The BAU investigates a murder in which two victims' faces are similarly mutilated with a "Glasgow Smile". After losing time and accidentally contaminating a crime scene, Will visits a Neurologist for an MRI.
It's a rainy night in Greenwood, Delaware, and Beth LeBeau is just getting ready for bed. As she tucks herself in, she notices a leak coming from the ceiling and goes to the attic to check it out. There is a hole in the side of her roof and after patching it, she returns to her room. Back in her room, hands reach out from underneath Beth's bed and yank her under; the splattering of blood that follows marks her end.
During another session♙ Will discusses his regret for the innocence he lost after killing Garrett Hobbs to Hannibal. Hannibal tries to get Will to live intentionally in the present by having him draw a clock, but the picture Will created is vexingly askew.
Later that day, Will brings fish home and slices it open on the kitchen counter. As he does so, blood comes out of the fish. He comes rushing back to reality, to see that he is covered in the blood of Beth LeBeau, in the midst of her brutal crime scene. Will stumbles back and runs out of the room, to find the FBI investigation team awaiting his results. Outside the home, Jack admonishes Will for contaminating the crime scene, but Will wonders aloud if Jack has anyone else that can do Will's job stable better than he can do it unstable. At the scene, Brian says the girl drowned in her own blood. Beverly thinks it's an old flame, as the photos in the room of her are scratched out. When Will realizes the skin on Beth's face was pulled back, he wonders if the killer was trying to remove her mask.
Will returns to Hannibal and tells him about the grandiose hallucinations he had at Beth's crime scene. Hannibal agrees to refer Will to a neurologist but warns him that if they don't find anything wrong physiologically, he has to accept his problems as mental illness. At Dr. Sutcliffe's office, Will is placed in an MRI machine to take a scan of his brain. Inside, Will hallucinates about being under Beth LeBeau's bed. The results of his MRI show he has Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis, which Hannibal claims he already knew by scent alone. Off of Dr. Lecter's suggestion, however, Dr. Sutcliffe tells Will his brain scan was "completely normal" to keep him in the dark about his condition.
Hannibal and Jack converse over drinks. Hannibal accuses Jack of knowingly allowing the deterioration of Will's psyche by placing him in harm's way with these investigations. Jack thinks Will's temporary mental health is a small price to pay for the saved lives of many. Regardless, Hannibal knows Will has a psychological tendency to mirror what's around him, and so placing him at these crime scenes doesn't just rub off on him, the terror and macabre absorbs into his entire being.
Will visits Beth LeBeau's house late at night to look at the crime scene again. Inside her bedroom, he repeats Hannibal's cadence to ensure he's fully in the present moment. Suddenly, Will notices someone under the bed and when he kneels down to get a better look, the person makes a run for the door. He manages to grab the person's hand, but the skin on their entire arm slides off. In a blink, Will is in the middle of the woods in Delaware, scared and alone. Will begins to questions what's real, and what's a figment of his imagination.
Beverly accompanies Will to Beth's house and the two try to figure out whether Will was hallucinating or whether he actually encountered Beth's killer. Beverly thinks the skin peeling off the murderer would make sense, as the killer was cut during the crime but never bled. Will agrees, as it also may explain why they were trying to cut Beth's face off - they may have mistaken it for a mask and could also have trouble distinguishing faces. The killer came back to make sure they hadn't committed the crime, but their delusions would've been confirmed by the blood on the ground. The killer's profile is beginning to take shape.
At another session, Will and Hannibal discuss the latest with his hallucinations. Will is still drawing messed up clocks, despite his understanding that they're perfectly in order. When discussing his recent case, Will tells Hannibal about the killer's profile. Hannibal thinks the killer might suffer from a mental illness that dissociates recognition with faces or people. The killer may have reached out to someone they loved - Beth - but struggled to see the person as anything more than an imposter. If crossed, the killer may have lashed out and gotten violent. She can't trust anything or anyone. Will can't help but see the similarities in his own mental struggles.
That night, as Will has a nightmare in his bed, Georgia Madchen stands outside his house window and watches him. At Quantico, Will and Jack speak with the suspect's mother. The woman is relieved to hear she's alive more than anything; her daughter's suffered from mental illness her entire life and is definitely capable of violence. As the mother speaks of her frustrations with mental health rehabilitation, Will empathizes, having recently experienced the exact same thing.
Later, Jack confronts Will at FBI headquarters; he still harbors guilt for his handling of Miriam Glass, his fallen protege, and he can see a pattern occurring now with Will. What Jack wants to know is why Will still comes to work every day when he knows it's bad for him. Will can't offer an answer, so Jack provides his own hypothesis - he thinks Will comes because work is the only stabilizing force in his life at the moment. Jack tells Will, when he doubts himself, he doesn't have to doubt Jack too.
Hannibal and Dr. Sutcliffe converse over dinner. Dr. Sutcliffe asks Hannibal about his relationship with Will. Hannibal explains that he enjoys Graham's vivid imagination and pure empathy. There's nothing Will can't understand, and that terrifies Graham. Though he is intrigued, Dr. Sutcliffe continues to consider Will an asset. Especially with the diagnosis that they are deliberately withholding from him.
Will is eager to diagnose his mental problems, unaware that Hannibal and Dr. Sutcliffe are intentionally keeping him in the dark. Will returns for another MRI testing, but when it's over, no one is around to help him wrap up his appointment. The hospital is worryingly empty. As Will investigates, he finds Dr. Sutcliffe's office door dripping with blood, he covers his hand before he enters, and finds the doctor is dead at his desk, his head ripped apart at the jaw.
Dr. Sutcliffe's office has turned into a crime scene, and Brian sees a similarity in the weapons used at Beth LeBeau's house. The only connection between the victims is Will, though. Will wonders if Georgia mistook his doctor for Graham, as she struggles to identify faces. Will tells Jack he might have contacted her that one night in the forest when he was going through his cadences. At that moment, Will shouted out "you're alive," and if Georgia was listening, it might've been the first time she realized that in a long while.
That night, as Will sleeps, he awakens from a dream. His dogs are growling and he realizes he is not alone. He looks under his bed to see Georgia is lying there, watching him. Will falls to the floor and calmly attempts to bring her into the present moment. When Georgia asks if she's alive, Will says yes, and reaches his hand out to hold hers. Later, Georgia is taken to ICU and treated for her loss of vital fluids. Jack wonders to Hannibal whether she'll make a full recovery, and more importantly, whether she'll remember what she's done. Dr. Lecter says he hopes she doesn't remember, for her sake, as it is then revealed that Hannibal was the one who killed Dr. Sutcliffe - not Georgia. She wandered into the room that night, and Hannibal handed her the weapon.
- The episode's title, Buffet Froid, is the French word for "cold cuts".
- Hannibal’s explanation for Will’s mental illness (too many mirror neurons) was originally scripted for Chilton to deliver in “Entrée,” in a scene that was likely not filmed. In that version of the dialogue, Will specifically names his condition as “a mild form of echopraxia.” In the script for this episode, Jack has the “echopraxia” line, but the producers ultimately decided not to name Will’s disease onscreen. Bryan Fuller has said this diagnosis was inspired by a passage early in Red Dragon that mentions Jack Crawford had noticed Will involuntarily adapting the “rhythm and syntax” of the speech of another person in conversation, and being unable to stop himself from doing so.
- Ellen Muth, who plays Georgia Madchen, had previously played Georgia “George” Lass, the lead character on Bryan Fuller’s series Dead Like Me. (“Madchen” is the German word for “girl,” and “lass” is also a synonym for “girl”). On Dead Like Me, George is dead and acts as a reaper, shepherding souls into the afterlife. Fuller has described Muth’s casting as Madchen (who is alive but believes she is dead, driving her to kill others) as an “inversion” of her Dead Like Me character.
- Fuller said that Will contracting encephalitis was inspired by FBI profiler John Douglas (Thomas Harris’s real-life model for Jack Crawford) contracting the disease.
- An early draft of this episode involved a killer that Bryan Fuller has described as similar to the film Saw, who punished people who contributed to charities in ironic ways (such as feeding a pet-charity supporter to dogs). This was abandoned because it did not tie into Will’s storyline in any meaningful way.
- Will Graham's head is placed into a G.E. Lightspeed C.T. Scanner. In spite of this, the scanner sounds like an M.R.I. scanner, and is later referred to as an 'M.R.I. machine by Will , rather than a C.T. scanner
Book to Show
- Will’s line about roller coaster cogs is adapted from similar language in Red Dragon when Will realizes he has to go see Hannibal Lecter.
- Will analogizing Nick Boyle’s murder to a bursting balloon and Hannibal’s line about those they killed being “light and air and color” both come from the passage in Red Dragon when Dolarhyde decides to write to Lecter. In the book, Dolarhyde believes that Lecter understands these truths.
- Will’s line that he can see and hear better afraid but can’t speak as concisely comes from narration during the sequence in Red Dragon when Will visits the Leeds crime scene, as does Jack’s line that fear makes Will rude. Hannibal’s line about screams smeared on the air also comes from this sequence.
- Hannibal’s promise to abstract any information about Will if he publishes is taken from dialogue between Dr. Bloom and Jack in Red Dragon, as is the followup question about whose death “posthumously” refers to (in the book, Jack asks Bloom this question).
- "I don't feel like myself. I feel like I've been gradually becoming different for a while. I just feel like somebody else." (to Lecter)
- "I feel crazy." (to Lecter)
- "I fear not knowing who I am." (to Lecter)
- "I'm having a hard time thinking. I'm losing my mind. I don't know what's real." (to Lecter)
- "You're in very good hands. Dr. Lecter here is one of the sanest men I know." (Dr. Sutcliffe to Will)
- "You wouldn't publish anything about me, would you, Dr. Lecter?"
- "Will, you have me as your gauge."
- Dr Sutcliffe: "So your sense of smell has gone from calling out a nurse's perfume to diagnosing autoimmune disease?"
Jamon iberico - Jamon Iberico is made from the Iberico pig, a breed in Spain that descended
from wild boars. They are dark grey and have long legs with black hoofs, which is why they are sometimes called Pata Negra. After their first birthday, they are released into fields of ancient oaks to roam free and feast on plump acorns as they ripen and fall to the ground. They enjoy this idyllic life until til the vareador has nudged the last acorn off its branch and the season ends. |-| </tabber>
|Season 1 Episodes|