Hannibal "Futamono" Review: Old Friends for Dinner

By Noel Kirkpatrick

Apr 05, 2014

Hannibal S02E06: "Futamono"

With so many actual blossoms in this episode, the previews involving Alana Bloom (see what they did there?) and Hannibal Lecter kissing in bed weren't going to be a dream sequence after all, but a fact that we're going to have to live with for the rest of our days.

Romance between the unlikely pair—and we'll come back to that, don't worry—wasn't the only thing that bloomed this week. Jack may not be fully on board the "Hannibal the Cannibal" train (though he's seriously mulling buying a ticket), but he at least had the epiphany that Will's not the Chesapeake Ripper or the copycat killer, as they are, in fact, one and the same. Like the flowers in that unfortunate councilman's chest cavity, Jack's mind is now open and ready for just the right amount of pollination.

I swear that's the last flower-, bloom-, or blossom-related term I'll use. I'm nipping them in the bud right now. 

OKAY. That was the last one, I promise.


"Futamono" was something of an odd episode, in part because Will's actions last week sped everything up. The episode burned through a sizable amount of plot rather quickly—setting up the romance and putting Jack in a new frame of mind AND THEN FINDING MIRIAM LASS—making for one of the quicker-moving installments of the series. Even the pace of dialogue was increased, with characters talking at a faster-than-usual clip and with fewer ominous and emotionally charged pauses. As a whole, "Futamono" lurched forward at such a rate that while I know it's far too soon, I half-wondered if Jack might be getting stabbed in the neck before the finale. Like, next week instead.

This newfound swiftness may've also contributed to the odd tonality of "Futamono." The episode veered from the show's trademark, layered threats—"I wonder how many more people are going to get hurt by what you do. I'll give Alana Bloom your best."—to the discussion of death posing as pillow talk to the delightfully humorous bits, like Brian's "varicose vines" or pretty much any line that was loosed from Chilton's lips this week (praise be to Law & Order: SVU for allowing Raúl Esparza to come and play so often). 

I don't view any of these things as negative, by the way. The tonal shifts and the geared-up narrative momentum aren't a sign that the show is changing or rushing so much as they are signs that Hannibal is flexing some different muscles as it hits the halfway point of the season. It's becoming more confident in itself, and putting more trust in its audience to roll with these shifts. Last week was about earning the shock of seeing Beverly's body sliced up on put on display; this week was about Hannibal saying, "Here's what we're building to, here's what to expect as we go forward, because things are going to be a little different."

So, yeah, the hook-up. It was horrible to watch since, well, we know Hannibal, and Alana has no idea. In fact, given Will and Jack's actions, she's even less likely to suspect Hannibal of any wrongdoing at this point. It's classic dramatic irony; Alana turned to Hannibal in an emotionally vulnerable state just as we knew Hannibal was looking to hurt her in some way after his conversation with Will. So we were freaking out due to our knowledge, and the episode was encouraging us to freak out even more by shooting Alana and Hannibal's pillow talk vertically, as if they we standing up, instead of horizontally, as you normally would would when two characters are lying in bed. It was unsettling to our spatial sense of the world (and cinematography) just as much as those two having slept together unsettled us emotionally.

That being said, I can't stress how much I loved that Alana made the first move here. For all the show's strengths and continued goodness, it has struggled to find a way to make Alana fit and to make her relevant to the narrative beyond being Will's sad-eyed ally and would-be romantic entanglement. Changing her dance partner, as it were, isn't ideal as it still chains the show's only regular female character now a romantic bauble, but at least the show granted her the agency to kiss Hannibal first and to base that decision on the mixed up emotions inside of her. It did also side-step the whole "Serial killer seducing the woman" angle, which I'm all for, even if could trap Alana in a damsel position once Jack and Will find firm ground for pursuing Hannibal.

Jack's epiphany about Will arrived, as you might've guessed, a bit sooner than I had anticipated. It was going to be this season, but I didn't expect it at the halfway point. Maybe a few episodes after. In any case, it's happening, and I'm glad. Will needs someone who believes some of his story who can actually do something, and Jack is obviously willing to do things, even if he's not completely on board with the idea of Hannibal as the Chesapeake Ripper. But, c'mon, Jack. Who else could it be at this point? Who had access to all the victims in some way? Knew the cases? Hannibal can misdirect you all he wants, but the answer is right there next to you, serving you some well-aged alcohol by the fire.

Of course, the universe also rewarded Jack for coming around on Will's innocence in the form of Miriam Lass. This is perhaps the largest development of the season so far since it indicates just how close Jack is to finally catching the Ripper, and it'll likely provide a much needed boost of confidence to Jack that he didn't let this trainee die...just be trapped in a hatch for a few years...and lost an arm. I doubt Miriam's going to be much help right away, but she's bound to be some.



À LA CARTE

– "Needless to say, I will not be eating the food." In case you missed the recipe cards and Chilton's recapping of the dishes, Hannibal served heart tartare, beef roulade, Wagyu beef, and prosciutto roses. And none of it, apparently, was human. At least he has that rôti de cuisse of Gideon to hold him for a while.

– Speaking of speeding things up, lots of little pieces from Silence of the Lambs appeared in this episode, from Will's instructive chat with Jack mirroring Hannibal's discussion with Clarice about Buffalo Bill's motives to Jack finding Miriam Lass in that dark, dank hole, like where Buffalo Bill kept Catherine Martin. It's as if Hannibal isn't expecting to get to do its take on Lambs (for a host of reasons), so it's just going to incorporate elements of it now instead.

– Apart from Hannibal's own composition on the harpsichord—which had me switching to Bach's lute-harpsichord pieces while I wrote this instead of my usual Toru Takemitsu tracks—we heard more from Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words, this time Book VII, Op. 85, No. 4 as Alana helped Hannibal skewer hearts. Staruss's waltz Liebeslieder op. 114 played as Hannibal prepared food for his dinner party, and at the dinner party itself, we heard the first movement of Beethoven's String Quartet No. 3. Finally, as Hannibal prepared Gideon's thigh, it was the first movement of Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major. Oh, and "Chopsticks," the ultimate "OH, WE ARE SO ABOUT TO MAKE OUT" piece of music for TV.

– What do you make of the show's decision to have Will grow antlers, a la the manstag? This is the second or third time this has happened, and I think we should start analyzing its meaning. It seems to me that it occurs as Will is plotting, allowing a darkness associated with Hannibal to overtake him. Other ideas?

–  One more item for all of us to discuss. Did Hannibal want Miriam to be found? He gave out a ton of evidence in the lures he used to string up the hospital guard. His performance at the harpsichord being intercut with Jack investigating that barn came off as decidedly triumphant to me, but did you all read it differently? Is Hannibal falling prey to his hubris? Tell me, tell me.


How did "Futamono" taste?


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  • Aeidail Jun 15, 2014

    I can't believe we're not discussing the dinner scene. I get that this show is about a cannibal. And we've been watching him prepare human dishes almost every episode since the beginning. But there are some times when this show takes it that step further to really hammer home the message. This was one of those times. We knew the thigh was probably human. But to actually serve it up for dinner and expect someone to eat their own leg? That's taking it to a whole new level. This was on par with Gideon asking Chilton to 'hold a few things' as he pulled out his organs and waved them in his face. It really makes you question ownership when not even your own insides, whether it be your literal insides or the inner tapestry of your mind is safe from this monster. It is taking everything you intrinsically thought of as yours, and sacred and turning it into just another play thing. The sense of wrongness really comes through in that scene and while tv shows in general can make you completely dull to the everyday horror, I appreciate this show taking the time to really show just how disturbing Hannibal's character is. He gets romanticised a lot. And from what I've heard, that's coming. So it was a well timed reminder just how wrong all this is.

  • rohantandon33 Apr 21, 2014

    I wouldn't say that Hannibal is falling prey to his hubris... Not at all. He's way too smart for that. Besides, he now KNOWS that he's under Jack's microscope. He didn't leave d fish baits out of pride or anything... He's deliberately stringing Jack along, revealing only what he WANTS to reveal. Maybe he now knows that Jack will find the truth, so he might as well lead him there of his own accord, so as to at least be able to control the circumstances under which Jack finds out.


    Also, will's antlers: The antler imagery has always been used to symbolize the imposition of dark intents. That's why Hannibal always has those antlers. So Will now growing those antlers, I think is symbolic of him embracing his dark side, and embracing the fact that he has to take more extreme actions. Initially, when he envisioned the antlers, he struggled against it, almost as if trying to keep his darker intents at bay... But later we find him gladly giving into it, perhaps realizing that he has to turn into a monster in order to defeat a monster.

  • marcusj1973 Apr 14, 2014

    So, Hannibal is looking to hurt will by attacking him through his friends. Beverly winds up sliced into pieces and Alana gets some naked hugging? That doesn't seem right. Why couldn't Alana, on a trip to get herself some post sexin' refreshments have wandered into the secret kitchen and gotten sliced up instead? {sigh} She bugs me, though I'm not sure why. Even when she and Will were flirting with a hookup last season, my inner voice was saying, "Don't do it, Will! That chick is crazy pants!". Given that Will not entirely mentally stable himself...that's saying something.

    "The episode was encouraging us to freak out even more by shooting Alana and Hannibal's pillow talk vertically, as if they we standing up, instead of horizontally, as you normally would would when two characters are lying in bed. It was unsettling to our spatial sense of the world"

    So THAT'S what that was. I couldn't put my finger on it at the time. Here's where I reitterate my appreciation for the directorial tricks comment from last episode. SO GOOD!

    I'm also a fan of the sped up story telling. Will being bars literally and figuratively completely by himself was only going to play for so long. He'd been abandoned by everybody except for Beverly {sniff}. There's only so far the story can progress while Will sits in his cell.

    "What do you make of the show's decision to have Will grow antlers, a la the manstag?"

    I don't know and I don't care...it's brilliant, even if I don't have the first clue in understanding what it all means. The contrast of this and his fly fishing...again, brilliant.

    What's not so brilliant, expecting me to believe that Hannibal woke up in the middle of the night, snuck out of bed and MOVED A TREE INTO THE MIDDLE OF A PARKING LOT. Sorta like the human totem pole from last year, this one triggered my, "Hey, wait a minute" response. I know I should just go with it...but...

    That said, the $64,000 question....which is creepier? Eddie Izzard eating his own leg or Ray Liota eating his own brain? I dunno, either, but both made me CRINGE!!!

  • danharr Apr 11, 2014

    Wow and I was starting to underestimate the show. We have will free and Hannibal not incriminating himself and killing all witnesses. Well except the trainee from years ago. How will she not finger him oh man I can't wait till tomorrow.

  • crocaduck Apr 11, 2014

    Finally someone said "Hannibal the Cannibal". It needed to be said. Chilton was hilarious this week.

  • cinemale Apr 10, 2014

    Yeh, I can't imagine him doing it actually, it'd probably be wierd. Soz if I gave anything away, I assumed you'd seen all the movies made and knew the full plot. Like you say, Clarice doesn't run off with Lecter in 'Hannibal' like she does in the book, she tries to arrest him and he cuts his hand off to escape (somehow), so they might completely change what happens to Will Graham.

    no, you did not spoil anything for me. i am not of that generation that someone telling me about a movie or a book or a play is the same as myself seeing it. if someone tells me about something, it either fuels my desire to see it or i decide to pass on it all together, but an experience cannot be spoiled for me by someone telling me about it because it is not the same as me seeing it for myself.

    a man telling me that he slept with my wife is not the same as me seeing the two of them in the bed having butt naked hot sweaty monkey love.

    i have seen all of the movies except hannibal rising and hannibal, but somehow i thought that will graham came out all right in red dragon except for the scar and in manhunter except for the scar. i did not know that hannibal would be in a position to gloat over will's life left in absolute shambles.

  • itsmemadie01 Apr 10, 2014

    dr hannibal is getting hotter by the moment like sexiest man alive-ish level hahaha

  • cinemale Apr 10, 2014

    the sexiest man alive who would as soon as eat you as look at you. i suppose for the woman who is not looking for a long term or long-lived relationship, he's quite the catch.

  • itsmemadie01 Apr 11, 2014

    sad thing is not all people get to understand irony of the statement *rolls eyes* go troll somewhere else

  • cinemale Apr 11, 2014

    how's this for irony: you definitely are hannibal's type. what is his type again? oh, yeah cadaverous.*rolls eyes*and to think the world's greatest mind squandered precious time from something really important and life-saving to level snide remarks.

  • itsmemadie01 Apr 11, 2014

    just go away and don't reply to any of my post please do read the book and you would realize it's not really insulting to be his type since Clarice is not shabby just stay away from my post please

  • ILoveTVandDDsBB Apr 10, 2014

    Fantastic episode!!! although didn't know clay can be used for cooking!

  • geoffmaze Apr 08, 2014

    Another excellent episode of arguably the best drama on Network TV in a long time. Seems there are only 13 eps. again this season which for a show like Hannibal is the right amount. Sure you can criticize a few things like how many people he kills or how elaborately he stages them, but overall very little to quibble with.
    Acting and dialogue are excellent and the drama and creepy level are through the roof as well.

  • cheribouille Apr 08, 2014

    Seriously, I love this show. I just love it. It's clever, refreshing and delightfully creepy. One thing I kind of resent it for though is the way it treats women. Ok I'm not going all feminist there but just look at what it does to female characters.
    - They are either victims of horrible deaths, so, yeah, mere plot devices,
    - Bitchy reporters, even though I've grown to like Freddie Lounds, because: smart and surprinsingly female, (we all remember Seymour Hoffman) but still bitchy as hell,
    - Clever and insightful but, yeah, dead (I loved you so much Beverly),
    -Or completely driven by their hormones, sleeping around with a freaking sociopath, and with no real conviction "I love you Will but you're not right for me", "I'm sure you're completely nuts I'll stop believing in you from now on". I mean come on Alana, you were refreshing, and nice, and down to earth. I just don't like you anymore. (Even when my heart tells me that there's a tiny but existing chance she's doing this to frame Hannibal or something, because I still have hope for her)
    So please, writers, give us just good, intelligent, nice and LIVING female characters. Please. PLEASE.

  • cinemale Apr 09, 2014

    whoever you are. i think i may be in love.***writing a dear john letter to chris evans: hey, bud, remember when i said that i thought you were the epitome of the world's greatest man and that i could never love a woman the way i love you? well, i met someone online and...***

    you made so many fantastic, articulate points that i am just going to commit each one to memory and use them in future.

    although if i might diverge a bit, philip seymour hoffman's freddie was kinda bitchy too and not terribly bright. edward norton's will loathed him and yet somehow he thought that the guy wanted a photo-op with him. that is not the thinking of an ace reporter.

  • cheribouille Apr 16, 2014

    Thanks, passion makes me bright sometimes! (seriously I'm over-commited to this show, it's like I never even blink when I'm watching it, and that HURTS)
    I agree on the Seymour Hoffman part, he was kind of pathetic even. I guess if we ever get to see the Red Dragon "bit" in Hannibal, girl Freddie would fight fiercely. I actually miss her, even if I'm so obsessed with her hair (what can I say, I'm French...) that I've trouble remembering what she actually looks like...

  • cheribouille Apr 16, 2014

    This comment has been removed.

  • Amorandine Apr 08, 2014

    I agree with you on many points, but the 'driven by their hormones' I think is inappropriate. She has shown a history of restraint romantically. She has no idea Hannibal is a danger. In everything she knows about him he is the most sane, gentle, and empathetic person. He is considerate. He is calm. He is warm to her but not often unprofessional. He is the very example of civility and intelligence. And she has no reason to believe he is guilty of anything. She just saw him victimized by the orderly (Murderly) and they have shared interests and shared pains.

    Will on the other hand just tried to murder her mentor, and friend after always showing instability and being a much angrier and insensitive (behaviorally) around Alana than Hannibal.

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