Well, shit. Stuff happens in this episode. Big stuff. Character stuff that’s almost indistinguishable from plot stuff. So much stuff.
Le quois? Takiawase (n):vegetables served with meat, fish, or tofu; the ingredients are simmered separately. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiseki)
If you’re super jazzed about reading this recap, but can’t quite remember episode three, this pretty much sums it up:
WARNING: THERE WILL BE HELLA SPOILERS AHEAD PROCEED WITH CAUTION
Will continues his campaign to win his freedom and discredit Hannibal by making an offer to Dr. Chilton: The 80s Principal stops talking to Hannibal, and Will becomes his exclusive patient. Meanwhile, the FBI discovers a man whose skulls has been “purposefully repurposed” into a beehive. Meanwhile, at the same time, Jack’s wife Bella talks to Hannibal about suicide. Hannibal, being a manipulative bastard, subtly encourages this. Meanwhile, mostly at the same time but also at different times, Beverly works with Will to dig up some new information on the Mural Killer Kase. Foolishly, she asks for Hannibal’s help in re-examining the killer’s korpse.
Will’s first session with 80s Principal Chilton dredges up some interesting memories, and the FBI finds out that Amanda Plummer was behind the bee stuff. That’s what happens when you work with Quentin Tarantino. Bella overdoses on painkillers, but Hannibal decides to save her. Meanwhile, definitely at the same time, Beverly breaks into Hannibal’s house, looking for clues. She finds the Mural Killer’s Kidney, but goes into the basement like an idiot. She discovers something horrible, but Hannibal shows up. All we see after that is a bullet coming up through the floor of the room above. I’ll miss you, Bev.
The episode starts with Will in his happy place, this time fly-fishing with Abigail. It’s kind of super heartbreaking, and the conversation inevitably steers towards dangerous territory: “What are you trying to catch,” she asks him. Will responds with: “The one who caught you.” So, yeah. Abigail is gone, but definitely not forgotten. It was both good and sad to see her again. I miss Abigail, so it was nice to see more than her severed ear.
Beverly brings Will out of her happy place to send her on her path of assured destruction. She tells him that the FBI has ID’d the Mural Killer, but that they still don’t know how he got into the mural. Will suggests that it wasn’t a partner, but someone who understood the killer’s work well enough to konvince him to become a part of it. “Don’t say Hannibal Lecter,” she tells him. He, of course, does, telling her that: “…He has no discernable reason other than his own amusement and curiosity.” Well, at least one person understands Hannibal. Beverly tells him that she’ll keep looking for evidence, even if she doesn’t believe that Will is innocent.
Next, we get introduced to this episode’s kind of unnecessary but gratingly relevant killer-of-the-week: Bees, nature’s assassins. I mean, I assume that’s where this is going.
“I Protected the People From Hopelessness. That’s Beautiful.”
Let’s talk some more about that, shall we? This is not one of Hannibal’s better killers-of-the-week. Sure, the bees are cool, but in an episode full of interesting plot and character developments, it feels a little rushed. Because this is Hannibal, even the under-developed killers-of-the-week tie in with the larger story. In this case, Amanda Plummer’s acupuncturist/beekeeper sees murder as a way to put people out of their misery. Oh, hey, that reminds me of Bella’s arc in this episode! The “death is comfort” theme, by the time it works its way into the beekeeper’s storyline, has already been used to great effect in Bella’s. So aside from some cool visuals and the Invader Zim clip I’m about to link to, the bee stuff didn’t add anything that wasn’t already there. Except bees.
“A Radically Unorthodox Form of Therapy”
Seeing Will, probably the Ally Sheedy of this show’s Breakfast Club, strike a deal with 80s Principal Chilton is a pretty good indicator of how things are going for our Intrepid Hero: Not well. I’d say that Will is getting desperate, but let’s be honest, he already was. But he’s also getting manipulative, and it is very satisfying to watch Will emerge from the constant cold sweat of season one to play Dr. Chilton for the fool that his is.
Will’s arc in “Takiawase” mainly involves chats with Beverly and “therapy” with Freddy Chill and oh my God why didn’t I think of that nickname before. With Bev, he’s helping out with the Human Mural case and trying to convince her that Hannibal is a Bad Dude. This leads to one of the episode’s many great moments, where Will finally puts it all together and realizes that “he’s eating them.” The itty bitty flashback montage that leads to this revelation includes Will eating Hannibal’s sausage (get out of here, Fannibals, nobody wants you) in the first episode of the show. Will looks on the verge of vomiting ven he vunderstands zat he vas eating people. Sorry, went a little Uberwald on you guys for a minute there.
But seriously, Will is having a rough day. Or week, or whatever. Who even remembers?
As part of his agreement with Freddy Chills, Will has to take a psych evaluation. Because Freddy C. isn’t stupid, he injects Will with a truth serum. It has some, uh, interesting results.
Will reclaims a memory of the most irritating killer-of-the-week*, the “Chesapeake Ripper.” I say “most irritating” not because I don’t like Eddie Izzard, but because seriously, how did anyone ever buy this guy as a doctor? Will recalls his sweaty, short-ish-haired self having a fit in Hannibal’s dining room while Dr. The Chesapeake Ripper quietly watches from the side-lines. While it’s definitely significant that Will is recovering memories of Hannibal’s “psychic driving,” my biggest take-away from this scene was “damn, I miss Will with shorter hair.” If that makes me a bad critic, then I don’t want to—oh, it does? Well, shit. I take it back, then.
Most of Will’s scenes in this episode are dedicated to his manipulation of DJ Chill-town and his attempts to use Beverly without getting her killed. As we all know, that doesn’t quite work out. But more on that later.
“Death is Not a Defeat, But a Cure”
Well, this arc was even more heartbreaking than the fishing scene with Abigail. After a session with Hannibal, who is a crafty bastard, Bella decides to kill herself. The quote at the beginning of this section is from Bella, though she’s referencing Hannibal’s story about Socrates. Coming from Hannibal, it feels very true. After all, he likes to play God. Killing the “rude” must feel like dispensing with a cure for him. With Mrs. Crawford, I suspect that his prompts have something to do with his wanting to “know” the couple. He can get to know Bella in her final moments, and use that loss to better understand Jack. At this point, neither Bella nor Jack have been “rude” to Hannibal, so they are still worth studying.
When Bella dies in his office, Hannibal decides whether or not to save her by flipping a coin. Or does he? At this point in the episode, he knows that Beverly is dangerous. He’s given her the information she needs to find him, so all he needs to do is get Jack out of the office and follow Bev to his house. Bella makes the perfect cover, and his heroic thwarting of her suicide, coupled with Bella’s decision to slap him, makes Hannibal look very good in Jack’s eyes.
While Bella’s attempted suicide is heartbreaking—creating great subtext to the scene where she and Jack smoke weed and discuss how he will remember her, by the way—much of the show’s appeal comes from watching Hannibal be a manipulative e bastard. As the first scene in the season showed us, his time as a free man is limited, so it’s become very interesting to see what he does in order to hide his true nature from the FBI.
“He’s Toying With You”
Speaking of which…HOLY SHIT HANNIBAL MURDERED BEVERLY.
I was originally going to do a play-by-play of Bev’s part in “Takiawase,” but I think I’ve covered her involvement at this point. Instead, I’ll go into what this could mean for Hannibal:
1) Hannibal has made the mistake that will eventually get him caught. I mean, he did kill an FBI agent.
2) I will really miss Beverly. In the first season, she was one of Will’s friends, and a secondary character who actually got developed. Possibly because Bryan Fuller was going to kill her all along.
3) It’ll get a whole lot harder for Will to prove his innocence. He and Bev had a deal, and now she’s dead. Not only does no one believe him now, but Will has lost the one person who was willing to look for evidence to strengthen his case. Not even Alana is doing that.
4) No, I’m pretty sure that killing Beverly will lead to Hannibal’s downfall. The FBI will come looking for her, and even if they don’t believe Will right away, someone’s gonna end up finding some Bev in their soup.
5) God. Damn.
Recap of the Recap:
God. Damn. Will is recovering memories, Jack’s wife tried to kill herself, and Beverly is dead. I mean, probably. I don’t really see a scenario where Hannibal doesn’t just kill her. He was just with Jack, so she couldn’t have told her boss whatever it is that compelled her to break into his house. If she told anyone else, then he’s screwed anyway, so he might as well get a stew going. If Will is the only one who knows, then so what? Nobody listens to Ally Sheedy. She’s weird.
What did you guys think of this episode? Did you like it as much as I did? Will you miss Beverly as much as I will? How about that stuff with Bella? Where’s that going?
*Never mind, I just remembered the “Angel-maker.” Talk about an unnecessary killer-of-the-week, amirite?