[Review] - Hannibal, Season 2 Episode 10, "Naka-Choko"

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television
Well... even for Hannibal, that was weird. That was twisted and dark, and unexpected. And now we all know what it would be like to be intimate with Hannibal Lecter, which raises some very interesting questions for Alana. Because intimacy with Hannibal is quite, forceful, dark and empty. The show hasn't really taken time to examine Hannibal and Alana's relationship beyond the physical, and beyond the obviousness that it was her need to move aggressively away from Will. What Hannibal gets from life is obvious, he's in it for the experience and the control he derives from his manipulations. But what does she get out of their pairing?

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that are in a fine place for the obnoxious and wealthy.

We finally met Mason Verger, and he did not disappoint. His obsession with pigs was moved forward from the book's timeline, but it fit perfectly in the way they've presented the character so far. Like Hannibal, Verger is all about control. While Hannibal is content pushing people's buttons and letting them destroy themselves, Verger gets his hands dirty. He forces evolution. He creates his own environment, and destroys it, like a child playing with toys. His two scenes, one with Margot, which was just tragic and beautiful (Katharine Isabelle was just perfect), and another with Hannibal, were fantastic. The show loves showing us that various ways killers live their lives. Hannibal has always been shown to be the King of killer mountain, with his life in the highest state of harmony. Verger is only a rung below him, but unlike Hannibal who cloaks himself in secrets, Verger is all but out. He's unhinged, and obviously so, and seems to delight in his madness. There is no veil between Verger's nature and his presence. And that seemed to offend Hannibal, whose secrets preserve his freedom while also conforming to a sense of decorum and manners.

Further down killer mountain, we have Margot and Will, who appears to have scaled the mountainside by episode's end. But the thing that separates Will and Hannibal still, the wall that Hannibal feels the need to break down, is their intent. Will feels completely about things, and his murderous instincts tend to focus on particular victims. Margot too, she wants to kill, even needs to kill. But only kill Mason. She has no desire to kill without direction. Will wishes death on those that deserve it, but only to those that deserve it. Hannibal wants to help him move to the next level, to kill because it feels good, not because it is a just response. And he's needling him in that direction, hoping that he'll make the move himself. He sent the man-bear after him, to spur him to action, but Will has shot killers before. And it was self defense. That isn't new territory. Hannibal needs him to take action on his own, and by episode's end it appears that he has. What remains to be seen is how much of his guard Hannibal has let down, and how much he is aware that Will is playing his own game against him.

Hannibal fully revealing himself to Will is a huge event, but it'll be overshadowed by that bizarre sex scene, which featured a psychological three-way, on top of Will sleeping with a lesbian, while hallucinating the Wendigo. As twisted as the scene was, it was mostly in Will's mind, and yes it shows how fractured his mind remains after having Hannibal playing around in there. But Hannibal finally dropping at pretext, and showing his true self to Will is a character defining event. Usually, when someone learns of what Hannibal really is, they end up on display shortly afterwards. Hannibal hasn't shown to be interested in maintaining a protege, more like a cock fighter grooming the toughest chicken. Will is his prize fighter, right up until he looses a fight. I'm interested in known how aware Hannibal is of Will doing the same to Hannibal in return. I'd like to think that his apparent killing of Freddie was transparent to viewers, that Will's descent into darkness was a little too clean, a little too fast. The writers certainly did a good job setting up the scenario to make Freddie's death seem both reasonable and surprising, and the meal at the end of the episode leaves some questions to be answered.

But like Chilton before her, I don't think Freddie is dead, and not just because of her future involvement in the novel's story lines (though she is less so than Chilton). I just think that Will is smarter than that. And he needs to be, to beat Hannibal. It's entirely possible that they were eating people in that final meal, but I doubt it was Freddie. He clearly had some human in the freezer, and is in a desperate enough place psychologically that he'd be willing to eat a difficult meal if it meant baiting the trap (and that this point, he's probably come to terms with the idea that he's eaten several people over his many meals with Hannibal, and one more won't hurt). It was a surprisingly Jack-lite episode, but that goes towards how deep Will has taken his game, the level of commitment he has given to taking Hannibal down. If Jack is part of the equation, he risks becoming an expendable variable. If Will keeps things simple, between himself and his prey, then no one need be needlessly hurt. And thus far, those that have come between him and Hannibal have either been expendable or can be quietly pushed aside. Until, as I mentioned above, that person is Alana, which is a conversation I expect is nearer to happening than it is far.
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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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