Hannibal: Shiizakana (S2E9) & Naka-Choko (S2E10)

Due to life being life this last week or so, you’re getting a tasty two for one deal. 

shii1

SHIIZAKANA

shii2

Athena:

So in this episode we’re seeing how far Will is willing to take this game of cat and mouse with Hannibal. It’s actually at the point for me now where I’m not sure if it’s just a way to catch Hannibal anymore. Will seems to genuinely be touching the darkness in himself. And Jack certainly doesn’t seem to be in on the game. He ate Hannibal’s omelette. Obviously that’s a people omelette. I doubt Will is going to go so far as to eat meat at Hannibal’s any time soon.

But before jumping to the big reveal at the end, I want to talk about the theme of human nature vs. some kind of illusory ‘animal’ nature, and the return to theme of questioning identity, which hasn’t been as prominent in recent episodes as it was here.

There was something truly horrific about the detachment of these killings, something unsettling about the belief that it was okay for this man to tear his victims apart because of some kind of species dysphoria. I had never heard of species dysphoria before, and I feel like it’s probably unlikely people who experience it go around killing people with a cave bear skull. But it was a great concept for this episode. The obvious symbolism was a desire for a bloody transformation, or the inevitability of it, and the human cost. What did you think of the murder parts of this episode?

On the other hand, I guess maybe I should have seen the species dysmorphia coming? Will after all sees himself changing into the stag multiple times, including in this episode. And he envisions Hannibal as that creepy stag/human hybrid. The last episode featured bodies emerging from horses. And we had the return of Peter, who feels a closer bond to animals than humans. Hannibal wants Will to get in touch with some sort of animalistic side, he’s clearly a believer in that whole idea that human beings are naturally violent savage animals and our humanity is just a trained facade (something I definitely do not agree with, but this idea is more pervasive in society than I like). This is the gradual and literal build up of that idea.

Hannibal - Season 2

Heather:

I’m also not at all sure how far Will’s gone down the rabbit hole. I can’t tell what he’s doing to catch Hannibal, and what he’s doing because he’s genuinely in touch with his darker nature. I think it’s pretty clear this is meant to reflect the fact that Will can’t really tell, either. I also wonder if Jack is taking one for the team, so to speak, by knowingly eating human meat that Hannibal serves him in order to lull Hannibal into trusting him again. There’s that question of just how far Jack and Will are willing to go to catch the Ripper. At what point to the ends no longer justify the means?

I thought it was interesting in Hannibal’s conversation with Margot that he keeps talking about the problem of dehumanising others. Then, while investigating the murders, he talks about how people and animals aren’t all that different. Obviously Hannibal dehumanises people all the time, but I don’t think he really thinks that’s what he’s doing. I think he views his manipulation of Will, Margot and Randall and his cannibalism as helping people become who they are. He talks to his patients about “becoming” themselves and getting in touch with their darker natures. But I also think he views his cannibalism as helping the people he views as meat become what he thinks they’re meant to be: meat.

I find it very interesting that Randall uses an animal suit to kill people because he thinks of himself as an animal, and yet he doesn’t eat his victims. Peter explicitly states that humans are the only animal that kills just to kill. So Randall’s murders are actually very human in nature, even though he’s acting out his delusion that he’s an animal trapped in a human’s body.

I also don’t buy into the theory that humans are really savage animals with a polite facade. And I don’t think the show (or really, Fuller) believes that either. I think the show’s been building up Hannibal’s position that humans are naturally violent. But I’m not quite sure if the show, itself, can commit to that position. For all that Hannibal and Will talk about the savage nature of humanity, we get characters like Peter popping in to point out how human violence is actually different from animal violence.

For the ending, I actually thought Will got it wrong. I didn’t think Hannibal sent Randall to kill Will. I thought Hannibal sent Randall for Will to kill. Now we know why Hannibal stopped Will from killing the social worker; he didn’t want Will to use a gun. So Hannibal talked to Will in therapy about killing with his hands, and then he sent Randall to Will’s house so that he could do just that.

Finally, I wasn’t going to go all “let’s talk about queer representation” for this episode, but then Margot has a line which vaguely references her being a lesbian or bisexual. It’s impossible to tell which, considering how vague it was. I thought Fuller said he’d taken that out of her character in order to avoid the stereotype that lesbians are only lesbians because they were abused by men. But it looks like he just took the butch Margot from the books and made her femme, but kept the fact that she’s a lesbian. And that’s dang frustrating because butch women get, like, no screen time.

Hannibal - Season 2

Athena:

That’s one of the things I adore about this show. Hannibal takes no clear moral stance. It just presents them. Peter has actually become one of my favourite minor characters in this series. He seems to have an incredible capacity for compassion and empathy, just a difficult time expressing it. Having characters to offset Hannibal’s deeply-rooted cruelty is necessary for a more balanced show. When Will went to visit him and he had that cute little pet rat my heart just melted at all the sad/adorable. I hope he isn’t locked away too long, but this show is not about justice. Which is interesting, because it’s about the FBI. Again, something that makes it a horror and not a crime drama.

However Peter plays a slightly different role in this episode. He’s not simply the passive victim that Will wants to save. Now Will is turning to him for advice and getting more insight than he necessarily asked for. After Will asks him about the bite mark patterns, Peter tells him that animals can be trained to significantly alter their behaviour. He jokes that with enough time he could even train Will. Then he tells Will that animals can form friendships, so Will doesn’t forget the creatures beneath the violence. The parallels between Hannibal and Will are obvious. Though Hannibal doesn’t deserve the kind of sympathy Peter grants to animals, he is able to form bonds despite being a total sociopath. And Will is able to be trained to kill even though he is a full grown adult with free will. What do you think the show is trying to say about human nature here?

Though I adore Katharine Isabelle, I agree that the change from butch to feminine in her character was unnecessary. And disappointing.  At least she’s still assertive and self-assured. I don’t think he was planning on changing her sexual orientation, just the type of abuse (from sexual just to physical) she suffered and the correlation Thomas Harris wrote in between her being gay and that trauma. That aspect of her changed character was necessary, so as not to perpetuate that horrible stereotype that homosexuality arises out of trauma. Yeah it’s unclear whether she’s bisexual or homosexual, but considering she said she has a “proclivity” for the “wrong parts” I suspect Margot is a lesbian.

“No one can be fully aware of another human being unless you love them.” Hannibal says that to Will in his dream sequence. That beautiful line, which rings true to me, brings me back to the homoerotic vs. the homosocial between Hannigram. This signifies to me that Will on some level is aware of the specific kind of intimate dynamic they have. In a recent article on Pajiba Dustin Rowles discusses an interview with Fuller (who apparently is gay, I didn’t know that) on the sexual tension between the two. The homoeroticism was a conscious choice, to explore Hannibal’s nonspecific sexuality. Fuller states that Will is heterosexual. But I don’t know, can that much sexual tension be one sided? If the first half of the season was about pulling the two apart, the second half of the season seems to be shipping them. Tumblr doesn’t even half to do it, Fuller is. Even if he only half admits it. There’s this huge gulf between them, but in some ways they’re also closer than before. I completely agree with what you said, it wasn’t about Hannibal trying to kill Will at all. That was a misinterpretation on Will’s part, and a serious gamble on Hannibal’s.  Hannibal did the only thing he seems to understand, use chaos and violence to bring them closer together.

shii5

Athena:

In that same dream sequence Hannibal talks about helping one’s beloved realize their potential. But you’re right, it’s not really about realizing their limits but Hannibal’s vision for them. Whether that means murder, meat, or both. Randall isn’t really interested in an animal nature. As you said, those kills are distinctly human. And as Will said, “It’s not what he believes, it’s what he imagines.” So what is Hannibal’s vision for Margot? She wants to snuff her brother’s life out of existence to prevent further damage. Hannibal wants to create more damage. On the surface she seems like a perfect patient for him to mold, but their views on violence aren’t specifically compatible.

A major theme in this episode is the weight of past choices on the present. Hannibal is thrilled to see the choices he made in the past play out exactly how he wants in the future. However he is the only one free from regret. All the choices he has made are directly impacting the decisions of those around him, and they are far less sure of the validity of what they’ve done. Over breakfast Jack says he was once afraid of losing his memory, but now wouldn’t mind forgetting a thing or two. Could that have something to do with potentially taking one (more human meal) for the team? Or is it about the weight of the mistakes he’s made and opportunities he has missed in light of all the death around him? His past choices have led to his current sense of self being totally shaken, as expressed in earlier episodes this season. In Will’s therapy session he tells Hannibal he is “riddled” with remorse, I imagine for many reasons, but specifically over the “missed opportunity” of killing the social worker. Will claims to want to feel “the quiet sense of power” that comes with taking a life. Do you think he regrets all of the violence from the very start? And getting involved with the FBI? Perhaps Hannibal can only feel sure of his own identity in the destabilization of others.

shii6

Heather:

I think Will is in something of a grey area. I think he regrets not having killed the social worker, but he also regrets working with the FBI because that indirectly lead to him being in a position where he wanted to kill the social worker. It’s like he’s slowly turning into a monster, but part of him sees what’s happening and is shouting for it to stop. That’s why I kind of like that Will’s dream-animal is different to Hannibal’s. There’s still enough different between them.

I also quite like how the Hannibal’s dream-animal is half man and half animal. This sort of reflects the thing Hannibal believes that human beings aren’t really all that different from animals. Whereas Will’s stag is still completely separate from himself. In that opening scene, Will is telling the stag to hurt and kill Hannibal, but Will isn’t quite doing it himself.

As for the homoerotic tension, well I think there’s more chemistry between Hannibal and Will than between Hannibal and Alana (or Will and Alana, for that matter). Neither Will or Hannibal strike me as being particularly interested in a romantic or sexual relationship with a woman. Hannibal uses everyone, but his use of Alana as an alibi and as leverage against Will is particularly detached. I get the feeling he’s more interested in messing with Alana’s mind than he is in having sex with her. And I mentioned a few episodes ago how I read Will as being pretty much asexual.

So, yeah, I’d disagree with Fuller when he says Will’s heterosexual or that Hannibal is “interested in everything humanity has to offer.” What does Fuller know, anyway? He’s only the showrunner. Ha.

Athena:

You know as a writer I personally find you can go into something with one type of vision, but the product comes out as something different and takes on a life of its own. Maybe that’s part of the reason why we have Hannigram (for those not in the know, this is the fandom name for Will and Hannibal as a couple. You may also wanna look up shipping) as the biggest focus of the Hannibal online fandom and nobody really cares all that much about the heterosexual couplings.

So the zoomed out view is Fuller manipulating his characters and having them come to life on their own. The zoomed in version is Hannibal treating those around him as characters he can write and rewrite until they resemble a form he likes. People were not unlike putty in his hands in this episode.

With Will I think the key moment in this episode is not actually the dramatic ending, but his second therapy session with Hannibal. In season 1 Will was ready to kill Hannibal with a gun, and appeared to view it as a necessary evil. Now Will believes guns “lack intimacy”, which sounds like it could have come directly out of Hannibal’s mouth. Dr. Lecter encourages him to image and revel in a different kind of violence, and Will goes along with it.

“You’ve come so very far Randall…I’ve wanted to talk about your wonderful progress.”

As for Randal, it’s abundantly clear that Hannibal has left a substantial mark. His conversation with him in the museum was very revealing about the twisted sort of paternalism Hannibal demonstrates towards his patients/victims/proteges. It’s reminiscent of the shorter and less successful relationship he had with Abigail. Once again we’re seeing further into Hannibal’s psyche. It also shed some light on the result of Hannibal’s experiment.  Ultimately Randall never seems to become a fully realized person, just the violent product of Hannibal’s experiment. The inherent fixation that Hannibal promoted becomes the dominating quality of his life, and he does what Hannibal requests despite the years of absence between them. Will recognizes what kind of person Randall is at the second crime scene. He says Randal turned his psychosis into a suit and slipped through the system that would normally recognize and attempt to prevent such violence. This is trademark Hannibal. He has succeeded with Randall, and is guiding Will and Margot down that same path. What do you think of seeing Hannibal as some kind of creepy father figure to Randall?

“You don’t recognize in your brother basic human traits. You’re dehumanizing him. As much as he dehumanizes you.”

“At least I’ll never be the worst person I know.”

“The tendency to see others as less human than ourselves is universal.”

“My brother is less human.”

“And you are less human for it.”

“Did you just dehumanize me?”

Hannibal - Season 2

Athena:

“I met a patient of yours, Will Graham. I wonder what painful but effective treatment you prescribed him.”

However there was definitely some resistance, and a unique development because of that. Patients talking to patients. That’s something we’ve never seen before. Normally we see them in isolation only. But Margot was intrigued enough by her brief encounter with Will, and wisely suspicious enough of Hannibal, to rebel against an unspoken doctor’s order and reach out. They discuss their “private carnage” and recognize that the places they are in are not so different.

Will brings it up hypothetically in his third therapy session of the episode. I feel like it should seem likely to Hannibal that this was not merely an imaginary situation, but Hannibal doesn’t seem interested. Poker face perhaps? The only thing that really draws a distinct reaction from him is when Will reveals his short conversation with the much missed (on my part) Bedelia. Did you see how unimpressed he was?! A little crack in the mask Hannibal wears. What was that? Hurt ego? The elusive concept of feelings within Hannibal? How did you interpret that?

Hannibal - Season 2

Heather:

Perhaps, in a really twisted way, Hannibal sees himself as a father figure to just about everyone in the series except Jack. He’s manipulating everyone, but I think he sees that as guiding people. And I think Randall agreed with that interpretation of their relationship and saw Hannibal as a father figure. Margot and Will, on the other hand, are a bit more wary and seem less willing to accept their roles as Hannibal’s “children,” so to speak.

As for Hannibal’s crack at the mention of Bedelia, I wonder if it’s because Bedelia’s the only person who got away from him. It seems like every other person Hannibal’s set his sights on, he’s done exactly what he would with them. But Bedelia was one step ahead of Hannibal. So I definitely think it was something of a hurt ego. I also wonder if it was a bit of worry about what Bedelia might do with the knowledge she has. The audience is pretty sure she’s left for good, but maybe Hannibal is worried she’s a variable he can’t account for.

Representational issues aside, I really love Margot’s character. I love that she is the one to think of speaking to other patients. Seeing her talk to Will, I suddenly realised that no patients had ever spoken to each other. It’s interesting that Will hadn’t considered reaching out to any of Hannibal’s other patients or previous patients. It’s Margot who makes this rather revolutionary move.

I don’t really have any other closing thoughts on this episode, except that the ending definitely made me want to watch the next episode. The therapy sessions were certainly the moments of revelation in this episode, but it was that last scene that was the most climactic, I think. We’d been slowly building to the point where Will would kill again, and then we reached it.

shii9

NAKA-CHOKO

naka1

Athena:

Aaaaaaand we’re picking up directly where we left off in the last episode. This one in a lot of ways felt like a direct continuation of last week’s. There were a lot of new threads introduced, and we saw where they lead. Normally this show doesn’t work with such an immediate chronology, preferring to leave a few hints hanging. Case and point, we still don’t know what’s going on with Chilton and Miriam. But I am positive we will before the season is over.

“Nako-Choko” featured a lot of transference for Will. He can see clearly where he is and where he wants to be, but not how to bridge that gap. There was a restlessness for him in this one. The first major moment was the moment where Will officially crossed some boundaries and aligned himself with Hannibal. During his first real murder flashed between beating Randall, Hannibal, and the mysterious stag man. I have a couple thoughts about the opening scene. My initial interpretation, as mentioned above, is that this murder was distinct from what we saw in the series premiere. Hobbs was done officially as a consultant for the FBI. It was a sanctioned kill. Though this was also in self-defense, Randall’s murder had the violence and cover-up of the kinds of homicides Will has been investigated.  The second place my mind went to was plausibility. Could Will really take Randall on in that crazy suit? I accept all fiction has moments where it asks us to suspend belief, but I don’t know if I bought that. A lot of this episode seemed to be about establishing a new kind of masculine identity for our increasingly antagonistic protagonist.

Segue to the second major moment of transference. Similarly during the longest and most detailed sex scene Hannibal has had yet, Will can’t seem to separate the act of sex from the fantasy of it. It was incredibly creepy. Took a lot out of the already uncomfortable/ambivalent joy out of it. Still not buying that Will is truly into Alana or straight though. I think some of that was about trying to orient himself between who he believes he should be and what his reality is, and some of that is about a gross sense of ownership. Now that  he’s aligned himself more with Hannibal, he’s still hasn’t gained anything. He still has to sit an watch Hannibal have everything he’s lost and more. This was really highlighted for me by that tense dinner between the three of them. Totally wasn’t expecting that. What do you think all this transference means? Do you get that weird icky vibe from Will’s masculinity too? Or is that just me?

naka2

Heather:

Oh my gosh I have so many thoughts on this episode. I was also a bit doubtful that Will could kill Randall like he did, considering Randall’s got his suit and is experienced using it. Although, Randall usually killed folks who didn’t realise he was there until it was too late, so maybe he wasn’t actually suited to properly fight.

I definitely get a really creepy vibe from Will’s masculinity; that sex scene was more disturbing to me than watching Will eat Freddie. Margot basically disappears from the scene and Alana’s really only there as an object of desire for Hannibal and Will. It was frustrating. A lesbian character decides to have sex with a man (such a trope!) and then we don’t even get to see the scene from her perspective. It’s all about Will. And Alana is there, but the scene really is about Will and his relationship to Hannibal. Alana’s really there as a conduit through which the other two men relate to each other.

In the dinner scene, Alana was almost a third wheel; she was very much an outsider. As interesting as it was to watch that dynamic play out, there hasn’t been enough good characterization of Alana for that to play as anything other than a gendered trope. I actually really loved that scene, otherwise. It was great watching Alana try to understand them, and Will and Hannibal being so in sync that they share a coded language to explain themselves to Alana. It really felt like Alana was intruding on their romantic dinner, which I guess they got by the end of the episode.

Speaking about the last dinner in the episode, I have a theory about Freddie. I think it’s possible Will didn’t actually kill her. I think he either kidnapped her to make it seem like she’s dead, or he explained everything to her and she’s playing along to help capture Hannibal. And then the meat he brought to Hannibal was actually from Randall because we know he had bits of Randall sat in his freezer. But then again, maybe he did kill Freddie. I mean, considering the show’s antagonist is also a second protagonist in a lot of ways, it’s not as though the usual right and wrong logic applies. Either way, Will knowingly helped Hannibal cook human meat and then ate it. And I’m 100% sure that it was human meat; Hannibal would have known if it wasn’t.

naka3

Athena:

Still problematic I agree, but this was also a slightly stronger episode for Alana actually. We saw her leaving the campus, so at least we still know she has a life beyond Will and Hannibal. And some of her interactions seemed to be coming from a place of frustration with them (Freddie, Will, and Hannibal), which is a step of from the kind of  ‘feminine’ passivity we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. It’s good to see her angry and tired with people who view her as less than she is and use her opportunistically. It was great when she called Hannibal out right before their sex scene. She said “People aren’t instruments” and then alludes to her awareness that Hannibal is playing mind games. This is right after she calls one of his chosen instruments, the theremin, “psychological”. Similarly during dinner she brought up the inappropriateness of their relationship, their lack of boundaries, and suggested at her own discomfort. Then perhaps most importantly, in the last scene when Will and Hannibal are covering their tracks in front of Jack, Alana stands in the corner looking suspicious of them. So while I don’t feel like we really know who she is yet as an independent human being, we’re getting a little more insight than usual.

When I first saw the sexy/creepy sex scene between Will and Margot I found myself wondering whether it was bi inclusion (though we haven’t had any indication that she’s bisexual) or gay erasure. Upon rewatching I confirmed a hunch I had about it: she was using Will to create her ‘legacy’. Of course, the preview of next week’s episode helped me come to that conclusion too. In her therapy scene with Hannibal she said it turned out too be the right move to botch her first murder attempt, because if Mason dies and there’s no male heir their meat dynasty goes to some weird church. Her father clearly thought very poorly of her. Mason later says to Hannibal that she never had the right ‘breeding’ to impress him. Then Hannibal goes on about how human beings have a desire to leave a legacy, and she should make one. Could he have been pushing her toward Will on purpose? Did he suspect they were meeting? Did he book their appointments closely together on purpose? What kind of end game is that? Regardless, I think she picked up on that cue and acted on it. Even Will questioned her motives. Why else would she do it? This also does justify the exclusion of Margot’s perspective, for a big reveal later. But that doesn’t make it feel any less gross or objectifying.

Another thought on that sex scene: What was up with the stag man? Did you notice the stag man having sex? It looked like the stag man was having sex with Will! But that scene was kind of blurry and hard to tell. What do you think that means?

So we’re seeing more of a newer theme in Hannibal: breeding. It goes along with Hannibal’s creepy paternalism if you think about it. Twisted breeding and parenting, done as you would only see them on Hannibal. Where else would you see cannibalism and murder linked to that? Margot wants to breed an heir, Mason wants to breed the perfect pig/killing machine, and Hannibal wants to parent people right into chaos and violence.

So what are your thoughts on the uber creepy (but still unfortunately sexy) Mason Verger?

Hannibal - Season 2

Hannibal - Season 2

Athena:

The dinner scene was really great for showing the way that Will and Hannibal have a distinct and unusual bond that nobody can touch. Alana was the third wheel, and it was an interesting dynamic. Though it definitely would have been better if they were all equal participants (which would require more characterization for Alana). Hannibal talks about the paradox of loving the meat you slaughter. Here was a nice big wink at the audience like “GET IT? ‘CAUSE I HAVE FEELINGS?” But jokes about the overt parallels between Hannibal’s dinner conversations and his own nature, I like that Fuller is still challenging us to consider the way we consume animal meat and our ideas of morals and ethics by giving us little peaks into Hannibal’s mind and justifications. He is a master of turning the tables in his favour. Anyways you’re right, the whole scene felt like they were basically on the verge of tearing off their clothes and pouncing on each other at the table. Poor Alana.

Unfortunately this was also the scene where Alana sentenced Freddie to death. She’s lucky she ended up at Will’s first, because Hannibal was waiting in her home with his Bateman-esque kill suit. I agree, I think it’s entirely possible and likely even that she is still alive. While he was creepy and antagonistic in the barn, I do think he really did want to explain. But at the same time, Will’s boundaries are becoming so murky that it’s impossible to tell right now whether or not he really killed her. Yes Hannibal’s pallet is so sensitive that I am positive he brought human meat. Do you think Hannibal would be able to tell if the meat came from a man or a woman? Randall’s is a good bet, but would Will take that chance?

What did you think of their closing dinner conversation about good and evil? Do you believe that Will has truly let go? Even if he is just doing all this to lure Hannibal in, he has done things he can never take back. His darkness has come out to the surface, and I don’t think he can push it back down so easily.

naka6

Heather:

You know, I’d completely forgotten about her conversation with Hannibal prior to their sex scene! You’re totally right. She is actually moving in a better direction. I guess I’m just a bit wary with her characterisation. But, yeah, if we keep getting more scenes of Alana acting from a place of internal decision making, I’ll be happy.

I don’t know if Hannibal wanted Margot and Will to talk to each other originally. I was more thinking that since he knew (or at least suspected) that they’d spoken, he decided to plant the possibility of securing a “legacy” in Margot’s mind. I assume he knew this would lead to her seducing Will, though I’m not sure why Margot wouldn’t explain what she was doing to Will. I mean, I understand that story-wise it created more tension, but surely she could have just approached him more directly.

I did notice the stag man in the sex scene, though I thought that he was having sex with Alana and then he was watching Will. I kind of thought it was meant to show how reality is becoming blurred for Will. As for sexy scenes with Will and Hannibal, I actually thought the first scene in which Hannibal is washing the blood off of Will’s hand was far more sensual than even the artsy sex scene. I mean, on a purely practical level, there was no reason Hannibal had to wash Will’s hand. On a personal, emotional level, of course Hannibal had to wash the blood off Will. Hannibal’d been the one who indirectly put it there, after all.

naka7

naka8

Heather:

I actually do not find Michael Pitt sexy. I couldn’t even tell you why, exactly, but he just does not do it for me. Like, I don’t even understand how others find him so appealing. So basically I just find Mason Verger really creepy and evil. I haven’t really seen enough of his character to find him interesting, yet. He’s interesting in that really-evil-psychopath kind of way, but considering our second quasi-protagonist is a murderous psychopath, that’s not enough to hold my attention on this show. I’ll need to see more of Mason to get interested in watching him.

I’m not too sure whether Hannibal would be able to tell the difference between meat that came from a man or a woman. I don’t know. I wouldn’t think so. I mostly thought of Randall because Hannibal went on about how he was sure the “animal” was under stress before it died. He could taste the bitterness. That would certainly apply to Randall.

I think Will’s gone to that “ends justify the means” place. He’s not quite let go, but he’s decided that the only way to take down Hannibal is to join him. In a previous episode we heard Gideon explain that there was no way to beat Hannibal. In this episode, Freddie mentioned that she thought Will had decided to join Hannibal. I think that’s kind of what’s happened. Will’s left thinking that the only way to bait Hannibal to stop him is to join him. Once everything is said and done (we know Hannibal is caught eventually) I’m not sure where Will will be. At the very least he killed and dismembered Randall and he’s knowingly consumed human meat at least once. As you say, there’s no turning back from that.

Athena:

Yes the scene with Hannibal washing Will’s hands was easily the most erotic in the episode, and one of the most erotic in the series. It was so creepy and tender all at once. Their dialogue in that scene was probably the most intimate conversation they’ve ever had.

“Don’t go inside Will. You’ll want to retreat….stay with me.”

“Where else would I go?”

“You have everywhere to go. You should be quite pleased. I am.”

Then Hannibal asks Will again if he fantasized about killing him. Hannibal is really fixated on Will’s violent fantasies about him. If that isn’t subtext, I don’t know what is. I’m not surprised that Hannibal wants to tie death, violence, and intimacy in Will’s mind though. In this scene he also says he believes death is the greatest motivator. It certainly is for him, and these days it is for Will too.

naka9

Athena:

I’m not sure that Margot could approach him honestly. Any scenario I imagine with Margot asking Will ultimately sounds like this: “I wanna make you a dad so I can take my family’s fortune away from my sadistic brother who I plan to murder. How about it?” It would have been interesting to see her try, but then she probably would have lost her only chance. I can’t imagine Will wants to be a father right now, or feels fit to be one. That is definitely going to be a dramatic development. Could having a child be what pulls Will back from the edge? And this is assuming that Margot survives to the end of the season. I am not convinced either of the Vergers will. I kind of like that each season has some self-contained characters (the Hobbs in season 1, now the Vergers). Keeps things interesting. Pitt is a big name actor and Isabelle is a slowly but surely rising star, so I don’t think either will want to be tied down to a show long term.

You know Michael Pitt used to kind of creep and gross me out. I totally didn’t see it either. Until I watched Boardwalk Empire. He makes a good 1920s gangster, and ever since that’s the image of him I have in my head. I am a fan of his work though. I’ve seen him in lots of great movies and TV series, so I was already primed to see him a certain way.

I really enjoyed Pitt’s character. He had great on screen (non-sexual) chemistry with Isabelle, they really seemed like siblings. And he played Mason in such a frightening way, I felt like he was always on the verge of lashing out and killing someone. He’s obviously a total sociopath. But he’s also different from Hannibal. He’s not trying to hide or blend in, and he doesn’t care who sees it. Mason has always had a money and privilege Hannibal didn’t, so there was never a need for him to pretend to fit in.

I loved that scene when Hannibal went to visit Mason. I am not surprised at all that Mason would want to control his sister’s life to such a degree that he called in her psychologist (psychiatrist?) to intimidate him. But Hannibal was still very alpha male in that scene, and I think he somewhat revealed himself to Mason too. He insists upon choosing his own pig, and also tells Mason that he’s lucky Hannibal is legally bound to keep quiet about what Margot said. Do you think Mason picked up on those killer vibes?

naka10

Athena:

“Maybe what Will understands is if you can’t beat Hannibal Lecter, join him.”

I’m glad people are finally catching on to Hannibal. He’s good, but nobody can cover up their tracks that well. Especially since he’s so close to the situation. I’m not surprised Freddie figured out with a little digging that Chilton’s surgical skills are embarrassingly bad, and Hannibal fits the profile better. I would also be angry if Alana didn’t become suspicious by this point, I mean COME ON. And Jack sees the puzzle pieces and is starting to make the right connections, however reluctant.

Did you notice that the scene where Will found Freddie in the barn paralleled the final scene between Beverly and Hannibal? Will saw her from a distance, surprised her while she made a shocking discovery. He was behind some translucent stuff, just like Hannibal. And then a chase scene and struggle ensued. What do you think it meant?

Very wise of Freddie to dial Jack and not 911. He is the best possible person to save her from this. That was also reminiscent of Miriam’s captivity. More and more parallels between Will. I actually liked at the end of the dinner how the halves of their faces were put together. Would have been cheesy in another series, but chilling in this one.

Heather:

I think Mason was in for a bit of a shock when meeting Hannibal. He thought he’d be able to intimidate and manipulate him like he does everyone, and it turns out Hannibal’s the one to intimidate him. I think Mason definitely picked up on the fact that Hannibal is no ordinary psychiatrist, but I don’t know if he picked up on the fact that Hannibal is a killer. He really never does admit it, even to people who already know. I mean, even in the last scene where he and Will are eating human meat, they never explicitly state it. The guy’s a master of euphemisms.

I’m beginning to wonder whether the scene a couple episodes back with Jack and Will by the fishing hole was actually a dream. It was in the opening of an episode, which is often when we see the dream scenes. It just seems like Jack is back to being not quite sure whether Hannibal is a killer, or not. He’s putting pieces together, but in the fishing hole scene he seemed like he’d already made up his mind. Or maybe it’s all part of Will’s plan to reel Hannibal in, by making him think Jack’s still unsure.

naka11

Athena:

Closing thoughts: Naka-choko is a palette cleansing dish, Often in might be a light and acidic soup. It was a relatively slow episode, considering a lot of the other shockers this season. Does my palette feel cleansed? I wouldn’t say that. But the introduction of Mason, and Margot’s legacy-securing plan, I do think it’s preparing us for some big events. Fuller has been suggesting that the last few episodes of the season are going to be epic. I’m definitely ready for that.

naka12

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s