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Tag Archives: Raul Esparza

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.

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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!

Out of the Box: Look of the Week

18 Apr

Switching up “Out of the Box” this week and moving away from the red carpet and magazine editorials with a Hannibal special using last Friday’s episode “Yakimono” to discuss some of the various looks this season and how costuming has been utilized to show a shift in character temperament. The repetition of a wide shot showing two characters sitting opposite each other is something of a Hannibal signature and this is presented in this episode with a slight shift that stops short of being a callback to the season 1 finale. Plus someone has had a makeover (sadly no montage).

Hannibal 2.07There’s been a variation of this set up throughout Hannibal whether it is in a therapy session or as prisoner/friend. Hannibal has even sat opposite the empty chair revealing just how much he has been missing the friend he framed for murder. Even Hannibal, no matter how twisted the reasons for any of his deplorable actions has the capacity to miss someone. The chair is filled once again as Will is free and he wants to resume his sessions, the very sessions that were used to manipulate his brain that was already on fire (like a messed up Katniss). The framing of these scenes suggests some kind of equilibrium, which of course in the past was a lie as Will was very much at Hannibal’s mercy. The balance has shifted and while Hannibal is still in control, he’s now facing a previously unknown entity; a Will Graham with all of his facilities working and a desire to hook to Hannibal for good. The game has been upped and this simple, yet effective shot signals this new stage in the Hannibal vs. Will battle.

Hannibal 2.07 Alana and ChiltonWhen Alana sat opposite Will in the season 1 finale in a room very similar to this one we saw them facing each other in a wide shot. Not so in this case with Alana and Chilton and this shows just how alienated Chilton is at this point. Alana is not here to be his confidant, though I suspect her personal involvement in the case makes her presence a tad messy. My fear for Alana, now she has slept with Hannibal is that for the rest of the season she will act primarily as a “Hannibal is innocent” mouthpiece and this character deserves more than the role of blind faith advocate. Costume wise this is the most unlike Chilton we have seen as he wears the orange of prison and Alana is very much in her signature wrap dress attire. Chilton gets shot in the face, but Bryan Fuller has hinted this doesn’t necessarily mean death for this character.

Hannibal 2.07 Chilton at homeSo how did Chilton end up going from pristine and flamboyant plaid to jumpsuit orange? Let me show you how and first of all I want to mention just how audacious Chilton’s costuming has been this season as it mimics the plaid of Hannibal. Chilton wanted to be like Hannibal and now he is, well in the crimes he is accused of. This shot also gives a good look at Chilton’s spacious home which is bathed in light as opposed to the dark decor of Hannibal’s home.

Hannibal 2.07 Chilton and HannibalThe moment of realization as Chilton lies at the feet of a plastic kill suit wearing Hannibal as he shows the perfect “Oh fuck” face, he can’t even bask in the glory of being right. At this point Chilton’s suit is still looking rather dapper even as he lies on the floor…

Hannibal 2.07 Bloody ChiltonCut to all the blood and there’s no way he’s getting those stains out.

Hannibal 2.07 ChiltonNow this is the most Chilton has looked like Will as it’s a more subdued approach, Hannibal sure picked out a suave on the run outfit in the bags he helpfully packed. The red and black pea coat does lose cool points as Chilton scrabbles around in the snow covered wood. Hat tip to Raúl Esparza for the amazing and hilarious performance he has given this season, even in Chilton’s darkest moment he still got the funniest line of the episode “Abel Gideon was half eaten in my guest room, I have corpses on my property. You just threw up an ear.”

Hannibal 2.07 Hannibal plastic kill suitYou know who always looks good? Yep, Hannibal once again shows how to make a plastic kill suit (which has to be bespoke) stand out, that’s right wear your regular suit (plus pocket square) underneath. No muss, no fuss.

Hannibal 2.07 Will unwashedNow we come to the before and after as Will shows off his post prison “I don’t really give a shit how I look” look. Bedraggled hair, untidy beard and the plaid of before, plus a nifty vest which could almost double for his fishing attire. To catch a fish the second time it means scrubbing up so please welcome the new, slightly less hairy Will Graham.

Hannibal 2.07 Will close upWill’s wearing a lighter, single color shirt as if he is free from the constraints he has been in both mentally and physically; there’s a renewed confidence we haven’t really seen before and this makes him an unknown entity to both Hannibal and us. Having a haircut and trimming his beard show that he isn’t going to slink away into the darkness and the power balance has shifted to an even playing field. One thing that is notably missing are Will’s glasses and this is something I chatted about with Noel Kirkpatrick on Twitter and he pointed out the lack of glasses makes sense as Will previously used them to mask his face, now he wants to “seduce” Hannibal so the glasses are no longer required.

Will GrahamThe new more polished Will Graham look continues with tonight’s episode “Su-zakana” with this rather fancy looking wool coat and scarf combination. It’s like a halfway point between Jack and Hannibal; I really want to see what he has on under the coat (unintentionally pervy turn of phrase).

 

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