Hannibal Episode 105
Story By: Kai Yu Wu & Bryan Fuller
Teleplay By: Kai Yu Wu
Directed By: Michael Rymer
Original Airdate: 2 May 2013
In This Episode...
In the Baltimore Institute for the Criminally Insane, inmate Dr. Gideon (incarcerated for killing his wife and her family over Thanksgiving dinner) seems to have collapsed in his cell and is rushed to the infirmary. While the nurse has her back turned, Gideon withdraws a fork tine he embedded in his palm, uses it to pick his handcuff locks, and kills the nurse.
The director of the institute, Dr. Chilton, believes that Gideon is the Chesapeake Ripper. He killed the nurse by gouging out her eyes and impaling her on a number of metal poles and instruments in the exact same pattern that the Ripper killed his last victim (well, the last victim they found - more on that in a minute). Jack,Will, and Alana have come to examine the crime scene and interview Gideon to confirm that he is the Ripper - though Chilton seems to have made up his mind already, and Gideon himself has admitted to being the Ripper. Will, naturally, does not believe that the Ripper has been in prison for over two years. Yes, the timelines may line up, but when looking at the victim, Will “sees the Ripper, but doesn’t feel the Ripper.” Alana seems to agree, and she makes veiled accusations that Chilton planted the idea in Gideon’s head.
The Chesapeake Ripper’s last victim’s body was never found. The victim was a girl named Miriam, a trainee at Quantico whom Jack thought would be perfect for the case. The Ripper killed her. Her body was never recovered, but the Ripper called Jack as he was killing Miriam: “I don’t know where I am. I was so wrong,” were among Miriam’s panicked last words. In the middle of the night, while Jack is home alone (his wife is at a conference) he gets a phone call that is a recording of Miriam’s final words. When the FBI techs try to trace it, they can find no evidence a call was even placed. He gets another call later in the day from his home phone number. It is not his wife - it is the same recording. Crime scene techs find a long blonde hair in the bed and one of Miriam’s fingerprints on the phone. The next day, the same call. This one came from a burner cell and left a phone number on the caller ID. The call is tracked to an observatory, and Jack calls the number. It’s coming from inside the house! Or the observatory. Inside he discovers the cell phone ringing in the disembodied arm of Miriam. Jack feels foolish because, for a minute, he believed Miriam might actually be alive.
In flashback, we get to see what really happened to Miriam. Because the Ripper surgically removed organs from his victims, she was operating under the theory that he was a medical doctor. Miriam pays Hannibal a visit, for he was on duty at the ER when one of the victims was admitted five years prior after a minor hunting accident. Hannibal scarcely remembered the case - he did not actually attend to the would-be victim - but he retrieved his notebooks from that time. While he was gone, Miriam was glancing around and saw some of Hannibal’s drawings. One of them was a drawing of the Chesapeake Ripper’s last victim, the one who had been impaled a dozen times over. Hannibal, having slipped off his shoes, approached Miriam silently and strangled her to death. Interestingly, Miriam made no call to Jack before she was killed.
Also: Jack - somewhat begrudgingly - goes to Freddie to plant an article confirming that Gideon is the Chesapeake Ripper. This is done to try to force the Ripper’s hand, and it does - the article comes out just before “Miriam’s” final phone call to Jack.
Dig It or Bury It?
I really liked this episode. It was quietly intense - but it was not without its flaws. For starters, it was in this episode that I really feel like I was missing something on the Chesapeake Ripper. The Ripper has barely been mentioned in passing to this point, so I don’t feel like I can fully appreciate the savageness of the Ripper.
There were too many parallels between this episode and Silence of the Lambs. I have not read any Thomas Harris novels, and I have blocked from my memory the terrible Silence sequels, so maybe this was all addressed there. But to me, Miriam may as well have been Jodie Foster, and Gideon could have been Anthony Hopkins.
Also, I think Chilton convinced Gideon that he is the Ripper. He is too smarmy and weird to be completely innocent.
Next week is Gillian Anderson’s first of three (I think) guest appearances. I am way too excited.