In this week’s Hannibal, a man in a bear suit tips Will over the edge.
We join Will in one of his surreal dreamscapes as he tries to force Hannibal to admit his wrongdoings. Dream!Hannibal speechifies about how “one cannot truly know another human being unless we love them” because the show’s still running with the idea that Hannibal loves Will in his own, twisted, inhumane way. Dream!Will tires of this just as quickly as the rest of us and kills dream!Hannibal before he wakes up with a flop sweat.
Meanwhile, Jack joins Hannibal for a meal that Hannibal prepared because Jack’s either ridiculous or trying to dupe Hannibal. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty and do things like eat people fillets to get your guy. Jack’s still a little upset with himself for not believing Will, and Hannibal seems visibly, if only mildly, surprised that Jack doesn’t seem to feel the same guilt with regards to Hannibal. That’s because he knows how you bring home the bacon, pal.
Over at a dark and remote truck stop, a truck driver hears a strange noise when some creature leaps on top of his rig. Like Chilton before him, he decides to investigate because he’s never seen a horror movie in his entire life. Shockingly, he’s yanked off screen and violently murdered by the creature as the camera pans to a sliver of the moon hanging low and bright in the sky. It’s a cool nod to The Wolf Man and other similar “creature feature” horror films.
After the credits, Will discusses his regrets with Hannibal during his therapy session. He regrets not killing the Social Work Sociopath from the last episode and admits to wanting the feeling of power and righteousness that came with killing Garrett Jacob Hobbs. Speaking of Hobbs, so are we ever going to talk about Abigail again in a meaningful way, or are we just shuffling that aside, show? Anyway, the camera zooms uncomfortably close to Hannibal’s and Will’s faces as Will talks out his dark fantasies and about “becoming” (in ongoing references to the as of yet unseen Tooth Fairy killer). Hannibal not so subtly encourages him to make those fantasies a reality.
Will runs into Margot Verger as he leaves, and they briefly chat about Hannibal’s, um, unorthodox therapy before Margot continues inside. As per usual, Margot discusses her fantasies of murdering her awful brother, Mason, and Hannibal encourages her and even gives her a few tips. I’m beginning to wonder if Hannibal’s secretly hoping to make some side cash running a Dexter inspired Serial Killer Seminar teaching all the basics from abduction to zip-tying.
The next day, Hannibal takes time from his seminar to help Jack, Will, and the remnants of the coroner crew figure out what happened to the truck driver from earlier. The team surmises that someone’s trained an animal to murder. Hannibal makes a tired and pointed comment about how the killer is evolving the animal’s “natural instincts” instead of denying them. Yes, show, we get it. Hannibal’s trying to cultivate Will into something not unlike himself because he sees some sick potential in Will. But, the show ignores my acknowledgement and chooses to have Peter from last episode continue this belabored metaphor. Peter says that you could train a bear and a wolf to hunt together, train either to become the other and, hell, with enough time Peter could even train Will. Do you get it?
Somewhere in some dark room, a pasty dude builds himself a hell of a bear suit complete with snapping jaws and sharp claws.
That night, Pasty Dude dons his bear suit to murder an unsuspecting couple smooching near a bonfire. The next day, Will examines the scene and realizes that it’s not an animal killing these people but a man who believes himself an animal.
Later, Will chats with Hannibal again, but since it’s the same conversation they’ve had 500 times already, we’re moving right past that to Hannibal meeting with Jack and the remnants of the coroner crew. Hannibal knows who the killer is because he treated Pasty Dude for identity issues as a teenager. He spills all he wants to Jack without giving Jack a name because of patient-doctor confidentiality. I mean, Hannibal wouldn’t want to be unethical here. Hannibal then heads over to visit the serial killing Pasty Dude we learn to be one Randall Tier and praises him for his good work because, again, Serial Killer seminar.
Jack and Will visit Randall shortly after Hannibal, and they all but call him out. Will seems upset and taken aback when he realizes that Hannibal’s pulled the same number on other patients that he’s pulling on Will. Just in case Will needed further confirmation of that, Margot shows up on his doorstep to discuss Hannibal’s therapy methods again. They drink whiskey share their experiences with having tried and failed to murder their respective abusers.
When Hannibal and Will meet again for a therapy session, Will calls Hannibal out on his manipulation of Randall, Margot, and himself, but Hannibal’s not even kind of ashamed about it. Will then, for some goddamn reason, tells Hannibal that Bedelia, his former psychiatrist, visited Will in jail and confessed that she believed him about Hannibal. Hannibal’s visibly unsettled by this but tries to play it off. Will flat out asks Hannibal if he killed her, but Hannibal says no while omitting that he tried and failed. Someone get Hannibal some lotion because his failure to murder Bedelia clearly chaps his ass.
We cut to later that night as Hannibal hangs out in the woods near Will’s home (something I feel Hannibal does often) with Randall who’s decked out in his high-tech bear suit. Hannibal speechifies again about Randall’s becoming before sending Randall off to kill Will.
The show turns into a good, old-fashioned creature film again as Will and the dogs hear strange noises in the dark. One of the dogs dashes out to the woods with Will hot on its tail with a shotgun. Will finds the dog scared and bleeding, scoops it up, and runs back into the house through the knee deep snow as Randall chases him from somewhere off camera. Will retreats into the house, shuts off all of the lights, and waits for the inevitable. He doesn’t wait for long before Randall crashes through his front room window.
We fade to black just long enough to make anyone not paying attention wonder what happened. But, they won’t wonder for long because Hannibal returns home to find Randall’s corpse on his table and a very still Will standing over it. How long was Will waiting there in the dark? We never find out because Will says that he and Hannibal are “even steven” given that Will recently tried to have Hannibal rubbed out. But, not really because Will clearly forgot about the time Hannibal sent Tobias to test Will. You still owe Hannibal a dirt nap, Will. Anyway, Hannibal nods, and all is forgiven.
Next week: Hannibal seems pleased with Will’s apparent transformation; Freddie Lounds tells Alana that something shady’s up with Will and Hannibal; I hope like hell that Will’s attempt to outmaneuver Hannibal hasn’t gotten him in too deep.