I missed a week last week, as I was doing a lot of travelling (far more than usual), so there are two Hannibal reviews this week.
This is another one of those episodes where everything seems to happen at once because there are too few episodes to get the show where it wants to go. This is a common frustration of mine across US TV series: too few episodes to allow for a real arc. I much prefer the typical European structure, as with shows like The Killing (although I concede that shows like Spiral had a shorter run).
Anyhow. Hannibal’s scheming has finally worked, and Will is out and free to pursue his own lines of inquiry with gusto. The reconfiguration of social relationships across the cast finally solidifies here. Alana and Will’s standoff is tense when he realises that her relationship with Hannibal has taken a romantic turn; meanwhile, Will is Chilton’s advisor and person to lean on in his frantic efforts to stay off Hannibal’s dinner table. If we compare and contrast the interactions in this episode to those a series ago when Chilton was first introduced (S1E6, Entree, my review here), the man is just as obnoxious, but Will has been transformed; Chilton’s transgressions against him are so much smaller than Hannibal’s — and perhaps also Alana’s betrayal — that he is able to be almost paternal when Chilton arrives bloodied and ready to flee the country after Hannibal has staged a Chesapeake Ripper massacre in Chilton’s home.
This episode sees Abel Giddeon, and therefore Eddie Izzard, essentially out for the count; barring any flashbacks/hallucinations, he won’t be gracing our screens again. I’m rather attached to Izzard, so it’s a shame, but the show doesn’t have space to pad out this foreshadowing character and plot when things are moving so quickly towards the end of S2.
The episode might also see the back of Chilton (although it would be a real shame to have Raul Esparza go). Whilst being interrogated by Alana (why? Let’s suspend disbelief…), Miriam Lass shoots him through the one-way mirror after breaking down, believing him to be the Chesapeake Ripper. The set-up mirrors one earlier in the episode when Jack tests whether Miriam will identify Hannibal as her attacker, although as Will warns Jack, her memories are not to be trusted. The suggestion is that Hannibal has programmed her memories using light ‘therapy’, as he did to Will. What I like most about this episode and Miriam’s flashbacks to that unorthodox ‘therapy’ is that the voices she hears — the potential candidates for Chesapeake Ripper — include (I’m pretty sure) Jack Crawford’s! That would have been a very nice twist.
In any event, I suspect that Chilton will be back. Although the show is taking Harris as inspiration, rather than as a template, the character is such a large part of the Harris books — and the actor such a favourite of Fuller’s — that I would expect to see him make a return, either at the end of the series or in the next.