As you may have heard (as I may have told you in person approximately five minutes ago), Hannibal aired its series finale just the other night, bringing three years of rampant cannibalism jokes to a climactic ending. I’m still digesting everything that’s happened in the show in general (pun very much intended), but I did want to share an initial reaction, in this delighted moment.
Spoilers from here.
What did I think of the series finale? One word: gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.
No, like, literally. Gay.
I think Hannibal made history with this finale (actually, I think Hannibal’s probably made history in many ways), because we have entered into a brave new world, wherein the show actually gives the fangirls what they want.
You, Artichoke, haven’t watched this show, despite my very best efforts (maybe I should not have started with the season 2 episode Primavera, wherein a man literally rips his shellacked body out of a painting made of people and then tumbles off a cliff to his watery death, as I’m sure you remember, vividly), so you may not know that Hannibal has been a long study in trying to be the most homoerotic show ever made, as mostly seen through Hannibal’s desire to get inside of Will, in all kinds of ways. Every time Hannibal psychologically manipulates Will or, perhaps more to the point, forcibly penetrates him in the gut with a curved knife so as to disembowel him, it’s seen through a loving, quasi-religious, psychosexual lens. Hell, they even had a child together– whom Hannibal murdered and fed in piece to Will, not necessarily in that order. This show had as much subtlety as that dream we’ve all had where your high school math teacher repeatedly punches you in the face. The erotic subtext of Will and Hannibal’s wicked murder love was always only ever barely one step away from simply being text.
Seeing as you work with children, maybe you can understand onions behavior? I was honestly wondering cause half the time I hear he's a demon, the other half is he's just a normal kid, no disorders or anything.
Honestly, I really like his character. I think not because of its weirdness, but because of its malleability.
This can be approached from several different angles, but I will start by saying:
Onion’s character, as a whole, is played in the show to be specifically weird and creepy. There’s nothing denying the fact that the show tries to make it obvious that he’s got some sort of enigma underlying his presence.
They basically use him to impersonate the fear that exists in all of us ever since horror movies figured out that for some reason, children-sized demons and monsters are creepier than adult-sized ones.
And they play up the trope for all they can get.
That being said, when examined outside of the weird positioning of his character, I’d honestly have to say Onion is a pretty typical 4-year-old.
(I’m assuming he’s 3-5, but it’s up for debate).
If you think about it, he hasn’t actually done anything extremely out of the ordinary. In fact, that biggest realism flaw in his existence is the fact that he is free to roam the entirety of beach city unsupervised, which is what, ultimately, leads to him being weird all over the place.
The bulk of what he actually does is pretty standard. He runs around, takes things without asking, imitates behavior he could have easily seen in movies, and develops obsessions with items - sometimes taking those items without permission. The kid isn’t old enough to have a concept of what’s weird and what’s not weird. He’s still learning his world, and he doesn’t know that he’s being weird - to him, it’s all a fun game.
Even in light of the recent episode, my idea that he’s just a regular weird kid is solidified. He is close to a select few people, and he’s very comfortable with his mother, who he actually speaks to and communicates with very healthily. He’s got a few weird obsessions, and weird pets, and a hidden safe of special toys.
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re gonna say: “THE BIRTH VIDEO?!?!?!”
I’ve got news for you - regular children, if allowed to express their interests without judgement from their parents, will naturally develop weird obsessions with bodily functions, death, and yes, sometimes even birth.
The Vidalia household is clearly a pretty expression-free place. Vidalia herself is a really laid-back mom. Sour Cream has the freedom of doing his DJ thing despite the fact that it’s clearly borderline annoying, because she values his ability to invest in what he likes. I’m assuming Onion isn’t very oppressed in this way either. She evidently just lets him like what he does and roll with it - which, honestly, is a pretty damn good way to parent a child. Neither of her kids are in immediate danger, nor do they display any truly dangerous symptoms. They’ve got their stuff, and they’re happy. Onion has a safe space, toys, and interests. For a 4 year old, that’s really damn important. Way more so than any social conventions are.
Plus he’s got two supportive parents that clearly understand him.
I’ve seen a lot of interesting speculation going around saying that Onion might be on the autism spectrum, or perhaps display symptoms of other diagnoses. And honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with that. If you can see yourself in that character and it makes you feel better, that’s good.
I don’t actually think the show has given us enough information to come to any solid conclusions. They use Onion as a Chaotic Neutral (sometimes Evil) and a catalyst for weird situations, but they also show him behaving in very normal ways to his family members, and he still seems like a pretty normal kid to me.