Well, Will certainly isn’t getting any better psychologically. When we join him in this episode he’s sleep walking down the middle of a rural highway with the feathered buck trailing after him. Luckily the police show up with their lights and sirens and find him. He’s barefoot and freezing in a pair of boxers and a t-shirt. At least he wasn’t alone. Winston has the foresight to realize his new master is batshit crazy and needed someone to look after him. The cops get the both of them in the car with a blanket and ask Will all the usual questions – are you on drugs, are you drunk, etc. He apparently is self medicating to fall asleep by drinking whiskey which also isn’t good. And he admits to the cops he’s not even sure he’s awake now. So. Also not something you want to tell the cops when they find you in the middle of the night walking barefoot in the road. Just… keep petting Winston, Will.
After he gets some real clothes on, his first instincts are pretty good. Get help. And as far as he’s concerned that means Hannibal. Who is in a bathrobe in his kitchen making him tea. Last episode wasn’t just too traumatic to be put on TV. It was too traumatic for Will. Hannibal suspects he has PTSD from being forced into the field by Jack time and time again. Of course, he keeps claiming he can handle it but clearly, Will, dude. You can’t. Jack needs to step off, bro, and you neeed to tell him that.
But enough of Will’s crazy for now. Let’s focus more on the killer of the week’s crazy. He’s at a motel getting ice from an ice maker when he sees a couple check in. Except it’s not a normal happy family like we see to him. Their faces are on fire. So he kills them. And then Jack goes to investigate with Will tagging along. Jack mentions the ‘Cheseapake Ripper’ who we all know – well if you read the Hannibal books – is actually Hannibal. He takes ‘surgical trophies’ and what not. Anyway. He tells Will to prep himself because apparently that’s what Jack thinks it takes. Dude. Jack. C’mon. So frustrating.
The bodies were posed like angels in apparently a viking sort of way. The backs were stripped and the lungs pulled out and held above the bodies to resemble wings. It was all held up with fishing line which Will knows quite a bit about being a fisherman’s son. This is just what he needs – to get into the mind of someone that might have a similar background to him. But he does his thing, laying on the bed and looking at the bodies as he tries to understand this killer, too. This nervous, righteous killer with an uneasy stomach who is “transforming” these people into angels so they can watch over him while he sleeps.
Jack afterward has no problem living with what he’s seen because he goes over to Hannibal’s place with his wife for dinner. Again. Jack you are seriously going to have eaten a person by the end of the first season. I love that Gina Torres is his wife and I love that her name is “Bella” only because Jack met her in Italy while they were both stationed there and he wanted her to be his ‘bella.’ It’s so adorable. (Her actual name is Phyllis. Go with the Bella, girl.) Luckily for Bella she’s vegetarian and doesn’t eat the meaty courses. She does, however, go back to Hannibal’s later for professional help. She’s keeping some kind of secret from Jack – either about having an affair or having cancer or… something. I don’t know. But she resents Jack because he worries so much about other things that she can’t bring herself to have him worry about her, too. Jack knows something is up but instead of pushing it he lets her sort it out. Which is nice, I guess. He’s not going to pry.
Will doesn’t get to go to dinner.
He goes to hang out with the geek squad. They talk about the killer’s methods and possible motives. Why he did what he did. The fact that the woman lived at least fifteen minutes after she was skinned. The whole fisherman motiff and what not. Will pretty quickly pegs him as afraid and someone who wants someone to look over him and pray for him. And through the vomit the guy left at the scene they identify a drug cocktail that pegs their guy for having a brain tumor. Will says he’s afraid of dying in his sleep – he wants someone to pray for him. Some how this apparently translates into creating meat angels out of people because of course it does.
Hannibal is Will’s go to guy so he goes to him as he’s trying to figure out what’s up with this killer. Which some how gets them on the topic of abandonment and alienation. Hannibal asks Will if he ever feels abandoned by Jack and whether or not he resents Jack leaving him on his own in the field and failing to protect him from the psychological torment of all these cases. He says it’s to help Will figure out what’s inside this killer’s head but really it’s just taking another little jab at his crazy.
Because, honestly, I don’t see how that line of questioning really helps Will much. Not when the next body is strung up in an alley and looking down on them. Oh, also, they find someone’s cut off balls in the alley. And they don’t belong to the victim…. Yeah. This guy killed a man and then castrated himself in a back alley. And no one saw? I just… I feel like one of them would have been making enough noise to draw attention. Will says he’s trying to turn himslf into an angle now, too. He reminds us that, “Angels don’t have genitalia.” Then when Jack starts pushing Will the poor guy snaps at him and tells him to figure out his own cases if he doesn’t like what Will has to say. Jack, you really need to give the guy a moment.
Lab geek girl gets it. They go back to the lab and she asks after him. They have a little moment where she tries to see if he’s okay and he asks her how he’d know if she were okay. She tells him to ask her and then maybe that could have led to a “let’s spend more time together” thing. Unfortunately one of the other lab geeks shows up. Turns out the meat angel in the alley was a former convict. Will thinks maybe he’s “making angels out of demons” but how does he know that the people he kills are bad guys? Who knows. Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe just hopes they are.
Back at Hannibal’s place, Bella is talking to him about what she should do next. She tells Hannibal that she does in fact have cancer – terminal cancer. But she doesn’t know how to tell that to Jack. I think she resents that, too. That he can solve other peoples’ problems but not hers and that she doesn’t feel sick yet. Hannibal notes that her response it to just keep pulling away. But jack knows what’s up and eventually she really does need to tell him.
Her problems aren’t the only ones that might kill someone. Will tries to fall asleep this one particular night and just can’t seem to do it. Then one second he does fall asleep and the next he’s standing on his roof near the ledge while the dogs bark at him panicking and trying to come out after him. So he turns to Hannibal again. Talks about trying to zip himself up in a sleeping bag but it’s just “a poor man’s straight jacket.” Once he hits that point he supposes he really is crazy. There are a lot of parallels between the crazy from this killer whose being destroyed by his cancer and his psychosis and Will whose slowly being destroyed by his genius and his, well, psychosis.
Then Hannibal smells him – which he also did to Jack’s wife earlier at dinner. Apparently he has like some super sense or something. He smelled her cancer. And now he smells something on Will, I’m sure. But all he says is it’s his aftershave he smells and that it smells like something with a ship on the bottle. Which is a line from Red Dragon! So is Will’s response. It’s a little awkard in this setting. But hey. It’s all good.
And it looks like they found the angel maker. Not through Will’s intuition or Hannibal’s super senses. They just find him through a cancer database. His wife comes in and talks a bit about him. She had left him a month after the diagnosis because she didn’t want to be there when he didn’t want her there. He kept pulling away from her and the kids. Which brings Jack to an “oh shit” moment. Becuase he is the head of this department and he really does know his shit. Just for some reason he keeps making Will go into the field to figure out stuff that seems pretty simple to figure out. You didn’t need to know anything about this guy other than he had cancer and liked to fish to find him in the databse that marked him as a cancer patient who fished/worked with fisherman. C’mon. I could have found him.
His wife tells them about a near death experience he had as a child at a farm he lived on then and how someone said he probably had a ‘guardian angel’ looking after him. So Jack and Will go to check it out. Only to find that the killer had finally made himself into an angel. Everything he had done to the other victims he did to himself.
Will has a little bit of a breakdown in the barn. He tells Jack that he doesn’t know how much more he can take. The problem is that he can’t keep getting into these peoples’ minds. He keeps looking but he can’t shake it any more. He talks about going back to being just a lecturer. He talks about going back to being a boat mechanic. He talks about quitting. Jack says he knows Will and that he knows he won’t do that. That he can’t do that. It’ll eat him up knowing that there are killers out there that he could have stopped. But Will didn’t catch this guy. This guy was anyone’s catch. And this guy eventually just gave up. For whatever reason Jack then walks away and in doing so leaves Will alone.
In the barn with a body. That turns out to not actually be a body? Will turns around and the killer is there. Talking to him. When he looks at Will, his face is on fire. He tells Will that he sees him and that he can help him. He can make him into something more. And then Will comes to his senses and realizes, yeah, he’s hallucinating. The guy is still dead. And he’s still crazy.
Jack goes to talk to Hannibal but not about Will. He knew that his wife was sick and seeing Hannibal. He just didn’t know the full extent of all of it. Hannibal lets them have his office so they can have their little hear to heart. Bella tells him she has stage four cancer, that she doesn’t intend to do chemotherapy, and that she wasn’t sure what to do or what to say. Jack doesn’t tell her what she has to do. He offers to be there for her or to leave her alone if she wants. It’s a very emotional moment.
It’s broken, though, by Will wandering around in the FBI office building. Jack is back there after his little chat with his wife all kinds of sad and forlorn. Will sort of looks like he’s there to quit or something. Instead, he sits down and tells Jack he’s there to talk. That he will hang around as long as it takes for Jack to be able to talk. Despite it all, Will is still there for Jack. Even if he’s losing control of himself.
Get it together, bro.
That said, next episode will be taking us to a very familiar place. We’re going to Hannibal’s future psycho killer digs! A little early in the series considering that Bryan Fuller has said he doesn’t expect to reach the events of Red Dragon until season four if they ever make it that far. We’re also likely going to see some real Hannibal as the Chesapeake Ripper action. Maybe. Who knows. I don’t trust the trailers any more after the whole Abigail Hobbs not turning out to be a psycho killer (though she is turning to be extremely malleable to Hannibal’s every whim so… maybe they didn’t mislead me too much).
I am looking forward to yet another exciting episode. Next week’s episode will legit be the best way to celebrate finishing my Family Law final.