Hannibal, Season 2 – “Takiawase”

graham and abigail fishing

Not in the entirety of the Hannibal television series has it ever been so apparent that a different director with a different artistic vision had taken the reins. There have been some directors who’ve helmed the ship more than once, but this was the first time out for David Semel (Person of Interest, Heroes, American Horror Story), who did a masterful job of using light (a major device in this episode) and an abstract sound design. He effectively drew the viewer in and made him/her a part of Will Graham’s manipulated madness.

Catch and Release

This episode, “Takiawase,” dropped hints, foreshadowing clues, and metaphors left and right. From the beginning, the show was heavy with these types of things. The first metaphor, Graham is having an escapist vision in which he’s teaching Abigail to fly fish. Surely the way he ties the lure has something to do with the layers of his psyche, and with the multitude of layers in this episode, but as Graham talks about fish being more difficult to catch if they’ve been caught before and how you’ll catch your fish if you name your bait, Graham clearly sees himself as the previously caught fish and Hannibal as fish to be caught.

Is Graham simply trying to remind himself not to get caught in Hannibal’s web again? Will Graham catch Hannibal?

Also, notice how Graham is there to warn another fish, Beverly, of being baited by Hannibal when she tells Graham that she’s been consulting with Hannibal.

Beverly Goes Deep Beneath the Skin

Hannibal - Season 2 - beverly

Beverly Katz is definitely moving up to the front seat on the show. Throughout this season she’s been visiting Graham, seeking his counsel on cases. This week she brought him news that he was right about the muralist being in the mural, and naturally the question of who stitched him into the mural came up. Graham predictably points to Hannibal, which Beverly is opposed to as a theory — at least outwardly. As we all suspect, she believes Graham and thus suspects Hannibal.

Thanks to Jimmy or Brian and their discovery of the acupuncture marks being hidden by bee stings, Beverly was reminded of what Hannibal had said to her, “By only going deep beneath the skin will you understand the nature of this killer’s pathology.” So, she goes back to the muralist to find that there are stitches beneath the stitches and that the kidney has been removed. Later, Graham suggests to Beverly that Hannibal is also the Chesapeake ripper and is eating organs as his trophy.

The idea of Hannibal as a serial killer leads Beverly to investigate Hannibal’s house. She finds some packaged meat in his house (her medical background must enable her to recognize human organs) and something terrifying in his basement. Notice that “deep beneath the skin” is mirrored here as she goes deeper below Hannibal’s living area to find his true pathology. No doubt she has found his butchering station, but whether or not there’s a victim there isn’t revealed. When she turns around she gets the surprise of all surprises when she sees Hannibal standing there. It seems that he makes a quick escape and she fires her gun at him.

beverly in hannibals basement 1

So, what will become of Hannibal for the rest of the season? Will he be on the run? Will there be a full-blown FBI manhunt for him? Will Beverly go missing?

Psychic Driving Resurfaces

Another huge aspect of this episode dealt with psychic driving. Moments after Graham says to Dr. Chilton, “either I’m a psychopath or I’m delusional, or… I’m right about Hannibal Lecter,” Chilton administers a narco-analytic interview, or as Graham calls it, a “truth serum.” This leads into an intense scene of flashing lights, haunting sounds, and flashbacks that incriminate Hannibal. What Graham realized was that Hannibal induced and encouraged his seizures that led to blackouts and lost time. When Graham suggests that Hannibal is also responsible for his encephalitis (which was needed to induce the seizures), Chilton says that it “would suggest a radically unorthodox form of therapy.”

hannibal season 2 - chilton and hannibal

So, when Chilton runs off to tell Hannibal about Graham’s revelations, and to find some brotherhood in the unorthodox, we could see it as a breach of trust since Graham asked Chilton to be his exclusive patient. However, is it possible that Graham is using Chilton as his bait and lure? Did Graham know that Chilton would scurry off and report the latest to Hannibal? That seems to be the only rational explanation why Graham would even sign the consent form to undergo the narco-analytic interview.

The fact that Chilton would even consider himself an equal to Hannibal must be very insulting to our favorite cannibal. Combine that with the fact that Chilton has all but accused Hannibal of psychic driving, and we have an equation for Chilton’s death. Hannibal’s kill list is certainly growing quickly.

Will Graham, Puppet Master

The only equal Hannibal has is Graham, who seems to be directing a cast of characters from his confinement. Graham has Beverly suspicious of Hannibal and investigating him and Graham has manipulated Dr. Chilton, who believes he has the upper hand over his patient.

Do you think Graham is playing with a cast of characters?

While it is possible that Graham is playing Hannibal, and Hannibal is currently losing the game, Hannibal is still manipulating those around him. One such person is Bella Crawford, whom he persuades to commit suicide while having her believe that its her own idea. In a discussion about death and suicide, Hannibal basically gives her permission to end her life by paraphrasing Socrates, who said that “death was not a defeat, but a cure.”

But if he wanted her to suicide, why did he revive her? Ultimately, this seems to be an elaborate plan to distract Jack Crawford from the Graham case.

Hannibal - Season 2 - crawford investigates bee man

I’ll leave the horrific bee lady for you to dissect. Most of the meaning of the episodic story has been addressed here or was made plain as the show unfolded. For now, let’s just consider some of the major questions:
-Is Graham orchestrating an investigation and manipulating people from his confinement?
-Will Beverly escape Hannibal? Or will Hannibal have some Asian cuisine?
-Will Chilton and Hannibal find camaraderie? Or will Hannibal put an end to Chilton’s arrogance?
-If Hannibal kills these two, will it somehow help prove Graham’s innocence by proving Hannibal’s guilt?
-Will Jack Crawford be sufficiently distracted from the case, if that was Hannibal’s intent?

Rock Hard \m/

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