HUGE spoilers for last night's Hannibal. Do not enter if you do not wish to be spoiled.
Oh, Bryan Fuller. Man, you were one of the good ones. Remember when you promised us Hannibal would never have a rape scene? Or that you intentionally made Alan Bloom and Freddie Lounds — male characters in the books — women because the show needed more female energy? Or how you basically invented the character of Abigail Hobbs and actually gave her scenes where she talked to other women about herself instead of just about other men? Or your commitment to making any violence or death on the show gender-balanced? That was great. You were great. You were killing the Bechdel Test and we loved it.
And when people called the death of Beverly Katz racist and sexist, I was happy to stand up for you. Obviously that wasn't what you were doing. Right?
Well, regardless, what wasn't so great was last night's episode where Margot Verger — who just last week told Will Graham that she's a lesbian and that being a lesbian has been a major barrier in her relationship with her father — decided to come by Will Graham's house for some sweaty straight sex.
In any other circumstance, when a female character announces that she's gay I would be ready to set the clock to time just how long it would take her to realize she actually needs a man in her life. This time I was genuinely hopeful, which makes me even more disappointed that once again a lesbian can't stay a lesbian on TV or in a movie when the "right guy" is around.
But is that really what happened her? Maybe not, and that did give me some hope.
Fuller took to Twitter during the episode (he live-tweets every episode, so he responded as it happened) to address the number of hard-core fans who were really angry that a lesbian character was suddenly dropping her underwear for the first scruffy male protagonist she encounters.
What Fuller said — and don't read further if you want to avoid spoilers for next week's episode — is essentially that Margot is just using Will Graham to get pregnant. And that this does not make her not a lesbian and it doesn't mean that she has secret love feelings. It's essentially a not-so-ethical business transaction on her part.
Okay. You know... I can see that. So much of her story revolves around needing there to be a Verger heir who isn't her abusive brother Mason. And she's so traumatized by Mason — who is currently threatening to feed her to the family pigs — that she's desperate to do anything to keep herself (and her fortune) safe and secure.
When you're worried that your brother is months away from throwing you to pigs who've been meticulously engineered to feed on humans, you don't have time for the red tape associated with IVF I guess.
I was ready to give Bryan Fuller a pass. Until he started tweeting some dumb shit by way of an "explanation." He has since deleted most of the problematic ones, although he left this up:
Also how's this for a cherry on the facepalm sundae?
"Problematic," however, included stuff like the attached photos:
Surely you understand that that's not the problem here, right? Nobody was really worried about Will's reasoning.
Either way... I just wish Fuller would take a leaf out of a book that the Game of Thrones show runners don't own and just say, "Look — I said some stupid shit. I'm sorry. I'm using a hackneyed plot device in order to get at something larger and I'm not implying that a woman's sexuality is malleable when the 'right man' is around."
I still love you, Bryan, but this was disappointing as hell.