Last night’s “Hannibal” may not have delivered many “holy sh*t” moments but I think we need to give Bryan Fuller a break! Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen episodes that could have each qualified for season finales with the revelations and twists that had been thrown down for all to see. Another episode like the previous two, back to back even, might have made my head explode.
Even though “Su-zakana” slowed the pace back down to the status quo by kicking back into gear the “Killer of the Week” formula, it doesn’t mean the episode didn’t deliver the goods. While I hate the term “bottle episode,” this episode felt a bit like one. But that’s not to discount the level of WTF grotesque-ness that we get treated to. It’s also worth noting this episode was directed by Vincenzo Natali who also directed Splice and Cube. This may explain the brilliantly sexy yet disgusting nature of the episode.
The opening of the episode finds Jack and Will ice fishing (again with the fishing motif!). While neither one of them mentions Hannibal Lecter, it’s really obvious what the subtext is here. They’re not actually talking about trout when Will tells Jack he’s a good fisherman.
You hook him, I’ll land him.
And so the fish they hunted ends up being plated by none other than Dr. Lecter, who has both Jack and Will as guests. Everything is peachy now, really, because Graham is back in therapy with Hannibal. Yet, throughout the episode, you see them both pretty much acknowledge each other’s roles as they relate to one another. But this episode really isn’t about what’s going on between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter – at least, not overtly. The FBI has a new strange case to solve and it’s a wee bit grody.
We find our latest victim inside the stitched-up cadaver of a horse. If any of you were paying attention to Bryan Fuller’s Twitter feed last night during the episode, #turducken was the hashtag he was tagging at the end of each tweet. Once the body of the woman found in the horse was taken back to the lab, the team found a living bird alive inside of her chest. Hence, #turducken.
The victim leads the FBI to question Peter Bernardone (Jeremy Davies). Bernardone is a psychologically damaged man who is a collector and caretaker of a variety of animals. Upon questioning, it is revealed that Peter was kicked in the head by a horse and that is now why he walks and talks the way he does. The parallels between him and Will Graham’s character are so obvious that Will immediately recognizes Peter as a patsy. He isn’t the killer they are looking for and it turns out he is the one that put the bird inside the woman inside the horse. Why? Out of grief, and for the dead to be reborn. There’s a mention of coffin births which is an actual thing and I’m already grossed out typing this.
The guilty party in question is that of Peter Bernardone’s social worker Clark Ingram (Chris Diamantopoulos). Ingram is obviously a psychopath, lacking any sort of real human emotions. And as the episode takes shape, we find out he has killed at least 14 other people. Peter is fully aware of the murders but never came forward as he was worried his own psychological troubles would lead people to not believe him. Sound familiar?
Both Peter and Clark act almost as distant reflections of both Hannibal and Will. It’s when Will and Hannibal head back to the stables later in the episode that they find Peter stitching up another dead horse (or is it the same one?). He put Clark inside the cadaver of the horse so he too can experience rebirth after the horrors he has committed.
This is the super gross part that kind of reminded me of the scene in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. Except this wasn’t a fake rhino giving birth to Jim Carrey. This was a living man pushing his way out of the stitched up corpse of a dead horse. Gross. Grody. Blech. It’s kind of priceless watching Hannibal Lecter’s reaction to the whole mess and once Ingram is on his feet, he even offers up some advice.
You might want to crawl back in there if you know what’s good for you.
It’s good advice because Will steps in with his gun aimed right at the social worker’s head. But what’s interesting here is how Hannibal steps in and stops him. Will Graham seeks redemption: if not for himself, then for the manipulative shadow that exists in Peter Bernardone’s life. Talk about empathy! Lecter literally puts his finger between the cocked hammer and the bullet and takes the gun out of Will’s hand.
If you’re going to do this, Will, you have to do it for yourself.
And so the story of Peter Bernardone will continue in next week’s episode. But I’m not done recapping “Su-zakana,” because we are introduced to one of Hannibal Lecter’s patients. The lovely Katherina Isabelle (American Mary, Ginger Snaps) makes her debut on the show as Margot. For those unfamiliar with the Thomas Harris story canon, I’m going to omit her last name for now. Her scenes with Dr. Lecter allude to a violent brother that has been referenced in the news. She wears her arm in a sling. And while these intercut scenes with her felt a little sloppy, I’m giddy knowing who is going to be introduced soon on the show!
“Su-zakana” was a slower, subtler episode that offered a nice break from the crazy batsh*t events that transpired over the past few weeks. Since we are moving toward the 9th episode, you can all be sure the pace is going to pick back up once again as we have only 4 episodes left until we get to that brawl we were teased with at the very beginning of the season. And while “Hannibal” may not be scoring big on ratings, it is continually proving itself to be one of the best shows on network TV. Let’s just hope the rumors are true and if NBC decides to pass on a season 3 pickup, it’ll be swooped up by the likes of Amazon or Netflix.
What did you all think of last night’s episode? Let me know in the comments below!
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