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Tag Archives: Caroline Dhavernas

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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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.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do on Hannibal

19 Jul

Restraints both physical and mental feature prominently on Hannibal this week as the ‘Hannibal on the run’ arc comes to an end with an incredibly satisfying, sometimes horrifying and at times very funny episode. Hannibal has remained pretty unflappable throughout being hunted; even when he was beaten and lying on his ass he still didn’t have the look of a totally broken man despite being a little broken. Throughout his ordeal at Muskrat Farm which includes being stabbed, branded, tied up and teased with how his body will be prepared for a feast he never break a sweat. This is a man who has killed people in more ways than you could ever imagine and even when he is strung up like a pig waiting for slaughter he is always a few steps ahead.

Alana even goes as far as pointing out to a cocksure Mason why you shouldn’t play with Hannibal because Hannibal is always playing. Mason’s hubris is his ultimate downfall because while it looks like his well thought out torture plan for both Hannibal and his sister is foolproof the “finer details” are always evolving and he is not as good at reading people as the trained professionals.

Hannibal 3.07 welcomeBreaking up can be hard to do and “Digestivo” deals with what are effectively two big rejections. First there is Hannibal and Will; this took a drastic turn at the end of last week’s episode with a bone saw and thankfully Hannibal’s dinner prep was interrupted by the well timed and super corrupt cops paid off with Mason’s millions. Cutting the toxic Hannibal part out of Will’s life was imperative and Jack’s advice almost ended with Will as the one being sliced and diced. Not that this threat doesn’t continue over at Muskrat Farm as Mason’s plan for Will involves wearing his face while Mason eats Hannibal. Delightful.

Will and Hannibal’s fates are entwined and rather than pitting them against each other there is this sense they can only escape alive if they do it together. This can’t be achieved without help and Alana Bloom plays an important role in their escape as well as being somewhat responsible for their capture. Not that Alana is to blame for their predicament as she was simply trying to get to Hannibal before Will did, but Hannibal’s pull is strong and Will’s intimate knowledge of his memory palace meant the hunt would be quicker than tracking fancy foods from an upmarket deli. I do wonder how long it took to sail to Italy and it does seem like there are quicker forms of travel. Sailing does have the benefit of anonymity.

Hannibal 3.07 Will Graham dinnerOne ship that has long sailed (and a ship I am still kinda on, even if at this point it makes no sense) is Alana/Will. Mason has made plenty of sleazy comments about Alana’s relationship with Hannibal, but it seems he is unfamiliar with Will’s previous romantic overtures towards Dr. Bloom. Mason does question whether he can trust Alana and he is seemingly convinced by her assurance that she had nothing to do with the plan in Italy going array; however I wonder if he would be so chill in leaving Will hanging out alone in the dining room if he knew Alana and Will were friends? He at least has to be aware that they worked together. But once again this can be chalked up to Mason’s inability to see everything that is going on around him.

Hannibal 3.07 Alana convo with WillIn the past when Will and Alana have sat down together the wide shot has been used to show them on equal footing and with a level of intimacy even when one of them is in handcuffs. In this scene Alana doesn’t sit directly opposite instead she chooses a chair slightly away from him and the wide shot is replaced with solo coverage. The sense of distance, disappointment and even anger emanates from both characters with Will taking jabs at her moral compass with her role in their capture. Basically he is being a bit of a dick, but considering his predicament and the awkward looking suit he has been made to wear I guess I can give him a pass on his tone. But Alana is not just going to sit there and take it because after all he rejected her when she went to see him at Hannibal’s home, which led her to seek another less savory avenue for capturing Hannibal.

It would be nice if she gave him an update on his dogs (which I assume she is looking after when she is not at the Verger’s) although now is maybe not the time to throw in a PS ‘Winston misses you’ remark.

Going outside the law is one of the things he sneers at her about and he asks what she thought would happen; she believed Jack and the FBI would save the day. For the second time this plan has failed, which is where the all important notion of evolution plays a vital role in how the rest of the action progresses. Will tells Alana “you have to evolve. You have to spill blood. Either by your own hand or someone else’s.”

And who do they have lying around who wants to spill some blood?

Hannibal 3.07 floral coat Hannibal 3.07 Margot furThis task needs fabulous outerwear with furs and florals being an ideal way to brighten up any pig pen. Also in terms of the Alana Bloom sartorial switch-up this coat harks back to her pre-defenestration wrap dress prints nodding towards an Alana of old. Margot is coming face to face with her former therapist and champion of all things fratricide, for Alana it is even more intense as this is the first time she is seeing her ex since he got a teenage girl to throw her out of a window. They’ve briefly talked on the phone of course, but nothing quite prepares you for seeing the dude you used to date strung up nearly naked. Will’s pep talk has spurred on Alana and not only does she take out the guard with ease using a tranq gun, but she also holds her nerve with Hannibal; she does not cry or yell. Instead she politely implores him to save Will coming down to his level face to face.

This shot and the way they are starring at each other is everything.

Hannibal 3.07 Hannibal and AlanaThe key here is saving Will and really saving Will has always been number one on Alana’s agenda even if she made some misguided choices with her love life last season. But Will is not the only one who needs to break free from Mason’s sweaty clutches as Margot has too long been controlled by her sadistic brother. Their father’s will states only Mason or another heir is the beneficiary of the estate and it is an important reminder when Mason brags about this fact that Margot’s baby plan is entwined with her desire to be free from his influence.

Hannibal is offering his services here, but he wants Margot to commit the act (he sure does like getting other people to kill) and he will take the blame offering up his hair as evidence to place in Mason’s hand. Before Alana rips it from his scalp she asks “Could I have ever understood you?” Hannibal’s reply of “no” is somewhat dismissive of her psychiatrist talents giving her the perfect impetus (along with everything else he has doe) to cause him a little pain. The foley department gets an A+ for this hair tug sound and Hannibal definitely flinches a little.

By promising to save Will, he also delivers what sounds like a threat and a half when he tells her that he always keeps his promises. Should Alana be worried for her own life? Not this week and he even helps them with another not so pleasant task involving a cattle prod and ‘milking.’ I full on snort laughed when Alana coolly revealed Hannibal knows how to use a cattle prod (of course he does). I really want a deleted scene of his this conversation went down – “Just one more thing Hannibal before you carry Will off into the sunset…”

Hannibal 3.07 pig nurseryIf you were ever under the illusion that Mason Verger is not a twisted sick fuck then “Digestivo” is here to really cement this character trait. Mason has long been toying with Margot from her tear infused martinis to the diabolical act of removing her uterus and aborting her baby. He has a surprise for her this week as he took her eggs and didn’t Humpty Dumpty them (which is a horrifying phrase which also made me laugh) but instead put them in another basket. And there is a baby! But this is not a joyful occasion and the extreme nature of where this baby is being kept hits a new level of ‘what the fuckery?’ horror for this show.

Mason’s all things pigs extends to the torture of his sister and as Will is being prepared for his face removal we see Alana and Margot cutting the baby out of the pig in a heartbreaking and disturbing moment pushing Margot towards the plan Hannibal has been suggesting all along.

Hannibal 3.07 Alana and MargotOn Hannibal there are a lot of unhealthy relationships and this episode explores breaking free of these toxic binds, but one pairing which could change this trend is Margot and Alana. Plenty is stacked against them including the circumstances which brought them together and the baggage they both carry. But who doesn’t have a stuff in their past that they’d rather forget? And I think it is important to see how they both get through this shit and their experiences with manipulators without just coming across as victims. Just look at the way the light frames them in this shot among the darkness.

I’ve talked plenty of times in the past about Alana’s position as the heart of the show, a nurturing role which places her in a position with traits which are traditionally feminine. With Margot she offers up a warmth she is probably not used to and I really hope these two can make it, but maintaining a romantic relationship on Hannibal is probably harder than staying alive on Hannibal if you are in the regular cast. Self-preservation is what Alana preaches to Will when she discusses her recent choices and yet her actions have all been about saving both Margot and Will.

Hannibal 3.07 Margot goldPost baby discovery Margot has mascara streaked cheeks and no time for Mason’s threats; she has what she needs (ta Hannibal) and it’s over. Mason’s blood stained face (courtesy of his not Will Graham mask) and general demeanor adds a farcical element further, heightened by Katharine Isabelle’s amazing line reading (and nod to Mason’s earlier declaration) of “mostly yours” had me cackling. Mason’s end is pretty fitting as he ends up being held down in his fish tank by Margot and Alana – in it together – and his eel ends up swimming into his mouth essentially asphyxiating him (which also symbolically looks a whole lot like another kind of violation). Bye Mason!

Hannibal 3.07 bloody Will Hannibal 3.07 Hannibal Hannibal 3.07 MasonOkay not quite time to finish with him as we’ve still got his dude dinner party to discuss – how did they get a chat about penis cooking followed by a shot of sausages by the Standards and Practices people?

Mason also provided some new clothes for Will and Hannibal dressing them up all nice in a way which Hannibal normally does (although the striped shirt is not his usual speed this side of the Atlantic) and the already mentioned slightly out of place Will suit. Will also ruins what was a perfectly lovely dinner (not really) by biting Cordell’s cheek and spitting out the offending part. Which leads me to other shots of Hugh Dancy from this episode looking slightly deranged.

Hannibal 3.07 Will Hannibal 3.07 Will Graham Hannibal 3.07 Will surgeryIn all fairness to him he did start the episode with his head getting cut open and then he did almost end up faceless. Not a good week for Will Graham and so it is not a huge surprise when he rejects all things Hannibal after he has been rescued. It is his time to evolve; no more mind palaces or chasing the man who has occupied his thoughts for three seasons. All Will wants to do is hang out with his dogs, his dogs that he misses more than Hannibal (burn).

Ending relationships with ties as strong as this is difficult and for Margot she had to get rid of her brother in a definitive way and while Will seems over the whole killing Hannibal notion, it is the only way he will be truly free from his influence (he just can’t help himself).

Hannibal 3.07 Will and HannibalThe bedside dismissal is pretty emphatic and the point of light in the scene gives this serene edge to the end of this affair. Well, Will thinks it is the end, but Hannibal is always playing and like an ex you can’t get rid of he has a plan to keep himself in Will’s life. Even if this means sacrificing his own freedom which he earned in stunning fashion earlier in the episode.Hannibal 3.07 breaking free Hannibal 3.07 arrested Hannibal You don’t dump Hannibal, he definitely dumps you.

Hannibal 3.07 Chiyo and HannibalAnother significant hello/goodbye occurs outside Will Graham’s home as Chiyo and Hannibal come face to face for the first time in a long time. Chiyo has acted as Jack Crawford savior with her trusty rifle and I also have to guess that he helped get her into the US after she saved his life. She’s been a character who has been neither here nor there for me in that she has acted as a peek into Hannibal’s past, but with not much else (other than another edition into the fabulous coat collection of Hannibal) beyond being a bit of a plot device and this is a shame.

Hannibal 3.07 ChiyoShe does ask the questions regarding Mischa – he didn’t kill her, but he did eat her. In the end she believes some beasts should remain free and she leaves into the night when Hannibal is arrested. Will we see her again?

Hannibal 3.07 Will glassesOh and you know what’s back at the end? Oh yeah, Will Graham’s glasses

Time jumps and Red Dragon are coming! For a 5 minute preview and the Comic-Con panel head here.

Watch the ‘Red Dragon’ Hannibal Preview from Comic-Con and the Hannibal Panel (Update) 

13 Jul

The future of Hannibal still hangs in the balance (sadly both Amazon and Netflix have passed) and at the Hannibal Pannibal on Saturday at Comic-Con Bryan Fuller said they are still exploring options including the possibility of a feature.

There is still plenty of Hannibal left to enjoy and it looks like this week’s episode will be wrapping up the Hannibal on the run storyline. A time jump of three years will take us into the Red Dragon arc and a five minute preview reveals a whole lot more of Richard Armitage as Francis Dolarhyde (the blurring button is getting a workout this season). Armitage was introduced to the world of flower crowns and Fannibals at the panel this weekend.

Hannibal PannibalArmitage appears far less terrifying here than he does as Dolarhyde and it really looks like he has captured the terrifying physicality of this character that in the past has been played by Ralph Fiennes and Tom Noonan. There are two sides to Dolarhyde and if this preview is anything to go by Armitage nails both.

If you are unfamiliar with the Red Dragon arc and don’t want to know what fate awaits Hannibal then maybe wait to watch this clip until after this Thursday’s episode, but I definitely clapped my hands with glee at new haircuts, visual flourishes, red suits (because of course) and different living arrangements. This is the one Thomas Harris book I have read and I’m looking forward to seeing how Bryan Fuller is going to put his spin on the material (especially when he has used some of it for the Freddie fakeout last season).

Updated! 

Watch the super fun panel below includinb Bryan Fuller revealing how Comic-Con played a big part in the “spitters are quitters” line from a couple of weeks ago, how short shorts are coming and Hugh Dancy reminding Fuller of which Red Dragon lines they have already used. Also Fannibals have such good costumes and questions. 

Head here for a review of last week’s episode “Dolce.”

Where Does One Begin and the Other End on Hannibal?

10 Jul

So that is what it feels like to take Bedelia’s concoction of drugs as this is one super trippy episode of Hannibal – yes even by Hannibal standards – as beginnings and ends blurred as one with all the many players in the Hannibal hunt approaching their prize. Plus there is always time for a kaleidoscope infused sex scene (thankfully minus the stag man from the last super trippy sex montage).

Hannibal 3.06 HannibalLast week ended with a broken and bloody Hannibal limping away into the night with a bruised and bloody Will Graham heading in the same direction to offer up his forgiveness. Hannibal is cornered, but he is not going to go down without a fight and while there are many after him; the conflicting reasons behind their desire to get Hannibal offers him up a chance of escape. Some want to kill him so they can shed that part of them, others want to cage him as he had caged them, money provides motive as does good old fashioned revenge.

All are operating outside the law so even though Jack and Alana just want to see him behind bars (I think both wouldn’t be too upset if he was killed but they’re primary objective is justice without any more casualties) they are working with other forces who don’t necessarily share this same view.

Jack wants to save the broken imagination of Will Graham which he borrowed and set him on this path of destruction; he tells Will that he needs to cut out the part which dreams of leaving with Hannibal. And this is probably why his choice of weapon against Hannibal is a knife as by slicing Hannibal it might free him and maybe he wants to etch a matching smile on his belly to solidify their bond. Will is foiled by Chiyo who is waiting with her rifle and her desire to cage the beast. Hannibal really does have a way of drawing people in and manipulating them in such a way that it feels imperative to protect him against all danger.

Hannibal 3.06 elevatorThis gives Hannibal to opportunity to return to his position of apex predator as he now has control over an injured Will and plenty of drugs to subdue him. Tying him up is for later and despite not having read or seen the movie Hannibal I am very aware of the Ray Liotta brain eating scene and my dread levels at who might receive this fate grew with every moment Will sat at the table and the back of his head was in shadow. When Will asked who else was coming to dinner those fears shifted from Will to Jack who we see entering the building and sharing a lift with Chiyo, rifle case and all. No words are uttered in this journey up to the seventh floor and instead of engaging in violence Chiyo simply retreats saying she has got the wrong floor. Maybe she realized that there are too many players in this scenario and now she can fly free.

Unlike the epic fight sequence last week Jack enters the apartment without the upper hand and Hannibal is lying in wait under the table, ready to pounce and have the dinner party that was so rudely derailed at the end of last season.

Hannibal 3.06 dinnerWill is informed that you should never ask what is for dinner as it ruins the surprise, the surprise being that you are the one who is being served. Ah yes it is Will who is to suffer the brain eating and Jack can do nothing but react (cue plenty of screaming). The blood budget continues to grow this season as Will’s sprays all over the place rising up toward the ceiling as Jack’s did when he lay dying in Hannibal’s wine cellar. Cutting from the blood spray and blue skies to both Will and Hannibal strung upside down and back in America as they are welcomed to Muskrat Farm by none other than Mason Verger; Verger in this moment is Will’s savior and future torturer.

How did we get from dinner about to be served out of Will’s head to snowy scenes? Bedelia and Mason’s riches are the key to this one and instead of buying just one police officer Margot went ahead and made ‘friends’ with the whole department. Bedelia may not be fooling anyone with her “I’m Mrs Fell” routine, but she is not the prize everyone is vying for so in the end she gives the all important clue to Hannibal’s location and I’m guessing they arrived before too much damage could be done to Will’s already broken brain.

Mason has a whole lot planned for Hannibal and by extension Will (a two for one deal) as he is also high up on Mason’s shit list for various acts such as being present when the face eating occurred and impregnating his sister.

Hannibal 3.06 Peking HannibalIn one of Mason’s dreams he is walking (although his face is still disfigured) and surveying the Peking Duck version of Hannibal as the centerpiece of his revenge plan. While Mason seems to be winning in the ‘Who can get to Hannibal first? game (aside from the Pazzi money he lost) he doesn’t realize there is another scheme at play between his sister and Alana.

Flirtation has progressed to a super trippy merging body parts sex scene which feels like a sequel of sorts to the even trippier five-way that took place last year between two different bedrooms; Will saw Alana where Margot was and now Alana is there for Margot too. This pairing and subsequent hook-up is fine, but I also wish there had been more groundwork aside from that initial flirtatious scene in the stables because it all feels rather rushed. The way Alana ties up Margot’s black and white DVF wrap dress (which I am coveting hard) shows a level of care and intimacy telling us a lot about their union and yet I would have liked to see more buildup between the pair. It also nicely links back to Alana’s pre-window incident styling.

Hannibal 3.06 AlanaAlana is wearing the plaid suit that got me so amped when I first saw it back when the promo photos were released as it mimics Hannibal’s style while also showcasing her new sartorial direction; the red plunging blouse and matching lipstick add to this aesthetic and there is still plenty of femininity in her look. It is also less severe than the all red looks which has dominated her costuming this season.

Hannibal 3.06 Alana and MargotMargot’s let her hair down since Alana arrived and her curls mirror her new lovers while offering up a softer more nurturing side to her brother as part of the ruse. Mason’s cruelty took on a disturbing level when he not only terminated Margot’s pregnancy, but also removed her uterus taking away her choice and chance at any inheritance. Her plan is still focused on getting that back and Mason holds the key; he thinks she is agreeing to raise a child together, but instead she is in collusion with Alana and Alana is going to turn Mason into the FBI when he has Hannibal. In the end Alana Bloom is still very much the same Alana Bloom as she was before the defenestration encounter.

Now both Hannibal and Will are on the farm it seems that Alana’s position within the Verger inner circle will be of paramount importance; how will she react when confronted with a Hannibal in need of savior?

Hannibal 3.06 Will and BedeliaHistory has a way of repeating as Bedelia notes (and something I focused on last week) and the “hot darkness of Hannibal Lecter’s mind” has a way of dragging people down into the inky abyss in many different ways. Bedelia is one such person and she has embraced this at times including an actual embrace as Bedelia and Hannibal go beyond bathtime chats in levels of intimacy in “Dolce” with an actual goodbye kiss.

In a reverse of Bedelia’s whispered assurance that she believed Will last season when he was locked up, Will leans in and whispers “I don’t believe you.” But at this point Bedelia is giving none of the fucks and the performance Gilliam Anderson gives as she’s half propped up is incredible.

Hannibal 3.06 BedeliaJust look at this exceptional face.

Jack even admits that he can’t be that mad at her because her plan is quite incredible and they also note her unprecedented survival skills. Lucky for her the net closed in before she had marinated for the appropriate time and this suggests her weekly trips to the same high end deli was no mistake; she was simply sending out the signals as to Hannibal’s location to anyone who might be looking. Even though she has essentially been free the entire time, as with everyone else she can’t leave his sphere of influence and she is another one of his birds. But at least she had the foresight to hatch her own escape plan for when he did get caught.

Hannibal 3.06 galleryDrawn together and in a scene which resembles a meet cute of sorts in the gallery location which means so much to Hannibal (which gave me instant About Time feelings), but instead of it being a first hello it is reunion wrapped up in a goodbye. They share smiles, jokes, hurt feelings, catching up on what they have been up to. The usual.

Hannibal 3.06 Will smilesThere is a strong romantic undercurrent from the music that floats between the words to the discussion about how they are blurring into one. Except the romance here is tinged with death as Will reveals he feels guilty of all of Hannibal’s many, many crimes. We have been inside Will’s head so many times where he experiences other people’s diabolical acts and it isn’t surprising that some of them have remained inside his empathetic mind.

We’ve spent so long circling Will and Hannibal and when they would sharing the same space beyond mind palace chats, stabbing hug flashbacks and playing “I forgive you” hide and seek so when they came together in this location it hit me harder emotionally in a way I wasn’t expecting. Sure really horrible things went down after this conversation, but in this moment in the gallery I totally understood all the Hannigram devotion. Plus Hannibal turned Bedelia and Will into Botticelli figures which is some kind of next level fan art from Hannibal.

Hannibal 3.06 drawingAnd for surreal inky ‘we become one’ images look no further than Will’s drug induced dinner time visions.

Hannibal 3.06 blurringNow Will and Hannibal’s fates are entwined in another fashion and it isn’t a case of whether Will kills Hannibal or if Hannibal eats Will. Instead they are both in the same pig farm predicament and it is going to be fun seeing how they get out of this pickle and where it leaves them after.

In the Belly of the Beast on Hannibal

3 Jul

To catch Hannibal you need to be several steps ahead of him, which is hard to do as he has been playing this game far longer and with more success than anyone else. Season 3 of Hannibal has turned away from the case of the week format where Hannibal played a role in helping catch killers while adding to the ever growing body count. The confrontation between all the participants in Hannibal’s world at the end of last year – friend, colleague, lover – revealed who Hannibal really is (some were more aware than others) and set in motion a whole chain of events which has led to this very different narrative setup.

Hannibal 3.05 HannibalThe pacing has been a little meandering in places sharing in Hannibal’s indulgences while the survivors piece themselves back together and decide what to do next. There has been much talk and many shots of snails doing their thing whether they are being eaten or helping the transformation of another creature such as the firefly. Snails are hardy creatures when not being devoured by Hannibal and his dinner guests as they can survive being eaten by a bird and making it out of the “belly of the beast.” The firefly played a big part in the tableau Will created at Hannibal’s childhood home and signified a transformation with Will taking on the Hannibal role as he talks to Chiyo about the man he manipulated her into killing. Chiyo might have spent years practically alone ‘standing still’ but she can read Will’s intentions. Hannibal taught her well.

In a rather intimate scene shifting away from their usual bathtime philosophical discussion – do they ever take part in talk which is not layered with meaning? – and with Hannibal as the one wearing less clothes the conversation is dominated by doing things that are in our nature. Hannibal’s belief in not shocking news is that it is “Better to live true to yourself for an instant” Bedelia thinks that almost anything can be trained to resist its instincts including Will Graham, but as Hannibal points out that instinct is always there, regardless of the training. There is also the reciprocity of Will travelling to kill Hannibal while Hannibal waits to kill Will. Plus all those other interested parties waiting to upset the balance. While all of this is going on Hannibal caresses Bedelia’s neck which both reads as menacing and comforting. I’m still wondering if they have slept together and leaning at probably not despite the lack of clothes.

Hannibal 3.05 Hannibal and BedeliaSnails and fireflies. Night and day. One comes after the other and this issue of duality is an underlying theme of Hannibal. The person we are versus the person we allow the world to see can vary and for the first two seasons as the audience we know exactly who Hannibal is and for the rest of the characters this has come to light at different points. Will is sympathetic towards Hannibal because he understands him and this bond is rare, but this is probably not a good enough reason for the crimes that have been committed and would not stand up in court as a reasonable defense.

The battle for Will Graham pits Jack against Hannibal even when Will is not present, plus it is an internal war he wages with himself as he fears he might become Hannibal if he doesn’t kill him. And really he has already done some pretty fucked up bad things as part of this long game.

Chiyo reasons there are other ways to influence outside of violence and she blindsides Will with a kiss before pushing him off the back of the train. Sex and money are two big ones with money playing a big part in the downfall of Pazzi. Pazzi is down on his luck and even though his home life is one full of light and happiness it is his forever quest to catch Hannibal that haunts him.

Pazzi’s folly is that he repeats the mistakes of Jack and Alana as he goes after Hannibal outside the bounds of the law he works in. For Pazzi this is motivated in part by Mason Verger’s reward along with the desire to catch his monster. Once again Hannibal is one step ahead and he even has an elaborate and public way to kill Pazzi echoing what happened to one of his ancestors who also fell foul to the promise of riches.

Hannibal 3.05 Alana, Mason and PazziThis is one dance with the beast that won’t result in surviving to tell the tale and Will warned Pazzi that Hannibal would kill him. Like Will, Alana knows Hannibal intimately and after they have spoken to Pazzi she tells Mason they are sending him to certain torture and death. Alana is different after the attack and this is evident as I mentioned last week by her shift in styling which has moved away from ultra-feminine silhouettes and prints to tailoring with a severe edge. Long gone are the wrap dresses and pencil skirts; enter pants, a whole lot of red and silver blazers with amazing lapels (this echoes the Margot Verger gold jacket which sadly never made it to screen).

Hannibal 3.05 AlanaThe old Alana hasn’t been completely erased due to the extra marrow in her blood or the pain she is trying to mask with lipstick, a new wardrobe and a steely gaze; she’s still there below the surface and her instinct tells her to ring Pazzi to warn him of how dangerous his task is. But she is too late and instead she gets a rather chipper Hannibal who seems very pleased to hear her voice. Alas he has pressing issues (bowels in or out?) and can’t chat for long.

For Alana it looks like she has been punched in the gut and seen a ghost at the same time when she realizes who is on the other end and this temporarily cracks her cool give no shits demeanor. She might be able to handle Mason and all his crass talk about her relationship with Hannibal without even flinching, but Hannibal Lecter is a whole other story. This is the worst kind of running into your ex when you least expect it story, even when it is just his voice. Months of therapy down the drain after that interaction. I’ve been rewatching Wonderfalls and Caroline Dhavernas is the queen of the reaction shot and this is the case in this moment too as she gives a look of shock and a brief chin quiver before resetting to almost neutral.

Hannibal 3.05 Alana phoneThe Will/Hannibal reunion is going to have to wait a little longer especially as Will has found himself alone (well apart from the stag) and on foot. That really was bold and cold move by Chiyo but I also have to applaud the way she dispatched him so easily. If only Will could jump onto his imaginary stag and ride it like a horse.Hannibal 3.05 trainPrior to this as they chatted on the back of the train the idea of night and day came up and how at night we are a little less seen. Once again the notion of who a person is versus how they appear is an important discussion point and Hannibal has been embracing who he is far more this year than previously.

Hannibal 3.05 WillFor Will he is still caught between these factors and he mentions how he hears voices from everywhere. As he lies on his train bunk bed enveloped in darkness it gives off a coffin vibe. Water has played an important in showing which characters are drowning or sinking into this bleak world, here it is just darkness.

The dance up to this point has been slow with the narrative unfolding in a manner which has allowed Bryan Fuller to indulge in his love of art house cinema. This has mostly been brilliant and an interesting approach with incredible visual flourishes, but I did have to stifle an eye roll at the coins going into the payphone in slo-mo as that really did feel unnecessary. Tension was increased as confrontations took place first with Pazzi and Hannibal followed by one supremely kick ass fight sequence.

Hannibal 3.05 Jack Hannibal 3.05 twisted Romeo and JulietRepetition of shots is something Hannibal does so well and early in “Contorno” we see Jack look to the skies prior to scattering Bella’s ashes in the country they met. He also throws his wedding ring into the water in a move that is maybe a tad impulsive as this feels like something to keep hold of. Maybe he is really letting it all go and the ring is a necessary casualty. Later he has this super twisted Romeo and Juliet looking moment with Hannibal, but they are not star-crossed lovers and there is man missing his guts swinging between them. This episode includes many trips down memory lane and how past mistakes get repeated in the present. Hannibal plays the piano because it is the instrument which has the “quality of a memory” and he knows exactly who Pazzi is. Pazzi makes the mistake of his ancestor in valuing money above honor and pays the exact same price. Alana makes a phone call as a warning as she did in the season 2 finale which doesn’t have the outcome she wanted. Time is a flat circle, right?

Well one bit of history not repeating comes in the epic beat down Jack delivers on Hannibal and as with the kitchen fight he uses all the tools at his disposal including a rather unpleasant grappling device. It takes the tension from the Pazzi scene and explodes it over the screen as Jack does by throwing Hannibal through a glass case. Hannibal tries to bait him with sympathy and suggestions of how he eased Bella’s pain and when this doesn’t work he asks the simple question “How will you feel when I’m gone?” Jack answers with the equally simple “Alive” and is everyone going to feel trapped for as long as Hannibal is free?

Jack doesn’t kill Hannibal and instead Hannibal makes his escape bloody and broken down the dangling body of Pazzi looking very much like he probably did at the end of the new Rihanna video.

Can anyone ever truly get over having been in the belly of the beast?

Putting the Pieces Back Together for those Hannibal has “Framed and Maimed”

26 Jun

Last season of Hannibal ended with a lot of broken bodies lying on the floor; Will, Abigail and Jack bleeding profusely from a variety of stab wounds while Alana lay outside in the rain after being pushed from a first floor window. Out of the four victims, three are still alive (Abigail exists in Will’s mind palace shifting this week to a bloodier version than how she appeared in episode 2) and in various states both physically and mentally regarding their ordeal.

Other victims of Hannibal’s manipulation are still around to tell their tales and Fredrick Chilton acts as a sad kind of Hannibal hunting recruiter offering his services only to be rejected by all. One such person is Mason Verger and it was never Hannibal’s intention to kill him as Mason so astutely points out; his horrifically disfigured face and current state of living was all part of the plan.

Hannibal 3.04 Mason and AlanaWhat “Aperitivo” does is shift the focus away from Italy and back to Baltimore tracking the last 8 months through the physical rehabilitation of those Hannibal left behind. The most obvious in terms of time passing is Alana who goes from being pushed out of the window – now she has a reason to use the word defenestration – to a device which holds her broken bones in place in a room worthy of a sci-fi movie. A room without a TV is punishment enough without adding Chilton blathering on about how she put herself in the position to be pushed out of a window. He might bring a nice bunch of flowers, but he really needs to work on his bedside manner. Later she goes from a wheelchair to using a walking stick and as with the others who have been hurt by Hannibal she has a strong defense strategy in place.

Not that she isn’t haunted by what took place; you can bury those memories deep but they will continue to bubble under the surface in certain circumstances particularly when revisiting the scene of the crime.

Hannibal 3.04 Alana hospitalVengeance is what Alana is after and it is actually Chilton who gives her the idea to use Will to get there as psychiatry is her tool in the same way predators use understanding (which she points out to Mason Verger in a later conversation). Alana has been romantically involved with both Will and Hannibal and she was put in the position of Hannibal defender last year creating numerous issues (I wrote about the disservice to Alana here). Hannibal told her that he tried very hard to blind her and here she accepts some of the blame as you “cannot see what you will not see.” Instead of being fearful or a quivering wreck in need of a good psychiatrist Alana is heading into revenge territory by whatever means necessary even if that means teaming up with Mason Verger in the guise of his psychiatrist.

Opportunity is how Chilton presents himself and he doesn’t have much of anything that anyone else needs; he doesn’t have the same insight or resources as the other players in this game. Instead he comes with flowers for the wounded and reveals his true face to Mason comparing how Hannibal fucked up their look with an ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours’ kind of situation. Chilton has a lot of covering up to do, but at least he didn’t eat his own nose.

Hannibal 3.04 ChiltonMason rejects Chilton just like everyone else does despite their shared scars and interests. Chilton’s self-serving plan which he attempts to masquerade as team work is so transparent; all he wants is Hannibal in his hospital and the ability to use the “Hannibal the Cannibal” name he copyrighted straight after he had been shot in the face. Chilton wants what is owed to him through his lost body parts with fame and fortune and this has always been his primary concern. It is so great having Raul Esparza back as while Dr Chilton is a vulture picking over the scraps of everyone else’s work and falling foul to his compulsive imitation he adds much needed humor in the darkness.

Seeing his pitches failing over and over again doesn’t get boring and while he fails in finding a partner in his Hannibal hunting venture he motivates everyone else to do something without him. Mason wants to understand Hannibal and while he knows Chilton cannot provide his entry into the mind of his enemy he finds a psychiatrist who knows Hannibal intimately. Pointing this out in crude and slut shaming terms is what Mason does if you had forgotten how repulsive he is. The choking and drooling while Alana watches on calmly and looking like she gives none of the fucks is what you get for being so awful; this is not the way to find out who Hannibal is.

Later on Mason turns down the indecent remarks asking why Hannibal favored Alana. Amusement is the answer and “things either amuse him or they don’t and if they don’t… well you didn’t.” Nice burn. A quick costume note as Mason is wearing a plaid suit in this scene and he is pulling the imitation through clothes card in the same way Chilton did – is this so he can better understand Hannibal?

Hannibal 3.04 MasonTaste is how you get to Hannibal and Alana accurately suggests Europe is where they should focus their hunt. Wine and truffles is how you track him as “His name will change, but his taste will not.” One other taste is Will Graham and Alana uses what Chilton said to her while she was in recovery as he discussed Will being back in Hannibal’s orbit. Manipulation is what is required to get to this point and even though Will dismissed Alana when she went to see him at Hannibal’s in a heartbreaking scene (as I mentioned on Twitter I still ship Alana and Will even though it makes zero sense at this point) motions have still been set in place and Will does indeed head out into the great beyond. By being at Will’s house at the end of the episode and telling Jack that Will knows what he needs to do it suggests Alana has had some influence over events set in motion. That or Will just needs someone to dog sit again.

Hannibal 3.04 Alana and Will

Hannibal 3.04 Will and AbigailAnother interesting thing about Alana working with Mason comes with this idea of control and power. Mason in the past has been a fearful figure particularly for his sister Margot who he has violated in the most horrific way by not only terminating her pregnancy, but also removing her womb. His favorite drink is a martini with her tears and he still has plenty of goons around to prepare “the theater of Hannibal’s death” and yet Alana shows no fear in front of him.

Hannibal 3.04 Alana and MasonPower comes in many different forms and Alana holds all the cards here through her psychiatric skills and her knowledge of Hannibal’s preferences. In this wide shot we see the petite Alana at the same height as Mason; she might have a cane but Mason’s injuries are far more severe and she is not afraid to get close and stare this man down.

She mentions to Chilton in the hospital that a lot of marrow went into her blood which might change the way she thinks and this Alana is all defense. While it is fun to see her embracing this darker side I hope she doesn’t lose too much of the empathy and compassion that gave us a warmer and more empathetic point of view in this bleak world.

Hannibal 3.04 Alana and MargotCostuming wise Alana’s attire in this episode is just as exciting for me as everything Bedelia wore in the premiere and she is the only one wearing bold color, as Bedelia was. First of all Alana has ditched the wrap dresses and pencil skirts for pants (the cast promo photos pointed to this change) and by changing her style it further adds to this hardening of her character. The red lipstick and going from a lose wave to tighter curls gives an Old Hollywood impression as if Alana is starring in her own film noir. All she needs is a cigarette holder and birdcage veil (and Caroline Dharvernas has the perfect look for this).

Hannibal 3.04 Alana red lipstickAlana and Will are working the angles in very different ways but they woke up from their ordeals in very similar initially bathed in white light surroundings. One of them looks far more at peace than the other.

Hannibal 3.04 Alana close up Hannibal 3.04 Will close upOne hospital awakening which is in stark contrast is Jack’s as he has a companion laying next to him and his first conversation that we see is not with Dr Chilton (Abigail morphs into Chilton for Will). Last week Jack mentioned that he died, an assertion he repeats to Bella. Jack survived by not pulling out the glass sticking out of his throat and the version of his bleeding shows the blood flowing up towards the sky. There are plenty of repeats of what went down in the season finale such as the Hannibal/Will stabbing embrace and different takes on these moments add to the operatic horror.

Hannibal 3.04 JackBella is still dying of cancer and this is where my heart felt like it had been stomped on as while Jack survived he then watches his wife die. As with the cutting between Will being saved and Abigail’s dead body being prepared, with Jack and Bella it switches between getting ready for their wedding and for her funeral. It is all about ritual by picking out dresses and putting on makeup but with very different end results. The flowers are switched out for candles and Alana appears in front of Jack where his wife once stood.

Hannibal 3.04 Bella Hannibal 3.04 Alana Bella dressEven though Hannibal’s only appearance comes via a letter we see him writing to Jack offering condolences (not for stabbing him in the neck, but for the woman he had affection for even if he played with her desire to die with a toss of a coin) his presence is felt throughout. The discovery of this note comes with the well timed appearance from a bespectacled Will Graham and while he previously rejected Jack reaching out to him by revealing the why of his phone call warning Hannibal – he wanted to run away with him – he is there for Jack when he needs it most. Will earlier neglects to tell him that a version of their take down Hannibal plan ends with him getting stabbed by both Hannibal and Will.

Jack and Will are frank with each other and after Will has revealed his truth to Jack, Jack does the same telling Will that he knows what is coming for him while handing him Hannibal’s note as if it is a clue. It is like everyone knows how this game is going to play out and they are still going to proceed; not everyone has the same self preservation as the scar tissue which grows to protect.

Oh and Will is wearing his glasses in this scene as it is pre-Italy trip and suggests he is still hiding something from Jack.

Hannibal 3.04 Will and JackWhen Chilton goes to see Jack as he is packing up his FBI desk he of course gets rejected as he has done by everyone else, but he does something very important and reminds Jack of his role in getting Will Graham into the position he is in using a lovely fishing ‘dangling’ metaphor. This is where Jack’s guilt of borrowing Will’s imagination from last week and once again Chilton is the catalyst, but not in the way he would want to be.

“There is no opportunity for you here” Will informs Chilton after he offers friendship by suggesting he literally knows how he feels. This is not the case and Will told Chiyo when they met that Hannibal is the only person who has ever understood him which is why he will fix a boat and sail to him. When they cut to the welding scene a small part (okay big part) hoped “Pony” would start playing.

Hannibal 3.04 sailingHappy hunting!

Own a Piece of Hannibal and that Cancellation News

23 Jun

Last night I came out of a screening of Inside Out feeling like I’d had an emotional workout of the best kind (instant new Pixar favorite) and as I glanced at my phone I noticed an all exclamation tweet that had been sent my way. Upon opening it a big wall of sadness hit as it was a friend alerting me to the Hannibal cancellation news and the whole of my TL was discussing this surprise announcement. Of course the ratings are terrible so that part was not a shock, but it was the timing that came out of the blue.

Cue all the crying Will Graham gifs (do an image search – there are many). Alana Bloom gives good rage for this situation too. And then came the reasoning as this isn’t necessarily Hannibal’s final meal (I will see myself out) and the show is still being shopped around to non-NBC parties. Like many of its characters, this is not an easy show to kill it off.

Hannibal 2.13 food prepNow might be a good time to take advantage of the Hannibal auction taking place on the Prop Store featuring 125 items from the first two seasons including costumes, ID badges, sketches, limbs and recipe cards. Want to own Will’s prison jumpsuit? Well you can and there are two days left to bid on these items. Here are some of the pieces we would love to own.

Hannibal kill suitHalloween costume sorted with the all important vinyl ‘Kill Suit‘ which Hannibal has worn on multiple occasions including when he framed Dr Chilton and admired another serial killers work last season.

Beverly Katz leather jacketLeather jackets are a staple of many characters who work in law enforcement and I was remiss in not including Beverly Katz in my end of year round-up. But maybe it was due to feeling emotional as this is from the episode last season when Beverly ventured too far into Hannibal’s home.

Alana dressAn Alana Bloom DVF wrap dress!  Worn in the season 2 finale “Mizumono” (which I wrote about here) and it is the one item I would really want to bid on even if it is far too teeny tiny for me to wear. A huge non shocker to anyone who has read my Hannibal costuming posts and knows my love of all things Alana and DVF.

Hannibal broken tea cupAfter the cancellation news we are all Hannibal’s broken teacup and now you can also own the teacup from the season 1 episode “Ceuf.”

Will GrahamThe quintessential Will Graham season 1 ensemble (you will have to provide your own pants) from “Rôti” consisting of a blue Wind River long sleeve shirt and forest green American Eagle jacket. Perfect for solving all totem pole building murders.

Hannibal three piece suitWhile the Alana Bloom wrap dress would be my number one pick this three piece custom-made suit as worn by Mads Mikkelsen in “Tome-wan” really is the top item. The ultimate Hannibal attire and it comes with the paisley tie and blood stained shirt. This is what Hannibal is wearing when he is suspended above Mason Verger’s hungry pigs, which is why the shirt comes with quite a bit of wear and tear. It is no surprise this is currently the piece with the highest bid.

To browse through all 125 lots head here and hopefully there will be some happier Hannibal news in the days to come. For now here is a promo for the next episode, which I am very excited about for reasons that will become clear when you click play.

 

Hannibal’s European Vacation: Why so Blue, Bedelia?

5 Jun

“You seem more interested in making appearances than maintaining them.”

Morality, ethics and aesthetics are all covered in the first back and forth between Hannibal and Bedelia in the season 3 premiere of Hannibal, which takes place after a decadent party and Hannibal flexing his prowess through Dante and dance. Appearances are important and maintaining his cover seems like less of a concern when measuring egos and playing a game of cat and mouse with whatever person lies before him. These encounters include talk of fairy tales – Hannibal lives on the opposite end of the fantastical spectrum which Pushing Daisies also inhabits – playing the game of ‘how many times can you say ‘bonsoir’ before you kill someone?’ or giving a dinner guest delicacies to make them taste better.

Willing participants are hard to find and part of this season opener starts to explore why Bedelia is Hannibal’s European vacation (can it still be called a vacation if you are technically on the run?) partner and what her motivations are.

Hannibal 3.01 Bedelia in blueProfessional curiosity is a term which has been used on Hannibal in the past including Alana citing this as reason why she couldn’t get romantically involved with Will Graham back in season 1 as she didn’t think she would be able to stop analyzing him. Curiosity is also something Bedelia cites on several occasions and it is like she hasn’t heard the well known phrase involving a feline. When it comes to making appearances Bedelia stands out in a crowd and the blue ensemble which I have been clamoring to see within the context of an episode was unveiled in “Antipasto” and it resembles the most incognito spy from the 1940s. Covert is not a word either Bedelia or Hannibal are considering when picking out their attire first thing in the morning and they are sartorially suited to each other.

Hannibal 3.01 policemanOther than the carousel which lights up the shot, Bedelia is the only one wearing color in the square full of people with the local policeman taking note of her in a big way. He isn’t suspicious and instead gives her a flirtatious salute; he is not going to forget the woman in blue.

Hannibal 3.01 eye Hannibal 3.01 CCTVBedelia is also caught on camera and this one seems kind of deliberate as she stares directly at the CCTV ‘eye’ while she is at the train station. Being enveloped in Hannibal’s world limits escape options as we witnessed in the house of horrors at the end of last season and everyone who came at Hannibal in his home were left broken and bleeding. Bedelia wants to flee attempting to do so later in the episode, but her curiosity coupled with her darkness that Hannibal has tapped into gives her a reason to stay. Even if she knows that ultimately she will end up on Hannibal’s plate.

Hannibal 3.01 Bedelia in goldBathed in gold light in this twisted fairy tale life and coming home from the ball temporarily breaks the spell; giving Bedelia the opportunity to question Hannibal’s motives. Despite the warm light there is something incredibly icy in this scene as both circle around the other talking as if they are still in a therapy session. At the same time there is an intimacy which is evident in the way Bedelia asks him to unzip her dress (the same dress from these stunning promo photos).

Flashbacks reveal how Hannibal and Bedelia ended up on the plane together as her residence is where he cleaned off Will, Abigail and Jack’s blood. Hannibal is all about equal opportunities bathing and Bedelia had the opportunity to end it all when she pointed her gun at him as he stood their naked; instead she went for option number two with a fun packed trip to Europe. The why of this comes from the other jump into the past and the aftermath of her patient attack and subsequent murder (oh hey Zachary Quinto!) with Hannibal’s manipulation going according to schedule. He wipes her bloody brow and gets her to ask for his help while unlocking the darkness in her.

Hannibal 3.01 showerThese revelations come after the bath of sinking into the depths and water is hugely symbolic on Hannibal. Will Graham’s ‘mind palace’ fishing sessions rest on water as cleansing and calming, but water also signifies how something can envelope. As Bedelia drifts down she is doing so out of choice and at this point she is a willing participant, well as willing as you can be with Hannibal who is a master manipulator like no other.

Hannibal 3.01 Bedelia bathIt is important that we can still see her in this shot as it represents some level of choice in how she floats downwards. The look of Hannibal is unlike any other show on TV and as Bedelia lets go she is lit up as if she is a figure on a renaissance painting and the light of heaven shines on her as she sinks into hell. Considering this is on network TV I am surprised to see something like this get through S&P, but maybe the ethereal atmosphere somehow trumps nudity (nipples have been erased/are not free on this occasion).

Hannibal 3.01 Bedelia bath drifting

Yes she pulls out of the water with a shocked look on her face and it is this part of Bedelia that chooses to flee from Hannibal; albeit an unsuccessful attempt as she gets splattered with blood once again. Despite her assertion that she is observing, this is not something you get to do when Hannibal is involved and participation is a necessary requirement. It just might not be one you are conscious of.

Bedelia’s bathtub trip echoes Alana Bloom’s envelopment by inky water in the season 2 finale with one important difference as instead of sinking into it, Alana is consumed from the bottom up and we can’t see any of her below the surface.

Hannibal 2.13 Alana“All I see is dark swarming behind my eyelids. I dream darkness comes into me. It comes and it is insidious. Up my nose, into my ears. It comes and I feel poisoned.” Bedelia is bathed in light as she drifts further down whereas Alana is consumed by the horrors of Hannibal’s crimes and her blindness to them.

Hannibal 2.13 Alana darknessIn Hannibal’s flashbacks we see his time with Gideon in black and white. While no one can replace Will Graham as Hannibal’s favorite companion it doesn’t stop Hannibal from auditioning others or at least finding a temporary substitute. Even after he has helped consume two of his own limbs, Gideon is rather zen about everything that is taking place – the crimes he committed shows he is not of sound mind – and gets to the heart of the matter reflecting on Hannibal’s desire to eat with company and not just eating the company pointing to Will as his dream dinner date. Even a cannibal yearns for companionship.

How soon will Bedelia outlast her stay? Maybe she should stop eating the oysters.

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