Will assists Jack Crawford on an unusual case in which a killer buries his victims live to grow mushrooms; Hannibal slowly reels Will in.
The crux of the episode falls in its final moments, as Hannibal finally begins to earn Graham's trust, as Will opens up about his dark feelings.Of course we know that Lecter in fact alerted Hobbs of the FBI's approach, leading to an ambush, where Graham was required to fire 10 bullets into his "victim." Graham feels Lecter is his "paddle" if he fails to repair a boat's motor, when we know that it's the paddle that's sabotaging the motor, so it can gain the repairman's trust.
Until this point, Will has been guarded and unsociable, but Lecter's manipulations have led Graham down a path where he's relying on a confidant to trust - - and of course it's misplaced in the hands of a man like Lecter.
Twice we see Graham trust in Lecter rather than Crawford or Bloom. When Graham sees a vision of Garrett Jacob Hobbs at a crime scene, Lecter asks if Graham told Crawford, which Will answers: "God no." Later, when Alana is asking Will how he feels, he simply responds: "good," which I think we can infer isn't the whole truth - - though he may have felt good in that moment at the hospital.
What Lecter divines from Graham is a great fear that killing is an acquired taste, and Graham likes it.
In Star Wars terms, Lecter is luring Graham to the dark side, showing how his gift endows him with great power, which can be cultivated into greater power.
"It wasn't the act of killing Hobbs that got you down, was it? Did you really feel so bad because killing him felt so good," Lecter inquires.
Graham stammers his admission: "I liked killing Hobbs."
Then Lecter lays the bait:
Lecter: Killing must feel good to God, too. He does it all the time, and are we not created in his image?
Graham: Depends on who you ask.
Lecter: God's terrific, he dropped a church room on 34 of his worshipers last Wednesday night in Texas, while they sang a hymn.This begs the question, to what ends is Hannibal leading Graham down this path?
Graham: God felt good about that?
Lecter: He felt powerful.
"You Used Me"
I couldn't figure this part out, but I rewatched the episode specifically to crack this mystery - - and it's Arron Abram's character's voice. Throughout the Lounds-Crawford confrontation, there is a steady shot on Abrams in clear focus - - he's clearly the insider that provided Lounds with all her details, both about Graham's psychiatrist appointment times as well as the Shrike case details.
His character's name is "Brian Zeller," though I'm positive nobody has said that on the show yet.
I can't imagine that Lounds is paying Zeller to offer information, so they must have some sort of romantic relationship - - so look forward to seeing more of that in the emerging season!
Of course, Lounds publication leads to a fun vis-a-vis between Crawford and Lounds.
Constitutional Changes in Will GrahamThere's a lot of history in our characters that needs to be fleshed out anew in the franchise reboot - - anything learned about any character in the films or novels is not yet applicable in the show, so any details shared with the viewers are important steps to learning who these characters are once again.
In Graham's past we learn he used to work in homicide, has never killed a man, and a significant stab wound has required him to entirely alter his shooting stance to the "weaver" position rather than the "isosceles."
Obviously being recruited by Crawford has led to a constitutional change in Graham, which is concerning to Crawford, which is best expressed when he says:
"The reason you currently used to work homicide is because you didn't have the stomach for pulling the trigger - - you just pulled the trigger 10 times."And the consequences of his lethal encounter with Hobbs may be affecting the Graham's empathetic gift that Hannibal and Crawford treasure so much.
Graham's first concern is in being haunted by the vision of Hobbs throughout his daily routines - - Graham feels he may have "brought something back" after killing him.
There is some concern in Hannibal that Graham's gift may be losing some of its precision - - "Is it harder imagining the thrill that someone else feels killing now that you've done it yourself," Hannibal asks.
Graham can only nod, as he begins to open up to Lecter.
Then Lecter proves his incisive insights are at the centre of their suspects' profile. Hannibal immediately shares with Graham that the structure of a fungus mirrors that of the human brain, an intricate web of connections.
This guides Graham back onto the correct path to identifying their suspect.
Whatever fears Lecter has of Graham's reductions in his special abilities, Graham proves he's "still got it," when he's able to divine Stammet's latest victim in the truck of his car, going directly to it after they discovered Stammets wasn't at the pharmacy.
His imagination must have been working fairly well to make a beeline from the trunk release latch.
More Wonderful ImageryBroken ponies
Lecter:Are you not accustomed to broken ponies in your stable.
Crawford: You think Will is a broken pony?
Lecter: I think you think Will is a broken pony - you ever lost a pony Jack? I want to understand why you're so delicate with Will - because you don't trust him or because you're afraid of losing another pony?
Crawford: I've already had my psych eval.
Lecter: Not by me, you've already told me about your mother, why stop there?
The massive elk with a feathery flanks that showed itself to Will while he was in the shower in the first episode makes a second appearance, linked to the approach of Dr. Alana Bloom. It's a scary and intimidating animal, but not yet threatening to Will.
Alana Bloom's deceptionsThis isn't as insidious as it sounds, but she's definitely being defensive with Graham. Most noticeably when she arrives at Abigail's hospital room and reads to her. Graham awakens and remarks: this is as close to being alone in a room together as they've ever been.
She says she hasn't noticed - though had a whole conversation about the topic to Crawford in the previous episode. So she's hiding something from him, mostly about herself - perhaps she's hiding her discomfort for being alone with Will, because he can understand her feelings so easily, perhaps?
Perhaps she wants to avoid him feeling obligated to open up to her? I'm not sure.