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- Episode: Futamono (Season 2, Episode 6)
- Starring: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas
- Written By: Steve Lightfoot
- Directed By: Tim Hunter
- Network: NBC
- Studio: Dino De Laurentiis Company, Living Dead Guy Productions, AXN: Original X Production
Hannibal: Futamono Review
Hannibal the cannibal
By Curtis G. Schmitt
April 05, 2014
Hannibal: Futamono Review
Dear god, please spare me “friends” like Alana Bloom. I’d prefer a cannibal who frames me for multiple murders than a psychologist who thinks friendship is trying to convince me I’m crazy enough to have murdered people and then when I act that way, she discards me like the condom she used to screw the cannibal who framed me. Poor Will Graham.
The silver lining for Will, of course, is that Jack Crawford is starting to get suspicious about Hannibal Lecter. In Dr. Chilton’s words, yes, Will is delusional but “that doesn’t mean he is not right.” As the bodies pile up and Hannibal’s dinner party approaches, Crawford’s suspicions grow. But Hannibal’s far too crafty to let Crawford’s suspicions or Will’s homicidal intent slow him down. It comes as no real surprise that the big dinner party was a ploy by Hannibal to increase suspicion of his cannibalism only to subvert that suspicion when the meat is tested. Take that Crawford! Psych!
The true surprise of the hour was Crawford’s discovery of Miriam Lass... alive! You’ll remember that Miriam was the FBI trainee a la Clarice Starling sent by Crawford two years earlier to investigate a lead in the Chesapeake Ripper case; in a callback to the novel Red Dragon, she is attacked by Hannibal in his office after seeing the Wound Man sketch, which matched injuries of one of the Ripper’s victims. I’ll confess, with the recent deaths of both Abigail Hobbs and Beverly Katz, it was a relief to discover that Miriam is not dead. Though I’m curious why Hannibal kept her alive and allowed her to be found. What’s that crazy cannibal up to?
Composing music, for one thing. It’s fitting that Hannibal composes for the harpsichord. Unlike the piano, the harpsichord is limited in dynamics -- in other words, playing the keys harder or softer does not change the volume of the strings. Hannibal’s murders seem also to be carefully constructed compositions that have only one volume: loud and extravagant grotesqueries. With this latest merging of man and tree, I find myself fully accepting, appreciating, and even enjoying the hyper-reality of his murder set-pieces. This is gothic horror -- in a modern day setting, yes -- but gothic none-the-less. I can no longer criticize Hannibal’s otherworldly designs because, no matter how unrealistic they may be, they are entirely consistent with the atmosphere of this fictional world.
“Futamono” is a solid, smart, entertaining episode from a creative team that’s set the bar very high. It suffers slightly from following one of the best episodes of the series to date. The actions Will set into motion last week had consequences that are only just beginning to reveal themselves. It makes sense to slow things down a little to allow those consequences to develop.
That said, there’s still plenty going on. At the same time that Hannibal is fabricating evidence of his own innocence, he’s also purposely leaving evidence that exonerates Will. Fishing lures constructed from hairs, bone fragments, and other body parts of Will’s supposed victims are found at a new murder scene. Drs. Gideon and Chilton continue to one-up each other, culminating in Gideon’s back being broken by two hospital guards in retaliation for Gideon’s murder of one of their colleagues last season. (What’s up with this hospital’s hiring practices? Sadistic security guards? Psycho nurses?) Hannibal then abducts Gideon from the hospital, and in a clever callback to the novel Hannibal, the good Dr. Gideon is fed his own leg as his last supper.
What I find most compelling about this episode (and this whole season) is Will’s transformation, his journey from the light to the dark. In a brilliantly scripted bit of double-talk, Will tells Hannibal, “I’m no more guilty of what you’ve accused me of than you are of what I’ve accused you of.” The show is raising some very interesting questions about empathy. If one can feel the feelings and think the thoughts of a killer, then what if anything distinguishes him from the killer? Is good or bad simply defined by one’s actions? If so, it seems the aphorism is false; it’s not the thought that counts after all.
Season 2’s driving question seems to be this: Is Will’s transformation a mutation or a metamorphosis? In other words, is the profiling work he’s done for the FBI distorting his nature from good to bad or simply revealing the moth that was hidden inside the caterpillar from the start?