With no definitive word about a renewal I was watching this weeks Hannibal eagerly, especially with all the realizations we came to last week.
We open with Will Graham on what seems to be a typical day in his home, surrounded by dogs working on a boat engine. When he hears a wounded animal outside, he goes out to investigate but sees nothing.
We then see Tobias Budges’ music shop in Baltimore where he’s teaching his student about the merits of ‘authentic’ strings, typically made out of something called “catgut” (which is actually usually made out of goat). And guess what? Those strings are not catgut. We saw Tobias last week at the opera when his friend Franklin introduced him to Hannibal. We now see precisely how he makes these strings in a sequence which makes me once again pray that more people are watching this show, because have you seen the cinematography? Breathtaking.
We then go back to Will hunting for this injured animal, now accompanied by psychiatrist and friend Alana Bloom. He hopes with her help they can wrangle and rehabilitate it, while Alana questions why he needs her help at all. Am I sensing a parallel? Is Will the wounded animal? Will asks if it is a date (and I swoon a little) and she claims she thought no such thing. Will asks if he is ‘too broken to date’ but she assures him he’s not broken. He presses the issue why they aren’t dating and Alana claims she’s too busy. Will asks how she plans to proceed and Alana artfully avoids answering.
Franklin is back at Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s office, obviously a bit put off that Hannibal still refuses to be his friend, but now concerned as well. In his attempt to impress Hannibal he is now playing psychoanalyst to his friends, and he’s concerned that his friend Tobias may be a psychopath…according to Google. He’s expresses fear that his friend may be crazy, to which Hannibal defends that psychopaths are not crazy, but fully aware of what they’re doing (Seriously how is no one else sensing how creepy he is?). Franklin fears he’s becoming too boring for Hannibal and hopes his friend Tobias will keep Hannibal interested. Hannibal assures him that he, himself, is not a psychopath. “Although you may be attracted to them.” (I think he was also breaking the fourth wall here.)
Cut to, a man with his throat cut and a cello neck shoved down this throat. Jack identifies him as a member of the Baltimore Orchestra as Will Graham circles the body. Jack notices it’s easier for Will to observe the bodies, even as they grow increasingly gruesome. Will claims it’s easier to shake off the trauma, not to observe. Jack leaves will to do what he does best, get inside the mind of a killer. Will realizes that the murder didn’t want to just assault the corpse with a cello, he wanted to play him like one too. We see Will play the victim and in the audience one Garret Jacob Hobbs, bloody and applauding.
We then see Hannibal contemplating referring Franklin to another psychiatrist with his psychiatrist Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier. Dr. Du Maurier reminds Hannibal she tried to refer him to another doctor but that he refused. Hannibal claims protection and support over Dr. Du Maurier after being attacked by one of her patients. She warns him not to try to psychoanalyze her. I find the relationship between the two psychiatrists increasingly interesting. Hannibal has to be a superb actor to fool not only the casual observer but also this concentrated gaze.
Will Graham is in the morgue with the rest of the FBI team where they discover the vocal cords have been treated with chemicals. Will notes that this makes them easier to play and says, with a rather unsettling look at the body, “Had to open you up to get a decent sound out of you.” The other FBI agents exchange worried looks which make me worry that Will is going to end up in the hospital he fears so much. (Will, you need to learn to control your impulses, not everyone is as understanding as Hannibal. Or psychotic. You make people uncomfortable sometimes.)
Will goes to confer with Hannibal, who tells Will that the killer was performing for an audience. Will knows that while the killer is experienced, this is the first time he has made his work public. Hannibal names him a ‘poet and a psychopath’ in search of an authentic sound in search of a specific audience.
Franklin comes back to Hannibal, still concerned about his friend Tobias, who told him he wanted to ‘cut someone’s throat and play it like a violin’. Coincidence? Doubtful. Seriously Franklin go to the cops, not to Hannibal. Oh, but then you would lose out on precious time to talk to Hannibal. Oh the tangled web of ego and codependence on this show is so intricate, it is dizzying. Hannibal doesn’t encourage him to go to the police, and Franklin reveals that his friend knows he would run and tell Hannibal. Ding, ding, ding - we just found the killer’s intended audience.
Hannibal visits Tobias at his place of business - the music store - were he admires his collection of catgut, while Tobias plays in the background. Hannibal identifies it as an original piece, which Tobias confirms. Hannibal tells him that he plays the theremin (An instrument so obscure and bizarre you should really look it up) because he likes that it plays music outside conventional notes, but Tobias claims the violin can do the same. Suddenly it is very clear the conversation stopped being about music about 3 intense stares ago. Hannibal claims his visit is for new strings for his harpsichord.
We then see Will making fishing lures when he is distracted by a scratching sound coming from inside his chimney. Cut to the chimney, now all but demolished by a frantic-looking Will Graham, who is accompanied by a concerned looking Alana. He says by the time he broke the chimney open the animal had escaped. Will calls her Alana out on her previous inclination to avoid being in a room alone with him, commenting that now she’s making excuses to come see him. And then he kisses her. Alana pulls back, claiming they shouldn’t, and Will tells her to stop thinking so much. She says that they aren’t compatible because of ‘the way he is’ saying she couldn’t be in a relationship with him without also constantly analyzing him. She leaves Will looking like a kicked puppy with a hole in his wall, and probably in his heart.
Well, Hannibal is having Tobias for dinner (I’m worried about how hungry I get when I watch Hannibal, but I can’t help it, everything looks so good) and as the wine is poured bluntly asks if Tobias killed the trombonist. Tobias seems pleased Franklin has passed his message along. He doesn’t seem perturbed that someone has found him out, instead calmly tells Hannibal that when they do come to investigate him, he’ll kill the officers, then Franklin, and then he’ll disappear. He casually mentions he planned on killing Hannibal, which doesn’t seem to worry Hannibal in the slightest. Tobias then tells Hannibal he knows who and what he is, which finally seems to give the unshakeable Hannibal pause. Dr. Lecter doesn’t want attention drawn to him. Tobias asks Hannibal to be his friend, which Hannibal brushes off and tells Tobias that he plans to kill him. Then a doorbell slices through the world’s tensest silence and (oh thank god) Will Graham is at the door.
He tells Hannibal he kissed Alana. Tobias has disappeared, so Hannibal opts to share dessert with Will (let’s eat chocolate and talk about our feelings, Hannibal Lecter: Cannibal and part time teenage girl). Will is upset that Alana has rebuffed his advance, but Hannibal agrees with Alana’s points. Will agrees as well but says he’s “wanted to kiss her since (they) met. She’s very kissable.” Hannibal asks why he asked to kiss her at this moment. And Will admits she could tell, there was no animal in the chimney. This, coupled with his sleepwalking, headaches, auditory hallucinations, has Will worried and grasping for balance (And Alana). Hannibal then tells Will about Franklin’s friend who he believes might be involved with the murder.
Hannibal goes back to Dr. Du Maurier, telling her he may have found a kindred spirit but he does not want to be that person’s friend. He instead wants to be friends with Will Graham, despite their differences (Don’t lie to yourself Hannibal he’s already your best friend and you know it.) Dr. Du Maurier says that trust is difficult for Hannibal as well as finding someone worthy of being his friend.
Will and two uniformed officers go to visit Tobias at his music store. Will hears a dog get hit by a car and runs outside to investigate, but of course there is no dog. He comes back inside to find one officer dead and, with a bit of searching, the other garroted by wire in Tobias basement, which happens to be full of other assorted human remains. While checking on the second officer Tobias comes sneaking up behind Will, but with some quick maneuvering and a glancing gunshot wound Will avoids much injury while Tobias escapes.
Franklin is upset that Hannibal is trying to refer him to another psychiatrist when Tobias appears in Dr. Lecter’s office, bloody. Franklin tries to convince Tobias to turn himself in. He talks to Franklin, alluding to the idea that he isn’t the only psychopath in the room. So to make things neater Hannibal snaps Franklin’s neck. Tobias is upset that his kill has been taken from him and lunges at Hannibal, wire in hand. They fight expertly, both inflicting equal blows until Hannibal gets the upper hand (with a library ladder, the man can fight with anything) and, with time to grab his handkerchief to hide fingerprints, he kills Tobias.
The FBI arrives and Hannibal tells them Tobias broke into the session, killed Franklin and then Hannibal killed him in self-defense. Hannibal hints at the idea of Franklin being involved with the murders. Jack seems unconvinced of Hannibal’s story momentarily but moves on. Will appears and Hannibal tells him he’s relieved Will’s alive (with an imperceptible smile, but I saw it, you love him, Hannibal don’t deny it). Will feels guilty that Hannibal is now involved with his world.
Hannibal has another session with Dr. Du Maurier where she tells him he should not feel guilty about Franklin’s death, just as she does not feel guilty about the death of the patient who attacked her.
"Hannibal" is an amazing show; I end every hour feeling like I’ve watched an Oscar-worthy thriller, looking forward to the next week. The examination of Hannibal’s social life was further examined through his lens of friendship this week, confirming that he is inviting Will deeper into his inner circle. Will seems to be spiraling downward, however, but whether it’s because of the murders or his relationship with Hannibal we’ll have to wait and see. With the added complication of his feelings for Alana, the show has managed to add yet another dimension to its characters without making it feel forced or contrived. Though we have no confirmation if the show has been renewed, the fans (Fannibals? Hannibabes?) stay loyal and grow in number.