Here we are, week #3 into the second season of NBC’s horror series “Hannibal.” Sticking with the pacing from last week’s episode, it feels like we are slowly building to the crescendo we all know is coming. The entertaining part is the journey, right? And while it’s been a bit of a slow burn, we’re are definitely heading in the right direction! But before I continue, you know the drill…
Last week, we found the departure of Hannibal’s therapist Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson). This event is the trigger of Dr. Lecter’s motives in episode 3, “Hassun.” More on that, though, in a bit.
Much like previous episodes, we open on an attention-grabbing scene showing Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) dressed in a suit staring at a man in an electric chair. The clock is moving backwards and as we move to the minute before midnight, we watch the dead masked body in the chair come to life. The mask is taken off and we see Will Graham is staring at himself. This is when the time begins moving forward and when it hits midnight, the suit wearing Graham walks calmly over to the giant red lever and flips it. Is this where Will’s unique ability is leading him?
A voice awakens him from this nightmare telling Will “it’s time.” This leads to an cool little intercut scene showing both Will Graham and Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) getting dressed. Both fitting their suits on, almost as mirror images of each other – but not quite. Lecter puts on cuff links, Graham gets handcuffed.
This is the start of Will Graham’s murder trial. The prosecuting attorney paints a frightening picture of an intelligent psychopath in Graham. She continues to profile Will as the more insightful and smartest person in the room and by the look on Hannibal’s face, we get the impression he took that as a compliment. While this is happening in the court room, Jack Crawford (Lawrence Fishburne) is found nervously pacing the hallwa. He is approached by Kade Purnell (Cynthia Nixon), who pressures him about his impartial nature regarding Graham’s guilt and tells him to point an unbiased eye at the evidence.
Jack’s the next one to testify. He describes Will as both intelligent and arrogant but when the prosecutor implied that Will Graham was the killer and enjoyed his FBI cover, Jack defended Will. Graham hated his work with the FBI and that wasn’t something he could fake. He continued his defense in saying he was the one who made Will continue even after he asked for it to stop. Basically, Jack is taking the blame and Ms. Purnell is not happy about it. As the trial day comes to an end, Will’s defense attorney is handed an envelope which contains crumbs and a severed ear.
Jack and Hannibal sip brandy back at Lecter’s office. Crawford admits he feels he may have just lost his job due to his testimony and he feels great. Let the chips fall where they may, and all that. He sits and continues this “heart to heart” with Lecter. I put that in quotes because does Hannibal really have a heart?
I’ve given my life to death.
He continues on about his dying wife and how he wants to take her to Italy where she can die where they first met. Hannibal actually gives him some good advice by telling Crawford not to go into the ground with her.
At the lab, the team study the ear and deduce it was severed within the last 48 hours. Hannibal refers to this as a gift, implying it’s a reminder that someone else committed the murders that Will is on trial for. Later, Lecter visits Will at the hospital and informs him of his “admirer.” Hannibal conveys relief that this has happened, wanting Will’s innocence to be proven. Remember what I said above about Du Maurier being gone? It looks like Dr. Hannibal Lecter needs Will Graham as his new moral anchor. His rock, so to speak. He tells Will that this severed ear is the opportunity they need to help Will and point them in the direction of the real killer.
The next witness called to the stand is that damn reporter Freddy Lounds. After taking the oath, she goes on the record by stating Abigail Hobbs was afraid that Will wanted to kill and then eat her. The defense replies by simply asking Ms. Lounds how many times she has been sued for libel. Six. How many times has she settled? Six.
Back at the lab, the team has identified Will’s own knife as the weapon that was used to sever the ear. Further, the severing matches the cut made on Abigail’s ear. The evidence that was turned in is missing and this leads Jack Crawford and the FBI to the house of Bailiff Sikes. As his men enter the house, a trap is triggered and the place is immediately engulfed in flames. After the fire is put out, Crawford heads in to find Sikes’ body impaled on antlers, burnt to a crisp, and missing an ear.
Lecter asks Crawford about the impact this new murder may have on Will’s trial. Back in the court room, Jack and Ms. Purnell speak with the judge about this new evidence. Crawford tells them Sikes was killed in a manner similar to the other murders and that info was never made public. The judge agrees and the evidence becomes admissible.
Next up on the stand is that weasel Dr. Chilton. He claims Will is an intelligent psychopath who is pretending to be the introverted victim with the empathy disorder that we all know and love. But in reality, since Will won’t let anyone diagnose him, Chilton states he is a methodical killer who would kill again given the opportunity. When asked about Will’s work with the FBI in catching killers, Chilton proceeded with the explanation that Will likes to play God. All this happens while Graham is back fly fishing in his mind.
Hannibal meets with Will, who is handcuffed to the table. Lecter hands him the photos of Sikes and asks what he sees. Graham closes his eyes and does his thing, and when he opens them back up, we are in Mr. Sikes’ home. When Sikes enters, Will stands and shoots him once through the heart.
He will die believing we are friends.
From here, Will grabs him and slams him down onto the antlers in the living room. His death is impersonal. Graham immediately goes to work slicing open the man’s mouth, carving off his ear and dropping it into an evidence bag.
He is the ink from where my poem flows.
Hannibal tells Will he already knew the murder was a copycat and he wants to wash away any of his doubt about him once and for all. He wants Will to believe the very best of him. This crime gives reasonable doubt to the case, but Will disagrees with him, stating it is simply a distraction. Lecter continues trying to persuade him by saying it could lead to his freedom. The fact that it would be a lie bothers Will. They both agree they don’t want Will to be locked up.
Will is met by Alana Bloom and a lawyer as he has decided to change the course of his defense. Though Bloom is confused, Graham’s lawyer agrees that this new killer on the loose gives them a new angle to pursue. All they need is that reasonable doubt Lecter spoke of earlier. Alana is informed she will no longer be taking the stand. In her place is Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Who didn’t see that coming?
When Hannibal is sworn in, Will sees him as that creepy antler man he likes to have visions of. When asked by the defense attorney, Lecter explains he was not Graham’s psychiatrist but more-so a source of stability that he ultimately failed at being. Continuing, he tells the lawyer that he never considered Will’s innocence until the bailiff was killed. He tells the attorney he never blamed Will for the accusations that he himself committed the murders because he considers Will a friend.
The prosecuting attorney objects the similarities between the murders. The cause of Sikes’ death was a bullet to the heart which differs from the mutilation of the other victims. With some pressing, the judge decides to strike the evidence from the trial altogether.
Later, we see Jack studying a photo while drinking. We cut to Hannibal sitting in his office staring at the empty chair in front of him. Then, we move to Will laying on his mattress. We end on the janitor cleaning the floors. As he enters the courtroom, he happens upon the body of the judge, strung up with his skull opened. The body holds the scale of justice and his brain is on one dish, his heart in the other.
When the crew arrive to investigate the murder, they find little to no evidence left behind. Crawford tells Lecter that the judge’s murder will result in the trial’s reset. Jack further guesses that the one behind these new murders wanted this to happen so Will’s life could be spared for the time being.
The episode ends with Dr. Alana Bloom meeting with Will with the hopes that he gained some sort of clarity from the trial. He never had faith in the legal system to begin with, and tells her:
I could hear my blood like a hollow drumming of wings and had the absurd feeling that the killer walked out of the courtroom with me.
Will’s convinced the killer will contact him soon. What does the killer want? “He wants to know me,” Will says in response. Then Will asks Alana what she wants.
I want to save you.
Will Graham takes her hand as they sit quietly staring at each other.
This is where episode 3 of “Hannibal” ends. It seems like this entire episode is setting up some interesting things to come. I’ve seen the promo for next week and things look like they really start moving. Here’s hoping NBC decides to pick up the show for another season. The move to the Friday night death slot has me worried. However, the possibility of Amazon or Netflix coming in to save the show (if that happens) could be a very conceivable reality.
What did you think of last night’s episode? Let me know in the comments below!
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