The episode opens with a more detailed retelling of the events of the last episode, this time from Will’s perspective. Will sees Randall as a monster, similar to Hannibal himself and kills him. Will calls his killing of Randall ‘intimate’ and a bond forms between Hannibal and Will. Jack finds a butchered Randall on display at the museum. Will and Hannibal inspect the body and Will tries his usual method to go into the mind of the killer, except that this time Will is reacting his own actions. Will and Hannibal describe the killer (Will) without going too far into details.
Freddie Lounds interviews Will on the Chesapeake Ripper cases while Hannibal tells Margot that she failed to kill her brother because she still loves him. Noting that her father’s will passes the estate to the next male heir, Hannibal persuades her to make her own legacy. Meanwhiel, her brother has a demonstration planned for her – he has selected specifics breeds of pigs and taught them to eat live human beings. Margot later seduces Will. Freddie meets with Alana briefly and suggests that Will was right about Hannibal being a murderer and that Freddie herself was right about Will being a killer as well, insinuating that the two are in cahoots.
Jason invites Hannibal to see the pigs and they converse about Margot’s therapy and Hannibal suggests that Jason come to him for therapy as well. Jason offers Hannibal one of the hogs and Hannibal serves it to Will and Alana for dinner. Alana is troubled by Lounds’ accusations and brings it up. Will and Hannibal tell her that they know where they stand with each other and this troubles Alana further. Hannibal realizes that Lounds might be trouble and moves to eliminate but Lounds is actually on her way to see Will. Snooping around his house, she finds Randall Tier’s remains and is soon discovered by Will. A short, violent struggle ensues and ends with Will hauling Lounds’ bloody unconscious form out of her car.
Jack hears her final screams and notes to Will and Hannibal that her last known address was very close to Will’s house. Hannibal and Will both offer points that make it seem like Will is not the killer and all of this makes Alana doubly suspicious about Will and Hannibal’s relationship. Later, Will turns up at Hannibal’s door with meat – describing it as ‘long pig’ which they both consume.
Well, I officially take back everything I said about this show losing its momentum after the mid-season. Or rather, everything I said before was totally valid, but this episode just made it look very short-sighted. I don’t really know where to begin with the episode, and it might be that I have been paying more attention to the details of how each scene is constructed since I started posting less frequently, but it feels to me that a lot more attention to detail has been spent on this episode compared to the last few. With that in mind, I want to go through the episode from the top.
I think it’s interesting that we get that re-telling of events from Will’s perspective, but it’s important to note that his perspective is very clearly not an omniscient perspective. A part of me believes that it’s all an elaborate ruse to lure Hannibal into the open, but that particular theory has almost nothing supporting it after this episode’s end. In the beginning, the tenderness with which Hannibal (or should I say Mikkelsen?) bandages Will’s hand is very well done indication of the odd bond between the two. One thing is for sure – Will most definitely killed Randall Tier and while I’m not entirely sure that we can take Will’s perspective as ‘fact’, I am fairly certain that Will did enjoy killing him at least partially because he imagined that he was killing Hannibal. I find it interesting that there is parallel between Will’s hallucinations in the previous season and these visions of his in the current one. I guess it gives additional weight to the idea that Will’s imagination was really that active all along and hence why his illness and Lector’s prodding could so easily distort things in his mind’s eye.
I’m beginning to get a vague idea of where the Verger storyline is headed. Margot needs a male heir as soon as possible so that she can retain the family wealth once she manages to kill Jason, but what really caught my eye was Hannibal’s statement on how people cannot kill those they love and the implications that has on both Will’s and Hannibal’s attempted murders on each other. Of course, both attempts very nearly succeeded but my point is that their relationship no longer seems purely platonic. I’m not saying that it’s sexual but it’s definitely more than just ‘friends’. On the other hand, Will and Margot’s relationship turned sexual very quickly and I have to wonder what Will was thinking – is this part of his plan? Or does he really see her as a bit of a kindred spirit? Either way, I suspect that Will is going to get dragged into Margot revenge scheme and it’s obviously not going to end well for him (or her).
Since we’re on the subject anyway though, let’s talk a little about just how fucking creepy both Margot and Jason are. Margot gets something of a free pass because she grew up with Jason but despite that there is something just inherently disconcerting about her and her approach to her revenge and how it involves possibly putting her child in danger (because you know that Jason is not going to react well to having his position taken away). From I got from the episode, the plan is for Margot to get knocked up, kill Jason, pop the baby out and live happily ever after. How exactly she plans to kill Jason within the time frame before he realizes what she’s up to is quite beyond me. Jason, on the other hand, is nice change of pace from both Hannibal’s villainy and Will’s newfound psychopathic behaviours. Jason is messed up beyond belief but while Hannibal and Will are fairly refined in their motives and their execution thereof (pun intended), Jason is as crude and uncouth as they come. We saw it in his penchant for tasting tears and it’s emphasized further with the pigs in this episode. Compared the morbid beauty of Hannibal’s murders, Jason seems practically barbaric. The meeting between the two only serves to seal the deal – Jason’s brutality doesn’t line up at all with Hannibal’s more artistic ways and I get the feeling that Jason’s mention of Hannibal’s sister (which I don’t think we’ve heard about before) might have ticked the good doctor off.
All this discussion of course, is a way of avoiding dealing with the inevitable. The heart of the matter of this episode is Will’s fall into darkness. Even while he was killing Lounds, I began to wonder whether he was following through on some utilitarian principle – it was worth Lounds’ life in order to continue the infiltration, but given the murder of Randall Tier (which could easily be considered self-defence, post-mortem mutilation and desecration aside) last episode, it seems that Will might actually have flipped and it’s going to be up to Jack and Alana to redeem him and bring him back to the fold. I could see an ending where Hannibal and Will end up taking each other out but it would be a shame and a really tragic ending for Will’s character. I have obviously considered that it was a feint and that since we didn’t see Lounds die, that she might still be alive but then again consider that Hannibal knows the taste of human flesh and he knows that what Will fed him at dinner was definitely human meat and so there’s only a limited number of places from where Will could have obtained fresh meat. Randall Tier would be one alternative though I wonder whether the ‘acidic’ taste of fear would have been in Randall’s system the way it was in Freddie’s. Either way, it’s going to be fascinating seeing how this plays out in the remaining three episodes.