The Powers that be decided to skip the fourth episode of Hannibal
and instead aired episode 5 tonight, "Coquilles." The transition to this episode was generally seamless, but that could be due to the absence of Abigail. If you are a fan of the show and want to keep up with the character development, I recommend you watch the "cannibalized" episode 4 "Ceuf" webisodes
The six videos include over 22 minutes of interactions between the characters that helps to explain their mental states and continued relationships with each other. For example, Will's deterioration, Abigail's struggle to keep her secret, Hannibal's manipulations, and the introduction of Jack's wife.
In "Coquilles," the "Angel Maker" case was secondary, though pivotal, to what was going on in Jack and Will's lives. It wasn't until the end of the hour that I realized that Abigail wasn't present throughout the episode (probably because I had watched the webisodes) and that was a good thing.
While her relationship with Hannibal is important, this episode instead focused on the cost of this line of work on those involved. Will returned to the field only a few cases ago and he is a mess. He either can't sleep or wakes up after sleepwalking. Death and the killings are overtaking his psyche and paralyzing him. While Jack was dealing with a wife that was pushing him away.
It's too early to tell if Hannibal is helping or hurting Will deal with the stress and visions that he is continually enduring. Though, what is clear, is that Hannibal fears Will's ability and needs to keep him close in order to protect himself.
At the same time, Hannibal genuinely seems to care about all of his patients and has a unique ability to empathize with them, while manipulating them. He doesn't necessarily use reverse psychology, but plants ideas and thoughts into their head. It's creepy how he interacts because he's so inviting that they seem to be oblivious to what he is doing.
When Jack's wife went to him for therapy, they both knew it was unorthodox and questionable for him to help her, but they did it anyway. He's so attuned to his patient that he was able to read that she wasn't cheating on Jack, but had cancer.
The case of the week involved a killer with terminal brain cancer. He was saved from a fire as a child and told he had a guardian angel. With his cancer messing with his mind, he was having visions that he was acting upon.
He killed people and cut their back skin to make them appear as angels. He slept with his first victims at the end of his bed, but at some point became disgusted by it and threw up. He wasn't a psychopath, but a sick man.
The Angel Maker killed a fake security guard and mounted the angel up in the air to look down on people. And, then did the same thing to himself to become an angel. He went back to the place of his saving, cut angels wings, and mounted himself to die.
It was a tragic story of how brain cancer can mess with a person's reality and isolate them from those that they love.
When questioning the Angel Maker's wife, she explained how her husband pulled away from her and their family after he got cancer. Her description hit home for Jack and he realized that his wife wasn't having an affair, but was sick. It was painful to watch his face as the truth became clear to him.
He went to Hannibal's office to intercept his wife, so they could discuss what was going on. She didn't want him to know because she didn't want their life to be different, but she didn't foresee that she would change.
Jack wanted to be there for her and by her side, but she said that was no comfort. She had Stage 4 cancer and there was no coming back from that. In the unaired episode, Jack had asked her if they it was possible for kids to still be in their future. Now, her answer of no makes much more sense.
After sleepwalking down a road with his dog and then waking up on his roof, Will has to make a change if he wants to survive. At this point, he is so absorbed in his visions that his lack of a good night's sleep is unhealthy.
When Will tried to quit, Jack treated him like he was wasting his gift and with no regard for his employee's well-being. Will understands the ramifications of him going back into the classroom. There was no reason for Jack to put the lives of potential future victims on his conscious.
If Will self-destructs, then he wouldn't be any good to them anyway. In the end it was unclear what Will's decision would be, but either way, he was there for Jack. Will knew something was wrong with his boss, went to his office and refused to leave until he talked.
Will broke down, but he was still able to see through Jack's pain and suffering. For once, Will would be able to use his ability to help someone living rather than already dead.
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(Image courtesy of NBC.)