Hannibal: “Yakimono”

Photo courtesy of NBC.

Photo courtesy of NBC.

Spoilers: Proceed at your own risk.

Step right up boys and girls, give the wheel a spin!  Round and round she goes, where she stops, no one knows! American Horror Story might be set in a circus next year, but Hannibal is serving up unpredictable thrills on a weekly basis. Showrunner Bryan Fuller hinted that “Yakimono” would function as a mini-finale, and then delivered the goods. Excrement hit the fan this week when both Will and Hannibal find their legal freedom from the Ripper case. If that wasn’t enough, Dr. Chilton (a fixture in the source material) gets offed by Miriam, who is certainly going to jail her stunt.

Hannibal proved he had plenty up his sleeve. He framed Chilton with Gideon’s body, Chilton’s medical practices, and a macabre assortment of dead FBI officers. Fuller is clearly trying to match the insanity of the ‘face wearing’ escape in The Silence of the Lambs. At times, Hannibal slips from psychopathic-genius to actual super-villain, but it’s a small price to pay for entertainment. Hannibal has always been more expressionistic than realistic when depicting its crimes, so it makes sense that the portrayal extends to the main villain. The more powerful he is depicted, the more excited I get to see Will match his mind in a battle. Thus far, Will has had to sink to Hannibal’s ruthless level to engage him, but can he be as smart?

It’s nice to see Will out of the asylum. He remained active even in his confines, but now that he’s out and with a bigger challenge: convince the world that Dr. Chilton was not the Ripper after all. As soon as Miriam shot Chilton, I realized she is screwed. If Will succeeds, she will know she’s killed an innocent man. He has to disregard her mental health completely. Ouch.

My one gripe with the episode is that it raises far more questions than it answers. How does Will plan to proceed? How is Jack going to feel? What does Hannibal have planned for will? Is Chilton actually dead (a theory says he ain’t)? However, I was rewarded with one of the most action-packed, forward-driving installment we’ve had yet. Rarely does the show leave its psychological parlor room debates for an entire episode in favor of constant action.

Final note – Will explained the elusive plant metaphor from the previous episode. I was caught up in the unclear man/nature comparison that Hannibal was trying to make. I neglected to see that plants are a symbol of nurture, care, and harvest too. Seeing how long Hannibal has been sowing the seeds of his diabolical exit strategy, it’s an apt metaphor for his style, and Fuller’s too. I can’t wait to see what tasty fruit ripens next.

Grade A-


Mazel Tov, Raul Esparza. Great Job as Chilton. 

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