Season 2 | Episode 11 | “Ko No Mono” | Aired May 9, 2014
I have no idea how Bryan Fuller made me like Freddy Lounds to the point that I spent this week discussing scenarios in my head in which she’s alive and well. No offense to Stephen Lang or Phillip Seymour Hoffman, but I never felt bad for a cinematic Lounds before. Book Lounds, sure, but that was more about pity than actual caring. Wow. I’m a terrible person.
Okay, recap time!
We are witness to a great becoming. The episode opens with The Stagman standing proud as a mighty stag falls and, like the horse in “Su-zakana,” begins to give birth. It is a great becoming, and we are ants in the afterbirth as The GrahamStag is born.
Dreaming Will is dreaming.
In his waking state, Will has been invited to dinner and Hannibal is serving Ortolan. We are treated to the sensuous and disturbing enjoyment of the meal. Tiny birds placed into open mouths, beaks up, as the lips close and the crunching starts (I did a little Google searching to see how food stylist Janice Poon cooked them up*, and I’m drooling). Hannibal muses that he was euphoric after his first Ortolan, stimulated by the reminder of his power. Will says he felt euphoric while killing Freddie Lounds.
Hannibal tells Will that blood and breath are only elements to fuel his radiance. Just as the source of light is burning. Oooh, Bryan Fuller, you sneaky creature. You’re pulling Francis Dolarhyde’s inner dialogue about the Red Dragon and giving it to Hannibal. Intriguing. You invoke Red Dragon frequently these days.
Oh, I take that back. Maybe it’s Manhunter, because we just scene-changed to a parking garage.
Could this be what we think it is?
INCOMING FLAMING WHEELCHAIR!
Who is it? Well, it just parked itself in Freddie Lounds’ parking space.
Please don’t let it be Freddie. Pleasepleasepleaseplease.
Team Science says it’s Freddie. Orthodontics proves it.
OK, I’m going on record right now as saying that I think this is a huge fake-out, and Freddie’s alive and Team Science made all of this up in cahoots with Jack and Will, and Freddie’s off in Napa at a spa or something. If I’m right, someone owes me a cookie. If not … damn you, Bryan Fuller!
Either way, the examination is on as Will, Hannibal and Jack Crawford observe. Freddie wanted to be noticed. She got noticed. The body is missing the psoas muscles. Looks like they were cut out. Why was it burned? Well, Freddie sure burned a lot of people along the way. No, fire was rebirth, in this case. Will says she won’t rise from the ashes, but her killer will. Hannibal looks so pleased.
This better be a fake-out. Or Will is just bonkers.
Speaking of bonkers, Margot’s pregnant. Will’s the father. Just another day in therapy with Hannibal. Poor Will. Seriously, I mean that. The guy is already mentally and emotionally extended, and he finds out he’s a dad? On top of which, Margot pretty much tells him that while he’s basically a sperm donor, he’s welcome to be a “male influence” in her child’s life, because Mason’s not good with children.
Boy howdy, he sure isn’t. Mason’s the kind of guy who isolates one little boy from a group touring his stables and proceeds to make him cry just to collect his tears for a martini. What a charmer.
Of course, Will may not be any better. He’s woken from a dream of a flaming wheelchair by Alana, who’s come by to ask him if he was responsible for the Freddie flambé. Alana is obviously worried. Will’s something else. Angry, maybe? He reminds her that no one believed him when he said Hannibal was a killer. He likes the idea that no one would believe her if she said Will was a killer. Alana says she’s afraid for him and really thinks Will’s relationship with Hannibal is destructive. Will counters that Hannibal is good enough for her. But he adds that she should be afraid.
He also has something for her: a 9mm handgun. He tells her to buy ammo, go to a range and practice.
We check back in with Hannibal, and Mason Verger has taken him up on the offer of therapy. Which is good because it gives us some of Mason’s backstory — and let’s face it, he needs therapy. The details: Mason’s father maintained a camp on Lake Michigan and paid for all 125 campers. “Unfortunates,” as Mason puts it. Mason carries on the practice. He “took advantage” of the situation and the kids and, while he avoided the charges, he got 500 hours of community service. He also got court-ordered therapy and then manipulated the doctor into something unethical so he could get out of therapy. In the end, Mason’s just showing Hannibal what a bad boy he is.
Hannibal sees the ploy: Mason’s trying to control the conversation. Can’t have that. So Hannibal quite deftly gets control back by dropping a hint about Margot’s pregnancy.
We join Freddie Lounds’ funeral in progress. Alana is watching from a distance, and Will joins her. They discuss things, but it’s really more about the “is Will a killer” question than anything else.
Will’s fatherhood is also a topic of conversation between Will and Hannibal. More specifically: parenthood, how it changes a man, and how quickly it can happen. Which leads Will to ask if Hannibal has ever been a father, and we hear about Misha for the first time. (Book readers likely just made a little noise. I know I did.)
Misha was Hannibal’s sister. She’s dead, he tells Will. It’s clear how much he loved her. He talks about how much Misha taught him about himself. The pain is evident even as he talks about how much Abigail reminded him of her. Actually, the pain is evident in both of them, and you realize that this is a discussion about lives taken and souls broken by loss. If the death of Abigail and Misha could unhappen in time, like a shattered teacup coming back together, how much about these two men would be different today?
Speaking of things getting put back together, someone has exhumed the body of Freddie Lounds and turned her into a very good impression of the Shiva**, using pieces of other bodies from the graveyard.
Just as we had Will and Hannibal having an entendre-filled conversation over Randall Tier’s body, this time we have Alana and Will discussing why the killer would display the body this way. Reverence? Showing off for his Benefactor? Or maybe, Alana posits, the Benefactor did this. It’s a courtship.
You know she’s got to be freaking out that she’s had strong feelings for both of the men she thinks may have done this. But hey, Bryan Fuller leaves no mind unscathed, and Alana Bloom wanted to dance with the devil, so I don’t feel too bad for her.
Margot, on the other hand, I do feel bad for. Because Mason has decided he wants to talk little Verger babies, and he’s discussing the bloom on Margot’s cheeks. This just can’t be good. Mason Verger sees himself in his father, and he’s just as unhappy as his father that Margot seems to have found a loophole in the will that may leave her part of the Verger fortune.
When you think about the fact that Will Graham, Mason Verger and Margot Verger all have the same therapist, don’t you want to call an ethics board? I know I do. But they just let the man go on practicing, and Alana Bloom is still confiding in him — so while she’s not his client, we’ve left boundaries in the dust.
But when you realize that Hannibal is the big juicy spider sitting in the center of the web, it makes more sense. He thinks he’s in control of all of it. That all he has to do is respond when one of his captured morsels moves. But what happens if one of them gets loose?
He senses something off about Alana, even as she looks for comfort. When he smells gunpowder residue on her hand (it seems she took Will’s advice), his predator instincts seem to kick in.
Predator instincts that sense when prey is ready to run. Just like Mason knew Margot would run and sent Carlo to crash a truck into her car.
Oh God. I think I’m gonna puke because, if there’s a scene that everyone is going to be talking about tomorrow, we just got to it.
Margot wakes up to a very bright light and Mason dressed in crimson scrubs. My brain is screaming NO right now, but it’s what I think it is, and Mason spells it out in even more horrifying detail than I expected. He’s not just going to abort this baby. He’s going to make sure Margot is damaged in a way that will result in a hysterectomy***.
Thankfully, it’s not the end of the episode, or I would be a complete mess. We cut to Alana and Jack Crawford. Alana has had a moment of clarity. She wants to know what Jack is up to, because she’s really starting to get tired of all the lies. She’s frazzled, and it shows. So much so that Jack says he has something to show her.
Oh, please, was I right? Was I?
Jack leads her into another office, and Freddie stands up and asks Alana how the funeral was.
Give me a cookie!
Okay, Fuller, you get a little bit of slack for that. But I’m still pissed at you about Margot.
Apparently, Will is too. He’s at the hospital and looks ready to kill someone as Hannibal walks in. Head explosion. Hannibal set this up. I just connected it. He tipped off Mason so Mason would hurt Margot so Will would hurt Mason.
Oh my God, it gets better! Will’s figured out the same thing! He says as much to Mason! I was wondering about this because the books definitely set up that Mason wants to kill Hannibal, but I couldn’t see how that was going to happen.
Wow. Just. Wow.
Anyone else need a drink?
*She’ll have a write-up on her blog, Feeding Hannibal, but her interview revealed they were marzipan and nuts for that crunch. I looooooove marzipan, so now I’m hoping someone will make them.
**My first thought was Kali, but Shiva is both benefactor and destroyer, so that makes more sense here.
***Oooohhhh, man. I swear, I’m not one to drop politics into this, but I’m really going to be watching to see what people think about this choice. In the books, Margot’s infertility was due to her use of steroids. In the end, it was her choice. This is something that was done to her. Mr. Fuller is going to upset some people, and unless Margot gets some major payback, some people won’t forgive him.