“Su-zakana” begins with another fishing trip for Will Graham. In past episodes, these trips were often in Will’s mind. He traveled to his ‘happy place’ to strategize and make convenient fishing metaphors that highlighted the themes of the episode. This trip is very similar, with one important difference – it isn’t imaginary. Will invites Crawford to a real trip, which seems to indicate that he is in a more powerful place. Rather than scheme in his head, his plans have consequence; he isn’t alone.
In fact, Will is back with Hannibal. He goes to therapy and admits that he still thinks about killing Hannibal. How would he do it? “With my hands,” Will says sassy as ever. As far as we can tell, Will is biding his time, lying to Crawford and Hannibal until he can prove that Hannibal was the Chesapeake Ripper. This means that he has to do everything in his power to keep Hannibal interested in his mind. Revenge fantasy? Check. New attitude? Check. Murder? Well…
The ‘murder case of the week’ featured a hammy reflection of the Hannibal/Will dynamic in Peter and Clark. Peter is a mental-challenged stable worker unable to bring his psychopathic caseworker Clark to justice for his crimes. Will sees himself in Peter. He recognizes the fear of futility of his position. So, in the finale, he comes awful close to shooting Clark for his cruelty. Hannibal intervenes at the last minute, saving Will from a life sentence for murder. Which brings me to the question of the episode: did Will intend to kill Clark, or try to feed Hannibal’s curiosity with a convincing attempt? If it was a ruse, he made a huge bet that Hannibal would step in to prevent the murder; regardless, Hannibal was stoked to see Will trying to kill someone, even if he stopped it from going down. Their über-homoerotic embrace was all the assurance that I needed. As always, I’m going to claim that the answer is a little bit of both. Will wouldn’t have minded shooting Clark, but he’s happy that Hannibal is happy. In the words of the cannibal himself, “It feels good to do bad things to bad people.” Killing Clark and tricking Hannibal are both examples of that philosophy.
Outside of the episode’s on-the-nose themes (rebirth, reboot, revision), there were a few subtle moments I’d like to note. Brian and Will have a conversation about Beverly’s death. Brian’s grief and guilt gives her death more weight. It also proves why he’s part of the ensemble, which will make us sad if he’s the next one to go.
As much as there was to like, I had one big gripe: Alana. I’m not sure what role she functions on the show anymore. Her sweaty, slow-mo sex scene with Hannibal was artfully shot, but accomplished what purpose? We can be reminded that she is still in Hannibal’s arms without the late-night HBO stuff.
Finally, let’s look to the future. Hannibal has a new patient, Margot Verger. In the canon, Margot’s sadistic brother Mason has a serious bone to pick with Hannibal based on nasty meeting. Mason will be played by Michael Pitt (awesome choice). The series will almost certainly show Mason before his fateful encounter, so that they can take us through it and beyond! Exciting times lie ahead.
Alternative title – Turducken.
Michael Pitt as Mason!!