Hannibal: “Whenever feasible, one should always try to eat the rude.” Will: “Freerange rude.” Hannibal: “Would you join me at the table?” Will and Hannibal discuss the fate of Mason Verger. (Major Spoilers)

With only one episode remaining in what has been a remarkable second season of the utterly absorbing Hannibal, the table is now set for us to dine on what promises to be a most memorable season finale. I’m continually surprised that a show featuring imagery of such realistic horror, has become a firm favorite of so many people, but this is perhaps a sign of the times, where there is an acceptance of things that once would have caused a real stir. For this, at least, i’m glad.

It would appear Hannibal truly believes Will has sided with him, and I was initially doubtful of this to begin with, but I’m pretty sure Lecter not only wants to share his passion for dining on those who dare to commit the “unspeakable” act of being “discourteous” to him, he also wants/needs the camaraderie and companionship from Will. During one of their sessions, Will points out to Hannibal, that Hannibal has managed to alienate Will from everyone he cared about, like Alana Bloom and Jack Crawford. This game he’s playing with Hannibal is extremely dangerous, but precisely because Hannibal is so smart, Will feels the gamble is worth the risk.

Created by
Bryan Fuller
Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne, Caroline Dhavernas
Episode Release Date
16 May 2014
Ed’s Grade: A

This penultimate episode was about using Mason Verger as bait, in a desperate attempt by Will to capture Hannibal in the act of murder. So far, Lecter has admitted to nothing, and the little he has alluded to isn’t enough for Jack to act on. Jack has placed a great deal of faith in Will but I get the feeling this was done in part out of guilt. After all, Jack and the others had believed Will Graham was the Chesapeake Ripper.

Speaking of the Chesapeake Ripper; there was a very interesting scene where Will attempts to persuade Hannibal to show Jack who he really is. This was at the end of the episode, and I thought Will had gone a little too far with his ‘best buddy’ act. Apparently not. Just after Will and Jack discuss Hannibal, Will goes to Hannibal’s home, where Hannibal is sketching Achilles. I haven’t read the Iliad but Will Graham could be the one being taken as Hannibal’s “Achilles’ heel,” and of course, the discussion about concealing identities, and how Hannibal wants the two of them to face off their enemies together, making it seem Hannibal is planning ahead. Will expresses concern for Hannibal by telling him he thinks he’s going to be caught.

“Reveal yourself. You’ve taunted him long enough.” Will tells Hannibal. “Jack has become my friend.” Hannibal explains, “I suppose I owe him the truth.” Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) has been tracked down and brought in for questioning by Jack. This seeming waste of time by Jack may be the very thing that helps bring about the downfall of Hannibal Lecter. Lecter’s former psychiatrist offers Will Graham advice that he appears to use, as witnessed in this closing scene. “Whimsy” is the single word that could make all the difference in Hannibal’s capture, and it’s clear Dr. Du Maurier is extremely clever, but we already knew that after Hannibal failed to kill her.

One other item of interest was when Hannibal asks Will why he told Mason he intended to kill him. Will replies in a way I thought was brilliant, and truly reflected Hannibal’s own personality and was the only answer he would believe. “I was curious what would happen.”

This week’s ‘main event’ was the rude Mason Verger’s punishment. Last week saw Mason almost kill Margot–this was after finding out she was pregnant to Will–then had her operated on to remove her “lady parts.” It’s unsurprising Hannibal was less concerned about the child molestation and ill-treatment of Margot, than he was over Mason being rude. To Hannibal, being discourteous is by far the greater crime. When Mason’s men capture Hannibal and string him up over the pigs, Will had a chance to end it all, but instead frees Hannibal, only to be knocked unconscious. What Will walks into upon returning home, was extremely gory indeed. Mason has been drugged by Hannibal and is cutting off his own face and feeding it in bits to Will’s dogs.

Mason deserved everything he got, and more, and even remains an SOB to the last. Instead of helping Jack Crawford by testifying against Lecter, Mason–now paralysed and mutilated–refuses to even acknowledge he knows who Will Graham is. At least Margot got the last laugh, as she enters Mason’s sickroom, with Mason asking what she wants. “What Margot wants is to take care of you, Mason, … dear. Just as you took care of me.”

TV Recap by Lead Entertainment Writer, Ed Blackadder