While some people are waking up and watching Saturday morning cartoons, I’m catching up on the latest episode of Hannibal. (Which means I’ll probably wait on eating breakfast for a minute.) Not one to disappoint on the gore-scale, the series continues to trek along inside the triangle between FBI agent Jack, now-free man Will, and of course, our dearly beloved Hannibal Lecter, who—oh, would you just look at that—has prepared a meaty omelet dinner, with Jack sitting at his dining room table. I almost feel sorry for Jack. He’s toying with a man who’s far more intelligent than he is, sitting there sipping at his wine glass, mumbling about doubt—hey Jack, last week’s to-go plate of Kobe beef has without a doubt been replaced back with human meat. Just saying.
Margot Verner (Katharine Isabelle) is back, and she’s meeting Will for the first time as he’s leaving his appointment with Dr. Lecter. It seems like all of Dr. Lecter’s patients are about to become a whole lot closer, but I can’t put my finger on just how close and with what intention. In Margot’s case, the Hannibal book depicts her evil brother Mason as a pedophile who ends up in the crosshairs with Dr. Lecter, barely surviving his encounter. Also, let’s freak out for a second because Michael Pitt will be making his debut this Friday in the next episode! (Somewhere Jen Lindley from Dawson’s Creek is doing a non-enthusiastic cheer in excitement.) Between Margot’s chilliness and Pitt’s charming appearances, I have a feeling this pair’s dynamic will be a more demented, totally fucked up version of Katherine and Sebastian Valmont in Cruel Intentions. Like, way more demented.
The big, obvious question remains: How closely will Margot and Mason’s storyline on screen compare to the book? Back in January, the Ginger Snaps star posted this tweet, saying, “Doing my homework. For my job. On my favorite show. Margot Verger indeed.” In the book, Margot plays a lesbian, so we can all hope she’s taking her homework to heart, right? Despite there being some slight sexual tension between Margot and Will, I’m hoping it’s all a decoy. Margot is not a schmaltzy therapy patient who is ready to know herself, like Hannibal cryptically mentions when he says therapy’s only working if you’re prepared to meet who you really are, not who you wish to be. With Margot remaining so mysterious, and then showing up on Will’s doorstep for a whiskey nightcap, she clearly has a few tricks up her sleeve.
Meanwhile, there’s a crazed man on the loose attacking people at random inside a mechanical creature he’s concocted. Oh, he’s one of Dr. Lecter’s former patients, surprise! Of course when the animal attacks begin, and the police are all like, “It’s a bear or a wolf,” Will and Dr. Lecter know better and track down the patient they know to be behind the mask. It’s Randall Tier, an ordinary looking bloke who works at a museum (duh) and who makes all the sense in the world to Will, still on that empathizing-with- killers train.
Just like I called it, all of Dr. Lecter’s patients are getting to know each other quite nicely. For Will and Margot, it means they can “compare notes” about what Dr. Lecter is telling them in their sessions. Margot tells Will that Dr. L is chill with her trying to kill her brother Mason again. Will tells Margot he tried to kill Dr. L. What could go wrong now?
There’s a strange sound coming from the woods outside of Will’s house. Snow is falling into thick blankets over the ground, and Will’s dog pack is barking manically at the door. This is the part where I start mumbling “Ohhhh, no” out loud because the music is swelling into that certain Hannibal climax and — one of Will’s dogs, Buster, just got loose and is now running toward the sound! No, no, no, no, no, no. Will tramples out into the snow, like a stand off brewing between Peter and the Wolf, the roles a little bit blurry in the dark. He finds Buster injured and brings him back inside, turns off the lights and waits for Randall. After he kills him, he brings the body to Dr. Lecter’s office, a sight I’m sure Hannibal is surprised to see — if only because he has other chambers in his house for that sort of thing, surely not his well-dusted mahogany-bedecked office. “Now we’re even,” says Will.
Let’s recap this recap: Dr. L tried to have Will killed? Well that certainly ties up this triangle of doubt and animal instinct. I really hope no one was planning on actually, literally trusting one another. Dr. Lecter has layers, man — the one at the top being made from a fine-tailored suit, and the ones just below it, the mark of a savage animal. It’s hard to say whether this is all a case of man versus man, man versus animal, or if man and animal are one in the same. (Probably that option.)
But more importantly, who is Margot Verner? And are you as excited as I am to see Michael Pitt make his first appearance next week? Tune in on Friday and check-in with me on Twitter @the_hoff.