NBC’s Hannibal crossed its mid-season with an exceptional episode in ‘Futamono’, but ‘Yakimono’ validates that there are no signs it will be slowing down anytime soon. Instead, ‘Yakimono’ adds an enticing narrative and restructures the final six episodes of the season to feature even more shocking and remarkable twists.
Miriam Lass’ (Anna Chlumsky) cameo in ‘Futamono’ had left an excruciating wait to learn how she was still alive. Miriam’s time spent with the Chesapeake Ripper, aka Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), had left her traumatised and unable to identify who the killer was. However, Miriam elaborates that she remembers the distinct tone behind his voice and this serves as a crucial factor towards the end of the episode.
Dr. Frederick Chilton’s (Raúl Esparza) presence has always been welcomed in the specific scenes that have featured him, and Esparza deserves more recognition for the superb personality he brings to the role of the psychiatrist. Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) is released from Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane after Lecter’s actions confirm he was not the Chesapeake Ripper, and the conversational exchange between Will and Chilton retains Hannibal’s superb dialogue. Chilton asks Will: “Why did Hannibal not just kill you?” And Will retorts with: “Because he wants to be my friend”.
Will’s exit from Baltimore Hospital shifts back to the style of season one, with him now being present at the crime scenes. Discovering Lecter’s laboratory of death – which hosts his many instruments of torture – added some depth to the time Hannibal spends dismembering his victims, with Beverly Katz’s blood being preserved as the perfect example. Will is also reunited with his dogs, which is always a pleasant sight to see man reunited with his best friend or, in the case of Will, several best friends.
Mads Mikkelsen’s role as Hannibal Lecter cannot be praised enough for the individuality that his character has. Lecter’s ‘design’ shifts in ‘Yakimono’ and leaves him even more exposed than ever as the Ripper, but he later proves that a calculated killer is never this sloppy. Lecter finds a new person to fill in the role as the suspected Chesapeake Ripper following Will’s release: Dr. Chilton. Hannibal knocked Dr. Chilton unconscious, leaves the corpse of Abel Gideon in his house, and also frames him for the murder of two FBI agents. Chilton’s voice is recognised immediately by Miriam when he’s in the interrogation room and, believing that he is the Ripper, draws Jack’s weapon and fires it at Chilton. Chilton’s death is shocking for two reasons: firstly, it demonstrates that literally no character is safe when it comes to a show like Hannibal and, secondly, the show must say its farewell to Esparza.
Will and Lecter’s exchange in certain scenes was remarkable and it begins to rebuild on their relationship as doctor and patient. Developer Bryan Fuller and his team continue to throw new ideas into each episode of season two, and this is only helping to strengthen the narrative by pushing out the best episodes with ease. ‘Yakimono’s’ sheer quality acted like a season finale and, if this is something to go off, the final six episodes will only establish Hannibal‘s position as the best television show running.