Hannibal: Kaiseki (02×01)
Synopsis: After a brief look at where the season is going, we reunite with everyone and start on a twelve week race to the finish. Will is locked up and desperately trying to prove to everyone that Hannibal was behind everything the whole time. Jack still blames himself and has to juggle both an inquiry at work as well as a new and very prolific serial murderer. And Hannibal continues to think he’s freakin’ awesome and relishes Will’s struggles, taking his place with the FBI, and obviously his awesome choice in wardrobe. (And food, I guess?) Basically the best possible foray back into the world of Hannibal. This season is going to be insane.
I’m having a hard time right now just processing the fact that Hannibal is back and we are getting new episodes already. My head just can’t wrap itself around what that even begins to mean. I just watched a new episode of Hannibal. I just watched a new episode of Hannibal. Every Friday for the next like three months is going to bring me a new episode of Hannibal. The fangirl in me literally cannot deal with this. The emotions, the #feels, the suspense… it’s too much.
And this season is all about keeping the viewers in suspense.
Well, sort of in suspense.
The first episode starts out with Jack coming into Hannibal’s kitchen in ‘the present.’ He walks in, they share a look, and when Hannibal goes for his knife Jack tries for his gun. Except Hannibal tosses a knife into his hand and all hell breaks loose. The whole thing is so well set up with the diluted music build up and the rush of sound as the fight starts. I particularly loved the faces reflecting in the knife in the beginning. It’s actually quite a fantastic fight scene all together. I read somewhere in some interview (I wish I had the link) that both Mads Mikkelsen and Laurence Fishburne were able to draw a lot on their prior fight training for it. (Which just makes me imagine Keanu Reeves saying, “I know Kung Fu” for some reason.)
Jack seems to hold his own and even seems to get one up on Hannibal towards the end by using some WWE-style moves and strangling him with his tie but, of course, we all know better. Hannibal grabs some broken glass and jabs Jack in the neck. We’ve seen a lof this footage previously in the various trailers. Jack ducks into Hannibal’s wine ‘cellar’ or room or whatever. And he’s hurt. Bad. We’re talking like… arterial spray bad.
We then transition to ‘the past’ which starts out “twelve weeks earlier.”
We see Hannibal in his kitchen again preparing to meet with Jack but this time on far better terms. The episode title comes into play as Hannibal explains what ‘kaiseki’ means. There’s a little ‘haha’ moment where Jack can’t figure out what kind of fish they are eating and Hannibal says, “He was a flounder.” Oh, Hannibal. You kill me.
Once again the two of them sit around in their own little pity party trying to share the blame for Will’s decent into madness while at the same time sort of brushing off their responsibility in all of it. Jack tells Hannibal that he’s going to be in trouble with the FBI now that his bloodhound has gone mad. Which is very true.We find out that Alana filed a report ratting him out for his lapse of judgement in ever putting Will into the field so Jack is under very strict scrutiny now. (Even though Jack’s boss tells her she should recant because the FBI wants to sweep it all under the rug which she refuses to do even for Jack.)
He also tells him they will be investigating Will’s claims against Hannibal only because they need to be thorough to which Hannibal readily agrees. I mean, of course he does. This intelligent psychopath hasn’t left any clues before and the rest of the crime scene team is so wrapped up in their own #feels regarding Will and all that’s happened that they aren’t going to come across anything.
I mean, later, Hannibal is talking with Beverly and even she is like, “Dude. C’mon. We all know we’re not going to find anything.” It’s actually a funny little scene with a great back and forth between the two of them. “You might want to think about supplementing your wardrobe,” she tells him when they take in all his suits for testing and he responds, “I often do.” But it gets a bit deeper as Beverley betrays how frustrated she is with herself and everyone – and Will, too – by what they all somehow missed.
When we first see Will this season it’s almost seven minutes into the episode. He’s not fly fishing as he seems but instead escaping into his mind because his reality is so unbearable. Not that his inner sanctum is that impenetrable either as the raven-feathered stag makes a solemn appearance and then the wendigo pops out all terrifying like. Chilton keeps trying to ‘treat’ him and ask him questions and Will isn’t having it. He’s frustrated; he’s uncooperative. Which obviously we know is for good reason. It frustrates Chilton to no end and he tells Hannibal at dinner how frustrating it is and that he feels like a freshman fumbling with a panty girdle. (Which is exactly what Hannibal says about Chilton to Will in Red Dragon.) You almost want to feel bad for him. I mean, he did lose a kidney to Eddie Izard’s crazy Dr. Gideon. Plus it can’t be easy to deal with a guy who knows all the psychological tricks. Or who keeps asking to speak to Hannibal and not Chilton.
With all the #feels and all this going on it could be easy to forget that Hannibal is technically a police procedural show and that it does partially revolve around the most grotesque and terrible murders that the writers came imagine up. And with Will in prison it seems high time for Hannibal to step into his place and become, as Beverly said, “the new Will Graham.” This episode – and possibly for another couple episodes – the killer is collecting people and preserving them as trophies. They discover all this after some public park workers come across his ‘discard pile’ weighted in a river near a beaver dam. Jack calls on Hannibal to give insight on the case, though, considering how he helped out Garrett Jacob Hobbs (well, sorta) I kind of imagine he’ll want to find the killer himself instead of helping out the FBI.
Which is maybe why Beverley ultimately brings the case file to Will. She’s kind of standoffish but at the same time trusts him and he realizes it. He does what he can, telling her that the killer is compiling a color palette victims one of whom is a black man that we actually see a few times throughout the episode as he’s selected, abducted, and his body treated for preservation. I will say, though, it was super creepy and sad when Will asked “And pictures?” which was a clear throw back to Ed Norton’s Will Graham asking Hannibal for help with the Tooth Fairy case in Red Dragon. At least Will didn’t ask to keep them.
Anyway, it’s pretty clear there is no substitute for Will Graham and that if this man is going to survive (he probably won’t) it’s going to have to be because of Will. But Jack keeps trying to make Hannibal that substitute.
Meanwhile, no one is any the wiser as he works along side the FBI.
Except, you know, Hannibal’s psychiatrist.
Bedalia Du Maurier knows everything. We maybe wondered at the end of last season but this season? Nope. She knows. Rather, she mostly knows. I don’t think she actually knows everything but she knows what Hannibal is capable of and what he can do. Hannibal is perfectly candid in how he feels about Will Graham and she warns him that his obsession with Will is going to get him into trouble. But he goes to great depths to try and explain why he considers Will a friend and what he thinks of him. And I about died when Hannibal compared Will’s imagination to a chair of antlers because that’s verbatim how Will describes it in Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon.She doesn’t want him to see Will in prison because it will give them both away. She has as much to lose with Hannibal being found up as she does – especially after Hannibal gives her consent to talk about their sessions with the FBI investigators. He puts her in a place to lie for him and she had to do it.
Hannibal does go anyway because he obviously can’t pass up a chance to mess with Will.
Not a whole lot goes on during this meeting. Most of the more intense moments we’ve already seen in trailers. Hannibal is still trying to convince Will that the murders were his own doing and that he needs to accept that. But it’s not that simple and they both know it. It’s still all a game for Hannibal but as Will says, when he remembers, there will be a reckoning.
The problem for Will is that no one is helping him with this. No one except maybe Alana who wants him to get representation, claim some sort of insanity defense, and be at least somewhat free of these murders she thinks he committed. Not that law really works that way (and the trailer for next week shows more law!) but she’s trying. She tells him about the dogs who are mostly adjusting. Winston is the only hold out and he constantly runs away to Will’s house. Both Jack and Alana find him there at one point and it’s difficult for all three of them to really come to terms with what’s happening to Will. She does help him try and recover his memories, though, when he asks. Using a metronome and mind science s he helps him go back into his fevered encephalitis memories to try and figure out how Hannibal did all this. And we get a wonderfully disgusting moment of Hannibal snaking an ear down Will’s throat! Yeah. Gross.
But the pieces are starting to come together.
Jack may not listen to him. And Jack and Alana may both want Will to accept what he’s done. But Will is starting to put things into perspective for himself and as he gets more and more desperate as the season goes on he’ll hopefully start figuring out a way to bring Hannibal down.
The episode ends with Jack telling Will that everything they investigated regarding his claims about Hannibal came up with nothing. Will tries to tell him that it’s not him and he leaves Jack with the words, “You may not believe me now but you will.” We then see Hannibal staring at an empty chair across from him in his office where Will once sat. And the last thing we get to see? Our poor abducted guy laying at the bottom of a silo placed in a circle with all the other missing people Beverley brought to Will showing that he was right about the color palette thing.
So, basically, here’s my take away for this episode:
- Whenever I get a dog I’m naming it Winston because OMG he’s so cute and so sad and he just wants Will to come home.
- We are looking at twelve episodes worth of ‘flashback’ episodes here it seems.
- Beverley is going to figure Hannibal out before anyone else because she doesn’t want to give up on Will and the trailer where Hannibal seems to be sneaking up on her in the dark probably confirms that.
- The other crime scene dudes never get old.
- I kind of love Chilton even if he is a parasite because he’s easier to hate than Hannibal and I need that.
- Hannibal has a Japanese aunt? Or is that another lie?
- I’m glad we got to see the raven-feathered stag and it hasn’t been entirely replaced by the wendigo.
- And OMG all the Red Dragon quotes this episode!
- Jack and is unwillingness to listen to Will is going to piss me off all season.
- I wasn’t prepared for these #feels and I don’t know how I’m going to last eleven more weeks.
And next week’s episode?
- I’ve been so excited about the silo of bodies!
- Time for some courtroom drama… which means it’s also probably time for me to start face palming about how inaccurate all the legl stuff is going to wind up being.
- So ready for the judge displayed like the cop in Silence of the Lambs, though.
- Also, in one scene in court Will is in just as suit and presumably soft restraints under his clothes but then we see him being wheeled around in his mask so… something happens. Will does something.
- I’m so happy to see Will and Beverley together and to see that she maybe actually might start believing him.
- Also: it looks like we might be seeing Beverley’s clip from ‘the present’ with Hannibal creepily showing up in the darkness behind her because it looks like she’s pushing through some plastic stuff in the darkness with a flashlight? Maybe? I don’t know. But I’m betting it’s Beverley next time. (Though it could be Alana coming to find Hannibal all bloody from his fight with Jack.)
- Bedalia telling Will she believes him while the warning klaxons go off in the background? YES. (Bedalia is so going to die this season… and soon.)
- Maybe the klaxons are what Will does that gets him in trouble and put into the mask…?
How can I even survive another week for another episode? Please explain this to me because I can’t. I can’t.