Hannibal’s abstract nightmarescape brings up to Lithuania this week, and the foreboding mansion where the titular maniac came to be. Will has traveled back to the beginning in his search for answers, hoping the site of the good doctor’s origin will bring further understanding of his methods and madness. There he meets Chiyoh (The Wolverine’s Tao Okamoto), a disciple of Lecter and sort-of caretaker of his crumbling estate. Ever the puppet master, Hannibal has convinced Chiyoh that the man who murdered his sister Mischa is held in the proverbial castle’s dungeon, kept “alive” in torturous captivity. Will forces Chiyoh to “release” the man in the only way he can, coming closer in form and function to his villainous quarry in the process. This is, as always, his design.
Back in Italy Hannibal and Bedilia continue their masquerade in the upper eschelon of Florence’s social circle, having his doubting colleague Sogliato for dinner. Not literally, not yet anyway, presumably it’s still Tony the Poet on the table. Of course the icepick Lecter was using to prepare cocktails winds up in their guest’s skull, leaving him blinded and twitching with Bedilia finally removing it and granting Sogliato relief in death after the agony of becoming Hannibal’s plaything, similar to the twisted mercy granted by Will to Chiyoh’s captor. Bedilia accuses her faux-husband of recklessness, wanting to be caught. Little does she know that Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) has finally arrived in Florence, another survivor of last season’s massacre of a finale. But he’s surprisingly not out to pursue Lecter but to save Will from himself, and be absolved of his own guilt for Graham’s descent into Hannibal’s murderous orbit. Lecter doesn’t deny it, wanting to draw Will back into his web, for the only way for Lecter to truly defeat Graham, in the head and the heart, is to devour him.