Note: There are NO SPOILERS ( and no recap) here UNLESS you know nothing ( no interviews, stills, no teasers, no trailers) I figure, if you know nothing, you’re probably not reading here.
We already suspected, but let me reiterate, that this fandom is going to see something so new and unfamiliar in our Richard Armitage that things may never be the same. Because some of us may want more of this.
For those who have wanted to see him dance – this gets pretty close. The body movement, which I just recently mentioned in a previous post is, at times, a combination of ballet and yoga, with a little body-builder pose thrown in – though I recall Armitage saying that he studied some Japanese Butoh dancing in preparation for the role. I checked it out, and I can see what he means. Butoh is called The Dance of Darkness. It doesn’t hurt that the scene in question (we saw some in the trailer) is performed in the almost nude, with just a pair of tight boxers.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so muscular, at least not in close-up, as in these scenes.
For those fans who want to hear him sing – well not quite here, but there are some sounds and registers I don’t think we’ve heard before ( except perhaps some of the high pitched whining of Paul Andrews in Between the Sheets). In fact, he speaks almost not at all, and when he does, it’s in a scene that gives credence to both his and Fuller’s description of a somewhat sympathetic character.
For those fans who can’t get enough of his eyes – you can tell me what you think. Wild-eyed is my description.
For those fans enraptured by his hands, episode 8 is a veritable hand-fest. I even wonder whether the hand shots were completely accidental, created by the director, or did Bryan Fuller and Neil Marshall investigate fans’ obsession with those massive, but ever so graceful, hands.
For those fans who love the profile or the nose from any angle – you won’t be disappointed.
For those fans who always want to see him gorgeous, I’m not sure your wishes will be fulfilled in this episode. The lighting, the close-ups the camera work and the haircut cause him to look, alternately, like a nerd and a monster. On the other hand, almost none of this is due to the scar, which detracts not at all, although there seems something different to me about his whole mouth.
For those fans who like his acting and characters best when he’s tortured, conflicted, serious, damaged, heartbreaking, this one’s for you.
What this episode does so well is to set up the becoming efficiently and artistically. With no words, and very little exposition, viewers get a pretty good picture of the beginning of the transformation from Francis Dolarhyde to The Great Red Dragon as well as his connection to Hannibal. The Hannibal team delivered a perfect set-up with which to go forward.
As to the rest of the characters and the episode plot – I think this is one of the first times I can recall in the entire series – perhaps there were one or two instances in the earlier episodes, when Will and Jack Crawford talked, more or less normally, without double-meanings and Jaws-like foreboding.
Hannibal, on the other hand, and Alana and Fred Chilton, are still busy playing word games.
Bottom line – this episode was sooo not disappointing, that I’ll gladly overlook the mistake in describing a half-eaten BabyBel, including its red wax cover, as a “wheel of cheddar.” I guess that could be a half truth – but really, who takes a bite out of a BabyBel and puts it back in the fridge? How inconsiderate.
I’m eager to know what the rest of you think when you’ve seen it.