The unthinkable blooms on Hannibal "Futomono" [s2,e6]

For those keeping track, futomono is the course in a Japanese kaiseki meal that consists of a lidded dish. Keeping the lid on Miriam Lass until the last minute of an episode that was already a feast of sadistic twists, morbid whimsy, and incredible food porn was a real treat.

Miriam Lass lives! Bringing Anna Chlumsky back -- minus a limb or two -- is a cryptic move, but one that promises to kick up the intrigue to new heights. Why was she kept alive for so long? Does she remember who put her in that ghostly longhouse? Is there any chance Abigail Hobbs might be alive somewhere, too? My biggest concern is wondering if, or more likely why, Hannibal would lead Jack Crawford to her and give Jack the evidence to exonerate Will. The BAU team thinks the Ripper left a bit of unintended evidence behind in those newly discovered lures, but Hannibal is so meticulous it's hard to believe he'd slip up like that.

No, I think Hannibal is playing the long game and it's just more fun with Will Graham out of prison. And what makes it Hannibal's turn to be at his most dangerous is that a free Will makes for an easier target to play with.

Just because Will won't admit to Hannibal that he feels guilt over steering Beverly into Hannibal's path, doesn't mean he doesn't feel it. In an hour where we saw a corpse turned into a cherry tree, a man strung up from the ceiling, and another man being made to eat his own leg, bone marrow and all, the single most chilling moment was Hannibal wondering aloud to Will "I wonder how many more people will get hurt because of you?" with a little curl of his lips. Mads Mikkelsen knocked that implied threat out of the park. Though Will did give as good as he got, with all that dangerous clarity. Until Hannibal said he'd give Alana Bloom Will's best.

Nearly as world-shaking as the reappearance of Miriam Lass was That Kiss.

As feared, Will sending his obsessive orderly to kill Hannibal only further alienated Will from his former supporters, especially Alana. Who, really, wasn't that true of a supporter anyway. I never imagined an Alana/Hannibal romantic pairing, but it is definitely an effective war tactic. Alana is more than an alibi for Hannibal; she's also his weapon. Alana pursuing a relationship/funeral sex with Will's mortal enemy would be more compelling if Alana had more to do this season beyond dog-sit. Of course we don't want Alana to end up like Beverly or any of Hannibal's other victims, but without a bigger stake in the story, Alana is only a weapon, not a person. Still, watching her getting duped and drugged by Hannibal is extremely disturbing. On the other hand, if I didn't know Hannibal was a serial murderer, I can certainly see the appeal. Those suits.

I was reminded of Nick Cave's song "Loverman:" "There's a devil lying by your side. You might think he's asleep, but look at his eyes."

More and more this season, we are delving into what makes Hannibal such a cruel, devious, almost preternatural (how did he know Gideon was in the hospital?) adversary. Dr. Chilton may be a vain, opportunistic moron, but even he has to get it right some days.  Hannibal's cannibalism seems more obscene than Garrett Jacob Hobbs' because in a twisted way, the Minnesota Shrike was honoring his victims by eating them. Hannibal just sees them as particularly unique pork. "The tragedy is not to die, but to be wasted," he tells Dr. Gideon as he's forcing him to eat his own goddamned leg. Talk about the ultimate act of dominance over a perceived weaker or unjust party. Dr. Gideon is his own twisted mental heap of lies and manipulation, but I did feel bad for him in that moment. Why is auto-cannibalism so much worse to watch?

And I feel bad for Hannibal, to no longer have Eddie Izzard smirking and snarking his way through this show. He gave Gideon the witty, mercurial charisma Sir Anthony Hopkins gave his Lecter, so Mads Mikkelsen could continue doing his own thing.

But, he got too close to Will, which also meant he was too close to Hannibal. Could this be the same fate for Alana? Or for Jack?

Final Bites:

• We don't have to feel guilty about wanting an invite to Hannibal's life-affirming dinner party because at least some of the food was definitely not people. Bring on the prosciutto-topped watermelon. Will doesn't know what he's missing.

• "The last time someone rang my bell this early, it was a census taker." Oh, you.

• Last week, I expressed skepticism that Hannibal could freeze, cut, transport and stage Beverly all by himself, overnight. This week, corpses grafted into trees and planted in parking lots without any help or witnesses is… yeah, not overthinking these aspects if Bryan Fuller isn't either.

• Blooms were all over: cherry blossoms on the doomed green man, the blooms punctuating the notes of Hannibal's sheet music, and of course Alana Bloom getting seduced by Hannibal and his harpsichord. Would the mood be ruined if Hannibal composed his new piece for the theremin instead? Myrtle Snow on American Horror Story would not agree.

• "Varicose vines." Zeller will be at this crime scene all week, people. Tip your waitress but don't try the veal.

This look from Dr. Chilton.

• Palate Cleanser of the Week: April is Organ Donation Awareness month and to honor this, a new Hannibal fandom campaign has begun to get people to sign up as organ donors. Love it.

More Hannibal in our review archives.