In “Tome-wan,” the stakes are rising ever higher as each character’s manipulations and lies are becoming difficult to hide. There’s a lot of talk in the first half of the episode, but the second half clearly sets things into motion for an explosive season finale. It’s been a strong season for NBC’s most creepy, yet sensual show. The opening episode made a lot of promises that, so far, the season has kept. While “Tome-wan”’s first half may bore some, its second will leave them slack jawed. It’s a good addition to this gory season. In Will’s therapy session, they discuss Mason Verger (Michael Pitt). Last episode concluded with Will (Hugh Dancy) revealing Hannibal’s role as manipulator in both their lives. Will tells Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen), “I’m not deceiving you, Dr. Lecter. I’m just pointing out the snare around your neck. What you do about it is entirely up to you.” As the season has progressed, Will’s proven he’s just as dangerous as Hannibal. This is something Hannibal has begun to realize as well. “You put the snare around my neck.” He talks Will through some imagination exercises, and they discuss eating Verger. When it’s Verger’s turn for therapy, he reveals once more why he’s deserving of such a fate, as he puts his shoes up on the desk and stabs a chair. If ever there was someone rude enough to eat, it’s Mason. Of course, he is yet another player in this game of manipulation and all of this is clearly to get a rise out of Hannibal. “What game of chicken are you and the sperm donor playing?” It’s worth mentioning that although this first half is dialogue heavy, the writing is spot-on. Once again, Michael Pitt is the stand-out, delivering his lines in a way reminiscent of Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. He’s a kooky character whom you want to see punished. Will’s intentions become a little murky as he talks to Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne). He blatantly lies, saying that he’s yet to witness Hannibal do anything incriminating. It’s pretty obvious, given his hatred for Hannibal, that Will will be on the FBI’s side in the end. Because of this, making Will’s motivations unclear feels a bit unnecessary. Hannibal’s therapist, Dr. Bedelia du Maurier (Gillian Anderson), is brought in for questioning. There, she reveals why she’s always been so cryptic about the former patient who attacked her. What started out as self-defense became murder. She says she was influenced by Hannibal’s “persuasion.” She warns Will to catch Hannibal when he’s in a self-congratulatory state. She also tells Jack that Hannibal is still very much in control of all that’s happening, leaving the audience to question how much Hannibal has guessed Will’s allegiances. The pot is clearly coming to a boil. After a scene of some gelatinous fish grossness, both Will and Hannibal are taken to Mason’s pigpen by force. Hannibal is put in a straitjacket and strung up, ready to be lowered down into hungry, man-eating pigs. Mason gives Will a knife to wound Hannibal, which will incite the pigs to attack. It’s a scene that mirrors an earlier scenario imagined by Will. Of course, yet again, it’s hard to feel that the character the show is named after is in much danger. Sure enough, Will does not wound Hannibal, but cuts him out of the straitjacket. Hannibal presumably takes out all of Verger’s men and then focuses on Verger himself. He gives Mason some kind of psychedelic drug that leads to one of the most bizarre scenes thus far in the series. Mason sees a variety of strange things as the drug takes effect. Fans have pointed out that Hannibal even (very, very briefly) grins and flips the camera the bird in this sequence. Brian Reitzell’s sound design has done a fine job capturing the oddness of it all with instrumentals that sound like they come from Alice and Wonderland. It all leaves Verger (and the viewer) “enchanted and terrified.” As it turns out, Mason and Hannibal are in Will’s home. Poor Will walks in to find… Mason cutting off pieces of his own face and feeding it to his dogs. It’s a very grotesque scene that is made all the better by Mason’s nonchalant tone. Hannibal has him eat his own nose and he jokes, “I’m full of myself.” Unfortunately for Mason Verger, this is not all Hannibal does: the doctor breaks his patient’s neck, but doesn’t kill him. Later, when Jack comes to visit, Mason tells him his injuries are from falling in the pigpen and the pigs eating his face. The set dressing in this scene is impressive. In fact, the sets throughout “Tome-wan” all feel very dark and obtuse, matching the tone of the episode well. In this particular scene in Mason’s bedroom, the color red is skillfully used and really emphasizes the madness to which Mason has been driven. The episode ends with Will urging Hannibal to reveal himself to Jack, as he “owes him the truth.” There’s just one episode left in this season for all to be laid bare. Will Hannibal claim his work? Or will Jack find him on his own? While it’s first half was a bit more talky than needed, “Tome-wan” finishes very strong. Given our glimpse at the finale in the first episode, this season is set up to end in a high octane way. Altogether, Season Two of Hannibal has blown away the already stellar first season. This finale has a lot to live up to. Hopefully it won’t leave a bad taste in fans’ mouths. Hannibal 2.12 "Tome-wan"4.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.