Season 2, Episode 12: “Tome-wan”
Directed by Michael Rymer (Queen of the Damned)
Written by Chris Brancato/Bryan Fuller/Scott Nimerfro
* For a review of the previous episode, “Ko No Mono” – click here
* For a review of the next episode “Mizumono” – click hereOpening scene here in “Tome-wan” sees Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) with Dr. Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) as they discuss the new predicament, which Will partially instigated in the finale of last episode, with Mason Verger (Michael Pitt). I love how Graham is totally open and honest with Hannibal; we can feel him draw the big fish in, luring him with the shine and now it’s all the big fish can think about. He’s slowly coiling himself right in the lap of Hannibal, though, for all the naughty doctor’s brilliance he can’t seem to figure that out. It’s because he’s madly in love with Will.
Moreover, he allows Will to be a part of himself unaccepted anywhere else. Hannibal is the only person Will Graham can truly be himself with. In this episode, Hannibal tells Will to close his eyes and imagine what he’d like to happen. What it is becomes a dream sequence, on Muskrat Farm, where Hannibal is strung up and Graham slits his throat; a beautifully grim, bloody affair. Will smiles as he comes out of this sequence. He imagines killing Hannibal, yet Hannibal allows him to be that dark part of himself society will not suffer.
“Whenever feasible, one should always try to eat the rude.”
Mason Verger ups his rudeness in the officer of Dr. Lecter. First, he flicks through sketching papers of Hannibal’s, insulting them by calling some drawings crap, tossing them about. Then, he sits at the doctor’s desk. Even has the audacity to put his feet up on the desk. Furthermore, Mason hauls out his blade – the one his dear papa used to check the fat of the pigs by sticking it into them a little bit – he brandishes it initially at Lecter, right at his throat. Mason sinks it into one of the doctor’s nicely upholstered chairs in the office, jabbing at it a few times before coyly apologizing and saying “send me the bill“. True psychological duel between these two, which makes their tense relationship all that more tense.
Afterwards, Hannibal and Will go see Margot Verger (Katharine Isabelle) in the hospital after her recovery. She’s clearly broken slightly in her spirit. No matter the strength she can show going forward, there is a part of her always shattered by the monster in her brother Mason. Taking away her reproductive organs, he makes Margot’s quest for an heir even worse, but most of all he takes away her choice as a woman; it’s a truly misogynistic violence Margot inflicts on his sister, which irks even Hannibal, let alone Will the father of her child who nearly tossed Mason in with his pigs.
Now we’re also seeing Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) in the mix. He’s not pleased with Will. Ole psycho Graham went a bit nuts with the whole Randall Tier thing, mutilating the body. Jack is made aware of the Verger situation. While the plan Will has is flimsy at best, Jack apparently has a backup – claiming “I‘m a good fisherman too, Will.” In the FBI interrogation room, the red dress flows around Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson); whom if I’m not mistake we last saw when she told Will she believed him, as he rot in a cell at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
At first it appears she wants to help, seemingly apologetic for not saying enough at the hospital. Instead she disappeared awhile. Curious? Hmm. Either way, Will gets down to the nitty gritty and tries to get some more information about the man that is Hannibal Lecter – or, information about whatever lies behind that human veil. Graham brings up the patient formerly under care of Lecer, the one who swallowed his tongue while attacking Bedelia in her office. She reveals to Will: “I killed him. I believed it was self–defense, and to a point it was. But beyond that point, it was murder. Hannibal influenced me to murder my patient— our patient.”
What I enjoyed most about these moments with Bedelia is how Jack is now seeing everything clear for the first time. It isn’t simply Will Graham ranting and raving about Hannibal, trying to make the picture perfect for all to witness. Bedelia is full-on telling Jack that Dr. Hannibal Lecter is not at all who he appears to be. She further goes on to say it will be his self-congratulation, his “whimsy” that becomes his ultimate downfall. Funny enough, that really becomes the case in Season 3 (as it is in the Thomas Harris novel Hannibal), so I think they were definitely thinking ahead writing that moment in the script.
There has been a long while since Will knew Hannibal is the Chesapeake Ripper, but now the veil has truly dropped and the blinders have lifted from his eyes. He and Hannibal are on equal terms, seeing each other with new eyes. They need one another, as Will puts it. He says they’re both alone without one another. It’s an eerily touching moment between two damaged men; certainly one more than the other, but damaged nonetheless.
However, while Will and Jack seem to have a handle on things, and the truth is being revealed, Bedelia Du Maurier warns Crawford that if they believe they’re about to catch Hannibal then it’s only because that’s what Lecter wants them to think. I like that moment because it’s not only true, the look on Jack’s face tells the tale – he worries about how true that may be.Following this is a scene, another dinner, with Hannibal and Jack. There’s great significance to the meal itself. Listen carefully— it sums up the whole situation between Will and Hannibal perfectly, the inability to understand who is pursuing whom at this point. At least for the outsider. Regardless of how dangerous and slippery Hannibal is, Will hopefully still has a grasp on himself enough to see things through to the end.
Or, does he?
The greatest part of this episode is when Mason Verger’s henchman Carlo Deogracias (Daniel Kash) takes Hannibal hostage. Lots of action, intensity, as well as blood and gore even in the finale. First, though, we see Hannibal hanging alongside where the pig pen at Muskrat Farm is located. Surprisingly to both us and Lecter, Will is standing there with Mason. It looks like Verger is going to have Hannibal’s throat cut, then feed him to the pigs feet first, so they can nibble a bit.
Not how Will Graham plans to see it all go down. Whether this was a plan or not in the beginning, I’m not sure. Either way Graham decides to opt out and let Hannibal free to do some nastiness, which we get only a brief and foggy glimpse of before Will passes out.
Like that touch – Will wakes up in the aftermath. Blood streaks all over the platform above the pig pen. In with the pigs on the rope where Hannibal had been suspended is half of one of Mason’s henchman.
But the best is yet to come. Now we get what was only alluded to in Ridley Scott’s Hannibal after the fact, and what only came as reminiscing from Mason in Thomas Harris’ novel of the same name: the bloody disfigurement of Mason’s face. Hannibal blasts him to the moon on some drugs, then uses his best tool – persuasion, manipulation – to convince Mason he ought to show off how papa Verger used to check the fat on his piggies; except on himself. Cut to Graham showing up at home, where Mason is sitting in the living room feeding bits and pieces of his gory face to Will’s dogs. They happily lap up what he gives them while Mason tells them to sit and be good, serving up pieces when they respond. He’s full of blood and messy all over, though, we don’t see it all fully. They filmed the terrifying makeup effects of Mason’s disfigured face in such a dark, shadowy frame that while it’s intense, it isn’t over-the-top. At least not to me, as a hardcore horror hound. I love it! Just enough to make it incredibly sickening and disturbing.
Will Graham’s ideas backfired. He couldn’t lure Hannibal into a trap because the naughty doctor had already done some nasty stuff. Hannibal also snaps Mason’s neck, just right, so that he’ll have to live on as a crippled man unable to walk. This also plays against Graham’s plan he laid to Jack, as Mason only wants revenge now instead of any part of him looking for justice. Everything works into Hannibal’s hands, yet in a twisted sense.Then at the same time, Jack is worried about Will and also the influence of Hannibal Lecter. He’s still on the edge, not sure what Will is doing or how it is playing out, and rightfully so, as he visits the now crippled, masked Mason Verger in his home.
I love the last scene of the episode between Hannibal and Will. Graham tells him: “We‘re going to get caught.” Then they have an interesting conversation about giving Jack “what he wants“, as in the Chesapeake Ripper. Will says to let him “see you with clear eyes“. While a terrible monster, Hannibal still recognizes that Jack is his friend and so we’re about to see some things come out in the last episode that will bring us back to that moment in Episode 1 of this season – the fight between Jack Crawford and Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
“Mizumono” is next.