Hannibal, Lucille Bluth, And The Best Bad Mommy Money Can Buy

Why, so often, the impulse to say, this fictional character is like that fictional character? Why, so often, Imagine if she said what he had said? Imagine that. What if X, but Y? Sometimes – in this instance, at least – the point of the joy of discovery is the identification of pure Mommy energy, of the place where transfeminist horror studies and the sexual dynamics of my marriage intersect. Because the emotional withholding, meticulous dress, desperate desire for control/restriction/beauty when it comes to food and the body of both Hannibal Lecter (as portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen on NBC’s Hannibal) and Lucille Bluth (as portrayed by Jessica Walters on Fox/Netflix’s Arrested Development) are the same exquisite flower, blooming twice. Because Will Graham is part Lindsay Bluth (erring daughter, undisciplined in mind and body, in constant need of chastisement) and part Buster (cherished son, lost to himself, beyond hope, a mere extension of the maternal body, disempowered by its own lack of maternity). Because you can’t have it until you learn to ask for it. Also, same hat.


WILL GRAHAM: Tell me the truth. There’s been a lot of lying in this family.

HANNIBAL: And a lot of love.


MICHAEL BLUTH: What kind of victim forgives the killer at the moment of death?

LUCILLE BLUTH: A mother.


WILL GRAHAM: These are my awards, Hannibal. From FBI.


LUCILLE BLUTH: Perhaps you didn't come here looking for a killer. Perhaps you came here to find yourself. You killed a man in this very room.

LINDSAY BLUTH: I stared at Tobias and the space opposite me assumed the shape of a man filled with dark and swarming flies. And then I scattered them.

LUCILLE BLUTH: At a time when others fear their isolation, yours has become understandable to you. You are alone because you are unique.

LINDSAY BLUTH: I'm as alone as you are.

LUCILLE BLUTH: If you followed the urges you kept down for so long, cultivated them as the inspirations they are, you would have become someone other than yourself.


HANNIBAL: There were 250cc’s of your father in that banana stand.


HANNIBAL: He’s stable. But they don’t know if he’s due for another heart attack soon. It’s his own fault. What kind of diet is this? It’s too much meat. I want all of you off this immediately. [To Will] Except you.

WILL GRAHAM: Taste is housed in parts of the mind that perceive pity. Pity has no place at the table.


HANNIBAL: Will, do you remember when we were kissing last night?
WILL GRAHAM: It was a wild, wild ride. But is this something we can do? Is this something society will allow?
HANNIBAL: I don't care what other people think. My God, for the first time in years, I felt like I was standing on solid ground.
WILL GRAHAM: You know, my panic attacks have decreased. I feel confident. I'm feeling proud even. I mean, for the first time in my life…[He jumps through a window.]
HANNIBAL: I’ll call Dr. Du Maurier.