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

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.

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(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.

Guest Contributer (10 Posts)