Another great episode of the ever-stylish Hannibal, though with a very sudden ending. To be continued? There were also several shadows of Silence of the Lambs that appeared as well: the focus on an agent-in-training, Miriam (played by Veep‘s Anna Chlumsky), as well as the advent of the Baltimore Hospital for the Criminally Insane’s (which everyone, including Will, always likes to say in full) Dr. Chilton, and the idea of classical conditioning. The “Chesapeake Ripper” is also referred to as a “pure” psychopath (or sociopath), “which is so rare to find in captivity,” Chilton comments smugly. But Will has doubts that the incarcerated Dr. Gideon (Eddie Izzard) is the true killer. “I can see him, but I can’t feel him,” Will says after his time at the (gruesome) crime scene. Hit the jump for why “there’s no accounting for taste … or intelligence.”
What made last week’s Case of the Week so uninteresting to me, in hindsight, was primarily the fact that Hannibal’s hand was nowhere to be seen in it. He had no interest in it because it wasn’t a spree he had anything to do with. This week returned us to Hannibal’s “art” of murder, and while he can copycat murders in a one-off (like he did during the Hobbs case) for his own … whatever it is he gets out of it (he sure likes impaling things) … he clearly doesn’t care for those who copy his designs — and they are designs, as we saw when Miriam found his elaborate sketch.
The Miriam flashback interactions with Jack Crawford were much more interesting than any of the melodrama with his wife. Yes it’s a heartbreaking situation, but maybe it’s because Jack Crawford is the least inherently interesting character (sorry, Morpheus) in the main quartet, I’m just not engaged by his emotional monologues. Last week the cancer subplot felt a little disjointed from the rest of the story, but did allow for certain scenes / revelations to happen and matter. This week though, I couldn’t find a reasonable connection. Did Crawford have more than a mentor relationship with Miriam? Is he supposed to be stuck in a double guilt spiral?
Eddie Izzard didn’t have much to do as Dr. Gideon this week (with a strange half-American accent), mainly just drooling, giving a menacing stare, then looking bored when interviewed by Freddie, Alana and Will. This is definitely not the last of him though, I’m sure (I haven’t seen the previews at the time I’m writing this but I’m just sure!), so I expect him to really shine in coming weeks. There are a lot of things to presume from this episode, too: primarily, that Chilton “conditioned” Gideon to believe he was the Ripper, and gave him intimate details of the crimes that allowed him to perpetuate them himself … except for two key factors: the punctures were done after death, and no organs were removed.
Another presumption: that the “selective” organs removed were probably for Hannibal and his dinner guests over the years (like that tongue from “a very chatty man”), and the impaling, well, it could be surgical but it’s also obviously something more. It’s a human installation. It also would appear that Hannibal has kept other small trophies, at least of Miriam (hair, and an arm / fingerprints) to continue to torture and toy Jack Crawford with over time. Is he the Chesapeake Ripper, or just an “interested party”?
So far, no one seems to have the slightest inkling that Hannibal Lecter is anything but a friend, colleague and a help to the investigations. But Jack was right in the idea that getting Freddie to post that “exclusive” should goad the killer into the open somehow. The episode seemed to end rather abruptly tonight, so I can only assume (as the rest of you will already know at this point) that next week will be a continuation of the Ripper case. It’s a good one, made richer with personal backstory.
Episode Rating: A-
Musings and Miscellanea:
- I was thoroughly disturbed by the live eye gouging this week. I had enough of that from The Following, thanks!
- It’s appreciated that the series gives us a heads-up before we see the crime scenes, (literally characters say, “prepare yourself, it’s gruesome,”) so I can peek through my fingers.
- As fabulous as her corkscrew hair and outrageous outfits are, I am like Will and find Freddie obnoxious and awful.
- I kinda wanted to know more about Gideon’s murder of his wife and family. What exactly did they do during Thanksgiving that set him off??
- I think it’s funny that Will is the talk of the psychoanalyst circles.
- Did anyone else think that those inmates were terribly well-behaved and quiet when the ladies walked through? I expected a few obscenities at least!
- Where is Abigail Hobbs??