Let's face facts, NBC's Hannibal is not for everyone. It's for smarter audiences, who can sit down, watch a police procedural and make room for layered dialogue, subtext as thick as milkshake, and plot threads that are, at this point, buzzing about like the bees from a few episodes past. [Spoilers follow.]
If you're watching this show, you have taste for the complex. Because, let's face it— this show is f*cking complex. I don't believe for one second that Dr. Chilton is dead. I don't believe for one second that Freddie Lounds is dead. We've been shown circumstances for both characters (Freddie's is in this very episode) that suggest they're goners, but c'mon. C'mon.
Since the season premiere, Will Graham has been fishing for Hannibal Lecter. His theme has not changed one jot, while his methods have. He tried sending a psychopath to kill Lecter, that didn't work. Lecter sent last week's monster du jour at Will, fully expecting Graham to kill Tier. Will Graham did not disappoint.
And so, to honor his first deliberate, morals-free kill, Will grafted Tier's skull to a Saber-Toothed Tiger, in the Museum of Natural History. Like you do.
Hannibal and Will go through the motions of an investigation for Jack Crawford, trading pithy assessments of the killer that perfectly describe Will's mental state right now, but whatevs. Will is playing a long game, longer than even Hannibal can calculate— blinded as he is by the prospect of having an actual playmate.
Other things happen: Michael Pitt makes his debut as Mason Verger, prodding his sister Margot with little taunts at first, before feeding a dummy wearing her suit to a literal bay of pigs. Dude has issues. It's a grand performance, make no mistake. Mason tortures Margot because he can— he does everything because he can— and his sister is powerless, at present, to do anything about it.
Dr. Lecter vigorously encourages Margot to murder her brother— in circumstances that would benefit her. Daddy's will was strict: everything goes to the next male heir. If Mason dies, Margot gets nothing... but if there's a bun in the oven, that's another story entirely.
There was no shortage of online knee-jerk reactions to this plot point, of Margot seducing Will Graham for the sake of his seed. She needs a baby, stat. No, it has nothing to do with her sexuality as a lesbian. No, the show is not trying to say that all lesbians need a man to function. If that's what you take away from it, you're watching it wrong. Get over it.
Annoying Freddie Lounds has put two and two together: Dr. Chilton couldn't have been the Chesapeake Ripper, he lacked the surgical skill. She believes Graham was right. Unfortunately, Lounds is not the type to keep her mouth shut on a juicy story, so when she breaks in to Will's farmhouse and finds a freezer full of man meat, she panics. That is the understandable reaction. Cut to her fleeing to her SUV. Cut to Will Graham smashing out her window.
Cut to Will Graham, delivering a package of human flesh to Dr. Lecter, to cook in a manner he sees fit. They dine together, and discuss the nature of good and evil, in one of the best scenes of the series so far.
I maintain: Freddie Lounds is alive. Dr. Chilton is alive. This is a fake-out. It has to be, to maintain the continuity of the books Bryan Fuller is adapting.
If it's not, and he simply doesn't care about continuity... then why the f*ck should I care? Or any of you?
What do you think?
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