Mark Watches ‘Hannibal’: S01E13 – Savoureux

In the thirteenth and final episode of the first season of Hannibal, I will be upset about this until the day I expire. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Hannibal. 

Trigger Warning: For talk of abuse/gaslighting

I admit that part of the reason it was so hard to watch this (and why I was so vocal throughout) was that I have a vested interest in someone – anyone – believing Will. That vested interest is due to being the victim of gaslighting myself. It is easily one of the worst things to feel in the universe because I absolutely felt like my grip on my own sanity was slipping away from me. Two different people in two different contexts were responsible for this, and both times, it was over a lengthy period of time. It took years to re-contextualize what I experienced because I so completely believed the abuser’s version of events. Having to challenge your own memory? That’s a difficult painful process, and now I’m watching Will Graham go through it onscreen, and it’s horrifying.

It’s horrifying because we know the truth as the viewer, and that means we are also watching how well Hannibal has been able to gaslight or manipulate every single person in this show. And yet, as grim and dark as this show is, I feel like the end of “Savoureux” presents us with a (slight) sense of hope: Will Graham knows. He knows, and now I get the elk motif. Or.. at least I think I do.


  • I need you to note two things that I’ve said in past reviews because this isn’t worth it if I don’t make fun of myself. First of all, in the previous review, I actually said that perhaps Abigail wasn’t dead because we didn’t see a body. I suppose that could still be true, but the way this episode confirms her death is just… jesus fucking christ. WILL THROWS UP HER EAR.
  • SECONDLY: In my review for “Rôti,” I actually demanded that “someone figure this shit out,” and THIS ISN’T WHAT I MEANT BY THIS. IT’S REALLY NOT. PLEASE TAKE THIS BACK
  • Seriously, aside from being scary and unnerving, “Savoureux” is also incredibly emotionally destructive from beginning to end. The thing that struck me the hardest? Watching the entire BAU have to investigate Will. The way Brian and Jimmy wouldn’t even look Will in the eye. Alana’s tearful “SHUT UP” to Jack.
  • She really is the one character who would openly talk about the awkwardness of the situation directly to Will; she’s always been brash in that sense. But she knows that Will once came to her to help him get a grip on reality. Did she fail him, too? Is her disappointment partially in herself for not helping him find stability?
  • I really hope season two develops Beverly more because she’s criminally underused as a character.
  • I’m glad, though, that the show didn’t ignore that Alana told Jack AT THE VERY BEGINNING that Will needed to be kept away from the horrors of this job. I do place the vast majority of blame for what’s happened here on Hannibal Lecter because he is responsible for Will Graham, more so than anyone else. But the show has also done a good job of pointing out Jack’s complicity in Will’s descent. Bless you, Alana Bloom, and I am looking primarily to you to eventually believe Will because SOMEONE HAS TO BELIEVE WILL GRAHAM.
  • Well, my tune has changed immensely since the beginning of the show. First, it was SEND WILL GRAHAM ON A VACATION and now it’s SOMEONE BELIEVE WILL GRAHAM.
  • oh wait
  • wait a second
  • I just realized that him being in custody is kind of like a terrible, nightmarish vacation away from his job.
  • Excuse me while I go bury myself.
  • No, I take that back. There are so many more horrible moments of despair left in this episode, like Alana’s scene in the interrogation room with Will. As soon as she said she’d look after the dogs, I was ready to collapse into my own sadness. I CARE A LOT ABOUT WILL’S DOGS, OKAY. But I also care a lot about these two characters, so it tears me up even more to think about how Hannibal has ruined them both, at least for the time being. That line of Alana’s where she says she’s “deeply wounded” was delivered with so much raw energy, y’all. Petition: Caroline Dhavernas is not allowed to cry on camera.
  • In hindsight, despite that I spent most of “Savoureux” wishing desperately that someone would unravel a clue to prove Will’s innocence, I realize that this wasn’t possible, at least not now. Hannibal’s manipulation of the people around him has such deep penetrating roots that it’ll take a whole lot more to pull his influence out of these people’s lives. I mean, look at what it took for Will to finally realize what was going on! If Will had to suffer multiple psychotic breaks in order to unravel the gaslighting and lies, I don’t think it’s realistic to assume that Jack or Alana will quickly join Will’s side.
  • I mean, take Hannibal’s scene with Dr. Du Maurier after Abigail’s murder, which he committed. LOOK AT HOW COMMITTED HE IS TO THIS ACT. I know it might seem unnecessary at this point, but sweet lord, Mads Mikkelsen is so incredible on this show and I NEED TO STATE THIS LOUDLY. LOOK AT WHAT HE PULLS OFF HERE. He has to put on a convincing show for his therapist, to make it look like he’s genuinely mourning the loss of Abigail and failing both Abigail and Will, WHEN EVERYTHING – LITERALLY EVERYTHING – IS HIS FAULT.
  • It’s strangely fascinating to me to think of how Hannibal may have actually wanted Will as a friend, but his desire to toy with Will’s psyche overpowered that. I think that’ll be something that the second season should address, since Will and Hannibal aren’t going to be interacting nearly as much as they did in this season. (In theory, of course. Oh god, I’m already so unprepared.) It’s during Will’s interrogation by Jack that he first posits another theory no one is going to believe: that he was framed for murder. It’s an important scene because I think that somehow, it’ll be the eventual downfall of Hannibal. I think Hannibal is underestimating Will. In a lot of ways, Will is a passive victim of what Hannibal does to him because he’s unaware of it. But haven’t we already spent a season that shows us how dedicated Will can be? But I think it’s more than just that. Will’s knowledge of the truth is liberating for him. It solves his identity crisis. It gives him stability. He knows his descent is due to someone else. Hannibal has spent a season gaslighting will, and Will just found the means by which to undo it all.
  • Of course, there’s a lot that happens before this. Hannibal continues to fuck with Alana and Jack by faking Will’s clock drawing, suggesting that Will is the one actively manipulating them, and the willful distortion of reality and projection going on here is just too unreal for words. HANNIBAL IS SO GOOD AT THIS AND IT’S FRIGHTENING.
  • But he can’t manipulate Will anymore, can he? I’ve spent this season being generally bewildered by the presence of the feathered elk. It was always such a surreal manifestation, one that either seemed to be mocking Will or pushing him on. Now, I don’t know if there’s any sort of official explanation for it, but the intentional physical change in it – from an elk into a human wearing antlers – seemed like the biggest clue yet. I think that Will’s mind has been trying to tell him who the killer was the entire time. It’s not lost on me that the motif of the antlers is from the very first murder, and it’s that first case that haunts Will throughout season one. The violence in the way that those girls were killed is part of they way the deer manifests, too particularly when Will sees Georgia again and she is impaled on the antlers in a hallucination.
  • The thing is, Will’s mind makes extraordinary leaps, but only when he’s able to process all of the evidence. I think Will’s mind is stronger than Hannibal expected it to be, and I think it was nudging him toward all the clues he already had. It’s only after he watches Georgia get impaled on the antlers that he realizes she’s connected to the copycat killer; the deer has also appeared numerous times in visions or hallucinations that compelled Will to end up in the right place at the right time. (Or the wrong place, depending on how you look at it.)
  • By the end of this episode, as Will is acting out the murder of Abigail, he’s realizing the clue he was missing – the one he needed so that his mind could synchronize with that of the killer – was standing next to him the whole time. It’s why the deer stops being a deer, becomes a man, and merges with the actual Hannibal Lecter.
  • It’s fitting, then, that this all comes full circle. Hannibal manipulates Will right back to where this all started, right where Garrett Jacob Hobbs urged Will to “see.” And now Will sees the truth AND IS PROMPTLY SHOT BY JACK AND THE WHOLE THING MIRRORS THE VERY FIRST EPISODE AND I CAN’T TAKE THE SYMBOLISM.
  • Neither can I get over how Hannibal brings Bedelia into his current world by FEEDING HER ABIGAIL. THAT’S ABIGAIL, RIGHT? OH MY GOD, THE WHOLE VEAL CONVERSATION HAS TO BE A REFERENCE TO ABIGAIL I’M CRYING.
  • But Bedelia knows, doesn’t she? I keep saying this because Bedelia is way too clever to not suspect something horrible is going on. LOOK HOW SHE LOOKS AT HANNIBAL DURING DINNER WHILE SHE POINTS OUT HIS PATTERN.
  • Let’s be real, though. It might be the final image of “Savoureux” that provides the most haunting aspect of the whole season. David Slade intentionally references the iconic scene where Clarice first meets Dr. Lecter, but Hannibal frighteningly reverses the dynamic. It’s Dr. Lecter who visits the “killer” on the other side of the bars. Will’s costume, his make-up, the way he looks upon Dr. Lecter with hatred… jesus, he looks like Anthony Hopkins did decades earlier.
  • I think Hannibal believes that he’s won, that he’s finally neutralized Will, that he’s finally discovered what would happen when he wound Will up, but I disagree. I think we are going to see Will take control. It’s not going to be easy, obviously, and with all the evidence stacked against him, someone is going to have to take a risk to find the truth. But I don’t think Will shall remain in the hospital for all of season two. As for what gets him out? I have no clue, but I’m putting my money on Alana Bloom.

Anyway, I’m jumping way ahead of myself. As I said in my first Hannibal review, I have no idea when I’ll get to season two. I imagine it’ll be after it has already aired at the very least, but I promise to let y’all know when it’s coming this time around. Even though I’m writing this review the day before I debut all these reviews, I’m very happy that I got to experience this the way I did and that I got to share it all with you. Thanks!

The video for “Savoureux” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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