"Potage" ponders the idea of a murderer’s psychological disposition being an unavoidable aspect of inheritance.
Whether those tendencies are inherited by education or genetics is a question Hannibal decides to leave open.
Before delving into Abigail Hobbs, I really want to talk about my favorite aspect of Hannibal Season 1: it never shies away from telling complex and emotional stories. Every character is broken in some way, and how they cope with being broken is the biggest driving factor for all of them.
Will is broken. For a man who is able to get into the minds of murderers to see how they work and how they perceive their surroundings, he is incredibly detailed and intricate, but aside from carrying on sometimes light conversation with Alana, he has a very difficult time connecting with people. It’s complex and emotional in a unique way. Will can connect with murder and death, but he has an incredibly difficult time connecting with the world.
Will and everyone else are stuck in this broken impasse. They are broken people, who investigate the broken, and this feeds into keeping them broken. The greatest relationships Will has are his professional ones. He’s a kind and warm to the stray dogs he finds, but his investigations and the way he thinks like a murderer every day haunts him even in his sleep. He has no escape, and no end.
Lecter tries to heal the broken, but his helping of the FBI allows him the access he wants and craves for his fine dining. He’s one step ahead of Will, and Will is continuing to divulge his theories on the copycat killer.
Will: He is an intelligent psychopath. He is a sadist. He will never kill like this again. So how do we catch him? | permalink
Will is inadvertently helping Lecter - and Lecter takes the opportunities afforded to him by copying these killers. It allows Lecter to continue his brokenness unimpeded. It’s a primal game of cat and mouse.
Abigail Hobbs is the unsolved variable in the equation. Her father being a killer and her interactions with him show a girl who is fearful of death and the destruction associated with it. The knowledge of just how far her father went with his violence is an inescapable constant for Abigail and she’s constantly wondering if she’s like him.
Whether this is learned or genetic... there’s no definitive answer. She’s bombarded by the images of her dad teaching her how to be a killer, and when she’s confronted about him post mortem, she literally has blood on her hands.
While Abigail’s solution is still unknowable, she is a solution to Lecter. From one murderer to another, she pegged him instantly when he offered to get rid of the body.
What’s left now is whether Lecter allows Abigail to keep that knowledge... or whether she’s going to end up being another victim.