Sunday, January 3, 2010

Manhunter analysis - part 76: Apprehending Dollarhyde; hidden plot summary

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

Top left: As Crawford and Graham are about to arrive in St. Louis, where they know the Tooth Fairy works, Lieutenant Fisk of the Missouri State Police and his men (shown) have pulled up a picture and description of Francis Dollarhyde from the Missouri Department of Revenue. Top right: The information on Dollarhyde is sent by Fisk via datafax, and comes through to Crawford and Graham's plane as shown. Above left: As Graham watches the datafax come through, he realizes that Dollarhyde is the Tooth Fairy. Above right: Shortly after this, the plane lands at Lambert Field in St. Louis, where a police car is waiting.

We begin this post with Graham and Crawford flying to St. Louis to apprehend the Tooth Fairy. When Francis Dollarhyde's photo (with accompanying information such as his physical description) comes through on the airplane's datafax machine, Graham realizes Dollaryde is the Tooth Fairy, and Will's reaction to the information and photo in the datafax is to be taken to mean that he has finally identified the killer within himself; he now knows what he must do to defeat the killer within: he knows that it must be he himself who eliminates Dollarhyde. At this point, his awareness of all this has at least partially emerged into his conscious mind - he is no longer operating solely on unconscious motivation.

When the plane lands in St. Louis, the police immediately pick up Graham and Crawford, and begin transporting them through the night. After they have gone some distance, Graham tells the driver of the car he's in to go on to Dollarhyde's house instead of going to the prearranged meeting place; he then proceeds to load his gun, even though Crawford tells him that he won't need it, since it is supposed be a SWAT team that will take down the killer. At this point, there are two police cars headed through the darkness toward Dollarhyde's house, with Graham and Crawford in the leading car.

When the two cars have traveled to a point very close to Dollarhyde's house, such that their headlights might be visible to Dollarhyde, Graham tells his driver to turn his headlights off. A few seconds later, Graham suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns it sharply to the right (see screencaps below), causing the car behind to swerve and run into a ditch. When this happens, one of the officers who was inside this second car is severely injured and thus incapacitated, so another officer says that he will remain with the injured man and wait for backup. All of Graham's actions here are intentional: he knows that once he tells his driver to turn out his lights, the driver won't be able to see where he's going and will be forced to a sudden stop, making it so that the driver of the second car will have to swerve to avoid hitting the first car (Graham's car) in the back. The reason Will does all these things is because, as stated above, he knows that it must be he himself who kills Dollarhyde, and thus, he has to put as many police officers as possible 'out of commission', to keep them from interfering with his planned action.

Above left: Will Graham reaches his left arm over from the front passenger seat of the police cruiser he's in, grabs the steering wheel, and forces the car to swerve hard right. Above right: This, in turn, forces the car that was following to swerve wildly and wreck into a ditch (this car is indicated by the arrow).

With regard to the fact that Crawford is working against Graham, it must be the case that while driving to Dollarhyde's house, the reason Crawford told Will that he wouldn't need a gun was so that Graham would consider entering the house unarmed, and thus be more likely to lose the confrontation with Dollarhyde. Crawford only feigned being injured by Dollarhyde's gunshot while in the yard - note that he doesn't appear to be injured, when he later meets up with Graham after Dollarhyde has been killed; in fact, he feigns a limp as he gets nearer to Graham on the dock near Dollarhyde's house (as shown further below). The reason Crawford told Graham to wait for backup prior to entering Dollarhyde's house, was to effectively remind Will that backup was in fact on its way, thus encouraging Will to hurry up and enter the house alone (Graham's unconscious is 'anxious' to resolve the dilemma of whether he himself is a killer). (As an aside, Crawford must have intentionally wound up Will during the 'revelation' scene, to help enable Will to have his insight into how Dollarhyde selects his victims).

Top left: Dollarhyde (pointed to by orange arrow) shoots into his back yard at Jack Crawford. By this point in the action, Dollarhyde has already shot and killed two police officers, and Crawford and Graham (with Graham in the front yard) are the only immediate threats Dollarhyde faces. Top right: While being shot at by Dollarhyde, Crawford falls due to tripping over some brush while running. Above left: Crawford gets back up and runs some more; we note that he never fires his gun at any point, as indicated by the absence of light flashes from its barrel during the entire action sequence. Above right: Crawford, who has yet to be struck by any of the shots from Dollarhyde's shotgun, dives for the ground to make the killer think he has been hit. Jack does all of this so that it will appear he is unable to go into Dollarhyde's house and help Will there.

Above left: After all the action, the fact that Crawford runs to meet Will at the dock near Dollarhyde's house, is further evidence that he was never hit by any of Dollarhyde's gunshots. He does not appear to be injured in any way. Above right: Once Crawford is walking on the wood of the dock, he feigns a limp, because he knows Graham can hear him approaching due to the sound of his hard shoes hitting the wood. (Note that Graham has his back turned.) Left: Crawford sits down once he gets within a few yards of Will.


Regarding the hidden plot in general, we must conclude that prior to the point in time at which the film's beginning is set, the situation has been such that Hannibal Lecktor has worked with the FBI to solve other cases, long before the Tooth Fairy began killing people, and before Lecktor himself was imprisoned; specifically, he had worked with Dr. Bloom, Graham, and Jack Crawford, and possibly some of the other experts as well. We know that Bloom and Crawford were already friends of Graham before the movie's beginning, though that does not necessarily imply that they were friends with each other. We also know that Dr. Bloom and Molly are half-siblings, and that they were married prior to Molly's meeting Will. The fact is that Molly began an affair with Will while she was married to the doctor. During that affair, she conceived Kevin (with Will).

Will had never seen Molly with anything but curly hair until after she and Kevin had been relocated from Captiva, the implication being that Molly had curled her hair, at some point during her marriage to the doctor, in anticipation of meeting another man with wavy hair; in specific, she may well have seen a picture of Will before meeting him, since he was the doctor's friend. Her plan was to conceive a child outside of her marriage with the doctor; her reason for wanting to do so was so that the child would not have one or more birth defects due to being produced from an incestuous union - recall that Molly is the doctor's half-sister. The doctor knew Molly's hair wasn't naturally curly, and since he has wavy hair, he didn't have a problem believing that he was Kevin's father (recall that Kevin has straight hair). Things must have gone on like this for some time, with Graham and Bloom working together on cases, with Bloom not knowing about the affair and Graham not knowing he was a father. Then at some point, the doctor found out Molly had committed incest with Kevin. When he confronted her, she broke down and admitted she had cheated on the doctor and that Will was Kevin's biological father. At this point, the doctor divorced her, and they decided she should marry Will and take Kevin with her. Still, even after marrying Molly, Will didn't know he was Kevin's biological father - Molly and the doctor continued to hide this fact from Will, with Molly keeping her hair curled. That Molly's only real 'interest' in Will was in using him to conceive a child outsider of her marriage, is indicated by the fact that she doesn't want to stay married to him, and instead wants to reunite with the doctor.

When the movie starts, we, the audience, are effectively 'dropped' into the pre-existing situation described above. We soon see that Molly wants to take advantage of Will's being offered the Tooth Fairy assignment; in specific, she wants to be rid of him, and have the doctor come back to her, as indicated above. Her and the doctor's parting of the ways must have never been a final act; in fact, Molly has been unhappy with Will, and she started seeing the doctor again while Will was recovering in the hospital from his encounter with Lecktor.

When Graham makes his visit to Lecktor's cell in Baltimore, Lecktor quickly picks up on the fact Will has a family. Lecktor knew Bloom professionally at first, including while the Doctor was married to Molly, and during his Baltimore meeting with Will, he deduces that Will is raising the same boy who had previously been being raised by Molly and the doctor - recall that Lecktor knew from Graham's scent, the brand of shaving lotion that his son had gotten him for Christmas; he must have recognized it as the same brand that the doctor had once used. Of course, during Will's visit to the prison, Lecktor also deduces that he is now married to Molly. All of this is what gave Lecktor the 'inside information' he needed to author the book code message as he did, including the portion of it that, when decoded, says, "kill them all."

When the book code message comes through in the investigators' meeting, Bloom gets nervous because he isn't sure what it says. Molly is hoping that the doctor will show up in Captiva, but his suspicion leads him to believe that the message is designed to set him up (which it has been), so he doesn't go to the Graham home to meet with Molly. After the investigator's meeting, Brian Zeller whispers to Will that he wants to meet him in private. When they do meet, Zeller tells Will something which leads Will to conclude that incest between Molly and Kevin has occurred. Then, at some point between the time Molly and Kevin are first relocated, and the dock scene at the new location, Will confronts Molly about the incest. She then admits to Will that she is Kevin's biological mother and Will his father, and that the incest has been occurring.

Regarding Brian Zeller's reason for telling Will about the incest taking place between Molly and Kevin, it is correct to say that Brian is working against Will - he tells Will about the incest so that Will will have more of a reason to "kill them all" (Molly, Kevin, and Dr. Bloom). Note that what we've said above about Brian's being involved in the deception implies that he, like Beverly Katz, knows more than Bloom - he knows Lecktor wants Will to do away with Bloom (in addition to Molly and Kevin). As indicated back in part 40, Hannibal Lecktor is attempting to prevent the second coming of Christ. Katz, Zeller, and other people are assisting him in this attempt.

Crawford must have been the one who first introduced Graham and Lecktor to each other, several years prior to the point of the movie's beginning; then later, but before the events in Manhunter, Lecktor got to Crawford and convinced him to work on the side of evil. Note that in this scenario, Crawford still represents John the Baptist, in that he appears as such to Graham's unconscious. This is a key part of helping Lecktor defeat the second coming of Christ - Will has to have someone who 'foretells' his own coming, so Jack helps Lecktor manipulate Will such that Will's unconscious seeks to fulfill this foretelling. Part of Crawford's fulfilling of his own role, includes his exclaiming "Jesus Christ!" in Will's presence, at two or three points in the movie. Note that since Crawford says to Molly, prior to bringing Will into the Tooth Fairy investigation, that he will keep Will as far away from things as possible, it must be the case that Crawford isn't aware, at least when things first start out, that Molly wants to get rid of Will.

Note that if Will had killed his own family, per Lecktor's original plan, and had therefore never encountered Dollarhyde, he would have been locked up in prison or placed in an institution for the rest of his life, and Lecktor would thereby have prevented the second coming of Christ. Lecktor only later finds out enough details about Dollarhyde, via the 'spies' he has in Dollarhyde's camp (Crawford and Bowman, as discussed in part 75), to realize that he can do more than just eliminate Graham; i.e., he realizes that he can get rid of both Will and Dollarhyde at the same time. By authoring his part of the tissue note the way he has, Lecktor has provided Graham with enough impetus to think he can begin to become Christ; killing Molly and Kevin would then defeat this becoming, as stated. It is only later that Hannibal needs to have Graham specifically think that God's power is bound up with the ability to kill, for then, Will's confrontation with Dollarhyde will result in the defeat of the second coming no matter which man wins the confrontation, as previously described. And, if Dollarhyde defeats Graham, Crawford is still present and armed at the scene at Dollarhyde's house, as described above, such that he can kill Dollarhyde before anyone else arrives. As mentioned earlier, Crawford and Bowman are ultimately working for Lecktor, and are functioning for him by 'spying' on Dollarhyde; and, Jimmy Price is ultimately working for Dollarhyde, as a 'spy' in Lecktor's camp. Crawford intentionally goes down in the yard once he figures out Dollarhyde knows he has been deceived - as evidenced by the fact that he keeps shooting at Crawford, as stated. Reba wasn't part of the plan, neither Crawford nor Graham knew she'd be at Dollarhdye's house on the night the action takes place.

Above left: Graham jumps through a window at the front of Dollarhyde's house, to get at the killer. Above right: Dollarhyde with blood spread under his arms, making him look like the 'great red dragon'.


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