Garrett Jacobs Hobbs teaches his daughter how to hunt deer and how every part of the slain animal must be honoured and put to good use or they are nothing more than murderers. Abigail wakes up from her coma. Dr. Bloom visits Will to inform him of Abigail’s awakening. Jack wants Will to visit Abigail, but Dr. Bloom doesn’t think Will should.
Dr. Bloom visits Abigail instead and notes that she is not as innocent or clueless as she appears. Instead, she seems very practical, focusing on matters of her parent’s burial and insurance money. Hannibal and Bloom discuss Abigail with Jack Crawford. Jack still insists that Abigail was a part of the murders and Bloom concedes that Abigail is hiding something. Hannibal and Jack walk in on Will giving a lecture on the copycat killer – Will says he is intelligent and will never kill like that again. Will ends the lecture by noting that before Hobbs died, he received an untraceable call that Will believes is from the copycat, as the camera focuses on the caller – Hannibal. Freddie Lounds meets Abigail and tells her that she (Freddie) can help Abigail tell her side of the story to the world so people don’t see her as a monster. She mentions Will is insane just as Will and Hannibal enter. Will and Hannibal talk to Abigail and she is revealed to be deeply traumatized by the events but Will and Hannibal offer their help in getting past it. Jack decides to break new ground by sending Abigail to her home to see if she can remember anything they can use. Freddie Lounds visits a victim’s brother, Nicholas Boyle, to inform him that Abigail is out of her coma. Abigail meets her old neighbour Marissa. Nicholas drops by and accuses Abigail of being bait before Marissa shoos him away. Her mother drags her home, worried about her keeping company with Abigail.
Back at home, Will is having difficulty sleeping, waking up with profuse night sweats. The next day they visit the hunting cabin. Abigail recounts her father saying everything must be put to use or else it’s just murder. She realizes with horror that her father was feeding his victims to his family. Blood drips from the ceiling as she says this and they find Marissa upstairs, mounted on deer antlers. Inside her home, Abigail opens a pillow on a hunch and finds human hair in it. She runs downstairs only to find Nicholas there. In her panic, she accidentally stabs him when he lunges for her. Dr. Lector catches a glimpse of Abigail’s blood drenched hands before Dr. Bloom does. Hannibal knocks Bloom out from behind and convinces Abigail that no one will believe that her murder of Nicholas was an accident. He says he will help her hide the body. The incident is explained away as Nicholas hitting Dr. Bloom, knocking her out. He assaults Abigail who cuts him in self-defence (explaining her bloody hands) before escaping. Later on, Abigail escapes the hospital to meet Hannibal trying to make sense of what happened. She realizes that Hannibal called at her house the day her father died. Hannibal promises to keep her secret if she keeps his.
I’m so glad that there wasn’t another random killer of the week this episode. I’m not sure if I like the way that Garret Jacob Hobbs’ death is turning out to be the central event of the season so far. It’s like everything that happens in this episode all comes back to Hobbs’ death. In some ways, that makes perfect sense – Hobbs’ death had a major impact on Will and really is a culmination of everything about this show – it’s a product of Hannibal’s nefarious interference, of Jack’s inability to withdraw Will from ‘getting too close’ and Will’s own conflicts.
Abigail is herself turning into quite an interesting character. Part of me wants to think that she is innocent and was used by her father but the hunting scene in the beginning of the episode along with Dr. Bloom’s analysis of her character makes me uncomfortable around the character. I cannot deny the truth in Bloom’s analysis yet everything else about Abigail seems genuine. Her trauma and fright seem very real as does her shock at realizing just how deep her father’s horrors run. I found her willingness to speak with Freddie Lounds disappointing –Lounds is just so disgusting this episode that I honestly find myself wishing that Hannibal would just go ahead and kill her. Her manipulation of Abigail and Nicholas and attempts to do so to with Will are just examples of being a terrible human being. She is as remorseless about her actions as Hannibal is about his and in her own way she is as damaging and dangerous.
Hannibal and Will do make a good team though don’t they? It’s not so much that they work together in this episode, but at the same time the characters seem to click together very naturally. The problem of course is that the audience knows that Hannibal is bad news and so we fear for Will every time they are together. Will, for his part, seems to be increasingly unstable – his inability to sleep and the terrible night sweats are worrying signs. Will is defensive of Abigail but I agree that Jack is right in asking whether Will is just being nice or whether he is acting out of guilt of killing her father. I like some of the smaller touches in the episode – notice how silent Hannibal is when Will asks Abigail whether she can remember the caller’s voice? I could have sworn I saw her eyes flick towards Hannibal for the briefest of moments before she answered but I don’t know whether she knew right after meeting him or whether she only realized only by the end of the episode.
This episode was also visually rather chilling – the blood dropping down on Abigail’s head just as she realized she had been involuntarily engaging in cannibalism and the hair in the cushions are great visual touches that show just how horrific Hobbs’ principle of ‘honouring every part of them’ really is. The music, like I mentioned before, is just amazing as well – it builds the tension so organically that I wouldn’t even realize it if I wasn’t writing this review. The visual theme of antlers and stags is rather interesting too – the stag appears in Will’s dreams and is the murder weapon of choice in this episode. Seeing Hobbs’ home filled with antlers was intensely creepy.
From a plot perspective, I don’t know whether I’m supposed to suspect Hannibal of killing Marissa. Hannibal seems very likely to be the killer in the first copycat case, and Will certainly things the caller is the copycat but what motive does Hannibal have for killing Marissa? Was it because he overheard Will’s lecture about how ‘he will never kill that way again’ and wanted to throw him off the scent? For that matter why did he even kill Cassie Boyle? I guess for now I will accept Will’s theory that he wanted to show that he was better than Hobbs.
All in all, this was a strong episode and felt like a return to the main storyline of the season. I don’t know how long they can drag this, but if the story remains as tense and engaging as it is now, you won’t find me complaining.