WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SEASON 2 EPISODE 2 OF HANNIBAL
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!