Last night’s Hannibal brought the first story arc of season 3 to a close with a graphic display of revenge.
“I don’t want to know where to find you.” Will Graham eerily echoes the move that left what was perhaps one the better, less trippy episodes of season 3 to air on Saturday night. “Digestivo” serves as the mid-season finale for Hannibal, setting a clean break for the Red Dragon arc that kicks off next week.
Hannibal continues the fatal first cut into Will’s head as the police arrive under the advisement of Mason Verger. Taking Will and Hannibal into custody, they leave Jack Crawford to become the final staged victim of the Monster of Florence.
Chiyoh, serving her duty as Hannibal’s guardian angel, kills the extra henchmen from a rooftop across the alley. To repay her kindness, Jack informs Chiyoh where to find Hannibal in the States.
Mason has a few prized swine to keep him occupied for the moment. Hannibal and Will are surveyed and taken into Mason’s farm where the “good, fun times” can truly begin.
While Cordell prepares the meat for dinner, Mason consults with his B team, Alana and Margot. Alana warns Mason that the longer he plays with his food, the more time he gives Hannibal to play with him. Alana’s sympathy for Hannibal’s circumstance does not appear to exist. She mentions that she will benefit as much as anyone from his death. It is another who draws her concern.
Mason’s plan is as follows — season Hannibal, skin Will’s face and wear it as his own, and eat Hannibal piece by piece from his fingers to his perfectly prepared loins. Will muses on what Mason’s future looks like after the last bite of Hannibal Lecter is digested. Will Mason retire? Open foster homes and torture children?
Eating his oysters, Hannibal appears amused at the notion of how his own body will be prepared. Will, on the other hand, takes a bite out of Cordell’s cheek when he gets too close. Spitting the flesh on the plate before him, Will silently rejects the notion of swallowing the human flesh.
As the main course, Hannibal receives the same treatment as any prized pig, including a branding with the Verger Farm insignia. Cordell makes Hannibal the only promise that may set the doctor at ease as he is strung up naked, back boiling from the hot iron — he will be cooked to perfection.
Alana may be Mason’s psychiatrist, but taking him on as a client was the only way to ensure she got to Hannibal before Will. Alana’s personality may have changed since the accident made a cocktail of marrow and blood in her body, but Will believes her evolution is far from over. In order to see this scheme through, she needs to shed blood, even if indirectly. She needs to free Hannibal.
If the past two seasons set up Alana and Margot as the “girlfriend” and “powerless sister,” then tonight was their revolution. The men are tied up, lost in their own illusions of grandiose. Mason does not understand that Margot’s limits do exist when it comes to fertilizing her eggs and implanting them in a surrogate. Alana’s limit always existed, but Hannibal blurred the line for a bit too long.
One final session between Hannibal and Margot convinces her of her final move. If Mason’s blood is on anyone else’s hands, she will never feel free. Once Margot takes his life, Hannibal agrees to take the fall for his death. After all, what is one more body on his list? All Margot needs to do is write a letter explaining the events and plant his hair and skin on the body.
Alana arrives and kills the guard to get to Hannibal. Some blood will be on her hands after all. She takes one final good look at Hannibal and admits her plea. She tried and failed to save Will from Hannibal, but now she needs Hannibal to save Will. He promises and she cuts a single hand free, leaving him to do whatever it is he needs to.
One moment standing free of his collar, the next covered in blood with a hammer, the full display of Hannibal’s actions in between will forever remain unseen.
A brief look inside the operating room situates Mason and Will side by side as Cordell prepares to skin Will sans anesthesia. As Cordell begins to make his first cut, another scene across Muskrat Farm plays on. Margot and Alana find Mason’s surrogate. A very large female pig lies in a nursery under a pig mobile as a fetal monitor carries out a flatline. Confused, in pain, and traumatized, Margot demands Alana cut the baby out of the pig.
Mason wakes up, presumably hours later, in pain screaming for Cordell. As he takes off his brace, Cordell’s face lies loose atop his own skinned skull. Alana and Margot arrive in the midst of the panic explaining Hannibal’s escape and their intentions. An heir to the farm is no longer an issue as Hannibal provided a means to “milk” Verger. In a scene paying homage to Thomas Harris, Margot sends Mason under the water of his bedroom and allows the eel to make his way down her brother’s throat.
Hannibal makes his way through the snow, carrying Will away from the farm.
As Will begins to stir, he wakes up in his bed, home at last. Hannibal walks through the door and the conclusion to their story begins. Will, in a sense, breaks up with Hannibal. The tea cup, no matter how much math or willpower Hannibal tries to assign to it, will never go back to being whole.
Will does not want to see Hannibal. He does not want to think about Hannibal. He does not want to know where he is at any given time. A clean break, a new life, one without the voice inside his head or human flesh digesting in his stomach.
Hannibal’s silence speaks volumes as his heart and soul are crushed. Will bids him goodbye.
Hours later, Jack and the FBI arrive. For the second time, Hannibal refused to take Will’s instructions to leave. He surrenders, refusing to give Will the only thing he asked for. Now he’ll always know where to find him.
Watch Hannibal season 3, episode 8, “Enter the Dragon,” Saturday, July 22 at 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC.