“Hannibal” recap (3.6): Dolce

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Before we dive into the latest installment of this past week’s Hannibal, it’s rather important we address the elephant in the room—and no, Dr. Lecter will not be serving elephant meat this evening. Sadly, it seems Hannibal’s fate is sealed: NBC recently announced the series wouldn’t be renewed after Season 3 ends in late August. But that’s not all: For the interim, they’ll be relocating the drama-thriller from its regular Thursday night at 10/9c to Saturday nights in place of the long-running crime investigation series, Dateline: Saturday Night Mysteries. As a fan of both, it’s a travesty either way you dice it, because NBC shows moved to this weekend spot notoriously fizzle out, hard. And even though Lecter’s world of dazzling carnage continues to cinematically lure us in, ratings are super, super low.

That said, this episode rounds out the season midway point, and just in time to deliver Margot fans exactly what they’ve been waiting for.

Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Special Agent Jack (Laurence Fishburne) are in Florence hunting Dr. Lecter. It’s time to see that Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) gets his dues. I’m still scratching my head over how these two dudes are even alive. There’s something to be said for all these Hannibal victims who somehow survived his brutal attempts at killing them all. Alana Bloom (Caronline Dhavernas) has made the most striking comeback. At the end of last season, she was laying on the ground after plummeting from the window. Alana’s dynamic with both Will and Hannibal ended so chaotically amid foolishness, broken trust and a sedated outlook on her role as a woman in a man-controlled world. So, yeah, an exploration into her sexual fluidity—say, with the likes of Margot Verner (Katharine Isabelle) sounds especially welcoming. Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) is basically the new Alana, though she’d likely want us to gag ourselves with a spoon for even thinking such a thing. 

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Now, Alana and Margot have a noticeable chemistry that they clearly want to put to action. It almost seems to be the only thing keeping Margot totally sane, because—there’s still Mason Verger, her disgusting brother (who for reasons beyond logic is still alive) and he wants to father her child and have a family with her. He’s totally deformed in the face now—mostly in the mouth region, and it’s not Michael Pitt. The baby-eyed actor was replaced with Joe Anderson. Mason’s been nibbling at body parts in preparation for a feast—of Hannibal and Will. Bedelia is having her own game with Hannibal, about whether or not she’ll let him eat her. So, let me get this straight: Bedelia is dangling her flesh in Hannibal’s face, and very soon, Hannibal and Will might be the next victims of Mason Verger? The rest of the episode can only go one of two ways. Eat or be eaten.

Bedelia is confronted by a fierce sniper bitch, Kiyo (Tao Okamoto), who catches B just as she’s about to shoot up drugs. Now we know there’s now another hunter out there, but it’s a surprise she didn’t kill Bedelia on the spot. Maybe she’d rather spare the fallen. Bedelia tells everyone her name is Lydia. Of course this is false because she’s just protecting herself being associated with Hannibal. Gillian Anderson’s breathy responses are smooth going down, but after a while, the acting is so thick I can’t figure out if she’s just supposed to be a high-as-a-kite woman in denial over the dangerous game she’s playing, or—yep, that’s it. Her poker face game is strong, y’all. Chiyo calls this Lydia thing a construct she’s created—like some fucked up psychological response to this big gaping lie. Bedelia hardly flinches.

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Margot and Mason have a really uncomfortable conversation about Mason’s fixation over having a baby with his sister Margot (his twin sister, to be exact).  She offers that this will be a slight problem because he sort of forced her into getting an abortion—one that he doctored himself. This goes on and on—they both say the word “uterus” a few times, like it’s a distant but really fucked-up situation. Margot’s able to compartmentalize this area of her life, no doubt, but it’s a wonder to me that she’s even there, even able to stand before him, listening to his scraping little voice.

In the next scene, Margot and Alana have reunited for a nightcap—a kaleidoscopic voyage into maybe one of the most artful representations of lesbian sex on TV. It’s actually quite stunning, how their bodies ebb and flow from one shape to the next, spiral, spin, turn, synchronized and duplicated like some kind of trippy organism under a microscope, but like, a sexy microscope. Imagine being at a birthday party where there’s the promise of a piñata and a kaleidoscope trinket falls out into your lap with this as the content. Sapphic Kaleidoscopes, by Mattel! Batteries sold separately, because it can be way more than just your dime store kaleidoscope. Wink, wink.

After they finish, Alana helps fasten Margot’s dress, and Margot’s next line is a question to Alana about if she knows anything about harvesting sperm—she wants to “harvest Mason’s sperm before he goes to jail.” Um. It’s hard to even say, “That’s a weird thing to say after sex,” because a small part of me giggles thinking it would be perfect in a coffee table book of, “Things lesbians shouldn’t say to each other after sex, but probably totally do.” I just really wish Margot would actually be with Alana if she wants to be, instead of fussing over breeding a Verger heir to appease her psycho brother. Is that so much to ask for?

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Someone else is hallucinating though now, and that’s Will. Chiyo shot him from a rooftop perch, even though we all suspected she was aiming for Hannibal. Hannibal takes Will in, doses him with some kind of Hannibal-medicine that creates weird visions (Will starts to think Hannibal is another Will) and it’s about that time that our buddy Jack decides to saunter in. He meets Chiyo (and by “meet” I mean, he casually sidles next to her on the elevator ride up to the seventh floor, aware of her long briefcase, she too aware of the gun hanging in his jacket pocket) and she diverts her mission once she sees he’s entering Hannibal’s apartment. Inside, Jack sees Will tied up to the dinner table with an empty place setting at the opposite end of the table. Was Hannibal expecting Jack to show? Clearly. Will whispers, “He’s under the table,” just as Hannibal slices open Jack’s Achilles heel. He then takes a quickly spinning sharpening tool to Will’s head (barf, barf, barf—sorry guys, that was brutal.) What’s wild is that in the following scene, Hannibal and Will are seen hog-tied in a pig farm hanging upside down. Mason welcomes them to his pig farm. It’s like some surreal dimension of hell they must be in! Back to Mason’s pig farm? I thought we left those piggies behind.

It’s clear that the show might be ending (OKAY, it is ending) but we can still savor this super sexy relationship between Margot and Alana, can we not? Their trippy lovemaking will end up in a YouTube montage by next month anyway.

Tweet me @the_hoff for #MargotandAlana updates, and tune in next Thursday for another episode of Hannibal on NBC.