Season Two, Episode Six: “Futamono”
Directed by Tim Hunter (River’s Edge)
Written by Andrew Black/Bryan Fuller/Steve Lightfoot/Scott Nimerfro
* For a review of the previous episode, “Mukozuke” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Yakimono” – click here
“You and I probably sipped wine while swallowing the people to whom we were trying to give justice, Jack. Who does he have to kill before you open your eyes?“
Immediately following this quote, we see the face of Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) in a close-up. She’s watching the naughty doctor, scarred from his encounter with the killer Graham sent after him in “Mukozuke”, cut up a heart, preparing some more of that succulent cuisine for cooking.
This is another one of those episodes where we watch Hannibal collecting victims – rolling through their names to match them with a dish out of his rolodex – and he’s preparing a grand feast, another elegant dinner party with which to wow his usual acquaintances.
Not only that, the Chesapeake Ripper has set up another elaborate and macabre artistic murder scene for Jack Crawford and the FBI Forensic Team to find. The Ripper filled a city councilman’s chest and torso cavities, after taking all the organs aside from the lungs, with a group of poisonous flowers. As Jack and the FBI investigate the Ripper’s newest masterpiece, simultaneously we watch and see Hannibal Lecter writing a new piece of harpsichord music.
Abel Gideon (Eddie Izzard) comes back into the picture in another big way during this episode. He is a little frustrated by Will Graham, it seems. While Frederick Chilton (Raúl Esparza) listens on, Gideon seemingly confesses to what he’d witnessed while sitting in Hannibal’s “cobalt blue dining room, an ostentatious herb garden with Leda and the Swan over the fireplace” and Will “having a fit in the corner.” Unfortunately for everyone involved, Gideon does not heed the warning of Will Graham, and instead of confessing to Jack in full he merely plays around with everyone. This doesn’t do anything for Gideon either – as he taunts some guards later about the nurse he’d killed in Season 1, the two men have no time for his jokes. Abel gets a nightstick in the mouth, then tossed over the stairs down onto a cage about the guard’s station. Poor guy just does not learn.
He tried to get out of the hospital, as Will did tell him in the care of Chilton is where Lecter will get at him best, but never imagined this would backfire completely.What I really loved in this episode especially was a great scene between Jack and Chilton. They discuss what Gideon may or may not know, as well as everything concerning Will Graham. Best of all, the two of them talk about Hannibal Lecter. So now we’ve got this darkness floating around Hannibal which everyone is starting to catch on to. However, Will and Chilton are still both outsiders in this. Jack is moderately convinced, especially once Hannibal announces to him in private that he’ll soon be throwing a big dinner party – something Will warned of earlier saying that if the Ripper is killing “you can bet Hannibal Lecter’s planning a dinner party” – but Alana Bloom, who is getting closer and closer both emotionally and physically to Lecter, still cannot see through all of the deception and madness which is being hung on Will.
The dynamic between Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham is slowly shifting. Now that Will knows exactly who Hannibal is, he is acting much differently. Rightfully so. Meanwhile, Lecter is still hiding himself a little, though, he knows that Will understands everything. So he skirts around the edges of everything, trying to remain objective. But Will has him figured out, to a point.
Furthermore, though, Will is becoming someone else. He is embracing that dark side within himself. Sure, Hannibal deserves whatever bad he gets coming to him. But at the same time, murder is murder. There is a huge discussion of morality that surrounds the character of Will Graham, constantly. Ever since he first pumped those shots into Garret Jacob Hobbs. What I love in this episode is how his transformation is in another duality, once more, with the transformation and constant evolution of Hannibal Lecter/the Chesapeake Ripper.
Hannibal, throughout the course of the episode, appears to be getting his groove back, in a way. For instance, the parallel between the Ripper’s newest victim and Hannibal composing his harpsichord piece comes off beautifully, all the music and the visuals together is staggering! What’s most important about this, however, is the fact it shows that Hannibal hasn’t let anything shake him. He truly is a sociopath because, no matter what, Hannibal doesn’t seem to get thrown off by the events swirling around him. He kills the city councilman, leaving him to be found in such a grotesque and grand fashion, and this clearly signals a new cycle, reinvigoration for the Ripper. He’s getting his second wind.
There’s a few different dimensions going on with the subplot involving the budding romantic relationship between Hannibal Lecter and Alana Bloom. Hannibal is using Alana in a several ways. First, what ultimately drives Hannibal to Alana is revenge. He wants to hurt Will, in any possible way. We all know Graham had/has feelings for Alana, and so Hannibal, like a petty little child or a lover scorned, decides to take her to bed; a subtle way in which to torture Will, especially as he sits behind bars.And secondly – perhaps of greatest importance – Hannibal uses Alana Bloom to cover up his whereabouts as Abel Gideon suddenly vanishes from the hospital where he’s recovering, after the nasty beating and fall he took. Snapping to make sure she is dead asleep, Hannibal gets up in the dark of night and wipes off a wine glass – no doubt something he slipped a little drug into to put Alana out – then goes off to do the nastiness he has planned.
So I really feel bad for Will, but of course I certainly pity Alana. She has inadvertently backed herself into a corner that she may never walk out of again. The more disturbing Hannibal gets in his actions, the more Alana helps to cover things up, as her romantic involvement with the bad doctor now serves best as an alibi for him.
Another of my favourite moments in “Futamono” is when Jack Crawford first arrives at Hannibal Lecter’s dinner party. He stands around for a moment, surveying the crowd. The music gets woozy, the visuals slow down. Jack watches several people – Alana Bloom included – ingest the food, and you know what he’s thinking: the same as us, they’re eating people.
The suspense and tension as Jack asks to take some food and appetisers home in a container is UNBEARABLY AWESOME! Whoa. I couldn’t get enough of this moment. Even on Hannibal’s face, you can see this terrified look that sort of creeps up. Now, once Jack has Brian Zeller (Aaron Abrams) and Jimmy Price (Scott Thompson) analyse what he took from the party, he discovers it is beef, there are no human remains. However, Hannibal is intuitive; now he knows that Jack is maybe somewhat falling into the ideas of Will Graham. Which of course he is, albeit gradually, so very slowly.
“Hannibal the Cannibal. That is what they’ll call him, you know.“
We get more amazing culinary artistry from Janice Poon, the handler of Hannibal foods. Here, we watch Hannibal clay-roast a side of meat. Wrapped inside a massive leaf under the clay, Hannibal slices off some pieces. Abel Gideon, with a nice I.V bag attached to him, sitting at the table and missing a leg, watches as his host carves the roast. Amazingly disturbing scene.
I think this is one of my ultimate favourite scenes and moments throughout the entirety of Hannibal, even including Season 3 to the current episodes. This is because Hannibal is getting more and more devious. Not only do we get the feeling from his scene with Gideon – where we even watch Abel eat a piece of his own leg saying “My compliments to the chef” – but at the very end, Jack discovers another captive of Lecter: Miriam Las (Anna Chlumsky). So what we’re seeing is how Hannibal can almost, and literally, consume people, vanishing them from the Earth, while everyone else is left at the mercy of his will.He has clearly left Miriam Lass alive with the purpose of torturing Jack Crawford, or at least now that’s his plan. Who knows what he’d been planning before now, maybe just eating her? Either way, the final scene as Jack goes to the little cabin out in the woods somewhere, finding Miriam in a dirty sort of drainage pipe or something – it was fantastically grim. Loved it
“Yakimono” is next.