In honor of the first five minutes of this episode, I’ve decided to make a change when it comes to reviewing this episode and do it as more of a slightly casual recap.
Why? Well, I spent the first five minutes of this episode speaking thusly. Out loud. Between my fingers.
And intermittently turning the sound off when I just couldn’t take it.
Yes, I’m a wimp.
A woman comes home at night, and she owns a canary.
Aaaaa she’s standing by the bed she’s standing by the bed oh she isn’t grabbed yet.
Aaaaa, she’s in the bed.
Aaaaa there’s damp in the ceiling, she huffs and is going to investigate.
Damp spreading across the ceiling, no that’s not ominous AT ALL.
Don’t get out of bed, don’t get out aaaaa.
STEP AWAY FROM THE BED, STEP AWAY FROM THE BED.
Oh, she did.
She walks around the dark dark house.
She goes up into the dark dark attic.
There is…a hole in the dark dark attic roof and snow is coming in. What time of year is this, again? I know it was Christmas time in ‘Oeuf’, but I’ve lost track a bit. A dreamlike setting will do that to you.
THERE ARE FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW ON THE ROOF. Umm…how did whoever the killer is this week get up there? And why didn’t they slip?
She tarps the hole up, after a fashion, and sets down a bowl she got…from somewhere. I sympathize with this; our conservatory leaked like crazy, still does, and we were forever setting basins on the floor during a storm and replacing them when they got full.
She goes back downstairs from the dark dark attic to the dark dark house.
She’s going to get back into bed. Do a running jump, don’t let the monster under the bed get you!
THERE ARE WATERY FOOTPRINTS ON THE FLOOR.
DON’T FOLLOW THE FOOTPRINTS, CALL THE POLICE. DON’T FOLLOW THE FOOTPRINTS, CALL THE POLICE. Also, barricade yourself in the bathroom; that’s one thing Darkness Falls got right.
Aaaaand, yes, there goes the arm, which I was not ready for and made me shriek, as the woman is dragged screaming under the bed.
By the by, that is a pretty big under-the-bed-area. The bed doesn’t look that big, even if it is a double.
And blood sprays on the floor. Wow, did the killer slit her throat? What caused that?
Also, how did the killer get from the attic to under her bed without her noticing?
Also again, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
I believe I will be getting into bed via running jumps for some nights to come.
We cut to Will talking with Lecter about Abigail Hobbs – I do not think my fervent plea for the characters to just use first or last names when referring to people will ever be heeded, sigh – and is rather distraught about the fact that she killed Nicholas Boyle oh they’ve got me doing it now!!! Lecter says Will is grieving; Will says he feels as if he’s fading. Lecter asks about any further loss of time or hallucinations, and tests him by asking him to draw a clock face. Will talks out loud about the different times as he draws, which will most certainly be a running theme in this episode, a cementing of reality that grows more desperate as time ticks on.
And the hints from all the way back in ‘Coquilles’ – that Graham might have something akin to the tumor of the ‘Angel Maker’ – is confirmed to both us and Lecter, when we see that the clock Will draws is nothing like the one he thinks he is drawing; the numbers are all over the shop.
After the titles, we see Will actually returning from fishing, which we have seen him prepare for before but never actually partake in until now. This episode is yet again about parallels, but I notice how Graham is adept at his own form of butchery, after returning from the hunt, at least when it comes to gutting and cleaning fish. Does Lecter ever eat fish, I wonder? It would be rather hard to pass off human flesh as fish, so probably not. The fish, at least, is not people!!!
Now that I’ve gotten that urge out of the way, Graham’s spoils cause just as much discomfort in the viewer as Lecter’s preparations do, since quite a lot of blood pours out of the fish when Will attempts to get to work on it. Blood which gets all over his nice clean work surface. This is what happens when you don’t use a chopping board!
Naturally this is a dream/hallucination, and once again Graham comes to in a situation very unlike the one he woke up from. Unfortunately for Will, this situation is infinitely worse – we’re in the midst of him retracing the killer’s steps. Only in this case, the victim is still alive despite an extreme Glasgow Smile. It really doesn’t help that she looks like Abigail, enough that for a moment I thought it was Abigail and Will’s mind was substituting her in the other woman’s place.
Will thus contaminates the crime scene and bursts out of the room look more than a bit shook up.
Crawford glares at Will and then stalks out of the kitchen while Will is washing his hands. Real helpful. Come on, Will, I don’t think you even used soap!
Will’s breakdown has, at last, gotten Crawford worried. The problem is that Crawford is not the most ideal person to try and get Will to open up about anything. Look how they fared in last week’s episode; I do believe he actually scared Will off. Even if Crawford is now worried about Will, he is determined to see Will’s ‘gift’ in his own way, rather than acknowledging what such work might really be doing to him.
And, although Crawford might fear that he’s breaking Will, his parting comment does not help: “Fear makes you rude, Will.” Thank you, Crawford, that was very insightful.
Graham girds up his loins and returns to the bedroom, where the science team is at work. He quickly understands that the victim was dragged and the bed. And Crawford comes in right behind him. So…he walked away from the house, turned around and came straight back? There are no useful prints from killer – Graham contaminated the knife, after all, and he at least looks guilty – but there are hints that skin comes off easily. Zeller actually has a useful comment, which is a welcome relief after the ‘jigsaw’ discussion last week: after the killer cut the victim’s face, looks like he was trying to put her skin back! As if he was trying to remove a mask?
Will, naturally, goes to talk to Lecter about it all, and inadvertently giving Lecter that much more desire to experiment with him. In the meantime, the killer is lonely, desperate, sad. He caught a glimpse in the mirror and looked right through ‘himself’. The subject comes back to Graham – when does it ever not? – and Graham thinks he himself is a different kind of crazy, now, caused by something physical; seizures, a tumour, a blood clot? In this episode, we can clearly see Lecter’s growing desire to toy with his new companion, to test and tweak as his specimen unwittingly gives him more to work with, even allowing him to recommend a colleague of his own in order to gain more control over everything relating to Will.
Does Lecter truly want to drive Will insane? Cut him open while still alive to see what makes him tick? Or doing a little re-molding on Will’s psyche, in order to create his perfect companion? Or possibly even set his pet project loose upon somebody? Or all of the above
And we meet Dr Sutcliffe, who has this to say as soon as he arrives on the scene: Will’s in safe hands, as “Dr Lecter here is one of the sanest men I know.” One, what the hell has that got to do with Will’s mental condition? Two, excuse me while I laugh maniacally for a minute or two.
Sutcliffe possibly sews more seeds of doubt for Graham, when he talks about studying with Lecter at Hopkins, when the latter was willing to get his hands dirty. Then they begin to discuss Will’s possible condition. The headaches began when Will went back into the field; as for the hallucinations, that’s a little harder to pin down.
Meaningful glance exchanged between the two medical men.
Much as the audience suspected, Lecter already knows what Will has from his scent: Encephalitis. I love how Sutcliffe just takes his word for it, but then this is Lecter we’re talking about, he who can dissect perfumes. Lecter would get along like a house on fire with Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. (Incidentally, read Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.)
They actually discuss what Encephalitis smells like. ‘It has heat, a fevered sweetness.’ They sound like they’re discussing the bouquet of a bottle of wine. I understand that this condition is treatable so you’re allowed some levity, but the patient is right in front of you even if he can’t hear you, and about to go under the MRI. Show a little decorum! “If you suspected, why didn’t you say something?”
“I had to be sure.” No, Lecter, you had to mislead Will and deceive him.
They discuss studying Will’s condition. Sutcliffe is reluctant, but Lecter plays the serpent. A role which he plays very well.
A very clever idea comes into play in the meantime, as Will sees the claustrophobic ceiling of the MRI machine as the mattress, recreating the recent murder yet again. He waits for this victim to come back in! He is smiling! He is smiling! I feel like that reporter in the film of Battle Royale: ‘She’s smiling!!!’ The poor woman is in the foreground now and ugh, teeth, tongue, slit cheeks! I am not good with this, my dear readers.
And, with a quick flash back to the other killings of the season, we cut to learning that the right side of Will’s brain is completely inflamed. But is Lecter going to tell him?
No. No he is not. How was Lecter able to persuade Sutcliffe into taking part in this frankly ludicrous scheme? Surely this condition is not rare enough that they must use Will as a test subject?
Crawford and and Lecter drink brandy as Crawford, perhaps in response to his argument with Graham earlier, is defensive about using Will, thinking he can survive anything he’s put through; while he asks Will if he’s broken, he thinks – or claims – that Will can never truly break. Lecter disagrees. (Lecter might be planning to do just that.) Lecter misleads Crawford as well about Will’s physical condition, claiming mental instability and subtly laying blame on Crawford’s shoulders. “When you take him to a crime scene, Jack, the very air has screams smeared on it.” Screams which Will absorbs. The manipulation continues, as Lecter misleads and misdirects.
Will goes back to the victim’s house, naturally. There is a lot of blood that’s remarkably still red, considering it should have dried by now.
Will checks his watch. 10.36. His name is Will Graham and THERE IS SOMEONE UNDER THE BED THERE IS SOMEONE UNDER THE BED, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
Will bends to check don’t do that don’t put your face at stabbing height! The bed gets pushed over – that is one strong under the bed lurker – and the skin of the arm comes off as he grabs…her?
Will is now in the woods. He’s lost time, it’s 1.17, he’s in Greenwood, Delaware, and he calls to the woman who ran, the woman who doesn’t think she’s real, “You’re alive. You hear me? You’re alive!!!”
After an ad break, the subtitles remind us that we are, in fact, in Greenwood, Delaware. Thank you for that, subtitles.
In a world where he’s by no means certain of his sanity, Graham doesn’t turn to Crawford, or the police, or Alana Bloom. He certainly doesn’t turn to Lecter. The person he turns to is Beverly Katz, who comes to him without hesitation…well, all right, a little hesitation, but she doesn’t cross examine him, she doesn’t grill him, she keeps her skepticism to herself. When Will says that he’s not entirely sure that what he saw was real, she replies with: “Then let’s prove it.” Not as a challenge, not as a threat, but as support, as encouragement.
(Oh Beverly, I love you forever.)
The killer’s dead skin comes off, which explains why she doesn’t bleed. So where’s the skin?…no clue. Poor Beverly is clearly grasping at straws by now, as they try to puzzle out what condition the woman has, besides being jaundiced and deranged. “She mutilated a woman’s face because she thought it was a mask?”
“She can’t see faces.” She came back to convince herself she didn’t do it, unsure if she did. “Is that why you came back?” This begins yet another set of parallels in this episode, and this show; Will finds another who is like him, who is truly uncertain of herself, and he’s aware of that even as he struggles to keep himself above water.
Beverly tells Will he’s the subject of a lot of speculation at the bureau. “Jack pushed you right up to the edge, and now you’re pushing yourself over.” … “This killer…can’t accept her reality. And I can occasionally identify with that.” But he feels relatively sane.
In a running theme, Will states the current time. The clock he draws is still so very wrong. Will is seeing ghosts, but Lecter points out that they are real. Lecter asks if Will wants to discuss the particulars of his condition. “What particulars? [Sutcliffe] didn’t find anything wrong.” Lecter’s continued desire to experiment with Will’s nature even goes so far as to wanting to publish on him, apparently – creating more contrasts, more examples of how Will has come to accept Lecter and imagine he is accepted. If this were Freddie Lounds or Dr Chilton expressing their interest in delving deeper into examining Will and dragging it out for all the world to see, Graham would flee or harshly reject them. In Lecter’s case, all he asks – albeit sarcastically – is that Lecter publish it posthumously. He doesn’t particularly care which of them has to die first.
Lecter goes on to suggest different syndromes – for the killer, naturally! There’s the possibility of Cotard’s syndrome, leaving the sufferer the sufferer thinking they’re dead; in addition, she’s unable to recognise faces, even those of loved ones. She reached out to someone she loved, felt betrayed, she became violent, now she can’t trust anything.
Will in bed, twitching and possibly crying in his sleep. Oh they’re not. They’re not.
The woman is watching the house, and then gazing through the window. Oh yes they are.
Only not yet, because we cut to…somewhere that doesn’t have a subtitle. They found the girl’s mother, at least, who hoped that when the phone call came, it would be to tell her that her daughter was…’at peace’. Beth Lebeau was Georgia’s best friend, until her daughter could no longer go to school. Her mother describes her symptoms; when she was young she told her mother she wanted to kill her, and thought she was dead. There were seizures, delusions, psychopathic behavior. Her mother admits she was grateful when she was catatonic. I both pity this woman and don’t know what to feel. Yet more parallels to Will, since Georgia endured blood tests and brain scans…they could never tell her what was wrong. They said it was this or that until she grew desperate, wrote down everything, did her own research, and came to realise how little is known about mental illness. Poor woman. All there is for such people is “Managing of expectations.”
While Crawford was defensive of his own actions earlier in the episode, here we see his vulnerability once again, as Miriam Lass is mentioned once more, bringing Crawford’s guilt and fear of a cycle repeating to the surface. Despite his often harsh behavior, he feels responsible and protective of Graham – which is a little late, but appreciate that it’s there. Still – is he manipulating Will into staying? I do believe he is, rather forcefully; when Will points out that foundations for a well being need stability, Crawford has this to say: “I’m not sand! I am bedrock!”
We’ll see how strong you really are when Lecter is done with you, Crawford.
Lecter serves Sutcliffe slices from an entire leg of ham. Now, that, I think, is just showing off. At least we can sleep soundly in our beds tonight – after having made a running jump to avoid the murderers hiding beneath them – that this meal, at least, is not people.
Sutcliffe actually voices what I’m sure must all be lurking in our minds: why go to such lengths for food? Lecter talks at a little length about the fattening, slaughter and preparation of meat increasing its taste; processes which he takes a great deal of interest in. Sutcliffe is less certain: “If the meat eater thinks it’s superior, then belief determines value.” Oh my. I wonder what Lecter thinks about that. He brushes the comment off, as a case of psychology overriding neurology, but I think he disagrees with you most vehemently, Sutcliffe.
The talk turns to Will; Sutcliffe, again, voices our concerns, wondering just how far they’re going to take this ‘experiment’. Does Lecter appreciate his colleague referring to Will as a rarefied pig, a category that has its own even darker meaning for our favorite psychiatrist? And why is Lecter so invested in this particular animal, Sutcliffe wonders? Lecter does confide in Sutcliffe at least a little when enthusing about Graham’s empathy: “Imagination is an interesting accelerate for feeling.” Sutcliffe is nervous about the fire that leaving Will untreated will start. “Will is my friend. He will put out the fire when it’s necessary.”
Or possibly he will burn up in a blaze of glory, or a blaze of something else entirely. Which do you most desire to see, Hannibal?
(Also, yet another great call back to ‘Coquilles‘ – Will’s head was seen aflame for a reason!)
Will returns to Sutcliffe for yet more tests and deception. There’s a dreamlike quality in this whole sequence, from Will’s emerging from the MRI scanner – was someone needed to push a button to bring him out again, or is it automated? – to his confusion at the distinct lack of Sutcliffe, to his calmly redressing and walking through an empty section of the hospital. Why is he not more curious or worried? Why does he not at least try to sneak a peek at his results?
The dreamlike nature continues as he comes to Sutcliffe’s door, with blood on the handle and…something playing in the soundtrack. Are those horns? Are they the mating calls of stags or elk? Whatever they are, the dream turns into a nightmare as Graham enters the office to find Sutcliffe who seems to have rather a splitting headache I’M SORRY I’M SORRY I COULD NOT RESIST, REALLY I AM VERY GLAD WE CANNOT SEE MORE OF THIS, HUGH DANCY ACTUALLY HAD TO WALK OFF THE SET IT WAS THAT BAD, ACK.
Once again Beverly shows support as she checks Will – while giving him space – before pronouncing him clean. He doesn’t feel up to her diagnosis. The scissors used to put a smile on Sutcliffe’s face have Georgia’s traces on them, despite the complete implausibility of her managing to get into the hospital and all the way to Sutcliffe’s office without anyone noticing, even if it was after hours. They ponder why she killed Sutcliffe, and Graham comes to the conclusion that she somehow thought Sutcliffe was him.
“I have a habit of collecting strays,” he replies, when Crawford wonders why Georgia would fixate on him. Oh, you do. Really, quite a few of the killers this season has paid special attention to you, as I thought they might. As to why, he told her she was alive – maybe that hadn’t occurred to her in a while.
We cut to Will in bed. He is woken by The Growling Of The Dogs, who apparently let Georgia get in without barking or trying to stop her, and only started growling once she’d taken up residence under the bed. Which is a bit late.
Don’t peek over the edge of the bed! But naturally he does, and topples off of it to face her. She does not make a grab for him because she is not betrayed. She is afraid, she huddles in the shadows and stares, trying to see him, but she is not betrayed.
Back in the first episode of this season, Garret Jacob Hobbs, as he lies dying, asks Graham if he recognises something, if he sees. In ‘Amuse-Bouche‘, he rejects what the Gardener sees. In ‘Coquilles’ he hallucinates the ‘Angel Maker’s’ recognition of him . Last episode, he scuppers Lawrence Wells’ vision of his ‘legacy’. Now, Graham does see. He recognises Georgia, and tries to help her recognise him.”I see you, Georgia. It’s midnight, you’re in Wolf Trap Virginia, your name is Georgia Madchen. You are not alone. We are here together.”
“Am I alive?” She stretches out her hand.
Will reaches out to touch her fingers. They connect.
Day time, and Georgia is in – a sort of chamber. Her hair is much lighter in the daylight. or possibly it’s been washed. Perhaps this is a type of transformation; the first time we’ve seen her in the day, now that she’s come out from the shadow of the bed or the dark of the night.
Why, I wonder, is Lecter in the know about all of this? And is her skin coming off part of the condition? Is it because of her jaundice, or some form of leprosy? And it turns out that electro-shock therapy solves everything; if only such treatment could have been put into practice earlier! Crawford is surprised that Lecter is more invested in this than, you know, the death of a colleague. Lecter claims to grieve for Sutcliffe, but Will and Georgia are still alive, and that is what matters.
Crawford agrees with that, and pities the girl while no doubt planning to interrogate her as soon as possible. How much will Georgia remember, he ponders. “I sincerely hope for, her sake, she doesn’t remember much,” Lecter replies.
Oh, you wacky cannibal. Because, as Georgia’s on the table, she recalls thusly:
She (somehow) made her way into Sutcliffe’s office to find Lecter in a…strange sort of plastic overall, presumably to protect his suit, because god forbid he wear some old clothes for this job, turning Sutcliffe’s frown upside down. Literally.
(I AM SO SORRY.)
He smells her approach, almost catching her scent like a wolf. Is he just smelling her condition, or her unwashed state in general?
She cannot see his face. Instead of features, there is a hint of skull beneath the skin.
He comes forward, gives her the scissors, and leaves.
(And she somehow got out of there without going to look for Will, and without anyone seeing her. Or the security cameras catching either her or Lecter on film.
Disbelief now has triple suspension and internal dampeners.)
I am very pleased to have my question answered when it came to wondering why, precisely, Mads Mikkelsen had little dots drawn on his face in one publicity photo. I knew it was almost certainly for a special effects shot, but it’s nice to have it made clear, especially since the plastic gave me pause for thought.
There’s a lot to savor in this episode. There’s deception and manipulation, whether for good reasons – Crawford’s guilty desire to catch killers at Will’s expense, despite the confidence he has in him – dubious reasons – Sutcliffe being persuaded to study Graham’s condition – and down right indiscernible reasons – who knows what’s going on in Lecter’s head by this point? Once again Graham is near the breaking point, especially since we now know what he’s suffering from…but, yet again, he manages to claw himself back from the brink, and in the process has fixated, in his own way, on another like him.
Georgia (Ellen Muth) was a brilliant killer of the week, and I’m so glad that she’ll return for another episode. I haven’t seen Dead Like Me, but I’ve heard she’s fantastic in that and completely fills the role of a lost, confused person who’s cast adrift in a frightening world. How terrifying would it be to suffer Cotard Syndrome, or to be unable to recognise even the faces of the people you love the most? I have a guilty confession; I was hoping that we’d get at least one more female killer, since we’d only had the brainwashing ‘mother’ from ‘Oeuf’ to prove that the female of the species is more deadly than the male. My wish was granted, and we were given a tragic, understandable woman who’s a victim as much as a sinner. The little screen time that she had managed to be some of the best bits of the episode; I cannot wait to see how she might interact with Will later in the season.
Dr Sutcliffe was another interesting, albeit temporary, addition, as an old acquaintance of Lecter who’s ostensibly a ‘friend’, and yet doesn’t seem to understand Lecter at all. The contrast between this acquaintance and Graham as Lecter’s current obsession could have been intriguing, and I was actually quite sorry to see him go – though, considering he was the only other one who knew of Graham’s condition…somehow, (perhaps Lecter killed the attending nurse?) it wasn’t exactly surprising. Lecter is becoming a dab hand at tying up loose ends.
The question is, was it just for the knowledge he had of Will, or was it something else as well? Did Lecter deliberately intend to frame Georgia, or was it simply a lucky chance that she turned up as he acted? Was Sutcliffe rude in some way? Did Lecter not appreciate his referring to Graham as a ‘rarefied pig’?
And, hooray, we had more of Beverly Katz! My love for her is unbounded – yet, I wonder, might her faith in Will be suffering from what those in the bureau have to say? Will she continue to support him? Or will he do something that unnerves even her? For that matter, will it come to a point where even Crawford thinks that enough is enough, and tries to keep Will away – but will it be too late?
For now, at least, despite Will’s loss of time, his hallucinations, his fear and frustration at what he now perceives to be a problem with his mind, he’s found Georgia. More than that, he recognises her. They see each other, they’re here, together, at this time and in this place, and they’re alive.
Next week, on Hannibal 1×11: Rôti:
Dr Gideon escapes! Someone’s tongue is hanging out of his throat! Lecter tells Gideon where to find Alana, you swine!!! Eddie Izzard!!!!!!!!
And, next season on Hannibal, we may get David Bowie. And David Tennant. And Lee Pace, and Kristin Chenoweth, because, let joy be unconfined, there is a next season!!!