and thoughtfully thrown him under the bus.

Her bond with Will Graham is based on their survival of Lecter. They are not friends, but they do understand each other in a way no one else does, having been intimately familiar with him. She and Will are often quite bitchy with one another. She refers to the two of them as Hannibal’s wives. Will’s spiteful rejoinder is that she deserves to be eaten by Lecter, after Will breaks him out of prison.She is still the Truth-Teller, though. It is she who informs Will that Hannibal is, in fact, in love with him.

Is she a fellow psychopath, like Lecter? If her conversations with Will Graham are any indication, then the answer is yes. I think this is the foundation  for Will’s contempt of her. He understands her as well as he does Lecter, but she doesn’t emotionally resonate with him the way Lecter does, and so she doesn’t get a pass. Whether or not she was coerced into accompanying Lecter to Florence, she stayed with him, watched him murder people and made no effort to stop him, inform the authorities, or escape. Nor did she have quite enough courage to fully join him in killing, the way Will would have.

All of this indicates a high level of emotional distance, and unlike Will Graham, a complete lack of empathy. This is what makes her a lesser “wife” to Lecter than Graham. She can observe inherent truths and  Lecter can discuss philosophy with her, but she can’t understand him in the same manner as Will, nor does she seem to be able to influence Lecter the way Will does. I think this is the partly the reason for her enmity with Will. Will is Lecter’s favorite wife, child, protege, friend. She’s just Lecter’s side-piece.

And she is never going to be Will Graham.

I actually like Bedelia, though. She’s beautiful, graceful, intelligent, and brave in her own way, but just like  everyone else who made the mistake of falling into Lecter’s clutches, her future is a tragic one.

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