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Hannibal 2×07 “Yakimono” Recap

This week on our Japanese culinary adventure, “Yakimono” (or “fired thing”) refers to grilled, pan-fried dishes served in distinctive ceramics. Oftentimes, the food (primarily meat, shellfish, vegetables and seafood…so most kinds) is skewered or grilled over an open fire in a wire net. Sukiyaki and teriyaki are examples of yakimono. Yakimono is delicious, and this episode, Hannibal serves to skewer Dr. Frederick Chilton and a few FBI agents, as the Chesapeake Ripper remains ever elusive from Jack’s grasp.

Last episode, Jack managed to track down a lair of the Ripper’s, and found Miriam Lass (Anna Chlumsky), still alive, imprisoned by the Ripper over the past two years. Jack had long since given up hope on finding her alive, since the Ripper delivered her arm to his office. But Lass lives, albeit a dismembered, traumatized version.

She’s in all kinds of shock, but after she’s cleaned up (and scraped for DNA, clues), she meets with Jack. Lass isn’t exactly enthused that Jack still hasn’t caught the Ripper, and can’t help him: she never saw him, or doesn’t remember it, as the Ripper clearly got inside her head. She thanks Jack for never giving up, which cuts right into Mr. Crawford, since he totally had given up. He apologizes for being reckless with her life…and Lass refuses the apology, blaming only herself for her situation. She believes the Ripper didn’t spare her…that he was “saving me for last.”

Alana Bloom meets with Lecter on professional terms (and not between the sheets, like last week), with Miriam watching from behind the glass, to see if she can identify him as the Ripper. Bloom’s pissed at Jack for continuing to believe Lecter is the Ripper. Miriam has flashes of light, and the Ripper’s silhouette, shaking, convulsing, but is sure that Hannibal isn’t the Ripper. Convenient for Dr. Lecter.

After the evidence revealed Will Graham’s innocence (“The Ripper has set you free”), Dr. Chilton has no choice but to release him from the Baltimore State Hospital. Will suggests that Chilton should go to Jack and reveal everything about his career and Hannibal. He’d sacrifice his career (since he’s done all kinds of illegal, immoral $#*!), but it’d save his life. Chilton wonders why Will Graham has been kept alive, to which Will responds: “He wants to be my friend.”

Jack’s there for Will’s release, and updates him on the case, and Lass’ appearance, and her thoughts on Lecter. He also apologizes for thinking he’s crazy, and giving up on him, like he did with Lass. And, apparently any concerns of Will’s wavering sanity have been vanquished, as Jack throws him right into the fire, bringing him to where Lass was found. I feel like there’d be a bunch of paper work and hoops to go through to get Graham back in the field so soon, but Jack is omnipotent amid the FBI (and always wrong).

Will goes into empath mode, and suggests that Lass was found on purpose, that the crime scene was manufactured to mislead Jack and the FBI, to throw him off the Ripper’s trail. Will also believes that Jack can’t trust Lass. Two years with the Ripper in her head is a long time. Indeed.

Jack doesn’t heed his advice.

Will returns home, and reunites with his dogs, the only nugget of happiness in the world of Hannibal. Bloom is there, and asks him if he’s going to try and hurt Hannibal again. Will warns her to stay away from the not-so-good Doctor. Of course, nobody listens to Will. It’s like those YA detective novels where the young kid can’t get his parents or the authority figures to believe him/her, even though he’s clearly dead on. Bureaucracy and older people are the worst.

Dr. Chilton does listen to Will, of course, though that doesn’t really help him. He goes to Jack, offering his services to catch the Ripper, so he can remain “not dead.” He helped Will recover memories under his tutelage, and can do the same for Miriam.  Jack blows him off, and not in the sexy way.

Miriam Lass receives a replacement limb, which will likely be used in some creepy fashion later in the show. Will arrives to console her, as they’re both the only living victims of the Ripper. Throughout the episode, it’s Lass, not Graham, plagued with visions of her torment, seeing a dark, shadowy silhouette, flashes of light and a foreboding corridor, as well as an indistinct voice speaking to her. It’s clear to both of them that neither are free of the Ripper; he still has plans for them, an unsettling thing to consider.

As such, Will goes to Hannibal’s house, gun in hand, ready to end it once and for all. Hannibal talks him out of it…what if he murders an innocent man? Who will answer your questions? Will stalks off, because pulling the trigger would end the show, and that’s a lot of responsibility.

Jack takes Miriam Lass to Hannibal, because….?!!!?!? Apparently he brings her to recover her memories. Considering Jack still thinks the Lecter could be the Ripper, this is highly suspicious behavior. At least Jack stays while Hannibal is with her, bringing her under hypnosis.

The evidence at the Ripper’s lair implicates both Hannibal and Dr. Frederick Chilton. Uh oh.

Chilton arrives home to find a flatlining and carved up Abel Gideon, hooked up to machines in one of his rooms. Hannibal is there, and so are the FBI. Hannibal drugs Chilton, who wakes up drenched in blood, brandishing a knife and a gun, two FBI agents butchered in his kitchen, one like the iconic wounded man.

Frederick flees to Will’s house, planning to make a run for it, even though he’s so obviously innocent. How anyone thinks Chilton is the Ripper is beyond me, though I suppose they believe his smarmy, incompetence is all an elaborate act. Will knows otherwise, but still calls Jack and alerts him of his presence. Chilton makes a break for it, as Jack tracks him in the snow behind Will’s house. I thought Jack might stupidly kill him then and there…but thankfully, he just brings him in.

Then, we get a repeat of the earlier scene with Hannibal and Bloom, except Chilton is the one being questioned. Chilton has calmed down, resigned to his fate for jail/asylum, which might be the safest place for him. Unfortunately…he doesn’t get that far. Something goes off in Miriam Lass’ brain, as she’s certain that Chilton IS the Ripper, and she loses it: shooting Chilton through the window, putting a bullet right through his head. I feel like those windows might be bulletproof, but I guess not. Lass was a ticking time bomb, planted there by Hannibal’s increasingly intricate design, one of the greatest villains ever experiencing a renaissance on the NBC show.

Will, sporting a new no-longer scraggly haircut (which is weird to see), comes to Hannibal’s office. This time without a gun. He’s ready to resume his therapy. The two sit opposite each other in armchairs, and Hannibal smirks, and asks: “Where shall we begin?”

We’ve almost come full circle, though Katz, Chilton and droves and others have become collateral damage. While it’s no doubt a promising development for Fuller’s TV show, because Hannibal is consistently excellent, it does have the possibility of being repetitive, and kind of smells like a way to prolong the inevitable. We’ll find out next week if my mild concerns are unfounded.

GRADE: A-

Photos: NBC