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Hannibal: “Ko No Mono”- We Learn What We Already Assumed

First, apologies for being late with this one- I was out of town this weekend, and didn’t get a chance to sit down and watch the episode until today. And, a bit of good news, as NBC announced on Friday that it would be bringing Hannibal back for a third season, so there is reason to celebrate. “Ko No Mono” also gives us a reason to celebrate as we learn that Freddie is in fact alive (as many predicted last week- including me), and Bryan Fuller finally¬†gives Alana something to do other than be duped by every single person around her.

Bryan Fuller has made no secret that he’s willing to play fast and loose with his source material when he feels it is necessary, as evidenced by his killing of Dr. Chilton (or, at least seriously maiming) and the introduction of the Verger siblings years before they initially appear in the natural Hannibal Lecter timeline. But I have to say I am thrilled he decided to not kill off Freddie Lounds. While she may be an annoying character at times, she adds something important to the series: an outsider’s perspective. Every character on the series is either a trained investigator of some kind (including our psychologist/psychiatrist characters) or a truly damaged soul seeking counsel. Freddie is the only character who can stand in for the audience and ask the questions that we are asking. Losing her, while tempting at times, would be a terrible loss for the structure of the series.

Hannibal - Season 2

Along this same vein, I’ve mentioned multiple times that Alana (and, by extension, Carolin e Dhavernas) has been wasted throughout the run of the series. She’s supposed to be a top notch psychologist who works for the FBI, yet she is consistently being out maneuvered by everyone around her. It’s understandable that Hannibal had her under his spell, since that’s his m.o., but her inability to confront Jack or Will about her suspicions has been laughable at times. Finally having her get a clue- even the wrong one- is such an excellent turn of events that I’m willing to forgive it taking this long to materialize. Jack opting to bring her into the inner circle and show her Freddie will certainly put her in grave danger. After all, Hannibal is already wary of her shooting range visit, and Alana has an absolutely awful poker face. I don’t think she’ll be able to convincingly hide her suspicions from him for long at all.

I’ve speculated from the start of the season that the catalyst for Jack and Hannibal’s fight has to be something huge. And nothing would be bigger than Hannibal killing Alana. Considering the events of this episode, and Alana’s non-existence throughout the source material, I worry that this week’s penultimate episode may be Alana’s last. Granted, Hannibal isn’t The Walking Dead, so just because she finally has been given something to do doesn’t necessarily mean she’s a goner, but anything can happen on this show.

Speaking of anything happening, I have to admit I did not see the forced sterilization of Margot coming. Out of all the crazy and disturbing things the series has done, this is without a doubt the most disturbing of them all. We know that Mason is disturbed, but I honestly didn’t think they show would send him from 0 to 60 on the crazy scale in the span of two episodes. But it does make me wonder, what’s the endgame with the Vergers? We know where they both ultimately end up, but that’s three novels down the line. How do they factor into the story here and now (other than serving as a point of comparison with Will and Hannibal’s treatment of him)? I’m still not sold on whether bringing the Vergers in at this stage of the game is the correct move on the part of Fuller. I would rather begin delving into the mythology surrounding Red Dragon rather than beginning laying the groundwork for what occurs during the Hannibal novel at this stage.

Hannibal - Season 2

Final Thoughts

— I mentioned last week that Michael Pitt seems to be channeling his inner-Heath Ledger in playing Mason and he only seems to be ratcheting up the crazy as the weeks go on. Yes, Mason is very disturbed. But portraying him as the Joker sans make-up (and really, Pitt is pretty much ripping off Ledger’s Joker voice as well as his manic performance) seems so completely out of place on a series that has made a name for itself in embracing the reserved and cultured psychopath. I’m really not a huge fan of what is being done with the character at this stage of things.

— Watching the “Previously on Hannibal” montage before the episode, I noticed that apparently Hannibal and Margot had a conversation in last week’s episode around her wanting to get pregnant. As I have zero memory of this occurring, I’m going to assume it was cut for time- which is a pity.

— If Alana does in fact die this season, I’m betting Will has some serious regrets regarding giving her that gun. And the last thing Will needs is more guilt.

Rating
7.5
Pros
  • Good use of Alana
  • Finally moving the cat and mouse game forward
Cons
  • Mason just doesn't fit with the aesthetic of the show
  • The twists are getting too easy to spot

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About / Bio
TV critic based in Chicago. When not watching and writing about awesome television shows, I can be found lamenting over the latest disappointing performance by any of the various Chicago sports teams or my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Follow me @JeanHenegan on Twitter.

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