We’re in the home stretch, people. With only two episodes left to go, Hannibal is seriously picking up the pace and “Roti” certainly delivered, giving us a non-killer of the week ep that delved deep into Will Graham’s madness. I’m glad Eddie Izzard’s Gideon got to come back as I worried his inclusion back in “Entrée” was just a carefully placed celebrity cameo and the writers wouldn’t really ever go anywhere with the character. Fortunately Gideon came back with a vengeance and Izzard provided a performance even more chilling than in “Entrée.” Gideon gets wise to Dr. Chilton’s psychic driving and decides to sue him for making him think he’s the Chesapeake Ripper and subsequently killing the nurse at Baltimore State Hospital. This quickly turns out to be a ruse for Gideon to get himself out of the confines of the maximum security medical center and into an ambulance which he easily escapes from. In an effort to draw out the real Ripper so that Gideon can regain his “self,” he starts hunting down other doctors who analyzed him in the past, which gave us the first of the episode’s nightmare/vomit/why do I even watch this it’s so horrifying moments, in which the former transplant surgeon pulled a psychiatrist’s tongue through an incision in his neck like a tie. That in and of itself is pretty gross, but what kept me up last night was the image of the tongue still waggling like it didn’t realize it was no longer in its victim’s mouth. Shivers.
Gideon lures Freddie Lounds to the kill site to keep her hostage and have her post updates of his kills but credited to the Ripper. Will, who spent most of the episode having a total breakdown, theorizes the Ripper will kill Gideon for taking credit for his work, saying he would consider it “impolite.” What Hannibal actually does when Will brings him Gideon in a hallucinatory daze is much more interesting. He doesn’t outright tell Gideon he’s the Ripper, but he does imply it and sends Gideon after Alana Bloom, another of Gideon’s former doctors. I’m still wrapping my head around Hannibal’s exact motivations here. What he did was a risk because Gideon could always tell authorities the truth and implicate him as the Ripper; killing him would have been the more sensible move. But Hannibal’s completely obsessed with Will at this point and consumed by tormenting/controlling his “friend,” so I have to assume Hannibal knew Will would go after Gideon and kill him. This way Hannibal gets everything he wants: the impostor is taken out of the picture, Will is put under further scrutiny and slips a little bit further into the deep end and his identity remains a secret. It’s a bit of a stretch to say Hannibal knew Will would go after Gideon and kill him, but this is a show where I’m totally fine with suspending my disbelief because its premise is pretty outlandish and the kills are always so over the top.
Speaking of over the top, the other gross moment of the episode came in the form of Chilton’s vivisection at Gideon’s hands, who opened his former shrink up and removed the majority of his organs while the doc was still conscious… but didn’t kill him. Lounds, a temporary nurse, kept Chilton on a respirator long enough for his organs to be put back inside and his belly sewed up. So the guy’s alive, but the thought of watching your organs getting taken out and then holding them in your arms while you pray someone will save you and/or put you out of your misery is pretty disturbing.
Between this and Red Wedding I might as well just fucking cut my wrists.
Most of “Roti” was spent inside Will’s deteriorating mind as he suffers from hallucinations and fevers brought on by his secret encephalitis. This led to some pretty stunning dream sequences that were not only visually arresting, but also seemed very realistic. Will’s mind is slipping, his swollen brain is giving him physical symptoms now including his fever and that fever manifests itself as dripping water and the physical sense of melting. The nightmare within a nightmare was truly harrowing stuff; I’m sure people have experienced hallucinations akin to what we saw on screen in real life and I have nothing but empathy for them. It must be terrifying.
What’s exciting is I have no idea where this is all going. My guess is Will’s condition may put some scrutiny on Hannibal, as eventually some doctor will figure out Will has encephalitis and then they’ll know he was misdiagnosed by Dr. Sutcliffe, who was recommended by Hannibal and subsequently violently murdered (suspicious). I still think Jack is going to be the one to figure it all out and I would still put money on at least one of the main characters biting the dust, whether it’s him, or Alana or Abigail or Freddie. Or maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll kill that ambiguously gay lab tech guy. To be honest, I’ve kinda gotten over my hatred for the lab techs, and I’m fine with Beverly. But that one weirdo is still annoying. “Look at me, I’M A CORONER TEE HEE!!”
This show gives me a similar vibe to the first season of American Horror Story, though it’s definitely a better told story than anything Ryan Murphy has ever done. What I mean is that since it’s not serialized and the events of one episode don’t always connect to the events of another it’s impossible to predict what’s coming next, but what you know is that whatever comes next will be freaking crazy and entertaining. There isn’t a logical progression for this story but it’s also not just a collection of stuff that happens. This isn’t a story with chapters, it’s more of a story comprised of moments. When I tune in to Hannibal I don’t know if it’s going to be a good episode but I know I’ll see some crazy shit.
What did you think? Were you grossed out by the wagging throat tongue or the vivisection? What are your predictions for the first season’s endgame? Leave a comment below and let us know!