Writer Scott Nimerfro has been around a while, but his work on Hannibal should definitely put him on everyone’s radar. With his Hannibal debut, last season’s “Coquilles,” he demonstrated a wonderful grasp of the macabre beauty that sets this show apart, despite his angel maker having the dubious ability to “see” evil people and then to miraculously hang himself from the rafters. His further contributions for that season, “Roti” which saw the return and demise of Dr. Abel Gideon, and the season finale, “Savoureux,” both of which were co-written with Steve Lightfoot and Bryan Fuller, showed firmer hands on all aspects of the Hannibal style and an escalating ability to shock and horrify while maintaining a disturbing emotional core. This past week’s “Takiawase” maintains that trend while also giving us another insight into Dr. Gideon’s final night. But first, a guest-star! The always hypnotic Amanda Plummer provides a healthy helping of crazy as acupuncturist, Katy Pimms, who lobotomizes patients in order to ease their suffering. For reasons unexplained (although a cut scene where Jack (Laurence Fishburne) discovers her greenhouse filled with lobotomized victims may have shed some light on her methods) one of her ex-patients is discovered in a field missing his eyes and part of his brain. In their place, and encompassing most of his corpse, is a massive beehive. The reveal scene is beautifully crafted in vivid yellows, oranges, and greens, as the team examines the body and Jimmy (Scott Thompson) shares some bee trivia that will haunt my nightmares for years to come. The light playing through the honeycomb is breathtaking, and there’s just something delightfully morbid and peaceful about the way the corpse is draped in a low-growing tree. He almost seemed to be an organic part of the natural landscape. That same tranquility is also evident in Plummer’s portrayal of Pimms. She’s totally at peace with her actions, so much so in fact, that when Jack and the FBI show up on her doorstep, she’s completely unperturbed, even going so far as to ask them with an otherworldly innocence whether or not they had tried the honey. It’s actually fairly chilling and echoes themes that are also explored in this episode’s interactions between Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) and Bella Crawford (Gina Torres). In a scene loaded with both symbolism (Bella brings Hannibal an antique coin as a gift – paying the ferryman, if you will) and tension (she’s also overdosed on morphine in an attempt to die with dignity) and both actors bring an intense realism to what could be Bella’s final moments. As her head nods and she slips away, our focus shifts to Hannibal and Mikkelsen’s performance is equal parts concerned friend, alien scientist, and hungry snake. We can’t really tell what calculations are going on in his mind, but after a moment or two of internal deliberation, he flips the coin, and then casually goes to his cabinet to retrieve a syringe of naloxone which he injects into her neck, saving her life. Whether this is to further ingratiate himself with Jack or if it’s just another way he can feel god-like power over others, we may never know. It’s probably a combination of both. Regardless, it’s an impressive scene showcasing two actors at the peak of their powers. And speaking of which… Over in the ongoing struggle of Will, I am constantly amazed by how much Hugh Dancy puts into every single scene. Every interaction is working on multiple levels and it seems as though every thought or emotion he has plays itself out physically before, during, and after he experiences it. But this week, he begins to achieve some clarity and starts to open up cracks in Hannibal’s armor. But while both Chilton (Raúl Esparza) and Beverly (Hettienne Park) discover that Will’s mistrust of Hannibal may be justified, only one of them will survive the revelation. With Chilton, Will is able to play on his vanity, promising exclusive interviews and therapy sessions as a way of psychic driving him to use a drug treatment that allows Will to recover more of his lost memories: this time from the night when he killed Dr. Gideon. In the process he realizes that his fever and hallucinations weren’t just from the Encephalitis, but from Hannibal’s manipulation of him with experimental drug and strobe light therapies. This allows for the show to begin slipping moments into what we thought we knew, allowing for a subtle rewriting of Season One as we go along. One of the things that was clear in the first season was that we weren’t going to really see Hannibal doing anything out of the ordinary until it absolutely couldn’t be helped. Instead we saw Will re-enacting murder after murder, undercutting our sympathies on an almost unconscious level. With each new memory, we see along with Will just how freakishly frightening Hannibal has been all along, working from the edges of Will’s — and by extension, our — perceptions. But Will’s attempted manipulation of Chilton backfires somewhat as the shady doctor almost immediately goes running to Hannibal to gloat and feel special – which also alerts Hannibal to the fact that Will is recovering his memories, slowly but surely. The most painful case of one step forward, two steps back, though, comes from Will’s attempts to convince Beverly that Hannibal isn’t to be trusted. Despite his warnings, she consults with Lecter about re-examining the body of James Gray, the mural killer, which sets off alarm bells with everyone but Beverly. Hannibal immediately begins to lay a trap, casually dropping clues about searching beneath the surface which inspires her to take another look at the way Gray was stitched into his own mural. What she discovers is horrifying and when she shares her findings with Will, we get a wonderful moment where he suddenly realizes what the Chesapeake Ripper does with his trophies. He eats them. Which is accompanied by a flash of Will realizing that he’s probably partaken of Hannibal’s cannibal delights. Moments like that are why I watch this show. Unfortunately, it leads to one of the biggest shockers so far this season, and a moment I really didn’t want to see happen. As soon as Beverly, on the hunt for proof that Hannibal is the Ripper, breaks into his home, I’m pretty sure I felt the collective clenching of buttcheeks from every single person in the country watching. Seriously. It rattled my windows. And when she discovers, what Wikipedia lovingly calls, Hannibal’s murder dungeon, there was a collective gasp. Not because of what she saw, but because of who saw her. The episode cuts to credits just after Beverly and Hannibal face one another. He switches off the lights and darts away, and she begins firing her handgun into the shadows. If that wasn’t the end for Beverly Katz, then I’m sensing a Silence of the Lambs shout-out as Hannibal stalks her in the darkness while wearing infrared goggles. This is bold. Beverly is a fan favorite character, and it has been a joy watching her learn and grow, becoming a way for Will to keep his hand in the game and provide him with a focus for his hope. If she doesn’t make it out of the murder dungeon, the effect on Will could be devastating. Will he plunge further into despair or will he get desperate and try to snare Hannibal with more direct means? If the previews are any indication, it looks like Will may be going for broke. Hannibal 2.04 “Takiawase”4.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.