Hannibal: “Shiizakana” Review

hannibal-season-2-release-date1This episode begins with Jack Crawford making the questionable decision to eat meat offered to him by Hannibal. Seriously, Jack, I know the tests on the party food came up negative but… seriously?

Actually, this episode is questionable decision central, so buckle up for that (along with the usual Hannibal trigger warnings of gore, psychological manipulation, gaslighting, etc.).

“Shiizakana” also tossed a downright Supernatural-esque murder sequence into its cold open, with a man being dragged onto the roof of his van and brutally murdered. He’ll be our first Murder Of The Week death, and we’ll get back to him later.

The meat (har har) of this episode happens in Hannibal’s study, as per usual. Will, who is still fantasizing about killing his erstwhile therapist, admits in his session that he regrets not killing the social worker in the last episode. He is coming to terms with the fact that killing Garrett Jacob Hobbs made him feel powerful (as did sending the orderly to kill Hannibal), and that he wants to experience that feeling again.

ava wilson spn

File under: things I am not letting go, Part 1.

Meanwhile, the Supernatural-ness continues with Ava Wilson from SPN Season 2 appearing again in her role as Margot Verger. I found her insertion into last week’s episode somewhat random and abrupt, but she gets more screentime and opportunity for character growth this time around. She speaks with Will outside the office, and I feel like warning her that getting involved with a damaged floppy-haired dog-lover for the second time will probably not treat her any better this time around.

Getting back to the murder of the week (which has turned into three murders by this point in the episode): after some time at the crime scene, Will ascertains that it’s not a wild animal killing the victims, but rather a man who believes himself to be a beast and who is using some sort of animal skull—a cave bear fossil, to be exact—to savage his victims. Hannibal suspects that the murders are being committed by one of his former patients and, in fucking typical Hannibal Lecter fashion, both lets the FBI know that said patient fits the murderer’s profile and seeks out that patient to let him know that the FBI is on his trail.

Margot shows up one final time in this episode at Will’s house, where they bond over the fact that their psychiatrist is a total psychopath who has been encouraging both of them, both unstable people with attempted murders under their belts, to commit murder for realsies. She might have also said she was a lesbian? She said something about not being heir to the Verger slaughterhouse throne because she both had and had proclivities for the wrong parts. I dearly love the nbchannibal Tumblr crew, and they usually do a pretty decent job of not queerbaiting their followers or promising anything they’re not going to deliver, but it would be nice to get an actual queer character on the show—if not only to balance out the multitude of Hannigram references they’ve been making recently in their tags. Margot is canonically a lesbian in the Hannibal books, and I see no worthwhile reason for Bryan Fuller et al to leave that out of this adaptation.

Hannibal - Season 2Meanwhile, Mr. Clan of the Cave Bear has convincingly lied to the FBI that, while he used to have an identity disorder that made him believe he was an animal, his therapy was successful and he is better now. He then demonstrates exactly how false this is by going to Will’s house, attacking one of his dogs, and then crashing through a window to kill Will. WIll kills him instead, and, in a show of questionable decision making that really truly takes the cake, brings the dead body to Hannibal as a present. “Even stevens,” he says. (He literally says that.) He had sent someone to kill Hannibal, and now Hannibal has sent someone to kill him, and both of those someones are dead. They’re even on that at least. I’m truly concerned about Will’s future from here on out: his desire to prove to Hannibal that they are equals in cunning and mindgames and cold manipulation is leading him down a dark road, and the preview for next week doesn’t give me much comfort.

Episode tally:

Dogs injured: one
Dogs who are going to be okay despite their injuries: one
Times I thought of a certain Shia Laboeuf-starring Disney Channel show: one