Sorry that this recap is a bit late. Therese and I have been at Phoenix Comicon covering the crazy shenanigans of our nerdy brethren here in the Southwest. We managed to make it back in time for the episode to air locally but I spent most of that night writing up stuff for our post convention coverage.
Even though I should be asleep and/or prepping for another day at the convention here I am rewatching Hannibal on Hulu and writing this up. Because I love Hannibal.
This week’s episode – just like pretty much every episode thus far – was spot on. I love how the show manages to sort of be a ‘killer of the week’ series without being a ‘killer of the week’ series. The cases are really well thought out and the sort of disturbing we would expect but there are also human elements to the crimes that I really appreciate. This week’s killer starts off with a flourish. He’s built up a massive totem pole out of human bodies in varying stages of decay. The most recent victim is on the very top and Will (after popping some pills for those headaches that seem to be ever present) does his thing to determine how the crime was carried out. Several bodies were buried and dug up from the beach, others were brought in from elsewhere. All were bound together in front of the final victim and then he, too, was murdered and added to the pile. In his mind, Will imagines looking up at ‘his’ design when a drop of blood falls on his face.
… and then suddenly he’s standing unannounced in Hannibal’s waiting room. No idea how he got there. Understandably Will is pretty much freaking out. Hannibal, too, is very concerned and he actually seems to get a bit frustrated at Will for constantly pushing himself and abusing his psyche by ignoring all the outward signs he’s giving himself that he needs to stop all this profiling work. There were a few things of note in the conversation. One was how defensive Will got when Hannibal said the word ‘abused.’ He got very upset and said he wasn’t abused – which makes me wonder if at some point when he was younger if someone might have accused his father of child abuse because of how different he was when he was younger. Also, the bit where Hannibal tells him he doesn’t care about the lives Will saves he worries only about Will’s life because Will is his friend and he cares about him. He worries about him.
Some how despite the fact that Will had no idea what he was doing he didn’t seem to make any sort of a scene. Jack had no idea that anything was wrong though Will’s asking about it obviously clues him in that something’s going on. He asks Will if there’s something he wants to tell him and when Will says now he gives him “the Jack look” and says, “Well clearly there’s something you don’t want to tell me.” And then he goes on about how if something is wrong Will needs to tell him and blah blah blah.
C’mon, Jack. OF COURSE SOMETHING IS WRONG. It’s so obvious by the way you look at everyone that you realize something is up – you just aren’t going to say anything about it and pretend you don’t realize how hard you’re pushing Will and shit. It’s also way obvious from the way Will is like forcing himself to smile and laugh and what not. But he still lets Will walk out the door.
Alana, at least, realizes something is going on. She walks in on him talking to an empty classroom – while he thinks he’s giving a lecture in one of his classes still though the class is long since over. She tells him that she regrets leaving his house that night and that she wants to be with him. They both have feelings for one another. But she cannot be with him right now. It’s not because of the ‘professional curiosity’ but because he’s unstable. And when she asks him if he feels unstable he nods and the hug because finally someone realized that this man needs a damn hug.
While Will is disassociating from reality Abigail is struggling to get a grip with her own life and reality. She imagines herself in group therapy sessions confessing her feelings to the girls her father murdered and the young man she killed when he came after her in the basement. In some last ditch attempt to get some control of her life she decides to talk to Freddie Loundes about writing a book about her experiences. The victims’ families are likely to take any money her father had left in wrongful death suits. Besides, she wants to set the rumors that she was involved in the murders to rest.
When they hear about Abigail’s connection with Freddie Loundes, Will and Hannibal aren’t happy about it. They confront her about it and tell her that it’s not a good idea but she shrugs them off. Will is worried because he has an unhealthy paternal attachment to her. Later Hannibal goes back and very expressly tells her that he’s not okay with this and that she needs to be careful. His life is on the line, too. And gently insinuates that if he can’t trust her there will be repercussions. Seriously, though. Abigail. Listen to the man. He helped you hide a body.
A body that resurfaces. Yeah. The cops find the guy she killed and that Hannibal helped her hide. Like, Hannibal. Why didn’t you just go back later and dispose of it better or something? I expected better of you. Jack, thinking that Abigail was invovled still, forces her into the morgue to identify the body against the wishes of Will, Hannibal, and Alana. Everyone’s pretty pissed at Jack and after Abigail finally gets to leave the morgue all traumatized Alana goes back and really reams him a new one. She understands Jack’s concerns but she believes Abigail’s story about what happened the nights he killed that boy because it matches up with Hannibal’s story. And, as she says, Hannibal has no reason to lie. Oh, Alana. You’re setting yourself up to feel so betrayed…
Less than thirty minutes in, the team figures out who the murderer was in the totem pole killings. The earliest victim was a man named Fletcher Marshall and the most recent victim – Joel Summers – was his son who was adopted after both he and his wife died a few years apart. Except Joel was not actually related to Fletcher Marshall. He was the biological son of the killer who thought that the woman he loved – and with whom he was having an affair – loved another man more than him. The totem pole was his final act – the final stage of his art. It showed was his legacy and his retirement policy. Jail, he said, was better than a paupers nursing home. But Will explains to him that he didn’t ensure his legacy. He tells him that Joel Summers was really his son and that he ultimately destroyed his legacy.
That experience with the killer gets to Will as it always does and it makes him think back on his own unhealthy paternal feelings towards Abigail. He really is beginning to see himself as a father figure for her and so he probably thinks of her as his legacy. Which gets him thinking about the boy’s body in the morgue. Unable to leave things well enough alone Will goes down to the FBI morgue and looks at the body, imagining the boy still alive, and then perfectly imagining just how Abigail gutted him in self defense. Then the boy’s reanimated body turns into Abigail who stabs, then guts him before he comes to his senses. Which is pretty much what this realization does to poor Will.
He goes to confront Hannibal about it and Hannibal admit that he knew. He always knew. He even tells Will that helped hide the body. But after a very momentary touch of a scalpel he was using to sharpen drawing pencils, Hannibal gets up and reasons with Will. Explains that it was an accident and that it would be for her own good that they kept it a secret. I know that later, when Hannibal puts his hand on Will’s shoulder the shippers get all excited and the Fannibals are like “ERMAGHERD THE FEELS.”
But that isn’t the moment that gets to me the most.
It’s when Hannibal actually looks down, touches the on his desk scalpel, and then gets up that gets me. Just all the things that that moment means.
This guy is a sociopath. But he’s actually come to care about Will in a way and though the first thing that goes through his mind is to kill him, he doesn’t. He’s not going to kill Will. He doesn’t want to. He doesn’t have to – yet. He can reason with him at this point. They have so much more in common than the Will Graham and Hannibal of Red Dragon. They have Abigail. Will is upset that he was lied to and probably even more upset that he was wrong about Abigail and that this girl he’s started to feel so protective of actually is a murderer. He goes along with it though because he knows that she would never get to have a normal life otherwise.
Later on Hannibal, Will, Abigail, and Freddie all get together at dinner. Turns out Freddie is a vegetarian. Good job, Freddie! You, like Jack’s wife, have been spared the ultimate horror that awaits so many people. They talk a bit about the book and what not but really what matters in this scene is the look Will gives Abigail and the fact that she realizes pretty much right away that he knows. Hannibal later tells her not to worry about it, though. Will is going to keep her secrets because if he doesn’t she’ll be arrested and charged with murder and the only good thing he has in his life – these relationships – will be destroyed. Abigail also breaks down and finally admits to Hannibal that Jack is right. She was helping her father. He told her that he had to kill these other girls so he didn’t have to kill her. Garrett Jacob Hobbs was using her to get close to these girls, find out their names, their habits, and where they lived… and then murdering them. Hannibal knew, of course. He could tell immediately. And now we all know. No more ifs, ands, or buts about it. She was involved. The episode ends with Abigail talking to one of the victims – probably Elise – on a train while Garrett Jacob Hobbs watches them, smiling.
And Hannibal doesn’t do Will’s psyche any favors by saying, “We are her fathers now.”
But then again he’s not trying to do him too many favors. I think the beginning of this episode sort of shows that Hannibal does care about Will and how far he is being pushed because he really sees him as an actual friend now. And as we saw in his conversation with his own psychiatrist, Hannibal feels protective of the people in his life with whom he finds he can actually connect. So maybe he’s not going to actively keep sending him into crime scenes and encourage him to keep working for the FBI? I don’t know. I mean, Will wants to keep working – he has said as much despite all of this. But yeah. I think Hannibal is starting to move beyond the “OMG HOW FAR CAN I PUSH HIM BEFORE HE CRACKS” to the “Wait, maybe I shouldn’t be trying to break my favorite toy” stage of this relationship.
You know everything. I know you do. I see it in your eyes. That look. You know so much. When Alana says, “Because whatever reservations I have about Abigail don’t extend to Hannibal. He has no reason to lie about any of this” you can just see him starting to think about Hannibal and being like, “Awwwww shit. No he didn’t.” Yeah. He did Jack. He’s a murderer and he’s playing you people. He already seemed suspicious of Hannibal when Tobias showed up at his place and Hannibal was able to kill him after he had just killed two cops and tried to kill Will.
Maybe Jack is going to die at the end of this season. Like, maybe his wife dies. Hannibal finds a way to make it look like a suicide or something. That’d be interesting. It’d be a TOTAL change from the canon story line from the books because we all know that it’s Jack who brings in Starling. But since they don’t have the rights to the Silence of the Lambs characters for the show and Mariam Lasse already sort of took Starling’s spot in the story… it could happen. It’d be a major shock to everyone’s system. Though if Jack were gone I don’t know why anyone would keep Will around because I think anyone else they brought in would realize that he was unstable.
And next episode. Oh, my God. I thought this would be the like Will finally breaking down episode based on the trailer after last week’s episode but no. This wasn’t too bad. I mean, the losing time was terrifying. But next episode is like actually legit terrifying. Horror movie terrifying. Things dragging you under the bed and murdering you terrifying. Just watching this trailer for next week’s episode creeps me out.
SEE!? SEE WHAT I MEAN. It scares the shit out of me every time. Not just seeing the girl pulled under the bed but seeing Will communicating with the creepiest hallucination he had ever had. Like, Garrett Jacob Hobbs is kind of creepy but he interacts with Will almost like Lucifer did the Winchesters in Supernatural when he was chilling up in whoevers brain. This ghost thing just wants to murder someone. Which is probably going to end with Will fighting back and like murdering one of the dogs or something.
THE DOGS ARE NOT GOING TO SURVIVE THIS SHOW. THEIR NUMBER WILL COME UP EVENTUALLY.
They just aren’t going to survive. Pets never do.
Also, Will keeps thinking it’s a tumor but it’s not a tumor. Because Hannibal would have smelled that out with his bloodhound nose. But you can’t just tell someone that. I mean, I guess he told Jack’s wife that indirectly by bringing up the story and then staring at her during dinner. Still. This is Will. Can’t just keep tipping him off about how weird you are, Hannibal. He’ll start to get suspicious. Like, really suspicious.
But yeah. This show. It keeps getting to me. I just pre-ordered the blu ray set on Amazon and the show isn’t even over yet. The ratings this week were apparently down in the adult demographic to 1.0 million (a record low) but up in the over all viewership since last week. Rumors are that the show will get a final verdict one way or the other on June 1st and I hope it’s good news. NBC needs to renew this show and find a better place for it in the schedule. That’s all I’m saying.
In better news: Eddie Izzard returns in the eleventh episode and Gillian Anderson will be back in episodes twelve and thirteen. (So I guess that scene I posted in the last episode recap from a future episode is from one of those two.)
Also, people really need to add the Hannibal tumblr. It’s so hilarious. I want to run away with whoever runs it just like Seth ran away with Stefon in SNL last week.