Hannibal Review: “Ko No Mono” (season 2, episode 11)

“Every creative act has its destructive consequence”

Aside from the normal risks associated with being friends with a serial killer, being friends with Hannibal Lecter means being friends with someone who will happily set into motion a series of events that are likely to (and in fact do) result in the forced abortion of the child you were tricked into fathering. This is not an otherwise “good guy” who happens to murder people; this is a monster. And all you fans with a Hannibal fetish (the man, not the show) may want to get your heads checked.

After their relatively slow introduction over the past few episodes, “Ko No Mono” brings sister and brother Verger front and center into the plot. They’ve become additional pieces on Hannibal’s chessboard that he can use in his game with/against Will. Having encouraged Margot last episode to find someone (Will) with the right parts to give her a child, Hannibal reveals her intentions to her brother, Mason, who is none too happy about it. What follows is probably the most horrifying scene you could watch on television this Mother’s Day weekend — Mason mutilates his sister and eliminates his competition for the Verger fortune once and for all. And when Will (still haunted by the death of “daughter” Abigail) learns the fate of his unborn child, he goes after Mason.

It’s tempting to view Will’s relationship to Hannibal in one of two ways: He’s either Hannibal’s opponent in this twisted game of chess; or he, too, is a piece on Hannibal’s chess board. But I think he’s both. Will is like the chess piece that’s self-aware. He’s the play-thing that’s playing the player. It reminds me of the album cover for Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast, which shows the devil pulling the strings of their mascot, Eddie, who’s also pulling the strings of the devil himself. Will is not free of Hannibal’s influence, but neither is Hannibal free of Will’s.

Alana Bloom, who’s been relegated to the background for several episodes, steps forward to do some emotionally moving and teary-eyed (where’s Mason Verger with his tissues?) psychological detecting. She’s becoming less and less certain of Will’s guilt, just as she is of Hannibal’s innocence. By the end of “Ko No Mono,” it’s clear to the viewer that Will is playing Hannibal. But what’s not clear is why is he playing Alana? He tells her, “I told everyone Hannibal was a killer, and no one believed me. Just like no one would believe you if you said I was a killer.” Is it just revenge for her doubting him? That would be my reason if I was Will. I would want to see her suffer in her wrongness about me (yes, I should probably get my head checked too). But I suspect as with anything on this show, it’s a bit more complicated. Ever since Will’s incarceration for murders he did not commit, he’s seemed content to let others wallow in their uncertainty. It’s enough that he knows the truth. Others, like Alana and Jack Crawford before her, can find their way to it at their own pace.

This is one of the things I love most about Hannibal. Even in the midst of unrealistic events, characters behave the way real people do. They don’t over-explain their motivations for the sake of the narrative. They have their own agenda, their own resentments, their own perspective that they obscure from the rest of the world — and often from themselves too.

The most moving scenes of all were the two in which Will and Hannibal discuss the death of Abigail Hobbs, as directly as they can anyway. This has been a long time coming. In life and death, Abigail has been at the center of their relationship: she was Hannibal’s first test for Will (when Will saved her life after Hannibal warned Abigail’s father Will was coming for him); she was the catalyst for their emotional connection (when they bonded over their mutual father-like protection of her); and she was the wedge between them (when Hannibal murdered her and framed Will).

Hannibal all but confesses to Will, expressing as much regret as a monster is capable of. He intellectualizes his emotion as a wish that time could reverse itself, that “teacups [could] come together.” We even get a visual of a shattered teacup reassembling itself; and I may be mistaken, but the musical cue and maybe even the shot itself were from the episode in which Abigail dropped a teacup in Hannibal’s kitchen.

But as we know, and as Will knows, time will not reverse itself. Abigail is gone forever. And Will is no longer content to simply kill Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal, who loves to humiliate his victims by eating them, deserves to be humiliated too. As Will tells Mason Verger, “Dr. Lecter’s the one you want to be feeding to your pigs.”


isgrimner 5/12/2014 9:29:55 AM

I think Will and Jack have to be very very careful on who they let in on their plans.   Hannibal is just too perceptive for most to be able to fool him.   In fact, he probably is already on to Alana just from the gun powder he smelled. She did give a good reason, but Hannibal seems to be able to think a few moves ahead so to speak.

I would imagine the rest of Jack’s crew were dealing with falsefied dental records and thought they really were performing an autopsy of Freddie Loundes.

As soon as Margot was pregnant with Will’s child, I was waiting for either an abortion or a violent act to terminate the pregnancy. We didn’t have to wait long for that to happen.

This was a pretty good episode and I am looking forward to the next.

Also, there is good news in that Hannibal has been renewed for a season three despite sub par ratings.   I wonder if Jack is going to survive his showdown with Hannibal. I know the character is around later in the books, but they are doing thier own thing on the show so who knows.

moviefan71 5/12/2014 9:53:12 AM

Will keeping Alana confused? Great idea. I’m with that. Jack letting Alana in on everything? Bad idea (although not sure he had a choice). There is no way this girl is not going to let the cat out of the bag. She doesn’t seem like the type that would be good at keeping secrets, regardless if she though he was innocent or not. Plus she’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I’m obviously not a fan, but at the same time there are too few women left on this show. Hopefully DuMaurier will make a return soon…

TheSilentKiller 5/12/2014 6:26:03 PM

Rec on the Iron Maiden reference.

If this series lasts long enough, I wonder if the Freddie Lounds thing won’t turn out to be a foreshadowing of her ultimate fate – even the inspiration.

PussNHikingBoots 5/13/2014 4:34:28 PM

from what I understand, the musical cue during the teacup dropping/reassembling was played also at the scene where Abigail is in hospital with Hannibal asleep next to her, holding her hand.

Long analysis on its way…

PussNHikingBoots 5/13/2014 4:37:20 PM

SilentKiller: cool thought about Freddie!

PussNHikingBoots 5/13/2014 8:29:18 PM

Curtis, I definitely need my head examined. Do you know a good psychiatrist?

I am madly, passionately in love with Hannibal – more so even than with Mads, who by all counts I hear is a top man. And even Hannibal takes a backseat to Hannigram. (I’m pretty sure there is a sexual joke in there somewhere.)

But do you want to hear something really sick? I am infatuated with Mason. Not exactly in a sexual way, but I would love to see him being dragged around by his hair. Hannigramason anyone? I can see those two giving him a good whipping. I feel so wrong, so ashamed. I love this batshit-crazy psychopath. As despicable as he is I don’t want anything to happen to his lovely face or his pineapple hair or his fur-lined coats or his white striped vests. [averts eyes, shields face from hater onslaught]

I wonder if Hannibal is more annoyed by Mason leaving his jacket on the couch or more annoyed by Franklin leaving his snot rag on the table. We all know what happened to Franklin; you better watch out Mason. Then there’s Will. He is allowed to do whatever the hell he wants in Hannibal’s office. Hannibal even moved some stuff on his desk when Will sat there to make room and he never moves anything for anybody. Anybody but Will.

I guess Hannibal and Alana will no longer be exchanging bodily fluids after the look he gave us while kissing her. [heart breaks. no, just kidding]

Poor Will. All the bad stuff seems to happen to him and nothing seems to ever go his way, including sleeping with a lesbian and getting her pregnant because she lied to him about birth control. I love the way, after that scene, they both run to Hannibal as if he is the parent and can tell them what to do about this. He who orchestrated it to begin with.

Apparently, Hannibal is a magician and can do pretty much anything including drop a single line of hint to Margot that translates into “Sleep with Will and get impregnated” even though she could probably have any man on the face of the planet. How the hell did Hannibal know she was going to choose Will? Of course the single line he said to Mason translated into “By the way, your sister is pregnant by my boyfriend so now you should rip her uterus out, Dead Ringer-style.” [mason should suffer for that. but I love him]

An observation: When Hannibal found out that Will slept with Margot, he may have been slightly surprised, but he did not seem upset. But damn! When that man found out that Will just kissed Alana, he nearly dropped his mixing bowl. Oh, and why is that? Because he knows that Will has actual feelings for Alana but not for Margot. Jealous much, Hanni?

I am really enjoying Dark!Will and I don’t want him to end. In fact, I have been falling more in love with Will this season because I am now seeing him through Hannibal’s eyes. FallingApartEncephalitis!Will was fun, but Dark!Will is extraordinary. And while I know that he is playing the lure (is that we’re calling it these days, Will) to catch Hannibal with, I cannot help but think there really is a darkness in him that is in danger of going out of control. Even though he didn’t actually kill Freddie, look at the way he went after her – that was pretty intense. Not something that somebody who doesn’t have it in them could possibly do. And he most likely cut up Randall’s body for the meat he brought to Hannibal, because there’s no way that he could fool Hannibal’s pallet with nonhuman meat. So has he suddenly become a human butcher and cannibal solely to catch Hannibal? That seems like a stretch to me.

Will Hannibal feel betrayed by Will? Does he know that Will is playing him? I believe that he does know he’s playing him and has known all along and that he is simply enjoying the game. I believe that he is even proud of Will for taking these steps because it shows that there really is a Dark!Will in there and Hannibal is in love with Dark!Will. And if not, either way, I feel like somebody who has fallen deeply, madly in love while on vacation in a foreign country. I know that it’s going to end, and I know that it’s going to hurt like hell when it does, but I cannot help but throw myself into it while I’m able to. And I think this is exactly what Hannibal is doing with Will.

It’s hard for me to believe that Will does not have some genuine affection for Hannibal having spent all that time with him and knowing that Hannibal will do just about anything for him, plus I can’t bear for Hannibal to be alone again–not after he found a friend. I cannot wait for Hannibal to tell Will the whole story about Misha and see if that changes anything about how Will sees him. Because I think it well.

As for the TEACUP:

To Jack, Will is the fragile little teacup, but to Hannibal, Will is the mongoose he wants underneath his porch when the snakes slither by. What if Will is the one that saves Hannibal from the pigs because he cannot bear for anybody else to catch Hannibal. He wants Hannibal to himself as much as Hannibal wants Will to himself, but maybe for different reasons. Hannibal possesses Will, but Will possesses Hannibal as well. They are bound together. And what if Mason is the snake and Will is the mongoose. Oh! I just died a little.

Another observation: Somebody mentioned that Hannibal is a man of wealth and taste and all I heard was Sympathy for the Devil. Oh! I just died some more.

To sum up: I’m so in love with Mason. I’m so ashamed. I’m so scared for Hannigram. But I will ship them yet. Hannigram 5ever.

PussNHikingBoots 5/15/2014 3:39:42 PM

I have not watched the trailer for episode 12, but based on the tag line under it, I believe that my prediction will come true.

And while it seems to me that Will is just about 120% done with Hannibal’s constant eye sex and wanting Will to talk dirty to him, I’m starting to have hope that the sails on the ship are not yet in tatters. If so, I’m gonna squeal like one of Mason’s pigs.

Fun Fact: Those little endangered buntings were made from marzipan

for yet another devastatingly heterosexual dinner, Hannigram stuffing elongated, flesh colored little birds into their greedy little mouths, complete with eye rolling and eye closing and as Bryan said – they both swallow.

domino2008 5/16/2014 2:00:16 AM

Ok , We know now that Will is just playing Hannibal about Killing Freddie , even the body in the chair on fire looked too big for a person and how tacky it rolls into Her parking spot with Her name on it . Then the abortion , We knew that was coming . And Jack playing along , but He seem so passive, I mean this Giuy is usuially pushing People with a attitude , but the layed back Jack , didnt fool Me . This episode was ok , nothing special , Hannibal isnt dumb , Hannibal would know the taste of human food from annimal or a frozen Liver from the morgue in that episode a few back . . I just hope next weeks show is better than this weeks episode.

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