If possible, episode three of NBC’s Hannibal is even better than the first two. It’s fair to say that we, at PopWrapped, expect this show to be around for a long time! Rather than introducing a new killer like last time, the plot returns to the Minnesota Shrike case, and more specifically to Abigail Hobbs – the daughter of the killer, who has spent the last episode comatose in a hospital.
The episode begins with Abigail and her father in the forest hunting. It’s clearly her first time coming along, an she downs a deer on her first shot. Somehow, the seventeen-year-old isn’t quite as genuinely pleased and excited as her father. She looks more scared and upset than pleased with her success. The two drive it back to the hunting lodge. Abigail expresses her sadness for the deer, but her father tells her that it’s okay – “We’re going to honor every part of her, none of her is going to waste…Eating her is honoring her, otherwise it’s just murder.” With that, Garrett Jacob Hobbs helps his daughter slice open the animal’s sternum. Meanwhile Abigail is stroking the deer’s neck. The shot changes to Abigail stroking the hair of a girl, then pulling the head up and revealing that it’s probably one of the girls her father killed. She startles awake, hooked up to tubes and wires in the hospital. It was just a nightmare, but the important thing is that she’s come out of her coma.
Next scene is Will, at his home, with all of his dogs. Dr. Alana Bloom shows up and makes a little bit of small talk, but her reason for coming is to tell Will that Abigail is awake. Unlike Jack Crwford, she says, Dr. Bloom doesn’t want Will to go see her right away. Therefore she all but insists that they go inside for coffee. Jack keeps calling, but Will doesn’t answer. He appreciates Alana acting as a “buffer” for the time being. Evidently Jack believes that Abigail was an accomplice to her father’s murders. Alana expresses her concerns over Will’s seemingly excessive concern with the girl, but he assures her he isn’t just “collecting another stray”, alluding to his absurdly large collection of pet dogs. Alana assures Will that Abigail won’t be on her own – Alana will reach out to the girl in her own way.
Dr. Bloom does visit Abigail, who seems a little bit…strange. Evidently she told the nurses that had been tending to her that she didn’t remember anything, but she was willing to tell Alana that she did at least remember that her father was insane.
Next is a meeting between Jack, Will, Hannibal, and Alana. Evidently the families of seven of the murdered girls are frantically contacting the FBI, desperate for them to locate their loved ones’ remains. The discussion turns to Abigail, and how she seemed at the hospital when Alana visited. The girl was “practical”, according to Alana. Evidently she was not behaving suspiciously, but she did “withhold information to gain information…demonstrated only enough emotion to prove she had them” and has a penchant for manipulation. But Alana does not agree with Jack that Abigail is guilty – she is questioning the girl’s state of mind. Jack still wants will to talk to her, though.
Will is giving a class lecture at the FBI academy on the Shrike’s copycat killer, when Jack and Hannibal walk in. The question Will is posturing is, did the Shrike and his copycat know each other? He references the untraceable call Hobbs received just before killing his wife as evidence indicating that they did. Will believes that the person who called Hobbs is, in fact, the copycat killer. Meanwhile the camera does a super-creepy close up on Hannibal’s face – in case you haven’t noticed by now all signs point to Dr. Lecter being the copycat.
Back in Abigail’s hospital room she is being lightly questioned by Freddie Lounds, writer for tattlecrime.com, who seems to have it out for Will. As Hannibal and Will are walking into Abigail’s room Freddie tells Abigail that Will isn’t an FBI agent, and that he’s insane. Although personally I’d question the sanity of a person who persists in involving herself with a crime that has led to someone literally being shot to death directly in front of her. Either way, though, Will doesn’t quite help his cause when he says to Freddie “It’s not very smart to piss off a guy who think about killing people for a living.” Not your best idea, Will Graham.
Next we see Freddie having a meeting with the brother of the copycat killer’s victim, Cassie Boyle. She tells him that Abigail woke up, although we don’t quite know why. Maybe just to stir up the pot, so to speak, but we never really find out.
Next, Abigail finally gets to go home. The garage door of her home has “CANNIBALS” painted on it in large black letters, so it’s not difficult to figure out what the neighbors think of Abigail and her late parents. Abigail is discomfortingly inquisitive about the spot where her mother died, and the place in the kitchen where she herself nearly bled out. She is quick to pick up on the fact that a lot of why the detectives decided to bring her back was to gather more evidence. The topic of the mysterious caller is brought up and she is asked if she recognized the voice. Abigail quickly responds in the negative, but not without a furtive glance at Hannibal himself. Does she actually recognize the voice as being his? It seems like it. It’s clear that she definitely does a minute later when she asks if they’re going to re-enact the events, suggesting that Will be her father, Alana be her mother and Hannibal be the man on the phone. The look she gives Hannibal when she suggests that last part says it all – she knows. While subsequently combing through some potential evidence, Abigail asks Alana if crazy is contagious. The answer, actually, is yes. There is a French term called “folie a deaux” that means “a madness shared by two”. Hannibal chimes in, saying that it can be difficult for a person to think sanely when their family or support network enforces an insane way of thinking. Clearly this really doesn’t do much to convince Abigail that she’s not just as crazy as her father.
Suddenly Alana says that there’s someone else there – it’s Abigail’s friend Marissa. The two head outside to walk and talk. Marissa confirms it – everyone does think that Abigail helped her father murder those girls. As soon as Marissa assures Abigail that she doesn’t, though, Cassie Boyle’s brother comes out of the woods and declares that he does. He verbally harasses the two girls, until a stone that Marissa throws cuts his forehead. Alana, Will, Hannibal, and Marissa’s mom all come running, but it’s too late. He’s gone. While Marissa and her mom argue, Hannibal slips off to the side. He sees the stone covered in the brother’s blood and kicks some leaves over it. Curioser and curioser, eh?
The group decides to go to the hunting lodge in search of any other potential evidence. Once there, Abigail has a revelation. She recalls her father saying of the deer she shot that “no parts went to waste, otherwise it was murder.” She realizes, suddenly, that her father had been feeding she and her mother the flesh of the girls he killed. Suddenly a few drops of what appears to be blood drip on Abigail’s head. Will tells her to stay downstairs while he goes upstairs to investigate the source. And he finds…another murdered girl, hung up on a pair of antlers, a lot like the copycat killer did with Cassie Boyle. Before anyone can stop her Abigail comes up the stairs…and looks into the dead face of her best friend Marissa. The same best friend she had been talking to only hours before. In studying the body Will discovers that there is dome blood and tissue on the girl’s teeth, which adds to evidence that says Will’s profile of the copycat killer was inaccurate. He said that this killer was perfect, a genius, faultless. He would never leave his DNA. And he also said that the copycat killer wouldn’t kill the same way twice. Again, proven wrong. While this dialogue is happening, Hannibal himself is standing in the background, almost smiling. He waits for the moment and says…Nicholas Boyle killed both girls. Planting this idea in Jack’s and Will’s heads, he distances himself even further from incrimination. Hannibal killed Marissa, same as Cassie Boyle. He left Cassie’s brother’s DNA on Marissa’s teeth (remember, from the stone she threw at his head?). He’s managed to fool Will and throw him off…for now, at least. Jack asks Will to stay at the hunting lodge while he and Hannibal go back to Abigail’s home.
Again, Freddie Lounds is there. How did she get there, past the police line? Who knows. Hannibal stops her to ask a question, and she does not acquiesce. You can tell he doesn’t like her, which obviously does not bode well for her. Meanwhile, inside the house Abigail is having a breakdown. Left by herself, she takes a knife from evidence and cuts open a pillow that her father made. Inside, of course, is the hair from one or more of his victims. In comes Nicholas Boyle, pleading with the frantic Abigail to believe that he did not kill Marissa. His desperation grows and he corners her…not knowing that she still has the knife. In her terror and potential moment of insanity, Abigail sticks the knife into his gut, killing him.
Alana is looking for Abigail, calling her name, when suddenly Hannibal sneaks up behind her. He bashes her head against the stone wall of the upper landing, and as he gently lays her down, Abigail comes up the stairs. Obviously she’s still petrified and in shock, so she doesn’t scream. In this scene we finally see what a master of psychological manipulation Hannibal Lecter truly is. He tells Abigail to show him what she did (meaning Nicholas Boyle). There, he tells her that she butchered the boy, that no one would believe it was done in self defense, that even admitting to it as self defense would incriminate her in the eyes of everyone around her, including the police. Obviously, this isn’t entirely true. The police are about to discover Nicholas’ DNA on Marissa, so they would know him for a murderer. Hannibal knows this, since he planted the DNA. But he needs Abigail to owe him. He knows that she knows it was him who called her father that day, and therefore that he is the copycat killer, and he needs her to stay quiet. So he convinces her that he can help her hide the body, at great risk to himself, in order to keep her secret. She agrees, saying that she will keep his secret as well. With a truly masterful feat of manipulation, Hannibal once again guarantees that no one will connect him to the copycat killings.