The episode starts with Hannibal seated at a harpsichord, playing a somber tune, he is the composer.
We then move to the meeting room of the prison, Jack Crawford has come to meet with Will Graham. Jack tells Will that Hannibal Lecter was almost murdered by an employee of the prison/hospital, who they believe killed the Bailiff and the Judge. Will confirms that the attendant killed the Bailiff, but not the Judge, the Chesapeake Ripper did that. Jack asks if he told the orderly to kill Hannibal. Will replies, “Nothing I said made that happen, Jack, it just happened.” Will and Jack talk about Will’s belief that Hannibal is the Ripper, that Hannibal is a cannibal. Will tries to get through to Jack, asking him who does Hannibal have to kill for it to sink in? And tells him that if someone has died, you can be sure that Hannibal is hosting his next dinner party.
Lecter is in his kitchen with Alana Bloom, he prepares a heart for cooking as they talk. She offers him emotional support for the ordeal he went through. He tells her that he is working on composing a new piece of music, as well as working to get his appetite back. He flips through a roledex to a business card with the name Sheldon Isley on it, then pulls a recipe for steak and kidney pie out of his recipe box.
Before the opening credits roll, we flash to an empty parking lot, an apple tree rests on the broken asphalt in full bloom. To the trunk a body is tied, it’s stomach has been hollowed and in it flowers have been arranged.
Credits, then FBI. Jack, Jimmy Price and Brian Zeller are on the scene. They tell Jack that the victim was literally grafted into place, the vines run through the body. Jimmy says that the Chesapeake Ripper usually cherry picks his organs, but this time almost all are gone, all but the lungs. Jack notes that the flowers are all poisonous, and the scene was judgement. The Ripper believes that the victim himself was poisonous, this was retribution.
In the next scene Jack sits before a fire with Hannibal, he tells Lecter that the pattern is taking shape, he just has to convince his eyes to see it. Lecter tells Jack that he can no longer help or trust Will. Crawford tries to tell Hannibal about the latest Ripper victim, but Hannibal tells him that he doesn’t want to hear any more. He can no longer dwell on death. Jack tells Lecter that they all need to start doing that, in which Hannibal replies that he is going to start by hosting a dinner party. The admission rings a bell in Jack’s head, he tells Lecter that he wouldn’t miss it.
In the prison Will Graham and Abel Gideon talk through the wall. He tells Gideon that he should have let Hannibal die, that his and Chilton’s days are numbered now that Hannibal knows he had him transferred to the cell next to his. Dr. Chilton listens to the conversation. Gideon spells out everything that happened the night he was shot, including Hannibal being the Ripper. Though Lecter avoided admitting as much, only suggesting that Abel kill Alana Bloom. He tells Will that he will tell Jack everything if Will tells him why Lecter does it. Will tells him it was because he wanted to see what would happen.
Dr. Chilton plays the recording to Jack. Jack replies that Abel Gideon is a lunatic, and open to suggestion. Chilton counters that the simplest reason Gideon can describe Hannibal Lecter’s home, was that he was in Lecter’s home. Jack still doesn’t want to believe. Chilton tells Jack that he feels himself lucky that he can no longer digest proteins, so he has only had salads prepared by Lecter. Jack says that Will is delusional, Chilton replies that it doesn’t mean that he is not right. That Hannibal fits the profile of a serial killer.
In the FBI lab Jimmy reveals to Jack that the victim bound to the tree is Sheldon Isley, a Baltimore City Councilman who brokered a woodlands development deal, going against the disapproval of the EPA. They also reveal that he was drowned, and that the water in his lungs contains amoeba that will tell them where he was killed.
Alana and Jack walk and talk, she tells Jack that Will is lying, manipulating, playing a game, and he is no longer scared. That’s what makes him dangerous.
This is immediately reflected, as the scene flashes to Will in the visiting cage at the prison. He has a diabolical expression as he holds the bars, antlers growing out of his back. Hannibal enters.He tells Will that he is angry that he has lied to him, and has tried to have him killed. Will tells him that he himself is angry at Beverly Katz’s murderer. Lecter says that if he were Beverly’s murderer, he would applaud Will’s effort. That he knows Will is in more control than he has ever been, and that he has found a way to hurt him. Then leaves with, “I will give Alana Bloom your best.”
Hannibal beautifully prepares a feast for his dinner party in his kitchen, as Jack ponders the evidence in the crime lab.
Jack and Chilton meet with Abel Gideon. Abel denies being in Lecter’s home to Jack, saying that he only met him a week ago. That Chilton told him all about Lecter’s home. Jack asks why would he do that? He tells him that Chilton is trying to bolster Will’s belief that Hannibal is the Ripper. He says that Jack blamed Will for having the orderly try to kill Hannibal, implying that Jack was wrong, that Chilton was in fact the one that put him up to it.
As Gideon is escorted back to his cell, he baits the guards, taunting them into beating him. They comply. They throw his unconscious body down onto the top of the guard room cage.
At Hannibal’s dinner party servers circulate with Hors d’oeuvres, Jack looks on with concern. Dr. Chilton looks on with disgust. Chilton tells Crawford that they will call him Hannibal the Cannibal. He then says that he shouldn’t be seen speaking to Jack, he doesn’t want Lecter to see him as a threat.
Jack tells Hannibal that he wants to take food to go to eat later, Hannibal hesitantly agrees, warning that he better eat it soon or it will spoil. Jack then takes it back to the crime lab to have it tested.
After the party Alana stays behind with Lecter, they talk as friends. She tells Hannibal that she doesn’t like that Jack is treating him like a suspect. She says that she too has walked away from Will, she can’t forgive him for what he did to Hannibal. He asks what walking away leaves them, she replies, “Each other.” Then she leans in and kisses him. Time skips forward and the scene pans out, showing Alana asleep in Hannibal’s bed. He tests to see if she is awake, then gets up and wipes the rim of the wine glass by her side of the bed clean.
Abel Gideon wakes up in the hospital ward, Hannibal pulls back the curtain around his bed in full surgical clothes. “Hello Dr. Gideon.”
Jack walks into the ward the next morning, the FBI are around the body of a Guard, he has been strung up with fishing line, hanging from the ceiling. Connecting the lines to his body are fishing flies, just like the ones found in Will’s house. They have human hair and a tooth tied into them. Gideon is gone. They whisper to Jack that there was no way that Abel could have done any of it, not with the injuries he had. He wouldn’t even have been able to get out of his bed. Jack says that last time Gideon escaped he went looking for the Chesapeake Ripper, last night the Ripper found him.
Alana wakes in Hannibal’s bed, Hannibal is there. She doesn’t know that he ever left. The doorbell rings, and he goes to answer it. It’s Jack. He tells him that they need to talk.
Jack Crawford tells Lecter about what happened to Gideon, asking Hannibal where he was last night. Alana enters and tells Jack that he was with her all night.
The scene cuts to another elaborate food preparation. Hannibal serves the dish to Gideon at his table, Abel is still connected to a saline line. He is serving Gideon his own leg. Hannibal says that he was determined to get to know the Ripper, now he has the chance. Abel asks, “You intend me to be my own last supper?” Hannibal replies. “Yes.” He tells him that the tragedy is not to die, but to be wasted. With this, Gideon takes a bite and says, “My compliments to the chef.” They both look amused.
In the crime lab Jack is told that the food served at the party is from animals, not humans. The flies found on the guards body though are all made with people, the people that Will was accused of killing. This proves that Will Graham didn’t kill anyone, it was always the Chesapeake Killer. They also includes Madrona bark, which they tell Jack only grows in one place.
Jack pulls up to a barn. Inside there are trees like the one the victim recently found was bound to. He also finds a captive girl in a pit, it’s Miriam Lass. She’s alive. Fade to black.
In the episode Fuller hid another great Easter egg, panning past the Samurai armor from the Hannibal Rising movie. Details like this are such a treat, I love it! I can’t say I felt he topped the imagery from the last episode though, but still love the creativity behind the body this week. Still somehow both stunning and disturbing, as usual. So frustrated with Alana Bloom, who up until this point I was sympathetic to. Finding Agent Lass begs the question of what horrible thing has been done to her. Unless Hannibal has cut out her tongue, she would be able to finger him as the Chesapeake Ripper. Chilton in this episode mentions that Hannibal once tried to serve him tongue, so I have a terrible feeling that is in fact the case. Eww. I have a strict rule about never tasting anything that can taste you back, this thought only serves to confirm that this is sound policy.