“Here we are, a bunch of psychopaths helping each other out.”
That really hits the nail on the head for this episode of Hannibal, and the series as a whole. I am not as familiar with the source material as I would like to be, but this episode had quite a bit in common with the Harris novels, Silence of the Lambs.
The always-awesome Eddie Izzard comes in to play Dr. Gideon, or who he is suspected of being in this episode, the Chesapeake Ripper. Of course anyone who is familiar with the novels knows that Gideon is not the Ripper. This is the set up for this week’s episode “Entrée”.
The start of the episode echoed Silence of the Lambs aesthetically, including a nicely constructed cell block that closely resembled the one Hannibal Lecter was kept in during the first film. Due to copyright issues, however, Hannibal isn’t able to use characters like Clarice Sterling or anyone introduced in the Silence of the Lambs. That doesn’t stop the creators from dropping some pretty big nods to the film.
The biggest nod is in Jack Crawford’s story, who again had a lot of this episodes attention. Jack has several flashbacks about a young agent at the academy, Miriam Lass (Anna Chlumsky), who was Jack’s protege two years earlier. Jack’s drive for closure is the fuel of this episode and it is fun seeing him chasing ghosts. In some parts I even thought Jack was just imagining the phone calls he was receiving. With the news of his wife dying of cancer, Jack is clearly going through some issues he isn’t fully equipped to deal with.
This episode also introduced us to Dr. Chilton, another character from the novels/movies. It was fun watching him at dinner with Lecter, especially knowing what eventually happens between the two characters. Though I do have to wonder if they will take Chilton in a different direction since he gave off such an eerie vibe during the episode.
A character that’s not new is Lector. We all know who he is and there aren’t any surprises to be had there. On the other hand, how the showrunners get Lecter to his destination is completely up in the air.
What continues to make Lecter so wonderful in this interpretation of the character, is how much smarter he is than everyone else in the room. Even in a room full of analysts, who all play in each other’s heads for fun, Lecter is always somewhat on the outside looking in and he is able to observe others without being fully infiltrated himself.