"Oeuf" is the fourth episode of Season 1, and overall the fourth produced hour of Hannibal. It was originally planned for air on April 25, 2013, but was pulled from the schedule on the recommendation of Bryan Fuller. An abbreviated multi-part version was posted to the NBC website. The full episode was later released through iTunes and appears on the home video.
A series of family murders takes place, and Will determines they were conducted by each of the families' missing children, who were abducted and brainwashed into killing their old families for their "new family." Against Alana's advice, Hannibal checks Abigail out of the hospital for some frightening psychiatric practices that ultimately align her loyalty with him.
Two families are found murdered, both with the mothers killed last. The only link between the families is that they both have sons who have been on the missing persons list for approximately a year. Lecter is looking after Will's home and pet dogs while he is away on the case, and takes time to explore the house and its order with drawers of underwear impeccably folded. He is drawn to Will's flyfishing lure bench where he demonstrates skill by expertly completing an unfinished fly.Abigail is staying at a home under the supervision of Alana Bloom, where she seems remarkably composed, but extremely vulnerable. Alana consults with Lecter over Abigail's treatment and finds his suggestions are opposite to hers as he suggests she be released and allowed to deal with her issues in the outside world.
At an evening meal, Lecter feeds Jack an elegant 'rabbit' dinner where he reveals he suspects Abigail was an accomplice to her father's murders. In a flashback, we see Lecter's 'rabbit', which was actually a man running, panicked, through a wooded area, and Jack innocently jokes “it should have hopped faster”.
The team identifies that there are four people commiting the murders, and at least three are children. Following the investigation at the second murder house, Graham concludes these "lost boys" are killing their old families to bond more closely to their new family. Graham continues his sessions with Dr. Lecter and confides that even if he finds the boys he will never be able to give them back what they gave away: their families.
In a diner, we meet the three children and 'mother', who explains that they are a family. The eldest boy is entirely comfortable with the killings, but one of the youngest boys is obviously traumatized by what he has seen and done. Later, the young boy wets himself in a store when paralyzed by fear of being in the gaze of the oldest boy.
Abigail Hobbs leads Lecter to check her out of the hospital, against Alana Bloom's wishes, and take her to his home. He discusses, and encourages her to drink, a tea made from psilocybin mushrooms to help with her traumatic dreams while he prepares a meal that resembles a elegant version of the one her father was cooking the morning he was caught. Abigail starts to trip, and Hannibal tells her he is guiding her and replacing her negative association with her father for good ones with him.Bloom helps Graham realize the "lost boys" are under the influence of a powerful mother figure (Molly Shannon), and uses footage from a convenience store security camera to track them to North Carolina in time to stop another young boy from murdering his family. The 'mother' is shot but apparently survives. The frightened boy is taken away by Jack, and confesses he wasn't going to kill anyone. But Jack tells him he won't be going home for a long time.
An angry Alana scolds Hannibal for releasing Abigail and wants to take her back. Hannibal covers himself by saying he gave a stressed Abigail half a Valium to excuse the fact she is still in the hold of the mushrooms. Alana is stunned at the meal-spread Hannibal has prepared. Hannibal states he and Abigail were expecting Will to join them for the meal, but his phone calls went unanswered. He invites Alana to take Will's place and she agrees, staying to eat with them. Abigail appears blissfully happy to see Hannibal and Alana transformed into the smiling faces of her dead parents.
Jack is in bed when his wife arrives and they have a frosty conversation in which he asks her if it's too late for them to have kids. She replies that it is for her.
- Despite reports, the episode was not pulled due to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Fuller later stated it was in response to a number of shootings involving children, including Sandy Hook, and was decided before the bombings.
- The episode aired uncut in territories already playing the series outside the US.
- Inside the US, the murder storyline was edited out to leave just the main character story beats as a 6-part webisode.
- The opening psychoanalysis scene was originally scripted (and likely filmed) to be the penultimate scene of “Potage.”
- The script reveals that Molly Shannon’s character is named Eva, and she claims to have had “a brother like you boys have brothers.” He is the one who taught her that the family you think is family is just a stepping-stone.
- This was one of two episodes in the first season that had new scenes scripted and filmed as reshoots after the main shooting had ended. (This may explain the strange scene of C. J. Lincoln spying on Chris and Molly Shannon’s character in the convenience store, which appears to originate from an earlier incarnation of the episode.) A filmed scene cut from the final version can be glimped in the Season 1 Gag Reel: Jimmy informs Jack that he found fingerprints on the Turners’ toilet flusher.
Book to ShowEdit
- Phyllis “Bella” Crawford makes her show debut. She was first mentioned (as “Phyllis”) in the novel Red Dragon, and appears in The Silence of the Lambs.
- Will’s dialogue about viewing his “little house” from the outside comes verbatim from Thomas Harris’s introduction to the 2000 edition of Red Dragon. Harris describes doing the same thing while conceiving the early chapters of the novel, leading to the conception of Hannibal Lecter. Notably, Harris says he was surrounded by stray dogs that he fed.
- Much of the dialogue in the opening psychoanalysis scene comes from narration in Red Dragon, particularly the scene when Will in his hotel room drunkenly tries to “see” the Tooth Fairy killer. Specifically: Hannibal’s reference to Will standing in the “breathing silence” where the killer moved, Will’s dialogue about trying to get to know the killer (modernizing the novel’s “louvres of print” to pixles), and Will saying that he felt he and the killer were doing the same things at various points in the day.
- Hannibal’s reference to Will sensing madness like a bloodhound comes from narration near the beginning of Red Dragon, when Will visits the Leeds crime scene.
- Hannibal’s Bentley is first seen on the show. In the novel Hannibal, his car of choice pre-capture is said to be a “supercharged Bentley.”
- The backstory Hannibal tells Will is based in the books. The novel Hannibal revealed that Hannibal was orphaned at age 6; his age was retconned to about 12 in Hannibal Rising. In Hannibal Rising, he goes to live with his uncle Robert (stylized as “Robertas” in the show) when he is about 13 (in the show, Hannibal claims he was 16; notably, in the introduction to Hannibal Rising, Thomas Harris notes that Hannibal routinely lies about the dates of his life).
- Will asks Hannibal about his mother and says “quid pro quo”. This is a reference to both the novel and film version of the Silence of the Lambs, where Clarice Starling and Dr Lecter enter a quid pro quo relationship in the hunt for Buffalo Bill.
- Hannibal mentions he could identify his teacher’s cancer through scent. In the novel the Silence of the Lambs, Lecter describes Sammie as a hebephrenic and determines his condition by his sweat. Sammie’s sweat has a goatish odor to it.
- The dialogue describing Will’s childhood is taken verbatim from narration in Red Dragon.
- Will’s lecture about bite marks is taken from the talk he gives Atlanta PD after the Leeds murders in Red Dragon. Notably, some of Will’s dialogue from this portion of the book was previously given to Alana, in her lecture in “Aperitif.” In both instances, they might be lecturing on the Marlow murders, which according to Bryan Fuller were committed by Francis Dolarhyde.
- Hannibal drugging Abigail, ostensibly to help her come to terms with her dead father, is reminiscent of him doing the same to Clarice near the end of the novel Hannibal. Notably, shattered teacups are a major theme/metaphor in that sequence of the novel, and this scene shows a teacup breaking. Broken teacups will become a major motif later in the show, particularly in regards to Abigail's character.
- "The support groups are sucking the life out of me." (to Dr. Bloom)
- Abigail: "Does that make me a sociopath?"
Lecter: "It makes you a survivor."
- "Abigail is lost too. Then perhaps it's our responsibility, yours and mine, to help her find her way." (Lecter to Will)
- "Nature versus nurture."
- "I survived."
- "You're not your father's daughter, not anymore." (Lecter to Abigail)
- "Jack sees the world at it's worst. I don't need him seeing me at mine. He already has too much to worry about."(to Lecter)
DishEditIn this episode, Hannibal made psilocybin tea, blood sausages and gorgeous wine-soaked pears but his High Life Eggs breakfast was the most requested recipe of the season.
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