Tag Archives: Hannibal review recap

Hannibal “The Wrath of the Lamb” Review (3×13)

29 Aug

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“This is all I ever wanted for you, Will. For both of us.”

For three seasons and thirty nine episodes, Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter have crafted an incredibly twisted, violent, and beautiful love story. They’ve followed a more unique version of the Base System, however, with making out/feeling each other up/having hot sex being replaced with fun actions such as cannibalism, bloody hugging, and brutal murders. This is the only show on television where someone getting stabbed can potentially make you go “Oh, that’s adorable!”, and I love Bryan Fuller and co. all the more for it. In “The Wrath of the Lamb”, he writes the show out in style, both giving us closure to the central relationship and leaving us with a sense of ambiguity. It’s a fittingly poetic masterpiece of a series finale, and I’m glad I got to experience it.

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Hannibal “The Number of the Beast Is 666” Review (3×12)

22 Aug

HANNIBAL -- "The Number of the Beast is 666" Episode 312 -- Pictured: (l-r) Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford, Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter, Caroline Dhavernas as Alana Bloom -- (Photo by: Brooke Palmer/NBC)

“If you play, you pay.”

In the third season premiere, the main question the show revolved around was “Observe or participate?” It was a question posed by Hannibal to Bedelia–and by extension, to the audience itself–and it returns in full force in “666”. This time, it’s Bedelia bringing it up with Will Graham after Dr. Chilton is set ablaze, and she says the following to the lamb sitting across from her: “You may as well have struck the match. That’s participation. Hannibal Lecter does have agency in the world. He has you.” The point here is that these characters don’t necessarily have to wield a weapon in order to facilitate a kill. After all, just look at Hannibal, someone who has essentially been calling the shots from inside a glass box these past several episodes. He’s been happily pitting Will and the Red Dragon against each other while presumably thinking happy thoughts about Will’s beautiful face, and his design is now unfolding before his very eyes.

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Hannibal “…And the Beast from the Sea” Review (3×11)

15 Aug


“Save yourself. Kill them all.”

“…And the Beast from the Sea” revolves around fear, around that all-encompassing, claustrophobic emotion that breeds resentment and separation and a desire for change. Hannibal Lecter is a master manipulator of those emotions, a constant voice in Dolarhyde’s mind advising and controlling him: “Don’t let fear leech your strength.” His Devil status is represented in this episode when we see his face above Dolarhyde’s shoulder, and we see him as both conscience and temptation, concerned human and callous monster. Hannibal’s playing off of Dolarhyde’s fear about “[giving Reba] the dragon”, and after he tells him that he “can always toss the dragon to someone else”, he sits back and watches his design unfold before him. And later on, whatever care he may actually exhibit toward Dolarhyde–with his “sympathetic ear”–is a two-pronged attack: in the ultimate dick move, he drops a “They’re listening” as Jack and Alana are listening, and it’s a moment that solidifies my love for how big of an asshole Hannibal is.

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Hannibal “And the Woman Clothed in Sun” Review (3×10)

8 Aug

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“Extreme acts of cruelty require a high level of empathy. The next time you have an instinct to help someone, you might consider crushing them instead.”

“And the Woman Clothed in the Sun” takes a look at the mind of the individual and at the ways our subjective experiences inform our actions and perspectives, our empathy or compassion or lack of either. During a lecture at the beginning of the hour, Bedelia says the following: “What we take for granted about our sense of self–everything we see, everything we remember–is nothing more than a construct of the mind.” This construct idea is something we’ve seen play out with Will and Hannibal before, and we continue to see it develop throughout this episode with Bedelia. During her talks with Will, we hear a back and forth, a push and pull; for example, whenever Will poses an idea, it’s met with a lob straight back at him, a differing perspective on the same thought. Very little in this Hannibal world seems concrete because so much of it exists in the perpetually changing mind, a location where there exists “the alchemy of lies and truths”.

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Hannibal “And the Woman Clothed with the Sun…” Review (3×09)

1 Aug


“Like you, Will, he needs a family to escape what’s inside of him.” 

These Hannibal families are far from your conventional television families, but what this episode wants to make clear is that these are still relationships built on love and need and connection. Whether we’re talking about Will-Molly or Hannibal-Abigail or Margot-Alana or Will-Hannibal or even Dolarhyde-Reba, the one constant always seems to be the need for some type of family, some type of connection. And as Hannibal mentions to Abigail: “Every family loves differently. Every love is unique.” Even if your form of love consists of some nice throat-slashing and stabbing and murderous intent, there’s still familial instinct to be found beneath the blood.

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Hannibal “The Great Red Dragon” Review (3×08)

25 Jul


Note: Because I won’t be at home to post this later tonight, the review is being published early. Full spoilers follow.

“Dear Will: We have all found a new life, but our old ones hover in the shadows.”

Will Graham has a wife, a kid, and a bunch of lovable dogs now in his new life. He’s been living cannibal-free for three years, and we see him doing pretty well as the beautiful barks of those dogs pierce the chilly air. And yet, even as those furry creatures prance around in the gorgeous snow, there’s no doubt that the influence of Hannibal Lecter–that the influence of his old life–still lingers over him. He knows what’s going on with the recent murders, and it’s actually Hannibal’s warning to him that primarily motivates him to return to the Jack Crawford Party. Yes, Jack and Molly are there to urge him to help out, but in the end, Will burning the letter–which warns him about the madness awaiting behind Jack’s open door–is essentially a statement from him to his ex-boyfriend.

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Hannibal “Digestivo” Review (3×07)

18 Jul

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“Some beasts shouldn’t be caged.”

What an episode. This is the culmination of several seasons’ worth of pain and heartbreak and betrayal and love, an hour that both closes off the season’s experimental first half and sets up what very well could be the show’s final stretch. It’s an hour filled to the brim with dark humor and truly disturbing imagery, and it does well by all the characters involved, delving deep into their relationships and pasts as they all come together at Muskrat Farm. This is simply the series–and television–at its best, and it’s one more example of why it’s a shame that the show is going off the air soon.

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Hannibal “Dolce” Review (3×06)

10 Jul

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“You and I have begun to blur.”

At the beginning of the series, Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter did not seem like the same person. They were at odds by virtue of occupation–FBI Special Investigator and Professional Cannibal, to be exact–and the conflict between the two initially set up the show. Gradually, however, we began to see just how similar they are, just how drawn to each other they are, and the early season three episodes served to highlight that connection. Even though they spent time apart–only natural in the “post-stabbing” stage of a relationship–there was still talk of love and betrayal and forgiveness swirling around their universe, and they eventually realized that maybe they’re one and the same. Maybe they’re beginning to blur together.

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Hannibal “Contorno” Review (3×05)

2 Jul


“If you don’t kill him, you’re afraid you’ll become him.”

The Hannibal Lecter-Will Graham dynamic is one of the most fascinating dynamics on television, and what’s impressive about this show is its ability to develop their relationship through the use of other characters. Last week, we witnessed an episode all about the long-lasting impact Hannibal’s had on a plethora of people, and this week, it all explodes in a truly masterful final sequence. Even though the show’s two main characters aren’t physically by each other–the passionate sex that inevitably will ensue is more of a finale event–the writers still take care to note just how close they are. We see just how tightly the two are entwined, and it only makes the upcoming reunion even more intriguing as a result.

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Hannibal “Aperitivo” Review (3×04)

25 Jun

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“Imitation allows us to better understand others.”

This is one of those episodes that allows you to simply sit back and appreciate a wonderful cast. Even without Mads Mikkelsen and Gillian Anderson, the show fires on all cylinders here, tying together all its other characters within the web spun by Hannibal Lecter. We feel his influence at every turn, and each person’s fascinating story serves to highlight one important fact: that Hannibal has scarred them all in one way or another, that who they are in the present is very much a product of their interactions with the man.

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