Wednesday, March 12, 2014

032: Hannibal 2x02 "Sakizuki" - Damn the Floodgates


In this episode:
  • You all saw that, right? Holy crap, that episode hammered home the new status quo with aplomb.
  • We get into the odd dynamic between Bedelia and Hannibal, why we're still worried for her life, and what exactly we think is going to come out of the reveal of their history together.
  • There's a possibility that they're setting up Beverly to take up the Clarice Starling mantle, should the show progress to a Silence of the Lambs-y season without acquiring the rights to the character from MGM. And if that were to be the case, would that be a positive or negative development for the show as a whole?
  • There's a huge Harry Potter and Buffy digression. It's ridiculous. 
  • So Hannibal is going around one-upping the Killers of the Week up in this piece, and while that seems like a pretty major digression from last season, there are some lingering doubts about the Copycat Killer that we bring up here and discuss to see if we can parse out Hannibal's motives for killing James Grey, aside from "it's fun."
  • Some people apparently really don't like Jack Crawford. We're certainly frustrated as hell with him  sometimes, but we don't hate the guy. We take a bit of a peek into where we think that impulse might come from.
  • I baked a quiche for dinner and ate way, way, way too much of it and now I feel gross. That has nothing to do with the podcast, listeners, I'm attempting to build a rapport here. SEE HANNIBAL I CAN PEOPLE TOO.
  • Links:
  • Jumping right into highlights from Ian's timestamps, because he's got some interesting points in there. And now that I've written that, I'm regretting it because I remember what the first timestamp was:
    • 0:06 - 0:19 - The podcast’s taint (‘cause ‘tain’t the opening and ‘tain’t the podcast)
  • Goddammit. Here are the rest:
    •  1:18 - I had to take a moment and think about how enthusiastic my “Hello” was.
  • It is really enthusiastic, isn't it? Okay, I'm done interrupting. That was the last one, I promise:
    • 15:02 - I wanted to bring this up during the Bedelia/Hannibal conversation, but didn’t manage to: We do know that originally, Bedelia was written for an older woman--specifically, Bryan Fuller said he wanted Angela Lansbury (they mentioned this on the Anglo-Filles episode where they discussed Hannibal with Cleo). Then when they got Gillian Anderson, he realized he had to rewrite the character for a younger actress, and that’s where the attack backstory came from--he needed a reason for why a younger psychiatrist would have gone into retirement so early. That, I think, is where some of the shakiness with the Hannibal/Bedelia plot comes from, but again, I completely trust that the writers know where they’re going with it, and that the reveal will be awesome. On the other hand, we don’t know how far into writing season 1 they were when they knew the part would be played by a younger actress, so...who knows?
    • 24:33 - Dude, with the number of times I’ve dropped Animorphs into discussion on this podcast, I think it’s okay if you discuss things in terms of Harry Potter. :)
    • 27:50 - OKAY OKAY OKAY I REMEMBER NOW. Beverly says something like, “I can’t get my head off this case, Will--it’s getting in the way of accomplishing the other things I’ve been tasked to do”--one of those other things being her “new” investigation of the Copycat Killer case after hearing Will’s plea that she ignore all of the evidence against him. And then when she asks why the guy who killed James Grey took his leg, Will makes the comment, “Could have been taking a trophy,” which, as I mentioned, is supposed to be a keyword for Beverly to latch onto and realize it’s connected to the Chesapeake Ripper--the guy who takes organs from his victims as trophies.
    • 43:30 - “Economy of character.” You’re looking for “economy of character,” Ian. WHY DOESN’T ME SPEAK GOOD.
    • 46:10 - I don’t know what you were referencing with the “Not the way you’re thinking, gross, listeners,” but perhaps I don’t want to know.
    • 47:50 - Is “damn the floodgates” a phrase? Or am I crossing two different phrases?
  • It's totally not a phrase, which is why it's now the episode title. Ian's mixing "open the floodgates" and "damn the torpedos" together. Kinda sounds like it could be an idiom, though, doesn't it? And it doesn't count as interruption if it's at the end, right? Either way, I'm not a man who keeps my promises. You know that now, listeners, that makes us closer.
  • Intro: "This is My Design" - original song, music by Ian. More on this as it develops.
  • Outro: "Counting Blue Cars" - Dishwalla | YouTube | iTunes |
(Header image taken from


  1. As far as Will Graham's profession is concerned, he's an FBI profiler. He was a homicide detective in New Orleans before going to the feds. (At least, he was in Red Dragon, I'm not sure that's true in the show.)

    This is, perhaps, not explicitly laid out in the show because there are scads and scads of shows that are about FBI Profilers now, so I think it's deliberately left more vague.

    I honestly think that the beginning of this episode freaked me out more than any other episode so far. It's the first time I've watched a portion of the show from behind my hands, anyway.

    What was really interesting for me in this episode is the manipulation we're seeing out of Graham. The scene where he's asking Alana and Hannibal for help, and then when he's put back in his cell and his face clears up is very reminiscent of the scene last season when Hannibal is talking to Crawford about Will and how he's murdelated Abigail. I think we all remember that excellent moment where Hannibal's face goes from tender and sympathetic to almost blank (and possibly slightly self-congratulatory).

    Will, in the books, is known for unconsciously mimicking the behavior and speech patterns of other people, but this is a deliberate mimicking of Hannibal's manipulative behaviors. He is using his empathic abilities to become Hannibal in some small way. My question is: is Hannibal genuinely fooled by this, or his he pretending to be fooled?

    It becomes more interesting in context with the following episode, where it seems that the Copycat Killer is making himself known to get Will off the hook. If so, is it because Hannibal is trying to help someone he cares about (in his cold, cannibal way), or is he doing it because he's just so damned proud of Will for using his own tricks?

  2. " I mentioned, is supposed to be a keyword for Beverly to latch onto and realize it’s connected to the Chesapeake Ripper--the guy who takes organs from his victims as trophies."

    - Except Will doesn't know that Hannibal is the Chesapeake ripper yet. Trophies might refer to the copycat killer, i.e. the stuff Hannibal planted on Will, so Will might be nudging Bev in that direction.

  3. I don't think that Hannibal was trying to one-up the mural killer in this episode - I actually think he was doing exactly what he said, which was helping Grey finish his vision. I think it was in one of Cleolinda's recaps where she refers to Hannibal trying to "help Will complete his corruption" - that's what I saw in this episode. There's a tremendous amount of arrogance in the fact that Hannibal may believe Grey can't complete his vision WITHOUT Hannibal's help, but I don't think it comes from a place of "anything you can do, I can do better."

    Totally agree with you re: Crawford.

  4. THis argument that Beverly is going to the TSoL Clarice analogue is.... ridiculous? First off, she's playing the part in the pre-echo we're getting now, so whatever form of Clarice we get in future episodes (WHICH WE WILL GET KNOCK ON WOOD), to have her be Beverly AGAIN is... trite, lazy, and BORING. Plus it completely kills the point of the Clarice character which is learning how to navigate this world as a young, inexperienced woman. She's not going to play Hannibal's games later on, and as you say, Hannibal and Shmarice need to have complementing notes.

    Also "we're looking for someone with a bird-reference name- oh, HETTIENNE WAS TOTALLY HIRED BECAUSE HER NAME REFERENCES A BIRD" that's just ridiculous. I really hope that's not a serious argument, because seriously.

    But the most important thing is taking an iconic female character and just shoving another existing character in her place for no reason, when Fuller has made a point of keeping up the female energy of the show. It would be the antithesis of everything Fuller has been doing with keeping the male/female ratio more balanced. Taking what could be an amazing role for a female actor and just cutting and pasting? Fuller is better than that.

  5. I really enjoyed yall's discussion on Jack and what might get him to see behind Hannibal's person suit. I watched all of Season One before jumping into Season Two of the show, and I was really struck by how much time was given to Jack and Hannibal's relationship. While the Will and Hannibal relationship is, so to speak, the heart of the show, the relationship between Hannibal and Jack has very interesting overtones to it as well. It begins with Jack essentially "scaring" Hannibal, and I think that Hannibal never loses sight of Jack as the head of Behavioral Science unit, as a figure from the FBI, and in that light, a lot of his interactions with Jack take on an especially cruel light that the audience can see even as Jack cannot. But it also gives Jack something to reflect back and take hold of once he gets something much more solid, and that is going to make a fantastic scene in the future as well as laying groundwork for his interactions with him in times to come. It may also explain some of the resistance Jack has to viewing Hannibal as a killer; come on, Hannibal counseled his wife, was there for fireside brandy-and-grief chats, and has also been the most pliable to Jack's will when it comes to saying or doing what Jack needs or wants to hear. It's a great dynamic, and though we've already seen the explosion, working towards that explosion is going to be a fantastic part to this season.

    Re: Japanese - if you don't mind me putting on the linguist cap here - Japanese does have a system of stress, called pitch accent, but it functions very differently from the English (among others) system of stress. To radically oversimplify things, you can think of it in musical terms: in English, a word generally has one or two syllables that are a quarter note - longer and accentuated - in the midst of eighth notes; in Japanese, a word will consist of all eighth notes, but the "stressed" syllable will generally be of a slightly lower pitch than the surrounding syllables (which are not actually syllables but see: simplification). It's not that easy to go between the two systems. But take heart! The way Hannibal pronounced "kaiseki" is not terribly native sounding either (for example: is), so you're in good? company.

    Thanks for the show, guys; I came by way of Cleo and have enjoyed listening to your reviews and rambles. :)

  6. I've got five sites through Blogger myself, so I totally get not always being able to keep up with and respond to comments. So no worries. :)

    The thing about Beverly as "Clarice" is that "Clarice" is already being spread among several characters. Through Miriam, we saw "Clarice" the eager rookie. Through Beverly, we see "Clarice" the skilled FBI agent. In terms of "Clarice" the criminal profiler who goes on to have a very complicated relationship with Hannibal, you potentially have Alana (should she make it till then) or a new character who steps in after whatever goes down and cries for "NOT FOR EATING" are ignored. I say this because, as much as Beverly's filling the role for this early echo, she absolutely wouldn't go where the Hannibal novel takes the character in the end. I just think looking for a single "Clarice" who fits all characteristics but the name isn't how it's going to play out. It legally can't. And as I said, with them already making so many Silence of the Lambs nods, I don't think they have any plans for it to.

    That said, I don't see how slipping Beverly into the role, at least for now, prevents Fuller from continuing to add great characters to his cast and move that focus elsewhere down the road. Hettienne being named after a bird is just an amusing bit of trivia, and the type of thing Fuller's winked at on past shows. I'm not saying it's why she was hired.


    If it is Dolarhyde, then I imagine they'd have changed his profession to that of a photographer, and not just a film developer. Modern update for the times, but it's A) more accessible to be one and thus hire one for your well-to-do family and B) because most photographers work digitally now, making the whole film developing thing possibly moot? It's still possible, especially if his clients are in big old houses.

    My vote is still on thinking Hannibal killed the Judge, though. Strike me from the record trying to help my bestest fwend, will you? I've got a surplus of chains from my basement, your honor.

    My dumb guess for the copycat killer is ... it's almost embarrassing to say, but I have it in my head that it's Crawford. The line "I die believing we're friends" sticks out to me, as well as Will empathing the killer using a tidy little evidence baggie for the ear. It started for me when the crime scene was rigged to explode, and Jack honestly didn't seem all that surprised. Also, Will empathed that killer as practically pile driving the victim onto those antlers, which is strength we know Crawford has.

    I can't wait to be wrong, though.

    Also, how are the Verger kids going to factor into this season? Gaaaah help us all.

    1. Does anyone know if police crime scene photos still require some form of development? If so, that's how they could tie Dollarhyde in and explain how he knows the details of past kills.