Spoilers up in here
Hannibal is back for season 3! Woot-woot! Hannibal has always had to fight to stay alive, as a show forever on the bubble (and in the Friday night graveyard slot no less). It has to be great. The ratings are abysmal, yet the rabid fan base and solid critical reviews have kept it around one year longer. Episodes like Ko No Mono remind you why it deserves to exist, and how a show so tiny is worth so much.
The show began with homage to a famous scene in Red Dragon. Freddie Lounds burning body rolled into a parking garage, setting up one big theme in the show: destruction. Of course, destruction, particularly fire, also breeds creation. Add in a Shiva reference and the comparison makes sense. Shiva is the god of destruction and creation. Life is not a line, but a wheel. One leads to another. In the case of Will Graham, the destruction of his murder leads him to a higher, psychopathic being…right?
Wrong! Finally we learn for a fact that Will is playing Hannibal. Jack Crawford is in on it. Freddie isn’t even dead. So although Will has done some horrible things, (pretty sure he still ate a human) he isn’t a psychopath. Whatever the toll of his actions, the ending of the episode proved that is still human. But we’ll get there.
First, let’s talk Abigail. The episode’s related focus to destruction/creation was parenthood. Will felt like a father to Abigail when she was alive. Fatherhood was good for him because according to Hannibal, having children helps tell us who we are. When Will was unbound by his disturbing work, she grounded him. Her death was a tragedy to him, but he may have had a chance for redemption as Margot’s baby daddy. Interestingly, Hannibal claims to feel guilt over killing Abigail. It’s hard to accept his claim given what we know about him. On the one hand, his responsibility in his own sister’s death leaves him with guilt, so there is a parallel experience. On the other hand, Abigail was a useful tool to turn Will evil. Does he really care?
Alana Bloom was back big time. Not only was she given something to do this episode, but she had the important role of being the audience’s guide through uncertain outcomes. She didn’t know if Will was scheming or not, and nor did we till the end. It was a good role, but Hannibal is probably going to kill her pretty soon. He smelled gunpowder on her hand with his super-nose, and deduced that she’s got a gun. If she can convince him its protection from Will and not him, than she’s ok. But this show likes to kill people, and we have a season finale coming up.
Finally, we get a picture of Mason Verger. I thought that he was a little undefined before. Now, after seeing him steal a child’s tears, bullshit in therapy, and sterilize his sister, I get it: he’s a sick f*ck. The most terrifying thing I’ve seen on the show was him abort his sister’s baby, and mess her uterus up for good. Unlike Hannibal who is observant and calm during murder, Mason is obviously euphoric. It’s gross, but oh so entertaining.
Mason’s actions were so evil that we rooted for Will to kill him, even though that’s wrong. Yet Will was able to fight back the impulse, thus proving that he isn’t under Hannibal’s influence, and also proving that the new creation of Will is not a monster but a strong man. Hannibal’s superb manipulation of Mason, Margot, and Will was perhaps the best arc on the show, so Will’s subversion of its end game is a big power shift. Will tried to get someone to kill Hannibal before, but Mason is a real threat. The last two episodes have a lot of promise.
Ortolan recipe = nightmares