‘Hannibal': Whispering Through The Chrysalis

Published 1 year ago by , Updated April 21st, 2014 at 4:38 am,

Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in Hannibal Season 2 Episode 8 Hannibal: Whispering Through The Chrysalis

[This is a review of Hannibal season 2, episode 8. There will be SPOILERS.]

What exactly has Will Graham become? Early on in Su-zakana, the subject of his current mental state dominates the pillow talk between Dr. Bloom and Dr. Lecter, wherein Bloom expresses concern that, in the act of trying to have Hannibal killed, “Will opened a door inside himself,” and even he doesn’t know if it’s been shut.

As the episode progresses, there are hints littered throughout out that Will has undergone a psychological shift that goes well beyond some newfound appreciation of everything he’d thought lost while being incarcerated. It is even suggested at the episode’s conclusion that all he endured at the hands of Hannibal, including his imprisonment and emergence from the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, was intended to induce a rebirth of sorts, one that has transformed him into a specimen even the illustrious Dr. Lecter did not necessarily foresee.

Many meticulous examples have been placed here and there, helping to indicate this is not necessarily the same Will Graham who lectured to future FBI agents, and reluctantly helped Jack Crawford track down deranged serial killers. There is a confidence and a determination in him during his chilly conversation with Jack on a frozen lake, as well as his therapy session with Dr. Lecter. “I’m a good fisherman, Jack,” Will says with a smile on his face, before pulling on a flask.

This intimation that he’s assumed the role of the hunter, using the patience and aforethought necessary to lure particularly tricky fish to his line, is just the beginning. Will’s appearance has also changed. He’s gotten a haircut, and his wardrobe is more precise and refined; no more earthy, loose-fitting plaid shirts, comfy sweaters, or soiled vests. Instead, Will’s draped in a much more sophisticated overcoat, with a stylish scarf around his neck; and underneath is a slightly more tailored, monochromatic shirt, indicating whatever the shift may prove to be, he’s already dressing the part.

The cast of Hannibal Season 2 Episode 8 Hannibal: Whispering Through The Chrysalis

Both Will’s manipulation at the hands of Dr. Lecter and his rebirth are given a gruesome parallel when a dead woman is found enwombed inside of an equally dead horse. The reveal is one of the more shocking tableaux to be featured on Hannibal, and the fact that it wasn’t the handiwork of the Chesapeake Ripper is definitely saying something. ‘Su-zakana’ plays with the parallel in overt ways, by having the mentally debilitated, highly empathetic Peter Bernadone (Jeremy Davies, who once again proves there is no haircut he cannot pull off) become the unwitting victim of a psychotic social worker named Clark Ingram (Chris Diamantopoulos).

Hannibal and Will’s confrontation with Peter, mid-enwombing of Clark, produces several of the episode’s highlights – not the least of which are the amazing faces Hannibal makes at the macabre sight he’s witnessing. But ‘Su-zakana’ boils down not to who’s been stuffed inside a dead horse, and what it might look like when he crawls out. It boils down to Will’s desire to murder Clark for his crimes – possibly more for his manipulation Peter than anything – which is only stopped by the interference of Will’s own manipulator, who tells him “this is not the reckoning you promised yourself.”

But Hannibal also hints that Will’s urge is a byproduct of the mental tinkering that was done while his brain was on fire. That rebirth into something even Hannibal isn’t quite certain of helps reposition the narrative in a place similar to when Will could only question what was real and what was not. Now he is far more lucid, but it seems the lucidity he’s been granted may come at the cost of having to qestion his motivations.


Hannibal continues next Friday with ‘Shiizakana’ @10pm on NBC. Check out a preview below:

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  1. really hate the csi style overr the top cases, just absurd

    • WTF are you smoking, this show is the complete antitheses of something like a CSI. Anyway I felt a lot of personality shifts this episode. Will is definitely more secure with his feelings now but at what cost? Jack seemed more jovial than usual in his ice fishing scene with Will, and Hannibal finally cracked a real big smile. Speaking of that smile I must say that I loved the last scene with Hannibal grabbing Will and looking straight into his soul and smiling like a proud parent, it was amazing and exactly how I expect Lecter to look and act once he’s finally caught. God I love this show, it would be criminal not to get a third season.

      p.s. Also I think that may have been the most artfully directed sex scene ever filmed. No Nudity needed, just the shaped of bodies under satin sheets, brilliant!

    • Ñot even when the show pulls off a procedural case of the week episode, does it feel like CSI or anything like it. Just read Kevin`s review again, it explains how this week`s killer is a parallel of what was done to Will.

  2. Decent episode. The reflection with Clark Ingram and Peter Bernadone to Hannibal and Will was neat. And can I say, yes, we’ve got (glimpse) of Mason Verger in this episode.

  3. “Mr. Ingram. Might want to crawl back in there if you know what’s good for you.” :)

  4. I really like this show and am hoping that it gets more seasons. However, I am a little disappointed that we have to go back to “killer of the week” mode. I get that these new characters were meant to mirror Will and Hannibal, but I just don’t know that I see a point in having to bring in new characters that are going to disappear in future shows just so we can see a reflection of the main characters – we get all we need to know by looking at the real thing without needing reflections. This episode also made it feel like we’ve moved backwards into old territory (albeit not altogether old because Will has obviously changed). What I’m trying to say is: just stay focused on moving the narrative forward with Hannibal, Will, Bloom, and Crawford instead of having new characters that we aren’t that invested in take up the lion’s share of the narrative.

  5. A dead girl inside a horse? How can you not renew this already nbc? And excellent episode. The parallel between the social worker and Peter with Hannibal and Will is also great to see.

  6. Glad to see a glimpse of Verger; I believe his first full appearance will be in episode 10. Jeremy Davies… what can I say except another brilliant performance. Nice to see Diamantopoulos is a different kind of role.

    Does anyone else find it odd that the show hasn’t been even nominated for Prime-time Emmys? Can’t be too long now before that happens.

  7. Any coincidence that a show airing on Good Friday contained a couple of Easter eggs? Loved the starling flying out of a corpse’s chest and Hannibal petting a lamb. And it was nice to see a step out of the film references and give a nod to the novels with a tear-soaked swatch in a martini glass for Mason. I’m really anxious to see how the Mason/Margo/Hannibal dynamic plays in this series.

  8. I did not realize that was a starling until after the fact.

    Man, I hope they can come to some agreement with MGM for the rights to Clarice.

  9. My mouth is still gaping open from this episode. The perpetual look of shock will most likely continue a few more days as the scenes and dialog replay in my mind.