[Review] - Hannibal, Season 2 Episode 12, "Tome-wan"

Courtesy of Dino de Laurentiis Company

And now the trap begins to close, the line grows taunt with investigation, and the game for Hannibal approaches it's conclusion. Last year, the penultimate episode saw Hannibal turn to Abigail and fill what remained of her life with terror. Here, Will attempts to do the same. As the Verger story came to a temporary conclusion, Will and Jack ready their final salvo and Hannibal braces for what he thinks is coming next. 

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers the taste and consistency of chicken gizzard.


The showdown between Jack and Hannibal that opened the season is still on the horizon, but approaching ever more quickly. Hannibal's final thoughts here, that Jack has become a friend and that it would be wrong to deny him the truth he has sought for so long is a clear a glimpse into Hannibal's twisted logic as we've gotten yet. Jack and Hannibal did develop a true friendship, and in Hannibal's mind killing his friend after confessing makes Jack whole. Hannibal, with his world knowledge, his gourmet cooking, his sense of fashion, sees life as a set of experiences. You expose yourself to more and more truths until you are complete. His killing of the rude is more about eliminating people who have closed themselves off to new experiences, who have isolated their palettes and festered because of it.

His preoccupation with Will is part of this thinking, seeing Will as an unfulfilled killer, and transitioning him into a fully formed killer is Hannibal's obligation, to see Will become a complete person. Who he could then kill. Abigail had to die less because she was a danger to Hannibal (though that was part of it), but because she refused to embrace that side of herself, and become complete. Hannibal, and his willingness to accept death, as we saw in this episode again as Mason trussed him up for the pigs, comes from the fact that he knows that he is as complete as they come. The full package. The whole enchilada (which, if Hannibal made it, would be gorgeous).

This episode was about restoring power. Mason and Margot saw their power shift, while Jack and Will became a little more uncertain about their own footing in their Hannibal hunt. Gillian Anderson reappeared, and confided that Hannibal once "persuaded" her to kill her own patient, thus revealing himself to her and making her a target. Jack found her and assumed that she would be the linchpin to his case against Lecter. Instead, all she did was make Will all the more uncertain about the success of his game. Hannibal is too smart to get caught, she claims. If you think you're going to get him, it's because he wants you to think that. Where, then, does Will actually sit? Is he closer of further from his target than when he sat in a cage? Jack, for his part, seems only confident, but we've seen that Jack has blind spots before. What was interesting to me was that he claimed that Du Maurier made three witnesses to Lecter's actions. Will makes one, and I presume that Freddie makes two, but Freddie never actually witnessed Hannibal doing anything. She simply put together the evidence like the feds should have. Either Jack is miscounting his chickens, or he was referring to Chilton (yes, yes, I'll let it go now. Though I'm convinced he's still alive).

Mason made his move this week, and the thing that Mason never expected was to encounter a bigger monster than himself. He assumed he was top hog because he's been thus in his own private world for so long. Hannibal doesn't rut, and turned the tables on Mason completely. Before we go further, for the first time in two years, I am concerned that the series is pilfering material directly from the novels too soon. The impatience to get to the good stuff is making their lives harder down the line. Yes, the rule is if you want to do something, do it, because there is no guarantee that you'll have the chance again, and in that respect I admire Fuller from restraining himself as much as he does. Eight seasons is a tall order. But they're two in, and another on the way. chances are, they'll get to at least Red Dragon before they are fouled. But a lot of the pig farm stuff was taken directly from the novels, moving events forward a considerable amount. Fuller has said that he hopes that Mason and Margot will make up a large part of season three, and I worry that the temptation will be too great to avoid moving the entire novel's plot, of Mason hunting for Hannibal, into season three.

If season three is a man hunt for Lecter by the FBI, then adding in Mason's private obsession will make good narrative sense, but if they go that route, where does that leave the events of Hannibal the novel further down the line. A better question might be, in the light of season-by-season renewals, and for the sake of the narrative, should a so distant and entirely hypothetical season even be given consideration? If the intention is to tell the best story possible, does that not mean they have the right to use which ever source elements they want, in whatever order they want, to tell that story? They've already told Clarice's entire arc through Miriam. They've dealt with the incarcerated Hannibal through both Gideon and Will. And now it seems like the Verger storyline is on a conclusion path. Is the responsible thing, for the series, to shrug off the last vestiges of the novels, and fully embrace being their own thing, in their own time, using their own methods? Because honestly, the TV series is better than the books. And if what we ultimately get is three or four seasons of fantastic TV, that combines and melds different aspects of the books in an original way, that is a truer definition of "adaption" than what Fuller might envision with his "definitive adaption" of the books.And I'd welcome it.

As for Mason, he cut off his own face, and it was wonderful. Since they announced they were introducing the character, I wondered how they'd pull it off, and they didn't disappoint. His final condition is a lot more healthy than the one he was left in, in the books. He has his eye lids in tact, for instance. He can hide, propped up behind his half mask, and pretend that his world hasn't changed. But Margot is in charge now, and all of Mason's loyal toys are dead. How much Margot allows Mason to get away from here on out with will be an interesting development.
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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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