The horned man strides toward a struggling elk giving birth. A body struggles to break free from the membrane, Will Graham bursts free with his own set of horns and screams.
Next we see a bird inside a jar that is then filling with liquid, drowning it. Hannibal presents Will with a forbidden delicacy, Ortolan bunting (A real dish, now outlawed in France, for it’s cruelty). He says that the meal is a right of passage, the song bird is drowned in ammoniac, then roasted and devoured in a single mouthful. Will is hesitant, but places the bird in his mouth and chews, bones and all. Hannibal follows suit, both savoring the taste with eyes closed. Lecter tells Will that he felt a sense of euphoria the first time he tasted Ortolan, Will replies that he felt euphoric when he killed Freddie Lounds. Hannibal asks Will if his heart raced? When Will tells him it didn’t, Hannibal replies that a low heart rate is a true indicator of one’s capacity for violence. He says that Will’s design is evolving.
A parking attendant hears a sound, and looks out of his booth, down the ramp a burning body races by in a wheel chair, and is stopped by a speed bump as he runs for an extinguisher. opening credits roll.
In the FBI crime lab Zeller and Price tell Will, Jack and Hannibal that dental records confirm that it’s the body of Freddie Lounds. She was dead before the match was struck. Jack Crawford says that Freddie Lounds’ ultimate failing was her inability to keep herself out of her stories. They turn her body to show them that tissue from her lower back had been cut out, presumably with a hunting knife. Will says, “Freddie Lounds had to burn, she was fuel. Fire destroys and it creates, it is mythical. She wont rise from the ashes, but her killer will.”
The scene flashes from Margo Verger looking at a positive pregnancy test, to her sitting in session with Hannibal. She says that though it’s only and embryo, she already feels maternal. Dr. Lecter says that she has also made Will Graham an unknowing accomplice. She says that she got what she wanted from Will, but she didn’t understand what she was taking until the strip turned blue. She turns to look at Will, who has been out of frame until now, and says, “I’m not proud of myself.” He replies, “Nor should you be.” He then turns to Hannibal and asks if he knew. Lecter replies that he knew of Margo’s goal to have a child, but he was not aware that he was the means of achieving it. When asked what she wants from him, she tells him nothing, or as much as he wants to give. She isn’t opposed to a male influence, as long as it isn’t her Brother…He’s not good with children.
Children are led into the Verger’s stables, as Mason watches. He stops a young boy of 5 or 6, and asks him his name. Franklin. He then asks Franklin if he likes horses, and hands him a carrot to feed to one there. The rest of his school group have gone on without him. He asks Franklin who he stays with? Franklin replies his Mother, and Mason says that it’s not his real Mother. She’s his foster Mother, and he can’t stay there anymore. Franklin replies, “Who says?” Mason goes on to say that the government says. His Foster Mother lost her job and her license to be a Foster parent. He can’t see her anymore after this week.
Franklin distraught asks, “Why not?” Mason then becomes visibly agitated and shouts, “Maybe..maybe they just don’t want you anymore, Franklin!” He pushes up his glasses and asks, “Is there something wrong with you? (kneeling down to Franklin’s level, Franklin is crying) There is, isn’t there?” He then says, “Here…here..here we go. He takes a piece of tissue from a gold card case and asks Franklin to lean his head back, he absorbs a tear with the tiny piece of tissue, and says perfect, perfect. He puts the tissue back in the case, then shouts, “Have a chocolate” happily, throwing it at the child and walking away. In private he mixes a drink, with the tissue bearing the child’s tear as the main ingredient.
Will has nightmares of Freddie’s body on fire, rolling fast down the parking ramp. There is a knock at the door waking him, it’s Alana Bloom. He asks her, “Do we do friendly visits anymore?” She replies, “This isn’t a friendly visit.”
Will, “Then what kind of visit is it?”
Alana, “I guess I’m trying to convince myself of something.”
Will, “You’re worried I killed Freddie Lounds.”
Alana stares at him with a mix of fear, concern and disgust on her face, and asks, “Did you?” He replies, “What do you think?” she says, “I think that’s the wrong answer to tell somebody who is already wondering what you’re capable of. Will answers in turn, “I told everyone that Hannibal was a killer, and no one believed me. Just like no one would believe you if you said I was a killer.” Alana looks at him shakily, and tells him, “I don’t think Hannibal is good for you, and I think that your relationship is destructive.” Will comes back with, “Hannibal’s good enough for you….you, should be afraid.” He looks her up and down and says, “I want you to have something.” He then turns to lead her inside, but she waits on the doorstep. He hands her a gun, “Whoever you are afraid of, don’t be afraid to use it.”
Mason meets with Hannibal in his office. In Mason’s usual abrupt tone he begins the session with, “I would like to tell you about camp. It was a wonderful experience, that keeps coming back to me.” He tells Dr. Lecter that Papa paid for everything, every summer, all 125 campers at Lake Michigan. He says that he continues the charity work to this day, most of the campers are unfortunates that would do anything for a candy bar. He snickers as he says this, “Maybe I took advantage, maybe I was rough with them. I’m not holding anything back, it’s all okay. I got a walk on the charges.” Lecter asks him, “What was your penance?” Mason adjusts his glasses, “I got 500 hours of community service, I worked at the dog pound and I received some court ordered therapy.” Hannibal asks if the therapy was helpful, and Mason replies, “I got the doctor involved in something unethical, so he cut me some slack.” Hannibal perplexed, shakes his head, “That’s not helpful.”
Mason goes on, “Papa called it altruistic punishment.” Hannibal ask mason to sit in the chair across from him instead of laying on the bench by the window. “Papa was a prodigy of meat, but his really genius was for human nature. He could look at a man and see his weakness.” Hannibal says, “Your Father’s dead, a boy’s illusions are no basis for a man’s life, Mason. Margo is the only family you have left.” Mason leans forward and grasps his head in frustration, “My Sister loves me Doctor Lecter, she has to, or she’s destitute.” He says that he is the sole Verger heir, and Hannibal replies, “Unless biology provides another.” Mason furrows his brow in confusion.
We join the funeral of Freddie Lounds, Will approaches Alana who is watching from afar.
Alana, “I’ve come to mourn Freddie Lounds, I can’t imagine that’s why you are here.”
Will, “There’s all sorts of reasons why I’d go to Freddie Lounds’ funeral, it’s common for a killer to revisit their victims after death. Attend funerals, return to crime scenes.”
Alana, “Anyone suspicious?”
Will, “Besides me?”
Alana, “It was implied.”
Will, “You were expecting me.”
Alana, “It’s common for a killer to revisit their victims after death.”
Will, “I’m not here to dance on Freddie Lounds’ grave, if that’s what you’re getting at.”
Alana, “You’re not here looking for her killer either. You don’t seem particularly interested in the crowd.”
He then turns to face Alana, “Are you profiling me Dr. Bloom? I’m here because my Psychiatrist suggested is would be therapeutic.” Alana turns to look at him, then walks away.
Will is in session with Dr. Lecter. He tells him that he’s been so preoccupied with taking a life, that he’s having trouble wrapping his head around making one. He asks Will what sort of Father would Will be. Will replies that he would be a good one. Will asks Hannibal if he had ever been a Father. He replies that he was to his Sister, but she’s dead. That Abigail reminded him of her. Will asks why he killed Abigail if that was true. Hannibal says what happened to Abigail had to happen. Will admits that he still dreams of Abigail, that he was teaching her how to fish. Hannibal says that he is sorry that he took that from him, he wishes that he could give it back.
The body of Freddie Lounds has been dug up, and positioned like a Hindu Goddess in the graveyard, the FBI are onsite investigating the scene with Will’s help. Pieces of other people have been dug up to complete the scene. Alana and Jack walk up, and talk of the killer. They say that he is trying to get attention. Alana says he has direction, his chaos is getting more orderly. Jack replies, so first he burns effigies, now he’s assembling them. Alana then says, “Freddie Lounds wasn’t his first effigy, who ever killed Freddie killed Randall Tier. Mutilated him, dismembered him and put him on display.” Jack asks, “Randall Tier and Freddie Lounds have a connection?” Alana replies, “Will.” Will overhears them talking, and she begins to accuse him louder. Will says that Shiva is both destroyer and benefactor. Alana swallows hard, looking upset and replies, maybe Freddie’s killer didn’t do this, maybe his benefactor did. Jack asks her why? and Alana replies, “It’s a courtship.”
Back in the Verger’s stables Mason greets Margo good morning. He tells her that she has a bloom in her cheeks, he goes on to say that he’s concerned about the next generation of Vergers. He tells her that he wants his own heir, with his own sperm, but it would be her baby too. Aunty Margo. He tells her that he thinks a child may be what they need to bring them closer together. He grips her by the hair and says that he said is before, she has a rosy bloom, what is her secret? Then amused at her worried face, he walks away.
Mason conveys that his Father did not take in account Margo’s resourcefulness, she found a loophole in his will. He says that if she is not pregnant already, she will be.
Alana tells Hannibal that she is feeling paranoid, empty and that she is questioning everything. Hannibal kisses her hand and smells gun powder on her skin. He asks her if she has been firing a gun, she replies, “I told you I was feeling paranoid.”
Margo frantically packs her trunk with bags and drives away. A truck smashes into her, pushing her off the road. A man gets out of the truck and walks to her window, she stares into the face of her Brother’s servant.
Margo lays on an operating table, her Brother leans over her in red surgeon’s scrubs. He says, “Poor Margo, you just can’t win.” She listens to him, frightened, as he goes on. “I have to remove…this temptation.” He leans over her, and speaks within an inch of her face. “They’re going to find something wrong with your lady parts Margo, or so the record will state. The Doctor will advise me that it’s best….if they take..everything.” Tears roll down Margo’s cheeks, it’s clear that she cannot move. “I’m afraid that the only person you will be celebrating Mother’s day with…is me.” He looks down at her and smiles smugly. He absorbs a tear with another small square of tissue, and then kisses her on the forehead before walking away laughing. Doctors enter and place a gas mask over her face.
Alana Bloom asks Jack what he’s up to, he denies knowing what she’s talking about. She says that he’s lying, everyone’s lying. Him, Hannibal and Will are all lying, he is lying to them, and they are lying to him too. Jack asks what Alana believes is happening. She asks him what do you believe!? Does he believe that Will killed Freddie Lounds? He says no. Does he believe that Chilton was the Chesapeake Ripper? He tries to say that there was overwhelming evidence, but Alana yells, “Stop lying Jack!” She reveals that she has no confidence that she knows Hannibal Lecter anymore, and that he doesn’t know Will. She says,”you are going to lose, Jack, if you haven’t lost already.” Jack then stells her that he wants her to come with him. He leads her to a room and opens the door. She looks into the face of Freddie Lounds, who looks back at her and smiles, “How was my funeral?”
Will is in a recovery room looking over a sleeping Margo. Hannibal walks up beside him, Will looks into his face angrily, and walks out.
Mason’s servant walks through the snow towards the mansion, from behind he is taking down by Will. Meanwhile in the barn, Mason listens to loud Moroccan music while watching his pigs in their maze. The music stops and he calls, “Carlo…Carlo? I don’t think they’ve had enough….” He turns and sees Will. “You must be the baby daddy…excuse me if I don’t offer you a cigar.” Will punches him in the face. Mason, looks back at Will and wipes the blood from his nose, tasting it and laughing, “I’m going to feed you to my pigs.” Will then punches him again, pushing him nearly over the edge of the railing above the maze. Will finally speaks, balancing Mason precariously, “Do you think it was Margo’s idea to have an heir? Do you think it was your idea to take it from her?” He shakes him, “My idea to come here and kill you? The only thing you, your Sister and I have in common, is the same psychiatrist!” He then slams Mason to the ground on the platform, when Mason gets up he has a gun pressed to his forehead. Mason laughs, Will cocks the gun, “If Dr. Lecter had his drothers (choice), you’d be wrapped around a bullet right now.” Will then takes the gun away and uncocks it, Mason looks confused. “Dr. Lecter is the one you want to be feeding to your pigs.” Fade to black.
I knew it! Oh lordy lou, what a fantastic episode! Perfect to follow the news that Hannibal has been renewed for another season. Two more episodes to wait, and the suspense is almost intolerable. Michael Pitt’s acting continues to impress, watching his performance as Mason in contrast to his performance at Jimmy Darmody on Boardwalk Empire is startling. This show just keeps getting better and better. So much to look forward to, though I don’t look forward to the gap between seasons that is coming too soon.