TV Recap: 'Hannibal' Episode 201 - 'Kaiseki'


Hannibal Episode 201
Written By: Bryan Fuller & Steve Lightfoot
Directed By: Tim Hunter
Original Airdate: 28 February 2014

In This Episode…

What looks like a quiet dinner between Jack and Hannibal turns into a brutal fight to the death. Jack strangles Hannibal, but Hannibal grabs a knife and stabs Jack. Then the title card comes up: “12 Weeks Earlier.” (Um, spoiler alert!) Twelve weeks earlier, Jack and Hannibal are having a civilized dinner of seasonal sashimi. They are mourning the “loss” of Will - the Will they knew. Hannibal also insists that Jack must follow up on Will’s accusations that he was the one who killed Abigail Hobbs.

This season starts pretty much where season one ended. Will is in Chilton’s asylum, in a tiny, almost medieval cage that makes it seem like Will is in a zoo. Chilton is trying to talk to him, but Will keeps regressing to his “happy place,” fly fishing in a river. Of course, even that isn’t a wholly happy place, as he is stalked by the moose man there. Coming out of his reverie, Will declares he will only speak to Dr. Lecter. Alana and Jack have their own problems: Alana filed a formal complaint about Jack, saying that he exhibited a “lapse in judgement” when he put - and kept - Will in the field, and an official inquiry is opened. Hannibal is still seeing Bedelia, who is worried about Hannibal going to see Will. She believes Hannibal is obsessed with Will, and that the two are manipulating one another (whether or not they realize it). Hannibal still insists that Will is his friend. Bedelia has Hannibal sign a waiver, giving her permission to discuss with Jack her sessions with Hannibal, as they pertain to Will. She doesn’t like having to speak to Jack, saying it puts her in a position to lie for him. “Again.” “Jack is less suspicious of me than you are,” Hannibal muses. “Jack doesn’t know what you are capable of.” “Neither do you.” It is the subtlest of threats.

Against Bedelia’s advice, Hannibal visits Will. Will does not see Hannibal as a friend, which Hannibal responds to with a typical shrink answer: it is easier to blame him than accept responsibility for his actions. Will swears that what Hannibal did is locked in his mind, somewhere, and he will find it. “I will remember, and when I do, there will be a reckoning.” From there, Hannibal goes to see Beverly, who takes a DNA sample and collects his suits to be swept for evidence. She is mad that he didn’t protect Will, like he was supposed to, but she is no angrier at him than she is at herself. “You’re not a suspect; you’re the new Will Graham.” Of course, being Will Graham was what got Will Graham into trouble.

With Will in prison, Jack enlists Hannibal’s help to give a psychological profile on their most recent case. The FBI has discovered at least five bodies in the river. They have each been coated in resin and injected with something that resembles silicone. The suspect is making human models, and these are his discards.

Alana has been taking care of Will’s dogs. She reports back to him that they are all doing well, but Winston keeps running away to Will’s house. Alana doesn’t believe that Will is responsible for his actions - but she doesn’t believe Hannibal did it, either. Will asks to be hypnotized, and for her to help him recover memories. She agrees, but seems to be doing this just to placate him. In his hypnotized state, he sees Alana as a shadow monster with smoky hair and black eyes who absorbs him. Next he is sitting for a lavish dinner at Hannibal’s home, but the food is all rotted and covered in bugs. The moose man is his dining companion, and a human ear is plated before Will. He wakes with a start, scared. “This isn’t going to work.” Later that night, Chilton joins Hannibal for supper and tells him (warns him?) that Alana hypnotized Will - but was not successful.

Next to visit Will is Beverly. They have hit a dead end with the case (Hannibal is clearly no Will Graham) and she wants his help. She is not sure how she feels about Will, but there are a lot of people missing, and they have no idea how the killer is picking his victims. Will takes the file and sorts out the pictures of the missing. “It’s a color palette.” That night, as Will eats his meal mechanically, he has a vision of Hannibal standing over him, forcing a huge tube down his throat, and a human ear down that tube. He spits out his mouthful of steak. I guess the hypnosis worked - at least a little bit. When Jack comes to visit, he suggests he is recovering his memories, which Jack dismisses as meaningless. He is actually agitated by the idea.

Meanwhile, the killer is seeking out his next victim. On the subway, he touches the hand of a young man and compliments him on his nice skin. Later that night, the man’s car alarm is going off, so he goes to check on it. He finds plastic sheeting hanging out of his trunk. When he opens it up, the killer knocks him out and stuffs him into his trunk. Back at the killer’s “workshop,” the victim is injected with heroin and hosed down with liquid resin. He is still alive, but the heroin takes effect quickly. Unlike the other victims, the heroin doesn’t kill him. When he wakes, he finds himself stuck to other victims in a specific position. There are bodies all around him, and we pull out to reveal dozens and dozens of victims, all arranged to form what looks like a human eye.

Dig It or Bury It?

I am happy to see that nothing has been diluted since last season. The tension is suffocating. The death is gruesome and imaginative. The tableaus are eerily beautiful. It seems that the color palettes have been diluted, surely to make sure the audience feels the bleakness of Will’s situation.

It’s a little hard to be excited about this episode because next week’s episode starts out insane

Chef’s Specials

In season one, all the episode titles were named after French dinner courses. This season, it looks like we are in store for Japanese-themed episodes. Tonight’s episode, “Kaiseki” refers to a traditional style of multi-course Japanese dinner. They are generally small portions that balance taste, texture, and color.


We get more info on the horrors that await subway-victim guy. It’s pretty epic.