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Hannibal: Tome-Wan

“Hannibal can get lost in self-congratulation, at his own exquisite taste and cunning. Whimsy. That will be how he will get caught.”

Do you want more? Do you want more? Do you know what I’ve got in store? Watching ‘Tome-Wan’ felt like I had someone’s foot on my throat. How the F is it that this show just now took a turn for the macabre? Why am I even asking--I mean, I guess I'm still stuck in the 'adapt' part of adapt, evolve, become. You guys. Could any of us have even fathomed the way the Mason Verger story would play here. Even knowing all that we knew.

Dr. Bedelia is back because Jack is good at his job, too. And Hannibal is sketching him and Will into Greek myths with his scalpel-honed fine art pencils. Everything has gone so far off the rails that the teacup is never coming back together again. Not ever.

What Hannibal does is not coercion. It is persuasion.

Dr. Bedelia’s definition of what Hannibal is always doing to everyone gives his brand of control more nuance and subtlety… and anguish than I even thought imaginable. Every single expression on her face, a reflection of that pain. He does not remove agency from people in any concrete way nor is he, per se, more awful for preying on people who can be compelled. He is smoke. Bedelia lays out the truth: those who come under Hannibal's influence cannot justify their actions, claim victimhood, or hell, do anything that could be filed under needful defense mechanisms in order to resume living a reasonable life. Accountability is their own cruel course of action. That's just so much worse to reconcile within one's self. The damage of his manipulation then is both inconceivable yet abiding. Shit.

Every moment of cogent thought under your psychiatric care is a personal victory.

I love how Will doesn’t hide behind untruths as part of his con. Such choice irony in that. Also, it’s such a smart tactic because by being that real, that honest, he’s telling Hannibal “Hey you don’t have to examine what I am saying for deeper meaning. What you see is what you get.” An interchangeable lure. It looks the same from every angle. It's finally clear how Will’s been holding it down like a champ. It's brilliant. Since he landed in the BSH (doesn't that feel like a million years ago?) he has built himself out of these moments, reinforcing his own strength and growing his success with each noted private success. That kind of foundation coupled with his unguarded truthfulness might just be incorruptible. Hope, hope.

I am enchanted and terrified.

From the moment we see that bead of sweat rolling down Mason’s forehead. Did you know that the best, most efficient, most EXUGENT pathway to intoxication is through the lungs? Dr. Lecter does. I’ve spent a good deal of time thinking about the different aspects of this never-ending nightmare scene in an effort to understand what if anything stands out as the MOST upsetting. And I got nothing, you guys, by way of specifics. Which of course means it was ALL OF IT that has effectively irrevocably altered my neural pathways for all time. The sparks behind Hannibal, not the fireworks kind but what happens when heat hits metal, Mason’s delirious laughter, his unmitigated disregard with which he cuts into himself -- Beyond those two observations, my thoughts just do not form anymore into words that link together to become a reasonable expression of my experience. You guys, Will totally has to move after this season. To say that house is unlivable is just a huge understatement. Son of a bitch, it was after Season 1!

We are just alike. You’re as alone as I am. And we’re both alone without each other.

So Hannibal imagines himself as Achilles to Will’s Patroclus. I wonder--what’s their Troy? Morality? Unimaginative definitions of reality? Or desire? Widely-accepted limitations of the human psyche? Maybe it’s not about being at war at all, but the unique intimacy of these two warriors and the images their relationship inspired. It’s said that Patroclus’ love and fealty for Achilles made Achilles more sympathetic, more real, more whole. I think it’s fair to say Will’s friendship with Hannibal validates Hannibal's humanity. It’s a hell of a trade-off though since humanness equals mortality in Greek mythology. But at the end of their story, it's Patroclus who dies first. And he’s wearing Achilles armor. (Hiding and revealing identity is a constant theme throughout the Greek epics.) Shit.

Odds and Ends

*Oh god. The bright sad music is back. And cued up for the highest level of effect, after Will imagines slitting Hannibal’s neck and feeding him to Mason’s pigs. That’s the music reserved for his mind palace fly-fishing excursions, his dogs and kissing Alana Bloom. Shite.

*Isn’t it remarkable that all Will had to do was one well-placed knife stroke to cut Hannibal down for Hannibal then to gain the upper hand in a way none of us can even fathom based on those circumstances they were in?

*Speaking of Hannibal's predicament: his wit and sass, well, I pretty much fell off the back of my couch in the scene where he was getting tazed. His attitude and retorts were priceless.

*I’m sorry but I have clearly been neglecting the elite apothecary Hannibal is in addition to his other mad skills. Holy shit, he is SCARY GOOD when it comes to chemistry. It took Mason for me to really connect the dots. He did it with Will last year to perfect results. And Miriam. And god knows who else.

*I would be remiss if I didn't mention the look on Hannibal's face when Mason ran roughshod over his divine office. First of all, Mason is like a sugar-addled 5 year-old every time he's in there anyway, but all of his impish behavior thus far didn't hold a candle to him stabbing Hannibal's exquisite leather chair repeatedly and while laughing.

*The direction in the therapy scenes between Will and Hannibal was BONKERS. Michael Rymer pushed the envelope so far you couldn't even see the edge of it anymore. Both of their faces were so obscured and gauzy, I was actually laughing and also slow-clapping. It was just so outrageous.


Hannibal: “Whenever feasible, one should always try to eat the rude.”

Mason (after stabbing Hannibal’s leather chair with his pocket knife several times): “Just send me the bill. I’m so sorry.”

Hannibal: “Mason wants you to remember this can never be undone.”
Will: “Mason can be undone.”

Will: “Moving on isn’t just a distraction. It’s a rebuke. Show your brother how strong you are. Survive him.”

Will: “I told you, Jack. I’m a good fisherman.”

Jack (on finding Bedelia): “I’m a good fisherman, too, Will.”

Will: “I bond with Abigail, you take her away. I bond with barely more than the idea of a child, you take it away. You saw to it that I alienated Alana, alienated Jack, you don’t want me to have anything in my life’s that not you.”
Hannibal: “I only want what’s best for you.”

Hannibal (to Jack about their dinner): “Whomever is pursuing whom in this very moment, I intend to eat them.”

Mason: “I’m full of myself. So full of myself.”

Margot: “What Margot wants is to take care of you. Mason. Dear. Just as you took care of me.”

Will: “Reveal yourself. Give him closure. You’ve taunted him enough. Let him see you with clear eyes.”
Hannibal: “Jack has become my friend. I suppose I owe him the truth.”


  1. That last quote from Hannibal makes me very worried for Jack. And I suppose we are seeing a glimpse of that in the teaser fight scene between Jack and Hannibal that we saw at the beginning of the season.

    1. Heather:
      Me, too.The finale will certainly be ... something.

  2. I'm speechless about the Mason thing..wow.
    Hannibal comparing himself and Will to greek warriors was certainly something.
    great review. Now roll on finale..shudders.

  3. That whole last scene with Mason, my mouth was agape. So amazing. Though to be honest most of the time I was thinking "The dogs have tasted human flesh, Will it's not safe to sleep there anymore!" The satisfaction on Margot's face when she was talking to 1950's mannequin Mason was amazing. She has him right where she wants him. Completely helpless. He's seems to be taking it pretty well. Though that may be a lot of pain killing drugs running through his system.

    Hannibal is like some kinda ultra-educated polyglot ninja, it's amazing. If those mob dudes didn't have a taser they would've been done right there, served up with chianti and fava beans. Instead they got fed to pigs. Which I'm sure Hannibal derived some joy from the poetry of it all.

  4. mazephoenix: a week and change later, I am still speechless about Mason Verger and sense I will continue to be for a very long time.

    Freeman: (the) ultra-educated polyglot ninjas = GREAT band name.

  5. Been a million years since it aired but I still keep defaulting back to being absolutely astounded that Mason cutting off his nose and eating it was allowed on NBC. Other horror/gore segments on cable can go much much farther and yet fail to really evoke much in besides basic appreciation because in that regard it's just not the same accomplishment lol.


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