Last night NBC’s Hannibal began with Jack Crawford’s protege Miriam adjusting to being still alive. Miriam seems to have only vague recollections of her time being held captive by the Chesapeake Ripper. The one thing she does claim to remember is his voice. However when she hears Hannibal Lecter speaking she says it is not him.
In other events Will Graham is set free. All charges against him have been dropped and Jack Crawford is there to pick him up and take him to the Ripper’s work shop. There they find a lot of evidence including all of Beverly Katz blood. We get it already, Beverly is dead, you don’t have to keep shoving it in our face. Will warns Jack that none of this is what it will seem to be. But at first it seems that the evidence may actually point to Hannibal.
Soon after Will confronts Hannibal in his own kitchen at gunpoint. Hannibal plays it cool for the most part only slightly flinching when the gun is right in his face but you have to wonder if that is just another part of the act. As Will says earlier, ‘this is all theater’. Of course Will does not kill Hannibal and it looks like this whole encounter was Will using a little theater of his own.
Dr. Frederick Chilton does not have a good time in this episode. At first he is convinced that he will be Hannibal’s next victim. Will tells him the only way to survive is to convince Jack that Hannibal is the Ripper. At the time the question comes up of why Hannibal has not just killed Will. It is of course because Hannibal still wants to be friends with Will.
Chilton goes to Jack and offers to help Miriam get her memories back using the same technique he used on Abel Gideon and Will Graham. Jack takes Miriam to see Hannibal. She does not seem to recall much more than she has already said. Back at the FBI lab there is trace evidence that could implicate Hannibal but also Chilton. Jack sens FBI agents to pick up both of them. Just then Dr. Chilton arrives home to find Abel Gideon’s mutilated corpse in his guest room. Hannibal is there a well in his evidence proof plastic suit and proceeds to knock out Chilton and murder two FBI agents. Chilton wakes up later to a bloody crime scene in his house and runs to the only person who will believe he is innocent.
Dr. Chilton arrives at Will Graham’s house still covered in blood and for he first time they are able to see the whole game board for what it is. Dr. Chilton was a consultant on the Chesapeake Ripper case before Will or Hannibal were ever involved and makes a perfect fall guy. Hannibal has been playing this game longer than anyone and planned ahead in ways no one could have guessed. With this knowledge Will has to change the way he plays the game. Chilton tries to run away but Will already contacted Jack. Chilton is arrested and there is a chilling scene were he is in an interrogation room sitting across from Alana Bloom. In this moment he realizes he never had a chance against Hannibal and warns Alana that she won’t see what is coming anymore than he did. Behind the interrogation mirror Miriam listens to his voice and recognizes it as the Chesapeake Ripper. Then she reaches for Jack’s gun and shoots Dr. Chilton in the face.
I am guessing that this is going to turn out to be an act and that Chilton is not really dead. If he is dead then the show has made a major change to the Hannibal Lecter canon. If Chilton is dead now then how can he be around to torment Hannibal during Silence of the Lambs?
The episode ends with Will Graham arriving at Hannibal’s office with a new hairdo and a request to resume his therapy. It looks like everything is going Hannibal’s way. He has successfully framed someone else for all of his crimes and that person know appears to be dead. And to top it all off he has his best buddy back. Things can only go downhill for Dr. Lecter now. I can’t wait to see it.