Hannibal - Naka-Choko: There's No I in Threesome
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'Hannibal' - 'Naka-Choko': There's No I in Threesome

By Cindy Davis | TV Reviews | May 3, 2014 | Comments ()


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With “Naka-Choko” Hannibal serves us up another palate cleanser, lightly acidic, indeed. This was a fun episode, filled with playful banter, grand dialogue and smirking all around. If we’re to play along, in Hannibal’s eyes Will appears well on his way to a full transformation; Dr. Lecter continues coaching Will toward his perfect self. It may be that Lecter is buying what Graham is so aptly selling, but it would be foolish of anyone to underestimate Hannibal. (As quickly as Jack Crawford caught onto the boys’ strange behavior at the Museum of Natural History crime scene, so would the brilliant Lecter pick up on Will’s falsehoods.) Will didn’t kill Freddie Lounds; he’s squirreled her away somewhere, or Jack has. This is all part of a very well set trap. Who is the victim—that’s the real question—is it Hannibal or us?

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After a twisted up version of last week’s final scene, with Will fantasizing Hannibal as Randall Tier, the two men intimately discuss Will’s intimate killing. As he cleans and dresses Will’s wounded hand, Hannibal’s love and pride can barely be contained, and it’s those moments that allow for wondering…is he truly being fooled, or is he as good an actor as Graham? Hannibal sees inside Will, knows Will imagined killing him, which from the glance Will returned, either disturbs or pleases Graham. Lecter’s continuing therapy now focuses on the next step: teaching Will to respect and honor his kill. Did they work on Tier’s becoming tableaux together? It’s interesting contemplation, but we’re never shown how those crime scenes are put together (who has time for all that?); it’s through Will’s visions we interpret the kills. This time, that too must morph and evolve, and Tier’s creepy talking head resembles John Carpenter’s dog-headed alien Thing (“This is the nightmare that followed him out of his dreams”). To Jack’s apparent bewilderment, Hannibal and Will work the crime scene concordantly, their suddenly harmonious turn strange to everyone around them. Freddie Lounds’ questions and demands for real answers are the most overt, and might have cost her life if not for that little field trip she took. It looks like one of the smart girls finally gets to live and like Beverly Katz, the character has really grown on us.

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Margot, poor Margot. She’s so impossibly beaten down, even Hannibal can’t help her rise back up. After a session with Dr. Lecter (murderous pep talk) fails to drum up the necessary hatred, Margot takes to her horse, after which we finally meet her loathsome sibling. With his fur-collared Mason, Pavlovian piglet in hand, Michael Pitt’s Verger hit the right note between creepy and cartoonish. But his fearsome brother routine paled the moment a real monster (Hannibal) walked into the stable; Lecter’s command of the room was like seeing a baby piglet devoured by a wild boar. After Mason’s terrible and cruel demonstration of his newly trained maneaters, poor Margot understandably runs back to her empathetic Will. Going against her “proclivity”? More like employing a desperate plan.

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That wicked Fuller teased his Fannibals right to the brink of brogasm with the back and forth between Hannibal and Will’s love shacks (As I write this, all of Tumblr’s afire). Skillfully cut together, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,” the indulgence served fan frenzy, but to what purposeful end? Hannibal and Alana had more of a hot spark going, it’s no wonder Will jumped his bed for theirs. Of the traded entendres, it is Alana whose advice matters most: “People are not instruments. Whatever it is you’re playing, Hannibal, you have to listen very carefully.” And later when she runs into Freddie, the reporter returns the favor: “Maybe what Will understands is if you can’t beat Hannibal Lecter, join him” (or at least pretend you have…). Sadly for Alana, she’s still ten steps behind. As she feasts with Will and Hannibal, discussing their boundaries—or rather, the lack of them—the words exchanged do mock us so.

Alana: “It’s hard to know where you are with each other.”
Will: “We know where we are with each other, shouldn’t that be enough?”

Hannibal: “Better the devil you know.” And he sees his reflection in his glass of wine.

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At their final dinner during this (our) hour (and according to Will and Jack’s plan), Hannibal and Will play against only each other. As with any good chess player, neither flinches through each others’ moves. Hannibal’s coy questions about the meat that isn’t pork are answered by Will’s insinuation it’s a girl they once knew (“It’s long pig.” [human flesh]). Will’s assertion that he’s given up good and evil for behavioralism is deftly handled by Hannibal’s dissection: “Then you can’t say I’m evil…Evil is just destructive… Underwriters lump it all under acts of god. Are you an act of god, Will?” Lecter’s equation of himself and Will imparts enough credence that Will enjoys a moment of self-satisfaction—a barely perceptible Lecter-ish smile—as he slowly chews that last bite of…something, his face morphs to Hannibal’s. Is this transformation from Lecter’s point of view — Will has evolved like him — or rather is it how Will sees himself fully transformed into the Hannistag, and the transference of power complete?


Deep thoughts:

Answering my own question, I believe Will sees himself now, fully in power. Whether or not he is, remains to be seen.

I loved that we heard Hannibal acknowledge his dead sister (and book spoilers—whited out, swipe to see: As book readers know, the murder and consumption of Hannibal’s young sister is what set him on his path. End spoilers.

Of course, book readers also know the significance of Mason’s livestock.

Perhaps the outraged Tumblr fans forgot to watch next week’s previews. I’ll white out again, in case any of you don’t watch them—swipe to see: Margot slept with Will to make a baby heir, not because she randomly changed from lesbian to heterosexual. End spoilers.

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So Hannibal was waiting in her house to kill Freddie, yes?

Jack is playing along. He certainly didn’t need to call in Hannibal and Alana for that Will conversation (unless tag-along shrinks are FBI de rigueur). I’m a little surprised that so many people seem to think Will has really gone off the deep end. We saw Jack and Will make their plan; Will has created a reality where only he and Hannibal exist.


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Cindy Davis, (Twitter)





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