‘Hannibal’ Recap: Grief, Manipulation, And The Tables Turned

Senior Contributor
03.30.14 49 Comments


This episode was perhaps one of the strongest ones Hannibal has put on the air. Which is a bold claim, but it manages to explore the subject of grief and a human being hitting rock bottom with sensitivity and grace. And it also has a grade-A “Oh $#|t!” moment on top of everything else.

The episode starts off with Hannibal making brunch for Jack, contrasted with what Will gets to eat, which appears to be various types of wallpaper paste. Hannibal and Jack discuss his wife Bella’s attempted suicide last episode, which is promptly contrasted with Freddie Lounds visiting that damn observatory. There, she finds… well, hope you weren’t too attached to Beverly.

And it’s here that the show marks its theme; how we react to grief. Lounds, upon seeing Beverly’s horrible demise… grabs her camera and starts taking pictures. Grief is a theme throughout this episode; there’s a great montage of Jack delivering the news to his team, the wider FBI, and Will.

Will asks for Abel Gideon, because he knows Gideon can confirm the truth, and also because who doesn’t want to see Eddie Izzard back on this show? Unfortunately, Gideon’s still a bit pissy over that whole “getting shot” thing, so he doesn’t confirm Will’s beliefs. Directly, at any rate.

Will decides to use somebody he doesn’t care about as his stalking horse: Freddie Lounds. He’s hoping to needle Hannibal’s ego and get him to slip. One teeny, tiny problem: Remember that bailiff killed earlier in the season? In a cleverly done moment, that turns out not to have been Hannibal, but rather an orderly in the hospital.

Will goes for the Hail Mary play and sends his groupie after Hannibal. Gideon, however, checkmates him by telling Dr. Bloom what’s going on, however indirectly. That actually works surprisingly well; the groupie gets the drop on Hannibal, and not only manages to confirm he’s the Chesapeake Ripper, but even manages to nearly kill Hannibal.

So Will’s bid to at least stop the Ripper at the cost of his soul is checked. But Hannibal has had a taste of his own medicine… and next episode, will likely be aware that the chess game is on in earnest.

Some more thoughts:

  • I know they’re expensive, but maybe consider demolishing that observatory, guys. Or putting up surveillance cameras? Or just getting a better lock?
  • Damien Hirst probably never expected that shark of his to be such a pop cultural touchstone.
  • It’s also nice to see that the writing staff is a big fan of pareidolia, or seeing objects in faces. Leave it to this show to salvage a silly Internet fad and make it meaningful.
  • Hannibal just can’t help leaving little clues, can he?
  • Every time Hannibal refers to Freddie Lounds as rude, you wonder how long it’ll be before he just kills her out of annoyance.

Any thoughts yourself? Let us know below.

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