Hannibal’s “Su-Zakana” – I’ll have a marTEARni
By Guest Contributer
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.”
(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.