*Here be spoilers for all things Hannibal!*

No, the title of this post is not a typo. While I read an occasional recap of an episode of Glee when I keep forgetting it’s on, I’m not into rehashing what I already saw blow by blow. I do, however, have a thing where I sometimes prehash. I think it has something to do with the way my brain works, as a writer. If I fall in love with a TV series enough, I subconsciously start trying to figure out where it’s going. Eventually it can become not so subconsciously. The second season of Hannibal started doing that to me while I was watching the most recent episode.

It’s still bugging me that it’s so different from the books and movies, even though I have gotten used to it enough to watch without having a parallel mental commentary running that tries to “fix” things…bring them in line, as it were. A few episodes ago I finally decided that the only way I’ll ever get over that is to just see it as an alternate reality to the “real” one. It even bugs me that it bugs me so much, but that’s what I get for reading all the books and watching all the movies. So, for now, in my mind Mads Mikkelsen isn’t a young Anthony Hopkins. He’s his own separate Hannibal Lecter. And a very good one.

That split happened when poor bedeviled Doctor Chilton somehow became the Chesapeake Ripper. Huh? My entire separate reality version solution threatened to split off again into a world upside down entirely version, of an already dark and dystopian version of a world within a world. The entire creative team behind this series deserves kudos on so many levels. The show is gorgeous to look at, though it seems it shouldn’t be. Last week, blood dripping on ice was mesmerizing. In other episodes the giant silo sunflower made of cadavers was a macabre work of art, the icey slicey colleague was genius, and the living roots of a tree spliced into a human body so that the man\tree hybrid result was in bloom was one of the most striking, haunting images I’ve ever seen on television.

And then this past Friday’s episode finally clicked into place for me just who Margot is. Verger. Mason. Hannibal the movie. The terrifying faceless man, prepigs. The castlelike home didn’t do it. The names didn’t do it. It was the pig…cathedral. That was when who we were dealing with fell into place. Sometimes it’s disorienting when they make the Hannibal and Will relationship so very different from what I think I know, only to bring in striking, unforgettable imagery from what’s come before on page and screen.

So, that creeping disorienting sensation was what set off my precap thing. With Will now full tilt into Hannibal Junior mode, so far from the Will I thought I knew, I started thinking how outrageous it all is. How SO different his becoming an acolyte of the good bad doctor, a full blown serial killer in his own right, is. I realized that there’s still so much of the antlered presence at his cases, his situations, his murders. It clicked into place that the stag hallucination is still a hallucination. That all this season’s Will\Hannibal relationship escalations, with Will imprisoned himself as the Chesapeake Ripper, then freed, then becoming what he fought to take down, are perhaps all continuations of his hallucinations. Hannibal diagnosed him with encephalitis, then left him untreated as an experiment to see what would happen. Unless I missed something, which is entirely possible, Will is a walking petridish solely suffering for Doctor Lecter’s enlightenment\entertainment.

So. Will there come a moment when we see Will in a coma or something, and realize this entire season’s breakdown of a humane man into a cannibalistic serial killing partner of his frenemy of epic proportions is one giant, awful hallucination? I don’t have a clue really. Just a hunch. If my brain is going to split off its viewing capacity to examine what ifs, alternate realities, and imagine Thomas Harris pondering the TV series’ direction, it’s at least fun to start turning over plot points, looking for clues hiding under braised kidneys and poached…stuff I don’t want to think about too closely. Or look at. I’m really looking forward to watching the final episodes of season two unfold, to find out if where my ponderings take me will turn out to be what plays out on the screen, or something else entirely cliffhangs it’s way to what will hopefully be season three. However it all plays out, I know to expect creative excellence to underlie every nuance and subtle moment of terrible beauty.