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Viva Phoenix 2017

Viva Phoenix’s swept through Downtown Phoenix for its Sophomore event March 11, 2017 with local favorites like MRCH and longtime heavy hitters including Wyclef Jean. 100 bands played in 20 venues throughout the evening from smallish spaces such as the Masonic Temple’s Boiler Room to Cityscape where, for the second year, Downtown Phoenix, Inc. in conjunction with Mayor Greg Stanton’s office, closed off Central Avenue. DOOM! Magazine photographer Devon Christopher Adams was in attendance and compiled a Top List of experiences throughout the evening.

Tone Loc. Yes, that Tone Loc. I overheard a woman in the front row asking “Who’s next?” when her friend mentioned Tone. He just smiled and patted her hand knowingly. Shortly, Tone Loc and his DJ took the stage as the crowds began to swell on Central Ave, and as he tore into “Funky Cold Medina” that woman knew exactly who this seminal rapper was.

P.O.S. & Duckwrth at Monarch Theatre’s “Blunt Club”. I caught the tail end of San Francisco hip-hop musician Duckwrth’s performance at the Monarch and was struck by the creative energy, positive vibe, and overall cohesion between stage and audience. After Duckwrth, P.O.S., founding member of indie hip hop collective Doomtree, took the stage. The crowd swelled and rapped along with this iconic musician as the line wrapped around the block to get into the venue.

P.O.S. at Monarch Theatre for Viva Phoenix. Photography by Devon Christopher Adams for DOOM! Magazine.

Girl Scouts. What’s cooler than little girl scouts with wagons full of cookies outside large venues like Cityscape? Those same girl scouts with Square. Yup, their moms took credit card payments on their phones. Super convenient for late night face stuffing.

Reverend Horton Heat at the Masonic Temple. When I heard these rockabilly legends were performing, I had to photograph the show. We all crammed into the non-air conditioned Masonic Temple, & they started strong with their signature “Psychobilly Freakout”; the crowd went wild from there.

Reverend Horton Heat at Masonic Temple for Viva Phoenix. Photography by Devon Christopher Adams for DOOM! Magazine.

Rickshaws. Those bikers are great. Now don’t get me wrong, this number isn’t about the music, but isn’t a good fest all about the experience? If you had to get from Crescent Ballroom to the Monarch in a few quick minutes, jump into a rickshaw. Those people work hard and averaged about $10 per person per ride.

Injury Reserve at Cityscape. Years ago, in a former life, I taught high school English where a young Nate Ritchie enrolled in my class. Now that he and his rap outfit, Injury Reserve, have released their most recent critically acclaimed album Floss and are making a name for themselves on the west coast, I was eager to see them open Cityscape. As we chatted before the show, I watched the fans milling around hoping to get their albums, shirts, and wristbands signed by him. Cityscape was strictly a hip hop stage and bookending this venue with the new, fresh, high energy Injury Reserve and hip hop staple Wyclef Jean was pure genius.

Injury Reserve at CityScape for Viva Phoenix. Photography by Devon Christopher Adams for DOOM! Magazine.

Wyclef Jean. Wyclef was added later to the lineup for Viva Phoenix almost as as ace up the producers’ collective sleev. As mentioned earlier, Wyclef closed the Cityscape stage downtown by not only signing and rapping but also by playing the drums and guitar to show his true musical virtuoso. The best place to catch his show? Make a reservation for a table on Blue Hound’s balcony.

YACHT at Valley Bar. Last time I saw YACHT they opened for Vampire Weekend. The sound was terrible. Not this time. YACHT closed the Valley Bar taking stage just after 12:30am & ripped through a tight techno dance pop set that included lead singer Claire L. Evans engaging the modest crowd and having as much fun as we were.

YACHT at Valley Bar for Viva Phoenix. Photography by Devon Christopher Adams for DOOM! Magazine.

Now remember, Viva Phoenix is seven hours over several large city blocks. We could not cover everything, but if you have a memory that you loved, feel free to post it in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

Hannibal’s “Naka-Choko” – making a pig’s ear out of it

In this week’s episode, steamy scenes peppered the landscape while Hannibal’s mind games have helped Will’s evolution escalate to an even further degree.

naka chokosmall

(Photo Courtesy of NBC.com)

We open on the ending of last week’s episode, Randall bursting through the window. But it wasn’t Randall, it was the Ravenstag. When Will stands, the Ravenstag becomes the Wendigo, and they engage in a fight, bare handed. Will beats the Wendigo as it becomes Hannibal’s face. He keeps punching until blood is all over his own face, and then he snaps his neck. Only then do we actually see Randall in his manimal suit. Dead.

Hannibal arrives at his dinner table to see Will waiting with Randall’s corpse between them. Hanibal considers the “even steven” to be an act of reciprocity, and that they are indeed “even.” He asks if Will killed him with his hands, and we see Will’s bloody knuckles, he tells Hannibal it was intimate. Gently, Hannibal washes Will’s wounds as we watch it in beautiful cinematography. Will is silent, not focused on anything, and Hannibal tells him not to go inside, not to run away, to stay with him. He says that he should be quite pleased, and that he himself is. He asks Will if he fantasized that he was killing him when he killed Randall. Will says that he never felt as alive as when he was killing him. His face looks troubled, but certain. Hannibal asks him how he will repay him.

The museum comes into view at night, and Jack walks down the stairs, his face looks concerned. Randall’s body has been decimated, his head, arms and legs placed on the skeleton of a Sabertooth Tiger, making him the Randall Toothed Tiger.

As they process the scene, Hannibal and Will are both on scene. Jack says that Randall was denied the respect that Randall denied his own victims. Will steps in to say that he’s not displayed with disdain, that he’s commemorating him. Hannibal and Will trade quips, knowing who did this, and say that he has no guilt, that he isn’t afraid of the consequences. Will’s eyes close and he enters his Killer Vision. This is different, though, because he is looking at his own murder. He tells Randall hello, and the corpse’s eyes blink and move, a disembodied voice telling him to come closer. Will says that Randall forced him to kill him, and Randall says he didn’t force him to enjoy it. Randall tells him that his death tableau is not only his becoming, but Will’s as well. Back in the real world, Will says that Randall knew his killer, there’s a familiarity about it. Jack asked if he empathized with Randall, and that wasn’t it, he envied him. Hannibal mentions that this was a fledgling killer, that he’d never killed before, at least not like this. This was the nightmare that followed him out of his dreams.

Freddie Lounds is typing away at her computer, looking at all the newspaper clippings she has taped to the walls about the Chesapeake Ripper and his victims. There’s a knock on the door, Will has showed up to talk to her. She’s upped the ante on her publishing deal, apparently there’s movie interest. She may be a journalistic pariah, but she puts that faith in Will and his story. Starting her recorder, she asks about the Chesapeake Ripper, wondering why not even the fabled man who can get into killers heads couldn’t see Chilton’s design, as he’s still supposedly the Ripper unmasked. She also wonders why Will has gone back to therapy with Dr. Lecter, to which Will says he was wrong about him. She talked to some of Chilton’s medical school friends, and they told her he fled to psychiatry to avoid embarrassment, that he was a terrible surgeon, and he doesn’t fully fit the profile. Will says his story with the Ripper has an ending, and she says hers doesn’t, asking him if he really thinks Chilton killed Abigail Hobbs, and that she will never let it go. Will tells her, with conviction, that neither will he.

It’s therapy time for Margot Verger, and Hannibal’s first words are “you will have to kill him, Margot.” The therapy session gets interesting, and she mentions that she may have missed her opportunity. She says she failed to murder him because of poor planning, and Hannibal says that she still loves him. In love you take leave of your actions, but in hatred you must be present. He tells her that she’ll be begging him for the rest of her life, that she’s still letting him get his way. She says she’s lucky she didn’t kill him, because if she had, the sole beneficiary of her father’s estate would be the Southern Baptist Convention. She needs to have some way to leave a legacy. She says she doesn’t get a legacy, and Hannibal finishes her thought, “Unless you make one.”

At the Verger estate, Margot comes in from riding a horse, and we hear her brother ask if she had a good ride.  She asks him what he wants. He comes into the light, holding a baby pig. He says he wants to show her something. Mason introduces her to Pavlov, makes her say hello to him. He then leads her into one of their big rooms, saying that he had an epiphany after their father died. She shudders to think what this maze he presents her with is for. Mason goes on about the intelligence of pigs as a load of them are put into the maze. She tells him he always had a deep understanding of piggishness, and he laughs, telling her that her mouth gets rough when she’s scared. He talks about the structure, and that’s when he goes into discussing what the pigs are going to be taught to do: Eat a live man. Carlo trusses up a meat carcass–dressed in Margot’s suit–and scents it. Mason starts playing human screams, which set the pigs a-squealin’, and the meat corpse is hung over the middle of the cage. Margot looks on in horror as the meat is eaten, while Mason says he wants her to be proud of him, that he’s all she has. The threat is clear, as the pigs decimate the Margot-suited meat.

Our focus comes onto a pair of hands, and a wailing noise. As the camera moves, we see that Hannibal is teaching Alana how to use the theremin. She’s worried she’s killing it, that it sounds terrible. He assures her that it is an instrument that can create masterpieces, but it requires the gift of perfect pitch to play properly. We switch to Will’s home, and Margot has brought whiskey, to replenish what she drank. Interspersed, we go back and forth between Will and Hannibal’s home. Hannibal tells Alana to feel it in her gut, in her heart, and she says it’s like composing in thin air. Will’s asked about his window, to which he says a stag got lost in the storm. Margot asks if he’s scarred, and she says she’ll show him hers if he shows her his. Will is a bit confused, saying he doesn’t have the right parts for her proclivities. Alana says that the theremin is a psychological instrument, and Hannibal agrees, that they’re guiding the players from dissonance towards composition. Margot advances on Will, and he stops her at first, but they begin disrobing each other. Hannibal starts kissing Alana, and she says that whatever he’s composing, he needs to be careful, he needs to listen.

Will and Margot compare scars, her saying her brother gave her scars to her, him saying a friend gave him his. Interspersed, we now see both Hannibal and Alana making love, and Margot and Will, though Margot is not aroused, not actually into this, it’s clear from her eyes that she has a plan. Suddenly, as Will flips their position, we see Alana in the bed with him, where Margot should be. What follows is a dream-like sequence, where it appears that Hannibal, Alana, Will, and Margot’s sexual encounters are fluid, happening at the same time, almost in the same place. Then Will turns to look, and he sees the Wendigo watching them. He imagines the Wendigo in Hannibal’s place, on top of Alana. As the sex stops, Will appears in bed next to Alana, reaching for her, but she turns to Hannibal, who is on the other side. As Margot gets out of bed and dresses, Will is awake, there is a profound sadness in his eyes. He knows he’s been used.

We’re at a university, and we see Alana walking through the walkways. Freddie ambushes her, asking her about how Hannibal’s teaching made an impression on her. She tells Alana that she guessed she was sleeping with Hannibal, but knew she had to be sleeping with one of them, and that’s why she couldn’t see it. Alana caves and asks what she can’t see. Freddie says Will was right about Hannibal, and that she was right about Will. Alana walks off, saying she won’t have any conversations with her. Freddie lists all the deaths of Hannibal’s patients, but Alana says that Will understands that Hannibal can help him. Freddie says maybe he understands that if you can’t beat Hannibal, join him.

Hannibal’s Bentley pulls up at the Verger estate, and Carlo lets him into the pig maze room. He meets Mason, who was waiting for him. We find that Mason is paying for Margot’s therapy, and that he should meet her psychiatrist. Hannibal asks after the exceptional pigs, noting that he’s never seen anything like them before. Mason explains that they’re a special breed, and notes that Hannibal must know pigs as well as he knows people. Mason mentions that their father would have liked him, and that he was very focused on breeding, which is part of the reason why their father disliked Margot’s “button stitching,” as there was no breeding there. Mason continues, asking Hannibal if he has a sister, he says he had one, past tense. Mason says he needs to protect his sister, mostly from herself, that she’s pathological, and he’s sure she’s told him about many horrible things he’s supposedly done. Hannibal says he can’t tell him what Margot’s confessed to him, and fortunately for him, he can’t tell anyone. Mason laughs, uncomfortable, and says “got me.” Hannibal suggests therapy for himself, and he says that maybe he should. He asks if he can have Carlo slaughter him a hog, the least he could do. He accepts, but asks that he be able to select his own pig.

At Hannibal’s home, he wheels out the whole suckling pig for dinner with Alana and Will. As he serves, Will notes that it wasn’t a friend of the pig’s, but a friend of Hannibal’s. Hannibal goes on about how people who raise lambs love them, then send them to the slaughter, they eat what they love, they kill what they love, it’s a paradox. Alana says that Freddie Lounds thinks the two of them are a paradox, and that neither of them are the killer she’s writing about, but together they might be. Hannibal exchanges a glance with Will before saying she must be a bland interview subject if Freddie is resorting to fiction. Alana says that Freddie isn’t the only one who crosses boundaries, or who has none, that Hannibal and Will’s relationship doesn’t seem to have any. She says it’s hard to know where Hannibal and Will are with each other. Will says they know where they are with each other, and asks if that shouldn’t be enough. Hannibal just smirks a bit, and says “better the devil you know” as he sips his wine. In Freddie’s hotel room, Hannibal waits in his murder suit, seemingly impatient for her arrival.

Freddie won’t be showing up, she’s outside of Will’s home. She knocks on the door, checks the locks, looks in to see all the dogs, and goes off the front porch to keep looking. Not far from his home, she spots a barn, which she picks the lock of and goes looking inside. The barn has been done up in such a way that we instantly recall Hannibal’s murder dungeon, where we last saw Beverly alive. On the other side of plastic wrap, Randall Tier’s manimal suit hangs, teeth still covered in blood. Freddie whips out her camera and starts taking as many shots as she can. She decides to keep exploring, and her attention falls on an ice box. It’s locked, so she picks that, too. Inside she finds a bunch of fish, some meat, and…a human jaw, complete with skin and tongue. In horror, she throws it down, closing the lid, only to see Will having appeared from seemingly nowhere.

Terrified, Freddie grabs her gun out of her bag. Will tries to tell her there’s a very good explanation about all of this, she doesn’t want to hear it. Will says he can’t let her go until she’s heard what he has to say. He says he knows she’s scared, and that she only has to be scared a moment longer. He asks for the gun, and she shoots at him, running. There’s a struggle, she gets hurt a bit, dialing jack on her phone as she runs after having maced Will in the face. Just as she’s about to start her car, her window’s busted in and she’s pulled out of the car. Her signal is dead, and her phone’s last signal was in Wolf Trap. Jack says they found security footage of her filling her car up six miles from Will’s farm. He tells Jack she was supposed to interview him, but she never showed up. Alana, who is also there, looks slightly unconvinced. When asked why he’s granting interviews to Freddie, Will says he owed her one. Hannibal mentions that Freddie probably has more enemies than Will. Will says that he lives in the middle of nowhere, and that if someone wanted to take her, that would be one of the best places to do it.

Will is at Hannibal’s home now, unloading a bag of ingredients. He says that he’ll provide the ingredients and Hannibal should tell them what to do with them. When asked what the meat is, Will says Hannibal should know. He hands Will a knife, telling him to slice the ginger, letting him know he’s aware of what the meat is supposedly. They make a beautiful Ginger Pork dish, eating it together quietly. When Hannibal tastes it, he says the meat has an interesting flavor, that it tastes frightened. Will asks what frightened tastes like, and he’s told that it’s acidic. Will says the meat is bitter about being dead, which earns a smile from Hannibal. He says that this meat is not pork, and Will confesses that it is (hopefully only supposedly) “long pig,” a euphemism for human meat. Will picks up his wine glass by the stem, something he did not used to do, something he’s learned from Hannibal, and hesitates before drinking, saying that Hannibal cannot reduce him to a set of influences. He’s not the product of anything, he’s given up good and evil for behaviorism. Hannibal says that he can’t say he’s evil, then. Will says he’s destructive, same thing. If evil is just destructive, then storms and fire are evil because of the destruction they cause, Hannibal says. He says that underwriters lump it all under “acts of God,” and asks if this meat is an act of God. Will doesn’t answer, simply takes another bite. As we focus on Will’s face, half of it morphs into Hannibal’s, and we see just how close they’ve become.

Next week, things seem to ramp up, There’s a flaming wheelchair, and we’re basically told that we will never know what to expect. Hopefully we can handle whatever is to come.

Hannibal’s “Yakimono” – Miriam Lass should be Disarmed

I feel like I’ve said that “shit hits the fan” for the past couple of weeks, but this was honestly one of the most intense episodes, it hurt to watch. Hannibal’s plans are coming full circle and things are really amping up.

 yakimono

(photo courtesy of NBC.com)

The episode starts off with Miriam Lass being taken from the well she was held captive in and processed at the BAU. She still seems in shock, not even blinking as the agents take samples from her hair, beneath her fingernails, et cetera. Jack listens to her “last” message in his office and gets a bit emotional, the visions behind his eyes must be intense. Showered and at a dorm, missing her arm, Miriam thanks him for not stopping the search for her. She immediately asks to see him, him being the Chesapeake Ripper. Jack reluctantly tells her they haven’t caught him yet, and that they need her help, because she found him. Miriam doesn’t remember finding him, only a dream about drowning, and some sort of cognitive dissonance, being herself and not herself, as the Ripper spent two years brainwashing her. Jack admits to being reckless with her life, and she tells him not to apologize for her own mistakes. She says the Ripper treated her very well, up until she was put into the well and her arm was taken. Jack asks one more time if she can identify him. All she could see was his outline, flashing light, but she could hear his voice. Jack asks why she was spared, to which Miriam retorts “I wasn’t spared. He was saving me for last.”

At the BAU, Hannibal is being questioned by Alana as Miriam looks on for conformation or denial. Alana isn’t happy about this situation, but Hannibal says he appreciates the company, and stands, coming face to face(on the other side of the one-way glass) with Miriam. It’s a terrifying stare-down as Miriam turns to Jack and says it’s not him, that she’s sure. The credits roll as the fannibals collectively scream “what the HELL?!” at the screen and are left with the question of what exactly did Hannibal do to her during those two years?

Chilton begrudgingly walks down the stairs to Will’s cell at the Hospital, telling him that all charges have been dropped so his sentencing at this institution is null and void. An annoyed “Mazeltov” before the door opens and Will is free. Chilton lets Will know that he’d really rather Hannibal could switch places with Will, for he’s convinced that Hannibal is the Ripper, but that he has no intentions of doing anything to incur the wrath of the Chesapeake Ripper. Will says that if he confesses about bonding with Hannibal over his shared experiences on unethical therapy, he could, perhaps, get Hannibal Lecter convicted. Of course, Chilton doesn’t want to let his career go just to catch the Ripper, and wonders why Hannibal hasn’t killed Will yet. Will deadpans as he exits, “Because he wants to be my friend.”

Jack is waiting in the therapy cage room to tell Will that they found Miriam Lass, which was part of what exonerated him. He shows remorse for giving up on her, and on Will. Will sighs and starts to leave when Jack tells him that Miriam definitively said Hannibal wasn’t the Ripper. He’s a bit surprised when Jack also says that’s not definitive enough for him. All Will asks is where she was found, prompting a trip to the Madrona bark location.

Will looks around, finding extra slabs of the material Beverly was preserved between, and Beverly Katz’s blood was left in jars. As Jack fills him in on the murder that led them here and where they found Miriam, Will remarks that they’d caught the Ripper once before, and, like a fish, he’ll be much more difficult to catch a second time. We’re then treated to a reconstruction of the scene in Will’s Murder Vision. The room is stripped of all its medical equipment and the dead flowers come back to life. Will closes his eyes, and when he opens them, we’re in Hannibal’s office, the tree man in front of him. Will sees the long chain of events, “All of this has been my design,” he says, calling it theatre.

Will talks about how the Ripper wants Jack to catch someone, and that somewhere amongst all this evidence, there will be evidence to lead them away from Hannibal Lecter. When Jack says that Miriam already did that, Will points out that two years is a long time to have Hannibal in your head.

Finished with the crime scene, Will is now back home, and his dogs rush out to greet him. We see another dog, but Will doesn’t seem to mind that, happily petting them all. Alana welcomes him home, though her face is stern. He notices the new dog, Applesauce, who belongs to Alana. He asks if she’s picking up his “bad” habits, she says she’s picking up his good ones. She says she was wrong about Will, and Will lists off ways she could have been wrong. Alana stops him with the fact that he tried to kill Hannibal, and that he’s wrong about Lecter. Will tells her that she sees the best in him, and he doesn’t. She asks if Hannibal is safe, and Will poses the question “from me or for you?” and tells her that Hannibal is dangerous, and that she should stay as far away as possible.

At the BAU, Chilton offers his services on the Ripper case. Jack knows the angle, he’s consulted with the FBI on previous Ripper murders, which is true, but Jack says he has an agenda. Almost offended, Chilton says that yes, of course, his agenda is living. He reminds Jack that everyone who believed Will about Hannibal’s identity as the Ripper is dead, to which Jack says “except you.” Jack wants something more than circumstantial than an opinion. He mentions that Will has a lot of memories, which Jack said were useless. Chilton says he dug the memories out of Will, that he can dig them out of Miriam if he’s allowed, which Jack shuts down by saying that she’s not his patient.

Miriam gets herself a prosthesis and Will seems to be the one to take her home. He tells her he was institutionalized courtesy of the Chesapeake Ripper, that he had been treated with light that caused seizures and made him lose time. A bit frightened, she talks about how she remembers the light, that the chamber music and his calm voice are the only things she still remembers from that time. Will says he and Miriam are part of his design, that the Ripper wanted her to be free. She says they’re not free, that the Ripper isn’t done.

Hannibal walks through his home at night to get himself a glass of wine, he’s halted by smelling Will’s aftershave, which he comments on, calling it “unfortunate.” Will has a gun, mentions that their last conversation was cut short, and he wanted to pick up where they left off. Will has given a lot of thought to killing Hannibal, and Hannibal asks him, again, how would killing him make him feel. Angry, Will says “righteous,” and we see Hannibal flinch a bit. Will advances on him, Hannibal tells him if he’s not the Ripper, he kills an innocent person, and if he is the Ripper and he kills him, who will answer the questions everyone will have? Will cocks the gun and Hannibal seems to feign fear, or perhaps he actually flinches, but Will can’t do it, he drops the gun and leaves Hannibal with his fridge door open and a new view of his “friend.”

We see the flashback of Miriam entering to question Hannibal way back when. The colors rush back and Jack is behind her as she enters. She’s here for therapy. As she looks over Hannibal’s drawings, she sees the Wound Man for a flash, though it’s only Hannibal’s portraiture, which she compliments. Jack interrupts their talking about the drawings, telling her about the message he received from her. She seems scared hearing her own voice, but she doesn’t remember.  Hannibal asks her if she’d like to try. He turns his light therapy on, hypnotizing her, asking her where she is, what she sees. Miriam recounts the cell phone message she left almost word for word. He asks her what the last thing she remembers was. She says “the Wound Man.”

Back with the Science Bros, they found a smudged print of Hannibal Lecter’s on a flower petal. It’s not leading them away like Will said, and Zeller mentions scopolomine and sodium amytal. Alana mentions that Gideon and Will both had those drugs used on them by Chilton, and Jack says that Gideon had told him he was looking in the wrong corner of the right box. Confused, Price and Zeller ask if they’re thinking Lecter or Chilton is the Ripper. Jack says to bring them both in.

Chilton opens the door to his home, puts his ipad down, and hears a beeping. It’s quickly evident that it’s a heart rate monitor, but why is it in his home and where is it coming from? He follows the noise downstairs as the heart rate flatlines. Cautiously, he opens the door to find Dr. Abel Gideon–or what’s left of him–dead. Both arms gone, both legs gone, and a few pieces of “steak” left. He runs up the stairs and trips over a trio of bags that weren’t there before. Chilton gets up, seeing Hannibal in his plastic Murder Suit. He drugs Chilton before he has a chance to run, and the FBI is at the door. Calmly, Hannibal says “one moment, please,” and opens the door as Chilton’s vision goes black.

When Chilton wakes up, he’s covered in blood, a gun in his hand, and a trail of blood leading him from his seat. Sad Clarinet Music follows us into his white kitchen, stained with red, and the bodies of the eviscerated FBI agents sit on his counter tops. One is even stabbed up like the Wound Man. He grabs his bags and drives straight…to Will Graham’s house? Still covered in blood, he asks to use his shower.

another FBI team is at Chilton’s house, talking about the deaths, how long it’s been since he left. Jack quickly makes the connection, that he has the same profile, that he would have everything he needed to know to be the Ripper, to victimize everyone he has. Chilton, showered, is shoving his things into his bag, talking to Will, angrily realizing he’s Lecter’s patsy. He wants to run, but Will says running would make him look guilty. Chilton counters, saying that Gideon was half-eaten in his guest room, he has corpses on his property, and Will just threw up an ear and didn’t run, but he looked plenty guilty. The dead people on his property tend to make the FBI shoot on sight. Will tries to fake that he’s going to prove Hannibal is guilty, Chilton says he’ll reintroduce himself once that’s done.

Chilton points a gun, saying no over and over again, but Will just laughs, telling him he’s not a killer. Jack shows up after Will called him. Will asks why he came alone, and Jack doesn’t have time for this, telling him the Ripper hasn’t played everyone as Will asserts, that he’s only played Will. Chilton runs, and Jack pursues until he can’t run anymore. Chilton gives himself up, willingly, saying “please.” And for the first time, the fannibals like him and don’t want bad to happen to him. That is good writing, turning one of the most hated characters from the books into someone we all like.

He’s being processed by Price and Zeller, and he says he needs to speak to Will Graham. Zeller, who believes the Ripper to be in front of him, the man who killed Beverly Katz, snaps “I don’t care what you need.” In the questioning room, Chilton looks pitiful in his orange jumpsuit, Alana questioning him. He tries to tell her this is all a ruse, but she believes what everyone else believes: that he’s the Ripper. She accuses him of using coercive therapy to influence Abel Gideon and Will Graham in false directions, away from him. He ignores it, telling her that she cannot see it and probably will not until it’s too late. He lawyers up, but Miriam starts to cry, the flashing memories we’ve seen now have a face: Chilton is the Ripper to her. She cries into Jack’s chest long enough to grab his gun and shoot through what should be bulletproof glass, shooting Chilton in the face.

Hannibal is at his office drinking wine, and he hears a knock on the door. Will has trimmed his hair, cleaned himself up, and says hello. Hannibal asks if he intends to point a gun at him, to which his response is “not tonight.” As he comes in, he asks if Hannibal was expecting anyone, and the response is “only you.” Will confesses he has to deal with him, and his feelings about him, and that it’s best if he does that correctly. Hannibal says they have to deal with what is lost, and what has changed. Will says he changed him. When Hannibal says the Ripper is over, Will talks about how it had to be Miriam, that she had to be compelled to take his life so that she could take her own back. Hannibal asks how he intends to take his own life back, and Will says he wants to resume his therapy, sitting down. This causes Hannibal to almost hesitate, sitting across from him. The episode closes with the question aimed at Will “Where shall we begin?”

Next week’s preview looks like it’s going to be even more intense, Will says he doesn’t want to kill Hannibal anymore, now that he finally finds him interesting. Will has gone dark, and it’s all part of his game to catch the Ripper. How will this new version of Will work out? How will Hannibal keep tugging at everyone’s hearts and bringing everyone closer to where it will hurt the most when he’s finally found out? We’ve got to wait and find out.

Hannibal’s “Su-Zakana” – I’ll have a marTEARni

Canon references abound in this episode, and new characters from the original source material are introduced. Also, Bryan Fuller gives new, grisly meaning to the word “Turducken.”

suzakana
(photo courtesy of NBC.com)
Will has taken Jack ice fishing in the middle of nowhere. He says he gets the attraction in summer, obviously freezing. They seem to be having a relatively good time, despite the freezing temperatures. Their lure conversation–how to get a fish who’s not hungry to bite their bait–has a definite double meaning, thinly veiled talk of hooking and landing obviously meant both about the fish they’re trying to catch and the Chesapeake Ripper.
It appears the fish they were catching are for a meal at Hannibal’s house. In beautifully grotesque fashion, Hannibal has cut and prepared the fish so that they’re eating themselves in near-ouroboros fashion. When the catch is complimented, Will says it was his turn to bring the meat, which prompts Hannibal to say he hopes they don’t still have doubts about what he serves at his table. They speak about Chilton as the supposed Ripper and eat the fish. Will looks angry that the fish is so tasty, and they seem to find camaraderie  in being the “only three who know what this feels like,” “this” being the whole situation with the Ripper, everything that has been happening.
Quick change to two men in a stable, one a vet here to see about a dead horse, the other the owner of the stable. The owner says she had a foal two days ago, born dead, and that she must still be pining for it. When the vet checks, however, he says it feels like she’s still pregnant and wonders if she might have had twins. Looking down at the horse corpse, he sees stitches, asking about what he thought was a C-section. The owner has no idea what he’s talking about, there was no C-section. So the doctor goes about cutting open the stitches, and we are treated to one of the most disgusting things we’ve ever seen as he finds something inside: A dead woman’s body.
Despite Hannibal having said he can no longer help the FBI, Jack has called him in on this case. The Science Bros say she was strangled before she was “enwombed,” prompting Hannibal to say that the horse was meant to be a chrysalis, that it was meant to be birth, not death. Jack, confused, tries to get more out of Hannibal, who can only offer up that they need someone who doesn’t think like anyone else to catch this killer, as he, too, thinks like no one even Hannibal has seen before.
A beautiful woman is slammed into a beautiful aquarium, her eyes open wide in pain as her unseen attacker says “You should have taken the chocolate, Margot,” and proceeds to take her tears and make them into a martini. Margot Verger, arm dislocated, is now Hannibal’s newest patient. She attacked her brother, the one who must have attacked her. He asks how her relationship has changed, her anger is still brimming as she says she’s calmed down. Hannibal notices that she seems to want to try again. They talk about the ethics of talking about murder within a therapy session, and Hannibal tells her it would have been more therapeutic for her if she had killed him, earning her trust slowly but surely.
Strange drumbeats and ethereal music plays over sheets and silhouettes of a couple in the midst of love-making, and it only takes a moment or two to see that it’s Hannibal and Alana. They lay together in bed afterwards, and they have yet another conversation about Will. It seems that’s all they can talk about. Hannibal says he wouldn’t change anything, not that they ended up here, not that Will is back in therapy. Alana says that letting Will back into therapy with him is stranger than the case the FBI is currently working on, and Hannibal points out that Will didn’t try to kill him to avenge Beverly’s death, but to prevent Alana’s. She fears he opened a door inside himself that he doesn’t know how to close, and Hannibal says that it’s good he’s back in therapy with a good therapist, then.
Meanwhile, at the BAU, we find that Sarah Krraber, our victim, was a horse groomer at the stables where her body was found. There wasn’t much to find on her evidence-wise, but Zeller notices that her throat is obstructed with soil, and when he pulls it out, a bit of her last breath lets out. Dropping it, Zeller picks it up, but as he speaks about the tests he’s going to do on it, he recoils in horror: the corpse has a heartbeat. Not believing him, Zeller checks and confirms, prompting Jack to also confirm. They cut her open, saw through her chest cavity, and open her up. Without warning, a live bird flies out from just beneath her right lung, it’s a starling, covered in blood.
Will goes back to his old habits, the fwum fwum noise of his pendulum sounds as he looks at the crime scene, recounting what the murderer did, not only to the dead body, but to the horse as well. It gets dirty as he recreates stuffing the poor woman into the horse’s womb, and the poor bird into the woman. The killer seems to think that the forces of death and biology will bring the lady back to life. Will spouts the profile of the man, that he knew the place, knew the horse, that he has medical knowledge of animals, but he’s not a vet, and that this wasn’t a murder, it was grief.
Jack and Will pull up to a barn-like place, knocking and setting the menagerie inside off. The animals tweet, bark and scream, and a soft-spoken man, Peter Bernardone, tells them that they scare them when they knock like that. He’s twitchy and he can’t look at them, just walking away as Jack advances, wondering why he doesn’t wonder who they are. He asks, and Jack explains why they’re there. Will says that there was a bird in her chest, and Peter’s first question is was the bird was alive, and who was taking care of the bird. He knew who Sarah was, but he didn’t know her. Jack pushes, asking him to take a look at the picture, and he holds his hand out behind him, taking the picture. When he looks, the camera shimmies, he can’t look for long before handing the picture back. Will asks, and Peter confirms, he was kicked in the head by a horse, which gave him an atypical motor response, he can’t touch and look at the same time, it’s more intense in stress. He’s sad for Sarah, sad for the horse, but he can only help the bird, and he’s worried about it. Outside, Will says he’s not sure Peter’s the killer, and that if he isn’t, he knows who is.
Will’s back in therapy with Hannibal, who speaks of Will being reborn. Will asks, snarkily, if that wasn’t the point of his therapy. He doesn’t have time for Hannibal’s lies and pretending, and he demands that he not lie to him. When Hannibal asks if he’ll return the courtesy, he asks if Will still thinks about killing him, to which the answer is yes. Hannibal asks how will he do it, Will’s response is with his hands, and that he has learned something about himself, that doing bad things to bad people makes him feel good. Hannibal needs to know if he’s going to try to kill him again. Will, quietly and almost scarily says “I don’t want to kill you Dr. Lecter, not now that I finally find you interesting.”
Will is outside in the cold dark at a crime scene, there’s bodies and holes all over the ground, FBI teams going over them for evidence. Zeller walks up to Will and apologizes. He has been the only one thus far to apologize, and they shake hands, wishing he been better about listening, about believing, that maybe Beverly would have been alive if he’d listened. Jack breaks up the apology party, saying that methane probes (a nod to Red Dragon) found the Sarah Kraber’s empty grave and 15 other bodies once they traced the dirt in her mouth to this area. That means Peter Bernardone knew about all of the graves.
In Hannibal’s office, it’s therapy time with Margot Verger. Her brother dehumanized her, and her family accepts that, but thinks that Margot is weird. Hannibal says that he’s weirder than she’ll ever be. Her brother has convinced her family that he’s been redeemed. He believes that her brother won’t stop, which makes her feel angry. She knows how to stop it from happening again, and Hannibal says “If you really want to kill your brother, wait until you get away with it, or find someone to do it for you.”
Though Will has been rather dark since getting out of prison, he sees the good in Peter, and he brings the Starling to his place so that he can see it. Peter worries that the bird is evidence and shouldn’t be there, to which Will assures him he’s not FBI, so it doesn’t matter. Peter says that he didn’t kill anyone, and Will wants to know how he found Sarah’s grave. He makes a mention about how at one point, all societies believed birds carried souls to the afterlife. When Peter says the bird speaks to him, he asks if the bird spoke to him before. Peter isn’t stupid, he knows that Will thinks he thinks the bird is Sarah, but he makes it plain that he knows Sarah is gone.  Will asks him to tell him who killed her. Peter nearly starts crying, he says he just wanted them to find him because if they could find Peter, they could find…him. Will figures out that someone who Peter trusted is the real killer, that Peter knows it, that he’d made him feel safe, but then Peter saw what he really was. Peter says no one will believe him, and Will assures that he’ll make sure they do.
We meet Clark Ingram, Peter’s case worker. He’s being interviewed by Alana, and he says he would have refused Peter’s case if he’d known what Peter was really like. He says he’s feeling inconvenienced, that his time is being wasted by being detained. Alana makes sure he understands he’s not being detained, he’s being interviewed. She asks if he thinks Peter was capable of murder. He says he’s not a psychiatrist. When he speaks about his feelings, he never mentions actual emotions, and says that he feels like he wants to leave if he’s not being detained. Will, watching on with Hannibal and Jack, says that he’s making a mistake when he says to let Mr. Ingram go, that Peter is psychologically disadvantaged, and that Mr. Ingram was in a perfect position to do so as his social worker. He mentions that he knows what it’s like to point at a killer and have no one believe him. Jack says he pointed in the wrong direction, and Hannibal’s reaction is unreadable, but Will’s is quiet, burning anger.
Back at Peter’s menagerie, he walks in, but something’s wrong. The cage doors are empty, all of his animals are gone. Fear builds as he runs through and sees that they’re all gone, the birds, the monkey, the dogs and rabbits, someone let them out. He goes into the stable, and he sees the horse that kicked him dead on the ground. He kneels before her and cries. Ingram appears, asking him what he’s done, talking about how he’s seen Peter showing a lot of rage recently. Peter is compromised, and Ingram talks as though Peter’s the killer, but Peter says that he killed those women, to which Ingram says “If I had killed them that would be because they weren’t worthy of me,” and that’s when he notices the bloody hammer in his hand.
Hannibal and Will are on the way to Peter’s place, and Hannibal wonders if Will saves Peter Bernardone, he thinks he can save himself. Will wonders what he needs saving from, and Hannibal’s response is “who you perceive me to be.” Hannibal says that Peter is in the same darkness that holds Will, who says that he’s alone in that darkness. “You’re not alone, Will, I’m standing right beside you,” Hannibal says. They arrive, and they know something is instantly off as they see the empty cages.
When they walk into the stable, they see Peter sewing the dead horse’s chest cavity up. “Is your social worker in that horse?” Will askss, and even Hannibal has to look confused. Peter says yes. He says he used to have a horrible fear of hurting anything, but that he helped him get over that, that he feels so abnormal. Hannibal ofers that an abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal. Peter says he thinks Ingram deserves to die, but Will tells Peter that he didn’t deserve to kill him and takes him away from the horse. Hannibal seems to follow but stops.
Back in the empty cage room, Will tries to understand why he killed Ingram. Peter thinks he hates Ingram, and Will envies his hate, saying that it makes it easier when he knows how to feel. That confuses Peter, “makes what easier?” He didn’t kill his social worker, he just wanted him to feel what it was like to suffocate. Fingers appear out of the horse’s belly as Mr. Ingram pulls himself out of the horse’s belly. Hannibal, petting a lamb, turns around and isn’t sure what to feel. When Ingram, in a rage, grabs the hammer and turns, he warns him that he better crawl back inside if he knows what’s good for him, sidestepping to show Will behind him with a gun.
Ingram tries to say that he’s the victim, thinking Will’s an officer. Will says that he’s Peter’s friend. Rage overtakes him as he points the gun at Ingram, prepared to kill him. Hannibal steps in, telling him he can’t do this for Peter, that he did what he could to help him, but that he can’t do this. If he’s going to kill, he needs to do it for himself. Will cocks the gun, and just at the last second, Hannibal puts his hand on it, his thumb between the hammer so the gun can’t fire. Ingram crumbles, and Hannibal takes the gun, looking at will. He says that he couldn’t ever entirely predict what Will would become. He’s smiling as he says that he can whisper to the chrysalis, he can do allthese things, but once the butterfly hatches, its nature is beyond him. They’re close, he’s touching Will, hand on his face, and Will looks at him closely, and the scene closes with them looking as though they’re about to kiss. Hannibal having bared as much of his soul as we’ve seen this entire series.
Next week’s animalistic killer and more mounting suspicions on Hannibal seem poised to rend us apart. I can only hope we’ll be ready.

Hannibal’s “Shiizakana” – Sink your teeth in

This week’s episode of Hannibal took a trip to the pseudo-fantastical with their killer of the week, and Will’s mind continues its steady decline into darkness.

shiizakana
(Curteousy of NBC.com)
The episode opens with Will having tied Hannibal to a tree. He says he wants Hannibal to admit what he is, and Hannibal counters that Will’s still refusing to admit the one growing inside himself. With a whistle, the ropes around his neck tighten: The ravenstag is hooked to the ropes, ready to walk away and tighten them more. Hannibal gives a wonderful speech about being able to see those that they love, and helping their beloved to express their potential. Will steps forward, saying “I promised you a reckoning. Here it is.” Hannibal has turned into the Wendigo, and as the Ravenstag pulls tighter, a spray of blood erupts and Will wakes from his dream.
Hannibal is making omelettes for dinner with Jack and himself. He tells Jack that he remembers his time in Granada with this dish, and that he frescoed the walls of his mind–a clear mention of the memory palace. They talk of forgetting, and Hannibal wants to know what Jack’s trying to forget. Jack wants to forget that he doubted Will, and Hannibal mentions that he can no longer discuss him with Jack because he is officially his patient.
It’s night at a truck stop, and a trucker walks to his cab over a long frozen expanse. Once in, he sips his coffee and is prepared to get back on the road when something jumps on his truck. He takes a light stick and looks under and around the truck, finding nothing, and as he turns to open the door again, that something grabs him and starts ripping him apart. All we see as the camera pans up to the moon is a hideous skull, rending the man apart.
A flashback to the gun pointed at Clark Ingram, Peter’s social worker. It’s therapy time, and as Hannibal and Will speak about regrets, it becomes clear that Will regrets not having been allowed to pull the trigger and kill Mr. Ingram, he regrets that he let Hannibal stop him. The tension is high as Will seems barely able to contain his anger, and Hannibal has to hide his true intentions, telling him he has to adapt his behavior to avoid feeling the same way again. He asks Will to close his eyes and imagine the version of events he wouldn’t have regretted. We see him pull the trigger and shoot Mr. Ingram in the head, but when he opens his eyes, he tells Hannibal that he saw a missed opportunity to feel like he felt when he thought he’d killed Hannibal; to feel a quiet sense of power.
As Hugh walks out of the office, Margot approaches, saying he looks familiar, notes that he must be a patient. Will plays it off and says that he’s the guy who didn’t kill all those people and leave. Now we watch Margot’s session. Hannibal asks if her morality gauge twitches when she sees her brother. Her response is no, she doesn’t see basic human traits, she dehumanizes him as much as he does to her. She says that her brother is definitely less human, and Hannibal calls her less human for that. She derails and changes the subject, wondering out loud what sort of treatment was prescribed to him. When Hannibal asks what she imagines, she thanks him for the support in her wish to kill her brother, and wonders what sort of things he would support Will doing. She asks what kind of psychiatrist he is, and when he dodges the answer by saying she’s had him checked out, she knows what kind of psychiatrist he is, her response is a chilling, “I’m beginning to.”
At the scene of the truck driver’s murder, Will, Jack, and Hannibal (In a rather ludicrous looking fur ushanka), and Will wonders why they’re getting involved in an animal attack. Jack’s response is that someone is holding the leash to whatever’s doing the killing. Price and Zeller say it was probably a bear or wolf, but Will points out that they drag their prey off to eat it. This prompts finding out that nothing here was eaten, everything is accounted for, the man was just ripped apart. Hannibal points out rabid animals attack and don’t eat while Jack and Will say that the animal is becoming adapted to more urban areas, that he’ll kill again, and that this bloodsport is far from over.
Will takes the case file to his new friend and animal expert, Peter Bernardone, in the psychiatric facility he’s been placed in for an opinion on what could have done it.  When he asks whether it was a wolf or a bear, he notices a rat in Peter’s sleeve, who he introduces as Kevin, asking him not to stare so the orderlies don’t notice. Peter identifies the bites as both bears and wolves. You can train them, though it takes a long time, and they can be trained to hunt together or hunt as each other. He says that with the right amount of time, he could even train Will, who says that friendships like that keep you on your toes. Peter tells him that animals have friendships just like humans, that they’re the same, and asks Will not to blame the animals, as man is the only creature that kills just to kill.
A slow pan over tools and animal parts, we watch hands putting teeth into a skull. This grotesque workshop is where the killer makes a horrific contraption. He puts a wide stick into the jaw and pushes a button, clamping the jaws shut and shattering the stick. From the back, it appears to be something with straps, something to be worn.
In what appears to be some sort of park at night, a couple laughs near a fireplace, walking around, watching them through the jaws of the skull, the killer gallops towards them, attacking the man first, tearing him limb from limb–literally. As the woman flees, the man’s arm is ripped off. Before she gets too far, she falls, and as she fearfully turns around, the last thing she sees is the manimal’s jaw close in on her, sending her blood spattering over the snow.
The scene during the day is grisly, blood covers the ground, and the bodies are torn apart around Will and Jack. As he takes a breath, Will’s pendulum swings and starts reversing the clock, undoing the carnage. He stands where we saw the manimal, assuming the killer’s position, but next to him is the ravenstag. Instead of describing the scene to us as we’re used to, he only utters one word: Kill. The Ravenstag lunges at them and does exactly what he was told. As they scream, we see horns, but attached to them is now Will, covered in blood and looking like a triumphant animal over his fresh kills. He tells them it’s not an animal, it’s a man who wants to be one. Jack asks him what he wants, why he’s doing this, and the answer is that he wants to maul. This isn’t personal, these people are just meat. This sort of psychosis isn’t something that just slips through the cracks, Jack notes, someone will have record of this somewhere. If it is psychosis, Will says, then he’s tamed it, gotten inside of it and made it a suit, that this killer is a student of predators.
Therapy this week seems a lot less formal, as Will is leaning on his desk. Hannibal says that no beast is more savage than man. This killer is not provoked by rage, it’s provoked by a more animalistic instinct. The way any animal thinks depends on limitations of mind and body. Hannibal says that if we learn our limitations too soon, we never learn our power. This killer, though, has learned it, or, well, claimed it as Hannibal says. He brings the conversation around to the fact that Will fantasizes about killing him with his hands, and asks if that would be a more satisfying way to kill him than pulling a trigger. He asks if he felt like Matthew’s hands were his hands, and tells Will that he was hiding behind the gun the first time he tried to kill him, telling him that he needs to become intimate with his feelings.
At the BAU, the bite marks are matched as a Cave Bear and a dire wolf, but both those animals have been extinct for thousands of years. Jack worries that the barrier between human and animals are much too thin sometimes. Hannibal shows up and is asked about this sort of psychosis. Species dysphoria like this, he says, often comes along with a lot of other conditions, such as mood disorders, clinical depression, or schizophrenia. Sometimes these do not present at all, that he could build a bridge between what how he appears to be and what he now knows he’s become. Jack says he didn’t build a bridge, he built a suit. When Jack asks if he has seen anything like this before, Hannibal has to be careful, as he treated a teen who had what he categorized as an identity disorder, that in moments of clarity he understood himself as an animal born into the body of the man. When asked what his needs would be with such a disorder, Hannibal’s only response is “savagery.”
At the Museum of National History, Hannibal visits a young man, Randal Tier (which means “Animal” or “Beast” in German), who was the teen he treated long ago. They have a short conversation about their first therapy session, that Randall had been terrified about telling Hannibal what was wrong with him, but that he had made it easy. Hannibal notes that Randall has come so far from where he was when he treated him. He compliments Randall’s progress, knowing full well that this man is the manimal who is killing and dismembering these people. When he says he knows what he’s done, Randall asks what that is supposed to be. Hannibal says he bore screams, and he wonders what clings to him now, as that crying boy is no longer there. A poetic description of gore, which Hannibal calls beautiful, prompts him to tell Randall that they’re looking for him, and that when they find him, he must do exactly as Hannibal says.
Jack and Will have shown up the next day, while the museum is open. Randall is asked if he put all the bones together, and what some of the bones are. When he points out the cave bear, Randall quickly covers his tracks and mentions that cave bears are a quite common fossil, thousands of them have been found all over southern Europe. Jack brings up his troubled past, immediately alerting him to their suspicions of him. Randall tells them that he takes his medication, socializes, has a job, and that his mental illness is under control, that it’s treatable.
The dogs bark as a car pulls up to Will’s house. Margot has somehow found out where he lives and wants to come in for a cup of whiskey. When he asks why the heir to the Verger meat packing empire is there, Margot makes it plain that her brother is the heir, not her, due to her being female and having romantic ideations that the family doesn’t accept. Eventually, she tells him that she’s there for a character reference on Hannibal. She questions the therapy, telling Will that her private carnage, the reason she’s in therapy, is that she tried to kill her brother. When she asks Will the same question, he tells her he tried to murder Hannibal. She wonders if he had it coming, and says that they have similar issues, and she tells Will that Hannibal’s advice on the murder of her brother was “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.”
Will comes to therapy and wonders what it would be like if Lecter’s patients began comparing notes, giving the example of Randall Tier. Hannibal asks what he did say to Will, knowing that the FBI has questioned them, and shows very little response when he’s told that Randall considers himself a success story, that he’s doing much better. Will says that Hannibal can be persuasive, wondering how many patients had been like Randall and himself, and Hannibal gives a glib answer, so Will ramps it up a notch. He tells Hannibal that Dr. DuMaurier visited him in the hospital, that she had said she believed Will. Hannibal has little time for this, telling him the truth when asked–that he did not kill her. Hannibal is questioned about what he thinks about when he thinks about killing, and he launches into a short explanation, he collects church collapses, and that if God is out there, he loves the carnage. Typhoid and swans all come from the same place. Will asks if Randall Tier believes in God, and Hannibal tells him to have a more personal conversation with the man, ask him what he believes. we cut to Randall putting on his manimal suit carefully, a truly horrifying creature, as the music gets ominous.
It’s dark outside, at night, and Hannibal is encouraging Randall, who is prepared to become himself entirely. He tells him that the beast is his higher self, and to revel in what he is, and that’s when we see that he’s outside Will’s house. The dogs bark and claw at the door, noting something amiss, and when Will opens it, one of his dogs–Buster–runs out after whatever he smells, yiping in pain once he’s off screen. Will grabs a coat and his shotgun and charges out after his dog, on the offensive. The snow is deep, but the trail is easy to follow. Buster is injured, lying in the snow whimpering, and will picks him up after checking his wounds. He knows the manimal is there, but he can’t see it, and runs back to the house as quickly as he can, the manimal in hot pursuit. Will slams the door behind him , putting Buster in his bed and turning off all the lights. He backs into the darkness and waits. He is not scared, he is prepared. Tension mounts as part of the Requiem plays, and the manimal bursts in through his window.
At Hannibal’s home, he opens the doors to his dining room to find Will standing at the far end of the table, and Randall lays dead upon the wood. Will says that this makes them even, he sent someone to kill Hannibal, and Hannibal has now done the same. They’re even Steven. Hannibal merely nods.
Next week, the duo have to take care of Randall, and of the injuries Will sustained, how are they going to cover this up? Or are they? The preview leaves so many questions, and we can only wait until Friday to find out.

Hannibal’s “Futamuno” – Eat your heart out

Oh my, this episode was CRAZY. Read at your own risk, HUGE SPOILERS for a HUGE PLOT THING below.

Eddie and hannibal

(photo courtesy of NBC.com)

We open on a slow pan up a harpsichord, and we see Hannibal playing a tune, it appears he’s composing himself. He looks good, dressed down as he writes in nothing but a button-up shirt. We don’t really tarry long at Chez Lecter, though, because Jack Crawford is angry.

Will and Jack need to have a conversation due to Lecter’s near-death experience. Jack accuses Will, and Will turns it back on Jack, trying to get him to understand that Hannibal is, in fact, the Chesapeake Ripper, and a cannibal, and that nothing he did from within his cell got Matthew Brown to try to kill Hannibal. He discusses the Ripper’s motivations and makes some very convincing points to Jack about the Ripper being a cannibal, and states that “if the Ripper’s killing again, Hannibal Lecter is going to have a dinner party.” Jack seems conflicted, obviously. Does he trust a man he considered his friend who is currently in prison for multiple murders? Or does he trust the man who saved his wife’s life and whose life he recently saved?

Back at Chez Lecter, Hannibal gives a speech about the heart to Alana Bloom as he cuts one up for skewers for a dinner. She helps him skewer the meat as he confides in her that he’s been having nightmares due to his near death experience. She offers to listen to his problems, since she knows how bad being her own psychiatrist is. He counters by saying he’s composing a new piece and tells her he needs to get his appetite back as loudly implied cannibalism runs rife across the screen.

He picks a name from his large rolodex of business cards, a city councilman, and through a strange flower blooming montage, we are taken to the scene of the councilman’s body, expertly posed as the trunk of a tree, his chest cavity filled with flowers in the shape and location of where his organs should be. Zeller and Price tell us that the victim is literally grafted into the tree, the roots are running throughout the victim’s body. Jack notes that whoever this man is, he’s toxic, as the flower-organs are all composed of poisonous flowers.

It’s evening, Jack comes to check on his friend, and Lecter pours the brandy as they sit in front of the fireplace. Jack talks about a pattern in the Ripper cases, and Hannibal confides that he has realized he can’t help or trust Will, that it’s not safe to stand with him anymore. He interrupts Jack talking about the Ripper to tell him that he has to let this all go, he can no longer dwell on death after his experience. He says that they both have to transform their misfortunes into life enhancing events. When asked how he intends to do that, Hannibal says he’s going to be hosting a dinner party. The look of suspicion on Jack’s face is high, but he says he’ll attend.

At the hospital, it appears that Abel Gideon and Will Graham are cellmates, both leaning against the wall talking to each other. Will has an almost predatory vibe about him as he speaks, but Gideon isn’t deterred or afraid. Will tells Gideon that he’s been stamped with an expiration date. It seems like Will is being almost a little too blatant. Gideon seems fed up and done with Will’s little game, describing Hannibal’s dining room and the events of his meeting with Lecter last season, saying that he’ll tell Jack everything if Will tells him why Hannibal did it. Again we hear the oft-uttered line, “Because he wanted to see what would happen.”

Cut to Jack’s office, and Chilton playing a recording of the conversation we just saw to Jack. Jack, of course, says that Abel Gideon is a lunatic, that Will could have told him what Hannibal’s dining room looked like, but Chilton, recorder of everything, says that no such conversation took place. He seems to be the first one starting to suspect that Hannibal is a cannibal, bringing up the dinner of tongue he shared where Hannibal made a joke about eating his. Jack is still skeptical, that Will is delusional, but he does say that the Ripper’s killing again, and Hannibal’s having a dinner party. In rare form, we see Chilton actually flex his intelligence and psychiatric degree, telling Jack he fits the profile, that cannibalism is an act of dominance.

Back at his home, Hannibal is still working on the piece  of music he’s composing, it appears that he’s having a little trouble, there’s concern on his face, he hesitates, and he even crosses out a note or two on his composition. An odd transition, where cherry blossoms bloom on the notes of his paper transition us into the BAU where Zeller and Price are cutting the tree off the body.

Zeller lists off how the body is indicative of the Ripper, the organs were cut out pre-mortem, and the posing done before rigor set in. The clue that tree man gives them is in the diatoms. Before death, the victim was standing in water for quite a long while, perhaps to water the tree. Price tells us that the diatoms–single celled organisms–in the water can be traced back to the source, that no two water sources have the same diatom population.

Jack’s decided to take a walk in the woods with Alana and Will’s dogs. The dogs run happily through the fallen leaves as Alana talks about conspiracy theories. She notes that she’s known Hannibal longer than anyone else in the show before talking about Will. That he’s manipulating, he’s not scared anymore, and he’s dangerous.

Will has another hallucination of growing a large set of antlers from his back, but he isn’t scared as he was the last time we saw this happen, he simply allows it to happen. His hallucination is cut short when he opens his eyes and bids Dr. Lecter hello. Hannibal says he feels like he’s been watching their friendship on a split-screen, what he perceived, and the truth on the other. Will strikes back, the barbs and sarcasm are high.  He counters Hannibal’s accusation of lying with sarcasm and the mention that he had a role in Beverly Katz’s death and should be angry at himself by saying no, he is only angry at the one who caused her death. Hannibal says that he thinks Will is more in control now than he has ever been, and he wonders how many more people will be hurt. He leaves saying he’ll give Alana his best, and Will seems a bit unsure of what to do, he didn’t end with the upper hand.

A classical montage with business cards, hearts, and beautiful presentation of heart tartare, beef roulade, wagyu beef and prosciutto roses follows as Hannibal prepares for his dinner party. As horrible as we’re all feeling for this, we can’t help but think it looks beautiful and delicious. Everything looks that way, until we see the four new bodies in the BAU labs.

Abel Gideon trudges back to his cell where Chilton is waiting for him. He prods him, wondering if everything was put back where he found it. Chilton lets him know that the nurse he’d killed was well liked, and that Jack wants to have a word with him. Up in the therapy cases, Frederick describes him as a pure sociopath. Gideon says that that term hasn’t been used since 1968. Jack asks if he has any information about the Ripper, why he was at Hannibal’s home as he told Will. Ever playing the game, Abel says he never set foot in Lecter’s home, that he only met the man a week ago, and that Dr. Chilton told him what his dining room looked like. He goes on to say that Will is keen to believe that Hannibal is the Ripper, that Dr. Chilton did little to dissuade him, and that Chilton encouraged him to do the same.

Time apparently wasted, Jack is led out by Chilton, but not before Gideon mentions that he hired a nurse who had experience in hospitals as a patient. This patient/nurse went to kill Hannibal at Will’s request, and Gideon makes it known that he’s got the “right box” but he’s looking in the wrong corner for the true killer. While being led back to his cell, Gideon makes the mistake of running his mouth to the guards, who proceed to beat him and throw him off the staircase. He lands hard on the security cage, and it doesn’t look good for his survival.

Chez Lecter is beginning his party, and it’s much bigger than the banquet from last season, we’re treated to a view of his living room, outfitted with wait staff and a trio of string players. Jack walks in, suspicious, watching everyone eat the meaty(potentially people-y) hors d’oeuvres. Everyone including Alana Bloom. Chilton seems out of place with the food. He and Jack have a bit of a conversation about the suspicions surrounding Hannibal. In true Chilton fashion, he’s only shown up to avoid suspicion on himself. He doesn’t do a very good job of hiding it. Jack takes a to-go plate of food to the BAU and asks Zeller and Price to test it, garnering confused looks from them both.

Back in the Beautiful Living Room, Alana has stayed after and is playing chopsticks on Hannibal’s harpsichord. He jests that she’s solved the end of his composition. The fact that Jack is treating Hannibal like a suspect bothers Alana, and they both speak about having walked away from Will, that she can’t forgive what he did to Hannibal. He asks “What does walking away leave us?” and Alana says “each other.” She makes the first move, and we see Hannibal be romantic for one of the first times ever. They kiss, and before we know it, we’re in bed with them. It seems to be post, and as Hannibal snaps over her face to see if she’s indeed out like a light, he gets up, rubs the glass clean, and goes about the work he’s set for himself. But not before tucking Alana in to make sure she sleeps soundly.

We go to a real hospital now, and Abel Gideon is alive, but he doesn’t look very good, hooked up to a bunch of stuff. The curtains around him blow in an unforeseen breeze as a doctor opens them. It’s Hannibal, oh goody. This doesn’t bode well for our second favorite serial killer. The guard has been eviscerated and Gideon is nowhere to be seen. It appears that the Ripper found Gideon. We don’t know what he found him for yet, though.

Alana wakes up, and it appears that Hannibal is awake. She offers a morbid thought about funerals and how they make people want sex. Hannibal agrees that it was funeral sex, even though no one has died, they buried Will. She says it’s liberating to have finally let him go. The doorbell rings, and Hannibal jokingly mentions the last time someone rang it that early it was a census taker. As he goes to check who it is, we see a Hannibal Rising mention in the Japanese armor having a place of honor towards the exit to his bedroom. It appears that Jack needs to talk to Hannibal. Jack talks about Gideon’s “escape,” and that he couldn’t have left on his own, his back was broken. He accuses Hannibal by asking his whereabouts, and if there was anyone else who could verify. Alana pops in at the right time to be his alibi, and Hannibal looks a bit offended at Jack’s accusations.

Cue another cooking montage. It’s big this time, looks like a leg loin, probably supposed to be pork, but it’s obviously human. We’re not sure whose it is as he seasons, stuffs, wraps, and covers it in clay before putting it in the oven. “Rôti de cuisse”(I believe I got the pronunciation right.) Clay roasted thigh.  It appears Gideon is his guest, on an IV, and he refuses to look at the dish while Hannibal gives a speech about coming from clay and returning to clay. He asks if he should cut, Gideon says he already has. The camera pans and we see that Dr. Gideon is missing one of his legs. He’s on the menu. Gideon has a T4 fracture of the vertebrae, which means his limbs are useless.

Lecter intends Gideon to be his own last supper, and he asks how one politely refuses a dish like this in circumstances such as these. Hannibal simply says “one doesn’t.” Gideon takes a bite, ominous music plays as he swallows, albeit a bit unhappily. “My compliments to the chef…”

Back at the BAU, the food from Lecter’s home aren’t people! But the lures are filled with people-bits, people-bits from all of the murders Will was accused of. And one other bit. Medrona bark. It appears that the ripper has left a piece of that specifically so Jack et al will go looking where these trees are kept. Jack shows up, at night, alone, but we’re treated to the end of Hannibal’s composition, so it doesn’t appear that anything terrible is going to happen to the head of the BAU. Jack explores the dilapidated cabin, finding two large well-like structures. He pulls open the first one to find it empty, but he knows he has to keep looking. Hannibal’s composition–both harpsichord and circumstantial, is coming to a climax. the second well is opened, and as Hannibal satisfyingly hits the final note, Jack uncovers Miriam Lass, alive and looking well–except for her missing arm.

Who knows what we’re in for next week? All we know is that this exonerates Will and frees him, and things are about to get a whole lot more interesting for everyone involved.

Hannibal’s “Mukozuke” – It’ll Leave You Hanging

WARNING! SPOILERS FOR SEASON 2, EPISODE 5 BELOW

 

So far, I’ve been able to keep a rather detached tone in my review of the show through these recaps, I’ve been keeping them broad. This week,  I can’t keep my writing as detached. This has been, by far, one of the most emotional episodes of the entire series, and there’s lots to talk about and I think I’m not the only one who feels personally affected by it. We lost a major character, and the entire episode is filled with a multitude of different tensions.

 

The episode opens on a juxtaposition of Hannibal (incredibly dressed down in a cozy sweater) preparing a breakfast of crawfish, eggs, and meat, with the preparation of the prison slop being served to Will at breakfast. Hannibal has a guest: Jack Crawford. He hasn’t slept, he’s been up all night with his wife at the hospital. Hannibal deftly explains that he couldn’t do what Bella had asked of him; as a doctor his choice to save Bella was clear, but as a philosopher, he had many options. He makes it a point to tell Jack that it wasn’t just what he could do for Bella, but what he couldn’t do to Jack; He couldn’t let this happen to him. He tries to come off as humble and self-deprecating, “I guess I’m a better friend than a therapist,” and Jack makes the mistake of trusting him too much, “You’re a great friend, Hannibal.” And that’s just where Lecter wants him.

Freddie Lounds is at the observatory again: the same one at which Miriam’s arm was found, and the same place Freddie helped keep Frederick Chilton alive after Abel Gideon got his hands into him. We find out later in the episode that she’d received an anonymous call to lead her there. She pulls a gun as she climbs the stairs, not knowing what she’s going to find. As her face turns to revulsion, she grabs her camera to take a few shots. We don’t quite see what she sees, it’s not yet time for the reveal.

Jack’s been called, and Freddie heads him off at the pass. In a surprisingly caring moment, Freddie warns Jack, “Have someone else go, Jack, she’s one of yours.” Even though many people seem to dislike Freddie Lounds, she is a human being and she does have scruples. Beverly Katz is dead. She’s been sliced up like bread and preserved between sheets of acrylic like a Body World exhibit. Half of her is still clothed in the outfit she died in, and the rest of her is spread out in a line across the observatory’s top floor. After last week, I thought I would have a hard time accepting this death. This one stung, it created a bit of a rift in the fandom (mostly on Tumblr) for having killed a woman of color, but in the end, this was one of the most beautiful crime scenes I’ve seen on the show. She was an important character, and she was given an important, beautiful presentation in death. Perhaps it shows the respect the Ripper has for her, but either way, I was almost comforted by the presentation.

Jack’s voice follows us as he speaks first to her comrades in arms, Zeller and Price (whose reactions are heartbreaking), then to the BAU at large, and then to Will. Will sits across from Jack and Alana, seeing a visage of Beverly as he tries to wrap his head around his friend’s death. “I want to see her,” he says. Jack understands, and perhaps more than most, wants to catch whoever did this, so he trots his pony out to interpret the evidence. Due to the hospital rules, he’s wrapped up like an S&M Christmas present, strapped up in so many bindings that he can’t do much more than blink.

Once upstairs, Jack clears the room and takes a risk by undoing all of Will’s restraints, letting him walk free. He even leaves the room to let him interpret the evidence. It takes him a second as Will is overcome with emotion. He hears Beverly’s voice, telling him to interpret the evidence, and that is what steels him for his task. As he does so, speaking of how he strangles Beverly Katz (perhaps a important narrative detail, as when he interprets, he doesn’t use names), and that she knew her killer. The killer watches her die, freezes her, and cuts her “like stone” to preserve her. At this point, he sees the Wendigo (or Man Stag) behind the acrylic portions. “She found something,” he says, almost making eye contact with the creature-figment. It’s painful, but he knows just who killed her.

Finished with his interpretation, Jack asks him questions — picks Will’s brain. The pause when Jack has asks him who the Ripper is is so indicative of so many things. Will knows he can’t just tell Jack it’s Hannibal, that he won’t believe him, and even if he did, he would be putting Jack in harm’s way. Having just heard that he was at the hospital last night with his wife, he can’t wish more harm on the man who is being beaten down at every step right now. He tells him that Beverly made her connection to the Ripper, and that he’ll have to make his own. Jack wonders aloud why he brought him here, to which Will’s response is a heartbreaking “To say goodbye.”

Back at the hospital, Chilton has Will in a therapy cage again. Will ignores Chilton when he asks him if he wants to talk about what happened at the observatory. Will is more concerned with the fact that Chilton shared his treatment information with Hannibal he agreed that he would not. Chilton wonders what Beverly spoke about, since they’d met in the privacy room (the only room in the facility he’s not legally allowed to listen in on). Chilton admits to Will that he was wrong about Gideon being the Ripper. He acknowledges that the Ripper is an intelliegent man, with a surgeon’s training, and it’s clear to Will that the wheels in Chilton’s mind are spinning. Will then sets about stroking Chilton’s ego, telling him that he might be able to catch the real Chesapeake Ripper, and posits a little game: both Will and Chilton should say the name of the person they think is the true Ripper at the same time and see if it’s the same name.

Zeller and Price flank Jack as they stare at the pieces of Beverly. He tells them they don’t need to do this, that they should be allowed to grieve. The anger and wish for retribution is apparent on Zeller’s face as Price’s just seems sad, “We’re not running away from this, Jack. Beverly wouldn’t,” he says. Doing an autopsy based on Will’s mention that someone else may be a part of that beautiful crime scene, Zeller finds that the kidneys were the Muralist’s, meaning whoever killed him, killed Beverly, and if they can find her kidneys, they can find her killer.

They will, of course, be thwarted in that, because Hannibal has already created a beautiful dinner using her kidneys, a meat tart, complete with a small, edible version of Will’s face mask. He smiles as he eats his dinner, as we all scream at the screen and curse him. Of course he won’t let them  find her kidneys, that would deprive him of a good meal.

Abel Gideon is back, alive, and no really worse for the wear it seems, as Will and he get to chit-chat about the Ripper. One of the best lines is delivered by Will. Gideon calls him “Mr. Graham” and he counters with “You can call me Will, now that we’re of equal social standing.” It’s delivered with such distaste. Gideon just seems to be having fun, getting to talk to the man who nearly killed him a few months ago. He sits in his therapy cage facing Will, while Will faces the front wall, barely glancing at him. Gideon seems squirmy, but oh so intrigued with why he’s back under the care of the man he disemboweled, and he can’t wait to get to the meat of the conversation. He also wonders what Will gets out of this strange deal.

Finally, Will turns to him and they talk, remembering the night he took Gideon hostage and brought him to Hannibal’s home. He tells Gideon that the Ripper sent Will to kill him, which is countered by “you were quite happy to try to kill me yourself. You have it in you, as they say.” The ultimatum is leveled, “If you want to catch the Ripper, you’ll have to kill him.” Will takes the advice of a confirmed psychopath with the chilling response “Fair enough,” and the show kicks into a higher gear.

Coming back from the commercial, Chilton and his gilded pity cane (so-called by Fuller on Twitter) have payed Hannibal a visit in his office. Hannibal pours brandy and asks Frederick why on Earth he’s brought Gideon back to the Baltimore Hospital after what he did to him. We finally see Chilton prod Hannibal when its pointed out that Frederick is keeping his misdeeds under his own roof, Frederick response “my misdeeds or yours?” which gives Hannibal pause. Another blow is dealt as Chilton says he’s picking up the pieces of Will Graham and trying to put his brain back together after Hannibal supposedly failed. Such a wound to his ego won’t go unanswered, Hannibal points out that Chilton’s analyzed his patient, and that he should be allowed the same by interviewing Abel Gideon.

Now there’s the Clash of the proverbial Titans as Lecter and Gideon meet in much better circumstances than at gunpoint. Another great gem of a line now, “Our brains devote more space to reading the details of faces than any other object… dare I say I’ve never seen yours before.” Hannibal introduces himself as though Will never showed up with Gideon in tow, and Gideon plays along(presumably for both their own egos, and for the fact that Chilton is assuredly listening.) We get to watch Chilton squirm as he’s referenced.

Outside, with who knows how much of the conversation between Gideon and Hannibal left to our imaginations, Freddie Lounds is snapping pics of Lecter coming out of the hospital, rudely. When she notes that he seems disappointed, Hannibal says “We evolved the ability to communicate disappointment to teach those around us good manners.” It seems that Freddie has been called in to interview Will, at Will’s request, a fact which Hannibal finds hard to believe.

Barney’s “don’t do this or that” speech to Clarice is delivered by the orderly bringing Freddie to Will, making many fannibals squeal in delight, myself included. Freddie even gets one of Clarice’s lines. Will says his admirer is a fan of Freddie’s type of journalism. He wants to bait the admirer, to find out who he is specifically, and to establish a line of communication. Using TattleCrime.com is a very blatant ode to Red Dragon, one that will hopefully play out brilliantly. But of course, Freddie has a price. She wants exclusive rights to Will’s story. He unexpectedly agrees, showing us that he really is desperate to find this admirer. Of course, Hannibal reads the article and has a micro-smirk. I’m not entirely sure why, but perhaps because he’s proud of Will’s choices, and the line to the admirer is also a bit of a warning to Hannibal as well.

The Admirer happens to be the orderly we’ve seen lurking about the screen most of the day, He’s un-wired Chilton’s eavesdropping mics to allow himself a chance to talk to Will privately, revealing himself and all but gushing about how much he likes Will’s brand of alleged murder. When asked why he’s trying to help him, he gives a speech about smaller birds mobbing hawks to bring them down, likening himself and Will to hawks. Will points out that hawks are solitary, to which the orderly counters “imagine if the hawks started working together.” He asks why Will wanted to talk to him, what the favor is.

“I want you to kill Hannibal Lecter.” The orderly(Matthew Brown, according to Fuller on Twitter) just smiles a bit and walks away with his task. It seems that Gideon’s cell is right next to Will’s, and he assuredly overheard that, something may come of him holding that knowledge, we’ll have to wait and see. We’re treated to Will having a Black Swan-esque moment as he seems to grow a host of antlers out of his back. He’s snapped out of his nightmare-fuel by Alana, a look of concern evident on her face.

She’s worried about Will, he hates Freddie, and his interview is out of character for him. She councils him on grief over Beverly, and wonders if he wants to do something in retaliation, because of his feeling of helplessness and inability to do anything to save Beverly. That worries Alana, “Will, what did you do?” the even more troubling response is “What I had to do.” As she leaves, she notices that Gideon is back, though he’s in a much more high security cell than before, one with a metal door and only a small slat to see through.  Before she can digest that fact, Chilton ambushes her, wondering why the most sinister neurochemistry in the field reacts to her so much. She asks to talk to him and Chilton can’t resist.

Alana doesn’t hold back with Gideon, who disparages that Will was a poor shot and sick. She reminds him that he got a shot into him before he could get a blade into her, and Gideon actually says he’s grateful for that. When she asks how he knew where he lived, he evades the question by saying a ‘little birdie’ wanted him to find her. So much has happened to Will that he has become a changed man, says Gideon. Alana still holds hope that he’s looking for redemption, but Gideon corrects her and says that he’s looking for revenge. She starts putting the pieces together as Gideon says that, for the courtesy she’s always shown him, he’s going to give her a gift, a chance to save Will from himself. Gideon gets a bit of a redemption here as he tells her that Hannibal Lecter is in danger.

And now to the scene that tumblr has been awaiting for weeks: The pool scene. Hannibal is swimming at night, and Matthew Brown has seen fit to join him. Matthew, tattooed and be-speedoed, swims a bit, but gets out of the pool and tranquilizes Hannibal, who sees his face and tries to pull the dart out before he passes out and sinks like a rock.

Oh no, what’s going to happen? Commercial!! The twitter-verse explodes into shock as we wait to find out what Matthew is going to do to Hannibal. Alana looks harried as they look through Hannibal’s office, not finding him, and not finding anything on his calendar. Jack asks what she thinks Will’s done, and the FBI calls to say there’s a trace on his cell phone, they’re hot on the trail. More nightmare fuel from Will’s prison sink as it starts filling with blood.

Focus on the floor, a drain filling with blood in a track up stairs. A bucket, precariously perched, and feet carefully trying to stay on top. In all the iterations of the Hannibal Lecter universe, this is the first time where we really see him vulnerable. Even when he was accosted by Mason Verger’s men in the last movie, we knew he wasn’t going to really die. Though we know the same is true now, the urgency with which we hope that Jack, Alana, and the FBI can get there in time is much more palpable and has us all on the edge of our seats.

Matthew has not only cut Hannibal’s wrists, but tied him in a veritable crucifixion position and wrapped a noose around his neck. Hannibal recognizes him as a nurse from the hospital and, even in his state, asks if he’s “setting a new standard of care.” Matthew tells him that Will asked him to do this, and proceeds to ask him questions, starting off with whether or not he killed the judge. He informs Hannibal that even if he doesn’t say a word, he’ll know the answer. The pupils dilate when the answer is yes, and don’t when the answer is know. His pupils dilate when Matthew asks if he’s the Chesapeake Ripper.

When he asks how many times he’s watched people cling onto life that’s not worth living, wondering why they bother, Hannibal says life is precious. Jack and Alana have arrived at the pool and are on the way to save the day while Matthew wonders what moniker they’ll give to him. He says the Iroquois used to eat their enimies to take their strength, noting that “maybe your murders will become my murders.” Hannibal’s response makes us all laugh: “Only if you eat me.”

Jack shows up in Hannibal’s hazy vision. We’ve never heard Hannibal yell before, but he knows he’s in the victim role right now, and Jack’s still on his side. He yells “He’s got a gun, Jack!” which prompts Jack to shoot him without waiting to see his hands. The tension is high as he falls, but is not killed. In a last-ditch effort, Matthew kicks the bucket out from under Hannibal’s feet, hanging him. As Jack runs to hold Hannibal up and keep him from dying, Alana shows up, shocked by the what she sees. She’s sent for an ambulance at Jack’s yell and goes running. The episode ends with Will’s prison sink overflowing with blood and Will’s face, steeled and knowing just what he’s done, even if he doesn’t know what’s just happened at the pool.

This episode is by far my favorite of the entire show. It gives us an insight that we haven’t had before, seeing just how much Will can go into the dark side when he’s threatened, just exactly what Hannibal sees him to be capable of. We also see Hannibal more vulnerable than ever, nearly dying, screaming, and more human than ever, even though he was literally called the Devil earlier in the episode.

Though we see Hannibal has not, in fact, died, his fate is up in the air, and the preview for next week is intense, there’s doubt in Jack’s eyes, and he’s even taking some of Hannibal’s food to Zeller and Price to test. Meanwhile, Hannibal tells Will he’ll give Alana Bloom his best. We see Hannibal and Alana in bed together, which can only be another needle in the side of Will. Either way, we’ll have to wait until next week for context, but I, for one, would almost rather have a time machine to fast forward to next Friday. I really can’t wait.

Hannibal’s “Takiawase” – you won’t BEElieve it

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SEASON 2, EPISODE 4 OF HANNIBAL

 

Prepare yourselves. This week… Well, this week was almost too much. The feels trip of season two went full-scale feels coaster, and the twists and turns came at such a rapid pace we could barely recover before another turn came at full speed and knocked us around.

So Will has now decided to start talking to Abigail Hobbs in his Memory Palace (his is more of a Memory River). He’s heart-breakingly teaching his mirage of her how to fish, since her real dad taught her to hunt — more than just deer. While teaching her a blood knot, Our Lady of Badassery Beverly Katz shows up seeking more help on figuring out who killed James Grey, the Muralist, and sewed him into his own murder mural.

Will remains doggedly determined, he knows its Hannibal. Bev isn’t keen on hearing that, but he insists, sending her off to look for a “very clever detail” that the murderer of murderers left on James Grey’s body. Already, we feel like something is amiss. Beverly doesn’t want to believe Will, but she’s still coming back to talk to him and get more and more help. Somewhere deep down, maybe she believes him.

A change in scenery as we suddenly follow a bee to, presumably, his hive–his hive which happens to be growing out of a rather hollow, eyeless person artistically covered with honeycomb, the colony making a happy home in his cranium. After the opening credits, we return to a more mundane, though equally intriguing habitat: Will steps up his game with Chilton during a “therapy” session. In order to push Hannibal into doing something that will throw proof on him, that will show the world that Will isn’t crazy, and that Hannibal is a psychopathic serial killerWill basically gets into bed with Chilton by making it seem that  he actually enjoys the treatments the demented doctor gives him. He asks him to stop talking to Hannibal about his treatment–dangling his exclusivity in front of Chilton’s ever egocentric mind — completely cut Lecter off–knowing that Chilton won’t stop blabbling to Lecter without a good, self-serving reason. One of the best bits of that scene, though, is Will leaning forward in his therapy cage and Chilton recoiling in horror as though he’s going to catch Will’s supposed crazy.

On the heels of that laugh, Fuller plunges us into heartbreak. Bella Crawford is visiting Lecter, and she looks a bit weak. She and Hannibal are talking about her chemotherapy (which it appears Jack convinced her to do) and her will to live–or lack thereof. She informs Hannibal that she’s thought of suicide a lot, and sees it as a viable course of action to end her suffering. Hannibal asks her how that makes her feel, “Alive,” she says, then asks him the same question. His answer is chilling.

“I’ve always found the idea of death comforting. The thought that my life could end at any moment… frees me to fully appreciate the beauty, art, and horror of everything this world has to offer.”

This really gives us a good insight on how Hannibal views the world, at least in part. Most people are afraid of death or of the pain that will come with death, but Hannibal finds solace in it, and the strength to see the world as beautiful. He gives Bella an anecdote about Socrates giving a rooster to Asclepius, to end pay his debt for taking his own life. It appears that Hannibal is trying to get her to take her own life, just to see how things work out.

Now we’re back with the Science Bros(where’s Bev? “deposed in court” again?) at the scene of the beehive body. Jimmy Price offers us a rousing bit of information about bee ejaculation that none of us really needed to know, though we’ll probably never forget as they determine how long the body had been there and how to extricate it to take it back to the lab for further analysis.

It appears that Beverly has called Hannibal in to look at the Muralist killer’s body. Warning bells go off in many fannibals heads as she asks what are rather leading questions, trying to get him to show her that Will’s not barking up the wrong tree. The tension is high as a game of #Katzandmouse is played (though really, which one’s the cat and which one’s the mouse in this instance?).

Oh boy, Chilton is at it again, it looks like he’s employing truth serum to try to “help” Will recover his memories. For some reason, Will has seemingly suggested this and is going along with it. Perhaps he’s so desperate to find out what memories he lost due to his encephalitis that he’s actually hoping Chilton can help.

What we’re next treated to is not for photosensitive epileptics. With lots of flashy lights, we go back into Will’s memories and see that Lecter has apparently been inducing the seizures with medication and light stimulation. He knows that Hannibal’s done something to him, and he knows–to some extent–what it was. Using the hold he seems to have on Chilton, he gets him to realize that perhaps Dr. Lecter did some version of psychic driving of his own and perhaps planted a slew of ideas into Will’s encephalitis-infected brain.

Lecter’s come to visit Will, but he’s headed off at the pass by the cane-wielding Chilton who gives him some psychobabble about how Will is too confused to be seeing more than one psychiatrist, and that Will has accused Hannibal of inducing seizures and other borderline-unethical unorthodox therapy methods. It seems Will has Chilton in his back pocket and all but eating out of his hand. Lecter is Not A Happy Camper.

It seems the episode takes a “pain, pleasure, pain, pleasure” route as we’re next treated to a bit of fluff watching Bella and Jack get high on her medical marijuana. It’s cute until it hurts because they start talking about how Jack is going to remember her after she’s dead. The tears in Jack’s eyes were enough to get me shedding a couple myself. This scene was almost harder to watch than the seizure/remember therapy scene.

Now we find out that the Beeman was lobotomized and his eyes were removed to make room for the hive. It’s gruesome, and the Science Bros seem to be excited enough about it, especially Jimmy Price and his love for bees. Cut to Amanda Plummer playing an acupuncturist and her poor client who suffers from horrible arthritis. Using the magical power of acupuncture, she paralyzes the man and begins the lobotomy process. On screen. It’s detailed enough without going too graphic, and many people couldn’t stomach it. After the commercial break, the same man is found standing in a park, eyeless and half-brained, filled with bees by a poor little girl.

Still alive(yes, still alive!!), he’s brought to the BSU and examined. He’s basically a zombie, unable to really talk or do much of anything. The bee stings were hiding the needle marks of the acupuncturist, which sets Katz off to the Muralist’s body to see if the sutures were hiding anything beneath them. The stitches are hiding stitches, and Beverly quickly finds he’s missing his kidney. Maybe she believes Graham more now…

Back at the BSHCI, Will is still coming down from the truth serum, reliving the seizure he had at Lecter’s house after having taken Abel Gideon hostage. But this time, Will can see what happened while he was seizing, as he was, presumably, still conscious and somewhat aware of his surroundings. He wakes from his dream-like sequence to consult with Beverly on the Muralist murderer’s murder. She shows him her findings, which leads him to accuse Hannibal of being the Chesapeake Ripper. Will gets angry when Beverly says she had Hannibal consult, warning her to stay away. She makes a good point, if the Ripper’s taking trophies, what would Hannibal the Ripper be doing with them. At last, the long-awaited terrifying revelation dawns on Will’s mind: He’s eating them(and he’s making other people eat them, too.)

Price, Zeller and Jack head to the acupuncturist’s office and question her–both victims were her patients. As Price and Zeller sit there uncomfortably while Jack questions, we find out she is quite out of her mind, she thinks that she did these people a service, opening their minds to the absence of pain and diseases that they suffered from. The last focus is on Jack, giving one of the best “Bitch you are absolutely wacko!” faces I have ever seen from anyone.

Time for another tear-jerker. Bella visits Hannibal at his office (he helps her walk to the chair, which shouldn’t be endearing, not from Hannibal, but is) to drop a bombshell. She brings him a present: An old Franc with a rooster on it, saying she’s paying her debt. Bella lets it all out, she’s taken an entire bottle of morphine and intends to die here, in Hannibal’s office, to save Jack from a painful goodbye and the aftermath of finding her body. As she passes out, Hannibal bids her goodbye. Then, while we’re all screaming at our screens, he literally flips the coin to see what choice he’s going to make: save her or let her die. Apparently whatever he’d chosen was “save her,” as he pulls out his little doctor bag and injects her, weak protests of “no” follow as she regains consciousness.

This is where it all starts to hurt. A lot. At the BSU, Beverly looks for Jack, she knows something, but she can’t talk to him due to the emergency with his wife. Jack’s passed out, but as Bella wakes, so does he, kissing her hand and welcoming her back. Hannibal has stayed until she regained consciousness, so he can apologize for not being able to carry out what she asked of him. When he returns the Franc, there’s a tense moment, and with all the strength she can muster, she lunges out and slaps Hannibal, ordering him out. The slap heard around the world presumably makes him all the more important to Jack, who can’t stand the thought of losing her, and now he’s indebted to Lecter for saving her.

Beverly has broken into Hannibal’s house to go looking for clues. Unfortunately, she must not have watched much scooby doo as a kid, because we all know she’s gonna get caught. In his back pantry room, she finds the kidney that must belong to the Muralist. On her way out, she knocks some wine over and notices it’s trickling through a crack in the floor. “Don’t go in the basement!!” we all scream at our televisions, “Bev don’t do it!” But she doesn’t listen, finding a horrific looking basement, and something else that prompts her saying “oh my god.” just as the visage of Lecter standing in the background is illuminated. They have a terrifying standoff before he lunges at the light switch faster than we’ve ever seen him move.

Gunshots are heard, and as we focus on the dining room, the “last” shot flies through the floor under the dinner table. That’s all we’re left with, pain, suffering, and many fannibals screaming at Hannibal, cursing Bryan Fuller and the writing staff, and praying to whatever God they believe in that next Friday will come sooner rather than later. With a cliffhanger like that, we may not make it.

Hannibal’s “Hassun” – Will’s New OppEARtunity

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SEASON 2, EPISODE 3 OF HANNIBAL

Hold onto your butts, this is a long one.

Photo courtesy of nbc.com

So far, we’ve seen a lot of stuff go down on NBC’s Hannibal, but this week was one of the most intense. If you all thought that Episode 1 fight scene was bad… Well. Okay, so that was horrible, but this is a whole new sort of feels trip.

The Trial Of the Hannibal-verse Century begins, and we might as well call it like it is: this episode is full of fan-service. Loyal fannibals are treated to an opening scene of both Will and Doctor Lecter putting on their suits to go to court. Tumblr exploded with gifs of said suit-donning (anywhere in the #Hannibal tag, they’re all over, in forward and reverse) as we then had to sit through Will’s daymare. It’s really surprising just how much graphic imagery NBC can get away with. We’re not spared any details of the shocking event, but thankfully, it doesn’t last long, and it’s only a dream.

Mr. Brauer, Will’s attorney, seems like a nice enough guy, but he’s got a lot of work to do up against this intense prosecutor, Marion Vega. She is out for blood–just as any good prosecutor should be–for the fitting punishment for what Will allegedly did to these five people. As she goes on her tirade, the camera eloquently focuses on Hannibal’s face every time the prosecutor mentions anything related to cannibalism (we see what you’re doing there, and we like it.)  The first witness is Jack Crawford. He looks a little leaner, perhaps from the stress of dealing with his wife’s condition. Fuller tweeted that Mrs. Crawford will make an appearance next week, so maybe we’ll find out.

Before he can take the stand, FBI gatekeeper Kade Prurnell corners him and scolds him, attempting to put him in his place before he testifies. She walks out what we can only assume is midway through. After the day’s session is over, Brauer gets mail. As a freshly severed ear is poured out of the envelop, all Brauer can say is “I think I got your mail,” prompting twitter to explode with the hashtag “dEARwill.”

One of the most heartbreaking scenes is up next. Hannibal and Jack share cognac and talk about his testimony and his wife’s impending death. Red Dragon quotes are rife through the scene, and as Jack tears up, Hannibal looks genuinely empathetic. He also appears more relaxed than we’ve seen him thus far: leaning on his desk, cradling the glass at his knees, and even unbuttoning his jacket. Hannibal does his best to comfort Jack before heading off to see Will. 

This whole ear thing is a blessing wrapped in a nightmare. It casts doubt on Will’s guilt, which is great, but who sent it? Was it Hannibal? Is that what we’re meant to believe? The episode throws that into doubt after Freddie gives her rather damning testimonial, putting words into the presumed late Abigail Hobbs’ mouth. Thankfully, Brauer shuts that down pretty quickly by letting it be known that she was charged with libel six times and that her words should be taken with a grain of salt.

Back at BSHCI, Brauer tries to prep Alana, knowing that their romantic involvement will probably come up, and will be a big problem. Will shuts off as she forces herself to say she has nothing but a professional curiosity about him while staring him in the face. Either she’s a good liar, or that was meant to hurt. Either way, Brauer doesn’t buy it.

It appears Will has an “avid fan,” to steal a phrase from Red Dragon. Team Sassy Science is able to quickly reveal that the ear was cut off with the same knife that cut off Abigail Hobbs’ ear: Will’s knife. As Will was incarcerated, this makes it a little hard for him to have done it himself.  It looks like this trial may just have gotten a lot more complicated.  The last person to have touched Will’s knife, which was in evidence, was the bailiff. It’s time for an FBI field trip to check up on him, as he hasn’t been seen since.

As Jack gives the go ahead, the door opens and an explosion rips through the home of our bailiff. In the charred aftermath of the fire, we find a body trussed up in an amalgam of all the murders Will is accused of – Glasgow grin a la Madchen, flambe also a la Madchen, earless a la Hobbs, all on a stag head a la Boyle.  When Hannibal walks in, he looks genuinely surprised. Either that’s good acting, or Will does have an avid fan.  Team Sassy Science bickers like children about whether or not they should have taken Will’s stool sample (which somehow ended up trending on twitter during the East coast broadcast) to make sure he was the one who’d actually consumed the ear while Hannibal ignores them and Jack has to play dad and tell them to knock it off.

Next up on the witness stand is Dr. Smarm–er–Chilton. Raúl Esparza does a fantastic job of capturing what we all loved to hate about Anthony Heald’s portrayal of Chilton in Silence of the Lambs and elevating it to a whole new level. He’s examined by the prosecutor and does a lovely job of painting Will in the worst light possible. Things look a bit grim.

Hannibal, in his new role as Will Graham v2.0, brings Will crime scene photos of the deceased bailiff. What follows is one of the most humanizing moments we’ve had thus far for Hannibal. It’s obvious to Will that the copycat Shrike and whoever killed the bailiff are not the same person, and Hannibal all but pleads with Will to believe in the best of him, telling Will that even Jack is ready to believe.  “This killer wrote you a poem… are you going to let this love go to waste?” Hannibal asks, thus breaking thousands of fannibal hearts. We know that Hannibal didn’t kill this bailiff, but the profession of love is all but there (although love is a much more complicated thing to a man like Hannibal).

Will abandons his “I was unconscious” defense, which doesn’t make Alana happy at all. Due to the conflict in the meeting between her, Brauer and Will, Brauer elects to have Hannibal take the stand in her place. The questions from Brauer are rather routine, and it looks rather good. When the prosecutor gets to him, however, she cuts him off (earning her quite the look from the good Doctor) as the judge tells the jury to disregard the testimony as he rules the defense inadmissible.

It’s time once again for Lonely Cannibal Introspection Hour at Hannibal’s office, as he sits and stares at the chair he wishes Will was sitting in. Will sits in his cell doing an approximation of the same, and then we’re taken to the courtroom, where the janitor buffs the floor. As he turns around, he’s shocked to see the judge hung up with his brain and heart removed (more poetry: the organs balance the justice scales in the corpse’s hand). Because this judge has died, the trial needs to start over again, and everyone gets a clean slate, like the trial never even happened. Hannibal quips “Not only is justice blind, it’s mindless and heartless,” as we hear that this judge was killed much the same way as the bailiff. This fan of Will’s wanted a mistrial.

Will has a strange dream, and the Ravenstag graces our screens once more, though this time opposite Hannibal in the strangely empty hallway of his cell block. This is important, but we’re not sure what it means yet. Perhaps the ravenstag is meant to show that Hannibal is not the killer (at least not this time). Fuller tweeted that the ravenstag gives us a clue about the killer, but we won’t find anything else out until next week.

We close seeing Alana visiting Will once more, saddened about the death of the judge and the restarting of the trial. They speak their first words to each other since the beginning of an episode, and Alana lets the fact bomb drop that Will could have been misdiagnosed. She wonders what this fan killer wants from Will, which prompts him to ask what she wants. She says “I want to save you.”

Now the fannibals begin the oh-so-long seven days wait before the fourth episode. Will we make it? Gosh, we hope so.

Hannibal’s “Sakizuke” is Sew Intense

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SEASON 2 EPISODE 2 OF HANNIBAL

Courtesy NBC.com

Another week, another set of disturbing images that make us all scream and flail at the screen. Hannibal’s second season is just getting started, and it’s gonna be a hard ride.

Last week, we left our fearless cannibal taking the place of FBI wunderkind-turned-sob-story Will Graham, with the Agency on the lookout for the Muralist, whose work closed out the episode. We open once again on the pile of naked, sewn-together bodies and oh no, one of them is somehow waking up in this monstrosity. The next set of images that grace the screen is not for the faint of heart, or even those with iron stomachs.  I’m not going to describe it, you’ll have to see for yourselves.

We see a lot of Will in his little therapy box, and everyone and their sister seems to be visiting him: Hannibal, Alana, Beverly, and even Bedelia! Will gives a masterful performance, pleading with Alana and Lecter for help, and for a moment, we’re all convinced–until he’s returned to his cell. This is all a sham, and he is, perhaps, fooling them all. The game is afoot, the players are moving, but we’re all still in the dark as to the endgame.

Hannibal, in his new role as crime scene analyst, pretends to be a clumsy new kid and gets in the way of the Sassy Science Team. Was his act hiding some ulterior motive? Planting evidence perhaps? We don’t know yet, but his behavior is surely a cover for something. Bev gets called on the carpet by Jack, and given one of those “we never had this conversation” speeches. Jack not-so-surriptitiously tells her to do whatever she feels it is her job to do.

Bedelia shows up to Hannibal’s office to cut ties with him. The look on his face in reaction to this news may have been actual  hurt, if only for a moment. Then he’s back to standing tall and projecting an aura imposing enough to make Bedelia back away with six feet of distance already between them. She severs ties with Lecter, and then with the FBI, leaving Crawford confused in his office. Meanwhile, Prurnell attempts to sink her teeth into Will, albeit unsuccessfully. Will Graham ain’t takin’ nun’ ya stuff, Ms. Prurnell.

One of the most moving scenes is when we find out how Hannibal is able to get himself out of the crime scene after complimenting the Muralist’s work. Hannibal is almost gentle with him as he doses him with a lethal amount of heroin, telling him that his existential crisis shall be resolved, and that he will die looking up to God. He strokes the killer’s cheek as he drifts off to death. Here we are, watching the act of murder, and the general consensus was “Aww, Hannibal that’s so sweet…” until we remember that he is actively murdering this man. It’s unsettling just how intimate this scene appears. In Hannibal’s mind, he is helping, and for helping this killer attain his ultimate goal, Lecter’s only toll is a leg. Beethoven’s 9th plays as  he prepares his meal–a disgustingly delicious-looking “veal” osso buco.

This week definitely ramped up the disgusting-level, but one thing is clear, he even said it himself: Will Graham is going to have to help himself. Next week’s preview showed us a trial, which is going to be heartbreaking. Will we survive Lecter taking the stand? Only time will tell. Onward!