TV Recap: 'Hannibal' Episode 106 - 'Sorbet'



hannibalHannibal Episode 106
Written By: Jesse Alexander and Bryan Fuller
Directed By: James Foley
Original Airdate: 9 May 2013

In This Episode...

The FBI is called in on a case that could be another Chesapeake Ripper victim. If it is, it is likely the start of a new cycle; the Ripper tends to kill three people in quick succession, then lies dormant for a year or more. Will almost immediately decides that the Ripper didn’t kill this victim. He has a lot of the same hallmarks, but it wasn’t the Ripper. This annoys the lab techs who are convinced this was the work of the Ripper. This victim was found with his liver surgically removed and the wound stitched up, but then with signs of the stitches being torn out with bare hands. Trauma to the heart suggests to the techs that the suspect was interrupted; Will realizes that this was internal cardiac massage. The suspect was clearly (well, clearly to Will) harvesting the victim’s liver for sale on the black market. He didn’t mean to kill the victim; he tried to save him. The Ripper never would have tried to save his victim.

A trio of new victims are found, but how they are found are of no importance; what matters is that these are Ripper victims. Each has organs removed, but they are not exactly popular transplant organs: things like intestines and spleens. Of course, we know these to be Hannibal’s victims. While at the opera one night (ironically a concert for hunger relief), Hannibal runs into a society friend who is just devastated that he hasn’t had a dinner party in a while. We later see him picking out recipes, then associating them with business cards he has collected. His Rolodex is like the Omaha Steaks catalogue. We even see him approaching one of his victims in a menacing way - but we don’t actually see him kill.

Anyway, these new Ripper victims seem to quiet down the techs about the organ harvester being the Ripper. Security footage shows an ambulance leaving the first victim’s hotel as the cops arrive. The track it down to a private ambulance company, then use GPS to find it. The driver of the truck is a med student named Devon Sylvestri, and they find him wrist-deep in a new victim’s abdomen. Jack wants him to put his hands up, but doing so would cause the victim to bleed out. Hannibal steps in, gets control of the situation, and Devon is arrested without a fight.

Also: One of Hannibal’s patients, Franklin, sees him at the opera and introduces him to his heterosexual life partner, Tobias. Franklin has some boundary issues, but in the brief moment that they meet, there seems to be a common interest between Hannibal and Tobias. This will become important in next week’s episode (as we see in the scenes for next week). We also get to meet Hannibal’s psychiatrist: Gillian Anderson, in an all-too-brief cameo. Jack is being haunted by Miriam Lass’s disembodied arm. In a vision/dream/hallucination, Jack sees Will as a corpse, who sits up on the table and we see that it is his arm that is missing. Despite the fact that Jack is pushing Will hard to find the Ripper, clearly he is feeling guilty about it. Will informs Hannibal that Miriam’s arm showing up was meant to humiliate Jack. “Did it work?” “It worked really well,” Will says, with just a hint of smug satisfaction. Will is getting tired of Jack using him.

Dig It or Bury It?

I don’t know what it was exactly, but something about this episode struck me more than any other. This show has such a quiet refinement, it makes the brutality even deeper. Maybe it was the urban-legend-come-to-life aspect. Maybe it was Gillian Anderson’s appearance. Maybe it was because we learned more about Hannibal in tonight’s episode than we have thus far. We see him in social settings; interacting with non-patients; preparing his feasts. We almost get to see him kill someone.

I also get the sense that Will knows that Hannibal is a killer, but there is a mental block preventing himself from making that thought conscious. That look the two shared over the organ harvester’s victim was both very unknowing and blithely unaware. I am assuming that at some point (maybe not this season), Will will indeed find out that Hannibal is a killer, but Will won’t be able to turn him in (and not just because it would back the series into a corner). Maybe it will cause Will to have a psychotic break. 

Bon Appetit

Among Hannibal’s recipes this week: crispy lemon calf’s liver; chicken liver pate; braised beef lungs; and parmesan-crusted lamb brains. All of those sweetbreads are going to give Hannibal a heart attack. He also brews his own beer in wine casks. He made some just for Alana. It’s classy beer.


Tobias returns. He is a killer himself and the two face-off. Each had planned to kill the other. My money is on Hannibal.