Hannibal S02E13 Review "Mizumono"

I don't know what to say, really. Last night was possibly my favourite episode of Hannibal to date. I didn't think it was possible to outdo the end of last season in terms of shock, adrenaline and emotional impact, but I am unbelievably thrilled that the cast, writers and crew have proven me wrong.

Mads Mikkelsen proved again this week that he is a phenomenal talent. I'm really not sure if Hannibal would have succeeded with anyone else in the title role. He gives Dr Lecter so many layers and makes him so human, that several times last night I couldn't help but empathize with him.

You almost get the feeling that while every other character is living in a horror show, Hannibal is living a romance. He's just a quirky psychiatrist, who loves to cook and eat people that has become isolated over the years because, while he's well liked, no one knows the real him. Then one day, enter Will Graham, another equally quirky outsider with a unique cocktail of neuroses and a unique view of the world that might allow him to understand Hannibal better than anyone ever has. On his way to learning about true friendship, many obstacles and hilarious misunderstandings arise like having his new friend framed for murder and arrested, making him believe he killed his pseudo daughter, and feeding the face of his patient to his dogs.

Hannibal thought that this was going to be the end of his movie, where he gets the guy and disappears into the sunset with him and Abigail, living happily ever after. This murder family is not fated to be though; one sniff of Will is enough to shatter Hannibal's delusional little cannibal heart and expose Will's betrayal. Freddie Lounds is alive. The hurt, pitiful looks that Hannibal shoots at Will the rest of the episode are enough to let us forget for a moment who it is we're meant to be rooting for here.

One of my favourite scenes from last night was the "last supper" between Hannibal and Will, where in spite of Will's deception, Hannibal is still trying to salvage their relationship. He offers to leave with him now, without the final confrontation, leaving Jack and Alana in peace. "I don't require a sacrifice", he says, ever the merciful God. He would have been willing to forgive everything and start over with Will, but Will is too busy in the chase, so close to victory that he is blind to how he has been discovered.

How he embraced Will as he gutted him, in turn gutted me. I lost sight of the true victim for a moment and all I could feel was Hannibal's pain at losing his one friend. I was reminded again who I was dealing with a moment later as he slashed Abigail's throat for the simple reason that he knew it would punish Will (and perhaps because he didn't want her with him to serve as a reminder of Will).

Notes, Quotes and Best Moments:

  • Loved the FBI director stepping in to remind everyone that real government agencies cannot just sign off on body mutilations and high risk chess games with serial killers no matter how smart everyone involved thinks that they are.
  • Bella Crawford's scene in this episode at first seemed a little misplaced. It was that one thing that just didn't belong in an otherwise tightly organized episode. However, with some distance I realized how well it fit not only in that it introduced the concept of forgiveness, but in how it shows how well the writers have distorted our expectations. The only person we can be sure survived (aside from Hannibal and Bedelia) is the terminal cancer patient. We can't be certain of anything where this program is concerned, and even if you foresee one or two events, the larger context or consequences that will arise from it are always a surprise.
  • I loved how even though we had already seen the fight between Jack and Hannibal, they were able to deliver it again and make it feel brand new. I feel ridiculous and repetitive to keep going on about the artistry of every person involved in the show, but it can't be helped. They are all geniuses.
  • Alana finally came down on the right side of an issue and warned Will and Jack that they were going to be arrested. However, if she didn't do that all of them would probably have been alive at the end of the episode instead of lying in pools of their own blood, so there's that.
  • "Be blind, Alana. Don't be brave." - Hannibal
  • Abigail being alive isn't really something that I wasn't expecting, but the impact of how they revealed it was amazing.
  • Poor Abigail, to go through so much only to die at the hands of her second psycho dad. Girl can't catch a break.
  • I can't help but wonder if Will would have been tempted to accept Hannibal's offer and go away with him if he had known about Abigail. Even though he definitely wanted Hannibal caught, and for the violence to stop, I really do believe he had a genuine connection to him. Maybe removing the anger at him for killing his pseudo daughter would have been enough to tip him over the edge and into Hannibal's camp.
  • Hannibal walking into the rain and allowing it to wash away his old life was amazing. It very well could have been a horrible cliche, using inclement weather to show sadness and tragedy, but the beautiful cinematography and nuanced performances saved it.
  • That final surprise of Bedelia sitting on the plane with Hannibal was almost too much for my damaged psyche. I can't wait to see what her apparent involvement means next season.

I am so relieved that Hannibal was renewed for another season. If that had been the end of the series altogether I would've been destroyed. I'm going to be counting down the days until we can find out who survives, where a discerning gentleman cannibal goes when he's on the lamb, and how the FBI reacts to all this carnage. Bryan Fuller has also teased that next season, along with Hannibal being a fugitive, we get to see his origin story for this universe. Your mission for the summer: go out and preach the word of NBC's Hannibal and convert as many Fannibals as we can so that next year we can reward their brilliance with a boost in viewership! And if this gives us an excuse to rewatch the entire series with as many friends and family members as we can tie down, all the better. See you next season!