Making Hannibal Make Sense

[explicit spoilers for episode 1 of Hannibal, implied spoilers for 2 and 3.  I haven’t seen past that  but I am making predictions about what will happen]

My need to make movies make sense is most obvious when it comes to animal behavior*, but that’s not its only manifestation.  Take police procedurals.  I made Bones tolerable by saying la la la science fiction.  I’m now watching Hannibal because it’s one of the best shows available on Amazon Prime Streaming, which is the only streaming service that allows offline viewing, which is important because I have a bus commute again.**

Hannibal… does not make a ton of sense.  The premise is that an ex homicide detective is a brilliant criminal profiler but unable to get into the FBI because he couldn’t pass the psych screening, so they just hire him as a “special agent” that does everything a normal agent does, including field work.  You would think that was Hannibal Lecter, but it is not.  Lecter is the psychiatrist the FBI hires to babysit the unstable profiler (who I can only imagine will one day regret copying Lecter’s answers off a psych test).  Lecter also accompanies the agent on field work, which I don’t think even regular FBI agent’s counselors are normally allowed to do.  The actual profiler (Will Graham) comes up with theories more or less out of thin air and they always turn out to be correct.  He insists the evidence makes it obvious.

On the face of it, this makes no sense.  But what if Hannibal is set in a just slightly alternate universe, where psychic powers exist but are considered shameful because they make people mentally unstable?  The FBI can’t officially hire them, and they in fact test for powers before hiring to make sure they don’t hire any psychics.  But if there just happens to be a profiler who makes totally evidence based leaps, enabling them to catch really gruesome serial killers they otherwise couldn’t, well surely you can hire them on a contract basis.***

Why doesn’t the psychic Graham notice Hannibal is murdering and eating people? I’m glad you asked.  Hiring a babysitter for a psychic is tricky business.  You wouldn’t want someone they could manipulate or even read, that would defeat the purpose.  So you hire someone who’s a null field to psychics, or at least your psychic.  As a bonus, this person can lie to them when need be.  Note that Graham says he hates going to psychiatrists- presumably every one he’s been to has been unreadable to him, and he hates that.

And that’s how I learned to enjoy Hannibal.

*Ask my brother about watching the King Kong with me.

**”So you’re coping with your motion sickness by watching a show about food and gore?” “Yes”

***The same way my team at Microsoft rehired the same contractor for our Apple version over and over again.

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