'Hannibal:Episode 12' Review - Zoe Butcher


Will, after crashing rather badly at the end of last week’s episode, is recovering in the same hospital as the face-slitting lady from episode 10. You remember, the one who ‘saw’ Hannibal killing the Neurologist at the hospital. Oh and she’s awake, better hope Hannibal doesn’t visit Will in hospital and find out…
Oh dear, just when the Hannibal/Will friendship was all going so well, Will has to insult Hannibal’s cooking, how rude. Better hope he doesn’t take it personally, Will. Oh he’s set you up as a psychopath and framed you for multiple murder. Oops.

Yes, this is the episode where Hannibal reveals his true colours, at least to one unfortunate season regular anyway. But that comes later in the episode. First he has the face-slitting woman to deal with, although she couldn’t see his face when he was detaching the top half of the neurologist’s head from the bottom half, she knows she didn’t kill him and that is enough for Dr Lecter to leave her a little present. Yes, if you take one thing away from this penultimate episode it is ‘never comb your hair when you’re in a hyperbaric chamber’. The crispy result was pretty much the only action for the fearsome Hannibal art department in this episode, they must have gone on day release or something. Probably the first time I’ve ever seen a comb being used as a murder weapon. Got to hand it to the creative team on this show, they are consistently inventive, no boring old ‘blunt instrument’ crap here.

We also have the welcome return of the woman with the least popular job in the world, Gillian Anderson as Lecter’s psychiatrist. I am loving this character, she clearly has an inkling of what Lecter is but cares about him nonetheless, partly we find out because he offed the patient that attacked her. Which probably goes some way to explaining why she sides with him when Crawford comes a calling – quid pro quo and all that…

Time’s up for Abigail Hobbs. Crawford has finally pulled his finger out of his arse and started doing his job, figuring out that Abigail was well aware of her father’s crimes and was actually the bait to attract the girls. Bit too late really as Will’s already whisked her off to the moose-hut to see if she can help him figure out who the copycat killer is. But Crawford’s also after Will and we only have one person to thank for that.

Ok, so maybe I was a bit flippant about Hannibal’s motives earlier, it’s not because Will was a little rude about Hannibal’s chicken soup (well, not JUST that) that Hannibal sets him up. In truth Hannibal is a survivor and Will is getting a little too close for comfort. Unlike bloody Crawford who states that he doesn’t think Hannibal is dangerous (the man kills people for playing the wrong note in the orchestra for heaven’s sake!). Although Hannibal wants to be friends with Will we are provided with indisputable proof that the good doctor will sell out anyone to get himself out of danger. He manipulates just about everyone in this episode but especially Crawford. Hannibal stitches poor old Will up good and proper so, by the end of the episode Crawford is convinced that Will is the copycat, having taken on the identity of Hobbs, and has whisked Abigail off to kill her and finish what her father started.

Poor Abigail. It must be said that the actress has done a fabulous job with this character throughout the series, we were never quite sure whether she was evil, insane, or just massively unfortunate in the parent department. It turns out in this penultimate episode to be the latter. Her vulnerability on finding out that she killed an innocent man in Nicholas Boyle, is very moving and, considering Will too dangerous she runs to home, where Hannibal is waiting.

So finally, as expected, the fact that Abigail knows Hannibal was the one that called her father and warned him that Will was coming, comes back to bite her on the arse. Her confrontation with Hannibal when she realises the true extent of what her surrogate dad is capable of, is one of the best and most satisfying scenes of the season. Mikkelsen as Lecter is brilliant, he absolutely nails the soulless sociopath and all with just his eyes and the movement of his head. His admission that he killed her friend ‘just to see what she would do’ is chilling and believable as is his apology to her that he couldn’t save her in this life. We don’t see him kill Abigail, but we can have a pretty good guess at who is going to get the blame.

I am so looking forward to the final episode of this season, it is going to be nerve-shredding and intense. Finally, something to replace Dexter in my life (not my son, the TV show, that would be weird).