[Review] - Hannibal, Season 2 Episodes 2 and 3, "Sakizuki" and "Hassun"

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television
As Will continues to question the reality of his predicament, the show draws a tighter line towards explaining why Hannibal will eventually get caught after years of being so careful: he cares for Will. Yes, he's arrogant, and more than a little prideful and theatrical in his work (which has only gotten worse since he's become involved in the FBI's manhunt for himself), but it's his devotion for Will - not love, and not friendship in any human way, more akin to an owner and a pet - that will see his facade unravel. He's exposing too much of himself, both physically and psychologically. And because even Will's eyes have begun to shift off of him, he still believes that he will get away with his crimes.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that discard the feet first.

While the season opened with Will in full aggression, content only to see Hannibal revealed for the monster that he is, these two episodes saw him shift into a defensive position. With the weight of the evidence for Hannibal's innocence enough to seed doubt in even Will's mind, he is forced to confront his predicament and it's nearly crippling. He knows that he didn't kill Abigail, but he was certain that Hannibal had. removing Hannibal from the equation opens up enough doubt in his own mind to make his guilt possible. While episode two was better paired with the premiere episode in terms of story and arc, episodes two and three were both about Will confronting himself. He is damaged goods, no matter his guilt or innocence.

As Chilton points out, he is a visage full of contradictions. He has created a persona that hides his own damaged self. While Chilton's diagnosis was pin perfect for Hannibal, he wasn't too far off the mark for Will either. The difference being, Will isn't hiding a psychopath under his persona, he's hiding a battered potential for one to exist. That he knows this is what unsettles him. He might not have killed Abigail, but encephalitis or not, he could have. These two episodes also saw him receive a bit of hope, not for his overall state of mind, but for his immediate predicament. Du Maurier gives him the only bit of reassurance he's received from anyone, before she runs off, terrified that she'll end up on Hannibal's menu sooner rather than later (in doing so, she proved yet again to be as smart as Hannibal). I'm hopeful she'll reappear once Hannibal is in custody. Will also receives a vote of confidence from Alana, in the form of a personal affirmation once it's obvious during his trial that someone is interested in seeing Will set free. She's favoured excusing his behaviour to this point, but that she's willing to bring up their shared feelings for each other suggests she's beginning to see things his way.

The sending of an ear, the killing of the judge and the blatant over kill of the bailiff is certainly enough to cause everyone else to begin to doubt their assumptions, Jack especially. Hannibal is treading a fine line, doing just enough to provide reasonable doubt for Will, while changing his tactics just enough to make it look like the work of a different killer. Hannibal's orchestration of Will's indictment is the next step in his ultimate plan: to see the level to which he can manipulate others. He made everyone believe that Will is a monster, and was able to slip into his place. However, along the way he discovered the very alien concept of having developed feelings for Will. He continuously asserts that he is Will's friend (delivered most recently in the form of a great Star Trek reference), and it's a question of whether he actually believes that, or if he's trying to convince himself that it's true despite everything he's done. Either way, getting Will off is an extension of his desire to prove how much better he is than everyone else.

Meanwhile, Jack is falling apart. At home, his wife is beaten eaten alive by a monster he can't see, can't stop and will take from him the only thing he's ever loved. At work, his emotional stability and professional integrity are being eaten alive by a monster he can't see right in front of him, and are undermining him at every turn. Jack has proven, over the course of the series, to be pretty terrible at his job. He lets his agents operate with relative autonomy and regularly circumvents protocol in favour of results (he let both Miriam and Beverly work outside of his protection to gain an advantage). He freely admits that he forced Will to operate beyond capacity for the sake of catching killers. Prurnell is right to be looking at Jack's failings, as they have resulted in the murder and mental incapacitation of his agents. But morally, he has believed that the ends justifies the means. He's the antithesis of Hannibal in that way.

Hannibal operates without morality, a cold hearted examiner poking at bugs under the microscope, seeing how they'll react. Jack makes bad decisions, hoping that the lives that will be saved will counter the lives destroyed. Only now, the weight of that destruction is being forced on his shoulders, while cancer sweeps the leg. Hannibal has never been as aggressive in his manipulations with Jack (or anyone else, for that matter) than he has been with Will, but this season he's begin to play with his new toy. Will was compromised when Hannibal started in on him, perhaps that's why Hannibal chose him to begin with. Jack is now equally compromised, but is quicker to rebound. Part of me wonders if the events leading to Jack and Hannibal's confrontation won't have to do with Hannibal playing in heads he's not quite prepared for. And if Jack gets out of that wine closet intact, knowing Hannibal for what he truly is won't help his self confidence any.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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