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.