PREVIOUSLY: WILL GOT TOO CLOSE AND EVERYONE WAS REAL MAD ABOUT IT, ESPECIALLY THE SERIAL KILLER HE SHOT TO DEATH. But Hannibal isn’t mad. Hannibal gets you. Hannibal is the only one who understands. Come to Hannibal’s bosom. Hannibal deserves you at your best because he loves you at your worst. Shhh, it’ll be all right.
Bullet casings fall to the ground while we listen to steady, muffled gunfire. Will Graham is at the shooting range, proving to all of us that Hugh Dancy is one of few people alive who could pull a gun on you and you’d still be like, check out this fucking Precious Moments angel baby.
It’s worth noting that Hugh Dancy also doesn’t really close his eyes while firing, because he is good at everything I guess?
Will Graham, however, is not. He misses most of his shots, winging the extremities at best, and when he brings the target forward, it turns into a becorpsed Hobbs. Instead of stopping the target return and running away, he anxiously reloads and empties a clip into Hobbs’s torso, which does not stop Hobbs, since he is a hallucination and also on a conveyor.
Will wakes up in a car with Crawford knocking on the window. “We’re here.” Crawford says. “Here” is Garrett Jacob Hobbs’s cabin in the Chippewa National Forest of Minnesota. It’s a pretty standard trophy cabin with taxidermied deer and coyote faces lying around, until Will and Jack reach the ANT(L)EROOM.
Will snarks that Crawford should put all the antlers in his Evil Minds museum. Crawford artfully ignores that, reminding Will that there are seven victims whose bodies are unaccounted for, and anything they can pick up from the room might help find them. Will points out that Hobbs was eating his victims, and Crawford says that Hobbs wouldn’t have eaten all parts of them. Will, who knows what Jell-O is made of (HUMAN BONES SERIOUSLY I’M NOT LYING I WOULDN’T LIE 2U), says Hobbs totally could have been eating all the parts.
Crawford changes the subject by flat-out stating the FBI thinks Hobbs had an accomplice, and that the accomplice was his daughter, Abigail–because who would work better as bait? Will thinks about her lying in her hospital bed, frail and in a coma, and doesn’t even entertain the thought. Which assures us that she totally was an accomplice, at the very least. Probably the mastermind.
Will kneels down and plucks a curly auburn hair off of the floor and says “Someone else was here.” LISTEN UP, FELLOW CURLMONSTERS: WE SHED EVIDENCE. A LOT. When you’re creeping around crime scenes (or creating crime scenes!!!), invest in a hairnet. Take a page out of Francis Dolarhyde’s book and tuck your hair underneath some cut-up pantyhose! For optimum concealment, bring someone else’s hair and leave it around.
Credits time. Hoooooly shit they’re awesome. Blood swirls around in front of a white background, eventually congealing into Hannibal Lecter’s face.
Will steels himself in the entrance to the lecture hall at Quantico. He pushes his glasses onto his face and walks out to applause. He says “Thank you. Please stop that.” Once the class settles down, he puts Hobbs’s resignation letter up on the projector, and asks if anyone can see the clue in it that led to Will catching Hobbs. A few people raise their hands, but Will says “There isn’t [a clue].” He chalks it up to bad bookkeeping and dumb luck. He stares at a photo of Hobbs’s body for an awkward amount of time, and tells the agents that their focus is on finding the copycats who want to kill like Hobbs.
After the class is over and the students leave (some stop and stare like they want to talk to him, but he deliberately keeps his head down and ignores them until they go away. I SEE YOU’VE WORKED RETAIL AS A PERSON WITH SOME PRETTY HEINOUS SOCIAL ANXIETY, WILL. FBI profilers–they’re just like us!), Dr. Bloom comes in with a bad news bears look on her face and asks how he’s doing. He says he has no idea, and she warns him that he’s about to be ambushed by Crawford just as Crawford walks in behind her, glaring at the side of her head.
Crawford says Will’s up for a commendation, and he’s been okayed to go back into the field. Bloom asks if Will even wants to go back in the field, but Crawford’s like I WANT HIM BACK IN THE FIELD.
Crawford has recommended a psychiatric evaluation with Hannibal Lecter. Will is super against the idea of getting his head shrunk, and seems surprised when the eval isn’t just a formality to rush him back into the field. Crawford claims to be losing sleep over it. We learn that Will worked homicide, and then stopped working homicide because he couldn’t pull the trigger, presumably when it became necessary. “And you just pulled the trigger ten times.” Crawford points out. THOUGH I’M STILL BAFFLED AS TO WHY HE HAD A GUN ANYWAY.
Will doesn’t meet anybody’s eyes during the conversation, which is an excellent touch that I’m glad wasn’t just a pilot thing. He takes off his glasses so he can not look at them even harder, and leaves. “I need my beauty sleep!” Crawford yells after him. Oh my god, I love Crawford so much. He could so easily just be a standard boss character, but he’s so layered–caring authority figure one moment, manipulative sorta-dick the next–that he’s going to be really exciting to watch over the course of the show.
Hannibal’s gorgeous office. THERE’S A BALCONY, I’M DYING. Will is on the second level and Hannibal’s on the ground floor with some paperwork. Will asks what it is.
“It’s your psychological evaluation. You’re totally functional, and more or less sane. Well done.”
Will: “Did you just rubber-stamp me?”
Hannibal: “Yes. Jack Crawford may lay his weary head to rest knowing he didn’t break you, and our conversation may continue unobstructed by paperwork.” And pants, probably Hannibal adds secretly.
Will is annoyed that Jack thinks he needs therapy. Hannibal tries to tell him that he just needs to learn to deal with the aftermath of the dark places Crawford sends him, and Will says the last time he went to a dark place, he brought something back with him.
Hannibal says “A surrogate daughter?” And Will’s like “WHAT.” because, seriously, WHAT?
Hannibal: “You saved Abigail Hobbs’s life. You also orphaned her. It comes with certain emotional obligations, regardless of empathy disorders.”
Will: “You were there, you saved her life, too. Do you feel obligated?”
Hannibal: “Yes. I feel a staggering amount of obligation. I feel responsibility. I’ve fantasized about scenarios where my actions may have allowed a different fate for Abigail Hobbs.”
Haha, holy shit, Hannibal totally saved Abigail so Will would have to stay with them both. This is like that Hideous-Manchild horror story of the girl getting pregnant to force a relationship. Hannibal is Lestat.
Will nods, understanding. He then tells Hannibal that Crawford thinks Abigail was an accomplice. Hannibal asks how that makes Will feel. Will snottily asks how that makes Hannibal feel. Hannibal does not say “Proud” while wiping a paternal tear from his eye, just says “I find it vulgar.” Will agrees.
Hannibal: “And entirely possible.”
Will asserts that this is not what happened, and Hannibal just says they’ll know when she wakes up. Will asks if this is a support group, but Hannibal assures him it’s whatever he needs it to be, and that “The mirrors in your mind can reflect the best of yourself, not the worst of someone else.”
Please note Hannibal’s lovely outfit:
Elk Neck State Forest, Maryland. Three boys in puffy vests hike through the woods until they come across some plastic tubing strung up in a tree over a small clearing. One of them asks what it is, and another says it’s probably marijuana. Children are dumb. The third one says it’s mushrooms and the tubing is water, but when they take a closer look, it is actually a FUNGUS-COVERED HAND WITH AN IV LINE IN IT.
OKAY LET’S TALK ABOUT MY THING WITH FUNGUS AND MUSHROOMS AND PLANTS GROWING OUT OF BODIES SOMEDAY. HOLY SHIT HANNIBAL I HATE THIS SO MUCH. But in a good horror movie way! Where I will take baths in fungus killer for the rest of my life!
“That’s not marijuana.” the first boy says. Freaky music-box music goes crazy as the camera pulls back on several more hands poking up out of the dirt. Euuugh.
At Quantico, Will is at the firing range again. Katz strolls in and asks why he’s there, since firearms accuracy isn’t really a prerequisite for teaching. Will tells her it took him ten shots to bring Hobbs down–but they were mostly center-center mass, and that speaks more to Hobbs’s determination to do as much damage as possible than Will’s firearm skills, I think. Will starts firing again.
Katz comments on his Weaver stance, and how she figured him for an Isosceles. I’m just excited that I know what both of those things mean (my dad’s a gun guy), and also that my stance is neither of these, nor is it the Universal stance. My stance mostly involves me complaining and not hitting anything and yelling at my dad when he laughs at me.
Will uses the Weaver because of a rotator cuff injury. Katz reaches back and adjusts his shoulders, saying his right shoulder is very tight. Will’s like I WAS STABBED THERE WHEN I WAS A COP and Katz is like YEAH I WAS STABBED WITH A PENCIL ONCE CALM DOWN.
She steps back and tells him to see if that helps with the recoil. It does! Will surveys all the holes and Katz once again makes the face we are all constantly making at Will Graham:
Will asks, “You come all the way down here to teach me how to shoot?”
“No. Jack sent me down here to see what you know about gardening.” Katz says.
HORRIBLE FIELD OF HORRIBLE DUDESHROOMS
The gist is this: the bodies were buried alive, in a high-nutrient compost meant to encourage decomposition. The tubing was to administer fluids intravenously. Nobody was constrained, just buried.
Everyone leaves Will alone at the scene, Katz asking “You find any shiitakes?” One of the other CSIs goes NOOOO. Haha.
Over at the perimeter, Freddie Lounds takes photos–like, very obviously, with a full-size camera–and pretends to be one of the boys’ mother so she can ask the detective questions about the crime scene. The detective spills on Will, because he is a terrible detective.
Will goes to his yellow-tinged mind palace, the mental pendulum swinging away everything but an empty coffin. The pendulum stops, and Will shovels dirt onto a man in the grave.
I do not bind his arms or legs as I bury him in a shallow grave. He’s alive, but he will never be conscious again. He won’t know that he’s dying. I don’t need him to. This is my design.
Will shoves an airtube down the man’s throat and duct tapes it down. The man turns into Hobbs when Will looks back, and that startles Will out of empathy-mode.
The body then fucking GRABS WILL’S ARM, which startles me out of bladder control-mode. I feel like this scene is an homage to the most startling scene in Se7en, the Sloth victim. The skin of the mouth is even peeled back away from the teeth, and they’re in a forest (like the pine tree air fresheners). Will backs up into a tree and looks like he’s going to be sick as the investigators swarm over the man. One of them says “Don’t touch him!” and Will is all WOW CAUSE I WAS TOTALLY GONNA FEEL ALL UP ON HIM THANKS.
Back at Hannibal’s office, Will returns the certification of mental competency like “A mushroom guy touched me and now I need to go in the ocean and be cleansed in death.” Actually, he’s returning it because of his vision of Hobbs. Hannibal suggests that it’s not abnormal to put Hobbs’s image in place of another killer’s victim, when Hobbs could be considered Will’s victim. Will is unsure. Hannibal asks if Will is having a hard time imagining why a killer would want to kill after he’s done it himself, and yes, Will is.
They spend most of the conversation across the room from each other, but end up in each other’s orbit when they start hashing out the killer’s motivations. Hannibal says fungal structures mirror the human brain, but that they also connect to one another (fun fact: the largest organism in the world is a fungus in Oregon). Human minds can’t connect–except for Will’s, Hannibal points out. Hannibal smiles and Will laughs and says “Not physically.” ADORABLE. Hannibal asks if the “farmer” is looking for some sort of connection, and Will goes like this:
We see Freddie Lounds shove a recorder back into her bag as Hannibal bids will adieu (they’ve been talking for 52 minutes) and invites her in, greeting her as Miss Kimball. Her hair and outfit are cute as hell, but I question the wisdom of dressing a redhead in all red when you’re filming against red walls. She just looks like a floating face sometimes.
Freddie tells Hannibal he’s one of three doctors she’s interviewing, and Hannibal says it’s important to find someone she’s comfortable with. He asks her “Why now?” and we know it’s all over, even before she deflects and asks if she can question him first.
She starts with “I love that you’ve written so much on social exclusion. Since that’s why I’m here–”
Hannibal interrupts her, asking “Are you Freddie Lounds?” She doesn’t try to deny it. He continues, “This is unethical, even for a tabloid journalist.”
Freddie says she’s embarrassed (she totally isn’t. I love Freddie). Hannibal asks for her bag, and says he doesn’t want to have to take it from her. She hands it over, and he sits on his pretty blue couch (in the middle, so she has to sit close to him) and takes out her recorder. This show is so aesthetically attractive ugh.
Hannibal makes her delete her recording of Will’s session, and asks how she knew Will would be there at that time. She refuses to say. Hannibal stares at her intensely and says “You’ve been terribly rude, Miss Lounds. What’s to be done about that?” GULP. But also: KINDA HOT and furthermore: is there anyone among us who wouldn’t immediately be like “Spanking, obvs?”
Cut to Hannibal serving a plate of tasty person to Jack Crawford. “Loin, served with a Cumberland sauce of red fruits.”
Crawford asks what kind of loin it is, and Hannibal says “Pork.” Humans taste like pork, so whatever, easy enough. Crawford says he doesn’t get many home-cooked meals, and also that he tried his damndest not to but ended up marrying his mother anyway. He describes a meal that his mother made, called “Oriental noodles,” that was noodles, soy sauce, and Spam. “I was very thin as a child.”
He asks Hannibal why he thinks Will went back to see him. They discuss how Crawford feels about Will, why he treats him so delicately, and if it’s because he’s afraid of losing someone else in the field (“Have you ever lost a broken pony?”) Crawford says he’s already had his psych eval, and Hannibal saucily says Crawford’s already started talking about his mother, so why stop there? Crawford laughs, and they toast with wine. There is a lot of fucking charm happening in this scene, coming from all directions. Especially when Hannibal says he’d love to have Crawford and his wife for dinner.
Quantico coroner’s office. There doesn’t seem to be any kind of safety protocols or standards here, because some people are wearing masks and gloves and some people are just like breathing in dead person fumes and shit barefaced and barehanded. Will’s not even wearing a labcoat. WILL STRAIGHT UP PULLS A CUP OF COFFEE OFF OF AN OCCUPIED EXAMINATION TABLE. Ahahaha so gross.
The CSIs try to figure out why all of the victims died, and why they were on a sugar mixture. I like their banter a lot! They decide on alcoholism, but Will says all the victims died of kidney failure, and that plus the sugar mixture means it was probably diabetic ketoacidosis that put them into diabetic comas, at which point they were buried with the sugar going through their systems to feed the mushrooms. The killer is most likely a doctor or pharmacist, with access to the victims’ medication in order to change it.
A PHARMACY. A cute blonde lady arrives to pick up her insulin, giving her name as Gretchen Speck. She’s in the system under Gretchen Horowitz, and there’s weird dialogue about how she got divorced and “lost the hyphen, kept the ring.” I didn’t understand it, but now that I know it’s a reference to another Bryan Fuller show (Wonderfalls), it’s cute as hell.
The creepy pharmacist switches her insulin for rapid-acting insulin, confirms her address, and sends her on her way. The next day, Crawford and Will bring tactical response team into the grocery store, explaining that Gretchen is the tenth customer to go missing after getting insulin from this pharmacist. The pharmacist isn’t there, but his car is–they find Gretchen unconscious and buried in dirt in the trunk with a respirator on her face. YAY GRETCHEN I DO NOT KNOW YOU BUT I AM GLAD YOU’RE ALIVE.
Crawford says they have the pharmacist’s address and can find him. One of the CSIs comes out and says they just checked the pharmacy computer’s browser history–the pharmacist had been reading a Tattlecrime.com story about Will. Katz starts reading out loud, but stops when the article starts calling him mean names like “psycho.” Aw, Katz, you’re good people. Crawford makes her continue (she looks at Will and starts, but stops again almost immediately). Will looks so sad.
We go to Hannibal in his office, reading the same story. He says “You are naughty, Miss Lounds.” SO HE DID NOT EAT HER, WHEW. She is terrible, but I like terrible women so it’s cool.
Speaking of terrible, she is wearing a tie-dye tunic when someone starts knocking on her (motel room?) door. It’s the FBI, and they ziptie her with extreme prejudice. One of the CSIs is there, and they keep making awkward faces at each other, especially when Crawford says she got all her information from the detective she spoke to at the crime scene. Crawford threatens her with, like, nothing that would ever stick (lying to a police officer? WHO HASN’T DONE THAT, SERIOUSLY?), when a simple obstruction of justice would do (she’s willfully endangering the investigation). He also plucks a hair off her head, which I think is kinda illegal on his end because she hasn’t been read her rights or anything. He finally says he can indict her for obstruction of justice, and she’s just like “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t.” HAHA.
Crawford tells her not to write another word about Will Graham, and he won’t have to. He and the other agents leave, and the CSI guy cuts her ties off and mutters “You used me.” Yeah, homie, but she didn’t bust you. Stop bitching.
Will sits in Abigail’s room in Maryland. He looks through the doorway just as the giant crow-feathered elk walks past (Bryan Fuller says it’s a combination of the deer head and carrion crows from the first episode). We see that he’s actually sleeping and dreaming. He follows the elk out into the hallway, but wakes up when he hears Dr. Bloom’s voice reading to Abigail (Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” which you should read if you didn’t in school. Actually just read all the Flannery O’Connors). She has put a blanket on him, too. N’aaw.
“You’re reading,” he says.
Bloom stops reading and tells him it’s Flannery O’Connor, and that she was obsessed with her when she was Abigail’s age. She even tried to raise peacocks, but “They are very stupid birds.” Agreed. Stupid and mean and noisy.
“You could be reading to a killer.” Will says.
“Innocent until proven guilty.”
Will notes that they haven’t been alone together ever, and Bloom lies and says she hadn’t noticed. Will refers to himself as “Jack Crawford’s crime gimp.” JACK CRAWFORD’S CRIME GIMP. Bloom says that makes for a pretty intense mental image.
Will tells her they can talk about whatever she wants, but he was enjoying listening to her read. He’s really comfortable around her, and I enjoy their relationship a lot. She starts gently prodding at his mental state, telling him Abigail was a success for him. He says she doesn’t look like a success, and Bloom tells him not to feel sorry for himself because he saved a girl’s life. He says he doesn’t feel sorry for himself. “I feel…good.” He seems conflicted about that.
When this next scene started, I instinctively went EW WHAT and my BFF/roommate had to go “That’s just coffee, Sam.” I KNOW I JUST HAVE NO IDEA WHEN THIS SHOW’S GOING TO GROSS ME OUT so I’m just preemptively always grossed out.
It’s Freddie’s coffee, and she drinks it as she goes outside to see the detective. He’s pissed because she got him suspended, and she’s just like “You’re gonna get fired. I can help you find work outside the police force. I guarantee it pays better.” Amoral but pseudo-ethical is like my favorite thing ever.
The detective doesn’t get to take her up on the offer, because the pharmacist, Stamets, vworps out of nowhere and shoots him in the head. He turns to a shocked, blood-spattered Freddie, telling her she’s going to tell him everything she knows about Will Graham.
(Fun fact shared by commenter Luminosity: the pharmacist shares a name with Paul Stamets, a noted mycologist.)
The police arrive at the scene later. Freddie, in the back of an ambulance, calls for Crawford. He goes to her (visibly concerned), and she tells him that Stamets was talking about funguses and how they connect and how thoughts can jump from brain to brain, and she asks where Will is. Crawford takes a moment to get why she’s asking, and asks her what she told Stamets. Freddie tells him she talked about Abigail, and deduces that Stamets wants to help Will connect with her–he wants to bury her.
Stamets is at the hospital. He gets scrubs and an ID badge out of a supply closet (???? yeah I know, just go with it) as Will gets a call from Crawford warning him that Stamets knows about Abigail. Will goes to her room. She’s missing already, and learns from a nurse that she’s “been taken for tests.” He runs downstairs and finds Stamets wheeling her away, and shoots him in the arm.
Stamets tells Will he was going to bury Abigail (“We all evolved from mycelium, I was just going to reintroduce her to the concept.”) Freddie told him that Will understood him–Will lies and says he doesn’t. Stamets starts ranting about how mushrooms know you’re there–when you walk through a field of mycelium, the spores reach for you. EW. STOP. He says Will should have let him bury Abigail, since Will’s trying to reach for her–in the field, she could have finally reached back.
Hannibal’s office. Hannibal asks who Will saw when he shot Stamets. Will didn’t see Hobbs, so Hannibal ascertains that it’s not Hobbs that’s haunting Will, it’s the idea that “there is a man so bad that killing him feels good.” Will says killing Hobbs felt just, and Hannibal says this is proof that the “sprig of zest” Will felt was at saving Abigail, not killing Hobbs. Will says he thought about killing Stamets, that he’s still not sure he wasn’t going to.
Hannibal says there’s something beautiful in Will wanting to kill Stamets, since it means Will understood Stamets. Will sits down, exhausted, saying he should have stuck to “fixing boat motors in Louisiana.”
“A boat engine is a machine, a predictable problem. Easy to solve.” Hannibal says, taking a seat across from Will. “If you fail, there was a paddle. Where was your paddle with Hobbs?”
“You’re supposed to be my paddle,” Will says, frustrated. Also, hee.
“I am. It wasn’t the act of killing Hobbs that got you down, was it? Did you really feel so bad because killing him felt so good?”
Will is shaking when he whispers, “I liked killing Hobbs.”
Hannibal says “Killing must feel good to God too. He does it all the time. And are we not created in His image? God is terrific. He dropped a church roof on 34 of his worshippers last Wednesday night in Texas. While they sang a hymn.”
“Did God feel good about that?”
“He felt powerful.”
Shit is gonna get SO REAL you guys. SO REAL.
How did you like this episode? How long until Hannibal and Will go straight up Mickey and Mallory on some fools? Is Freddie’s hair attainable by mere mortals? ANYBODY GOT ANY GOOD TIPS FOR DESTROYING EVERY MUSHROOM ON THE EARTH??