“I have to eat him.”
There’s no doubt about the intensity of the connection Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter share, about the intimacy and love that binds these two together in a disturbing, yet fascinating, relationship. There’s not as much subtlety to it anymore because it’s out in the open for the world to see; when the two finally cross paths again, I can only assume it’s going to end in a sexy pillow fight followed by consumption of scrumptious body parts. Or something like that.
Anyway, one of the episode’s central ideas is that of forgiveness, and with that in mind, I’d like to bring us back to last season’s “Mizumono”: during the episode, Bella states that “forgiveness is such a profound, conscious, and unconscious state of affairs. You can’t actually choose to do it. It simply happens to you.” It’s an apt description of the journey of the show itself, one that now operates on a completely different plane than the rest of television, one that features characters perpetually moving in that profound, conscious, and unconscious state outlined by Bella last year. It’s a waking nightmare of a show and of a relationship, and that’s what makes it so intriguing.
To add onto that, Bedelia takes on her therapist role again in this episode when she talks to Hannibal about the concepts of love, forgiveness, and betrayal. Her assertion that “forgiveness…requires two” is an important idea to grasp when attempting to delve into the Will-Hannibal dynamic, and her end of episode statement– “We can all betray. Sometimes we have no choice”–hearkens back to that Bella quote above. There are pretty complex ideas to explore here, but the show usually is able to make them work.
However, I say “usually” because this episode isn’t quite as strong as the previous two are. The “Will is becoming like Hannibal” storyline is certainly an interesting one to follow, but it can be a bit tiring seeing the Chiyoh-Will interaction play out with the same thematic beats we’ve seen before; I normally like the show’s slower pacing, but this one feels a bit like too much for me.
Nevertheless, I like the moth man corpse’s connection to the various metaphors floating around last season. In particular, Hannibal stated about Will in “Su-zakana”: “I can feed the catepillar and I can whisper through the chrysalis, but what hatches follows its own nature and is beyond me”. Well, looks like what’s hatched is a little Hannibal in Will.
I also love that there’s no clear cut “this is his origin story” explanation for how Hannibal came to be who he is today. The fascination largely lies in the mystery, and the show clearly wants to view him as not a product of something, but rather a singular event who causes ripples throughout the rest of his universe. “Nothing happened to me,” he says. “I happened.”
– “I was rooting for Mephistopheles and contemptuous of Faust.”
– “How did your sister taste?” Sinking down into a bathtub is now the new “dropping the mic”.
-Maybe Hannibal is a snail of sorts?
-I love the show’s focus on the human mind. It’s something we definitely saw last week, and we’re seeing it again here. Belief is a powerful thing, after all, and as Will says: “Our minds can concoct all sorts of fantasies when we don’t want to believe something”. And later on, during the Pazzi-Crawford conversation the following is said: “Belief comes with imagination. We also imagine the possibility we all live on after death”. Everything’s tying in now: belief, religion, fantasies, reality, etc.
– “All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story.”
– “Technically, you killed him.” I love this entire scene. Hannibal’s like a little kid with that line.
– “I’ve never known myself as I know myself when I’m with him.”
-The next episode looks AMAZING. I kind of wish they didn’t give away that much from each episode, but I now know that I won’t be missing out on next week’s installment.
Photo credit: NBC, Hannibal