Hannibal Episode 112
Written By: Steve Lightfoot and Bryan Fuller & Scott Nimerfro
Directed By: David Slade
Original Airdate: 20 June 2013
In This Episode...
In Will’s latest nightmare, he is walking through the woods and finds a bloody tree. Someone - or something - is there. He wakes to discover his dogs whimpering, and discovers his feet are muddy. He stumbles into the kitchen for water and some pills. His vision becomes jittery and he vomits into the sink. That is when he sees a human ear settled next to the drain.
Will waits on the porch, in the cold, like a lost child, until Hannibal shows up. He relates to Hannibal what happened in Minnesota with Abigail - or at least, what he can remember happened. Hannibal tells him somberly that they have to call Jack on this one. The FBI shows up, and Will is taken in to be “processed” while his home is swept for evidence and his dogs are taken away by animal control.
Jack relays what he knows to Alana, who is teary-eyed and angry. She blames Jack for this, for pushing will too hard. Jack, in turn, blames Hannibal for not insisting Will be taken out of the field and thereby blaming Alana for recommending Hannibal. Nothing is solved, and Alana screams out her aggravation in her car before seeing Will in the interrogation room. She promises she will take care of his dogs and explains that he will next go through a battery of psycho-pathological tests. Will asks if he will have to draw another clock, and explains the clock test that Hannibal had him do. Alana, clearly aware of what the clock test is meant to diagnose, asks Will to draw a clock. Again he sees a clock; but she sees the numbers are sliding off the face. She almost looks relieved by this. But the evidence is mounting against Will. The forensic team took apart his homemade fishing lures and discovers that four of them contain remains from Cassie, Marissa, Sutcliffe, and Georgia - the four “copycat” crimes. (This helps make all the pieces come together. In the episode that NBC chose not to air - but made character clips available online - there is a protracted scene in which Hannibal is messing with the fishing lures. Clearly he was planting this evidence, and sneaked in after to plant new evidence with every victim. Now this scene makes sense - and it also shows just how long Hannibal has been setting up Will.) Jack presents this new evidence to Will, who is confused. He thought it was possible that he could have killed Abigail, but that it was likely a symptom of his fever. But Cassie and Marissa died before he became physically sick. This does not make Jack feel any better as he reads Will his rights; but it does solidify Will’s innocence to himself.
Will is being transferred to a secure hospital facility to undergo some tests. In the back of the ambulance, he breaks his thumb and attacks his escort. Jack later relays these events to Alana and Hannibal, explaining that Will ditched the guard and driver by the side of the road, and the ambulance a few miles later. Jack does not think that these are the actions of an innocent man, but Alana still defends him, showing the clock test as proof that Will has a neurological disorder. Hannibal counters with his own, forged clock test, showing the numbers properly spaced. Alana is the one who suggests encephalitis, but also admits Will could have faked his test.
Hannibal is back in his office and he discovers Will hunched in his book loft. Hannibal is still operating under the guise that he can help Will, but he believes it is “entirely possible” that Will killed Abigail. Will is self aware for the first time in months. “If it was just Abigail, I would believe that I could have gotten too far into Hobbs’ head.” But Will does not believe that he killed all five victims he has been charged with. Will wants to go to Minnesota, to see where Abigail died. Hannibal agrees to take him.
On the way to the Hobbs house, Will dreams of that fateful day in the Hobbs kitchen, but his dream is before the FBI arrives, when Hobbs gets that fateful phone call. Only Will is playing the role of Garret Hobbs, and the voice of Hannibal on the other end is saying “Will” - in an attempt to wake him up. They have arrived at the house. Upon entering, Will is struck with the memory of Abigail, Hannibal, and Alana all there, with Abigail suggesting they recreate that scene in the kitchen, and knowingly suggesting that Hannibal play the role of the mystery caller. The pieces are starting to fall into place.
He and Hannibal move into the kitchen, where a copious amount of blood has stained the floor. Abigail’s body still has not been recovered - save for the ear in Will’s sink. He talks Hannibal through the evidence, the blood spray, but interestingly, we don’t see it from the killer’s POV. Maybe Will can’t - or won’t - get into this particular killer’s headspace. “I know who I am,” Will repeats, “I am not so sure I know who you are anymore. But I am certain that one of us killed Abigail.” He raises a gun to Hannibal, whose stoic expression does not change, but the air is heavy with tension. Will is certain that it was Hannibal who called Hobbs. He has no traceable motive, which is why he was “so hard to see.”
Jack enters the house and silently approaches the men. After Will’s escape, Jack and Alana visited Bedelia, who told them Hannibal missed his morning appointment without so much as a phone call. It wasn’t difficult to put the pieces together from there. So Jack sees this mess unfolding and tries to talk Will down - but doesn’t try too hard. When Will flinches, Jack shoots on instinct. It is not a fatal blow, but it does drop him in the same place that he dropped Hobbs. Jack stands over him, and Hannibal, in the background, appears as the elk man that has been stalking Will’s subconscious. “See? See?” he murmurs weakly, just like Georgia had in his dream.
Between the gunshot wound and his massively inflamed brain, doctors have put Will an a medically-induced coma. Hannibal sits at Will’s bedside, forcing out crocodile tears, believing he had failed.
Hannibal brings Bedelia dinner and promises that he is going to see Will, a “farewell” of sorts. Bedelia thinks this is wise, before the FBI starts to see Hannibal’s pattern of developing relationships with violent patients. “Jack’s beliefs about you will unravel,” she warns. Hannibal does visit Will the next day. It is clearly weeks later, for Will has been transferred into a regular prison cell. He seems clear-headed but intensely menacing when he stands and greets “Dr. Lecter.”
Dig It or Bury It?
This is the kind of finale I can get behind. All of this season’s storylines tied up neatly, but with a new door left ajar for next season. It is so deliciously frustrating, to know that the “crazy” guy is the most sane one in the room.
It seems that so many other shows have tried this conceit before: a possibly unstable person is framed for a horrible crime, and no one will believe that they were framed, so they appear crazier, and then starts to think that they really are crazy. In those types of stories, there is a lack of subtlety that makes it painfully obvious you are watching fiction. In Hannibal, it is orchestrated so carefully that you can actually see both sides of the story with clarity. You can see that Will is definitely off-kilter, and while the encephalitis made him terrifyingly unstable, even with a “healthy” brain, Will is not healthy. You know that Hannibal is the real killer, you know he is setting up Will, but you can also see how Jack can’t see that.
The Wisdom of Hannibal
“You catch these killers by getting into their heads... but they also get into your own.”
Hannibal brings Bedelia a dinner of veal smoked on a bed of hay. She comments that veal is a controversial meat because of its age, even as she takes a bite and smiles. Hannibal tells her that most people don’t realize that the pigs that are slaughtered for food are often younger than the calfs.