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Best of TV Costuming 2015: Alana Bloom – Queen of Ladysuits on Hannibal

16 Dec

Welcome to TV Ate My Wardrobe’s “Best of 2015” costuming series and rather than doing a straightforward countdown we’re going to do a variety of posts that look at which costumes and shows have made a huge impact this year. From items we want in our own wardrobe to pieces that got everyone talking; we want to celebrate the work of television’s best costume designers.

There is one red carpet trend which has brought so much hand clapping joy this year. Nope it’s not sheer of which there has been far too much once again; instead it is something which led to one of my favorite hashtag alerts – #LadySuitWatch2015. The Emmy pre parties where awash with this and there have been many ladysuit wearers throughout 2015 and yet there is one TV character who reigns supreme when it comes to this style. Step on down, Dr. Alana Bloom!

From the first Hannibal season 3 promo photos which featured Alana in a very Hannibal like getup I knew the show was taking a fantastic turn with her costuming drawing away from the patterned wrap dresses of her pre-defenestration life.

Hannibal S3 - Alana BloomLast year I discussed how Will Graham altered his look when he got of the mental institution and Hannibal certainly does have a certain influence on those around him. It’s not like Alana wants to become Hannibal in order to catch him and yet she has been physically and mentally changed by her experience in the house of horror at the end of season 2; this is all too clear in her wardrobe switch-up. Instead the change in costuming signifies how much Hannibal has impacted her taste and there is an element of him leaving a lasting impression, subconscious or otherwise.

Aesthetically between the stronger curls, red lip and different silhouette there is a somewhat femme fatale vibe and this works in favor when presenting a hardened Alana Bloom. Hannibal is visually stunning on every level and costume designer Christopher Hargadon has outdone himself in season 3 from Hannibal’s European look to Bedelia’s stunning blue ensemble.

The ladysuits work in both the opulent and cold location of the Verger residence and later when she is in charge of the facility housing Hannibal in the second half of the season; it is a look which asserts dominance. There is a shift in the power dynamic and Alana’s fancy attire is in stark contrast to Hannibal’s drab jumpsuit. There are some particularly out there choices, including my own personal fave which resembles both a ringmaster and one of Hannibal’s Florence suits.

Hanibal 3.09 Alana and Will

Hannibal 3.09 Alana and HannibalIt is very much a boys club on Hannibal and whereas Alana once played the nurturing role typically associated with being a woman she has now taken on a more dominant position. This isn’t to say she has ditched her femininity entirely and beneath the surface she is still very much the heart of the show; her new wardrobe mixes both the new and old aspects of her character.

Getting to see Alana in so many different ladysuits is a huge 2015 highlight, even if this was also the year that Hannibal did not get picked up for another season. But I have high hopes/faith we will see these characters again.

For now here are some of the Alana Bloom, Queen of Ladysuits best moments. So many giving none of the fucks expressions also included and one hell of an entrance silhouette.

Hannibal 3.04 Alana red lipstick

Hannibal 3.05 Alana

Hannibal 3.06 Alana

Hannibal 3.07 Hannibal and Alana

Hannibal 3.08 Alana

Hannibal 3.11 Alana Bloom

Hannibal 3.11 Alana

Hannibal 3.12 Alana

Hannibal 3.13 Alana entrancePlus Alana got the only happy romantic ending as she walked off into the sunset – okay fled for their safety in a helicopter – with Margot and their son. And they did so in magnificent style.

[source]

One final Hannibal costume design shout-out and this one goes to the DVF wrap that Margot Verger wore mirroring Alana’s old style and giving me the ideal dress to wear to a wedding.

Stay tuned for more Best of 2015 posts!

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Get the Look: Knits and Coats for Freddie Lounds on Hannibal

7 Sep

Sweater and coat weather is coming and even though Hannibal is over (for now) Freddie Lounds is giving us a whole lot of inspiration for the approaching colder months. Fall collections tend to be my favorite and by this time of year knits are calling out after the sticky season; French Connection is one of my go to stores and there are a couple of items on the cover list. And it’s not even that cold yet.

As with pretty much every character on Hannibal, Freddie is incredibly stylish and her look has paid tribute to His Girl Friday while also taking a page out of Hannibal’pattern book. There is a heightened quality to her costuming and she is tailored to perfection at all times.  

Taking the sheer and check from “The Number of the Beast is 666” and twisting it comes this amazing red and black sweater blending dogstooth with check in very Freddie Lounds red. Pretty sure I’ve got my next payday purchase picked out. Freddie’s outerwear game is also strong and it needs to be for all those ambush stop and chats.  While Freddie’s burnt orange, grey and white checks are fabulous so is this red and black Highland wool coat with added warmth from the faux fur collar. Ideal for the snowy days ahead. For more from the new French Connection collection head here.

And take a Get the Look trip to the mid 80s and Halt and Catch Fire with Donna’s stripes and plaid here.

Hannibal Season 3 Gag Reel Sneak Peek

31 Aug

The Hannibal set looks like a very fun place to work amidst all the operatic horror set pieces and philosophical debates taking place on our screens. In fact I would argue that season 3 has taken us to some new (twisted) hilarious heights as I’ve laughed a whole bunch this season. 

Bryan Fuller’s weekly behind the scenes pictures (including the one below of Mads Mikkelsen from the finale) reveal not only influences, but also the love and care that goes into each episode.  This might be the end, it might not and the DVD/Blu-Ray tend to be special feature heavy (including my personal favorite – episode commentaries) and for now enjoy the sneak peek of the gag reel as gifted to us by Hannibal executive producer Martha De Laurentiis. So many Chilton shenanigans. 

Head here for our thoughts on the Hannibal season finale. 

Hannibal 3.13 “The Wrath of the Lamb” Review: Twisted Romance

30 Aug

Boy meets boy, boy understands boy in a way no other person ever has and somewhere in the middle lots of people are maimed, changed and killed. Hannibal is what could be described as one hell of a fucked up romantic comedy and before you click over to another review just hear me out as this season has added to humor levels (albeit in twisted and super dark ways) and really upped the whole Will and Hannibal as a couple notion. Murder husbands might be their cheap tabloid name, but even Bedelia a so-called mental health professional – who by the looks of that closing shot is in desperate need of some serious saving – has been playing up the couple euphemisms going so far as to pointing out Hannibal’s love for Will last week.

Hannibal’s well versed in getting what he wants through manipulation tactics or using his influence to draw out a killer. With Will he has done both and as soon as Will was back in his sphere all he had to do was wait for an opportunity. This Will is very different to the one Hannibal met in season 1 and the game is a lot more complicated this time.

Hannibal 3.13 Will goodbyeThe life Will has been living ended as soon as Jack Crawford went to ask for his help and the attack on Molly and Walter at the hands of Dolarhyde via Hannibal is enough to taint it. This is what Will feared would happen and even though the hospital scene revealed a strength in the couple all Will is going to see is himself reflected as her killer. I am so mad at Hannibal for playing the bitter ex and poisoning this relationship as he tells Will to think about him when his relationship with Molly is so “maddeningly polite” sowing the seeds of doubt. Hannibal is playing a good game even if he comes across as the desperate reject; so sad that Will has replaced the family he gave him with another less fucked up one.

Even though Will knows it hasn’t been good for him seeing Hannibal he still goes along and creates the ‘get Hannibal and Dolarhyde’ plan because ultimately he does want to be rid of both men. Dolarhyde’s downfall means something on a primal level even if Will has championed catching him alive in the past; this man tried to kill his family and therefore he needs to die and if they can kill two serial killers in one then Jack Crawford is all for it. Alana makes up the conspiring squad and as with all their other plans this one has terrible written all over it. Drinking whisky at the same time as sorting out the details is not the way to keep a clear head, but booze is not to blame for their awful ideas and you would think after how it went last time this trio would leave the dangerous schemes to someone else. After all there are no advantages, just “degrees of disadvantage.”

Hannibal 3.13 RebaThis also happens to be where my one major criticism of this finale comes into play because the sequence of events is somewhat muddled and this is where a two-part episode would have served the story better as the Red Dragon arc and the Will/Hannibal stuff ends up interlinking in a way which makes it feel rushed. The speed with which Reba’s participation is wrapped up is a surprise even if it mirrors the source material and Rutina Wesley is particularly impressive in showing both Reba’s fear and strength in this scary situation.

Don’t get me wrong as it is so much fun seeing the sassing off between Will and Hannibal followed by how they come together to slay the dragon, but other aspects of the story fall far too quickly by the side.

Hannibal 3.13 Dragon SlayersIt really does look stunning.

As does this pair of winged images.

Hannibal 3.13 burning dragon Hannibal 3.13 Dead DragonIn a way the Red Dragon arc mirrors the first half of the season in how it doesn’t leave room for too many other characters; yes Hannibal and Will are the central figures but the supporting cast are just as vital in telling a strong story. Jack’s motivations over this half have presented him in a more callous manner and maybe the loss of Bella and what went down in Italy has left him cold, but it would have been beneficial to see more of this just to get a read on his feelings beyond the ones he doesn’t appear to have.

One love prevails and any regular TV Ate My Wardrobe readers will be more than aware of my strong feelings toward Alana Bloom. As with Jack during the latter part of this season, Alana’s relationship with Margot in those first few episodes could have done with some more fleshing out and this is the first time we see Alana’s wife after the three year time jump. They are leaving their home as a result of Hannibal’s actual escape and he isn’t backing down on the promise he made Alana. He coldly tells her that she died in his kitchen when she chose “to be brave” and that he owns everything that has come since mentioning her wife and child. Yes Hannibal is also a dick to his ex-girlfriend and essentially threatened their lives as well as hers.

Hannibal 3.13 Alana entranceAlana doesn’t flinch in front of him and also gets one hell of an entrance; one great thing about their interactions is how she doesn’t let him get to her. Well at least not in front of him. She explains why she is here to offer the deal and not Jack – she knows him better and he would just torment Jack – and he in return tests out his threat powers once again.

Now there are no longer five locked doors between Hannibal and Alana she does the smart thing and gathers all her best lady suits, Margot and their son departing on their own chopper. This is one benefit of being crazy rich; you get a speedy and elegant escape route.

Hannibal 3.13 Bloom and Verger Hannibal 3.13 Family BloomAlana’s back to wearing red and bold prints in this episode after several weeks of muted (but still fantastic) outfits. It’s like she can feel the freedom around the corner as red is definitely her power color. It is interesting that she chooses a flash of this for her hospital trip to see Chilton as he points out that this is the first time she is visiting and how culpable she is. Once again guilty feelings mean deflecting onto Hannibal, but she doesn’t exactly protest when Chilton mentions how she is capable of doing these terrible things too.

Self preservation is something she cited to Will earlier this season and even though she wasn’t thinking of herself when she freed Hannibal, she was definitely doing this when she suggested Chilton last week.

Hannibal 3.13 Alana and ChiltonChilton’s chamber is similar to the one used on Georgia Madchen in season 1 and he’s already burned all over. He mentions getting new skin and how he wouldn’t mind wearing some of Hannibal’s; this feels like a nod to Buffalo Bill and Silence of the Lambs. It doesn’t get much easier looking at Chilton even if he looks less crispy this week and his speech is still distorted, but his anger toward Alana is palpable.

Every great (and not so great) rom-com includes a mid story break up that you know will most likely be resolved with a grand romantic gesture. In this version Will rejects Hannibal and Hannibal immediately goes big surrendering himself so he can assert dominance. Hannibal is playing the long game in getting his murder soulmate back and he can’t let Will get away with referencing their breakup and then returning to ask for help. And yes Mads Mikkelsen’s delivery of the mic drop line had me full on cackling. As did his ‘worry’ about Chilton being ugly. Sassy Hannibal forever.

In the end Dolarhyde is the accidental matchmaker as he takes the Hannibal bait in a manner which results in a lot more violence than intended – see you should never make plans over booze – and a brutal fight to the death. This brings Hannibal and Will together by having them fighting for each other as Dolarhyde shoots and stabs them making them weaker opponents. It is a whole big thing and as he does in the book, Dolarhyde delivers a rather horrific stab would to Will’s face. I have a feeling Hannibal digs scars.

Hannibal 3.13 Will and HannibalThis season has gone all in on the Hannigram factor and taken it to even higher heights; they are together in an embrace as Will leads them over the edge of the cliff. Tumblr is already magical gif heaven. Yes I did yell “KISS HIM” several times during this bloody hug which thankfully did not include Will’s belly getting sliced open. This is what it finally feels like to Will Graham to be free.

Bedelia might need her license revoking, but she is right when she tells Will that he can’t live with or without Hannibal Which is maybe why she has set a third place at the table in the end of credits scene. It is ambiguous as to who did this to her; my take is she did it to herself and she awaits the dinner guests who might never come. Meat is definitely back on the menu in her house.

Hannibal 3.13 BedeliaThat ending could be the forever end of Hannibal *sob* and while it doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the house of horrors bloodbath (not that this doesn’t include gallons of fake blood and Dolarhyde’s wounds are very similar to Jack, Will and Abigail’s from that episode) I am not ready for this show to be over. Not that this is my decision and even though it doesn’t look so good for Hannibal and Will their fate is not so uncertain as Jack, Alana or Abigail’s at the end of last year.

Hannibal 3.13 Hannibal in plaidCostume wise Hannibal served up another incredible take on his Italian styling in his mind palace with Will in lighter plaid mirroring the pants of Alana’s escape outfit.

Hannibal 3.13 WillIn the same memory palace location later on Hannibal sees Will enter in front of a group of mourners; just who is being mourned here?

Hannibal 3.13 Hannibal and WillThis is a really great shot from a really fun scene of the pair trying their best to out sass the other. I really want to know what the orderlies say to their friends/family about the shit they see at work.

 

Hannibal 3.13 Will and JackWe’ve barely been there this season, but I am still going to miss the FBI building and hallway chats like this one.

Hannibal 3.13 Jimmy and BrianThere was definitely not enough of Brian and Jimmy in this episode or this year.

Hannibal 3.13 AlanaAlana says goodbye to her old life. Wearing killer red lipstick of course.

Hannibal 3.13 Hannibal sweaterHannibal is just as stylish in casual threads and I would love to look through the rest of his secret hideaway closet as he definitely likes to curate a look for a location.

Hannibal 3.13 StagThe stag burns and the one we saw unfurling towards the start of the season was so incredibly fucked up, but during the Red Dragon arc the stag has existed only in the background in offices and on walls. Hannibal’s power over Will no longer extends to this beast and Will is in control. Will is the one who chose to take Hannibal over the cliff and letting go in this situation was his decision. This isn’t typically how romantic comedies end, but it is a very fitting emotional climax to this twisted love story.

Hannibal 3.12 “The Number of the Beast is 666” Review: Teacher’s Pet

21 Aug

Curiosity killed the cat or in the case of Will Graham curiosity results in events that are in part expected and are also highly unfortunate for one Dr Fredrick Chilton. Chilton has become something of a Kenny like figure and unlike his South Park counterpart he just can’t be killed. But he can definitely be maimed and now to go along with his missing organs and already messed up face, he is now missing his lips and covered in burns. That is going to take a lot of makeup and skin grafts to cover up. The fate of Chilton and who is to blame for this new trauma is spread across many players from the man who actually did this to him to those who conspired in this plan. The only certain thing is Hannibal’s correct ‘we don’t get to chose our own endings’ assertion.

Hannibal stands behind bars (or rather Plexiglas) but still has agency in the world having orchestrated the attack on Will’s family. When it comes to what happened to Chilton he is perhaps the least at fault even if there are those who blame him. Those strings are being pulled and he is far from innocent in any of this; after all the Great Red Dragon is still seeking his approval through the gifts he sends him in the post.

Hannibal 3.12 Chilton and WillWill is a lamb, Chilton is a slug and Dolarhyde is the Great Red Dragon. It is a metaphor city on Hannibal this week as Will also employs his favorite fishing terminology to show his disdain toward Jack Crawford for the second episode in a row suggesting Jack has made him the bait and he wants him to reel in a “bigger fish.” The last time they plotted to catch a serial killer they were actually fishing and things were a lot more cordial between the pair. A lot has happened between the Hannibal trap and this one; learning from their mistakes is one thing that has passed them by.

Alana is quick to point out the flaws in this plan and how they believed they were in control last time. Oh yes last time when they all nearly died from various horrific wounds. The bait plan is flawed because it reads like a trap and they need to legitimize the provocative nature of their proposed article with a professional. When Will asks Alana if she is volunteering herself she might as well have said “fuck no” instead she goes for a more eloquent “No. I’d have to be a fool.” Instead she has another more fame hungry name in mind and Hannibal is right when he tells Alana that she pretty much set him up for this fall. Alana might be the moral compass of the show, but this doesn’t mean she is above pulling some sketchy moves to get herself out of danger and it is easier for her to lay the blame at Hannibal’s feet on every occasion.

Hannibal 3.12 AlanaWhen she approaches Chilton she might as well be leaning up against an imaginary locker saying “Hey stud.” Instead of a barrage of expected “I-told-you-so’s” regarding Hannibal discrediting his book – Hannibal’s essay is “quantifiably bitchy!” – she is here to offer up an exciting proposition; playing up to his narcissism. And this is why Alana is far from innocent in this set up as she not only came up with the second half of the plan, but she also delivered the person to play the role. So when Hannibal tells her it could have been her lips he was tasting (again) she looks so angry because he is right (and probably because she has just seen him eat said lip – the funniest cutaway this show has ever done).

Hannibal 3.12 sad AlanaWhen watching the Chilton video she is a picture of teary eyed guilt. Costuming sidenote – this is another excellent lady suit week for Dr Alana Bloom with the Hannibal- esque plaid and pinstripes. Both of which are more toned down versions of some the ensembles she has been wearing this season and it is interesting that she has ditched the red attire except for her crimson lipstick.

One person who reacts to the video of Chilton’s message and lip biting off attack in a much more visceral manner is Will as he drops to the ground covering his ears.

Hannibal 3.12 WillBy putting his hand on Chilton’s shoulder in the Tattle Crime photo it pointed towards trust and an emotional context; this is something Chilton understands too and blames Will through his distorted speech for touching him like a pet. A variety of animals beyond the stag are symbolic this season and particularly this episode with Will also noting they are pets and not pilgrims. Art, literature and religion are also important to Will and Bedelia’s discussions switching between theology and Dante. He is far more pragmatic when talking to her about recent events, a far cry from his ear covered cowering and instead he uses flowery language to make excuses for Chilton’s ‘punishment.’

Here comes Will’s curiosity and the ability to transfer Dolarhyde’s rage from Will to Chilton; in this scenario Chilton becomes the vulnerable bird and Will has chosen to crush it. Bedelia sure looks pleased with this current version of “You play, you pay” and this is where she notes that Hannibal’s agency in the world is through Will. A lot of cause and effect is going on and pretty much everyone has a reason to feel guilty. Hannibal taught Bedelia the difference between participation and observation in the premiere. This lesson is passed onto Will as she suggests he struck the match that set the Chilton chain in motion.

Will’s choice of a psychiatrist is tied up in Hannibal and Bedelia would not be my first port of call for therapy. A combative element is present as Will is angry his family has been taken away from him while Bedelia has felt no repercussions from her time as Hannibal’s companion. Hannibal does not have the same interest in her other than he would like to eat her (as she points out she is safe from this threat at the moment) and there is something stronger at work here. Ah yes the notion of love and is Bedelia a Hannigram shipper? Will does not answer her question regarding his feelings for Hannibal and ‘it’s complicated’ would be the best relationship status descriptor.

Hannibal 3.12 Hannibal and JackSo while Will and Bedelia chat about Hannibal, Hannibal yucks it up with Jack about religion and their current predicament with the roles of God, the devil and the lamb getting dished out (Jack, Hannibal and Will respectfully).

Jack is pretty dismissive of Dolarhyde instead focusing on Hannibal as the real dragon and their back and forth about having a clear conscience reiterates just how close Jack and Hannibal can be at times. The cycle is repeating as the battle for Will’s soul swirls in the background.

Hannibal 3.12 JackThe levels of sass Hannibal has been delivering while imprisoned is impressive and he real outdoes himself this week as he notes “the tragedy of what’s happened to Frederick has put me in an excellent humor.” He congratulates them for successfully enraging Dolarhyde and he is having a fantastic time even without the comforts he is used.

The mention of the fake Freddie burning is said with such glee that the inevitable was going to happen to Chilton and Hannibal continues to take the original material and twist it in new and interesting ways. They suggest it was Hannibal who gave Dolarhyde the burning in a wheelchair idea and this could be the case as Chilton’s fears he has been burned when he wakes up; Dolarhyde repeats “burned” three times with a certain hint of ‘oh this is what I should do to him’ memory recognition.

Hannibal 3.12 Chilton and DolarhydeLast season they took what happened to Freddy Lounds in Red Dragon as a way to make the audience believe Will had killed her, which meant it would be hard to repeat this method to actually kill Freddie in the show. Instead they switched Freddie out for Chilton, which in this context makes so much sense. Chilton is a character who is often the comedic relief because he is so pompous and full of himself, but in “The Number of the Beast is 666” it is hard not to feel a great deal of sympathy for him. Yes he has fallen foul because of his hubris, but he does not deserve what befalls him. Even if he is wearing his best Hannibal imitation paisley tie.

Hannibal 3.12 ChiltonRaul Esparza’s performance is terrific throughout and he totally sells just how scared Chilton is. This is a position he has unfortunately been in before and this desperation takes on a new petrified tone this time as he begs Dolarhyde not to show his face. He tries a variety of methods to get on the right side of his captor, but his fate was sealed when he agreed to be in that photo with Will Graham. The real kicker is every time Will offered up a more ludicrous take on why the Tooth Fairy has committed his crimes; Chilton gave a concerned look at how far Will was taking it. Little did he know that Will’s words were going to cost him so much.

Taking the tension levels from last week’s cabin break in and somehow shredding my nerves further; I pretty much sat through most of these Chilton/Dolarhyde scenes pulling a Home Alone face. Because Bryan Fuller has gone off book while incorporating major elements it adds to the intense nature as the lip biting – oh hey Standards and Practices – and body burning take place in Red Dragon with Freddy on the receiving end of both.

As I have previously mentioned this is the only Thomas Harris book I have read and it is fun to see where they are utilizing the source material. For instance Will does pose for a photo wearing a bathrobe behind his desk (I’m so sad this Will Graham said no to that idea) and a lot of what is said about the Tooth Fairy comes from Alan Bloom (“child of a nightmare”) in the book. Alana has very little to do with the Tooth Fairy side of things in this version (plotting aside), instead focusing on the Hannibal incarceration elements. She does momentarily appear to Will as a victim of the Dragon as they discuss the bait plan.

Hannibal 3.12 Alana mirror eyes Hannibal 3.12 MollyIt is an incredibly disturbing image as is the one of Molly at the start of the episode (with his face reflected in those shards) and he does his fearful twitch that no one else ever seems to notice. Is Will concerned for the women in his life? He does not picture either Bedelia or Freddie like this and that might be down to the antagonistic relationship he has with both of them. Or it could be as a symptom of spending too much time contemplating murder as he sees Alana like this as she questions whether he is in control. 

Everything has been tainted by Hannibal and the “abstract curiosity” Dolarhyde has with Will is covered in Hannibal’s in a twist on the classic ‘if I can’t have him then no one else will.’ Dolarhyde is simply the instrument Hannibal chooses to wield his power over Will. The only reason he went after Will’s family was at the behest of his mentor and while Hannibal didn’t lay the trap that got Chilton caught he definitely has a hand in everything which has taken place since those first two families were murdered.

Hannibal 3.12 bathrobeDolarhyde is isolated from his sympathetic ear and he’s gone rogue as the lip gift is as much for the ‘Hannibal the Cannibal’ moniker as it is for the Tooth Fairy lies; the card which came with it reads “With these he offended me” as he did to Hannibal with all the lies he wrote. Lies which helped save his life and yet a thank you note is not in the post. The one person he did not want to hurt is now tied up and trembling. Reba visited while Chilton was being held captive and because she cannot see Dolarhyde did not have to change out of his murder attire (on this occasion he switched out his leather for a silk kimono) nor did he hide his prisoner. Chilton has seen Reba and because they heard her name on the Hannibal call it gives them a big clue in finding out who the Red Dragon is.

With just one episode left – maybe in the series finale *sob* – there is plenty to resolve before the end; will this season end in a bloodbath as last year’s did or is Will Graham going to get some semblance of a happy ending?

A couple of sidenote observations and my continued obsession with how well they use the space in which Hannibal inhabits.

Hannibal 3.12 Hannibal Hannibal 3.12 Jack, Hannibal, WillDragon tattoo scares.

Hannibal 3.12 tattooThe cover of Tattle Crime and the offending headline – “Tooth Fairy ‘Ugly Impotent Product of Incest.'”

Hannibal 3.12 Tattle CrimeAnd finally a Freddie Lounds costume which almost rivals THE hat in how incredible it is with a mixture of plaid and sheer all while holding the drawing Will is meant to moon over in his bathrobe.

HANNIBAL -- "The Number of the Beast is 666" Episode 312 -- Pictured: (l-r) Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford, Lara Jean Chorostecki as Freddie Lounds -- (Photo by: Brooke Palmer/NBC)

Plaid for all! If you are lucky Freddie will get you a “Tooth Fairy is a One-Night Stand” tee, maybe in medium but most likely a small.

Hannibal 3.11 “…And the Beast from the Sea” Review: Are We Having Fun Yet?

16 Aug

Hannibal is certainly enjoying himself even if no one else is as his “sophisticated intelligence” allows him to forecast many things such as the ‘chance’ encounter between Will Graham and Francis Dolarhyde at the end of last week’s episode. This meddling enters even more dangerous territory as he gives Will’s personal address to his new protege – which he also obtained through nefarious means – imploring him to “Save yourself. Kill them all.” Whispering it in his ear as if it is a sweet nothing.

This is what Hannibal does best; manipulate someone in crisis to kill and Dolarhyde has already crossed the murder threshold and really doesn’t need much convincing. Particularly now Reba is on the scene and he fears his impulses and the Great Red Dragon will turn their rage toward her.

Hannibal 3.11 Hannibal and DolarhydeSurrendering to Jack Crawford was Hannibal’s ultimate fuck you to Will; Will wanted Hannibal out of his life for good and this was his way of ensuring his location is known at all times. Jack is who brought Will back into Hannibal’s orbit and because of Will’s special investigative skills, Hannibal had to foresee that their paths would inevitably cross over a tableau of death. All he had to do was bide his time and there has been plenty to occupy Hannibal with papers to write, books to read, sketches to draw and places to hang out in his memory palace. But now is where the real fun is to be had. After all Will isn’t fortune’s fool, he’s Hannibal’s and Hannibal is more than up for wearing this crown.

Despite a change in living arrangements everyone is taking up their old mantles with Hannibal as chief antagonist and mischief maker. Jack is the “fisher of men” borrowing Will’s brain regardless of the consequences as he pushes to get results leaving a trail of misery to be cleaned up later. The Jack we saw in Italy was remorseful, but that was three years ago and he has a serial killer to catch so his priority has shifted. Alana has also resumed her former position of moral compass questioning Jack’s suggestion at pushing Dolarhyde to self-destruct (or rather kill himself). Not that suicide is something Dolarhyde will go for as Will posits that he will be too afraid of unleashing the beast even if he dies as the delusion is this strong.

Hannibal 3.11 Will and HannibalHannibal wants Dolarhyde to take an interest in Will and his brief interaction with him has done just this. Dolarhyde is somewhat scathing of his appearance – yes Will looks a little world weary but Hugh Dancy is still undeniably handsome no matter how hard they try – but he finds him interesting in how “purposeful” he looks. Will’s family is the perfect sacrificial lamb for both Hannibal and Dolarhyde as it saves Reba from the beast within while also destroying Will’s happiness. Something Hannibal views as disingenuous and as a temporary facade which Will hides his true self behind. It is why “…And the Beast from the Sea” ends with Hannibal asking Will “Don’t you crave change?” In the same way Dolarhyde is splitting his personality, Hannibal believes Will is doing the same, the difference being that Will is trying to suppress his beast.

This mischief making can only go on for so long before Alana delivers on her promise to remove pretty much everything from his cell. Yes even the toilet. Setting a serial killer on Will’s family doesn’t revoke his privileges, but they still need Hannibal’s help at this point. Alana plays a game with the phone getting his real lawyer on the other line and Hannibal is all ‘well you could have just asked me’ sassing off. Claiming he has always told her the truth in his own way is like saying “oops I thought you realized your beer had people in it” and there is something very Jaye Tyler about the way Caroline Dhavernas delivers some of her lines with Hannibal this week; she has no time for his bullshit. It is amazing and I wish there was more Wonderfalls in the world.

Hannibal 3.11 Alana Bloom Hannibal 3.11 AlanaExcept now she is wearing killer lady suits of which there are several amazing ones this week. All slightly toned down from previous bold stripe affairs and there is a subtle hint of Hannibal inspired plaid when she strips him of his dignity. Hannibal it would seem is probably even more inclined to keep his promise and even when he is completely incapacitated, face mask and all I still fear for her future. Right now she has all the power, but as we have seen he can get to someone even when he is locked up. And this look he gives her is terrifying.

Hannibal 3.11 maskReally, really terrifying.

But Hannibal was never going to give up his special shy boy and he gives them just enough time to find the location Dolarhyde has been ringing from while also letting Dolarhyde know they are onto him. That’s what will get your toilet taken away from you.

The sea and the moon are intrinsically linked and the Blake painting which gives this episode its title shows what could be both Dolarhyde as the Great Red Dragon with Hannibal as the Beast from the Sea. Hannibal is shown reaching for the sky after he has sent Dolarhyde on his new mission as Will enters his chamber suggesting his beastly motives even further.

Hannibal 3.11 Hannibal in cell Hannibal 3.11 the moonOnce again the use of space and place is incredible as the dome itself looks like a giant moon with the actual moon forming the center of the image, illuminating Hannibal in the process.

Here are a couple of other really great shots from Hannibal’s cell location from both sides of the glass:

Hannibal 3.11 Hannibal, Alana and Jack

Hannibal 3.11 empty cellThe second one really emphasizes how sparse it is without anything but a very uncomfortable looking bed.

Two romantic relationships are impacted this week because of the Great Red Dragon’s urges. Last week Dolarhyde  felt a living woman for the first time (let’s not dwell too long on the living part) and this has disrupted his relationship with the Dragon. Reba and D have a lovely date night with martinis and snuggling, but Dolarhyde has homework to do and by homework he means watch his stalker movie of Molly, Walter and the dogs.

Hannibal 3.11 Molly on filmWhen cute turns creepy in two frames.

Hannibal 3.11 Reba and D Hannibal 3.11 date nightAll is going swell between them until his botched murder night out and after beating himself up (like, actually beating himself up while envisioning the dragon is doing it a la Fight Club) he breaks things off with Reba because he is afraid what might happen if he doesn’t.

Dolarhyde’s night time venture doesn’t quite end the way Hannibal would have preferred, but it does lead to difficult conversations with Will’s wife and the boy who calls him dad. The sequence where Dolarhyde walks around the secluded cabin while Molly and Walter escape is full on slasher horror movie terrifying. His all black attire, special set of teeth and the way he pulls the stocking down over his face is super creepy; this is a version of Dolarhyde we have not previously seen as he switches to stalk and kill mode. And he’s gone all out on the leather badass look to top things off. I wonder if this is what he has worn for his previous excursions or if this is a new ensemble. It’s like a twisted version of Netflix’s Daredevil costume. Hannibal is right that Molly’s survival took “a pinch more than luck” and we see her being incredibly resourceful in their escape.

Hannibal 3.11 DolarhydeAt first I was annoyed at how Molly is put in a position where she walks past an FBI warning about pet mutilation and decides to keep the information regarding the dogs getting sick from Will, but she is later redeemed by her quick thinking regarding the intruder. Molly later tells Will that thanks to Freddie’s article she instinctively knew it was the Tooth Fairy (Hannibal will be so mad that I’m calling him by his tabloid name) and for once Freddie’s writing has helped Will out of a bind. When she chose to not follow her son out of the window I had a brief moment where I yelled “WHY?” at the screen and then realized she needed the car keys to provide a distraction (or perhaps to getaway was the original plan). Molly gets all the smart points, although I do feel bad for the random passerby who got shot in the process as we don’t get a report of what happened to them and on second watch he definitely got shot in the head.

Freddie’s article does open a whole can of worms between Will and Walter as Walter now knows he killed someone and ended up in a mental hospital. Walter also has strong feelings regarding Dolarhyde’s fate and he doesn’t agree with Will wanting to catch him rather than kill him. Hannibal might like Will’s son after all. Walter has just experienced a horrific ordeal so it is not surprising his mind has turned to vengeance rather than empathy.

Hannibal 3.11 Will and MollyThey do not survive their encounter completely unscathed and Molly is shot in the shoulder as they drive away. She is angry at how these circumstances and Will’s job almost resulted in the death of her son and she has a right to feel this fucked off. Molly lays some of the blame at her own feet as she told him to go, while putting the rest on Jack for coming to get Will in the first place. Really Hannibal is the one who is to blame but Jack, Hannibal and Will are all intrinsically linked in the cause and effect of this encounter.

Molly remarks how it is “tough to hold onto anything good. It’s all so slippery” and this pretty much applies to every relationship on Hannibal (and this is why I’m currently worry for the other happy family unit of Alana, Margot and their son). Hopefully Hannibal’s not done any permanent damage here because the Molly/Will dynamic includes a much lighter Will than we have previously seen. They even manage to have a laugh after this tragedy. Hannibal will of course do everything in his power and with his bag of tricks to disrupt and fracture what is good as he pokes and prods until something breaks. If he can’t have his teacup then Will sure as hell can’t play happy families with someone else.

Behind the Veil with Hannibal

9 Aug

Francis Dolarhyde and his quest to become the Great Red Dragon is a new chapter of Hannibal, but the events which took place for these characters three years previous still loom in a variety of ways and they need to be addressed. Loose ends are tied up relating to Dr Bedelia du Maurier, who when we last saw her was trying to convince the world that she thought she was Lydia Fell. Bedelia was in a unique position with Hannibal as his traveling companion and this week’s Bedelia catch-up reveals what happened leading up to the death of her patient. In returning to this world Will is attempting various forms of self preservation with one method involving a debrief session with Hannibal’s other Bride of Frankenstein.

The past plays a vital role this week for Will, but Dolarhyde is all about the present as he continues to experience inner turmoil and much to his surprise he has a very successful first date. He is at war with himself and while Bedelia’s split state was all smoke and mirrors, Dolarhyde is very much experiencing two very distinct versions. One is sweet and shy, the other devours paintings and has murder on his mind; with the next full moon just 11 days away the Great Red Dragon is awaiting its next kill.

Hannibal 3.10 Hannibal and FrancisDolarhyde as we saw is fond of scrapbooking his own murderous achievements giving them pride of place next to the clippings he has collected on Hannibal’s many crimes. An interaction with the man who he holds up in such high regard seems like an impossibility considering Hannibal’s current location and yet last week ended with Hannibal receiving a phone call from his new protege. The episode opens on how Dolarhyde makes this happen and the very familiar location provides an instant connection between the pair while also reinforcing the notion of Dolarhyde’s dueling personas. It is Dolarhyde’s perspective rather than Hannibal’s memory palace and the location is real; Hannibal’s physical presence is imagined, but as this is a guy who is seeing flaming images and tails this is the least out there vision he has had.

The fan adoration turns into a therapy session as the demeaning names the press has given both of them gives Hannibal an instant personal connection to Dolarhyde’s plight; all the better to manipulate him with. This is what Hannibal does as he takes someone’s fears no matter how small or big and bends them to his will. With others he has to put the hours in to make them killers, here the murders have already begun but there are still plenty of strings to be pulled. As one Dolarhyde watches on the other turns into the beast giving Hannibal a glowing sheen.

Hannibal 3.10 Hannibal on fire Hannibal 3.10 Red DragonHannibal plays the devil on one shoulder, but there is a new positive force in Dolarhyde’s life who threatens the existence of the dragon.

Stroking a tiger is going to be a hard first date to top and this was an inspired idea. Tigers also feature in the work of William Blake (“Tyger Tyger, burning bright“) so he is on point here, but this version of Dolarhyde doesn’t feel threatening. Instead he is the incredibly shy and nervous one as he watches Reba edge closer and closer to the sharp teeth of the animal. Reba stops before putting her hand fully in, much to his relief and instead places her head on the tiger; smiling followed by a single tear.

Hannibal 3.10 tigerPositioning Reba as the good in Dolarhyde’s life could lead to the age old Madonna/Whore complex at work especially as he is quite clearly not accustomed to intimacy of this kind – more drinking implements are broken this week – but there is nothing scandalous about Reba’s actions despite her “Hope I didn’t shock you” comment. After a moment of recovery he scoops her up in a sexually charged moment. The painting Dolarhyde worships has a demonic sexuality component (thanks Hannibal for that interpretation) and the vision he has of Reba is instead rather angelic. So rather than Madonna/Whore there is a whole lot of Madonna/Madonna if such a thing could exist.

Hannibal 3.10 RebaRutina Wesley spent years on True Blood in a variety of storylines that didn’t particularly serve her well and her portrayal of Reba is both vulnerable and confident; these delicate flourishes show just how good she can be. Like True Blood the sex scenes on this show don’t play with general conventions so here she is sleeping with a dude who wants to be a dragon as he imagines her bathed in golden light.

Body hangups are common, but for Dolarhyde his perception of his disability is mostly imagined from his hair lip to his speech. He is comfortable around Reba because she can’t see and yet he worries what their co-workers have been saying about him; they are curious about him and they know he is sensitive about his face even though he shouldn’t be. While she is sleeping he places her hand on his face and in this moment he seems content. Content until dreams of teeth, the moon and the dragon wake him from his slumber sending him dashing to his broken mirror and painting.

The copy he has is a mere reproduction; the real one is in Brooklyn where Dolarhyde ventures. Under an assumed name and using academia as a reason to view the real thing he literally eats the painting and has his first encounter with Will Graham. Hannibal has pointed Will in the direction of this work by Blake acting as puppet master from his cell and this is where Will has a brief, but violent interaction with Dolarhyde. All that working out comes in useful when it comes to picking people up and throwing them so you can escape.

Hannibal 3.10 symbolThe symbol Will discovered last week carved on a tree is replicated in this stunning shot of Will approaching Hannibal’s current abode and it is the Chinese character for “you hit it” used sometimes in gambling. It is also the symbol for “The Red Dragon” on a Mahjong tile and this is where Hannibal steers Will toward William Blake. Hannibal is clearly having fun here pointing out the 11 days countdown until the next full moon – “tick tock” – and talking about Dolarhyde with such fondness claiming that he doesn’t think he is insane.

Hannibal is proving both useful to the investigation and as a mischief maker. In another phone call he manages to get Will’s new address and that is not good for those Will has left behind at home. Thankfully there are plenty of dogs to watch guard.

The set design also continues to create fascinating and striking images such as Will’s reflection merging with Hannibal.

Hannibal 3.10 reflectionsGreat danger still exists despite the physical barrier as Hannibal represents Will’s darkest path. A path Will has shared some details of with Molly, but how can he truly explain what occurred between them? And no one tells their current significant other everything about their ex.

Hannibal 3.10 Will and HannibalI am mesmerized by how mesmerized Will is by Hannibal in this moment and the use of space and light is incredible as it amps up those feelings of intimacy.

Will made a clean break from Hannibal and has got dragged back by recent events; for Bedelia du Maurier she has been using her time with Hannibal to fuel her career, which is troubling because her encounter with Neal Frank (oh hey Zachary Quinto not playing just a corpse this time) shows she’s not a great psychiatrist. Everyone is lying when it comes to Hannibal; Alana and Chilton with the insanity plea, Jack with what really really went down and Bedelia with her fabricated drugged story. To the outside world Bedelia is just another victim and she’s giving grand lectures which directly reference Dante; a cheeky nod to Hannibal’s specialist subject in Florence.

Not wearing adequate armor is how Will puts the events of three years ago and you’re going to need more than just your glasses – once again he wears them out in public, but not private encounters – to stop the spiral.

Hannibal 3.10 Will and BedeliaA hint of smugness peppers Bedelia’s comment that she doesn’t need to see Hannibal because she was behind the veil; how very Wizard of Oz. She does still receive cards from him on Christian holidays and her birthday which he sends via the FBI. He always includes a recipe and this made me laugh so hard. Will’s response is less kind as he tells her it will be what she deserves if she ends up on Hannibal’s plate.

This session plays out in the classic sitting across from each other format with a twist as Will’s present day conversation is seamlessly intercut with Bedelia’s sessions with Neal.

Present day Bedelia. She is rather self-satisfied with her current position.

Hannibal 3.10 BedeliaFlashback Bedelia. The white shirt and hair loosely pulled back (which comes undone during the fisting) gives her a rather innocent and compassionate look, which are quickly betrayed by what occurs.

Hannibal 3.10 Bedelia flashbackNeal is understandably annoyed at his experience with Hannibal and the care he is receiving here as his mild symptoms have increased in a dramatic fashion. Bedelia exasperates the situation and is not too concerned when Neal mentions how Hannibal stood over him as he choked on his tongue doing nothing. When this happens again, Bedelia does go to help and instead fists him to death. The aftermath is what we saw in the season premiere.

In a scenario Bedelia asks what Will would do for an injured bird and he replies he would want to help it, Bedelia has the opposite urge and while she claims she wouldn’t actually crush it as we see with Neal when he was in danger she did just this. She’s really failing at the ‘do no harm’ thing. In Bedelia’s school of thought Will is not a killer even though he has killed and instead it is his compassion that led to these righteous acts of violence. I mean I’m pretty sure he is still a killer, but I get her point that he isn’t the monster he maybe believes he is. She also tells him he should use his empathy to crush rather than nurture as it will be easier for him in the long run. You can see why Hannibal let her see behind the veil with comments like this one.

As with Dolarhyde, Will has this internal battle between two versions of himself; the one he fears he is and the compassionate empathetic saver of the vulnerable. Hannibal encourages what he believes are natural urges and someone usually ends up dead and maybe mounted in a artistic tableau as a result of this push. He also doesn’t let the limitations of his surroundings get the best of him and he is incredibly resourceful when nurturing new projects. The pieces are forever moving and I don’t think even he could foresee the chance encounter between Will and Dolarhyde, but I bet he will have a plan formulated as soon as he finds out.

How TV Ate My Wardrobe: The Wedding Guest Edition

6 Aug

Last week I mentioned the very TV Ate My Wardrobe nature of the outfit I would be wearing to a wedding I was attending (of my soon to be brother-in-law) and this tale starts with an episode of Hannibal. Weddings are not the first thing that spring to mind when thinking about this show, but as I have mentioned this really is the most TV Ate My Wardrobe story of them all.

I had been looking on and off for a dress for a while even ordering a few from & Other Stories; sadly they were not quite the right fit and lent credence to my ‘try it on before you buy’ shopping philosophy. This is why online clothes shopping is not my favorite; receiving fun post is always a treat, sending it back less so.

Back to Hannibal and the episode in question is “Dolce” with Margot Verger’s wrap dress catching my eye (to the surprise of no one). Instantly recognizing it was Diane von Furstenberg I went to all the usual sites I check to find out exactly which DVF dress it was; instead stumbling upon a version of Margot’s dress ideal for a wedding and not crazy expensive thanks to it being from The Outnet.

You see Margot’s one has long sleeves and is far more winter/fall (which makes sense considering the cold climate at Muskrat Farm).

Hannibal 3.06 Alana and MargotThis other ‘Amelia’ wrap has a halter neck. A DVF for every season.

DVFNow this is not the kind of thing to impulse purchase (or maybe it is) and as I’d already had to send dresses back because they didn’t fit properly hesitation set in. Also despite having a lot of money off the original price it was still a BIG PURCHASE. Cue an unrelated trip to London and an afternoon drinking in the sun at the Wild Card Brewery (would recommend).

*Setting the scene* Just look how lovely it is.

IMG_1229Here the combination of the sun and beer plus the very easy ability to order from a phone meant the dress was purchased followed by a quick surge of excitement with a hint of buyer’s remorse. Plus a brief panic about clicking the wrong size (I had not).

The wait for it to be delivered was full of anticipation over how it would look on and when it did arrive rather than tearing it out of the box I slowly removed it with trepidation. This was quickly followed by embarrassment from having issues putting it on because apparently I don’t understand halter necks/wrap dresses. However it fit and this was quickly followed by the realization that it was pretty low cut and super cleavy; neither of which are in my style wheelhouse. The pockets which weren’t mentioned on the description did a good job of distracting because my feelings for pockets apparently trump cleave worries.

Cut to the day and my too much boob fears had grown because I was going to be in a cathedral and I like to over think things. It also didn’t help that on the way to the church a creepy dude uttered “nice outfit” while staring at my chest with no subtlety. Way to up amp up the super paranoid feelings while also grossing me out. (insert Liz Lemon eye roll in the direction of this guy here)

Thankfully I didn’t dwell on this moment (well not for too long) and the day was fantastic; the bride was stunning (full on gasped when I saw her dress as it was that good) and the groom was dashing. The company/weather/food/drinking/dancing was all top notch and my fiance did an excellent job as best man (also high on the dreamy stakes) The only minor hiccups involved having a tent to sleep in with no poles (we borrowed another one), a blowup air bed with no stopper and hurting my ankle when I switched out my heels for flip flops. I am nothing if not consistently clumsy.

And now for the awkward photos of me in the dress bit. Despite years of watching ANTM I have yet to master the posed posed shot. In selfies my smile looks good (which sounds weirdly braggy) and for some reason I go all confused face when it comes to other pictures. So with some hesitation here are some shots of me in the DVF ‘Amelia’ crepe and satin-twill halter wrap dress. Oh and adding to the TV Ate My Wardrobe of it all the lipstick is Besame 1946 and is used on Agent Carter.

 

IMG_1635Sadly this dress was not ideal attire for the bouncy castle in the background. It did make for a good dancing dress (the shoes less so, hence the flip flop switch).

IMG_1641And one with the best man. Even though we’re both looking at another camera I really like this shot (plus you get a glimpse of the bride in the background).

IMG_1595I rock a lot of polka dots.

Now to start planning my own wedding. Eek. Expect updates.

Playing Happy Families on Hannibal

2 Aug

Family and the different kinds that exist has been rippling under the surface of Hannibal since season 1 with plenty of opportunity for ‘my two dads’ references and this comes into focus once again this week in “…And the Woman Clothed with the Sun.” Or rather this is a chance to explore Hannibal’s relationship with Abigail in the period of time between when he framed Will for her murder and when Hannibal did actually end her life.

The first half of this season dipped into Hannibal’s past; not too much so we feel like we know Hannibal, but enough to understand his desire to find a new Mischa through the connections he makes with people like Chiyo, Will and Abigail. The idea of family doesn’t just relate to Hannibal and instead it is a jumping off point to explore what these characters have been doing over the last three years while also reflecting the murders that are being investigated.

Hannibal 3.09 Will and HannibalFrancis Dolarhyde an accidental matchmaker as he has brought Will back into Hannibal’s orbit and immediately the game is afoot (oops wrong crime series) with Hannibal poking and prodding in the back of Will’s brain. He immediately gets under his skin by correctly assessing he has a child in his life by the smell of his aftershave – Hannibal tells Abigail “We have a basic affinity for our family. We can detect each other from smell alone” – and Hannibal has always been one for sniffing Will Graham. There is a touch of bitterness in Hannibal’s tone when he mentions how he gave Will a child; Freddie’s ‘murder husbands’ tag is pretty accurate when related to this conversation as Hannibal comes across as the ex who thinks they tried their hardest and was rejected nonetheless.

In an attempt to protect himself from Hannibal’s mind games Will attempts to stick to the case and only refers to him using the formal Dr Lecter (which also hurts his former friend). In fact Alana is the only one of the surviving house of horrors bunch who calls him by his first name to his face and her interactions with him continue to be dangerously playful (more on that below).

Hannibal taunts Will first with quips about whether he can see himself killing the families and then by making light of his ‘makeshift’ family and how this mirrors what their new killer is doing – “he needs a family to escape what’s inside him.’ Oh Hannibal, you are such a shitbag. Much of Hannibal’s tricks come from drawing out what a person is ashamed of and giving it legitimacy; generally this involves getting them to kill someone. We’ve seen the results of his time with Randall Tier, how he tried to push Margot into killing Mason (which she eventually did) and with Will Graham.Hannibal 3.09 abigail and hannibal The flashbacks to Abigail’s faked death and subsequent sessions focus on this notion of family love stripping away at the shame and hatred she feels toward her father and leaving her with an understanding of why he did those things. Using the ultimate prop to allow Abigail to exercise her demons by confronting her father, Hannibal digs up Garett Jacob Hobbs allowing Abigail to inflict the same wound on him.

This is one of two throat slashes this week; the faked Abigail one mirrors the manner in which both her father and Hannibal inflicted the real wounds and it is very intimate. Whereas Abigail’s turn with the knife is traumatic (and pretty gross) and she is left needing Hannibal’s calming hands on her head as he tells her “never be ashamed of who you are.” Hannibal’s just trying to make everyone feel good about their murderous impulses simmering beneath the surface.

Hannibal 3.09 GJHShame feeds into Francis Dolarhyde’s situation from the way he is looked upon at the dinner table in his brief flashback – maybe it is the eating with two forks thing that does it – to how he feels in the present about his hair lip and his voice. Don’t worry Francis, Hannibal is here to make you feel better about and the two get their first session at the end of the episode over the phone with Francis posing as Hannibal’s lawyer. After a week of no dialogue, Richard Armitage gets to flex his vocal muscles aside from guttural screaming and he continues to mesmerize in his performance of Dolarhyde nailing the ‘Great Red Dragon’ urges along with his crippling shyness.

Reba McClane the blind technician draws Francis out of his shell and this is the first real interaction we have seen between him and someone that isn’t a painting. She instantly likes him because he doesn’t pity her and he’s more comfortable with her because she can’t see what he wants to hide from the world. Don’t try and touch his face though Reba.

Hannibal 3.09 bus stopTheir meet cute goes from the dark room to a bus stop which features an ad for a dental product and the “Open Wide” is so on the nose, but also pretty damn funny. Good work art department. And so much snow! It wouldn’t be Hannibal without piles and piles of snow.

Plus it leads to spectacular shots like this one:

Hannibal 3.09 the moonHannibal’s mind palace is not the only way in which they are playing with location and whereas Will’s cell felt like the walls were closing in on him, Hannibal’s has endless possibilities. From the way they transport Will and Hannibal to the crime scene to discuss the files to the use of Hannibal’s office as a space for them to discuss the case it allows for plenty of settings and costume changes.

Hannibal 3.09 murder houseIt’s not just Hannibal who envisions himself elsewhere and when Will calls Molly he also pictures himself lying beside her chatting about the new dogs they have both taken in. Just look at how warm this setting is in comparison to the locations drained of color.

Hannibal 3.09 Will and MollyHugh Dancy appeared in a stage production of Venus in Fur with Nina Arianda and the relationship between Will and Molly already feels very lived in. Hannibal is trying to infect this happiness (it is lovely to hear Will laugh) with suggestions of impulses and so Molly’s joke about Will having a criminal mind doesn’t go down that well. The conversation ends pleasantly, however the kind of sweat drenched nightmares which plagued Will during season 1 are back and this time he can’t blame them on encephalitis. The lid has been cracked; can Will keep those other urges under control while also successfully cracking the case?

Photographs and mirrors reflect our image, but they don’t always reveal what is really there. Photographs are a snapshot of a moment in time and the emotions expressed from that single image don’t always tell the truth. Will is looking for a connection between the two murdered families who live four states apart and the only thing he can summarize is they were happy. Will watches home videos or rather digital footage on a tablet, which is more likely to capture real sentiment over a snapshot. But these too can lie and digital is far easier to manipulate than actual film. Francis is old school with his choice of filming equipment and we see flashes of the home movie he made.

Broken mirrors distort the image, but what Francis wants to see is how he looks in his victims eyes as if he is part of them. For Will there is one person hovering behind the face of Hannibal Lecter and just as Will didn’t die in the kitchen nor did the stag.

Hannibal 3.09 wendingoBlood also acts as a mirror when Hannibal is staging Abigail’s death. Oh and isn’t it adorable that Hannibal doesn’t want to cut off one of Abigail’s fingers because he wants to teach her the harpsichord. Such a considerate father figure. I kid of course because isn’t an ear also important when it comes to playing instruments? Plus he was also setting the scene to frame Will, which is not a good way to treat family.

Hannibal 3.09 reflectionReflections also appear on the glass of Hannibal’s cell and I can only imagine what a nightmare it is to light these scenes and avoid the crew appearing alongside the actors. But you do get stunning shots like this one and it looks like there is a specter of Hannibal leaving with Will.

Hannibal 3.09 WillWhile I’m on the subject of stunning let it be known that this is at least the sixth time I have yelped and clapped my hands with glee at the sight of Alana Bloom’s costuming and Christopher Haggard is killing it this season with the lady suits (Alana is so far queen of #ladysuitwatch2015).

Hanibal 3.09 Alana and WillYucking it up with Jay Gatsby could be on the cards for Alana in this getup; a martini and cigarette holder is all that is needed to complete that look. At the same time it is a nod to Hannibal’s Italian striped attired and Alana’s sartorial choices are influenced by her former boyfriend. The last time we saw Alana chatting with Will it was far from cordial and they clearly have not kept in touch. Concern lingers with Alana taking her standard ‘worried about Will’ position and the warmth that previously existed between the pair has returned. He asks if she is still with Margot (she is) and they have a baby son, the all important Verger heir and Alana carried the baby. While Hannibal notes that Will doesn’t want children of his own because certain aspects might get passed on, Alana does not seem concerned that they will end up with a mini Mason. Just don’t let Hannibal anywhere near him.

Will asks the magic question regarding Alana’s motives in working here with Hannibal as her patient and her response is “There are only five doors between Hannibal and the outside. And I have the keys to all of them.” Control is important here as are boundaries, which Alana notes is not Hannibal’s forte. She also knows that her name is top of his kill list if he ever gets out and there is an aspect of keeping close to protect herself. Alana levels of dread when she talks with Hannibal are low and while he claimed she could never understand him, she knows him well enough to pinpoint what he fears the most and that is indignity. This scene between the pair is an interesting look at their shifting power dynamic and he never turns around to look at her in an attempt to outwit her, but she doesn’t back down either. Hannibal, you’re really missing out on an excellent suit here.

Hannibal 3.09 Hannibal and Alana Hannibal 3.09 Alana and HannibalLike Mason he is crass when it comes to her relationship with Margot and once again I am amazed that they got something like “I love a good finger wagging” followed by a reference to Margot by Standards and Practices. The camera focus shifts between them as we see them both trying to psych the other out with Will as the object between them. Hannibal snarks about the “moral dignity pants” Alana has him wearing and how Will is always free from fault. He treats her like a teacher telling him off for being a bad influence on a good kid.

Alana gives no fucks to Hannibal’s petulance in this situation, it helps there is a protective wall between them even if that wall is not visible.

Hannibal 3.09 Dr B and Dr L Hannibal 3.09 Dr L and Dr BShe threatens to take away all of his comforts and it is wonderful; “I’ll take your books. I’ll take your drawings. I’ll take your toilet. You’ll have nothing but indignity and the company of the dead.” I’m glad they have stuck with a fearless Alana (and Hannibal’s drawing of Alana last week points to this) rather than a quivering wreck, even if I am concerned that he will get an opportunity to follow through with his promise. I am also happy she is still with Margot and I hope their family unit can escape the shadow looming over every relationship on the show.

One person who has questioned Hannibal’s set up and Alana’s relationship with Hannibal considering she escaped the massacre at Muskrat Farm is Freddie Lounds. Yes Freddie is back and Tattle Crime provides an important service in letting Francis Dolarhyde see Will Graham’s face in relation to his case.

Hannibal 3.09 Tattle CrimeWill’s glasses! They remain off for the majority of the episode when he is interacting with those who know him and they come back on as soon as he leaves the facility.

Hannibal 3.09 Will glassesFreddie is back with her devious methods, insinuations and as a reminder of a long ago plot to capture Hannibal. Thanks to inferences about Alana Bloom and the nickname ‘murder husbands’ Will has no time for her shit even if she is spot on when it comes to how much serial killers love to read about themselves in the press. Freddie would make a good partner in this case despite her lack of boundaries or sense of ethics. She does continue to have an excellent coat collection.

Hannibal 3.09 Freddie LoundsIn the same way Will saw turning to Hannibal as a necessary evil, can he come to the same conclusion with Freddie before it is too late? She gets under his skin, but not into the back of his skull as Hannibal does.

The lengths we go to form and protect our families vary; the unique qualities are similar to how Hannibal discusses love with Abigail. Hannibal discusses honesty as he manipulates the shit out of everyone around him by using strong emotionally charges notions of love and family to pivot into a position of power. Francis Dolarhyde is a different kind of beast and yet Hannibal is curious enough to reach out to him and recognize his desire for a happy family. Reaching out to Dr. Lecter can give some benefits as he has experience in evading capture and he is nothing if not honest, but he also has plenty of self interests. Everyone is coming to him, some reluctantly and even though they know he is self serving there is an inevitability to it all. Hannibal will play the game and things are about to get very messy all over again.

Answering a Calling: How Everyone Gets Sucked Back in on Hannibal

26 Jul

One chapter is over for Hannibal this season and the Red Dragon portion begins with a three year time jump. Moving forward by this amount is a wise move as it spares any lengthy courtroom scenes, which weren’t so successful when Will Graham was on trial last season (it did give us Freddie’s hat which I will forever be grateful for). It also means all the players in the Hannibal hunt have been given time to heal both physically and mentally; some have moved on in a big way and others seem comfortable in returning to their jobs with varying degrees of proximity to Hannibal.

Hannibal 3.08 FrancisThe episode opens with Francis Dolarhyde’s transformation and at no point does he speak or do we get to hear his real name (it can only be seen on his uniform name badge). A William Blake retrospective in an issue of Time gives a peak into the beast he becomes obsessed with and this is where the episode gets its title from; “The Great Red Dragon” proves to be so important to Dolarhyde he gets it etched on his back and kneels before this painting in a position of worship.

Hannibal 3.08 tattooBlurred butts ahoy! This has been very on trend this season and Bryan Fuller did mention at the Comic-Con panel there would be no blurring on the DVD.

This opening sequence does a good job of highlighting Dolarhyde’s isolation as you can see his co-workers chatting over lunch in the background as he sits alone. His attic dwelling with its broken mirror and portrait reinforces and when we see him picking up the teeth which inspired his tabloid nickname, his hood is up as a way to protect his identity and attempt to conceal his hair lip.

Red Dragon is the only Thomas Harris book I have read so this is the one portion of Hannibal where I know the source material and hopefully this won’t bleed too much into my interpretation because while he doesn’t speak, the way Richard Armitage moves and makes those guttural sounds indicates he is a killer who might just have a monster inside him. One thing we know is that he is a big fan of scrapbooking and as Hannibal predicted he is not so fond of the sensational name he has been given.

Hannibal 3.08 scrapbookingDolarhyde has also been paying attention to ‘Hannibal the Cannibal’ and despite Dr. Chilton’s assertions that people have tired of Hannibal’s crimes in favor of the new serial killer on the block, Hannibal is not without fans. While cutting out evidence of his latest endeavors we also see a family photo from Dolarhyde’s own collection and pictures are an important part of this storyline.

Some of those are moving and in a terrifying fantastical moment Dolarhyde is enveloped by the film turning him into the projector.

Hannibal 3.08 FDTransformation is important with the moon cycle acting as a countdown for when he will kill again. When he exits the home of the second family he killed covered in blood it acts like a kind of rebirth and briefly stops whatever is giving him the urge to kill. There are two sides to Dolarhyde; this duality also exists in Will Graham and it is Dolarhyde that causes Will to come back to the crime solving fold.

Photographs act as a prompt to get Will to come back and while it is an emotionally manipulative move from Jack he sees it as a necessary evil to stop another family being murdered. Will doesn’t want to see the crime scene photos using Molly and her 11-year old son Walter as an excuse; really it is him that doesn’t want to see them. Jack borrowed Will’s mind before resulting in the twisted relationship with Hannibal so it is clear how desperate Jack is as he has ventured up to Will’s secluded residence.

By not inviting Jack in, Will attempts to keep his home free from this old life, but the weight of responsibility is too much and Jack ends up staying for dinner. Dolarhyde has infiltrated Will’s peace with his crimes and if the photograph of happy families wasn’t enough to convince Will, well then Jack has his props at the ready to show Molly.

Hannibal 3.08 photosBy leaving Jack with his wife, Will is knowingly giving Jack the opportunity to make his case and despite everything telling him to protect the life he now has, he also feels responsible for the fate of whatever family might get torn apart next. So long to the brief moment of happiness we got to see on Will’s face.

Hannibal 3.08 Dear WillOld faces come to visit in several forms for Will Graham and he has a letter from Hannibal (in beautiful cursive of course) telling him “We have all found a new life, but our old lives hover in the shadows” followed by “I would encourage you as a friend not to step back through the door he [Jack] holds open. It’s dark on the other side and madness is waiting.” The newspaper clipping about the Tooth Fairy murders makes it quite clear that Hannibal wants Will to walk through that door and into his new abode.

Will obliges and he’s rather practical about it all as he explains how he might as well get it out of the way now rather than in an act of desperation when the countdown clock to the next full moon is approaching at speed. Will makes it clear he does not care for Hannibal’s note nor the clipping by burning them.

Chunky shawl neck sweaters and beanies for Will are more like his clothing of old and thanks to the shooting schedule there’s always a lot of snow on this show. The “Will Graham Glasses Watch” continues and the only point we see him wearing them this week is when he takes them off as he approaches Hannibal’s fancy pants cell.

Hannibal 3.08 HelloMirroring the end of season 1 and the roles are reversed; the only similarity is Hannibal’s part in creating the conditions for both scenarios as he framed Will and surrendered himself to the FBI. Hannibal’s surroundings both real and memory palace are far more opulent than the cell which housed Will and the memories which haunted him. You might say Hannibal has landed on his feet despite his lack of freedom as now he has everything he needs before him.

Last week Alana warned Mason that Hannibal is always playing; Mason did not heed these words and ended up with an eel down his throat. Now it is Alana and Chilton who are embroiled in a dangerous game of their own making as they lied in court and now Hannibal is considered legally insane.

Hannibal 3.08 Alana and HannibalAlana’s sticking to the fabulous pantsuits and her new power color of bold red in her visit to her former boyfriend and it is a conversation peppered with contemptuous remarks from both parties. It remains rather civil as they drink the wine which revealed Hannibal’s Italian location even as they trade barbs about Alana’s current job, how to categorize Hannibal away from lazy monster assertions – Alana thinks he defies categorization – and why she stopped drinking beer. They also discuss the number of people he was charged with killing, a baker’s dozen if you include Mason (“You’re welcome”) and the thinly veiled threat Hannibal made last week towards Alana’s life comes up again as he reminds her that he always keeps his promises.

Instead of taking this moment to storm out, Alana instead sits back down and while I am sure she does fear that he will come good on this promise at the moment she is protected. The Alana/Hannibal romantic relationship was frustrating because of the position it put her in; however I want to see a lot more of this dynamic because their back and forths are rather fun. Somehow there is still warmth and humor even with what has gone on. Plus she is now part of his Renaissance fan art collection.

Hannibal 3.08 sketchIn this conversation with Alana we get to see his memory palace in action:

Hannibal 3.08 Alana Hannibal 3.08 wineAnd in reality:

Hannibal 3.08 drawingHis former Baltimore residence is not the only place he spends time and the church in Palermo is just as vital. Hannibal’s fanciest of suits which are more Baltimore than his European collection appear in the moment where he listens to a choirboy singing. Hannibal is making the jumpsuit work for him, but I am always thrilled to see him in a three piece suit.

Hannibal 3.08 churchThis provides the soundtrack for Hannibal getting booked by the returning Price and Zeller (so happy to have them back) and a hint of the work Freddie Lounds has been up to. Lounds is later referred to as an “obnoxious flame haired woman” after she has tried to take photos of the dead woman at the funeral home.

Hannibal 3.08 HannibalYes I had to chuckle at the “Kitchen Nightmare” headline.

Alana is not the only one sharing words and treats with Hannibal as Chilton enjoys fine dining and a dessert he has had with Hannibal before. A dessert which includes blood and Chilton asks the question you don’t ask Hannibal if you have sat at his dinner table and gets the answer he was hoping to avoid “The blood was from a cow only in the derogatory sense.” Eat the rude and all that.

Chilton provokes Hannibal with the discussion of the new serial killer du jour – like the show Hannibal is niche – and as is generally the case with Chilton he wants to know the opinion of an esteemed mind on the subject.

Hannibal 3.08 dinner with ChiltonReporting his findings to Alana about their ‘cabal’ confirming their involvement in Hannibal’s trial outcome and why they lied; they are attempting to save everyone else from the ‘monster.’ Yes he would have got the death penalty and yet he would have probably found some way out of it. And as Alana pointed out previously she was up for Hannibal getting tortured, but less so for his death even if it puts her in the firing line. For Chilton fame motivates this choice and with Alana it is more likely a sense of duty. Concern is in her voice as she discusses Hannibal’s presence and she informs Chilton that Hannibal has written “a brilliant piece for the American Journal of Psychiatry” debunking Chilton’s book about him.

They are all walking cautionary tales when it comes to Hannibal and yet they’re all getting pulled back into his influence. Everyone is playing the most dangerous game.

Hannibal 3.08 stagThe stag is of course Will’s thing, but it is worth nothing that Alana has one in her office.

Hannibal 3.08 the teamSure is good have the crime solving gang back together and a return to the storytelling format closer to previous seasons. The first half of this year was incredibly ambitious, but at times it did feel weighed down by some of the dialogue and continuous slow mo shots of blood.

Returning to Baltimore and a crime where they don’t know who the killer is, gives a sense of familiarity; Will’s pendulum swinging followed by “This is my design” coupled with a red stringed winged looking form was really good to see. It’s not all old tricks as Will’s flashlight was used to illuminate where the bodies had been and this whole sequence prior to Will’s recreation of the murders is disturbing both because of the crime and the dangerous path he is about to walk down. A path he tries to resist, but he knows he will have to embrace the darkness (and Hannibal) to save another family from this awful fate.

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