Hannibal “Shiizakana” Review (2×09)

26 Apr

Hannibal - Season 2

“Adapt. Evolve. Become.”

As we watch Hannibal Lecter’s and Will Graham’s relationship develop, the question becomes: Who has the upper hand? Is it Hannibal, fostering the killer inside what he views as his mentee, or is it Will, luring Dr. Lecter into a false sense of security before he tears him apart?

Although the case itself isn’t all that compelling, it does tie in thematically with the rest of the episode. Randall Tier is someone whose instincts compel him to kill, compel him to become an animal–a beast–and return to his most primal instincts. This is exactly the kind of transformation Hannibal is hoping to cultivate in Will, but the problem is that Will knows exactly what’s happening. For, he’s willing to become the very thing Hannibal wants him to become, even if at heart, that very thing hasn’t been in him all along.

The beginning of the episode is a doozy, and it conveys this exact idea. When Will “kills” Hannibal, he doesn’t do so with his own hands, suggesting that he isn’t who Lecter believes he is. Yet, he’s getting closer and closer, moving from attempted murder through his admirer a few weeks back to confronting Hannibal at gunpoint to actually killing him through dreams (similar to how Will and Abigail’s fishing scenes moved from dreams to reality last week with the conversation with Crawford, Will’s dreams may eventually become reality).

Will’s definitely luring Hannibal in, and this is expertly conveyed by Mikkelsen throughout, as the show utilizes close up face shots to convey a sense of intimacy. We see the curiosity in his eyes and through his head tilts and through his nods, and this is definitely the mark of a man who’s genuinely excited about what he believes he’s doing. After all, he does believe he’s a God-like figure, crafting killers left and right with Margot Verger or Randall Tier or Will Graham.

The trouble with this idea is that Hannibal isn’t God, in that he can only get to each of these people through a certain foundation: Margot’s relationship with her brother, Tier’s mental illness, etc. At first, he was able to do so with Will, but this is a whole new ball game. As Bryan Fuller states in an interview, he’s “fascinated by man’s capacity for sin”. Will will kill, but does that make him a killer in the way that Hannibal wants him to be, a killer he’s fascinated by? Right now, the answer’s yes, but he may be regretting that very soon.

The beast may be inside all of us, but soon, we may be in the belly of the beast.



-Thank you, show, for not killing one of Will’s dogs. That would be unforgivable.

-When someone in a beast suit crashes through your window to kill you because of the psychological mind games your cannibal therapist–who you want to kill–is playing, you know you’ve truly made it.

-Really subtle and fantastic acting by Mikkelsen when du Maurier is mentioned; he seems annoyed, considering she got away, and Mikkelsen conveys that perfectly through one expression.

-Dire wolves! *Remembers the Red Wedding, sobs*

-Nice little scene between Peter and Will, in which Peter states that humans are the only ones who kill just to kill. Yet, while it may seem as if this should apply to Tier, I feel that his story is more complex than that; like mentioned in my review, it’s because he believes he’s an animal, not because he’s human and wants to kill.

-This was posted in the morning because I was burned out following the Hawks and Bulls games last night. I’m happy with the results, though.

Photo credit: NBC, Hannibal

One Response to “Hannibal “Shiizakana” Review (2×09)”

  1. davecrewe April 27, 2014 at 12:19 am #

    I feel like the show’s lost a little momentum mid-season, but it still remains utterly gorgeous. And the soundtrack was especially amazing this episode.

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