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'Hannibal' - 'Futamono': The Wisdom of the Fool Won't Set You Free

By Cindy Davis | TV Reviews | April 5, 2014 | Comments ()


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“Futamono,” a lidded dish that served up poor Miriam Lass (Anna Chlumsky) as our last course this hour, capped off what might be the most horrifying meal we’ve ever seen. Fuller and company are stepping it up every single episode, from the verbal banter between every set of characters, to the insane and beautiful crime scenes, to the unbelievable food preparation and “meals” Hannibal serves. By the end of “Futamono,” whatever concerns might have arisen over the idea of Hannibal and Alana sleeping together were easily wiped away by slack-jawed repulsion at Gideon’s last supper, and incredulity over Jack’s latest discovery. How can this be, and what does it mean that Hannibal left Lass alive?

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This was a jam-packed hour that practically begged for commercial relief, if only to catch a breath and *ahem* digest all the goings-on. Everyone’s angry with Will but Will…and maybe Hannibal, who proffers applause during a verbal waltz. When Will lays out for Jack the idea that Lecter is killing in quick succession because his “meat” spoils, Jack doesn’t want to see or believe. But as patterns and pieces keep revealing themselves, Crawford realizes he has to at least entertain the possibility Will might be right. The Chesapeake Ripper strikes again, turning his toxic, paradise paving victim into a poisoned vessel (“He’s grafted in place—living roots—varicose vines.”) Graham again manages to easily manipulate Gideon and that pompous buffoon Chilton, who really is the most incompetent psychiatrist. After eavesdropping on their conversation, Chilton brings in Jack, only to be properly humiliated; (Chilton’s already planned his revenge), but at Hannibal’s dinner party, Chilton dutifully whispers a few more (correct) suppositions into Jack’s ear. “They’ll call him Hannibal the Cannibal; he does fit the profile.”

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As we know though, Hannibal is no amateur—not amateur killer, nor cook, nor harpsichord player, nor doctor, nor schemer, nor planner…nay. During a wonderfully wicked and ill-advised visit to Will, the two master manipulators—and wry wordsmiths—dueled their way through a lightning round of insinuations that begs multiple re-watches.

Hannibal: “You’ve been lying to me, Will.”
Will: “I don’t have a gauge for reality that works well enough to know if I’ve been lying.”

Hannibal: “You tried to kill me, Will. It’s hard not to take that personally. However if I were Beverly’s murderer, I would applaud your effort.”
Will: “I am no more guilty of what you’ve accused me of than you are of what I’ve accused you of.”

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Just before Hannibal arrived at his cage, Will began his transformation into the stag again, assuming his power. This time his antlers didn’t retract. They kept on growing just as Will continues to gain strength, and his antlers symbolically broke through the top of the cage—couldn’t be held inside. Will is little by little working his way out of jail using his greatest strength: his mind. Alana has it right, Will’s not scared anymore. But for all the plays Graham is making, this week still belongs to Hannibal, who is back to form, arranging and composing several parts at once. “A true composer thinks about his unfinished work all the time.”

Indeed, Hannibal is many steps ahead of everyone. He’s planned out his Alana-ibi, and apparently had spare fishing lures at the ready and packed. Dr. Lecter rids Gideon of a bothersome guard (was it an act of revenge for his victim?) and helps the broken-backed prisoner with a get out of jail free card, but at a heck of a price (his legs). Whether Hannibal showing up at Gideon’s hospital bed was merely fortuitous, or a little Chilton birdie whispered in his ear, Lecter made good use of time while Alana slept off her wine. When she wakes, Hannibal plays just the right tune—a funeral (sex) march—so that Jack’s suspicions could be quickly allayed; whether they were or not is another matter entirely.

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And just then, after clearing his home of troublesome women and men and less than ten minutes from episode’s end, Bryan Fuller pulled our leg in the most terrible way imaginable. I swear my own limbs were jumping and my whole body squirmed in revolt while Hannibal prepped, and we waited to see…just who he was cooking. After last week creating a situation where Hannibal would seem both pitiable and appealing, both our stomachs and our minds have been forced in the opposite direction. (Now this, Mr. Scott, is how you do a true Hannibal horror moment.) And even though Izzard seemed on the verge of laughter, and even after Mads’ restrained return smile, the scene managed to be just beautifully carried off. It was a moment that could easily have ended the hour, but clearly Fuller’s not one to take the easy route. Jimmy and Zeller confirm Hannibal’s party food was all goose, pig and cow, but…those fishing flies that hooked up the dead guard had plenty of human—including parts from poor Beverly and other Ripper victims. Jack realizes “Will didn’t kill any of those people,” and that the Ripper is taking credit. The lab boys also find a small bit of bark that leads to only one place—an abandoned building in Somerville, VA—and Jack immediately heads out to investigate. He finds Miriam Lass (Catherine Martin-ly stuck) at the bottom of a basement pit, and we find ourselves with plenty of questions. Hannibal must have known the trail he left would be followed; he’s much too careful to have left an inadvertent clue. So why is Miriam stil alive, and why would Lecter lead anyone right to her?


Deep thoughts:

Each week right before I sit down to watch, I’ve felt a little nervous parade of thoughts marching through my head: “What if it’s a filler episode, will it go silly, maybe it won’t be as good as the last one?” And every week when the hour is done, those thoughts have all been banished and replaced by admiration and disbelief—how could the time already be gone?

Alana was taken in by Hannibal, as many people have been—are. While I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to Hannibal and Alana sleeping together, in the context of how and why it happened, I don’t really have a problem with it. Lecter took advantage of her, just like he does everybody. Bedelia figured him out. Beverly figured him out too late. Miriam…just a second too late. I find the women on this series to be smart and capable, and just as taken in (sometimes) by Hannibal as the men. It’s also still possible Bloom and Crawford are working together to leave Lecter feeling secure…perhaps we’ll find Alana wasn’t really asleep all night long.

So many brilliant lines. “You intend me to be my own last supper?” “Tragedy is not to die, Abel, but to be wasted.”

“You and I were probably sipped wine while swallowing the people we were trying to give justice, Jack.”

“Who does he have to kill before you open your eyes?” (cut to Alana’s face)

“Last time someone rang my doorbell this early, it was a census taker.” (SotL shoutout)

Jimmy and Zeller are getting more (deserved) airtime each week, and they’re getting to be as delightful to watch, and listen to, as Hannibal and Will.

This week’s murder scene was simply spectacular—gorgeous. The level of detail, the flowers…

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There are those who would complain about the reality of Hannibal’s ability to manufacture the artistically perfect murders he does, this series is clearly meant to be fantastical. Yes, the time factor will pop into your head…no, you shouldn’t really worry about it. Are you worried over Will’s stag transformation visions or the Hannistag, over randomly placed cages in a psychiatric hospital, a man with endless supplies of plastic suits or the cheekbones (legs, body) of a god? Hannibal is clearly outside the reality realm; to expect some events to conform to the norms is…well…unrealistic.


Cindy Davis, (Twitter)




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Alana and Hannibal broke my brain. I was freaking out for Alana's safety and for everything about that whole arrangement, yet also thinking "those two should get together in real life- their babies would be GODS". So there I am, kind of turned on, but also crying a little. Hoping Alana makes it out alive and that there's a five minute naked Mads scene exclusive to online viewers. And then I'm all distracted writing THAT scene in my head and suddenly we're having leg for dinner. Jesus, this show. I am glad this didn't exist in my formative years.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    Quick question by someone who hasn't read the books but has seen every movie except 'Hannibal Rising' because fuck 'Hannibal Rising', what was the significance of the shot of the japanese samurai armor?

    Seemed rather out of place from the rest of his distinctively European memorabilia but staged and framed with purpose, if someone could explain me that I would be immensely thankful.

  • Sassy Pikachu

    In "Hannibal Rising" Hannibal's aunt had a basement where she had a full samurai armor in display and kind of made it into a shrine. She prays to it, cleans her katana in front of it, and taught Hannibal Kendo among other things. Hannibal totally was in love with his aunt in the movie and I think the armor was his way of remembering his aunt?

    Also, that movie... I wish it never existed.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    Hannibal and Will's scene made this admittedly brilliant episode for me. Their waltz is like no other, and has been so ever since the pilot. And in a cast full of MVPs, Mikkelsen and Dancy facing each other just about crackle through the screen.

  • John W

    I hope they introduce Clarice Starling.

  • Bhammer100

    They got to get the rights first.

  • John W

    From who? Is Hannibal based on the novels or one of the movies? Did they just get the rights strictly to Red Dragon?

  • Bhammer100

    They got the rights to Red Dragon and Hannibal. But some other company owns Silence of the Lambs.

    From Bryan Fuller:

    “We are able to use any character that originated in Red Dragon. We have access to characters in the book Hannibal. There are a few characters from that book like Mason and Margot Verger that we want to use in the second season of Hannibal, and we’re negotiating right now character rights to use them. We would have to pay a fee per episode. The Silence of the Lambs characters are owned by MGM. That’s where it gets more tricky. “

    Read more at http://collider.com/hannibal-s...

  • John W

    That sucks. That doesn't make sense to me. Almost everyone who was in Red Dragon is in Silence of the Lambs. The only exception is Will Graham. This is one of those thing that only makes sense in Hollywood. I would have thought that the author, Thomas Harris, would own the right and be able to do whatever he wants with them.

  • TheOtherGreg

    I don't mind the fantastical stuff. I really dislike the STUPID stuff. Jack Crawford feels he has compelling evidence about the location of the ripper, an exceedingly dangerous and prolific serial killer, and he investigates the remote location alone? Idiotic.

  • SpaceMonkeyX

    I saw it as a slightly askew homage to the Silence of the Lambs finale. Instead of Clarice finding the missing, but presumed dead girl she's been looking for in a basement pit, we have Jack finding the presumed dead girl that he wasn't purposefully looking for surprisingly still alive in a basement pit.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    I know Jack is a big guy, an eximious shooter, looks good in a noir detective getup, and that some sequences are clearly playing with horror genre conventions (i.e. investigating a serial killer's basement alone) but I have to agree with you that it's beginning to wear thin. It's the only complaint I have so far.

    When the FBI eventually gets another anonymous tip or an important clue I'm going to be expecting at least 50 agents to show up and a Gundam to offer support given the insane proliferation of fantastical murderers in every corner.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    I figure the argument is that Jack was actually on the record as having gone out to investigate the place. Beverly was obviously off the reservation. Jack was following up a legitimate, documented lead the FBI knew about and there's a decent chance the building doesn't actually belong to anybody so it might've been permissible for him to enter (in contrast to Beverly's definite B&E). Granted, it doesn't actually save his life if Hannibal had been hanging out there ready to kill him, but it's not quite the completely insane move it might appear to be. It's a little reckless, but maybe not all that unheard of considering Jack is clearly inclined to being reckless as long as he's the one deciding to do it.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    Thank you for the reply, I had not considered that angle before.

    Now I'm starting to comprehend how hard it must be for writers to elaborate scenarios where an illogical decision can still be viewed as consistent and understandable given the circumstances and the character's frame of mind in a way that's also believable for the audience, who typically has more information.

    The last thing I want be is that annoying guy who screams at the TV because someone said "hello, is anyone there?" in a horror movie when I'd clearly do the same thing in a similar situation.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Oh, you're definitely not the annoying guy; I think you can have a totally valid complaint here because, you know, why would Jack be reckless in this case? From all appearances, that building may very well be the Ripper's lair (or whatever you'd want to call it), so it really is kind of absurd that Jack would just head on out there alone to investigate it since it might actually be the final break in the case and their guy is right there waiting for them.

    Yeah, so apparently I can totally argue it from either side. Usually, as long as it isn't terribly egregious, I'll tend towards the explanation that helps the writers, though. But if, say, Jack had gone there and immediately been killed by Lecter? I'd be arguing that Jack shouldn't have gone there alone-- he really shouldn't be this reckless (he's not underestimating the damage he's doing to Will, he's straight up underestimating his own personal risk and I think that might be different), but as long as it doesn't harm him, you know, whatever, fair enough, writers.

  • Bhammer100

    This show is so amazing. One of the best shows on TV. Hope it doesn't get canceled. So surprising week after week.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    This episode amped the gothic horror aspect considerably.

    The musical score as Hannibal composed on the harpsichord with gusto as if he were a German expressionist monster maniacally playing the organ was great. Heck, if he his room were to be drenched in a black and white style you would start asking "when is Max Schreck going to appear?" because of the elegant yet macabre decoration.

    I'm starting to wonder if perhaps Bryan Fuller is truly planning this far ahead by setting Miriam Lass to become the series' answer to Clarice Starling from SoTL since the show doesn't have the rights to the character. Although I don't think it's the case it would have been an entertaining idea if he ever gets to conclude Will's arc after his Red Dragon season.

    Also, that scene in which Chilton looks at that appetizer claw-thingy was hilarious, the guy who plays him is killing it.

    Another great episode and recap.

  • Three_nineteen

    If you want an answer to your Clarice Starling question, read this:

    http://www.avclub.com/article/...

  • rio

    Hannibal is seriously the fucking Martha Stewart of serial killers, how the heck does he have time to be a therapist, kill people, set up beautiful crime scenes, harvest human organs and cook the stuff he cooks?????

    Seriously, when Jack goes over there, does he wait like 2, 3 hours before Hannibal serves him food? Not that he will try any of his food now.

  • Sassy Pikachu

    So he'll get caught due to tax evasion and then plead insanity instead?

    I kid.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    I don't actually think he sleeps much, so it gets a little easier to pull off.

  • Bhammer100

    Think of him like Batman. How can Hannibal do any of the things he does? Because he's Hannibal the goddamn Cannibal that's why!

  • maja

    the stravinsky reference couldn't be unintentional. loved it.
    all of you who haven't watched "coco chanel & igor stravinsky" do so, very good movie and a visual feast. mads is brilliant as stravinsky.

  • Sassy Pikachu

    I want Coco's house and Mads was brilliant in it. Also the actress who played his wife.

    And for the shallow parts... THEM BUTT. (And everything else)

  • maja

    oh, the house, her clothes- i want it all. i agree, the actress who played his wife was marvelous, but also, anna mouglalis. she played coco perfectly. and is just beyond gorgeous.

  • Sassy Pikachu

    Agree on all of those points. She was the perfect actress to play Coco, she really projected a very beautiful, confident woman who was very in control of her life and knew exactly what she wanted.

  • Hawkeye Fierce

    Cindy--Wonderful lyric for the title. It's a bizarre love triangle, indeed. May even be a love hexagon by the end.

    And by love, of course, I mean "Let's eat."

    I have many thoughts and feels about this ep. I don't share your sanguine acceptance of Alana's (frankly alarmingly patterned) choice in men. She just seems too smart to go there at a time when she is aware of her own fallibility and delicacy. I mean, maybe if it was ex-sex. I dunno. Probably overthinking it.

    And how grand and humbling a moment when Dr. Chilton, Dr. Fredrick Fucking Ice Capades Chilton, provides the psychological insight? I am loving to hate that guy. The actor is doing an amazing job with the characterization.

    I am flummoxed by Hannibal's decision to give up Miriam, but not surprised that she is alive. There's a horrible joke about a three legged pig somewhere in all of this. If you don't know what I'm talking about, good for you.

    But to what end this Gift of Miriam? To unbalance Jack? To exonerate Lecter (has she been brainwashed? surely *he* hasn't kept her this whole time? does she think someone else is the Ripper? endless questions?). There is the chance that Hannibal is just spiraling into a psychopathic spree, but it doesn't seem likely. This Lecter keeps me on my guard: I never know if he's thought about the action or if he's just letting it ride to see what happens.

    I think Abel Gideon may end up being one of the most tragic characters on this show. He seems so lost. He had that psychotic break during/after his homicide and his mind has been a playground for other people since then. It's like he's just waiting to be told what to do, how to react, waiting for the other person in the room to make a move.

    Except, of course, for the fact that he most deliberately delivered himself into Hannibal's hands. If you gotta get got, get got by the best?

    This show is so much fun.

  • Miriam has me so curious. Did he send someone else to the building as her caretaker? Mess with her mind, like Will's, so she won't remember what she saw when he choked her out? There has to be a failsafe for him here.

  • Hawkeye Fierce

    Yeah. I mean, there's no way she could have spent all that time in the well o' fun. Her muscles would be atrophied blah blah praticalcakes. Brainwashing seems a bit far fetched (in a show where people grow antlers), but I can't imagine what else it might be.

    This show has a unique quality in that I don't always know how things are going to play out, but I have a very comfortable confidence that the result will be great. It has been so far. Knock on wood.

  • Less Lee Moore

    I think Loretta Ramos intimated that Miriam was in the murder basement but got moved to the murder cabin so Jack would find her.

  • Less Lee Moore

    Poor Abel. I feel more sorry for him than anyone except Will.

  • Hawkeye Fierce

    Yeah. Unless he pulls some insane Thanatos Gambit he's just gonna be a kicked (psychotic) puppy.

  • I was confused as to why Hannibal was so nervous about Jack's to-go dinner. If it was just animal meat, why was he so uneasy about giving it to Jack? Why have Hannibal obviously (to the audience) act nervous about Jack's request?

  • Ingrid

    I think he was annoyed that his favorite pawn is rudely taking a to go box and actively looking at him as a suspect.

    Why did Alana put on Hannibal's shirt. It would have been faster to put her dress back on, then deal with all those buttons.

  • Glory

    I also think it helped him in assuring Alana would be his alibi - his play acting for Jack took place in front of her.

  • Because he knows for sure Jack suspects him.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Yep. Jack did not play it subtly at all and essentially announced to Hannibal, in the middle of his dinner party, "Hey buddy, I think you might be a cannibalistic serial killer. Now watch as I rudely force you into allowing me to collect evidence in front of all your friends." It's disappointment that he's become a suspect as well as irritation that Jack won't at least be freaking civilized about it.

  • Hawkeye Fierce

    Well, I think Hannibal was acting for Jack, not us. For some reason he seems to be intent on winding everybody up.

    Everyone on this show is facing insane amounts of psychological pressure. But maybe Jack is the easiest target for manipulation.

  • Less Lee Moore

    Yes, he was pretending that he was nervous because Jack suspected him.

  • Guest

    Alana Bloom, you and I are so over.

  • Hawkeye Fierce

    Wait! What if she's just trying to play Hannibal? What if?....

    No, that is a stupid idea as well. Poor Alana. Catnip for psychopaths.

  • I think there's a slight possibility she's in on something with Jack. That said, I still think she'll be in trouble soon.

  • foolsage

    Alana clearly likes bad boys.

  • Hawkeye Fierce

    Yeah. What a weirdo. Excuse me while I watch Valhalla Rising, Casino Royale, and King Arthur. For reasons. Of Science.

  • Sassy Pikachu

    Also watch "Move On", that man is smooth with the lady in the movie.

    I mean hot damn.

  • Hawkeye Fierce

    You're killing me, Smalls. Killing me. *(list grows)*

  • Sassy Pikachu
  • Hawkeye Fierce

    Look, I'm trying to work over here. This is highly distracting.

    "I forgot something."

    "I forgot that I'm the mac daddy and the daddy mac. Gimme some sugar."

  • foolsage

    It was simply a statement, not a judgement. ;)

  • Ryan Ambrose

    And Pusher 1 & 2. But specially the second one.

  • Guest

    Yep. She's not, and this isn't some plan of Jack's. She's tied to Hannibal now and I guarantee she will be pointing a gun at Will in the near future (since he has to be freed now, no?).

  • Brady

    The dinner with Gideon may have been deliciously revolting, but this week actually felt like a bit more of an emotional break for me. Still an amazing episode, but it didn't quite have me in that same place of emotional horror as last week's dissection of Beverly. That was just devastating.

  • Maddy

    I'm still not sure what I feel about Hannibal and Alana sleeping together except I know that it was super creepy. Did he drug her wine so she wouldn't wake up? Or am I reading too much into that. ALANA NOOOO

  • stardust

    I was also wondering if he drugged to keep her asleep when he went out to do his murderin'. I figure it has to be that or he couldn't stand the messiness of her lip prints on the rim of the wineglass.

  • Less Lee Moore

    Yeah, I think he drugged her after they did the deed because she clearly remembers the deed. Still creepy, though and verging on rape.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    Unsettling indeed, but rape? I don't think so, after all you said it was after they did the deed.

    He drugged her after they had sex, went to kill the guard late in the night and came back to awake beside her in bed for his alibi.

  • Less Lee Moore

    I said VERGING.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    That's not really what verging means. It's creepy, and weird, and wrong, and arguably garden variety assault or what have you, but not really in the neighborhood of rape.

  • Less Lee Moore

    Verging means "the extreme edge or margin." Yes, it's creepy, wrong, and arguably assault. Rape comes down to a question of consent. She consented to have sex with him, but she didn't consent to be drugged. It's "verging on rape" because he removed her consent when he drugged her. I don't think he raped her.

  • Verging on rape? I think that's a stretch.

  • stardust

    I have many thoughts about last night's episode, which I'm still composing, but what sticks out to me most so the hilarity of Hannibal's feelings being hurt by Will's murder attempt. Hannibal expects that he is the manipulator among his group of friends and is actually genuinely hurt when someone turns his own game around on him. In the hospital talking to Will, he did the Hannibal equivalent of pitching a tantrum. Incredible.

  • Hannibal wiped her glass with a napkin, which I thought meant she was a goner--and maybe he thought her lipstick print would hold a trace of sleeping drug? And maybe Alana saved her life (temporarily) by coming out at the moment she did. That's confusing though, because I'd expect him to have planned a necessary alibi.

  • Guest

    She is his alibi, and advocate nothing more.

  • So why did he wipe her glass clean before he snuck out?

  • SpaceMonkeyX

    That wouldn't be enough to erase evidence of a drug, though; there would still be traces on the walls of the glass. I wonder if that lipstick-stained handkerchief - maybe monogrammed with HL? - might wind up in Will's possession somehow. It would seem like Hannibal to rub it in that he "won".

  • That was my first thought - that he was collecting a lipstick trophy of his totally post-coitally roofied ladyfriend. And tucking the blanket around her? Classic Lecter. It'd be rude to let her catch a chill.

  • Guest

    That's one of the things I didn't get. He drugged her and wiped the glass to get rid of evidence? Why not just wash it? He could have a future plan where it is used (like the lures) but only time will tell.

    Hannibal won't kill Alana until it's to his advantage. At the moment she's his alibi, advocate and someone he can hold over Will all of which works to his favor and her death would only work against him.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Didn't he take it from the room with him? He likely did wash it, and the wiping of the lipstick was just a visual shorthand to convey that, rather than cutting to him actually washing it in the kitchen.

  • Glory

    I assumed her last glass for the night held more than wine - how else could he be confident she would sleep soundly through the night?

  • Absolutely, but still, presumably he wiped her glass so it couldn't be checked for evidence. So he's expecting someone to check on...something.

  • Three_nineteen

    "There are those who would complain about the reality of Hannibal’s
    ability to manufacture the artistically perfect murders he does, this
    series is clearly meant to be fantastical."

    This is a show everyone should think of as a comic book adaptation. If that was the original source no one would be questioning it.

    Will - Batman
    Hannibal - Joker
    Jack - Gordon
    Other people - other people (I'm actually not that familiar with Batman)

  • Bhammer100

    Chilton - Dr. Strange

  • Guest

    Freddie - Catwoman.

  • madderrose74

    Will's lines are also lifted wholly from SOTL in the "First principles-- what does he do? What need does he accomplish?" scene, and he pulls them off with the same thinly-veiled impatience and contempt Lecter has for Clarice in that scene.

  • Bingo. Exactly this. The lines between Will and Hannibal are blurring, and the hints of that process are being played out on multiple levels. It's deft business, and better TV than it's getting credit for being.

  • Hawkeye Fierce

    I absolutely adore how they re-purpose lines from source material and adaptations. I have got mad admiration for Fuller--that move could come off as cheezy, lazy, or derivative. Instead, I feel like I'm being rewarded for being a fan of all the works.

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