Hannibal Season 2, Episode 11: “Ko No Mono”
Directed by David Slade
Written by Jeff Vlaming, Andrew Black, and Bryan Fuller
Airs Fridays at 10pm ET on NBC
Well surprise, surprise…but not really.
I would hasten a guess that very few of us who populate Hannibal‘s savvy audience would have fallen for this trick, laid out as it was so very carefully throughout the narrative. In any case, now the jig is up: Alana is in on the play, Freddie Lounds is indeed alive, and Jack Crawford is taking more gambits than I can count. But let’s start from the top, shall we…
The episode opens with yet another misleading sequence, although exactly how misleading the gorgeously shot Will-digo transformation/birth scene really is remains to be seen—after all, we still don’t know with any certainty who arranged the Randall exhibit, or whose body was sent flaming down the parkade runway in glorious tribute to Red Dragon‘s exemplary Tooth Fairy kill. In fact, I would hasten that there is still a lot that we don’t know about this secret plan which has occupied much of the narrative lo’ these last few episodes. But more on that later.
In the very chilling scene that follows, Will and Hannibal discuss further murder minutiae while chowing down on the flaming corpses of two sweet little birds. Enter the fiery placeholder for Freddie, a daring, if callous, doppelganger that even has the courtesy to strike her parking spot on its way down the ramp.
The real meat of the episode, though, comes in several delicious confrontations between key characters, particularly the Vergers. Mason Verger (Michael Pitt, still doing his most deadpan Gary Oldman) has proven to add a lot of flair and complication to the proceedings. Between his various insidious inclinations, not the least of which is exemplified by his obsession with the taste of teardrops, and Margot’s admittedly manipulative machinations, there’s a lot to discuss (and disgust) in the halls of the Verger empire.
One thing that is still as amazing as ever, is just how easily Hannibal is able to wreak havoc in the lives of his patients. With just the simplest slip of his silver tongue, he incites Margot to sleep with Will, Mason to forcibly abort her child, and Will to (almost) kill Mason in the episodes closing scene. On that note, who would’ve thought Will would ally himself with Mason Verger of all people? The enemy of my enemy I suppose…
With this many hands being played against Dr. Lecter, one can’t help but see that his days are numbered, even if he does ultimately best Jack Crawford in that legendary season premiere cold open. The table is most assuredly being set for the what we have come to suspect from the start: Hannibal Lecter consulting from behind a thin sheet of plexiglass.
How are we going to get there though? This question remains, and with this many plates in the air, Hannibal‘s remaining two episodes have a lot of accounting to do. Let’s hope nothing smashes which can’t be repaired.
-I was wondering if Fuller would have the cojones to delve into Verger’s pedophilic past. I’m glad that the writers didn’t shy away from the most disturbing aspect of his character.
-Katharine Isabelle continues to do great work as Margot. I haven’t seen much of her since her breakout role in Ginger Snaps, but I’m happy to see her again.
-Michael Pitt, a fantastic performer, still remains divisive as Mason Verger, but to be fair, he has some very long coat tails to trail in the form of legendary character actor Gary Oldman.
-Alana is serving as mostly a spout of expository dialogue lately, it’s nice to see her character finally get a couple of moments to shine in this episode.
-Will and Hannibal discussing Abigail may have been the highlight of the episode, and the overall theme of parenthood was a nice touch.