UPDATED WITH A BRIEF SECONDHAND RECAP OF THE REST OF THE EPISODE BELOW.
So everyone knows – this episode was not pulled becaue of the Boston bombings. Episode four – titled Ceuf – was just way too much for them to show. They had apparently made the decision before hand to pull it because the subject matter was too intense. The episode dealt with children being brainwashed to murder their own families and Bryan Fuller decided that the content was simply too much for broadcast television. Which is something I’ve been worried about from the start with this series. Though, honestly, they’ve managed to be very true to the Hannibal story so far without having to be too graphic and I very much appreciate that.
But I feel like the significant ratings drop from episode three to episode five (standing in for episode four) is largely due to this discontinuation. Bryan, this story is great. It was trying to get into its stride. And you shot yourself, the show, and the rest of us in the foot.
Instead of showing the full episode they condensed the parts that were important to the over all story of relationships developing between Hannibal and Abigail, Hannibal and Will, etc. and released the cannibalized episode as a webisode. The full episode will air overseas and I assume will also be released on DVD. For our international readers, the full episode airs in India tomorrow according to Wikipedia and should air next week on AXN Asia. If you’re internet savvy, Bryan Fuller basically tells you to go download it or stream it online. Not that I condone that but still.
Anyway, let’s take a look at what they thought was important enough to the story to release online.
It starts off with a session between Hannibal and Will. I mean, I’m glad the guy is getting help because he really needs it. Except, you know, Hannibal isn’t really the best place for him to be seeking help. Sadly, he doesn’t know that. Will talks about how he’d leave the lights on in his house and walk across the fields. When he looks back at the house he says it looks like a boat. And that brings him peace.
The problem Will is having is that he identified too much with Hobbs in order to hunt him down. He worked so hard to think like Hobbs that seeing him, meeting him, and then killing him was just too much. With everything else compounding together it’s a lot. He keeps on identifying him, feeling like he’s living Hobbs’s life. Even when Abigail’s friend was killed he felt guilty. Like somehow he had done that or he was responsible.
After their session, Hannibal at some point goes to Will’s house. And he does surprisingly well with the pack of dogs. He brings them sausages! Which, of course, shows that these are terrible guard dogs. Though maybe they know Hannibal already. Who knows. He goes through Will’s things and sees how absolutely organized it all is. The boat motors, the fishing lures, shirts tucked neartly in the drawers.
Abigail talks with Alana at the hospital and she complains about how she can’t stand being there with the others. They are all victims but Abigail doesn’t feel like a victim or at the very least she can’t connect with the other women in small groups. She can talk about what happened to her. She can hide what happened with a scarf. It’s frustrating for her and Alana worries. She goes to Hannibal’s office and they drink – him a nice wine and her a beer. They talk about what’s best for Abigail and Hannibal suggests they let Alana out to figure things out on her own but Alana shoots him down.
Back with Will, Hannibal tries to get him to talk with him about his past. He asks about his mother. Will never knew his mother, he says. But he turns things around on Hannibal. Asks about his past. Hannibal was an orphan like Abigail. His parents died when he was young and he was adopted by an uncle – or so he says. Who knows? Growing up, Will moved around a lot with his father. He never fit in and was always the new kid. He had no sense of family or belonging. Instead he connected with strays – which is why he has so many dogs. (Apparently Hannibal wasn’t just there to snoop but to feed the dogs while Will was working.) Also why he connects so much to Abigail.
Jack Crawford is back to eating with Hannibal. Why, Jack? Why? They talk about Will and how messed up Will is because, you know, that’s really what they have in common right now. Jack still suspects Abigail. Because of course he does. Jack makes a joke about the rabbit Hannibal is claiming to have cooked for them not happing fast enough. And then there is a very brief flash of the man Hannibal killed trying to sort of scurry, scuffle, hop away.
I laughed. I’m a terrible person.
In another session, Will comes to Hannibal’s office with a present. For Abigail. Christ, Will, c’mon. She’s only going to disappoint you. He was upset when he bought it for her and he bought her a bunch of fish tackle equipment. But he thought better of it when he rememberd that her actual father was a hunter and taught her hunting. Though Hannibal seems to push Will back towards this desire to be paternal towards Abigail. Yet another push in the wrong direction for Will.
Hannibal also feels somewhat paternal towards her. He goes to talk to her about her escape attempts and then offers to take her home for a meal. They talk about her bad dreams which are all about killing the boy in the house. She wants to talk about those things with someone but lying about it is hard. With Hannibal, she doesn’t have to lie. It’s going to be an interesting relationship this whole back and forth between them. I kind of wonder if she’s not going to be a precursor to Agent Starling. They kind of look alike.
They go back to his place and Hannibal starts to make dinner. I’d hope it people. Though she’s been eating girls for a while no so it’s not like it’d be new for her. They talk about school in which Abigail tells him that her father killed girls at all the schools she applied to and so… yeah. Probably ought to think of other ideas. Abigail tells Hannibal that someday she’d like to work for the FBI like Will. But she’s worried about the whole “They think I’m crazy thing.”
Then he has her do shrooms because that’s what all psychiatrists do, right? She takes the shrooms in the tea while he cooks and she basically trips balls, remembers hunting with her father, and gutting that deer. Then gutting the boy. Basically, she’s tripping out and he’s talking to her about how to ‘take back her strength.’ How the drugs will hope her open up and help with the treatment Turns out he’s makign sausauge and eggs which are the last meal she had with her parents. And like the butter in that meal it’s probably made of people.
I have no idea how it went because we skip away from all that to a scene with Alana coming to yell at him. Abigail is still at the house. Still tripping balls. She calls Hannibal rude and is very upset with him. And then instead of telling her what he gave Abigail he lies and says it was valium. She’s way out of it. And Alana joins them for dinner because apparently Hannibal was planning all of this to have her remember that last meal with her parents and to imprint on the two of them or something crazy like that. I don’t know. But she sees her parents instead of them.
And for some reason we get a scene with Jack and his wife where he asks if they should have kids and then resolve that they can’t. Well, that she can’t any more.
Then our last scene is of Will struggling to sleep while the dogs downstairs have no problems sleeping at all.
UPDATE 1 (4/26):
We at Nerdophiles are very confident that the episode title is ‘Oeuf’ and not ‘Ceuf.’ This is because the word oeuf means egg in French and Hannibal is making eggs for Abigail. Ceuf means nothing. Therese confirms this.
UPDATE 2 (4/28):
So, I used to live in Korea and I have a handful of friends living overseas including three who are teaching English in Korea. AXN was legit my favorite station back when I lived there. CSI and Prison Break all day every day. I think that’s also the station that used to air Demolition Man every day of the wweek as well as Tin Man and Dinotopia. Anyway. A couple of them watched it so. Here’s a brief run down of what happened in the unreleased portions of Oeuf.
In the parts that were missing from the above web release, Will Graham and the FBI investigate a series of family murders. They realize quite early on that the first murder was committed by the family’s son who went missing a year before. He was not alone, however. There were other people with him – also children. From there they start looking into other missing boys and come across a few other crime scenes with slaughtered families. At one of the scenes the charred body of a boy – the family’s son who had gone missing some time earlier. Apparently he messed up and couldn’t follow through so he was killed because of it. Ultimately they ID some of the other boys and figure out that it’s not the boys acting alone but that someone is guiding them. A woman had been collecting boys to create a family of her own and was having them slaughter their old families while their mother’s watched before killing the mothers last. She had brainwashed them and manipulated them into accepting this new family and replacing their mothers with her instead. One boy, though, was uncertain about it as they prepared to go to his home next. The FBI managed to catch the whole group at that boy’s home before his family was killed. Will has a brief standoff with the boy and the woman who tells the boy to shoot Will. Hettienne Park’s character doesn’t give the boy time to think about shooting Will, though. She shoots the woman and grabs the kid. Meanwhile Will stands there clearly shaken by watching someone else get shot in front of him (even though from what I understand she doesn’t necessarily die). The whole case really bothers Will in general throughout the episode.
That’s apparently what we missed here in the US (and Canada). The last bit there clearly adds a nice little tie in to what finally pushes him to the whole sleep walking bit at the beginning of episode five. There is also something potentially developing between Will and Hettienne Park’s character – who I think is named Beverly Katz. Apparently there is a scene with Will and Hettienne Park in Will’s classroom that sets the foundation for their little moment in episode five. They would have probably put it in the webisode but it’s centered pretty much solidly around the case in the episode that they cut out entirely.
Honestly, I’m really not sure why the episode was pulled. Maybe because there were dead kids in each of the families and their bodies were at the crime scenes? I don’t know. It really doesn’t sound like it was that big of a deal and there wasn’t like any emphasis placed on the actual manipulation or brainwashing of the kids. The idea is messed up but not necessarily any more messed up than anything we’ve seen on Criminal Minds in the past seven seasons. Bryan Fuller worried that it would impair peoples’ ability to enjoy the rest of the episode but from what I understand there’s no reason to think that at all.
UPDATE 3 (4/28):
Word on the street is that the episode has made it’s way online. You know, for those people Bryan Fuller has encouraged to ‘seek it out.’
UPDATE 4 (5/3):
A little late but the missing episode of Hannibal is now available on iTunes for $2.99. Go get it! It’s a fantastic episode. Therese had credited as the reason she’s going to bother to keep watching the show.