Hannibal Episode 206
Written By: Andy Black, Bryan Fuller, Steve Lightfoot, and Scott Nimerfro
Directed By: Tim Hunter
Original Airdate: 4 April 2014
In This Episode…
Jack goes to see Will, and tells him that Hannibal was nearly killed by the man who killed the bailiff and the judge. The only important part of that “story” is that the orderly didn’t kill the judge - that was the Ripper. And nothing Will said made that happen - it just happened. He also knows why the Ripper kills in quick succession: if he waits too long, the meat spoils. Jack is surprised that the Ripper eats his victims, and equates him to Hobbs - a likeness that Will quickly erases: “Hobbs ate his victims to honor them. Hannibal eats his victims because to him, people are no better than pigs.” Will thinks he is going to hold a dinner party soon, and suggests that both he and Jack were fed human flesh while dining with Hannibal.
Hannibal is preparing skewers of heart with Alana, who is counseling-him-as-a-friend to find a way to deal with what happened to him. He is: composing music on a harpsichord. He wants to get his appetite back. Going through his rolodex, and his recipe box, he does get it back; it blooms. Literally. It blooms as a new victim, a man who has literally been grafted into a tree, his chest hollowed out and stuffed with flowers. Posed in the middle of a parking lot, all his organs were taken, except for the lungs, which showed he was drowned. (There are even little microscopic water organisms that can pinpoint where he was drowned.) The man was literally grafted into a living tree, sewn to it using a complex cardiovascular surgical method. Each organ was replaced with a poisonous flower, which leads Jack to surmise the Ripper found the victim to be “toxic.” When Jack takes news of this victim to Hannibal, he stops Jack before he can reveal any of the details. He wants to let it all go. “I nearly died. I can’t dwell on death anymore.” He decides that his first step towards recovery should involve a dinner party. Jack can’t help but notice that. He seems to dismiss it as coincidence.
Will and Gideon are having a discussion through their cell walls, clearly staged because they knew Chilton would be listening. Will believes that Gideon has an “expiration date” if only because of their proximity - and because the Ripper knows Gideon is a threat. Will also believes that Chilton should be nervous; the only way Gideon or Chilton are getting out of this situation alive is if the Ripper is caught. Gideon is there merely to “bear witness.” He promises to tell Jack everything if Will tells him why the Ripper did all that he did. “Because he could,” he answers simply. Chilton is, of course, listening to - and recording - their conversation. He takes the recording to Jack and plays for him the portion where Gideon describes in detail what Hannibal’s dining room looks like. Chilton clearly knows that Hannibal is the Ripper - at the very least, he knows he is capable of it - but now seems to be getting nervous that what Will says is true. He tells Jack that he believes it is possible that Hannibal is the Chesapeake Ripper, and Jack points out Will is probably delusional. “But that doesn’t mean he isn’t right,”
Hannibal pays Will a visit, to see if he understands his role in Beverly’s death. “If I were Beverly’s murderer, I would applaud your effort,” he offers. Hannibal feels that Will knew what he was doing, made his own decision, and has more control now than he ever has. But that leaves Hannibal wondering how many more people are going to get hurt. “I’ll give Alana Bloom your best,” he tells Will. This is clearly a threat. But Hannibal has to get back home; he has a dinner party to cook for. Heart tartare, beef roulade, Wagyu beef, prosciutto roses are all on the menu. So are several other men whose cards Hannibal pulls from his rolodex.
Several other bodies are rolled into the lab - presumably, Hannibal’s victims, though they don’t have any of the theatrics that the other Ripper victims had.
Jack goes to speak with Gideon, and insists he was never in Hannibal’s house; he only met him a week ago, when he first came down to the prison/hospital. Gideon claims Chilton told him what Hannibal’s house looks like, and that Chilton did very little to disavow Will of the idea that Hannibal is the Ripper. Gideon manages to make one more subtle accusation before Chilton shuts it down, basically that Chilton hired the orderly who attempted to kill Hannibal, and set him up so that Will would take the blame for “ordering” the kill. Chilton doesn’t take too kindly to this, and on his way back to his cell, the guards accidentally-on-purpose make him fall down a flight of stairs, causing him to break his back.
Hannibal’s cocktail party is underway. White-gloved waiters set out platters of food as if they were performing a ballet. Jack is finally starting to believe Hannibal is the Ripper - and watches everyone eating the exotic snacks. Chilton greet Jack, claiming he is just there so Hannibal doesn’t suspect that he suspects him - then decides he shouldn’t be seen speaking with Jack. Hannibal thanks Jack for attending his party, but Jack can’t stay. He would, however, like to take some food home. Hannibal offers to have his staff make him a plate, but Jack insists on serving himself, from the food on the trays in front of him. Hannibal looks a little anxious, but agrees - and winks at Chilton across the room. Naturally, Jack takes the food straight to the lab to be tested.
After the party, Alana plays “Chopsticks” on the harpsichord while Hannibal oversees the clean-up effort. He sits with her. They are both feeling betrayed and hurt by Will. Alana thinks that he is no longer scared, which makes him dangerous. Hannibal thought that by walking away from Will, he could leave it behind, but find his accusations keep trailing him. Alana can’t forgive him for what Will did to Hannibal, and wants to walk away as well. Instead, in their shared “grief,” Alana leans in and kisses Hannibal. He returns the kisses. Later that night, they are in bed, naked, clearly post-coital. Hannibal snaps his fingers near her ear - she doesn’t wake. He slips from bed, wipes her wine glass down with a handkerchief, and tenderly pulls the blanket up over her shoulders. But Hannibal is not being a gentleman. He drugged Alana so he could slip out and she would be none the wiser. He pays a visit to Gideon, in the hospital with a broken back.
Jack arrives at the hospital, which is now a crime scene. There is a victim, suspended from fishing lures above Gideon’s bed - but that is not Gideon; it is one of his guards. Later, at the lab, the handmade fishing lures turn out to be identical to the lures created for the first rash of Ripper kills - just with different evidence. With Gideon’s injuries, it would have been physically impossible for him to kill this guard. This could only mean one thing: the Ripper found Gideon.
Alana wakes in the morning - and finds Hannibal in bed with her. She compares their evening together with “funeral sex.” Hannibal agrees - in a way, they just buried Will Graham. Alana feels liberated to finally let Will go. They start to fool around again, but an insistent ringing of the doorbell draws Hannibal, regretfully, from bed. It is Jack, here to ask Hannibal a few informal questions about Gideon, his injuries, and his guard’s murder. Hannibal insists he was at home all night. “Can anyone verify that?” Jack asks, assuming no one can. But Alana appears in the doorway, wearing nothing but one of Hannibal’s dress shirts, clearly unashamed of the tryst. “I can verify that. I was here all night.” Hannibal looks hurt that Jack would suspect him.
So Gideon is missing. With a broken back, he couldn’t have gotten far. Hannibal has him, seated at his dining room table, while he prepares a sumptuous feast: a clay-baked roast. “I love cooking with clay. It adds a theatricality to dinner,” he says as he cracks open the clay to get at the moist roast inside. But in this case, he doesn’t need to add any theatricality to dinner: they are about to dine on Gideon’s own leg. His broken back left him paralyzed, so it seemed a waste to see those limbs just wither and die. “You intend me to be my own last supper?” Gideon asks. “How does one politely decline a meal under these circumstances?” The answer is, he doesn’t. Gideon cuts a chunk of the leg roast and eats it. “My compliments to the chef.”
Tests are back on the food from Hannibal’s party. All the meat comes from the farm - in other words, it is all legal animal meat. But the techs dissected the fishing lures holding up the guard and found that, except for the bits of evidence (teeth, hair, fingernails, etc. that came from the four most recent victims) the fishing lures are identical. Whoever killed the guard, the judge, Beverly, and the Muralist is the same person who killed the victims for which Will is blamed. This exonerates Will Graham. There is one more interesting piece of evidence wrapped in the lures, a sliver of a tree bark that is rare to be found on the east coast. In fact, the area that this tree grows in is also the area where the water organisms live. This location is pinpointed on satellite map: Sommerville, Virginia.
Jack heads out - alone - to an abandoned barn in Sommerville. Breaks a padlock. Goes down into a basement. Sees a couple trap doors in the ground, set in round platforms. The first door contains nothing. The second door contains Miriam Lass.
Dig It or Bury It?
Holy hell I loved that “last supper” scene. That’s something you almost never see: someone eating their own flesh.
I think that the food Hannibal was going to give Jack from the kitchen was human meat. For Hannibal, it is a game to watch the FBI director consume human flesh; watching a room full of acquaintances eat the rare meats would be amusing at best, and a waste of food at worst. And Alana, in a sense, was Hannibal’s next victim. He didn’t kill her, but once she learns the truth, she is probably going to wish she were dead.
In a phenomenal season, I think this was the best episode - so far.
“Futamono” is a “lidded dish” in the kaiseki meal; typically a soup.
Will is released from prison, back to the loving paws of his dogs. But he still has revenge on his mind…