Will Mason Die On 'Hannibal'? Spoilers From The Novel Tease The Villain's Fate
Heir to a massive hog-slaughtering farm, Mason Verger, of NBC's Hannibal, proved himself to be just as sadistic as he was wealthy in Season 2. He flavored his martinis with tears he collected from small children; he abused his sister Margot, even having her own uterus removed against her wishes; and he tried to have Hannibal Lecter killed. (The fact that the least of his offenses was the attempted murder of the show's title character goes to show just how twisted Mason really is.) So, is showrunner Bryan Fuller about to give fans what they so desperately crave? Will Mason Verger die in this week's episode of Hannibal ?
Viewers likely thought they were witnessing Mason's demise in the penultimate Season 2 episode, "Tome-wan." Under the influence of psychotropic drugs administered by Hannibal, the twisted millionaire carved off his own face and fed it to Will Graham's dog. (Except for his nose. He ate that part himself.) Hannibal then snapped his victim's neck... but didn't kill him, and simply left him paralyzed from the neck down.
Mason returned this year — although his original portrayer, Boardwalk Empire actor Michael Pitt, did not. (Pitt was replaced by 33-year-old British actor Joe Anderson, although the extensive facial prosthetics render the change almost unrecognizable.) Determined to hunt down the man who disfigured and paralyzed him, Mason allied himself with an equally vengeful Alana Bloom. Together, they bribed Inspector Pazzi to bring them the cannibal from Italy. That didn't go well, so they next bribed the entire Florentine police force. The most recent episode, "Dolce," ended with both Dr. Lecter and Will Graham hanging upside down in Mason's meat locker.
[Spoilers ahead!] Even though it's frenemies Hannibal and Will that find themselves in mortal peril going into this week's episode, "Digestivo," it's Mason who should be worried. "Digestivo" marks the halfway point of the season, and the turning point between Season 3's two literary adaptations. While the first seven episodes were a blend of Thomas Harris's Hannibal and Hannibal Rising, the final six will be a retelling of his first Lecter novel, Red Dragon . That means this Saturday's episode should be Mason's swan song.
In Harris' 1999 novel that shares its name with Fuller's series, Mason's plan is to feed Dr. Lecter to his prize pigs, who have been specifically bred to enjoy the taste of live humans. However, when the pigs fail to smell any fear on Hannibal, they lose interest in him entirely. Margot then takes the opportunity of her brother's defeat to finally seize what she wants: His sperm, so she and her partner can bear the true Verger heir in order to claim the family fortune. To get her prize, Margot sodomizes her abuser with a cattle prod and, once she gets it, she finishes him off by shoving his pet moray eel down his throat.
It remains to be seen if Mason's demise will go down exactly as it did in the books... although I hope it does, considering Ridley Scott's 2001 film adaptation of the novel gave the wealthy sadist the underwhelming death of being eaten by his own pigs. I suppose that choices carries a certain amount of dramatic irony, but it's nowhere near as gruesome an exit as such a despicable character deserves.
It's always sad to see a good villain leave a show, but I have a feeling that most viewers will be cheering to see Mason choke on that eel — just like they cheered when Joffrey choked on that fatal pigeon pie.
Images: Brooke Palmer, Screengrab/NBC; beaufortplace/tumblr