‘Hannibal’ Season 2 Episode 12: “Tome-Wan”

By May 17, 2014

Last night’s episode “Tome-Wan” delivered many things. I am aware of these many things. However, the only thing I really keep thinking about is Michael Pitt’s portrayal of Mason Verger. The internet has been buzzing over the past week about how Pitt is emulating his version of the Joker here. Well, after last night’s episode, it just feels necessary that we get to see him explore this character further – maybe alongside Batfleck?

A few notable tidbits happened in last night’s episode aside from Michael Pitt’s standout performance. After we were shown that Jack is indeed involved in Will’s plan to take down Hannibal, we see Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) makes a return to the program. It’s revealed that Bedelia is the one who had murdered the patient who attacked her years ago, all while under the influence of Hannibal Lecter’s persuasive nature. In her conversation with Will, she warns him that Hannibal will ultimately make him kill somebody he loves and make him think he will have no other choice but to do so. This power of persuasion she refers to is the main trigger played around with throughout the episode.

Hannibal - Season 2

Will is using his persuasive talents to coerce Hannibal into murdering Mason Verger so he can nab his big fish and bring his catch to Jack. While Jack is doing his best to push Will into making this happen and Hannibal just wants Will to murder Verger for what he has done to poor Margot.

There’s a scene between Mason and Hannibal, early in the episode, where Mason is in a therapy session and pulls a knife on Dr. Lecter. Without a flinch, it’s discussed how the knife is used to measure a pig’s fat. This scene foreshadows a fight scene that reminds us that Dr. Hannibal Lecter might very well be trained in multiple fight styles because he still kicks some major ass. Verger’s Italian henchmen nab Lecter, not before a scalpel takes out one of the men and we find Hannibal strung up and dangling as food for Verger’s pigs. Earlier, Will was dreaming of just this scenario yet it plays out a bit differently in this reality.

You are an odd psychiatrist! We could have had some good, funny times together. It’s a damn shame!

These are the words spoken by Verger to Hannibal before Will is let loose on him with a knife. But instead of slashing he doctor’s throat, he cuts him loose only to get knocked unconscious. Graham wakes up surrounded by carnage and this leads us into one of the most engaging and gruesome scenes of the series yet. Hannibal Lecter administers Mason Verger a hallucinogenic and persuades him into using his knife to test how deep his own pig fat goes. Yes, what I mean to say is, Hannibal simply asks Mason to cut his face up. And he does it, with amused drugged up abandon!

Hannibal - Season 2

When Will arrives at home, he finds Verger talking through the viscera while feeding random scraps of his own face to his dogs. Lecter continues his attempts of persuasion to finish off Verger but Will declines, leaving Lecter to snap his neck (which does not kill him). At least Margot now has full access to the family’s money!

There’s a lot of dancing around issues in “Tome-Wan”. Both Will and Hannibal are circling each other. Sure, Will Graham wants to catch him and the issue of Abigail Hobbs is brought up again, once again showing us this is very personal for Will. We also get the feeling that Will wants to beat Hannibal at his own game. But turning the tables isn’t going to be that easy. He could have easily let Mason’s men murder the good doctor but that wouldn’t have been on his terms.

Hannibal - Season 2

When Bedelia acknowledged Hannibal’s narcissism as his weakness, it’s starting to feel like Will’s own obsession with taking down Hannibal might be his own undoing as well. And while Hannibal’s weakness and knack of getting lost in self-congratulation will be his downfall, Bedelia also tells Will and Jack that they shouldn’t be too confident in catching Hannibal.

If you think you’re about to catch Hannibal, that’s because he wants you to think that. Don’t fool yourself into thinking he’s not in control of what’s happening.

The episode ended differently than Will had planned as Mason Verger remains alive, yet paralyzed. So his new plan now looks to be another act of persuasion – to get Hannibal to reveal himself to Jack as the Chesapeake Ripper. This leads us to that crazy brawl between the two that opened the season a few months back.

Hannibal - Season 2

As we head to the season finale, I’m concerned about two things. First, how is Will Graham going to be affected by the outcome of next week’s violent interlude between the Lecter and Crawford? And second, since Laurence Fishburne is to be featured as a regular on ABC’s new fall program “Blackish”, does this mean we are about to be saying goodbye to Jack Crawford?

Tell me your thoughts on last night’s episode of “Hannibal” in the comments below!

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Aside from throwing words onto your screen here, he has written for the likes of FEARnet, Examiner, Dread Central and MTV Movies Blog. And yes, he was Percy on VR Troopers.