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Reason ...It's Hannibal?

Photo: Brooke Palmer / NBC

Dinner Party Or Donner Party?

After his ordeal last week, Hannibal decides to get back to feeling like himself by throwing an elegant dinner party! Jack wonders what's on the menu, or rather...who.

We may all have moments in our lives when we are forced to acknowledge that acting on our worst impulses has negative consequences. For Hannibal, that moment came when the guy he framed for a bunch of murders ordered his murder by this totally other murderer, and I mean, we've ALL been there. So naturally, as we rejoin Hannibal in the latest episode, he's in kind of a contemplative mood, and has come to a difficult conclusion: he has to cut ties with Will. No one can say that Hannibal hasn't been a patient friend, but there's a line!

Speaking of Will: considering that there's kind of zero doubt that he ordered Hannibal's murder, nothing much has changed for him? He still gets to chill in a cell next to Gideon, which allows for lots of slumber-party chatter between the two of them; he still gets to have visitors -- like Jack, with whom he shares his theory that Hannibal is (a) the Ripper and (b) eating a lot of the evidence (and further opines -- correctly -- that any time the two of them have been over to his place for dinner, they've probably eaten some too). Jack is like, you crazy, but then he gets a visit from Chilton in which Chilton shares that he overheard Gideon, in conversation with Will, offering up specific details about Hannibal's house that he couldn't know unless he'd been there; Chilton's also like, yeah, Hannibal probably eats people, and Jack's like, hmmm.

Hannibal's not so broken up about recent events that he can't take a little time for his important work. This time his victim is a Baltimore City Councilman who failed to support the preservation of an important songbird habitat. For his crime, he is soaked in water (while still alive) for a couple of days in order to make him a good medium to have a living tree planted in him; he also gets all his guts hollowed out and replaced by a selection of poisonous flowers.

Screens: NBC

Screens: NBC

Think about this dude's fate the next time you blow off a sidewalk petition-monger or chugger.

Actually, Hannibal's pretty busy in general. He decides that the best way for him to get over the trauma of almost getting killed is to throw a dinner party! While he's personally preparing all the stunning-looking snacks, he's (apparently) arranged for a couple of guards at the BSHCI to injure Gideon badly enough that he'll have to be moved to a regular hospital. While playing host at the party, he has to deal with Jack showing up and very rudely taking samples of all the hors d'oeuvres to take back to the lab. When everyone's left except Alana, an actually kind of sweet duet of "Chopsticks" on the harpsichord leads to FULL SEX. While she's post-coitally sleeping, Hannibal slips out, snatches up Gideon from the hospital, and kills the guard...quite picturesquely.

Screen: NBC

The guard is suspended with hand-tied fishing flies -- just like the ones Will used to make -- all of which feature bits of Ripper victims, which would seem to exonerate Will. But when Jack goes to Hannibal's to be like, hey, what were you doing last night? Alana's like, me. OHHHHHHHHHHH SHIT! But then, Hannibal brings Gideon out from wherever he was hiding him: he's not only amputated Gideon's left leg, but he serves it to Gideon. Who eats it.

Screens: NBC Hannibal

Anyway, back to the lab: one fly features recently peeled bark from a branch of a tree that only grows in one spot that falls within the fifty-mile radius of the water that was used to soak the councilman, and when Jack goes there (alone) to check it out, he finds, in a seemingly abandoned barn, a couple of wells in the ground. One still has water in it and is presumably where the councilman was kept. And the other?

Screen: NBC

It's Miriam Lass, Jack's long-ago presumed-dead protégée! HEY GURL!

So it's an action-packed episode, to say the least. But how Hannibalistic is it?

Hannibal-istic Element Present?
Food You Know Is Human Flesh That Still Looks Delish We open on Hannibal and Alana putting together some heart kabobs, which...pass? On the organ meats? And though Hannibal later puts together some exquisite-looking hors d'oeuvres for his dinner party -- prosciutto roses! -- lab analysis proves that they're made of choice, grade-A 100% not human animal flesh.
Décor/Attire Porn Hannibal doesn't look particularly great in this episode; when Alana comes by for a relaxed dinner (of the aforementioned grilled heart), we can tell he's still shaken from his near-death experience because he's in a buttondown that's not just unironed but untucked. However, Chilton rocks a plaid suit of gorgeous autumn colours that I would totally buy as a skirt if I didn't currently live in endless summertime.
Darkness Visible When Chilton comes to Jack's office to share his view that Will's cannibal theory of Lecter may not be totally off-base, the only evidence that he has a right cheek is one glittering eye.
Hannibal Dodges An Exposure Bullet And how! Sensing that Jack is on to him, he breaks from personal tradition and serves his dinner party guests conventional animal protein; he also covers his tracks after busting Gideon out of the hospital by using Alana as his sexiest of alibis.
Putting The "MM" Back In "Emmy" When Jack collects a to-go container of party snacks, his dyspeptic expression really convinced this viewer that he was nervous about what Jack might do with them. But, if asked about it later, he could always say his look of horror was because he couldn't believe Jack would be so gauche as to load up a plate in the middle of the party. And frankly, he has a point.
Pretty/Disgusting The flowers-in-gut situation above. It's a beautiful arrangement, but maybe not one you'd like to put out in your foyer. Or maybe you would, I don't know your life.
Hopkins-verse Alert! As in the movie Hannibal, a dinner guest is served a dish of his own meat; Jack finds a girl who's been abducted and kept in a well; Hannibal mentions a census taker.
Matrix Fight Scene A couple of the guards at the BSHCI rough up Gideon and throw him down some stairs, but it's pretty much just regular slo-mo.
Will's A Genius He knows why the Ripper kills victims so close together: otherwise, their meat will spoil.
Antlers O' Symbolism Much like the branches growing through the councilman, Will sprouts antlers that grow clean through the top of his cage.
"That's A Class Twee Felony" As Hannibal works on his harpsichord piece, the notes on his sheet music turn into flower buds as we segue to the morgue.
9 / 11
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