Contorno Pt.2 “I Already Fell For You Once” (Alana and Hannibal)

There was a lot of flash to Contorno. There was an epic ass-whooping, two defenestrations (one bowels-in, one bowels-out), a de-train-estration and the return of the Ravenstag! Besides the fisticuffs and the bloody visions there was one moment that could be lost in all the noise: the brief exchange Hannibal and Alana had over the phone right before he chucks Pazzi out of the window.

It was such a great human moment for Alana.

The way Will describes it, Hannibal’s phone voice is some kind of litmus test of homicidal intentions. For Alana will hearing Hannibal’s voice again stir up some forgotten affection or will it reinforce her desire to have him tortured and killed? Another question for another episode, but it was a nice moment for her character. Her transformation from softy to bad bitch was so dramatic it was good to see a genuine reaction. The exterior that could weather the worst of Mason’s foul mouth without batting an eyelash, blanches when she hears that familiar voice. She has been thinking a lot about Hannibal, talking about him, getting into his head, but not totally prepared to be presented so bluntly with the reality of his continuing existence. Her reaction shows that she is still multi-dimensional. Her dimensions have, like Mason’s ears, just been rearranged.

Mason and Alana are still an unusual pair. It’s hard to tell what Alana thinks about her partner. Personalities aside, they are an effective bounty-hunting team. As fannibal-crack pointed out, Alana brings a different eye to the investigation, following a trail of stereotypically feminine clues to find Hannibal.

In the scene where Alana is making her presentation to Mason in Contorno, why were Alana and Mason dressed like a bride and groom? Alana was wearing one of her softer blazers in gold-flecked white, and Mason with his sober dark suit and striped tie would not have looked out of place at the altar. They are even talking about china and place settings. Perhaps (hopefully) this is only representative of them climbing into bed together figuratively. (shudder)

And, speaking of climbing into bed together…

Bedelia and Hannibal are very cosy in  Contorno. Word of God says the snail-eating scene is post-coital, so, if you take the author’s comment as part of canon, there’s the answer to the question of will they/won’t they/have they. I would still like to know “when did they?” Personally, I  favor @bedannibal-lectaurier’s opinion that this is a new aspect to their relationship in Contorno.

There was casual nudity and semi-nudity between them before. The new chapter of their story, starting right after the Red Dinner Party, kicked off with nudity (Hannibal’s) as a symbol of their new honesty with each other. Person suit gone. The nudity, to the point of Contorno, has been non-sexual or, at least, not explicitly sexual. Bedelia strips down alluringly from her ball-gown after the dance in Antipasto, but Hannibal turns away, uninterested. (As a totally subjective aside, after-event sex can be the hottest sex. You and your main squeeze all dressed up, getting your drink on, getting appreciative looks from other people maybe even get hit on a little. But you know she’s going home with you at the end of the night. And especially since Hannibal schooled all those snobby Italian profs on their main turf, if there was a time to smash one out, if would be then. Nothing arouses Hannibal Lecter like Hannibal Lecter.)

Hannibal washing Bedelia’s hair is certainly intimate, but not necessarily sexual. The most common hair-washing situation is parent-child not lover to lover. Her bathing in front of him, being naked and letting him touch her certainly shows Bedelia is vulnerable, but she isn’t offering this to Hannibal. She’s already figuratively naked. Hannibal knows her dark secrets and holds her life in his hands. If she is controlling anything about the situation, she is doing it in a very narrow framework that Hannibal set in place.

Contorno’s dishabille is of a definite sensual nature. There is nuzzling involved. What changed between Antipasto and Contorno? This show continues the frustrating pattern of leaving so much compelling pieces of the story off-screen. Is this the afterglow of the first time? Who initiated? If they had been edging to this point over the last few months what pushed it over the line for both of them? It’s possible that Bedelia is feeling the pressure of their house guest’s imminent arrival. Not that sex is necessarily security (ask Alana).

I don’t know what Bedelia is doing, or even if she knows. She said she has a plan for how to spring herself out of whatever situation she gets herself into, while implying Hannibal has no such backup plan. (When Hannibal has his first run-in with Pazzi, Bedelia sounds genuinely disappointed that Hannibal is still free to tell her the tale.)

Is Bedelia’s plan just to hold her head together while Hannibal falls apart? Bedelia says she has a plan, and it is one of the suspenseful elements to this season.

i keep wondering exactly how alana feels about abigail..???? like she used to want nothing more than to protect her and help her, but the last she saw of abigail was when she ended up being alive after all at hannibal’s house and pushed her out the window to presumable death??????? like does alana know hannibal made her do it or does she think abigail was in on it the whole time?? does she understand or does she hate baby abigail???? these are the things i need to know nbchannibal

HANNIBAL RECAP: S3E5

Previously on Hannibal: A lot of suits, mostly. The occasional sweater.

This week on Hannibal: More suits, accented by his own blood fuck yeah.

Season 3, Episode 5: “Contorno”

Our ongoing study of Will Graham Sitting Sadly in Various Means of Transportation continues from last episode’s sailboat to the train compartment he is currently in with Chiyoh, as some anonymous European countryside whisks gloomily by.

Strange Folks On a Train

Chiyoh is talking about growing up with young Hannibal. Apparently he used to burn random bark & things for her to learn to identify by scent alone — like a tiny Sherlock & Joan?? Imagine that version of events. I will.

Anyway, in real Hannibal-life Chiyoh is making some odd analogy about Hannibal as a charming cub who grew up to be just like the big cats. Ok. Will, ever eager to expand on people’s metaphors and take them in a yet weirder & more awkward direction, asks: “One you can’t play with later?” Will evidently just harbours dreams of Hannibal stalking a laser pointer around his office, aannd now I do too.

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Okay, guys, so.  Mason Verger and Alana Bloom? Mason Verger and Alana Bloom.

I mean, I’ve talked about Hannibal as an infection, right?  And he really is.  He’s a contaminant.  It’s barely even a metaphor anymore.  Bedelia asks Hannibal if Pazzi knows what he is, not who he is.  Will is afraid that, having come under Hannibal’s spell once, he has to kill Hannibal in order to avoid a complete a transformation into him.  Alana essentially says that the attack has left her with polluted blood and a consequently compromised mind.  Hannibal as an agent of corruption isn’t really a metaphor anymore.

And we know that Alana hasn’t succumbed completely to it, because she does still have the heart to call Pazzi and try to save him, even after she’s taken pains to establish that he’s not as innocent as all that.

But.

The fucking look on her face every time Mason is a dickhole about her previous relationship with Hannibal is pretty much the same look Hannibal had on his face every time Mason did something like stab holes in his tasteful decor.  It helps here to remember that, while Hannibal was a surgeon and so many of his victims were dispatched with that skill–a skill which Alana doesn’t share–Hannibal’s attack on Mason used the weapons of a psychiatrist first and foremost.

And of all the people Hannibal’s touched, it’s somehow Mason who came out of it relatively unchanged.  Margot’s lurking around, doing god knows what after her promise to take care of her brother just like he’s always taken care of her.  I mean, we don’t see her doing anything horrible, but she doesn’t seem to have backed off that promise in the slightest.  Pazzi’s been corrupted by professional disappointment and the promise of material gain.  Jack has his wife’s death on his conscience, as well as the question of whether he’d have picked up the needle if Hannibal hadn’t put it in Bella’s hand first.  Bedelia is having petty arguments over who’s really responsible for a dude’s death-by-icepick and quietly suggesting that Hannibal eliminate Pazzi as a threat.  Chilton’s somehow even more the moth to the flame than he was before, Will’s lost his goddamned mind, and Chiyoh’s throwing dudes off trains. 

Mason?  Mason’s still the same sadistic, vulgar asswipe he was to begin with, even if he’s lost his face and his physical independence.  Which essentially means that just like he couldn’t really appreciate what Hannibal was capable of until it was too late, he now can’t appreciate that he’s invited a predator he doesn’t understand and can’t control into his home and is deeply annoying her every other time he opens his mouth.  She’s not there for whatever the fuck is going on in his head; she’s there for Hannibal’s death.  When he looks at Alana, he sees Hannibal’s girlfriend, and he’s not shy about seeing some persistent connection to Hannibal there, like he can get to Hannibal by needling or threatening her. 

What he fails to see is that Hannibal was her mentor for a very long time before he was her lover.  She’s one of his victims, sure, but–just like Will, just like Bedelia–she’s so much more than that.  She’s sat at his table, year after year, eating strangers and targets and friends and colleagues.  When she began to suspect what was going on, when she thought she might be in danger, she armed herself and tried to kill the monster.  The attempt on her life has made her angry and opened her eyes to exactly what Hannibal is and given her a taste for blood, but it hasn’t made her any less perceptive or intelligent.  And now she’s risen from the dead and painting her lips red and patiently explaining to a vapid ingrate how he can find a monster.

And not only is he not listening, but he’s also being terribly, terribly boring.