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Hannibal S02E08: "Su-zakana"

I don't often make it a point to mention whether or not the title of a particular episode is relevant, as any number of decisions might go into the episode-naming process. Hannibal sticks to a theme—last season was French cuisine, this season is Japanese—but sometimes the title dishes don't seem to have much of a connection to the plot, while at other times, they do. "Futamono" was a little tongue-in-cheek with its name, as it the term refer to a lidded dish, normally a soup, and the episode ended with Jack pulling open a lid to find Miriam Lass. In the course of a kaiseki meal, su-zakana is the palate cleanser, often a vegetable in vinegar, that comes at the halfway point.

Hannibal's "Su-zakana" arrived a little past the middle of the season, but it was no less a palate cleanser, a way of indicating that we're entering a new phase of the narrative. With Will free of the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally insane, sporting a new haircut and even a new, more expensive-looking coat (only his knitted cap felt like the old Will), and with Chilton at least off the stage for the time being (there was a slight dodging of the issue of Chilton's aliveness) and "assumed" to be the Chesapeake Ripper, Will is likewise is attempting to cleanse everyone else's palate of the Will "His Brain Is on Fire" Graham. As the case of the week demonstrated, however, Will's vinegar dish may be a little on the weak side.


It wasn't just any case of the week this week. A dead woman was stuffed inside a horse—and inside of the dead woman, there was a starling. But in a nice departure from Hannibal's usual M.O., the body's grotesque placement wasn't the work of the actual killer—it was an attempt to honor the victim by a psychologically and physiologically damaged Peter Bernardone (Jeremy Davies), a man who liked to collect and care for animals. It turned out that Bernardone's social worker, Clark Ingram (Chris Diamantopoulos), had killed at least 14 other folks in addition to the lady in the horse, and while Bernardone knew about it, he was worried no one would believe him because of his mental troubles—something Ingram was apparently happy to use to his advantage. So while the show presented us with our suspects in its normal, orderly and unambiguous fashion—Hannibal's not one for red herrings (just trout!)—it spun a slightly more complicated web this week, even if Ingram all but behaved as if he had a bright neon sign above his head that read, "HI. I'M A SERIAL KILLER."

However, as we've discussed before, Hannibal often uses its cases to speak to some larger issue at play. It's why the show sacrifices the "Who?" part of the procedural mystery and focuses more on the "Why?" and the "How?" In the case of "Su-zakana," it was more a matter of Will looking at Peter and seeing himself reflected in the poor man's existence. Peter is an unkempt collector of animals in the same way that Will was/is an unkempt collector of stray dogs, and like Will, Peter knows a horrible secret about a polite gentleman who dresses better than he does, but no one would have listened to him. It might've just been Will projecting himself onto Peter—"I know what it's like to point at a killer and have no one listen"—if the episode hadn't introduced Clark as the Bizarro Hannibal.

Presenting these mirrored versions of our central pair at the turning point of the season's story is hardly insignificant. As Will crafts himself into the bewitching lure for Hannibal, he's faced with not only the lost version of the man he used to be, but with an opportunity to act out the reckoning he promised to himself and to Hannibal not too long ago. When Will told Jack at the beginning of the episode that to catch a wily fish, "you have to create a reality where only you and the fish exist," I doubt he meant it quite this way, a reality where Hannibal, Will, and variations of both men exist, and, for a brief moment in time, no one else.

Will is playing a dangerous game (alongside Jack, as their ice-fishing conversation made clear with its pointed indirectness), shifting between the role of a hapless victim when he's with Jack and that of a confident and deliberate investigator when therapy with Hannibal. The idea is to sell the con that Jack isn't in on it, but where does the con begin and end? Did Peter's predicament rattle something loose for Will, loose enough that he was willing to kill Clark? Or was Will nearly shooting Clark a conscious act of vulnerability on Will's part, to create the illusion that the Will Graham in his therapy sessions is the real fake, as it were? I think it may likely be a blend of both, depending on the perspective. I think Will was ready to kill Clark to satisfy his desire to feel good while doing a bad thing to a bad person—particularly that bad person—but I also think that Hannibal sees the therapy with Will as something that isn't at full strength, and thus something that can be broken again, even if he can't fully anticipate Will's actions. 

The show signaled another new phase for itself with the introduction of Margot Verger (Katharine Isabelle). If you've read Hannibal the novel, then you're familiar with Margot and her decidedly demented brother, Mason, and his fondness for tear-laced martinis. While our Margot was decidedly different from the book version in terms of representation, some elements remained, namely her loathing of her brother. I'll say no more on the matter as I'm frankly too interested in whatever the show has in store for us with regard to the Verger siblings, in particular Michael Pitt as Mason, to be all that concerned with how it's adapting them just yet.

But Margot presents us with, if not a mirror, then certainly a parallelism of Will Graham. Margot would very much like to kill, or at least punish her brother, and she has Hannibal advising her to basically act as Will did earlier in the season: She should kill Mason when she knows she can get away with it, or she should get someone else to do it for her. Will has found himself in a similarly sticky position, and all he's got left is the wait for an opportunity to punish Hannibal, even while fantasizing about killing the good doctor with his own two hands.



À LA CARTE

– "Peter. Is your social worker inside that horse?" "Yes." I died. Died. And then I died again, in a different way, as Clark clawed his way out of that horse. And, yes, Hannibal, I saw you petting that lamb.

– Erotic, elliptical sex scene between Hannibal and Alana this week that I'm sure disgusted/enraged many of you. Hopefully you took solace in the fact that the same gray tone used for that sequence matched the sheet that was pulled over the scene to transition to the next, where it was then pulled away to reveal Sarah Craber's corpse. An ill omen for Alana, perhaps? No doubt many of you are hoping it is.

– Bryan Fuller's making my life easy lately by tweeting out the show's musical selections, which I greatly appreciate. This episode featured Beethoven's Piano concerto No. 1 in C Major, Allegro con brio as Hannibal prepared the trout for dinner. As Will and Hannibal discussed the darkness around Will and Peter, the beginning of the final movement of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem played, "In Paradisum."


How did "Su-zakana" taste?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/29/2015

Season 3 : Episode 13

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Very interesting review, thank you.

With regard to your question:" was Will nearly shooting Clark a conscious act of vulnerability on Will's part, to create the illusion that the Will Graham in his therapy sessions is the real fake, as it were?" I think Will is ready to kill the social worker as part of his act, not because it may feel nice (though that realisation has to be Hannibal's great lesson for Will, the nearest to the 'shaking loose,' you mention) but because if there has to be any collateral damage in the creation of "A reality where only you and the fish exist," it might as well be a creature like Clarke. Will has learned not to regret that.

The fact that it may echo a desire within Will to kill Hannibal is almost irrelevant but not quite... the way to make a lie convincing is to mix in bits of the truth. It gives the seduction a vital, dangerous edge of the real. Hannibal is beginning to believe it, because he very much wants to, and because Will is the most perfect a liar can be without believing his own lies . Will is always symbolised by water, and part of that metaphor is the ability to reflect and deceive. Here, he slows himself nicely, becomes ice. We know ice is dangerous, that it looks as though you can walk on it, though it could crack any moment. It's a daring thing, Hannibal's stepping into Will's terrain...but he doesn't think the ground will break beneath his feet. The only cracking he expects is that of a butterfly from its cocoon.
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noel, you had me at bewitching lure.

i think will is a bewitching lure to hannibal and their scene together near the end was suffused with so much undercurrent of palpable intimacy. hannibal has never looked at his piece of diversion who masquerades as a competent prober of psyches the way he looked at will in the last five minutes of last week's episode.

i gotta give it to hannibal: will's vulnerability is intoxicating. you just want to wrap will in your arms and rock him in a nice fluffy blanket as you make him at home in the nearest looney bin.

what will be shocking is if will was completely in control all the while making hannibal believe that he's the master of the game. dayum you, hannibal, you handsome devil.
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Great episode...plz renew it already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Fantastic episode!! It scared the shit out of me when the starling flew out of the dead body.
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So what happened to Miriam? Was she charged with attempted murder or murder? Was she arrested or placed in a hospital? Was Jack punished for sloppy weapon handling and losing his gun to her? It would be nice if the writers provided some follow-up for this and other events during the season.
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I liked the moth/butterfly chrysalis nod, and the lamb nod also...it seemed to be a very quiet lamb. The starling was also a nice touch
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If this is filler for this series, then it was some pretty dang good filler.

I couldn't help but notice the real power play going on between Hannibal and Will. Right now, I consider them on equal ground. Will may need the resources and proof to officially put Hannibal behind bars (where he belongs), but Hannibal needs Will in the way a plants need water and sunlight. It's not necessarily a romantic kind of need, but it is a deep-seated need for a true companion to understand him - a best friend. It seems like Will doesn't really want to put Hannibal away just yet either - not without more observations yet.

"Is your social worker in that horse?" - Best line currently in TV history. Seriously. I died.

I found the s*x scene between Hannibal and Alana not to be frustrating and grating like most viewers; I thought it was hilarious. Something about how artistic it was - each frame and added effect just made it seem so freaking funny to me. I don't know. It's probably just me; my humor can be dark sometimes.

Although I've never really like Alana, I've got to admit that she's pretty in character. Bland, oblivious, and easily manipulated is pretty much all there really was to her. She's just a pawn for the main characters (which is what most of the female characters are in this show - maybe Margot Verger can change that in future episodes). I just hate the fact that she was Will's official love interest in the first season anyway (Beverly and Will's romance will only exist in my fanfiction *sigh*).

The murders on this show really do play on your suspension of disbelief, though. Could the bird really have not been suffocated inside of the girl stuffed inside of a horse and sewn in? Maybe. On to Google!
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I get the vibe Will has ptsd from his incarceration. Things are black and white in his world right now. He never would have blindly killed a person before. And this is what is keeping Lector on as an observer and manipulator. He wants to see Will react to different stresses and maybe even become a killer like himself. Will still is rational and has a plan to draw Lector out, and it's working.
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I am glad the case of the week has some parallel relevance to the main issue that we are all concern about. It is a little disappointing after they forward the story so much in the last few episodes to slow it down again. I hope we get to see more Will luring Hannibal. I think his ultimate plan is to set himself up as a bait and for Jack to finally catch Hannibal.

Well at least now Jack starting to believe Will. I hope Alana will too before she dies. As much as I liked her, I do think she is going to die.

I missed Gillian Anderson on this show (I know she is busy on Crisis) and I am surprised Hannibal would just let her cut ties with him. I was thinking Hannibal will eat her.
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I felt it didn't quite have enough going for it to follow the episodes it has, but it did its best and it was a fantastic episode. Still on par with the subtleties, just not as much with the central plot points. It would be difficult for anything to follow such a killer first half, so I have to commend the series for making it work. And yes, the social worker in the horse line. Perfect.
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I get the feeling that recently gory/elaborate deaths and placements are there for the sake of having gory/elaborate death and placement. In first season I could see the point, now it seems they are just cheap thrills.
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I laughed out loud when that guy popped out of the horse and Hannibal was like "oh shit..."
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LOL.I also like how Hannibal made like this half-assed abortive effort to assist Will in helping blood and miscellaneous covered Peter up, but he just. can't. do it. He makes this little disturbed finger waggle in the general direction like, "This is unseemly! My shoes, Will! My shoes! Some warning next time would be nice. My murdersuit is way out in the trunk of my car!"
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You are too damned funny.
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Great review & I thought a great episode. I loved the Jeremy Davies character (not a bad parallel to Will, only so much more damaged) and Davies did a terrific job. I wish he could stick around for a bit longer but the case seems closed now. I liked Will's performance for Hannibal's sake. I do not believe Will was anywhere near to shooting the social worker a-hole. But I may be wrong.

I loved the fishing in the snow scene and the metaphor of getting the fish who doesn't want to feed to bite. Not sure though how that can be applied to catch Hannibal... Basically they need to set him up with a victim he cannot resist? That sounds pretty outside the FBI box and rather dangerous as a ploy for all concerned... But hey, can't wait.

I have not read the books but Margot and her creepy bro sound VERY promising. Especially with Michael Pitt involved.
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Where in Maryland does it get cold enough to ice fish? I lived in Rockville for 2 years and we seldom had a hard freeze, let alone enough to walk out on a frozen lake. That's upper midwest/Canada weather.
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Although I'd have to re-watch the scene, it's possible it's a river, which would make marginally more sense for trout, though there are also lake trout. If so, a shallower, slow-moving river might provide sufficient freeze.

But really, Hannibal's more about aesthetic and poetic effect than realism. Why should fishing be any different?
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I hope Chilton IS alive cuz I REALLY didn't like what happened to him... That whole ending and this episode gave me the same vibe as Season 1. Started off strong and then went to sh*t after 7 episodes... This season was WAY better than 1 but this episode was weak and bloody...I didn't get who 'Ginger Snaps' was playing but now I see from this article she's Margot - THAT'S COOL. Just have to wait and see...If Season 2 IS paralleling 1 then at least we'll get a good season finale...
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Right near the beginning of this episode when Will first did a walk through the stalls and got the vibe for the one who sewed the woman into the horse and how it wasn't an act of malice, but one of misplaced kindness I immediately had the bizarre thought "How truly disturbing would it be if the one who had sewn her into the horse wasn't even the one who killed her?"

I find it weird how many people here seem to be condemning Jack for being dimwitted or oblivious to what's going on, when right at the beginning when he and Will are fishing, Will told him they would have to create a world when only he and the trout (Hannibal) existed, thus Will poked and prodded at Hannibal every step of the way while Jack dismissed and denied every remark Will made to keep their charade up. Jack may not have the psychological insights of Will or Hannibal, but he is not dimwitted or oblivious to any degree. He knows his part, and he knows how it has to be played for them to have any chance of catching Hannibal.

The only part I'm left uncertain on is when Will was holding the gun on Ingram, was he visualizing a scenario in which he was killing a representation of Hannibal, or was he playing the lost and broken profiler to draw all of Hannibal's attention on himself and create a scenario in which Hannibal felt he would need to help Will, his FRIEND, even if it meant furthering the possibility of his own demise; again, making the world only about you and the trout?
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completely agree with you about Jack~~Jack is in on it and working with Will. I also thought that was obvious and agree with you about finding it weird that so many others aren't picking up on this even though it was spelled out for us.

I think Will is playing Hannibal (pretending to want to kill that guy…he may of even of even wanted to kill that killer so it wouldn't of been hard to act convincing enough to fool Hannibal).
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Lol, Will's Trout and Hannibal's Butterfly. This show.
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The purple prose, the double/triple/entendres, and Mad's mush mouth delivery (still sexy tho), was giving me fits. Made me watch the ep twice and I didn't even like the ep the first time around!

I know the cases of the week are simply the echo chamber to whatever is going on with Will and Hannibal at that particular moment, but Peter and his Social Worker being the amped up crazy(ier) versions of Will and Hannibal was a bit much. On top of the introduction of Margo too. Sheesh. Is Maryland situated on a Hellmouth or something? Or maybe Hannibal gives off a homing signal for pure evil?

Will, you in danger gurl! His little admission to Peter that he doesn't know how to feel. I'm conflicted too. Half the time I'm like, "Yes, Will, reckoning!!!!" and the other half I'm going, "Eh, fuck it. Murder husbands!"

Most jarring scene of the episode for me didn't even involve things emerging from things it shouldn't (or maybe it did)! The Hannibal/Alana sex scene made me WTF and LOL! This show is so bold with its violence and lingers on the grotesque, but the sex scenes are all demure, post coital recaps, and artistic fabric rustling. My sweet America, such a bloodthirsty, yet simultaneously prudish nation.

Disgusted? Enraged? Please. Maybe if I had any thoughts come to mind about Alana other than dull void, I could feel some sort of outrage about her currently bedding Hannibal. I understand why she would. She's harbored a crush on the man for 11 years or more. On surface level, Hannibal is one the ultimate male archetypes that pretty much every woman (interested in men) would want: Renaissance Man.

However, the Hannibal/Alana relationship isn't about Alana. Like every other character on the show, she is only relevant in facilitating the narrative that is squarely focused on Will and Hannibal. She's gone from Will's unattainable romantic ideal (the prize at the end of the crazy tunnel) to Hannibal's human shield (alibi/threat against Will). Alana on her own isn't particularly funny or bright and she doesn't manage to steal some of the spotlight in a room full of heavies as some of the other secondary characters have done. Disappointing really.

I'm a fan of Will's haircut and brushing skills, but I'm not a fan of his "embracing my inner Hannibal" wardrobe situation. Hannibal needs to stand inappropriately close, stroke his face, cradle it, then whisper in his ear, "I miss your plaid shirts covered in dog fur."
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Love this.
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I agree. Even checked my audio settings on this one because I had to rewatch several of Mads' ines to understand him.

I also where in Maryland it gets cold enough to ice fish. I lived in Rockville for 2 years and we seldom had a hard freeze, let alone enough to walk out on a frozen lake. That's upper midwest/Canada weather.
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I am going to say this, but PLEASE know, I do not mean this in a degrading way... but all these tweets about Hannibal and Will being intimate, like they were gonna kiss, when Hannibal got in his face, its sorta diminishing this whole storyline to me of, maybe the closeness is paralleling the intrusive nature of the mind or the intertwining of these two (I don't even have the right words) who dance heavily in their own way, with in the psychologically tragic places of the mind... so in some twisted fascination with Will, Hannibal pressing his face up to him, could mean a whole ton of things. Any ideas????? I just sorta annoyed at the amount of shippers for these two, because it takes away from the really amazing story being told of their diabolical relationship. But to each their own. just curious what people think???
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I am with you in that there is little in the show to assume a sexual attraction (let alone one involving feelings) from Will to Hannibal whether last season or this one. Hannibal is a more complex individual and while I think he is too much of a psychopath to have true feelings for anyone whether Alana or Will, I do believe he would resort to anything to manipulate the situation to his advantage. In this very episode he had sex with Alana to avoid a conversation so I am 100% sure that he'd have sex with Will if that was to help him manipulate him but since I am also 100% certain Hannibal knows Will has no sexual interest in him, this won't happen.

Any speculation on the matter does not take anything from the story in my opinion as I think it is very easy to ignore shipping wars esp when the evidence is so unsupportive of such 'ships'. Sure there are plenty of stares or touches that last slightly longer than one would expect between Hannibal and Will but I really think this is just part of Hannibal's power plays & of the show's aesthetic choices. Hannibal knows the power of one's physical presence and gestures and uses them as he uses words but that is all.
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Takes away from a really amazing story? Come on now. You aren't going to have to write a report on the show and get dinged by your teacher for having missed nuance of words and deeds. Relax. No one can take away how you feel about a story or how you interpret it, even if the unsubtle subtext has managed to fly over your head for nearly two seasons. Hell, hannigraham shippers love the exact same psychological dark masterpiece you do, they just like to interpret a little sexual tension on top. They also like to make copious amounts of cannibal jokes. The cast and the writer(s) seem to be happy to oblige the subtext in performance, dialogue, and tweet.

I'm seriously cracking up over all the comments going, "Oh my gosh, did you notice that end scene being sorta, kinda, you know, made the Will and Hannibal relationship seem....homoerotic?" That is precious. Some people really do need the equivalent of a brick up side the head dick whipping out on screen, it would seem.

Frankly, I think Hannibal is enthralled with Will's mind. It's so unique and bright. It's practically a superpower! Will can see into the darkness and understand it. Will can see into Hannibal and perhaps understand, maybe even grow to like the monster inside. That's pretty fucking romantic.

It's kind of been the underline motivating factor in Hannibal manipulating Will into much darker spaces. In his own way, he sees himself as helping Will by forcing him to give way to his true self. A dark self. Hannibal seems desirous of Will freed of normal morality, but chained to him. A true friend. A partner. Now if Hannibal starts lusting for Will's flesh in a non-cannibal way, it wouldn't exactly come out of left field, but I would never believe Hannibal from day one, would or would even need to go to such diabolical lengths just to get into Will's pants.

What does Will want? At this point that is the big question. Will liked Hannibal the fraud. And Will liked Hannibal when his mask slipped, it seemed like in those moments Hannibal and Will laughed and smiled the most. And Will seems to be conflicted over the positive change Hannibal has/is having on him from his manipulations. Where he ends up, nobody knows.
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i'm not on twitter, so I wasn't aware of this - but I agree with you. I find it sad that people confuse intimacy - and their relationship could be described as intimate - with sexual tension or sexual relationship.
However the worst I have seen is the Sam and Dean shippers on Supernatural - the fact that they are brothers doesn't stop it.
But you'll never be able to stop it, so its probably best to just ignore it and enjoy the show
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@grumpyclown YES you nailed what I was trying to say! Thank you! I just was trying to see if I was missing something, cause in no way have I found they are telling a story that is more than sexually platonic. But, they dance the line of intimacy, I think to try and portray how twisted, dark, fucked up and complicated it is... anyways thank you!!!
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The amazing story IS in the 'shipping' of these two. It's not just about "hannigram" - it's about the discovery of two truly weird individuals finding each other in extraordinary circumstances. It's like the core of co-dependency, at it's vilest...and yet, if this aspect wasn't in the TV show, there would be no show worth watching.
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If by shipping you mean an psychology dark and fucked up intimate connection, that really doesn't have words to accurately describe it, then yes I agree that is the whole show... BUT anything sexual, isn't IMO a part of that. That's what I was getting that, and asking on a forum, bc I keep seeing in Twitter, and I'm like am I missing something, again IMO they are not portraying that at all.
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Let's put it this way: they are both mindfucking each other. Hannibal is in charge of the mindfuck, but Will is giving it right back even when he doesn't try. This whole relationship is tantric. An actual physical-sexual act is NOT the goal here (not on the show, at least). For it to be as tantric as it is, it has to engage the body...these men are stimulated by each other, electrified - it may not be the kind that ends up in the sack, but it's the kind that has them thinking of each other round the clock. Know what I mean?
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I'm guessing people would be enraged by the fact that Allana was bedding Hannibal, not Will, because that scene was beautiful and sexy.

Hannibal has made me gag. Officially and whole-heartedly. I gag when you gag and serial killer fresh out of horse gagged, so I gagged. Ugh.
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The truth is, there are many MANY people who see a very intense relationship between Will and Hannibal - one that is quite stimulating, and cannot be denied by many fans. Nobody's looking to have it this way, it's just what this wonderful entertainment is providing. We go with what we see, we do not make it this way. However, it is quite beautiful to many, this idea that there is a sexual undertone to the Will/Hannibal dynamic. There is nothing homosexual to it - it's about dominance, submission and mastery. Sex isn't the goal here... the upper hand is. It only looks sexual because the way to gain that upper hand is through power, mind power, which is probably the most sexual weapon we have.

As far as the beauty of the Alana/Hannibal scene, I am not sure many find much beauty in this - not because people don't want it, but because we know Hannibal, and Hannibal clearly has no interest in finding depth in an otherwise meaningless sexual situation. Just look at what interests him: death, psychosis, cannibalism, murder...anyone who's into THAT isn't really moved by bedroom scenes...they need MORE. And Will, whether people can understand the subtext or not, provides the sickness, the MORE, that Hannibal needs.
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I kind of think Hannibal is bored by the relationship with Alana. It's a reason to talk about Will and other things. The relationship of Will/Hannibal is one of an animal playing with his prey before killing and eating it.
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That's the bingo, right there. It gives him a reason to talk about Will with someone who knows him and has attachments to him. Lecter is just methodical enough to get himself sexually involved with someone - could be anyone - just to further along his obsessive thoughts on Will. Even though the scenes are filmed in a very lush and sensuous way, they are void of any actual sensuality - this is mechanical for Hannibal. And actually, this pseudo-relationship is boring ME. After watching the last two minutes of this episode 25 times in a row, I can truly say that THAT is what dynamic looks like; not this satiny filler of boredom.

My guess is that he is thinking of Will while he's in bed with Alana. And I don't say that to be a fangirl, I say that because that is what Lecter thinks about. Will Graham and creative killing.
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LMAO! You made me double check myself for a Fruedian typo, which has been known to happen on more than one occassion.
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I'm replying to myself like a lonely little Hannibyte, but I'm really responding to you, ChicN - no reply button left, such limitations!

Anyway, I read your comment and saw this: "I hope Alana is able to eat at least get some of her own back before the series ends," and I thought -where the hell is ChicN going with this, and of course BLEGH, eat her own back??? How would she do that and...oh yes, never put ze impossible past zat cwazy mannibal.

I agree, Alana's been written into sawdust and filler, and hmm, a DuMaurier sub too? True, he needs someone to talk to, and of course, it's always and only about Will.

As for halfsies on the Lecter's registry, I hear the boys are BIG into Calphalon these days.
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Oh shit, so not only does Alana appear to be a Will substitute, she's ALSO a DuMaurier substitute. Ugh. I hope Alana is able to at least get some of her own back before the series ends, because she's really been written into a pathetic position. Knowing this show, she'll cotton on at the last minute and be full of self-righteousness and come barging in somewhere declaring, "Hannibal Lecter IS a killer Jack! I believe Will!" And Jack will be like, " That is sooooo five episodes ago Alana. After some much needed 'therapy' with Dr. Lecter about his horrific false imprisonment, Will has confirmed that Chilton was The Ripper all along. Also, (not so surprisingly) Dr. Lecter and Will announced their engagement with mini cakes, that don't taste like people AT ALL! Would you like to go halfsies on an item on their Registry?"
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Hmmm..."Dr Chilton has..." - has. Little present tense there. I don't see Hannibal using incorrect grammar, even to hide Chilton's status from the audience. I think Chilton's alive.

I found this episode more disturbing than usual, but that's because of the animals, esp. the horses. If Will hadn't killed Carter, I think I would have volunteered to do it. Interesting, though, that Hannibal and the sheep hit it off. As I wrote last week, I'm rather surprised that animals - specifically Will's dogs - don't seem to sense that Hannibal is a monster.
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This show always finds new ways to make me feel sick and horrified. Love it.
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"Peter. Is your social worker inside that horse?" is something you only hear in a show like Hannibal.

The episode was about rebirths. The person-inside-a-horse mimicked a birth, and the way Hannibal stroked Will's head after he almost killed Ingram, shows how proud the good doctor is of the new and improved (in a way, reborn) Will Graham, the killer.
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I did think this episode was on the filler side but nonetheless I enjoyed it mostly cause of that guy making his way out of a dead horse. Like for reals show? even Hannibal thought "ew"
Yes, I still love new Will specially his new clothes and attitude but he is playing a dangerous game and I really hope he knows what he is doing.
And I do like Hannibals and Alanas sexy scenes.
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For the first time Hannibal actually looked disgusted.
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So, as far a sexual symbolism, you have Will pointing his gun at horse-womb-guy, all charged up and ready to shoot, when Hannibal, completely interested, softly cups his hand over the gun and tells Will that he will never be as satisfied killing that guy as he would if he killed Hannibal, which Will recognizes as truth, stops and lets Hannibal handle his face - very intimately.

What man does this to another man and what man allows this to happen, this kind of intimate face touching? People touch each other's arms maybe, but to touch someone's face, to comfort them by cupping their cheek, their neck - this is lovemaking. The dance these two have going on is dark, luscious, subversive, eccentric and deeply private. But it's a dance, and it is definitely sexually charged.
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Will was sort of in a trance like state at the time or he was pretending to, to play Hannibal, who knows.

During season 1, it was made pretty clear that Will walked the line of a killer every time he got into the head of a killer at the crime scene (he even killed abigails father in the very first episode).

Hannibal has always known this and this is why he finds Will not only interesting but a fasintating experiment, as Will is one a kind.

Hannibal definitely likes Will a bit too much, that's for sure!
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I wouldn't say its a matter of Hannibal liking Will too much as it is likely a case of this being one of the only people Hannibal genuinely likes, and in such a case, one doesn't always know how to interact with someone they genuinely like when they almost never have before. Do you assert dominance like Hannibal is so used to and make their life into your own puppet show? Do you create scenarios in which to bring said friend closer to you and rely on your guidance and direction? Do you sabotage their other friendships so that yours is seen as not only the best, but possibly the only friendship that matters? Alas, friendship makes for such tricky business for psychopaths.
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That last scene probably started a thousand slashfics :)

But I think the point was how far Will is willing to go to let Hannibal think that Hannibal is the one in control the relationship.
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So true. It's never really clear who's boss with this. The obvious is Hannibal, but then again...if we knew the answers, we'd never believe in the possibility of something outrageously shocking, such as Will, in control. Hm.... good thinking!
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your comment is both revolting and sacrilegious on so many levels. Please don't make comments like this
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nath1897, you're gonna miss everything cool and die angry.
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Insults such as this are unnecessary and take all the fun out of wonderful forums such as this. Live and let live.
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Unless you live for your dinner parties!
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and for the love of God and little chickens, get anti-spam software soon! These spams are very very annoying.

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As countless female spies can attest, the way to a man's secrets is through pillow talk; so Alana can be playing a dangerous game all of her own. This brings me to Will and his dangerous game with Hannibal, too. Will's forte is to get into the mind of serial killers, he tried doing this outside the scope of his nemesis and it backfired; so now he is doing it with him, and to him. Is he in full control, I think he is this time as he had the time to formulate his revenge.
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Now that is one interesting thought and I hope it is true... Alana was good this week when interrogating the social worker psycho so who knows... So perhaps there is hope for her after all...
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Just when I thought I couldn't admire the man much more, Hannibal avoids awkward conversations by having sex - what a guy!!!
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Poor, sweet, innocent Alana ... what have the writers done to you?
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To be fair, there wasn't really all that much there to ruin to begin with.
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I want Alana dead.....like yesterday. Her stupidity irks me.
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I don't even like Alana. *screams Beverly's name into the wind* However, I can't with the death wishes. She is literally the only person on the show that has no reason to and is not wildly out of character for steadfastly standing by Hannibal Lecter. No one, no where has produced any proof against Hannibal. Her mentor and friend of 11 years. Her Grad School crush. Hannibal hasn't made a verbal faux pas in her presence to make her double-take. She's a dupe, but I don't think it's because she's lacking in average observational skills or anything.

Everyone else gets the side-eye though, especially Jack Crawford.

And since they have essentially reduced Alana to romantic pawn *huge sigh*, they can't add insult to injury by then murdering her when she's worn out her usefulness. This isn't Bonanza. Sure, Alana has repeated bad judgment. But so does pretty much everyone else on this show. Her only scarlet letter is willingly getting in bed with Hannibal Lecter, the facade of Hannibal Lecter at least. He's manipulating her with the D and pillow talk! Maybe she'll wise up and work to help bring him down. Or maybe she'll just wind up in a corner rocking, mumbling about a cannibal going down on her.
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"Or maybe she'll just wind up in a corner rocking, mumbling about a cannibal going down on her." Ahah laughing so hard, can't stop. She deserves at least that if she doesn't end up like Beverly.
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Why does everything Will say, makes it seem that he is saying it for the sole purpose of conning Hannibal.
The dialogues were awesome. Everything Will and Hannibal said seemed to have a second, hidden meaning.
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I agree! His conversation with Jack to start the episode colors everything he says/does for the rest of it. It certainly seems like Will is playing a very, very long con. It makes it difficult to take all of his actions—like almost shooting the serial-killer social worker—at face value. It's all such a performance for Hannibal.
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Not sure, as it would require me to watch the show. Which I don't.
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And just what does that have to do with the price of eggs?
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Another great episode. Not quite up to the level of the previous episodes. But still fantastic none the less.

The relationship between Will and Hannibal is progressing into something that actually is starting to look like a friendship. A little bit of caring, Hannibal didn't want Will to waste his first kill as a new man on someone as lowly as Ingram. A little bit of professional respect, Will and Hannibal bantering back and forth during their therapy session, Will calling Hannibal interesting and Hannibal asking Will if he was going to kill him. Then you toss in a little acceptance, and underlying hatred and mistrust. All the things that come across a friendship at some point in time.

The case wasn't that interesting, though I would love to Davies to become a part of the show. The visuals of it was pretty good. Who knew a whole person could fit in the belly of a horse. Though the kid in me immediately thought of Luke in the Tauntaun. It did have kind mimicking of Hannibal and Will, but not nearly enough as it should have had if they wanted to be more pointed for the characters.

Jack is still being conveniently obtuse and dismissive. I am sure that if he looked deep into the background of Chilton that he would find that he does not line up enough to be the Ripper. But my guess is that Jack is going to have to be beaten over the head with it in order for him to get there.

Hannibal and Alana was kind of fun. We know why Hannibal is going this route, this is a level of protection against Will. And even he wants her to be on Will's side, you see that with him telling her that Will struck out at him because he thought that Alana was in fact in protecting her. Why? Because she is only useful to him if Will cares for her. Will is attempting to calm the ripple in his pond. He has to in order go toe to toe with Hannibal. He is right, he needs to isolate himself and Hannibal in order to be on equal footing. He started this when he used the orderly and then manipulated Chilton. But he needs to continue that in order to keep the playing field even. Alana is a detriment to him and I think he is going to struggle to realize that and keep her from getting close to him again. Which I think is kind of interesting, Hannibal is using his relationship with Alana to push her towards Will in order to gain a better advantage. The sad part is that Alana should know she is being manipulated.

As for Margot and Mason, I can't wait to see how they present that.

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re-watch it (especially the ice fishing scene and then the scene where Jack tells Will he was going after the wrong person in front of Hannibal) and you will see that Jack is in on it with Will. They are "playing" Hannibal in order to hook him.

I thought Jack over played it when he said something to the effect of Will going after the wrong guy (implying hannibal) in front of Hannibal. He sounded so fake and it seemed like it was intentional bad acting (good acting by Fishburne) but the character Jack isn't skilled with lying.
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I am not sure, his allowing Alana to conduct the interview on Chilton was kind of a dumb move, him also allowing Miriam in the observation room was another mistake. The think with Hannibal and Jack is far more complex on Jack's part, due to Hannibal's saving of his wife. i am not sure that he is in on it with Will, because there hasn't been an Aha! moment with Jack just yet. I think he should be in on it with Will. But I just don't see Jack quite there yet.

Remember we are still a few episodes away from the fight. That fight isn't something that is a slow build. That is something emotional, that is something that was decided quickly, not a methodical dance toward each other that is/was Jack being visceral and base in his emotions coming to the realization and wanting to take it out on Hannibal and inflict the amount of pain he likely feels emotionally on Hannibal physically. And that isn't someone that is in on the secret as it were waiting for the opportune moment.
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I think you're wrong about Jack. I believe he and Will are playing a very dangerous game of cat and mouse with Hannibal wherein Will is a very, very boastful and bold mouse, Hannibal is the highly intelligent and incredibly patient cat, and Jack is standing just out of frame waiting for Will to lure Hannibal out into the open with all his antics so that Jack can chase the cat off with the broom. I may be drawing tons of parallels with Tom & Jerry with here, but I think people are discounting Jack's part way too much on account of him trying to appear disinterested and oblivious to what's going on around him.
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Perhaps you are correct. I can't wait to see which it is. Either one is going to be great.
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I think the re-hab job on Will is kind of him acknowledging that despite his prowess as a profiler, his own sanity was too tenuous to be able to go toe to toe with Lechter. It's like he lost the first bout, and nearly his own life, because he didn't realize his own fragility. Now he's in training in earnest for the re-match and is managing to harness Lechter's well concealed, but definitely large, ego to actually get him to be his personal trainer.
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That's good. I can see that. Will is learning from the master how to catch the master, and this time - it's a conscious decision. Interesting.
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for the first time in 21 episodes I was not really impressed with the episode...may be it did not match the high standards I have for the series.
Well that is my opinion only :)
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Ditto...it's like it took a break from the story to go procedural for the sake of going procedural...of course this is where the story is at, and Will isn't hiding anything, but still...compared to the flow of ALL previous episodes, this definitely was the weakest episode so far...and it looks like next week will be the same...
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I'm glad I wasn't the only one who felt that way.
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Alana has to go... NOW
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Not just yet. I am sure the writers have a plan in store and it is going to be oh so gratifying when she comes to that realization right before Hannibal or perhaps even Will kills her.
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well I hope that plan comes to fruition soon
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If Will is the lure, it must be to incite Hannibal's natural instinct to brag.

So Will's, and Jack's, plan is to get Hannibal to confess.
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I don't know about "brag," but the Ripper is a show-off. I think part of Will engaging Hannibal directly is teasing him into a covert competition. Will needs Hannibal to perform.
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Love everything Jeremy Davies does, though these strangely complex introverted characters are a cake walk for him given the numerous roles he's played, I would love to see his interpretation of Will Graham but this show is knocking it out of the park in any case as it is.
I thought Katherine Isabelle was excellent and now you telling me Michael Pitt is gonna be Nelson Verger, I'm in the throes of some kind of fan boy ecstatics.
As Deee said below it's testament to the acting of the cast that they can affect you despite their seemingly clueless actions, Loved Fishburne ice-fishing and then chastising Will about his false accusations. Furrowed my brow at the Alana love scene but then loved her psychological poking of the psychopath.

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What is with Will dressing up now? Is he gonna start cooking gourmet meals in a tuxedo or go fishing in a 3 piece suit? Is their a correlation between killing and dressing up as much as humanly possible? :-)
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I think it might all be part of Will's play to keep all of Hannibal's attention on him. You dress flashier, you clean up, you shave, and you make bold and obviously underhanded comments in front of others about someone and you're bound to keep their attention focused on you.
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I'm glad they decided to let us in on Jack and Will's little game they're playing. They could have left us in the dark (I think other shows might have done that).
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I agree. It's fantastic watching Jack playing his role in Will's performance too. Will's confronted Hannibal about not changing his mind about who's responsible for the Ripper's kills, but Jack—I think, at least—really has Hannibal duped. I don't know that he's sold on Hannibal absolutely being the Chesapeake Ripper, but he's certainly not sold on him not being the Ripper.
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Nice fanservice at the end of the episode.
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Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy are just mesmerizing when they're on screen together - if that was all the show was; Hannibal and Will having an hour long conversation each week, it would still be one of my favorite shows.

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It's like watching a ballet. Each week I am amazed and impressed by their performances. It's beautiful to watch.
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does anyone get a homoerotic vibe from hannibal and will hahah
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Well, that last scene launched a hundred ships...as it were.
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I would say so much yes, and equal parts not quite. There's a weird intimacy between them and a rapport that perversely resembles flirtation. As Du Maurier frequently observed, there's also an obsession. Hannibal's with Will has been long-standing, but now Will's isn't far off. It's also a parallel dynamic to the future relationship he has with Clarice Starling, which (in the books) ends with them running away together. It could also be argue that Hannibal's decision to have sex with Alana now, despite years of flirtation and attraction, is at least partially motivated by her being a sexual surrogate for Will. (The object of my affection of my object of affection is my new lover, or something like.) But I also don't believe that Hannibal is actually sexually attracted to Will. I don't think he'd have any reservations about just that.
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Holy crap! I was just about to say the same thing, because I was scrolling through the comments to see if someone else was going to comment on the very thing you just said! I was wondering if anyone else picked up on that. I thought that he was about to propose to Will. It turns Hannibal on to see Will wanting to go over the edge and kill. Also, did you notice how turned on Hannibal was to see Dr. Gideon eat his own leg? I see that Hannibal probably never fed victims to themselves. I thought Hannibal was going to take a cold shower. I do not like that they killed off Dr. Gideon. He's my favorite!
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The feeding of Gideon's leg to Gideon was, at least, a nod to the film (less so the book) Hannibal, in which Hannibal feeds pieces of Paul Krendler's brain to him.
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I don't. I see a piano wire strung between Will at one end about to explode into a fiery rage and Hannibal at the other about to melt into a puddle of smugness.
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Anyone? If one doesn't see this, one is blind. This entire show is pure sexual tension. That it will remain unrequited is the key element in keeping us all salivating for the next episode. Remember Mulder and Skully?
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85% of the fandom does, I think.
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Maybe it's some kind of double entendre when he says "I can feed the caterpillar and whisper into the chrysalis..." haha!
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Very romantic words UNF haha
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They made the title wrong. Actual word in Japanese Kaiseki is "Sii-zakana". Somehow in the process ii became u. JFR
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Hannibal is strongest when it's serialized around the central story. The second season has been a big improvement for me, partially, because it didn't rely as much on the procedural (which is still among the better procedurals on television) or it has shared screen time with the real, fleshy story (like in Takiawase). While the episode was good, it didn't advance the central story and we're in the same place we were last week.

I did enjoy the parallel between Will and our damaged victim. I wonder if the resolution of the main story was foreshadowed here.
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I'm a huge fan of highly serialized television, but I have to disagree that the second season of Hannibal has been an improvement in that regard, and overall I'm found the pacing of this season horrible.

The first two episodes of this season, 'Kaiseki' and 'Sakizuke', focused on one murderer, as did the third and fifth episodes, 'Hassun' and 'Mukōzuke', but ultimately in dragging out these storylines it made the episodes feel hollow in my opinion, particularly the first parts, because there was no resolution or closure, just the beginning of the story. And when the series isn't doing this we receive sub-par procedural episodes like the fourth episode in this season, 'Takiawase', which also served as a character focus episode for Crawford's wife Bella - and in that lies another problem the series suffers from.

It has an abundance of secondary characters to potentially utilise, yet the series ignores them for prolonged period's of time, and then, when the writers see it fit for the plot, place them front and centre in the story. It's problematic because viewers haven't seen these characters for so long, nor do they know or love them as much as Will and Hannibal, so it's hard to invest in episodes like that despite whatever revolutionary developments they may provide. Characters like Beverly and Gideon were ignored for most of their time of the series, and the writers only thought it important to focus on them one or two episodes before their demise, and the same may be said for Chilton now. Alana, Freddie, and Bella have all been severely underused throughout the entire series, which is a shame since they all have the potential to be such strong female characters. And despite being in most episodes, Brian and Jimmy are still only caricatures.

Not to say these problems weren't there in the first season, it's just that the second season has made them abundantly clear. By having it's main character in Will essentially inactive in the centre for the criminally insane until tonight's episode, the series has had difficulty deflecting these problems without the ability to focus on what is obviously what makes the series, the relationship Will shares with Hannibal.

The procedural nature of tonight's episode was average, but having Will and Hannibal together again, and now constantly playing a sparing game of cat and mouse, almost makes up for it. But it's clear the series could benefit from some changes.
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I agree about the use of secondary characters--they pop up only when it's convenient, which is too bad.

I actually thought Bella's story in Takiawase was well-done.. it would have been more impacting if the series hadn't ignored her for a half dozen episodes before it, though. Despite that, it made for a great character moment for Hannibal.
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Eh ... I can't agree with any of this.

Season 1 was better because it focused on Will.

Seasons 2 has been slightly disappointing for me, why is there a Hannibal cook scene in every episode? The writers have no story to tell when the show is focused on Hannibal ... all he does is cook/eat people. That's it. That's the whole Season 2 so far ... at least now he's interacting with new people; they' added new characters, but I want for the show to go back to the way it was before in Season 1.

Also, I hated the parallel because it wasn't subtle. I was very annoyed at the end.
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Interesting; the exact opposite! I guess I enjoy novels more than I do short stories.
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Absolutely! Reminds me of Fringe. I enjoyed the procedural and it helped us learn about the characters and engage with them through showing us who they were instead of telling us, but I was really hooked when it went serial.

Love Hannibal!
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I like this duo. I couldn't see how the show could continue once Will knew, and then again when he was released, but it all seems to work. Hopefully this unconventional partnership continues until Hannibal's arrest.
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Well that ending was creepy.
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And truly, the whole thing is a testimony to the absolute love the world has for the treasure named Lawrence Fishburne, because he has made his character both lovable and interesting where this character is almost as dumb and eternally clueless as a box of rocks.

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I'll tell ya this: you could film Plaids Mikkelson having 800 kinds of artistic sex with Alana Bloom and it won't have one zillionth of the eroticism as any scene where Hanni and Will are interacting.
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I know right, Can't they just make out already? I was waiting for them to embrace at the end.
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After five explosive episodes, Hannibal is taking a breath to set up the final four episodes with MASON VERGER!!
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