Last night’s episode of “Hannibal” really started moving the story towards a pace I am hopeful it will maintain through the duration of the season. Hell, it’s probably safe to say that episode 4 “Takiawase” is the first episode that really got to some juicy meat and left me on the edge of my seat. Oh, I’m forgetting something here…
IF YOU AREN’T CAUGHT UP, TURN BACK NOW! SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!
And as always, check out my previous recaps here.
In last week’s episode, we found Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) on trial. Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) has found trouble and scrutiny upon his actions with pushing Will Graham in season 1 to his breaking point. To make matters worse (better?), a court bailiff was murdered in a copycat style that had doubts begin to emerge that Graham was indeed the killer they all thought he was. That episode ended with the judge being murdered and put on a gruesome display, which was Hannibal Lecter’s (Mads Mikkelsen) way of saving Will for the time being.
Let’s move onto last night’s episode now, shall we? As I said above, “Takiawase” is the first truly meaty episode of the season and I write that with as much of a grin as I can given my penchant for appreciating puns. The episode opens on Will Graham and Abigail Hobbs in his mind river fly fishing. He is teaching her how to fish just like her dad taught her how to hunt. Abigail’s response to this is pointing out that fishing and hunting are the same thing. Will corrects her:
One you catch, the other you shoot.
What’s poignant here is, we begin to see this calm serene place Will goes to in his mind is his way of prepping for battle. Dr. Hannibal Lecter is the target he is aiming that fishing lure towards every time we see him here.
The last thing, before casting a line, name the bait on your hook after someone you cherish. If the person you named it after cherished you, as the superstition goes, you catch the fish.
This brings a smile to Abigail’s face and before she throws out her reel, she turns and asks Will what he named her bait. In a dead serious focused face, his response will surprise no one.
As always with these fly fishing trips, we’re soon brought back to reality and find Will in his cell. Dr. Beverly Katz is visiting him and brings him the photos of the mural of death with the killer stitched into the center. He questions her regarding who put him there and Katz throws out a hypothetical regarding a partner. Will shoots down this theory, stating the killer worked alone and then throws his theory at her. This is the work of Hannibal Lecter. While she doesn’t believe this, he gets her to agree to look for any hidden clever detail in the case. While she says she’s not looking for clue to lead back to Hannibal and Will says he’s happy as long as she’s looking, this foreshadowing here begins the ongoing game of cat and mouse that begins to unfold in this episode.
We cut to a beautiful field where the camera is following a bee towards what looks like a pretty extravagant hive. The camera follows its path into the crowded honeycomb and then out of the eye sockets of a corpse that looks like it is more a hideous growth on the side of an old tree than anything else. We get just a glimpse of this hideous image before we move back to the hospital.
Here, Will Graham and Dr. Chilton are making a deal. While it’s a win for Chilton, you can see Graham moving his chess pieces strategically on the board in his mind. The deal he makes with Chilton to allow him to test him. In turn, he gets Chilton to inform Dr. Lecter that Will is now off limits to him. Will Graham is now under Dr. Chilton’s exclusive care. Later when that conversation actually happens, you see the mischief in Chilton’s eyes which alludes to both of these men as peers in more ways than one. Meaning, they’re both crazy bastards! But I’ll get back to that in a bit.
Bella Crawford pays Dr. Hannibal Lecter a visit to his private office. Their conversation is a somber one as Bella is tired and accepting defeat over her cancer. She’s obviously in pain and tells him she wants it to be over and done while she still has some dignity left. Hannibal confirms with her that she is contemplating suicide. She tells him it feels like a valid solution to her and that the thought actually makes her feel alive. When she asks him how it makes her feel, Lecter tells her that he’s always found the idea of death comforting – that is frees him to fully appreciate the beauty, art and horror of everything the world has to offer. He further shared a tidbit regarding Socrates’ own suicide:
To Socrates, death was not a defeat but a cure.
Jack Crawford arrives at the scene in the woods where the bee covered corpse is. Jimmy (Scott Thompson) explains his fascination with bees and they deduce the body was there in the woods for a few weeks; that it was repurposed as a human apiary. Further, the eyes and brain were removed to make room for the hive inside. While I’m not sure how this murder story-line really fits with the overall storyline of the episode, it’s still rather interesting and gross at the same time.
After her conversation earlier in the episode with Will Graham, Beverly Katz invites Hannibal to assist her with her autopsy on the human mural killer. After confirming he was once both a surgeon and doctor, Katz tells Lecter that Will thinks the true killer of the man left a clue. He tells Katz that they would need to go deep beneath the skin to understand the killer’s psychopathy. This right here is his clue to her. That cat and mouse game I spoke of earlier, is most definitely afoot now! Yet, Katz doesn’t even know it yet.
We now find ourselves in Chilton’s office. He’s sitting across from Will who gives him consent to conduct tests as part of the deal the two made earlier in the episode. While there, Graham asks Dr. Chilton about the adverse affects of certain drugs that can be administered to invoke memory loss in a person. Chilton advises him that drugs used for those reasons would imply some rather skilled unorthodox practices. From here, a form is signed giving Chilton his consent to perform the tests, a drug is administered into Graham and sh*t suddenly gets crazy bonkers.
Graham breaks out into a drenching sweat, staring up at blinking fluorescent lights on the ceiling. Suddenly, he’s back in Hannibal Lecter’s office where he’s being asked to draw one of those many messed up clocks from season 1. This time, however, we see Hannibal injecting him with a drug. While Hannibal is talking to him in this hallucination/memory, the good doctor’s face begins to melt much like his drawings of the clock and it turns into some sort of abstract hallucinatory fever dream. In case you’re curious, this is where the episode really starts getting good! Good on you, NBC!
Dr. Chilton is able to drag Graham out of this horrible mental space and we see Will has come to an epiphany of sorts. He tells Chilton that Hannibal was inducing his seizures and blackouts by strategically administering him drugs. He further tells him this was accomplished by inciting encephalitis into his system. That statement stuns Chilton who agrees that would have to be some radically unorthodox therapy.
This leads to the conversation at the hospital between Chilton and Hannibal. Chilton tells him the appointment with Will had been canceled. He further explains his position on Will Graham being an intelligent psychopath is evolving. His theory now is pointing towards a collection of illnesses, some of which were induced by light therapy and he tells Hannibal he believes his therapy was being used to drive Graham towards violence.
I have been thinking about the possibility that you have been psychic driving Will Graham all along. You are not the only psychiatrist accused of making a patient kill. We have to stick together.
Chilton’s motives are not quite clear yet but one thing is certain, f*ck these guys!
Back at the lab, the team deduces Duncan (the bee hive corpse) was missing for six months and his white blood cell count was elevated at the time of death most likely pointing to an infection that killed him. Further, we find out the man was lobotomized before his death. This clue takes us into the home of the bee hive killer.
There’s an old arthritic man being treated on a table by a woman (Amanda Plummer) who treats him with bee venom. The treatment is very beneficial and she begins acupuncture. Soon, the man cannot feel anything and she takes a large ominous looking spike and drives it right into his eye. It’s her smile that accompanies this action that really drives “the crazy” home.
The eyeless man is found standing in the park. Back at the lab, Zeller examines the man finding lesions in his frontal lobe. He’s covered in bee stings and they agree it’s possible he isn’t feeling anything due to the amount of bee toxins in his system. Dr. Katz enters at this point and is informed of the pattern they have found that these bee marks are actually hiding acupuncture marks. This statement gives her an idea.
Beverly heads back to look over the mural killer’s body once again. This time, she examines the stitching closer and finds that these stitches are hiding other stitches. That earlier statement of Hannibal’s regarding going beneath the skin comes back to her and she realizes the man’s kidney is missing.
Back in the prison, Will is in the middle of a very real dream that is bringing to light another memory embedded in his psyche. This time, it’s of the scene in season 1 where Graham brings a gun to Hannibal’s house while Dr. Gideon is a guest at the dinner table. While Will begins to have a seizure, the two men have a back and forth revealing that Lecter is also The Chesapeake Ripper – not Gideon! All these memories flooding back to him, but who will believe him?
Beverly Katz, that’s who. She returns to the hospital and brings Will her findings. She tells him that the killer took the killer’s kidney along with his leg. He adds to this that Lecter may very well also be the Chesapeake Ripper. This is where Beverly tells him she had Hannibal assist her with the autopsy and Will has a fit. Hannibal will sniff out her agenda, if she makes one known. She argues with him that Hannibal pointed her to the evidence at hand. But of course he did! Lecter is baiting the hook with his own blood knot. Cat and mouse and all that. Graham pleads with her to bring all of this information to Jack and to stay away from Lecter. Before the conversation ends, Will has a sickening realization of what Hannibal is doing with these trophies he’s taking.
He’s eating them.
Jack comes to the door of the bee pollen lady with Jimmy and Zeller in tow. After inviting them inside, the woman pretty much admits to helping both Duncan and Lloyd find peace in their painful suffering. She tells them nonchalantly about his diseases and how she couldn’t imagine a dignified end of life for the man so she put him in the meadow with a head full of bees because that’s nicer in her eyes. A head full of honey, I get it. Crazy person!
Bella Crawford is back in Hannibal’s office. She can barely walk and gives Lecter a valuable coin for helping her understand the option of death being a cure. She then tells him she took all of her morphine and dies right there because she’d prefer to not have Jack find her body and make that call. With her gone in front of him, Hannibal sits and stares pensively at her body for a moment. He takes the coin and flips it in the air, performing a mental game of heads or tails. After a moment, he goes to a cabinet and fills a syringe with some sort of medicine and sticks it right into Bella’s neck. Much to her groggy dismay, this revives her and she looks at Lecter while he holds her head and says one word:
Dr. Katz visits Jack’s office with the motive to tell him everything but finds he has gone to the hospital due to an emergency involving his wife. With this info, she also is told that Hannibal Lecter is with him tending to Bella. Mrs. Crawford awakens in the hospital room and is overcome with emotions at the site of her husband at her bedside. Hannibal brings her the coin she gave him and in return she slaps him and tells him to get out. He leaves.
We see Hannibal leave and immediately find that Beverly has broken into his house. She searches his refrigerator and kitchen where she finds carefully packed cuts of human meat in a locked room. We’re reminded she is a doctor first and not a great investigator as she knocks over a pitcher of what looks like blood onto the floor. Instead of cleaning it up and getting the hell out of there, she notices the blood drips through the floor boards. So, instead of cleaning up her mess, she goes and investigates the basement.
Heading down the stairs with her gun drawn, this scene is reminiscent of that final scene between Agent Starling and Buffalo Bill in Silence Of The Lambs. That tension right there pushes this episode up a notch. While in the basement, she uncovers something extremely horrific, which we do not see. This is the moment she lowers her gun and we see a figure standing on the other side of the butcher style plastic hanging from the ceiling. She turns and finds Dr. Hannibal Lecter standing motionless staring back at her. After a beat, he hits the light switch and bolts, leaving her in complete darkness. She shoots in his direction but misses. She fires a few more shots and everything goes quiet.
Holy crap man! What a way to end an episode! I really liked the character of Dr. Beverly Katz and all hints are pointing her demise here. “Takiawase” is the best episode of the season thus far and what happened in this episode will most certainly be getting the ball rolling to that brawl we caught a glimpse of at the beginning of episode 1. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect next week:
Are you enjoying this season of “Hannibal”? What did you think of this episode? Is Dr. Katz alive? Feed me all your thoughts in the comments below!
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