Ahhh, can’t stand it, I know you planned it. I wish I could throw confetti all over this review. The last three minutes of ‘Ko No Mono’ might just be my favorite. So well-played were they, I was pacing my living room like a confined and manic tiger screaming, "YES, Will Graham! YES!" at full volume.
The show really laid it on thick, right? It was actually pretty cute how they did so in earnest. (Oh, misdirection.) I mean was Will birthed or did he die as his twinsie antlered man alter-ego in the teaser? Did Jimmy and Brian "willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation"? (A lifetime of thanks, The X-Files.) And perhaps most pressing, has Hannibal been surreptitiously fattening up Ortolan fledglings for weeks in hopes that Will would make to this depraved communion? (This last question stems from an article I found titled 'The 6 Most Sadistic Dishes from Around the World?') (WHY.)
One observes only things which are already on the mind.
Oh jesus, those baby birds. Eating them whole means their little bones cut the inside of your mouth so while you’re chewing, you taste your own blood merging with a tiny morbidly cocktailed songbird. It’s a powerful statement about this show, the universe it’s created, the characters, us watching it… the price of consuming Hannibal’s ethos is the taste of your own blood. Will has swallowed mouthfuls. Alana feels hollowed out from diligently giving hers. Mason Verger all but revels in the spilling of his, the sick bastard. No one here gets out alive. As it were. This level of pursuit of self-gratification, for us all, in no uncertain terms, is injurious. (Is it then interesting, too, that the mouth heals the fastest of any other part of ourselves?!) But back to the buntings, Will’s endgame involves killing two birds with one stone. By all accounts, his singular slick plan will take out Mason and Hannibal. So there’s that.
The most terrifying thing in the world can be a lucid moment.
You said it, girl. The look on Alana’s face when she saw Freddie Lounds alive and well, a true testament to Caroline Dhavernas as an actress, communicated 10 emotions in 3 seconds. Her exchange beforehand in Jack’s office reminded me of key moments in Season 1 when her challenging him was meaningful and edgy. Her interactions with Will were painstaking, too. In fact, her whole arc this hour was full of pockets of clarity. She was the voice of reason again and again and again. She held her own with Will too, no small task since he’s still hurting so much that all he can manage is double-talk and derision even while her struggle to hold onto herself is real and right at the surface.
Who you were yesterday is laid waste to give rise to who you are today.
Hannibal has a lucid moment, too, involving gunshot residue. That shot might win the best insert of all time, by the way. His olfactory gifts have never been so precisely portrayed as they are here. It’s as if he’s a human forensics DNA vacuum. But even with his super human capabilities, he’s falling behind Will. It doesn’t even matter that he has six mythical arms, a metaphor for a Being whose hands are performing multiple acts while managing to be in every place at once. (Was it at that moment in their therapy session that Will realized how Hannibal had set him up, along with Margot and Mason? Or was it in the hospital at Margot’s bedside?) Will is proving in every moment an even more superior ability: He can shed who he was yesterday in service of who he needs to be today. And that bests even multiplicity convention in the battle of cosmic forces.
God is beyond measure in wanton malice. And matchless in his irony.
I guess Hannibal’s views on God are at least partially due to people like Mason Verger. He’s just a typical patient of Dr. Lecter’s who will defile his chaise lounge one moment then sit gleefully in (at best) his narcissistic personality disorder in the next. Mason is so over the top sadistic, I cannot wait to see his demise. The more truly terrible it is, the better. The way he violates Margot manages to rival what happens to her in Harris’ version. Even though it seemed far-fetched that the offspring of the mongoose and the muskrat would ever come to be, her fate was sealed in a way in ‘Ko No Mono’ that was truly upsetting and deeply unfortunate. But Hannibal's worldview emerged long before he became a therapist. In the episode’s most revealing Dr. Lecter moment to date, Hannibal reveals to Will that he had a sister and even though the words that described her were sparse, the feeling behind them was unmistakable. Her death was what caused his psyche teacup to drop and shatter into too many pieces to ever come back together. And somehow once he revealed this, he could empathically connect to Will’s grief over Abigail’s death, which for a psychopath is matchless in its irony.
Odds and Ends
*Hannibal's quote about God made me think of my favorite line from World War Z: “Mother Nature is a serial killer. No one's better. More creative. Like all serial killers, she can't help but the urge to want to get caught. But what good are all those brilliant crimes if no one takes the credit? So she leaves crumbs… And she loves disguising her weaknesses as strengths.”
*I keep thinking about the flaming wheelchair stunt. Who between Will and Hannibal is a physics expert? That body landed perfectly squarely in Freddie Lounds' parking space!
*Mads' portrayal of Hannibal while he's in the same room as Mason is just fantastic. His micro-expressions are as loud as him shouting "I despise you SO HARD!"
*Did Hannibal dig Freddie's grave up and re-pose her? Or Will?
*Welcome back, David Slade.
*The scene of Margot packing her car and getting the hell out was so awesomely noir.
Will: "Ortolans are endangered."
Hannibal: "Who among us is not?"
Hannibal: “I don’t hide from God.”
Hannibal: “Your design is evolving.”
Margot: “I’m not opposed to a male influence as long as it’s not my brother. He’s not good with children.”
Will (at Freddie’s funeral to Alana): “I’m here because my psychiatrist suggested it would be therapeutic.”
Hannibal: “Occasionally I drop a teacup to shatter on the floor on purpose. I’m not satisfied when it doesn’t gather itself up again. Someday, perhaps that cup will come together.”
Alana: “STOP LYING, JACK. You think you’ve moved your pieces around so cleverly.”
Freddie Lounds: “How was my funeral?”
Mason: “You must be the baby daddy. Excuse me if I don’t offer you a cigar.”
Mason: “I’m going to feed you to my pigs. Carlos!”
Will: “Do you think it was Margot’s idea to have an heir? Do you think it was your idea to take it from her? My idea to come here and kill you?”
Will: “If Dr. Lecter had his druthers, you’d be wrapped around a bullet right now. Dr. Lecter’s the one you want to be feeding to your pigs.”