Hannibal Review: Episode 2×10 – “Naka-Choko”
All the character dynamics in this episode are fantastic, and it’s far more than just Hannibal and Will. The show is as artful as ever, and Freddy Lounds is going to gain several more fans by the time it’s done.
Watching Will be so brutal without explanation is beginning to get old. What’s he trying to do here? Why hasn’t Hannibal caught on to this yet? And why is Jack allowing them both to work with him?
Will Graham, murderer in this weeks Hannibal
Last episode left Will Graham with some very interesting decisions. Hannibal sent someone to kill Will, and while he says they’re even, it’s obvious that continuing a relationship with Hannibal is very dangerous. The subject of a police investigation has gone missing; what does Will plan to do to cover his tracks? Can he trust Hannibal? Can he trust Margot? His game is slowly turning him into a murderer, and that wasn’t what he had in mind. Let’s see how this all plays out!
The Verger family drama
We’ve met Margot already, and she’s a smart one. She’s met with Will already to confer on Hannibal’s therapy and maybe find an ally, while not letting on to Hannibal. In her therapy with Lecter, she reveals that she’s glad she failed to kill Mason the first time around; her fathers will doesn’t allow the estate to pass on to a female heir. Hannibal tells her she will have to kill Mason, and must eliminate her love for him to do so. It’s surprising to see Hannibal this blatant in his encouragement, but it doesn’t look like Margot plans on telling anytime soon.
Margot later enters the Verger estate on horseback, finding her brother there to greet her. Michael Pitt does a great job in this role, absolutely commanding the screen every time he opens his mouth. He’s delightfully creepy, and it’s easy to believe Margot wants to kill him. He walk her to a maze he built, designed to agitate pigs and get them to eat a live man. Margot and Mason’s dynamic is so interesting; he obviously revels in the power he holds over her, but she tries her best to fight through her horror. He shows her a dummy made of meat dressed in one of her suits; he’s recorded a woman’s screams to help train the pigs for when a live victim is waiting. As the dummy lowers into the maze, he talks to Margot and, while we don’t see the carnage, the scene is incredibly unsettling.
“You failed to murder your brother…you still love him.” – Hannibal Lecter
Mason later invites Hannibal to the Verger estate, and we see that he is paying for Margot’s therapy. Quite ironic that he’s enabling her to kill him…but also interesting to see how much he controls her life; he buys her clothing, he puts her in therapy. Does she have any agency at all? He speaks of a need to protect Margot, and offers Hannibal one of his pigs as a gesture of thanks for helping her. Hannibal accepts under the conditions that he chooses which pig is slaughtered. If that’s not a metaphor, I don’t know what is. Seeing both manipulative killers in one scene was really interesting; Hannibal is the more controlled of the two, with Mason as the chaotic one.
Margot takes matters into her own hands, deciding that if she is to kill her brother, she should get some of the inheritance. She goes to Will’s house and shares a drink, and successfully seduces him. The scene is very well done, switching between Alana/Hannibal and Margot/Will. Bryan Fuller swears by the quote “Film your murders like love scenes and your love scenes like murders,” and that’s exactly what he does. Though Will points out that she’s not attracted to men, she ignores him, going through with her plan to have a male heir. This may mean she intends to kill her brother soon, or could just be the beginning of a long preparation. Either way, it’s best we keep an eye on the Verger family.
It seems that though both Will and Hannibal are officially cleared, there are some who aren’t so sure. Most prominent is Freddy Lounds, who has returned to collect Will’s story as he promised. She pushes forward, skipping the pleasantries and immediately asking him about Chilton and Hannibal. She’s interviewed friends of Chilton and has some significant doubts as to his guilt. Though Will asserts he was wrong about Hannibal, Freddy refuses to believe it. It’s refreshing to have someone that smart on the trail of Hannibal; finally someone realized how unlikely Chilton’s guilt was. I mean, he can’t digest meat, and he was accused of cannibalism. Though Will treats her comments with disdain, it’s clear she’s not letting this up, and she may even have some personal reservations about Chilton, as they went through a traumatic experience together and she saved his life back in season one.
Not content to just talk to Will, Freddy approaches Alana. She’s really on top of her game, finding out Alana is sleeping with Hannibal within seconds of their conversation. She really wants to tell this story, for whatever reason, and wants Alana to be able to look past her personal connections to see what’s going on. Alana doesn’t listen, telling Freddie that Will and Hannibal are continuing therapy, that everything has been resolved. Freddy retorts that it came from Will’s realization that “if you can’t beat Hannibal Lecter, join him.” Freddy’s right on the mark, but why is she talking to Alana, especially if she knows Alana’s personal connection with the two men? What does she think this will accomplish?
“Will graham was right about Hannibal Lecter and I was right about Will Graham” – Freddy Lounds
That decision might have been Freddy’s worst mistake. Over dinner with Will and Hannibal, Alana mentions Freddy’s comments, and it seems like she’s given them some thought. Right after some thinly veiled discussion of murder by the two men, she mentions that Freddy visited her. “Neither of you is the killer she’s writing about, but together you might be,” she suggests. What is she thinking!? Either she doesn’t believe Freddy, and is contributing nothing, or she sees a hint of truth and is putting them both in danger. But it looks like she’s at least a bit suspicious. She comments on Will’s lack of boundaries with Hannibal’s therapist relationship, and says it’s hard to know where they are with each other. Though Will fends on her comments, she’s definitely asking the right questions. She might either become a key player or become dead.
Both men react accordingly to Alana’s comments. Hannibal waits at her home in his murder suit, and Will waits for Freddy as she approaches his house. She discovers Randall’s creation hanging in Will’s barn, and below it a freezer containing pieces of Randall’s body. (How does he keep this without being caught?) Unfortunately Will finds her, tries to reason with her, and fails. His behavior is similar to Hannibal’s in the same situation, and ultimately murders her. She managed to call Jack Crawford, and he traced the signal back to Will’s farm.
Jack brought in Hannibal, Will, and Alana to discuss this call. It seems now Alana and Jack are both suspicious of Will, and the fact that anyone with information on him or Hannibal quickly disappears is getting to be pretty obvious. It was great to see Freddy investigating, and even better that she’s planted the seeds of doubt in Alana. Alana might be our only hope of seeing justice served.
Will Graham, murderer
Even after his camaraderie with Hannibal, Will still wants him dead. As he kills Randall, he fantasizes about killing Hannibal. The monster jumping through the window looks like a wendigo, which is not good news. Will has taken his hatred toward Hannibal and is applying it to others in order to murder them, like he did with the social worker. It’s also shocking that these two are still comfortable with one another both knowing this. Sure, there are some filters in their interactions, but they share a lot of intimacy, to their own demise. Hannibal is fascinated with Will’s killing brain, and is proud of him for killing Randall with his hands. He tells Will that Randall deserved that intimacy; he’s teaching Will the ways a serial killer thinks, not so he can analyze, but so he can think that way. But why did Hannibal try to have Will killed then? Was it a test of some sort? Either way, it’s so interesting for us to dive deeper into this dynamic; even though they don’t trust each other, they definitely need each other.
The FBI finds Randall mounted on an animal skeleton, as Will put him there. It’s the repayment Hannibal told Will he owed Randall; it looks like Will is listening to Hannibal. Will carefully describes his intentions to the FBI in third person, revealing that he intended to commemorate Randall and has no fear of consequences. The conversation between him and Hannibal at the crime scene is none too subtle, so let’s hope Jack is smart enough to catch on.
“I never felt as alive as I did when I was killing him” – Will Graham
This time when Will re-imagines the crime scene, Randall’s head is alive, and talks to him from the skeleton. He says though he forced Will to kill him, he didn’t force Will to enjoy it. Randall says it’s not commemoration, but a monument to Will, while Will says he was giving Randall what he wanted. It’s terrifying that the action which he previously empathized with, he is not performing. This is confirmed by the line “This is my design.” This time, it actually is. Will is jealous of Randall having confidence in who he is. Will is trying to become a killer for his own fulfillment, but his goodness is holding him back. It’s terrifying yet hopeful.
He’s relying on Hannibal to help him realize himself. He’s been providing Hannibal with meat, and kills Freddy Lounds for them both to eat. It’s more than jarring to see how quickly he seems to be back on Hannibal’s side, literally eating with him. Though there’s still that small desire to want to defend Will, it’s really difficult now. Alana was more right than we initially believed. Will, as he says, has given up on good and evil, possibly because the good that he clung to didn’t help him at all, but the evil of Hannibal did. It’s difficult to tell what he’s up to, getting so close to the man he wants to kill, but it’s a fascinating progression, far less predictable that previously thought.
The Final Verdict
This show only gets more and more fascinating as we try to figure out characters motivations and where it’s going to go. Will still hates Hannibal as much as he desires to be around him, and the Verger story is just getting interesting. The extent to which Hannibal and Will are both willing to go is mazing, and the artfulness of the series is around as much as it ever was. With only three episodes to go, it’d be a shame if the show isn’t renewed for a third season.
- We had Buster and Kevin from last episode, and now Pavlov…I see a theme here
- Why is Hannibal offering therapy to Mason?
- We get a hint of Hannibal’s past; he had a sister!
- Will makes up a story about a stag wandering through his window. Interesting choice of animal, Will…
- Just how soon is Margot going to kill Mason?
- Will says he hasn’t let go of Abigals death; why is he hanging around Hannibal then?
- Whose idea was it to have Alana, Will and Hannibal having dinner together?
- Will cannot stop staring at Alana over dinner, and it’s really heartbreaking.
- Why did Will keep Randall’s jaw?
- How’d Freddy get Jack’s number? Why is he the first person she called and not 911?
- Will still cares a lot about Alana. Just take my heart now.