Miriam Lass has been found. She is upset to find out that the FBI haven’t caught the Ripper. She can’t remember who the Chesapeake Ripper is, either. She believes that the Ripper was saving her for last. Hannibal is brought in for Miriam to identify, and Hannibal learns that he is officially a suspect. Miriam does not recognize Hannibal and Jack lets him go. Will is released from Baltimore State Hospital and Chilton reveals that he does not want to end up as a target of Hannibal. Will asks him to confess, knowing very well that he won’t. Jack meets Will at the hospital and tells him about Miriam Lass.
Will visits the warehouse Miriam was held at. The warehouse is the Ripper’s laboratory – it is where he ‘processes’ his victims before cutting them for consumption. Will tries to get some insight into the Ripper based on the newest evidence and realizes that the newest murders are part of a long plan. Will thinks that Miriam was left for Jack to find and that the evidence will point to someone apart from Hannibal. Alana returns Will’s dogs to him and he warns her to stay away from Hannibal. Chilton comes to Jack offering his help in recovering Miriam’s memories and Jack can sense his desperation. Will talks to Miriam about her memories.
Will confronts Hannibal at his home, armed with a gun. He is about to kill Hannibal but Hannibal asks him how he will find the answers to the questions he seeks if he just kills Hannibal. Jack brings Miriam to Hannibal’s office, trying to provoke a memory. She listens to the old message she sent to Jack years ago but can’t remember. In looking at flower man, the team finds a partial print of Hannibal as well as the truth serum that Chilton used on Will and Gideon. Jack remembers Will’s theory that the Ripper will have one piece of evidence that points away from himself and begins to wonder if Chilton is the Ripper.
At his home, Chilton finds Abel Gideon hooked up to a life support system, his limbs amputated. Chilton runs to contact Jack but meet Hannibal in his hall, in his full-body murder suit. Jack drugs him and tells him that when he wakes, the only choice he has will be to run. The FBI are outside Chilton’s door, knocking insistently, and Hannibal goes to open the door as Chilton loses consciousness. He wakes with blood all over him and a gun and knife in his hands and two murdered FBI agents mutilated in his apartment. He turns up at Will’s house, requesting shelter.
Jack visits the crime scene and realizes the Chilton has been part of the Ripper investigation before Will and Hannibal and had access to the case files. With the surgical books found in the house, he would have the surgical knowledge to perform his amputations as well. Chilton is determined to flee, despite Will’s advice. Jack shows up and demands Chilton but Will reminds Jack that the Ripper is playing all of them. Jack thinks that Will has been psychic-driven to claim that Hannibal is the Ripper. Chilton tries to run but Jack catches him easily.
Alana interviews Chilton but doesn’t believe him when he says that he is innocent. Miriam is overhearing the interview and realizes that Chilton is in fact, the Ripper and in a fit of anger, shoots him. Will shows up at Hannibal’s office and resumes therapy with Hannibal.
I think this is as good a time as any to give Hannibal Lector a standing ovation for being the single most manipulative person in a realistic(ish) fictional setting ever. Seriously, his plan was so well crafted that it reached a point where even I, knowing that Hannibal was the Ripper began to wonder how exactly Chilton could establish his innocence. I mean normally there is a way out – there is a victim that is undiscovered or a crucial piece of evidence waiting to be unveiled but in this particular case, Hannibal has his tracks covered thoroughly.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Miriam Lass turned out to be useless though I wasn’t expecting her to follow the Ripper’s plan so very closely. I think it’s a mark of just how good Anna Chlumsky’s performance was that I actually feed bad for calling such a clearly traumatized victim’s efforts at helping despite the horrific things done to her ‘useless’ but the truth is that she was pretty ineffectual in every way that counts. I think there was a bit of problem with the way the whole shadows thing works – visually speaking, Hannibal did fit the silhouette that Lass kept seeing a lot better than Chilton did, though I guess that’s an extremely minor detail to go after.
I am not a fan of Will confronting Hannibal in his home with a gun. I mean, I thought that Will managed to get all of that brash shit out of his system when he sent the orderly after Hannibal. He’s supposed to be cold, calm Will Graham now, not dangerously genre-savvy Will who goes and kills the antagonist before he can ruin more lives. Still, I don’t exactly blame Will – of people, I certainly want to know how exactly the whole thing ends and what exactly Hannibal has been plotting. And we did find that out this week didn’t we? I think at this point there isn’t any loose thread hanging – all the past events have been explained rather satisfactorily and I guess this is where the ‘real’ season 2 endgame begins. Having allegedly found the Ripper, and everything returning to ‘normal’ the game is on to for Will and Jack to force an error from Hannibal while minimizing the damage he does. At least I hope that that’s the case – Will turning up in Hannibal’s office had better not be because he feels some not-so-subtle romantic connection between them. More likely though, Will will end up torn between Jack and Hannibal and all these emotionally intimate therapy session aren’t going to help – at some point Will is going to forget his purpose, I guarantee it.
I guess, I should say a few words for Chilton. He was an interesting character, the very definition of a moral grey area with his ‘unorthodox’ methodology, but despite all that, you gotta appreciate his efforts in the last few episodes of admitting his mistakes and trying to make them right. In the end it was too little, too late and the funny truth is that even if he had not found out about Hannibal being the Ripper, he was still the number one target for Hannibal to use as a patsy. There was also some great dialogue, enhanced by Darcy’s delivery as usual when Chilton points a gun at Will but Will laughs and walks way calmly, remarking like it’s the most obvious thing in the world:
“You’re not a killer, Frederick.”
The irony that Frederick is not a killer but yet is accused for some of the most horrific murders of all time is just delicious, or as delicious as irony can be (I’m told it’s rather bitter). I wonder, had Chilton not died, would they really have found enough evidence against Chilton to convict him? As things stand, it wasn’t looking good and the second Lass acknowledged him, it was almost impossible to establish innocence.
On a final note, I think Will mentioned in the closing segment that Lass was sort of conditioned to kill the Ripper when she saw him, but I didn’t realize conditioning was strong enough to make you fake an emotional breakdown in order to obtain a weapon to kill a person. Still, never let things like reality get in the way of a great story!