Yeah, I think I agree with much of that. ^^
He's flexing to the situation, where going through conventional channels only got him locked up himself; he knows that isn't going to work now.
But I think you hit on something when you mentioned "exploring his dark parts in order to fully understand himself." yes, yes, yes. It's a very INP thing, to immerse yourself into the dark part in order to figure it out. (My experience with INJ is that it likes to keep the boundaries, to quell anxiety and keep things defined, which immersion does not allow for.) And that's what he is doing -- exploring himself; he needs to understand that wellspring of dark deep inside, in order to deal with it and not be blindsided by it again, and he knows no one but Hannibal can probably do that. So that's another benefit to him playing the kind of game he is playing right now.
The show is presenting a lot of things at face value, in terms of Will and Crawford's views of Hannibal and seemingly "taken in by him," but I think they're both really just playing things out. Like the whole scene with Freddie at the barn.... it seems pretty likely that there's a lot going on behind the scenes that is not being presented. I still have my suspicions over Chilton's 'demise' as well ... and as Freddie surmised, Chilton only had the surgical skills on the surface but in practice was not capable of what they've been seeing (and the thought of someone like Chilton being so sloppy in the episode he was caught... rather ridiculous) but Hannibal is. I think Alana might be one of the few people left who genuinely believes Hannibal to be falsely suspected. Most people seem to have their hackles up with Hannibal now, even if they can't place a finger on why; and he knows this, but he also knows unless he makes a mistake, their suspicions have no traction.... and it's an exhilarating challenge to continually be untouchable. What else is there for him, as a hunter, without the chase and proving his own superiority to his prey?