The name of the game on this episode of Hannibal is flashbacks. If you were wondering about the fates of Dr. Chilton and Mason Verger, look no further than the first scene of this episode of Hannibal. It features a very strange conversation between the two comparing the damage to their faces thanks to run-ins with Dr. Lecter.

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Verger is wearing a mask that covers up the bottom half of his face, which now looks — well, rather pig-like, actually, which is fitting considering his line of work. Dr. Chilton is missing teeth, partially blind, and has other facial deformities that he takes great pains to cover up. And as it turns out, they both have something else in common besides their injuries — they’re both looking to find Hannibal Lecter.

Uneasy Alliances 

Mason isn’t the only victim of Hannibal’s that Chilton goes to for information and to possibly join forces in his search for Hannibal. Remember when Will thought he saw Abigail by his bedside when he first woke up in the hospital after being gutted by Hannibal? It was actually Dr. Chilton, though he said many of the things “Abigail” did. 

When Chilton tries to get Will to work with him, he turns the doctor down, but Chilton had other choices for allies to check in on anyway. Alana gets a visit next, when she’s strapped down to a bed with … medical pins I think? They are holding her in place to heal after her fall in last season’s finale. He pays her a visit while she’s in that state, but she doesn’t remain that way.

The next time we see Alana, she’s in a wheelchair, visiting Hannibal’s home. It is also the scene of the crime that left Abigail dead and so many others injured. Will is there, though he doesn’t want to be bothered, and in a time jump, we then see her using a cane while visiting Margot and Mason at their home. So Alana, too, shows signs of her last encounter with Hannibal, but at least she isn’t dead or as disfigured as Chilton or Verger. 

Alana tries to talk to Mason about information he might have on Hannibal, though he doesn’t seem very forthcoming. And unlike her, he remains in a wheelchair. Margot leads Dr. Bloom to Mason in the first place, though we don’t see any more of her than that this episode.

Anyway, the point of all these flashbacks is to show the alliances being formed to take down Hannibal Lecter. Chilton talks with Mason and Alana, and Alana and Mason conspire together. They all have generally the same goal. All of them, except for Will Graham.

What About Jack?

But I left out one very important past victim of Hannibal’s — Jack Crawford, who we have seen previously this season, but with little indication as to how he survived the attack and how he’s dealing. 

Jack goes to visit Will, presumably before he runs off to Europe, just after Will has a creepy vision of himself helping hold Jack down while Hannibal kills him. (Not weird at all!) The good news is, Will’s dogs are alive! Yay! The bad news is, Will confirms to Jack that he warned Hannibal that the FBI knew about him because he wanted him to get away — and in fact, he wanted to run away with him. Oh, I’m sure the shippers loved that.

Then there’s a flashback of Jack almost bleeding to death thanks to Hannibal’s attack, trying desperately to stop the blood from escaping his body while simultaneously calling 911. In case you were wondering, yes, Jack Crawford is a badass. And when he wakes up, his beautiful Bella is holding his hand. 

Losing Bella

Bella tells her husband he is absolutely not going in the ground with her, and reminds him that while he can cut out the thing that is killing him, she doesn’t have that option. And later, when Chilton comes to speak with Jack about the Hannibal situation, Jack cuts the conversation short to go be with his wife while she’s awake at home. 

Bella is clearly very, very sick in a scene that is closer in the timeline to the “Hannibal in Europe” storyline, but later than when she held Jack’s hand when he woke up from the attack. (I know, it’s a bit confusing.) In a quiet scene where it at first appears that Jack is giving her her medication, it’s then hinted that maybe he gave her a lethal dose of something to help her ease her way into death, making Jack, at least in a technical sense, a killer as well. Interesting.

Alana helps Jack pick out a dress for Bella to be buried in, and he grieves for his dead wife a bit before we see him standing before her corpse in a casket. And I have to say — Gina Torres is beautiful even as a corpse, and that’s really just not fair to the rest of us who have to live on the same planet as her, is it?

So what is it that snaps Jack out of his funk and leads him to join the search for Hannibal? While he’s mourning before his wife’s body, he turns to see a card in one of the many bouquets displayed around her coffin — a card that was clearly written by the cannibalistic doctor himself. 

Will quietly sits near Jack after he’s discovered the letter, and Jack tells him he knew what was coming with his wife and that it still hurt. And he knows what’s coming for Will too, he says, asking him to not go and die on him too. 

But when Jack goes back to Will’s later, he finds Alana there instead, and she informs him that Will has already left, presumably to go after Hannibal himself. There’s nothing Jack can do to stop him now but go after Will Graham himself, and as we learned in earlier episodes this season, that’s just what he chooses to do.

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Mason Makes Plans

Near the end of the episode, we see a bit more of the scheming between Mason and Alana, in which Alana imparts her theory that while Hannibal’s name and identity will change, his taste will not, and that that’s what they can follow to find him. She tells him that in the theater of Hannibal’s death that Mason is coordinating, she just wants to do her part to get the doctor to his place on stage. Basically, they all want Hannibal good and dead, okay?

But Mason doesn’t just want the guy dead — he tells his “caregiver” Cordell that he, in fact, wants to eat Hannibal, and the guy just questions how he’d like Hannibal to be prepared. And that’s what we’re left with headed into the next episode of Hannibal! This show is so weird.

Hannibal airs Thursday nights at 10pm on NBC.

(Image courtesy of NBC)

Josie Cook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV