When a city councilman's body is found in a parking lot, intertwined with a tree, the artistry and missing organs suggest the work of the Chesapeake Ripper. Jack and the team race against time to catch the Ripper while he's still on his killing spree. When Will suggests the possibility that the Ripper is filling his pantry with the victims' organs, Jack crashes Hannibal Lecter's dinner party to collect evidence and test the meat for human DNA. Jack's growing suspicions drive Alana even closer to Hannibal, believing he is the victim of a witch hunt. Meanwhile, clues from the tree man help the BAU zero in on a location they believe the Ripper used. There they discover the most shocking revelation of Jack Crawford's career: Miriam Lass alive.
"What would be the benefit of making you believe your trainee was still alive?"This exchange later includes a startling admission, in a conversation that weirdly alternates and somewhat confuses Lass with Crawford's wife Bella: "Don't give up hope for your wife. Not yet.... I'm sorry about your wife, Jack. I truly am. I believe the world is a better place with her in it. I am sorry about your trainee." Hannibal doesn't often express regret, even if it is only for the circumstances that force his hand, and, I believe, it's an important detail common to some other victims.
"Hope. The Ripper wanted to cloud my judgment with hope."
"It can sometimes be brave to allow yourself hope."
"Not the false kind."