Oh boy! It’s Hannibal’s first time on Saturday night, and the last episode that begins in Italy, “Digestivo,” before we get into the Red Dragon arc. It starts off by explaining how Will and Hannibal made the segue from yet another grim dinner party ... into Mason Verger’s hungry, hungry clutches.
So, remember when Hannibal was applying a saw to Will, intent on literally “getting inside your head,” as Jack Crawford shrieked mightily from across the table? Now we get to see how Will managed to keep his brain amazingly intact: right when it was getting really squishy, the crooked Italian cop who was questioning Bedelia and Jack last episode bursts in. He’s after the hefty bounty on Hannibal, and he grabs Will, too, as a little bonus for Verger. As for Jack, he’ll be left behind as “Hannibal’s latest victim.” Except just as Jack’s about to be made into a faux-Lecter tableau, someone with deadly aim shoots the cop’s henchmen dead. Chiyoh, girl, you’re just a liiiiitle too late yet again. Jack tells her where Will and Hannibal are being taken, and because everyone thinks he’s dead, she lets him live.
At Muskrat Farm, Alana and Margot are plotting against Mason, but he doesn’t care, because it’s the greatest day of Mason’s life!! He’s got Hannibal! AND Will! “Play with your food, Mason, and you give it the opportunity to bite back,” Alana cautions him. But Mason isn’t worried. He’s gleefully anticipating the face transplant he’ll be getting (Will’s face, natch), and all the pajama-party fun he’s gonna have with Hannibal, his prize pig. Just when Cordell is lurching in with some lotion (not, alas, in a basket) to keep Will’s visage moist, Will lurches in and bites a chunk from his cheek. He doesn’t swallow it, though.
Cordell recovers, and Will is alive only as long as it’ll take to remove his face. First, though, Cordell lays out his meal plans for Hannibal. (He’s enjoying this just as much as Mason, for sure.) “Every day, I’ll feed Mason some new part of you,” he promises. Meanwhile, Mason is taunting Margot, telling her that he’s found a surrogate to carry her much-desired baby, and Will and Alana have an uneasy reunion ... as do Margot and Hannibal, then Alana and Hannibal the latter two occurring while Hannibal is tied up in one of Mason’s pig stalls. Margot agrees she must kill Mason, while Alana frees Hannibal with the understanding that he’ll save Will.
Poor ol’ Will is about to get his face removed ... without anesthesia ... as Margot realizes that her “surrogate” is a sow, snoozing beneath a ghoulish pig-themed baby mobile. With side-by-side editing, we see the baby removed from the pig while the face surgery goes on. But when Mason peeps his new appearance, he’s horrified to see it’s CORDELL’S face, not Will’s, that’s been draped, a la Leatherface, atop his own.
Oh, and it gets better. It. Gets. Better. As Hannibal’s carrying Will across the snow, shots ring out. It’s Chiyoh, who finally gets to ask Hannibal if he ate Mischa. (He did, but for the record, he didn’t kill her.) And Alana and Margot inform Mason they’ve cattle-prodded his prostate into giving up the sperm that Margot needs to make a Verger heir, before wrestling him into the eel tank and a most glorious death. (Who knew the eel would do that?)
At Will’s farmhouse, Will and Hannibal talk memory palaces and broken teacups. And Will delivers a break-up speech of sorts to the man who’s been his overwhelming obsession for years: “I don’t want to know where you are or what you do. I don’t want to think about you anymore.” But Hannibal can’t let it go, and he surrenders to Jack when he pulls up in the snow. Now Will will know where he is all the time, in case he should ever change his mind.
When next we see Will and co., it will be three years later, and there’ll be a new foe on the horizon. Bring on the Red Dragon!
Image via NBC.com