Mark Watches ‘Hannibal’: S01E03 – Potage

In the third episode of the first season of Hannibal, the team tries to give Abigail some closure on her life and THEN WAY TOO MUCH HAPPENS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Hannibal.


Trigger Warning: Talk of death, grief, and blood.

  • It’s really not difficult for me to see how liberally this episode foreshadows the ending. I’d say from that very first scene, which flashes back to show us Abigail’s relationship with her father, this was an intentional effort to draw parallels between Garret Jacob Hobbs and Abigail (and, later, Dr. Lecter, too).
  • He taught her his philosophy for his murders and hid it in a lesson about how to honor the animals that they hunted. And it’s this deliberate comparison between animals and women that is so revolting and terrifying. I honestly don’t think Garret Jacob Hobbs viewed them as all that different.
  • This episode brings Dr. Alana Bloom more into the story, and it’s not lost on me that she is the consistent voice of empathy and understanding in the narrative. From the beginning, she’s imploring Will not to visit Abigail because it has the potential of upsetting both of their healing processes. Later, she believes that taking Abigail home will unearth a mountain of trauma, and she fights it. Note that this is now the third time this season that Alana has told Crawford UM NO WE SHOULDN’T DO THIS and then ended up being right. She warned Crawford that Will would get to close, and that didn’t turn out too well, did it?
  • And then we’ve got Abigail Hobbs, who gets her full introduction to us, and Kacey Rohl is UNREAL. I mean, her character development in one single episode is hard to get a handle on, and Rohl handles it all with grace and subtlety. I truly believe that she had nothing to do with her father’s murders, and I think the story supports that. This is a portrait of a woman wrecked by guilt and fear, whose entire life fell apart in a few minutes, and we watch her try to cope with the confusion using a number of methods. Manipulation, re-enactment, projecting… good lord. Rohl plays Abigail as always existing on the edge of some huge emotional break, and it’s just incredible to watch.
  • I must say that Lara Jean Chorostecki, who plays Freddie Lounds, is also a treat to watch, especially as she tips between turning on her charm and her more manipulative side. She’s a pragmatist, but she’s also driven to get whatever she wants. It’s fascinating, then, to think about how similar she is to Jack Crawford. Both characters are willing to use someone like Abigail for their own means, even if their behavior harms the subject. Both characters are deeply inappropriate in terms of caring about Abigail’s mental health, you know? I commented in the video that I was pleased that they’re not straying from portraying Crawford as openly flawed, and this is a good example of that. He pushes Will because his needs are more important than Will’s. Freddie pushes Abigail (AND TELLS HER ABOUT WHAT HER FATHER DID WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT) because she wants the exclusive.
  • Oh, right, she also tells Nicholas Boyle, the brother of Hannibal’s copycat victim, that Abigail has woken up.
  • WHY
  • WHY
  • I’m glad that the story doesn’t ignore the social backlash that Abigail would experience because of what her father did. It’s unbearable to watch because, like I said, I really don’t think Abigail killed anyone with her father. I think she was always ignorant about what was going on. And yet, people are absolutely convinced that she was the bait for her father’s killing. They vandalize her house; Nicholas stalks her; her friend’s mother angrily comes to get her daughter away from Abigail. All of this is on top of the trauma that Abigail’s already trying to deal with.
  • HELP ME.
  • Is this why Lecter so quickly covered up the evidence he found outside Abigail’s house? Did he know that Abigail would eventually confront him about his secret, and he was already building up his manipulation of her???
  • I mean, Marissa is killed and displayed in the Hobbs’ family cabin the very next day. That has to mean Dr. Lecter was planning this shit by the time he arrived at Abigail’s home the day before.
  • My brain hurts, and so does my heart.
  • I noticed that in the aftermath of this, Crawford was quick to turn on Will in a way. He is furious that Will’s profile was wrong, but why blame him? Surely, Crawford knows that this is a reality for profiling! But I think this is evidence of how Crawford’s worldview revolves so readily around himself in matters of his job. (I can’t speak to his personal life, since we haven’t seen any of it yet.) It’s like he’s personally offended that Will was wrong. Of course, there’s the unknown at work here. Will was right, and I bet Lecter wouldn’t have killed like this again if he hadn’t needed to manipulate Abigail.
  • And lord, what a manipulation. The entire sequence at Abigail’s house that night scared the shit out of me. NO SHAME. I have a theory about it, actually. I think Dr. Lecter purposely set up the pieces so that Abigail would be compelled to kill. There’s that moment where Freddie Lounds confronts Abigail and Lecter pulls her aside. He had already framed Nick for the murder of Marissa, and now Freddie has information that he needs: Did she see Nick Boyle around the premises?
  • It’s a stretch, I admit. It’s possible that Dr. Lecter simply improvised upon seeing blood on Abigail’s hands, but why was he so ready to let someone into his world like this? I think it was all deliberate because, like Garret Jacob Hobbs, Dr. Lecter is a perfectionist.
  • For real though, in short succession, Abigail finds one victim’s hair in a pillow, Nick confronts her, SHE STABS HIM AND GUTS HIM, Alana is knocked out by Dr. Lecter before she can discover what happened, and Abigail agrees to hide the body of Nick and concoct a story that implicates Nick in the copycat murders. This happens in LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES, and I still can’t get over that this is three episodes into the season. 
  • Abigail is going to figure out who Hannibal Lecter is. There’s no way she’s not! I mean, this all has so many parallels already (HE FED HIS FAMILY THE REMAINS OF THOSE GIRLS OH MY GOD), and I honestly felt like Dr. Lecter was grooming Abigail. It was such an uncomfortable dynamic, and I feel no doubt in saying that it’s only going to get worse.

The video for “Potage” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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