Wednesday, April 2, 2014

035: Hannibal 2x05 "Mukozuke" - Live Free or Die Pretentious

Image taken from

SPOILERS UP TO (and including) HANNIBAL 2x05, as well as spoilers for the Chronicles of Narnia, The Divine Comedy, and the Animorphs series. C'mon, you've got to listen at least just to see how those tie in, right?

In this episode:
  • How can we possibly parse out what Bryan Fuller means to be a reference to canon material that he doesn't plan to incorporate into the narrative and what is meant to be foreshadowing/a portentous echo of things to come? We... don't really have an answer for that one, open to suggestions.
  • What exactly are the Admirers motivations? What makes him tick? Why, upon further examination, does that conversation he has while stringing Hannibal up make not a lick of emotional sense?
  • We still don't know what words/threats/Nintendo DS Friend Codes were passed between Freddie and Hannibal in that conversation way back in Season 1 and iT'S TEARING IAN APART, LISA.
  • What game is Abel Gideon playing? What horse does he have in this race? What's his stake in this? Or steak in this. Mmmmmmmnh, steak.
  • Hannibal and his murder-wizardry, more specifically why Fio is dancing merry and obnoxious through a field of poppies and completely past any logistical problems the actions of the various killers might present.
  • How do we rectify Will's recent actions with what we know/expect/desperately hope of his morality in the past and the future?
  • I'm really sorry, I wanted to make this title a reference to a better Die Hard but none of them had the cadence I wanted.
  • Without further ado, I'm turning this one directly over to Ian, as he's got some really interesting points in the timestamps:
  • 18:11 - “A little cold.” Heheh. ‘Cause. Y’know. Hannibal froze Bev. ...I’ll leave.
  • 23:30 - Honestly, when we started talking about Freddie & Hannibal, I was totally ready to say, “I wouldn’t be surprised if she was sleeping with him, for whatever reason.” I don’t know why exactly I was getting that vibe--it may have been influenced more than a little bit by that semi-romantic piece of fanart that tattle-crime reblogged--but in any case, it felt to me like there was more to that conversation than meets the eye.
  • 32:47 - Listening to more of the conversation, I guess part of the reason he asks Hannibal if he’s the Chesapeake Ripper is because Beverly just died, Will & Jack know that it was the Chesapeake Ripper, and Matthew has been reading the files associated with Will, so he may have divined “Ok, Will wants me to kill Hannibal Lecter. Why? His friend just died, and that was the Chesapeake Ripper, so...oh.” OR, and this feels more likely to me, Will told him that Hannibal is the Chesapeake Ripper in whatever conversation we didn’t see, and Matthew Brown is asking Hannibal because even he finds it hard to believe. Fuck, man; part of me is looking for an Occam’s Razor reason for all of this, because this is getting really confusing. There are just too many agendas. Bryan Fuller said on Twitter that Matthew Brown isn’t dead, so hopefully it’ll become clearer in future episodes. You mention it on the podcast; this episode ended pretty abruptly, so this was probably just setting up the arc for the next several episodes.
  • 34:25 - Chilton must be getting his therapy tips from Jeremiah Arkham, my word. “Oh, yeah, lemme bring in the guy Will almost killed, who ALSO happens to be a psychopath, to help Will’s therapy. That’s not a bad idea in the slightest.” Yes, yes, “helping his therapy” isn’t the reason he brought Gideon back in, but still: you’re going to throw a murderer and a person you believe to be a murderer into a room together and just let them chat it out? Fuckin’ a, Chilton.
  • 44:20 - What I think I really wanted to get into here and didn’t manage was, how much does Abel really care about when it comes to Will and his goodness? Because basically, if we’re talking about this in really dramatic, operatic terms, the whole scene between Abel and Alana is sort of a “Will’s soul hangs in the balance, and I’m giving you the opportunity to save him--it’s up to you” (which, interestingly enough, is exactly what Alana said she wanted a few episodes ago--”I want to save you”). So does his motivation to tell Alana come from any sort of desire to see Will or Hannibal “saved” (in the case of Will, his soul; in the case of Hannibal, his life)? Or is this another reflection of the Ripper--Abel is just curious to see what’ll happen? Or again, Occam’s Razor--it could be as simple as what you say here: he just wants to screw up Will’s plans.
  • 54:19 - This whole episode is just my brain working faster than my mouth can speak, and my mouth never seems to catch up, and that’s how we get “HEY I’VE GOT FIVE BILLION THEORIES ABOUT THIS SINGLE MOMENT oh fuck wait how were they relevant again dammit Ian.”
  • 1:09:30 - I will entirely admit that there’s an unspoken undercurrent to my whole argument here, which is probably most simply stated as  “I care a lot about Will being a good person and maintaining his innocence, so I’m looking for ways to shift the responsibility for ANY POSSIBLE EVIL he may commit from him to Hannibal.” In other words, I think it’s possible I’m being far more precious with the character of Will Graham than I probably should be for a critical discussion. Also, holy crap, Ian, it’s a TV show. I really need to take a step back and reassess how seriously I’m taking all of this.
  • 1:12:58 - Susan and Peter. Susan. The whole scene hinges on the fact that it’s Susan and Peter talking about Lucy, omg why can’t you speak right former me.

  • Intro: "This is My Design" - original song, music by Ian. More on this as it develops.
  • Outro: "The Sound of Silence" - Simon and Garfunkel | YouTube | iTunes |


  1. Is the Liar/Lunatic/Lord theory about whether or not you'd believe the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when he says he is Jesus Christ?

    Because it made me think of a bit from Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov: one of the brothers has a novel in which the reborn JC is thrown in jail by Torquemada who says, basically, "I believe you, but you're going to destroy the world order and I can't let you do that."

    1. Omg, so I started writing a comment that I was sure was going to be horribly inaccurate in its representation of the argument, but thankfully, there's actually a Wiki article all about it: . TL;DR, it's less to do with the Second Coming and more to do with believing that the biblical Jesus was who he said he was--i.e., God.

      I really should read some Dostoevsky.

  2. 1. Digging the new intro music.

    2. I have thoughts on Will's attempt to kill Lecter in contrast to Clarice's Starling's decision in HANNIBAL the book and movie to rescue Lecter from Mason Verger's henchmen. Short version: either way, you're screwed.

  3. The two locations for the pool scene make sense to me as a former swim team member. I can tell you from experience that the pool scene was probably not meant to be located at a gym. It was likely intended to be an older-style natatorium. (Which is such a Hannibal thing to do, isn't it? Why go to a cheesy gym with TVs & the unwashed masses when you can swim at a classical natatorium?) Old, historic natatoriums can be AMAZINGLY creepy and often dark and subterranean. All the floors would have drains, too, regardless of whether there's a shower head nearby.

  4. I totally believe in what you said about Gideon using code words "devil." I think he's attempting to psychic drive Chilton into finding out about Lecter