I’ve talked before about religious themes and undercurrents in Hannibal, so I’m returning for a second helping *food double entendre*. What I want to talk about today is the aspects of mysticism present in the show. Now, colloquially speaking, “mysticism” can be taken to mean almost anything that is vaguely spiritual—Tina the Tarot card reader down the highway may say she is a practitioner of mysticism; any New Age guru with their own faux-Indian merchandise and platitudes can claim they’re a mystic. However, in modern academic discourse, those paths and traditions termed “mysticism” have a meaning tied to transformative experiences related to a transcending of the self, typically with an end goal of a special kind of union with divinity. Examples range from the Christian ecstatics like St. Teresa of Ávila and St. John of the Cross, to the practitioners of bhakti traditions in Hinduism like Ramakrishna, to the Sufi mystics of Islam, such as Mansur Al-Hallaj. Since the focus here is union with the divine object of devotion, for clarity’s sake, let’s call this strain of thought “unitive mysticism”. I believe we see examples of this particular religious/spiritual impulse in the show Hannibal, particularly in the cases of Will Graham and Francis Dolarhyde. Will and Francis are drawn to lose themselves in the identities of their objects of devotion, Hannibal and the Red Dragon personality, respectively. Join me after the jump to delve deeper.
On this week’s How I Met Your Serial Killer, we start to see the small but important ways the show differs from the source material and makes the story of Red Dragon its own. We continue on the Francis Dolarhyde/Tooth Fairy/Red Dragon saga, inching, sometimes stumbling, forward to its conclusion. Spoiler alert, and trigger warning for self-harm, harm to animals, and assorted Hannibal violence. Continue reading →
Last week, after the conclusion of Will and Hannibal’s Most Excellent European Vacation, we jumped forward a few years and got a new antagonist, the Tooth Fairy. The episode left off on Will and Hannibal’s first reunion since Hannibal had been institutionalized three years previous. This week continued to fill in the gap of information left by that time jump, as well as hitting some satisfying emotional and storytelling notes.
Trigger warning for gore and murder, but surprisingly not cannibalism this time around. And of course, spoilers after the jump.
Well, we’ve scarcely had time to digest last week’s intense conclusion to the Verger saga, and now we’re off to the next (and final?) serving of Hannibal—the show’s take on what started it all: Red Dragon. We meet some new faces, and also see the returns of some old ones we haven’t seen in quite some time, namely Agents Price and Zeller of Team Science (sans one B. Katz *moment of silence*). Body horror and spoilers after the jump as always, kids.
Lordy, lordy. It seems like forever since the dramatic and murderiffic finale of Hannibal‘s second season aired, and in the time that’s passed I almost forgot how hyped I can get about this freaky-ass show. Continue reading →