I haven't been more impressed with a show since "Breaking Bad" in terms of writing and making the audience clueless about what's gonna happen next or where things are going and that certainly was the case in this episode where some HARD revelations were made, some of them made me smile (Freddie Lounds is NOT dead, THANK GOD!) Mason Verger is WAAAAAAAAY more insane than I thought he was and finally Will Graham is a F*CKIN' GENIUS! But before we get into all of that, let's start small and build up. Mason Verger! As this season progressed, I teased throughout my reviews that I have been DYING to see Michael Pitt's Mason Verger and while his arrival didn't come till late in the season, IT WAS WELL WORTH THE WAIT! THIS GUY IS SADISTIC, INSANE AND ABSOLUTELY FEARLESS! I think it was Bryan Fuller who mentioned that Mason would be The Joker to Hannibal's Batman and he wasn't lying!
This episode expounded on his cruelty, not just towards his sister but towards humanity in general. Cribbing a line from "Hannibal", Mason reminisces on camp and children who would do "anything for a candy bar", OF COURSE, this is a reference to Mason's child molesting (maybe a little much for network television but if this show ain't pushing the envelope...). Making Mason even more creepy is his tendency to just go into fits of laughter, EVEN when having a gun pointed to his head and facing the prospect of being fed to his own pigs (something that does indeed happen in "Hannibal", will it happen here? Who knows?). Drinking the tears of his sister and small children aside,the abortion scene is truly the depths of Mason's depravity and selfish sadism, and I'm not just saying that as a Christian. Mason is absolutely BONE-CHILLING and simultaneously HILARIOUS to watch. Hannibal's disdain for him is truly visible and it'll be wonderful to see what they do with this relationship.
Which brings me to Hannibal, and we got to see some depth to his character. While I'll in NO WAY acknowledge "Hannibal Rising" as an actually addition to The Hannibal Mythos, I applaud the series for alluding to Hannibal's sister Mischa and making a connective between Mischa and Abigail. This really grounded Hannibal and showed that he has at least one vulnerability and I felt that the apology he gave Will was actually sincere (after all, he does wanna be Will's friend). It's hard to believe that Hannibal doesn't know what's going on and that he'd be naive enough to trust that Will was turning into a killer...Who the hell am I kidding, WE ALL THOUGHT WILL WAS OFF THE RESERVATION! So when Freddie Lounds was revealed safe and sound in the FBI waiting room, The Reckoning that Will promised Hannibal was in FULL SWING and IT WAS GLORIOUS!
Will Graham's performance (not Hugh Dancy) but Will Graham's performance as an unstable killer even has Hannibal convinced and HOT DAMN that is NO easy feat. But this just shows the intimacy between these two and the fact that Hannibal has let his guard down with Will and legitimately trusts that Will no longer desires to kill him and has joined him. As a side note, you'd think after years of eating people Hannibal would be able to tell the difference between human and animal but...*shrugs* I don't know what human tastes like...and I have no interest in finding out. However, Will Graham's feigned instability MAYBE real as the opening scene would suggest as Will now a wendigo like Hannibal, being birth from the stomach of the stag (as a reference to episode 8 of this season), after all Will was deeply troubled by killing Garret Jacob Hobbs...however much of his trouble was due to encephalitis, but still, killing isn't something you can just do on a whim and now that Will has (purposefully) killed Randall Tier, and Will is already on the thin line between psychopath and hero, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say that maybe Will brought back a piece of the abyss with him.
The imagery of this episode is absolutely INCREDIBLE especially the HUGE WTF Wendigo Shiva in Hannibal's office, probably one of the more creepier moments in this series (bizarre Hannibal, Alana, Will, Wendigo Four-way sex scene aside). The sound continues to impress me, specifically noticeable while Mason Verger is enjoying a tears infused martini to some music (this guy really knows how to party). Everything is making me wonder just how long has Jack and Will been onto Hannibal and when exactly did they sit down and plan this thing? Was it in episode 8, while Will and Jack discussed "hunting trout" ? Geez, this is the most elaborate con I've ever seen and Will and Jack's pokerface would beat Vegas, certainly beat me and it's certainly beating Hannibal.
So what comes next, children? After all, Margot has undergone a forced abortion and gential mutilation (I imagine he had her ovaries removed) at the hands of Mason, I imagine Hannibal would not like that very much (Hello Pot, meet Mr. Kettle) and Will now has a slight bone to pick with Mason, but rather instructs Mason to kill Hannibal, dropping the fancy little notion of feeding him to the pigs. Lots of Hannibal Mythos imagery in this episode, ESPECIALLY the Flaming Wheelchair (pulled from "Red Dragon", guess they blew that load, so hopefully Freddie Lounds DOESN'T die when they get to "Red Dragon"...I can't handle her being dead "again" and this time having it be for real). My goodness, Will promised a Reckoning and it's coming HARD AND FAST! CAN'T WAIT! Until then...