Hannibal S02E02 Review: "Sakizuki"

This week's theme was Hannibal helping people. He helps poor William by resuming their therapy, he helps Jack Crawford's team by teaching them French words about oil paintings, he helps the human mural killer complete his tableau and he helps Bedelia Du Maurier decide she really wants to move. What a wonderful, considerate friend he is to everyone.

This episode was brought to you by the letter "M" for Manipulation! Will Graham may be stuck behind bars, but he has never been stronger. He's playing them all for fools now, turning on the water works and really using Hannibal's obsession against him. While last week we saw the hurt in his eyes when Katz showed up just to use him for his profiling prowess, this week he turns around and uses her right back. He's aware of Chilton's eavesdropping, but he isn't shying away, he's going to put it to his own advantage.

It's not entirely clear if Hannibal bought Will's pleas for help, or if he was just playing along because Alana was in the room, but I'm pretty sure that in the long run he is going to lose this game. No matter how intelligent or smooth or three steps ahead Lecter is, he is not infallible. Since he met Will Graham he has made several risky decisions that are leaving him more and more exposed. He thinks that he is too smart to get caught and it is making him careless. His person suit is starting to get holes in it, and he doesn't seem to be noticing for how caught up he is in Will.

A direct consequence of this is how his relationship with Bedelia completely unraveled. For me, she was the centrepiece of this week's episode. I have had questions from her very first appearance about how much she knows, and what exactly happened between her and her violent patient that allowed her to see the truth of him, even if she doesn't know exact details. After this week, I am still left with more questions than answers, but I don't much mind. Her interactions with Hannibal are so interesting, I'm just sad that we won't be seeing them together again (or at least, not any time soon). Letting her live is another glaring error that Hannibal has made, which I can only chalk up to the fact that he seems to enjoy the game between them as much as I do. True, he went to her house intending to kill her, but when he discovered that she got away he seemed amused, more than panicked that someone who knew the truth of him was out there in the world. He also could've killed her when she went to visit him in his office, like he did Miriam Lass, but he chose to let her leave. I hope that we get some kind of flashback or insight into why he respects her so much.

I love all of the different ways this show looks at power dynamics in relationships. This aspect was heavily engaged in this instalment. For an easy example, we can look at the discussion that Hannibal and Will have about friends needing a symmetrical relationship, unlike the power gradient that exists between therapist and patient. My favourite scene in this episode was Bedelia breaking off her relationship with Hannibal, and how he basically backed her into a corner, each step cranking up the pressure, telling a story of vulnerability and brute strength. Will is taking his power back, refusing to be Hannibal's plaything while manipulating him and using his narcissism against him, and by making Jack Crawford and the forensics team work for him instead of being their tool. He also stands strong in negotiating his power with the FBI's internal affairs agent that tries to pressure him into pleading guilty.

In my opinion, this episode was by far the most gruesome and gory. Starting with the man tearing his skin off in an attempt to escape the tableau and ramping up to Hannibal's really graphic butchering scene with the human leg. But Syranda, you cry, he cooks and eats people every week! Yes, this is true, but in the past the cannibalism has been implied or inferred, while this week we saw him graphically taking apart a human limb. This kind of gritty reality has been heavily avoided on the show for the most part, with all of the crime scenes instead airing on the theatrical side, grotesque but whimsical, allowing us to separate from the horror a bit. This might be a sign that things are going to take an even darker turn quite soon. Brace yourselves.

Some Random Thoughts:

  • With that whole butchering scene, all I could think about was if Hannibal shaved that leg before searing it. It's a bizarre mental picture to be stuck on, let me tell you.
  • When Hannibal shouts down to the killer "I love your work" I flashed to Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs saying "I love your suit".
  • I'm so glad that Bedelia lived. I think that we will be seeing her again one day, and she will be key to Lecter's undoing.
  • Bedelia leaving Hannibal perfume was a surprisingly intimate and borderline affectionate thing to do. I wonder if they were ever romantically involved?
  • Jack Crawford is the worst agent ever if he can't decode Bedelia's clear warning about Lecter. She basically told him "I AM NOT SAFE. TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT LECTER".
  • I love how awkward Lecter's interaction with the rest of the team is. He wants so much to just step into the Will Graham shaped hole he's created, but he just doesn't fit here.

Quotes of the Night:

  • Bedelia: I’ve had to draw a conclusion based on what I glimpsed through the stitching of the person suit that you wear. And the conclusion I’ve drawn is that you are dangerous.

  • Will Graham: One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong.
  • This is the most dramatic delivery of a sesame street song ever.

    Next week we go to trial:

    Pour yourself a nice glass of wine and savor more Hannibal at Amazon Instant Video!

Comments 2
George Prax's picture

It's possible that the opening scene escape was one of the most jarring things I've ever seen on television... the way he was pulling his skin off, jesus... and then you think he's going to get away and just drops like a brick onto those rocks. How good this show is just doesn't make any sense to me anymore.

Syranda Raffoul's picture

It definitely was a noticeable ramp up of the gore this week. I have to admit that I spent most of the first few minutes watching behind my fingers Tongue