I’m filling in for Alyson and recapping Friday night’s Hannibal. Let’s get started!
The episode opens, as so many of them do, with Hannibal cooking, although this time the meal seems to only involve seafood and not people. It’s morning, he’s relaxed and his hair is loose and ungelled and considering that when we saw him at the end of last week’s episode he’d just caught Beverly Katz sneaking around his basement
death kitchen workroom, that is freaking terrifying. Even more creepy is his tender conversation with Jack about saving Bella from her attempted suicide. “I guess I’m a better friend than therapist.” “You’re a great friend, Hannibal.” Ewww. Those words are going to haunt you, dude.
Jack’s morning is about to get a lot worse, though. After receiving an anonymous tip, murder ghoul Freddie Lounds shows up at an abandoned observatory and finds the body of Beverly Katz. When Jack arrives, she warns him that it’s one of his own and we see what they see: Beverly’s body sliced into six progressively smaller parts, displayed vertically like slides ready for a microscope. Jack breaks down in tears and then he and Alana pay a visit to Will to deliver the news in person. Will asks to see her so he’s trussed up like, well, like Hannibal Lecter, and driven to the observatory where we finally get the money shot picture of him wearing the facial mask.
Upstairs, Jack removes all of Will’s bindings and leaves him alone with the body. Will does what Will does — he recreates the murder in his head. He knows Beverly was strangled while Hannibal looked her in the eye, that her body was frozen and then put through a table saw to create the thin slices. Jack pegs the killing as the work of the Chesapeake Ripper and Will tells him that the Ripper and the copycat are the same person. He also wants to know where Jack was on the previous evening, as Beverly was supposed to go to Jack with her information and instead went looking for the Ripper. When Jack explains about Bella’s hospitalization, Will lets it go and then tells Jack that the killer would have removed internal organs, as is his habit of taking trophies. Jack wants to know who the Ripper is but Will refuses to name Hannibal again, and tells Jack that, like Beverly, he has to find that connection himself.
When Beverly’s remains are examined later, Will is proven correct about the trophy taking: her kidneys were replaced with the kidneys of James Gray, the mural killer. Zeller posits that when they find Beverly’s kidneys they’ll find the killer but that’s not going to happen. Hannibal is already grinding them into sausage and making a nice pot pie out of them.
Will is obviously devastated by Beverly’s murder and feels guilty that she died after listening to his advice. Chilton wants to discuss Will’s reaction but Will is having none of it. He calls out the good doctor for continuing to discuss his therapy with Hannibal despite his promise not to do so. Chilton says it was only one last tease before he “pulled the shades down.” Will is only barely more forthcoming when Chilton asks what Will and Beverly discussed in the privacy room, the one place he’s legally not allowed not to record. Will admits they discussed the Ripper and when Chilton brings up Abel Gideon, dismisses him as an imposter but one who knows who the real Ripper is. Chilton is intrigued and Will dangles more bait — that if, perhaps, Gideon were transferred to the mental hospital, Will might be able to get him to reveal the true identity of the Ripper and Chilton would have it all on record and would get the credit for finally capturing the real Chesapeake Ripper.
Chilton, of course, can’t resist that opportunity and Abel Gideon (the always amazing Eddie Izzard) is soon occupying a metal cage right next to Will Graham. Gideon isn’t stupid and he knows something is up. He starts the ball rolling by taunting Will about eating Abigail Hobbs but Will soon twists the conversation to asking Gideon who the Ripper is. Gideon wants to know what’s in it for Will but never bluntly agrees with what they both know. Hannibal, Gideon says, is the devil. He’s smoke and he’s uncatchable and the only way to stop him is to kill him. Will’s response? “Fair enough.” Rut roh.
Chilton listens in to their conversation and pays another visit to Hannibal, who is alarmed enough to ask why Gideon has been transferred to the hospital. Chilton lies that Gideon is there to help with Will’s treatment, because Will has no memory of having tried to kill Gideon. That’s not enough for Hannibal and he requests permission to interview Gideon personally. Chilton allows it and the two men, both of them cold-blooded killers, play a game for Chilton’s benefit, whom they both know is listening. Gideon gets in a dig about Chilton’s hero-worship of Hannibal but the real conversation is what’s not said. Gideon pretends he doesn’t recognize Hannibal and they both pretend they don’t know exactly what Hannibal is, and by doing so seem to come to an agreement to keep that secret secret.
As Hannibal leaves, Freddie Lounds is outside the hospital and snaps a picture. Hannibal wants to know why she’s there and he isn’t the only one surprised when Freddie answers that Will invited her to interview him. A creepy orderly gives her all the creepy don’t touch/don’t take anything/don’t give anything instructions and soon Freddie is sitting across the table from a chained Will in the privacy room where Chilton can’t record their conversation. She’s as curious as we are why Will would invite her up and then surprised when he says that he wants to use her blog to establish a “line of communication” with his “admirer,” the person who killed the bailiff and the judge during his aborted trial. She agrees to play along in exchange for exclusive rights to his life story and Will easily gives in.
As it turns out, the line of communication is much more open than anyone knew. Creepy Orderly takes credit for killing the bailiff but not the judge, and says it was easy to recreate the pattern of the Ripper (he thinks that’s Will) because he (Creepy Orderly) had studied Will’s file. Creepy Orderly’s motive, it seems, was that he hoped to form some sort of serial killer tag-team with Will. What Will wants is much simpler: he asks Creepy Orderly to kill Hannibal. In the cell next door, Gideon is eavesdropping.
Will is disturbed enough by the request to dream that he becomes the stag representation of the Ripper and when Alana arrives to ask why Will would ever give an interview to Freddie Lounds, he answers that he feels responsible for Beverly’s death. Alana knows from his tone that shit has happened and asks to interview Gideon. Gideon is sort of weirdly charming (everyone loves Alana) but he’s also weirdly protective of Will and warns Alana that Will is looking for revenge and needs to be saved from himself. Alana calls Jack and they go in search of Hannibal. He’s not at his office but his cell phone is tracked and they have a location.
That location is an indoor pool where Hannibal is currently swimming laps. Creepy Orderly is there, too, and swims with Hannibal for a couple of lengths before he gets out. When Hannibal stops swimming, Creepy Orderly shoots him with tranquilizer dart and while Hannibal is unconscious, cuts his wrists, spreads his arms out in a Christ-like pose over a long, narrow bar, puts a noose around his neck and stands him perilously on a bucket. While Hannibal is bleeding slowly to death and constantly at the risk of falling off the bucket and hanging himself, Creepy Orderly plays a game of Yes/No Questions that don’t really have to be answered verbally because Creepy Orderly is watching Hannibal’s eyes for signs of dilation, which mean a “yes” answer. When he finds out that Hannibal is the Ripper, Creepy Orderly wonders if he can claim those killings once he kills Hannibal. Hannibal’s response? “Only if you eat me.” What is it with this dude??? Seriously.
But never fear, Jack arrives just in time and shoots the orderly. Creepy Orderly, though, has enough strength left to kick Hannibal’s bucket out from beneath him, leaving Hannibal dangling at the end of a noose. Jack races over and lifts Hannibal in his arms while Alana calls 911.
A tweet today suggested Hannibal is on the cancellation bubble. Watch, people!! This show is too good to be canceled.