This week’s Hannibal is filled with backstabbing, hilarious dialogue, and truly disgusting imagery. In other words, Digestivo brings you yet another perfect episode of Hannibal!
Alana and Margot awaken to the phone ringing. Margot is told that Hannibal and Will are in route as Alana stares at the play of shadows on the ceiling and sees Will’s face in them. She tells Margot it’s time Margot got what she wanted and that her brother is a sadist and that Hannibal and Will are going to be tortured. She tells Margot that gives them time.
Mason meets the pig truck that arrives with Hannibal and Will suspended upside down along with the pigs. Mason delights in telling Hannibal that he still has his father’s knife, the same one his father used to check the fat on the back of the pig. He then has Cordell turn Hannibal (who is still hanging upside down) around and plunges the knife into his back. Hannibal doesn’t make a sound as Mason pulls the knife out and remarks that Hannibal is lean and that perhaps they should fatten him up. Mason has a chained up Hannibal and Will brought to a holding room before reveling in telling Hannibal about all the fun they are about to have.
Mason tells Alana that before Hannibal was captured, Hannibal killed Jack Crawford. Alana is shaken until Margot walks in and informs them Jack Crawford is in fact, still alive. Alana warns Mason not to play with his food and Mason assures her he is not playing. She counters that Hannibal is playing, that Hannibal is always playing.
Hannibal and Will are brought into Mason’s dining room where they discover that not only does Mason plan on eating Hannibal, but he plans on having Will’s face removed first and stitched onto his own before eating Hannibal. Hannibal and Will ask what Mason will do once he’s gotten everything he wants, and as Mason continues to explain his plans, he asks Cordell to moisturize Will’s face. When Cordell gets close enough, Will tears a chunk out of Cordell’s cheek with his teeth as Hannibal looks on in pride.
After Cordell stitches up his face, he brands Hannibal with a hot iron and they discuss how it’s important to Mason that Hannibal has a pig’s experience. Cordell promises that a bit of Hannibal will be fed to Mason each day and that he will always be cooked to perfection.
Meanwhile, Mason asks how long Margot and Alana have been an item and asks if she’s had a chance to check out Alana to see if her uterus is good. Mason then informs Margot that he has already found Margot a surrogate and that he saved her eggs when he removed her uterus.
Alana walks into the dining room and tells Will that Jack is alive. Will is upset that Alana helped Mason find them, but Alana explains that she helped Mason get to Hannibal, not to Will. “I’d say he has it coming, wouldn’t you? Or maybe you wouldn’t.” She tells him. Alana explains that the details of what she thought would happen have evolved and Will tells her she must now evolve too.
Margot goes to see Hannibal who is suspended above the floor in his pig pen. She tells Hannibal that Mason promised to give her a baby. Hannibal explains that Mason will deny her, that he will always deny her and that she will need to kill him. Margot asks if Hannibal is offering to do it for her. Hannibal tells her it would be more therapeutic for her to do it herself and tells her if she does it, he will write a letter claiming he killed Mason. Alana walks in and shoots the guard then tells Hannibal she was trying to save Will from him but that now, Hannibal is the only one who can save Will. She asks Hannibal to promise that he will get Will out of there. Hannibal promises and reminds Alana that he always keeps his promises. Alana understands he is no longer just talking about Will. Hannibal tells her to cut one of his arms free and then to leave him the knife, that he can do the rest. Alana opens the pen and sinks to all fours in front of Hannibal. He tells her to get some of his hair and skin from his scalp and to put it in Mason’s hand once he is dead. Hannibal intends to protect Margot from prosecution. Alana asks if she would ever have understood Hannibal and he tells her no. She rips hair from his head and then cuts an arm free. She then lays the knife on the floor in front of him.
Mason is wheeled into a surgical room where Will is already strapped to an operating chair as Cordell prepares their face-off surgery. Cordell gives Will a drug that immobilizes his body but still allows him to feel. He then tells Will that he is going to cut off his face without any anesthesia.
Margot and Alana find the surrogate but are shocked to find that it’s a pig lying on a bed with a little pig mobile hanging above it. They see an ultrasound image of the fetus and Margot asks if he’s alive. Alana tells her there is no fetal heartbeat and Margot demands that Alana take the baby out.
Scenes of a facial surgery then come juxtaposed with Alana surgically removing Margot’s baby from the surrogate pig.
Mason pulls off his mask to check out the results of his facial surgery. He begins yelling for Cordell as he picks up a mirror only to realize in horror that Cordell’s face has been placed on his own. As he continues yelling, Cordell’s face slips off and falls to the floor.
Hannibal struggles to carry Will through the snow and away from Mason’s mansion. As two guards begin to gain on them, Chiyoh shoots the guards from a nearby tree.
Alana walks into Mason’s room as he is yelling for Cordell and tells him that Cordell is dead and that Hannibal got away. Margot joins them and tells Mason that she found his surrogate and that she is taking what he promised her. He tells her that she can’t kill him because if she does she will lose everything and that in the absence of an heir, the estate goes to the Southern Baptist Church. Alana asks if Mason knows what happens when a cattle prod is used to stimulate the prostate, and tells him Hannibal does and helped them do it. Mason tells Alana that she is dead and she replies that they are all dead, but then holds up a vial of his sperm and tells him “But these aren’t.” Mason tries to aim his gun at Alana but Margot tackles him to the floor as he shoots, his bullet piercing the glas of his floor eel tank and he tumbles in. Alana holds onto Margot to keep her from falling in with him. Mason struggles as Alana and Margot hold him down, just as the eel swims into his mouth and down his throat, the water filling with blood.
Hannibal walks outside of Will’s house to meet Chiyoh on the front porch. He asks her if she will, or even if she can, go home and Chiyoh explains that she can’t no more than he can. Hannibal asks if she will watch over him and she says that she will, but not in a cage because some beasts should not be caged. Chiyoh asks Hannibal if he ate Mischa and he tells her yes, but that he did not kill her. Hannibal returns to the house as Will wakes up. He sits in a chair next to Will’s bed and asks if they had talked about teacups, time, and rules of disorder. Will tells him that the teacup is broken and that it will never gather itself back together again. Hannibal tells Will that his memory palace is building and that Will’s shares some rooms with his own. Will tells Hannibal that he will not miss him and that he is not going to find him, not going to look for him. Will tells him he doesn’t want to think of him anymore. “You delight in wickedness and then berate yourself for the delight.” Hannibal tells him, hurt. “You delight, I tolerate. I don’t have your appetite.” Will responds before telling him goodbye. Hannibal, wounded and angry, stands and leaves Will’s home.
Jack arrives at night with the FBI and Will comes onto the porch and tells him that Hannibal is gone. As soon as the words leave his mouth, Hannibal walks out of the shadows and surrenders to Jack Crawford and the FBI. Hannibal congratulates Crawford on catching him and Jack responds that he didn’t catch Hannibal, that Hannibal surrendered. Hannibal responds that he always wants them to know where he is, then looks to Will. A shaken Will retreats into his home as the FBI cuffs Hannibal and puts him in the back of Jack’s cruiser. Chiyoh disappears into the woods.
What makes this show amazing is the constant need for the audience to understand Hannibal, to humanize him. If Hannibal were not out torturing and killing people, he would probably be a pretty awesome guy. Hannibal works hard as a show to keep the character likeable even as he commits these horrific crimes. In the midst of the murder and mayhem, Hannibal is still prepared to help when it counts. Granted his offer to help Margot certainly influences Alana with the decision to set him free, but I want to believe that Hannibal feels in that moment for what Mason has done to Margot and feels enough for Will, that he is willing to put aside his disdain for Alana to get Will out of there alive. It certainly helps that Mason is such a horrible person and that the audience is rooting for anyone at this point to just put him down. Implanting Margot’s embryo into a pig, a pig lying on a piggy bed, under a baby mobile with little pigs...it’s just soooo wrong.
This episode feels like it’s so much about loyalty and about how these characters are loyal only when it suits their own self interests. Bedelia clearly lead the police right to Hannibal and Will, though I don’t know how much it’s going to take for Hannibal to realize that as she asks for his loyalty, she’s willing to break her own to him. Will is angry at Alana for her part in leading the police to them and yet her explanation is that she wasn’t searching for him, she was searching for Hannibal. After all, Will just happened to be there, right? We'll just pretend she didn’t already know that’s where he would be. Margot is realizing that Mason has no loyalty to her and that he will never give her what he’s been promising. Cordell seems loyal to Mason, but really he’s probably just loyal to his interest in cooking gourmet people parts. Chiyoh is blindly loyal to Hannibal, and that part I’ve still not quite figured out yet. At least they seem to have an understanding.
The heartbreak of this episode is that Hannibal seems completely loyal and devoted to Will (ignore the stabbing). Hannibal’s need to get Will out of Mason’s mansion alive is heroic in every way and Will is the one person who Hannibal seems to risk it all for. Sadly, Will has clearly been through enough at this point and at their reunion once Will awakens in his home, Hannibal at his side, Will tells Hannibal he’s done.
What seems to injure Hannibal the most is Will's insistence that not only will he not look for Hannibal, but that he doesn't want to even think of him anymore. Hannibal must feel as though Will wants to get close to him when it suits Will, but never when that kind of friendship (or what Hannibal believes is a friendship) suits Hannibal. Hannibal’s retaliation is to get caught by Jack Crawford while semi -blaming Will for his presence there, and it’s a perfect moment of television.