Hannibal S02E12 Review: "Tome Wan"

With such an abundance of horror on television and film, sometimes I wonder if I've become desensitized. A lot of the true horror is deadened by overexposure, and more often than not I find myself chuckling through grizzly scenes, or else distracted by the over the top effects. Last night was the exception. I had a moment of pure terror. It was disturbing and crawled right under my skin, creating monsters in the dark for hours afterwards. On the one hand, it's exactly the trip I was looking for. On the other, I can't help but wonder if it was too much.

Hannibal is none too pleased at Will for putting him in the hot seat with Mason Verger. He's far too use to being the one who manipulates and manufactures violent confrontations. He doesn't appreciate being made to swallow his own medicine here at all. At the same time, he still seems begrudgingly proud of Will for getting one over on him.

Hannibal bringing Mason Verger over to Will's house and having him feed his face to Will's dogs, though, is almost certainly the equivelent of spanking a naughty child. He is showing Will that his behaviour, while admirable, will not go unpunished. He is taking the last thing of purity and safety in Will's life (his bond with his dogs) and tainting it with a bloody nightmare that will not be easily forgotten.

This is the second time we've seen Hannibal truly vulnerable. It was strikingly similar to when Will had Matthew try and crucify him, the difference here being that while Will tried to have him killed last time, this time he saved him. Some may see that as a sign that Hannibal is getting to him, but I see it as Will making a choice. He isn't going to drown in his darkness, and he's not going to let Hannibal turn him into a killer. He's going to catch Hannibal the right way.

Bedelia's big return this week was something that I was looking forward to, but I find myself dissapointed by. I really thought that after her dramatic exit, she would return holding the smoking gun that would get Hannibal put away. I thought that she had witnessed Hannibal murdering her patient, or at least that he was there to cover it up, but as usual Hannibal is left spotless by her testimony. Little more than smoke and rumours. She did, however, serve as our weekly reminder that nothing with Hannibal is ever what it seems. Just when we think that he's backed up into a corner, we see those that pursue him fall into a trap. Jack better take her warning, lest he discover that in his eternal chase with Hannibal, he is in fact the prey.

Some thoughts:

  • Let's give it up to Hannibal - I didn't think his dinner table "I'm a cannibal" jokes could get any more obvious. I have been proven wrong.
  • Surprising that we didn't see Alana this week. This season she's functioned as an anchor for reason and reality for the audience, being the only one of sound mind among the lot.
  • Now that we know for sure exactly how much of Will's activities are officially recognized, a lot more of the show makes sense
  • Mason's therapy session was so ridiculously intense. I couldn't handle the look on Hannibal's face when Mason was stabbing his chair. That was the moment where he decided "being made into food is too good for you. I'm going to make you eat your own face."
  • While I could barely watch what happened to Mason, I have to admit that it was brilliantly done. The sequence was compelling and striking and the most terrifying thing that I've seen on television. It also couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
  • I'm glad that Margot gets to extract her revenge slowly now, in the comfort of her estate. Death is too good for some people
  • Winston waiting outside for Will while the other dogs gorged themselves on Mason's face made me laugh when I thought back to it. He was standing there like "You would not believe the crazy shit that is going on in your house right now. Do something"
  • Yet again so glad that Bryan Fuller promised not to kill the dogs. That would've been my breaking point. Though now that they've "expanded their pallets" so, Will might have to watch his back.
  • If you're not already following Bryan Fuller on twitter, you should. Though if he made one more #faceoff joke last night I probably would've lost my mind.
  • Don't forget to tweet #Hannibal while watching the show. Let's give the season finale the numbers boost it deserves

Quotes of the Night:
Hannibal: "Whenever feasible, one should always try and eat the rude"