PREVIOUSLY: Will started sleepwalking and wanted to quit the F.B.I. for the 80th time, the Crawfords made sure we will never be happy ever again, Hannibal started driving a wedge between Jack and Will, and a cancer patient did some Christian arts ‘n crafts before killing himself in a barn. Just like at Bible camp.
We begin with EDDIE IZZARD DEAD ON THE FLOOR OH MY GOD NO MY WORST NIGHTMARE HAS COME TO LIFE! He is lying in a padded cell with three security guards and two orderlies looking in at him. One of the guards tells him to get up, but he doesn’t move. The doors open and they go in and cuff him, but when the guard checks for his pulse, there isn’t one.
Eddie Izzard is loaded onto a gurney and taken to the infirmary, where he…is left alone with a single female nurse.
NOT HOW IT WORKS. NOT EVEN IN NORMAL HOSPITALS. Even if the nurse was a big burly dude, they would not have left even a restrained and unconscious killer alone with him (especially when they ALREADY SENT THREE ARMED GUARDS AND TWO MALE ORDERLIES JUST TO RETRIEVE THE PATIENT), but it would almost be narratively justifiable. This is just dumb, and the kind of thing that is so far removed from reality that it isn’t an acceptable oversight, even within the framework of a show about cannibals being BFFS with FBI agents.
All the more reason to STOP KILLING WOMEN AND START KILLING BIG BURLY DUDES INSTEAD JESUS CHRIST BRYAN FULLER. I have a sneaking suspicion (since the show doesn’t seem to be run by violent misogynists) that all the writers assume Female Victim=More Sympathy. But that backfires a little bit when most of the audience’s sympathy is going toward all the women who have horrible violence done to them in real life. I watch television to avoid thinking about the fact that some crazy dude could just decide “Hm, today is the day I want to murder a woman,” and that said woman could be me or someone I love, and there’d be no way to stop it from happening. It’s fucked up! And the writers going out of their way to ignore all logic and realism to make sure a woman is killed this way is a huge pain in the ass.
Anyway, obviously, Eddie Izzard picks the lock on his handcuffs and pops his finger monitor off, startling the nurse when she turns around after he flatlines.
Farewell, nurse. Hopefully your family’s lawyer nails someone to the wall for that.
BALTIMORE STATE HOSPITAL FOR THE CRIMINALLY INSANE, which is where we were already.
Will and Jack pull up in front of the hospital and get out. Jack tells Will that, thanks to Freddie, “there’s an unconfirmed story floating around out there that the Chesapeake Ripper is already in custody.”
Will mutters “Unconfirmed? Am I confirming? Fact-checking for Freddie Lounds.” YOU WISH, BILLY.
Jack assures Will that he’s fact-checking for the FBI. Will says he’s always nervous when he goes to psychiatric facilities.
Jack: “Why’s that?”
Will: “I’m afraid they won’t let me out.”
Jack: “Don’t worry. I won’t leave you here.”
Will: “Yeah, not today.”
They meet up with Dr. Frederick Chilton (Raul Esparza) (who narrated the audiobook for one of my favorite books of all time, House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer) (IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING), who is, no shit, the worst. He’s immediately on Will’s balls about his status at the FBI, and when Will asks him why in the holy fuck a dangerous patient was allowed to be alone with a nurse, Chilton’s like “[shrug] HE WAS NICE FOR TWO YEARS???”
The worst! Will hates so much him already, it’s amazing.
Jack says they’re going to need to see the crime scene so Will can go into his mind palace, and Chilton immediately gets ooze-y: “Oh, yes, that thing you do. You’re quite the topic of conversation in psychiatric circles, Mr. Graham.”
Will, looking sick: “Am I?”
“Yes! A unique cocktail of neuroses and personality disorders that make you a highly skilled profiler.”
Chilton oozes around the desk to stand in front of Will and ask him if he’d mind talking to some of the staff so they can analyze him, and Will’s like four seconds from flinging himself out the window before Jack steps in and just asks Chilton to take them to the crime scene.
Chilton finally does, explaining along the way that Dr. Abel Gideon (FUN FACT: in the rewrite of the Silence of the Lambs script, Lecter’s name was briefly changed to Gideon Quinn for legal reasons) palmed a fork tine to escape from his handcuffs.
Chilton, who Jack reveals consulted on the Chesapeake Ripper case two years previous, believes that Gideon is the Ripper, considering the modus operandi is the same. Jack is adamant that the Ripper is still out there, biding his time. Chilton lets Jack and Will into the medical ward with an overdramatic flourish (“The reason you failed and kept failing to catch the Chesapeake Ripper is I already had him.”)
The nurse’s body is fucked up, balanced on a bunch of metal rods–like Cassie Boyle on the stag head–and missing her eyes.
Will, in his mind palace, is being gurneyed to the medical ward. The nurse attaches some monitor suction cups to his chest and turns away from him, which allows him to UGH OH GOD HE LITERALLY PALMED THE FORK TINE slide the little metal sliver out of the meat pocket he cut into his hand and unhook the cuffs.
He–I think–hits the nurse in the throat with his handcuffs, crushing her trachea and keeping her from screaming. He drops her to the floor and climbs on top of her, shushes her gently/hotly (and you don’t hate me as much as I hate me for feeling this way, trust. SIGH.), then gouges out her eyes with his thumbs. And we get to see it. All of it! It is filmed so lovingly! Ick! (I have an eye thing.)
She tries to crawl away while he takes apart an IV stand, but doesn’t make it very far. COME ON HONEY HE TOOK YOUR EYES NOT YOUR FEET GET UP RUNoh nevermind he already put the IV stand through you. :( Will comes back to the present, crying a little bit and looking super grossed out and sad. His hands shake as he puts his glasses back on and says “As far as we know, it’s been over two years since the Chesapeake Ripper killed? When was Gideon admitted?”
Jack says “Almost two years ago.”
FLASHBACK TO TWO YEARS AGO
Jack calls Agent Miriam Regina Lass (Anna Chlumsky) into his office.
She corrects Jack twice in 60 seconds, first telling him that she’s not nervous when he assumes she is, then that she’s in the top 5% of her class instead of the top 10%. Jack tells her to stop correcting him if they’re gonna get along, and you can tell he already kind of adores her. When she was accepted into the Academy, she wrote him a letter that he never responded to (since statistically almost none of the recruits actually end up employed by the FBI), but he’s glad to see that she made it. He wants her on the task force he’s got going after the Chesapeake Ripper, who is currently “hot” (hoo boy, if you only knew) and will be killing at least one more person before he goes back underground.
She asks why he wants her, and he lists off her credentials–a forensics fellowship, six years in law enforcement, a degree in psychology and a doctorate in criminology. And he needs “more warm bodies.”
Back in the PRESENT DAY, Jack is still like, shit.
Alana is there, sitting across from Chilton and getting the full brunt of awful while Will stares out of the window. Chilton complains that all the mail Gideon gets makes him feel more like a secretary than…whatever he is. A highly-paid fuckup. Alana asks if any of the mail stands out, and Chilton says no–it’s mostly grad students looking for interviews, interspersed with a dozen or so lonely-hearts letters.
We learn that Alana knows Gideon already, and did two sessions with him right after he was institutionalized. We also learn that Gideon has given Alana “a lot of thought.” Chilton says he’s read her notes on Gideon, and that they were “more or less helpful” when he was conducting his own interviews with Gideon.
Alana, hilariously: “Glad I was helpful.”
Will, also hilariously: “More or less.”
Alana volunteers to conduct her interview with Gideon first, so that she and Will can compare notes later. Gideon greets her skeezily, but she’s having none of it, getting straight to business instead. Her interview and Will’s interview are shown together.
They both ask why Gideon is suddenly claiming responsibility for the Ripper murders, and he can’t give a satisfactory answer (he was enjoying “watching the goose chase”), and when it’s pointed out that the mutilation of the body was done posthumously instead of during, Gideon gets defensive and says he doesn’t have to prove he’s the Ripper. Except he totally does, and Will and Alana call him on it.
HANNIBAL LECTER’S SEX OFFICE, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND
Hannibal is getting ready to head home when he sees Jack sitting grouchily and despondently in his waiting room. Hannibal, actually a pretty good therapist when he’s not being a terrible one, invites Jack in to talk. Jack is worried about Bella, because she says she’s fine but she’s also at a NATO conference so he can’t interrogate her about it. Hannibal reminds Jack that he can’t violate the doctor-patient confidentiality. Jack’s like, you violate Will’s all the time? But Hannibal maintains that Will isn’t his patient. “We have conversations.”
DOES WILL KNOW THAT? I feel like he isn’t getting the same thing out of this relationship.
Jack angrily says that if Bella wanted someone who wasn’t going to get involved in her problems, she married the wrong guy. Hannibal assures him that Bella doesn’t think she married the wrong guy.
Jack breaks down all at once. “I can’t stop thinking about when my wife is gonna die. I look at her side of the bed and I think, Is she gonna die there? I can’t stop thinking about it, do you understand? I can’t stop.” He sits down heavily, fully crying now. JACK, NO! My tearstained Goodbye Cruel World note is just going to say CRAWFORDS!!!!
(Don’t worry, I won’t be dead. I’ll just be at Dunkin Donuts, in my pajamas, lying on the floor and crying into a box of Munchkins and a thermos of Mommy’s Powerade.)
Jack tells Hannibal he’s thinking a lot about other losses, too. Hannibal asks what other losses, but Jack doesn’t answer. Hannibal says “Jack, you can’t save her. She won’t let you. The cancer won’t let you. Who else couldn’t you save?”
FLASHBACK TO SOME ROOM FULL OF DEAD GUY.
Jack has Agent Lass check out the body and tell him what’s up. She deduces that the murder was committed on-site, that there was a windpipe-crushing blow to keep the victim from screaming, and that the mutilation occurred while the victim was still alive and conscious, including the removal of the liver and thymus. She says the organs were surgical trophies, and that the killer is probably a medical doctor ina surgical field–there’s a high incidence of sociopathic tendencies among surgeons, because it’s a powerful job that requires quick decisions with no emotional input.
She also says that the killer is “exotic” somehow, and not necessarily white. I get what she’s trying to communicate, but with the privilege of knowing Lecter is played by Mads Mikkelsen: you can’t get much whiter than Denmark, yo.
Lass says this is why Jack will catch the Ripper. Apparently, trainees call him the Guru, because he has a “peculiar cleverness.” She says again that Jack will catch him, but Jack says “Or you will. Now, I want you to take a look at this.”
QUANTICO ANALYSIS LAB FOR ANALYZING EVIDENCE AND EMOTIONS.
Katz, Price, and Zeller are going over the body, and Katz is saying that the Ripper has no patterns with his victims. Zeller notes that the wound patterns are exactly the same as the last known victim of the Ripper. Jack, annoyed, says no, the last known victim of the Ripper was never found. Zeller corrects himself to the one before that.
Will says “I see the Ripper, but I don’t…feel the Ripper.” OH BABY, YOU WILL. YOU WILL. Jack says that the wound patterns were never made public, but Will is still unsure. He says Gideon might be the real Ripper, but if he isn’t, the real one is “gonna make sure everyone knows it.
2:46 A.M., CRAWFORD HOUSE OF SADNESS
The phone rings, waking Jack up. Instead of throwing that shit through the window, he answers it. At first there’s silence, but then there’s a woman’s panicked voice. “Jack? Jack?”
“Who is this?” Jack asks.
“Jack, it’s Miriam. I don’t know where I am. I can’t say anything.”
“I was so wrong! Please, Jack–please–”
The line goes dead midsentence. Jack’s just like, shit.
QUANTICO ANALYSIS LAB FOR ANALYZING EVIDENCE AND MYSTERIOUS PHONE CALLS.
Katz says she’s hooked into every single network in the US, but found no calls incoming to Jack’s house at 2:46 A.M. Price says the caller might have tapped in from the phone box outside of Jack’s house and made the call. Nobody really knows what to make of it. Jack insists that the killer called and played a recording of him killing Miriam. Will steps forward and asks if Jack is sure it was a recording, because seriously: they never found Miriam’s body. Jack’s not super interested in entertaining that idea. He grows increasingly irritated with Zeller in particular, who keeps suggesting that he might have imagined it in his sleep.
QUANTICO, WILL’S CLASSROOM/NAPROOM
Will gets a visit from his birdy deer, heralded by the clippety-clop of hooves in the hallway outside. The deer adorably ducks to fit his antlers through the doorway.
Will wakes up to Alana and Jack and a very bad idea: they want to draw the Chesapeake Ripper out, even if that means another person dies. The only way they can think of to do that is to, as Will puts it, “get into bed with Freddie Lounds?” HUGH DANCY ACTING OUT WILL GRAHAM’S DISGUST WITH FREDDIE LOUNDS IS MY FAVORITE THING EVER. You can hear the italics every time he says her name.
Freddie is bright-eyed and bushy-haired the next morning, wearing a cute blue jacket with a leather skirt and gloves. She shakes hands with Jack and Alana, but Will refuses to touch her. YOU GO BABY. I think more people should blatantly not touch people they don’t want to. I would have to grit my way through way fewer handshakes and hugs in my life and be much happier overall.
Jack starts in with his paternal flattery, at which Freddie is pleased but not buying any of it. Will is gloriously bitchy the entire time. WHY DID THEY EVEN BRING WILL ALONG.
Jack appeals to Freddie’s vanity, offering her an exclusive interview with Gideon that would run, with her byline and a picture credit, in the L.A. Times/Washington Post/NYT trifecta.
Freddie: “I don’t mean to snap bubblegum and crack wise, but what’s my angle? Is Gideon really the Chesapeake Ripper, or do you just want me to tell everybody he is?”
Alana, hilariously: “He could be!”
She goes on to say that certain professions attract psychopaths. Freddie is familiar with the psychopath checklist. Surgeons are at number five. Will snippily asks if she knows what number six is, and she’s like “Yeah. Journalists. Number seven?”
Will, dejected: “Law enforcement.”
Freddie smiles around the table. “Here we are. A bunch of psychopaths helping each other out.”
BALTIMORE HOSPITAL OF LIES
Freddie meets with Gideon at his cell. He ignores her at first, but when she asks if she should call him the Chesapeake Ripper, he looks at her and is lost forever in her bountiful curls. Freddie voiceovers her story about how Gideon is totally the killer no question about it definitely for sure forever the Ripper, amen, while Hannibal reads it on his iPad.
BALTIMORE HOSPITAL OF LIES, LATER
Jack tells Gideon flat out that they know he’s not the Ripper. They go back and forth for a bit, Gideon being creepy and Jack being Jack, until Gideon mentions Miriam Lass. That gives Jack pause. He asks if he’s supposed to believe that Gideon murdered her, but Gideon says “I didn’t mean to. Don’t be mad.” Jack’s like “You haven’t seen me mad. My top profiler probably cries himself to sleep most nights because I destroy him emotionally at every opportunity. If you killed her, why didn’t you put her on display?”
“Who says I didn’t?” Gideon asks.
Jack’s phone starts ringing. The caller ID says HOME. He walks off to take it, and Gideon says the polite thing to do would be to call back later. “Unless you can’t.” he adds after Jack is out of earshot. WHAT’S GOING ONNNN.
Jack answers the phone. Of course, it isn’t Bella like he expects–it’s the recording of Miriam. This time, it cuts out right after she says she doesn’t want to die.
CRAWFORD HOUSE OF LITERAL GOLDILOCKS
Price peels fingerprints off the phone and Katz goes over the bed–which the Ripper had laid on–while Jack tries to pretend he isn’t being gaslighted. Katz pulls a long blond hair off of the pillow and asks if Miriam Lass was a blonde, just as Price gets a print match on the ViCAP database. ALSO MIRIAM. Jack yells that Lass is dead, and Will gently asks if she knew where Jack lived. Jack says that she was smart enough to find out if she wanted to. Will suggests that the Ripper might have gotten his address out of her before he killed her.
Will asks if Jack knew he was sending Miriam after the Ripper. Oh boy. So this makes, what, three bright, beautiful people Jack Crawford’s going to destroy via putting them in proximity to Hannibal Lecter? EVERYTHING IS SO TRAGIC. Jack says he was sending her after information, but even he doesn’t seem to believe that anymore.
Will says that the Ripper thinks Jack feels guilty. Jack’s like, “You don’t even know the half of it. FLASHBACK TIME.”
Miriam goes to Jack’s office to talk to him about a report she submitted, and gets the brushoff. Jack tells her to go back to her class on exclusionary search and seizure methods. She’s bummed out that he didn’t read her report, but he tells her he did, and that’s why he thinks she needs to go back and learn more about warrants. She had proposed looking at medical records to try and match them with a surgeon that looked good for the murders. Jack’s cold shoulder is revealed to be one of those Dad Lessons about a) toughening up and b) taking the initiative and doing illegal shit to get results.
“So it’s better for a trainee to ask for forgiveness than an FBI agent to ask for permission?” Miriam says carefully.
“In my experience, yes.” Jack answers. Miriam cheekily asks forgiveness for skipping class that day. NO. SWEETHEART. GO LEARN MORE ABOUT WARRANTS. AAAGH.
BALTIMORE HOSPITAL OF I WANT ALL OF ALANA’S CLOTHES
Alana questions Gideon again, trying to find out if he was somehow coerced subconsciously into killing the nurse. She thinks it’s fishy that he spent two years as a model patient, and asks for his trust/permission to find out if he was pushed into his actions and manipulated without his realizing it. Gideon is willing to go along with it. SERIOUSLY WHAT IS HAPPENING. For as skeezy as Gideon initially seemed, I like that Alana is willing to try and help him here, even indirectly in the course of finding the actual Chesapeake Ripper. She’s such an awesome character.
HANNIBAL’S SEX HOUSE
Chilton and Alana are both having dinner with Hannibal. Unfortunately, Chilton is not the dinner. :( He toasts to the Chesapeake Ripper, and how they’re finally going to get to study a true sociopath. Alana is halfway between angry and uncomfortable.
Hannibal saves the day by bringing out what I think he says is langue d’agneau au papillote, or lamb’s tongue in in paper, and oyster mushrooms (“Picked myself”). This is the first thing that doesn’t look super delicious to me. I mean, I’ve eaten a TON of paper in my lifetime, and tongue’s fine–I’ve had a good beef-tongue on a sandwich–but this just isn’t that appetizing.
Alana says she’s never had tongue before–insert [I’ll give you tongue hurr hurr etc.] here–and that it smells great. Hannibal tells her it was a “Particularly chatty lamb.” Chilton does that thing of when you think up random possibly false facts you learned in middle school to try and seem interesting and says that Romans used to kill flamingos just to eat their tongues. JUST BECAUSE THAT ONE HAPPENS TO BE TRUE DOESN’T MEAN HE’S ANY LESS OF A TOOLBAG.
Hannibal says “Don’t give me any ideas. Your tongue is very feisty. And as tonight has already proven, it’s nice to have an old friend for dinner.” No, those are cool and totally normal things to say, Hannibal.
Later, Alana wants to talk about Gideon.
“I see three possibilities. Gideon is the Chesapeake Ripper. Or he just thinks he is. Or he knows he isn’t.”
Chilton: “He is. He knows he is. And so do I.”
Hannibal asks if Chilton discussed the Chesapeake Ripper’s crimes with Gideon at all. AND BOOM, CHILTON FUCKING DID. Ughhhhhh such a fuckup.
Alana asks if Chilton might have “inadvertently planted the suggestion in Gideon’s mind that he was the Chesapeake Ripper.”
Chilton gets offended and says “Psychic driving is unethical.”
“I said inadvertently.” Alana repeats, now totally sure that Chilton is not only an idiot but also an extra idiot.
Hannibal (who I assume is working with Alana in this good cop/bad cop scenario) plays devil’s advocate and suggests that there are some times when it’s okay to do that. Alana asks when it’s acceptable, and Hannibal says when the memories are repressed. Except he believes Gideon came to the realization on his own. Hannibal asks Chilton to help him in the kitchen. He does some weird stuff with a grape–DUDE, CHILTON’S GONNA FUCKING REMEMBER THIS SHIT WHEN YOU GET CAUGHT–and says he’s more open to alternative psychiatric methods than Alana is. Dessert is a gelatin of grapes/probably powdered human bones. LOOKS DELICIOUS.
Jack gets another recording call. This one has a phone number.
SOME KIND OF OBSERVATORY THINGY
Will and Katz walk toward the building, looking chilly and discussing Miriam. Katz draws a parallel between Miriam and Will, as Miriam made a jump she couldn’t explain right before she disappeared, and Will makes those jumps all the time. They reach Jack up near the building. Jack calls the number, and everybody’s stomach drops out when a phone starts ringing inside the building. The phone is, unfortunately, in a hand that is attached to a severed arm. Lying near it is a note.
HANNIBAL LECTER’S SEX OFFICE, EXTRA SEXY FIREPLACE VERSION
Jack, emotionally annihilated from the little glimmer of hope he had that Miriam was still alive, stares dully into the fire while Hannibal tries to convince him to start keeping hope alive for his wife, since she’s lost all hers. Hannibal also says he’s sorry about her cancer, and that he believes the world is a better place with her in it. He also says he’s sorry about Miriam.
Then he says “Talk to me about her” and everyone is like UUUUUGGGGGHHHHH THAT’S TACKY AS FUCK, HANNIBAL.
Miriam goes to Hannibal’s office, immediately apologizing for her lack of credentials, as she’s “Just a trainee.”
“Never just a trainee. An agent in training.” Hannibal says supportively. He invites her inside, and we learn that he was a medical doctor but hasn’t practiced for some time. She’s there to ask him about Jeremy Olmstead, the dead guy from earlier, and if Hannibal remembers him visiting the ER while Hannibal was on duty. He had fallen out of a hunter’s blind and pierced his leg with an arrow. Hannibal says he doesn’t remember, but that he kept detailed journals he could get for her. Uh oh.
He goes up to the second level to get them, and Miriam wanders around the office, looking at books. She notices some drawings on the table, and immediately pieces everything together when she sees a rendition of the Wound Man underneath another drawing. Unfortunately, Hannibal has removed his shoes and jacket and made his way silently back down the ladder, and he grabs her from behind and strangles her until she’s most likely unconscious.
PROTIP: if you’re grabbed like that from behind, don’t waste time going for the arm or hand that’s holding you (but if it’s an arm, try and turn into the elbow to get some more space between their arm and your throat). Get your fingers into the eye sockets as hard as you can! They might grab one of your arms or hands to stop you, but they’re probably not going to be able to get the other one.
Jack: “She was a very brave young woman.”
Hannibal drinks, silently hiding his murderboner from Jack.
+What’s your favorite Eddie Izzard comedy special?
+Is Miriam still alive? I vote yes.
+If she is alive, is she our Clarice?
+How much do you hate Chilton? Fury of a thousand suns, or fury of a MILLION suns?
If you need me, I’ll be at Dunkin Donuts. Come lay down on the floor with me. Have some sadness holes (donut holes, but soggy with tears).