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'Hannibal' recap: Time is on my side

Season 2 | Ep. 3 | “Hassun” | Aired Mar 14, 2014

I seem to have found a theme in giving episodes a theme. This week’s theme? Time.

We start this episode on a ticking clock and a dead body smoking in an electric chair. As the scene progresses, we realize that time is ticking backward, and the body uncharring and unslumping is Will Graham’s. Outside the cell is … ANOTHER Will Graham. This one is dressed in a suit and, as the electric-chair moment tracks back to the beginning, we see the second Will walk over to pull the switch.

I wonder: What part of himself is he killing?

Maybe this week’s theme is actually judgment.

Either way, this is the episode in which Will Graham goes to court.

For you legal types, we finally get the prosecution’s theory of Will’s alleged crimes (the usual stuff: several murders, a little cannibalism), which is actually pretty cogent. The theory: in profiling the Minnesota Shrike, aka Garret Jacob Hobbs, Will had to dive so deep into the mind of the murderer that he experienced a psychotic break after stopping Hobbs from killing his own daughter Abigail. Will then became The Shrike in his mind, and killed four young women — including, later, Abigail.

The FBI’s stance is also clear: They want this to go away. They want Crawford to accept that he missed a killer in his midst and that Will is so good, he fooled them all. They’re basically telling him to play along and intimate that if he does so, he’ll come out of it with a job. But Crawford’s guilt and his inability to accept Will as a cold-blooded killer come out on the stand, and he blames himself for pushing Will even when he knew Will was vulnerable. Crawford pushed Will because he was saving lives.

Needless to say, Will’s lawyer is thrilled. He can work with this. He never liked the unconsciousness defense Dr. Bloom was preparing anyway, so he’s feeling pretty good about life after the day’s testimony and blithely accepts a package from a messenger.

The package contains an ear. My first thought: Oh, great, now I have to rewind to see if it was a left or right ear, and whether the ear Will was forced to eat previously (Abigail’s ear) was a lefty or a righty.

Luckily, I don’t have to wonder long. It seems the ear was cut off 48 hours ago, and Will was locked up at the time, so it isn’t likely that he chopped it off and delivered it Van Gogh style. Hannibal drops by to talk to Will and offer his theory. Maybe Will has an admirer who’s trying to help? Or maybe he’s trying to get caught because he cares about what happens to Will?

Oh, Hannibal, is it love? Baby, don’t hurt me.

All ears aside, we have a trail to follow. Tattler reporter Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) takes the stand looking oh so concerned and so very noir. Her testimony, intended to bury Will, is going just fine until Will’s lawyer asks her how many times she’s been sued for libel. “Six,” she replies. And how many times has she settled out of court? You guessed it: six.

We have a moment with Dr. Bloom in this episode that caused me some feels. We first see her on the stand being asked about her feelings for Will. When she doesn’t answer, we see a flashback to her being prepped by the lawyer. He pretty much badgers her into blurting, “I have no feelings for Will; only a professional curiosity.” The look on Will’s face — ouch. That’s gotta sting.

Moving away from Will’s love life, we have a line on that disembodied ear. It seems they tracked the cut to a knife that had been checked out of evidence by the bailiff in Will’s trial — a bailiff who seems to be missing. So they go to his house and, when Crawford’s men open the door, things go all Backdraft.

Cue trip wire to fire trap, and we end up with bailiff kabob on antlers. Voilà!

But no one’s calling off this trial yet. Dr. Chilton takes the stand, acting like the all-knowing, smarmy, gleeful SOB he usually is (again, I declare my love for actor Raul Esparza in this portrayal) as he chides people who use Will’s previous diagnoses of mild Asperger’s and autism as an excuse for his behavior. Chilton has another theory. Will Graham caught the killers to prove he was smarter than all of them. He likes to play God. Y’know, maybe Chilton knows the madman better than we realize. He’s just got the wrong madman.

Hannibal, who knows we have the wrong perpetrator, brings Will pictures of the crime scene and the forensic report to show him the work of his “admirer.” However, Will sees something about this killing that is different from the ones he’s accused of. Unlike the previous victims, who were mutilated while alive, the bailiff was shot first. This isn’t the same killer. This doesn’t prove Will’s innocence.

Undaunted, Hannibal takes the stand in an effort to get the bailiff’s death admitted as evidence, as a plausible defense. But the prosecutor knows the crime was different (I wonder if someone told her?) and talks the judge into not allowing Hannibal’s testimony to be considered.

Hannibal denied.

Poor Hannibal. He tries to save Will by killing that bailiff, and the judge still won’t play along. But we know our Hannibal. He’s never at a loss for long.

Hannibal Lecter and the judge (Photo: NBC)Which is why I spent the next few minutes talking to my TV and telling the nice guy cleaning the floor at the courthouse not to turn around, because I know he’s about to get the wits scared out of him. But does he listen? Nope.

What a lovely tableau: there’s the judge, strung up, missing the top if his head and gripping scales that hold his brain on one and heart on the other. As Hannibal surmises, not only is justice blind, it’s also mindless and heartless.

On the plus side, a dead judge is a mistrial.

It looks like Hannibal has saved Will. For now.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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