Season 2, Episode 13: “Mizumono”
Directed by David Slade (30 Days of Night)
Written by Bryan Fuller & Steve Lightfoot
* For a review of the previous episode, “Tome-wan” – click here
* For reviews of Season 3 starting with Episode 1 “Antipasto” – click here
In this finale for Season 2, the start sees Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) getting himself ready to head off into the great wide world. Who knows exactly where. First, he pens a letter and invites Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) to dinner, which Jack and Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) mull over a little together.
At the same time, Hannibal and Will are reminiscing on everything they’ve ever said, how the particles of those conversations exist around them. Hannibal asks what Will hears; he replies “melody“. It’s a moment where we seem them as instruments, something Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) told Hannibal not to see when he looks at people. But regardless, Hannibal and Will are two instruments in tune with one another, playing melodies, harmonizing. Like a macabre and beautiful orchestra built of only two men.
Jack and Will have a conversation about what will happen. As do Hannibal and Will. These conversations merge both visually and audibly. We’re not entirely sure anymore just who Graham plans to help. Even while we’re thinking he obviously is going to aid Jack in the end, it’s not so simple. There’s a genuine thread of fear running through this season, especially nearing the end, that Hannibal has lured Will past the point of return. In this episode, we’ll see exactly how far gone Will Graham has found himself.
He’s already slipping – Garret Jacob Hobbs (Vladimir Job Cubrt) waits for him on his porch at home, “See? See?“, and hands Will a rifle. Out in a clearing is the Nightmare Stag. Will shoots. There’s still a part of Will that is dark and affected deeply by Hobbs, so there’s truly no telling what will happen to him here.
Jack: “Hannibal thinks you’re his man. I think you’re mine.”
Again now, for the first time in a few episodes, we see Bella Crawford (Gina Torres) who is suffering of cancer. She and Hannibal talk. Sadly, Bella is still under the illusion there’s something good about Hannibal. While Hannibal the Cannibal is planning on murdering Jack Crawford at their latest dinner, Bella is simultaneously asking him to save Jack after she has passed on. It’s a chilling and infinitely depressing moment, as we know there’s no way in hell Hannibal can be reached in the black pit of his heart; at least not unless it’s Will Graham reaching in.
Bella: “I’m between deaths”
Hannibal: “The punctuation at the end of a sentence gives meaning to every word, every space which preceded it.”
Of course Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) is around, sniffing like a vulture. She represents so perfectly the media, especially today. She plans on writing a tell-all, naturally, and Will is asking her not to include Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl). He wants to protect her, at all costs. Even if it means being the sole focus of the book and having his entire life examined for the world to gawk at. An ironic situation once we dive further into “Mizumono”.
Freddie: “You really don’t know if you’re going to survive him, do you?”
Hannibal talks fondly of his Memory Palace. He believes, in his heart of hearts, that Will is about to run away with him, putting the FBI, Jack Crawford, Alana Bloom, and everything/everyone else behind them. They’re like two lovers about to elope to some far away place and be together forever. It’s one of the most compelling modern love stories, this Hannibal-Will dynamic, and all the while it’s one that’s totally heterosexual. Even in Season 3, as more of this comes out, it’s not a sexual thing; it’s the ultimate love betwen two men, two brothers.
Creepily, Dr. Lecter has a deep sniff of Will as they’re taking things from his office and burning them. What he comes to sense from that sniff is devastating, though, as we get a psychedelic ginger-ish shot of Freddie Lounds; now Hannibal knows she is alive, that Will has been near her, with her recently. A scary moment.
Then there’s also Alana Bloom who has been worrying constantly about Hannibal Lecter. She says to Will: “I feel poisoned.” Now is their time of reckoning with the finale of this episode approaching. However, Alana is still not comfortable with the trap Will and Jack have been setting, she makes clear to Will they can’t be sure whether or not Hannibal is the one setting a trap.
Worst of all, Jack Crawford is having his title stripped for the time being – compassionate leave, supposedly to help with his dying wife. Mostly it’s Kade Prurnell (Cynthia Nixon) back to chastise Jack for the investigation into Lecter, even on the verge of actually catching the Chesapeake Ripper. It makes out for a highly intense wait pushing towards the altercation between Jack and Hannibal, which we’ve waited for since EPISODE 1 this season! Love how we have to sweat it out even worse now in the last 20 minutes of “Mizumono”.
What I dod like about Prurnell showing up is that it brings a bit of reality into all the madness. They’re trying to do good things, with good intentions, but Will and Jack have still broken – or at the very least bent – the law. Will and Jack both do whatever they have to, whatever they need to, when the chips are down. This won’t change, even as the FBI go to arrest them both.
A great dinner scene in this episode between Will and Hannibal, as the doctor talks about the concept of ‘the imago’. Compelling stuff. Certainly amazing when considering Bryan Fuller & Co. have this stuff on NBC! No wonder the show is cancelled. Not the right network for this high concept, experimental, and beautifully horrific television series. The bits we get through the scenes with Will and Hannibal in this finale of Season 2 really point out why the show is great. So many instances in this single finale which makes clear why Fuller has given us one of the most amazing adaptations ever to be on television, and even movies for that matter. Honestly, one of the top 5 adaptations of literary work from the 20th century, ever. In my humble opinion, anyways. I think it is masterful, poised, terrifying, macabre, beautiful, all rolled into one. As well as the fact they’ve taken the Thomas Harris work from Red Dragon/Hannibal and given it a fresh face while keeping so many things wonderfully familiar.
Will changes everything by calling Hannibal Lecter just as Hannibal himself did for Garret Jacob Hobbs in the very first episode of Hannibal.
What follows is the incredible scene between Crawford and Lecter, the one so amazingly brought in immediately with “Kaiseki” at the start of the season. They have another fight in Season 3, which mirrors the one they have in the Season 2 finale here. It’s a vicious one. There are moments, seconds, where Jack appears to have the upper hand, but as we already know Jack takes a piece of glass in the side of his neck. Bleeding out, he hides in the wine cellar.
Then Alana Bloom shows up. Another perfect, dark moment; she’s seeing him as he is for the first time, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, or Hannibal the Cannibal, or the Chesapeake Ripper. Former lover of hers, Hannibal reveals his nature here. She first sees him jumping against the wine cellar door, slamming his body against it to try and get at Jack hiding inside. When he turns to her, the look on his face, in his eyes, is different than he’d ever looked at her before.
Alana: “I was so blind.”
Hannibal: “In your defence, I worked very hard to blind you. You can stay blind. You can hide from this. Walk away, I’ll make no plans to call on you, but if you stay, I will kill you. Be blind, Alana. Don’t be brave.“
The most shocking, however, is when Alana runs away – after the gun clicks empty – and upstairs, in the Hannibal House of Horrors, she comes across none other than ABIGAIL HOBBS. Ironically, the person Will was so worried earlier about protecting has been with Lecter all along. Not just that, she also aids him by knocking Alana straight out the second story window, into the rain, hard against the sidewalk. It’s a sad and savage moment, I feel bad for Alana; her eyes go wide with terror as she tumbles down below.
Greatest intensity out of “Mizumono” comes when Will Graham shows up at Lecter’s house to discover all the awful, bloody mess that has begun to happen.
Inside, the face-off between Will and Hannibal provides one of the greatest season finales of any show I’ve ever seen. Regardless of how I feel overall about the series – I god damn love it beyond love – you’d have to admit this is one impressive season finishes. There’s an epic quality to it; everything feels very grand and heightened, even for Hannibal an already heightened, wild series. Also, there’s a good deal of sadness when Will comes face to face with his surrogate daughter, Abigail, still alive. I think part of that is the ultimate betrayal for Will. While a part of Hannibal wanted the three of them to run away together, he also kept Hannibal away from Will purposely, all the while knowing it hurt him deeply; especially seeing as how Graham thought her dead.
But seeing Hannibal knife Will, something which was a part of the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon in their backstory together – is something incredibly beautiful and scary all at once. We fear for the life of Will, not sure if he can make it through such a grievous injury. And then there’s the fact Hannibal basically confesses his love, in part, to the bleeding man. All the while he’s mad that Will would deny him freedom, lock him in a cell.
That is, right before he cuts Abigail open right in front of him. Blood flows and flows, everywhere, as Will and Abigail both bleed out. Off Hannibal Lecter flees into the dark night, wondering if Graham can ever forgive him for what he’s done.
Hannibal: “Do you believe you could change me, the way I’ve changed you?”
Will: “I already did”
Hannibal: “Fate and circumstance ahve returned us to this moment when the teacup shatters. I forgive you, Will.“
What a shocker, both visually, explicitly, and emotionally. I loved “Mizumono”; I feel director David Slade pulls off season finales very well, as his Season 1 ender “Savoureux” was also off the charts. This made me highly emotional seeing Abigail, Will, and Jack each bleed out, Alana gasping for breath with a no doubt serious spinal injury on the walkway. Hannibal just walks out, pulling on a jacket, and disappears into the rain. The music behind everything is BEYOND MAGICAL. Just sets everything in a dreamy tone.
One final visual we get is Will watching the Nightmare Stag die on the floor next to him and then cut to black.
Before the season finishes, right as the credits finish rolling, we watch Hannibal Lecter on a plane – similar to Ridley Scott’s Hannibal adaptation – except this time he’s with…. Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson). WOW! What a way to cap things off right at the close. Such a poignant moment that makes you ache for Season 3 in a big way, like you hadn’t already been aching.
Check out my reviews for Season 3, plus the rest of them, over at the general page of Hannibal reviews.
Enjoy, my fellow Fannibals!