For the past few weeks, I have had a deep desire to take a leaf out of the book of those who review Tim Burton’s works, and play Hannibal Bingo. Alas, I am somewhat fuzzy on the rules of the game, and do not have the time or the inclination to create special cards suited for the purpose.
Maybe next week.
(I actually do a sort of Bingo throughout the recap, checking various running themes as I saw them, mostly for a joke – what running themes can you find in this episode to call Bingo on? – but one thing I’m not joking about is the unnecessary use of full names. If you’ve read these things you’ll know I have a peeve about the characters using full names when everyone. Knows. Who. They. Are. Talking about.
So, as i went through, I got into the habit of counting all the times they did it in this episode. I probably haven’t even got them all because I don’t want to drive myself barmy, but, come on. They do it at least seventeen times in this episode. They use full names for no specific reason at least seventeen times. And four of those times are in the last scene, and are all said by the same person. There is no need for this!)
I can easily point to the opening scene of this episode and go “Hah!”, since ‘Rôti’ begins with yet another dinner at Lecter’s house, wherein Lecter serves Dr Frederick Chilton lamb curry with rice on a banana leaf. While Lecter has no interest in sheep, aside from eating them, he can assure Chilton this dish is definitely, hand on heart, no lie, made from sheep. Also, coconut milk.
The reason Lecter is entertaining Chilton again, despite his obvious distaste for the man last time around, is because Abel Gideon is suing Chilton for manipulating him into thinking he was the Chesapeake Ripper (Not Tick, because they are establishing things.) Naturally, Chilton comes to Lecter for advice, rather than a lawyer, because the petty manipulator seeking advice from the guy who eats people, and has himself manipulated a patient, is both amusingly ironic and makes the audience shake their heads in exasperation. The parallel between the two men could not be more obvious as Lecter advises Chilton to ‘deny everything’, and further advises that he was trying too hard; in order for this sort of treatment to work, the patient must not be aware of any influence.
Oh, Hannibal, you do have such a way of making me love and hate you at the same time.
Will wakes from dreams of water – a return to the beach where the Human Totem Pole was found, then a shot of stock footage of a glacier cracking and more stock footage of a tidal wave, sorry to break the flow but the sky is clearly blue, as opposed to the grey of Will’s dream. He wakes up, only to see his alarm clock start to melt, never a good sign, he clearly sweated a lot during the night, he’s so hot he’s steaming, it’s only a matter of time before he himself turns to water and melts away. Which he does.
Then he wakes up again, soaked in sweat.
(However, there is no Dire stag. So no tick there.
Dr Gideon is going to court, although not before he has a chance to confront Chilton, accusing him of planting the idea of being the Chesapeake Ripper in his head and leading him to kill a nurse. Chilton of course denies this, but Gideon retorts: “You made me think I was someone else – now, who knows what I’m thinking?”
Then he is placed into the ambulance/armoured car, I’m not precisely sure which it is. The audience watch with bated breath to see what will happen, mindful of how the series has already made use of plot pointS from The Silence of the Lambs, in which there is also a very distinctive escape from an ambulance. Will Gideon pull off a likewise escape? (Tick?)
Well, obviously not, since the situations aren’t that similar, (Sort of Tick.) but the resultant red blood bleeding through white cloth is a wonderful image to segue into the opening credits from, as well as very harrowing.
Will , at the scene of the crime the next day, reenacts the kill, and is able to conclude that ‘Abel Gideon is having a difference of opinion about who he is.’ Why is that? Why, because
THERE IS A HANGING HEART IN THE FOREGROUND WHICH I DID NOT NEED IN MY LIFE.
Ahem; Gideon has removed and strung up various organs from the guards and the driver. I am surprised that no one comments on the similarity between Giden stringing up the organs (where did he get the string?)
is a tad similar to the presentation choices of the copy-cat ‘Minnesota Shrike’.
Because, as pointed out, shrikes like to leave bits of their meals on thorns.
Poor Dr Gideon is very confused. And also headed back to Baltimore, judging by the footprints.
Chilton, for some reason, is studying a book with a magnifying glass. I have no objection to this, except that he is holding the book up in order to do so, for some bizarre reason that only serves to make him look pretentious. Naturally when Will and Alana show up he is most vexed to be accused of causing Gideon’s escape. Of course he tries to direct some of the blame back at Alana – ‘You planted the idea I was manipulating him!’ Alana is not impressed and claims that Chilton was pushing him. “He gave me informed consent to treat him. He needed help and understanding in who he is; he was not insane when he killed his wife, killing her drove him insane. I just reminded him,” Chilton retorts.
Will tunes out briefly, then asks Chilton what Gideon wants. Why, he wants everyone to know he IS the Chesapeake Ripper.
It turns out that Gideon is a transplant surgeon. Was this mentioned before? I don’t think that it was. Will tunes out again and has what can only be described as a waking nightmare, as the room is suddenly filled with mounted antlers and Crawford shouts phrases about Gideon, directing them at him. Once again he’s sweating, dripping and melting.
Once he awakens from his hallucination, he gives Crawford a Look. Crawford does not recognise the look for what it is, which might be a problem in time to come..
Will once again goes to discuss it with, really, the last person who should be hearing about this sort of thing right now. He doesn’t feel like himself, gradually becoming different for a while. He feels like he’s becoming someone else, and feels crazy. I don’t know if this was intentional, but I find some meaning in that the shots of Will change their positions, showing him from the side or from above with his face half in darkness, while Lecter is always shot still, constant, in the same place and secure in his manipulation.
Is being crazy what Will fears the most? No; instead he fears not knowing who he is, the same as Abel Gideon.
(Full name used without needing to. Tick.)
Someone moved the furniture around in his head, Will claims; he wants to find the Ripper to gauge who he is, and isn’t. But what about Will? What can he use as a measure for sanity? “You have me as your gauge,” Lecter says reassuringly.
Oh you wacky cannibal.
We cut to the morgue, where the Science Team discuss the damage that Gideon did to his victims. In addition to cutting out their organs, Gideon also scrambled their brains, giving them a strange form of non-lobotomy by putting a spike (no idea where he got that from) through the tops of their eyeballs. I expected for a moment for one of the Science Team to start on about Egyptian mummification processes and how the put a hook up the nose to do the brain scrambling…but not this time, it would seem.
Will is distracted by water pouring out of…those drawers they store the bodies in.
Why, the Science Team wonder, did Gideon do this? Why, it’s because of what they did to him? Who, they wonder now? Who do you think, sheesh; the list of professionals who talked to Gideon and inadvertently helped to scramble his own brains. Alana Bloom will be on the list.
(Full name tick.)
Will goes to meet Alana after her class. She doesn’t need no protective custody to cosy up with Will’s dogs. During the decidedly not flirting that ensues, she touches his face and notices he’s warm. “I tend to run hot,” Will claims, blaming it on stress.
Alana probably thinks ‘Fair enough, and goes on to to say how worried she is that she’s responsible for Gideon’s death if he’s caught and gets the appropriate penalty; because she meddled with him, saying he wasn’t in a state to know who he was. Where is he going? Why, after the Ripper. If he finds the Ripper, the Ripper will kill him; took credit for his work, and that’s…rude.
And heeeere’s Freddie, who had her own part to play in the fake Chesapeake Ripper plot. She is contacted by by ‘Paul Carruthers’, and goes to his office and somehow doesn’t find the situation at all curious until she opens the door and finds said Carruthers dead, with his tongue hanging out of his throat and Gideon draining his blood.
As you do.
(Murder that is extremely implausible and grisly and makes you go ‘eeeeeeeeeeee’. Tick.)
There is more blood soaking through the white. (I think of ‘Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white,’ by Alfred Tennyson.) Curiously, Gideon seems to have his own liquid theme in this episode as well; while Will is plagued by the rush of water, Gideon is announced by the blooming, the rising, the draining of blood.
In the meantime; poor Freddie. I can imagine her thinking Why do I keep getting caught up in this? I just write about this stuff!!! Gideon, it emerges, made Carruthers a Colombian necktie by doing the aforementioned neck slitting and tongue pulling and the tongue is still moving and he has to rearrange it oh my god.
Crawford, Will and the Science Team are on the case the very next day. Carruthers was not very complimentary. He wrote an article describing Gideon as, and I quote, ‘a pathological narcissist who suffers from psychotic episodes’. “Let’s hope he got some satisfaction from being proved right.” I’m pretty sure getting your throat slit and your tongue pulled out through the hole – albeit after you were dead, so there’s that at least – does not make for professional satisfaction, but maybe that’s just me.
Gideon gave his tongue something better to do than wag it, but killed him by draining his blood. which he recommends should be donated to the Red Cross. A switch in Carruther’s hand turns on his lap top, which happens to be open on Freddie’s blog page! The page was posted before the blood was put away; Gideon was still there at the time. He has Freddie Lounds!
(Full name usage. Tick.)
Gideon confronts Freddie over a table in a rather familiar observatory, and may I just say how much I love Freddie this episode. She must be terrified – the guy gave another man a Colombian Necktie not quite in front of her, but did present her with the tableaux and arranged the tongue – but does she show any sign of fear or trepidation? Not a chance. She doesn’t lose her head, she stays calm, she isn’t too much of a smart ass, she promises to write a story about Gideon. Freddie Lounds, I salute you. She confirms that she was told to write the article by Jack Crawford (Tick.) about Gideon killing the nurse. It certainly achieved its purpose – it drew out the Ripper, as he waved Jack Crawford’s (Tick.) dead trainee’s arm around.
(No tick for Miriam Lass, because for once they don’t use any name at all.)
“But aren’t you the Chesapeake Ripper?” (Tick for full name. Use the Ripper; it’s okay to abbreviate!)
“Miss Lounds, I might be slightly fuzzy in this area but there’s no need to patronize me.” Gideon describes his experience in a very relevant way; like something you remember from your childhood, but you’re not sure if it’s really your memory or something someone told you happened.
They’re waiting for the Chesapeake Ripper (Tick.) to come to them, since he is an avid fan of Freddie’s writing. Lecter is; he really is. I wonder if he’s subscribed to her blog, or if he just checks up to see if anything interesting has happened since the last time he was there. What is he thinking?
The next victim’s on the morgue table: Dr Carson Non, psychiatirc attending at Western General. He interviewed Gideon in the same survey Bloom participated in two years ago. Also, Chilton is missing ,what a shame. Gideon plans to draw the Ripper out by offering him the man who disrespected them both.
Oh, but the Ripper killed this one, not Abel Gideon (Tick.) since the arm is off! The Ripper is telling them where to catch Gideon. He’s telling Crawford, in fact, what with the missing arm and all, although it really does take Crawford rather too long to realise this.”Where’s the last place you saw a severed arm, Jack?” Will asks, complete with creepy smile.
In the observatory, Gideon is in scrubs he got from somewhere, along with the rest of the various equipment he uses throughout this episode (Improbable achievements by the killer of the week: tick.) and is operating. On Chilton, as revenge for getting inside his mind. Oh dear. Oh dear. Poor Freddie Lounds (Full name justified, no tick) has to bear witness and I commend her for not throwing up, I really do, because I have spent most of my life hearing my surgeon father talking about this sort of thing over the dinner table and I still cannot stand this. Poor Freddie.
And Chilton, I suppose, but he’s on local anesthetic.
Oh my god oh my god oh my god. Stomach pumping. Ack. Is Chilton going to die? He can’t die yet! Not as a gift basket!
Oh god kidney.
“It is truly amazing how many organs a body can offer up before it truly begins to suffer.” Rather a different spin on ripping out your heart and showing it to you. Ripping out your kidney and showing it to you. Next scene next scene please!!!
Phew. Thank you. Crawford and Will are driving to the observatory. Will looks like hell, and feels like hell – or rather like he’s spilling. He hopes whatever he’s got isn’t contagious. Crawford says he’s got to keep things in perspective. He’s got to let things go, but it’s hard to shake off something that’s already under your skin. Will, you don’t know how right you are.
The squad heads in. Will stays in the car, in the shadows. Water is running down the windscreen even though it isn’t raining – I’ve got it; there’s been a strange crossover with Doctor Who and we are having a visitation from ‘Water of Mars’s The Flood! Will follows the squad anyway anyway. And here comes the Dire Stag; I was wondering when you’d show up again!
(Tick for the Dire Stag who is possibly also a Wendigo.)
Will follows the stag. Crawford bursts in to find Freddie keeping Chilton alive by pumping air into him, while Chilton’s insides do their best to become his outsides. Incidentally, Bryan Fuller says that the original version of this scene would have used the observatory doors to – somehow – disembowel Chilton by being attached to his insides and dragging them out.
I am very glad that version did not make it to the final shoot.
Gideon watches the observatory from a distance, and then goes to get into his car – which the police somehow did not find (police are flipping blind – tick) – only to find that Will is the monster in the backseat for a change! However, Will is hallucinating that Gideon is Hobbs. Oh dear.
Will takes Gideon to see the doctor! I do love the pleasant look on Lecter’s face a split second before he sees just who is at the door. I can just imagine him thinking; ‘I’ve had a lousy day and then this comes along.’ Will brought you a present, rather like a cat bringing a bird it killed. Appropriate, perhaps, that Will brings Gideon to Lecter, much as he summoned Beverly last week to help. Last week he needed help to prove by means of law enforcement, for support. This week he wants assurance from a rather different source.
Will doesn’t know what’s real any longer. Lecter tries to reinstate the mantra – ‘It’s 7.27 pm, you’re in Baltimore, Melbourne and your name is Will Graham.” (Not tick, since it is both mantra and meme.) Will doesn’t care who he is anymore; he demands to be told if he’s real. He being Hobbs.
Who do you see, Lecter asks. “Garret Jacob Hobbs.” (Tick.) “Who do you see?”
Lecter claims he doesn’t see anyone.
Will naturally does not take this well, breaks down in tears – another burst of water – cries in words that tear at my heart: “Please don’t lie to me! What’s happening to me?” and
Oh god, Will!!! Will’s having a seizure! His eyes are rolling up!
Hannibal takes the gun, while also extensively touching Will’s finger. The second time he’s initiated contact? He then takes Will’s head in his hands in a way that is extremely disconcerting. He’s had a mild seizure. Gideon – god only knows what he’s been thinking of all this – points out that Lecter doesn’t seem too concerned. “I said it was mild.” He doesn’t even make Will sit down!
Then he turns his attention to Gideon, and he actually seems to be fairly sympathetic towards this man who’s had his identity stolen from him. (Sympathetic cannibal: tick.) He attempts to set Gideon’s mind to rights about what he is. Gideon is taking his identity back, one piece at a time. “Alana Bloom (Tick, Dr Bloom would have done just as well.) was one of your psychiatrists too, is that right?” Because, guess what? Lecter knows where to find her.
(Tick for ‘you manipulative cannibal bastard.’)
Will wakes up, and I was gratified that I actually recognised what Lecter was doing, since I was standing around in my local library for a while looking at all the informative posters and now know the actual ways of checking for a stroke. It also gives them another chance to stick in the mantra while repeating his name (Not Tick) – raising his arms, smiling. Boy that’s a creepy smile.
Lecter checks his temperature – fondling his head like he’s a fricking dog while he’s at it – while Will thought he was with Garret Jacob Hobbs. (Tick.) Lecter warns Will not to let himself slip: he killed Garret Jacob Hobbs (Tick.) once, he can kill him again. Lecter claims to be worried that Abel Gideon (Tick.) is still at large and is concerned about Alana, and that Gideon might go after her next. He tells Will he can’t come with him, and makes him sit down again. He says he will call Jack (Not Tick for once, when Crawford’s concerned.) to tell him where he is…but he does leave the gun.
And the keys.
Subtle, Lecter. Real subtle. (Tick.)
Lecter was, of course, suspecting that Will would make a break for it. Takes off his coat, the bastard. (Tick.)
Gideon watches Alana through her window in her safe house, which really isn’t so safe as she chats with…I don’t know, a member of the secret service. Here come Will behind Gideon! He tries to aim, but cannot.
Will and Gideon enter into a pleasant little chat. The good doctor doesn’t think there’s anything left of himself, he’s spent so long thinking he was the Ripper. Will asks who he is now. Gideon replies in Will-vision, as Hobbs: ‘I’m you.’
Gideon is actually offering relationship advice: “It’s hard to be with another person when you can’t get out of your own head.” But if Gideon kills Bloom, like the Ripper would, maybe he’ll finally understand himself.
Will, of course, is not having that. Alana hears a shot, and rushes to see Gideon on the snow, and Will falling down.
Surprisingly, Chilton isn’t dead – yet. They still can’t identify the source of Will’s infection, Crawford thinks they will, of course. Although at least they now acknowledge that Will does have something physically wrong with him. Lecter must be so annoyed that his secret is out. (Tick for Crawford having supportive conversation with Lecter, when the latter is seeking to undermine his efforts.)
Lecter recommends they suspend Will’s licence to carry arms. Okay, this is actually very sensible and not just him being a manipulative cannibal; they have no idea what Will’s got or what it’s doing to him. I think taking the gun away is a good precaution. In the meantime, does Will actually know who he is now, or is that just wishful thinking on his part?
Now we have an echo of the first episode; Alana staying by Will’s side in hospital.
Bedalia Dumaurier is back!!! Let me love your beautiful name forever.
“Will Graham is troubled.” (Tick.) Bedalia Du Maurier (No tick because her name is brilliant and it’s my review so I can say it as much as I want) asks if that troubles Lecter. Lecter wants to contain his madness, like an oil spill. Of course, oil is valuable; what value does Will Graham’s (Tick.) madness have for you?”
“Are you suggesting I’m more fascinated with the madness than the man?”
“No.” (Legions of fan fiction writers and kink meme fillers just punched the air in triumph.) “He realised early on that he saw things differently than other people. Felt things differently.”
“So did you.”
“I see myself in Will.” (Now the fan fiction writers and kink meme fillers are dancing in victorious delight.)
“Do you see yourself in his madness?”
Lecter goes on about madness being a medicine for the modern world, a sort of purging device. It can be beneficial, but overdose and you can have unfortunate side effects. Lecter posits that it can be a boost to our immune systems, to help fight existential crises. Or something.
“Will Graham (Tick.) does not present you with problems for a normal life.” What does he present, then?
“The opportunity for friendship.” (Now the fan fiction writers and kink meme fillers and most of the fan base in general are watching with bated breath, for Lecter has actually, freely admitted he wants Will as a friend, and it’s just all going to end very badly. We know this We have foreseen it. It is the risk we all took.)
But Will is still Hannibal’s (Not Tick.) patient. And where Will Graham (Tick.) is concerned, if Lecter feels the impulse to step forward, he must force himself to take a step back.
“And watch him lose his mind?” Lecter asks. Well it’s your own fault he’s losing it in the first place, you wacky cannibal, there’s no need to get pouty.
“Sometimes, all we can do is watch.”
‘Rôti’ being the eleventh episode in this series, you might think it would be the calm before the storm that the last two episodes will churn up. You’d be wrong – and anyway, what calm? This is Hannibal, remember?
I won’t say that ‘Rôti’ fits the expression ‘After me, the flood’, exactly, but the imagery of Will facing a tsunami, of his clock and his own body melting, of water running constantly in places it has no right to be, is yet more spine-chilling build up to the inevitable point where Will might, finally, break. If he hasn’t already.
Because by now Will’s mind is fluid and wavering. While he knows who he is, he’s no longer certain of what he sees, and he comes near to weeping when begging Lecter to reassure him. His still concealed encephalitis leaves him sweating and dripping during several scenes, as if his sanity is truly being distilled and siphoned off. He literally describes himself as melting; he’s coming apart at the seams.
Judging by what I’ve read of the episode summaries for the last two episodes this season, I think there will be one hell of a dam burst when Will wakes up.
Next time, on Hannibal, 1×12: Relevés: Freddie calls Will a killer, and undoes all my love for her; oh Freddie, how could you? The stag is on fire! Will might be possessed by on of the personalities he took on! Hannibal leads him down the wrong track! He might just hang Abigail on antlers!!!
A storm is coming.