Last week’s episode ended with both Will and Lector hanging like sides of beef, or pork, and being welcomed by Mason Verger; after Hannibal began to saw open his protege’s head in front of a horrified and screaming Jack Crawford. This week in Digestivo it is revealed how things went from impromptu brain surgery to Muskrat Farm in the apparent blink of an eye.
During this episode, the viewer learns just how strong that bond is between Chiyo and Hannibal, just what a pig, literally, Mason Verger is, and how two women can kill a man with an eel after “milking” him. Poetic justice is the underlying theme this week and the show ends with a large dose of irony where Hannibal and Will are concerned.
While Jack screams and blood splatters through the air the same inspector that Crawford annoyed while he questioned Bedelia about the whereabouts of Dr. Fell, Commendator Benetti, turns up with several men and they take charge of the situation. Crawford repeatedly identifies himself in Italian as an FBI agent. The inspector tells his men that they are taking Graham as well as Hannibal, but not Jack as the FBI agent is not worth any money. Benetti tells Crawford that he is to be Lector’s latest victim.
“Arrividerci,” says the Commendator after instructing two of his accomplices to “prepare” Jack like Lector meant to slaughter Will. After leaving, the two Italian law officials move in to comply and two silenced shots take the men out. Jack Crawford, it seems, has more lives than a cat as he cheats death not only for a second time from Hannibal, but also from the polizia.
His savior? Chiyo.
She is, as Lector said earlier, very protective of him and obviously Chiyo has spared Jack to learn where Hannibal and Will have been taken. The two talk, after he convinces her to remove the needle that has been left in his neck, about exactly where Hannibal has been taken. Crawford explains that he will have to be very careful leaving Florence as he has been reported dead.
It now appears to be equally obvious that Chiyo will now head to Maryland and Muskrat Farm in an effort to save Hannibal.
Meanwhile back at the farm, Bloom and Margot wake up in bed together and after a phone call from Italy, the two share thoughts on Mason and Hannibal. Mason is enjoying his victory over Lector and gloats while he explains to the two captives, who are still hanging upside down in the back of the truck, that he still has his father’s knife, used to check for pig fat. The blade is shoved into Hannibal, who does not make a sound.
Mason continues to taunt both Lector and Will in the pig pens and later he speaks of Jack Crawford’s death to Dr. Bloom when Margot comes in and tells him that “feces is flying in Florence,” as the FBI agent is alive. After expressing disappointment at the news, Mason questions Bloom about her loyalty. Alana warns Verger that if he plays with his food it can bite him. Mason declares that he is not playing and she replies that Hannibal is. “He is always playing,” Bloom explains.
Both Hannibal and Will are unwilling guests at a meal hosted by Mason and served up by Cordell. Will realizes that Verger wants his face and after Hannibal question’s his next actions, Mason tells his new cook that Graham looks dry and needs some moisturizer. As Mason talks of his plans for Hannibal, Cordell starts to apply the salve when Will leans over and bites a chunk of flesh from the doctor-cum-cook’s face.
While Cordell screams, Will spits out the piece of cheek onto his plate. “No shorties for you Mr. Graham,” Mason says. He tells Will that he will be fed to the pigs after Cordell removes his face and transplants it onto Verger’s scarred remains. Later Doemling sews the bit of cheek back onto his face and immediately after brands Hannibal. Lector recognizes that Mason wants him to feel everything that his pigs do before being slaughtered and eaten.
The brand says “Verger.”
Hannibal taunts Cordell and states that Mason has a lot of ideas behind that “faceless skull.” Doemling takes offense and tells Lector that the longer he is respectful, the longer he will keep his tongue. The two speak of how the appendage will be prepared and Cordell goes into detail. Hannibal approves. Cordell then tells his captive that he will come back in a few hours and remove everything from below Hannibal’s elbows and knees. After a little discussion about how Lector will be kept alive, the doctor promises to always cook Hannibal to perfection.
Mason continues to torture Margot with promises of having his child. After questioning his sister about her relationship with Bloom, he tells her that a surrogate already exists for her “harvested” eggs. Margot demands to see her and Mason tells her that “she’s resting.” Verger also tells his sister that the surrogate is “on the farm.” Margot threatens him and he applauds her “maternal instincts revving up.”
Bloom and Will have a chat and she reveals that Jack is still alive. Graham accuses Alana of giving him and Hannibal up to Mason. She tells Will that she thought the FBI would have rescued Will and Lector. Graham tells the doctor that she needs to evolve her plans since that is not going to happen.
Margot comes to visit Hannibal in the pig pen. He is bound up with a collar around his neck. They talk about Mason’s promise to her about the surrogate and the baby. Lector tells her that Mason will deny her and that he always will. Hannibal tells her she needs to kill her brother, reminding her that he did mention this before in session. As they talk Alana comes in and shoots the guard.
Lector tells the women that the guard has a knife in his pocket and tells them if they cut one side of the rope he will do the rest. Bloom asks Lector to save Will and to promise, he does and she asks if he will kill Mason. Hannibal says that Margot will do this and that she should take some hair and skin from him and place it in Verger’s hand. She cuts the rope and the two women leave. Hannibal then removes his bonds and stands up.
Will is in prep and Mason is wheeled in by Cordell. Verger taunts Graham and tells him that he only wants his face and that since he believes in Jesus he is free. Doemling injects Graham telling him that he will not be able to move but will feel everything. Hannibal is watching.
Margot and Alana find the surrogate. It is a sow. A baby has been sewn into its uterus, the fetus is dead. After checking that the infant is not alive, Margot insists that it be taken out. Cordell starts to cut Will’s face and says, “Be sure to tell me if this hurts.”
Cue interlude of a face being removed from someone’s skull and Margot cradling the dead infant. Mason wakes up with his new face, the bottom of which is covered with a plastic half-mask. He begins calling for Cordell and reaches for a mirror, the face he is “wearing” is not Will Graham’s but his sycophantic cook’s. As he looks at the face, it slips off. He begins screaming for Cordell.
Meanwhile Hannibal is carrying Will across the snowy landscape of Muskrat Farm. Two men are following and Chiyo kills them both. Margot and Alana confront the pistol packing Mason after he learns that Cordell is dead and that Hannibal has escaped. He thinks the sow uterus very funny and warns his sister that if she kills him, with no heir, the Southern Baptist Church gets his entire fortune. Alana and Margot reveal that while he was unconscious, they stuck a cattle prod up his anus to stimulate his prostate gland, with Hannibal’s help, and the two have more than enough sperm to produce an heir.
Mason is shoved into the tank with his eel and the creature enters the monster’s mouth, killing him.
Hannibal and Will are back in Graham’s house, Chiyo stands away from the building in the snow, cradling her sniper rifle. She and Lector talk and she tells him that she cannot go home any more than he can. She reveals that is was Mischa’s plight that started her journey and Hannibal admits to eating his sister but not killing her.
Lector tells Chiyo that she is between iron and silver between the periodic table. Will dreams of a breaking tea cup and Hannibal asks him what he wants to talk about, teacups and time and the rules of disorder and Will says the teacup is broken. It will never, he says, “gather itself back together again.” “Not even in your mind?” asks Hannibal.
The two talk about the things they share and their differences. Will says that he will not find Lector after this is over and that he does not want to think about him anymore or know where he is or what he is doing. He bids goodbye to his “addiction” and Lector leaves.
Outside Will’s house police cars converge on the building. Jack Crawford exits one vehicle and Graham tells the man that Hannibal is not there as officers enter his house. “Jack, I’m here,” says Lector as he emerges from the shadows, arms up, and turns himself in to Crawford. This is his “punishment” for Will, who now knows exactly where Hannibal is and what he is doing.
Hannibal congratulates Crawford on catching the Chesapeake Ripper and Jack says he did not catch him, he surrendered. Hannibal looks at Will and replies that he wants to be where Jack always knows where he is at, meaning of course, Graham. Crawford tells officers to put Lector in his car and Chiyo walks off as the snow “tinkles” down in the forest.
This is the last of the Red Dragon “preamble.” The next time the audience see Lector he will be imprisoned.
In this first half of the final season, Hannibal proved just what a master gamesman he is. Mason Verger overplayed his hand with sis and picked the wrong accomplice in Cordell. Margot has gotten her wish and Alana managed to save Will from both Hannibal and Verger. Looking at the teaser for the next episode of Hannibal, it appears that the FBI, and Jack Crawford, have forgiven Graham and allow him to get involved with the Red Dragon killer.
It was apparent from the very first time that Mason mentioned it that the surrogate was going to be a pig. This particular bogeyman was nothing if not predictable and Mason will be missed. The series will be replacing Verger with Thomas Harris’s introductory killer from his novel.
Brilliant and thought-provoking as usual, Hannibal, in its last season on NBC, continues to feature outstanding performances from all its cast. Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne, Katherine Isabelle, Tao Okamoto, Caroline Dhavernas and Joe Anderson, the Brit actor playing Mason Verger this season, all knock it out of the park with their portrayals. For the time being, Hannibal airs Saturdays on NBC.