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'Hannibal' - 'Mukozuke': Domination's the Name of the Game

By Cindy Davis | TV | March 29, 2014 |

By Cindy Davis | TV | March 29, 2014 |

As with Hannibal’s third episode “Hassun.” we begin with juxtaposition; this time instead of the two men dressing, we see the preparation of Hannibal and Will’s very different breakfasts. Again, the two men change positions. It’s a ceremonial dance; who will take the lead…who is in control? Fuller would have his audience working nearly as hard as these two men to discern the hand on top. “Mukozuke”—a sliced sashimi dish—speaks not only to the episode title, but also to our dearly departed Beverly Katz, horrifyingly preserved and displayed both as warning and work of art. “Feed the body, feed the mind.”


Jack and Will play catch-up to Hannibal’s antics, courtesy of Freddie dutifully following her “anonymous” tip. (That was quite a feat/preparation/installation Hannibal accomplished in only one night.) Still raw from Bella’s attempted suicide, Jack’s emotions get the better of him at the observatory, but he’s determined to push ahead to find her killer. You’d think by now—after finding Miriam Lass’ arm, and Gideon’s impromptu surgery- this site would be under constant surveillance…merit at least a camera or video monitor. But since no one was watching, our hero has time to turn Katz into his version of the Visible Human Project, which was oddly as beautiful as it was heartbreakingly awful.


Jerry Goldsmith-like Planet of the Apes percussion liberally peppered the episode, perfectly aligning with the themes of power-swapping and captor vs. prisoner. This was Will’s week to play master manipulator; while Hannibal—having bested Beverly and high off his Bella and Jack play—continues to believe himself the dominant force. Knowing he had a hand in Katz’s demise, Will refuses to be silenced or rendered powerless. He puts together the pieces in his head, and makes use of whomever is available; he explores their vulnerabilities and uses them to his advantage. Will leaves Jack busy looking for trophy clues he’ll never find (kidney pie with face-mask crust!), and Chilton’s indiscretion with Hannibal provides leverage for subtle confirmation: “I know something of the monster you’re dealing with.” Gideon (Eddie Izzard) and Will trade enjoyable riddles (“He’s the devil, Mr. Graham. He’s smoke. You’ll never catch him…”). The fake Ripper gives Will good advice (“If you want him, you’ll have to kill him”), and Will whispers into just the right little bird’s ear.


Hannibal played his own games both with Chilton and Gideon; though each seems to know just who the devil is, they’ve their own reasons for keeping his secrets safe. Lecter does seem unnerved when he runs into Freddie Lounds—who snaps his unauthorized photo—(“That was rude.” Buh-bye, Freddie!) and informs Hannibal she’s fulfilling Will’s interview request. From his overconfident breakfasting to a nervous scan of Lounds’ Tattle-Crime lure, Lecter clearly needed some physical activity to maintain mental stability and regain control. Unfortunately for him, Will had already turned the tables, joining forces with the admirer (Matthew Brown [Jonathan Tucker]) who killed that bailiff (Bryan Fuller’s “I shot the bailiff, but I did not shoot the deputy” tweet killed me), and sending Amber Holt’s (Parenthood) one-time serial killer lover, Bob I-knew-he-was-a-killer-the-moment-I laid-eyes-on-him Little to kill Hannibal.


We should talk about Mads Mikkelsen in his swim trunks, but things would go wildly inappropriate so quickly, we’d completely lose sight of the show…so, instead we’ll discuss how the brilliantly creepy orderly was easily able to sneak up on Hannibal in his one moment of distraction. Just as Lecter was trying to regain focus, Brown disabled Lecter as easily as the doctor usually overpowers his own victims. Let’s play master and servant, indeed. Next thing he knew, poor Hannibal was strung up in a crucifixion-like pose, balancing on a tin pail so as not to hang himself, while Will’s acolyte explains the origins of “kick the bucket.” In this foreshadowing of circumstantial change, it was surprisingly easy to transfer our pity from Graham to Lecter. Still..there are eight episodes left, and there’s no doubt Hannibal will rise from this resurrection stronger; he’ll take back control again before he’s finally caught.


Inside his cell, Will is transforming; dripping water throughout the hour signifies his rebirth. Graham is slowly taking back control; even has a vision of himself changing into the powerful stag who usually takes Hannibal’s form. Will has found his voice, and like Charlton Heston’s George Taylor, has grown tired of being puppeted, held captive, and forced to live in an alternate universe where he is treated like the murderer he’s been hunting so long. We can almost hear Will’s thoughts from behind gritted teeth, “Take your stinking paws (hooves) off me you damned dirty ape.”

Deep thoughts:

Will’s face morphing into the blood-filled sink…brilliant. He is more “catnip for killers” than Alana.

Will masked and carted a la Lecter in Silence of the Lambs was positively delightful. The way Fuller plays with what we know leaves me gleefully clapping.

It’s almost a shame the perfectly cast Tucker is so quickly extinguished.

How strong is Laurence Fishburne? I love how evenly matched he and Mads are.


In case you didn’t already read it, Hettienne Park eloquently wrote about her character’s death and accusations of racism/sexism against the show.

Very happy to see Eddie dial down the ham a notch. Gideon is much better already.

Real or dream:


I just had to add this (H/T Nadine):


“We are more than a bit concerned with the Benihana egg trick called for in the script. I’ve tried it and can only get it 1 out of 4 tries, and I’ve seen Benihana chefs flub the manoeuver when they have an entire grill as target. Mads has to crack his eggs into a 8-inch diameter skillet. The props Master calls his guy. The Production Manager calls in his guy. I call my guy. On the morning of the shoot we have 8 dozen eggs and 3 Japanese chefs with their hands made up to be hand doubles.

I guess I don’t have to tell you that when Mads arrives on set, I briefly describe the egg trick to him whereupon he just tosses an egg up in the air and breaks it perfectly on the spatula. Did it. Unbelievable. I insist it was a lucky fluke but he does it again. I accuse him of practicing when I wasn’t looking but he laughs (as if he has time to practise egg-cracking between scenes) and confesses he was a juggler in his youth.” (Feeding Hannibal)

Cindy Davis, (Twitter)