Monday, July 13, 2015

RECAP: Hannibal 3x06 - Everything Happens So Much

Quick reminder that we have Kyla Furey of Feedback Force doing weekly Hannibal recaps for us right now because she is awesome.


As I predicted last week, this week’s episode was so chock full of just things happening that it boggles the mind. So unlike many of the other recaps so far, this may have to be a straight-up blow-by-blow list of events rather than a more mood-driven meta, just to make sense of events and not keep us here reading about it for the next three weeks. Apologies if it seems choppy; there’s just a lot of content to get through. It was good, though; the glorious culmination of all that was promised.

We begin with Hannibal returning home through the dawn-lit streets of Florence after his battle with Jack, washing away the blood of the encounter. Bedelia has to stitch him up considerably; from this point on he walks with a limp where Jack put a meat-hook through his leg.

Meanwhile, Jack remains behind at the crime scene, where he runs into Will. They wander around the office (why they’re allowed unsupervised at an active crime scene when they are clearly no longer associated with law-enforcement is beyond me), and get a feel for each other once again. Will wants to know why Jack didn’t kill Hannibal when he had the chance. Jack wants to know if Will still wants to run away with Hannibal.

In one of what ended up being many, many amazing cinematographic moments in this episode, Will tells Jack that part of him will always want to go with Hannibal. While he says it the lighting and framing are such that he seems to face an insubstantial reflection of himself in the glass of a display case,* a visual reminder of his divided soul, and of the piece of himself that will always belong to Hannibal.

Back at Hannibal’s, Bedelia prepares to take her leave. Hannibal wasn’t ready to let her go so soon, but Bedelia has everything entirely planned out. She knows he’s in too much of a hurry to eat her before he leaves, and she knows he’s fond enough of her not to kill her otherwise. So she packs him a bag and kisses him goodbye. The kiss is almost the final relief of the never-ending tension of their scenes, but for the fact that she draws back before the end, leaving him leaning forward and wanting more.

Our third perspective of the episode, Muskrat farm, begins with Mason taste-testing various pork products cooked in the way that his chef intends to prepare Hannibal when the man is caught. Mason eats like a spoiled and picky child, spitting out his food and being his bratty, difficult-to-satisfy self. We get a sumptuous fantasy of Hannibal himself laid out at a banquet table like a Peking duck in Mason’s mind, but already the viability of their plan seems to be failing.

As the Vergers and Alana see on the news, their agent Pazzi has already been slain. To get a hold of Hannibal, they’ll have to buy the whole police department. They realize Hannibal is close to slipping out of their grasp, and scramble to prevent it.

In Florence, Bedelia seems to be enacting some as-of-yet unrevealed scheme involving shooting up in the now-privacy of her and Hannibal’s apartment, when she is interrupted by the appearance of Chiyoh, who comes seeking Hannibal. 

Chiyoh claims to want to “cage” Hannibal, but as usual she is enigmatic at best. Bedelia and Chiyoh actually make a very interesting pair, both clearly absorbed in their own plans and wary of - though not intimidated by - the other. They understand what Hannibal thinks he used each of them for, and they both understand that he might not have quite as much control over them as he likes to think.

When Chiyoh leaves, Bedelia continues in her interrupted activities and injects herself with... something. When Jack and Will arrive to question her she is quite high, and we finally see the full unfolding of her plan. Bedelia intends to pass herself off as some kind of drugged Stockholm victim. She pretends that she is “confused,” that she believes that she is Lydia Fell (wife of the late Dr. Fell, whom Hannibal was impersonating), and that Hannibal kept her drugged up to maintain this delusion. 

It’s a fairly clever plan, all things considered; she uses a drug cocktail that Hannibal has used before with Miriam Lass, and to be fair it’s very much the sort of thing that Hannibal would do. 

Or at least, it’s the sort of thing that the person Hannibal is perceived to be would do.** It lets her reclaim her old life if she eventually wants to, and absolves her from all blame in following Hannibal. She’s not fooling Jack and Will, but then she doesn’t really have to since they are now technically civilians with little to no say in her fate. Will leaves before the interview finishes.

Back at Muskrat farm, Margot tells Mason that the police have been bought, and Mason talks in his creepy creepy Mason way about wanting them to have a baby. He “apologizes” for removing Margot’s uterus without actually taking any responsibility for having done so and, whether intentionally or unintentionally, seeds the idea in Margot’s mind that there is still a way that a Verger heir could be the way out of Margot’s dilemma - Mason’s sperm. Unpalatable, but practical, as much of the Verger mentality seems to be.

And then finally - FINALLY - the long-awaited scene occurs and we see Will come to sit next to Hannibal on the museum bench in front of Botticelli's painting Primavera. The two regard each other with a certain sad, almost shy affection, while the musical theme from their last encounter in Mizumono plays heart-wrenchingly in the background.

“If I saw you every day forever Will,” says Hannibal, “I would remember this time.”

Their conversation is nearly everything you could want from the two of them short of actual kissing.*** Will discusses how he’s felt since they last saw each other, Hannibal looks warm but remains stoic and somewhat cryptic, and there’s this absolutely hilarious exchange about Chiyoh when Will mentions her:

Hannibal: How is Chiyoh?
Chiyoh: She pushed me off a train.
Hannibal: ‘Atta girl.

The scene is beautiful and satisfying in every way and there is a single moment of almost-peace between them, and then they leave together and Will gets shot.

There’s a little more to it than that, obviously. It seems Chiyoh has set up on a nearby rooftop with a sniper rifle (who is this lady?), with the possible intent to wound Hannibal for capture, or perhaps even kill him. 

Will, however, takes the opportunity of his and Hannibal’s closeness to draw a knife with the apparent intent to use it on Hannibal, and so her focus changes and she instead shoots Will in the shoulder, dropping him. She high-tails it away rather than sticking around for a second shot. So maybe she is merely protective of Hannibal after all, just as he says.

Back again to Muskrat Farm, for the lesbian kaleidoscope. Say what you will about this show, but they take more cinematographic risks than anything else on television, hands down. The sex scene that occurs here between Margot and Alana is nothing short of trippy, with repeated images of the two of them melding together, parts of their bodies blurring into each other and out of each other, their faces emerging from and descending into one another’s likenesses. 

There’s maybe one or two shots that - in my personal opinion - cross the line from artistic to ludicrous, but it’s certainly different, and it’s certainly something to see. How do you do a lesbian sex scene on network television while simultaneously pleasing the censors and avoiding the male gaze? This is how.

Alana and Margot are themselves plotting. While it’s unclear what the full extent of their relationship is (I would guess it’s primarily casual sex, given that we haven’t been shown any kind of significant romantic development between the two of them), Margot seems willing enough to trust Alana that she broaches the subject of harvesting Mason’s sperm before he is either killed or sent to prison. Maybe she just trusts that Alana hates Mason almost as much as she does. He’s certainly an easy guy to hate.

In Florence, the inspectors are now interrogating Bedelia and Jack (more the former than the latter). We of course know by now that they’ve been bought, and they certainly don’t come across as particularly sympathetic or up-standing. They’re trying to get Bedelia to confess her identity, and Jack is less-than-patiently circling the subject of Dr. Fell as not only the Italian killer “Il Mostro,” but also the man, Hannibal Lecter. The questioning inspector becomes annoyed with Jack and sends him away, narrowing his focus to Bedelia.

Meanwhile, Hannibal treats Will for his bullet wound.**** They talk a bit about the fact that Will was intending to stab Hannibal - his hand still reflexively clutches the knife - but Hannibal doesn’t seem that upset about it. The fact that one of them must kill the other seems inevitably accepted by both of them; they don’t waste anger or fear on the subject. Hannibal drugs Will to deal with the pain as he removes the bullet.

The hallucination scene that follows is probably my favorite cinematographic moment in the episode, maybe even the season. It’s strange and austere, Will and Hannibal appearing in ripples of black smoke on a stark white background, all blurred lines and uncertain curves. They speak about eating, about the senses of smell and taste, and the animal nature of them within the brain. It is their constant dance around each other, encapsulated in a sort of misty, uncertain dream, the black and white swirling together into grey.

Will wakes groggy, still-drugged, to find himself seated at a dinner table, clean and crisp in a new shirt, tightly bound in place. Hannibal feeds him a concoction of herbs - parsley and thyme - and we see in the future the inevitable spectre of the upcoming meal. Will is to be the sacrificial lamb to replace the one they ate together so long ago, replaying the moment when Will refused Hannibal’s affection, but with the betrayal reversed. 

Hannibal loves Will, cares for him, and so must eat him in order to finally settle the relationship and heal the betrayal between them. He even tenderly blows on the soup before feeding it to Will, a strange juxtaposition of Hannibal’s honest affection and his murderous intent.

Jack is on his way, taking the elevator up into the very same building; it seems Will and Hannibal are camped out in Solgiato’s old apartment.***** Chiyoh too takes the elevator at the same time, and the ride up is incredibly intense as each realize that the other has the same destination.

Chiyoh folds rather than confronting Jack, murmuring “wrong floor” as she escapes rather than fight him for the right to find Hannibal in the apartment. I’m certain we haven’t seen the last of her, though.

Jack does enter the apartment, to find Will strapped into his seat at one end of the table, apparently drugged halfway to delirium. Upon approaching him, he gets a woozy, mumbled warning from Will: “He’s under the table, Jack.” Just before Hannibal strikes with a knife to Jack’s achilles tendon.

A short interlude - the inspectors make it clear to Bedelia that all they want is Hannibal. Whether she’s guilty or innocent or in her right mind is immaterial. Where is he? “He intended to meet an old friend before leaving town,” she tells them. “He will need somewhere private to do so. Somewhere no one is supposed to be.”

Back to the dinner table. Jack is now strapped in a chair opposite Will, the table laid for three. Hannibal prepares a bone saw. It was Jack’s idea first, he says, to “get into Will’s head.” And now Hannibal intends to finally do just that, to open Will’s skull and finally taste the magnificent empathy that he has treasured for so long, to make the most unique part of Will part of himself at last.

The bone saw begins to cut into Will’s forehead. Blood drips down Will’s face, stains his white shirt. Jack screams. Blood flies.

A peaceful scene; clouds, trees. Will wakes up, Hannibal beside him. They are hanging by their ankles in a meat truck, strung up beside a load of pigs. Finally the doors to the truck open, revealing Mason verger, welcoming them to his home.

Next week is the final episode before we begin the Red Dragon story arc, and I hope it will answer some of the questions posed by the end of this episode. Aside from the obvious “what comes next,” I really want to know how exactly they were interrupted at that dinner. Was it the inspectors, bursting through the door after Bedelia’s tip? And what happened to Jack? Did they just leave him there tied up? Did he escape? Could they not find a viable excuse to kill him for witnessing the kidnapping of a murder suspect and a civilian? I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.

Keep your eyes open, even if you have to do it between the shield of your fingers: this show is not done yet.


* I’m shocked there are any display cases left standing after how much crashing through glass happened in the last episode, frankly.

** I personally don’t think Hannibal would be amused/interested enough by someone staying with him under chemical coercion for such a stunt to be worth his time. He wants his victims of his mind-games to be under no influence other than his own persuasion. But only those closest to Hannibal who know him very well would be able to make that distinction.

*** To be honest, I was hoping for a scene in which Hannibal asks to see the scar he left on Will, but I suppose one can’t have everything. And they are in public, after all.

**** Involving, among other things, Hannibal ripping Will’s clothes off. Fanservice, ho!

***** The man Hannibal stabbed in the temple with an ice pick, for those who don’t remember.


Kyla Furey is an independent game designer and writer. She is also one of the hosts of the game-analysis podcast, Feedback Force, and hosts a weekly Saturday night game livestream on Twitch TV. She enjoys the surreal and the moody in her media, hence her great love of NBC’s Hannibal. You can follow her on Twitter @Kyla_Go where she livetweets Hannibal on Thursdays at 10pm Pacific, following which, she posts delirious stream-of-consciousness reaction videos on YouTube.

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