After the last few upsetting episodes, this episode settles into a more laid back cat-and-mouse game. It breaks it up a bit nicely that way. By making the characters feel safe, the viewers feel like we are safe. This is a marvelous horror trope: get the crowd relaxed for a good scare when the real shit goes down.
Jack and Will are ice fishing. which is a big honking metaphor for trying to catch Hannibal. In winter, the fish are less likely to get caught because their metabolism slows down, leaving them less hungry. To catch them, you must use live bait instead of lures to get a fish to even go after your hook.
Jack: Make him act on instinct because he is always a predator.
Will: I’m a good fisherman, Jack.
Jack: You hook ’em, I’ll land ’em.
Cut to Hannibal cleaning fish and preparing it for a dinner with Jack and Will. Will says of the trout on the table, “It was my turn to provide the meat.” The biting comment refers to what the viewer knows — Hannibal usually cooks human meat. Hannibal, Jack and Will are talking about circling up the wagons. Hannibal wants them all to move on together. Will still does not trust Hannibal. The use of food and dinners for exposition is an interesting theme in the show — we all sit down to eat and share news, which makes these scenes ones that invite the viewer in.
Fade to a scene at a horse barn where two workers talk about a dead horse. One begins to examine it because there are stitches along its belly. It has a hidden surprise — a dead body.
The FBI team is examining the body with Hannibal in attendance. Who keeps inviting this guy? Hannibal points out that the horse is a chrysalis for the body. It was a rebirth, a transformation of sorts. Hannibal fakes not knowing all the answers because he wants to bring Will back in.
The scene fades to someone named Margot being tortured. Eyes are flashed on the screen. Eyes being shown usually means something important is about to go down.
Margot is meeting with Hannibal in therapy. Hannibal reveals that Margot attacked her brother, Mason. If you have read the books or seen Hannibal, you know the Vergers are a fucked up family.
Hannibal: It would have been more therapeutic if you had killed him.
Alana is in bed with Hannibal again. Jeez, Alana, stay away. Hannibal thinks it’s good that Will is back in therapy. Alana can’t believe the strangeness of Hannibal and Will in therapy together. According to Hannibal, Will tried to kill him in order to protect Alana. Alana mentions that she is afraid Will opened a door that can’t be closed. Hannibal thinks Will can find his way back: “With a good psychiatrist.”
The FBI science team reveals its finding to Jack about the victim, Sarah Craver. They are bickering, as they do. They get scared because they feel something beating in the chest. Fearing the woman is still alive, they cut open the body to reveal a crow that flies out from the heart. The crow is what made it seem as if the heart was beating.
Will is at the horse barn, which is his first real time back in the field. The camera blurs to let us know we’re going in his head. We see him sedating a horse, taking the woman, and putting her and the crow in the horse.
We leave his head to see Will standing there with Jack, saying, “It was a coffin birth.” Whoever did this knew the victim, knew the horse, and knew enough about the stable to know when to do the deed.
Jack and Will drive to a small isolated house littered with animal cages. The suspect definitely gives off creepy vibes, especially when he asks if the bird was alive. He really is letting on that he knows a lot. The suspect, Peter, appears to care more for animals than humans. Will figures out that Peter has a brain injury caused by a horse kick. This injury causes touch and sight to manifest as two separate events. When stressed, Peter basically shuts down. Will doesn’t believe that Peter should be the suspect because of this. It appears Peter is more stressed out over what happened to the animals, though he definitely recognizes the victim.
Will and Hannibal discuss rebirth in therapy. Will gets on the defensive with Hannibal. I like that.
Will prefers sins of omissions to outright lies. Will admits that he has to see Hannibal because no other therapist would understand what Will has in his head. Will admits that he still wants to kill Hannibal. He goes on to explain how he wants to do it, with his bare hands. I guess there is something cathartic about killing someone with your own bare hands. Will enjoys hurting bad people now.
Will approaches another crime scene. There are about a dozen bodies everywhere. Zeller approaches Will and apologizes. Will doesn’t necessarily accept it, but the two men shake hands before moving on to the crime scene. This is a recurring theme, and Will is just getting tired of people apologizing. Will needs to reclaim his life and I think he is having a hard time grieving for what he has lost. Jack mentions they found Sarah Craver’s empty grave. Will suspects that Peter knows who the actual killer is.
Margot is in therapy with Hannibal. Her demeanor and words reveal that her family blames her for a lot of problems even though Mason is the true evil. Margot is evil by proxy. She has been twisted into her evil. Before the season, Bryan Fuller revealed we’ll soon get to meet the Vergers, so of course we meet Margot first.
Will brings the bird to Peter. Will and Peter have a discussion. Will is doing a great job of trying to fish for information. His description of birds being the carriers of souls in old human cultures was a great way to reach out to Peter. “You’re grieving her.” Peter wanted the FBI to find him because then they could find the killer. Will points out that Peter thought he had a friend until he saw what the killer really is.
Alana meets with Peter’s case worker. She notes, “A surprising lack of empathy from a social worker.” The case worker has been accused by Peter of being the killer. He definitely is squirming in his seat. Will and Hannibal are observing and they mention that Alana is pushing him on his feelings instead of facts. She is fishing to see if he has any sort of feeling or if he is just a cold-blooded killer.
“No, his eyes are dead”
The social worker tries to push Sarah’s death off onto Peter. According to him, Peter was obsessed. He asks to leave. Will definitely believes that Peter is right. Will declares to both Hannibal and Jack as they leave the observation room, “I know what it’s like to point at a killer and have no one believe you.”
Peter returns home to find all of his animals gone and their cages left wide open. He gets stressed out and starts to see the room shake. He runs out to the stable to find a dead horse. The case worker is there with a sledgehammer. The dead horse is the one that kicked Peter in the head. Somehow, Mr. Ingram thinks this will help Peter to see who Peter is inside. In some ways this is true.
Will and Hannibal are in a car together. Hannibal asks that if Peter can be saved, will Will save himself? Is this just projection on Will’s part? They show up to Peter’s ransacked house. Will and Hannibal then end up at the barn:
Peter, is your social worker in that horse?
Will tells Peter that he didn’t deserve to kill the worker. Will really is trying to save everyone. Any sort of broken person is Will’s personal cause. A finger pokes out and the social worker begins to work his way out of the body. This is a second coffin birth. Something dead is giving birth to something alive. Peter wanted him to understand the destiny he created. Mr. Ingram finds Hannibal there staring at him. Will then appears with a gun. He wants to kill Ingram over what happened to Peter. Hannibal grabs the gun before Will can make a mistake and fire.
Hannibal finds Will fascinating. He basically views Will as someone he hatched out of a chrysalis. In a weird fucked up way, Will Graham is Hannibal Lecter’s child.
It is definitely interesting to see where everything goes from here. I have been waiting for the Vergers to be introduced, so it is nice to see Margot finally getting her screen time. Hannibal and Will’s dance of death is getting more intriguing by the minute. I mean the story line we all know, but it is really awesome to see how Bryan Fuller is making it play out.