Last night Hannibal opened with Will Graham having yet another fantasy sequence about murdering Hannibal. Then we move on to Will talking to Jack Crawford about what I suspected all along. Jack has known about Will’s actions all along. It is all part of a plan to lure out Hannibal and expose him. However with the mutilation of Randal the beast-man’s body and the very public pretend killing of Freddy Lounds Jack is becoming concerned that this scheme is going too far. Will assures Jack that Hannibal will fall into their trap and that Mason Verger will be the perfect bait. Jack seems only half convinced but he has a back up plan. Hannibal’s therapist played by Gillian Anderson is back to reveal what secrets she knows. We knew that Hannibal sent a patient to her and that the patient attacked her and ended up dead. She reveals that she killed him. She says that Hannibal did not coerce her or anybody else, he persuades.
I have to admit I was not expecting this. I did not think she had killed her patient because Hannibal convinced her to. I always thought that Hannibal sent her a dangerous patient knowing that he would try to kill her and that Hannibal had swooped in at the last moment and saved her in order to manipulate her into being his loyal therapist forever. But it turns out her relationship with him was similar to the one he know has with Will and now she has made a deal with the FBI that protects her from prosecution. She warns them that Hannibal is always in control and the only way he will be caught is by his own self congratulatory arrogance.
In other events Mason Verger seems to believe Will’s claim that Hannibal wants to kill him and spends his latest therapy session being more crass and vulgar than ever. Hannibal and Will have a conversation about how he chooses his victims. Hannibal utters the ‘eat the rude’ line that has been popular among fans lately. Mason sends some henchmen to capture Hannibal. They succeed but not before one of them is bleeding to death. Mason invites Will to the feeding Hannibal to pigs event but for some reason Will sets Hannibal free and gets knocked out. When Will wakes up Mason and Hannibal are gone and the henchmen are dead.
And thus we get to a scene that everyone familiar with Hannibal Lecter lore knew was coming. Hannibal gets Mason high on psychedelic drugs. Mason begins seeing sparks flying around and Hannibal with a boar head and other weirdness. Will arrives home to find Mason and Hannibal in his house. In his drug induced mania Mason has been cutting off pieces of his face and feeding them to Will’s dogs. It happens in a dark room and we never get a good look at Mason’s mutilated face and I think that works to great effect to magnify the horror of the scene. Will is not interested in playing this particular game with Hannibal. So Hannibal breaks Mason’s neck in just the right place to immobilize but not kill him. Jack Crawford visits Mason as he is recovering but does not get the truth. Mason claims his injuries are from an accident in the pig pens and talks about one day repaying Dr. Lecter for all he has done. Margot Verger shows up at the end to tell her brother that she will now take care of him as he did her. Margot is still stuck with Mason but now she is in a position of power over him that she has never enjoyed before.
At the end of the episode Will and Hannibal talk about Jack and how what they are doing is not sustainable. Since the plan to expose Hannibal using Mason Verger failed it looks like Jack Crawford is about to become the new bait in the trap. I am starting to think this is what the show has really always been about, not about Hannibal and Will but about Will being caught between Hannibal and Jack.