Have we seen the last of Bedelia du Maurier? “Sakizuke” gave us the most insight we’ve gotten yet (which is to say, not much) into just how much Gillian Anderson’s character knows about her patient. It’s still not clear just what happened during her attack or what Hannibal had to do with it. But just as Hannibal breaks into her home sporting a full-on murder suit, she wises up and skips town—or, as she would put it, “withdraws from social ties.” Which robs Will Graham of a potentially formidable ally.
“Sakizuke” is a strangely normal episode, considering the fact that Will’s conducting his investigations from a cage as he prepares to stand trial for a murder spree. The search for the Human Mural Maker continues and wraps up rather quickly. Jack and Beverly feel ambivalent about Will even as they continue to rely on him for help. And Hannibal’s need to both kill and stay close to the FBI bring him closer and closer to getting caught. At least he got a nice leg osso bucco out of it?
The victim we met last week is a recovering heroin addict, so the dose Human Mural Maker typically uses to subdue his, um, material doesn’t work. He rips himself free in a rather gruesome factor, and a high-suspense chase through a cornfield, universal creepy locale, ensues. Rather than go back to the mural, he throws himself off a cliff and into the river, where the FBI finds him. Hannibal, in his capacity as the New Will Graham, uses his superb sense of smell to figure out the mural’s location, sends the FBI on a temporary wild goose chase, and goes on his merry way.
Hannibal’s interactions with other killers and psychopaths constitute most of the few glimpses we get into what lies beneath what Bedelia astutely calls “the person-suit you wear.” Looking down appreciatively through the top of the grain silo, Hannibal recognizes a work of art when he sees it: the mural is an eye, staring unseeing into the face of God. He understands his peer so well, in fact, that the unnamed mural maker doesn’t object when Hannibal decides to finish his masterpiece by making the artist into the final brushstroke. “God gave you purpose, not only to create art, but to become it,” Hannibal says. “Your eye will now see God reflected back. If God is looking down at you, don’t you want to be looking back at him?”
Hannibal seems less purely religious than anxious to act like, and thus become, a god himself. Both Bedelia and Will pick up on this, the latter through the first full use of his hyper-empathy we’ve seen this season. As Hannibal stitches dream-Will into the mural, he muses: “Killing must feel good to God, too. He does it all the time. And are we not created in His image?”
Bedelia, meanwhile, breaks off her doctor-patient relationship with Hannibal. The Will Graham situation has wised her up to what’s really going on, apparently beyond abstract statements that Jack Crawford doesn’t know what Hannibal’s capable of or that Hannibal is “dangerous.” She backs away from Hannibal when she meets him at his office, and Anderson manages to broadcast fear even through Dr. Du Marier’s icy facade. Her last words when she visits Will at the hospital are that she believes him, although she also recognizes that in Hannibal’s twisted mind, imprisoning Will rather than killing him is the right and dignified thing to do.
The rest of Hannibal‘s cast, meanwhile, doesn’t quite operate at the level of Will, Hannibal, and Bedelia. Through his psych eval, Jack reveals that he’s feeling a crushing guilt that’s understandable, but rather flat in the face of Will and Bedelia’s psychological nuances. Beverly, on the other hand, has agreed to wipe her mental slate clean and investigate the evidence for and against Will impartially. Which is good, but she’s not smart enough to realize that dropping hints about her efforts in front of Dr. Lecter might not be the best idea.
It’s Will, however, who goes through the most important development in “Sakizuke.” Done with reeling and moping, he’s finally prepared to fight back. He’s reentered therapy with Hannibal, but as we know from the cold open, their conversations are a deliberate attempt on Will’s part to earn Hannibal’s trust and get inside his head. And Hannibal, whose Achilles Heel is his fascination with Will, can’t help but take the bait.