This week’s Hannibal delivered quite a few plot twists and turns. Including one that will rile up the fanbase considerably, and serves as an announcement that this series will stand apart from the books.
The episode opens with the fallout of last week’s out-of-nowhere revelation that Miriam Lass was still alive. That’s combined with Will being released from the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane to create this episode’s theme, namely moving on after an injustice. There’s one scene in particular, where Will and Miriam talk about being the victims of the Ripper, that highlights how neither of them have really escaped.
Miriam, of course, can’t remember anything, otherwise the show would end. She just remembers a light, and being manipulated… and Wound Man, the drawing that rather vividly runs through this episode.
Will is understandably bitter over all his friends abandoning him and siding with Hannibal, and that’s a key thread through this episode as he puts his life, such as it is, back together. He also nearly destroys it, as he breaks into Hannibal’s home and holds him at gunpoint before walking away. It’s a superbly acted scene, but you kind of wish it wasn’t there… because Will just has no reason not to pull the trigger. Tellingly, this happens after Will finds out Alana has fallen into a relationship with Hannibal, a knife Hannibal is probably going to twist a few times.
Meanwhile, the net tightens and it’s revealed that the Chesapeake Ripper, according to the evidence and history, is none other than…
Dr. Frederick Chilton. This is put together in a vividly gory frame job, courtesy of Hannibal, as Chilton discovers the plan was never to kill him, but to pin all the Ripper crimes on him. And it’s tied off in a neat little bow as Miriam puts a bullet through Chilton’s skull.
It’s a darkly witty episode, because the writing team is playing with thriller tropes. The basic structure and payoff of a crappy third-act “psychological thriller” is all here: The victim that barely survives, the recovered memories, the false accusation of a man who the evidence would seem to frame, and the final twist of our hero realizing who the clever killer really is just in the nick of time before his surviving victim takes brutal, swift justice.
It shows just how brilliantly manipulative Hannibal is: It’s telling how at one point, it’s mentioned that Hannibal’s killings are theater. The story he constructs is so primal, so satisfying, that everyone will be happy. Even, seemingly, Will Graham… who at the end of the episode, returns as a patient of Hannibal’s.
Of course, nothing is as it seems, and we all know Hannibal and Jack are headed towards a fistfight. The question is, of course, how that comes together.
Some more thoughts:
- Well, I guess we know that they’re not really going to stick to the plot of The Silence of The Lambs for a season, huh?
- Raul Esparza will be seriously missed, and it’s nice the show sent him off with a showcase episode. If he isn’t in the cast of a new drama series next season, it’ll be a surprise.
- It’s always surprising how gory this show can be for broadcast, and the FBI “arrangement” left in Chilton’s minimalist apartment is pretty gross.
- What do you call a guy with no arms and no legs in your guest room? Abel Gideon, in this case. We’ll miss Izzard performance, but holy crap, what a disturbing way to go.
What’d you think? Weigh in in the comments.