TV Recap: 'Hannibal' Episode 204 - 'Takiawase'


Hannibal Episode 204
Written By: Scott Nimerfro and Bryan Fuller
Directed By: David Semel
Original Airdate: 21 March 2014

In This Episode…

Beverly visits Will with more crime scene photos; this time of The Muralist, James Gray, in the mural. There were no signs of a struggle, and The Muralist would have worked alone, which means that the person who sewed him into his work had to understand him well enough to find his “studio” and have a feel for his artwork. He again points Beverly towards Hannibal and suggests she look for “clever details.” Beverly will look for the details, but not for Hannibal. She heads back to the lab and starts looking over The Muralist’s corpse with Hannibal. He lets slip an intriguingly specific clue that could not have been a mistake: to get to the truth behind appearances, one must get under the skin to understand the true pathology.

Chilton and Will have a very odd relationship now. Chilton is overtly aggressive towards Will, but Will uses that to his advantage. “Either I’m a different breed of psychopath, delusional, or right about Hannibal. Aren’t you curious to know which?” Chilton wants to test him. Will agrees as long as he no longer shares details about him with Hannibal. “I am under your exclusive care.” Chilton wants to give Will a narco-analytic test, basically shoot him up with truth serum. While he is prepped, Will asks about removing memories from people’s brains, and if Hannibal has the knowledge to do so. It would require “unorthodox” methods (i.e. lobotomy) and yes, Hannibal could do it. The sodium pentathol takes effect and Will slips into a sort of spasmodic coma-like state. He remembers. Chilton and his questions fade into the background as Will remembers sitting in Hannibal’s office, being asked to draw a clock. But this time, Hannibal is injecting him with something. The clock becomes misshapen, and Hannibal’s face slides around until he looks like a Picasso. When Chilton brings Will back into the real world, he excitedly tells Chilton that Hannibal was inducing Will’s seizures, using his encephalitis as a catalyst. When Hannibal comes to the hospital, Chilton explains that Will is at a delicate place in therapy, and that he may not suffer from any one disorder - and he mentions that Will’s seizures may have been induced. Hannibal carefully admits that he has used light stimulation, a common enough treatment. The fact that Will was suffering from encephalitis at the time, causing the seizures, was pure “coincidence.” Chilton thinks it was strategic and flat-out suggests that Hannibal has been driving Will all along. “You are not the only doctor accused of pushing a client to kill. We have to stick together.” Cue the dramatic sting of organ music!

Murder never stops, and Jack’s newest case is one of a man, found in a field, his body turned into a makeshift apiary. He is covered in honeycomb and bees. He was purposely repurposed to be a human apiary: his brain and eyes were removed to make room for the hive. The victim, Duncan, had a very high white blood cell count. He had no home, no money, no family. Duncan’s killer, a hippy-dippy herbalist named Katherine, has a new “victim” on her table, an elderly man with severe arthritis. She treats him with a combination of bee stings and acupuncture. Then she lobotomizes him. A little girl finds this victim in the park - only he is not dead. He is swollen and lumpy from allergic reactions to multiple bee stings - and his eyeballs have been removed. But he is still standing. The bee stings were used to cover up needle marks. This strikes something in Beverly, and she examines The Muralist. She sees that his stitches are hiding stitches. Remembering what Hannibal told her, she opens up the stitches and reaches deep into the abdominal cavity. The killer took The Muralist’s kidney.

Beverly takes this new info to Will, who is distracted by the fact that she let Hannibal examine the body with her. “Stay away from Hannibal Lecter,” he warns. But Beverly is starting to turn to Will’s side. “If Hannibal is The Ripper… what is he doing with his trophies?” Will flashes back to one of his first meetings with Hannibal, breakfast at the motel before one of their first case. He shudders. “He’s eating them.”

Jack and his backup pay Katherine a visit to tell her that her patients are dead. (Well, one is as good as dead.) She doesn’t seem particularly concerned; in fact, she admits, without any provocation, that Holloram dying in a meadow with a headful of bees seemed much nicer that the alternatives. “Did you try the honey?” Jack plays along, says no, and Katherine agrees. “It seemed too morbid.” Katherine believes she helped these men. Holloran she brought to the meadow to die in peace. “I didn’t kill him, I quieted his mind so he could die in peace.” So that’s that. Easiest case Hannibal has ever had.

Meanwhile, Bella’s health has taken a turn for the worse. She is unhappy that she let Jack talk her into chemo; all it is doing is extending the length of her increasingly painful life. During her visits with Hannibal, she not-so-subtly comes to realization that, in case like this, suicide is not a shameful choice. So she returns to Hannibal, needing help to enter his office. She has taken all of her morphine, then come there to die - without telling Jack. Hannibal sees it as denying Jack the chance to say goodbye; Bella sees this as merciful: “I denied him a painful goodbye, and allowed myself a peaceful one.” She slips away, goes limp. Hannibal simply stares at her. After a long minute, he takes out an antique coin, one that Bella gave him as a gift, and flips it. He gets some meds from his cabinet and revives Bella, who is distraught to find herself still alive.

At the hospital, Bella is in bad shape. Jack is at her side lovingly - and Hannibal is there, too, to apologize for not being able to do what she asked of him. He sets the coin down on one of her IVs. She uses every ounce of strength to smack Hannibal across the face. Wheezing, she commands him to get out.

After her visit with Will, Beverly returns to the office, looking for Jack. Jimmy tells him he had an emergency with Bella, and went to meet Hannibal at the hospital. Beverly takes this as a sign, and sneaks into Hannibal’s house, poking around. Behind a locked door, she finds a second kitchen, with another fridge, and a vacuum-sealed package of strange-looking meat. “Gotcha,” she murmurs and removes it. In the dark, she spills a glass with some liquid in it, and sees the drops roll across the floorboards - and drip into the basement. There is something downstairs.

Beverly creeps into the basement. Something makes her freeze and turn on the light. Hannibal is standing behind her. He makes a move for her; she goes for her gun. We pull out, seeing only the lonely facade of the house - as we hear a gunshott.

Dig It or Bury It?

Damn you, cliffhanger. What did Beverly see? I have to imagine that Hannibal killed her. We know Hannibal makes it to the end of the season as a free man - remember that wicked fight he has with Jack in the first episode. I can’t see a situation where Hannibal would allow Beverly to live.

Finally, we get a hint at Chilton’s dark side. He is going to be a wonderful, evil compliment to Hannibal. 

I am trying to decide if Hannibal’s revival of Bella was pure cruelty or just a game. The coin flip suggests that he was playing a game, a cold, callous game, but the fact that he knows that Bella wants to die (for very good reason) and yet he plays his little game anyway suggests intense cruelty.

Also, Will seems to be a lot more lively tonight. In the previous episodes, Will was depressed, borderline catatonic. Tonight he seems to have some fight in him. Perhaps he is just now fully recuperating from his encephalitis; maybe he is encouraged that Beverly seems to be believing him. But he had a fight in him that we have not seen this season.

I miss Winston. I think it would do Will some good to get a visit from his puppies.

Chef’s Special

Takiawase is a course of vegetables served with meat, fish or tofu. The ingredients are simmered separately.


Will discovers that his orderly at the hospital is the one who killed the bailiff and the judge. He wants him to kill Hannibal Lecter. I suspect that this orderly might be all in Will’s mind.