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'Hannibal's Next Dish: Shiizakana Tartare [Spoilers]

Bryan Fuller's masterpiece program is winding to the end of its second season. In terms of Kaiseki, Shiizakana can mean items added to the menu. It certainly applies. Spoilers follow.

Following Will's brush with death last week (his chance to kill someone else), he confides in Hannibal that he feels it was a missed opportunity in therapy. A missed opportunity to feel something specific. For weeks now, Will's talked and/or fantasized about fishing, using himself as bait for Hannibal. This scene is the first we've seen that demonstrates that it'll work.

Through all the interpretations of him, Hannibal Lecter craves sensation. He wants to feel what others feel, even if only through his own palate. He's sipped the tears of friends and enemies, provoked emotional response. Now, when learning that Will was close to feeling something he himself craves, Hannibal's in rapt attention. He licks his lips. He doesn't blink. Very, very softly: "What does that feel like?"


Will has learned a very specific talent from Lecter: to deliberately perform one action with two completely separate meanings. Here, he gets to confess his feelings of getting closer and closer to the killer inside him... while simultaneously presenting the perfect lure for Hannibal Lecter's attention.

Lecter will return the favor before the episode's end.

Randall Tier, the killer of the week is very much a monster. He's built himself an exoskeleton of fossils with claws and teeth that haven't existed in nature for thousands of years. And he has no problem leaving a mess behind.

It's his gruesome wastefulness that helps the FBI rule out actual animals, despite the teethmarks. Bears and wolves drag their prey off to feast after it's been felled. This monster takes only what clings to his 'teeth'.

Much like other killers in Thomas Harris' books, Tier has direct ties to Lecter as a former patient. Recognizing the handiwork, Hannibal visits his friend, working with fossils at the museum. Lecter anticipates that the FBI will find Randall, and coaches him on what to say. True to form, his counsel proves effective.


Outside Lecter's home, Will has a chance encounter with Margot Verger. They intuit that they're both Hannibal's patients, and 'trade notes' in private. They share that yes, Lecter is encouraging them both in their darker impulses. Neither fully knows what to make of that.

Last week's theme of metamorphosis is still here, in a different form. Instead of a chrysalis of horseflesh, the killer is trying to evolve, to change himself through acts of carnage. Before they ever meet, Will Graham is contemplating the exact same thing.


I mentioned the skill Graham learned from Lecter, of doing two things at once that (outwardly) seem nothing alike. Lecter demonstrates it when sicks his animal friend, Randall Tier, on Will Graham. He sits beside Tier in a hunting blind, outside Graham's house, feeding Randall encouragement. The beast attacks.

Will unloads a shotgun blast into the creature, feeding his own appetite for righteous violence. The episode closes on Will, delivering Tier's body to Hannibal. Graham thanks Hannibal for the opportunity, and considers the score (of sending someone to kill each other) "Even Steven."


The teaser for next week is grisly. I, for one, can't wait.

Random Observations:

* Peter Bernadone is doing all right in prison, complete with new animal friend named Kevin. Jeremy Davies' performance is endearing as it is adorable.


* Still no mention of the Chesapeake Ripper, or Chilton.

~ For more, visit www.caseyjonescaseyjones.com.

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