Jack and Will are on a frozen lake ice fishing. Will tries to convince him of the merits of the sport, explaining how to make a fish that isn’t hungry bite.
Hannibal prepares the trout in his kitchen, laying them out in a dish to be cooked whole, then serves Will and Jack at his table. He speaks of moving passed their actions to a place of forgiveness.
A Rancher finds his mare dead in a stall, he feels her stomach and says that it feels like she is still pregnant,.He then notices stitches on her stomach, and asks who performed the C-section. His Ranch Hand says that she didn’t have a C-section. The Rancher proceeds to cut her open, finding a woman’s body inside the horse’s abdomen.
After the credits roll, Hannibal and the FBI investigate the scene. The horse was sick, the female victim was strangled. Hannibal explains that the scene was that of rebirth, the woman was like a butterfly inside a chrysalis. He says the killer thinks like no one else, so they must find someone to catch him who also thinks like no one else does.
A woman is being held down, her face against a fish tank. Tears roll down her face, a man’s voice says, “You should have taken the chocolate Margo.” He uses a small square of tissue to absorb one of her tears, then drops it into his martini.
The next scene finds the woman in Hannibal’s office, her arm is in a sling. She is there for therapy. Hannibal tells her that she is no more at fault for what has happened to her, than if she had been bitten by a mad dog. She replies, “Mad dogs are put down.” He asks her if that was what she had hoped to accomplish when she attacked her Brother? She says, apparently she went about putting him down the wrong way, he’s still alive. Dr. Lecter asks Margo what her relationship with her Brother is now, has it changed? Margo replies that he thinks she’s calmed down. She says that she is calm. Hannibal asks if she is going to try again. Margo smirks, she says that if she had confessed to a murder, that Hannibal could not do anything about it, but if she confesses to planning one, he would be forced to report it in an attempt to stop it. He replies that there is no one else to protect her, she must protect herself, that it would have been more therapeutic if she had killed him.
The next scene is a slow motion montage of Alana Bloom and Hannibal making love, ending with Alana wanting to talk of all that has happened to them. She says that the only thing that seems stranger than finding a woman inside of a horse, is seeing him back in therapy with Will Graham. She says that she fears that Will opened a door inside himself, and that no one knows if it is closed again, not even Will. Hannibal says, then it’s good that he’s in therapy again with a good Therapist.
In the FBI crime lab, Jimmy Price and Brian Zeller tell Jack Crawford that the woman found inside the horse was a groomer named Sarah Kraber, who was reported missing last week. Her throat is obstructed. As they try to pull the obstruction free, a gas releases. Jimmy drops the object and is startled, he says, “She has a heartbeat!” Brian says that she is in rigor mortis, she doesn’t have a pulse, but Jimmy insists, placing his hand to her chest. Jack places his hands to her chest too and confirms, something is beating. They saw into her, and see her heart moving. From behind it out flies a live bird.
Will walks through the stable, he looks at the file, then to the stall and goes into his trance. Talking to the horse he says, there is so much comfort in the darkness, but not for one of you. I took your life, then try to give it back to you. I find the womb and place you inside. I hope that the forces of death and biology will bring you rebirth (He imagines his own hands sewing her inside as he says this).
Will opens his eyes as Jack walks up beside him. He tells Crawford that it was a coffin birth. Decomposition builds up gasses inside the putrefying body, which forces the dead fetus out of it’s Mother’s corpse. It’s really more of a prolapse than birth. Who ever did it knew the horse was dying, because her foal was born dead, and they new Sarah Kraber. He is familiar with the stables, considers himself a healer, but isn’t a vet. The scene wasn’t murder, it was grief.
Jack and Will arrive at a ranch with an array of animals. Some farm animals, some exotic. They confront a man named Peter Bernardone. He is skittish, and avoids eye contact with Will and Jack. Will tells him that there was a bird inside Sarah’s chest. He asks Will if the bird was alive? And who was taking care of the bird? He says he knew who she was, but he didn’t know her. Peter is distraught looking at a picture of Sarah when she was alive, still not looking at either Will or Jack. Will asks if Peter got his head injury while working at the stables? Peter says yes, that he was kicked by a horse. Will says that it has triggered an A-typical motor response, the ability to look and touch can only happen as separate events. He says that it’s aggravated by stress. When Jack asks Peter if he is feeling stressed, Peter replies that he is worried about the bird. He says that he feels bad for the horse, but he can only help the bird. As Jack and Will leave, Will says that he doesn’t know if Peter is the killer, but Peter knows who is.
Will is in session with Hannibal. He asks him how it feels to be consulting for the FBI again? Last time is nearly destroyed him. Will says, “Last time you nearly destroyed me.” “You may have to pretend, but I don’t.”
Hannibal replies, “No, you don’t. Not with me.”
Will says that he doesn’t expect confessions, but he prefers sins of omission to out right lies. He says, “Don’t lie to me.”
Hannibal Lecter then asks, “Will you return the courtesy?” Will doesn’t reply. He then asks, “Why have you resumed your therapy?”
Will responds, “I can’t just talk to any Psychiatrist about what’s kicking around inside my head.” He then admits that he fantasizes about killing Hannibal. Lecter asks if Will is going to try to kill him again. Will says that he doesn’t want to kill him anymore, not now that he finally finds him interesting.
Will arrives at another crime scene, there are several graves being exhumed. Zeller approaches Will and offers his apology for believing him a killer. Jack then approaches, saying that they traced the sample from Sarah’s throat back there. Her empty grave is there, and 15 others not so empty.
Hannibal is in session with Margo, she says her family thinks she is weird. That they have already forgiven her Brother. She believes her Brother wont stop, and that makes her feel angry. Hannibal tells her that if she really wants to kill her Brother, to wait until she can get away with it or find someone who will do it for her.
Will sits with Peter Bernardone, he has brought the bird that was inside Sarah’s chest, so that Peter can see that it is all right. Peter says that he didn’t kill anyone. Will says that it isn’t always relevant, that they found Sarah’s grave. Will says that some people believe that birds carry the soul to the after life. Peter replies that Will thinks he believes that Sarah is the bird, but he knows that she is gone. Will then asks him to tell who killed her. Peter mourns, he says that he just wanted something beautiful for her.
Will says, “You were grieving her, you couldn’t save her, but you could bring poetry to her death.”
Peter tells him,” I wanted you to find me, because if you could find me, you could find him.”
Will Graham asks, “Do you have a shadow Peter? Someone only you can see? Someone you considered a friend, who made you feel less alone? Til you saw what he really is…”
In the interrogation room at the FBI headquarters a social worker for Peter Bernardone meets with Alana Bloom. He tells her that Peter has had persistent cognitive problems, that he would have refused his case if he had known. Alana says that he shows a peculiar lack of empathy for a social worker. He replies that Peter Bernardone has accused him of killing 16 women. Dr. Bloom asks him how that makes him feel. He says that right now he is feeling inconvenienced. That he is being detained on the word of one very damaged individual. Alana tells him that he isn’t being detained, only interviewed. That the FBI is just being thorough. She writes something down, and he asks what it is. She says that it’s only an observation. He is paranoid, asking “About me?” Alana then pats his hand, and apologizes, saying that she didn’t mean to make him feel uncomfortable. He pulls away from her touch with disgust.
Jack, Hannibal and Will watch on the other side of the two way glass. Will notes that he’s a predator, he is angered by Alana’s touch.
Back in the room Alana asks him why he became a social worker. He tells her that society needs caring people. She replies that it also needs a few psychopaths to keep the rest of us on our toes. He smiles and says, “There’s no evidence I did this, and if you want to know how I feel, I feel like I don’t want to be here anymore.” Jack says to let him go.
Will tells Jack that he is making a mistake letting him go. That this man is in a position of trust, and that he has betrayed that trust. He says to Jack, with Hannibal there, that he knows what it’s like to point at a killer and have no one listen to him. Jack replies that he pointed in the wrong direction.
Peter goes back to his barn, all of his animals are gone and the cages are in disarray. The world in his mind is askew. He then goes to the stables, and a horse lays dead on the ground, Peter falls in anguish beside her. The social worker is there, a hammer in his hand.
He asks, “What have you done Peter? I’m worried about you. You’ve been expressing a lot of rage recently. So often in my line of work I see people take out their resentments on those closest to them, it’s a sad fact of human nature and you are prone to extremes of emotion. The way you think is compromised, you’re destroying your life. Sarah was a bitter reminder of everything you’ll never have, and this is the very horse that kicked you in the head.”
Peter then stutters, “I-it..it didn’t mean to..i-it was just scared.”
The social worker continues, “Some will say that this was a long time coming, I know I will, I already have. 16 women Peter, you killed them, because you weren’t worthy of them…”
Peter shakes his head, “Y-you killed ’em…you killed ’em…
His social worker replies, “If I’d killed them, it would be because they were worthy of me.”
The scene cuts to a car driving through the snow at night, classical music playing. Will is riding with Hannibal. Hannibal Lecter asks Will if he thinks he can save Peter, will it make him feel like he can save himself?
Will asks, “Save myself from what Dr. Lecter?”
hannibal says, “From whom you perceive me to be.”
Will replies, “I’m afraid I need to be saved from who you perceive me to be.”
Lecter tells him that Peter is in the same darkness that holds Will. Will says no, that he is alone in his darkness.
Hannibal says, “You aren’t alone Will, I’m standing right beside you.” They then pull up to Peter’s house, and step inside to find the empty cages. Then into the stable. Peter is on the ground, sewing the horse shut.
Will ask Peter if his social worker is inside that horse. He says yes. Peter says that he used to have a horrible fear of hurting anything, but he (the social worker) helped him get over that. that it feels so abnormal.
Hannibal tells Peter, “An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.”
Peter says, “I-I think he deserves to die.”
Will, “But you didn’t deserve to kill him Peter.” He kneels beside him, “I want you to come with me.” Graham helps Peter out of the stable, Hannibal stays behind. Will then says to Peter, “What was done to you was cruelty for cruelty’s sake.”
He replies, “I th-think I hate him.”
Will Graham says, “I envy you your hate. It makes it easier when you know how to feel.”
Peter confused asks, “Makes what easier?”
Will replies, “Killing them.”
Peter then says, “I didn’t kill him.” Will is confused. “I just wanted him to understand Wh-what it’s like to suffocate and t-to experience the death that he created.”
The startled realization that the Social Worker is still inside alive dawns on Will, as the scene cuts to the horse’s stomach writhing. Fingers pull it open from the inside as Hannibal watches the Social Worker force himself free. The Social worker grabs the hammer, and spins. Lecter says, “you might want to crawl back in there if you know what’s good for you.”
Will then enters with his gun trained on him.To Will he says, “Officer, I’m the victim here.”
Will replies, “I’m not an Officer, I’m Peter’s friend.”
“I’m not.” Will tells him,”Pick up the hammer.”
Hannibal says, “Will…” trying to interject reason, but Will continues.
“Pick it up!” Will cocks the gun, and the man cowers.
” It won’t feel the same Will, it won’t feel like killing me.” Hannibal says
Will Replies, “It doesn’t have to.”
Lecter,”You did the best that anyone could do for Peter. Don’t do this for him. If you are going to do this Will, you are going to have to do it for yourself.”
The man begs for his life, and Hannibal tells him that he would be wise to remain silent.
“Will, this is not the reckoning you promised yourself.”
Will stares intently and starts to squeeze the trigger, before he can shoot, Hannibal grabs his hand, stopping him. Will watches the pathetic man weep, as Hannibal pulls the gun from his hand.
Hannibal pats Will and says, “With all my knowledge and intrusion I could never entirely predict you. I can feed the caterpillar, and I can whisper through the chrysalis, but what hatches follows it’s own nature and is beyond me.” He smiles as Will looks up into his eyes….Fade to black.
The appearance of Katherine Isabelle as Margo is an exciting hint at what is to come, as those that have followed the movies and books may have gleaned. For those that haven’t, well, we’ll let you just wait and see. It’s only the middle of season 2, and it feels like we have been through a whole season already, with just the court case and the death of Gideon and Chilton. I was a bit conflicted with Will this episode, I thought he would continue pretending that he no longer thinks Hannibal is the Chesapeake Ripper, to get closer to him and manipulate him into capture. The confrontation seems foolish, but I’m sure there’s another angle. Either that, or he really is going mad. The rest of this episode seemed to stand alone, not feeling like an advancement of the overall plot, which is frustrating. Like taking a side trip, when you are eager to get to your destination. Or maybe I just wasn’t as intrigued by the killer of the week? I guess it’s a good thing that the world of Hannibal Lecter is chock full of psychopaths, if one doesn’t impress, another surely will.