Hannibal Season Two : Hassun

Will has a lot of dreams in the next few episodes. This is the result of a clear mind, that’s not being manipulated, drugged, or suffering a fever. His subconscious mind is always busy finding solutions to problems he hasn’t consciously been presented with yet, and answering  questions he hasn’t yet been asked.

This time he’s dreaming about killing himself in the electric chair. This is a basic anxiety dream about his very real life situation and has nothing to do with Lecter, really. I’m not sure of the significance of dreaming that he’s doing it to himself, beyond his last statement to Kade Prunell, about having to save himself. If he doesn’t save himself, no one will. He doesn’t yet know Lecter is just as desperate to save him and wouldn’t believe that if he knew. After all, Lecter put him where he is.

Hannibal - Season 2


The first day of the trial begins with watching Will getting dressed in his cell. This is the first time we’ve seen Will this well dressed. (He usually wears rumpled plaids.) This “dressing up” montage is paralleled with scenes of Lecter suiting up for the trial. It’s as if the two of them are going into battle, only in Will’s case, his suit really is a form of armor to emotionally distance himself from the people around him, and the events happening to him. For highly empathic people, crowds are a special form of Hell, where it’s difficult to block out other peoples emotions. Will is going to be sitting in a crowded courtroom, while people focus their attention at him, for several hours.He’s going to need the  protection. In Lecter’s case his suit is a masquerade, hiding his true nature from the people around him, a suit on top of his people suit.

There’s a certain lecherous humor involved in watching Lecter zip his pants. Why is that so funny? I think its the emphatic manner in which its done. There! That’s final!

The Prosecutor’s argument is that Will is an intelligent psychopath who is,  probably, the smartest person in the room. When she says that we glimpse Lecter’s familiar smirk. No. He’s the smartest person in the room.  After all, he caught Will Graham.

Kade Prunell counsels Jack to get over his guilt. She tells him his priority should be keeping his job. But Jack doesn’t listen, and his conscience prompts him to defend Will, when the Prosecutor says that Will enjoyed hiding behind the FBI to commit his crimes. In his testimony, he appears to take responsibility for Will’s instability, saying he kept pressuring Will to do the work, even though Will hated it. Will is his friend, after all, and every one of his instincts tells him that Will is not a killer, and if Will Graham is not a killer, then it is his fault, for making him one.

Afterwards, Will’s lawyer is confident that this is the sort of break they need to have Will exonerated. He and Will argue briefly over the lawyers methods, but they are of too different mindsets. One of them is a sensitive, ivory tower dreamer, and the other is something more grounded and pragmatic, so they’ll never see eye to eye about the issue. (A groundhog has very different priorities than a  hawk.) During this discussion, Will’s lawyer has a human ear delivered to him. The funniest line in the episode, is him saying he must have gotten Will’s mail by mistake.


The series is starting to play around with humor more. The creators, as they become more certain of the story they wish to tell, are getting frisky with the material, and the characters are funnier. Season three is, of course, one of the funniest seasons, with   Will, Bedelia, and Lecter getting in some wonderful quips and one-liners, as all three of them seem to realize the sheer craziness of the situations they find themselves in.

Jack and Lecter discuss Jack’s testimony. Lecter cautions Jack not to throw away his career for a short term goal, like assuaging his conscience. Its ironic that someone who has never had a friend in his life, in striving to make Jack believe they are friends, is quite possibly one of the best friends Jack could ever have. Lecter says and does all the correct things friends say and do. He’s the prefect friend even though he doesn’t actually know how to be friends. He knows how to go through the motions of friendship to get what he wants. Another irony is that Lecter doesn’t actually see how real his pretense looks.

How much of a difference, which makes no difference, is no difference?  Are Jack and Hannibal really friends? Certainly Jack believes it. Lecter walks the walk and talks the talk, so is he actually Jack’s friend, even though we know that he is only behaving this way because it suits his own ends?


Questions arise as to where the ear came from and why it was sent to Will. Jack and the forensic crew start to wonder if there is another killer out there and if that person could be responsible for the killings Will has been accused of. Will wonders if he has an admirer and who that might be. It turns out that Will does have an admirer, who killed the bailiff at Will’s trial, chopped off his ear, gave him a Glasgow smile, impaled him on a deer’s antlers and burned him in a booby trap, when the authorities came to investigate. Beverly makes an argument for Will’s innocence, saying that the evidence against him was presentational and that no evidence of his guilt has been found since. The Bailiff’s death is another version of “Field Kabuki”, just like the evidence they found about Will. It is Lecter who asked the most pertinent question: How will this affect the outcome of Will’s trial?

Chilton takes the stand and proceeds to describe Hannibal Lecter in great detail. The only problem is that he’s applying all these descriptions to Will Graham. Not saying that killers can’t love dogs, but the description he gives of Will Graham is no match against what we have actually  seen of Will.  Anyone who has ever seen him around his little pack of Lost Mutts, can’t possibly believe the things Chilton says about him. It’s not that Chilton is wrong. He’s just pointed  in the wrong direction.

Hannibal - Season 2


Hannibal takes the forensic evidence in the bailiff’s murder to Will, who unequivocally states that the Bailiff’s murderer, and the person who murdered the women he’s accused of killing, are not the same person. He knows Lecter already knows this, to which Lecter replies, he was reaching for a reason to believe in Will’s innocence.  He wants Will to believe he is his friend and  wants him to think the best of him. Lecter’s attitude towards Will is often puzzling and sometimes funny. In the first season he was indulgent with Will, often giving his rudeness a pass, although Lecter’s patience with him only goes so far. He often harms Will while feeling irritated with him, only to regret it later, as in the season one episode, Fromage.. It is extremely obvious to us  that Will hates him, and why, but Lecter often acts puzzled about Will’s enmity towards him.

He tells Will that the killer left him a gift and that he shouldn’t allow the killer’s love to go to waste, but even though he didn’t kill the Bailiff, you know he’s talking about himself.After all, he admires Will, too. This has parallels to Tobias Budge from season one, who left dead love letters all over Boston, as an admirer of the Chesapeake Ripper.


Freddie Lounds is called to the stand. She makes quite an entrance, and looks hella smart, in her blue and black suit. She looks like she stepped right out of a Dashell Hammet novel, and she must think she’s in one, as she twitches her way up to the witness stand and proceeds to outright lie about Will Graham’s relationship to Abigail Hobbes. Freddie Lounds is so unreliable a narrator,that all the Defense needs to do is mention the many times shes been sued for libel, and how many times she settled those suits.

Will’s lawyer, who was  grooming Alana to take the stand, abandons her, jumping at the opportunity that’s been given by the Bailiff’s death.  Alana was having some trouble being truthful about whether or not she had a romantic relationship with Will, anyway. Well, technically they didn’t, as that relationship was stillborn. The Defense calls Lecter to the stand, instead, to testify that it is the same killer, but the Judge dismisses Lecter’s testimony. Watch the look of irritation on Lecter’s face when this happens.You just know this is not going to end well for the Judge. Lecter really hates for his professionalism to be questioned..


Okay, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m not sure I understand why Lecter’s testimony was thrown out. He was called to the stand as an expert witness on profiling, but the prosecutor decided that what he’s saying is his personal opinion about the forensic evidence, and the Judge agreed to go along with this.Why would the Judge agree to that, when he gave the Defense permission to let Lecter testify in the first place?  Well, yes, it is personal opinion, but it’s Lecter’s  expert professional opinion, which is why he was called. He didn’t just pull it out of his  ass (although for the purposes of this discussion, the viewers know, and will ignore,  that he did pull that out of his ass.) At any rate, even I was pissed off at what the Judge and Prosecutor did, so I can imagine how Lecter must have felt.

Lecter, dejected by the Judge’s decision, sits quietly in his office. He ‘s come to deeply regret framing Will for his murders and  misses his friend. There’s that dull ache, that his former patient, Franklyn, talked about. While Chopin’s Prelude No. 4 in E minor plays in the background, we see all the main characters sitting alone in their places of power: Jack, Lecter ,and Will. Lecter wants Will to be free so badly,and  has no real idea how to correct it, except to kill again as the Chesapeake Ripper.So he kills the Judge, scoops out his brain and heart, and balances them on a scale. He needs to make this a definitive Ripper statement. The Judge’s death, at the hands of the real killer, results in a mistrial.


When Alana comes to see Will, she asks what he thinks the killer wants from him. I’m not sure whether he’s talking about Syke’s killer, or Lecter, when he says the killer wants to know him.

Will dreams of the Stag opening his cell door. He walks out to see Lecter standing in the hall pointing the way out. (Shit Will’s mind is working on while he’s asleep.) Will  knows Lecter killed the Judge in the hope that it would affect his trial. now he just needs to know why?













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