This is the first episode of the season not directed by Vincenzo Natali and it shows. While the previous three episodes have been dark, introspective, distractingly abstract, this one feels like more of a classic Hannibal episode. While this was another Hannibal light episode, his presence is always felt as every topic of conversation is about him. This week we get to see the survivors of Hannibal’s massacre, their recovery process both physically and emotionally, as Frederick Chilton approaches each of them wanting to team up to catch Hannibal. Predictably, no one is interested as Chilton is still the same old slimy character he always was. Will Graham goes back to small engine repair and struggles with his emotional connection with Hannibal. Jack is forced to retire from the FBI and spends his evenings taking care of Bella until he mercifully kills her with morphine. Hannibal sends Jack a card with his condolences. Alana shattered her pelvis in the fall, but seems to recover pretty well aside from the use of a cane and a newfound interest in revenge. Mason Verger is offering a million dollar reward for the capture of Hannibal Lecter to him personally. Even Verger refuses Chilton’s help in favor of finding an unexpected ally in Alana. At the end of the episode, Will sails away on his boat, beginning his journey to be reunited with Hannibal.
We all kind of knew that Will was under Hannibal’s spell, that they shared a special relationship that consumed him and that he harbored a secret desire to run away with him. In his conversation with Jack early in the episode, Will freely admits this to Jack. Its the first time we’ve heard him say it out loud, even though the regret of not having done so was pretty plain. He says that Hannibal was his friend and that he wanted to run away with him. Will has a fantasy about having killed Jack with Hannibal at the dinner table, exactly what Hannibal had planned but had been ruined by Will’s betrayal. We see Will sitting alone in Hannibal’s house, really just spending time with the specter of Hannibal and his figment of Abigail Hobbes. All this pointed direct eye contact that Will has been making is really starting to freak me out. In the end, Will takes off in search of Hannibal. As he sails away his expression is enigmatic, but I would call it an expression of tortured hope.
The only reason Jack is alive is because he didn’t remove the piece of glass he was stabbed with from his neck. Hannibal fully intended Jack to die, while he purposefully cut Will in such a way that he fully intended him to live. So Jack recovers from his injuries in time to spend all his time with Bella in her final days. Bella would probably rather have Jack miss her death, instead Jack finally gave in and gave her the peace and dignity she so wanted. Jack has a certain acceptance about him. His forced retirement from the FBI doesn’t seem to phase him, and even the fact that Will is platonically in love with Hannibal merely seems to quietly disturb him – less because of who Hannibal is and more because Will is heartbroken and lost without him and that Jack forced him to betray Hannibal in the first place.
Alana has grown cold and hateful during her recovery. Whether its the marrow that slipped into her blood affecting her way of thinking or simple bitterness, her demeanor and attitude is totally different. Where there used to be a warmth about her there is now a steely coldness. Her stylish red coat and deep red lipstick seem to herald her as the bringer of blood, the source of revenge for what Hannibal did to everyone involved. Her outlook is cynical, bitter, and dry. She seems like the last person who would help Mason Verger in his hunt for Hannibal so the fact that she seems so amenable to the idea is a huge indication of her new attitude.
Joe Anderson takes over the role of Mason Verger from Michael Pitt and does a pretty good job. Mason, understandably, doesn’t have quite the pep he used to, being disfigured and paralyzed and all. Mason still has all that arrogance, though, only directed entirely on his search for Hannibal and sweet revenge. There is a moment with Alana where he has an almost identical conversation with her as Gary Oldman’s Mason does with Julianne Moore’s Clarice in Hannibal the film about the acceptance of God. One feels that Mason isn’t entirely genuine in his religious conversion, or at least maybe doesn’t quite understand the sort of humility involved in salvation, and probably doesn’t really receive the kind of relief he claims from his religion. Mason’s trusty servant Cordell also finally makes his appearance and is more than willing to assist Mason in the unsavory task of arranging Hannibal’s death by being eaten alive.
Everyone still hates Frederick Chilton. Even Mason finds him unacceptable for the task of bringing Hannibal to the kind of justice he has in mind and immediately dismisses him. Alana smiles coldly at him, rebuffing his every remark. Will has no interest in capturing Hannibal, least of all to be a spectacle in Chilton’s hospital, and Jack just disavows any further involvement with the FBI. Like Pazzi, Chilton can’t get anyone interested in teaming up with him to catch Hannibal. Perhaps Pazzi and Chilton will team up, although I don’t suppose Chilton would offer much real insight into catching Hannibal.
It looks like the various forces are closing in on Hannibal. Bedelia’s voiceover tells Hannibal that Will is on his way to kill him, but is that really true? It also looks like Jack and Hannibal have another confrontation and that Pazzi seals his fate by calling Mason with information about Hannibal.