Tag Archives: Hannibal


I’m having a blast writing these each week, but it occurred to me that the Quintessential Quintuplets title–rather than the ode to Quint I’d intended–may be, perhaps, a wee wordy. So, we’ll try it this way for a bit.

This week, let’s discuss characters who pop up, grab your attention, then disappear before you even realize they’re gone.

Those characters who stay with you. Who even today, have you yearning for more. Brief though it was, what led to the moment we met them?

For me, the five who follow are those characters.


Big John Elliott is a fantastic character all his own, but some combination of director J.J. Perry and writers Tyler Tice and Shay Hatten have the kind of love for Creighton Duke (wait for it), that led to an Easter egg (read wondrous wardrobe) that even a damn bunny would be proud of. is chef’s kiss. That said, Elliott is calm and cool, not unlike Snoop himself, a ride-or-die friend, and when it comes time to vanquish vampires, dude goes full Blaine and leaves no crumbs. It’s simple: horror can never offer enough 90-minute, popcorn fare where we can just enjoy our asses off. So, give us a glimpse behind the curtain to see what led Big John to the events of DAY SHIFT. Oh, and don’t go thinkin’ Snoop can’t carry a film his damn self because BONES (2001) exists. And it slaps.


There are myriad reasons for more Creighton Duke, that he clearly inspired Big John is just a bonus. First of all, it’s Steven Williams. Having a top tier talent exist within the Friday franchise simply makes me giddy. Few pull off intimidating intensity quite like Mr. Williams, and frankly, we need it. It’s been 14 years since we got a Friday film that wasn’t of the fan variety (no disrespect to Vincente DiSanti), so why can’t this franchise pull a Disney+ and dart off in directions that extend beyond Bryan Fuller’s intentions? We’re not allowed to forget that at one point Duke dropped “remember me?” on our asses in JASON GOES TO HELL. I want–nay–need to know what that meant, and quite certain I’m not alone. This character is mysterious, vulgar, and ultimately a badass who breaks digits in exchange for information. More Creighton Duke, please and thank you. And the best part? No need to find a younger actor for the role because Steven Williams doesn’t fucking age.


Look, Scatman Crothers was a once-in-a-lifetime talent, but Carl Lumbly filled those enormous shoes quite admirably in DOCTOR SLEEP (2019), so what’s the hold up? What began as concerned looks whilst Danny (Danny Lloyd) ate ice cream bled into a stern warning about Room 2-3-7 because there can be no doubt Dick Hallorann was intimately wired into the spectral strength the Overlook possessed. “I think a lot of things have happened at this particular hotel over the years, and not all of ’em was good” Mr. Hallorann has a story to tell. And more likely stories, plural. Lest we forget that as a child, the Hallorann had entire conversations with his grandmother without either opening their mouths. Warner Bros., you owe a debt — pay it.


Rare is the television show that has fans clamoring for more nearly a decade after airing its final episode, but HANNIBAL (2013) is rarer than most. Take that how you will. We only got two episodes of Tobias around the midpoint of Season 1, but those delectable morsels were all we needed to fully comprehend we were hungry. Demore Barnes devoured the screen with each appearance, culminating in a dinner with Dr. Lecter (Mades Mikkelsen) where he revealed that he, too, dabbled in their dark art and had observed Hannibal do what he did — and did well — after following him one night. Of course, we all know that the cannibal counselor had already selected a protege and Tobias was living on borrowed time, but Budge was one of the most fascinating characters on a show brimming with fascinating characters. Should we get a fourth season, perhaps a flashback episode could be arranged providing the backstory we Fannibals are aching for.


For starters, is “we need more Ken Foree” a hard sell? You and I both know good and hell well that it is not. We can talk about taco deluxe supremes, Swank subscriptions, or the fact that Big Joe actually says A-hole all damn day, but let’s get to the naughty, naughty. Our man politely asked Michael Myers to let him pass his beast in peace, but on just the second knock, that all melted away. Dude started talkin’ shit and pulled a knife. We knew that Grizzly was a truck driver, but brandishing a blade because someone interrupted your bowel movement? Big Joe Grizzly has seen some shit! And I want to know what that shit is.

These are but a handful of my personal selections, there are endless genre characters we simply didn’t get enough of, so give us yours in the comments.

Thanks for reading and see you next week!






Can I Borrow Your Imagination?

“Then you really might know what it’s like,

Then you really might know what it’s like,

Then you really might know what it’s like to have to lose.”

We first met the equally gifted and cursed Will Graham in Thomas Harris’ 1981 novel, Red Dragon, the best-seller that also introduced us to Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Outside of our imaginations, however, it would be almost five years before we would see the purposeful-looking profiler in flesh and blood on screen in Michael Mann’s Manhunter (1986), and another 16 before his last theatrical appearance in Red Dragon (2002).

From the novel, and subsequent films, we understood Graham to possess the uncomfortable and unwelcome talent of pure empathy, an ability to assume the point of view of brutal killers. While it was an ability that allowed him to translate evidence in a way that others simply could not, Harris’ words informed us of the toll it took on Graham, but it was a phenomenon that we’d never truly witnessed on-screen.

Until Bryan Fuller resurrected the Lecter universe with NBC’s groundbreaking Hannibal series in 2013.

Do you see?

After more than thirty-one years, two films and a novel, we were finally given the opportunity to truly observe Will Graham for the first time through the brilliant vehicle that is Hugh Dancy.

Prior to the opening scene of the program’s initial episode, we’d only been offered glimpses of what Graham could conjure through his unique imagination. Be it with William Petersen talking himself through the thought process in Manhunter, or the briefest of visions presented through the lens of Edward Norton’s reluctant voyeur, we never truly delved into Will Graham’s mind.

Hannibal set about changing that, and while this writer will be the first to say that Mads Mikkelsen’s Lecter is the finest portrayal of the cannibalistic caretaker, the reason that the television series soared for 39 episodes was the presentation of Will Graham.

As Damian Swift and Mark Shannon were the first to achieve the feat of penning Jason Voorhees (Derek Mears) as not only human, but human being with Friday the 13th (2009), Fuller and company allowed a similar peek behind the curtain. Graham was no longer an edgy, hesitant hero with hundreds of thousands of miles on his engine, but for the first time, the price of Graham’s gift was put on full display.

Dancy’s exhibition of Graham was closer to self-diagnosed Asperger’s and autism than a jaded veteran detective. Interaction was not just difficult, but strained and stressful. Not once was there an I-told-you-so revelation that altered the approach to a case, but rather a sad, reserved interpretation of “the ugliest thoughts in the world.”

The beauty of Hannibal, and of Dancy’s portrayal, was another line from Everlast’s “What it’s Like,” – “God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes” — a lyric that applied not only to Graham, allowing himself into the headspace of a psychopath, but to the audience that embarked on that same journey through Graham’s eyes.

tumblr_inline_ohuslmj6nP1s38ndg_500And Fuller’s Hannibal wasted no time in communicating that we weren’t in Kansas anymore.

That first view found Graham analyzing the surroundings of a crime scene, then rewinding to the very moment he’d summoned the courage to kick the door in and experience the heinous thoughts, actions and sentiments of the perpetrator.

Graham entered the home with confidence, and upon putting down Mr. Marlow (Wayne Downer), emphatically declared “He will die watching me take what is his away from him. This is my design.” Next, he shot Mrs. Marlow (Bernadette Couture) “expertly through the neck,” paralyzing her before she hit the floor, setting up the first true indication that this was not the Will Graham we’d thought we known over the course of three decades.

Graham slowly walked toward the downed victim and said “which doesn’t mean that she can’t feel pain,” his eyes searching for the words, Dancy whispered a tormented “It just means,” before continuing “she can’t do anything about it.”

The empathy of Graham not only allowed him to adopt unwanted points of view, he also empathized with the victim, and the awful thoughts and visions running through his mind.

Graham would go on to point out that the work Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) had recruited him to do was “not good for (him),” as we laid eyes upon the incredibly expensive emotional, psychological and physical tax of Graham’s imagination.

Hannibal’s Will Graham was not a damaged, yet contented family man who didn’t want to look anymore, he was unstable and fractured long before he stepped foot inside the Marlow home. A fragile tea cup whose crevices were sure to weaken every time he opened his eyes. Or closed them.

And it was Dancy who made each new fissure at once agonizing and exquisite, in a beautiful turn that if we’re honest about it, is the very reason fans continue to clamor for a fourth season, almost three years after Hannibal was taken off the air.

Because of Hugh Dancy, there is still a desire, dare I say a need, to borrow Will Graham’s imagination.