Will wakes from another of his stag-themed nightmares and vomits up a human ear. Not certain that it's real, he calls Hannibal, who confirms that, yep, it's a human ear. They call in Jack, who comes with the rest of the team to take in Will. Tests confirm that the ear was Abigail's. More damning evidence soon comes to light: Will also has Abigail's blood under his nails and several of his homemade fishing lures contain bits of the recent murder victims. Hannibal may be evil, but it's hard not to admire just how damned thorough the guy is.
He might be just a bit too thorough, though, as Will begins to grow suspicious. He could have believed that he killed Abigail in the throes of his recent breakdown, but the other murders took place before he was sick. He knows he's not guilty. While Jack, Alana and Hannibal try to figure out which of them screwed up the worst, Will escapes captivity. Determined to learn just what happened, he has Hannibal drive him back to Minnesota.
While he's standing in the Hobbs kitchen, looking at the stain of Abigail's blood on the kitchen floor, certain truths start to become clear to him. He sees Hannibal as a human-stag hybrid and understands just how the good doctor has been planting the evidence against him. Will draws a gun, but Jack barges in and shoots him before he can shoot Hannibal. Luckily, it's not fatal, and Jack carts him back home for recuperation and incarceration.
Hannibal visits Dr. Du Maurier a couple of times in the episode -- the first time to tearfully confess his failed attempts at "saving" Will, and the second to bring her a feast of tender, young meat. Is it veal… or Abigail? Du Maurier may suspect it's the latter, but she doesn't decline the meal.
In the end, Hannibal visits Will in jail. He's told Du Maurier that he means to bid farewell to Will, but we know it's not time for goodbyes just yet. Will -- having recovered from his fever and gunshot wound -- seems to remember all his recent epiphanies as he greets Hannibal not as a friend, but as the man who framed him. Stay tuned for the full weecap.
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Will hunts the stag in the dark woods, thankful that the hunting predilections of Garret Jacob Hobbs have offered him such rich and majestic dream symbolism. What if Hobbs had hunted squirrels or muskrat or chipmunks? Will's dreams would be populated with Alvin, Simon and Theodore. Instead, he finds a man in black body paint and antlers and it is beautifully creepy. When Will looks again, the man vanishes. Blood soaks the ground. When Will touches it, the stag-man appears again, looming over him with glowing eyes.
Will wakes with a start, his vision shaky. His dogs have gathered around his as if bed for an intervention: "Just because you're losing your grip on reality doesn't mean we don't still need walkies." Will struggles out of bed and sees that his feet are muddy to the ankles. He heads to the kitchen for some water and aspirin. He soon vomits them into the sink, along with a human ear. He stares at it in horror and confusion, perhaps wondering as I do how he managed to get the whole thing down without utilizing nary a chew.
Will is sitting on his front steps, shivering in the cold, when Hannibal arrives. "I went to Minnesota," Will confesses. He says he took Abigail, but that she didn't come back with him. Hannibal helps Will up, wraps him in a woolly blanket, offers him the gestures of comfort as real people ought, then takes a look in the kitchen sink. The ear exists. Will didn't hallucinate it. Hannibal looks a tad disturbed. Raw human ear? How déclassé. At least braise it with a bit of fennel and vermouth first. Will tells Hannibal about taking Abigail to her father's cabin and having an "episode." "I hallucinated that I killed her, but it wasn't real," Will insists. Hannibal makes a show of thinking it over for a while, then says they have to call Jack. Cue the opening title sequence that always makes me thirsty for Ocean Spray.
Jack soon descends upon Will's house with half the FBI. Will is led away to a waiting car while his dogs are taken by local animal control. One of them slips away to go whimper outside Will's window. Oh, it's almost too much to bear. Luckily, we soon cut to Will being processed by Beverly and the rest of the team. This includes going through Will's pockets while he stands around in his underpants, hearing them as if from a considerable distance. Later, Beverly scrapes under Will's nails. Flakes of dried blood flutter down like confetti at the saddest party ever. He doesn't seem surprised to see it, but neither does he remember how it got there. When asked to interpret the evidence as he would for any other case, he shakily admits it looks like he killed Abigail.