*Hannibal Spoilers Below*
Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal is centred around a serial killer/cannibal, so you’d expect the show to have a lot of seriously evil people. In a way, the stories about the character of Hannibal Lecter have developed a bit of a rogues gallery. The villains of his universe are as colourful and theatrical as they are deadly, and the most despicable one of them all is Mason Verger. Sadistic, abusive to his twin sister Margot, and way too rich for everyone else’s own good, this character is the most sickening thing about a series that revolves around a cannibal. Perhaps the most disgusting thing about him is the clear and obvious delight he takes in the suffering of others. In Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal, Mason Verger is portrayed first by Michael Pitt, and then recast as Joe Anderson (which conveniently went along with his character’s well deserved facial mutilation). A lot of what he does isn’t motivated by anything other than his own sadistic tastes and historically this character really has always been scum, but Bryan Fuller takes him to the next level in terms of pure putridness. The legacy he will leave on television thanks to Fuller’s work will be as one of the most vile characters ever portrayed, and today I’m here to count out 5 times when he displayed that horribleness to us all on Hannibal.
1. When he makes a martini from his sister’s tears.
As mentioned before, Mason Verger is an enormous sadist. While he enjoys feeding unsuspecting victims to his pigs (an animal he has a fixation on), his favourite victim of all would be his twin sister, Margot, who he often reduces to tears with his antics. He is able to get away with this because he is the sole eligible heir to the Verger dynasty due to being a male, which means Margot has to have a child in order to get access to these funds. Unfortunately, Margot is constantly watched by her brother and his manservant Cordell, is a lesbian, and is generally preoccupied with being tormented by her brother, which means getting her hands on viable sperm is difficult. This entire situation makes her tremendously sad, and Mason is there to add insult to injury by literally drinking her tears in martini glasses. This is exactly the kind of mustache twirling evil one references sarcastically, and he actually does it. In a way, this practice is symbolic of how different he is from other Hannibal villains because it is perfectly representative of how much he relishes in his darkness.
2. When he has his own sister’s womb surgically removed.
Mason’s interest in his sister’s reproductive organs has always been one of his most despicable attributes. His arc in Hannibal‘s second season actually begins with him sending Margot to therapy after she attempted to kill him in retaliation for a sexual assault he committed on her. Towards the end of that season, he actually has her womb surgically removed to solidify the control he has over her. With this act, he will always be the Verger heir, but even worse is his gross violation of his own sister. The most disturbing part of all this however is how this act is merely a stepping stone to an even greater cruelty he inflicts on his sister later on.
3. When he said this line to Alana Bloom
In season 2 of the show, psychiatrist Alana Bloom developed a sexual relationship with Hannibal Lecter, who she obviously thought to be a good man at the time (a time that ended abruptly when he had her pushed out a window). When Alana begins working for Mason (or rather, using him to get to Hannibal), the fact that she used to sleep with Hannibal becomes one of Mason’s favourite buttons to push. His most over-the-top and vile line regarding this however, was his inquiry as to whether or not she got a “taste” of Hannibal and if she “swallowed”. The conclusion that he comes to on his own is perhaps less savory than what he continuously feeds his pigs. This line shows that on top of being unspeakably evil, Mason is also supremely rude.
4. When he wanted to eat Hannibal with Will’s face.
Over dinner that involved discussion of overcooked penises and pajama parties, a mutilated Mason Verger discusses his plan for vengeance on a captured Hannibal and Will Graham. There isn’t much to say here, Will puts it succinctly when he states “You’re going to eat him… with my face?”. Like the act of literally drinking tears, this is the kind of evil act that speaks for itself, although this one has an edge of complete insanity.
5. Pig Surrogacy.
Pig. Surrogacy. This wholly original (and sick) twist from Bryan Fuller is perhaps the most disturbing climax ever shown on television. We are talking X-File‘s “Home” level of disturbing here. After dangling the promise of an heir over Margot’s head for years, Mason finally gives her hope when he tells her he’s kept and preserved her eggs despite having done away with her womb. He informs his desperate twin that he had these eggs moved to “another basket” in the form of a surrogate mother and that he will give her the baby when the time is right. He promises her a “Verger baby”, a title with implications that unfortunately escape a hopeful Margot. Margot eventually does find this monstrosity; Mason’s most cruel act ever, the storing of Margot’s eggs, fertilized (presumably by him) and growing, all within a pig. Obviously the baby is a still-born, which leads to Margot having to cut open the pig and hold her dead child and last hope in her arms. When she confronts him with this information, the bastard laughs in her face. I would have called this his last mistake if his fate were not sealed long before his final mockery of his sister.
In the end, Mason Verger is murdered by his sister and Alana Bloom when they hold his head down into a pool that houses his pet eel. When that eel slides its way into his throat (an appropriately phallic cause of death I must say), his wretched existence is finally snuffed out forever. His legacy though, thanks in large part to Bryan Fuller with his recent adaption of the character, will be of one of the most vile and despicably evil characters to ever appear on television.
Quote of the Day:
“I promised you I’d give you a Verger baby.”
– Mason Verger, Hannibal.