Broadway star Raul Esparza finds his way back onto Hannibal this week as the smarmy Dr. Chilton. It does, of course, follow that Eddie Izzard is back as well in the role of Dr. Gideon.
You know, aside from the dubious meat, the dinners Hannibal creates for his guests are amazing. This episode begins with Dr. Chilton being treated to one such meal while the two men discuss psychic driving and Dr. Gideon. It seems they both appreciate the unusual and extreme when it comes to their patients. Somehow, as usual, Hannibal turns out a one-liner that both fits the situation and makes the audience squirm: “I have no interest in understanding sheep, only eating them.” And, as they sit down to eat, Hannibal tells Dr. Chilton that the curry he made is, in fact, made of sheep (wink, wink). Their discussion turns back to psychic driving and Hannibal explains with ease why it doesn’t work (while we, in the audience, continue to gape at the subtext – this guy knows exactly how to warp, push, and manipulate a human mind without the human in question noticing at all).
Will’s lying in bed asleep, covered in sweat, having what appears to be a really horrific nightmare. A wall of ice cracks off a glacier, causing a typhoon to hit the beach with the “JENGA IS PEOPLE” totem pole, where Will is standing. He opens his eyes, back in bed, and looks at the clock – which promptly begins to melt. Then his bed starts to melt. Then Will melts. Yeah, it’s safe to say he was having some kind of dreaming-slash-waking hallucination…thingy.
Dr. Gideon seems to be going for an escorted walk…right into the back of a jail transport truck. Dr. Chilton is being sued by Gideon for making him think he was someone else. He seems to believe that Dr. Chilton should take responsibility for the death of the night nurse from the hospital. Dr. Chilton says he looks forward to seeing Gideon in court. Ooh, the sass. It burns.
In the truck Gideon attempts to make conversation with his two guards, asking them each if they’re married. He then, of course, goes on unbidden to explain how he murdered his own wife because she was so horrible. Then Gideon changes the subject abruptly to ask the guards how they keep their whites so clean. Ooh, this is probably going to take a bad turn right about…now. Yeah, the next group of shots are extreme close ups on white button down shirts being soaked through with blood. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that car ride did not end as well as one would have hoped.
We come back to see the police truck abandoned on the side of the road, with a whole police team there on the scene. Will is off to the side, preparing to “do his thing.” He walks backwards into the police truck, as if he’s backtracking Gideon’s steps. Then suddenly he is in Gideon’s place – seated with the hospital police escort. And suddenly he looks even crazier than usual. And he becomes Gideon. Will is seen attacking and killing his (or rather Gideon’s) escort in the back of the truck. Then he comes back into himself. At least this time he didn’t ruin a crime scene. When asked by Jack if Will thinks Gideon still thinks of himself as the Chesapeake Ripper, Will replies by saying that Gideon seems to be having a difference of opinion about who he is. Hmm. Well, no time to ponder that; now the audience is faced with an extreme close up of a human heart tied to a branch with a tidy little bow. And it’s not the only organ there. As the real Ripper certainly would not leave organs behind (we’ve seen how Hannibal is with them – waste not, want not) Jack suggests that Gideon is trying to get the guy’s attention. The tracks they found led back to Baltimore. So where’s Gideon?
Will and Alana arrive at the office of a particularly snappish Dr. Chilton. Evidently the man’s pride has been even further wounded by the embarrassment of Gideon’s escaping. He even goes so far as to accuse Alana of sharing the blame for this whole mess, as she was the one who brought up the possibility that psychic driving may have been a factor. This, of course, completely leaves out the fact that Dr. Chilton’s use of psychic driving was a factor. While those two are having it out, Will seems to be at risk of losing his grip on reality… again.
The next scene takes place in a briefing room at the FBI. Jack is filling the agents in on the situation with Dr. Gideon, while Will stands at the back (looking kind of like that one emo kid from high school). Suddenly Will slips out of reality, hallucinating that the room is covered from floor to ceiling with antlers (of course). Jack’s voice distorts and sort of folds over itself, asking Will what kind of crazy he is and saying that he will kill again. Will is not okay.
Back in the real world, Will discusses his brief break from reality with Hannibal. Will says he feels different, like someone else…crazy. Hannibal insists that Will can use him as his gage – the method by which Will remembers who he is. Somehow I feel like this is Hannibal once again going for the Worst Best Friend Ever Award.
The bodies of the hospital guards have been brought back to the FBI labs and examined. There isn’t much we haven’t already figured out, although Will is adamant that whatever is going on with Gideon it has nothing to do with anyone else – it’s all in his head. Speaking of “all in his head” it looks like whatever’s going on in Will’s head has resulted in his seeing water leaking from the morgue drawers he leans against. What is it with Will and his aqueous hallucinations? Anyway, Will says that the “scrambled brains” of the two guards represent the way Gideon feels – that he had his own brains scrambled by the psychiatrists who poked and prodded him over the years. Jack decides they need to get ahold of all psychiatric professionals who have worked with Gideon in the past, and Will points out that Alana Bloom will be on that list.
Will goes to see Alana in her classroom, and some awkward “I like you, I like you too, we could totally date if I weren’t crazy sticks right now, yeah totally” flirting. But then it’s all business. Alana seems upset that the police will probably end up killing Gideon, as she feels slightly responsible for his going even further off the deep end. They then discuss what Hannibal – er, I mean The Ripper – will do if he finds Gideon. Will’s certain the guy is going to kill Gideon, and yeah, that makes sense. Identity theft is not a joke! And you never want to piss off a serial killer.
Once again we get to visit Freddie Lounds. As she climbs into her car her phone starts to ring. The number is unknown, but the caller claims to be one Dr. Carruthers, a psychiatrist who has studied narcissistic personality disorder like Abel Gideon’s. He says he would like to collaborate on a paper for the Journal of Abnormal Psychology with her, after reading Freddie’s own writings about Gideon. Freddie is intrigued.
Cut to a shot of what appears to be blood surging through a tube. The tube seems to be attached to a steadily filling blood bag. We cut to Freddie arriving at Dr. Carruthers’ conspicuously empty and dim office. And what should she find when she gets there but a dead Dr. Carruthers (sporting a “Colombian Necktie” – look it up). Behind the late Dr. Carruthers stands Dr. Gideon, gun in hand. Well, shit. I think Freddie Lounds should have considered a career change after the first time someone was murdered in front of her.
Jack and his usual posse seem to have caught up with Gideon, but just a little bit too late. I have to wonder how many times NBC decided was too many times to show the “Colombian Necktie,” because from the looks of it they were going with the no-such-thing-as-too-much philosophy with the gore tonight. As if it needs to be said, Jack figures that this is more than Dr. Gideon trying to get The Ripper’s attention. I mean, obviously. The scrambled brains? Hello? He’s going after the psychiatric professionals who have worked on him in the past. I thought we already established that. Oh, but I guess Gideon isn’t the worst guy – he killed Dr. Carruthers by draining his blood but packaged it neatly in the aforementioned blood bags, put them on ice, and left a note saying, “Please deliver to the Red Cross.” If it weren’t, you know, psycho-murder, it might even be seen as altruistic, but I digress. Will sees that Dr. Carruthers’ hand is on the mouse to his computer and he clicks it to see what’s on the screen. It’s a Tattle Crime article about his own death – featuring a picture taken before Dr. Gideon had even put the man’s blood on ice. Uh oh…he’s got Freddie!
Speaking of Gideon having Freddie, that’s where we go next. Gideon seems to be going back to his focus on “courting” the Ripper by staging his next, er, event in the space telescope where the FBI found Miriam Lass’ arm. He’s got Freddie there, sure enough, and she’s more or less trying to bribe him into letting her go by saying that she’ll let him tell his story. Seriously, Freddie? How often does that work for you? Nope, Abel Gideon is not interested. She tells Gideon about how Jack got her to write that article about him being the Chesapeake Ripper, and when Gideon starts talking about the actual Ripper she asks, aren’t you the Chesapeake Ripper? Oh, Freddie, no; don’t patronize the psycho-killer. Eddie Izzard makes a wonderful murderer, I have to say. But again, I digress. Gideon knows that the Ripper is an avid reader of Freddie’s work, and he’s using this setup to lure the Ripper there. I wonder how that will go down…
Oh, look, another “Colombian Necktie” on another psychiatrist on the table in the FBI lab. This one happens to be someone Alana Bloom worked closely with, so that’s eerie. They wonder about Dr. Chilton, and as it turns out he hasn’t been heard from in a while and didn’t go to work that day. Will points out that Gideon will want to give the Ripper a decent offering, and who better than the guy who screwed with their identities? The best part is saved for last – the most recent Gideon victim had his arm removed. Hmm, what could that possibly mean? Could it be a reference back to the Ripper’s nice little Miriam Lass tableaux? I mean, hindsight is 20/20 but I feel like that should be obvious. Somehow Will is the only one to get it, though. Obviously Gideon is at the space telescope where they found Miriam’s arm.
Meanwhile at the aforementioned telescope Dr. Gideon is preparing his victim. No, it isn’t Freddie. It’s Dr. Chilton, trussed up and ready to be operated on. Dr. Gideon is in surgical scrubs and everything. Freddie is there, too, of course; her job is to operate the manual ventilator, should Chilton stop breathing. But poor Dr. Chilton! Gideon says that he wants to see the look on his “patient’s” face when he slices into him. Thus, this surgery will be performed while he’s awake. Oh, look, there are the dude’s organs. Being pulled out. One by one. While he’s conscious.
And we’re back with Will, en route to the space telescope with Jack. Jack says that he should stay in the car because he looks like hell. Uh, yeah, dude’s got a massive brain infection, but whatever. How no one has asked to get Will a second opinion is beyond me. Jack actually seems annoyed that Will is sick; he says Will has to take better care of himself. I want to yell at Jack to bring Will to the hospital if he’s so worried about Will’s health!
Everyone arrives, the SWAT team goes to do their thing, and Will is still in the car. Just, not for long. Everything Will sees gets all melt-y again. He goes to follow Jack into the telescope, but something catches his eye. Yeah, it’s an elk. Not a real one, of course. One of Will’s imaginary elk. Will gets all sweaty and feverish and chases after it.
Meanwhile Jack and his team break into the telescope and find a true horror within. Gideon has left the building, but Chilton and Freddie are there. The latter is pumping the ventilator, while the former (who is now mercifully unconscious) is cradling a large number of his own organs. Needless to say, we’re going to need a medic up in here.
We see Gideon outside his car, looking pensive. I think he’s been stood up. He gets back into his car. There’s someone in the back, who Gideon addresses by saying, “I was expecting the Chesapeake Ripper…or are you he?” Kudos on the good grammar, sir. But no, it’s Will in the back, pointing a gun at Gideon and looking a little ill. Will tells Gideon to drive, and where do you think they end up?
Of course, as plot would have it, Will has taken Gideon to Hannibal’s house. This should be fun! Will is crazy, and he doesn’t care who he is at the moment, he just wants Hannibal to tell him that the dude he sees is real. When Hannibal asks who he sees, it turns out that who Will sees is not Dr. Gideon, but Garrett Jacob Hobbes. And our dear sweet Hannibal tells Will that, no, it’s not Hobbes. He says it’s not anyone, in fact; Will came alone. Never mind the audience, even Gideon is going “?!?!?!” at that. Will is understandably upset; he starts sobbing and wonders aloud what’s happening to him. Suddenly he’s no longer sobbing – instead he’s wracked with convulsions and his eyes have rolled back into his head. Hannibal seizes the opportunity to take the gun from Will, but honestly exhibits about zero percent concern. He tells Gideon that Will has had a mild seizure, and when Gideon points out that this doesn’t seem to be bothering Hannibal he goes, “I said it was mild.” Wow, Hannibal. Cold. Even psycho-killer-Gideon is at least mildly concerned. Never mind Will, though. Hannibal sits across from Gideon at his dining room table and asks if Gideon is, in fact, the man claiming to be the Chesapeake Ripper. Gideon catches on to the “claiming” part and asks Hannibal if he’s the Ripper. Instead of answering with a yes or no, Hannibal says this: “It’s a terrible thing, to have your identity taken from you.” He could be talking about himself, but it also applies to Gideon, who says that he’s “taking it back.” He goes on to blithely explain how he’s taken pieces of himself back from his own psychiatrist. Hmm, Hannibal has an idea. Alana Bloom was one of Gideon’s psychiatrists, right? Well, Hannibal says he can tell Gideon how to find her. Will is still out of it, so he doesn’t have anything to say on the issue. Poor guy.
Hannibal wakes Will up and has him do some physical tests, to make sure it wasn’t a stroke. He knows it wasn’t, of course, but he wants to make Will think he cares. What a good guy, right? Well, anyway, Hannibal tells Will that Dr. Gideon escaped and is heading for Alana’s house. When Will tries to get up and go, Hannibal says that the only place Will should go is to the hospital. He sits Will back down and says he’s going to call Jack to tell him where Will is. When Hannibal leaves the room, however, he does not bring the gun or his car keys with him. Will spots them, and we know what’s going to happen. Mr. Crazy Pants is going to drive over and stop Gideon. Hannibal walks back into the room and is utterly unsurprised that Will is gone. Of course he planned this. Of course.
Will catches up to Gideon outside Alana’s house (what is it with these ladies living in the middle of bumfuck nowhere when there are murderers afoot?!). Will and Gideon chat, Will of course thinking it’s Hobbes. Gideon clearly is not concerned that Will is going to harm him, even when he threatens to kill Alana, so it’s unsurprising that Gideon ends up with a bullet in his head. Always take a crazy person seriously, ladies and gentlemen.
Chilton is receiving urgent medical care, according to Jack. Will, however, is not okay. Hannibal says he’s got a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit and a mystery infection (*cough* encephalitis
*cough*). Hannibal suggests that Jack suspend Will’s license to carry a firearm (is anyone clear why the not-an-agent-just-a-teacher got to carry a government-issued firearm in the first place?) but Jack doesn’t think it’s necessary. Hannibal, however, doesn’t seem prepared to take no for an answer. He goes on at length about how our experiences shape us so how is killing another guy going to affect Will.
Meanwhile Will himself is laid up in a hospital bed with Alana holding his hand.
The episode ends with Hannibal speaking to his own psychiatrist about how Will is troubled. He says he sees himself in Will (?!?!?!), defending Will’s madness. The two engage in a sort of repartee wherein oil is a metaphor for madness or something, I don’t really know. Hannibal is still stuck on wanting to be Will’s friend (what the fuck, dude) and his psychiatrists tries, yet again, to explain that he cannot engage in friendship with a patient. I don’t think she gets exactly how un-friend-like Hannibal actually is regarding Will. I don’t think Hannibal does, either. Anyway, a cannibal with friends…that’s some food for thought.
Tune in tonight for the penultimate episode of season one of Hannibal, 10 PM/EST only on NBC.