Last night on NBCs Hannibal things changed. In the wake of almost being murdered last week Hannibal is rethinking his friendship with Will Graham and how he approaches this long game. Last night on this brutal show about friendship we saw some of those friendships seemingly end while others changed.
Hannibal and Will have both had things happen they probably did not expect and taken steps farther than they intended when the long game began. Hannibal has had the sanctity of his home violated and he was almost killed. Will saw his only ally horribly mutilated and almost became a murderer by proxy. But in many ways they have arrived exactly where they planned. Hannibal was always trying to help Will and with the act of trying to have Hannibal killed Will is finally taking control of his life.
However this incident of Will becoming and almost murderer has everybody rethinking their relationships with him and each other.
First lets look at Jack Crawford and Dr. Chilton. Chilton has more or less become an ally to Will out of self interest. During this episode it becomes clear to Chilton that proving Hannibal is a killer will be more difficult than anticipated and decides it best to be as non threatening as possible for now. For a time it looks like Will almost has Jack believing that Hannibal is the Chesapeake Ripper. Jack agrees to meet with Chilton and Abel Gideon but by that time Gideon is telling two different stories. Jack is still suspicious enough to take some food from Hannibal Lecter’s latest dinner party so he can take it to the FBI lab to be analyzed.
Dr Alana Bloom has been on Will’s side since the show began. But seeing him resort to sending someone to kill Hannibal is the last straw for her and she finally decides to let go of her feelings for Will. This leads to her and Hannibal growing closer. More on that later.
Lets talk about Abel Gideon.
Abel Gideon knows that Hannibal Lecter is the Chesapeake Ripper and practically says that its Hannibal while talking to Will with Dr. Chilton listening. Will warns Gideon that if he does not help them catch Hannibal then Gideon himself will be the Ripper’s next victim. When Jack shows up Gideon changes his story just so he can be a dick to Dr. Chilton. Not long after Gideon is savagely beaten and thrown down some stairs by the mental hospital guards as revenge for the nurse he killed last season. This lands Gideon in the regular hospital. While he is there Hannibal is throwing his dinner party, the one that Jack took food from so the two FBI lab guys can find out if its made of people. That night Hannibal and Alana Bloom grow very close, like sleeping together close. And it looks like Hannibal may have drugged her so that she does not wake up when he sneaks out and goes to the hospital to kidnap Abel Gideon.
The next morning Gideon is gone and the guard watching him is found dead and strung up with fish hooks. These turn out to be the same kind of fishhooks that incriminated Will last season. The evidence on them proves that the Chesapeake Ripper is responsible for all of the murders that Will is accused of. Jack confronts Hannibal but Alana claims she was with him all night and as far as she can remember that is true.
We then get to see Hannibal preparing what looks like some kind of pork roast cooked in clay. It turns out he is sitting down at the table with Abel Gideon and serving him his own cooked leg. I know I should probably be more grossed out by this scene but Abel Gideon was such a self satisfied son of a bitch its kind of hard to feel sorry for him when he gets this comeuppance.
Anyway in the final scenes of the episode it turns out the food from Hannibal Lecter’s dinner party was not made of people. Hannibal spent the entire episode playing everyone. He has now exonerated Will and shifted suspicion away from himself but that’s not all. Some of the evidence leads Jack to what looks like some kind of workshop where the Ripper must prepare his victims for display. Jack opens a hatch in the floor and finds someone inside. It is none of the than Jack’s old protege Miriam.
What in the world is Hannibal Lecter up to now?
Miriam was working on the Chesapeake Ripper case when she disappeared. Last season Jack received her severed arm from the ripper. When Jack finds her she is clearly missing the same arm. Why would Hannibal lead Jack back to her? It looks like he just killed Abel Gideon, one of the only people who could identify him as the ripper. Why would he now set free another person who has that same knowledge unless he has done some major psychological damage to her? Is this what Beverly Katz saw in Hannibal’s basement before she died? Was he previously holding Miriam in his house?
Whatever the answers may be Hannibal has changed the game in major way. We will have to see what everyone does next week.