During the first two episodes of Hannibal, the show didn't quite live up to its name. Sure Dr. Hannibal Lecter was around, but he wasn't the focus of either episode. In "Potage," Hannibal's presence permeated the entire hour, especially when he wasn't front and center. He's so attuned with his surrounding and situations that he can easily manipulate people, killings, and crime scenes to fit his needs. His skill is beyond expertise, so much so that I'm coining it Hannipulation.
Did Abigail Help Her Father?
Abigail woke up after a frightening nightmare where she transitioned from petting the dead deer she shot to petting the hair of a dead brunette girl. Was she dreaming it because she felt guilt over helping her father or from finding out what he was capable of doing?
Until towards the end of the episode, it was unclear what Abigail did or didn't do. She's a troubled girl, but as Alana pointed out she was both practical and manipulative. Two traits that fed into the presumption of her guilt at least in Jack's eyes.
But, he was wrong. Abigail didn't help her father or even know what he was doing. She was disgusted to realize she probably ate the dead girls at dinner. And, then horrified when she found her friend, Marissa, dead.
The biggest clues to her innocence was the horrified look when she found the hair-stuffed pillow and then her suffering at killing the guy, who attacked her. Abigail had and continues to have problems, but she wasn't complicit in her father's killings.
Will Gets Too Close to the Copycat Killer
During this lessons at Quantico, Will profiled the Hobbs copycat killer and he was spot on. Jack and Hannibal showed up to Will's class and Hannibal was impressed with Will's work. The grin on his face shifted to concern as Will's profile expanded.
Hannibal couldn't have Will confirming the connection between the body found in the field with the phone call made to Hobbs. And, in order to quash that line of thinking, Hannibal set up a second copycat killing.
Hannibal killed Abigail's brunette-haired friend, Marissa, who got into a confrontation with the brother of the first victim. She had thrown a rock at his head and that was all the DNA evidence that Hannibal needed to set him up for killing both his sister and Marissa.
While the set-up appeared to work at first, Will remained skeptical. He maintained both girls were killed by the same person, but there was something off about the second killing. It was a frame job!
For now, Hannibal's secret identity as the copycat killer is safe, but Will has to eventually overcome Jack's confidence that the brother was the killer.
What is Freddie's Deal?
Freddie's an odd one. She's creepy in an undefined way at this point. She chases down information through any means possible to get the story, but there's more to it than that. She eggs people on. She did that with the girl's brother and with Abigail.
Does she get some sick pleasure out of harassing grieving people? Or, could she be a pawn in Hannibal's overall plan? It would make sense that she is using information that he provides to push people in the direction he wants.
The guy showed up at Abigail's house because of Freddie, which conveniently provided the set-up that Hannibal needed to scapegoat him for the copycat killings. Freddie has to have an inside source and Hannibal would make sense.
For now, her motives and goals are a mystery.
A New Secret Partnership
While Abigail's father didn't include her in his killings, it will be intriguing to see if Hannibal mentors her or not. After she killed her attacker in self-defense, Hannibal convinced her that no one would believe her. It's unlikely that's true, but given her situation it was understandable that she would trust him.
Hannibal had already knocked Bloom unconscious, which made the rest of their plan easy to believe. They got rid of his body, but claimed that he ran away. Oh, but not before leaving DNA that tied him to Marissa's killing.
It was a win-win for Hannibal and Abigail. She didn't have to suffer for killing the guy and Hannibal got a trusted companion. Even though she realized he was the one who called her father and was most likely a serial killer, she agreed to keep his secret if he kept hers.
Hannibal could become a surrogate father for her. While I hope that she finds a way out of his grasp, he has proven to be highly skilled at Hannipulation. Her only hope is that she finds a way to bond further with Will. They share similar nightmares and fears, so it's possible.
Though, Hannibal looks to have won her this time and perhaps for all time.