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Hannibal “Kaiseki” Review (2×01)

1 Mar

Hannibal - Season 2This right here is art.

Season 1 of Hannibal burst onto the scene with an operatic, intense, and beautiful thirteen episodes that transcended our expectations, and it’s back and better than it was before. When we last left off, the roles of Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham had been switched, leaving Will behind bars and Lecter to take his place in the real world; now, Fuller’s exploring the various nuances and complexities behind the inversion, and it’s some fantastic television.

First of all, the fight. It is as well edited, choreographed, and acted as anything I’ve ever seen, and it truly has this cinematic feel to it, with the attention to detail this show’s so fantastic at. Also, Fishburne and Mikkelsen are just impeccable here; they know what they’re doing. Oftentimes, huge fight scenes or beginning in media res followed by a flashback seem tacky, but everything fits perfectly into the world the show’s created, and the fight brings out this tension that permeates every subsequent scene.

There’s a constant idea of reflection during this fight scene, and that idea starts to be replaced by transformation and substitution later on. For, Hannibal is “the new Will Graham”, taking his place during investigations and as a prominent figure in the police system. There’s this sense of childish glee to him that others don’t seem to pick up on, whether it be through his cannibalism jokes or his love of cooking. In fact, Du Maurier–fantastic work by Gillian Anderson, by the way–may seem to know more than she lets on, but there’s this coolness she puts up as a front for the true terror she feels underneath. There’s a nice, subtle moment after Hannibal remarks “Neither do you”, when we see Du Maurier swallow nervously; she’s just barely keeping it in check.

Speaking of keeping things in check, we have Will Graham in a mental hospital. I’d like to talk about this storyline through the context of the “case of the week”, which involves, as we see at the end, a bunch of bodies seemingly glued together in the shape of an iris. I love that ending shot, both for the visual aspect and the way it ties in thematically with Will’s–and by extension, many other characters’–mental struggles. He’s starting to grow more confident, no longer mentally restricted as he is physically, yet, he’s not the one outside the bars. There’s a futility, a need to mend the broken pieces and grasp onto hope–for Jack, Alana, and Will–that seems just out of reach. They all want to believe the same thing and they’re working toward it, but Hannibal’s bleeding into everything.

Of course, it seems as if Hannibal throwing himself into his new role will lead to his downfall. His desire to hold onto Will Graham is only strengthening Will mentally; Hannibal visits him in jail, and he’s promised a reckoning (powerful moment for Hugh Dancy). Well, after Lecter leaves, Jack, Alana, and Beverly all visit, emphasizing Will’s relationship with the three, and we see more bits and pieces forming in his mind (the ear, for one). Someone like Jack still has something to lose, but perhaps it’s Hannibal with the farthest to fall; we all know how it’ll end up, after all, and I’m intrigued to see how we get there.

GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-So much love for Alana in this episode, especially with her being so unwavering in her opinion and her determination. I’d like to see Caroline Dhavernas get a bigger role this season, as she’s pretty much perfect.

-Speaking of Alana, Will’s hypnosis scene is just gorgeous. The metronome hearkens back to Will’s own method of recreating the crimes in his head.

-The ear scene. Wow. I miss Abigail. The visual aspect here is already pretty stomach-churning, but man, the sound work there is just as essential. Not only is it hard to watch, but it’s hard to listen to.

-“I can’t quite place the fish.” “He was a flounder.”

-“I never feel guilty about eating anything.”

-Will’s dream is fly-fishing; how appropriate. You know you’re fishing for something, but you can’t quite place it until….BANG. I’m excited for that later on.

-Going back to the fight: Oh man, Hannibal walking back before breaking down the door. Just thrilling stuff.

-WINSTON! I want to see Hannibal and Will fight over him at some point.

-Welcome back, Stag.

-“I am not the intelligent psychopath you’re looking for.” Jedi mind tricks don’t work on him, I guess.

-Please watch this show, people. It’s one of the best shows on television, and we are so lucky to have gotten a second season. Crossing my fingers for a third, and a fourth, etc.

-When a show about a cannibal can make you hungry, you know the cinematography is brilliant.

Photo credit: NBC, Hannibal

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One Response to “Hannibal “Kaiseki” Review (2×01)”

  1. carmillaweirdlove March 1, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Reblogged this on carmillaweirdlove.

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