Alright folks, this is it, the home stretch. Episode nine of thirteen. We’ve only got a month until we find out the story behind the big fight scene at the start of the season. Although this episode comes late in the season, it doesn’t do a whole heck of a lot to push the main arc forward. Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was a fantastic and super gory episode, but it just felt a bit out of place. The opening dream sequence with Hannibal being chained to a tree, slowly squeezed to death was excellent, and any opportunity to horn in an appearance by the creepy ‘wendigo’ character is alright by me. It also reminded me that we’ve only seen Will’s dreams. I’d love to see a dream sequence from Hannibal’s perspective, but that may just be too terrifying for us to handle. But then we get the killer of the week and it’s a bloody one, but one that feels like a villain from a really good X-Files episode.
Our villain is a former patient of Dr. Lecter’s named Randall Tier, who believes himself to be an animal in a man’s clothing, and tears his victims to shreds with a mechanical beast suit he devised himself. The first victim we see is a truck driver mauled on top of his vehicle. It’s a really quick scene meant for a quick shock and it works. The second victims, a couple having fun in the snow, is different entirely. We see it from Randall’s point of view, as he stalks and kills his prey, like an actual animal. This scene was tense and excellent and just a great straight horror sequence.
After Will Graham has a discussion with Hannibal about whether or not Hannibal ever manipulated patients (as well as informing him that Dr. du Maurier confided in him that she believed him to be innocent) the good doctor informs Randall that the FBI is on his tail and that he should kill Will. The following sequence ranks up there in terms of ultra tense situations in this show. Will’s dogs start going crazy and one of them runs outside towards Randall and his animal murder machine. Will chases after his pup and finds it injured, and races to get it back to the house before Randall can. Randall bursts through the window to attack Will and then… Hannibal enters his kitchen to find Will displaying Randall’s dead body on his kitchen table, claiming they’re now “even steven” since they’ve both sent people to kill each other. I’m sensing we get to see the confrontation between Will and Randall next week.
All in all, not at all a bad episode, simply one that felt out of place. On paper the villain seems really goofy, but in execution it was actually pretty scary with more red colored snow than a cherry slushy factory. The only story arc stuff they did tonight was having Will and Margot meet and realize that they have a lot in common. Rumor has it next week we’ll be meeting Mason, and by the look of the preview for next week it looks like we’ll also be dealing with the repercussions of Will killing Randall, so that should be fun.