Holy crap. Where in the hell should I start? I fully expected last night’s Hannibal to be focused on the introduction to Mason Verger (Michael Pitt) with most of the OMG moments credited to the creepy pedophile. Instead, while Verger did give me the willies, I was much more repulsed by the actions of our hero, Will Graham (Hugh Dancy).
Let’s talk about Will first. Last week’s episode ended with Dr. Lecter sending murder suspect, and former patient, Randall Tier (Mark O’Brien) to Will Graham’s house to kill him, kind of like a weird tit-for-tat. It’s obvious that Dr. Lecter never expected Tier to be successful, because he wasn’t in the least bit surprised when Will showed up at his house with Tier’s dead body in tow. When asked how killing Tier made him feel, Will responded very matter-of-fact, “I’ve never felt so alive than when I was killing him”. It gets even weirder with Hannibal’s response:
Â Â Â Then, you owe Randall Tier a debt. How will you repay him? — Hannibal to Will
Well, what you do is create a memorial to Tier for all the world to see. The next scene is at the Museum of Natural History with Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) staring in shock at a display of Randall Tier, with half of his skeleton replaced with that of an animal, thus making him the human/beast hybrid that he always longed to be. To top it off, Will shows up at the crime scene and profiles it just like all of his other cases.
As if the Randall Tier tableaux wasn’t enough, it gets even stranger, folks, so bear with me. Margot Verger (Katherine Isabelle) shows up on Will’s doorstep again, but this time she has an agenda. She seduces Will, which is shocking in itself because we know she has a proclivity for a different set of body parts by her own admission. This scene runs in tandem with another horribly disgusting Alana/Hannibal sex scene (and, yes, I had to bring out my barf bag once again!), with Will imagining Margot is Alana and even more nauseating, Hannibal imagining Alana is Will. The latter is, of course, a major hint to the audience that Will and Dr. Lecter are becoming one and the same.
The final OMG Will Graham moment comes at the very end of the episode and involves the reporter we love to hate, Freddie Lounds ( Lara Jean Chorostecki). Apparently, Hannibal decides — no wait, perhaps Will and Hannibal decide together — that Lounds is poking her nose into things where it doesn’t belong, because we see Dr. Lecter waiting for Freddie at her house in his infamous kill-suit, and Will attacks her in his barn after she finds what appears to be Randall Tier’s lower jaw in his portable freezer. The latter scene was the biggest nod in the episode that the innocent Will Graham is gone and he has molded himself into the image of Dr. Lecter. Everything about the scene should remind us of the confrontation Beverly Katz had with Dr. Lecter. The sheets of plastic hanging from the ceiling. The human body parts found in the freezer. And, Will Graham standing in the background just waiting to attack Freddie when she turns around.
So, now the million dollar question: Has Will really morphed into a mini-Hannibal Lecter, or is all of this part of an elaborate con in order to gain Dr. Lecter’s trust so that Will can finally take him down once and for all? My money’s on the latter and for several reasons. First, making Will Graham a serial killer would be the mother of all deviations from the Hannibal Lecter souce material, and I don’t think the fans of the Thomas Harris novels would respond very well to the idea. I certainly wouldn’t. Second, I think the biggest clue lies in that conversation Will and Jack Crawford had in “Shi-zakana” while ice fishing. If you read between the lines, it sounds like Jack and Will are making a pact on how to catch Dr. Lecter, which means Jack Crawford is fully aware of Will’s actions and is actually in on it.
Now on to Mason Verger. Damn! Michael Pitt is good, isn’t he! On the surface, Verger appears somewhat normal. Yes, he’s arrogant and completely in love with himself, but hey, so are 99% of rich guys. But, the details and their subtlety are what gives Verger away that there is something very dark and very evil brewing underneath. His non-chalant attitude towards the pigs that he has bred to kill people and the disturbing detail of using one of Margot’s suits on the mannequin to demonstrate the skill of his specially-bred pigs. If that didn’t scream, “Haha, my dear sister! I would so love to feed you to those pigs!”,Â then I don’t know what does. Â It’s no wonder that right after that Margot rushes to Will’s house! The only way Margot can inherit the Verger fortune is if she has a male heir and getting pregnant with Will’s baby is certainly a means to that end. And, if she has a male heir, then she can finally kill her brother without the fear of ending up penniless and homeless. Margot, I applaud you, and I think Dr. Lecter would be proud.
Just like all of the past episodes, Bryan Fuller and Co. blew us away in this one. Yes, it was bizarre and hard-to-follow at times, but this kind of imagery and the use of metaphors have become a mainstay with the series. So, it really shouldn’t have surprised us. The only part that bothered was the alleged transformation of Will Graham. However, I’m keeping an open mind, and I’m holding out for the good Will Graham that we have grown to love.
Hannibal airs on Fridays at 10/9c on NBC.
Most memorable quotes and random thoughts
- I don’t get a legacy — Margot
Â Â Â Â Not unless you make one — Dr. Lecter
- Fortunately for you I can’t tell anyone — Dr. Lecter to Mason Verger
- Itâ€™s the prospect of death that drives us to greatness. –Â Dr. Lecter
- In love you take leave of your senses but in hatred you must be present to calculate your actions. –Â Dr. Lecter
- She was a slim and delicate pig — Will to Dr. Lecter
- In the promo at the end of the episode, we see a burning body in a wheelchair. If you are familiar with Red Dragon, you’ll know that Freddie Lounds met that same fate, and so, I think the conclusion is it’s Freddie in that chair. If that is true, that would be the 2nd major deviation from the Hannibal source material. In Red Dragon, Lounds was set on fire by Francis Dolarhyde, and not by Dr. Lecter (and certainly not by Will).
- Another possibility is that it’s someone else in the chair. If you ever watch The Walking Dead, you’ll know that they love to mix up the characters and their corresponding deaths from that in the comic books. One person that comes to mind is Mason Verger. Setting him on fire would still leave him grossly disfigured, and so, in the end, we’d have the same result.
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