Hannibal Episode 202
Written By: Jeff Vlaming and Bryan Fuller
Directed By: Tim Hunter
Original Airdate: 7 March 2014
In This Episode…
The “mosaic man” victim, Roland Umber, wakes to find himself in this hideous pile of bodies. We later learn that a lifetime of heroin use has given him a very high tolerance - the amount that killed other people was just a good buzz for him. He tears himself away from the bodies he is sewn to - literally. He is so desperate to escape that he pulls and pulls until his flesh is just ripped away from his body. With big, bloody patches of missing flesh, Roland races, naked, from the silo that held him. As he leaves, his captor drives up, and he wastes no time chasing his escaped paint swatch into the corn field. What follows is a tense cat-and-mouse chase, which ends when Roland comes to the edge of a cliff. He weights his options: go back with the madman, or jump. He jumps, hoping to his the river below - but he bounces off the rock wall a couple times before splashing down.
When the FBI receives the body, Beverly posits Will’s theory of the color palette of humans. This sets off warning bells in Jack’s head and he calls Beverly into his office. Jack knows she has been to visit Will, and is not happy about it. But his displeasure seems to be for more selfish reasons. If Will is delusional, Jack made him so; if Will is a psychopath, then Jack’s gut instincts are wrong. Either way, the FBI wants to put him through a psych evaluation. However, he doesn’t outright ban Beverly from visiting Will; he just wants to pretend this meeting never happened.
So Beverly returns to Will. Interestingly, she is afraid of him. The two times she visited him in this episode it is to show him files, and each time she only gets as close as she physically needs to be to pass off the file. Will will help, but he insists that Beverly forget all the evidence against him. If he is guilty, she will find more evidence; if not, maybe she will find evidence of that, too. Beverly agrees and Will takes a look at Roland’s autopsy photos. Initial thoughts were that the killer was unhappy with Roland and tore him out of the artwork, but Will notices his skin is well preserved. He wouldn’t be thrown away; he would escape. He advises Beverly to look upstream, someplace isolated like a warehouse or a farm. When he asks what Hannibal’s theory on Roland’s death is, she tells him it was the same as everyone else: the killer tore him down and dumped him like the others. “That might be what he says, but that’s not necessarily what he thinks,” Will warns.
Of course, Will is right. While examining the body, Hannibal got in close enough to sniff out corn on the body. He heads off, alone, in his clear plastic kill suit, and finds the killer’s lair. A giant silo on the property is padlocked from the outside, so Hannibal climbs up and peeks down through the large round opening in the ceiling. He gets his first, full glimpse at the human canvas. A shaft of light breaks through the darkness, and the killer comes in, ready to give his art another coat of resin. “Hello. I love your work,” Hannibal calls down to him.
The FBI find the crime scene and brings in Hannibal to consult. Several bodies have been removed; dozens more remain. Hannibal sees it as a ritual human sacrifice, an offering. Is the killer looking at god? He must be - if it were an existential crisis, there wouldn’t be a reflection.
In the lab, based on the stitch patterns, they identify the body that replaced Roland in the mosaic. But the killer seemed to change colors mid-brushstroke: while Roland was black, his replacement is white. Beverly and Hannibal take the crime scene photos to Will, who does his close-his-eyes-and-step-into-the-killer’s-shoes thing. He sees the moose man staring down at him from the top of the silo, and Will becomes the man at the center of the eye, the reflection in this macabre landscape. He sees Hannibal stitching him into the mural. Will opens his eyes: “the man in the mural is the killer.” Whoever sewed him in took his leg as a trophy.
Indeed, it was (of course) Hannibal who stitched the killer into his own mural. In flashbacks, the killer seems rather amenable to his new situation. Hannibal assures him that his placement will be meaningful. There is no god because the eye sees nothing. Hannibal is making it so his eye will now see god reflected back. Hannibal also took the leg and prepared it like veal cutlets.
Perhaps even more interesting than the particulars of the case is what is going on with Bedelia. She has decided to sever ties with Hannibal and refuses to treat him any longer. In a marvelously tense scene, she ends it. With ever confident step Hannibal takes towards her, she takes a timid, frightened one back. She is grateful for Hannibal’s persistence in engaging her after her attack, but “with everything that has happened with Will, I question your actions, especially with me and my attack.” She will not share this with Jack, as she would “look as guilty as you.” But she has decided that he is dangerous.
Bedelia does go to see Jack, but that too is a break-up. She has no further insights to give to Jack, and has stopped seeing Hannibal. She won’t go into details, but she “doesn’t feel secure” so she chose to recuse herself from the situation. Finally, Bedelia pays Will a visit. She wanted to meet him before she “withdraws from social ties.” She believes that Hannibal has done what he honestly believes is best for Will - but then she steps right up to the bars of his cell, much to the chagrin of the guards, who run in to pull her away. Will leans in close and she whispers into his ear before they drag her off: “I believe you.”
Dig It or Bury It?
That opening sequence was just pure, unadulterated horror. The fact that it wasn’t supernatural and didn’t play like a a cartoon only added to the intensity. Between the skin ripping from his body in a desperate attempt to flee, to the chase through the cornfield, to the impossible choice of, basically, which way he would rather die was edge-of-your-seat thrills.
And THEN! And then we get Bedelia, clearly frightened of Hannibal, clearly doing her best to remain composed… just so intense. I really want to see her just completely and totally break down. She is so tense and working so hard to keep herself together. The only possible outcome is for her to dissolve. Not violently, but she will have a break down. Gillian Anderson plays the subtleties so well.
Sakizuke is a tiny, bite-sized appetizer, similar to the French amuse-bouche.
Will’s trial begins, but new murders while he is in custody shed doubt on Will’s guilt.