This season of Hannibal is going to be more disgusting and more dark than the last. Eating food while watching this show is at the risk of your own stomach. The darker it gets, the more intriguing it becomes as Bryan Fuller pulls the audience into Will’s and Hannibal’s descents into madness. Watching this episode, I really felt my own emotional madness coming on.
The episode opens with the metro rider waking up in the silo full of people. He is distraught to find out he is mesh sewn together with his body covered in resin. Somehow he manages to pull himself free and gets out. Of course, there is no easy escape. The serial killer shows up in his truck and begins a chase. First, through all the cars of the victims that all appear rusted away. Next, into the corn field that must be the cover for what the silo is actually used for. As the killer chases, he is firing a gun at the escaped victim. Finally, the victim approaches a cliff. He knows it’s his only escape. Unfortunately, he hits his head on the way down, and the now-dead victim floats on down the river.
“I am an unreliable narrator of my own story.”
Will is being visited by Dr. Bloom and Hannibal. Will discloses how confused he is. “Which is worse? Believing that I did it or believing you did it and that you did this to me.” Will breaks down and asks them for help. He wants to end his confusion. The cry for help is by far more directed at Hannibal.
Bedelia comes to Hannibal. She tells him that they don’t have a next session, that she is no longer his therapist. She tells him that she doesn’t think she can help him. Hannibal reveals that she tried to end it before and that Hannibal helped her after she was attacked by one of her patients. She tells him that she won’t reveal anything to Jack Crawford because she would look just as guilty. “The person suit that you wear” might be the best description of Hannibal ever. Bedelia does not seem too enthused that Hannibal is resuming therapy with Will.
The victim Roland Umber’s autopsy is being done. Hannibal of course is there, being the new Will Graham. They postulate the body was thrown away like the others. Hannibal also begins to understand the cracks of the silicone. He talks about how cracks aren’t necessarily a flaw. Dr. Katz begins to bring up Will’s theory about the color palette, and Hannibal makes a statement about her theory sounding like a Will Graham theory. Jack figures it out and corners her. They begin to talk because Jack is upset that she visited Will without his approval. Dr. Katz reveals that Jack thinks Will is innocent. Jack is going to have to have a psych evaluation because of Will.
Hannibal begins to smell the body and gets transported into a dream-like fugue state; the same type of state Will gets when he starts postulating about killers. Hannibal begins running through a corn field like he was Shoeless Joe Jackson. His facial expressions say it all. He knows where to find the person and is definitely not sharing.
“Friends have a symmetrical balance.”
Hannibal returns to visit Will. Hannibal tells Will that he knows he is searching for the truth to incriminate Hannibal. He also points out that what Will finds will be a distortion of reality. They discuss the violence and the morbidity of what Will did. Hannibal asks what Dr. Katz asked him. What did he see, Hannibal wonders? Will postulates the killer is making a mural and that he is missing pieces. The bodies are stitched together, not strung up individually.
Katz comes back to talk to Will. Will points out that Dr. Chilton continues to record his conversations because he is gossipy. Will wants something: for Katz to ignore all the evidence against him. This way, a clean slate means what evidence Dr. Katz finds will prove his innocence or guilt. Will looks at the file. The pictures show Roland and the cracked skin. Will realizes he wasn’t thrown away. He survived the OD and what was done to him. He had a history of heroin abuse. Will realizes that he escaped, most likely from a factory or a farm. Will asks what Hannibal’s theory is. Katz tells him but Will knows it’s bullshit.
“I love your work.”
Hannibal, dressed in a plastic bag suit, finds the farm and the human mural. Hannibal climbs the silo and sees the wicked, fucked up masterpiece below. He realizes the mural resembles a human iris and that it is looking up to the heavens. The killer opens the silo door and Hannibal greets him.
The FBI has swarmed the place and the bodies are being unfurled and separated. “However did you find this place?” Dr. Katz tells Hannibal that he and Will Graham make a good team. They found corn dust in the cracked skin and tracked the river until a corn farm appeared. Jack tells Hannibal to prepare himself to go inside the silo, as he has not seen something like this before. Hannibal cracks a smile. They begin a discussion about why did this guy did it. Jack mentions an existential crisis but this seems to apply more to his thoughts about himself and Will Graham.
Jack meets with the FBI psychiatrist for his evaluation. Jack tells the psych he failed Will. He kept pushing and pushing. “We all fail,” the psych tells Jack.
“I look at my friend and I see a killer. I am failing to reconcile these two things.”
The team is beginning to autopsy John Doe 21. The viewers know this is the killer. The team is trying to figure out why this man was in the color palette. He is missing a leg, which we learn Hannibal took to make veal osso bucco. John Doe 21 is Roland’s replacement in the color wheel.
“How did he find his faith?”
Bedelia comes to visit Jack at the FBI and tells him that she wants this to be their last conversation on the subject of Hannibal. She says she is not feeling emotionally secure. She is talking about her traumatizing issues. Hannibal’s issues have been an unpleasant reminder for her. Jack says Hannibal could help her, but she is not too excited by that statement. She does not want the FBI contacting her.
Hannibal and Dr. Katz visit Will this time. They have a picture of the people mural to show Will. Hannibal makes it a point to bring up that in the 17th century, it was believed the last image seen before death would be fixed on the retina.
Will begins to talk out what is going on, delving into his serial killer fugue state. He figures out that John Doe 21 is not part of the design and begins to see the deer horn man, then Hannibal. Will realizes that the killer is in the mural. Will postulates that the killer took the leg of John Doe 21 as a trophy. This is spliced with showing what Hannibal did to John Doe 21. Hannibal tells John Doe that they are finishing the mural together because he is the final piece. John tells Hannibal that there is no God. “God gave you purpose, not only to create art, but to become it.”
“Your eye will now see God reflected back.”
Kade Prurnell is back. This time, she is talking to Will about his trial. She tells Will that the trial is not about innocence, but whether he was conscious when he killed or not. Kade wants him to plead guilty so the FBI can avoid a very public trial. She tells him she is trying to save his life, but Will is having none of this. He is pleading innocent. “I guess I have to save my own life.” Kade warns that if he is found guilty, the government will pursue the death penalty.
Bedelia comes to talk to Will. Will asks her what it’s like to be Hannibal’s therapist. Bedelia tells Will that she believes that Hannibal has helped him because he believes it’s what’s best for Will. “You can survive.” Bedelia begins to cross the white line, getting right into Will’s cell and whispering,
“I believe you.”
Hannibal goes to Bedelia’s now abandoned home. He searches around and finds a bottle of perfume on the chair he sat in during therapy. He smells it and smiles. He hears her voice, “You are dangerous.”
I cannot believe this is the just the second episode. The storytelling feels very much like a mid-season episode. I guess this is the product of two things. One is the fact the seasons are just one long serial. Basically each season is a chapter or so in the same book. Two, Bryan Fuller knows how to pack each episode with all the right stuff. There is no filler here. Everything is needed. He is a master painter of darkness, of blood, of guts, of love.