In the thirteenth and final episode of the second season of Hannibal, we have been given a world of nope, and I have not figured out how to deal with it. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Hannibal.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of gore, lots of blood, abuse/manipulation, and the death of an animal.
- It’s now been two full days since I watched “Mizumono,” and it’s been haunting me. Part of that is, of course, due to the haunting imagery of the final scene, which is easily the most destructive, violent, and disturbing thing this show could ever do. AND IT DID IT. WITH NO HESITATION.
- Before I even remotely get close to discussing the terror of Hannibal, let’s address the many things here that made “Mizumono” so memerable aside from NOPE.
- The music. The sound design. There’s simply nothing better here, and the people responsible for this better win an Emmy. It’s dastardly brilliant to place a ticking clock prominently into an episode that involves the entire cast waiting to see if they can successfully entrap Hannibal Lecter. But it exists for so many reasons aside from the terror it induces in us. It fits perfectly with the chaotic and ambient sounds the ring forth during the numerous scenes throughout the episode. Percussive sound has been used countless times before to build suspense, but I’ve never seen it integrated like this. And it’s unsettling because we never quite know if we’re listening to a soundtrack or scoring or if we’re meant to believe that some of these characters are hearing that ticking, either in clocks in the scenes or in their heartbeats. It blurs the line between the two.
- And really, “Mizumono” does touch on the concept of blurring lines with its cold open. Jack and Hannibal both implore Will to be loyal to them, and it’s hauntingly filmed so that it looks like Will never leaves his chair, never travels to Jack’s office or Hannibal’s office, and it’s a deliberate parallel that also casts doubt in our mind. Is the trap set for Hannibal, or does Will have some terrible trap set for Jack Crawford?
- I think one of the many things I’ll be looking forward to next season is the first conversation Will has with Freddie Lounds. There’s a hint of something more in this episode, since now Freddie has to admit that Will was right about the Chesapeake Ripper. But how is that going to play out after all this? There’s not going to be any doubt left.
- I thought that perhaps Hannibal suspected Will was up to something, but I shook it off until he smelled Freddie Lounds on Will. I didn’t want it to be over, but you know what? That was it. That was the moment that Hannibal deliberately plotted to reverse this entire trap on everyone. (Though I don’t think he ever factored in Alana Bloom; he improvised with her, and I’ll get there, I promise, and I CAN’T DEAL WITH THIS.)
- Can we also establish that once again, Alana told Will not to do the thing, and Will went and did the thing? WHEN ARE THE PEOPLE IN THIS SHOW GOING TO LISTEN TO ALANA BLOOM?
- I am so overwhelmed by the imagery and subtext of Will and Hannibal’s last supper. From the choice of the food – that “carcass” of bones was so unsettling – to the discussion of loyalty, everything about that scene was so important in understanding the ending. This was an endgame of sorts for Hannibal, so he wanted to make sure that he truly was losing Will’s trust and respect. I suspect he knew that Will had planned something when Will was so adamant that Jack be “shown” the truth about the Chesapeake River.
- Well, Jack learned the truth.
- I’M STILL UPSET ABOUT IT.
- So, I admit I really was confused about the opening of “Naka-Choko,” so I’m going to assume that Prurnell’s conversation with Jack is confirmation that Will did indeed assemble that tableau of Randall Tier. Which actually makes more sense? He had to make it seem like he’d done all of this for Hannibal. It’s good, then, that the show addresses the legal absurdity of this bit of entrapment. We needed this because the truth is that Jack and Will operated out of desperation in the second half of this season. That desperation is what led Jack to show up at Hannibal’s regardless of suspension from the FBI.
- What follows this is a terrifying parallel to the ending of “Apéritif.” Will warns Hannibal that “They know,” mirroring what Hannibal did with Garrett Jacob Hobbs, and I’d even argue that the intention is the same. Will was trying a last-ditch-effort to win Hannibal’s trust again, perhaps just enough so that he’d fall into the trap he set. But I also don’t think it’s that simple, either.
- I’ll touch on that more at the very end, since it involves a very specific image we don’t see until after the fight.
- The fight
- THE FIGHT
- Speeding it up to real-time? A million times more terrifying.
- NOTHING IS OKAY
- And then Alana shows up.
- NO OH MY GOD.
- I mean, what the fuck can you say about this? If we want to talk about what Hannibal lets loose here, I think we’ll have to acknowledge that Bedelia Du Maurier predicted this. She told Jack Crawford that Hannibal will let others believe he is being manipulated in order to maintain his own control of events. And isn’t that what happens here? When Alana arrives and she bolts upstairs, I imagine his plans changed. I bet if Alana never showed up, we would have seen Abigail and Hannibal on the plane. (Maybe. Maybe. That theory might prove to be garbage once season three starts.) But she’s a threat, so Hannibal goes to retrieve his big secret: Abigail Hobbs is still alive, and he gave her another “life” under his control. I cannot even imagine the levels of manipulation she’s been subjected to. When she shows up and shoves Alana out that window (!!!!!!), she looks terrified and confused, as if she knows she shouldn’t do this, but she’s terrified of disobeying Hannibal. I mean, what else could she have known but Hannibal’s world at that point?
- So while Jack is dying and Alana is dying, Will arrives to find his surrogate daughter isn’t dead. And everything that unfolds is about Hannibal enacting a betrayal that matches the betrayal he feels. While I felt absolutely nothing approaching empathy or sympathy for Hannibal, I understood that we were seeing the first instance of him being heartbroken. He was destroyed by Will’s lack of loyalty, so he guts Will – as Hannibal has been gutted – and then slices Abigail’s throat. Again, the mirror to “Apéritif” is intentional here. Will gained a “daughter” in that episode, and now, Hannibal takes her away from Will. (Possibly. There’s no onscreen confirmation that anyone here is dead, but lord, how will anyone survive this???)
- I thought it was meaningful, then, that as Will bleeds out onto Hannibal’s floor, he sees the stag bleeding and dying in front of him. If that creature has represented the darker element of Will’s nature, then we’ve spent two seasons watching Hannibal develop that within Will. So I thought I saw relief on Will’s face as he watched the stag die because… well, it’s almost like Hannibal’s attack on Will was an act of cleansing, a definitive way to remove that cancer within him.
- I have no idea how this show is going to resolve any of this. DID HANNIBAL JUST KILL OFF ITS ENTIRE MAIN CAST?
- HOW THE FUCK IS BEDELIA DU MAURIER ON THAT PLANE????
- WHAT THE HELL
- I mean, there are obvious visual and story references to Red Dragon in what happens to Will, and Hannibal’s escape reminded me of the end of The Silence of the Lambs AND the book ending of Hannibal.
- So what happens next in terms of canon versus Fuller’s canon? If Hannibal is on the run and headed to France, how will the show deal with the characters being in two locations?
- THAT’S THE BIGGEST QUESTION
- HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO US?
The video for “Mizumono,” as well as all of season two, can be purchased here.
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