Hannibal “Su-zakana” Review (2×08)

18 Apr

Hannibal - Episode 2.08 - Su-zakana - Promotional Photos (9)

“Is your social worker in that horse?”

The last few episodes of the show have all been absolutely stellar, keeping up a pounding pace with tension, compelling character interactions, and horrifyingly beautiful imagery. Hannibal, understandably, now has to tone it down a bit before it moves into the final arc of the season; of course, that doesn’t mean “Su-zakana” isn’t still a very entertaining episode in its own right.

It may seem as if the show’s on reset, but that’s not the case. The dynamic between Will and Hannibal is now entirely different, with the former incredibly confident in his ability to take down and outmaneuver the latter. This isn’t so much an antagonistic relationship as it is two men competing, just with larger stakes. For, notice how Mikkelsen plays his character in response to Will stating that he finally finds him interesting: there’s a flicker of a smile there, just subtle enough to be concealed, but not subtle enough to be contained. Hannibal Lecter has always wanted a relationship like this, and interestingly enough, he himself believes that he caused the transformation.

He also believes that he’s the one teaching Will, molding him into the perfect specimen by teaching him lessons and nudging him toward certain decisions. Yet, this may also be Hannibal at his most uncomfortable: it’s Hannibal at his most gleeful and excited, but for once, he truly does not have the control. Will’s clear on what he has to do–as stated very explicitly in the first scene with the fishing metaphor (and by the way, Jack certainly knows what that metaphor’s all about)–and Lecter might just be falling into that trap.

He definitely knows the situation is vastly different from before. This isn’t a complete rebirth, full of flowers and sunshine and corpses transformed into tasty food; rather, just like a dead horse “giving birth” to a dead woman “giving birth” to a bird, the rebirth isn’t truly rebirth. Will and Hannibal’s relationship was dead on arrival–it was never going to turn out the way anyone wanted it–and now that it’s coming close, we realize that it’s been dead for a while.

“I can feed the caterpillar; I can whisper through the chrysalis, but it hatches. It follows its own nature, and that’s beyond me.”  This is spoken at the end of the episode as Hannibal puts his hand on Will’s face, both surprised and fascinated, proud of his supposed pupil and excited for what’s to come. He knows that this could lead into dangerous waters, but he’s too embroiled to care, to anticipate what’s coming. What’s coming? It’s something he himself mentions in “Su-zakana”:

A reckoning.



-Jeremy Davies is pretty fantastic here as Peter Bernardone. He’s always been excellent at playing these kinds of characters, and he lends heart to an otherwise very on-the-nose parallel to Will and Hannibal’s relationship. Still, as on the nose as it is, it does make sense that Will would connect with someone like Peter (and man, I could see Davies in the Graham role, easy).

-Hannibal and Will should just kiss already.

-That shot of Hannibal petting/”silencing” the lambs. Oh, Fuller. Also, the bird was a STARLING.

-I’m looking forward to seeing how the show handles the Vergers. Katherine Isabelle and Michael Pitt are both fantastic, and I have high hopes for their characters.

-Price and Zeller are still endearing. The apology scene in this episode is very moving.

-On Alana: wow, this is a regular thing now. Anyway, I find it interesting that while she usually has a general grasp on the truth–Will was innocent before, and now, he wants to eventually take down Hannibal–there’s always an element of blindness with her, a stubbornness that allows her both to be manipulated and to be the most moral person in the show.

-Five left. This season’s going fast, and I hope to wake up tomorrow morning to a 6.1 in the 18-49 demo for this episode.

Photo credit: NBC, Hannibal


One Response to “Hannibal “Su-zakana” Review (2×08)”

  1. Marta April 19, 2014 at 6:09 am #

    Nice analysis! I like new Will, the genius fisherman 😉

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