This episode of Hannibal had an overriding theme: Playing a part, and possibly committing a little too deeply to it. And both Will and Margot are putting themselves at risk, as the stakes are raised further.
This episode introduces Mason Verger, played by Michael Pitt, and Pitt’s a great addition to the cast. Mason is obviously a monster: In fact, there’s an extended sequence where he makes it very clear to his sister that he’s breeding pigs to eat her alive using a method fans of the books will be familiar with. But Pitt underplays it just enough that he stays under the top.
The introduction of pigs is an interesting theme not least as Hannibal has been said, over and over again, to view the humans around him, with one or two exceptions, as swine, fit only for eating and contempt. And when Hannibal meets Mason for the first time, it’s as if Hannibal has met the Platonic ideal of his view of humanity.
Meanwhile, Will’s downward spiral continues. The episode actually opens with a retelling of his confrontation with Randall Tier in the last episode. Randall, it turns out, didn’t die from a shotgun blast but from Will beating him senseless and snapping his neck. In turn, to “honor” him, Randall is mounted and put on display as a sabretooth tiger.
Adding to Will’s problems is the return of Freddie Lounds. Freddie doesn’t think Chilton is the Chesapeake Ripper, and when she sneaks onto Will’s property, she finds evidence that Will’s gone completely off the deep end. Will manages to catch up with her, and drag her screaming from her car…and that’s the last we hear of her, at least this episode.
Finally, just as fascinating is what happens to Margot. Margot’s reaction to discovering her brother plans to murder her horribly is… to pretend she’s straight and seduce Will. Even Will is skeptical of what’s happening: He bluntly tells her she doesn’t have any sexual interest in him. But for Margot to survive, and to get Mason before he gets her, there needs to be a Verger heir who isn’t Mason. So Margot pretends to be someone she isn’t.
The episode ends on a similar note, with Will confessing he’s brought Hannibal a little offering of long pig. As the episode comes to an end, Hannibal seems to fade through Will’s skin, raising the question of whether Will knows quite what he’s doing.
Some more thoughts:
- The “threesome” scene between Will, Hannibal, and Alana is both sad and disturbing. Will’s really, really not over Alana.
- Freddie Lounds isn’t dead this episode, we can guarantee it. Especially since Will’s attack saved her from certain death at the plastic-coated hands of Hannibal.
- Sorry, Chilton fans, but unfortunately this episode rather bluntly closes the door on any possible comeback. Well, at least in the land of the living.
- You have to wonder if Will’s going kamikaze, here. Even if the death of Randall Tier was obviously justifiable homicide, he’s got no proof of that, and juries tend to frown on corpse mutilation, not to mention storing bits in the freezer.
- The meat they’re eating isn’t Freddie, but, uh, that does raise the question of who and what it is.