Hannibal has the unique ability to make me marvel at its visual splendor even when it is gag-inducing.Typically this applies to the food preparation scenes, but this week it’s Hannibal’s (Mads Mikkelsen) sex life that has me dry-heaving.
Let’s bitch it out…
First off: big thanks to TVAngie for covering last week’s mind-blowing episode in my absence. I love it when we can trade off because one often introduces perspectives the other hasn’t considered (I’ll definitely keep my eyes peeled for religious iconography moving forward).
Can’t say that I saw much of it this week, but that may have been because I was watching ‘Futamono’ through my fingers most of the time. And I’m not referring to Hannibal’s epic dinner party preparations (which turn out not to be people after all), but rather the sexual coupling of Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) and Hannibal Lecter. Look, I wouldn’t challenge anyone who says they find Mikkelsen attractive, but my skin literally crawled watching him kiss Alana. It’s a testament to the amazing job that Mikkelsen does in making the titular character so icky without resorting to caricature. Seriously, why hasn’t he been showered with awards???
‘Futamono’ is actually less concerned in Bloom’s highly questionable choice of sex partners than it is about tightening the noose around Hannibal. We’ve hit the halfway point of the second season, so it’s fitting that the episode spends much of its energy tracking Jack (Laurence Fishburne) as he comes closer and closer to believing Will’s (Hugh Dancy) claims that Hannibal is the Chesapeake Ripper. It’s a shame that Jack is less adept at the kind of subterfuge that is going on around him (he basically does everything but come right out and arrest Hannibal) since his investigation very clearly tips the doctor off. Hence the sexual alibi provided by Alana, the kidnapping of snitch Abel Gideon (Eddie Izzard) and the “shut your mouth or you’re next” winking threat to Dr. Chilton (Raúl Esparza).
In fact, the only person that Hannibal isn’t playing is Will, whom Alana describes as dangerous because he’s no longer scared. This line, as well as Hannibal’s suggestion that Will has never been more in control, are both true; Will doesn’t even bother to hide his contempt for Hannibal to either Jack or the man himself. At this stage Will has so fully embraced his mission to take Hannibal down that his mental stag antlers have grown nearly as large as the branches of the latest beautifully composed Chesapeake murder scene.
It’s the tree that provides the clue that proves to be the episode’s biggest revelation. After using Alana to derail Jack’s suspicions and exonerating Will with fishing hooks at Abel’s crime scene, Hannibal unveils his latest mind-f*ck: Miriam Lass (Anna Chlumsky), who is not only alive, but appears mostly healthy save an amputated arm. Clearly this is Hannibal’s latest plot to keep Jack occupied while he takes care of Will, but it’s definitely something I wasn’t expecting. After spending the hour wondering how the writers would stretch things out until we revisit the climatic fight scene that opened the season, it’s quite clear that there are many more surprises still to come in the back half of S2.
- Just in case we need clarification about how much danger Alana is in, Will asks Jack who will have to die to convince him of Hannibal’s guilt and this is followed by a hard cut to Alana. This doesn’t bode well for the sole remaining female on the series.
- I love the blooming (poisonous) flower montage that is revealed to be a crime scene. The visual element is a literally embodiment of Alana’s “blooming” influence on Hannibal, who declares the need to get his appetite back following their discussion at the harpsichord.
- There’s a heavy implication that Chilton orders the savage beating of Abel after the mad doctor embarrasses him in front of Jack. This may not be entirely true, though, since it is the attack that enables Hannibal to gain access to him at the hospital. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t put it past either man to order the hit…
- Between Miriam’s arm and Abel’s leg, this episode is full of amputees, no?
- Finally, just in case we don’t see how clearly Hannibal manipulates Alana, we get to listen in on their pillow talk conversation about letting Will go moments before it is revealed that the Chesapeake Ripper has provided irrefutable evidence that Will is not a killer. Clearly Hannibal could not be further away from “letting go” of Will; if anything having an adversary on his A-game appears to have tantalized Hannibal more than anything else.
- Chilton (to Jack, after listing the menu items): “Needless to say, I will not be eating the food.”
- Abel (when Hannibal offers him his own leg): “You expect me to be my own last supper?”
Your turn: what did you think of ‘Futamono’? Were you as grossed out by Alana sleeping with Hannibal as me? Were you shocked that Miriam is still alive? Does this mean Abigail Hobbes is in a similar pit somewhere? Is Hannibal done playing with Jack now that he knows Will is a more worthy adversary? Speculate below.
Hannibal airs Fridays at 10pm EST on NBC