People wrestle with their demons all the time, but what do you do when your demons are flesh and blood and physically coming for you in the night? You can hide out on a farm in the middle of nowhere and live an isolated life, like Will Graham. But how long can anyone hold out against the constant assault from monsters before he becomes one himself?
Will is reliving his fight with Randall Tier, only instead of a man in a pneumatic cave bear suit, he sees the Wendingo, the half-Hannibal, half-stag creature of his nightmares. Will kills Randall by breaking his neck and takes the body to Hannibal, laying it out on his dining room table like an offering. Will's knuckles are bruised and bloody from his fight with Randall, so Hannibal gently treats and wraps them in gauze. Will admits he felt powerful when he killed Randall. "Then you owe him a debt," Hannibal says. Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, Garrett Jacob Hobbs said something similar to his daughter Abigail about deer. They gave their lives for you, so you honor your debt by using every part of them - for food, for clothes, for decoration. Yuck, we see where this is going...
Jack Crawford walks into the Museum of Natural History where Randall Tier worked. A cave bear skeleton stands there, but the top half of its skull is covered by Randall's face, which has been peeled from his own skull like a grape, and the animal's limbs have been replaced by Randall's. His finger seems to point at Jack, as if accusing the FBI agent of being responsible for his death. Wrong FBI agent, dude.
Jack calls in Will and Hannibal to consult on Randall's murder. The two bat ideas about the killer's psyche back and forth like a couple of kids pulling a fast one on their dad. Hannibal is clearly enjoying it. Will, presumably to keep up appearances, does his usual thing of closing his eyes to put himself in the killer's mind. Which is weird because he is the killer. It's like Being John Malkovich, only with psychopaths.
Will has a conversation in his mind with Randall, exploring the reasons why he and Hannibal displayed the dead man in this fashion. Then Will comes out of his dream state. "He knew his killer," he tells Jack. What a fine line he is walking.
Freddie Lounds has returned, and she is working on a book about the Chesapeake Ripper. She interviews Will in her motel room, where she tells him her suspicions that Hannibal, not the now-fortunately-dead Frederick Chilton, is the Ripper. Is Freddie unaware that everyone who has gone down this road has wound up in a souffle? She might get the chance to find out.
Margot Verger continues her "unorthodox" therapy with Hannibal, who reprimands her for having not yet murdered her brother Mason. "You failed to murder him because you still love him," he tells her. "You must allow yourself to hate him." It's always good to be in touch with your feelings.
Margot rides a horse into a barn on her family's estate and finds Mason waiting for her. He wants to show her something: a maze into which he has released some specially bred pigs. An assistant lowers a lump of meat that has been molded into the shape of a person, dressed in one of Margot's suits and sprayed with some human scents from a perfume bottle. Mason turns on an audio recording of human screams and voila! Dinnertime! This little piggy went to market, this little piggy gorged itself on human flesh...
Rattled, Margot returns to Will, seeking comfort. They go to bed, where Will sees the face of Alana Bloom, who is at that moment in bed with Hannibal. Then the Wendingo makes an appearance in Will's imagination and suddenly it's the weirdest orgy since Caligula.
Hannibal goes to meet Mason himself. The creepy young man offers the psychiatrist a pig from the batch he's been training to eat people so Hannibal can turn it into a gourmet meal. Presenting a human-eating pig to a man who eats humans, so he can kill the pig and eat it... we've gone cross-eyed! Hannibal turns the pig into a delicious meal he serves to Will and Alana. He actually carves the pig at the table. Oh good, they know what they are getting.
Alana reveals that Freddie Lounds came to see her, curious about Hannibal's relationship with Will. Maybe Alana is starting to get a little curious as well.
Still, Hannibal can't have Freddie getting close to the truth. Which is why he is waiting for Freddie in her motel room, wearing his plastic murder suit.
Where is Freddie? Having earlier said to Alana about teaching, "We can only learn so much and live," she is now putting that to the test by going to Will's house. When there is no answer at his door, she picks the lock on his barn and enters it. Hanging up in the middle is Randall Tier's cave bear outfit. Freddie, not knowing what it is, takes pictures anyway. Then she opens a storage freezer and finds all sorts of meat wrapped in plastic, including a human jawbone. Horrified, she slams the lid only to find Will standing there, staring at her, talking to her in a soft voice, trying to coax her into listening to what he has to say. Sure, right after she finds human meat in your fridge, she's going to listen to your logical explanation.
Freddie pulls out a gun, shoots at Will and makes a break for it. They struggle and she tears away from him, leaving a hunk of her hair in his hand. Dialing a number on her phone as she runs to her car, she is fumbling to get the key in the ignition when Will smashes in a window and drags her, screaming, back towards the barn. Back in her car, her phone has connected to Jack Crawford's, so he will get a voicemail of her terrified screams. Later, the FBI traces her cell to a tower near Will's farm and finds security footage of her filling up her car at a gas station six miles away. Will feigns ignorance, saying she was supposed to come interview him and never showed up.
In Hannibal's kitchen, Will has brought meat wrapped in butcher's paper. He wants Hannibal to show him how to cook it. Hannibal tries to guess the type of meat. "Veal? Pork?"
Will smiles. "She was a slim and delicate pig."The two men sit in front of a fire in Hannibal's dining room, eating. Hannibal thinks the meat tastes a bit strange and unusual and guesses it was frightened at the time it was slaughtered. "The meat is bitter about being dead," Will says."This meat is not pork," Hannibal replies.
"It's long pig," Will says. What's long pig? Oh, just what cannibal tribes in Polynesia call human flesh. No biggie.
There have to be easier ways to help a guy work through his issues and embrace his inner self than framing him for multiple murders, getting him locked up in an insane asylum, having him try to kill you, trying to kill him, and turning him into a murderous cannibal after he has agreed to return to therapy with you as his doctor. But like everyone keeps saying, Hannibal likes to use unorthodox methods in treating his patients.