The Red Dragon arc reaches the beauty that separates this work of fiction from so many in this genre with the introduction of Reba McClain (Rutina Wesley) and beginning to peel back the story of Francis Dolarhyde. Meanwhile Will and Hannibal begin a dance of working together in their own family, as Hannibal remembers his building of a family with surprise guest Kacey Rohl as Abigail Hobbes, and Will clings to the relaxed comfort of his family. Miko returns to the table with Cooper & Ophilia, and they're all around the same table again!
All on this episode of Eat The Rudecast, a podcast about NBC's Hannibal, and the works of Thomas Harris.
– Yes, Chiyoh could probably have been taken out of the first half without much changing. But i like that she was there. I kind of like that she was a bit of a mystery. I also liked that she was someone from Hannibal’s past. Who knew Hannibal when they were younger.
– You know, I would love to listen to you guys discuss the movies. I think that would be fun. After the show of course. The good and the bad and the ugly.
– Just got to the end of the podcast. Can’t wait to hear about the Red Dragon movies. You guys ever going to talk about Silence of the Lambs or… the other one?
– I love that Garret Jacobs Hobbs keeps coming back in the show. The actor has such a unique appearance. And the way that GJH was just kind of slumped in the chair was a little creepy. No. Very creepy.
– I’m sure you would change too if you found out your boyfriend/mentor was a cannibalistic serial killer and you almost died by getting pushed out of a window by a dead girl.
– I also loved the Hannibal/Will talk as they went from place to place. It was very creative and imaginative. It was just a joy to watch. I also caught the Wendigo in the mirror. And it makes sense that the Wendigo would be there since this scene takes place in Will’s mind.
– I really have no problem with the Totem Pole. To me, it fits in with this world, this universe. I’ve always seen this show as part of the Fullerverse. Anything can happen.
– The finger wagging comment. Of course NBC wouldn’t catch it. NBC isn’t watching this show anymore. They just want to get this show off the air as quickly as they can so they can start to air Blindspot or The Player.
– Yes. Its nice to see the lab geeks. But i found the “I care more about animals than the children” joke went a little too far in the wrong direction. I think it would have been better if they made just one joke and moved on and forgot about it. But they had to bring it up again once more.
– I love the chemistry between Molly and Will.
– Molly on the bed. Mind blown! Boom! I also assumed it was one of the mothers from the other families. Damn…
– This is my first time seeing Rutina Wesley in anything (I never saw True Blood and probably never will). But i as really impressed. Can’t wait to see more of her.
– The scene with Mr. D and Reba in her home felt a little rushed. I wish we had more dialogue between them before she brought up speech therapy. “You haven’t said a word since i brought up speech therapy.” Well, how could you tell? Your conversation so far was so short.
– To be fair, that “Trust me I’m smiling” was creepy in the book. Hell, in the book Mr. D thought about biting Reba’s fingers off!
– Here’s the Canadian promo for the next episode. Looks like they’re changing things up a little.
Abigail–agreed the stuff with her and Hannibal fits in thematically. Also, I and number of people thought that she seemed to be having a slightly erotic moment there with the blood spray (let’s be clear; with the action going on, not between her and Hannibal–ew). And then had to reassure each other we weren’t the only ones. (It was little bit vampirish again, with the embrace and the almost swooning.)
To clarify; that scene is not post her killing Nick Boyle; it comes after she’s fled Sweaty Scary Will, and Hannibal told her Jack knew she’d helped her dad and the FBI would be hunting her, then outed himself as a killer. She must have gone from ‘oh god I’m dead’ to ‘oh thank god he’s not gonna kill me and he’s gonna protect me.’ Which would make anyone a little giddy, and explains her change in demeanour.
Alana–I don’t think the bone marrow in her blood comment was supposed to be anything more than a pretty analogy for her changes, and not to be taken literally. Everything she went through is more than adequate to change her, and in Digestivo and episodes since, traditional-flavour Alana + icy revenge queen Alana have merged pretty organically, I thought. She still has her softer, nurturing side but she has much sharper edges now.
Why was Hannibal PACING alongside Will so creepy and effective? Almost like a dance (DANCER!MADS RETURNS!).
Re: your listeners commenting on Will going from buddy-buddy to ‘I don’t want to know you’–he did actually try to *kill* Hannibal straight after their touching reunion. So the next step of ‘I don’t want to know you’ is totally realistic. He couldn’t cut him out literally so he tried it metaphorically, except Hannibal is a dick who can totally stalk someone from inside a prison cell. (And of course on this show loving someone and wanting to kill them aren’t mutually exclusive.)
Part II: (re: “this is my design” in the last episode– https://twitter.com/DeLaurentiisCo/status/625304586782289920 –the script said it, doesn’t mean Dancy said it–sounded like ‘isn’t’ to me…)
Jack: well , he’s not going to be gooey and remorseful about Will in front of Hannibal, is he? Also he could be pushing Hannibal to side with Will and WANT to help him by appearing to be ruthlessly using Will to Will’s detriment. (Which he also is, of course, bc he’s Jack, and Miriam, Bev, Will, Clarice in the hypothetical future… he has a pattern of his own.)
I don’t think it’s hubris/arrogance going on with Alana, I think it’s–not fear, but a kind of resignation. Hannibal said he’s gonna kill her, so to her it’s better if she has the keys to all the doors and keeps him in her line of sight, and there’s no way she’d want Chilton in charge of that–there’s your Watsonian reason for her taking Chilton’s job. And I didn’t take the way she talked to Hannibal as Chiltonesque pettiness or vindictiveness–it was polite (hey, Hannibal was the one who lowered the tone) and it wasn’t on her own behalf–she was warning him off harming Will. I didn’t see it as power-tripping in any way. (That’s… still not gonna help her, of course.) (Also she looked fly.)
Re: the Wendigo shard: Will is not shown looking in Hannibal’s direction before or after Hannibal picks it up (when Will’s face comes into focus, he’s looking more to his right), so I agree it was Hannibal seeing himself. Fuller’s said the Ravenstag is the symbol of the link/relationship between Will/Hannibal; I think the Wendigo is just… the truth of Hannibal himself. So here it could be sign of how self-aware Hannibal is.
—argh I didn’t finish my last point: at this stage, aren’t will and hannibal sharing (some of) their memory palace? Shared rooms, like the Palazzo… I’m wondering if they aren’s sharing these visions also–(Hannibal’s based on the information he’s got from Will)–not that they’re seeing what the other’s seeing, but that they’re sharing the same space, if that makes sense? And Hannibal seeing his wendigo could be an indication that this is true; we’re seeing both of their thoughts simultaneously.
You were all wondering why Frances killed the family cat even though cats arent known to alert a family of potential intruders or threats. In the book Red Dragon, while Frances is a child, he often kills or tortures animals. When Frances’ grandmother dies, he goes to live with his mother’s new family. When his step siblings bully him he hangs the family cat to death. So I think he kills the Jacobi and Leeds pets (at least the cat) for more of a pleasure reason than practical. It’s just another step to his becoming not a logical or rational decision to keep from being caught. hope I helped.
I’m always happy to see a non-imaginary Abigail Hobbs, although it fit oddly with the rest of the episode.
Sean T. Collins had a rather less paternal read of Abigail’s scene following Releves. He described its conclusion as “blood being expelled from a tube like a vampire ejaculating”. I wasn’t aware that vampires replaced all of their bodily fluids with blood, but I’m no expert.
I’m curious how one concludes from that scene that she was alright with her father’s activities. The therapy scene indicated she was not at all comfortable. In the earlier scene she’s just relieved she won’t be killed or arrested.
I thought Abigail was under hypnosis/drugs in the therapy scene, but I wouldn’t put it past this show to have someone actually dig up the Shrike’s corpse. I didn’t pick up on it at the time, but on rewatch I do see a resemblance to Noonan’s shirt. Could just be a coincidence. I don’t think it was some big change or breakthrough for Abigail to say her father loved her in the only way he could. She’d said earlier he was loving right up until the second he wasn’t, so there’s continuity in her having affection blended with resentment.
I still don’t know what else Will could have said on the phone if he didn’t “decide” until Hannibal answered. “This is the everything’s okay alarm”? But that’s really a complaint about a previous episode I shouldn’t belabor.
Hannibal didn’t stay there with Abigail for the “thrill of the hunt” (hey, they were luring, not stalking!). And it wasn’t to “give Will another chance”, Hannibal gutted him without offering him a way out like Alana. It was to punish Will for betraying Hannibal and refusing to come clean when he’d earlier been given the chance.
Hannibal gripes about not being on a first-name basis, but Will had never called him by his first name until season 3.
I didn’t take the pencil-lickers comment as being so ribald, perhaps because Hannibal doesn’t care enough about them to even bother and perhaps just because I’m mentally conflating it with his simple dismissals in other adaptations of “second raters from prairie universities”.
Jack not only should have learned better than to risk his (special) agents, he should have concluded that Will is unreliable and Hannibal far too dangerous to involve at all. I didn’t see the point of his visit. It seemed more for the benefit of the audience than the character (same with his letting Hannibal escape in Contorno). I’ve read some people think Jack might have added the news-clipping about the family massacres to Hannibal’s letter to Will. That would be rather devious and better fit a Hannibal who wasn’t trying to use reverse psychology, but the show hasn’t done anything to specifically indicate that.
Alan Bloom is a minor character, but he’s also the first to guess the Tooth Fairy is disfigured. I wish Alana had been given that.
The “you know better than to breed” line reminded me that Will actually did conceive a biological child with Margot. Hannibal was indirectly responsible for both its creation & destruction, so he should have expected Will to think about that.
Freddie Lounds seems to have more self-awareness than Chilton. I don’t take her as thinking she’s some master manipulator. She’s just very brash. Both her & Chilton are more fun on the show than in any of their other incarnations.
Will had the face mask on for no good reason in season 2 (it’s not until Digestivo that he actually bit anyone!). That also reminds me of how dumb it was that Jack removed it and all of Will’s other restraints that episode. Did he forget that Will escaped custody despite the presence of guards in Savoreux?
Hannibal might have not only been referencing Margot with the “finger wagging” reply, but himself.
NBC’s Standards & Practices is more concerned with the letter than the spirit of the law. They even sent Fuller a thank-you note in response to the kaleidoscopic lesbian scene.
Jack technically calls himself “bedrock” rather than granite, but he could be both in that metaphor.
Will could have let Freddie die in season 2, which would have been particularly tempting since he’s long hated her. But he’s fundamentally not a murderer and (unlike Bedelia), can’t abide the murder of even really dislikable people (Mason manages to cross that line though).
I did a scan of the book, and there’s no dog named Randy. Will just didn’t think he could stand to “talk about fucking”, so Molly pivoted to a nameless dog. Molly isn’t unreasonable in the source material with her misgivings about Will going back into the field, but it’s become a tired & thankless role we’ve seen many times over.
Suggesting the tail without a bad visual effect could be done with shadows. We also might merely see its shape underneath the kimono.
Hannibal is the most Cronenbergian show on TV (I believe Fuller tends to name-check both Davids Lynch & Cronenberg). I would have thought most of its viewers were also fans. But diff’rent strokes and all that. I’ve been at times overly eager to draw connections to Peter Greenaway, but that won’t stop me from bringing up his first feature, The Falls. It’s fundamentally a bunch of stories of body-horror transformation, but he absolutely refuses to show any of it (other than in the form of anatomical drawings). I can’t actually recommend it to anyone who isn’t already a Greenaway fan though, and even he thinks it’s better suited to being a gallery exhibit you can walk in & out of at any time rather than something viewed as a whole in one sitting (although I should note the individual entries of Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle do work viewed from beginning to end, despite galleries being the only way they’re exhibited).
Armitage plays Dolarhyde best when he’s silent. When he’s talking I just think he’d scare about Reba. Rutina is doing all the heavy-lifting in their scenes together. The humanizing of Dolarhyde is a big part of what the story has over Silence of the Lambs. Jame Gumb is just a scary creep keeping a woman down a pit.
I liked Hannibal’s method of hacking the phone in Manhunter. I was surprised on a scan of the book to see they just let him dial whatever number he wanted. Letting Dolarhyde call in on the show is even worse though. Don’t they know what his lawyer sounds like or what number their office is?
An earlier version of the Manhunter script actually does have the voice of the Dragon talking with Francis, but I guess Mann was dissatisfied with it and I don’t know if it was actually filmed. The version of his previous feature (The Keep) he turned in was way too long and got cut in an incomprehensible half, so he could have been looking for opportunities to trim early on. He did film scenes with the tattoo applied to Noonan, but was never satisfied that it looked right and didn’t use those shots (which the cinematographer regarded as unfortunate, as they were better lit than the ones he used).
Just noticed that in the “Death of Abigail Hobbs” scene in this episode, Hannibal and Abigail are in the same position as they are in the season 2 finale when the real death of Abigail occurs. Hannibal is embracing Abigail from behind (that sounds dirty) and the blood left her body in a gallop.
And I had forgotten, actually, how dark and compromised the real Abigail was back in season one, which doesn’t take away from how tragic her story is. The fact that Hannibal killed her by slitting her throat really stings in retrospect.