The tension keeps building this season on Hannibal. Whereas last season did have a continuous storyline that went around its more “killer of the week” theme, this season is a lot more focused on the main characters and the conflicts between them. The result is a season that feels more cohesive and somehow even better than last year’s run. This season simply cannot be praised enough, and episode seven, “Yakimono,” is another example of that. Miriam Lass, Jack Crawford’s (Laurence Fishburne) trainee who was introduced as missing and presumed dead last season, is working on her recovery after being rescued. She has a lot of lost memories and doesn’t know who the Chesapeake Ripper is. As Will (Hugh Dancy) says of her, “Two years is a long time to have Hannibal in your head.” Anna Chlumsky plays disturbed and damaged wonderfully. It’s easy to buy that’s she’s been at Hannibal’s mercy for an extended period of time. She plays a prominent role in this episode, and her acting is fantastic. While everyone wonders why she was left alive, she tells them that she “wasn’t spared; he was saving me for last.” Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) is brought in for questioning, with Lass there to see him. All she can remember of the Ripper is a shadow and his voice. Upon hearing Hannibal, she says it’s not him. That’s not good enough for Will, who’s now free due to all charges being dropped. It’s definitely good to see the most prominent character on the show out of prison. After half a season behind bars, any longer would have felt like too much. Now that Will is released, scenes between him and Hannibal feel so much more tense and palpable. It’s clear this already strong season is about to get more action orientated. This is a series that thankfully knows how to switch gears when it’s time. Getting tired of this scenery? Good we’re moving on. How nice it is not to spend a season and half in a prison (Yes, that was a jab at The Walking Dead). Will tries to convince Chilton to reveal his unethical practices with Gideon, but Chilton won’t risk his career. Instead, he tries to weasel his way into FBI protection. If there’s one character who’s gone through quite the change, it’s Chilton. A quick look at online blogging sites like Tumblr reveal that he’s gone from reviled to fan favorite in the span of a couple episodes. This is due undoubtedly to Raúl Esparza’s morbidly funny reactions to the events around him. Will is back on the job and investigates the area where Lass was found. He concludes what’s been obvious all along: Hannibal is very much about theatrics when it comes to his murder victims. This act includes everything they’ve found so far. Miriam Lass was meant to be found. And Will suspects evidence will point away from Hannibal Lecter. This is when we get the scene that everyone has surely been waiting for all season: Will reuniting with his many dogs. The scene also pits Will against Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) and he seems to find through questioning her that there’s something going on between her and Hannibal. This plot point feels a bit boring in comparison o everything else going on around them, and as Laura Akers discusses in her article here on Psycho Drive-In, she’s become someone mostly for Will and Hannibal to fight over in their manipulation of each other. Here’s hoping the rest of the season gives her a bit more to do and all this doesn’t devolve into an unnecessary love triangle any more than it already has. Will visits with more characters, namely Miriam, who he commiserates with, and Hannibal, who he holds at gunpoint. “Don’t you want to know how this ends?” Hannibal asks him. Apparently he does, as he does not shoot Hannibal and instead leaves. It’s a tense scene, but as stated in earlier reviews, it’s hard to feel like the title character of a show is in any real danger. Jack brings Miriam to Hannibal’s office where he performs his flashing light therapy with limited results. During this scene she sees Jack as “The Wound Man” who seems to be another figure added to the show much like the wendingo and feathered stag; something imagined being used as a metaphor. The Wound Man is an actual diagram that exists, and has even been mentioned in other Hannibal Lecter works, so we’ll see how it figures more into the series as the season progresses. Meanwhile, the investigators find a partial fingerprint of Hannibal as well as chemicals similar to those Chilton used on Gideon. Jack asks that both doctors be brought in for questioning which leads to the action-laden and surprising ending of the episode. Chilton finds Gideon “half eaten” in his home (sadly there will be no more Eddie Izzard) and is confronted by Hannibal just as the FBI shows up at the door. Chilton is being framed. Hannibal drugs him, kills the FBI agents, and leaves. Chilton wakes up later realizing he looks very guilty. He tries to hide out at Will’s telling him, “I have corpses on my property. You just coughed up an ear.” Will doesn’t believe Chilton should hide though, and calls Jack. A chase through the snow later with some great, unnerving music, and Chilton is caught. It doesn’t look like his stay behind bars will be long though. Miriam Lass identifies him as the Ripper, freaks out, grabs Jack’s gun, and shoots him. Is Bryan Fuller breaking from his source material? Chilton is still around in The Silence of the Lambs. While it wasn’t explicitly stated, things look grim for the newly turned fan-favorite doctor. The episode closes with Will looking like he’s had a makeover and turning up at Hannibal’s office. He tells Hannibal that he’d like to return to therapy. This feels like a turning point for the season. We’re clearly about to see these two mentally go head-to-head, and it’s about time. “Yakimono” is an exciting episode that has set the stage for the remaining half of the season. It’s been a good season thus far, but Hannibal is beginning to seem a bit too powerful. It feels like overkill at times to make up for the weakness he showed during his near murder a couple episodes back. Hopefully, with Will now out of prison and the chess pieces in place, we’ll get a battle of the wits between two evenly matched opponents. Hannibal 2.07 "Yakimono"3.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related LauraAkers Thanks for the callout, Amanda!