i feel kinda shitty because i have 4 rabbits, and i love them, but i’m not the greatest with them. i never managed to bond with them, and i never managed to get the two separate pairs to bond together so the pairs have to be separated. i love them, but i could’ve done more. and i researched into rabbit care but knowing what i know now, i should’ve done so much more researching. the rabbits are cared for, they’re happy, they get their vaccinations and medications when needed, but i can’t help but feel like they see me as a scary giant that shoves medicine in their mouths and clips their nails sometimes.
and now i have my cat, Onion. he is my whole world and i feel so bad for my rabbits because Onion gets so much of my time, affection, and attention. and now i want a tattoo of him. i can also get a tattoo for my rabbits, but there’s four of them and i don’t want four rabbits on my body. maybe i could get one that is a kinda cute frankenstein patchwork picture of them all? i don’t know. i just feel bad, like i’m favouring one of my fur-babies over the others. which i guess i kinda am.
I’ve heard people say that it’s gotten so artsy that it gets in the way of the plot.
Like. What was the “plot” of the first season? Was it Will’s sickness and Hannibal hiding it from him? That was introduced two thirds into the season? Jesus.
I took being “so artsy that it gets in the way of the plot” to be a conflation of “Nothing makes any sense, and it’s all just a bunch of aesthetics“ and “The pace is too slow/There is no plot.” I agree that it’s not looking at the aesthetic shots with a critical eye to what they’re saying and rather assuming that they’re just there to establish tone and mood (if that). Not that tone and mood aren’t important–they are, and I would argue one of the most important elements of the show, and have been all along–but they double as statements about character, moments that move the characters’ choices along, etc. Every last detail in Hannibal does double duty in some way, which is one of the major tenets of excellent writing.
I think your point about the first season is a good one. There’s the plot that we think the show is when we’re in the early episodes, and then there’s what the plot really turns out to be.
The first season was explained to me before I started watching (incidentally between episodes 4 and 5, just like where we are now) as “Hannibal and Will Graham collaborate with the FBI to solve crimes.” Which was both completely true and appallingly false. The plot of the first season was how Hannibal Lecter became so smitten with Will Graham that he tried to turn both Will and Abigail Hobbs into people that he could murder with (with mixed results). That’s why Hobbs had to die in that first episode, rather than having a multiple-episode arc, because that’s when the door opened that Hannibal tried to wedge himself inside (as symbolized by the scene of Hannibal sleeping in Abigail’s hospital room when Will came in). All the aspects of those first episodes (Hobbs’s death, Will shooting Stammets, Abigail killing Nick Boyle and collaborating with Hannibal to cover it up, Molly Shannon’s murder family, the whiff of encephalitis, etc.) fed directly into that plot, but while it was possible to see in the midst of it that Hannibal was screwing around with them in this way, to what end he was engaging in this wasn’t really apparent until later…and, if you remember the S1-S2 hiatus discussions (as I’m sure you do!) a lot of people continued to insist that Hannibal was just messing around, that he was looking for a fall guy and that was his only purpose, that Will was never anything but a toy, that Will was never really that close to becoming a killer.
The same was true of the second season. Ostensibly, the plot seemed to be in the first four episodes about how in the world was Will going to get out of prison and get people to see the truth about Hannibal, but by episode five (again, exactly where we are now) the real plot emerged: how much was Will willing to become like Hannibal in order to catch him? (Also mixed results.) The first four episodes were needed to establish just how desperate his situation was and how he could rely on no one but himself, heading down that particular rabbit hole, in the pursuit of that goal.
The point is (writing about the first season always makes me woolgather, sorry–side effect of using it as teaching material), the show has employed that style of storytelling that it’s currently engaging in since season one, when it comes to its serialized plot. The characters’ choices are the overriding factor, and although circumstantial elements (what people think of as plot driven factors)–such as the encephalitis in S1, Will’s imprisonment in S2, and Hannibal’s fugitive status in S3–play a role, it’s the characters’ headspace that is important to dictating what direction they will take the story. These early episodes give us an indication of that headspace. While it might seem at the moment that the plot of the first half of S3 is about how Hannibal will be captured, that’s probably not really the plot at all. Hugh Dancy confirmed already in some interview that the themes of the first half of the season would see their fulfillment in the second half, regardless of the time jump and change in circumstance. So what the plot of S3 exactly is is something we’re still uncovering (I have my suspicions, but I’m going to hold onto them for a little longer). It’s perhaps more opaque than S2 because we don’t know what the final destination is going to be like we did there with the gutting–but, like you said, what that does is make it a lot more like S1 than it might superficially appear.