We begin with Graham shooting at a target, and as the paper target draws closer to him, it turns into the body of Hobbs, which Graham keeps shooting at it gets closer and closer to him. Graham was having a dream and Crawford wakes him up, they’re at Hobbs’ cabin in the Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota. The inside of the cabin is filled with deer carcasses, knives and when they go upstairs, they find an entire room full of deer horns that Hobb’s had severed. Crawford suggests that Hobbs wasn’t working alone and suggests that Hobbs’ daughter who is now in a coma is a suspect.
“Hobbs killed alone,” persists Graham.
Graham also finds a strand of hair behind one of the columns, indicating that someone else had been in the cabin. In the next scene, we’re introduced to Freddie Lounds, who is an internet tabloid writer. She has pictures from the cabin and is working on an article about the Minnesota Shrike’s Shrine.
Graham has returned to his classroom at the FBI Academy and is welcomed by applause, which he promptly asks them to please stop. “This is how I caught Hobbs. Does anybody see the clue?” As a couple of students raise their hands, he continues to say that there isn’t a clue. He caught him through bad bookkeeping and dumb luck.
Graham has been approved for active duty in the field but Crawford has requested a psych evaluation. Crawford says that he believes Hannibal is a better fit for Graham’s evaluation. Bloom tells Graham that the fact that Hobbs was the first person he killed is a lot to digest.
“Therapy doesn’t work on me.”
“Therapy doesn’t work on you because you won’t let it.”
“Because I know all the tricks.”
“Maybe you need to unlearn some tricks.”
Hannibal gives Graham a rubber-stamp on his psych evaluation so that their conversation can “proceed unobstructed by paperwork.”
“Jack thinks I need therapy.”
“What you need is a way out of dark places when he sends you there.”
“Last time he sent me to a dark place, I brought something back.”
“A surrogate daughter? You saved Abigail Hobbs’ life – you also orphaned her. It comes with certain emotional obligations regardless of empathy disorders.”
“You were there, you helped saved her life. Did you feel obligated?”
“Yes. I feel a staggering sense of obligation,” replies Hannibal. Hmm, I wonder where the feeling of obligation originated. Is it because he warned Hobbs that the cops were on to him, which may have resulted in Abigail’s coma?
“Crawford thinks Abigail Hobbs helped her dad kill those girls,” says Graham.
“How does that make you feel?”
“How does it make you feel?”
“I find it vulgar.”
“And entirely possible.”
“It’s not what happened.”
Hannibal ends their conversation by telling Graham that the “mirrors in your mind can reflect the best of yourself, not the worst of someone else.”
The team now has a new case on their hands. They found nine bodies buried in a high-nutrient compost in a forest in Maryland, using them as fertilizer for fungus to grow all over them. As Graham is putting himself in the shoes of the killer to figure out the design, we see the reporter posing as the mom of one of the boys who found the bodies in the forest to get information from one of the local detectives. She finds out that Graham is a special consultant for the FBI.
As Graham puts himself in the mind of the killer, he has another hallucination where he sees Hobbs one of the buried bodies. As he’s trying to compose himself and get back to reality, one of the bodies reaches out and grabs him.
Graham is back in Hannibal’s office, telling him about the hallucinations he’s been having of Hobbs. “Is it hard imagining the thrill somebody else feels killing, now that you’ve done it yourself?” asks Hannibal. Graham just nods his head. Their conversation turns to the new killer, the “Farmer”.
Hannibal’s next appointment after Graham is the reporter, pretending to be a patient who is ‘thorough’ and interviewing potential therapists.
“Are you Freddie Lounds?” asks Hannibal. He asks her to hand over her bag (“I’d rather not take it from you.”), where he finds the recorder. “How did you know Graham would be here?” insists Hannibal, and of course doesn’t get a straight answer. He makes her delete the conversations she recorded, included the one between Graham and Hannibal. One thing I will say about this show is that the imagery is done so well. After Hannibal asks what should be done about Lounds’ rude behavior, the next image of gravy being poured over slices of meat leaves us, momentarily wondering, if she became his next meal. (OK, maybe that was just me?)
During the autopsy, we find out that all the victims died of kidney failure and Graham says that they were all diabetics. The Farmer induced a diabetic coma to keep them alive long enough to feed the fungus growing on their bodies, so the Farmer has to be someone who is a doctor or works in the medical field. In the next scene, we’re in a pharmacy and we are introduced to the pharmacists we assume to be the Farmer, switching the insulin of a patient picking up her prescription.
The FBI has figured out who the Farmer is (Eldin Stannis) and break into his car that is still in the parking lot at work even though he is gone. In the trunk, they find a body being kept alive in trunk full of dirt. When they check the browsing history of his work station, they come across the article Lounds has written about Graham, titled It Takes One to Know One, in which she calls him “one demented mind.”
Back in Baltimore, Graham is in Abigail’s hospital room, where he is having a dream and is woken up by Bloom reading to Abigail. “Don’t feel sorry for yourself because you saved this girl’s life,” says Bloom. “I don’t feel sorry for myself at all…I feel…good,” replies Graham. As if he is unfamiliar with that feeling.
Lounds is confronted by the detective outside of her hotel room. She tells him that she can help him find work (when he gets fired), and in the middle of her sentence, Stannis shoots the detective in the head (in broad daylight) and asks blood-covered Lounds to tell him more about Graham.
“What did you tell Stannis about Graham?”
“Everything. He wants to help Graham connect with Abigail Hobbs. He’s going to bury her.”
In the hospital, Graham shoots Stannis in the shoulder. Back in Hannibal’s office, he asks Graham who he saw when he shot the Farmer in the shoulder.
“It wasn’t Hobbs,” replies Graham.
“Then it’s not Hobbs’ ghost that’s haunting you. It’s the inevitability of a man being so bad that killing him felt good.”
“Killing him didn’t feel good. It felt just.”
“That’s why you’re here. To prove that sprig of zest you feel is from saving Abigail, not killing her dad.”
“I didn’t feel a sprig of zest when I shot Stannis.”
“You didn’t kill him.”
“I thought about it. I’m still not entirely sure that wasn’t my intention.”
“If your intention was to kill him, it’s because you understand why he did the things he did. It’s beautiful in its own way. Giving voice to the unmentionable.”
“I liked killing Hobbs.”
“Killing must feel good to God too. Are we not created in his image?”
Oh Hannibal, I’d forgotten about your God complex.
Berrak is a writer for Sweatpants & Coffee.