Hannibal, Season 2 – “Yakimono”

hannibal yakimono - graham all pretty

Whether or not Hannibal will get renewed for a third season is still anyone’s guess, but the show has moved from the “unlikely” to the “likely” column. IGN threw out a comment about their hopes for a Season 4, which might have given some fans false hope about there being a Season 3, but it’s still uncertain.

That being said, last week’s episode, “Yakimono,” had the hallmarks of a mid-season finale; some storylines got wrapped up, new ones were hinted at, there were shocking moments, and a daring conclusion. Did it feel rushed? Not at all, which indicates that the showrunners might be confident about renewal with what they’ve got.

While a lot of things happened, such as Graham being released from Dr. Chilton’s mental institution; Crawford’s feelings of guilt regarding Graham’s wrongful “incarceration” and for “giving up” on Miriam Lass; Alana Bloom’s expression of her commitment to Hannibal and fear that Graham will harm him, the biggest event on “Yakimono” was the reveal of how intricate Hannibal’s plan is.

Hannibal’s plan is so big and so delicate that if somebody doesn’t behave as predicted, the whole thing would be in jeopardy. Which is why Graham’s “awareness” seems so threatening to Hannibal, but Graham does so intrigue Hannibal that he can’t resist.

hannibal yakimono - graham holds hannibal at gunpoint

It was wonderful writing to have Graham show up at Hannibal’s home, hold him at gunpoint, and pick up where they left off before Crawford arrested Graham. But, even if it would give Graham pleasure to kill Hannibal, that would be the end of the show, with Graham being carted off to jail.

So, Graham threatens Hannibal with the gun, Hannibal flinches, and Graham leaves. It was very odd to see Hannibal in a moment of fear, or maybe a moment of relinquished control is a better way to say it.

But Graham was never intended to be Hannibal’s scapegoat. As we learned from bringing Meriam into the spotlight since Crawford found her in a pit last week, Hannibal had planned for Dr. Chilton to take the fall as the Ripper. In fact, we can safely assume that Hannibal designed this plan long before Season 1 even began. And the way Hannibal’s plan was revealed in this episode was truly enthralling.

hannibal yakimono - miriam in the pit

So as not to ruin all the surprises, in the end Hannibal has escaped being identified by Miriam because he “got inside” her without ever revealing himself. He’s manipulated her brain to not recognize him as the Ripper, but Dr. Chilton upon hearing his voice. A truly genius stroke on his part, but one that took careful planning and patience. Once hearing Chilton’s voice, Miriam nearly went into hysterics, but found the resolve to take Crawford’s gun and shoot Chilton through the interrogation glass, all but putting an end to the Ripper case.

hannibal yakimono - chilton covered in blood

But as Miriam and Graham discussed earlier in the episode, it’s all part of Hannibal’s design. Miriam might think it’s done now, that her earlier statement about “not being free” and that the Ripper isn’t done is no longer relevant, we can be sure that Graham will continue to push his accusation that Hannibal is the Ripper and that he’s designed it to mislead Crawford.

The episode ended with an all dolled-up Graham returning to Hannibal’s home office to continue his therapy sessions. To which Hannibal responds, “Where shall we begin?”

Oh where will this game between Hannibal and Graham take us?

Odds and ends

-I liked the reference to last week’s fishing metaphor, whereby Graham says, “Catch a fish once and it gets away, it’s a lot harder to catch a second time.”
-Did anyone else notice that when Crawford was being briefed about Hannibal’s smudged fingerprint on one of the flowers that he changed a name as he paraphrased what Graham had told him earlier in the episode at Meriam’s crime scene? Graham had stated that, “Whatever evidence you find will point away from Hannibal.” What Crawford said is, “Will said that whatever evidence we found would point away from the Ripper.”

Rock Hard \m/

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