Of course. Of course that is how the first season had to end. I’ve enjoyed the season in and of itself but I’ve also enjoyed how the show has acknowledged that many of the viewers are already familiar with Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs. The final scene in which Lecter walks down the corridor of the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane is a fantastic nod to the future. Lecter is outside and Will is on the inside, the exact opposite of what we will see when the Tooth Fairy case is recreated. Kudos to Bryan Fuller and his team.
Continue reading “Hannibal Savoureux”
One of the things that can happen on a dramatic series is that the writers will seem to paint themselves into a corner. On the best dramatic series, the writers come up with a dramatically logical way to get out of the corner. We won’t know until the season finale if the Hannibal writers can get out of the corner but “Releves” features that last bit of painting possible. Everything is in place for the last episode.
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The character of Dr. Abel Gideon was introduced in “Entree”, an episode that served as a parallel between Hannibal and the movies based on the characters, mainly Manhunter and The Silence of the Lambs. In “Roti”, Gideon again is a parallel but in this case Gideon’s quest for identity is mirrored by that of Will Graham.
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I’ll start first with the good news that Hannibal was renewed by NBC for a second season. Speculation is that although the show is low-rated, it is also one of the only critical successes from last season on any broadcast network. In addition, Hannibal is an international co-production which means that it is less expensive for NBC to produce. No matter the reason, it is good to know that we will get at least thirteen more episodes.
“Buffet Froid” was the most explicit episode so far about what Dr. Lecter is doing to Will Graham. The case of the week also fit well with the interaction between Lecter and Graham, possibly too well. Graham continues to deteriorate as Lecter looks on (and encourages it). In “Buffet Froid”, Lecter discusses what he is doing with Graham with a former colleague, Dr. Sutcliffe. Lecter states that he will let the fire burn in Graham’s mind until it’s necessary to put it out. Later, he kills his Sutcliffe.
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One of the most disturbing moments in “Trou Normand” comes when Will Graham smiles. Will smiles several times in the episode and I can’t remember if he smiled in any earlier episodes. Will’s first smile comes when he tells Jack that he wasn’t himself the at the crime scene a day earlier and Jack responds that Will’s not being himself is the point. Watching Will try to be light-hearted about losing his mind is terrible, but very compelling.
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In this week’s episode, Dr.Lecter admits to his therapist what we suspected last week: he wants to be Will Graham’s friend. As Dr. Du Maurier confirms, we all want someone who accepts us for who we are. Lecter has the chance with his patient Franklin’s friend, Tobias, but that friendship would be too dangerous in the short-run, given Tobias saw Lecter killing someone. Maybe Lecter thinks he can gradually get Graham comfortable with his predilections, like a husband getting his wife comfortable with deviant porn.
Continue reading “Hannibal Fromage”
Again this week, Hannibal abandoned (for the most part) the Killer of the Week to focus on one its main characters; in this case Dr. Lecter. There was perfunctory story of someone stealing people’s organs for donation but it wasn’t interesting or complicated. What the case was useful for was to use as contrast to the Chesapeake Ripper’s purpose for organ removal.
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It was probably inevitable that Hannibal features an episode like “Entree”, an episode that overtly capitalizes on the audience’s familiarity with the Hannibal Lecter story, particularly The Silence of the Lambs. An episode like this could come across as desperate or ill-conceived depending on the execution, but “Entree” rewards our familiarity and makes it new enough to be the best episode of the series so far.
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After skipping what was supposed to be episode four and instead supplying webisode highlights from the episode (and later releasing the entire episode), Hannibal returns with “Coquilles”. The case this week is straight forward and it advances our understanding of Will Graham somewhat, but the focus of the episode is on Jack and Bella Crawford and her cancer that she isn’t telling Jack about.
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It is always interesting for a movie or TV series to take well-known characters and put them into new situations. There is an apparently endless appetite for superhero origin myths and prequels can be as common as sequels. On Hannibal, we already know how things turn out for Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter but the story the series is telling is how they got there. If it is done right then it will make us think again about what we already know.
Continue reading “Hannibal Potage”